I should preface this by saying there is nothing wrong really with Fedex/Kinkos today.
It’s more that it dawned on me that 10 years ago I used to frequent a Kinkos about once a week back when I ran my own web agency in NY, and that today I can’t recall the last time I actually visited a location except for an emergency fax ( which needs to be a whole separate post soon ).
So back in the day I would head over to Kinkos to print out high quality presentations for a big pitch, and then walk down the street and messenger or FedEx it over to the perspective client. Today, nearly nothing like that is printed out anymore, and if you do need to print for some reason, those capabilities are largely available as cheap laser printers for home office use.
So what could Kinkos/Fedex do to get me back as a customer ?
Pretty simple, it should focus on services that are out of reach and require expensive hardware or infrastructure, just as it did 10 years ago. Three ideas:
- All locations should be equipped with ultra fast broadband. I’m talking 100 gig/sec Japan style connectivity. This could be used for sending massive video files, doing an initial huge backup of a HD to Amazon / Jungle Disk / Mozy / DropBox. I’m sure lots of people would come in with their laptops to do some high bandwidth activities.
- Just as people used to come into Kinkos to get their first set of business cards printed, Kinkos today could offer a digital equivalent. Call it the Biz starter package. It would include a WordPress.com site with a couple of upgrades (domain plus Video perhaps ), some Google Ad Word buys, and maybe a handful of analytics reports from Quantcast and others showing you what your online competitive space looks like
- High quality digitization and scanning. There are tons of businesses popping up around scanning your old photos, and converting old VHS home movies to DVDs. Kinkos has the real estate advantage of being everywhere. And while they offer some of this today with photos, I think they could expand this into something greater.