PrintKEG, Beaufort, SC
PrintKEG may not be ready to tangle with the VistaPrints of the world, but check out the overhead and sales per employee—there are five full-time workers in a 2,000-square-foot facility. It churns out general commercial products such as brochures, posters, flyers, stationery, table tents, business cards and postcards in the business-to-consumer (B2C) space. Many customers fall under the headings of designers, artists and musicians, and the printer has begun to target churches and schools.
How can PrintKEG expect to grow appreciably bigger in a sector chock full of Web-based competitors? Mullen notes PrintKEG's niche is the cheapest price for small quantities. When the quantities reach a level in which it becomes more cost-sensible to print offset, he recommends other printers.
"The most important benefit is our PrintKEG Promise," adds Mullen of his money-back-if-not-delighted reprint or refund guarantee. "Our guarantee on prices initially attracts people to us, but it's the ease of the overall experience that keeps clients with us."
Mullen himself monitors customer service e-mails that come in to PrintKEG, and takes comments and suggestions seriously. When shipping charges drew the ire of some clients, he sought out ways to lower his internal costs so that he could reduce shipping fees.
Social networking applications engage current and potential clients in a number of ways for PrintKEG. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube are just a few of the outlets PrintKEG has exploited in its quest to become a new-era marketer. In fact, it has commercials that can be found on YouTube.
"Social networks are part of our lives now, and I don't think companies have a whole lot of choice but to use them," Mullen remarks. "We don't rely on traditional means of advertising anymore, like television ads or the phone book. We update on Twitter and build connections through LinkedIn. We're also experimenting with Yelp, Google Wave and foursquare. So far, they have made a very nice impact."