Speaking at the AIPIA (Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association) Congress in Amsterdam this month, Christian Menegon, business development manager, HP, discussed ‘How print can make your pack intelligent’.
Brand interaction key
Nowadays, people use tools they didn’t have years ago and these have become standard in today's world, he said.
“What is smart about printing is that it’s just ink on material; but what the print represents can be used to add value to a package to become smart,” he said.
“Electronics devices have driven all these changes and have been the main contributor to change, everything today has come through the evolution of electronics.”
People are changing their behaviour and today the value is not in the tool itself, but how we use information, added Menegon.
“It’s the information that is the value, not the package," he said. "Packaging is the last stage which is used to convince the customer to buy a product.”
“Brand owners can do as much advertising as they want, but it’s not until the consumer buys the product the deal is done."
Material, shapes, color and print are all important factors in packaging. However, a static item has no chance of interacting with a consumer, he said.
“Before, packaging was the layer protecting the goods or a way to identify a brand. To make it attractive we added color - but there was no interaction.
“Now brands need an interaction of some sort to influence the consumer and develop their loyalty. How would you be tempted to return to a certain brand if there was no value for you?
"You want something that talks to you, you want something regional, seasonal. Whatever the reason, the brand has to motivate the consumer to interact with it.
‘Bru’s Your Clan?’
“The gold medal goes to the company that can interact with the consumer one-on-one. If a brand can address us individually that's fantastic: and that is where digital printing can play a role.”
As an example, HP applauded Irn-Bru for its ‘Bru’s Your Clan?’ campaign last year, to go one further on Coca-Cola’s limited edition Diet Coke bottle to commemorate Homecoming Scotland 2014 (to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Coca-Cola Enterprises’ East Kilbride factory) and personalized Share-a-Coke bottles.
A.G. Barr, which owns Irn Bru is allegedly known for cheeky spoofs on Coca Cola marketing stunts.
Irn Bru’s bottles were emblazoned with 57 tartans covering up to 11,000 surnames so consumers could identify their own family clan.
The campaign gave Scots a chance to celebrate their heritage and was launched in stores in time for Hogmanay.
"The problems today are the supply chain may not be able to cope with this type of flexibility but the tools are coming,” added Menegon.