Being aware of key trends in the signage and printing industry will help printers identify profitable solutions they can add to their businesses.
1. Textile Printing and Home Décor
The global printed textile market is huge, estimated at 32 billion square metres of output annually. According to Smither’s Pira’s report, the value of the worldwide décor and laminate print market in 2017 was over R205 billion and this will grow by an annual average growth rate of around 4% to 2022, when it will be worth R254 billion.
Home décor decorative applications are endless, think: wall coverings and decals, window coverings, cushion covers, canvases and much more. Home owners want something unique, and printers have the technology to do that.
2. Sublimated Décor
Jimmy Lamb from Sawgrass said there are many opportunities to offer sublimated products meant for turning a house into a home. ‘You can use systems to decorate baby and throw blankets, sequin pillows and faux-textured pillow cases, welcome mats, hand towels, key and jacket hangers, and many other items people will love to have in their homes – or give as gifts.
With home décor, there is a demand for personalisation, which gives you the opportunity to set premium prices. ‘It costs little to add a name or photo to a product, but customers pay more for the value delivered,’ says Lamb.
Born between 1981-1996, Millennials require customisation, are experience seekers and love having something that’s unique. They are also social media savvy and enjoy sharing positive experiences with network peers. Brands must reflect how these consumers want to be seen as individuals.
They also want to stand out and want prints done yesterday. This is fuelled by social media and having things at our fingertips. Take music as a simple example of instant gratification: now one can download a song right after hearing it on the radio.
We can apply this to print.
“The average age of print buyers has decreased, with buyers in their mid-twenties expecting results immediately, because they are getting that instant gratification in other forms of technology,” says Ryan Miles, Managing Director, Heidelberg Graphic Systems Southern Africa.”
“The advance in technology available to printers has allowed for the meeting of these demands, as well as to cater for new trends, such as personalisation and differentiation.”
4. Creating Multi-Channel Experiences
Multi-channel experiences encompass a whole campaign, such as a printed brochure featuring Augmented Reality or QR codes that lead consumers to the company’s website and drive them to buy the product, as well as make print fun and interactive and make brands memorable.
It’s print seamlessly combined with digital channels.
5. Moving from Print Service Providers To Marketing Services Providers
Printers need to be proactive and show clients and brands what they can do. “Partner with your customers and join them on their long-term journey by finding out the problem they want to solve over time. Identify where clients can improve their product and go to them with ideas ― showcase the exciting possibilities you can create for them,” says Tamir Hativa, Product manager at HP.
Also consider taking advantage of events like wine shows, music festivals, farmer’s markets and more. You need to know what’s happening in your area to approach event organisers with unique printing, signage and marketing ideas.
The Sign Africa Expos are ideal for getting market and industry insights. The event takes place in Johannesburg from 11 to 13 September at Gallagher Convention Centre.
Entrance to the Sign Africa expo is free. For more information and to pre-register online, visit:http://signafricaexpo.com/entrepreneur