What’s New in ’22? We are happy to announce a number of new and expanded offerings to help you Market Smarter.
In response to continued supply chain shortages, CustomXM (CXM) announced a new product to increase revenue streams.
Apparel is an ever-evolving promotional product with constantly changing new styles to keep up with. As apparel promo products change each year, how are you standing out from the competition? Check out our top apparel trends for 2022 below so you can stay on top of it all!
For an inside look at the ever-changing color trends for apparel, promo, design and beyond, look no further than Pantone’s top colors for 2022! Stay on-trend and top-of-mind this spring with these calming yet bright shades that are sure to keep your customers’ attention.
In honor of Black History Month, we want to take the time to recognize some of the inventors, printers, and designers that helped move our industry forward. From peanuts and presses to newspapers and 7-UP, these forward-thinkers and their ideas helped shape our industry as we know it.
Ben E. Keith, a distributor of food service products and premium alcoholic beverages, located in North Little Rock, Arkansas, hosts an annual Mid-South Food Show. The one-day show featured technology demonstrations, over 150 of their vendors showcasing their latest items, an American Culinary Federation Culinary Competition, guest speakers, and even a party the night before.
They wanted a special look for this years event. It was important that the look communicate their overreaching focus of simply providing customers with fundamental tools they need to succeed. They also desired an fun, creative and edgy look that fell in-line with the spirit and goals of both the company and the event.
The solution was a logo that literally spotlights a spoon in front of an audience. The logo would be used on specially die-cut hexagon shaped brochure that would be distributed to customers during food deliveries. They also used JPG images from portions from the design to promote aspects of the event in their client email campaigns during the weeks leading up to the event.
Historically, the speaking portion of the event had not yielded a great deal of interest from participants. However, this year they had made a special effort to acquire speakers they thought would generate interest and likewise wanted to be sure those seats were filled. Because of the time constraints of the show, the keynote speaker would present one hour before the published event start time. The night before the event the staff cut-off the portion of the leftover brochures that featured the speaking schedule on one side and the cover graphic on the other. They handed those out to guests at their party the night before in an effort to drive traffic to both the early speaking event and the mid-day presenter. The result was great. Both the speaking events and the food show was well attended. They indicated that not only was the design creative and very fitting for the event, but that the hexagon brochure design was also key in getting attention and sparking conversation. Their only wish is that they had utilized the logo design in more of the event’s promotional items like tee shirts and banners.
CustomXM added a new division, SignsXM. It wanted to find a unique way to announce its new offerings which included all types of wide format printing, including banners, signage, wall graphics, vehicle graphics and more. CustomXM also wanted to use a cross media, multi-channel approach that would drive results and illustrate CustomXM’s marketing capabilities.
CustomXM created a unique, dimensional mail piece that included a personalized mini-banner for all recipients. CustomXM encouraged recipients of their “Awesome Banner Thingys” to post photos on Instagram, which would qualify them for entry into a prize drawing.
420 pieces were mailed to prospects and current clients of CustomXM. Over 12% of recipients responded and completed the online survey. Additionally, over 13% of the recipients posted photos of their Awesome Banner Thingys on Instagram accounts. Many of these respondents were a different subset than those that responded to the online survey.
The campaign received quite a bit of social media buzz and accolades from local ad agencies. It immediately led to meetings and opportunities for signage and direct mail proposals for clients and prospects. Many of these opportunities led to new business within the first three weeks of the campaign.
This campaign also received national recognition by receiving two Bennys awarded by the Print Industries of America during their Premier Print Awards, an international print competition.
The targeted audience was current clients and prospects of CustomXM.
At CustomXM, they like to market themselves a little differently. They like to use the marketing tools they are constantly advocating, and they like to have a little fun. They accomplished all this and more with their “Awesome Banner Thingy” campaign.
Recently, CustomXM added wide format services to their offerings. They even created a separate division, SignsXM. But they felt that it wouldn’t be enough just to tell folks about these new services, it would be better to show them. And have them show others.
To engage its target audience, CustomXM developed a dimensional mailer – an 8” x 8” x 1.25” box complete with a personalized label informing recipients that a “surprise” was inside. Inside the box was the following:
- A personalized envelope and note card introducing the new division and services.
- An instruction sheet showing recipients how to put together their own Awesome Banner Thingy
- A QR Code that linked to a video explaining how to construct the Awesome Banner Thingy
- The actual Awesome Banner Thingy which was a 3.25” x 7.5” vinyl banner, personalized with the recipient’s name, complete with a grommet and very tiny banner stand.
To encourage responses recipients were given two opportunities to participate in a prize contest
- By visiting their personalized website and completing a survey
- By sharing a photo of their Awesome Banner Thingy on Instagram
REASONS FOR SUCCESS
The main reason for success was a clever design and personalized promotion.
Article courtesy of W. Caslon & Company, 2015, PODi.org
Riddle me this…
- Upon entering his freshmen year at college this past fall, our son was required to purchase an iPad for a particular class.
- When our daughters began high school, we were required to purchase new laptops through the school for use with various components of the curriculum.
- Recently, our 22 year old son, a senior, was taken aback by a professor’s request to NOT take classroom notes via a laptop or tablet. In fact, all electronic note-taking is prohibited in this professor’s class.
- And now J.C. Penney is resurrecting its print catalog.
