Packaging and promotion: Why digital print can be crucial to the marketing mix

Packaging is ever evolving and whilst is was once seen as a receptacle, it’s now a key trigger in consumer decision making.

Packaging and promotion: Why digital print can be crucial to the marketing mix

Packaging is much more than a receptacle these days. It has evolved – particularly in the consumer retail world – to become a way to be noticed in a competitive marketplace and genuinely connect with customers. Packaging now acts as a key trigger to consumer decision making and a crucial communicator of brand messaging.

This has seen packaging and labels become the largest global printing market and further growth is predicted. The total digital package and label printing market is poised to increase at a rate of 20% every year until 20241. This represents a great opportunity for PSPs to support brands in the development of engaging and beautifully designed product packaging.

Make an impact in a changing market

Radical changes to the consumer market will have big implications for product packaging. By 2050, two billion people will be aged 60 and older2. In parallel, single person households have become the most common profile in both North America and Western Europe. These changes, and many others, are set to prompt a demand for smaller household products and services targeted at the solo consumer, according to Euromonitor. In this shifting market, digital print can provide a cost effective and efficient path to make a real impact with consumers.

Digital printing enables brands to be creative and innovate. Packaging can be customised, personalised, made eco-friendly, convenient, or even smart and interactive. For example, the pharmaceutical industry could use digital print to include an individual’s specific dosage information on their medicine. As more people receive mail order medicine, as opposed to from a doctor or pharmacist, this will become increasingly important.

Business benefits

The benefits of the shorter packaging print runs go beyond marketing and contribute directly to the business. You can carry information on the packaging which helps to track and streamline the supply chain. You can also make big savings with a reduction in unused packaging, redundant stock and waste.

Beyond the environmental and production benefits – there are also compelling cost efficiencies. By leveraging short print runs marketers can make imagery work harder across a variety of materials. For instance, high-quality editorial images from an advertising campaign can be placed onto product packaging or even used as high-impact point-of-sale material, providing much greater brand presence and reach.

Where to start?

Before anything else, PSPs should understand how packaging is being used by businesses in multiple sectors. Study volumes, materials, functionality, how it works with other POS products and is there a print opportunity there?

The next step is to stock-take current capabilities and ask if there’s a packaging sector opportunity. Are there new applications that you could offer? And ask if any customers already have a packaging requirement? Knowledge, proactivity and creativity are key assets in this process - alongside being open-minded and ready to change.

For modern marketers looking to make that leap, delivering packaging and promotions with digital printing offers a compelling blend of convenience, greater quality and tighter cost-control. All this opens the potential for PSPs to be valued partners for brands in that journey to digital printing.

With three quarters of the print industry3 researching digital print packaging options, opting out seems like a risky option. Read Canon’s Think Packaging report to find out more and be inspired.



1 Smithers Pira, The Future of Global Printing 2018; December 2013

2 World Health Organization, Ageing and Life Course, June 2015

3 Packaging World Magazine and Cal Poly, Emerging Technologies for Packaging Innovation, 2014

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