Commodity vs Added Value

08 May 2019

Commodity vs Added Value

Christian Duyckaerts, President of FESPA

The biggest challenge that industries face today is the ability to react and adapt to evolving buyer behaviours in the digital age. With digital technology now streamlining most aspects of our day-to-day lives, it was always inevitable that it would affect the way we do business too.

The impact of ‘digitisation’ can also be felt in the print industry. The latest digital printing equipment allows print service providers (PSPs) to produce a broader range of applications, which is key for businesses looking to keep up with the times. However, the challenge that they also may face is that customers expect solutions that are beyond the capabilities of their print production technology.

If PSPs want to keep being successful, they need to think beyond their current production capabilities and gain the kind of insight that helps develop an understanding of what might be the demands and challenges that customers will face in the future. They need to think about what added value looks like in the digital age.

Let’s take retail as an example, where posters, banners, surface graphics and point-of-sale (POS) displays have traditionally been among the core assets that would make up promotional campaigns. But the retail landscape has changed significantly in the past decade. With consumer engagement becoming increasingly a priority, a number of retail brands are transforming their brick-and-mortar stores into showrooms that incorporate eye-catching visual elements that deliver an immersive, 360 degree retail experience.

Now more than ever, the retail sector represents a great opportunity for sign-makers and PSPs to deliver added value for their customers. To begin with, print businesses with a heritage in retail graphics understand media versatility, colour consistency and how visual communications influences and motivates purchases. With the range of applications retail graphics producers are able to create today and the growing spectrum of materials, they can help retailers to deepen in-store experiences beyond traditional promotional print.

The real added value that PSPs bring to the table is their experience of the retail graphics sector. Sector knowledge, valuable insight and constructive recommendations can be valuable assets in what is become an increasingly competitive retail landscape. PSPs can advise on how print applications can seamlessly integrate with multimedia assets, such as digital signage, laser projectors or LED displays, to create a more comprehensive retail brand experience. When viewed through this lens, the possibilities for sign and display producers are boundless.

These opportunities are not restricted purely to retail. Décor is another area that offers plenty of scope for print businesses to add value to their service and offering. By taking on a more consultative role, PSPs can work in close collaboration with their clients and propose innovative solutions that they may not have known were possible with digital print.

This approach can lead to the creation of truly bespoke printed décor applications that stand out and are fit for purpose. More importantly, it can also allow PSPs to develop valuable long-term relationships with their clients and profitably grow their printed décor business.

The message is clear: PSPs cannot afford to rely on technology alone and should always be exploring ways in which they can add value. Despite all the advances in printing technology, the product that PSPs are offering is fundamentally the same – it’s just the way it is delivered that’s changed.

As a platform for innovation, FESPA is the ideal place for PSPs from different backgrounds and specialisms to converge and compare views on how to re-energise their businesses in new and exciting ways.

To register to attend FESPA Global Print Expo 2019, click here. Use code FESM925 for free entry.

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FESPA Global Print Expo 2019 in Munich is Europe’s largest exhibition for screen and digital wide format print, textile printing and signage. Over 4 days visitors have the opportunity to experience the latest products and innovations on display from over 700 exhibitors.