• 27th October 2020

Seven tips for creating the perfect luxury whisky pack

Here at GPA Luxury, we believe the perfect luxury pack ticks several different boxes at once. It offers a unique and memorable user experience, conveys a high level of quality, and effectively promotes the brand and product, all while protecting its precious contents for transit and storage.

In the years that we’ve spent honing our skills in luxury packaging, we’ve learned a few things about executing the perfect whisky pack. Read on for our top seven tips.

1. Tell a story

First and foremost, a luxury whisky pack should always tell a story. Not only does this help to create a memorable user experience, it also enhances the consumer’s perception of the pack’s value. A beautifully written block of text or some personalised imagery  lends to the pack’s aura of exclusivity and uniqueness.
Sometimes a client may come to us with a story in mind; at other times our team may suggest an idea that we then develop with the client. Two fantastic options are to include a booklet telling the story of the distillery’s early years, and to print the exterior with some special imagery harking back to a key moment in the brand’s history.

2. Stimulate the senses

The best whisky packs are a feast for all the senses – not just the eyes. Whether it’s the satisfying click of a metal clasp or the textured feel of a soft-touch paper wrapping, embellishments that go beyond the visual are a great way to stimulate the senses and create a superior experience for the user.
An added bonus is that multi-sensory embellishments can help draw the consumer into the story, which in turn creates a deeper connection with the product. As an example, we might add a metallic band to the exterior of the pack to evoke the look and feel of a whisky still.

3. Keep it functional

Ecommerce is a rapidly increasing sales channel with unpredictable and relatively uncontrolled global delivery systems. This means the demands placed on packaging to ensure the product gets to the customer are huge. Before anything else, whisky packaging must function on a practical level, which means from the word go design, development and manufacturing have to work hand-in-hand. 
Our team works hard to create packaging that scores high for functionality and durability. In addition to using sturdy materials and solid construction techniques, our packs often feature removable fitments. These allow the pack to be adapted in a variety of ways, meaning they can be kept safe during transit, unpacked for display, and even reused later on (this is also a benefit on the sustainability front).

4. Don’t forget the little things

Recently we crafted a pack for Glenfiddich Grand Cru: a 23-year-old single malt finished in French cuvée casks. This pack boasts plenty of stand-out features – including a rotating central compartment and a firework-inspired graphic – but it’s also embellished with smaller details including a colour-matched ribbon attachment, and a satin bottle backdrop in the shape of the iconic Glenfiddich “tround”.
This attention to detail conveys to the user the careful thought and effort that has gone into a pack.

5. Communicate value

For consumers within the luxury sector, the purchase of a luxury item comes with the assumption that the product is unique and high-value. To communicate the value and exclusivity of a whisky, we might add endorsement or personalisation from a respected individual. When we manufactured the pack for Johnnie Walker & Sons’ Mastery of Oak, the signature of Diageo’s Master Blender and incorporated it into the design.
Brands can also instil value with product numbering. A limited edition whisky marked out of 1,000 immediately becomes more appealing as an exclusive collectible.

6. Prioritise sustainability 

Creating luxury packaging that is sustainable is not always easy – in part because there is no single global definition for sustainability, meaning requirements can vary region to region. Luxury whisky packaging typically requires multiple materials, embellishments and finishes that are not always eco-friendly, particularly when it comes to disposal.
Regardless, we believe it is the responsibility of all brand owners and manufacturers to drive for a better future by lowering the impact that our products have on the natural world.
We recommend the use of recycled materials and FSC papers and boards, as well as intelligent manufacturing that allows packaging components to be separated into individually recyclable elements. Where possible, manufacturers should work with the client to design and develop a pack with a secondary function, as this reduces the chances of it ending up in the waste stream.
In the long-term, we aim to minimise the impact of our packaging on the environment via all areas of the business, whilst finding reliable, recyclable alternatives to current packaging staples that retain the design and brand intent.

7. Be bold!

Here at GPA Luxury, we’re always trying to innovate, whether it’s branching out into cutting edge manufacturing techniques or experimenting with new materials. In our experience, a little bit of boldness and ingenuity can be the difference between a standard whisky pack and something truly luxury.
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