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Printing Industry Is The Uks Fifth Largest Manufactur Marketing Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Marketing
Wordcount: 3825 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The aim of this project is to present a feasible idea to increase the brand awareness and profile of the social enterprise ‘PrintIT’, a printing company which is part of The AppleBy Trust. To achieve this research was carried out on the printing industry, analysis on the current firm and marketing activities and consideration of a potential new customer base for PrintIT to target. This would enable establishment of an alternative marketing strategy for PrintIT which is hoped to be successful.

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Printing Industry Analysis

The Printing Industry is the UK’s fifth largest manufacturing industry. It employs over 160,000 people in 12,000 companies most of which are fairly small. It is a vital manufacturing sector and has strategic importance to the economy catering for public authorities, retail, distribution, financial services, travel etc. In Northern Ireland Printing is a long established and mature industry and many of the companies that operate within the sector are long serving and have been involved in printing for a number of decades.

http://www.britishprint.com/page.asp?node=297&sec=Essential_facts_on_the_UK_printing_industry See Appendix 1

Johnston, Michael, Chief Executive, BPIF, The Marketing Manager’s Yearbook 2007, The BPIF, The Voice of the Printing Industry in the UK, See Appendix 2


Demand in the industry is greatly influenced by the level of activity taking place in the economy and subsequently demand for the sector did fall from early 2008 due to the economic downturn. Printing companies are losing contracts as organisations go into administration. Declines are inevitably likely 2010, 2011 with full recovery and possible increases in 2012.

Fenn, Dominic, Key Note Marketing Report 2010, 15th Edition, Printing, April 2010

ISBN 978-1-84729-608-5, See Appendix 3

The industry is hugely affected by macroeconomic factors and Printing is expected to advance in the future.

Below is a PEST Analysis which explains the most crucial factors affecting the industry:-



IPPC (Integrated Pollution Prevention and Integrated Control) is the most crucial and looks at resource and energy efficiency, accident prevention and minimisation of other pollutants including noise and heat.

envirowise.wrap.org.uk/…/Integrated-Pollution-Prevention-And-Control- IPPC.html

New powers have been given to the ICO (Information Commissioners Office) which could see Printing companies face major fines therefore Printing firms processing personal data need to ensure it is adequately protected.

Nias, Simon and Sheahan, Tim, ‘Printers could face £500k fines under new powers given to ICO,’ PrintWeek article 4 December 2009 (20 Nov)See Appendix 4

The Printing Industry is a hugely polluting industry and environmental issues include:-

Water – Large quantities of water are used in most printing processes and Water charges are being introduced at the end of the year in Northern Ireland See Appendix 23. The alternative would be waterless printing nevertheless the printers are expensive to purchase and run.

Waste – Relatively high levels of waste are generated by the printing process. This is also a social issue.

Emissions – VOC’s are believed to come from the Printing Industry. These can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and much more serious affects if exposed to for long periods of time.


Ink – Heavy metals and non-renewable resources in ink. The alternative would be vegetable based inks however not used by all printers.


The economic downturn is the most evident with approximately 200 companies already going into administration with 3000 jobs lost. This is contributing to the high levels of unemployment the UK is facing. See Appendix 5 from PrintWeek.com which is the official website for the British Printing Industries Federation.

Mitting, William, ‘Unemployment hits 2.38m with thousands of jobs lost from print’ printweek.com 15 July 2009

Printing Paper rises – Several major paper suppliers have announced price increases. Paper giant ‘Sappi’ said it will raise the price of certain types of paper by at least 10% in March next year however Printing companies will find it hard to increase their prices as there is continual undercutting of prices to secure contracts. See Appendix 6

Morris, Helen, ‘Paper manufacturers set to impose further price increase’ printweek.com 19 February

Interest rate rising – Small print firms could be hit by a further crush on borrowing. This is the result of a move by the Treasury to reduce its exposure to the EFG scheme. See Appendix 7.

Energy and fuel rises – The industry has high energy dependence from the machinery it uses, a majority of which is electrical.

