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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Grow Productivity Through Purposeful Leadership

          Grow Productivity Through Purposeful Leadership

Replace Chaos with Focus



Lost productivity costs companies millions each year.

While it is hard to quantify exactly how much is lost, certainly distraction alone prevents daily peak performance. Besides hunger, sleepiness, bodily functions, and simple brain fatigue, productivity research shows that 48% of employees waste time surfing the web (including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube), 33% lose work time socializing with co-workers, and 49% are managing personal calls, texts, and e-mails.


It's true: time is money. But time is more easily lost than dollars, so how can you push yourself or your team to be more focused? Maybe you want to spend your time wisely, but find yourself running in circles or falling short each day. How can you shift from being “busy” to being more effective?


By re-focusing on one thing: purpose.


Your purpose is more than what you do while you’re checking e-mail. It’s more than what you do while compiling reports or sitting in meetings. These activities may be part of your job, but they don’t define your role or your unique identity. Every person is driven by something. Often, we are driven by deadline pressure, interruptions from co-workers, or by an unexpected project delay. But what would it look like to focus on a more purposeful vision?


Grow Productivity Through Purposeful Leadership



Purposeful leadership requires we take a step back, focusing on our unique identity and skill set so these aren’t drowned out by the frantic activity of the day.


Do you long to overcome chaos? Here are three steps to organizing your outlook in a way that maximizes your time, priorities, and productivity:


1. Develop goals around your purpose.



If you were to define your top work priority, what would it be? To give vision? To provide team leadership? To design or create?


Before you can effectively use your time, you need to clarify the most important role you play. Start with your unique purpose and draft at least three goals that would help you fulfill your primary purpose. If your job is to work with people but you spend most of your time answering e-mails, maybe a change is needed. Set goals that are specific, measurable, and that put feet to your purpose.


2. Sharpen focus around your goals.



How well do these goals match your weekly tasks? Many people have goals, but do these goals translate into functional realities?


To strategize your time, make a master list of tasks that need accomplishing, then group together tasks in specific categories and rank these categories by importance. Low-level categories could be delegated, dropped, or restructured. As you brainstorm, involve your spouse, mentor, or co-workers. Sometimes it’s hard to see life through an honest, critical lens without encouragement from others.


3. Build your schedule around these priorities.



Intentional scheduling is like budgeting: it means telling your time where you want it to go (instead of asking your time where it went!).


Now that you’ve ranked your categories, assign the top activities to your most productive, interrupted blocks of time. Use your less productive times (late day, “filler” slots between meetings) to address lower priority categories.


Scheduling is where the rubber meets the road – where you close doors and ask for zero interruptions, where you stop doing one task and go on to another (even when it hurts), and where you refuse to let other people determine what is important every day. Your schedule is ground zero for living up to your purpose, so take it seriously and you’ll experience greater satisfaction in the way you spend time each week.
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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Start Mouth-Watering Conversations Through Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Start Mouth-Watering Conversations Through Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Karen Weber-Mendham was a part-time librarian and mother of three when she turned her family’s propensity for garlic cheesy bread into a cool million.

This northern Wisconsin family often ordered cheesy bread while waiting on pizza. Weber-Mendham said the kids’ appetizer passion was so strong “they would arm-wrestle each other for a piece!” 

Cheesy fever inspired the family to enter the 2013 Lay’s potato chip competition, “Do Us a Flavor,” challenging customers to create a new chip flavor to hit store shelves that year. Lays was swamped with 3.8 million submissions as the contest winner was given the better of two options: $1 million or 1% of the flavor’s net sales over a year. Beyond fame and fortune, Weber-Mendham was given the opportunity to ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange and was flown to Los Angeles for the big reveal with Lay’s endorsement celebrity Eva Longoria.

“Eva was so genuine and happy for me when I won,” Weber-Mendham said. And yes, “She’s as beautiful in person as she looks on TV.”

Catalysts for a Great Conversation


What was Lays up to in this fun-loving campaign?

Were they desperate for creative ideas? Hungry for the inspiration only average citizens could bring? Or did they strike gold by tapping into a conversation with everyday Americans?

