Limited edition gifts are increasingly becoming a brand strategy in its own right. With an undeniable power to create added value in the eyes of the consumer looking for ‘exclusive’ or ‘unique’ experiences, limited editions gifts have the power to stimulate sales, extend the life of a product, and increase brand recognition.


Consumer brands can be credited for having started the limited edition revolution.


The trailblazer in this field has to be the 2013 multimedia ‘Share a Coke’ campaign, which aimed to try and get Millennials interested in this famous brand once again by allowing them to purchase a can with their friend’s name on it. Coca-Cola printed cans with 150 of the UK’s most popular names on it, supporting the initiative with TV and newspaper ads, billboard posters and a social media campaign.


The Share a Coke campaign halted a long-term decline in Coke sales, driving up volumes by 2.5% and getting young consumers taking about the brand on social media platforms and in some cases even scouring eBay to buy cans with obscure names. It was a stunning turnaround for a brand synonymous with 20th Century mass production of which pop artist Andy Warhol famously said:


“All the cokes are the same, Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.” A Warhol


Of course, personalised labels aren’t the only route for limited edition packaging. Everyday brands have also reached out to famous designers to lend their products cachet and ‘gift-ability’. In 2014, for instance, French mineral water brand Evian collaborated with Japanese fashion label Kenzo to create a limited edition zigzag-patterned bottle inspired by the work of film director David Lynch. In 2013 Sainsbury teamed up with renowned British fashion designer Lulu Guinness to create a range of collectible jute shopping bags for the annual Red Nose charity event.


Gifting and premium brands

During the weeks in the run up to main dates in the gifting calendar, shoppers are in a more indulgent frame of mind, so are more inclined to trade up to gift packs.


REN Little Boxes of Joy gifts | Artistic and packaging design by Kangan Arora | Produced by Hunter
REN Little Boxes of Joy | Artistic and packaging design by Kangan Arora | Produced by Hunter


It is in the premium brands sector where limited editions really come to life and have the power to bestow products a ‘gifting’ status that no other packaging strategy can match.


New technology and production techniques have opened up possibilities for unique, one-off gifting packs in the spirits industry. Absolut have a celebrated tradition of introducing end of year limited editions featuring cutting-edge designs. The 2012 launch of Absolut Unique for the travel retail market, which featured 4 million uniquely decorated bottles, turned out to be a huge success. Since then limited editions have become a recurring branding strategy of the Swedish vodka brand with the latest addition being Absolut Facet, launched in 2016 and featuring a blue bottle with asymmetrical design that celebrated the unexpected, unplanned and spontaneous nature of best nights out. But this time Absolut took their limited edition one step further. “To help online users create their own unexpected #AbsolutNights at home, the brand has collaborated with Spotify to develop a digitial platform called Discovr. The service creates unexpected playlists based on the combined music tastes of friends and recommends Absolut drinks inspired by the tunes”



Packaging in an age of limited edition gifts

Partnerships between artists and packaging companies have also been used by some of the most iconic premium brands in the beauty sector for their special ocassion gifting campaigns.


At Hunter we have an excellent track record of this type of creative partnership. In 2014 we worked closely with award-winning body and skincare brand Sanctuary Spa and celebrated interior designer Frederick Wimsett to develop, design and deliver a Mother’s Day gift pack containing 10 premium Sanctuary Spa body care items. The Sanctuary Mother’s Day limited edition gifting box was a huge success with sales rising more than 20% on the previous year, while the box design was shortlisted for the coveted Luxury Packaging Innovations award.


In 2016 we worked with acclaimed British make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury to create a 2016 Holiday Advent Calendar, which was shortlisted in the Seasonal Gift Packaging Category at this year’s Luxury Packaging Awards.


Charlotte Tilbury World of Legendary Parties advent calendar gift | designed & produced by Hunter
Charlotte Tilbury World of Legendary Parties advent calendar gift | designed & produced by Hunter


The limited-edition Charlotte’s World of Legendary Parties calendar contained 12 travel-sized beauty products, each housed in a separate drawer-like compartment. The fun feminine illustrations on the drawers and the light-hearted messages on the doors of the calendar cleverly capture the essence of this fast-growing beauty brand.


There is no denying that limited edition gifting packaging is on the rise as brand owners look for ways of engaging the ever-elusive consumer. With the pervasive (some would even say invasive!) nature of mainstream and social media, and the narrowing of the gap between advertising and packaging, limited edition packaging is fast becoming a primary tactical branding strategy.


At Hunter our expertise lies in our understanding of the power that limited edition packaging has to prompt consumers to reassess their perceptions of a brand. Our extensive experience in limited edition seasonal gift packaging allows us to deliver solutions that tap into the powerful purchase motivations of gifting and collecting. Be it Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas or luxury Corporate Gifting, we deliver limited edition packaging solutions that meet the brief in a sustainable, timely and cost-efficient manner. Time and time again.


So give us a call to discuss your next limited edition seasonal gifting project, and let us show you what we can do for your brand.