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    « Indian Tech Support | Main | Branding AEC Reprographics - 3 Scenarios »

    July 07, 2006

    Reprographer, Blueprinter, or ______?

    There has been a growing debate recently as to what to call “reprographers”.  I have seen this on the IRgA board with the re-branding initiative, but more importantly I have seen this where the rubber meets the road.  A “reprographer” telling a prospect what he IS.  Companies that are being successful selling value added services utilizing technology are uncomfortable using the term “reprographer” or even “reprographics”.  They feel it diminishes their position.

    Some have suggested that the industry should go back to “blueprinter”.  The argument is blueprint is a well recognized word.  In a previous post I did a simple Internet analysis.  My conclusion (by no way scientific) was that “blueprint” is popular and strategic, “blueprint-er” is unpopular and tactical.  Blueprint and blueprinter are worlds apart and adding an "er" at the end of blueprint totally changes the brand.  Note I called my blog - "The Blueprint", not "The Blueprinter".

    I believe that any brand that has “repro” or “print” in it undersells the value a reprographer delivers today.  They are terms of the past.  The companies that are seeing their business grow quickly in a supposed zero-sum-game are because they are distancing themselves from printing.  Printing and reprographics is a component of the services they provide, but is not all encompassing.

    Based on my discussions with reprographers whose business is growing and with contacts in the AEC industry, the strategic value offered is being the custodian of project critical construction content.  It is not providing low cost reprographics.

    The issue of branding seems like a complex subject, but it is quite simple. What do you want the people you are marketing to think about you when they hear your name or something that defines you?  As humans we have an innate need to categorize things and put things into “boxes” so we can deal with them.  What box do you want to be put in by your prospects?

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