In his presentation, “Think Big, Act Bigger: The Rewards of Being Relentless,” Hayzlett examined how the ability to recognize and embrace new trends in the printing industry can serve companies well into the future. He opened the speech by relaying a story of when Kodak made an error in judgment that eventually led to the company’s downfall. According to Hayzlett, the company was approached with a rudimentary form of digital photography in 1975, but with Kodak’s profits soaring thanks to canned films, they dismissed the notion.
“That was the point of demarcation,” explained Hayzlett. “That’s the point of when Kodak had the opportunity to see something and they failed to see it. … The hubris of their own success led to that. They forgot the business they were in. They were never in the film business; they were in the emotional technology business.”
Label printing is no exception to industries undergoing change. With countless traditional label printers taking a foray into the digital marketplace, rebranding and promotion are imperative to a new press’ success. Companies like Gallus, Mark Andy, MPS, Nilpeter and Omet have taken that first step into digital, and printing companies continue to explore emerging technologies like hybrid presses and retrofits.
“The changes that we’ve made in this industry over a period of time, there are not only survivors but many people are growing and doing the things they need to do to transition beyond just being printing, but a total solutions provider,” said Hayzlett.
At Labelexpo Europe, Mark Andy proclaimed this “a digital world” in its presentation of the new Digital Series. Hayzlett believes that effective branding resonates with customers. He referenced Domino’s transformation from Domino’s Pizza.
By admitting a faulty product and concept while promising change, Domino’s increased its stock from $0.70 to over $80. Truth and honesty–while admitting lousy pizza–turned into a big boon for the food provider. “They said it was like a Super Bowl Sunday for weeks,” said Hayzlett. “They almost ran out of pepperoni. There were executives renting vans and driving out to to the individual restaurants to get it out there. They had record profits by telling them the truth. That’s what we’ve been doing in the printing industry for a while, making the transformations that we’ve had to do, and to be honest and tell the truth.”
Label printers have historically been resistant to change. In a flexo dominated industry, digital label printing still maintains a small percentage of overall work. The technology is beneficial–more so than flexo–in some cases, especially when a job calls for short runs or personalization.
Hayzlett also explained that social media is becoming a more tried-and-true method of expanding one’s business. Even though the younger generations are typically not running label companies, new channels offer different means of promotion. In order to promote his book, which appropriately shares the same name as his presentation, Hayzlett took to Twitter, Instagram and other new mediums.
According to Hayzlett, the printer’s initial projections–with traditional advertising–for sales of his book were in the range of 7,500 copies. He said that his book has already sold 250,000 copies. Hayzlett closed his presentation focusing on risk taking and welcoming the unknown. Although industrial changes are never easy or comfortable, they represent new avenues for business success.
“We’ve got to show up in this print industry,” Hayzlett concluded. “This is still the most accepted, trusted medium in the world. I don’t have to worry about viruses, and yet most marketers don’t know about it. My advice is get the word back out.”