Tangible memories: Warehouse Stationery partners with Printicular, looks to tap into the enduring appeal of photographs

Print is not dead and a kiwi app company has collaborated with Warehouse Stationery to let New Zealanders print high quality photos from their phones.

Printicular is an app devised by full-service creative agency MEA which can be downloaded for free on android and iPhone.

Users can print photos taken on their phones which they can then pick up at one of 66 Warehouse Stationery stores nationwide.

The cost of each photo starts at 35 cents for a 6×4 sized print.

Printicular’s website explains how it works.

The app was first launched in the United States in 2012. It is already available for photo printing at over 9,000 Walgreens stores in the USA and 1,600 dm-drogerie pharmacies in Germany, with ten million photos printed using the app to date while the app has been downloaded over 100,000 times.

Users can now download the app, select photos, print to their nearest Warehouse Stationery store, and pay when they collect their photos.

“We’re excited to work with MEA to bring Printicular back home to New Zealand, and to be involved with a Kiwi company that is leading in photo printing innovation,” says Warehouse Stationery chief executive Pejman Okhovat.  

MEA co-founder and chief executive Rodney MacFarlane says the idea came about because of a desire to bring a tangible quality to digital photos.

“We’re a full service creative agency so no shortage of ideas. We also thought the joining together of the digital and physical worlds was an interesting space. Now that everything exists in a space removed from the physical world, customers like the idea of having something real to hold on to. When you’ve got your photos in the cloud, it seems very distant and people are worried that those photos are going to disappear.”

There is a sentimental attraction to the tangible and perhaps it is this sentimentality which Printicular hopes to bring to the modern world. MacFarlane agrees there is a strong sentimental component to the app’s success in a key market segment. He says a part of the app’s popularity with customers is its ease of use.

“The target market is mums who want to print photos of their kids and hang them on their fridge. Customers love the convenience of the app.”

Stoppress reported last year how brands, including MEA, were tapping into “the power of the tangible in a digital world”.

Stephanie Quantrill, brand manager for Corona beer in New Zealand told Stoppress Corona is focused on creating real life connections with its consumers and making sure the brand is present in their lives through bespoke events.

Printicular isn’t branding itself through life concerts and creating a memorable experience for customers in that way but the ability to print and hold something tangible suggests the desire to forge a sentimental bond between the customer and the product.

By creating that sentimental bond, Printicular must hope to build durability with customers.

As Madmen’s Don Draper explained to Kodak executives in his pitch for a photographic slideshow, “there is the rare occasion when the public can be engaged on a level beyond flash”.

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