InfoTrends announces the availability of its newest multiclient study, “Packaging and the Brand Owner.” The study offers insights into brand owners’ opinions and preferences regarding packaging, with a particular focus on the label, folding carton, and flexible printing applications where color digital presses are now competing with conventional print technologies. Bob Leahey, project manager for the study and associate director at InfoTrends, discusses the key findings in an exclusive podcast.
Awareness of color digital presses is high; with over 75% of respondents indicating that they were aware converters have digital color capability. “We found that not only is there high awareness of color digital presses among brand owners in the survey, but that consumer brands have a strong and growing interest in the types of services that color digital can provide—short runs, jobs with 50 or more SKUs, and personalized print are key examples,” says Leahey.
Commitment to sustainability is now a big factor in the choice of printing methods and materials for packaging and labels. “The study asked brand owners to rate the importance of sustainability when making decisions about the purchase of packaging or labels,” Leahey explains. “On a scale of 1 (not important) to 5 (highly important), sustainability rated 3.7 among respondents. Not surprisingly, the biggest companies ($1 billion or more in sales) indicated the highest importance levels with a 4.0 average rating.”
Interest in on-line marketing and interactivity is high, and for many brand owners packaging now has special features to support that interest. Leahey says, “We wanted to focus on the topic of on-line marketing in our research. We especially wanted to know whether brand owners are using package and label printing to support it. 40% of the total respondents indicated they had on-line sales. Of these, 40% said they do design packaging and labels specifically to support on-line marketing efforts. Based on follow up interviews, most of these features were a mix of company URLs, Facebook and Twitter accounts, and Quick Response (QR) codes.”
The future for color digital presses is bright. InfoTrends estimates this market segment will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.3% through 2015. One key to success will be understanding the opinions and preferences of the brand owners and aiming marketing messages to address these sentiments. “Many of the opinions described in the report indicate that color digital presses are ideally suited to address brand owners’ basic goals and preferences,” says Leahey. “Besides working to improve technology, the current need is to represent that technology well to the end-user market, and to educate brand owners on its benefits.”
Brand owner preferences will dictate what they want to buy now and in the future, says Leahey. “A younger generation of product designers and managers is rising. This younger generation has a high commitment to sustainability. It also is steeped in mobile communications and the possibilities for marketing that mobile technologies offer. Printed electronics, packaging that talks out loud to shoppers, and augmented reality are exceptional packaging features now but, thanks in part to the wishes of younger brand owners, they may become commonplace in this decade.”