In the past few weeks I’ve been involved in two major product launch events where I had the opportunity to meet many of our customers. First we launched the Phaser 7800 at an exclusive customer event and then we profiled the new ColorQube at the launch of ECOdirectory, a new website that promotes environmentally sustainable products and services.
The Phaser 7800 launch was held in Sydney and, while we believed we had created a compelling reason for people to attend, we also knew that Sydney can be a difficult city to host events in. Most people commute to work from reasonable distances and when you combine this with the often immobilising state of Sydney traffic and the pace of city work life generally it can be hard to judge attendance rates on the day.
We shouldn’t have been so concerned. Attendance was five times larger than we had anticipated based on the normal industry averages for events of this kind.
It was an amazing result and, at the same time, it was a perfect reminder of the power a strong brand carries. The Fuji Xerox brand has been painstakingly built over many years to stand for innovation, quality and reliability. It is a market-leader by sales volumes in nearly every category it sells in.
So it should have also been no surprise that more than half of our attendees were existing customers. These were people who wanted to continue their involvement with our brand and see for themselves what the Phaser 7800 can deliver.
A few weeks later, the ECOdirectory launch was hosted at the Sustainability Centre in Sydney. While we profiled our new ColorQube printer, car manufacturer Mitsubishi was showcasing Australia’s first fully electric car – iMiEV.
From my perspective it was fascinating to see two very different brands sharing centre-stage. As a side note, I had the opportunity to take the iMiEV for a test drive and it certainly fulfils its promise to be truly revolutionary. Complete silence when you start the car and you just quietly glide around the streets when you drive.
So what do the iMiEV and the ColorQube have in common – aside from sustainability of course? The answer is the passion they create once people have experienced the products for themselves. That magical ‘now I get it!’ moment.
While I experienced that moment while driving the iMiEV, others at the event experienced it when they felt the texture of the ColorCube’s solid ink cubes, saw the print quality first hand, heard about the printer’s high Energy Star rating and learned about its unique print driver that intelligently and efficiently manages output. Add to this the fact that the ColorCube offers the market’s lowest cost per colour page and uses 95% less packaging and you have a printer that ticks so many boxes for so many businesses – it’s clean, green and runs lean!
At the Phaser 7800 customer event, guests had their passion ignited the moment they saw the print quality. It’s one thing to claim the gold standard in colour, it’s quite another to deliver it – on the spot.
With the device in front of them and print samples in hand, guests immediately started talking about the ways in which the Phaser 7800 was going to transform the way they managed print. Never before had an office device given them access to 1200 x 2400dpi print quality, PANTONE colour calibrations and an ability to print on stock weights ranging from 75 to 350gsm.
It was fascinating to hear how these customers were positioning our product in their own minds. Some saw a new way to drive additional revenue by becoming their own printers (instead of outsourcing everything as they traditionally have done). Others loved the flexibility the Phaser 7800 offered them for short print runs and commercial quality in-house proofs.
It’s no wonder that the value end of the printer market is growing 40 per cent year on year. The sophistication and quality of the products serving this part of the market are matching or even exceeding offset print quality – and the pricing is compelling is well.
So, after witnessing two successful events focused on two different kinds of printing solutions, it was clear to me that brand integrity still counts for a lot. A powerful brand creates interest and sets the expectation of excellence. The passion is what we together deliver to our customers. And more importantly, it’s how our customers feel once they’ve experienced the technology we offer for themselves.
What does power and passion mean to you?