Print service providers are always looking to diversify and expand their customer base. Window graphics allow PSPs to produce new creative media spaces and provide premium ad placement for their customers’ marketing messages.
This month, WFI examines some of the reasons to consider adding window graphics to your portfolio of services for existing and new customers, and probes the cautions to keep in mind before jumping into this space.
Most important, we also investigate some of the head-turning applications made possible by the newer generation of films, as a way of demonstrating the creativity possible in this growing segment of the market.
Why Consider Window Graphics
There are many good reasons to explore the window graphics segment of the printing industry. Among the best reasons is window graphics’ ability to expand your customer base and increase capabilities to existing clients.
“It’s always a wise business practice to expand your base of customers,” says Paul Roba, North America technical manager with Avery Dennison Graphics and Reflective Solutions. “You can offset the ups and downs of business by diversifying your clients. You can offer window graphics to your existing customers, broaden your product portfolio, and use it to provide an entrée to new customers.”
Window graphics are an upsell from the floor and wall graphics PSPs are likely already offering customers, adds Jason Yard, marketing and training specialist for graphic products with MACtac. And customers are likely to be intrigued by the potential offered by window graphics.
“A lot of retail establishments, restaurants, and fast food places have an abundance of windows. If they’re not being used, they should be.”
Jim Holloran, vice president of sales and marketing for Lintec of America, agrees. “It’s an advertising area; space that already exists,” he says. “With the technology existing today, if you can leverage UV or latex printing with the right substrates, you can turn glass into works of art.”
Tammi Johnson, business development manager for one of the film lines of 3M Commercial Graphics, agrees. “There’s already real estate there,” she says. “You have a site where you can add graphics to promote that facility’s products or to add a decorative element. And beyond that, if someone has a window and doesn’t want to promote their own products and services, they can use that window as leased space. Maybe that window represents a multitude of businesses. It will bring people in off the street, and in addition it can be used to promote your community involvement in an awareness campaign.”
Another compelling factor, Johnson says, is that window graphics can be produced on the same equipment PSPs are already using in house to produce their signs, point-of-purchase materials, vehicle wraps, and other graphics.
With a fairly small portfolio of products, they can create a wide range of effects. Perforated films can provide a view through the window, while ensuring some privacy. Clear window films allow for unobstructed views from each side of the window. And the use of layering can allow PSPs to provide their customers with different messages on the inside and outside of the glass, she says.
Judy Bellah, spokeswoman for Clear Focus, argues that with perforated window graphics, virtually every glass surface is a window of opportunity. “Part of the challenge is simply becoming more aware of the advertising and decorative potential of ubiquitous glass surfaces,” she says. “The next step is to look at one’s existing customer base and target key markets with the most promise, such as retail stores, auto dealerships, commercial offices like banks, credit unions, real estate firms, and other suitable sectors.”
Bellah adds that the concept of perforated, see-through window graphics is still new to many businesses. Rather than just trying to make a sale, PSPs can offer greater value in their relationships with customers by educating them to the benefits of window graphics. Those benefits, she adds, include a wide array of uses ranging from promotional to branding to architectural and residential.