By Şükran Ceren Salalı, Value Art+Com Research Fellow, Istanbul
Even though print became very practical and popular with the new personalization techniques provided by attempts of various printing companies, the sector faces a crisis. Based on this, our intention was to research about the value of printing with its two faces that we called as the beauty and the beast.
My personal experience during the research was a kind of surprising. What I know as huge and famous companies in printing sector like Xerox, HP (as vendors) or Vistaprint (a leading Online printing service provider), were actually the ones who had the largest amount of complaints from their customers. Actually, the situation is also somehow related with the high amount of customers they have, however; this does not mean that they are successful and satisfying as much as they preach. Most of the complaints of customers were about the price, the technical quality of machines and the inadequate ink system. Moreover, most of the comments came with the business card demands of customers, a very simple print application. For instance, a customer of Vistaprint was complaining about the way the company created their business cards and what he was unhappy about that they did not provide a business card holder. What he highlights made me think about the importance of personalization either by the design or by the gift attached to the printed product.
Innovation talent has to be approved
On the other hand, the success of an innovative print service provider like Elanders Germany came up as proof of increased amount of new and smart companies in the printing sector. When I read about their challenges and solutions, I was able to compare those disappointing results that came up from the companies like HP and Xerox.
As a last point, what I have found was an impressive article, or let‘s say the letter from a business developer who works for Xerox The Netherlands. In the letter, he gives several points about the value of printing and the paper. According to him, paper is much more influential than any other interactive platforms as it takes people into the digital world, being the most catchy product for customers.
Hence, as a result of the research on the two-faced value of print as the beauty and the beast, the printing sector faces with crisis which requires more innovative and communicative attempts from already famous and big companies by getting rid of technical problems of machines and by focusing more on the expectations of each customer with personalized products, benefits and even gifts.
Or watch the full movie with the research results by both of us.