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Showing posts with label #booklets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #booklets. Show all posts

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Unlocking the Potential of Print Marketing:

Strategies for Small Business Success 

Print is a tried and true marketing method that holds significant trust and influence among consumers. 

With 82% of consumers placing their trust in print advertisements over other sources when making purchasing decisions, it's clear that print marketing remains a force to be reckoned with. Surprisingly, even the tech-savvy Millennial generation embraces print media - about 33% of them maintain active subscriptions to newspapers and magazines.

Having said that, while print marketing is undoubtedly a powerful tool, it still needs to be appropriately utilized to see the results that you're after. If you want to make the most of this print marketing opportunity for your small business, here are two strategies to consider.

Embracing Creative Shapes and Materials

The first thing you should do when designing print marketing collateral as a small business owner involves leveraging every opportunity to think outside the box and make an impression.

Case in point: the shape of your mailers.

Print marketing already has a leg up on other materials like digital because it is tangible, and people can hold it in their hands and pin it up on their refrigerator for later. But if you send out materials in standard shapes, you risk getting lost in the sea of every other piece of mail someone happened to get that day.

Even sending out larger, odd-sized envelopes or pieces in shapes that aren't perfect squares or rectangles is a great way to stand out and get noticed. 

The same is true of experimenting with heavier card stock when printing. Sometimes, feeling different from everything else in someone's mailbox is all you need to make that first impression people can't get enough of.

The Power of Personalization in Print

Print marketing is a great way to get consumers' attention because you're using it! But you want to lean into targeted, personalized offers whenever possible to keep their attention.

One of the reasons digital marketing is seen as less effective than it could be is that it is inherently cold and impersonal. It's easy to whip up an email to send to people, but once they realize that the same generic message just went out to thousands of people, they will mostly tune it out. It's even easier to delete it and never look at it again.

To get started with a personalized campaign, separate your customers into groups based on what you know about them. Dive into the data being created about them daily and see what insights you can learn about them.

What do they like? What do they dislike? What purchases have they recently made, and how can you help them get the most out of them? Can you offer someone value without necessarily expecting something in return? Thinking about these questions and crafting your direct mail collateral based on their answers is a great chance to utilize print to make the most positive, lasting impression possible.

If you're eager to learn more about utilizing the full power of print marketing for your small business, or if you'd like to discuss your needs with someone in more detail, please don't hesitate to contact us today at:516-561-1468




 

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

8 Traits of Outstanding People

8 Traits of Outstanding People 

 

We know that the outstanding stand amongst us because we can feel it when we’re around them. They have something special inside we wish we possessed inside of ourselves. The good news is we are all capable of excellence. It is helpful to spend time learning about outstanding people and to bear witness to how they do what they do to be who they are. As we learn about them, all we have to do is emulate their character traits and own them as our own. Outstanding isn’t something a person has, it is something a person does.
What does it take to be outstanding?

1. Purpose

Outstanding people are driven by a powerful sense of purpose both in their individual lives and in relation to the world at large. They have defined the impact they desire to have and have held tight to their vision with every ounce of their focus. The purpose of life, for outstanding people, is always about service. They want to be involved in ways where they have the opportunity to show and use their compassion to help elevate others. To be outstanding, we have to find something dear to our heart and hold onto it. We need a purpose we are so deeply invested in that motivation and inspiration are not hard to access. We must know who we are and how we want to be of service in this world.

  
2. Passion

Outstanding people back their purpose with an unrelenting energy of passion. They follow their dreams, they work hard, are willing sacrifice whatever they need to, and refuse to let naysayers get in the way of their dreams. Their mission in life has nothing to do with surviving. Outstanding people don’t survive life, they live their lives to the absolute fullest. They make sure to possess a humble and great sense of humor, they make time for their personal growth and development, are dedicated to self-compassion and to living their lives with an energy of class. Their sense of passion for what they do is intoxicating. To be outstanding, we must follow our passions. We must be prepared to work hard and to sacrifice. We must shun our naysayers by removing them from our consciousness, live our days with a lighthearted composure and deeply love what we do.

3. Perseverance

Nothing in life comes easy. Outstanding people don’t lament about his fact, they respect it. What they want out of life is perceived as worth the hard work it takes for them to get it. They are prepared to have to fight and dig for what they believe in. They are prepared for setbacks and accept that these are the times when they will need to gather their courage and fortitude. They are prepared to be tired, to feel burned out and frustrated. They expect all of this and are wise to prepare for it. They know that whatever they are going through, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. They know all they have to do to get to the end of a challenge is to simply keep grinding. If we want to be outstanding, we have to be diligent in our pursuit. We have to develop the tough-mindedness and work ethic it takes to rise above the rest.

