Photo Books : Never Too Late for Profits
“The decision to focus on photo products and turn the company into more of a consumer products firm, and less of a print job shop, certainly has provided a beneficial platform for the business,” RPI CEO Rick Bellamy says.
Peak gift-giving seasons are a double-edged sword for RPI; business quadruples during the holiday gift-giving season, and the company must both brace and preplan for the seasonal peaks and valleys capacity-wise. But, as RPI continues to establish itself as a leader in the photo book realm, it continues to flesh out new avenues for growth, recognize untapped demographics and produce exciting, fresh templates that enable its retail clients to become more competitive in the highly crowded market.
RPI has formed a close relationship with HP, and that is reflected in the printer’s press line, which consists of an HP Indigo 7200, a 5500 and a 6000p. The RPI production floor is also replete with On Demand Machinery gear, including ODM Stickers, Smashers and casemaking lines.
Sure, the process of jamming 4x6˝ photos into a box or inserting them in an adhesive album is on the fast track to joining cassette tapes and typewriters. But, once the other 60 percent of Americans catch on and eventually the novelty of photo books wears off, the “me, too” book providers will give way to those companies that will devise techniques to reinvent and refresh the product as it matures.
“We’re helping our partners to manage the category through trend data and innovative products,” Bellamy says. “We are seeing various demographics, what they’re ordering and not ordering, both in terms of products—books, stationery, calendars, note pads or note cards—as well as the graphic design templates in the background.” PI