(A similar post appeared on RexBlog this morning, but I wanted to share it here, as well.)
This morning, I ran across one that is not only interesting — it’s inspiring. It’s inspiring because it underscores the dramatic opportunities that exist when a content company doesn’t let its legacy get in the way of its opportunity.
As I wrote yesterday, at Hammock our job is finding and deploying content companies need for whatever they have as business objectives. While I personally don’t like using the term “content” for such creative expressions as award-winning photography, beautifully written essays and professionally produced video, I am a business person, so at Hammock, I’m happy to use the language of the marketplace to describe what I do, be it content sourcing, acquisition, creation, deployment, distribution, analysis or, well, whatever term some MBA dreams up next week.
As a “content sourcing” and “deployment” professional, I’m constantly looking for clients who have large-scale content needs, and for how they are fulfilling those needs — not only for business opportunities, but to to see if there is something we can learn to help us be more efficient or creative.
In my scan of “content” news, I ran across a press release from Quad Graphics, a “printing” company I greatly admire and with whom our company has worked over the past two decades. Quad is one of those unique companies that has never let the term “printing” define who they are, despite being one of the largest printing companies in the world.
Today, they are announcing a relationship with L.L.Bean (another company I have a relationship with — I buy stuff from their catalog all the time) in which Quad will provide all the company’s photography.
“As part of the unique partnership established by this agreement, L.L.Bean will build Studio 1912, a state-of-the-art, 16,000-square-foot all digital photography studio in Westbrook, a Portland, Maine suburb, about 20 miles from L.L.Bean’s Freeport corporate headquarters.
Okay. Let all of that sink in. And then think about the “business” of content creation and deployment.
And then think about this: One of the world’s largest printing companies has recognized that opportunity is created a the same time threats occur. Think about a printer and a direct marketing juggernaut like L.L.Bean recognizing the opportunities and competencies of one-another necessary to envision such a relationship.
Will all of those photographs only live on the printed materials of L.L Bean? Of course not.
Those who know the history of Quad and who were ever privileged to know its founder, Harry Quadrachi, will understand that such thinking is in the DNA of Quad. Meeting Harry and getting to spend a day with him is one of my cherised memories. His son, Joel, is carrying on that great legacy.
Too bad such creativity is not in the DNA of other legacy “content” businesses.