Regardless of size—from the Virgin Group to the neighbourhood hair salon—the primary reasons companies diversify their offerings is to protect themselves from market erosion and to spur new growth. Virgin holdings include everything from music, media and travel to healthcare, food and sports.
So if the music business softens or fails, Virgin have other growth markets to rely on. In many places around the world local hair salons have morphed into full-service spas by offering age-defying facials and therapeutic massages—services meant to pamper clients and attract new ones.
In the two examples above both companies have differentiated themselves. More importantly, they have added value and improved the customer experience. No company is safe from market stagnation. And as technology continues to change customer behaviour, diversifying your product portfolio has never been more important than it is today.
That means you need to be continually on the move to reconsider if not reinvent your business. There are a number of ways to diversify your offerings.
Target new audiences in your current markets
If you have an upscale clientele, consider aiming for the middle or lower end of the market with less expensive versions of what you currently sell. Entry or mid-level equipment capable of handling lower-cost media may allow you to produce very similar results less expensively.
Offer complementary products
Are your customers purchasing collateral materials from other printers for a single advertising campaign? Give your customers a one-stop shopping experience by adding digital printing or packaging collateral.
Provide an integrated solution
Right now cross-media marketing is hot. Marketers want to capture data from their online and direct mail campaigns. Cross-media technology such as DirectSmile can help you do that. Don’t let this window of opportunity pass you by. Partner with a creative agency and help your clients create a single message campaign that includes it all-online advertising, print collateral, signage, displays and more.
While superwide custom work may require a hands-on approach, don’t overlook an important segment of the market where purchasing banners, pop-up signage, display materials even vehicle graphics and labels are sold very effectively online. Products such as Digital StoreFront can also help you to give each of your customers a personalised, online experience, regardless of what you sell.
Become an adviser
Becoming an adviser means you have to come up to speed on the latest marketing technologies. This includes everything from 3-dimensional billboards to mobile advertising—many campaigns tie the two together. Learn about near field communications and augmented reality, which also work in tandem with print media.
Find out how to improve customer experience. If you are uncomfortable in a marketing role, hire someone who you can serve as your marketing technology guru.
Step out of your comfort zone
Go where the growth is, even if it means setting up a new division or a second location. It has long been EFI’s strategy to follow growth markets. All you have to do is take a look at where EFI is investing its resources. This includes textile printing, packaging, thermoforming, ceramic tiles and more. And who knows, maybe you’ll find yourself rubbing shoulders with Richard Branson.