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Paul Randall is passionate about digital printing and its ability to connect brands with consumers in meaningful ways.

He's the brand innovation manager at HP Inc UK, and was one of the speakers at the LIVE industry forum last week.

In his talk, he listed numerous examples of campaigns that “delivered brand love” through new digital printing innovations.

“The challenge is to reach the consumer in that last 'moment of truth' before purchase,” he said.

“And for many brands, it's about taking mass-market products and making them appear niche and 'craft'.”

Randall says packaging is a big part of social media marketing and can help brands compete with above-the-line marketing quite strongly.

He used the example of the Pepsi Emoji campaign to illustrate how brands are tapping into the millennial crowd.

“Arguably, digital printing won't 100 per cent replace conventional printing, but it can be used to drive engagement strategically,” Randall said.

And today's consumers, he says, are on the most part social media savvy, seekers of experience, brand-disloyal, environmentally conscious, self-orientated – which drives the personalisation trend – and transient in their tastes.

The beauty of digital printing, he said, is its ability to offer flexibility in providing new information to the consumer.

Each pack within a range can be unique, such as with the Amarula brand of cream liqueur which showcased a range of unique elephant designs using HP SmartStream Mosaic variable design technology.

Consumers also love being part of the design process, as shown in the Oreo Color-Filled campaign which saw consumers 'colour in' their own packaging online.

The possibilities are, quite simply, endless.

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