Christmas in July: Physical Brand Enhancements™, Sustainability and Holiday Gifting Trends

Christmas in July celebrations are not uncommon, but this year we want to take a look at some packaging, Physical Brand Enhancement™, and holiday gifting plans from The Spearhead Group. Recently, we spoke with Robert Catalano, Chief Innovation Officer (CINO) and Co-Founder of The Spearhead Group about what brands and the industry can expect for the coming 2021 holiday.

What can we look forward to seeing on the shelves this coming holiday season?
One of the biggest things everyone has been talking about is premiumization. If you look at the spirits industry, everyone has been doing Value-Added Packaging (VAP) forever and they are all starting to look the same. It’s usually a couple of glasses, a thermoform and a simple carton. There hasn’t been a massive change in that footprint in decades. People will start to see “jazzed up” cartons. Spearhead is a leader in changing this format. Premiumization sounds fancy but really, we are trying to get away from gift with purchase format. Consumers are getting bored.

How does The Spearhead Group help brands plan for holiday Physical Brand Enhancement™?
We approach holiday just like we approach any Limited-Time Offer (LTO). We look at the ultimate goals of the brands and cues for what they really want to promote. The package should be an extension of the brand and not cover the brand. We are working to minimize the use of packaging so that the brand is highlighted more. Imagine less paper and more brand popping. Particularly in the spirits industry, the bottles usually are the highlight. A lot of thought and pride make up the brand so we look to embrace it, frame it, expose it, and at the same time minimize the amount of packaging materials used. We do this by working closely with engineering and R+D who are always looking for different materials and ways of creating boxes and then reaching out to brands to embrace this new way of thinking. We are the only company that makes a living out of selling packaging but encourages people to use less of it.

What sustainability trends for holiday gift packs are you looking forward to seeing?
I am looking forward to seeing less materials being used in gift packs. Spearhead is proud to be working towards with a patent pending pressure fit system that minimizes the need for thermoform and substrates and works to frames the product. In addition, I am looking forward to seeing more ecofriendly materials. For Spearhead, we utilize substrates from BillerudKorsnäs, which is one of the most sustainable paper mills in the world. We also work with Ecological Fibers who eliminates plastic with the use of a new line of 100% Plastic Free, Organic Coated Packaging materials that decompose.

How can a brand get in touch with you to start planning?
If your company wants to take the first step to planning for your brand, please reach out to Pamela Wyatt Ashcraft.