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Cushman & Wakefield Holiday Kit unboxed.
8 Tactile Marketing Trends for 2023
February 2, 2023

Tactile marketing is a marketing strategy that utilizes touch to create a more immersive and engaging brand experience. We expect marketing trends for 2023 to be full of higher-touch marketing pieces. We expect to see more companies using tactile marketing techniques to differentiate themselves from their competitors and create a deeper connection with their customers. If your brand wants to avoid digital oversaturation, consider how much more you could accomplish with an authentic sensory experience. Here are eight tactile marketing trends we expect to see in 2023.

 

Go Dynamic with 3D Designs

We love to see creative ideas come to life—as in (real) life. Modern large-format presses and finishing equipment – like our Acuity Prime Flatbed Printer and Zund Flatbed Digital Cutter – allow us to create multifaceted, engaging visual displays at a large scale. 

 

Take our 8’ foot tall, custom-printed holiday tree, for example. The dynamic green pattern gives this piece a lifelike quality. The shelves make a perfect display for holiday cards or packages. Show off a new product, launch a new thematic campaign, or simply give existing customers a reason to be wowed with a 3D design. The possibilities are endless.

Large format 3D Tactive Christmas Tree

Embrace Luxury with Luxe Finishes 

One way to push the boundaries with your tactile marketing piece is with a luxe finish. Add a burst of shine with foil, or create a smooth velvety feel with soft touch coating. Soft-touch coating provides a physical sensation that evokes a warm and fuzzy feeling, similar to what you see here. It’s all about adding a little extra personalization to boost your customer’s sensory experience and create an element of differentiation. 
Foil at work in your design can solidify a bold look and feel like in the example below. Go classic with gold or silver, retro with holographic, or punch it up with color! 
West Fork Whiskey Gold Foil Labels
Dry-erase laminate – one of our newest options – is a great go-to for those wanting to customize and engage. See it depicted here.
2022 Tactive Thanksgiving Mailer elements laid out on white background.

Bring Sexy Back with Vintage Minimalism 

We can all appreciate the look and feel of times gone past. Remember when times were more straightforward, and you didn’t feel overwhelmed by all the extra? Well, vintage isn’t just for thrift store seekers. The supersaturation of digital marketing – email, web ads, and social media – creates a lot of background noise. Try a vintage minimalist look like this if you want to remove a bit of that noise for your customers. 

The simplistic design is clean and unobtrusive and focuses less on all the busy work and back on the message of the campaign. 

Have confidence that your message matters and give your customers a blast from the past. You can check out how we did this in our 90s-themed campaign. 

Close up shot of the Mitsch Designs 3DDM Kit contents on a desk.

Use a Bit of Atypical Typography 

Nite Ride posters with neon colors showcasing the event on August 20th.

Options for using typography in tactile marketing are many and versatile. The intrepid marketer will step outside dull ol’ brand standards in 2023. They’ll find innovative ways to use bold, serifed, or modern versions of old fonts. Break the rules a little this year. Do more than just show words with fonts—let them communicate your ideas, too. Take this example.  

 

If all else is falling short, you could create a new font to help you bring your campaign to life. Let your fonts pave the way to more creative marketing campaigns by incorporating expressive typography, vintage, and minimalistic motifs. 

Make a Sensational Sensory Experience

Whether you’re a chef, a little kid at Christmas, or a master marketer, you know that “unboxing” is half the fun. A good unboxing experience will elevate your tactile marketing from a package to an experience. In 2023, it’s time we make the mundane unboxing into a spectacle all its own.  

Proper tactile marketing engages the senses from every angle. Going to the movie theater is about more than watching images on a screen. It’s about the smell and taste of the popcorn, the feel of the bass in your seat, and the gut-wrenching emotions the characters communicate. Similarly, an unboxing experience will involve sights, smells, auditory components, occasionally a tasteful element, and all the feels. 

Use colors to help create thematic engagement. Your filler choice can add a sound and tactile factor in the form of crinkle paper or something simply soft. Incorporating an edible item can evoke taste and smell as well as a memorable sensory experience. And your branded promotional products round out the whole package. For MVP status, put it together thoughtfully so that the unwrapping becomes a literal experience in and of itself. Take this tactile marketing campaign which has all the bells and whistles. 

Ditch the Discount and Opt for High-End Products 

Woman with her legs crossed holding a s'mores recipes book.
Remember that age-old saying that more isn’t always better? Well, this trend is based on that very principle. Rather than adding to the piles of clutter that many of us wrestle with, opt for higher-value gifts for a smaller segment of your target audience. For example, ditch the many inexpensive items in favor of a few more valuable options when budgeting for your next 3DDM campaign Check out this simple example, which helped to boost customer numbers and engage outlying prospects. 

Craft a New Color Combo 

Pantone's color of the year, Viva Magenta next to similarly color tops.
Pantone has announced 2023’s color of the year as viva magenta, a color that “vibrates with vim and vigor.” Make 2023 the year to embrace your vivacious side and go bold with color combos. Step outside your comfort zone and throw together some unexpected colors to see how they shake out. Maybe try a plum purple with a muted silver. Or bold cyan and soft cedar green. The campaign below was the result of a glorious and unexpected color combo. Let your creative side go wild, and you may surprise yourself!

Award the Amazing 

Anyone in a relationship will tell you that recognition goes a long way. In 2023, take the time to recognize fantastic work—employees and customers alike. This year, notable companies will launch great marketing campaigns and give kudos to stellar clients and team members who take their work to the next level. Here are examples of some of our employee-generated and customer-driven campaigns. 

5 Tactive employees wearing their Christmas gift, personalized letterman jackets!
Archibalds Village Bakery employee holding up Yelp Top 100 Places to Eat plaque.

How will you make your tactile marketing campaign unforgettable in 2023? Say, “Hey, Tactive!” Our team is ready to help you level up your marketing and bring your brand to (real) life!