September 8th, 2013
Written by Mary Roddy
Global Marketing Manager, Premier Partners Global Network, Xerox Corporation
Workflow automation can deliver significant process improvements, increasing speed and productivity while reducing costs, errors, waste and process steps. But it can also reach beyond process, to expand capabilities and increase revenues.
A case in point: the 2013 Xerox Premier Partners Best of the Best Awards. Automated solutions won a number of the top awards, including the coveted Digital Trailblazer Award, won by K-Print for personalized smart phone covers, and the equally distinguished Printers’ Choice Award, voted on by the Premier Partners members and won by APIX for personalized wine-bottle labels.
The Best-of-the-Best Awards are open to Xerox Premier Partners recognizing top work in seven application categories—books, collateral, digital and offset solutions, digital packaging, direct marketing, photo publishing and transpromo—in addition to Best Overall Solution, Digital Trailblazer and the Printers’ Choice. Winners are selected based upon business results, image quality, and use of Xerox technology.
Profiting from Mobile
While many graphic communications providers are finding growth opportunities by incorporating mobile communications into their service offerings, Japanese firm K-Print sought mobile growth by offering a smart phone accessory. They developed Synchroskin, a personalized skin sticker for smart phones and LCDs, which they produce with specialized stock on a Xerox Color 800 Press.
Customers—both B2B and B2C—can choose from K-Print’s designs or upload their own images to create truly personalized smartphone skins. In addition, K-Print’s system provides desktop wallpaper and packaging using the same personalized design. The business has grown every month since its introduction and brings a “cool” factor that resonates not only with smart phone skin customers, but with B2B customers and prospects as well.
Personalizing Wine Labels
APIX, also of Japan, established the personalized wine bottle label application on behalf of TAMBA WINE and Kotobuke Brewing, allowing customers to create a personal gift of wine or sake with an original label from among 116 design templates. The system also provides packaging, cards and personalized wrapping paper that coordinate with the label design and incorporate personal messages and images. Printing is on the Xerox 700 Digital Color Press.
APIX has marketed the personalized labels, known as “Sense 121,” through its Facebook page and a press release, and they’ve succeeded by several measures. One in four first-time buyers have repurchased their custom bottles, overall sales have increased, and customer feedback has been excellent.
Read more on these and all the other 2013 Best-of-the-Best winners!
September 4th, 2013
Written by Hamidah Mansor
Packaging Business Manager, Xerox Corporation
Ever try to order a custom package for your special edition product, complete with a bar-code allowing you to track each unit? How many times have you heard, “That machine cannot be tied up with such a short run length”? Or how about a newly-launched product being tested with a limited quantity and introductory offer? You don’t want a mass production of packages, but are often faced with the challenge of meeting a minimum order quantity.
Specialty products, such as in the nutraceutical industry, are designed to meet individual requirements and are growing by leaps and bounds. According to the Global Industry Analysts Inc, the industry will be worth approximately $450B by 2015.
Imagine the process and headache to create those “individualized” packages. What a dilemma!
But now imagine the opportunity!
Does your company have a solution that can provide what brand owners demand – SKUs proliferation, faster service, no minimum quantity requirement, target marketing to specific region or demographics, to name a few.
The good news is there is a fully integrated solution that streamlines the folding carton production process, saving time and labor. Enter the Xerox Automated Packaging Solution with the Xerox iGen4 Digital Press, the first fully integrated system of its kind.
This new technology offers brand owners and converters a “touchless” end-to-end workflow to provide faster and more responsive delivery, versioning, and shorter run lengths. This is all achieved with proven Xerox printing technology, the iGen4, which was recently acclaimed one of the most productive presses in the high-end production printing industry. The inline solution is a result of an agreement reached with Kama GmbH. The solution is connected to the coater by the stacker/buffer line, provided by Epic Products International. It can handle either UV or aqueous coating, providing protection to the package against handling and also enhancing its aesthetics.
A new optional component, the SBU, allows automated stripping of the waste from printed blanks without the need for expensive tools or cumbersome manual processes. The SBU is attached to the die cutter. There’s also an optional automatic registration module for tight image alignment to the die lines.
Mass customization on packaging applications with quantities as small as one are now possible. No need to tie up the analog press; wait weeks for your order or warehouse extra blanks.
Folding carton samples will be shown at Print 13 in Xerox Booth #1202 at Chicago McCormick Place, September 8 to 12.
How do you view the opportunities in customizable, short-run on-demand digital packaging?
April 8th, 2013
Written by Shelley Sweeney
VP/GM Service Bureau/Direct Mail Sectors, Xerox Corporation
My son’s recent campaign for class vice president reminded me that the checklist of items to review and proofread expands exponentially when personalization is involved. In an odd twist, however, an inadvertent oversight by his campaign led Thomas to find two applications for personalized gum in his run for office.
