Sun, Jan

Media suppliers on the move

Why consumables suppliers like Contra Vision are spending more time in collaboration with you  - and your customers.

With their expertise printers can add value to almost any project, if only they seize the opportunity. Of course many jobs require fast turnaround and low costs and it’s not always in a printer’s interest to up-sell solutions but, then again, thinking about unusual materials and novel applications can result in truly striking outcomes. Yet so often the focus is on price when it comes to print companies quoting on jobs, and that can really limit creativity – and the sales of higher end specialist media. Which is why some consumables suppliers, like Contra Vision, are turning their marketing and sales attention to end-users.

“The company has widened its remit to include direct approaches to end-users who are likely to specify its products to achieve specific results when using see-through graphics,” says Jo Bentley, marketing, Contra Vision, who points out that so often printers are so focussed on end job price that the higher spec - and therefore often higher cost - media options don’t get a look-in.

She argues: “We don’t see this as conflicting with our relationships with printers but as part of an on-going, collaborative process where everyone can benefit from using higher value materials, when appropriate.”

“In an ideal world there would be a virtuous circle of printer, client and materials provider who can work together and liaise to ensure the best outcome is achieved for the client, maybe subverting expectations to come up with something truly unique.

“To this end Contra Vision is also pursuing a new type of collaborative relationship with print partners with the aim of working together to educate and inform clients of innovative print and material technologies.

“There is an increasing number of printers developing creative and marketing teams to offer a design and production capability to clients as a way of ensuring creativity is hard wired into projects from inception. Some of our existing print partners become involved in design led, whole specification projects which are showcasing the best of see- through graphics through their thorough product knowledge and understanding of what can be achieved. If you are not currently working in this way ask ‘so what is in it for me; why would I want to partner with a specific supplier when a key aspect of business is keeping costs down?’ Well, because, in this increasingly competitive market, striking projects can add significantly to your bottom line.

“Perhaps you are working with architects or interior designers? External design and signage can become part of the creative footprint of a building, be it residential or commercial, and who better to advise than an expert in the printing field? A conversation with us might extend your/their knowledge on how the right materials can cut solar heat gain, glare, UV radiation, increase privacy or even have added security benefits. In other words, add value to branding, advertising and signage.

“Take floor graphics - another field where specialist advice is crucial. To give a specific Contra Vision example, Pat Henrietta, director of sales in the USA, was recently in discussion with a client about some signage at a large East Coast airport. Originally Contra Vision material would have been specified for a small scale area facing out onto the runways; however, after showing the client images of the Stratford Station installation during London 2012, and the current serial promotion of TV programmes at Media City, Salford, the decision was made to wrap the entire atrium area. She was able to advise the printer that using the Contra VisionBacklite option, 24-hour vision could be achieved. Although this was a more expensive option than first, the client was delighted by the higher profile and visibility this solution offers and the printer was able to legitimately recommend a solution with a significantly higher profit margin (approximately 20%).”

Bentley adds: “When customers who approach us directly with an idea where they might like to use see-through graphics, we are happy to recommend print partners who we know can produce excellent results.

“The world of print is changing; collaboration and added value are key, not just fast turnaround and price.” 

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