Why print buyers should not buy print

Have you ever asked a supermarket shopper what they are buying?

Chances are they’ll give you a list of ingredients or ready meals.  But that’s not what they’re really buying.

Here are some of the things that a supermarket shopper is really buying:

  • Nourishment
  • Health
  • A treat
  • The sense of having found a bargain

None of these things are directly related to what is in their basket.  There is a less obvious reason as to why they have chosen the contents of their basket.

And there is a less obvious reason as to why people buy print

Print and Procurement encourages printers to understand why print buyers b

Supermarket shoppers have a hidden reason for buying what they do. It's the same for companies buying print

The person who wants to print a business card does not want ink on paper.  They want communication.  They want people to remember their name, contact details and company.  They want potential clients to put them in their contact lists.

The business card is way of creating contact with potential customers.  It’s not just a piece of print.

People who just buy print achieve less for themselves and their company

These people will have less control over their projects.  And they will be regarded as administration people rather than valuable work partners.

People who believe that they are buying more than print can create powerful relationships within their company.  They are in control of their career path.  And they will achieve more for themselves and their company.

These people realise that print is simply a channel to other means.

But is realising this relevant to print buyers?

If print buyers know the purpose of a piece of print, they can bring extra value.  One example of this value is with a simple business card.  If a print buyer suggests adding a QR (Quick Response) code, the card becomes a much more powerful tool.

The QR code allows clients to scan contact details directly into their address book.  It also proves that the business card owner is up to date with the latest communication technology.  And it starts some very interesting discussions with clients.

But many people don’t understand QR code technology.  A well informed print buyer is ideally placed to suggest the addition of a QR code.  The print buyer can make a piece of print fulfil its purpose even better.

Of course the print buyer shouldn’t take over someone else’s role

Sometimes the print buyer needs to let their client take the credit for a development.  Sometimes they need to let the client think it was their idea.  And sometimes the client can’t be advised and the print buyer has to let good ideas go.

However, a print buyer who consistently comes up with new ideas becomes a valuable person.  They will be someone who is recognised by their company.  And they will be someone who consistently adds value to their company.

Here are three steps for you to add value to your company

  1. Make sure that you understand the whole project for which you are buying print.
  2. Make sure that you come up with some positive print related ideas for the project.
  3. Make sure that your suppliers know you are looking out for positive print related ideas.  Make sure that your suppliers play their part.

You and your suppliers should try and understand the real reason why you need to buy a product.

Supermarkets may not care why they customers buy a product, but you should

After all, you don’t want to be seen as someone who purchases off the shelf products, do you?

P.S.  If you want to learn more about adding value to products, you may be interested in our print and paper specification workshopClick here to find out more.

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