Thu, Dec

Does a ‘Made in Britain’ label make a difference to consumer brand perception? Attest, a brand intelligence and consumer insights platform, surveyed 2,000 British and 2,000 American people, and found that three in four are more likely to buy a product with a ‘Made in Britain’ label. 39% of Brits feel more positively towards British brands and products post-Brexit vote, and though one in three Americans admit they don’t know any British brands, nearly 40% of them said they find ‘Made in Britain’ products ‘desirable’. Is this attitude likely to impact your business?

A reminder that Printwear and Promotion Live! 2018 will take place at the NEC in Birmingham, 21 - 23 January. According to event director Tony Gardner more than 25 new exhibitors have joined the line-up, which covers equipment and accessory supplies in direct-to-garment, sublimation, transfer, screen printing plus embroidery. Also new are the Knowledge Centre (H70) and The Decoration Advice Suite (J20). Details at: www.printwearandpromotionlive.co.uk

Great news that Prismm Environmental has come up with a scheme to divert foil print waste from landfill. Now then, what about PVC? No doubt the same demands are coming from brand owners wanting to see a reduction in all print waste….

Are we set for growth? That is a key question as we kick off the 2018 Widthwise Survey. Consider this a personal invite to take part what is our 11th annual poll of the UK and Ireland’s large-format orientated PSPs - the data from which will be analysed and presented in a ‘state-of-the-nation’ report in the spring. Current indications are that we are actually in a pretty good place, all things considered, and that yes, many companies can expect to see growth in 2018. Take a look at what Signbox MD Mark Bartlett has to say on the subject in the Taking Point interview.

This week Digital Minister Matt Hancock said the Better Broadband Scheme - which provides a subsidy of up to £350 to enable access to an affordable broadband service to those unable to get speeds of at least 2Mbps – has been extended to the end of 2018, rather than ending at the end of next month. “More than 94% of the UK can now access superfast broadband speeds and thousands more homes and businesses are being reached every week,” he said. Wondering if you are happy with your broadband speeds?

I spent the weekend putting together the editorial content plan for the 2018 Widthwise Report. I’ll be spending this week framing the questions for the survey that provides the backbone of that report. Is there a burning question you would like me to ask PSPs in that poll? Let me know right now if you do – after all, it’s about delivering you a market report that will help your business thrive.

As you read this I’ll be on my way to The Printing Charity’s 190th Annual Luncheon at Stationers’ Hall in London. Perhaps you’re on your way there too, in which case it’ll be great to catch up with you. But the purpose of me mentioning the event really is to flag up the incredible work of this charity - of which there is still such little awareness among print sector staff. There may be people within your company in need of its assistance, so please raise awareness. Thank you.

The Virtual and Augmented Reality Creative Summit takes place on 5 December at Picturehouse Central in London. OK, the line-up might leave you wondering about the programme’s relevance to print, but for those of you keeping a close eye on trends likely to impact your future output it’s perhaps worth investigating…

The plethora of awards ceremonies at this time of year makes me wonder how valuable a marketing tool they are for those that win a gong. Do contacts hear the noise companies make about doling out or winning these accolades – and do they help bring in business for the recipients. Just wondering….

InPrint 2017 kicks off tomorrow. Will you be going? Aimed at those integrating print processes into manufacturing lines it hardly seems relevant to those of you receiving this newsletter – but then again, we do keep banging the drum about PSPs making more of an effort see beyond their own back stairs....

What do you think of what HP is trying to achieve with its SmartStream Designer for Designers (D4D) beta programme? I’m loving it, but as a PSP how do you view the development?

Data from the BPIF’s latest survey is hardly cheering – but how representative is it of the situation in the large-format sector? I’d like to hear your take on that. I’d also like find out if there are any specific questions you’d like to see us put to the community of large-format PSPs in the next Widthwise survey. I’m currently putting together the questionnaire for the 2018 project so drop me a line if there’s something you'd like to see added.

If you are at - or have been to - Ipex this week, what are your thoughts on the show? Despite there being little in terms of large-format at the event, I know some of you were still intending to go along to keep abreast of what’s happening in terms of developments across the wider (no pun intended!) print industry. If that was the case, has it impacted your understanding of how the sector is developing and how you need to develop your business to compete?

I’ve asked this before, but I’ll ask again - is print one of the UK’s creative industries? I ask because I’ve been reminded that on 14 December there will be a Westminster Media Forum Keynote Seminar on the ‘next steps for regional development and the creative industries in the UK’? Chaired by Bambos Charalambous MP, delegates will consider the recommendations of the Independent Review into the creative industries, led by Sir Peter Bazalgette, which sets out proposals for an ‘Industrial Strategy’ for creative sectors. To my mind print needs representation. Am I alone in thinking that?

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