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Think "iPhone"
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Driving in my car, listening to the radio, I heard the news—the hype—about the new iPhone. This electronic device, developed by Apple, merges telephone capabilities with music download abilities and Internet functions in one portable package.

What struck me about the report was the excitement and interest generated by the announcement. Then I wondered whether it would be possible for the paper industry to generate as much positive interest in a new product release, or any activities, and to do it on as consistent a basis as the automotive, fashion, and electronics industries do.

Perhaps the rational approach would be to target specific customer segments. Perhaps you could find ways to shirt-tail onto the interest and growth associated with other industries. Digital cameras and the growing ability and inclination to print photos at home, for example, means consumers are more interested in the quality and qualities of picture papers.

It may be overly optimistic to think consumers might eagerly anticipate the latest innovation from the forest products industry. But why not? …And that is a serious question, because there are many wood and paper products that are truly innovative, products (such as electronic paper) that could garner consumer excitement. If you set it as a goal, it can happen.

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