Outdoor Advertising In 2019

Hard times on the market make companies to search for new advertising approaches so as to reach out to the customers. This is exactly why innovative advertising solutions are so much needed nowadays. One of such solutions is represented by attractive and amazing reflective panels made of sequins, which are intended for interior and outdoor decoration facilities. Today we are talking with Denis Sagidullin, who is the founder and the head of the Research-and-Production Company “Reflective Technology”, which is manufacturing paillette panels under SolaAir’s brand.

- How long is your company carrying out business activity at the Russian market, and why do you think that such paillette panels will be the most successful and promising trend in future?

- We are dealing with advertising structures since 2001, actually during 18 years. I’d like to notice that our company always tried to introduce new technologies as soon as they appeared.  For instance, in 2004 it became popular to use neon tubes for advertising. And we immediately suggested such advertising structures to our customers. These advertising facilities were popular with casino and clubs, which were opening at that period, we also had a contract with the “Euroset” company.

In general, when we started our business we worked with large clients. It is important that brand books for such companies are usually developed by English speaking specialists. Therefore they are obliged to use the advertising structures meeting the prescribed specifications, based only on modern technologies. That is why we were progressing all the time. Then we put into production the advertising means based on the light emitting diodes (LED). Their popularity was growing in 2004. However LED-based advertising failed to be widely used for some reasons. We also we not much interested just in the resale of LEDs for earning extra charges. We were searching for our “Purple Cow”.  On this way in 2009 we came across paillettes, also called sequins. It happened when our company was manufacturing the advertising structures according to Megaphone brand book. Dealing with the sequins technology for the first time we understood that it had apparent drawbacks. Honestly speaking, it could be regarded as “hand made”.

As a matter of fact, we had to develop everything by ourselves. Initially, the brand book prescribed to use the structures made of aluminum. The cost of such hardware was too high. The sequins were to be cut from the material like coins. Now it seems strange, but at first, the product represented a rod, on which a sequin was mounted manually. The process was laborious, time-consuming and looked not good.  Therefore we decided to organize the production of polymer panels. By 2012 we have developed the styles and established contacts with suppliers of the constituent parts. However in 2014, as we know, the crisis burst out. It became unprofitable to deliver the constituent parts from abroad. We had to search for the way out inside the country. We managed to start our own production and now manufacture the paillette panels at our enterprise. It should be mentioned that we continue to improve the quality of the products on a regular basis. Every year we try to make a new improved version of the product.  This year we have already produced the 3rd version of our panel. 

- Are they your own developments? 

- Yes, it is very important for us that all our know-how and improvements are protected by patents. At present we have 7 Russian patents and also the patents of Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Republic of Belarus.  

- Has your company any competitors in Russia?

- As far as I know, besides our enterprise one more Russian company is working in this field in Yekaterinburg. However they did not patent their products in time, therefore Chinese companies make a lot of similar pressed panels of rather poor quality. It is necessary to realize that proper assembly of the panels represents a difficult process. Chinese structures look careless as compared to ours. So I am sure, that based on the price to quality ration our products are beyond competition.

- You say that you are constantly improving your technology. What is your target? 

- As a matter of fact, during the first three years, we invested the total profit into the development of the company, search for new technological solutions. We regularly improve the visual characteristics of panels. Special rod shoulders, developed by our enterprise, ensure specific mode of vertical and horizontal motion, creating an integral image. Figuratively speaking, now air flows make sequins to move smoothly: the panel surface is shaking like a wave on the water surface. Such a waving motion produces the very attractive and amazing effect.   Besides, recently we performed through-transmission testing of the sequins and compared appearance of the panels made some time ago and now. Clients often order panels meant for installation in shop-windows, informing buyers, for instance, of sales. And if in the first models’ clearances were seen between the sequins, now the reflective elements are positioned very tightly, forming no gaps, which could cause an adverse effect.   Particular attention is paid to the development of mirror coatings. According to our technical assignment special films are manufactured in India and Arab Emirates. Then paint and mirror coating are applied to such films. In addition, we have developed our own color formulas. As a result, one can look into sequins of our panels like in a mirror.

banners, photo zones, signs

- By the way, what about quality? You make panels for banners, signs, outdoor advertising facilities. Tell the truth, sequins don’t seem to be very durable in service. How feasible is their use in outdoor structures? 

