Avery Dennison dominates the market for mailing labels and the like.
The company rung up roughly $6B in sales last year.
With that said, I think it’s fair to say that the sticky label space fits into the commodity quadrant.
I’m also guessing that the margins on those “Hello My Name Is __________” tags aren’t great.
Now, Avery Dennison is determined to expand its product portfolio with products that bring greater meaning to the customer, no easy task when we’re talking labels. (I can hear Allen Iverson’s rant “we’re talking practice” echoing in my ear.)
Toward this end, the company announced earlier this month what it calls “Shanghai’s first personalized car wrapping service.” (a shout out to colleague Kathleen DesRosiers, a senior PR practitioner in China who brought this to my attention).
I’m not sure about the phrase “wrapping service,” but they’ve essentially taken the concept used with model cars and invented big-boy decals for real cars.
An Avery rep points out in the news release:
“Many of China’s more than 30 million private car owners would like to customize their vehicle with a new look.”
So far so good.
But check out the two photos that run with the news release:
Do you notice anything missing?
Like an actual car showing off the new look?
Geez, the story is not about Rudy Widjaja, Nita Riady, James Hartono, and the rest of the local execs. It’s about dressing up cars.
Ironically, when I discussed the power of visual storytelling in the post “The New York Times Shows Three Pictures Are Worth 3,000 Words (or so)” the photos came from China.
Given the internal staff cutbacks at publications, there’s even more opportunity for companies like Avery to use photography to make a case for their stories landing in the media.
But it requires compelling photography, not the big cheeses cutting ribbons or digging holes in the ground.