Office Depot is Gone, Should I Buy VistaPrint?

The good news is that for printing services in the North Little Rock area (and Little Rock area too, I suppose), I have one less competitor to worry about. With the recently announced buyout of Office Depot by Staples, I should now rest easy knowing that some of my competition is going away, right? Since this merger will result in fewer big-box office stores, those businesses needing printed collateral, stationery, marketing materials, banners and posters will now be more willing to visit us, right?

But wait, what about VistaPrint? They keep growing, and continue to expand their global reach and online presence. Certainly they are a competitor. And in this soon-to-be-released commercial, they do a wonderful job of storytelling. It’s the classic story of the prodigal son returning home, and the subtle product placement is nicely done:

Okay, wipe away those tears and continue reading.

Have I lost business to Staples, Office Depot and VistaPrint? Certainly. Have I lost sleep over what these behemoths have done to our industry. Certainly not. (I’ve lost sleep for other reasons, but maybe those are for another day.)

I know that as big and as inexpensive as these competitors have become, they can never replace what we have at CustomXM. In this touching tale of “The Postcard,” I, as a business owner and marketer, have questions arising from the story of Barrett & Son Bakery:

  • Who consulted with them on their branding?
  • Who assisted with the design of their logo?
  • Who installed some of their banners and signs?
  • Who advised them on the need for consistency in their marketing efforts?
  • Did they purchase a database, or was EDDM a better solution for their postcard?
  • Surely they incorporated the use of social media as part of their marketing efforts?
  • And most certainly they developed a cohesive strategy and plan to implement all these efforts, right?

I certainly agree that the online and mega-mortar providers do a good job in fulfilling many business needs, especially if these needs relate to commodity items. But certain customized products and services require more than a simple SKU. They require conversation, a dialogue, maybe even a face-to-face meeting. They require the personalized attention that our team at CustomXM has been providing for over 48 years.

I enjoyed The Postcard video. But more than that, I enjoy the never-ending stories we help create for our customers, and we’ve been doing this for 48 years! But let’s face it, the story of Barrett & Sons Bakery is most likely fictional. That’s where we have the upper hand on VistaPrint and the others. We are proud to share this story of a REAL Bakery, now in its 3rd year. What we lack in video and audio quality as compared to that of The Postcard, we certainly make up for in passion and snarkiness. And please note that this video was made months before The Postcard.

Once again, wipe away those tears and let us know how we can help tell your story.  And we can even let you buy business cards online, too (500 full color for $58.00)!

blog photo

Paul Strack [email protected] @pstrack

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