Special Report Tama Marketer of the Year: And the finalists are… Pacione: a simple idea that took over the world

Peter PacionePresidentEssapac ProductsTalk about basics.In these times of cd-rom, dat and the InterNet, Peter Pacione invents a low-tech piece of paper with some stickum along the edge.This brick-simple patented product has answered a demand so great that Xerox and other document...

Peter Pacione

President

Essapac Products

Talk about basics.

In these times of cd-rom, dat and the InterNet, Peter Pacione invents a low-tech piece of paper with some stickum along the edge.

This brick-simple patented product has answered a demand so great that Xerox and other document mega-companies are selling them under their own marques on three continents less than four years after introduction.

Launched in 1990, Pacione’s Essapac now supplies product to top paper merchants in Canada, the u.s., Europe and Australia from its Mississauga, Ont. plant, with an enthusiastic Mexican market unfolding as you read this.

Pacione’s genius was not in pushing the envelope of technology, but in pushing folders and binders into formats to serve a vast market demand. Demand that previously came in chunks too small to interest conventional suppliers.

The product at its most complicated is a set of presentation covers that allow customized short-run printing by a jiffy printer, or right on your home-office laser printer.

There’s the three-ring binder with removable rings and spine so the covers can run through a small printing press. Then, there are presentation folders that come with the covers detached.

You can short-run print the front covers – both sides – then stick them onto the backs.

The results are as fine as a high budget press run, but inexpensive enough so Joe Office-in-the-Basement can look slick, too.

There’s even a snazzy, white, corrugated mailer that invites customization as well.

Creativity is the backbone of Pacione’s marketing basics.

He identifies his own greatest strength as the ability to take an existing situation and approach it from an innovative perspective.

Essapac sprang out of his desire to help out customers who came to his printing shop, Toward Graphics, wanting 50 customized presentation folders when the smallest practical run was 500.

Pacione foresees a cabinet or kit in every office, with everything a business needs to custom create its own professional quality stationery at a moment’s notice.

‘Print on demand,’ as Pacione says.

The ability to deliver immediately is why instant printers were such an instant success.

Pacione sees the future bringing even greater demands for immediacy.

Already he is noticing a less judgmental environment for innovation. It is actually possible these days (in some companies) to take a new tack without dodging bullets from in front and behind.

And, here’s another Pacione innovation: no customer service function. At least, not in the usual sense, as a post-sale complaint repository. At Essapac, he promotes service excellence, so that complaints hardly ever come.

Winning the Marketer of the Year award would signal Pacione that innovative small businesses are receiving the recognition due them.

After all, he and Essapac have already been accepted by what many consider the toughest and most unsympathetic of all small business critics, his banker.