Mince pies, baubles and a burning fire, all set the idyllic anticipation of Christmas Day, but nothing quite compares to the opening that very first gift, a stocking stuffed with something special inside.
As shops are filled to the brim with an abundance of gifts this season and the recent cyber weekend sales have fed the fast-purchase frenzy of consumers, a leading packaging entrepreneur says brands need to drive a more minimalist mindset for customers. And, he says that a luxury stocking filler may be the right way to do it.
Reports show nearly two thirds of consumers buy based on beliefs and Robert Lockyer, CEO of Delta Global a luxury packaging provider for brands such as Radley, Tom Ford and Estee Lauder has noticed this year’s increased in demand for luxury and says its retail growth is due to the continual ‘alignment in values with consumers’.
“Brands need to be the force behind societal change and while the tradition of gift giving is one we’ve all come to love, some consumers have become accustomed to the act.
“People have begun subconsciously giving gifts and unfortunately this means many get stored out of sight or end in our bin come the New Year’s spring clean.
“But as luxury brands promote quality over quantity, they are setting the agenda for less is more this season.”
The theory that less is more
This year Tiffany & Co launched just four limited edition advent boxes filled with diamond earrings, perfume and gold bracelets. Presented in the brands signature shade of blue, the box took inspiration from their flagship store in New York and was named one of the ‘most expensive advent calendars in the world’ at a hefty price tag of $104,000.
“While it may seem an extreme, Tiffany make the point that they are unique, they are limited. Their product is the perfect oxymoron of ‘less is more’.
“They symbolize speciality and exclusivity. The idea aims to channel the customers dream to receive something unique, something that makes them feel as if they are the only one to have received it. It’s about quality over quantity.”
The stocking filler experience
Stockings are often thought of as ‘filler gifts’ hence the name; therefore tend to be associated with affordability and size.
Robert explains that in a digital age, the word ‘luxury’ defines not just the object but also the unboxing experience. And, with 49% of buyers making an impulsive purchase after receiving a more personalised experience, it is apparent that brands need to heavily focus on this.
“Consider the concept of a stocking as the ‘key’ to the element of surprise, it embraces our senses, whatever is inside; we dive in to touch it, shake it and listen, peer in to see.
“The receivers emotions are already heightened and brands are beginning to enhance this moment, using the visual appeal and dynamics of a products packaging as just another element to release another bound of positive endorphins, all of this enriching the gifting memory you are creating for the receiver.”
Robert describes the ‘iconic monochrome palette’ of a Chanel perfume box and the ‘crimson red of a Cartier box’ as memorable branding and says their packaging is a hallmark of luxury which tells of the thoughtfulness behind the gift.
There’s always something small on the shelves
Small items mean big business.
This year Dior launched a Christmas makeup collection built up of metallic eyeshadows and embellished with a Happy 2020 slogan. Whilst Chanel have launched a limited edition ‘holiday collection’ of festive illuminating powders and lipsticks.
“Whether it’s a Gucci purse, Jimmy Choo perfume or a pair of luxurious Fendi gloves, there is something special for every stocking”
Reports show that overall jewellery and beauty were in the top luxury growth categories in 2019. Watches and jewellery were also noted as the primary categories in the secondhand market, accounting for 80% of all purchases – showing their value in a circular life-cycle.
Packaging’s power to sell a stocking filler
Packaging acts as a persuasive tool, if it’s reusable or recyclable even better – as much wrapping paper is not.
“One of the biggest campaigns I remember is the Coco-Cola named bottles, customers literally went seeking for one with their name on, just to get an Instagram picture with their personalized bottle.
“Luxury has embraced this notion; and retailers are adding little extras to their packaging that offer an emotional connection that makes you want to grab that item first from the shelf.
“We’ve recently partnered with several companies; Net-a-Porter to deliver exclusive crackers personalised to the receiver, Ted Baker and their extravagant Chronicles of Yarnia bags and L’Occitaine on to create a Christmas snowman scene in three core colours that grab the attention of any passerby.”
Getting more for a lesser price tag
Affordable luxury comes in the form of the resale market. As consumer sentiment changes luxury is opening up the opportunity for almost everyone to discover and purchase a statement stocking filler.
Shops like Selfridges have partnered with reselling website Vestiaire Collective to individualise stores with carefully curated pre-loved sections that have purses, scarves, watches and much more within their offering.
“Fewer, more quality items could make Christmas much more magical bringing a bigger element of surprise to the receiver as they receive something they truly wish to have.
“Investing in something of higher quality will ensure the long-term life of the product and assist our environment from less wasteful consumption. It encourages a second-hand market whereby even more of us can afford luxury. It becomes a circular economy and circular status.”