Neenah introduces creative new retail-focused promotion – Classic Retail Revolution

Neenah Paper's Classic Retail Revolution.
Neenah Paper’s new Classic Retail Revolution publication.

Despite the recent doom and gloom from some media outlets, a recent study by the IHL Group reported that U.S. retailers opened 4,080 more stores in 2017 than they were closing, and planned to open over 5,500 more this year. The National Retail Federation in the USA also reported that 85% of brands were opening stores or holding steady. The once negative retail narrative is turning a corner. 

In fact, many experts see a retail revolution coming, with studies showing that Gen Z shoppers prefer bricks to clicks. In a highly competitive retail market, brands that succeed will be those that create an 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 discover 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,” said Auburne Gahlman, Brand Manager at Neenah. “This is precisely where design and paper can help elevate a brand’s status with high-touch tools.” The book’s thought-provoking stats are good bookmarks for designers, said Neenah. For example, research shows 57% of people say postcard marketing makes them feel more valued, and creates a more authentic relationship. About 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,” Gahlman added.

Designed by Dallas-based creative firm Matchbox Studio, the publication features 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 Neenah 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 hang-tag 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’s 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 creates an extremely elegant presentation.

Liz Burnett.
Liz Burnett.

The 10” x 12” red Wire-O bound book with a dozen pull-out, standalone samples features beautiful combinations of texture, colour, design and print on Neenah’s Classic Papers – namely Crest, Linen, Laid, Columns, Stipple – and the newest highly-textural additions to its Classic line – Techweave and Woodgrain Papers. Matchbox Design’s Principal/Creative Director, Liz Burnett added: “When it comes to brand recall, paper is an important aspect of any design. Studies show that 70% of purchasing decisions are made in the store, and 85% of consumers cite colour as the primary reason they buy a particular product. What we hoped to communicate with this piece is that a paper’s texture and colour have the power of persuasion. Classic Retail Revolution shows how much more memorable printed collateral can be with the right combination of design and paper” The colours and textures of this interactive and tactile publication also includes French Fold pages filled with a dozen pull-out samples. Check out this short video to get a better sense of what’s inside.



Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.