Self-promotion — You Are What You PrintNovember 2007 By Cheryl Adams
In an industry where competition is stiff, quality is a given (all must provide it), and turnaround and price are often comparable, how does a printer differentiate itself from all the other printers that also promise quality, fast turnaround and low prices?
A creative, innovative company can take the great ape problem—that of being “one of a million” printers—and, with a good dose of ingenuity and determination, transform itself into “one in a million.”
If you can’t see the forest for the trees—because there’s too much competition standing in the way—then it’s time to cut down the brush, cut through the crowd and stop monkeying around. Because, in the wildly competitive world of commercial printing, literally, you are what you print—and it’s up to you to pound on your own chest and demand: “Look at me!”
A good example of this can be found in Waterford, CT, where Merritt Graphics has pulled out all the stops with a concept-turned-reality in its “Bright Ideas Gallery,” where more than 150 graphic images produced by Merritt Graphics cover the ceiling, walls and floor. The unique, colorful exhibition—consisting of mountain scenes with gondolas, printed window shades, wall and vehicle graphics, pole banners, trade show booths, motion graphics displays, a Popeye silhouette and even a Van Gogh Adirondack chair—depicts the many ways Merritt markets its wares to customers, while showcasing its commercial and digital printing technologies.
“This was a big decision for Merritt Graphics,” says Ed Perry, president and CEO, “as we’re celebrating our 100th anniversary next year. Future expansion of the company will be based upon this new store concept, as we aggressively compete with other marketing and graphics companies that are holding onto outdated technologies.”
The “Wow!” Factor
Merritt Graphics incorporated the new storefront idea into its relocation plan when it moved from an industrial complex in New London to a new facility in a strip mall of a popular retail/shopping area. Perry decided when it was time to move, that it was time to let the world know about Merritt Graphics’ growing capabilities. “I wanted something that would make them say, ‘Wow! I didn’t know you did all those things!’ So, we hired a store interior designer and a graphics designer to create the gallery. I gave them one assignment: Create a ‘Wow!’ factor that covers all of our product offerings.”