By Melissa Donovan
Branding, advertising, and marketing agencies benefit greatly from digital print service providers. When certain capabilities aren’t available in house, networking with trusted partners ensures key results that translate to meeting important customer goals.
Ripple Group, based out of the Oldham, Greater Manchester, England, specializes in the customer experience, re-imaging retail space and point of purchase (POP) to create environments and solutions that attract, engage, and drive sales performance. It operates out of a 25,000 square foot office with 50 employees serving all of the U.K., channel islands, and France.
The company designs and manufactures bespoke retail interiors and POP solutions for brands. Arron Cheshire, marketing manager, Ripple, explains how the process works. First, the in-house design studio develops concepts and sketches, followed by full three-dimensional renders, and then technical designers translate the concept into a product with blueprint and manufacturing instructions to be created on the shop floor.
While the shop floor does not include printers, Cheshire explains that Ripple relies on a great deal of digital print to finish products and sources it from a variety of local suppliers depending on the requirement of the job. He notes that the company is a firm believer that artwork and print can make or break a project, which is why it partners with trusted digital service providers. It relies on them for material advice as well as choosing the proper ink set for the application.
One example of Ripple’s work is when it developed a freestanding display solution for the Clarins Group in collaboration with Boots, the U.K.’s leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer. The initial request included a refill fountain to promote a sustainable method for customers to replenish Alien and Angel fragrances into reusable perfume bottles.
The job was initially put on hold due to COVID-19 lockdown and retail closures, but was reinstated late 2020. Working through concepts with the client, Ripple team members realized that the finish on the POP unit needed to be hard wearing, as the alcohol-based perfume would spill and degrade paints over time—this was also true for the graphics applied to the sides of the display. To address this challenge, it used plastic-based magnetic graphics panels.
Roll out of the display took three months, with 250 units produced total. Over 3,000 square feet of graphics were digitally printed and installed in Boots stores throughout the U.K.
“We visited a few of the stores to chat with the Boots staff on the fountains and to get their opinions, feedback so far has been excellent. The units are well received and thanks to our extra efforts in ensuring their longevity they’re holding up well and will continue to do so in years to come,” says Cheshire.
In the past year, much of the digitally printed POP space was influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. “We find that retailers are now willing to go the extra mile to make their stores a destination and an experience, giving people a reason to want to come to the store as opposed to ordering online,” explains Cheshire.
This involves an increase in standalone POP displays developed to introduce new and exciting products interactively. “Most of these displays are utilizing modern, clean artwork with a strong color palette, which of course requires great printing capabilities to really make the artwork pop,” he continues.
While Ripple doesn’t offer digital printing services in house, the staff does understand the importance of digital print and its usage in the POP and retail space. Its recent work for Boots benefits from digitally printed magnetic material while simultaneously offering a durable, visually stunning solution.
Sep2021, Digital Output