At the recent InPrint Forum in Munich which was part of the IMI Industrial Inkjet Technology Showcase, we had some awesome speakers who provided some great insight into how new industrial markets are developing.
Frank Seemann (who was one of the Founder Ambassadors of the InPrint Show) delivered a really interesting and entertaining presentation about a business that he is running called Juicy Walls which is part of Erfurt and Sohn.
The digital revolution has seen the growth in individual self-expression from how we express ourselves online to the décor we choose in our home. And Juicy Walls represents a new business model is gaining traction within the German design and décor industry.
Erfurt and Sohn is a famous manufacturer of wall paper based in Germany. Friedrich Erfurt opened the ERFURT paper mill in Wuppertal in 1827. The company, which is still owned by the 7th generation of the Erfurt family, is today the market leader in the production and sale of wall coverings selling products in over 30 countries worldwide.
So it was great to hear of how a nearly 200 year old company is clearly looking to develop new ideas by approaching things from a different perspective.
Juicy Walls itself utilises all of the wall paper manufacturing expertise that Erfurt has built up over the years and has coupled it with the newest and most innovative digital printing technology. Utilising toner based, inkjet and electro-photographic printing technologies, Juicy Walls aims to give consumers the ability to create their own designs or indeed their own environment without the huge associated analogue printing cost. This great idea links directly to what we believe is a mega trend as consumers increasingly want unique products that are both personal to them and innovatively produced.
Frank explains, “It became pretty clear that in order to bring this idea to market we would need to think and act differently to an average business to business brand. So as well as an online shop that we felt was vital, we also opened up a shop in Wuppertal close to the location of the Erfurt headquarters. The shop itself is the perfect show room where we can consult face to face with customers who can be local people who want to decorate their house individually. Juicy Walls really opens up personalisation to a wider audience than just those with high disposable incomes.”
So this represents a kind of revolution in how we can decorate our houses?
Frank explains, “Yes I guess the classical way of doing it is for the wholesaler and distributor to be involved and for them to provide a customer with a range of designs to choose from. Changing seasons and the slow change of fashion would alter the graphical change. In contrast Juicy Walls goes directly for individual production to run one piece production. Therefore we only require the direct contact via the shop or through the internet directly with the customer.
We can help the customer realise their designs. So we can either take a brief for them then create a design, or indeed the customer can simply design their own image. To a large extent it doesn’t matter to us what the design is, as long as the customer gets what they want. Pretty much anything goes and it doesn’t always require a designer. That is not to say we don’t like designers – to the contrary, designers are as excited about Juicy Walls as direct customers. But now the consumer can participate, it changes the way things are produced.”
For more information check out http://www.juicywalls.com/de/
Frank is speaking at the InPrint Show Conference http://www.inprintshow.com/english/inprint/conferences-2015/