When it comes to business, having applications and products to offer customers that deliver a high value, while carrying a low cost, are the ultimate “holy grail” for print providers. But what are the actual high volume applications? How can they slot into your current offerings? Can you produce them with your current equipment, or would have to make a few investments? The reality is that there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach to any of these, but here are a few applications to consider if you’re looking to expand your business in the most profitable way possible.
- Apparel. Self-expression and showing off a band, design, or support for a cause has become highly valued in today’s society. Whether your customers are looking for polo shirts with the company logo to show team spirit, t-shirts for a special event, or just a way to help employees stand out, printed apparel can be a great option. And it goes beyond shirts — think of items like leggings, jackets, hats, even masks can all be printed, customized, and sold for a good margin.
- Accessories. Have you considered offering printed watch bands? Many of the smart watches today have interchangeable bands, and people love to collect and swap them out, matching outfits, events, occasions, seasons, and more. You absolutely need to have the right client list to make this one high margin, but with the right application, and the right marketing approach, it can be a very high value product line.
- Bags. Duffel and tote bags are both very high-margin products, offering a unique way to get both personal style as well as branding in front of people, in such a way that they are looking at it on a regular basis. Printing on bags — generally canvas or cotton — can be a great addition to other marketing efforts you are already undertaking for customers, offering a unique upsell that can yield good margins to the campaign.
- Prints & Posters. Yes, this one might seem obvious, but people put a high value on art of all types. Rather than just offer a simple poster, investigate higher-quality substrates, even canvas, to create unique offerings that will carry a high perceived value — and a high margin. Whether it’s producing art pieces for an office installation, or even creating pieces meant to show off the successful creative elements from a recent campaign, this could be an easy product line to add to your offerings, with very little change needed, and a huge payoff.
- Blankets & Pillows. Admittedly, you need to already have the right client base, as well as the right equipment to tackle this application, but if you do already offer apparel or other textile printing, consider branching out into blankets and pillows. These are high-margin items, with a very high perceived value for elements that feel custom and personalized. People — businesses and individuals alike — are willing to spend the money for these items when they feel like there is value.
- Mugs. This is another product line that is more lucrative for those who already have the right equipment, but as a promotional product, mugs and glasses printed with branding, personalized artwork, or catchy images continues to be a very popular product for a reason. They are relatively inexpensive to produce, and carry a high perceived value, making them a product line with a strong margin.
- Technology. No, not the phones or tablets themselves, but the accessories that go around them. Think phone cases, or mouse pads. Things that someone will touch and use every day, so it has a very high perceived value for a brand — value they are willing to pay for. This is another one of those product lines that can be very lucrative for the right applications and customer base.
- Stickers. Almost anyone with a digital press can produce a sheet or roll of stickers, making them a very easy application to add to your mix. And they can be very high margin — the cost to produce them is almost nothing, so nearly any upsell to a campaign will be money that goes to the bottom line. For even higher value, look to produce them on higher quality substrates, cut into unique and eye-catching shapes, or even offer additions like the old mainstay scratch-and-sniff coatings. All of these will increase the value, and in turn increase the price you can charge for them.
- Candles. Okay, while the candle itself isn’t going to be something you can print, what goes on and around it is something you can absolutely offer. Whether you partner with a local candle maker or seek to add this as an in-house product line, candles can be a unique offering that your customers might just be surprised by. And when you add in custom labels — or if you really want to get crazy even custom scents to go with those custom labels — they become a highly valuable piece that can help a brand stand out in a crowded market — something they are willing to pay a premium for. Candles are a hot-ticket item right now, so finding a way to combine it with personalized printing options can turn this into a high-margin, high-value produce line you never would have considered.
- Labels. And speaking of labels, it’s not just candles that can benefit from a custom printed, personalized label. If you don’t want to get into the full promotional products business, consider partnering with brands of all types to create labels for their products that are highly professional, and help them jump out on a shelf. They will sell more product, and you will be able to charge a premium price compared to your costs for that value.
And these are just a few of the items that are trending right now — items that you can absolutely take advantage of with your ability to personalize, customize, and brand these items for businesses and consumers. Whether you just look to add one or two of these to your offerings to existing clients, or you use these to break into new markets, embracing these trends and high-margin applications can help catapult your business to the next level.