I have always been somewhat of an early adopter, and have embraced technology whenever possible. Yet, my livelihood is dependent upon the use of that ancient form of communication – print. Needless to say, as we begrudgingly continue to one day become that “paperless society”, I can’t help but grin at recent developments to the contrary.
Again I ask…
If we are encouraging our students at the collegiate, high school, elementary and even earlier to immerse themselves in all things digital – especially the tools used to advance their education – how do professors justify removing these same tools giving similar reasons?
If online shopping continues to grow exponentially, why would a major retailer bring back a dinosaur of a catalog?
A scientific response could be that neuroscience studies show that physical media such as print leaves a deeper footprint on the human brain than the virtual. I think this suggests that if I write down my grocery list I will remember it better than if I type it in my notes on my phone (with the underlying assumption that I leave both the list and my phone in the car).
But I never did like science. So let’s explore further.
Learning & Literacy
Recent studies continue to indicate how in spite of all the tech tools available to us, print, paper and yes, even handwriting deliver proven benefits and continue to play an essential role in education and development.
- Elementary students who wrote by hand are found to write more quickly and wrote more complete sentences than those who do not. (More info here.)
- Children remembered more details from stories they read on paper than ones they read in e-books. (More info here.)
- While laptops are commonplace in university classrooms, one of their drawbacks is the distractions they offer. Some research has shown that multitasking on a laptop poses significant distraction not only to the user, but to fellow students as well.
Catalog to Internet Sales
J.C. Penney has struggled over the years. It has continued to try to crawl its way back from recent sales declines. So why do they decide to bring back this antiquated, phone book style medium? The answer, it appears, is that in some instances, “if you build it, they didn’t come.” When Penney’s decided to discontinue the Big Book in 2009, it was anticipated that catalog shoppers would migrate online. But it didn’t actually pan out that way. The company eventually learned that a lot of what they thought were new online sales were actually catalog shoppers using the website to place their orders. And after a half-decade hiatus, it is bringing back its catalog.
Now, retailers are rediscovering the books as a branding tool that can drive sales. According to Kurt Salmon, 31% of shoppers have a catalog with them when they make an online purchase.
What then, does this tell us?
Print drives sales! And print helps you learn and remember!
As if you and I didn’t already know that.
Now where did I put that grocery list???
It’s Wednesday, and you know what day it is?? Of course I’m referring to What’s New Wednesday. Weekly, or at least regularly, or at least on certain Wednesdays, I plan to introduce new products, new ideas or new thoughts that relate to marketing, print and signage. Some of these may well be the next big thing in the world of communications, and some may be nothing more than a curiosity. And let’s be honest, some may just be lame. But we won’t know until we take a look, so let’s begin.
If you know anything at all about me, you know there are two true loves in my life. Yeah, yeah, we all know about my wife and our kids, but I’m not talking about them right now. I’m talking about paper and technology. Old school vs. new school communication. Imagine if you will, a world in which both of them live together in harmony; one feeding off the other. We may have discussed this courtship before when we’ve talked about QR codes and even Augmented Reality. While those relationships still do exist, some of them anyway, I found this newest union to be very interesting.
It’s called swivelCard, and in a nutshell, it’s a paper USB drive that is embedded in a business card. Cool, right? We have smartphones, smartwatches, so why not a smart business card?
Here’s a peek at their Kickstarter video:
Since it is my sworn duty to explore all things paper-embedded-with-technology, I inquired about becoming a reseller of this product, and purchased a sample pack. I wanted to properly celebrate this marriage made in heaven. Sadly, the honeymoon may be short lived.
I suppose that USB drives are also called thumb drives for a reason. You need your thumb to insert them into the USB slot. And when you combine the fact that I am generally all thumbs, and attempting to gingerly, then not so gingerly insert a paper USB drive into my laptop, the results were less than appealing. Admittedly, I had issues. And crumpling. Fortunately, I had more than one in my sample pack, and finally successfully loaded the drive and launched the content.
I do like this idea and the overall concept. Anything that finds a way to make the printed word more relevant and engaging is a must have for me, But I do have questions that make me wonder if this will have legs:
- I am sometimes leery of putting USB drives with unknown content into my computer. Is this a widespread concern?
- I appreciate the concept; I was so excited about it after watching the video. But the construction, folding and execution was a little awkward and borderline cumbersome. For my time, I would rather simply type in a URL, or hey, maybe even scan a QR code.
- The example of using this in a medical facility is genius; patient education is a great shortfall of our healthcare system and in theory, this could go a long way in making headway in that area. But is it easily deliverable on a patient-by-patient basis? Again, the idea is brilliant.
- They do have some entertaining video case studies, even one using the swivel card at a wedding. Would you use this for your wedding?
- And major kudos to include the ability to track and measure analytics with this device. Remember, if you aren’t measuring, you aren’t marketing!
- But is it cost prohibitive? The swivelCard is much less expensive than a preloaded USB drive. But at a cost of about $2.00 each, it is much more expensive than a standard business card. (Granted, it offers much more than a standard business card.) And the USB drive, based on my mangling experience, may be a one-time use.
Actually, ignore that point, we can always print more!
So that’s What’s New this Wednesday. Is the swivelCard something of interest to you? Will this marriage last?
And please, tell me What’s New with You?