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Talk about a formula for failure. Read a book written to the lowest common denominator based upon general business knowledge and apply it to a unique set of strategic challenges. What do you get? A book that will sell well using its well-known brand, “FOR DUMMIES” but will under serve its readers. Good for the publisher, not so good for the reader.

Unfortunately these types of books ignore critical marketing intelligence such as industry trends, facts and surveys. And this is exactly how major brand leaders who ‘think’ they will always stay in their leadership position go down or go under.

Recently Peter Basiliere wrote in Graphic Arts Online, 7/1/2009, Printers Now Rate Digital Above Offset. That’s not the kind of news many would have expected to hear in 2008. So the question becomes how have printers changed their strategic positioning in the last month, the last year, or the last five years?

A quick survey of printing companies and some press manufacturer’s marketing shows that many haven’t changed all that much over the years. How many print ads have you seen that have the following:
1. Large photograph of their press they would like you to purchase
2. Graphics that surround the press trying to make the press look more attractive
3. Copy that promises the highest quality anytime from any press anywhere


On the other hand, Canon USA has launched into its new branding campaign featuring the digital characters C M Y K using friendly faces representing your helpful Canon representative. Their brand promises have to do with their customer’s highest expectations and needs. See the difference?

Knowing print buyers and printers have a preference toward digital to offset, which manufacturers seem to be on the right track for racking up large sales at Graph Expo in Chicago later this year? Sure, Canon has always been digital with copiers and their presses. But that misses the point. Offset press marketers who fail to change their marketing propositions could find themselves on the outside looking in. One thing is for sure. The strategic answers aren’t found in a book written for dummies.