Tucker, Wesley, eHow Contributor, ‘Challenges in the Printing Industry’ 31st May 2010



Do It Yourself – With disposable income lower and a wide more diverse range of packages available, consumers can choose to print for themselves whether it be using templates available on Microsoft or Desktop Publishing etc.


Advancement in technology has an unavoidable impact in the industry. It is needed to survive and ahead of competition. A Marketing Week article reports that the trend of digital technology and printing will ultimately open up new markets. A Printing Impressions article and Converting magazine abstract explain that digital enhances image and quality, has a faster turnaround and saves costs. See Appendices 8,9 & 10.

The internet is another technological factor. 73% of households in the UK have it with 30 million adults using it daily therefore an opportunity for the industry to exploit. See Appendix 11 which details the National Statistics of Internet access. The Printing Industry could use the internet as an online ordering tool which is a trend in demand. The internet could too be used as a medium, for example a campaign online could be enhanced with a printed one to match. See Appendix 12 which explains that the internet is not a threat but can be used as a complimentary medium.

Ultimately all the factors would need to be strongly analysed and considered in order to survive in an environment which is rapidly changing.

With regards to the Social Enterprise sector, they have a vital role to play in the country’s economic recovery as they tackle social unemployment and crime or environmental issues and still support financial growth. The survey in Appendix 13 found that despite the recession, social enterprises are twice as confident of future growth as small to medium enterprises, with 48% of social enterprises reacting positively as opposed to just 24% of SMEs.

Since the economic downturn began, 56% have increased their turnover from the previous year whilst less than 20% have seen it go down.

State of Social Enterprise Survey, Nov 2009, Social Enterprise Coalition


Firm and Marketing Analysis


Latest Product Technology

In House Professional Design System

Competitive Price’s

Online Uploading Service



Limited to Employee Abilities

Limited To Expansion

Very little Cash flow

Very Little Marketing Ability

Resource Independent


Seasonal Greetings Cards

T-shirt Printing

Charity Fundraisers



Stable / Well Known Competitors

Work Related Legislations

Increase in at ‘home Printing’

Struggling Economy

Above is a SWOT analysis of PrintIT.

Strengths include the latest product technology. PrintIT offer digital printing and An In House Professional Design Service which indicate they are advancing with changes in technology in what is a dominant trend in the industry. They also have an online uploading service which enables faster and more convenient printing for the enterprise and the customer.

Weaknesses include very little cash flow and marketing ability. PrintIT have a small sum of £300 per annum for their enterprise spending budget.

Opportunities including seasonal greetings cards. A Keynote Market Focus 2008 report (Appendix 14) states that Christmas and New Year cards sector record the greatest sales in volume terms and a rapidly growing population will ensure volume and value growth. Other opportunities include T-shirt Printing which PrintIT could use in the future when they more business.

Threats include increase in at ‘Home Printing’ As mentioned earlier there are programs available to enable consumers to print for themselves.

Current Marketing Activities

From assessing PrintIT’s current marketing activities, they market in three ways: Via the Appleby PrintIT website, a quarterly newsletter and distribution of leaflets.

According to a recent Measurement of Marketing Effectiveness report, managers now more emphasis on the marketing activities of the organisation. This trend is the aspiration to achieve sustainable profit and develop their own firm to compete harder. See Appendix 15.

As explained earlier the Internet is used by a vast majority of consumers. PrintIT have a very detailed website with a lot of facitlies available including quote request, services provided, portfolio of work and a price list. This is good service accessibility and a competitive advantage over rivals in the area of Armagh, as main competitors TrimPrint and Instant Print do not have websites at current, therefore if a consumer was looking for a Printing firm via an online search engine PrintIT would be the only company to offer one. This is a marketing activity which is delivered better than local competitors.

From an extensive review of the website there seemed to be no link from PrintIT to the AppleBy Trust. We feel as a charity and social enterprise there needs to be a stronger link between the two, this is vital.

Newsletters are distributed to existing customers of PrintIT quarterly. This enables them to maintain a relationship with their current customers and act as a tool for customer loyalty and repeat business. Newsletters are valued and an approach which is popular among marketers. PrintIT newsletters have a corporate design and are informative in that they show clients who they are supporting by including ‘Trainee News’ and ‘Trainee of the Month’ features. It can be used as a marketing strategy to communicate offers, new features etc. Two newsletter articles (Appendices 16 & 17) explain how newsletters are being introduced by companies of all sizes to communicate with customers and best prospects and how they are credible for a company with a limited budget.

