Packaging printers need to use current equipment to better engage consumers, said Paul Haggett in his presentation at Print21 + PKN LIVE last week. We interviewed him on video just after he spoke.

Haggett took guests through the past, present, and future of technology, and argued that brands must use unique codes to keep up with consumers’ needs – that marketing to anonymous customers is no longer sufficient.

“Consumers want to understand more about their products, to engage with brands, provide feedback. All of this is driven on unique coding, but to this point, digital print in packaging has been seen as slow and expensive.

“Talking about something that can be done at high speed on existing infrastructure is, to me, the big change,” he said.

In one striking segment, Haggett showed an animation of the most valuable brand over the past couple of decades, and how their fortunes shifted with time – the fall of companies like Nokia, and the rise of Google, Amazon and Apple, being among them.

“Brands that best respond to the evolution in customers’ needs will stand to dominate,” he said. “Even companies thought to be too big to fail have failed when they didn’t keep up.”

Haggett predicted that unique codes will end up on every single pack, and took heart in seeing a giant like Tetra Pak pledging unique fingerprints on all of its billions of containers.

“That is where we see it going. I know it’s a big concept, scary for some, but for me it’s exciting,” he said.

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