Friday, July 27, 2018

Labels Are a Promotion that "Sticks" With Your Customers

Customers can be a difficult and fickle lot.


They're always shopping around for the "Next Big Thing," surfing your competitor's websites, and price-checking on their phones. With all the different business options available today, it can be tough to keep your business in their mind without spending thousands of dollars on local and digital advertising.


There's a smarter way to keep your customers engaged with your brand's identity without breaking the bank -- labels!


Labels are the ideal way to turn a basic and ho-hum bag or box into a full-color masterpiece that is interesting and fun. See how you can leverage labels to create a promotion that truly sticks with your customers. 


Adding Excitement to Your Packaging


Basic white or kraft boxes and bags are simple, inexpensive packaging for your products, but they don't do anything for your brand identity.


When Maggie, a bakery owner, recently visited her local print shop, she was looking for a logo that could be printed on her various sizes of packaging. What she learned was that each size of packaging would require different setups to print the logo, and full-color printing on non-standard size items could get add up. After speaking with the sales team at the print shop, Maggie realized that there was a better option that would reduce the overall costs of using different packaging for her products. 


Full-Color Labels in Any Size or Shape


Part of the challenge of running a bakery is that you're selling all different sizes and shapes of goods.


You may need a small bag for a donut or bagel, a nearly-square box for layer cakes, and a large rectangle for sheet cakes or a dozen baked goods. Creating a single logo for packaging that would look good on all of these sizes and shapes would be difficult. However, labels are so easy to create that you can utilize a variety of labels to make a custom-printed look that features a stunning full-color image. 


Add Promotions When You Need Them


Labels are an incredibly versatile promotional tool.


You can add them to a package or leave them off to create a different mood or message for your customers. If you'd like to offer a coupon on a particular type of order -- for instance, a dozen donuts -- then you can utilize a label to attach a printed coupon to draw added attention to the offer. The label itself could become the offer, too. You could have a batch of labels printed offering "10% Off, Tomorrow Only" and then be able to pull out this promotion anytime sales are experiencing a bit of a slump. 


Operational Labels


You can also use labels within your business to classify items at a glance.


For instance, a tiny sticker that denotes which day of the week a particular item was baked, or showing a 'Sell by' date. Write-on labels and waterproof labels are available based on your particular needs and are a great way to keep your business organized and running smoothly.


In this particular instance, Maggie was inspired to create a series of labels for each day of the week to indicate freshness to her customers. She also worked with a designer to envision a new look for her packaging that included a single-color package and full-color labels that added a pop of color and plenty of personality to her baked goods. Since people "eat with their eyes" it made good business sense for the packaging to be as appealing as possible!


Ready to revamp the look of your products or rev up your organizational skills? 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Print is Alive and Well

Is Your Phone a Part of Your Body?


This may not be far from the truth! Recent research found that the average person reaches for their smartphone 150 times a day, including e-mails, calls, photos, messaging, or checking the time.


This begs a crucial question. In terms of modern day marketing, does this rise in digital dominance erase the power of print? Not a chance!


Hard Copy Rules


Naomi Baron, author of Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World, surveyed university students worldwide and came to a profound conclusion: young people have a near-universal preference for print.


When given a choice of various media – including hard copy, phones, tablets, or laptops – 92 percent said they could concentrate best on hard copy.


Respondents said drawbacks of digital media included distraction, eye strain, physical discomfort, while hard copy benefits included stronger visual memory, an increased desire to “re-read,” and sensory connection enabling one to touch, experience, and “keep” printed materials. Baron said that in the Slovakian respondent data, one out of TEN mentioned smell. “There really is a physical, tactile, kinesthetic component to reading.”


Don’t Forget the Fun


Looking to draw attention back to print marketing but need some inspiration to get you started?


Print comes alive through color and texture, but also through humor. Here are a few spunky print ads that helped restore our faith in the creativity of the medium in 2017:


Snowbird Ski Resorts.


Snowbird was looking to overcome its ho-hum ski magazine campaign with something different. Cloaking its sales pitch in sarcasm, Snowbird featured one-star reviews from complaining customers.


“Too advanced,” read one review. “I’d heard Snowbird is a tough mountain, but this is ridiculous. It felt like every trail was a steep chute or littered with tree wells. How is anyone supposed to ride in that? Not fun!”


Snowbird’s agency hand-picked reviews that would tantalize hardcore athletes to give the resort a try. “We’re known for our steep terrain, long runs, and deep snow,” said Snowbird marketing director David Amirault. “Beginner skiers and snowboarders . . . often find this a challenge. However, for our core guest, it’s what makes them come back year after year.”


Creative campaigns like this will definitely keep print marketing fans coming back as well!


Burger King.


One audacious print campaign was Burger King’s “Burning Stores,” which showed actual BK restaurants on fire with the headline “Flame grilled since 1954.”


Showcasing one of its worst moments was ridiculously brave, tying BK’s “flame-grilling” service near a flame-grilled franchise in a shocking, hilarious graphic. “Burning Stores” reminded us that engaging modern audiences includes a willingness to be vulnerable. Grey Africa’s Fran Luckin, chair of the Print & Publishing jury at Cannes, called “Burning Stores” the ideal print ads for a social media age:


“We’ve got a brand being brave enough to be authentic,” she said. “It’s a move away from having every single piece of print communication be so carefully crafted and put out there as an official announcement. There’s a sense here of being more playful, more authentic, a sense that you can be a little bit more edgy in your communication.”


