The Amazing World of Haptics

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Sappi Paper, one of the largest paper manufacturing companies in North America, has developed a phenomenal marketing campaign to spread the message about the importance of paper. In a book and a series of videos introducing the “Neuroscience of Touch” – we learn about scientific studies that prove that touch leads to a more positive experience of a product and therefore turns into a more significant memory.

We encourage you to watch the videos and order the book by visiting their website.

The content of each video is fascinating, however, publishers should pay special attention to video number six. It’s about how the medium impacts the message. The first part of the video addresses the advantages of print over digital in certain circumstances. The second, and possibly more powerful part of the video, talks about how the QUALITY of paper you choose has far reaching implications. (You can fast forward to 2:05 on the video clip to dive right into that part – remember, it’s video #6.)

Neuroscience

Print vs. digital:
Since 1990 there have been over 100 studies comparing reading on paper to reading on screen. All of them show that reading on paper is easier on your brain than reading on a screen. Not only is it mentally easier on you, but you remember more of what you read!

Studies have shown that reading online can increase stress levels and fatigue. They have also shown that memory and retention are better when reading on paper.

Brand and Paper Quality
Now for the exciting part… The presenter of the videos performed a study (Davenport & Eagleman – 2015) that was designed to exclusively measure how much the way a company is presented will affect what people think and feel about that company.

In the study, participants were introduced to three fictitious brands. The way each of the three companies was presented to the subjects was chosen at random. For each company, each participant was randomly given one of the three presentations:

  1. A brochure printed on heavy, high quality gloss paper
  2. A brochure printed on inexpensive, uncoated paper
  3. On a website

The design was identical (same images, same layouts, etc.) – meaning that the only change was the medium used to deliver the message. After spending 5 minutes reviewing the material, the subjects were asked questions to determine their comprehension and understanding of what said company is offering. They also were asked questions about their feelings – such as the trustworthiness of the company, the integrity of the company and their likelihood to recommend the company.

The results? First impressions were much higher when viewed on the high quality paper:

  1. The participant was more likely to have a positive first impression of the company
  2. The participant was more likely to recommend the company to a friend

They then brought the subjects back a week later to ask follow-up questions to measure long-term impact. The companies that were presented on the high quality paper:

  1. Had a higher favorability rating
  2. People were better able to recall the names of the company: 3-to-1 better than those presented on low quality or online!
  3. Were most likely to get rated for having the highest degree of quality (those presented on the low quality paper were rated the highest for causing doubt)

So you see, the medium in which you choose to deliver your content makes a difference. The paper you choose has a significant impact on how your publication is viewed by both your readers and your advertisers.

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