In a world where headline stories become old news in a matter of hours, where innovation is only relevant for a day, and a single line can go viral only to be forgotten at the drop of a tweet, how do you package ‘relevancy’?
Ask any leading industry expert what the future holds and the answer will be the same: Individualization. However, short run lengths have not been accessible for many reasons. Today, we see the printing industry changing to meet these new needs and expectations, hoping to achieve the ultimate individualized run length: a run length of one.
The ability to print shorter run lengths through digital technology enlarges what can be done with the market intelligence a brand owner obtains. Individualization allows the intelligence gathered to be promoted while it is still relevant to the consumer. The moment a possible buyer holds a product in their hand is an opportunity to speak to them personally. While large, global brands have the reach into the global market, identification from the buyer towards the product at a local level has a gap in its marketing potential. Individualization through short run lengths reduces the time needed to publish messages at the local level. Moreover, it reduces the time needed to change the messages. Relevancy has a significantly shorter shelf-life than that of the consumable product.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup had 3.2 billion viewers; viewers that identify with a team and feel a strong sense of national identity through the game of football. The possibility for brands to target that feeling of national identity, by customizing packaging for players, or even displaying the national team with an individual consumer’s name alongside it, all becomes feasible with the new technology of individualization.
The advantage of changing packaging in support of the winners the day of a game with late stage customization creates an instant consumer response which would have otherwise faded in a few days and would diminish the buyer’s emotional response. Even in a world that has become so interconnected, we, as consumers, have become attached to the local product.
Before digital printing and through it individualization became an option for packaging, it was not possible to produce customizable solutions as short runs were highly expensive. A print run length would have to be of several thousand for it to be economically viable.
Why Go Digital with ebeam?
What makes the ebeam inkjet dryer solution, ebeam Compact, so unique is its flexibility. Its compact size allows it to be integrated into any digital printing system, meaning the ebeam Compact is not bound to any single digital technology. As companies look to individualization as the way of the future, the ebeam Compact opens up new possibilities and avoids some of the limitations that arise with other digital systems. The ebeam Compact overcomes industry drawbacks of working with water-based and UV-curable inkjet. The integrated digital printing and drying solution through the ebeam Compact from ebeam Technologies and its partners, Prototype & Production Systems Incorporated (PPSI), and Collins Inkjet, enables the vision of digitally-printed individualized packaging to be realized.
Individualization with digital print technology goes beyond catching the buyer’s attention. It is about capturing the feeling of the moment, harnessing relevancy, and making that connection matter. The past had products that adapted to a system, the future is one where the system adapts to its products.