Luckin reminded content producers that it’s ok for companies to laugh:


 “I once heard a Coca-Cola executive use the work ‘flawsome,’ which I loved. In the social media age, where people can find out information about your brand quite easily, you have to be a little bit more real. You embrace your imperfections. You have more of a sense of humor about your corporate image. [Burger King] is a brand that’s brave enough to stick its tongue in its cheek and be a little bit young again.”

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Printed Banners Work Wonders for Upcoming Events

Promoting your event in your community without a large budget can feel like an overwhelming task.


While there are plenty of things that you can do with unlimited budgets such as billboards, printed mailings or even postcards, the larger items can be costly and mailings take a bit longer than you may have to publicize your upcoming event.


As a community events coordinator for the local YMCA, Danny L. knew that he needed suggestions for his frequent activities that would bring in additional funds for local groups without breaking the bank.


Raising Awareness (and Dollars!)


From fundraisers for local families experiencing medical challenges to Daddy/Daughter dances at the "Y", there is no end to the number of events in the community on a monthly basis.


The YMCA has a long history of supporting the community by offering reduced-cost monthly fees and other support mechanisms. However, they are not able to financially support the needs of these worthy groups for promotion in any meaningful way. Instead, any promotional dollars would need to come from the group -- and they are generally running on an incredibly tight budget that makes advertising difficult. The tremendous good that is done on a daily and weekly basis through community walks or 5k runs, pancake breakfasts and other fundraisers is significant, but without publicity, the scope of these events is very limited.


Go Where the People Are


Danny realized while looking at a yard sale sign on a busy corner one day that there was a better way to get out the word on upcoming events -- banners!


He tested his theory and had an inexpensive banner printed for an upcoming event. He then asked people who attended the event how they learned about it. Surprisingly, quite a few mentioned that the banner prompted them to drop in for a few moments and make a donation! Ever since that time, Danny has been using large printed banners placed in strategic locations throughout the city to drive traffic and interest in upcoming events. He found that placing them approximately two weeks before the event worked best, as people were able to plan ahead to visit, and then also were reminded to come closer to the event. 


Creating the banner was very straightforward, and involved Danny sketching out the times and dates as well as a quick call to action that described the event. He found that there was only a little information that could be placed on the banner without it becoming overwhelming for people to read. Let us help you create a banner for your upcoming event today! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Four Savvy Strategies for Crafting Unforgettable Content (Part 3)

In the age of visual brilliance and short-lived attention spans, sometimes we wonder if content really counts. But no matter how glamorous the graphics, they simply cannot stand alone. (Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto, right?) Today, we’re looking at part three of this question: How do you write exceptional copy? Content that commands attention, arouses interest, or compels people to action? Last week, we discussed slogans and sensory appeal. Today we’ll consider one final, fun technique.


4. Jaw-Dropping Surprises


Remember the “no way!” stunner at the end of The Usual Suspects? Kevin Spacey shakes off his signature limp and strides to freedom as his police interrogator gradually realizes Spacey is a mastermind killer who lied brilliantly for hours. Or remember how your jaw dropped when Darth Vader revealed he was Luke’s father? While these movie plots were phenomenal, the surprise factor was what drove them home.


That same principle applies in writing. As Chip and Dan Heath discuss in their book “Made to Stick,” our brains filter out consistency to focus on differences. Marketing “surprises” may include splashy headlines, shocking graphics that bring your message to life, or a story that encapsulates a core message.


In 2009, copywriter James Chartrand of a prominent website design company “Men with Pens,” dropped a bombshell on the writing world with this plot twist:


“Why James Chartrand Wears Women’s Underpants.”


Chartrand went on to reveal that SHE was actually a (literal) woman, a woman who had previously struggled as a freelance writer and single mom. As she labored to gain credibility, she decided to experiment with a male pseudonym, and quickly found her blog in Micheal Stelzner’s list of the Top Ten Blogs for Writers. Chartrand’s biography post was brilliant, authentic, and fun. But the surprise factor (that “he” was really a “she”) was the kicker that kept people talking about the company for years.


While you may not be able to drop a bombshell in all your copy, you can upend reader expectations in three other ways:


First, break the norm whenever you can. Offer unconventional advice, provide simple techniques or little-known shortcuts, or use angles you would normally avoid (like blatant typos in upscale literary magazines like we mentioned in part one). In life, and especially in art, people crave the unexpected. Surprise people consistently and you will be rewarded! 


Second, defy expectations. Writers can do this is with odd pairings or disrupted patterns. For example, serene words like spa, relax, and peace can be disrupted by words like devastate or scandalize. Avoid traditional clichés (knight in shining armor, white as snow) in favor of words that overhaul expectations. A spa ad could feature odd word combinations like scandalizing serenity, gluttonous, self-gratification, or services that are devastatingly delicious. Surprise them as you shatter clichés or use tonal dissonance that is abrasive to the ears.


Finally, build a logical flow and then intentionally disrupt it. Check out these “surprise factor” car advertisements that perfectly illustrate the point. A romance spoiled. A hero thwarted. Ridiculous ideas grab us as things are placed out of context (like dogs driving a car). As you watch these clips, consider what you thought was going to happen versus what actually happened. Pay attention to the emotion you experienced when the surprise was unveiled. Did you enjoy it? Of course you did! And you’ll remember it longer as a result.


Whether it’s a plot twist, shattered clichés, or unexpected humor, readers crave fresh content and they will thank you for providing it. Now go create some surprises of your own!