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PrintIT also distribute leaflets. This is a method of marketing which could be very effective for business as this could be a way of advertising the firm for those that do not know or are aware of it. To prevent customers disposing of it PrintIT could include a discount code or money off coupon for an extra incentive. Paper is PrintIT’s forestay therefore leaflets will be very cost effective for the business in distributing to consumers. They are too a good form of communication.

Customer Analysis

Demographics of customers show that PrintIT are used by local consumers, beauty salons, hairdressers, pizza places etc. These are small local companies which PrintIt should continue catering for however should consider extending their customer base to local communities, churches, schools and colleges. PrintIT could create a bigger public awareness by using sports events at schools etc to advertise the brand. A recent Segmenting Volunteer Fundraisers at a Charity Sport Event journal explains how Charitable organizations are increasingly using sport events as an approach to generate funds and raise awareness. Researchers have suggested that sport events are mainly attractive to volunteer fundraisers because they provide an opportunity to engage in two important activities at the same time. This could evitably increase PrintIT’s customer base

Wood, Laura – Snelgrove, Ryan – Danylchuk, Karen, 2010. Segmenting Volunteer Fundraisers at a Charity Sport Event . Journal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing, 22 (1) p38 Appendix 24

For churches, PrintIT could offer to print order of services for weddings and eulogies for funerals. Weddings and funerals are constant therefore printing would always be in demand. See Appendices 21 & 22 which show that the rate of weddings and deaths in Armagh was particularly high, and bigger compared to other areas in 2008. This would be an opportunity for PrintIt to exploit and use their service to generate more business.



For schools and colleges PrintIT could also offer the service of printing for example school plays, PTA letters and also offer the service of printing coursework for students.

In order to reach customers PrintIT could create and deliver a portfolio and welcome pack to the local communities etc to view the work PrintIT offers and does.

Price V Quality

PrintIt at present charge a low price for printing therefore this could give the impression to consumers that the quality is low therefore an increase in prices could generate thought of higher quality products being offered. PrintIt are a social enterprise and part of a charity fund therefore consumers will be willing to pay more if they know it’s for a charity linked brand. See Appendix 18 which explains how cause related marketing can in the short term boost sales immediately and why consumers are willing to pay more for a charity linked brand.

Strahilevitz, Michal, The Effects of Product Type and Doation Magnitude on Willingness to Pay More for a Charity-Linked Brand, Journal of Consumer Psychology, 8 (3) 215-241 1999

Marketing Strategy

From analysing all of the above and looking at alternative marketing perspectives the team concluded that rebranding the social enterprise PrintIT by creating a new name, logo and business slogan would be the most effective strategy.

To provide further information on rebranding, recently rebranded charities were reviewed to enable the team to see the reasoning behind rebrand and also the strategy and approach used in doing so.

Examples of Rebranding

The first charity was ‘The Printers’ Charitable Organisation’ It changed its name and introduced a new logo. The charity provides relief for aged or poor people who are or were printers or persons employed or formerly worked in the printing or publishing industry.

http://www.fundraising.co.uk/newswire/2010/03/24/printers’-charitable-corporation-pcc-rebrands-printing-charity (28 Nov)

The corporation changed its name to reflect its desire to appeal to a wider group of people and their children in todays Printing, Publishing trade

The corporation changed its name to ‘The Printing Charity’. They said that the word ‘printing’ was inclusive but also built on their legacy of supporting people.


The logo which beolow incorporates the four CMYK printing blocks used in the colour printing process. Each block represents one of the four cornerstones: Homes, Help, Link and Futures.


The charity thought the new name and logo was critical to the people it was set up to support. The rebranding is also an attempt to raise the profile and increase the number of people it supports financially.

