If you run a printing business, you could often wonder how to enhance your commercial printing services. After all, failing to keep pace with the market’s rate of innovation could risk you falling behind in the race to attract not only new customers but also a steady flow of custom from existing ones.
Unfortunately, when it comes to discerning what more you could do to benefit your customers, you can’t always rely on just asking them. Though market research remains a crucial element, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs once commented: “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”
One good example of that special something in the printing market is print embellishment. Many marketers are naturally eager to bolster their companies’ reach but not always fully aware of what print embellishment is or how it could help them to take their promotional efforts to the next level.
This discrepancy would be a strong incentive for you to add embellishment printing to your company’s remit. Even if you already offer this service, you could investigate potential ways to improve it, expand it or educate your target customers about its merits.
How the right tech can lead to higher-quality service
You might be thoroughly familiar with many tried-and-tested means of getting more printing work done within an allotted amount of time and consequently saving money.
One good example of a time-efficient commercial printing machine to use is a Duplo Slitter Cutter Creaser — which, as the name might give away, combines the work of separate cutting and creasing machines into one unit - It can be used finish:
While your customers might not necessarily know either what a Slitter Cutter Creaser is or how it functions, they could still feel the benefit of it. For example, it could help you to reduce turnaround times to a greater extent than competing print businesses and so foster loyalty in those customers.
As you can see, spending money on the right printing equipment can assist you in reaping stronger return on investment (ROI) in the long run. However, you might currently lack the technology you need for creating the special embellished prints that would have a lasting positive impact on your customers.
How much do marketers know about print embellishment?
It is easy to assume that, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many buyers know too little about print marketing — let alone the specifics of different printing processes — to be sufficiently enticed by the prospect of you adding embellishment printing to your service offering.
One marketer interviewed for a recent NAPCO Research study admitted: “Younger designers are not familiar with print and need regular education.” Meanwhile, 28% of study participants claimed that they were either not familiar at all with printing processes or knew very little about them.
Similarly, just over a third of respondents reported lacking familiarity with print enhancement technologies. Still, it is crucial to interpret this revelation carefully, as it does not strictly follow that marketers are not interested in these technologies being used for improving their print publicity materials.
Conversely, it has been revealed that customers are willing to pay a premium of around 24% to 89% for digital print enhancements rather than just settle for comparatively barebones printing solutions.
There is a knowledge gap waiting to be filled
It’s important not to underestimate how much you can do with print embellishment. There are, for a start, various enticing forms of it.
You might associate embellishment printing most closely with embossing, where a pattern or design is made to physically protrude from the surface. However, this is just one type of print embellishment — with others including die-cutting, where a machine can be used to cut light substrates into abstract shapes.
Then there are varnishes, which are applied over specific visual elements, like logos and brand names, to protect and draw attention to them. It’s up to you whether you go for a matte, gloss or soft finish.
You can choose from numerous other coatings, too — such as metallic and pearlescent coatings for occasions when the brief demands a reflective, shimmering surface.
Nonetheless, if much of this information is new to you, the same is likely to be true for many of your printing company’s customers. This would be at their own peril. According to numerous statistics:
It’s not hard to see how paradoxical these figures look together. Many marketers evidently do not realise how much their brands could benefit from utilising embellishment printing.
The good news is that you could contribute to narrowing this knowledge gap — such as by publicising your embellishment printing service and what practical differences it can make to a wide array of promotional campaigns. Those differences include:
Another idea could be for you to hold education days at universities, marketing agencies and other creative organisations. You could also provide marketers with free samples of special embellished prints — as, with this kind of digital print enhancement, seeing is very much believing.
You can gain an edge on the competition
As your own experiences might have suggested to you, some printing businesses are more knowledgeable than others about printing enhancement methods.
Packaging printers can often hear from brand owners that they are keen for their packaging to stand out from that of their competitors. This situation incentivises packaging printers to research new, inventive printing techniques, such as embellishment printing.
Many commercial printers can be in a similar situation — and this underlines why you should act quickly to capitalise on the possibility of offering special embellished prints to your customers.
Reportedly, when it comes to digital print enhancements, nearly half of print providers already offer them — and a further 23% have started planning to follow suit. The longer you delay in sourcing the embellishment printing gear you need for doing likewise, the less compelling your services could become.
What steps should you take next with print embellishment?
Without the right printing equipment at your disposal, any attempt you make to strengthen print embellishment’s place in the usual marketing mix can be something of a non-starter.
Fortunately, as specialist of digital print finishing technology, we can make it easier for you to tap into previously unrealised — or even unaddressed — potential.
Perhaps you had long overlooked, for example, how much revenue can be generated from targeting the packaging sector. On the other hand, you might have been left in the dark about how to take up certain specialist printing methods — like 3D printing — for commercial use.
Why not see for yourself how Duplo printing machinery can play a part in bringing great aesthetic ideas to fruition? If you are still unsure where you ought to go in your print embellishment journey, rest assured that it is easy to contact Duplo International for expert advice by completing and sending us this online form.