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#UKvUSA: Your printer has a new press – so what?

Two continents: US and UK. Two different buying backgrounds: procurement and agency. Two alternative ways of looking at things. I’m delighted to have teamed up with Deborah Corn from PrintMediaCentr to bring two extremely different views to some important print questions. So welcom e to Print Buying: #UKvUSA where Deborah and I share information about our experiences from both sides of the pond.

At the end of this post I have linked to Deborah’s answer to the same question. We wrote our answers (each limited to 500 words) without any idea of what the other was writing. As Deborah says: “Maybe we will agree, maybe we won’t, maybe we don’t even see the question in the same way – who knows… that’s the fun part!”

Please do leave comments, thoughts and support at the bottom of this post and on Deborah’s post.   It would be great if also posted your thoughts on Twitter, using the hashtag #UKvUSA Remember to watch out for our answers to another question next month.


#UKvUSA: Your printer has a new press – so what?

  • Do restaurants contact you to let you know they have a new cooker?
  • Do courier companies shout about the new van they have just bought?
  • Do designers tell you about their latest hardware upgrade?

Of course not! There’s a very good reason for this!

Your customers do not care!

People want a nice meal. It doesn’t matter if it’s been cooked over an induction hob, in a water bath or over a camp fire.

Customers want their parcels delivered on time. But if someone can do this on a bicycle rather than a truck then that’s just fine.

Clients want to know about a designer’s artistic abilities. They don’t care about their computer.

Do you want to know how to really bore your customers?

Send them a newsletter full of information about your new press. Plaster you website with pictures of it. Best of all, have a factory open day. Watch your customers stare at the new press, wonder what to say and then head straight for the sandwiches.

New presses are irrelevant to clients

Don't put pictures like this in your brocure or website!

Don’t put pictures like this in your brocure or website!

Most of your customers know next to nothing about print. So why tell them about your extended delivery platform, spectrophotometric colour measurement and faster make ready times? These features are not going to win you new work.

Here’s what matters

If your new press means that you offer new products or services, tell your prospects and customers about these. They don’t want to know that you’ve just invested in a wide-format press. They will want to know that you can now produce a wide range of signage.

Often, your new press just means that you’re a bit more efficient internally. If that’s the case then I’d strongly advise you to keep quiet about your new purchase.

Whatever you do, don’t try this approach

I was once contacted by a print sales person. His company had just made a substantial investment in new equipment. His sales pitch? “We’ve got a new press: we’re cheaper now”. That’s a sure-fire way to make sure your investment fails to pay its way!

How did Deborah tackle this question? See here. Look out for the next #UKvUSA battle next month: Who really cares about colour?

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