Digital printing technology has opened up a world of possibilities. Rather than be restricted to printing snapshots on 4-by-6 pieces of coated paper, photographers now have an amazing array of substrates to choose from: metal, canvas, textiles and more. And with these substrates come new business and marketing opportunities.
Photos are not any more only for preserving memories. With today’s high-resolution cameras and easy access to high-quality image-editing software, consumers can create beautiful photos and artwork, which then can be printed on home-decor items, from lampshades to shower curtains.
Brands can even get into the game. One of the most interesting applications is by Scotties tissues. Scotties Photos now lets consumers print their own photo sleeves for tissue boxes. Scotties promotes the product by printing the personalization website address on the regular tissue boxes throughout out the year. The beauty of this promotion is the Scotties logo is always displayed and the sleeve is design to fit only the Scotties boxes. Scotties maintains its brand identity, while providing a personalized product for individual customers.
Jones Soda is another proponent of personalized packaging. The company has offered personal bottle labels and customer photos for many years. But probably the most telling example was recent popular “Share A Coke” campaign, where the soda company printed more than 250 personal names on cans and on bottles. While getting lots of press and social-media attention, the promotion also made a difference where it matters most: Sales. According to the Wall Street Journal, the “Share A Coke” campaign arrested a decade-long sales decline, and even registered a 2.5% increase.
“We gave consumers an opportunity to express themselves through a bottle of Coke, and to share the experience with someone else,” says Lucie Austin, Coca-Cola executive, quoted in Adweek. “The fact that your name is on a Coke bottle, it can’t get more personal than that! The campaign capitalized on the global trend of self-expression and sharing, but in an emotional way. Coke is big enough to pull off an idea like this, which speaks to the iconic nature of the brand. Who would want their name on a brand unless it was as iconic as Coke? ‘Share a Coke’ found the sweet spot by making consumers famous through the most iconic brand in the world.”
Connecting the customers’ personal images to products, through personalized packaging, can result in improved sales and loyalty.