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Packaging Innovations: The Future is Digital

Packaging Icon

The potential of digital print is constantly broadening, and its benefits for packaging are only just being realised. In terms of customer engagement, personalisation, and re-usability, digital print has opened up a whole new world of opportunity. As the print quality has improved, the advantages of digital print have become clearer. In 2016, we will see more digitally printed packaging on retail shelves than ever before.

With millennials now considered the most influential generations, the behaviour of brands is changing. Packaging is consistently identified as one of the major influences on everyday purchase decisions. With generations that are engrossed with anything visual, packaging design characteristically outweighs the practical attributes of a product.

The challenge that is faced by brand owners is how to leverage digital print to drive profit from innovative marketing campaigns. With customers desire to connect with brands on all levels, brands have to work harder to get their market share by offering consumers a truly special experience with their product.

Personalised Packaging

Personalisation is the latest buzzword and has become a novel way to reach out to the masses. We have seen this from big brands such as Coca-Cola, Nutella and Marmite who have utilised digital print technology to personalise their bottles and jars.

In 2013, Coca-Cola started their infamous ‘Share-A-Coke’ campaign. The campaign saw them print 100,000 of the most popular names on the Coke bottle labels all over the world. Overall, this delivered a 6.8% increase in their global Facebook community and their values sales have increased 4.93% year on year since the campaign started.

Personalised packaging has proven popular amongst brand owners. It can give brands more direct contact with customers and strengthens the relationship that they are trying to build. Digital print has enable personalisation on a scale that wouldn’t be possible using the more traditional printing methods.

Interactive Packaging

Packaging has always been interactive. The look, the colour and the shape are just a few elements that subconsciously impact our perception of a brand. As mentioned, the design of the packaging for many is more important than the actual product attributes itself. With this in mind, digital print has allowed brands to explore interactivity with use of electroluminescent inks and conductive inks.

Packaging Oculto Light Up Beer BottleOculto, a lager blended with beer aged on tequila barrel staves recently unveiled two new interactive packaging innovations. These included a first-of-its kind illuminated bottle design that featured smart label technology. The smart label was created using electronic pathways, paper batteries and LED lights that were activated with a pressure switch. The switch was placed where the thumb naturally falls while holding a beer bottle, and once pressed; the LED light began to shine. This technology was a clear demonstration of how packaging and marketing can give customers a full sensory experience.

Brand owners aren’t just concerned with marketing gimmicks though; they are much more concerned with the practicalities interactive packaging can offer. Packaging for prescriptions could soon connect to your phone to give you a reminded when you need to take your next dose. Researchers are also working on an early-warning system that enables packaging to sense changes in the condition of the packaged food. Smart labelling and colour changes would be used to transmit those changes informing the consumer their products are no longer fresh. This development in intelligent packaging could dramatically reduce food waste.

Multi-Use Packaging

Packaging McDonlad's VR Headset

As a nation we have become more conscientious about our waste and the UK now has the fastest growing rates of recycling in the UK. With that in mind, brands are working to transform packaging from otherwise useless receptacles into useful items. Last year saw Ogilvy and Mather Tokyo turn Pizza Hut’s cardboard box into a working film projector. Powered by the user’s smartphone, the box contained a small lens which was inserted into a perforated hole in the side. When the user’s smartphone was placed in the box, the screen was displayed onto the wall.

Brands are also striving to make new technology accessible all through their packaging. When Google released Cardboard, its paper-and-velcro VR headset, the guys over at McDonald’s Sweden noticed an opportunity. In March of this year, McDonald’s began selling a limited number of Happy Meals in boxes. With a little construction, these could be transformed into VR headsets. By tearing eyes and nose holes and inserting lenses, kids got free a VR headset. Customers who bought one were then also given an access link to download the Happy Googles VR game, an animated skiing-race game called ‘Watch Out on the Slopes’. Investing in this new and exciting technology has proven a smart way at making consumers feel involved with a brand.

