The printing industry is increasingly dynamic. New printing technologies – from digital inkjet presses to sublimation – have made it possible to print on a variety of surfaces. Now marketers can differentiate individual products in a manufacturing environment. In the silver-halide photo workflow, a individual negative image created an individual print. It was the early days of personalization, with productive runs of one print!
In the printing environment, web presses offered colossal economies of scale but at a price: Each impression had to be identical. As digital presses entered the market, photos were among the first things to enter into the new workflow. Photobooks, calendars, and cards could all finally be printed profitably in runs of one. Personalization is now the key desirable feature in marketing. Coca Cola has jolted soda sales by offering more can and bottle designs than before.
In the mass-market retail and packaged-goods channels, personalization is becoming more and more important. Private-label products increasingly have the same perceived quality as national brands and are gaining in popularity. According to RetailDive, citing data from the Private Label Manufacturers Association: “Private labels’ unit market share reached 23.2% in 2018, up from 18.5% in 2013, while dollar market share rose to 19.3% in 2018 from 15.5% in 2013.”
This is especially true for younger consumers: “Younger consumers are especially open to un-branded goods: 51% of millennials say they have no preference between national or store brands and half also say they’d buy even more private labels if there were more to choose from, according to Gartner L2’s Amazon Intelligence: Private Label report.”
Personalization is one way to fend off competition in a commodity market.
Increasingly, marketers are turning to personalization and interactivity to engage with consumers. Using web-based tools, consumers can personalize products and packaging, choosing everything from color combinations to actual product designs. Party supplies are a good example: Many party planners are happy with just colorful plates, napkins and other decorations. Others want to take it to the next level with personalization. That’s where Shindigz.com comes in. Consumers can choose a wide variety of designs and styles of decorations or they can add a personal and unique touch with life-size cardboard cut-outs of the guest of honor. These cut-outs come in a variety of sizes and shapes. That will make for a party to remember, that’s for sure!
We are pleased to have a guest blogger for this post, Gary Pageau. Gary is the principal of InfoCircle LLC, continuing his marketing communications career. InfoCircle LLC is a marketing and communications consulting firm, specializing in business-to-business markets. For nearly 25 years, he was with PMA International, serving most recently as Publisher, Content Development and Strategic Initiatives. His primary responsibilities included overseeing the Association’s editorial department, marketing research unit, education, and corporate relations department.