Noted author and blogger Seth Godin recently blogged about the rise of micro production and marketing leading to the fall of mass production and mass media marketing. The days of creating mass quantities of stuff, then marketing it to the masses through such mass media as network TV are fading.
Godin emphasizes, "The Ed Sullivan Show existed to sell Jell-O to everyone. Today, there's no everyone, and certainly no media channel that can sell everyone, cheap, to the folks who market Jell-O."
The rise of niche craft breweries to counter the biggest beer brands is one example. Brewed in limited quantities and marketed to small focused audiences, these microbreweries are thriving in large part because of loyal patronage by a relatively small group of passionate purchasers. They're in touch with, and relevant to, this audience.
Godin speaks to this, noting, "... it's better to be important, to be in sync, to be the one that's hard to be replaced. And the only way to be important is to be relevant, focused and specific ... mass production is being replaced by micro production, by the short run, by customization ..."
Another industry being substantially impacted by "micro versus mass" is printing. Digital technologies driving everything from label printing to packaging emphasize the viability of short runs and customization. Digital printing fits perfectly into the micro culture, providing manufacturers the benefits of economical and timely short runs, and the ability to get highly personal and targeted when appealing to smaller groups.
For example, a case(s) of wine destined for a particular organization or targeted to a list of recipients can carry labels featuring a personalized image of the company. It could be photo(s) of a corporate headquarters, applicable branding or logo depictions, or even images of company executives, employees or other stakeholders.
Another digital printing-enabled option is to feature cities, states or other geographically-oriented images for product sales in specific areas. For example, digital label products destined for Denver could feature a series of relevant images from mountain scenes to the downtown skyline.
Products marketed to specific age groups or other demographics can be customized with images and relevant representations of those groups.
People who have had highly satisfying, or even life-altering, experiences with a particular product can "tell their story" on a variety of digital labels or packages...