Prepress partner to the label and packaging print sector, Creation Reprographics, has shared insight on the refreshed role of touch in packaging design, indicating where the biggest growth opportunities may lie for brand owners.
The business, which partners with packaging printers and converters to deliver high quality reprographic services and outstanding shelf appeal, highlights the resurging power of ‘haptic marketing’ as the FMCG sector begins to settle back to normality.
Matt Francklow, Managing Director at Creation, said: “Across the vast FMCG sector, brand owners are looking for the consumer trends that can unlock growth. What we are seeing is a renewed relationship with touch. As a result of the pandemic, we’ve become a very ‘hands-off’ population, but one unexpected outcome of this is a brand-new opportunity to reconnect with consumers through specialist packaging finishes and coatings.
“’Haptic Marketing’ – the art of using touch to convey a branding message – isn’t new, but the consumer is becoming a lot more tactile in product purchases, because so much of our time is now spent actively avoiding physical contact elsewhere. Holding a pack in their hands might seem an inert action, but it’s helping shoppers subconsciously evaluate the product and forms part of the overall brand value proposition. Naturally, a premium finish helps to build a stronger case for the product, and retail competition is intense, it can make all the difference to sales.
“We are definitely seeing brands exploring the benefits of specialist coatings on a much bigger scale, in an effort to engage with today’s consumer. New tactile finishes such as soft touch, rough texture and paper feel, along with matte and gloss coating combinations, integration of hot and cold foiling and clever use of spot varnishes, are all proving to be a real hit. We are expecting this uptick to continue and accelerate through the year.”
Matt believes that the renewed focus on tactile finishes is one of the reasons rotary screen printing is seeing an uplift in interest and application.
“It’s easy to see why rotary screen printing is capturing attention again. Delivering the faster production rates required for today’s high-volume FMCG demands, it can also be used on a variety of different print materials. Due to the consistently great finish it delivers, screens are particularly useful for big orders – something which is becoming more important for many converters in the current retail climate. Rotary screen printing excels in terms of tactile print that engages the senses, perfectly suited to raised characters or embossing.
“We have seen a significant increase in demand for our range of Kocher & Beck rotary screens, which enable high speed print runs and ensure consistent quality, accuracy and registration over long runs. The high definition, pre-coated screens are made of a nickel-plated stainless-steel material and coated with photopolymer. They’re incredibly versatile, suitable for a wide range of materials and all common tasks, and can be produced in either roll form, sheets cut to size or completely imaged and mounted.”
Matt concluded “It’s time for the packaging sector to finally look beyond Covid-19 and discover new tactile finishes that offer texture and depth to provide fresh value for brand owners and printers alike. The consumer is getting more ‘hands on’ again in stores, which means a finish that conveys quality and boosts the value proposition has a key commercial role to play. Haptic marketing is back on the agenda for FMCG brand owners, and specialist inks, coatings and finishes demonstrate how easy it can be to engage the senses.”
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