4. Choice

Outstanding people wake up each day and choose life. They choose joy, they choose grace, and they choose to see their blessings. Outstanding people thrive on the freedom they gain from being able to continue to make their mistakes and the choices necessary to learn and to grow from them. They know that it is one thing to be in the climb to the top, and a whole other thing to be at the top. Outstanding people make the choice to look their fears in the face. Through this process, they gain the strength, knowledge and experience to be exactly who they are. If we want to be outstanding, we need to look back at the horrors and hardships we’ve experienced and know that we stood steadfast. We must see our time on this earth as limited. We cannot and must not waste any time while we’re here. We must gather the resources we need to make the best choices we can to set ourselves apart to live our own blessed journey. We must wake up and choose to succeed.

5. Commitment


Commitment is the cornerstone of success. Outstanding people understand that commitment isn’t something they come by naturally, so they back all their desires with the discipline to achieve them. They commit to their own excellence by actively being a person they can love and respect. If we want to be outstanding, we cannot low-key commit, we must commit one hundred percent to what we’re pursuing. If we aren’t fully committed, we cannot fully live our dreams. Outstanding people never do anything halfway, and neither should we.

6. Failure


Outstanding people welcome and respect the concept and experience of failure. Nothing takes them further in their own learning, and nor does anything teach them or redirect their efforts more fully or quickly than failure. Genius will not; talent will not; but hard work and a willingness to learn are the qualities that take outstanding people wherever they want to go. If we want to be outstanding, we must learn not to stand in fear of our failures; rather, we must learn to build upon them. We must view our failures as stepping stones to our own success and greatness. Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. We must never give up. We must learn to start from where we are, with the resources we have, and to do what we can from this place.

7. Support

Outstanding people embrace the idea that succeeding is never a one-man job. Outstanding people have a team of confidants and supports who travel with them along their journey through life. These supports are an integral part of them being as outstanding as they are. Outstanding people aren’t just outstanding, they have lost hope, they have lost direction, and they have been broken and put back together time and again. It has been their supports who have helped them navigate through their tougher times.To be outstanding, we must gather our supports. We must listen to them, love them and appreciate them. We all need support and understanding to ward off the ugly predators of anxiety, fear, depression and frustration.

8. Optimism

Outstanding people embrace the undeniable value of being positive. Optimism gives them the faith they need to achieve all their aims. They know that absolutely nothing they set out to accomplish can be accomplished without hope and confidence. For this reason, outstanding people make sure to smile a lot, to focus on the bright side and to positively acknowledge those who support them. If we want to be outstanding, we must be positive. We must love what we do enough that we allow that love to spill over onto everyone around us. Few things in this world are more powerful than giving another person a positive push. Optimism is the culture we want to create, so that the purpose we're pursuing has a greater chance at longevity. If someone puts us down or criticizes us, we need to keep believing in ourselves and turn that negative into something positive. We were born to win, but to be a winner, we must plan to win, prepare to win and expect to win.

https://store.printcafeli.com/blog/Print_Cafe_Blog.html 

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Is Your Advertising Take You Up or Down?

               Does Your Advertising Take You Up or Down?

Marketing and advertising can be quite costly. However, marketing can attract customers and earn you money. So, you need to be asking yourself "is your advertising taking you up or down?"

Let's take a quick look at three of the best ways to make sure your marketing efforts are boosting your sales revenue instead of draining your budget for nothing.

1) Keep An Eye On Frequency Rates When Online

Advertising online can an effective way to reach a targeted audience. What you want to avoid, though, is blasting your ads multiple times to the same people. The more times the same consumer sees your ad, the more they will become annoyed by it. In fact, when the same person sees the same ad twice, the click-through-rate decreases by 8.91 percent. Seeing the same ad five times decreases the click-through-rate by 30 percent. And once they see the same ad nine times or more, the click-through-rate is cut in half. More important, the cost-per-click rate increases each time the ad is seen multiple times. This is why you need to check ad frequency  and mix up your marketing mix using other effective channels like print.

2) Switch Up the Background

Both your online and offline marketing campaigns can benefit from switching up ad background colors. Did you know that ads with the color blue tend to make consumers feel calm? Green brings about a sense of peace, while yellow ignites a feeling of happiness and optimism. With this in mind, you need to integrate these colors into your ads based on the feelings you are trying to invoke. For example, if you are advertising massage services, then you will, of course, want your background color to be blue or green to portray a sense of peace and calm. If you're advertising a theme park or vacation services, then using yellow in your background to bring forth feelings of happiness and excitement will be effective.

3) Run Your Own Blog

One of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to market your business is by running your own blog. Your blog can touch on a variety of topics, including articles discussing products you sell, tips for your using products, how to get good deals on your products, and how your products can be used to make your life simpler. The important thing is to make sure you are providing content to your readers that has value.

Once readers see that you are genuinely trying to make their lives better, they will come back to read your future blog postings. More importantly, they will be enticed to share your postings with other consumers, which is an excellent way to attract and secure new customers. Even better is that running your own blog is very affordable. In fact, if you're a decent writer, you can write your own blog postings for free. If you don't write, you can always hire a content creator to create the content for you. 


https://store.printcafeli.com/blog/Print_Cafe_Blog.html  

Thursday, February 20, 2020

What the Amazon Effect Means for Your Small Business

             What the Amazon Effect Means for Your Small Business





When Josh Silverman took over Etsy (an e-commerce website focused on handmade and vintage items), he faced immense pressure to revive the company financially.

