Schawk, Inc., a leading provider of brand development and deployment services, enabling companies of all sizes to connect their brands with consumers, announced that it has launched ColorDrive, the industry’s first cloud-based, print-quality management platform.
ColorDrive is the first product of its kind to align measured and calibrated visual scores throughout the packaging development supply chain process to achieve the highest levels of consistency currently possible in the reproduction of a brand’s colors worldwide. This allows marketers to objectively measure the success of meeting a brand’s color standards accurately and consistently on packaging by formalizing, simplifying and integrating quantitative and qualitative color measures. This is in contrast to today’s methods which are either too subjective or too complex to deliver accurate measurements of color consistently, leaving brands open to dilution of one of their key visual equities—color.
ColorDrive creates the conditions required to deliver brand accurate color consistently by creating a universal print-quality management platform that allows brand owners, premedia partners and printers to communicate about color using the same technical language to convert visual assessments into numbers. By calibrating subjective evaluations in this manner, ColorDrive enables these specialists to synchronize color performance goals. This empowers all participants in two ways: to deliver brand-accurate colors consistently and to improve their own internal processes incrementally with greater confidence.
The ability to achieve color consistency in consumer packaging across SKUs, substrates, channels and countries can have considerable impact on a brand owner’s top line. According to a 2007 University of Loyola Maryland Study, color plays a significant role in the consumer’s ability to recognize brands. This study revealed that color increases brand recognition by up to 80% and found that a color associated with a brand reproduced inconsistently on packaging can adversely impact the consumer’s decision to purchase a product. Inconsistent color can also create a perception among consumers that a product has been on shelf too long, or in some parts of the world, that the product is not authentic. The long-term effect is that it can dampen consumer trust in the brand.
Additional research conducted by the Secretariat of the Seoul International Color Expo documented the following relationships between color and marketing: When asked to approximate the importance of color when buying products, 84.7% of survey respondents stated that color accounts for more than half of the factors considered important for choosing products. This research also revealed that people make a subconscious judgment about a product within 90 seconds of viewing it, and that 60% to 90% of their assessment is based on color alone. Consistent color may also play an important role in authenticating brands and reaffirming consumer trust, especially in developing countries where brand counterfeiting is an issue.
According to Robb Frimming, print services director at Schawk, “ColorDrive has been road tested by three of the world’s largest consumer goods companies and has undergone significant development and refinement over the past ten years. We are excited to be able to release it to the market and are confident that it will deliver exceptional value to consumer products companies and printers operating multiple plants. ColorDrive is the only commercially available print quality management platform that is brand-centric and synchronizes color communication between marketer, premedia group and printer.”
Marc Levine, print quality group manager at Schawk, Inc. notes, “Technically, one of the key characteristics that sets this product apart from others is its print quality scoring. ColorDrive ingests the data points most important to a particular brand and company and uses the information to create a print quality score with one number. This dramatically simplifies process management and sets clear guidelines for quality improvement. A high score means that the printer printed closely to the brand’s standards; variability measures have more meaning and continuous improvement plans have greater focus. Quality control just works better. An increased confidence in performance measures and responsiveness to variation translates into faster time-to-market with higher quality and lower overall production costs.”
Stephen Kaufman, chief technology officer at Schawk, Inc. added, “ColorDrive also differentiates itself in the marketplace because it’s been developed by a company—Schawk—that actually creates packaging deliverables. While the ColorDrive platform combines software and services, and does not require that Schawk be the premedia partner, we applied more than 50 years of technical knowledge about color management and packaging to the process of developing the product. Our deep insights into the brand challenges that consumer products companies face everyday in developing and deploying their brands around the world was invaluable in identifying a gap in the marketplace for a product like this. ColorDrive helps put print quality management back into the hands of brand owners with confidence.”
ColorDrive collects and reports data from a variety of commercially available quality control tools. For a completely integrated quality control client, Schawk selected MeasureColor as its development partner. MeasureColor is a proven solution for quality control on press, giving the ColorDrive print supplier a host of tools to help them manage their internal quality control process. MeasureColor supports a wide array of color measurement devices, helping printers leverage their measurement investment, and provides a true client-server architecture that can scale from one to many locations. It also provides bold graphical feedback that instantly advises the printer on performance. With the ColorDrive client module, MeasureColor lets printers know exactly how they are "scoring" on their brand work.
ColorDrive is currently in use at several Fortune 250 consumer products companies. Some of the benefits that ColorDrive is capable of delivering to packaging supply chain partners include:
• Improved shelf impact, brand recognition and speed to market
• Ease of deployment, low cost of ownership and faster response time
• Better end product, design integrity retained, confidence in continuous improvement efforts
• Confidence in supplier deliverability reduces waste and cost
• Reduced waste of substrates, inks, and energy
• Consistent proof of performance, the ability of printers to confidently identify opportunities to improve internal processes
At this time, the product is also in use at 15 packaging printers in 30 locations to manage the print quality of the packaging for more than 35 brands in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.