The value of specialty print effects in building brands

And the role that progressive print providers play

This Print2Finish session was run by Emily Myers of BCSI (Business Card Services Inc.) BCSI is a trade manufacturer of business cards, corporate stationery products, and print-on-demand marketing collateral. 

Click here to watch the full Print2Finish session on our channel.

Special effects play an important role in the success of brand-building efforts. They help set brands apart from their competitors and improve their corporate image.

According to a study conducted by NAPCO research and the SGIA, 77% of marketers believe that specialty print enhancements give their brand a premium look. Additionally, 64% of marketers agree that print enhancements capture their audience's attention and help them stand out from competitors.

So what do we consider when we talk about special effects?

We consider any embellishments that make a printed item unique or outstanding as special effects.

Things like:
  • spot gloss over a logo or a pattern
  • foil in different colors to match a brand
  • extra thick stocks
  • painted edges
  • iridescent ink/metallic ink, etc.
  • textured laminates; such as soft touch, grit, leather, etc.
These effects add visual appeal and depth to designs.

When should we include embellishments?

Consider high-profile pieces for embellishments that grab the end user's attention and that are meant to be held onto over time.

Branded note cards, invitations, announcements, greeting cards, and holiday cards with print enhancements make a great impression on recipients. But it doesn't have to end there. Many premium brands incorporate embellishment into packaging, business cards, and other transactional print.

Keep in mind that many embellishments can now be done digitally, giving you more finishing options, and in general, without price determining a minimum viable quantity. 

Hagerty Business Cards Case Study

Hagerty, an insurance provider for collector cars and vehicles, wanted to bring sophistication and uniqueness to their brand. They found an idea online for their business cards that included spot gloss on soft-touch laminate on the back of the card, no laminate on the front, and a splash of color along the edge. However, their previous print provider had to outsource these processes, resulting in a four to six-week lead time.

BSCI was able to save the day by using their in-house equipment to add the specialty print effects within an acceptable turn time. This not only reduced lead time, but also opened up other opportunities for BCSI to assist Hagerty's international and national insurance brokers. 

The Role of Print Providers

According to NAPCO Research, 88% of brand owners rely on their print providers to determine the best print methods for their products. Print providers who offer education and ideas for print enhancements will win more business. Providing examples, such as printed samples with different print processes, helps customers select the most suitable option for their brand.

Why use samples? 

A customer wanted to include red foil on their business cards to match their brand. We printed samples with different print options, including red metallic foil and red spot gloss over the printed logo. Their selection resulted in an ongoing program with continual orders throughout the year. Although including foil increased the price, it significantly increased the value of the cards.

Setting Expectations

As you get more experience with print enhancements, you'll begin to recognize potential issues right away. It's important that you — as the print provider — set expectations with clients regarding design challenges, registration issues, and lead time for products with special effects. Being upfront and offering suggestions will help eliminate potential issues, and ensure a smooth production process.

According to an InfoTrend study, 89% of buyers are willing to pay between 24% and 89% more for products with print enhancements. And savvy marketers recognize that, along with the value of unique and memorable print that leaves a lasting impression on their audience. And as a result, the marketers are willing to pay more.

By becoming their print provider of choice, you have a massive opportunity to grow with their brands. The creative design, education, and sample process not only add more value but also enhances their experience of working with you.

If you have any questions about specialty finishes or print processes feel free to reach out to the team at Skandacor. We're always happy to help! 
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