What Ever Happened to the Annual Report?
Back about 15 years ago, I had a neighbor who was big into the market. His mental health revolved around the health of his stock portfolio. This annoyed me, especially since his portfolio always hovered around a half a million dollars. But one spill-over benefit of this preoccupation was his annual reports. He had them neatly arranged on his living room table—Apple, ATT, IBM, etc.
I loved picking up these “works of art” and admiring them...not the numbers, but the printing. I loved knowing that I was looking at the top print jobs in the world. The eight-color production, the varnish (flat and gloss), the spot UV—all combined to make the equivalent of a $75 coffee table book. The annual report was the “This is what our company is all about in all its grandeur” corporate promo piece.
While I didn’t have a stock portfolio, I had a new special-order, 1995 red Mustang convertible. And everyone who stepped into my apartment knew it. My glossy Mustang car book was proudly displayed on my coffee table.
What happen to the annual report on the coffee table, or the car book for that matter? They’ve been replaced by the Internet and the Flash-ridden corporate Website. After all, you can get the same information on the Web, right?
But the problem is, you can’t put the Web on the coffee table. You can’t covertly show off to your friends—or that girl you just had over on a first date.
The printing industry has always been—and still is—all about doing the best job at servicing your customer. Whatever they want to print, you and your firm strive to provide the best service and the best quality at a competitive price. But what if your customer doesn’t know what they SHOULD print?