Photo print marketing with passion.
Why? Because it’s not just a piece of paper, or canvas, or metal, or wood. It’s not just a photo or a graphic. It is a conversation starter, the spark that ignites stories as well as creates emotional connections. It’s a mnemonic expression of the experiences that bring together families and friends, colleagues and clients.
At The Print Refinery™, this human connection drives the unique experiential elements that make up a winning formula—for consumers and retailers. The Print Refinery™ is IPI’s licensed business model that fuses high-tech innovations with creative storytelling to explore unique print and photo solutions for archiving, décor, gift giving, graphics and also commercial applications. The Print Refinery™ thrives on face-to-face interaction to drive conversation, collaboration and education.
Experience a Consultative Creative Partnership
Today’s specialty retail and service markets are no longer transactional, employing order takers. For both retail guests and commercial clients, you must develop relationships that position your team as the local expert. It’s time to get out from behind the counter and consult with each customer side by side. Understanding their needs and matching them with your vast capabilities will guarantee the desired end result—an emotional connection with the story behind the project.
The Print Refinery™ store design incorporates several multifunctional areas: a casual conversation area; a consultation counter; various styles of workstations; and also multiple collaboration tables. Guests and team members spontaneously engage with each other in various ways, without the barrier of the traditional sales counter. Furthermore, the incorporation of the collaboration tables has proven to successfully increase sales tickets.
Discover Unique Product + Service Offerings
Offering exclusive products as well as services with a “We print ANYTHING on EVERTHING” mantra is essential. It’s highlighted by beautiful, clean displays that thoughtfully curate the best of what can be done. These vignettes are also designed to feel like a home or office environment. When paired with conversation, a team member utilizes the free flow environment to walk a guest through a hands-on experience of examples, materials as well as inspiration that meets their specific needs.
Utilizing the latest marketing techniques—web design, online advertising, digital signage, emotional messaging and video—as well as celebratory packaging, the perception of professionally crafted, custom masterpieces is emphasized.
The Gather Box™ (shoebox scanning reinvented) is one of the more multifaceted “signature” services offered in-store, as it encourages add-ons, upselling and derivative creative products. It can be paired with classes, events and one-on-one consultations. In addition, ongoing development of new signature products and services is inspired by home and commercial décor trends and top-selling items on creative sites like Etsy.
Engage through Community-Building Classes + Events
Focus on building a local culture through interactive education and also social events. Collaboration tables can be moved together and placed in front of a wall-mounted monitor to create an in-store classroom space. All classes as well as events should conclude with the creation of a printed creative product and an introduction to the endless project possibilities.
Maximize your opportunities to support, train, educate, coach and also entertain your customers. Events and education inspire creativity, collaboration as well as connection, teaching skills that add value and lead to purchases. Capitalize on the popularity of group activities like paint night, plant night, trivia night, etc., that let guests socialize with like-minded individuals in a fun, nurturing environment.
Uncover High-Profit Margins with Commercial Concentration
The Print Refinery™ is a hybrid model of equal B2C and B2B sales. Furthermore, it uses IPI’s Creative Partner Program™ method to attract lucrative commercial projects that carry an 80% margin on average.
Developing creative partnerships with local businesses happens mostly outside of the store. However, the store is well equipped with interactive displays and collaboration areas for in-store appointments, as well as spontaneous experiences. This focus brought one location more than $20,000 in additional sales in January 2017.
Cultivate Team Culture
Your brand = your culture = your team. These three elements must be well developed, communicated and integrated. Start by clearly defining your brand culture through your vision, mission, guiding principles (core values) and also brand promise.
All business decisions are tested against these, including cultivating the right team. Engaged team members are attracted to your culture and perform better as a result. Engagement starts during the recruiting process and continues through interviewing, hiring and training. Most important, it never ends with growth opportunities presented by mentoring and education. State your vision, mission, guiding principles as well as brand promise and clearly define the attributes of your ideal team member in your job descriptions and training materials.
Develop a New Mindset
Training is integral in making the culture shift of taking your team members from order takers to collaborators, from producers to artisans, from service reps to educators, and from retail salespeople to commercial partners.
The Print Refinery™ developed an online training program in which all team members from all stores participate. It can be modified for use during in-person individual or group training. In addition, training modules are added regularly to introduce new concepts and train on the brand, the culture, sales techniques, display methods and new products and services.
At the end of the day, when you present your handcrafted masterpieces to your in-store guests and unveil your stunning on-location installations to your creative partners, you’ve become an irreplaceable part of their storytelling process. You are now part of their conversation. You’ve forged a lasting connection. Consult. Create. Repeat.
Editor’s Note: Brenda DiVincenzo is director of Member Success for IPI – Member Network, the licensor of The Print Refinery™. For more information on how you can incorporate The Print Refinery™, the Gather Box™, Word Art, the Creative Partner Program™ or IPI – Member Network into your business, visit ipiphoto.com.