A new report from Faraday is urging the printing and packaging industries to become more informed about the significance of plastic electronics for brand marketing and how this technology could add value for the FMCG consumer.
Following a great deal of hype about the subject of plastic electronics, Dr. Laurence Hogg of Faraday, author of 'Plastic Electronics and the FMCG Consumer', explains why current societal and technological trends in plastic electronics will have a major impact on FMCG brands. The report shows brand owners how to make sure they are ahead of the game and advises on ways to differentiate themselves from the competition by using plastic electronics in a meaningful, not gimmicky, way.
As society relies increasingly on the internet for product information, the report explains how online user reviews will severely diminish the power of brands owners' marketing communications. Consumers are already selling brands and products to other consumers online in other categories and this is set to carry over into grocery and household goods.
As soon as the first major UK supermarket gives its customers the chance to provide online feedback on these products, brands will need to create more competitive 'stand out' than ever before.
Dr. Hogg says: "Packaging and printing manufacturers should be most concerned with the development of cheap, printable electronics because it's a significant step towards the creation of an always-online 'recommendation' society where products are sold by the users, not the brand owners. There are also a million and one things we could do with the technology to make smart and intelligent packs and products - but no one knows what these things are or if the consumer will want them".
"The research we've done shows how brand owners can get to grips with this in a structured, consumer-led way rather than trying to use the technology in a pack or product just for the sake of it. In this case there's always a danger of creating a gimmick rather than a real point of difference for the consumer."
Faraday's report concludes that in order for packaging and printing specialists to survive in this brave new world, they will need to understand the capabilities and limitations of this new technology, and have the imagination and design capability to produce packs that do things no-one has ever seen before.
The 'Plastic Electronics and the FMCG Consumer' report can be downloaded free of charge from www.faradayknowledge.com.