The Path Of A Printer
So yesterday, Perry Juddâ€™s was sold. That makes one more in a wave of printer mergers for 2006. It follows the merger of United Litho and Dartmouth Printing into Sheridan Magazine Services (they had been owned by Sheridan alreadyâ€”this merger marks the creation of a unified marketing brand. And in November, Donnelley acquired Banta.
This is the continuation of a wave of consolidation that has been occurring for years among printers, but I think itâ€™s worth noting the passing of what was once a dominant company. When I started working at Folio: in the early nineties, Juddâ€™s Printing was a dominant player. Based in Virginia, it had an image of being a stable player, a trustworthy straight shooter that was going to be there when its clients needed it to be. Its top sales executive, Howard Sullivan, was the perfect personification of this imageâ€”gracious, commanding, a person with quiet authority.
But Juddâ€™s was on the back cover of every issue of Folio: in those days and probably well before that. They had an anchor position and spoke to the market with a compelling, simple, consistent message month after month.
When Perry Printing bought Juddâ€™s in 1997, that changed. And eventually, the merged Perry-Juddâ€™s became a non-entity in this space. I canâ€™t remember the last time Perry-Juddâ€™s did any advertising. It may be that Perry Juddâ€™s continues to be a great printer for its existing customers, and it may be that the company did a lot of innovating. But it frankly was not engaged in the magazine industry. They didnâ€™t attend showsâ€”Folio:â€™s or others. It didnâ€™t exhibit. It didnâ€™t run ad schedules. It became invisible.
I wonder how much that particular marketing strategy had to do with this weekâ€™s announcement. Iâ€™ve blogged about this topic before, but thought this was worth noting.
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