Retail is alive and well. Despite doom and gloom from mainstream media, a recent study by the IHL Group reported retailers were opening 4,080 more stores in 2017 than they were closing, and planned to open over 5,500 more this year. The National Retail Federation reported 85% of brands were opening stores or holding steady. The once negative retail narrative is turning a corner.
In fact, many see a retail revolution evolving, with studies showing that Gen Z’s prefer bricks to clicks. In a highly competitive retail market, brands that succeed will be those that create extraordinary customer experience, both online and in-store.
In light of this exciting trend, Neenah has released CLASSIC Retail Revolution, a resource for designers working with retail clients to help them see new and unique ways to use printed pieces as a tangible element of today’s retail experiences.
“Today’s consumer is fiercely loyal and shares their brand love with the world through social media. In order for a brand to impress potential loyalists, it must first grab their attention in the crowded retail space….details matter,” says Auburne Gahlman, Brand Manager, Neenah, “This is precisely where design and paper can help elevate a brand’s status with high-touch tools.”
The book isn’t just eye candy; its thought-provoking stats are good bookmarks for designers. For example, research shows 57% of people say postcard marketing makes them feel more valued and creates a more authentic relationship. 44% say a gift card has sent them into a store they otherwise wouldn’t have visited. “CLASSIC Retail Revolution will enable designers to provide more insight and perhaps be an even more valuable counselor for their retail clients,” says Gahlman.
Designed by Dallas-based creative firm Matchbox Studio, the piece features four case studies of four distinct brands in the growing health and wellness markets. Thoughtfully designed print collateral demonstrates ways to get customers in the door, engage and excite customers in-store, help spread the word, and help brands build a following. Each brand features samples produced on CLASSIC Papers.
Apparel: Knetics, a dynamic athletic brand uses an oversized postcard and a gift card in a creative die-cut carrier to get attention. A grommeted hangtag combines three different shapes, three different papers and movement to deliver this brand’s active messaging.
Skincare: Pack Apothecary is a men’s line. This brand sample includes a box for its coal facial exfoliant, which cleverly uses the texture of CLASSIC Stipple to suggest the product within.
Resort: Desert Mothers Spa appeals to the desire to combine decadence with spirit, mind and body wellness. Its brochure is a geometric, accordion fold that uses the appeal of natural visuals with the texture of CLASSIC CREST Classic Natural White.
Food subscriptions: Odyssey delivers on the luxury side of the home meal kit trend. The pairing of CLASSIC Linen, photography and blind embossing create an elegant presentation.
The 10 x 12 red Wire-o bound book with a dozen pull-out, standalone samples feature beautiful combinations of texture, color, design, and print on Neenah’s iconic CLASSIC Papers: CLASSIC CREST, CLASSIC Linen, CLASSIC Laid, CLASSIC COLUMNS, CLASSIC Stipple, and the newest highly-textural additions to the line CLASSIC Techweave, and CLASSIC Woodgrain Papers.
Matchbox Design’s Principal/Creative Director, Liz Burnett said, “When it comes to brand recall, paper is an important aspect of any design. Studies show that 70% of purchase decisions are made in the store, and 85% of consumers cite color as the primary reason they buy a particular product.”
“What we hoped to communicate with this piece is that a paper’s texture and color has the power of persuasion. CLASSIC Retail Revolution shows how much more memorable printed collateral can be with the right combination of design and paper,” added Burnett.