Other charities who have rebranded include Help the Aged which rebranded to Age UK, Parkinson’s Disease Society which rebranded to Parkinson’s UK and Macmillen Cancer Relief which rebranded to Macmillen Cancer Support. This rebrand was very successful, the charity had been underperforming considerably and the rebrand enhanced awareness and helped with publicity. Research has shown rebranding can vary in price and is time consuming.


PrintIT’s Rebrand

From analysing PrintIT,a rebrand of the enterprise was decided. The original name does not specifically imply that it is supporting people with learning difficulties or that is it connected or originated from the AppleBy Trust.

A suggestion is that PrintIT change their name to ‘Print4Charity’ as this is simple and instantly indicates that the enterprise is a company printing for charity. Print4Charity has a meaning which is significantly different from the other traditional printing companies in Armagh and the surrounding area, is relevant to the enterprise and embeds it in the community.

According to Hollensen 2003 the role of branding is to distinguish a company’s offering and differentiate a particular product/service from its competitors. It creates awareness and helps with the promotion of the product/service. A brand is a complex symbol that signifies a range of ideas.

Printing4Charity could strengthen the enterprise’s image with customers and communicate value. The rebrand is distinctive and has the potential to gain competitive advantage in the area as making a profit is a factor which is essential in keeping the enterprise up and running.

Hollensen, Svend, Marketing Management, A Relationship Approach, 2nd Edition, Pages 409-410

From reviewing the enterprise’s website, newsletter and leaflets there is no distinctive logo and firm slogan. The enterprise strives to help disadvantaged people by providing vocational training therefore the team thought of an attentive firm slogan to match. Keller et al 2009 explains slogans to be those that are an extremely efficient means to build brand equity.

Kotler et al, Marketing Management, European Edition, Pearson, Page 435

When designing the logo the fact that Print4Charity is part of the Appleby Trust was considered and that it gives disadvantaged people the opportunity to grow and flourish in real life work experience. Due to this the team created a logo and slogan that incorporates this:


The new corporate colours used are green, yellow and red which the team felt indicated warmth and displayed professionalism. The Apples link the enterprise to Armagh as they are a distinguishing feature of the city. This could gain customer loyalty.

The firm slogan ‘A Chance to Ripen’ conveys emotion and connects with customers. According to Hollensen 2003 company slogans’ tell the firms story.

Cost of Rebranding

Rebranding can vary in price and be time consuming however the enterprise will benefit from it hugely in the future and could advertise the new brand via leaflets etc or use the buses the enterprise has to put the rebranded name no therefore this is a free form of advertising.

Rebranding to Print4Charity is an opportunity to exploit and is a chance to really influence the point of the enterprise.

‘Relaunching brand could sharpen the attention of existing and potential users’

Bradley, Frank, Marketing Management, Providing, Communicating and Delivering Value, Page 546

Other Marketing Strategies

Other marketing strategies that were considered were publicity. The enterprise could get journalists from local newsletters and magazines to write an article about Print4Charity. See Appendices 16 & 17 which convey why newsletters are an effective form of communication.

The enterprise should create an online social network presence in the form of Facebook, Twitter etc. See Utalkmarketing.com article in Appendix 20 which explains why social networks are valuable and important for business.

The enterprise should also consider getting involved with the Social Economy Network. It’s a membership based organisation that draws its membership from Social Economy organisations throughout Northern Ireland. It seeks to build, support and strengthen the Social Economy sector, it is too getting support and recognition by the Assembly.

What Is Social Economy?

As discussed earlier stronger connection with schools, local clubs etc and participation at local community and sporting events via trade exhibitions etc of the enterprises work. See Appendix 19 which conveys how a trade exhibition is a good way to market a company.

Regarding pricing the enterprise should increase prices because as mentioned earlier consumers are willing to pay a little bit more if it’s for charity.

The product range of the enterprise could be enhanced and broadened via printing seasonal greetings cards etc. See Keynote report as Appendix 14.

In conclusion, if all the alternative marketing strategies were implemented PrintIT would see a rebrand to Print4Charity and have a vary of ways in promoting its service and receiving more business. These in effect will contribute more to the enterprise’s funds which would enable more expenditure for new technology etc in order to move forward and compete in what is a fast changing environment.


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