Social labels & reinventing business in L&L Yearbook 2013

Social labels & reinventing business in L&L Yearbook 2013

While we have made a few changes to the content this year, the intent remains the same. The Labels & Labeling Yearbook is created to serve as an annual global resource to the label industry. It includes a collective of contributions from industry value-chain experts and concise market evaluations from the international Labels & Labeling editorial team. As of last year, the pages also recognize member associations of the L9 global label industry group and the most recent World Label Association award winners.

The compilation delivers key messages. Communication channels are evolving quickly. Consumers have instant access to information. Purchasing habits are changing rapidly. And the label industry is finding many ways to follow these trends. Increased usage of modern social channels and mobile devices have made downstream stakeholders pay more attention to labels and packaging. The FMCG business has become much like the fashion world. New products and exclusive lines are introduced frequently across markets, meaning more designs faster. This is forcing the supply chain to tighten its processes at all levels in order to compete, and has required the industry to bring advanced technologies to market so that converters are empowered to respond accordingly.

Brand managers and retailers are increasingly using advanced tools to streamline supply chain operations to: reduce errors and waste, increase speed-to-market, quickly (re)design for change, improve color consistency across variables and minimize workflow bottlenecks. A number of systems designed for label manufacturing could be seen in Chicago and Brussels at the most recent Labelexpo shows and are discussed in the following pages.

Consumers are selecting products using new tools, making the in-store landscape dynamic. Therefore CPGs are scrambling to find support from suppliers who best understand the importance of packaging and brand engagement both on and offline – and specifically converters who understand the technical requirements to make interaction successful, whether using variable printed data codes or multi-layer peel and reveal constructions.

Customers will require help orienting themselves with these new technologies. At the same time attention must be paid to the core objectives of label production: quality graphics, performance, cost, speed-to-delivery, flexibility, substrate variability, technical expertise, proximity and technology. These trends are happening around the world in both mature and emerging label markets.

This new Information Age is dawning at the same time as a generational shift is happening in the industry. The next generation of leaders need to be mentored to take full advantage of these opportunities. And then there's the environment. Global trade relies on the earth's limited resources and business needs to respect this reality if it is to thrive. This is the area where truly revolutionary labeling innovation can still be made.

Innovation is critical to enterprise success. So what's next? A future strategy driven by truly collaborative, environmentally conscious research, development and production, along with continuous process improvement.

The Labels & Labeling team encourages you, our readers, to share what you're experiencing and what you anticipate to happen in the coming years here on our L&L blog page.

We look forward to continuing discussions with you in person at industry events, as well as in the digital world, and wish each of you health and prosperity moving into two thousand and thirteen.

Download L&L Yearbook 2013 pdf

Danielle Jerschefske Yearbook editor

Danielle Jerschefske

  • Sustainability columnist