Card printer changes its stripes

Eltron will now take on the Zebra name on its printers
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Monday, September 1, 2003

CAMARILLO, Calif. - Though part of Zebra Technologies for the past five years, Eltron Card Printers has maintained its own corporate identity, despite its bar coding product line adopting the Zebra name from the start.

That is about to change for the card printer manufacturer as it takes on the Zebra name. In November, Eltron’s line of seven card printers will begin shipping with a Zebra label.

The change comes as Zebra company officials look at ways to minimize confusion about product brands and considers possible acquisitions in the future.

“It’s laying the ground work for us for longer term business expansion,” said Michelle Lozada, marketing manager for Zebra Technologies. “If we ever do come to a state where we have 50-some products, it would be much more manageable for the end users to identify us as Zebra products.”

Company officials expect the name transition to be smooth, especially since Eltron has been part of Zebra for half a decade. Since then the two names have been synonymous in the card printer market.

“Moving forward as we try to grow the collective business, the feeling is this will allow us to leverage a lot more resources in markets with Zebra bar codes is present and we can do a lot of cross functional marketing,” said Lozada.

Zebra has attempted to expand its plastic card printing business in the past, but its plan to buy Fargo Electronics was called off as the Federal Trade Commission scrutinized the deal. The FTC had indicated to company officials that it may not approve the deal because of market share issues. The $86 million deal would have marked Zebra’s second acquisition of a card printer company.