3 Ways to Earn Trust Through Collaboration with Print Customers

creative collaboration

The secret to earning referrals and long-term loyalty with print customers for their printing and print marketing needs is really no secret. Creative collaboration is the key to success.

Collaboration can take many forms.

On the lowest end, we have information exchange and administrative collaboration: emails, calls, job status, pricing, billing, and so on. The next level is a contribution collaboration: suggestions for improvements cost savings and so on for supplied estimate requests and project files. The pinnacle, level 1, and the Holy Grail of collaboration is collaboration BEFORE a project is conceived.

In my personal experience, projects created with level 1 collaboration have always run smoother and turned out better. In many cases, better than anyone expected because our agency printing partners brought us ideas we didn’t have, presented better ways to execute, and introduced new printing and finishing techniques and technologies we didn’t know existed.

Phygital Partnerships

As we move closer and closer to a meta-world, human relationships will be the significant differential in how a print customer purchases, and why. I believe collaboration is so critical to the future of print, that I have invested the last six months developing the Project Peacock Network, streaming printspiration for printing and marketing professionals, and playing at ProjectPeacock.TV. Read the launch news here.

The first series, Project Peacock: Print Production, is original programming produced in partnership with INKISH.TV, and shares collaborative success stories featuring print customers, their printers, and the paper, press, finishing, and technology partners of the printers.

Three episodes are live, and six more follow in the coming weeks. Join our mailing list for episode premiere dates and new series announcements.

In the first three episodes, we learn three ways to successfully collaborate with print customers, and even win an award for it!

Open Kitchen

Features collaboration on using multiple substrates and variable data in a multi-piece campaign and stars Emilee Christianson, Director of Client Services at TREKK, Laura d’All, Vice President & General Manager at Copy General, and the production inkjet printing technology from Canon Solutions America. Watch here.

Area Real Estate

Features collaboration on paper choice with Marie Langdon, Fine Paper Sales at Midland, to create complicated crossovers for typography that required testing and precise finishing by Tom Latendresse, Account Executive at J&J, and his team to achieve the result intended by Nathaniel Cooper, Creative Director at Design Ranch for their client. Watch here.

The Idea Shop Launch Kit

Features collaboration for replicating the color of Astrobrights Lift-Off Lemon with ink to match across multiple substrates and print samples and features Michele Pistone, Marketing Manager at Neenah, Scott Gasch, President at FEY Printing and includes how Neenah collaborated with Design Army on the concept, and the color testing Fey initiated and provided. Watch here.

Copy General, J&J Printing, and Fey Printing will each have three stories shared on ProjectPeacock.TV that they can promote to customers and prospects, Canon Solutions America, Domtar, and Neenah can promote as customer success stories, and I will promote across the Printerverse and directly to agencies, brands, students, and print customers around the world.

In the process of developing the first industry streaming network for Printspiration, I realized an amazing content library of FREE how-to information is also being aggregated. In that, I also know it can get complicated to share content starring another printer, paper mill, merchant, press, finishing, and technology partner that isn’t in your eco-system, no matter how much the story of collaboration would resonate with your customers. So, get your own!

Project Peacock: Print Production is back on the road to film in North America and Europe in 2023.

We must plan our filming schedule now.


Reach out to your paper mill/merchant, press, finishing, and technology (automation, VDP, pre-flight, pre-press, color management, marketing tools, design tools, tracking tools, and so on) and tell them you are ready for your closeup! Have them contact me to get on-air and share your collaboration stories.

Paper Mills, Merchants, Press, Finishing, and Technology OEMs…

Your customers and theirs are your greatest education, marketing, and sales tool. Give them the opportunity to step into the spotlight and illuminate how their collaboration success includes you.

User Groups…

You already have ecosystems! Get together with your partners and get in touch to show how it all works together and benefits print customers, marketers, and creatives.

While muster is the most common collective noun for peacocks, a group of peacocks is also referred to as ostentation or a party, or a pride. Pride is the reason a peacock was chosen to represent this ongoing customer education initiative. I wanted to show off the amazing things we can do, that customers are completely unaware of, and give them the resources, connections, and tools they need to create and produce printed materials that delivered or exceeded their intended results.

After engaging with more than 4000 print customers since 2017, the mission of Project Peacock continues because it is working. And through the streaming platform, we can now reach, educate, and share prinspiration around the world.



See Deborah’s featured post: https://printmediacentr.com/5-new-business-development-takeaways-from-kushcon-tampa

See all posts by Deborah


Deborah Corn is the Intergalactic Ambassador to the Printerverse at Print Media Centr, a Print Buyerologist, international industry speaker and blogger, and the cultivator of Print Production Professionals, the #1 print group on LinkedIn. She provides printspiration and resources to print and marketing professionals through education, events, Podcasts From The Printerverse, ProjectPeacock.TV, and an array of community-lifting initiatives including Girls Who Print, Elevate Print, #PrintChat, #PrintLife and International Print Day.

Deborah also helps companies create more meaningful and profitable customer relationships by utilizing more than 25 years of experience as an agency, brand, and corporate print buyer who has assessed, hired and worked with a plethora of printers and service providers.

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