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Brands with ‘brag value’ find more favour with customers

His company believes that in any area of business, there is nothing like spending ‘more’ or spending ‘less.’ ABD has consistently advocated and adopted new packaging technologies and designs across all its brands, reveals Deepak Roy, Executive Vice Chairman,

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The choice of or change in label/packaging is a function of primarily 3 factors: One, target consumers and their aspirations, brand imagery and positioning vis-à-vis competition and finally, Operational simplicity and cost efficiency. According to Deepak Roy, Executive Vice Chairman, ABD, the company is constantly looking to better themselves and the competition on all the above three factors. At the same time, over the last couple of years, ABD’s entry into the premium segments has necessitated that they look at disruptive packaging solutions for premium brands, especially in the case of Sterling Reserve Premium Whiskies. Thus, the preference for label and packaging is a business decision and can keep changing over the medium term with newer advances in packaging technology and rising consumer aspirations.

Elaborating further, Deepak says as a consumer-facing organisation, ABD is always tracking and updating itself on emerging consumer trends and rapidly evolving consumer needs and aspirations to figure out areas of improvement and need gaps. Consumers do look at alcobev brands to project their status and success and this forms a key factor in looking for disruptive packaging ideas. Brands that have a ‘brag value’ quotient often find favour with consumers.

At the same time, ‘constant innovation’ is one of ABD’s core values and “we would want to offer innovative packaging ideas to consumers. This not only enhances the consumers’ image amongst his peer set but also gives our brands a boost in the consumers’ minds.”

premium association with the finest whiskies.

Brand spends

As a philosophy, ABD believes that in any area of business, there is nothing like spending ‘more’ or spending ‘less’. “As you preimmunize, an innovative or disruptive packaging design often provides a strong competitive advantage to a brand. Innovation and disruption in packaging are essential to keep consumers engaged and help brands in matching up to consumer aspirations. “The best designs may cost more and hence one needs to look at the ‘right’ spend taking into account the merits of the designs and the ultimate objective it is expected to serve,” says Executive Vice Chairman.

Talking about how Indian companies compare to foreign firms, Deepak shares: “Indian companies may suffer from the perception of being frigid about using new ideas but that is clearly changing. Some of the finest products and brands in the Indian alcobev industry are now coming from domestic companies. Be it single malts or boutique gins, Indian companies are setting the tone for innovation in the country today.”

International perspective

Giving his perspective on how ABD scouts for new packaging developments globally, he point out that with geographical boundaries becoming a blur, thanks to technology, ABD can now access the latest developments in the packaging world in real time. “The packaging designs for Sterling Reserve Premium Whiskies were done with an international design agency. Over the course of the entire engagement that lasted for nearly a year and more, our marketing team had only virtual meetings with the agency via video-conferencing,” he opines.

Talking about Indian label, packaging, and bottling & closures companies’ competencies, he says that like in most fields, the competencies of Indian players in the packaging industry are today comparable to those of international companies, reveals Deepak. “At ABD today, we operate with a mix of domestic and international packaging agencies,” he says.

Deepak talks of three factors that he foresees in the next five years in the packaging industry. The first factor is sustainability, the second being use of technology and the third being individualization. “Consumers are increasingly seeking out bespoke and individualised solutions in every sphere of life. The underlying need is to have experiences which are unique and therefore worthy of ‘posting’ onto social media,” shares Deepak Roy.

Citing the example of Officer’s Choice Blue (OCBL) as a good example. OCBL was the first brand in the country to adopt innovative twist-lock caps from a renowned international closures manufacturer. This gave the brand an edge over competition and improved consumer trials and loyalty.

Excellencein execution

Responding to a query on how the company stays out of its comfort zone, the company honcho reveals: “Adoption of innovative designs or new packaging technology is a business decision. There may be some teething troubles in getting the entire supply chain geared up to perfection, but ABD has ‘Excellence in execution’ as one of its core values which eventually helps us to overcome them. Over the last decade or so, ABD has consistently advocated and adopted new packaging technologies and designs across all its brands. “

Giving a low-down on the company’s latest designs, Deepak cites the case of their latest offerings in the form of Sterling Reserve range of premium whiskies.

The unique highlight of Sterling Reserve B10 packaging is the canisters on all major sizes (750ml/375ml/180ml). In the premium whisky segment. He points out that Sterling Reserve B10 is the only brand which offers canisters on all major size. Canisters are often associated with the finest Scotches and Single Malts and their presence triggers a