• Making it personal: Andrew Coates, My Brand and Me.
    Making it personal: Andrew Coates, My Brand and Me.
  • Customers can personalise a range of drinks from manufacturers such as Lion and CUB.
    Customers can personalise a range of drinks from manufacturers such as Lion and CUB.

An Australian company is printing customised brand labels that consumers can apply to bottles of beer, wine and spirits.

Customers upload their images and text to the My Brand and Me website, the company then prints them and mails them back; customers then can stick them over the existing labels on beer, wine, and spirit brands from Lion, Carlton and United Breweries, and Pinnacle Drinks.

The labels are printed on the company’s Roland VersaUV LEC printers, as standard label printing equipment did not meet the company’s requirements.

My Brand and Me, owned by 25-year beverage marketing veteran Andrew Coates, was inspired by the gift of a personalised framed bottle of XXXX Gold that Coates received for his service to drinks manufacturer Lion.

“Brewers, winemakers and distillers have done special labels for special customers and staff for years, so I just thought, what if the people who loved these brands could do it as well?” Coates told Print21. “I spoke with Lion first to see if they’d be interested in letting customers put their faces and personalised text on labels. As I had a background in liquor marketing, I knew what was required from an advertising standards point of view.”

Coates added that the Roland VersaUV LEC and its vinyl stock offered high quality, durability, and ease of application at a low cost.

“We needed something that could be done on a very short run – we can print single labels if we need to. UV also doesn’t need to breathe afterwards to release solvents, which enabled us to print and post quickly,” he said. “This machine was designed for package prototyping, and allows us to do short-run high-quality custom labels. I can put XXXX, Tooheys, VB and wine labels next to each other, and it’ll hit the correct colours first time and cut out the correct label shapes as well.”

According to Coates, business is booming, with customers eager to personalise their bottles.

“The brands themselves have primarily driven it – they’ve broadcast the product on their social media. We’ve also had personalities Instagramming themselves with it, such as comedian Andy Lee with a custom label we did for him and his family,” he said. “It is focused around events and gifts, so more and more corporate events and weddings, plus very strong in that gifting area for things like Father’s Day, Christmas and even Valentine’s.”

Coates plans to expand into stubby holders, as well as extend the company’s range into other wines, spirits, and even food.

“Brands that have done it before, like Nutella and Vegemite, we’ll probably target first. We can customise all year round as opposed to just at Christmas, and can include photos as well.

“We’re also looking to expand beyond Australia,” he said.

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