What are the issues we address?
The printing industry is mature, and has developed over hundreds of years. As a result, practices and beliefs have become embedded, and progress has stagnated.
Not all of the issues below will apply to you, but if your customers buy printed products in any form at all, from anyone, we guarantee that at least two are directly relevant...
issue 1: "Print quality is good enough for my market"
We completely acknowledge that print quality is not the be-all and end-all in building a successful business around print and photography. However, we believe advancement is critical for the prosperity of print in a digital world. In every consumer market, there is clear space for a high-value, premium product, and photo printing is no different.
We believe that discerning photographers and designers, and even consumers, are showing signs of disappointment in print quality. A key driver for this is the increasing quality of displays - on phones, tablets, computers. The default expectation is increasing and a lack of ‘wow factor’ leads to lack of inspiration when it comes to printing. We believe that this desire for increasing quality will grow as expectations increase.
Our question is this: Is there an opportunity in your business to benefit from being able to say: “We have an exclusive product offering that uses the very best quality print available”?
Would this be an opportunity to build brand values, devalue competition, generate higher revenues per customer and seek more discerning customers?
Might it allow you to enter new geographical markets - safe in the knowledge that you have something the incumbents don’t? Or to address a new customer base, again building on a position of exclusivity?
LumeJet isn’t for everything, but we believe there is always a place and a market for the best, and that striving for better drives growth.
issue 2: “Everybody has access to the same printing equipment so there’s no advantage to be gained”
A fundamental problem with the print and photo service industry is that everything is for sale and the cycle is harsh. Every few years equipment becomes redundant as better printer devices enter the market and everybody can buy the same and deliver the same, if they can afford it.
This is why LumeJet has developed its partner model. We believe the best quality available should be used to differentiate, and that differentiation should be sustainable and affordable. We want to work closely with a very small group of partners world-wide, who each operate in different and clearly-defined market sectors.
Our partner model is not fulfilment, or leasing, or franchising. We aim to build business with our partners and protect it. Your success is our success. Your failure is our failure. If we damage your business by devaluing our technology and your ability to maintain a price differential, then we are damaging our own investment in the partnership.
We do not sell printers. It is a flawed business model and the main winners are dominant manufacturers and leasing companies, as they feed the redundancy cycle. We value print, and we value entrepreneurship and innovation. We want to go into business with you, not convince you to give us money and hope for the best.
Partnership is a horribly abused term, almost a cliché, but there is no better term
to describe our approach so we use it with pride and respect its true meaning.
issue 3: “Consumers expect constant discounting”
We have all observed a race to the bottom on price in the print and photographic industry.
There is a great deal that can be achieved through product design, marketing, excellence in operations, software and finishing quality, but who can truly differentiate on print quality? The most common marketing message among many major competitors is “N% off this month” and buyers can shop around for the cheapest price and still get average quality products.
LumeJet quality puts the passion back into the print itself. It screams “high value” and generates amazement and surprise the first time people see it. It triggers emotions and brings satisfied closure to the creative process.
Your nearest competitor can’t make that happen if YOU are the LumeJet partner.
We don’t expect our partners to change everything they do, but we seek partners that share our belief that there is a market willing to pay for quality, and invite partners to add that to their existing business, not change what they do today.
Perhaps you can just reach a little higher and be able to offer your customers quality without compromise when it counts.
Perfection isn’t for everybody all the time, but when it is wanted, and people are prepared to pay more to get it, wouldn’t it be better if they can buy it from you?
issue 4: “Print is getting less and less important”
That’s simply not true.
As a percentage of photographs taken, of course it’s the case. Nowadays, any amateur can take thousands of shots at zero cost - so volumes have exploded. After that, it’s easy to share photos in digital form - so easy to give them to others or store them and forget them.
But if you really want a photo to live, or a gift to have value, then that photo needs to be displayed in physical form.
And for that, it needs to be printed. The more that photo or gift matters to you, the more deserving it is of the best printing available.
And who is the person who really judges the quality of the printing? The person who took the shot. Only the photographer knows whether the final result really represents his or her intention, and really brings the image to life.
If you’ve spent hundreds, or thousands, of dollars on your camera and lenses, then spent hours composing, shooting, selecting and perfecting your images, what is it all for if you don’t print some out?
And if you do, surely you want them to look their best?
issue 5: “There’s no real market for us to sell print”
Interestingly, we agree. But that’s because we think that most people have approached the question from the wrong angle.
The simple fact is that in a world where there is overwhelming supply of beautiful images available online, the vast majority of images are never sold - and trying to curate a collection for sale is becoming ever more difficult.
But every photo posted on a photo community or similar site is, almost by definition, an image of which the photographer is proud. And that represents a sale opportunity to that photographer.
So what we aim to do is give photographers a reason to buy their own prints of their own images from you, rather than their local service. And that hasn’t really been possible before now.