A familiar name
Blurb will probably sound familiar to most photo enthusiasts. Blurb is a platform for self-publishing and marketing. It gives customers the possibility to let their creativity run wild.
Millions of photo albums
That is how many were designed and sold via Blurb. Most of them produced by RPI in Atlanta, Seattle and Eindhoven. A relationship that goes back to the beginning of Blurb in 2005, a real partnership.
The American company Blurb includes a team of design, internet and media veterans who share a passion for helping people to bring their stories to life. One of those veterans is Bruce Watermann, Blurb’s Senior Vice President of Operations. He is the longest-term employee in the company and was there from the very beginning.
The relationship between RPI and Blurb goes back to before the companies started working together, Watermann explains. Blurb’s choice for RPI as a production partner is based on friendship and trust. Trust in the quality of the products and in the production process. “Color Print on Demand books were too expensive to make for resale. We had to find a printing partner that believed in the future of Print on Demand. ”
In addition they also needed a partner who could scale up and build efficiencies to reduce the costs. “Fortunately, Ted Reischling (Son of Founder Barry Reischling) saw our vision and was willing to work together and make it happen. Without his foresight and willingness to take a risk on a start up with no revenue, Blurb may have never seen the light of day.”
The market looked very different in the early days of Blurb, in 2005. Only a few players in the market offered photo books. That situation changed and competition has increased. Watermann explains how Blurb deals with that development: “Nowadays consumers have a lot of options and it’s a challenge to bring in new customers in a competitive environment. That’s why Blurb tries to spread out their business over three different customer bases: consumer photo book business, author support business and B2B marketing support business.”
In the future, Blurb also wants to look beyond books and they see RPI as the global printing partner that can help successfully expand Blurb’s product line. The opinion of its customers, affectionately called prosumers or enthusiasts, is very important to Blurb. “We are listening to feedback from our customers and things they would like to have.” If Blurb wants to implement new products, Blurb and RPI join forces to discuss production possibilities. “Products that we are looking at are products that have already been created within the RPI network. We look at what we can do together. Which products we can build together, what opportunities there are. “
“The relationship we have with RPI is certainly the strongest partnership we have in our company without a doubt. We understand each other very well. RPI has been side by side with us ever since we started our business. And we have grown our businesses together.”
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