‘The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.’ Ernesto 'Che' Guevara
MANIFESTO Marcus Timson
‘‘ The reality is that the revolution we are
currently experiencing is a bigger event
than that imagined by Marx. It is a
revolution that will change the very nature
But the revolution needs to take place first in our
thoughts and then our actions.
Print is no longer just about good quality product.
We need equality with our customers and parity
with the other media competing for a slice of the
of our societies, economies, industries,
firms, jobs and personal lives. And it is And as with all revolutions, there is opportunity for
those who are committed and convinced. Convinced
happening now. You may not be able to
see barricades in the street and tear gas
filling the air, but it is happening – in your
of their ability, the value they can offer and
possessing an ability to visualise the future.
The recessionary tone of the market gives us a great
and our minds. Jonas Ridderstrale opportunity to remind, re-convince and inspire the
market of the unique power of creative, high impact
& Kjell Nordstrom, print. We can re-establish the trusted, proven and
Funky Business Forever secure results that print can produce. In times of
change and economic uncertainty, people, buyers,
we - need to trust. To feel safe and secure in our
Enter the decisions.
Print and Revolution are historically intertwined. The
Print is safe. Print is reliable. Print is proven. It has a
legacy, a heritage and has benefited from a recent
infusion of flexibility and a resurgence of creativity
launch of the Gutenberg Press at the Frankfurt Trade through digital inkjet innovation. Wide format print
Fair in the early 1400’s helped to fuel the Protestant has a future and exists in a global graphics
Reformation and then countless other revolutions marketplace worth over 58 Billion Euros.
But only the adaptable and flexible can prosper.
The printing press fundamentally and radically Change needs to come from the heart of our
altered how we communicate through dissemination community, in the minds of printing companies who
of the printed word on a massive scale. have to enhance their value, and revolutionise
business models and relationships
The current forces of change are equally as with their customers.
powerful. The tools and techniques may be different,
enabled by the gigantic leaps forward in technology, This is happening right now. The
but the significance is the same. revolutionary business knows it
really IS change or die.
It is fundamental, everlasting change. Economic
power is in the process of shifting away from the Just as the dinosaurs died out
developed economies. Consumer power continues because the climate surrounding
to grow and traditional ways of buying and selling them changed and they no longer
have altered irrevocably. had the ability to survive, the
traditional “old style” printer will
Enter the revolution! And like most revolutions it is struggle to get the fuel for
being propelled by economic pressure to deliver their survival. And our fuel is
more value at lower prices. Revolution means money, cash, profit, value.
change – gargantuan change – and print and the
marketplaces it operates within must respond.
Change or be changed! Or worse still become
irrelevant, unwanted and extinct. The Revolution is
The Traditional Printer?
upon us and this will be a forceful revolution – one What do you mean?
fuelled by the calamitous economic environment
that is enveloping the world.
What makes a printer traditional?
In this new environment there The devil is in the detail. Absolutely. And this is an
expected ability that the customer assumes the
are no rules, laws, nothing is given. printer has. It no longer generates the results or
There is constant motion, perpetual crises. necessarily impresses customers.
Traditional roles, jobs, skills, ways of doing
things, insights, strategies, aspirations,
fears and expectations no longer count.
‘‘ The printing process is exactly that. It is a process
undertaken in order to get the desired outcome - a
printed application or product. As a result, the
individual managing the printed process tends to
Jonas Ridderstrale & Kjell Nordstrom, need the skills and the ability to work with machinery,
understand the intricacies of the printed product and
Funky Business Forever how best to control and manage the process.
