The Future of Consumer Packaging in Asia Through Digital Print


The digital focus in Asia is deepening. Consumers are in more control than ever before — craving for novelty while increasingly becoming aware of the multitude of choices they have. With fragmented attention spans, consumers have more direct ownership of a brand through their social pull and power.

Our Forest Li, managing director for Schawk China, recently spoke at an HP event in Beijing, and offered insight on consumer packaging trends that can help the world’s leading brands perform across China. In combination with digital printing technology, these trends help to connect consumers in innovative ways. As vice chairman of the Shanghai Digital Printing Association, Forest articulated on how the global printing snapshot shows an upward trend since the new millennium, with digital print presses increasing from 1760 in year 2010 to 8071 in 2016.

All brands aim for faster speed-to-market, lower budgeting outputs and increased presence. We need to recognize the changing face of consumers and adapt to their needs as most of them are experience seekers with lower instinctive brand loyalty.

Here are five ways packaging can work to appeal to consumers:

Premiumization. Premiumization opens the opportunity for people to experience the exclusive luxury of the brand. Essentially, it brings quality and value for consumers to stay loyal.

Bold colours. Colours evoke emotions and affect purchasing decisions. Vibrant colour is widely used on pack to catch more attention on shelf and striking colours on packaging tend to appeal to millennials.

Let’s talk. Make everything direct and simple to communicate through a small label. However, it is an obvious trend on how functional benefits can be communicated in an emotional way. Take for example Froosh fruit: bottled. With simple messaging like “No bad stuff” or “One ingredient: fruit” displayed on-pack, consumers receive straight to the point communication that resonates with their values.

Abstract mixed media. Discover the unique styles of an artist’s work. It can be paper-folding methods like origami, painting stokes or using brush. This is a new trend for packaging design in order to catch the attention of teenagers.

Bonding. Fun and playful packaging is the most important cue to drive buzz among consumers and sales. This is a form of two-way communication and generates brand aspiration through pack design.

Brands need to constantly refresh their offerings to maintain a sense of freshness and novelty. They need to engage and interact with customers so they have a sense of ownership. Go to market faster than ever, and provide customers with a unique experience that can be shared.