Word-of-mouth promotion has been identified as the most valuable form of marketing, tagged “the original social media.” According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising, and trusted referrals are most likely to drive sales for your company. But in an American Marketing Association survey, 64% of marketing executives say that, though they believe word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing, only 6% have mastered it.

As you seek to generate good gossip about your company, here are three action points to keep in mind:

Engage


Make a commitment to listen.
What would that truly look like in your context? Allow your customers' space to be heard and to contribute to the company as a whole. Engage with clients through e-mail surveys, online question and answer boards, social media service options, or by highlighting customer success in your printed newsletters. When customers are heard, they feel connected and valued.

Encourage 

Allow people reasons or avenues to talk to each other or to talk about you.

Like a common chalkboard with a fun question in your favorite coffee shop, invite clients into the conversation and give them tools to chat. Encourage people to talk about your services and products with you and with others by creating helpful, shareable content, including icons to your favorite apps that will make it easy for your fans to spread your name around!

Equip


Give your fan base tools to become brand advocates.

Let them know their opinions are important and look for fun ways to spread the word. To create buzz around the Ford Fiesta, Ford gave away a number of cars and asked ambassador “influencers” to test drive and share their experiences.

During “Do Us a Flavor,” Lays received over 1.4 million Facebook and Twitter votes, one of its biggest marketing campaigns ever. While you may not give away a car, give away tools to get your fans advocating: ask clients to pass coupons to five of their friends, to give you an online review, or be part of a fun selfie or Snapchat contest to boost your reputation.

Get the conversation started and pave the way for new growth!

For more of our informative blogs go to: https://store.printcafeli.com/blog/Print_Cafe_Blog.html  

Monday, November 19, 2018

Keys for Change: Small Businesses Making a Big Impact

            Keys for Change: Small Businesses Making a Big Impact
The winter of 2013 was a hard one for Georgette Carter.

As a single mom raising two young boys while she cared for a father with dementia, money was very tight. Then, she totaled her car and found her resources – and her hope – were nearly gone. That is, until a 1996 blue Ford Contour arrived from the Connor Brother Collisions “Recycled Rides” program.

Conner Brothers of Richmond, VA, overhauls donated cars and awards them to people who have been nominated by community members. Carter said her heart was rehabilitated almost more than the car she received:

“It turned my life around. I can get to my job on time, and I don’t have to maneuver to get my child out of daycare. I’ll never take that for granted again.”

Getting Others Involved


Small businesses like Conner Brothers are creating innovative giving models that not only impact people but strengthen the business and the character of the companies themselves.

Kevin Conner said his company donated its first car and was looking to extend the “Recycled Rides” program to three other locations, but they had some pushback in the process. Some objected to giving away freebies when they were working so hard to earn a living themselves. But Conner says this mentality changed when employees got physically involved because compassion comes from being part of an experience instead of merely giving a donation:

“I got them involved in actually giving the cars away, handing over the keys,” Conner says. “Now the guys at the shop call me and ask, ‘When is our next car?’ It would be easy to give money or a service here or there, but it’s the teamwork behind the program that creates an amazing atmosphere for a successful company.”

The car giveaways have become such a cornerstone for Conner Brothers that the program helps define the type of employees the company wants.

“Giving back is a huge part of our company,” Conner says. “I challenge the guys every day to give back in some way, to give customers more than they expect. People remember that.” 

Giving That “Changes” Lives


Another giving strategy comes from literal pocket change, as givers round up or down for charity.

For example, the ridesharing company Lyft recently launched an initiative allowing customers to round up their fare to the nearest dollar for military appreciation and human rights campaigns. More than 40,000 passengers donated over $100,000 in the first two months!

Grocery stores, mass merchandisers, and retailers have also invited customers to donate change to worthy causes. As technology and digital platforms make such giving easier, small businesses have challenged staff members to round down their net pay to the nearest dollar (or tenth dollar) and give the difference to charity. While painless or even unnoticed, these small donations add up to a collective impact with heartfelt results.

Whether your employees give financially, volunteer together, or embrace a community partnership project, innovative giving helps your business to:


Stand out from competitors or set itself apart in the community


Make matching donations alongside employee giving to multiply impact


Use positive feedback from supported causes to provide content for print and digital marketing


Increase team unity as employees give toward a common cause


While generosity begins in the heart, often innovative giving strategies begin with small business.

