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Imagers Looking at Providing Full-Service Solutions



Hesketh decided a new look was needed to convey the revitalized and redefined company. The transition began with an informal assessment of its own business, and the evolving needs of its business customer base to determine which digital services hold the most promise for the future. Over the past year he invested considerable time, effort and money to develop the tools which would encourage clients to think of the old lab in new ways. A key element of that was a redesign of the company logo, and a full menu of promotional materials featuring it.

"We want people to think of us as someone they can turn to for all their graphics, photo and multimedia needs." To convey that message, the company worked up new brochures promoting services. As important as it is to describe what you can do in promotional materials, Hesketh believes potential customers may not get the message unless they can see what finished products look like and how they are used. "One of the biggest challenges in putting together the brochure was getting the images of what we've done to show all the different applications are," he says.

In print and on the web, the company is now talking up its capabilities for producing large format digital display graphics, fine art and giclee printing, and full service digital/graphic imaging services from design through output. The goal he says is to get more business from its established customer base, then go after new accounts. "We can't survive on what we did for old clients," notes Hesketh. "Our future is now based on these digital services.

The new logo and marketing campaign officially lunched July 1. Although Hesketh believes it will be at least six months before the campaign will have measurable effect on redefining the company, early reaction has been positive. "The initial response to the new logo has been favorable, and we've had some comments like 'Oh, I didn't know you did that too,'" about the digital services.

Though imaging technology has evolved, he believes the same factors fuel success and growth, whether clients turn to the lab for photo or digital services: "It's that tradition of experience, expertise with color, and commitment to making their images look good," he says.

What Your Customers are Looking For According to a 2003 study done by Hart & Associates for PMA, customers are looking for faster turnaround time on jobs; recommendations on how to save money on projects; durable, high-quality print jobs; and good color matches. The study also showed that photo labs have key strengths in color management, expertise in imaging and high quality output and the ability to print on new substrates. The study's main objective was to identify three areas: who customers use to help them produce images, the level of satisfaction with each of the various types of image service suppliers and the capability of suppliers in providing digital services to the market. The results of the report can help commercial photo labs better understand their competitive environment for imaging services beyond their immediate fellow commercial labs. Hart & Associates interviewed 275 commercial digital imaging customers and found 42 percent of the surveyed firms see commercial photo labs as the "one stop shopping" source for their digital service needs. They also found commercial customers spent an average of $20,000 on digital products and services a year in both the commercial photo lab segment and the service bureau segment, while the largest average was spent on the printer segment at $75,000 a year. Let us know what you think at feedback@photographicprocessing.com.

   







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