Filtrona Tapes: First impressions are the most lasting

Expert advice: Filtrona Tapes’ Market Development Manager Sarah Rutland explains why the key to cutting through the clutter of an attention-thirsty retail landscape is in the finer detail.

Filtrona Tapes' Expert Advice
Filtrona Tapes’ Expert Advice

Find the Eye on Display Industry Directory listing for Filtrona here.

Life as a packaging designer is a game of making every inch matter.

Whether they’re browsing the aisles or scrolling on a phone screen, attracting your customers and convincing them to select your product in such a short window is no mean feat. It’s more crucial than ever to ensure design disrupts the consumer in some way – and the best way to do that is to leave no stone unturned.

Packaging needs to be eye-catching and inviting, instantly bold, attractive, targeted and compelling. Only when you have the pack in the customer’s hands can you search for more innovative ways to elevate their unboxing experience.

Although sparing the consumer every possible detail on the pack may seem inherently wrong, it is well worth it. For instance, changing the perception of functional pack enhancements, like tapes, to prime real estate for printing, can help to create extra space and room and unlock other more meaningful opportunities to convey a message with minimal effort. Our customers often find that the very process of delivering key messages at the right time often leads customers to what matters most.

Design is often what grabs attention and not the value proposition. And layering and reinforcing key messages throughout a pack prevents them from tripping over one another. It makes it easier for people to connect with a brand without distraction, and ensures messaging is consumed when it should be.

Functionality First

In order to maximise the benefits of tear tape, appreciating why it appears on your packaging in the first place is vital.

Ease of opening has long been a packaging concern for consumers, and it is a challenge that spans multiple industries. Whether getting into that exciting online purchase, accessing that critical pain-relieving drug or grabbing a piece of gum when you’re on the go, any discerning pack specifier or brand will know that packaging should never be a frustrating barrier to a product. That initial positive feeling towards the brand can quickly turn to exasperation with a seemingly impenetrable pack.

Research commissioned by Filtrona Tapes found that over 70% of consumers had recently experienced packaging that they found frustrating. 57% felt that packaging being too difficult to open was the most frustrating factor – the number two cause of frustration, narrowly behind too much packaging (58%).

Consumer frustrations with difficult-to-open packaging can severely impact a purchasing decision. Our sought-after solutions, Supastrip® and Rippatape®enhance brand loyalty by providing a positive, easy-opening experience.

Supastrip is designed to tear through various flexible packaging formats, providing quick access to the product when the tape is pulled. Rippatape targets the paper and board market with the product range designed to aid the unboxing experience.

While there are many things you should do to make your business more customer-focused, few are more important than maximising the convenience you can offer to consumers.

Space: The Final Frontier

On-pack is often our best opportunity to communicate with our consumers. Yet, as Filtrona Tapes seek to use every possible pixel to appease many different functions of the business and vested stakeholders, we are often quite constrained by the space available.

Although it might be tempting to increase the packaging size to create more space, a better solution is to ensure you’re using any available space in the most effective way possible.

Packaging is not just there to protect a product from damage. It is also an important communication tool in a brand’s consumer engagement arsenal. Irrespective of your industry, communicating effectively with the end consumer is vital, and one of the simplest ways to start this is through printed packaging.

Creating memorable moments is increasingly important in the new social media age of unboxing videos, consumer product reviews and even sustainability awareness.

But although simple in principle, adding print can be a challenging step for packaging converters considering waste, production efficiencies and set-up costs.

Catching the eye

As our tapes are predominantly deployed to be used by a consumer to open or close a pack, the customer’s attention is automatically focused on the tape. Printing a message or design onto the tape signposts the tape’s intended functionality and function, and calls attention to the printed design.

Printed designs could be as simple as a solid colour to echo your packaging design or be more advanced. For example, seasonal messages, product updates, sustainability credentials, brand logos or social media links can all be used to increase brand awareness and promote interaction. We can even deliver different messages on each side of the tape when deployed on transparent substrates.

We also understand the implications of promotional and seasonal packaging changes on a business.

Using tape as your promotional carrier on your packaging enables you to engage with the consumer directly from your pack without needing costly and wasteful packaging amendments. If you change the tape, not the pack, this could allow you to change designs regularly without impacting your production efficiencies.

A more effective solution is to focus on how we want our consumers to feel about our brand rather than the details of the message. Knowing how to optimise your strongest visual attributes or prioritise packaging elements that consumers will recognise or grab their attention will ultimately define success.

Sustaining impact

In an era when more and more customers are demanding sustainable packaging solutions, there is no longer a need to swim with the tide in a sea of sameness with very little differentiation or distinctiveness.

Yes, practical considerations remain key – customers expect you to enhance the environmental impact of your brand across your entire supply chain – but the key is creating sustainable packaging that also stands out.

For those who see the opportunity for packaging to play a powerful role in the world around us without losing functional benefits, the Filtrona Tape ECO Range helps brands and converters around the world meet their environmental goals whilst delivering a positive opening experience across filmic or paper-based packaging.

Supastrip® PCR is the first tear tape made from PET containing 70% post-consumer recycled resin (PCR) in a single-ply 23-micron film, far exceeding the mandated levels of recycled content in several regulations.

If your packaging is moving to a paper based approach, Rippatape® Halo is likely to be the solution for you. Rippatape® Halo is the first paper tear tape in the Filtrona Tapes ECO Range, providing customers with more circular curbside recyclable packaging options. It is externally certified as recyclable with paper achieving an A+ level via the Italian National Recyclability Standard: UNI 11743 and MC 501: 2017 criteria.

Crucially as well as delivering on easy opening credentials, Rippatape® Halo is recyclable along with paper and board packs, is fully reclaimable, eliminates the plastic film used in standard tear tapes, and focuses on fibre recovery making it ideal for opening paper substrates, lightweight corrugated cartons and fibreboard.

Striking the right balance

With a short window of time to engage a customer and a great deal of information to communicate, it’s a good idea to plan packaging messaging and content carefully. Planning will save time and expensive mistakes further down the line.

Your packaging should function as a tool for constructing a flattering first impression on potential consumers. A visually striking package that delivers an easy opening, combined with subtly surprising messaging and proof that every part of the packaging, can become a promotional medium that enhances consumer experiences and encourages engagement.

When you set up a product-based business, packaging is often last on the to-do list because it’s seen as a practical way to protect and ship and nothing more. A little creativity and care in packaging goes a long way in impressing your first customers and gaining those loyal advocates.

There’s a reason products like tear tape have stood the test of time: it is more important than ever to make sure your brand is perceived as adding value in every interaction you have with them.

And thanks to our innovative total tape solutions, it’s becoming ever easier and cost-effective for businesses to create unique packaging.

Filtrona Tapes' Market Development Manager, Sarah Rutland

Filtrona Tapes’ Market Development Manager, Sarah Rutland

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