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Haptic printing

How decorative embellishment can enhance perceived value


April 9, 2021
By MGI/Konica Minolta

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PHOTO: IMAGE SOURCE /DIGITALVISION / GETTY IMAGES

As human beings, the physical, biological vehicle of our bodies helps ground the sensory perception that fuels our minds. From a consumer marketing perspective, the rise of new digital “haptic printing” techniques are creating exciting and powerful methods of promoting brand messages and building customer relationships.

Contemporary communication models
The word “haptics” describes the stimulation of the senses, primarily by the perception of physical characteristics. In our increasingly data-driven world and electronic era, we are all confronted daily by the continual and constant communications displayed on computer screens and mobile phones. This visual barrage of data can create a weariness of information fatigue.

However, our thoughts and feelings will always be most dramatically impacted by the power of touch. This is the reason why the physical aspect of “haptic printing” offers such an inspirational and hopeful future for consumer marketing professionals.

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Creating a deeper reality
Haptic printing involves the elevation of traditional flat, two-dimensional ink and paper to three-dimensional textures, patterns and sculptured special effects. These decorative embellishments are often accompanied by additional eye-catching, sensory enhancements such as metallic foils, chemical coatings and lamination films.

Haptic printing generates a stronger, deeper and more meaningful engagement with the printed piece because it increases the physical nature of the printed communication format.

The value of dimensional design and sensory print
The impact of haptic physical print experiences is far greater than traditional flat 2D impressions. This is because the human eye perceives the layers of special effects and it resonates deeper into the consciousness. A finger that runs over the embellishments generates more neurological activity than mere optical awareness. The skin encounters a sensation of awareness that transmits information to the brain and embeds itself as a more memorable encounter than is possible with regular printed communications.
As a result, haptic prints get more attention and get held longer in the hand. This opens up new possibilities of successful impact for consumer marketing strategies and brand management tactics.

Creative marketing and better brand management
Haptic printing creates true physical touchpoints and “impact moments”. In contemporary marketing, every micro-second counts. Digital printed special effects create a more interactive brand experience. Dimensional messaging creates memories that linger longer in the mind and fuel consumer decision-making processes by creating greater “perceived value” to products with a higher sense of quality.

The consciousness of content
Improved “perceived value” translates into more “perceived ownership” for consumer purchasing processes. This strengthens and accelerates the inclination to associate value with a particular brand and is the core print project goal of every consumer marketing campaign. Ultimately, a more significant and interactive print experience will be interpreted as an aspect of quality for the product and attribute of the brand itself.

Over time, this type of haptic printing can help secure customer relationships and produce far greater sales revenue than average flat colour printing. The greater optical and physical encounters of sensory special effects become magnets of attraction for buyers and brands.

Marketing “consumer quality” as a brand asset
Sensory-based dimensional printing creates a competitive differential in the marketplace. The higher value of the printed communication piece equates to the product to which it refers. Truly successful brands compete on value and, thus, can command premium pricing that offers higher profit margins. Commodity products compete on price and, therefore, can only survive on supply chain models of mass-market distribution and are always vulnerable to erosions of market share by disruptive forces.

Clocks and credit cards
In business, time is money and every brand marketing campaign is designed to attract and keep attention for as long as possible. The target audience of consumers and shoppers is, conversely, racing against the clock in a very busy world and inclined to try and make purchase decisions as quickly as possible.
However, this dynamic of time and money is precisely why haptic printing is such a compelling solution for consumer marketing professionals at brands and agencies. It creates a more engaging, optical, sensory and interactive print experience that encourages long-term product affinity. It also stimulates impulse purchases in the store, a longer mail moment in the mind and even a sense of unboxing excitement for e-commerce packages when they arrive.

In conclusion, new technologies of dimensional design and sensory communications are actively creating future possibilities of “feeling print” and not just viewing or reading it. This can greatly help energize consumer marketing messages and animate brand images via a greater perception of physical reality – with the power of touch in the hand and the sparkle of light in the eye.

This article appeared in the December 2020 issue of PrintAction. It was originally published on the Konica Minolta blog. Please visit https://kmbs.konicaminolta.us/kmbs/technology/production-print/industrial-printing/sensory for more information.