While on many levels we’re going through a period of seismic change, politically and economically in particular, some things remain constant. I’m talking about the thorny issue of pricing in print, as highlighted in our roundtable feature.
Few could argue that the industry wouldn’t seriously benefit from across the board price increases. Not to allow the MD to upgrade the Jag to a Maserati, but just to enable firms to invest and seize some of the new opportunities out there (and help their clients seize them too, of course).
But are price increases a realistic prospect?
The supporting evidence is there: input prices are on the way up as the cost of anything that’s imported (so, basically, everything) has gotten more expensive – thanks to the fall in the value of the pound.
And, unlike previous input price increases, not many clients could feign ignorance that things are getting more expensive on the sceptered isle – unless they somehow missed the news that Brexit has pumped up the price of Marmite and slimmed down the number of triangles in Toblerone.
But there’s a problem – and to find out what the problem is just ask any print boss.
The problem is everyone else.
Any industry is only as strong as its weakest link, and it’s the weakest links that too often set the market value for print – it was ever thus, sadly (and I can’t believe it’s only the case in print).
But maybe, just maybe Brexit price rises will be a blessing in disguise as they will speed the demise of the remaining weakest links and coincide with the new appreciation of the value of print (see this issue’s briefing on p8).
Then perhaps we can all stop fretting about other people’s pricing, and just focus on the value our own businesses create and charge accordingly.
Darryl Danielli Editor, PrintWeek