As print is about quality of reproduction, a good
The personality, characteristics and models of
eye for detail is needed. The printed product, in
pre-revolutionary times, was only judged by its
appearance and its consistency of colour
revolutionary business people and businesses are and reproduction.
simple – but they are different to those that you
commonly find in traditional printing businesses. The traditional printer, consistently judged on
Revolutionary DNA is more commonly found in those precision, therefore tends to focus their attention
who adopt digital technology, because those on the detail in order to manage the process to its
individuals tend to be more adept, flexible and able to best outcome. In the pre-revolutionary days, this is
move with the times and in some cases, lead them. where the customer was happy with the order
they had made. The print was produced to the
They are also less constrained by traditional thought required standard. The customer was happy. The
patterns, behaviours and processes. Some of these printer was happy.
traditional modes are very good – some we need to
keep, cherish and enhance. But there are some key This approach has served the printing industry
habits and behaviours that must change - and well for hundreds of years. Quality of reproduction is
change quickly - in order to ensure survival. important and essential. However this behavior is
now the benchmark - it is expected and assumed by
Revolutionaries like change; they thrive on new the customer. This is because the customer has
challenges and get excited about the opportunities changed and so have their expectations.
that change can present.
There is now a standard that the customer expects.
This Manifesto outlines the characteristics of the This standard is set by the market. And this standard
revolutionary printer and what is needed in order to is very high.
continue to survive towards a profitable and
What is wrong with tradition I hear you say?!
Nothing - is my answer, but traditions have changed
The challenge is no longer to adapt
and we are all busy establishing our new, existing models, but to accept that the
revolutionary, digital tradition.
‘Innovative beyond customer imagination. The
enterprise of the future surpasses the
rules of the game have changed – and as a
consequence so must the very essence of
expectations of increasingly demanding Richard Reeves
customers. Deep collaborative relationships
allow it to surprise customers with innovations & John Knell
that make both its customers and its own – the 80 Minute MBA
business more successful.’
IBM CEO Study 2009
& the servant
Historically, print has been seen as a blue collar
profession – the old class system would have meant
that the printer’s customers were invariably of a The traditional paradigms have shifted
higher status. The dynamic between the customer
and the printer was therefore one of “master Rupert Murdoch when buying
and servant”. myspace.com for £600 Million in 2006.
This relationship is transactional and one where the
printer was simply order taking. The relationship was
passive and the sales people within these The shift in power for consumers is well
businesses were not encouraged to pry into other documented. We all inhabit a world where there is
people’s business by asking impertinent questions! great choice available to us. Consumers design
This dynamic is ingrained into the printing industry products, they force change and they can revive or
and has been for hundreds of years. kill a product, a retailer or a brand they do not think is
relevant, good or ethical.
But not anymore. The revolution - the consumer,
media, technology, global, business revolution - The power has shifted and it has hugely affected the
took place. way we buy products and consume. It has also
affected the way we sell. The buyer expects and
Process has ceased to be as important or, more needs more from the purchase they make. In a
importantly, as valued. The customer begins to business to business environment, the buyer needs
assume that the printer can do these things as well to perform at a high level all the time. They need
as he always has. Technology starts to provide new their campaigns to be exceptional. They need help in
options for customers and expectations are very producing the right results. They need print that is of
high. The old style printer who believes that quality a high quality but is also innovative, arresting and
of the printed product alone is good enough begins gives superb return on investment. In this setting the
to become irrelevant. traditional printer has the ability to do what is
required but lacks the initiative and drive to inspire
Customer expectations and flexible, easy-to-use the customer to try something new.
technology mean that the ‘learned’ traditional skills
of the printer are now no longer so vital. Meanwhile,
more entrepreneurial business people start to arrive ‘Nearly all CEOs are adapting their
onto the print scene and compete on a more business models; two-thirds are
sophisticated level. The traditional printer starts to
see their domain under threat from a raised level of implementing extensive innovations. More
expectations and a new and dynamic breed than 40% are changing their enterprise
models to be more collaborative.’
IBM CEO Study 2009
‘CEOs view more demanding customers
not as a threat, but as an opportunity to Transactional and
differentiate. CEOs are spending more to
attract and retain increasingly prosperous,
Printing businesses were traditional, family run
concerns, their values and ethics admirable and their
informed and socially aware customers.’ goals and aspirations set around conserving their
IBM CEO Study 2009 profit and delivering a good result for their businesses.
