You can win in a down economy by updating your commercial printing buying model with combining your publication, while still addressing your core needs, yet increasing the value to you and your reader. I remember as a child an album which I would love to listen to over and over again entitled “The Churkendoose: Part Chicken, Turkey, Duck, and Goose”. It probably was one of the earliest stories about diversity. http://wilderworld.podomatic.com/entry/2007-02-06T00_40_05-08_00. The story also has commercial viability as if you can come up with your own amalgamated publication that is multi purposed and can offer more interest to your users than your original publication style. One thing is for sure, is that if you mix and match styles or utilize a style not normally seen in your sphere of business you will grab the attention of your users more than ever before.
One does not need to be original you just need to be first in your market. The guy and I knew him who first brought Buster Crab Pools to England made a fortune from something that was quite common in America several years prior. Another is the successful TV show Shark Tank, which first had its start in England. Now it is time for you to reinvent your own publication’s commercial printing wheel.
If you are printing catalogs for your business consider adding the following items in order to attract new customers and better please your old ones. Borrow from magazines and incorporate interesting stories about your products, services and even your customers and their businesses. You can also add bits about your staff so that you create a more personal image about your company for your customers. Ad in a die cut business card or even a pull out calendar or poster.
Here you can borrow bindery styles from other types of commercial printing, such as hidden wire-o, case bind for custom editions and more. Utilize your magazine to secure the standard forms of adverts but also try adding in a section of coupon printing advertisements which the customer can tear out. As magazines have a somewhat long shelf life as they get passed around you can charge more for the advert and less for the coupon ad as that, once used is a onetime advert. Here too you can have special bind-ins such as posters or calendars which offer additional advertising revenue possibilities.
When printing books include information about your other books and other services with a section devoted to that at the back of the book. Try unique binding concepts such as lay flat, hidden wire-o and unique sizing so long as there is not too much paper waste. Include a page at back with a tear out card to mail back to you so you can start gathering a mailing list for future book printing and other materials and or services you have. Offer discounts on your prior book printing releases only available with a mail in card acquired when purchasing your latest book.
The Bottom line is to expand your horizons beyond what is possible and what is considered normal. Seek out what is new without being afraid to experiment. If you do you will you set yourself apart from all of the other companies sending out their printed materials to the same audience as you. So be bold and incorporate ideas from other forms of commercial printing in order to make your publication more interesting and giving your end user more “bang for the “cluck””, as the Churkendoose would say.
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