Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Benefit from Effective Branding

An effective brand creates an enduring perception in the minds of your customers and distinguishes
Increase mind share.  When you want a cola, you think of Coca-Cola or Pepsi.  If you need a bandage, Band-Aid comes to mind.  Are you top-of-mind in your market segment?  The sensory components of printed materials engage readers on an emotional level, connecting customers to your brand in a way electronic marketing can’t match.  Consider incorporating a gloss varnish, embossing, a distinctive die cut, or one of the many textures now available in papers and other substrates.

Build loyalty.  A memorable experience with a quality brand creates loyalty, which translates not only into the likelihood of a repeat sale but also an increased probability that the customer will buy related items from the same brand. 

Benefit from referrals.  People who have never used your product or service may still recommend it if they’ve encountered your brand enough times to develop a sense of familiarity.  Printed collateral can be more visible to the casual observer as the prospect doesn’t have to consciously seek out your message.  Include your social media information on your printed products.    

Command a premium price.  A powerful brand can lift your product or service out of the ambit of a commodity, so you have buyers eager to pay more for what you’re selling.  Many companies sell coffee, so what makes people stand in line and pay top dollar at Starbucks? 

Lower your marketing cost in the long run.  Although you have to invest resources to create a strong brand, once it is established you can maintain it without having to re-tell your story. Many budget-conscious marketers rely heavily on electronic media, but research shows that people still prefer print.  We simply don’t have the same visceral reaction to an e-brochure as a professionally printed piece.     

Less risk for the consumer equals more sales for you.  If someone is put on the spot to make a decision, he will most likely choose the brand-name supplier.  Consider monthly postcard marketing so prospects interact with your brand regularly.  Printed materials have the advantage over electronic media based on portability and permanence.

Building an effective brand is a continuous process.  Evaluate your brand’s market position periodically to make sure it’s fresh and relevant. 

you from your competitors.  An investment in branding can pay off in many ways. 

~ Kelly Mank, President of Time4Printing and The Windham Eagle Newspaper
Google+ - Time4Printing
LindedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/KellyMank
Twitter -  www.twitter.com/Time4Printing  

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Customer Insight Is Key to Personalization

What’s the secret to personalized printing success? It can be summed up in a single word: relevance. You can “personalize” a document with dozens of variables related to a customer’s gender, income, geographic location and more, but in the end, if the document isn’t relevant to the recipient, it won’t be effective.
How do you ensure that your personalized mailings are relevant to the people you are sending them to? You get to know them.
The industry’s most successful marketers know everything about their customers. They ask questions. They do customer surveys. They conduct focus groups. They collect a variety of customer data that helps them create detailed profiles of those customers. They mine data efficiently.
How does this work? Say you are a marketer of women’s health products. You have been personalizing direct mailings by name, age and stage of life, but the response remains low. To figure out what’s going on, you conduct a survey to learn more about your customers’ lifestyles.
Based on the survey, you find that a high percentage of your customers are home-schoolers. While these customers value natural products, your research finds that their time and finances are restricted by home-schooling costs and activities. You also find that among this group, personal pampering is not a high priority.
Based on this new information, you might change your pitch. Instead of focusing on the appeal of your products to the recipient personally, you might begin to address this demographic’s larger concerns and lifestyle needs. You talk about the cost-effectiveness of natural products in comparison to commercial products. You talk about the ability of these products to boost energy, improve the restfulness of sleep, and provide long-term health benefits for growing children. What do you think will happen to your response rates? 
There is a common saying, “Knowledge is power.” That’s as true in marketing as it is anywhere else.

~ Kelly Mank, President of Time4Printing and The Windham Eagle Newspaper
Google+ - Time4Printing
LindedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/KellyMank
Twitter -  www.twitter.com/Time4Printing  

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Positioning Your Business for Tomorrow

Do you see marketing as a sprint or a marathon? Increasingly, marketers are taking the marathon view, developing their plans to focus on long-term results rather than just “right now” sales. In this view, marketing has a two-fold purpose: to foster immediate sales and to plant seeds for tomorrow’s.

First you must identify the factors that will further your company’s long-term marketing goals. You might not have a perfect understanding of every looming competitive, economic, legal, sociological, or technological force, but you can become alert to the possibilities. Arm yourself with information on the longevity and profit potential of your present market’s lifecycle as well as budding market opportunities so you can begin positioning your business for tomorrow today.

Here are a few ways to foster future business opportunities regardless of your business size or budget.

1.      Provide platinum-standard customer service. Your goal is always to exceed your customers’ expectations, but if you fall short, admit it. Many loyal repeat customers result from perfectly corrected errors.

2.      Cultivate your elite customers. Your best customers—those who are easy to work with, who really like you, and who have a positive history with your company—are a goldmine of quality referrals. Strengthen existing relationships and build new ones by giving your top clients and their guests special offers, insights, and previews of your innovations.

3.      Create top-of-mind awareness. Not everyone needs your product or service today, but many will at some point in the future. Capitalize on your vision of emerging needs and trends, communicated using our suite of multichannel marketing tools and techniques, to get your product in front of tomorrow’s customers now.

4.      Network. Join a networking group, like BNI, that will help you in both, creating todays sales but more importantly planing the seeds for tomorrows sales. Learn to understand the benefits of what a true referral is.

It takes time for the seeds you plant today to germinate into future business. Essential to all of this is to communicate effectively with your target audience. Consult with us to learn how our technology and expertise can support these efforts.

~ Kelly Mank, President of Time4Printing and The Windham Eagle Newspaper
Google+ - Time4Printing
LindedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/KellyMank
Twitter -  www.twitter.com/Time4Printing  

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Is It Time for a Fresh Look?

Re-branding is a big deal, and it shouldn’t be done lightly. But sometimes, the time is right. Whenshould you consider re-branding your business? Here is some advice from the experts.

1. When something has significantly changed in your business.
Businesses evolve, and there can come a point at which you are a different business than you were a few years ago. Maybe you’ve expanded into new areas. Maybe you’ve had a growth spurt and your local brand needs to grow with it.
2. When your customers have changed.
Not only do brands change, but also their customers change. McDonald’s customers have become more health-conscious, for example. Harley Davidson’s customers have gotten younger. With these changes have come significant changes in presentation of the brand. Has your customer base gone through a significant and long-term change? If so, does this need to be reflected in your branding? 
3. Your visual brand looks stale.
Eventually, even the best visual branding begins to look dated. What looked cool in the 1970s isn’t going to play today. Color trends, fonts, logos, and entire brand representations need a makeover every once in awhile. How long has it been since your brand had one?
4. When customers have lost engagement with your brand.
Customer engagement can often be recaptured with fresh, new ways of marketing, but sometimes, there is something about the branding that no longer connects. If you can’t get sales out of a slump, maybe new branding can help prospects see your products with fresh eyes.
5. You look like everyone else.
When you opened your business in a hot new market 10 years ago, you were unique. But as new competitors poured into the space, that uniqueness is disappearing. If you are no longer standing out from your competition, fresh branding can help you break through.
Think it might be time to rebrand your business? Give us a call and let our brand experts and graphic designers brainstorm with you. 

~ Kelly Mank, President of Time4Printing, Kelly@Time4Printing.com
Google+ - Time4Printing
LindedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/KellyMank
Twitter -  www.twitter.com/Time4Printing