26766669153_ecaabbd2de_zIf you want evidence of the vitality in today’s graphic communications industry, look no further than the Xerox Best-of-the-Best awards program. The awards recognize top applications in six high-growth application areas, where innovation and great image quality are often rewarded with strong business results.

This year’s winners exhibit all of those qualities. Entries were open to members of the Xerox Premier Partners Global Network, a collection of some of the world’s finest print service providers, for applications produced on Xerox digital production printing technology. Nearly 100 entries were received from companies in 20 countries.

I had the honor of presenting the 19 Best-of-the-Best awards and 12 honorable mentions last week at the 2016 Xerox Premier Partners Global Forum in Düsseldorf, Germany. Here are brief descriptions of the award winners. More details can be found by visiting the Best of the Best website.

Digital Packaging

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Best of Show, Printagraph Ltd.

Packaging offers one of digital printing’s fastest growing opportunities, as personalization, customization, short-run prototyping and on-demand ordering take hold. Among those taking advantage of these hot opportunities: the Best of Show winner.

Best of Show. Printagraph, United Kingdom, for developing a new business offering custom LEGO-style brick kits with personalized packaging, helping the firm diversify beyond its area’s main industry, oil and gas. The new business shows great promise—some kits have become highly sought collectables items.

1st Place—PackageMedia Oy, Finland, for helping Elovena Porridge energize its brand on its 90th anniversary with two marketing campaigns that linked packaging and social media to generate thousands of favorable social media messages and sample tastings.

2nd Place—M.I.W. Group, Thailand, for developing a holiday gift of durian sticks in a colorful, personalized package that is now part of a service offering pre-fabricated and customized packages for a variety of gift products and occasions.

3rd Place—APIX, Japan, for helping to avoid price competition by establishing a profitable new business producing custom labels for water bottles offered at trade shows and other events.



Serbin Print Marketing and Publishing, Books

By helping to satisfy the publishing industry’s requirements for shorter runs, increased customization and capturing opportunities in niche markets, digital book printing drives the most projected page growth of any digital printing application.

1st Place—Serbin Print Marketing and Publishing, United States, for helping the Sarasota, Fla., Sculpture Center secure funding with a coffee-table book documenting a decade-plus of biennial monumental sculpture exhibitions by internationally acclaimed artists.

2nd Place—Isuccess DigiPress Pte. Ltd., Singapore, for enhancing the fine-dining experience at Tung Lok Signatures restaurants by creating a stunning menu with brilliant photos and elegant metallic-gold-laced “wallpaper” printed on the Xerox Color 1000i Digital Press.

3rd Place—Renessanse Media AS, Norway, for producing short runs of a top-selling, photo-rich cookbook, convincing publisher Gyldendal Versal Forlag that digital color printing was suitable for even the most color-critical, revenue-generating titles.

Direct Mail / Marketing


Dupliprint, Direct Marketing

Personalized printing shines in direct marketing applications, boosting direct mail response rates and playing strong complementary roles in multi-media campaigns.

1st Place—Dupliprint, France, for generating a significant increase in post-vehicle sales revenue for BMW France dealers by developing an ongoing marketing program that lets BMW owners know their maintenance costs in advance of appointments.

2nd Place—Hollandridderkerk, Netherlands, for creating a personalized magazine-like brochure that focuses content on the customer’s preferred vehicle and options as a follow up to customer visits to Lexus dealers.

3rd Place—Pazazz, Canada, for developing a 38-page personalized catalog and capabilities brochure that generated a double-digit revenue boost and increased Web traffic for its eye-care products client Essilor Canada.



Artes Gráficas Integradas, Photo

Digital printing has opened up a wide range of new ways for consumers to print their photos, in books, calendars, postcards and other items—creating lucrative, high-margin opportunities for print providers.

1st Place—Artes Gráficas Integradas, Argentina, for helping photographer Leticia Quappe cost effectively produce a high-quality photo book to accompany her photo exhibition, establishing a new service for both her and the firm.

2nd Place—Jubels, Netherlands, for helping photographer Robin Butter create a distinctively designed, edgy book to present her award-winning collection of photography on Dutch gun culture, It Takes my Mind Off Things.

3rd Place—Yamazen Communications, Japan, for helping the Bandai Candy Toy Business Unit boost revenues by including an offer with orders of decorated birthday cakes to also order a photo book to commemorate the occasion.



Pazazz, Self Promotion

As companies transform, many let their customers and prospects know about their new services and capabilities by marketing themselves using the very services they are promoting.

1st Place—Pazazz, Canada, for increasing Xerox® iGen® 4 Diamond Press print volume by 20 percent by showcasing its print quality and large sheet size in an unconventional 14” X 25.5” marketing brochure featuring vivid photographs printed on a range of paper types.

2nd Place—Esmark Finch, Republic of Ireland, for strengthening customer relationships and driving revenue by launching a quarterly magazine promoting its rapidly evolving offerings and sharing tips and marketing campaigns its customers could use.

3rd Place—WAM Interactive Information Inc., Canada, for creating a system for developing affordable 1:1 micro-marketing campaigns, including its own self-promotion campaign, which has generated 13.5 percent growth in new subscriptions.



Telemail, Transaction

Transactional documents are read by the highest percentage of recipients of any document, and they continue to present a compelling opportunity for marketers.

1st Place—Telemail, Spain, for what has become an ongoing, highly personalized pre-approved loan offer campaign for Carrefour Financial Services that is printed on full-color Xerox Impika presses to be more understandable and attractive.

2nd Place—Latcham Direct, United Kingdom, for developing a multi-channel benefits package for Virgin Holidays that presents information in a visually appealing way and is now being rolled out to other Virgin brands.

3rd Place—Apex Revenue Technologies, United States, for creating a new healthcare billing platform with personalized messaging that enhances the patient experience while delivering 10 percent improvements in both overall cash yield and cost reduction.

Thanks to our industry panel of four independent judges: Barb Pellow, group director, InfoTrends; Michael Sidel, managing editor, Print & Publishing Europe; David Spencer, president/chief executive officer, Spencer Labs; and Mark Vruno, editor,
Printing News.

And congratulations to all the winners!