It’s getting personal

If there’s one thing I like it’s a trend report. Scoff you might on this 29 May, but the top notch trend reports are well researched, very clever and most insightful. The bad ones are just made up. I eagerly wait to receive regular briefs from J. Walter Thompson Intelligence which describes itself as “a center for provocative thinking that focuses on identifying shifts in the global zeitgeist.”  I am so drawn to the word zeitgeist. 

One of their latest reports overviews Luxe Pack New York, billed by organisers as “the premier show for creative packaging” …why oh why wasn’t I there? Their report identified key trends this year as personalised packaging on a mass level, raw materials moving from trend to market, and the rise of niche brands. As everything is personalised to a gift wrapper, I eagerly devoured the report’s contents.

JWT notes that consumer demand for customised products and experiences is on the march. A SONAR™ survey for their forthcoming retail report, Frontier(less) Retail, found that 66% of US millennials (age 18–34) and 62% of UK millennials said they would be more likely to visit a physical store if it offered an interactive experience to select or customise a product. Further, they cited, a 2015 Deloitte survey which found that 43% of 16–24 year olds and 46% of 25–30 year olds were attracted to personalised goods and services, and 71% say they are willing to pay for this at a premium price.

Share a Coke labels printing at Hewlett Packard

The report goes on to explore digital print – a hot topic for the packaging industry, because it allows individualised mass print-runs at competitive prices.They cited Coca-Cola’s  “Share a Coke” campaign which produced approximately 800 million personalised labels with 150 different names. They also gave a shout out to Oreo’s Colorfilled campaign which leveraged the current colouring in craze by inviting  consumers to create their own packaging by digitally colouring in predesigned illustrations, which were then printed and shipped. Way to go Oreo because there’s not a better middle you can fiddle with!

Oreo Colorfilled


The JWT report reflects the findings of other consumer surveys. More than half of the Americans (56%) surveyed by Personal Creations said if they received a personalised gift, it would mean the giver wanted them to feel special. Another 52% said they felt the giver put a lot of thought into a personalised gift. In the same survey, when asked “Which if the following gifts would you consider personalising for someone?”, people responded with:

  • 73% would personalise accessories
  • 72% would personalise home wares
  • 54% would [personalise clothing
  • 42% would personalise holiday decorations

You can personalise the gift itself or your can personalise any gift with gift wrapping. Or you can do both – a bit like double denim I guess. You can also personalise it for the recipient or you can personalise it form the giver – a little reminder of who it is from. I am frankly surprised how much people like this latter option.

My sister gave me some Daily Wrap ribbon for Christmas and it was a clever gift. She found it at Australia’s own Identity Direct. She won’t mind me saying that it’s not the most expensive personalised ribbon option out there – but that is just the point. It is probably the most accessible if you want to give personalised ribbon a try. It means I don’t worry about using too much and I can always get some more in different colours and wording. I am thinking of buying some for my favourite little family because they are in peak birthday party zone and they can put it on gifts they give.

Therefore today I have a Daily Wrap wrap, featuring my Daily Wrap ribbon. There are a few little technique things to keep in mind using ribbons that are printed with words. Firstly, you need to think through the positioning of the ribbon on the wrap so that the words can be read in full at least in one orientation, otherwise it defeats the purpose.

Also, like other patterned ribbons printed on only one side, you need to be careful to tie any bows or flourishes so that the printed side lands up.There are quite a few videos on how to master the art of tying a ribbon printed or patterned on one side – so have a squiz at some of them. That mastered, you will no doubt like me become addicted to personalised ribbon – and then you can write your very own trend report.



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