For more of our informative blogs go to: https://store.printcafeli.com/blog/Print_Cafe_Blog.html

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

How Typeface Affects Your Brand Expression

                     How Typeface Affects Your Brand Expression
Flavors have tangible effects on your body and your mood.
When you eat spicy food, your heart rate increases or your face may sweat. When you taste your favorite ice cream, reality seems to fade to slow motion as you prolong each morsel of delight. Is food really that powerful, or is there something more at play? More than likely, the foods you eat conjure whole streams of past experiences in your mind. The context or culture an individual brings to their experience will significantly affect their interpretation.

The same is true in design.
Whether it’s colors, photo filters, or layouts, every choice plays into a viewer’s experience with your brand. Often, we overlook typeface as an important design attribute but font is hugely expressive and making the right choice is critical. In fact, in 1923, when Poffenberger & Franken conducted research into how readers perceive different typefaces, people responded quite uniformly to typeface and product pairings and used similar adjectives about the fonts they observed. Fonts can give a sense of timeless style, of purity and simplicity, or a friendly human touch. The contrast of the strokes, how a letter is finished, or its proportionality can determine whether a design seems warm and friendly or cold and mechanical. Let’s examine a few fonts and the effect they have on viewers.

Serif or Sans Serif


Serifs originated from Roman Imperial carved inscriptions and this deep-rooted history brings an inescapable association with academic, thoughtful communication.

The internal density of serif fonts creates a straightforward, highly-efficient text row, but sans-serif fonts have a reputation for being more casual, informal and friendly. Although serif fonts dominate the world of print, the boom in screen-based technology has made the more legible sans serif a popular choice, especially for brands that are seeking a rational, industrial, or no-nonsense quality to their message.

Script Fonts

Script fonts are those that mimic cursive handwriting.

Formal scripts embody the ornate flair of old-school calligraphy, while casual scripts have a more home-spun friendly feel. Formal scripts are ideal for invitations, book covers, wall art, or anything with a vintage theme. Casual scripts can be modified to fit anything from logos, posters, pamphlets, or anything with an intimate, informal vibe.

Handwritten Fonts

Handwritten fonts have evolved over the last ten years, and embody the name they possess with scrawling, looped, or free-flow characters that people use when they put pen to paper.

These fonts are ideals for cards, book covers, posters, freebies and swag, or logo design as they bring an imaginative touch that sets your products apart.

Mix and Match

Can you pair different kinds of fonts in a project?

Of course!

Like all facets of design, contrast is key. A handwritten bold logo paired with a scripted tagline can make your welcome sign sing. Or an all-caps serif with an italicized sans serif may bring a subtle sophistication. Even if you use the same font through an entire piece, making a headline bold and condensed but the copy light with greater vertical space (or “leading”) can make a smart statement. Just remember to proof samples before you get too deep into a project. Some fonts look great in headlines but terrible on screen. Others are fun to read but fatigue the eye quickly. Test your font choices and pairings on a few willing volunteers or gather feedback from a design consultant.

While there are thousands of fonts, the right combination is essential to set the tone for your brand. If you want to brainstorm with our creative team, give us a call today!
For more of our informative blogs go to: https://store.printcafeli.com/blog/Print_Cafe_Blog.html
 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Printed Gifts Are Perfect Any Time of Year

                         Printed Gifts Are Perfect Any Time of Year

Providing your customers with a small memento of your business is one of the best ways to keep your brand top-of-mind.

However, many business owners struggle with ideas about what they can use as gifts that are cost-effective, memorable, and useful to their clients. There are plenty of options on the market today in terms of promotional products, but a thoughtful printed gift may be the ideal option for your business.

Here are some of the ways that businesses are making themselves memorable in print!

The Gift of Humor


Knock knock. Who's there? Etch. Etch who? Bless you, friend.

There are few things that will put a smile on someone's face more quickly than a corny knock-knock joke. You know they are terrible, but you still have to smile! Your customers will feel the same way, so why not gift them with a little light and laughter in their life? A small printed joke book is the perfect way to let your customers know you're thinking about them. Humor has been shown to build trust and inspire creative thinking -- what better gifts could you provide to your best customers?

Giving Notes


Many organizations are clear and consistent with their message of helping others, so why not extend this concept?

