Case Study: 6 Month’s into the Year, What’s Next? 6 Questions with Lana Toler, Marketing & Innovation Manager

We’re halfway through 2021, and that means it’s time to start planning for Q3 and Q4. At The Spearhead Group, we set out to revolutionize the industry and redefine how packaging and brand work together. Our team is often planning months ahead to make sure we “spearhead” innovative ideas. Recently, we sat down with Lana Toler, Marketing & Innovation Manager, to find out what’s next.

Now that we are 6 month’s into the year, what are a few trends in packaging/physical brand enhancement we can look forward to?
Continuing to see evolution of the carbonated beverage category and the packaging that will help create a point of difference. We may be seeing more alternative shapes and design applications than ever before. As the world is returning to their post-COVID summer routines, creative Cocktails To-Go (CTG) including packaging that encourages consumer participation for preparation will surely be on the rise. Reveal E-commerce and experiential packaging will continue to draw consumers to easy gifting and group activities.

What exciting innovations for cocktails-to-go are you hoping to see with the opening of more on-premise locations this summer?
In the next months, the cocktails prepared for the To-Go category will most likely continue to evolutionize and encourage consumers to try fun and unique cocktails with tequila and bourbon. There packaging opportunities are limitless and will continue to convert to more ‘hand-made’ type of containers and labels while starting to focus on the sustainability aspects of the packaging. Experiential cocktails-to-go will also continue to share the cocktail preparation process with consumers as fresh fruit, juices and other details can be added or adjusted to taste by the consumer.

What does the suspension of tariffs mean for the packaging category?
The recent announcement of the suspension of the tariffs will continue to promote the spirits business companies to globalize their brands and sell more product. As these companies continue to expand globally, the opportunity for innovation within brands and creating new brands will become more accessible.

What are you most excited about this year in sustainability?
Companies are starting to talk about becoming ‘the most sustainable’ in their categories and actually defining what that means. The concept that companies ‘are sustainable’ is just not cutting it for consumers expectations anymore.  I expect to continue to see not only definable sustainability goals becoming required of brands, but diversity and inclusion as well. As a whole, Spearhead will continue efforts to help clients with sustainable options as well as present diversity and inclusion opportunities as well.

Where can we meet up with Spearhead later this year?
We will be at 2021 DISCUS Conference in Austin, TX (October 6-8). Also, if you are in Louisville in August, we will be at the BOURBON WOMEN CONFERENCE.

How can brands start thinking about planning for their next Physical Brand Enhancement™?
Define your brand and what she stands for! Using PBE™, Spearhead is able to help clients communicate not only what the product is, but what the brand/founder(s) stand for and why. Think about who you want your brand to sit next to on the shelf or back bar and then decide how to differentiate and share your brand story with your packaging.

Interested in connecting or finding out more about Physical Brand Enhancement™? Reach out to Lana Toler at