In this second episode on the new Richard Askam Channel, host Richard Askam talks about “the dirty subject of money,” and as usual his thought-provoking statements make you think. “All I have is just an opinion,” have almost become a payoff for Richard Askam but this film is great to watch. Great to learn from. And Great to share.

Enjoy the Richard Askam Channel on INKISH.TV and start thinking!

Hi, it’s Richard Askam. I’m here to talk to you about the dirty subject of money, and really the even harder subject of money, which is price. Why, why, why is the print industry all about price? I don’t know. Like a lot of industries, like a lot of historical businesses it never used to be. It used to be about quality. It used to be about capability. It used to be about invention. Somewhere in the midst of the last few years, and maybe the last 10, 15 years, it’s all become about price. I guess this is where the difficulty comes now in the industry that the product has become commoditized to the point that the conversation always starts about price.

In fact, my advice to people is if the phone rings in your office and the first question is, “How much can you do this for,” you should put the phone down because that’s not a conversation that you want to have. What should happen in my opinion, is that you pick the phone up and phone that customer up and say, “Let me show you what we can do,” because then it’s less about the price and more about the capability. I think that gap has appeared over the last few years. The difference between commodity and capability is huge.

That’s what’s informing the debate about whether the print industry is suffering. It is undoubtedly suffering, but I think it’s suffering purely because everybody’s looking through that single lens of cost. Now, I can hear you screaming at me back through the camera, “Well, that’s the way that it is.” True. But it wasn’t the way that it used to be, so that’s not to suggest that it can’t be that way again. We change our behavior all the time. We talked about this before about the change in behavior with technology. Well, what about with change in behavior with business models?

I think there is an opportunity now with the advent of digital technology, and with the advent of capability that you’d never previously had to change the conversation. You can’t just change the equipment. You have to change the behavior that comes with the equipment. Don’t be an analog thinker in a digital world. Take that opportunity forward that you’ve got now to create some beautiful, beautiful pieces of work, but don’t talk about how little you can produce it for. Talk about how much value it delivers to the end consumer because ultimately we are all consumers of those products. We don’t buy them based on price. We buy them based on emotion. And that is a huge value point that the print industry seems to be missing.

My advice to you, and of course this is just me saying this, feel free to disagree with me, move the conversation away about cost and move it towards value. When that happens then you’ll find that the margin gap opens up in your favor again, which is the way that it should be.

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