Log In | Become a Member | Contact Us


Market Intelligence for Printing and Publishing

Connect on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Featured:     January Economic Webinar     Printing Business Outlook 2017 Report     European Coverage     Production Inkjet Analysis

Ken Schmidt Shares His PODi AppForum Keynote Thoughts

Published on January 25, 2012

Former Communication Director for Harley Davidson Ken Schmidt shares the highlights from his keynote speech at PODi AppForum.

I’m Ken Schmidt; I’m a former Communication Director at Harley Davidson Motor Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, still a big part of the business there.  It’s a business I love and know an awful lot about.  I’m here at the App Forum put on by PODi in Las Vegas, Nevada; a fantastic event.  I just was lucky enough to get asked to get up and speak to the gathering here this morning comprised largely of printers looking to change their businesses to be more – to do a better job of cross selling within organizations and to bust out of the old model of traditional printing as well as direct marketing people and marketing people within companies across America.  

Now, what I was talking about today was kind of sharing some stories about what smart, driven and successful businesses needed to do to regain their competitiveness and to become more competitive in the markets that they serve.  And the stories that I told anecdotally about what we did at Harley Davidson resonated with printers because the whole gist of what I spoke to was building competitiveness, creating differentiation in the marketplace and creating loyalty among the people we serve by not focusing on traditional messaging and traditional channels and traditional focus of business.  The need to be visibly different in front of the people that you serve in order to make sure that they know what you’re doing is different, that’s it’s valuable, that it’s desirable, that it works and that it’s not based or hinged on old ways of doing things.  

What I found as somebody who has spent many, many millions of dollars on printing over the last 28 years with working with Harley Davidson and before that, is that print businesses tend to compete the same way most other businesses in the world do.  Which I don’t say that in a flattering way, I say that in a troubling way because the way print firms have come in and attempt to sell me or other people within the organization, would rely on – the way they would sell, would rely on the same techniques they’d always used before  and talking about things from a competitive standpoint that were virtually identical to the things that their competitors were talking about and trying to build competitive advantage on things that I, as a customer or potential customer, would totally take for granted.  

If a printer was trying to sell me something and telling me about how wonderful their new Heidelberg 16-color press is, I know very, very well that the next printer that comes in is going to say the exact same thing extolling the virtues of their printer and about the quality of the finish work and how satisfied I’m going to be and never realizing that virtually every person that comes in is attempting to sell me, is saying the exact same thing because we learned that at Harley that when we behaved the same way as your competitors did.  We entered markets using the same language, the same go-to-market strategies as they did.  We essentially commoditized ourselves right out of jobs, right out of an industry because we became them.  And once we became them we gave people no reason to do business with us.  There was not striking, desirable thing about us versus our competitors.  Essentially then, the marketplace went to the lowest priced stuff they could find.  And what I always tell people is if you’re losing a sale to somebody consistently based on low price, then you’re doing something seriously wrong.  They have no emotional attachment to you whatsoever, you haven’t given them a reason to do business with you, so therefore; they’re blocking you right out of the equation, engaging their brain, and taking a lower priced vendor or partner to do business with.  

Email Icon Email         

 

Post a Comment

To post a comment Log In or Become a Member, doing so is simple and free

 

 

Recent Videos

 

Video preview: What Color is Consistent?

What Color is Consistent?

Published: January 20, 2017

Color management works, and it has been available to designers and printers for more than 25 years. Why then do we still make mistakes in color reproduction? Shoshana Burgett of X-Rite Pantone notes that CM has to be understood as something more than calibrating a monitor. It is a set of steps, processes, and tools that must be in place across the entire production workflow, always with monitoring for continuous improvement. Designers who want color to be consistent in all the channels they are now responsible for can find the help they need in CM, Burgett says.

 

Video preview: Frank on Pre-VDP Personalized Direct Mail

Frank on Pre-VDP Personalized Direct Mail

Published: January 20, 2017

Frank Romano keeps EVERYTHING. This week he shares his collection of pre-VDP personalized direct mail when everyone was a winner. Direct marketers tried every trick to get you to open the envelope.

 

Video preview: The Challenges of Managing Color in a Global Supply Chain at Canadian Tire Retail

The Challenges of Managing Color in a Global Supply Chain at Canadian Tire Retail

Published: January 19, 2017

Angela Stone, Manager of Packaging Optimization at Canadian Tire Retail, is responsible for all of the private label packaging that is used for the wide range of products it offers. It covers all types of packaging, from folding carton to flexible to sewn-in labels. She talks about how she handles color management across this disparate array of packaging applications.

 

Video preview: What PDF 2.0 Will Mean for the Printing Industry

What PDF 2.0 Will Mean for the Printing Industry

Published: January 17, 2017

Mark Lewiecki, Senior Product Manager at Adobe, talks about PDF 2.0, now being developed through the International Standards Organization which has responsibility for the PDF standard. A key new attribute is the ability to put page-level media-specific information directly into the PDF file. The ISO is also defining the metadata as it relates to media, especial for variable data printing, and is incorporating CxF spectral data into the PDF file.

 

Video preview: Learn About Anti-Counterfeiting Measures in Packaging

Learn About Anti-Counterfeiting Measures in Packaging

Published: January 17, 2017

Christine Gallagher, Director of Commercialization at Sonoco Trident, a division of the $5.2 billion packaging organization Sonoco, comes from a brand owner background. She speaks about the latest trends in anti-counterfeiting in packaging and how Sonoco Trident controls anti-counterfeiting measures, including reporting, and next generation developments that empower consumers.

 

Video preview: Leveraging Standards and Specifications to Get to Great Color

Leveraging Standards and Specifications to Get to Great Color

Published: January 16, 2017

Don Hutcheson of HutchColor, one of the industry's most knowledgeable color experts, shares his thoughts on the latest developments in color management and the tools print service providers should have to be able to print to the numbers and deliver against customer color expectations. He explains how industry standards are driving more process control into the art and science of printing.

 

View More Videos

 

Become a Member

Join the thousands of printing executives who are already part of the WhatTheyThink Community.

Copyright © 2017 WhatTheyThink. All Rights Reserved