Real Men Wear Pink – Laughing with John Kublank at Wes-Tex Printing
Chelsea here. I’ve been conducting interviews and writing these Printer Profiles for a few months now but none have left me giggling quite this much. In fact, I had several coworkers convinced I was goofing off at work while I was doubled over my computer, laughing so I hard I could barely breathe and thinking “This marketing guy is brilliant.” (You really should watch the video that had me cracking up – The Dance of the Internal Newsletter.) If you’ve been around #printchat at all, you have probably caught some of the humor that emanates from John Kublank at Wes-Tex Printing. Even the names of his photos (to the left, “I Moustache You a Question”) had me chuckling. Keep reading to learn a little bit more about John and the company that supports his antics.
So, looking over your LinkedIn profile, it looks like you are more on the marketing side of things. Did something specifically draw you to the print industry?
I never really thought I would work in printing, and I was not actively searching for printing. However, I am so happy I am in printing now. Over the past 6 months I feel like I have extended my family tremendously; from the people I work with, to the awesome people of #printchat. I have also learned so much about printing, and know I will never take for granted the work that goes into every printed piece.
How have you had to change your strategy to market print over some of the other places you’ve worked?
In other companies, I have been working with the end user and even though some printers are B2C we at Wes-Tex are B2B. This makes marketing strategies very different and sometimes even harder. Individual consumers typically have different search patterns, tendencies, and likes. To tap into this B2B market I have tried to build community over sales, and trust over gimmicks. We want to reach the individual and form relationships, however breaking the corporate barriers to reach the person can be a challenge.
What are you most excited about right now in print? Where do you see print headed?
Right now I am excited about the new products we are getting ready to launch next year which will include formal invitations and announcements. Also as an industry I am excited that we seem to be growing and gaining a voice of our own. The Toshiba debacle was a clear sign that we are strong as a community, and though we are competitors we stick together.
Print is a large piece of the business community, and to be successful in the future print will have to and already is moving away from trying and be “THE” dominant form of business communication, to being complimentary to technology such as social media, video, mobile, etc.
Are there any misconceptions about print that you’d like to clear up?
One misconception, I even had coming into printing, was that it is not fun and it is for an older generation. This is not true, we have a blast at Wes-Tex, as you can see in this fun video:
We try and think outside of the box, and have company collaboration for all aspects of our business (I think this is fun).
As far as an age misconception, printing is in fact in desperate need for more of a functional mix of experienced printers and inexperienced printers, young and old. The industry would not be able to sustain itself without the experience that has been gained by some of the veterans of print, but I do feel strongly that the industry cannot survive without a fresh influx of young excited individuals willing to learn.
What is your favorite part of print?
I love the aspects of the all of the detail of print. From the processes, to the stock options, to custom ink colors, and finishes. There is no such thing as a simple or easy printed project, some may take fewer steps but there is always a level of complexity. I love that each project is new and the industry is always trying to innovate, the future of print is bright and getting brighter.
Leave a Reply