Like any good candidate, Thomas wanted to push the envelope in campaign innovation. I was only too happy to help him brainstorm creative approaches, and I suggested using gum with personalized packaging. He liked the idea, envisioning his photo and campaign slogan on the wrapper: “It’s a promise…vote for Thomas.”
All went well. The site was easy to use. The slogan fit neatly on the wrapper. Thomas made the order far enough in advance for the gum to arrive as the campaign was getting underway.
Unfortunately, we overlooked a key detail: Thomas’s high school doesn’t permit food to be used in campaigns for class office. That created a new problem: what do you do with 300 packages of sugar-free chewing gum?
We found an answer soon after the election results came in. Thomas won, and it turns out that personalized chewing gum can also be a memorable ‘thank you’ favor at victory celebrations.
What types of applications have you found for personalized food packaging? What uses can you imagine for personalized packaging?
Interested in learning more about the opportunities surrounding digitally printed packaging? You may want to check out:
- From Fodder for the Recycling Bin to Keepsake: A Package I Care About
- Personalized Chocolate Boxes Net $100,000 in a Single Holiday Season
- The 5 Senses at drupa 2012: Best of the Best Winners
- It’s Time to Focus on Digital Packaging Opportunities
Shelley Sweeney, vice president and general manager of Xerox’s Service Bureau and Direct Mail Sectors, will speak on “Relevancy Delivers in Multi-Channel Marketing” April 16 at the Xplor Users Conference, Tampa Bay, Fla. See how you can attend the session or how to attend the 2013 Xplor User Conference.
Looking to boost awareness of your company’s capabilities and attract new customers? The Xerox Best-of-the-Best Program can help!Submitted by Bill Michael
December 17th, 2012
Written by Mary Roddy
Marketing Manager, Premier Partners Global Network
Innovative personalized chocolate packaging that produces $100,000 in profit through a single holiday season, a direct marketing campaign that helps Mercedes-Benz UK achieve a 53:1 ROI, a wedding invitation book that helps drive over $2.5 million in revenue….what do all of these have in common? They are all previous winners of the Xerox Best-of-the-Best Program, a worldwide award contest, open exclusively to members of the Xerox Premier Partners Network.
This program draws participation from the most successful and innovative print shops across the globe, showcasing creativity and business impact using Xerox digital technology. In addition to recognition of great digital work by the graphic communications community, winners receive outstanding marketing and promotional opportunities. Each winning entrant is featured in a case study which can be used with customers and prospects, posted on the web, discussed in presentations, and as a proof point in email and direct marketing campaigns. Winners are showcased at regional, national, and international industry tradeshows/events and also in international press releases.
Today we’re announcing the 2013 Xerox Best-of-the-Best Program will open for entries on January 8, 2013. Members of the Premier Partners Network can submit their work in any of the following categories:
-Digital and Offset
If you are a member of the Premier Partners Network –be sure to take advantage of this tremendous opportunity! On January 8th, visit the Best-of-the-Best website at www.xerox.com/bestofthebest to get started.
If you are not a member of the Xerox Premier Partners Network, visit the Premier Partners Portal today at www.xeroxpremierpartners.com to learn about the program and benefits members receive, and become a member!
You’ll want to hurry – this year’s Best-of-the-Best Contest closes April 3, 2013!
October 9th, 2012
In a recent survey of 485 members of Xerox’s Premier Partners Global Network, conducted with GMC Analytics, more than 70 percent of printers said they are optimistic about the future, believing that print will always be part of the communications mix, but do agree volumes will still decline. The printers also feel that the recession continues to be less of a negative factor than in previous years – 65 percent of respondents agree that the impact of the recession is making investment difficult, notably down from a high of 73 percent in 2010.
Among the opportunities for new or increased revenue, more than one-third (38 percent) of the printers still expect a significant increase in revenue through direct marketing, pointing to a continued need for a balanced marketing mix that includes direct mail. Other opportunities ranked as follows:
- Packaging and Photo specialty products – 18 percent each
- TransPromo – 16 percent
- Book publishing – 12 percent
So what should printers do? The fear of going out of business with traditional services (77 percent) continues to have a strong impact and many are looking for new value-added services to differentiate their portfolio through offerings such as web-to-print services (74 percent). Another priority area for printers differentiating their business is to continue transforming into an overall marketing service provider (50 percent) which jumped from a low of 36 percent in 2011.
Listening to customers is also extremely important in figuring out which direction to go, and the majority of partners reported increased demand in certain areas – those being full-color variable data printing (76 percent), online ordering/web-to-print services (64 percent) and wide-format printing (48 percent) during the past year.
