Since 2013, the responsibility for the production, marketing and sales of the entire Post-it® promotional products range in Europe lies in the hands of Michael Schiffer Promotion. The company belongs to the Michael Schiffer Group, a long-standing partner of the 3M group: The printing specialist has already been manufacturing the Post-it® Notes Pads since 2009. Top prerequisites therefore for satisfying the quality claim of the renowned brand Post-it® in the future too.
They stick and they keep on sticking: Since 1980, products of the brand Post-it® have stood for uncompromising quality. In spite of widely available imitation products, the technology developed and patented by 3M is still a testimonial – the name Post-it® is often used as a synonym for “adhesive notes”. The brand is also held in high esteem within the B2B sector: “The feedback from the promotional products trade when we presented ourselves as the new contact partner for Post-it® at the beginning of 2013, exceeded our expectations,” reported Birte Serra, who is in charge of marketing. “The name Post-it® and the quality of the products enjoy an exceptional reputation on the market and many customers were pleased to have a regular point of contact again.“
Up until now, 3M had distributed its Post-it® range itself on the promotional products market. However, the increasing fragmentation of the B2B market with small order volumes, but at the same time high processing efforts, led to the fact that in-house distribution no longer fitted into the structure of the multitechnology group. It was a logical decision in 2013 for 3M to assign the production, marketing and sales of the entire Post-it® promotional products range in Europe over to the Michael Schiffer Group: The Post-it® Notes for the promotional products area had already been produced for 3M at the company’s headquarters in Rheinberg, West Germany, since 2009. The new company Michael Schiffer Promotion was founded after taking over the entire business at the beginning of 2013. The Michael Schiffer Group, which also encompasses the companies michael schiffer and Schagen & Eschen, is an internationally operating supplier of print solutions in the field of organisation and communications. Founded in 1925 as a book printing company, the owner-run family business with 200 employees that is in the meantime managed by Michael Schiffer as CEO, the fourth generation of the family, is today one of Germany’s leading service providers in the printing industry. In 2005, the sales company Michael Schiffer International S.A.R.L. that is based in Strasburg was founded.
“Our core competence is innovative solutions with a focus on offset and digital printing as well as customising, explained the Sales Director, Ralf Uwe Schneider. “We additionally offer comprehensive media IT services for the automation of business processes and webto- print solutions. Furthermore, the letter shop area is also interesting for the promotional products sector and this is covered by the activities of the subsidiary, Schagen & Eschen, which turns us into experts for personalisation and mailing solutions. All of these competences mean that we are predestined for the promotional products market, which is why taking over the Postit ® business was a classic win-win situation for both parties.”
At the beginning of 2013, 3M transferred additional machines to Rheinberg, where all production steps are carried out under one roof, including also the patented process for attaching the stickers to the paper, which involved a development process that took several years. “Post-its® are unparalleled in terms of their adhesive strength, detachability and reusability. Their secret lies in the composition of the adhesive with its particularly small molecule structures, the extreme consistent application process and in the structure of the paper,” explained Schneider. “This is why we exclusively implement special paper that is also supplied by 3M and which matches the adhesive perfectly. This enables us to satisfy the quality claim of Post-it® 100%. Incidentally, 3M grants a ten-year guarantee on its materials.“
Only the highest quality suffices for the printing process too – and here Michael Schiffer Promotion really shines out: All Post-it® products are imprinted in HD quality using the cross modulation screening method. The hybrid technology combines FM and AM screening and enables a higher quality for gradients and full tone surfaces, an increased sharpness of the details on product images and a better reproduction of photos than conventional screening processes. The result is a photorealistic, razor sharp printed image.
High depth of range
Furthermore, the printing specialist offers a high degree of flexibility in terms of the individualising options. Both the adhesive notes themselves and the dispensers, covers and page surfaces of the various products from the Post-it® family can be completely individually designed. Some of the models can even be customised for minimum order volumes of 100 pieces. And since recently, it is even possible to have each single page imprinted with a different motif. “For example the customers have the opportunity to personalise the notepads, dispensers or covers with the names and photos of their customers,” commented Schneider. “Moreover, in the case of the Post-it® Alternate Designs, we imprint each individual sheet with a different advertising message – this offers the customer enormous scope: For instance, he can present a product family, imprint the notes with slogans or quotes or tell a story – for instance in the form of a flipbook.“
The notepads come in different thicknesses – comprising of between ten and 700 sheets depending on the model – and in different shapes: In addition to the basic rectangular models, Michael Schiffer Promotion offers around 50 other forms, i.e. geometrical shapes or reproductions of objects and for a tool cost surcharge also manufactures tailor-made punching tools for the customer. “The interplay between the shape and the imprint offers the promoting company a huge amount of scope,” stated Schneider. “Not to forget their high communicative potential: A single notepad can create hundreds of advertising contacts.” The Post-it® Writing Instruments enable text passages to be highlighted as well as individual pages.
That is the “basics”. Of course Michael Schiffer also offers a wide range of individualised solutions for the presentation of the notepads – from Post-it® Soft and Hard Covers, which can flexibly be filled with notepads and Post-it® Index Sets, to dispensers made out of cardboard, acrylic or as “Magic” versions, which thanks to a special film stick to the desk and enable the memo sheets to be extracted using just one hand – for instance when on the phone – through to the Smartcover ®. The latter is an own development: the intelligent notepad has a flap with an integrated calendar, Post-it® Mini Index Set, Post-it® Notes as well as a pocket for Business cards. The Post-it® Writing Instruments, which are also an own development, round off the portfolio. The writing instruments that are optionally available as a contour pen or a marker pen containing integrated index markers allow text passages to be highlighted and at the same time individual pages.
A further addition is the latest creation by Michael Schiffer Promotion, which was launched at the start of the year: Post-it® Easy WindowAd is a large-surface advertising sticker that can be fixed to shop windows and easily removed again without leaving any traces. “Easy WindowAd offers a large advertising surface to the exterior and inside the product can be imprinted with notes, product details, QR codes, etc.,” pointed out Schneider.
Sustainability and service
For all products, the same rule applies: They are produced carbon neutrally and under the highest possible eco-friendly conditions. The new building in Rheinberg is heated using heat recovery and is equipped with a photovoltaic system. Furthermore, all products are printed on PEFC-certified paper. The PEFC and Climate Partner seals are printed on the back sheet of all Post-it® products. On request, the company also uses white or grey recycling paper for the items.
The environmentally-friendly production is part of the “all-in” promise that Michael Schiffer Promotion gives its customers, which also includes further services: A bleed printed image, proofreading the print data, high-quality X-wrap packaging and delivery costs are also included in the price – a sample is automatically produced for each order. “Our ‘all-in’ promise is part of our sales strategy, which focuses on simplification and service,” commented Serra. “We also guarantee our customers a fast reaction time and 100% adherence to delivery dates.”
Michael Schiffer Promotion aims to further reinforce the Post-it® brand in 2015 with a wellaligned sales team and a high presence among the customers as well as at international industry trade shows. “We have made a name for ourselves in the industry in the meantime – also because many of us have been involved in the promotional products market for many years, thus we have a good network,” reported Schneider. “Apart from the German-speaking countries, we will also be concentrating on France, the Benelux countries and Scandinavia in 2015.“ And as the partner of Post-it®, the company will no doubt quite literally be able to establish long-lasting contacts there too.