The sense of touch closes the gap between us, and the world in which we live. Think about when you walk into a clothing store. As you browse, you touch the items that interest you. The subtle difference of every fiber gives each item its own uniqueness, which, in turn, engages you on a deeper level.
Print magic: How to make a magazine look and feel like a wetsuit
A technically challenging cover is printed and assembled.
Tourism campaign invites audience to get wet – but stay warm – and lures diving fans
In the world of direct mail, marketers have used fabric in a multitude of ways to better engage the consumer. In issue 7 of INCITE, the Visit Wales campaign wanted water enthusiasts to know that, despite what they may think, autumn is peak season for water sports in Wales because of the warm temperature of the waters. The message was mailed to their target audience on an actual piece of neoprene fabric. The target, feeling the material, would know that it was the exact thickness of an autumn wetsuit.
The campaign actually inspired the cover of INCITE 7, which used a custom material to replicate the texture of neoprene on the cover of the magazine.
Another good example can be found in INCITE’s third issue. In an effort to show their obsession with design and quality, European fashion designer, HEEX, mailed their target audience an envelope made of high-quality, handcrafted fabric. Upon feeling the fabric and recognizing its quality, their core audience would have been more intimately engaged with the piece.
When you don’t limit yourself to paper, you craft new possibilities
American dinner chain, Denny’s, sent university students a pillowcase with their menu printed on it. Here the power of fabric in direct mail is really put on display. Not only would the pillow fabric speak to the students in a unique and intimate way, it was also something useful – something worth keeping around for more than a day. They would go back to that menu again and again. A paper message would simply not have had that effect.
Considering how Visit Wales used neoprene fabric to speak their message, how HEEX showed their dedication to quality with fabric, and how Denny’s made the leap with that pillowcase, you can begin to appreciate the potential fabrics have in direct mail.
Think of your product or service, your brand – how could you incorporate fabric into your message? Think laterally. What words or phrases could be associated with your message? Could these words or phrases then be expressed with fabric? In what way could you break through the noise and drive action with something as simple, yet effective, as fabric? If you can harness the power of touch with fabric in your message, you’re closing the gap between you and your consumer.