Ask any Sri Lankan the name that comes to mind when photocopying paper is mentioned and they are sure to say “Avalon”. That is because Avalon has been the leading brand in Sri Lanka for over 3 decades. Although Avalon is manufactured at South-East Asia’s largest photocopying paper mill, one of the top priorities is protecting the environment. Avalon is made of pulp obtained from sustained forests specifically grown by the mill, thereby minimizing the impact caused to the environment. Reflecting on its brand dominance, Avalon was elected a Business Superbrand at Sri Lanka’s very first Business Superbrand program in 2008.
Blaze to Brilliance
Avalon Photocopying Paper was introduced to Sri Lanka at a time when there were few photocopiers in operation. These were almost exclusively in use at corporate offices at a time when small print shops offering photocopying services were an unknown entity.
From the inception of operations, Avalon had differed quality-wise from other brands available in the local market. Whereas the other paper brands were actually large sheets of ordinary paper cut to size and packaged as photocopying paper, Avalon was specifically manufactured and packed in Indonesia for photocopying. Therefore, users of Avalon could count on a smooth operation without the hassle of paper jams and damaged rollers and drums. This was a critical factor since photocopiers were relatively expensive at that time and considered a major investment.
Due to the aggressive marketing strategies of office machine vendors, the use of photocopiers became widespread within a short period. By the mid 80’s photocopying centres had sprung up in most main towns in Sri Lanka. The result was not only an increase in demand for photocopying paper but also an increased demand for paper of different sizes. Avalon was able to satisfy both these demands effortlessly due to the fact that the entire range of sizes was being imported by the company even before the boom in demand began. The far-sighted decision made almost 3 decades ago to market a complete range of paper sizes has paid dividends right up to the present. The advent of inkjet and laser printers as well as plain paper fax machines marked a new era of growth for Avalon. By the late 90’s, most offices in Sri Lanka had at least one desktop printer in operation. Even large corporate institutions started printing letterheads, bills and invoices in-house, taking advantage of the convenience which laser printers offered. This paradigm shift towards a print-on-demand scenario resulted in a marked increase for high quality paper which was compatible with the new office automation equipment. Avalon was able to satisfy this new market sector due to the reputation earned over the years as a paper brand conforming to the highest international standards.
Apart from these mainstream uses, over the years Avalon has become the preferred choice of paper for hand-written documents. Almost all neighbourhood stationery shops stock Avalon which is bought in small quantities by students as well as those who need to correspond by post with various institutions.
Thirty years since the initial launch, Avalon is Sri Lanka’s best known brand of office paper. So much so, the brand name is now near-generic for photocopying paper in the native languages!
Avalon is the only brand in Sri Lanka offering the entire range of photocopying paper sizes from A5 to A3 in two weights (thicknesses) of 70 and 80gsm. This eliminates wastage of paper and increases efficiency for consumers.
Engagement that Enthralls
The advertising and marketing strategies of the brand are centered on the tag line, ‘A reputation built on quality’. In a volatile market where brands enter and exit on a regular basis, Avalon has consolidated its brand image and position by paying close heed to customer feedback and requirements.
From the outset, Avalon has been advertised and marketed with a passion. Approximately 90% of the advertising spend is concentrated mainly on mainstream Press advertising, while the rest is spent on point-of-sale signage and buses as well as advertising in trade and business journals and directories. Part of the success of Avalon as a brand is due to the top-of-the-mind brand recall achieved through years of sustained advertising and marketing. In 2008, signifying an international acknowledgment of its brand status, Avalon was selected as one of Sri Lanka’s business to business Superbrands.
Being well aware of the fact that the paper industry has a huge impact on the environment, Avalon has carried out several public awareness campaigns on environmental issues. Based on the theme, ‘Don’t waste paper. Help save the forests for our children’, the campaign was run in mainstream Press as well as via direct marketing. While it was viewed by some as a unique initiative by a business which stands to gain from the increased use of paper, it was in fact, an extension of the vision of its paper mill in Indonesia which grows its own trees for obtaining raw materials. One of the most rewarding results of this initiative was receiving a letter from a wildlife conservation foundation in rural Sri Lanka. The foundation while commending Avalon for its eco-conservation campaign, requested copies of the advertisements to be distributed among school children in the region.
The first paper brand with ISO 9002 quality assurance certification marketed in Sri Lanka, Avalon is manufactured with a dust-resistant film. This prevents damage to copiers due to dust content in the paper. It is also the only brand offering the full range of sizes in two weights (thicknesses).
Excellent quality of products, availability of a complete range of paper sizes, largest network of dealers covering the entire nation and delivery within one day of receiving an order are the cornerstones of Avalon’s success as a brand.