Updated: Feb 14
You've probably heard of the term 'vertical market' but you might not know exactly what that means. In terms of digital embellishment, a vertical is a specific industry that uses customized products and services based on a company's brand guidelines. Here are some popular verticals with several examples:
Automotive – BMW, Porsche, Audi , etc.
FMCG – Pepsi, Coca Cola, Nestle, etc.
Technology – Dell Computers, Nokia Smart Phones, Apple Products
Every industry has its own specific product verticals. In digital embellishing, each of these industries tends to have a similar design style based on the type of products they sell and the company's brand guidelines. Here is a list of the top 5 selling verticals in digital embellishment since the beginning of the pandemic:
Publishing: Book Covers
Pharmaceuticals: Cannabis and Braille
Folding carton packaging: Short Run On Demand
Gaming: Trading Cards and Board Games
In 2020, trading cards were one of the biggest sellers in digital embellishing. In less than a year, the market absolutely exploded from around 1 million USD suddenly to more than 10 million US dollars. This spike in sales happened because of the extreme amount of trading cards that were sold on Amazon and eBay. It did not take long for buyers to understand the power and potential of embellished products and there was a massive influx in demand for this unique style of merchandise. Additionally, influencers on Tik Tok and Instagram have taken the unboxing concept to a whole new level with live pack openings where rare cards will often make the videos viral.
The same thing can be said about board games. After the success of many digital embellishment users in this space, many new small gaming companies started to produce their own board games. The idea was to use digital embellishment as the primary selling point for these products and this worked out well in most cases because of the novelty factor. Many buyers would buy the board games simply because they had pretty playing cards or game pieces.
Board games remain one of the top selling verticals to date because every time a new game is released, buyers want to get their hands on it. Board game fans are also very loyal and would buy multiple copies of the same game if they had different designs for each ruling card. Additionally, board games are usually sold through several online retailers and that extra exposure also helps to increase sales.
Real Estate is one of the few industries where embellishment has been used since the pandemic began because there were already a handful of digital artists who worked in this industry before the pandemic happened. This allows real estate to be an exclusive client for many designers because it's a very profitable industry and the designs are usually simple enough for a single designer to make, however since the pandemic the amount of detail in high end luxury housing collateral has exploded.
Real estate is one of the best verticals in digital embellishment because many real estate agents only want the best-looking collateral for their properties, and investment into print embellishments like a tactile varnish or personalized foil is minuscule compared to the sale of these multi-million dollar properties. On average, companies in digital embellishment charge anywhere between $ 500 and $1,000 per design for a short run of real estate brochures, well worth the cost.
The main goal for most companies ordering digital embellishing is to produce a product that will sell. This means finding a niche market or a unique idea that appeals to many clients. As long as there is an unmet need for high-quality, embellished products, designers and printers can expect to see steady growth in this industry for many years. It's only a matter of finding the right product or idea that will set your business apart from thousands of others competing for the same market.
Of the top 5, which vertical do you think has seen the biggest growth in 2020?