How have screen-printing operations coped with changes in the market for point-of-purchase graphics? Our discussion with a panel of experts in this field reveals the latest market trends and strategies for remaining competitive as a P-O-P producer.
By Lori Leaman
Oh yes, large marketing campaigns that are locally customized by price, retailer location, etc. have been increasing for the past several years. This is a good thing for screen and digital printing. Sometimes we use both printing methods on the same sign. You can screen print a common graphic in large quantities and customize it later with digital imprinting. It’s a beautiful marriage of two complementary types of print production. You can’t tell the difference between our screen and digital production unless you look very close.
Very much so. We’re seeing both. With some of our larger accounts, when they do national programs, we’re seeing at least a regional program, but we’re seeing campaigns directed at a certain nationality or ethnic background. We’re seeing that even in some of the large holiday programs, where they focus on a region of the country, it’s hard to have a snowy scene when you are shipping product to the deep south.
We feel that regional and variable P-O-P printing will be a major requirement for our business. While not here yet, we are already underway to meet this new market challenge.
There has been an increase in shorter run lengths, with customization of price points or offerings by different regions that are currently done through the digital process. Previously, it didn’t make good economic sense, but today with the digital process, it makes much more sense.
With the growing demand for digital, there has certainly been an increase in the number of shorter run jobs. To your point, the impact of digital has made it possible for the end user to cost effectively buy regionally specific graphics; whereas in the past, customized graphics for various regions would have been considerably more expensive.
SP: Have you experienced an increase in demand for fulfillment services among your P-O-P customers? What types of fulfillment services are most requested, and do you charge for those services?
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