Retail continues to change at a dramatic pace and the demand for personalised and engaging experiences call for new approaches to packaging. With end users making the move to digital, print is now the major player in bridging the gap between physical products and the digital world.

Written by Liam Beauchamp for Burst Digital – 27/06/2016


Burst Digital

We are constantly pushing the boundaries with print. We also house some of the latest digital print technology that will allow you to produce dynamic and personalised marketing print assets that will open up channels to your customers and products.

 

 

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The Evolution of Print – Technological CPR

The Future of Print

Technology is constantly evolving and believe it or not, traditional print media is getting a technological overhaul. There is some hearsay in the industry that print is outdated but by combining print with some digital wizardry, print is being brought back to life. As a result of this, we are seeing big brands re-embracing print and incorporating it back into their marketing strategy.

With strong evidence to support the fact that engagement with print is now much higher that with ‘new media’, is print becoming the new ‘new media’? We believe so. With a little bit of technological CPR, print is now a multifaceted media that is making its comeback. Here is a quick look at the future of print:

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3D Printing

3D Printing has been on the lips of a lot of people for the past 2 years. It has rapidly grown momentum and is set to be the next ‘big thing’ in the print industry. As 3D printing has become more viable, big companies are now starting to utilise the tool. Customers now have the ability to produce bespoke products, for example, personalised clothing, accessories and toys.

Volkswagen recently encouraged its Danish fans to design their dream Polo through the Volkswagen website. 40 of the best ideas were created using a 3D printer and displayed at a Copenhagen exhibition. An overall winner was then selected and the winners design was turned into a real, full size car.

3D printing still has a long way to go before it becomes “main stream” but with the number of applications, materials available and scales, the possibilities with 3D printing really are endless.

Augmented Reality

This is another big player in combined print and digital technology with marketers as it is currently one of the most accessible and it can offer customers the immersive experience they are looking for from brands. It also makes everything in the world seem way cooler! AR works by overlaying digital information onto the real world. Using your smartphone camera, a target image is detected and your phone can then project digital information onto that target image. This essentially brings the image to life.
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Domino’s Pizza is one brand that has successfully used augmented reality in its marketing efforts on its billboards. By encouraging passer-by’s to view the billboard ads through their phones, customers were privy to special deals. These were then automatically uploaded to the Domino’s mobile app on their device. Customers were then able to order pizza directly from their phone.

Conductive Inks

Although this technology is still in its early stages, its applications offer marketers the opportunity to do something truly exciting Conductive inks work by combining ink with metals such as carbon, copper or silver. When printed, this serves as a wire for an electronic device. Eventually conductive ink could be used to bring print to life by generating a noise, pulling up an app on a smartphone or even turning on a light. This will essentially turn printed paper works into a touchscreen.

A collaboration between the University of Central Lancashire and leading newspaper published Trinity Mirror explored the future of publishing using conductive inks. In celebration of Steven Gerrard’s career at Liverpool and his 8 most memorable moments, an interactive print supplement was produced. Users connected a clip to the supplement and it allowed users to listen to audio snippets from momentous games. When the clip was connected to the edge of the print, pressing a printed button triggered online interactions. This CMS also gave publishers a dashboard view to monitor the analytics data from the supplement.

Final thoughts…

Technology is now altering the way customers interact with brands and their marketing. The take up of these technologies is still in its infancy but it is believed that by 2018, there will be over 200 million users of augmented reality apps. The challenge for marketers is to offer interactive editorial content that is exciting and relevant. This can only be done by converging the physical with the digital. The most holistic way for this to happen is for marketers to re-embrace print and the possibilities it can now offer.

Written by Liam Beauchamp for Burst Digital


At Burst Digital we are constantly pushing the boundaries when it comes to print marketing. Although these technologies are currently beyond the reach of many, with our expert knowledge in print, we can help you identify ways to ensure your print marketing stands out.