In-store promotional signs and displays are the first visual consumers see when they enter a space. Marketing departments know that this initial experience affects how customers interact with products and merchandise around the store. In-store signage is a major component of a business’ overall marketing plan, and companies rely on it to leave a lasting impression on consumers. In turn, print service providers (PSP) strive to make a good impact on the stores that require such services.
PSPs successful in this niche understand the importance of staying current with digital technology, or risk being left behind by the competition. As quality and efficiency improve, so too must the output provided. InnoMark Communications abides by this principle when offering high-end retail, point of purchase (POP), and packaging.
The business’ digital operation began in 1997. Prior to, it offered litho, screen, and flexo print services. Today approximately 45 permanent employees and some temporary workers process digital work in the 35,000 square foot headquarters in Miamisburg, OH.
Selling In-Store Signage
InnoMark provides clients with an attractive one stop shop. The company offers design, image, and page manipulation; a variety of printing processes; as well as finishing abilities that include small and large format die cutting and fulfillment. “We handle everything from small jobs that include one sign to large volume kit packs that ship to stores across the country,” shares Mark Long, director of prepress and digital printing, InnoMark.
Printing in-store promotional signage was a natural transition for InnoMark based on customer demands and the increase in quality and speed available from digital devices. “A single customer campaign often includes elements from each of the different printing processes that we offer, and on a variety of substrates,” says Long. “It is imperative clients have all of the final pieces in the store looking the same.” Long and his team achieve this through careful color management and process control.
It is important that PSPs competing in in-store signage maintain the high level of quality that customers expect. “The bar for digital print quality and volume is constantly being raised,” says Long. “This type of business is extremely fast paced with time sensitive delivery dates, so there is no room for error and it requires a 24/7 operation to meet these demands.” Proper equipment and support help maintain a successful business.
Investing in Digital
InnoMark’s digital output devices include large format flatbeds as well as high-volume roll-to-roll machines using UV and latex inks. It recently made a significant investment in Hewlett-Packard (HP) digital equipment, including the HP Scitex FB7600, HP Scitex LX850, HP Scitex XP5500, and the HP Scitex FB700. Devices are controlled and color managed by GMG ProductionSuite. “These devices provide us with the ability to produce the highest quality and widest variety of services to our clients,” advocates Long.
There is no limit to the type of material onto which InnoMark prints signage. “If it can be printed on, we have probably done so,” continues Long. The PSP prints on everything from paper towels and fabrics, to doors and metals.
Spirit of Halloween is a repeat client that requires high-impact visual display to interact with in-store clients. It is a chain retail store that opens for a limited number of weeks before Halloween each year.
Digital printing plays a large role. “There are many motorized moving parts, lights, sounds, and smoke to enhance the large custom cut displays,” says Long.
The most recent display was produced using the HP Scitex FB7600, printing on various substrates that included B-flute, foamcore, coroplast, and cardstock; and RIPped through GMG ProductionSuite. “The job takes about nine months from conception to completion, and it can be ordered online, shipped to location, and installed by the store operators themselves,” he adds.
Due to the ever-changing nature of advertising campaigns and promotional displays, in-store signage provides PSPs with a steady stream of business. InnoMark and others that succeed in the space know that it takes a devoted level of diligence and investment to rival the competition.