This morning, I had the good fortune to hear retail senior executive Mark Cohen speak about a range of topics affecting the retail industry. It was outstanding. Mark teaches at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business and also consults with leading retailers.
To an audience on the campus of Dominican College, he spoke specifically about the challenges, changes and opportunities facing the Retail Industry. Mark gave many examples about the rapid transformation that has taken place and some of the companies that will not survive. He emphasized that leadership and creativity is vital. He emphasized that no matter what changes take place over time, customers will always still search for value.
It struck me as a consultant and trainer who works within the Printing Industry that some of his advice and consul that he gave to the audience apply to the printing industry. Here are some key points that every printing business needs to pay close attention:
· Short term pricing discounts that impact long term profitability is
a prescription for disaster. Once you discount, it is impossible to
reverse the tactic with customers.
· Consistent and large discounts are unsustainable and reduce
customer confidence in the brand.
· Provide wonderful and high value products and services
· Create exciting promotions that don’t rely on discounts
· Participate with partners to support customer requirements
· Provide great customer service
· Move quickly to a multichannel system of delivery and marketing
With all the challenges facing printers, these bullets should be carefully considered. The commercial printing industry was built by small, regional and family businesses. Their core advantage is that they have been able to establish deep relationships with customers in a very personal business. Keeping up with the times and knowing how to deliver high value products and services is the road map for long term success.