A simple printed postcard or notecard showing your clients that you contributed to a specific charity on their behalf is a terrific way of showing your commitment to giving back to the community and the world. Prefer to have a more lasting memory for your customers? Printed magnets or labels will also help you share the message of generosity.

Office Supplies

Who "borrowed" my notepad this time?!?

Offices throughout the country hear this cry on a regular basis, so why not take away some of this pain? Printed pop-up notes or notepads are an inexpensive gift that will be appreciated for weeks -- or even months. Plus, you can add your brand in a way that not only are you sharing your message with the individual sending the note, but the recipient will also have a positive association with your brand, too. Instead of doing a simple blank note, why not print inspirational statements on them or create bold "Thank You" messages on the notepad? Your customers will love being able to share them with friends at work.

Desktop Prints


Motivational posters or prints are always a welcome gift, as they help clients stay encouraged even when they're going through a rough patch.

A simple mini-print is ideal for this situation, and you can even upgrade to a small matted display for your best customers. Help customers see how much they mean to you by sharing a heartfelt note that brings together your brand promise and shows how far above and beyond you are willing to go to provide top-notch service.

These are only a few of the ways you can share the appreciation that you feel for your clients on a daily basis. How do you show appreciation for your clients? For more of our informative blogs go to: https://store.printcafeli.com/blog/Print_Cafe_Blog.html

Thursday, November 8, 2018

How to Design a Banner for Print

                                 How to Design a Banner for Print
 How to Design a Banner for Print: Whether you’re a large company or a professional freelancer, there’s a world of people out there willing to engage with you and your business – so what’s their impression of you going to be? It is quite a frustrating moment when your banner design does not attract people. Below are 10 tips that will help you to create the best design for a banner; “KEEP IT SIMPLE” being one of them. People should be able to comprehend your message quickly and easily. A simple style makes for a bold and striking banner. Are you ready for a crash course in banner design and how to put your best image forward? So, let’s get started!

10 Vital Design Tips to Design a Banner for Print.

TIP 1- Keep it Simple-People should be able to comprehend your message quickly and easily. A simple style makes for a bold and striking b banner.

TIP 2- Think About Viewing Distance-toy won’t be able to see a small font distance. Similarly a large font closeup will be difficult to read.

TIP 3-Make Colors POP-Choose contrasting colors if your banner is going to be viewed from a distance.

TIP 4-Think about Materials- Most people use vinyl because it’s cost-effective and can be discarded after use. But fabric can be moved around and washed easily.

TIP 5- Maybe Get A Designer- If you want your banner to be really effective then get a professional to design it.

TIP 6-Think About Layout-Short rows of text might look good on a large banner, while long good on a small banner. Map it out beforehand.

TIP 7-Mount it Differently-There are traditional methods of mounting such as grommets but other materials might be more efficient.

TIP 8-Avoid to Manu Bright Colors- Bright colors should be used sparingly. Use them to capture attention but too many turn people off.

TIP 9- Emphasize 1 Element-This might be text or and the image you want people tp notice. It might encourage viewers to then look for more details.

TIP 10-Make Images High-Res-Make sure images are that right resolution so that your banner looks professional.


Conclusion

We hope that this post on how to design a banner for print will be helpful for you. Do share with your friends and enlighten them on how to design a banner for print.https://www.printcafeli.com/store/product-view.html/98-Outdoor_Banner

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Color Combinations that Tax the Brain

                            Color Combinations that Tax the Brain
Easy on the Eye



Humans are creative beings, and one of our favorite ways to express ourselves is through words.


Words can bring sweetness to the soul, arouse dormant hunger, or give voice to beauty in the world.


That’s why names are such serious business. How much thought do we give to naming a pet? Or a child? Beautiful names can bring a charming nostalgia or an air of sophistication to the bearer.


But while some names are sweet on the ear, they don’t translate well for the eye, causing potentially years of frustration for your grade-schooler (or your veterinarian!).


