Print Franchises Leadership Address HP MarketSplash
Last month I wrote about the launch of HP MarketSplash,
By Adam Dewitz
Published: March 19, 2009
Last month I wrote about the launch of HP MarketSplash, a Web-based service HP has started to provide “the industry’s lowest prices and fastest delivery times for brand marketing services such as professional-quality design and print fulfillment.”
In that post I asked, “Will this make HP Graphic Arts customers question HP’s commitment to their business?” From the conversations I have had with print shop owners and executives the answer is a resounding ‘yes!’ You can get a feel for this in the responses to my initial post.
Carl Gerhardt, CEO Allegra Network has shared with Print CEO the issues the leadership of print franchises have with HP MarketSplash:
It has been suggested that HP make order fulfillment capability available to all of the HP Indigo owners who have Web-enabled Print workflows. Others have insisted HP abandon HP MarketSplash altogether.
The leaders of three of the major franchise companies Carl Gerhardt, CEO Allegra Network, Kevin Cushing, CEO , Alphagraphics and Rich Lowe, President, Franchise Services have engaged HP in discussions regarding the HP MarketSplash program. A conference call was held last week with Jan Riecher, V.P. HP Americas Graphics Solutions Business, and Francis McMahon, HP Americas Marketing Director. These franchise companies presented a strong case that the MarketSplash program has not been received well by their franchisees and the print for pay market in general. Moreover, the program as it is currently positioned is a huge negative for HP with virtually all of the print for pay market. Reference was made to the controversy that resulted in 2007 from Adobe’s announcement to partner with FedEx/Kinkos with a link in Adobe Acrobat. HP is facing a similar controversy with their announcement of MarketSplash. Adobe later canceled the program after meetings with these franchises and other industry leaders.
The industry outcry has not been as loud with the HP announcement. However, at this point, HP MarketSplash is not as visible and well known as was the Adobe and FedEx/Kinkos program. The intent of this dialog with HP is to request they reconsider the positioning of MarketSplash before more damage is done to the HP name as they attempt to make further penetration into the print for pay market. Additional meetings are planned with HP executives at ON Demand and at HP headquarters over the next 30 days to have further dialog regarding the issue.