The lost art of knowing your customer

March 6, 2015 ·
In today’s print landscape comprised of procurement teams and professional buyers, we now often find ourselves far removed from the designer and end user of our product. I am not here to argue the merit of the commodity procurement approach to print buying, it is a matter of choice to buy solely on price and it clearly works for some. While many printers toil away diligently making their widgets, the world outside them has continued to evolve and change. What once was good enough no longer measures up and what once was all the rage is yesterdays’ news.

At Mi5 Print and Digital Communications, we recognized years ago that our industry lacked innovation and consciously decided to take on the market with a different approach than most. We were going to invest in research and development, we were going to offer better, new and interesting alternatives to what was out there. The question then was how do we determine what the market is looking for? The answer also brought about a realization that changed our business model completely.

We found we were disconnected from the people who were really buying printed product. We didn’t understand their world and their challenges intimately and many things we thought mattered turned out to be irrelevant. We needed time with them and they had very little time to spare, but we found a few meaningful ways to engage them. We began to offer free tests of files or ideas they wanted to experiment with or for products we were developing. We formed a partnership with a leading industry magazine who reveled in the challenge to push the envelope of print technology as we know it. We joined the many worthy charitable causes our clients were involved with and attended the events they were present at. We even went with our clients on adventures like the Warrior Dash, a fun team building experience for all. Instead of being a reactive production model that accepted challenges we evolved to be a proactive company that sought out challenges.

Steve Tahk, Senior Vice President and General Manager

Mi5 Print and Digital