A New Year, A New You
The dawn of a new year always serves as a time of great personal reflection for me. Every January 1st, I close the office and take a personal day to ensure all of the aspects in my life are in alignment—and the image I am projecting is truly representative of who I am. I want people to know they can trust I am who I say I am—and understand what they see is what they get. This ensures expectations are fulfilled in both personal and professional relationships—and it frees up so much energy!
I believe it is crucial that print companies and print buyers always know what to expect of each other. When looking for a new supplier, print buyers need to be provided with as much information as possible on what a prospective company has to offer. But what defines a company’s image in the print industry? When shopping for a new printer, what tools can they use to provide us with a clear understanding of who they are and what quality of work they will provide?
This week, Print Buyers Online set out to answer that question. In Quick Poll Survey, we asked major print buyers: “How important is a printer’s collateral material in identifying them as a prospective buyer?” After 68 votes had been cast and the results were tallied, we soon learned an overwhelming 61% stated that yes, it is important! A breakdown of the answers are below:
35% — Very important
26% — Important
31% — Somewhat important
7% — Not important at all
Valerie Cox, a designer at American Student Assistance shared her thoughts: “A print company’s collateral material is their portfolio. I look at their collateral as a potential reflection of the quality of work they would produce for me as a client. I look at whether they conceived, designed, printed and mailed projects themselves or did they use outside sources? I will make assumptions about potential print vendors based on everything they present that represents their company—from their most awe-inspiring piece, right down to the quality of their e-mail communications.”
A print procurement manager shared, “It’s amazing to see what printers send to prospective customers. Some really have it ‘dialed in’, and send relevant materials; well laid-out and non-imposing. These indicate to me that the printer is doing their homework and not just shotgun marketing. Others send all kinds of crap - most of it chock full of hyperbole that makes them seem like the Ron Popeil of print. I realize this isn’t always a true indicator of a company’s ability to handle my work, but taken as part of the whole, it is an important piece of the puzzle in my rating process.”
So I pose that a little New Year cleaning is in store for print suppliers everywhere, as collateral material is dusted off, reevaluated and redesigned to best reflect who you are and what your company has to offer. Be honest, be unique and most of all—show who you truly are. And then everything will fall into a proper balance.