The Biggest Challenges Facing Brands Today
When it comes to branding, companies are looking to stand out from the crowd. But at the same time they are being asked to find creative and innovative ways to reach consumers, they are also being tasked with cutting costs and making production lines more efficient. This dichotomy of roles can make or break a brand, but a great PSP partner can make all the difference.
“Today’s marketplace is competitive,” says Kurt Konow, Creative Director of Marketing Communications, Commercial & Industrial Printing Business Group, Ricoh USA, Inc. (Booth 2022). “To stay ahead, brands must reach customers across multiple channels to raise and preserve awareness. With that mandate, message and look/feel consistencies concerns become more common as new communication channels are added.”
So how can printers help? “In the fight against the competition, a printer can help a brand owner produce creative marketing pieces that can be used in-store or for direct mailing,” says Chris Raney, President, Baumer hhs (Booth 3640). “Such creative pieces can include tipped on items such as rebate cards, etc. The use of these—and the control during production to ensure quality—are value-added offerings a printer can provide. The use of digital printing and big data analysis also allows printers to deliver personalized items. Printers have an opportunity to offer to brand owners their expertise by offering value-added services and personalization. A successful partnership with a printer can help a brand owner differentiate the product and grow sales.”
Part of that partnership is ensuring that brand managers don’t have to know the ins and outs of a modern press room—they can count on their PSP partners to educate them when necessary, and make suggestions about new ways to market that stay within their budget.
“For the most part, brands’ knowledge of print capabilities is limited,” notes Doris Brown-McNally, Worldwide Brands Innovation Manager, and Jacob Shamis, Americas Brands Innovation Manager, HP. Inc. (Booth 613). “They know the concept of digital print, but they require assistance to connect the capability to execution strategy. By PSPs investing time and effort in engaging these brand resources and educating them on capabilities, they will become more confident in developing and proposing concepts to their brands. PSPs need to redefine their role in the relationship with brands—they are not just a place to get a quote and send files for printing, but a resource for ideas and collaborative partnership in campaign development.”
But a partnership, however, is about more than just offering up suggestions for new products. If a PSP truly wants to help a brand conquer the challenges of modern marketing, they need to also have a system in place to help those brand managers ensure every piece is correct, every single time.
“Brand managers are tasked with managing brands,” says Dmitry Sevostyanov, Managing Director and Co-Founder, Aurigma, Inc (Booth 251). “There need to be strict guidelines in place on how their design templates are modified to ensure they remain consistent with a brand’s image. If the majority of ordering for a brand’s materials takes place over the phone, errors are inevitable, and it can be very taxing on the brand’s resources to correct these errors. It’s crucial that the brand makes sure that both their own employees and the printing company follow their design guidelines. If there are mistakes, then they have to waste time that could have been better spent elsewhere communicating back and forth to correct the issues.”
Brand managers need creative PSPs now more than ever to help them accomplish their goals, while maintaining tight control over the process and keeping costs reasonable. By stepping up and offering ways to ease all of these challenges, PSPs can transform themselves from vendors who just fill orders, to indispensable partners in the process.