Why all print buyers should think more about the paper their projects are produced on.
A customer walks in and says, “I need to print some flyers on your cheapest paper. What do you have?” As a salesperson and marketing consultant, this one of the most frustrating questions I hear on a regular basis. I desperately want people to care about their printing because I care about it. When the only criteria for producing a printed piece seems to be the minimum possible cost, I start to wonder why…
There is more to printing than putting ink on a piece paper. Some print buyers may not think about the paper they’re using as a part of their brand message – but they should. The paper you choose to print on tells your audience how much you care about your message – and indirectly, how much you want them to care about it. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the least expensive option isn’t the best option – but it does need real consideration. Print purchasers should understand why they’re selecting the paper they are and what the selection means for the final product.
The objective of all marketing efforts is to influence what a person thinks about you, your company or your product. If you want your customers and prospects to care about the message you’re putting in front of them, show that you care too. Paper selection is a branding question as much as it is a pricing question. Next time you’re buying print, try to relate it to the other buying decisions you make in your business. Does the cheapest labor generally produce the best results? Does the least expensive web developer get you a stellar website? Does the cheapest option really ever give you or your customers the most value?
If quality really didn’t matter, then people wouldn’t notice it. If paper is paper, then why can almost anyone pick up two different sheets of paper and declare that one is better than the other? Start thinking in terms of adding value rather than saving on costs. Printing on the right paper will bring more positive benefit overall than the money you save by selecting the least expensive option.
On your next print project, don’t resort to the natural question of “what is my cheapest option?” Instead, think about what you want to accomplish with the piece and then determine how to proceed. Begin with the end in mind. Make it a choice instead of just a default.
Start saying “Give me your best paper!”