December 16, 2019 | Daywey Chen

The printing and packaging industry is a competitive playground. Companies need to develop their core advantage to remain competitive on the market. Below are 6 areas that companies can build a moat to fight off the competition.



“Our print quality is the best among the competition. We can deliver products the fastest to our customers. If our customers don’t get it from us, they get it elsewhere, because no one else on the market can deliver it.”

This usually is a premium product strategy that targets high-end customers. This strategy requires investment in your equipment, premium supplies and R&D to ensure high-quality products. In the printing and packaging industry, this strategy is hard as a standalone, since high print quality is comparatively more accessible when compared to technology products that are truly unique.



"We have an excellent service team. Our customer service is the best in the class. Our customer service is trained to communicate effectively with our clients, and we have systems in place to help us achieve maximum operational efficiency. A large global team that is constantly servicing our customers taking care of maintenance, error fixing, Q&A, and complaints. Our response time is among the best in the industry"

Is your company a people-driven company? Have your company established a culture where your employees will stop at nothing to achieve customer satisfaction? Do you have enough resources to keep your customers happy? Service on a local scale is a thing, service on a global scale is a whole other story.



"We have the most efficient (manufacturing, development, service, sales, maintenance...etc.) operation. We have an economy of scale that allow us to deliver products at a cost that others can’t match.”

The cost has always been one of the top consideration factors for most customer purchases. Some products and services are less price-elastic than others, but no doubt that cost is always in the equation. Cost is especially important in the printing and packing industry as the product delivered is usually not unique. This means that you can get it from many different places.


Niche Market

"We are able to produce personalized products. We can customize to each individual. We can provide a service that money can't buy"

Are you able to take on orders that are very small? Are you able to take on orders that are specially designed for a niche market? For instance, to fulfill customers that would like to have their names printed on the package. To fulfill customers that would like to have their family photo printed on the package.

Unique Business Model

"We don't have the best product and service or competitive pricing, but we have a business model that targets the pain point of the customer that allows us to separate ourselves from the competition?"

For instance, maybe your company can provide a very competitive payment plan for the customer. Maybe you can provide free shipping? Maybe you are able to provide packaging design services for your customers.



"OK! We do not have a competitive product, service, pricing, niche market or business model. Let's look at our brand. How valuable is our brand to the customer?"

Branding usually comes with marketing costs. Yes, emphasizing greatly on marketing is a strategy. However, this strategy is often not sustainable if you don't have an advantage in your product, service, cost, niche or business model. The marketing effort can help you grab the attention of the potential businesses, but at the end of the day, when people realize that there is insufficient value to what they are paying for, they will leave you. Most often, the brand strategy is not highly effective in the printing and packaging companies.

Go back to your business and review if your product and services have an advantage in the 6 areas mentioned. Of course, we shouldn't leave about the degree of advantage that you have in each of the areas. For instance, if you have a very high degree of advantage in your cost, then you might not need to have much advantages or even any advantage in the other 5 areas. However, if you only have a slight degree of advantage in cost, then you might also need an advantage from the other 5 areas. Most often, companies don't standout alone in one area with a very high degree of advantage. Most often it’s a combination of advantages from the 6 areas, that makes a company separate itself from the competition.

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Article by Daywey Chen, KYMC