October 7, 2020

Promoting The Luxury of Tomorrow – Walpole

Walpole is the official sector body for UK luxury. Founded in 1992 as a not-for-profit organisation, it represents over 270 of the UK’s finest brands and cultural institutions – a sector worth £48 billion to the British economy.

IPL Packaging is an international producer of premium, secondary packaging, with offices in Scotland and England.

We speak to Jenni Rayner (Head of Content) at Walpole and Jason Roberts (New Business Development Manager, IPL Packaging UK) to learn more about Walpole and discuss IPL’s positioning as a strategic sponsor of the organisation.

Walpole UK luxury branding and packaging


What represents a strategic sponsor?

Jenni: These top-tier companies share Walpole’s aims to promote British luxury around the world, have a credible British presence, and are seen as trusted brands by the membership. As the voice of British luxury, Walpole’s purpose is to promote, protect and develop the vital luxury market sector. Strategic sponsors are therefore those brands and businesses that Walpole believes can support members in taking their brands to the next level.

Explain the reasoning behind IPL’s decision to become a strategic sponsor of Walpole?

Jason: It was always going to be a natural fit. IPL has an established history of making premium, secondary packaging for some of Britain’s finest luxury brands, many of whom are already Walpole members. We take pride in delivering exemplary service and products and we’re always eager to share this knowledge to help further elevate and amplify those luxury brands that subscribe to the highest standards of detail and design.

Being able to offer our advice and expertise in packaging to Walpole’s members (amongst them Burberry, Dunhill, Harrods, Glenmorangie, Manolo Blahnik, Rolls Royce and Wedgwood) is a role we’re thoroughly enjoying. Within this role, we’re able to provide advice on suitable structures, materials, finishings, value-engineering, production and logistics and, in particular, with participation in Walpole’s Sustainability Focus Groups, IPL has also provided thought leadership in the increasingly key areas of sustainability and corporate and social responsibility in packaging manufacture.

Jenni: In working with sponsors such as IPL, who’re aligned to Walpole’s core values, particularly those around sustainability, diversity and inclusion, we’re enabling other Walpole members to make informed choices around balancing their packaging needs with environmental concerns. They’re also able to gain key insights into the luxury packaging drivers and trends of the future.

What is IPL’s view of packaging within British luxury as a whole?

Jason: We believe that packaging for luxury British goods is a vital element of the overall brand experience. There’s an international expectation that British brands lead the way with respect to luxury – it’s in the very essence of their heritage and tradition. Advancement of packaging designs and technologies will only help luxury brands to improve and enhance their overall customer experience and innovations in premium packaging will also help luxury brands to both retain and garner new brand loyal customers.

Is luxury packaging in the UK changing? How is IPL adapting to this?

Jason: The past 18 months have seen a dramatic upshift in demand for sustainable packaging in all retail sectors and it’s no different in the luxury market. Brands that aren’t already pro-active in this regard are being forced to adapt by consumers who still want to buy their product, but who also want the packaging to be either recyclable or made of sustainable materials. They’re after positive change.

For some time now, we’ve been rethinking and reimagining packaging. Change is coming thick and fast – and the challenge for brands now is to deliver against future thinking in order to meet consumer expectation. That means making massive leaps in finding innovative-yet-practical solutions to our clients’ needs, balancing the requirements of future-fit sustainability with the desire to keep packaging high-end and luxurious.

What does Walpole’s Sustainability Manifesto mean to UK brands?

Jenni: Launched this year, Walpole’s ambitious and comprehensive Sustainability Manifesto aims to support the British luxury sector in becoming a world leader in sustainability.

With over 50 British luxury brands now signatories of the Manifesto, IPL is able to support Walpole (and the British luxury sector as a whole) by contributing key insights and solutions as we tackle pillar 1 of the Sustainability Manifesto – a pledge to ‘lead the transition towards a circular economy’ by eradicating plastic packaging and implementing circularity initiatives to extend product life and waste reduction.

The 4 principles of the manifesto are to:

  • Lead the transition towards a circular economy
  • Safeguard the environment and natural resources
  • Guide partners + suppliers towards sustainable practices
  • Advocate equal and respectful working conditions

Walpole, in partnership with McKinsey & Company, has also developed 12 sustainability aspirations under these 4 pillars. Acknowledging the diversity of the membership community, the aspirations are not hard targets but rather a set of ambitious guidelines to outline where the greatest impact can be achieved across the luxury sector.

Walpole’s inaugural Festival of Luxury Marketing (September) was a week-long, virtual exploration of the post-pandemic luxury market. Over 5 days and 15 sessions, expert speakers shared insights with over 500 guests.

What were some of the key take-outs for luxury brands to address in a post-pandemic world?

Jenni: Focused on addressing the most pressing topics affecting Britain’s luxury brands in the ‘post-Covid’ world examining, topics addressed:

  • The changing mindset and priorities of the discerning luxury consumer – what they desire and ‘expect’ from luxury brands.
  • How to effectively reach these customers – now and in the future.
  • The new ‘language of luxury’; communicating with the luxury consumer.
  • The importance of brand storytelling and right tone of voice.
  • Enabling e-commerce to provide as rich an experience for the luxury customer as traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ have historically done.
  • The new ‘digital marketing playbook’ and latest innovations in virtual luxury – with lessons from the experts in online retail and marketing, digital events and experiences.
  • How to capitalise on the increasingly important Asian surge (by 2025, China will account for almost 50% of the global luxury goods market) with input from relevant experts.
  • Brand purpose, meaning and authenticity – appealing to the new socially and environmentally conscious consumer.

Find out more:

IPL Packaging is a global luxury packaging supplier with offices in the USA, Europe, Mexico, Asia and Africa. Approved manufacturing is available in several Asian countries, as well as sites in Eastern Europe. We create bespoke, tailored and exclusive packaging for any premium or luxury brand and manage the entire process, from conceptualisation and design to production and delivery.

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