It seems that many companies have turned to re-branding lately. They’re choosing to remain fresh, stay relevant and ahead of the curve. There’s a certain group in particular who could benefit. Printers. The very people who have provided the sell, the flash, the splash, the color, and the texture now suffer at every corner. It seems they are “bleeding ink.”
They are the suppliers to agencies, design firms, publishers, and marketers. And far too many are suffering. It’s no secret to those of us in the communications fields that volume is down on printing. The market is saturated with printers and the desperation is palpable. So what has happened? Of course, an obvious cause is the growth of digital communication mechanisms. People require information quickly, concisely and on their terms.
One of the more overlooked causes is one that many printing companies are turning a blind eye to: the need to re-invent their business. Many other companies are embracing this idea. Take GM Motors:
GM Motors Reinvention
It took me years to learn that my greatest achievement was learning to embrace change. That’s easier said than done. It is unnerving and exciting. Often change is thrown at you, like losing a job, losing your life’s savings, a company merger or a sudden drop in business.
These are the times that try men’s souls. And printers too.
I often say “as soon as you think you have it all figured out, everything changes.” We need to take stock of our strengths and weaknesses and re-invent what we stand for and how we operate.
The same can be said for many of those printing companies that seem to be starving for activity. To them I say “step outside of yourselves.” Seek the help of consultants who can help you re-evaluate your business, propose new directions, open your mind to new possibilities. Maybe it is time to stop thinking of your business as printing ink on paper from printing presses. Maybe you can bring more value to your customers or even a new base of customers where printing is just one element of your offering. Or, just maybe, partnering with the right talents or an atypical resource can open new doors for prosperity. It is wise simply to consider that!
Companies and agencies have long turned to printers to produce the items that deliver the communications they create. This makes printers the conduit to delivering company communications. Now, how do you properly re-tool to succeed in that space?
- Step outside and seek expert consultation
- Consider your strengths and weaknesses
- Determine your marketplace demand
- Understand what you can uniquely offer
- Scrutinize your skill sets and re-tool
- Develop your brand
I am a graphic designer, art director, marketer and agency owner. I count myself lucky to have first learned under a professional typographer and from a truly excellent creative director. I learned how to spec type, render marker comps, and make up mechanicals. I also was fortunate to make the transition to computer design back in the mid-1980s. I was part of a team that was forced to embrace change.
Further into my career, I knew I had to stay ahead of the curve to remain competitive. That’s one thing that will never change. As creative tools and delivery mechanisms continue to evolve, we need to evolve with them.
My point is that in the communications game, you must continually reinvent yourself, stay relevant, and create your own change. Printing companies have long been a critical part of the creativity chain. Maybe it’s time for some of them to create their own change.
Is it your time for you to consider re-invention?