Uniting kindred spirits among printing, product and design
At Kinsip House of Fine Spirits, life is worthy of celebrating the small moments as well as the grand. The distillery, located in Prince Edward County, Ont., crafts products that reflect and accentuate the quality of the moment. The owners and operators are rooted in an appreciation of family and the fulfillment found in building community. This sense of kinship is something that unites their craft and the work behind the scenes: everything from production and design work to packaging and labels.
Last fall, Kinsip was in the middle of a rebrand. While already working with an existing printing company for their product labels, they received an interesting piece of mail. The package, sent by the team at Lorpon Labels, contained a box that said, “You have seven seconds…” Then, once the parcel was opened, it continued, “…to own the shelf.”
“In those seven seconds is when a consumer makes a decision,” said Jeff Sommer, Lorpon’s Vice-President of Business Development. “If they actually take a few seconds to look at it, then pick it up and feel it, they’re 80 per cent more likely to buy it.”
The package also contained a booklet about paper stock and actual labels that potential customers could peel and apply on their products to see how they felt and appealed to the senses.
“At that time we weren’t in the market for another printer at all,” said Maria Hristova of Kinsip. “But the interest stemmed from what Lorpon had mailed out.”
Given the crucial timing of their rebrand inception, Lorpon exhibited their knowledge of what could be done with a digital press, labels, substrates and more to help Kinsip’s design partner, Sovereign State, bring ideas to life.
The relationship between Kinsip, Sovereign State and Lorpon began with an initial discovery meeting. “It was about coming in and learning where they were at and what their future plans were,” Sommer said.
“When we met with Jeff the first time, it became about much more than just a label,” said Jeremiah Soucie of Kinsip. “It became about, ‘How can I help you build your brand with labels.’”
Building a brand and sharing a common vision among partners extended beyond Lorpon and also involved Kinsip’s design team from Sovereign State.
“When we first spoke, there was a lot of talk about how to create a sense of family and celebration, and that set a relationship,” said Joel Gregorio, Principal and Creative Director from Sovereign State. “When you’re in a relationship with your clients and suppliers, there’s an extra level of commitment and communication.”
Having that relationship and interest from a design standpoint, allowed the design team to understand the fine details of what Kinsip was trying to recreate as a brand. From there, the team developed a beautiful design around it, one that had legs and could position them uniquely within the strata of their current competitors.
With the relationship extended to include Lorpon, Sommer took a consultative approach in working with both Kinsip and Sovereign State to help them understand what the different opportunities and limitations were when it came to high end spirit labelling.
“That whole process of engaging and having an unbelievable breadth of work to look at in Lorpon and what they’ve done was very rewarding,” Gregorio said. “We’re very fortunate to have been able to see that work before engaging in our process with the labels. And Jeff really enforced confidence in executing our designs.”
Although, both Soucie and Hristova admit, the Kinsip team wasn’t too sure what digital printing had to offer prior to their meeting with Lorpon. “We’re definitely interested in doing some smaller runs of labels for some of our smaller runs of spirits,” she said. “We want to produce some small batches that are only going to be available once. Digital printing for that seemed like it was the way to go.”
The power of variable content also worked in favour of Kinsip’s brand. “To know that Lorpon had something that would give a lot of flexibility without a change in the quality structure, meant a lot to us,” Gregorio said. “It changes the game for clients that are starting out and don’t have the volume yet to compete against the big brands. So, to level that playing field is a really powerful thing.”
“We knew we were going to get a high-quality output that would be of the esthetic we were looking for,” Hristova said. “It was important for us to carry that through with the label quality itself. Because a good design is a good design, but if you can’t print it well, it’s a lot of hard work not leveraged.”
For Sommer and his team, bringing that design to fruition means understanding consumer habits. “Our goal is to give small producers the same type of product and output that big multi-nationals have,” he said. “Because at the end of the day, you’re going to be sitting beside them on the shelf. It’s a total equalizer for brands.”
Working with small producers like Kinsip also fulfills Lorpon’s goal of having a collaborative approach to business. And this approach is exactly what keeps clients like Kinsip and Sovereign State coming back.
“We work with a lot of suppliers on other endeavors, but not as close as we have with Lorpon,” Gregorio said. “It’s a point of pride at the end of the process. That’s the difference between a relationship and a transaction.”