Labels are so well hidden in plain sight that many people are not aware of their omnipresence. Would you be able to guess how many labels you see on any given day, and how essential they are to help you make the right brand choices?
The professionals who dedicate their talents to develop labels on a daily basis are equally discrete. They work silently in the background to create labels, to add value to their customers’ branded products, or to add value through process improvements. Consequently, the label industry is not well known to the generation of talents who are currently making career choices, while at the same time, it innovates at a fast pace and needs to attract ambitious talents with fresh ideas.
In this context, FINAT, the European association for the self-adhesive label and adjacent narrow-web converting industry, launched yesterday the #LABELicious talent competition on the occasion of its 60th anniversary. The competition’s objective is to increase the visibility of the label industry, of its exciting professional challenges, and of its excellent career perspectives to students and early career professionals aged between 18 and 25.
Entrants are invited to submit their ideas and concepts for labels in three categories: Smart / Intelligent / Multifunctional Labels – #LABEL icious calls for truly fresh and feasible ideas about how integrating technologies in brand/functional labels will enhance the label’s experience and value in an end-customer’s business case for the year 2025. The entry should demonstrate how label converting technology adds value to a label through new functionality, production methods, or technical innovation.
Brand Design – #LABELicious calls for next-generation label design, both visually and from a constructive and functional perspective. The entry should demonstrate how in 2025, a branded label will create an outstanding experience, with a competitive advantage and added value for a brand in its own product category. Sustainability – #LABELicious calls for new approaches to improve sustainability in the field of product labelling. The entry should demonstrate how in 2025, a new approach to label design, production and application can contribute to a positive sustainability performance.
While the competition was officially launched on 7 November 2018, participants will be able to submit their entries on the website www.Labelicious.eu between 15 January 2019 and 15 May 2019. The early launch enables interested young professionals to prepare their ideas in due time, either individually or in the context of their professional education. During the entire competition, #LABELicious will publish educational and inspirational material from the industry to show its diversity in craftsmanship, its combination of creativity and technology, and its continuous focus on sustainability to improve the environmental performance of product labeling.
The relevance of reaching out to the next generation workforce is illustrated by the industry-wide cross-European support for the project. “The findings of our annual industry survey, the FINAT RADAR, demonstrate the sector’s growing challenge to attract young talents over the past few years,” says Jules Lejeune, Managing Director of FINAT. “This project currently gets support from some 25 international and national trade media companies, industry partners of all sizes across the value chain, and virtually all national label associations in Europe, proving that #LABEL icious is addressing a top priority challenge.”
With the support of the competition’s partners, the international winner in each category will receive a week of industry experience, a complimentary visit to Labelexpo 2019 in Brussels where the awards’ ceremony will take place, and an additional financial reward.
“The biggest benefit of the #LABELicious project, however is to create connections between this innovative and fast evolving high-tech industry and the next generation talent force,” continues Lejeune. “We aim to reach the audience both directly through our media efforts, and indirectly through our relationships with the educational institutions in packaging technology and design. The European label industry challenges next generation talents, and as an industry, we are ready to be likewise challenged by the fresh ideas of the next generation.”