Check out the accompanying infographic we created highlighting the key stats mentioned above and more.
What is your response to these survey results? What is your experience? Are you optimistic about the future of print? Where do you see the greatest potential moving forward?
June 26th, 2012
Remember when you were growing up and your parents would tell you that you were special? Whether you were struggling to make new friends or upset about a bad haircut, hearing that simple phrase could bring a smile to your face – even if it seemed like the world was ending (oh, dramatic youth). Printers today are striving to be special. They want to be more to their customers. To bring smiles to their customers’ faces, while still running an efficient and profitable operation. Many in the industry are turning to specialty digital substrates to achieve this goal.
Mohawk’s Specialty Digital portfolio includes synthetic, pressure sensitive (labels, clings), magnet, embedded, and photo substrates designed for digital presses. Whether it’s on your Xerox Color 560 or your Xerox iGen 150, these unique materials help make you special while increasing your bottom line. If you’re hesitant to go beyond paper, keep reading as I debunk some common myths.
Myth #1: They’re expensive.
Any higher initial cost is easily offset by the printer’s ability to set a higher selling price and achieve a higher margin than traditional paper jobs. They’re also packaged in smaller quantities so you can buy only what you need.
Myth #2: They aren’t compatible with my digital press.
Mohawk has a reputation for quality and works with leading manufacturers to test compatibility of our digital products. Many specialty products perform well in a range of digital equipment, but you can check your specific compatibility in our matrix provided thru Mohawk MakeReady. Samples to test are readily available thru your paper merchant or online at MohawkConnects.com.
Don’t make it harder than it needs to be. Use specialty substrates in your own self promo. Show customers examples and throw a few samples into existing jobs. Explain how these materials can make their marketing campaigns more unique, effective, and impactful. Digital is great for these short, demo runs to spur interest.
Myth #4: My customers don’t have an application for them.
Show them what they can do and I bet you’ll be surprised. Synthetics are great for waterproof books or ID cards. Pressure sensitive stocks shine as bottle labels, window clings, and decorative seals. Magnets are attractive for calendars and signage while embedded magnets and synthetic cards make durable loyalty cards and save-the-dates. Finally, panoramic photo paper enables layflat photo books and collateral where images and graphics sprawl freely without being lost in the gutter of a traditional bind.
The applications are really endless with these types of materials, especially when paired with digital print and VDP. Don’t limit yourself. Give yourself a shot to be special today!
BONUS: I’m happy to have an exclusive giveaway for the Xerox readers today! Shoot me an email with your shipping info and I’ll send you a free copy of Mohawk’s Specialty Digital Swatchbook so you can begin exploring these high-value materials.
May 2nd, 2012
Written By Bill Michael
You know them: hearing, sight, touch, smell, taste. At drupa, each of your senses will be put to great use, as you will:
- Hear: The excitement of the 1000s of attendees in the print industry having conversations on a variety of topics.
- See: Technology and software that represents the future of our industry
- Touch: Printed samples with specialty media, innovative finishing, and special toner
- Smell: toner, ink and paper in the air as you walk by every vendors stand.
- Taste: German cuisine (maybe for the first time) and perhaps a few brands of German beer with some friends and colleagues.
At the Xerox stand (Hall 8b), your senses can best be used by seeing and touching the applications that we’ll be showcasing live in our stand, including many Best-of-the-Best winners. These winners include: IOS (Digital and Offset), Mediaware (Digital Packaging), MBA Group Limited (TransPromo), Telemail, S.L. (TransPromo), Easy Print (Photo Publishing), Printshop (Photo Publishing). Three additional winners include:
|DG3 Europe Limited
(Best Overall Solution, case study)
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, the largest youth charity in the UK, wanted to enable their award winners to create and order personalized Achievement Packs online. They approached DG3 Europe Limited, who mapped out an end-to-end solution using FreeFlow Process Manager™ and the iGen4 with a Xerox FreeFlow™ Print Server – resulting in a 637% increase in usage of the achievement pack.
(Digital Packaging, case study)
Recognizing the growing area of digital packaging, De Budelse built FotoChoco.nl to enable orders of personalized boxes of chocolate. Using the iGen4 and FreeFlow Print Server, they were able to sell over 11,000 boxes of chocolate. (your sense of taste!)
(Direct Marketing, case study)
Using the Xerox Color 1000 Press, CopyCat used clear dry ink and personalized cross media to drive new business. The campaign generated a 10% response rate and helped bring in 20 new orders from new customers.
Please stop by Xerox Stand in Hall 8B to see and touch these great applications. We’ll find other ways to exercise your other senses!