Written by Joel Basa
eMarketing Manager
Xerox Corporation

Last minute add everyone! We’re going to cover “Trend Setting for Digital Packaging” with Bob Leahey from Infotrends. Stay tuned as we’re about to get started in about 10 minutes.

For those of you on Twitter, use #xeroxTLW. Also, if you’re interested in learning more about packaging and other topics leading up to drupa 2012, use #xeroxdrupa and follow @XeroxProduction.

[08:31] – About to get started here. Any specific questions you may have, please add them as a comment below. I’ll try to get them to the appropriate folks here!

[08:33] – Karen from Xerox is now kicking off our meeting…logistics and a little bit of history on our location, the Gil Hatch Center for Customer Innovation

[08:46] – Good overview of Rochester, NY and Gil Hatch Center by Karen. Lots of questions on the history but we’ll get started with Bob Leahey soon. Apologize for the delay.

[08:48] – Passing the mic around and asking each of our customers here, “What’s on your mind?” We’ll ask our online audience as well, “What’s on your mind?” Comment below…

[08:49] – Sharing some of our customer’s thoughts:  “Interested in digital packaging.” and “Our challenge is to turn around the product within a day or two, a customized product that includes both printing and die-cutting.” and “Interested in learning more about in-line die cutting solution to add to our current iGen fleet.” One customer sharing his experience saying he wants to learn more about digital packaging and shorter runs.

[08:57] – Customers continue to share what they’d like to learn more about. Customer is now sharing how he wants to continue to enhance his digital print part of his business but also add digital packaging as an offering, specifically digital packaging.

[09:00] – Anyone have any great examples of digital packaging out there? The photo above shows some great digital packaging applications that were produced on the Xerox iGen4. If you have any great examples, please share…

[09:05] – Bob takes the stage to talk about “Who drives the market” in digital packaging. He discusses how everyone in the room are “in the trenches” but our customers and potential customers are the people that drive where the market goes.

[09:07] – Some key findings on a report Bob recently completed:

  • sustainability is a high priority for most brand owners
  • Designing packaging to match online strategies is growing
  • Versioning is growing, to support a range of goals
  • Most brand owners are now aware of a color digital presses
  • Most say that their companies have some use of them now
  • Brand owners will pay extra for some services digital does well
  • Multiple managers influence in decisions about print

Do you agree with these findings?

[09:12] – Some evidence from retail checkout lanes. Catalina Marketing’s coupon printers at checkouts in Supermarkets, drug stores. I know I’ve seen these in various stores. Bob’s point: brand owners drive the demand for these on-demand coupons. This methodology is data driven and has seen responses of 6%…quite a high number.

[09:15] – Some stats: Which of the following best describes your company’s primary vertical industry? The top two: 42.6% Food and Beverage, 14.2% Health and Beauty

[09:17] – Where do brand owners get their opinions? Sentiments, beliefs, opinions come from mix of sources: competitors, colleagues, media, academic training. Brand owners also use Facebook, LinkedIn, Packaging World

[09:17] – For Brand Owners, “being green” is the new normal. However, most managers say sustainability is very important in decisions about package, label printing. Many say their companies should do more than they do now to make packaging sustainable. Question in the audience, “there is a lot of waste in packaging in general. What are brand owners doing about that?” Bob’s response: Many brand owners are being smarter with packaging design.

[09:20] – In terms of your company’s “green” efforts and decisions about packaging or labels, to what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements? Customers strongly agree with, “we favor converters and printers who cut our risk of obsolete inventory.” Sounds like shorters runs to me…agree?

[09:22] – Bob’s talking about, “Why color digital printing wins.” His list:

  • Print only what you need
  • “Green” media available
  • Low waste job set up
  • Low/no VOC emissions
  • Convenient & economic for distribution, supply chain

[09:26] – Brand owners market through multiple channels. About 40% of packaging or labels vendors specifically use online marketing integration. Small companies are often early adopters of interactive features.

[09:35] – Bob’s next topic: Versioning. How come, “We target a mosaic of markets today.” Age, gender, ethnicity, language. Also, events and time sensitive events.

[09:41] – Wish I could share the slides or stream this content out. I’m not doing it justice as my typing is fast enough. :) Bob just cited a great example of a Coca-Cola campaign that included 1000s of bottles and integration with social media in their packaging.

[09:47] – “Which of following would your company be willing to pay a premium?”

23.9%  “Smart” Labels or packaging (RFID)
21.9%  FSC or other “green” certified paper or board media. 21.9% – 1 print job for 50 or more SKUs.
19.4% Personalization for 1:1 marketing

[09:50] – Bob shows a few examples of personalized packaging: A Heineken Personalization option for a 6 pack of beer. A Kleenex example that allows for insertion of a photo on a box.

[09:50] – Can you think of ideas where personalization is not being applied yet but would be a great idea?

[09:51] – About to wrap up here…if you have any questions, I’ve asked certain presenters here to chime in directly on this blog. Please comment below with any questions.

That’s a wrap. Packaging continues to be a growing area for digital printers. As we lead up to drupa 2012, I know packaging will be a key focus for many visitors to this show.