The relationship between customer and printer was
transactive or ‘transactional’. However, customers
no longer always accept this. They want new ideas,
inspiration and innovation in order to help them in
their fight in a changed business environment. They
need to compete as they are fighting for their
survival and they place great value on the help their
suppliers can provide them in order to achieve success.
But the traditional printer is process oriented and The technology may be clever, but the traditional printer
transactional. They will ‘do whatever the customer who sells the technology alone is making a colossal
wants’, but they are unable to behave on an equal mistake. The marketer or buyer is buying creative
level and lead their customers with new ideas. They solutions to help them with their marketing problems.
do not think they are equal so they are unable to
behave as equals. The traditional printer waits for The rise of print management in Europe is testament
instructions and is passive. to generation upon generation of poor print
marketing. Print management exists because print
Unfortunately, in the new business environment, managers understand that the customer wants to
waiting for instructions is a dangerous game. The achieve an outcome in line with marketing
modern printer is more assertive, interactive and performance. The traditional printer does not sell
engaged. They are highly connected with their their services, solutions or ideas. They sell the
customers and understand they have to push in technology which produces the print.
order to succeed. Pushing doesn’t mean over selling
– it means inspiring. That is not revolutionary.
The passive printer waits and then transacts. The
modern printer acts, interacts then transacts. ‘The Four Ps are being taken over by the Four Cs:
Community, Co-creation, Customisation and
Right V Left Brain
What kind of brain is required for a revolutionary
Richard Reeve and John Knell, 80 Minute MBA
In this marketplace we talk a lot about technology. Price Focused
And with good reason – it helps us to continuously
meet the demands the consumer is placing upon
them. However, the person driving the technology
So print was not being sold. It was being bought.
has to be able to think in two ways utilising the left Consequently this means that cost was the main issue.
and right hemispheres of their brain. Print became a commodity and as such, a commodity
can be sought and bought anywhere, any time from
And the traditional printer is a ‘left brain’ person; anyone. The relationship between the buyer and the
analytical, detail oriented, linear, process first and seller is weak, distant and transient. There is little
‘big picture’ later. ‘Left brainers’ follow sequential perceived value from the buyer in such a relationship in
rules and naturally evaluate what’s wrong and why it our fiercely competitive world.
won’t work. The world is linear to them. The left-
brained person doesn’t see the end result and needs Print is widespread, there is overcapacity and the need
to go through the steps, one by one, seeing the big for print has radically changed. The traditional printer
picture when all the little steps are completed. will negotiate too readily. Price becomes the only thing
that can really differentiate them from other
Marketers (printers’ customers), tend to have right printers, who most likely have very similar machinery
brains, that feature quite different characteristics to and technical capabilities. The modern print buyer can
that of the left brain. too readily terminate a relationship with a printer who
does not meet the right price, in favour of a better price
‘Right brainers’ think in big pictures and are holistic. or indeed a better provider who has excited them and is
They are not linear in thinking. They think about the promising an upturn in performance.
result before they think about the process that they
may need to help them to get that result. In terms of Price is a dangerous game. There is always someone
their roles in marketing, they are therefore more cheaper or someone prepared to lose money in order
excited about the communication performance. ‘Left to get the deal. There really is only one way to go if
brainers’ are more concerned about process you are price focused - especially in these unsteady
performance, and in terms of print they are more times - and that is down. You may survive for a time,
concerned with how well that process performs. but whilst price satisfies in the short term, margins
will shrink and your business will die. Eventually.
The customer-seller relationship is therefore polarised.
The left brain printer thinks that the buyer is similarly
‘wired’ and interested in how clever the technology is.
They ‘tell’ the story of technology and process which, in
turn, bores the right brain marketer rigid!
Traditional printers still think that the technology owner who employs marketing professionals to sell
does all the selling, the buyer is meant to be their products will respond well to a supplier
impressed with the technical attributes of the company who behaves and communicates with
machine. Unfortunately, the buyer assumes the them in a similar fashion. Brand is a vital component
technical performance of the machine will align with of this – the modern printer understands their own
their needs. It is how the supplier listens and brand values and is able to communicate them well
provides solutions that he is really concerned with. to their customers. The traditional printer, by
contrast, does not see the value in investing their
time and their resources in developing a
‘Financial outperformers are making bolder brand ethos.
plays. These companies anticipate more
The current economic climate means that buyers
change, and make it better. They are also across all industries and markets are feeling the
more global in their business designs, need to buy from secure, proven and trusted
sources. The company who can communicate
partner more extensively and choose more clearly will engender trust and faith from the buyer.
disruptive forms of business model Many traditional printers offer the ethos and aptitude
to win trust. They are just not typically effective in
innovation.’ communicating these.
IBM CEO Study 2009
Effective communication will position the printer
as different, innovative and revolutionary in the
4.5% 1.8% eyes of the customer, even if the printer isn’t
90% necessarily unique in the market. They will win the
customer on the basis of being highly effective
communicators, thus better at convincing the
20.8% 23.2% customer to invest in them.
Hybrid (a combination of DP and PRINTER)
Print/Marketing service provider
‘A commodity is something for which there
is demand, but which is supplied without
qualitative differentiation across a market.
The Modern Print It is a product that is the same no matter
This graph demonstrates that there is movement
who produces it, such as petroleum,
notebook paper, or milk. Commoditization
towards a changing business model. This new and
revolutionary business person trades at a higher
occurs as a goods or services market
level and challenges the customer to try out new loses differentiation across its supply
things. The modern customer likes this - it provides
genuine value and tangible results. It makes them
base, often by the diffusion of the
look good, which is always a bonus for a marketing intellectual capital necessary to acquire
person concerned about image.
or produce it efficiently. As such, goods
that formerly carried premium margins for
“Marketing? market participants have become
It doesn’t work… commodities, such as generic
pharmaceuticals and silicon chips.’
I know, I tried it once” Wikipedia
The modern printer understands how important it is
to invest in marketing. Marketing does not sit
outside your business. They know that marketing is
their business. They understand that the brand
The revolutionary print service provider constantly
The amazing advances in digital technology enable
challenges and disrupts their customers’
perceptions, offering new insights into
us all to do things that were never previously
possible. They also enable new business entry This enables new business wins from rival traditional
opportunities for skilled entrepreneurs. In terms of printers who are still reliant on old thinking and
print, the modern printer who embraces digital print processes. This may not be easy. The traditional
technology may reduce the number of skilled people printer will have built up a good relationship that the
they need to employ, improving profitability and revolutionary printer may find difficult to break. But if
empowering the business to meet customer there is a real perceived value and the modern
demands, without the huge learning curve required
with traditional analogue processes.
printer can arrest their attention, the move from the
traditional printer to the revolutionary will take
Traditional printer ‘Innovation is crucial to remain
‘‘ successful in all global regions and
markets’. (Source: McKinsey.)
Innovation helps to
Innovative businesses and brands are more likely to
succeed. It’s a fact – some of the most successful
Retrospective Operations Local & and world famous businesses innovate. Continually.
& closed led disconnected The benefits are considerable. Innovation positions
the business as fresh, adaptable and able to
challenge and lead the customer and the market in a
journey of constantly enhancing performance and
So the traditional printer is finding that they are rejuvenating the brand. Have a think about brands
competing with businesses that do not necessarily that innovate and how successful they are?!
have a long print heritage. The older way of
differentiation through price and length of service no
longer stand. Tenure of business has some merit,
especially in today’s fragile economic climate where
The long tail phenomenon is not simply
trust has fragmented along with the disintegration of a neat idea for a book – it is really
seemingly indestructible institutions. But it is a ‘nice
happening. The Category ‘others’ is
to hear’ feature of a business as far as the
revolutionary customer is concerned. It does not offer
the buyer a compelling reason to engage with you.
growing in most industries. Now, it can be
incredibly profitable to target Small
Differentiation is vital, enabling a buyer to easily groups of customers’
identify a suitable supplier through their products,
people and services.
‘Disruptive by Nature – the enterprise of the & Kjell Nordstrom, Funky Business Forever
future radically challenges its business model,
disrupting the basis of competition. It shifts the
value proposition, overturns delivery approaches
and as soon as opportunities arise, reinvents
itself and its entire industry.’
IBM CEO Study 2009
Personalisation and Service is not just delivering print on time and to a
The world is constantly demanding a personal
good quality. “Going the extra mile” is now “going the
extra 100 miles”. The easily distracted and diverted
customer is constantly looking for new ways to
approach from marketing, communications and improve their performance. They would rather not
information. This is mirrored in consumption of have to go to a brand new company, at least not with
goods and products, such as interior décor, their big printing jobs. But they will be tempted if they
furnishing, clothes, holidays. The sophisticated can see competitive advantage working with a
consumer needs to feel special, unique and company that excels at marketing and
individual. The huge leaps forward in inkjet communication.
technology provide the modern printer with the ability
to decorate and personalise products to a very high Service is marketing. It is the tangible aspect of the
standard, at a reasonably low cost and very quickly. brand. It is what the customer buys from you, your
These consumer trends suit digital printing well and ability to deliver against their requests, your ability to
the modern printer is developing products using listen to their needs and your ability to do what you
printing technology to satisfy the demand. These new said you were going to do. How often do you get
capabilities are exciting. New landscapes, your customers out of a mess?
environments and products are being created by
modern and revolutionary print service providers. How often do you do your customers a favour? How
This trend looks set to continue as we revolutionise often do you provide your customers with a print
the way we live, work and play. audit to prove to them that you are providing them
with the best possible price for the job that you do?
Do you place this into a spreadsheet? Do you know
Connected not what your competitors are charging?
Networking, sharing knowledge and being engaged
Your service is not just about logistical support, as
important as this is. It is about servicing objectives
with their market through events, social media and providing them with support that reinforces
networks, websites and other ways to connect with consistently that your level of service is exceptional.
their client base come as second nature. There is no When, one day, the inevitable happens and events
need to be overly secretive. The modern printer beyond your control conspire to create a mistake,
doesn’t believe that print is a black art not to be you will be forgiven.
discussed with anyone who may steal their business.
They recognise that other businesses represent an
opportunity and a way to gain ideas and inspiration.
‘Genuine, not just generous – The
By being connected and visible, the modern printer enterprise of the future goes beyond
attracts business as well as proactively gaining new
philanthropy and compliance and reflects
genuine concern for society in all actions
People oriented, IBM CEO Study 2009
not just technology
The difference between two businesses that have the
same or very similar technology is the people who
use that technology. Their ability to lead the customer
by solving marketing problems will mean the
difference between winning and losing the job. The
people make the difference. The modern printer’s
ability to recruit and retain good and talented
customer oriented individuals is vital. The people
within the business and how they interface with
customers will produce tangible business results and
affect the bottom line.
Revolutionaries challenge. They don’t just follow;
they inspire, invigorate and instil a sense of
opportunity in everything they do. They are
sometimes disliked by their peers, always respected,
and they provoke a response to their energy and
their innovation from the markets in which
You don’t have to be ‘loud’ to be a revolutionary.
Nor do you have to be liked or indeed disliked.
Traditions have altered - a new breed of customer, a
new type of economic challenge and a new set of
technologies has rendered traditional models
The traditional printer can continue to do exactly as
they have done before.
But they are limiting their business performance,
their wealth, and their future.
The revolution is not exclusive or discriminatory –
everyone is invited to join.
So make sure you do so – before it is too late.
Value Leading Service &
focused Different solution
Innovative focussed www.widen
Proactive Customer Partnership
Interactive Centric Collaborative
Future Brand & Global &
oriented marketing connected
*IBM Global CEO Research Study 2009