Improving the Brand Experience with Enhanced Print
Print, as part of an optichannel marketing experience, is crucially important these days. “People are suffering from digital fatigue,” Mark Nixon, VP global sales & marketing at Scodix (Booth N2521), says. “Print has to be an experience, not just a communication.”
An experience is about making an impact. A brand only has a few seconds to make an impression with its printed piece, whether it’s packaging, direct mail, or signage. But there are ways to increase the chances that a printed piece will make that impact. “There are many embellishments that can aid brands in getting their message across and gaining attention from customers,” Nixon says.
But what embellishments and enhancements can brands use to stand out from the competition? Summer Gould, account executive at Neyenesch Printers, gives five tactile print examples to help brands stand out, specifically with direct mail: embossing, coatings, texture, foil stamping, and metallic or glitter options.
“Creativity is key to grabbing attention with your direct mail that, in turn with the right offer and messaging, will drive an increase in response rates,” Gould writes in a blog post for BRAND United.
She explains that embellishments can be used to engage the senses and make a printed piece fun and exciting.
Joe Marin, senior VP of education and training for PRINTING United Alliance, echoes that idea in another recent article.
“A customized piece that contains spot colors, varnish, foil, white ink, and other effects creates a connection and adds value to the printed piece,” he explains. “This connection becomes ownership; the experience of both seeing and touching an object increases the perceived ownership — and the higher the perceived ownership, the more likely one is to react or buy.”
These embellishment opportunities move beyond commercial printing and can be used in the packaging, promotional, and signage spaces.
As Jamie Meadows, president of Chicopee, MA-based AM Packaging, explains in an article for Packaging Impressions, embellishments can be the key to making packaging stand out.
“When you’re really dressing up a package, it’s all about the embellishments,” he said. “It’s the graphics and the embellishments that are going to make your product or package stand out from the competition.”
Print is really an extension of a brand. It’s sometimes the first encounter a customer has with a brand, and can create a lasting impression — if executed well. Christine Yardley, president and co-owner of Oakville, Ontario’s Print Panther Direct, explains in the article for Packaging Impressions that an embellished package can convey what the brand is trying to sell, or it could be used to reinforce the brand’s message.
“Embellished packaging evokes a sense of quality,” she said. “It elevates the print, but it also gives a sense of quality for the product that’s in the box. You convey a message that this is a quality brand, which was once only geared to luxury brands. But now all brands can achieve that to some degree.”
Integrating other types of print enhancements into a brand’s marketing strategy can also prove to be incredibly effective.
Karen Maher, partner channel success manager for North America at UnifiedAR, brings it back to the idea of digital fatigue in an article for Wide-Format Impressions. She explains that because it’s such a “noisy” digital market, print is “re-emerging as a powerful medium for cutting through digital fatigue while establishing trust and brand awareness with consumers.”
One solution is Web-based Augmented Reality, or WebAR. Maher explains that Augmented Reality is “the layering of digital content like video, 3D or 3D animation over real-world environments to create an engaging and interactive experience for consumers.” WebAR removes the barrier requiring users to download an app to access content, and instead relies on the use of a QR code, which became ubiquitous during the pandemic when restaurants and stores used them to provide a touch-free alternative to traditional print materials.
The solutions can be used in a variety of commercial printing applications, such as direct mail and magazines; labels and packaging; and signage and large-format.
“WebAR and Interactive Print is not the future, nor is it a fad,” she says. “It is here, and here to stay, for good reason. The value WebAR brings to all forms of print is significant, and if you’re not yet engaging with this innovative medium then you really should ask yourself why.”