Here are five names that are fun for the ear but a nightmare for the eye:


    1- Eulalia (Yu-LAY-Lia), like the mayor’s wife in The Music Man

    2-Azaiah (Az-EYE-ah), which has rocketed in popularity since 2000

    3-Grigoriy (Grig-OR-y), a Russian variant of Gregory, meaning “vigilant or watchful”

    4-Bludeuwedd (Bloo-da-e-wedd), referenced in Steinbeck’s Sweet Thursday, a Welsh name meaning “face of flowers”

    5-Aelwen (Eisel-wen), originating in England, with versions of the name in   J.R.R. Tolkien’s literature


Color Combinations that Tax the Brain



Some things are beautiful in concept but difficult in reality.


Similarly, certain images or color combinations are challenging for your eyes as well!


Have you ever seen a website that seems to chafe your eyeballs? A fabric pattern that makes you intrinsically recoil? This is actually not just a “tacky” color combination, it is a brain hijack: your brain gets misled into viewing these colors in 3D. Some colors appear to recede, while others float forward. 

For example, the combination of blue and red can be very difficult for the eye to process. One color may jump out while the other appears buried or muted. This effect, referred to as chromostereopsis, was first noted by Goethe in his Farbenlehre (Theory of Colours).


Goethe recognized blue as a receding color and yellow/red as a protruding or dominant force, arguing that, “like we see the high sky, the faraway mountains, as blue, in the same way, a blue field (also) seems to recede.” This phenomenon explains the visual science behind how we perceive colors and objects and is extremely important when you consider layouts and color combinations for print.


Some Important Color Takeaways



As you choose color combinations, here are some chromostereopsis design takeaways to consider:


Avoid putting blue and red (or green and red) near each other on a page or screen.

Avoid putting blue or green text on a red background (or red/green text on a blue background).

If the color combinations you’re using seem obnoxious, adjust the hue or filters to mute more jarring pure tones. 

Separate contrasting colors, either spatially or semantically (like using lines or charts to divide them). This will prevent viewers from having to pay attention to items of both colors at the same time. 

If you want to use chromostereopsis to your advantage, try using a jarring color combination in the background with a contrasting color on top (like white text on a black and red background, as we see here).

When the dynamics of good design are utilized, viewers will look at your images longer and perceive your ideas more clearly. So, stretch your designs but don’t strain their brains!
For more of our informative blogs go to: https://store.printcafeli.com/blog/Print_Cafe_Blog.html 



Friday, November 2, 2018

Customize Printed Mailings to Maximize Your Impact

               Customize Printed Mailings to Maximize Your Impact
One of the best ways that brands can engage their customers is by making people feel valued and unique.

Brands that are able to provide their customers with this feeling of connection are going to be one step closer to creating true advocates for their brand. Perhaps one of the best ways that modern organizations can offer a customized experience is through meaningful personalization -- far beyond the "Dear Friend" found in some mass mailings.

See how businesses are using personalization in their printed materials to create an experience that customers will appreciate and remember.

Tailored Offers Drive Traffic


Grocery stores are able to effectively track a massive number of items and customers, including when and where they purchased specific products.

While your business may not be quite that complex, you can certainly track in a more simplistic way in order to offer timely and meaningful coupons to your customers. For instance, offering a discount card tied to someone's phone number allows you to discover which days of the week they are coming to see you and how often. Upsell your services by providing discounts on off-days when they may not visit or to shorten the time between services. This strategy works especially well for service-based businesses such as hair and nail salons.

Treating People Like Family

If you are able to capture additional information about your customers such as the age of children, this allows you a greater opportunity to customize your message.

Knowing the general age of your customers or whether they're empty-nesters, young parents, or an older retired couple provides you with the information that you need to create offers that are more compelling. One example would be a restaurant whose tables are nearly empty on a Wednesday night. Sending information to young families that Kids Eat Free on Wednesdays is likely to bring in a wealth of new business on that evening and keep your tables full.

Move-In Special


There are many businesses that thrive on new families moving into the area -- from retail establishments to grocery stores and everything in between.

Consider working with a few complimentary businesses in your region to create a move-in special: a package of offerings that can be mailed to families just as they move into the area. These hot new potential customers have not yet formed an opinion of the area and will need to create new shopping patterns. If your offer comes at the perfect time as they're moving in and purchasing new products for their home, they are likely to continue visiting your establishment over the years.

There are many different ways that your business can take advantage of a compelling, personalized offer in print.For more of our informative blogs go to: https://store.printcafeli.com/blog/Print_Cafe_Blog.html