Why brands need to explore digital printing to supercharge their packaging

At YourStory’s Brands of India initiative aimed at enabling the growth of the D2C ecosystem, Ashish Vasudeva, Prasad Date and Naipal Singh from HP Indigo, explain how brands can leverage the power of digital packaging to scale their business.
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These days, packaging is more than just a layer of protection for products; it’s an essential marketing tool that supports branding, emphasises the product's best features, and can help drive sales. 

But finding the right kind of packaging isn’t easy, especially for entrepreneurs looking for smaller volumes, innovative ideas, or unusual options. 

Speaking at the launch event of Brands of India, an initiative by YourStory, Prasad Date, Customer Success Manager, HP Indigo, said startups find it challenging to invest in conventional packaging as these printing presses take a minimum order for 50,000 to 1 lakh packages, and charges skyrocket if the product has various variants. 

“High costs pose limitations on the entrepreneur. Startup founders wouldn't know the kind of packaging they’d want until they do a few iterations and that’s a roadblock for them. This is when digital printing comes to the rescue,” Prasad said. 

Sangita Garg, the founder of Mumbai-based AttaGirl, which provides a wide variety of healthy batters for dosas and idlis, was faced with this very problem when she was looking to finalise the packaging for her product. Her problem was solved when she got connected to an HP Indigo vendor, and Sangita worked on the packaging, the way she wanted. 

Why digitally print packaging?

Packaging has evolved over the last decade, courtesy increased technology and consumer awareness. With sustainability and convenience becoming focus areas, packaging serves a much larger purpose than just displaying brand details. Many brands are choosing to advertise their values through their packaging to deliver an experience. 

Enter digital-print packaging, which offers production flexibility, packaging personalisation, fast time to market, and cost savings. Next-gen digital presses and printers ensure better print quality, colour control, registration consistency, and sustainability advantages – making them the perfect choice for young founders and brands. 

Naipal Singh, Business Development Manager at HP Indigo, says between designing and printing, conventional packaging takes a lot of time in plate making, making ready colour processes, and other cumbersome processes. ”The digital printing process is way simpler and quicker,” he says. 

How to get the right packaging

Ashish Vasudeva, Business Development Manager at HP Indigo, agrees that brands can connect with customers through packaging and see a corresponding jump in their sales. 

“Many times customers choose a product because of its packaging. Digital printing gives brands an advantage – they can make the packaging unique and grow their business,” he says. 

He suggests options like working on a limited edition packaging campaign that creates a sense of curiosity in customers. Creating an emotional connect also plays a vital role, and Ashish cites the example of the brand Dettol that amid the pandemic wanted to show gratitude to frontline workers with their stories.

Dettol released four million labels with 100 protector stories within two weeks and received a tremendous response.

“Consumers today won’t mind spending an extra buck for a product that supports a global cause, and the brand should take initiatives to promote the same through their packaging,” Ashish says. 

Talking about the cost incurred in digital printing, Prasad says when entrepreneurs approach a conventional press they see a direct printing cost and ignore the risk in inventory carrying cost, write-offs, the cost incurred in design revisions, real estate costs, leakage, and so on. 

Apart from getting rid of these hassles, digital printing is “sustainable and helps in reducing wastage of resources as it follows a just-in-time approach”. 

Reason enough for big and small brands to take a digital-first approach – even when it comes to packaging!

 


Brands of India is a YourStory initiative to catalyse the growth of India's D2C economy. It will bring together D2C ecosystem stakeholders, including brand builders, D2C startups, investors, corporates, and policymakers, to discover, build and help daring entrepreneurs create an additional 500 Brands of India in the next three years. To know more about this initiative and the D2C ecosystem, visit brandsofindia.yourstory.com.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai