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  • Writer's pictureBen Chu

Suppliers go wrong with their marketing pitch - offset printing industry

In yesterday's B2B showroom talk, I interviewed an offset printing factory. Packaging printing is probably one of my most familiarize industries, and I couldn't really tell how many printers, big and small, I have been visited during my career. Unfortunately, seldom of them could still be remembered, as they are not much different from one another.

When you tour a bigger printer, they ALWAYS like to show you their latest Heidelberg press with 6+1, 7+2 (or, in the future 10+N) colors, usually with a lot of pride. Of course, I know that machine is expensive, and is not affordable to just anyone. However, most of the time I really don't find this information relevant to me. OK you have a great machine, you are rich, and you have the competent to work for very picky and color sensitive industry. Yet, I might probably just looking for a regular budget printer to handle my simple CMYK packaging printing request - no spot color, not fancy effect needed. I need a stable and budget supplier, in term of both quality and cost; I need someone easy to work with, in the easiest way of communication and language to me. It would be good from time to time, that the supplier can give expertise recommendations to improve my packaging. But the fact that you can handle a lot of spot color….is a fancy and good-to-have, but not at all important to me. However it seems that most printers don't realize this fact and they keep showing customer their top machine as their best bet on promotion. A regular printer is no different from an OEM, who don't normally have a finished product to market. This makes marketing a bit more different and hence difficult for them. Marketing from an incorrect angle is a common mistake of Chinese suppliers. My aim of starting this youtube B2B showroom channel is to facilitate suppliers an opportunity to reconsider their message when facing buyers. I act as a host and ask them questions from my experienced buyer's point of view. I asked about things like what make food packaging different from normal one; I ask the question "how we can work together " to understand their normal working process with customer, which is usually an important and practical question when I hand over this supplier from sourcing process to product or supply chain team. This way supplier can accumulate practical experience. I am excited to see how this new idea could become a business model of mine.

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