3D sublimation

3D Profits: Target markets for niche sublimation

Aaron Montgomery has been involved with the garment decorating and personalization industry since 2000 and the digital printing industry since 1997. He has been actively involved in the industry trade shows via speaking, attending and exhibiting for the last 16 years. He also writes articles for the industry magazines and blogs on topics that include marketing, social media, the personalization market, and garment decorating techniques. He is dedicated to helping small businesses grow and succeed. You can find Aaron co-hosting the industry's oldest and most listened to Podcast - 2 Regular Guys (www.2regularguys.com). You can also find blogs about a wide range of topics on his own website at aaronmontgomery.info.

The floodgate of available items to decorate will blast open once this process is more mainstream and the technology is ready. There are several niche markets to target—let me give you a few good starting points:

  1. The ability to sublimate dinnerware is one unique opportunity with this technology. Prior to this type of sublimation, you were really only able to decorate the center of a plate by using a cumbersome and sometimes dangerous aluminum puck. With a vacuum press, you can decorate the entire face of the plate, as well as the back of it. This opens up opportunities in markets such as weddings, kids events and more.
  2. The mobile device market has slowed a bit. Even with the personalization you can do with sublimation, phone companies have pushed hard to keep their logo as the decoration or go so far as to include a case with their phones to raise the prices. In my opinion, the excitement will return with all-over decorated cases that do not have an insert. The sleek look and feel of an all-over case allow the end user to show off what they are passionate about from almost any angle. Make sure that your offer to the customer includes a digital wallpaper that matches the case so everything melds into one.
  3. This one might be a stretch, but the right person with the right contacts could really make a name for themselves with this niche: the ability to personalize, customize or otherwise decorate technology pieces. Think of things as simple as the case of a computer mouse or the outside case for a smartphone. Or get more detailed by decorating gaming systems and controllers, as well as industrial equipment that has plastic coverings. Anything that is injection molded when created has the potential to be made with polyester-based white plastic to allow it to be decorated.

—Aaron Montgomery, 2 Regular Guys, MontCo Consulting