Small businesses often encounter many problems that they must tackle within their limited resources. They do not have large revenue streams to find viable solutions that will save them time and provide relief. These single-person owned businesses often employee less than 10 employees yet they can also range to small manufacturing companies that limit their employees to less than 500. The digital company appears as a savior as it has changed the world of print and how to print are approached by businesses. Traditionally, the help of printing plates that would use wet ink to transfer the image to the printing plates carried out printing. This process was often messy, did not allow for changes in the image to be made, required the printing process to be carried, by specifically trained personnel only, and was a lengthy process that required loads of time. The onset of inkjet printers allows for the image to be converted in the form of a digital context by the help of pixels and then transferred on any desired surface where it is needed. The inkjet printers, unlike their traditional counterparts, do not use liquid ink rather they convert the digitized image into dots of plastic powder that dries quickly leaving the printed product easy to handle.
The number advantage of digital printing has always been the ease of using this technology. Small business does not have the labor or resources to hire help for specific matters and most employees in small business wear many different hats. Thus, digital printing allows for changes in design to be made without the need to change a whole plate and simply, adjusting the image can allow for easy production of a new image. Digital printing also allows the work to be done from a remote location where the easy setup of inkjet printers can place. This provides flexibility and accessibility to the provider of the service that means a wide range of orders can be handled. It was the breakthrough of digital printing that allowed for the phenomenon, of direct mail, that revolutionized direct marketing techniques. The easy digital printing technique allowed for large quantities of data to be printed and categorized such as addresses and names. These direct mail catalogs gave the small businesses the power to compete with big giants and the glossy catalogs that would pull all the clients towards them. The impact of direct mail was big in comparison to the cost involved.
Perhaps the largest advantage of the technique had been the ability to produce personalized products that allowed customization. This even created a completely new industry i.e. the publishing industry as it allowed the publication of different materials at a break-neck speed. Personalization of products also gave an idea to a completely new niche where products had labels specifically designed for their customers. The major advantage that lies in digital printing is its cost-effectiveness- this allows for the production of posters, flyers, and pamphlets at a fraction of the cost they were previously being made at.
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Flexible packaging is worth billions of dollars and it continues to grow at an alarming rate. The reason flexible packaging is seen as an important factor is it is used in virtually in every possible industry out there. The pharmaceutical, beverage, textile and more industries are all reliant on packaging their offerings. The flexible packaging works as they are not rigid and are malleable allowing them to house any material within it. This allows better shelf space utilization with studies showing a 20% decrease in storage space taken up and ensures that all types of products can be stored and safely delivered to their respective destinations. This then translates into the saving of transportation costs as they take up less space and can be easily stored to be shipped off. Several different materials can be used to make packaging materials that include plastic, aluminum, and foil. They can also be shaped in many different forms which make it a very versatile technique- pouches; sachets, wraps, and bags are all products of flexible packaging. Their added advantage is that of customization as well, as it allows companies to customize their products to any shape and size according to the will of their consumers which differentiates them from their competitors.
In the world of flexible packaging, the idea of digital printing interlays as the consumers are no longer in want of identical packaging and they require differentiation in the market. They want their packing to be unique and eye-catching, the packaging being a factor which can be solely responsible for the purchase of a product. This need by consumers has been fueled by eCommerce and social media as they showcase all the possible options out there in the market. This has resulted in the shortening of the product lifecycles as preferences change faster and products along with their packaging go out of style. The need for quick delivery, traveling longer distances and different products all required packaging that could cater to their needs. The digital printing allowed a quicker production of the packing material with graphics that eye-catching to allow for the logistics and attraction elements to not go out of style. Digital printing can be used to print on any surface that goes hand in hand with that of off shaped packages i.e. which deviate from the traditional box-shaped packaging. The key effect that digital printing has on the world of flexible packaging is the ability to print directly on a plastic surface. Therefore, there is an instant elimination of labels, which translates into the elimination of costs and saves time for the manufacturer as well. Automatically there is less waste, the ability to meet shorter production times and allows greater flexibility in terms of the design of the packaging. Digital printing and flexible packaging have now allowed the use of rapid clip that allows quick folding and unfolding of the packet-making it both easily accessible and easy to manufacture. Both digital printing and flexible packaging are two techniques that work closely together to form the best possible union for production.
So what is holding you back?
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The printing industry has been shaken to the core due to the development of new technology which allows the printing press to print without being in contact with the design. The tradition printing method of flexo-printing did not allow flexibility despite what the name suggested as it would require the press to stick to a specific design for mass production and not allow changes in the design itself. The inset of digital printing has given designers the freedom to be adventurous with their designs and to make minute changes at the drop of a hat. This means they are able to make their designs part of an interactive campaign that relies on printing based on the different data being obtained and converting it into prints. The Lays Company used the “summer days” campaigns to get their customers to submit photos of their summer holidays and then print them on each packet. Only digital printing allowed a marketing campaign of such magnitude to be successfully completed as a collaboration between production, designers, social media managers and more was an important factor here.
The market growth of digital printing packaging has also allowed packaging to be a source of protection of their brand. Designs have become a great source of equity and they must be protected in every possible way. Digital printing has increased the market share of a company by allowing companies to trace their products through the incorporation of GR codes or secret codes within the packaging. This has been particularly relevant for industries that deal with sensitive items such as the pharmaceutical industry. They are now able to trace any contraband usage by the codes embedded into the packaging which gives the companies great leverage over their competitors. The end result produced by a digital printer is far more superior to that of produced by a traditional printer, the use of the newly pioneered inks are what makes digital printing a massive share of the packing industry.
Another reason why the digital printing market share has grown to cover approximately 70% of the industry is that it takes into account how short product life cycles are. Product life cycles in the retail industry have become shorter and shorter over the years and require major challenges in keeping up with the printing involved. As digital printing continues to find solutions to the problems presented by traditionally printing it is predicted to reach new heights of 21.35 billion in the coming years. The number will further increase as the traditional printing techniques become obsolete and reach ultimate wipeout. As the finished product produced through digital printing is of superior quality and with greater flexibility. Most commercial printers have realized how digital printing lowers the overhead costs and this financial incentive is enough for them to switch to them. The new market growth will witness many traditional printers to convert into digital printers that mean a shift in expertise and revenue flow will change dramatically within the industry, giving way to stronger competition and breaking hegemony of established printers.
At RubeeFlex we know that while rich, durable materials will protect your products, that’s not enough to make them stand out on a crowded shelf. For that extra bit of marketing magic, let us design your packaging for maximum impact.
Our artists can create eye-catching imagery and inspired text to complement every project. We’ll help you choose just the right texture, color, shape, size, material and closure style guaranteed to please customers and define your core brand.
So what is holding you back? Choose your style, size and start designing your digitally printed custom packaging to make a difference in today’s competitive market.
Call us at 516.274.8080 to connect with a RubeeRep today to talk options, place an order, or find answers to your most pressing packaging questions.