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Lexmark Business Club designed to give Lexmark’s inkjet image a face-lift

Issue #0804/2 – As part of its strategy to win business users to its new range of Business Edition inkjet All-in-One products, Lexmark Europe has also launched a Business Club for buyers of those products, with some significant benefits – but for how long?

Any European customer buying one or more Business Edition products will be entitled to register for the Business Club with its range of benefits.

Lexmark Business Edition package

First of all, it affects the box that is purchased! Instead of receiving one low-yield black and one low-yield colour cartridge in the package, customers will also receive two high capacity black cartridges. This is the first time a Lexmark product has ever shipped with a high capacity cartridge.

Rated at 475 pages each, with the standard black cartridge rated at 200 pages, a buyer will be able to print about 1,150 black pages right out of the box.

In real terms, once the buyer has paid approximately 21% more for the Business Edition product, the spend on consumables over three years will decrease by 5.6% giving an actual reduction in Total Cost of Printing of 5.4% per page (when printing 250 pages per month, of which 70% are mono pages and 30% are colour pages).

Lexmark Business Club Guarantee

Because buyers will not be asked to pay as much for the Business Edition product as they would for the standard product plus two high capacity cartridges (by about 10%), there is always some cost benefit to the user regardless of print volume. However, the best value of the programme may be in membership of the Business Club with its additional three-year next business day guarantee on the product!

Clearly aimed at revitalising customer confidence in the Lexmark inkjet product range, this guarantee is no small benefit. Lexmark clearly hopes that it will not be called on too frequently to honour this guarantee but, equally, the offer would not be made if the company was not experiencing a higher than previous level of confidence in its own products.

Lexmark Business Club

Unfortunately, there is a downside! The Lexmark Business Club offer is only valid for buyers of the Business Edition products “as long as stocks last”! Whenever that may be! Flexible perhaps!

What does this mean?
– That Lexmark is not prepared to commit itself to a three-year guarantee as a standard feature?
– That Lexmark does not, in fact, have any great confidence in its new Business Edition products?
– That Lexmark is not prepared to commit itself to maintaining the Business Edition line-up?
– That Lexmark is uncertain about its future in the inkjet market?
– That this is just a short-term gimmick to try and win back the hearts and minds of enough customers in the short term to revitalise its reputation enough for the company to continue business without offering such helpful customer benefits in the long term?

A more detailed analysis of the products themselves will be contained in next week’s TCPglobal.

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