The rise of digital label printing over the last few years has not come as a surprise to many industry insiders but what has taken many people by surprise is the speed at which this change has taken hold of the market.
We are all familiar by now with the story of the Share a Coke campaign and for many it is ingrained as the success story of digital printing. Something that is constantly referenced and copied. What is incredible is that this campaign only went mainstream less than 2 years ago.
It’s not just about size! Digital label printing is accessible for all!
Since then we have seen the like of Iron Bru, Marmite, Famous Grouse Whiskey to name but a few all follow suit. These are all examples of larger companies utilising digital technology to maximise their brands but what of the smaller, mid size companies, start ups and one man bands? What can they do to compete? Well an awful lot actually, and this is where I believe an overlooked power of digital printing really lies. During a recent meeting with a large multinational company, who shall remain nameless, I was having difficulty convincing the International board of directors why they should spend more of their budget going down the Digital Label Printing route. I went through all the pro’s such a smaller inventory, the ability to react to market trends and of course personalisation none of which really seemed to raise much enthusiasm.
After an hour or so going down this route I decided to try an alternative theory. A fictional case study. Imagine a company in the same industry had recently invested in their own, smaller brand desktop digital printer.
As time went by they were able to use the technology to create their own labels, when they wanted, play with branding as much as they liked and perfect the packaging of the product until they were happy.
Eventually what resulted was a major national contract, usurping the existing company, whose directors I was now sitting in front of. These directors were now slightly more interested in what I had to say but still not sold on the idea of digital. They had lost out to rivals many times before and had always been ok.
The change in opinion came when I explained that these “rivals” happened to be two recent graduates who had used the power of digital print to make their products bespoke to a particular region of the country where their products were being sold. Again I repeated two undergraduates. Not another large multinational, not an established brand that had been in the market for years, two undergraduates who had seen the potential that digital print could bring to their brand. Was their end product better than that of the board of directors sitting in front of me? No, not really, but that was not why they had won the contract. It was through the power of digital print and if two undergrads could use this power to upset the might of a big multinational that refused to look at digital. If this could happen once, how many other, small start-up companies are out there waiting to have a go? In short, thousands! This finally got their attention.
What convinced them to authorise the switch to digtal was when I revealed my case study was not fictional, but in fact real and they had indeed lost out to two undergraduates who began with their own digital desktop label printer.
The upshot of digital label printing
What I am attempting to highlight is that for the first time, unlike previous print technologies digital printing and the benefits it brings are accessible to all, not just traditional superpowers such as Unilever or Mondelez. Not just trade print houses or expensive design agencies. For just over £5k you can purchase a good quality digital label printer, for just over £20K you can have a complete digital solution with finishing.
You can print what you need, when you need, personalise, reduce overheads and react in an instant to market trends. All of which enables the ability to compete with the big boys when it comes to shelf space in supermarkets, webspace online or major contracts in almost any industry. No specialised print training is needed and for the majority of those leaving school today IT and the basic use of graphic design software are ingrained in their conscious.
As such it is true to say that Digital Label Printing truly is the great leveller.
To speak to us about harnessing the power of digital label printing, call 01623 861173 or visit www.impressiontechnologyeurope.com