Photo Books : Never Too Late for Profits
While Contac’s clients drive end users to the photo book site, Gunter says the company still goes to great lengths to promote this offering. Contac also works with its partners to create discounts and other promotions around certain holidays.
While photo books certainly fall in the supplementary category for Contac, Gunter is encouraged by growth opportunities via non-travel outlets such as social media. Sites such as Facebook open themselves up to viral marketing potential. Users would have their hard copy photo book, as well as a shareable digital version online, which would coax friends and family into creating their own books. Gunter also sees potential in securing the use of licensed images for intermixing with personal photos.
Another interesting case lies with RPI of Seattle. The firm started out in 1979 as a commercial printer focused on software manuals and corporate prospectuses. But fate stepped in during the late 1990s. Ted Reischling, the owner’s son, created a note pad with various pictures of his child to demonstrate variable printing capabilities that were being marketed to insurance and medical companies back then.
One person who got wind of the product worked at a large e-commerce company, and convinced Reischling to create a prototype to illustrate how to market the products directly to consumers. The prototype evolved into a full-fledged Website, named ipads.com, which powered personalized stationery for several photo sharing sites. By 2006, RPI had sold off the commercial printing operations and concentrated solely on personalized consumer printing products.
Today, RPI is a print-on-demand producer of private label, personalized photo books, greeting cards and stationery products for mass and specialty retailers. The company no longer runs the digital storefront in order to channel its efforts into the design, manufacturing and fulfillment of products as a B2B provider for retailers and online publishers.