Printers worldwide adapting by launching new products and services: Drupa report

Drupa’s third Global Trends Spotlight Report for 2020 is titled Strategic Choices in a Competitive and Converging Marketplace and will be published later this month. In a survey conducted before the COVID-19 outbreak, over 500 printers and about 200 suppliers worldwide described the challenges and successes of launching new products and services. “For many in the industry, the recovery from the Coronavirus recession may well require such launches, and we should take a look at how this can be done best,” drupa organizers said. “In most market sectors and regions, there are very challenging conditions. As for suppliers, they’re only as healthy as their customers and they too must respond to the declining prospects for traditional products and services.” Officials added that for many, the answer must be, at least in part, to strategically launch new products and services.
The report revealed that about 60% of commercial printers launched major new products or services in the last four years into their existing markets. About half of the launches were successful. Diversification of the product or service range and the acquisition of new customers were named as the most important advantages. As for the disadvantages, most reported that launches took up too much time and other resources, and often fell far behind schedule. About 30% of printers had launched into new market sectors. This was clearly a more difficult challenge and the results reflected that, with approximately 40% of the launches going well (compared to 54% for existing markets).
Supplier insights. On the supplier side, approximately 80% of those surveyed launched new products and/or services over the last four years – with success rates ranging from 40% for the smallest vendors to 80% for the larger ones. The biggest advantages were diversification and the acquisition of new customers. By far the most obvious problems were delayed launches, plus the use of too many resources. Building the right distribution channels was often cited as a challenge as well. Before the Coronavirus outbreak, 76% of printers and 85% of suppliers were either definitely or possibly launching new products or services in the next four years. Clearly, that will mean investments, with digital print technology followed by finishing being the most popular targets for printers. The report also drew four key lessons on how best to succeed when launching new products or services. These were:

  • Launching new services and products requires suitable, well-prepared processes.
  • Careful selection and development is essential with no ‘reflex’ reactions.
  • Plan conservatively and expect delays and complications.
  • Manage your expectations and be realistic.

The full report will be published in English at the end of this month and can purchased online at The executive summary will be available free of charge in English, German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian and Chinese.
Drupa 2021. For further information on visiting or exhibiting at drupa 2021, please contact Messe Düsseldorf North America at (312) 781-5180, e-mail, or visit For hotel and travel information, please contact TTI Travel, at (866) 674-3476, e-mail or visit

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