When it comes to selling and marketing JETvarnish print providers have a unique chance to sell an added value concept to the market, which they can ensure does not get commoditized very easily. In order to do this they have to think differently and act differently, they must remember four key things:
• You are not selling print plus a varnish
• You are not selling on quality, service or price
• You don’t discount to win business
• You need to have the right sales conversation with the right people
Let me explain – All successful companies have a why and customers understand and associate with the why and that’s how they become loyal advocates for the brand and its products. An obvious example of this is Apple, where it’s about the philosophy the product design, the culture and mission of the company, not necessarily just the products they produce. Other companies make good phones and computers but none have Apple’s brand or market position. Although Apple hasn’t got the biggest market share they are perceived as the market leader and therefore sell their products at a premium price, leading to them being one of the most profitable companies on the planet.
We all know what most printers do for a living but we don’t know why they exist other than to put ink on paper, which is a manufacturing process, a commodity and provides no point of differentiation. They need a why, a point of clear differentiation and they need to provide their customers with a why and a clear differentiation in the market.
Let me explain how this works and hopefully you will understand why the traditional print sales approach is fundamentally flawed. If we look at the Golden circle below, when we talk about our business and products we employ normal thinking, which is outside to in. The conversation is product led, supported by our capabilities as follows:
This is what we do – we print brochures, flyers, stationary etc
This is how we do it – use offset digital and W2P etc with JETvarnish
This is why we do it – we’re good at it, we want to make money.
Innovative thinking is inside to outside, this is how companies like Apple think – Its about their motivation and mission, followed by their unique proposition and then the products. So in the case of JETvarnish this would be:
The why is – we design and create tactile, visually compelling customer experiences that transform the value of printed media for Marketing, Publishing and Packaging
This is how we do it – by bringing conventional 2D print to life through the addition of 3D printed reality
This is a much more engaging and intriguing conversation that leaves people wanting to know more. It differentiates you from a normal print company and also does not label you as only a commercial printer or a packaging printer, it allows you to act, partner, grow and sell as a design company, a print company, an innovator, an agency, you get the flexibility to choose who you want to be.
Think inside out not what we do but why we do it and let JETvarnish sell itself.
The selling points are:
• The end result and the differentiation it brings for the customers product
• The unique combination of creativity and technology (unique to the printer)
• The commercial results for brands (drives more sales by differentiating their marketing)
• The end user experience is more compelling tips the balance at the point of sale
The marketing approach
From a practical perspective Konica Minolta and MGI will initially assist printers with marketing samples. However unrelated, random samples, no matter how impressive have no real value or call to action. All they do is generate some interest and a conversation that goes something like:
Printer – Look at the quality of our print
Customer – how did you do that?
Printer – We use digital print plus JETvarnish
Customer – How much does it cost?
The samples should be created systematically based on vertical markets and end user experience – they become the sales tool and therefore are not solely reliant on a printer’s ability to sell the value of JETvarnish. Sample sets should also have vertical specific case studies with quantifiable data about commercial outcomes i.e. increased product sales, reduction in marketing and production costs etc.
Examples of vertical markets:
• Interior decor
• Architecture and engineering
• Leisure and tourism
Each vertical needs to be thoroughly analysed and thought through, as an example lets take automotive.
Don’t go for the obvious targets like Bentley and Porsche. Everyone knows they are high value prestige products. No amount of advertising or marketing is going to convince you to buy a Bentley. At the same time this is probably not for the majority of Ford or Peugeot vehicles as most of their cars are aimed at the economy family market.
The market is potentially BMW 7 series and Audi A7. These are high value purchases, they represent an individual’s status, they are corporate sales where people can be influenced. Having a brochure that subtly brings to life the leather seats, the chrome trim and LED lit dashboard, which are all extras and upsells for the car manufacturer, this is where you need to pitch your sales proposition. This is not about foiling the front cover and piling on 3D effects it’s about creating an illusion of value, quality and printed reality. A printed brochure with these effects could be much more powerful and help generate sales much more effectively than any online tools.
This would give Audi for example a clear marketing difference over BMW and could influence more sales of high value products and upsell extra features. Once one company has made the move the others will follow, this creates a proposition that scales easily in vertical markets.
In a sample kit you might provide the following:
A sales brochure – their main sales and marketing tool
Showroom marketing and advertising POP materials – change the dynamic of the showroom
A direct mail piece – more engaging
A case study – giving an example with commercial results
Don’t get obsessed with putting people’s name on it (as one frustrated marketer said to me recently “I know what my bloody name is I don’t need everyone to tell me by writing in sand or clouds, give me something different”
Using the same concept creating a brochure for home decor to sell floor tiles – how effective would this be when used in a traditional 2d room shot in a brochure but the floor brought to life in 3D. Once one tile manufacturer has it, others will follow. This could be an easy way to produce cost effective tile samples, without sending out the real thing.
This is all about less is more, it is about transforming marketing results in printed media this is where the design process is crucially important. Designers and agencies do not understand it and don’t have the software – guard it with your life and charge for it accordingly! If you protect the design process and software for JETvarnish this becomes your USP, you can’t get it from an agency or designer and it has to be linked to the technical production process (because of depth of varnish textures etc). This will add value to the whole concept and avoid discounting from marketers treating it as a commodity or associating it with traditional print. You could even come up with a name for the design process – Disney don’t have animators they have imagineers.
What could your designers be called to differentiate what they do? This can change the dynamic in the market and leverage the value and importance of printers with JETvarnish. It will encourage agencies to approach printers and partner with them not the other way around (so printers don’t have to rely on selling)
• It will encourage brands and agencies to involve printers at an early stage in discussions about marketing initiatives.
• It will encourage brands to go direct to printers to experiment and cut out the agencies
• It will preserve the value and profitability of JETvarnish because – it is the transformation of marketing media not printing and adding a varnish.