- Since 2015 our panels are regularly subjected to binding testing in Moscow. They are tested for fading, humidity, frost resistance. The serviceable and flexible material of the SolaAir decorative panels is characterized by high resistance to temperature changes (-40/+70°C), wind blasts to 25 m/s, rain and snow precipitations, as well as to durable sun shining. Our products conform to the requirements of GOST 9.401-91.  As the result we with assurance give 2-year warranty for our products. And in practice, they maintain serviceable conditions much longer.   By the way, we deliberately established such strict requirements to the quality of our products because we are working in the Krasnodar Region, where the most part of the year the sun is shining brightly and in winter strong winds blow and is rather frosty. Such an approach is working very well. Local companies, as a rule, become our regular clients after they make an order even for a small sign, as they are sure that our products are reliable in operation and the investments are justified. 

- Any business does not exist in a vacuum. Where do you find the vendors and how to establish cooperation with new partners?

 -  We are searching for responsible suppliers on a regular basis. For example, paints for our enterprise are made according to special technology, and such work can be performed with a proper quality only by a few companies. 

In addition, little by little we have realized that our products became of interest not only in the Krasnodar Region. Their technical characteristics are quite suitable for the usage of the panels with sequins on the whole territory of Russia.  Therefore one of our projects –“living-sign.ru” portal - is intended specially for support of the small business, which has partner relations with our company. We launch our advertising in the regions. And local enterprises – our partners – are added to the list on our portal. When potential customers in any region are interested in our products they can order the panels with sequins through our local partners. Today over 20 enterprises cooperate with our company in the regions, and the list is regularly growing. It should be mentioned that we fulfil all orders promptly and are ready to deliver the panels by air to any place in Russia actually for two days. 

- Your company makes banners, photo zones, signs. Are you planning to develop any new business lines? 

- Currently, we are introducing a very interesting in my opinion line of business: the creation of objects d’art, interior designs, production of pictures made of sequins. Such products can serve as gifts and very original souvenirs. Recently we took part in the Instagram charity run. We displayed there our pictures made of art-sequins with images of the singer Pelageya, Bianca, Comedy Women star.  I’d like to notice that approach to usage of paillettes in banners is changing. Some time ago we made over 10 advertising billboards for the “TAVR” meat processing plant. Among new trends we can mention the usage of sequins in billboards as one of the amazing elements attracting people’s attention. One more similar example – promotional campaign for gasoline-electric automobiles in Georgia. In this case, sequins were used in one element of the billboard image – headlamps. Such a solution was also perfect within the general ideology of advertising campaign on the implementation of eco-friendly technologies because there is no need to use additional lighting facilities for billboards made with sequins. We often recommend to the clients not to make full-sized billboards completely made of sequins. To our mind more interesting looks addition of separate highlighted and striking elements with the help of sequins.   

- What would you rate as your achievements?

- During the past years, we greatly succeeded in the technology of application of multicolor images.  I am sure that now no one in the world can make such products with the same quality. Our company has its own technology of color coating. We managed to ensure high quality of colors alongside with preservation of perfect transparency, which results in the mirror effect.  I know that our competitors in Egypt and Iran tried to implement our innovations, however without success. One should bear in mind that polymer materials are very difficult for working. The polymer material is as hard as glass. If you try to apply paint on glass and obtain a good quality of coating, then you will understand what I am speaking about. In addition, I can say that our sequins are made of the materials, which are usually used in machine-building industry and construction, hence their high reliability and quality.    

- Can you describe your competitive advantages briefly in a few words? 

- Safety. Eco-friendliness. Economical efficiency. As was already mentioned, the panels with sequins often require no additional expenditures for lighting, thus providing significant power cost saving potential, which is of particular importance under conditions of increasing tariffs.  

- Thank you for the interview. 

The interview was taken by Margarita Epatko

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