It was already evident before Corona; however, it has been reinforced by the pandemic: The trend toward homemaking. More and more people are putting time and money into furnishing their own four walls. The online print industry can support this trend perfectly with individual products.
Home is not just a place, but a feeling – and this feeling should be visible. After all, the Zukunftsinstitut postulates that we are living in the age of the megatrend of individualization. A megatrend is a social development that influences many people and smaller trends across all areas of life. In the case of individualization, the focus is on self-realization. However, it is not an end in itself, but takes place in the social fabric. Or, to put it in less scientific terms: It’s about seeing and being seen. Applied to the beautification of one’s own home, decoration is therefore not simply ornamental, but the expression of one’s own personality.
The print industry is working towards the megatrend, because word has spread throughout the business world that customized offers and solutions are (or will remain) the future. Mass customization has long since ceased to be a buzzword and is now day-to-day business in online printing. While Corona has put a bit of a damper on the economy in general, the photo printing business has actually seen gains. In a survey, Cloudprinter found that photos on canvases and photo books were in greater demand worldwide during Corona. Our inquiry with companies in the German-speaking photo book market confirmed this sentiment, especially for the first phase of the pandemic. In a blog post, Cloudprinter presents further theses on this: Customers would have had more time to sort through their memories during the lockdown, and the large amount of time spent at home would also have created the need to furnish the home more beautifully.
In one’s own home, the need for security and the desire for self-fulfillment merge. This is where other trends within the megatrend of individualization come into play, such as do-it-yourself (DIY) or “identity design,” in which self-image and the image of others are carefully modeled. According to the motto “Home Suite Home,” trends are copied from luxury and boutique hotels and implemented at home. Where new living concepts such as split apartments or smaller living units are shaping the future, individual touches and personalization are becoming increasingly important.
Meeting special requests and providing competent consulting is a prerequisite for the business model. Print shops must have suitable offerings here, which are geared to the customers’ wishes. Within the printing industry, some companies are already excellently positioned, while others still have a lot of catching up to do.