As it gets more difficult for resellers to identify which inkjet printer to offer, and vendors scramble to impress with specifications, Lexmark is courting resellers with the promise of no grief.
According to Stephen Waugh, general manager of Lexmark's consumer products division, the company does not do a lot of advertising, and instead aims to deliver products and service that will retain customers for life.
Waugh was unveiling Lexmark's latest offering in the mid-range inkjet category, the 3200 Colour Jetprinter, a smart dual-head, photo-capable, 1200 x 1200 dpi, 6ppm general purpose printer with a $349 price tag.
The printer is set to replace the 5000 model, and has features that will make it competitive with most in its price range.
But perhaps the challenge is, as consumer printers product manager John Fragiadakis puts it, as inkjets have become a commodity item, the way to win resellers' focus and favour is to alleviate the potential for grief.
According to Fragiadakis, Lexmark wants to own the customer's problem, and is achieving a reputation for this through its LexExpress program. As resellers become convinced that Lexmark is delivering on its promise to fix problems over the phone and if necessary replace the printer the next day, it becomes a key part of the sale.
Waugh acknowledges Lexmark's brand recognition is low compared to Canon, HP or Epson but claims it has been working on ways to get closer to resellers and customers, and listening to feedback - for instance the on/off button is now back.
Lexmark has identified the three most important selling points as quality, support and ease of use. If it delivers these in its new 3200 Colour Jetprinter, qualified customers will buy it, and margin-starved resellers will sell it on merits other than just its price point and margin.
Lexmark's inkjet printers are distributed nationally by Tech Pacific and Synnex.