Given the choice, consumers would like to choose the envelope!
Consumers want the right to choose on how they are contacted by banks, utility providers and other service companies, and very often that choice is via the envelope. This was the message at FEPE’s 57th Congress of the European Federation of Envelope Manufacturers (FEPE), held in Krakow from October 2-4, 2014.
David Gold from Royal Mail group in the UK presented the ‘Keep Me Posted’ campaign, a partnership of representatives from charities, interest groups and business fighting for the consumer’s right to choose how they are contacted.
As the paper and envelope industries struggle with falling paper mail volumes in the face of digitalisation, Philippe Coppé from bpost in Belgium introduced an innovative idea to slow this decline. Bills and bank statements are valuable documents but they rarely meet consumers’ needs. Working with major companies, bpost has developed ‘RelatioMail’, a project to add value to administrative documents, such as bills. In depth rethinking and redesigning of these documents has led to improved ergonomics, readability and impact.
While, Ann Galland´s (Galland Strategies) message to envelope manufacturers was that as digital disruption does happen anyway, “You will be better off if the company cannibalising your business through change is your own.” In that respect Maynard Benjamin from the Global Envelope Alliance set out his vision of where the industry is now and what it needs to do to stay successful in the future.
As postal operators are forced to change their business models as letter mail business drops, envelope manufactures will similarly have to reshape and adapt by becoming more diverse manufacturers. New technologies such as QR codes, Augmented Reality and Geofencing offer opportunities waiting to be exploited by postal operators and customers alike. “We must remember that mail is important. It is a physical medium that is sensory and consumers like and want to use the mail,” Benjamin concluded.
Russell Croisdale from UK based Encore envelopes further elaborated on this theme by presenting facts and figures from the past five years and a forecast for the future. Despite several years of falling mail volumes, this decline is slowing down overall.
Summing up the congress FEPE President Thomas Schwarz (Mayerkuvert- network) remarked that despite the continuing economic difficulties and the challenges presented by the shift to digital communication, the envelope industry had reason to be positive.