Printers often define their business by the niche markets they serve, and for many that is a winning strategy. But when it comes to wide-format printing, the key to success might be not in identifying the single most lucrative niche in your market. Rather, the true opportunity lies in being able to tackle anything that might come through your doors.
“The biggest opportunity for printers is to be as versatile as possible,” notes Daniel Valade, Product Manager, Color Products, Roland DGA (Booth 601). “Offering a wider array of applications and services will help any size operation expand its customer base.”
“With the capabilities of the equipment and the variety of substrates, you can offer your customer-base a variety of wide-format print applications,” agrees Mike Madura, VP Product Development and Management, Mohawk (Booth 1026). “By printing a wide variety of substrates through your equipment, you can leverage your investment in technology and offer more options to your customers.”
And while it might seem like the relam of direct mail and transpromo pieces, don’t underestimate the power that customization — if not outright personalization — of wide-format jobs can bring. “Whether its specialty applications for personal items or larger projects like wraps, customization is very popular in today’s culture,” notes David Conrad, Director of Sales and Marketing, Mutoh America Inc. (Booth 2545). “Wraps continues to grow and incorporate more applications outside simply vehicle graphics. Interior walls, buildings, furniture and accessories all are finding ways for installers to get creative and provide a custom touch to the owner.”
Bob Leidlein, VP Sales & Marketing, Alliance Technology Corporation (Booths 755 and 2101), agrees, noting “hotel and home decor with digitally printed wall paper products,” is one of the top opportunities he is watching right now, followed by vehicle fleet graphics for advertising and promoting businesses.
What it all boils down to is that print buyers are seeking more than just a transactional relationship. And printers who have both the equipment and the creativity to find new ways to use it to help brands stand out from the crowd are going to find the most opportunity as the space continues to grow.
“Certain markets such as POP displays and exhibit printing are constantly competing to capture the attention of shoppers, attendees, passerbys, members, etc., promptly and efficiently, in a small window of opportunity,” says Alex Ravari, VP of Sales and Marketing with Printmatics (Booth 1807). “Being able to provide designs, prints and products that stand out in the marketplace will have a great value in the eyes of your clients; as long as you can provide that, you will attain their undivided loyalty and patronage.”