He didn’t disappoint. While shedding jobs and increasing holiday promotions, Etsy swung from a $29.9 million loss (in 2016) to an $81.8 million net income in 2017.

Managing this feat in the face of Amazon’s competition was impressive. Amazon notched $51 billion in net sales in the first quarter of 2018, recently confirming it has exceeded 100 million Prime members globally. In contrast, Etsy has 1.9 active sellers and 33.4 million active buyers.

Amazon is everywhere: delivering groceries, storing music, and putting items at your doorstep in two days or less. Amazon has been so present that it has become a verb: as in, “I Amazoned it.” While Amazon brings smiles to many, it brings tremors to some small businesses. Many are outraged at the demise of mom-and-pop shops, and even large-scale retailers have taken hits.

What It Means For Small Business

The Amazon effect is a catchphrase used to describe how Amazon has influenced our interactions with other businesses.

Because so many people are Amazon subscribers, this platform has raised expectations for shopping experiences. As writer Corey Pemberton notes,

“Because the vast majority of us use Amazon regularly, we’re well aware of a new kind of customer experience. We used to drive to the shopping mall, painstakingly search for items, and wait in long lines with little complaint. But now that we’ve experienced the joy of picking out things in our pajamas and clicking to have them shipped straight to us, the alternative seems substantially less desirable.”

Subsequently, expectations of all businesses have increased.

How Your Business Can Adapt

Here are four ways small businesses can adapt in the wake of Amazon’s influence.

1. Work to develop distinct, personalized products.

Part of what makes your business irreplaceable is the individual products only you can produce.

While resellers can undercut some sales, a small business with a unique, quality product can’t easily be replicated.

2. Partner with e-commerce platforms.

A recent Insureon insurance company poll of 2,400 business owners showed 68 percent of businesses surveyed said that online retailers had a positive impact on their business:

"[Online retailers] have forced small businesses to embrace e-commerce as a critical route to reach their consumers and revenue source," said Jeff Somers, president of Insureon.

Businesses that don't sell online will struggle to stay relevant in the modern age, but e-commerce doesn't just mean partnering with Amazon. Typically, a small business's website is the most common place to sell.

3. Feature customer ratings and reviews.
When buying online, people need extra input to tip toward commitment.

When you’re looking to buy, who do you trust more: a long-time neighbor or a sophisticated salesperson? Obviously, humans are biased toward “ordinary people.” One of Amazon’s best features in their abundance of ratings and reviews. Capitalize on this yourself and allow the words of others to convince your prospects.

4. Become a destination.
Amazon is convenient, so make your business an experience, not just an errand. Change your product mix regularly and make it enjoyable for people to physically “discover.” Add entertainment with lessons, parties, samples, or anything to engage families. Tell your story and give people pride in doing business with you.

An Enhanced Customer Experience


Amazon isn’t killing small business, but it is changing the way we buy and sell.

Payoneer e-commerce manager Iain McNicoll says Amazon has given entrepreneurs a chance to create customer experiences they might have otherwise been overlooked:

"People see Amazon as crushing small business," McNicoll said. "Really, I think it opens up a door for small business, allowing them to now reach new customers that they wouldn't have been able to reach in the past."

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


 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

How to Use a Clear Call to Action to Convert Customers

               How to Use a Clear Call to Action to Convert Customers

"The maxim 'Nothing avails but perfection' may be spelt shorter: 'Paralysis.'"

(Winston Churchill)

Have you ever wondered how lion tamers keep wild cats nearly three times their size at bay?

While methods have evolved over the years, traditionally lions were subdued by three tools: a whip, a stool, and a handful of tasty snacks. While the whip or snacks make sense, perhaps you wonder why a stool was used (instead of a sword or a flame, for example)?

How can a small piece of furniture intimidate the king of all cats?

The truth is, the lion is not afraid of the chair, he’s confused by the multiple points on its legs. Cats are single-minded creatures, and the bobbing points of the chair legs confuse the lion into a less focused state. When the lion loses its train of thought, it is distracted from the instinct to pounce on a weaker opponent.

Muddled Communication Can Paralyze Your Prospects


Ever try to rush your kids through breakfast and get stuck at the cereal cupboard?

As they browse a shelf of eight boxes, they slump and groan: “There’s nothing to eat!” What started as a hurry-up turns into a traffic jam. You vow that next time, you’ll only offer toast and Cheerios.

When we don’t give customers a simple, singular call to action, they may also fall into decision fatigue.

Does your website or your print materials overwhelm customers with possibilities?

Psychologist Sheena Iyengar, a professor at Columbia Business School, co-authored a study that showed significantly more conversions happened when shoppers had fewer options. In her example, shoppers had to choose from a display with six different flavors of jam versus a display with 24 different flavors of jam. How did they compare? The conversion rate for the six-flavor table was 30%, while the 24-flavor table was only 3%.

Analysis can lead to paralysis!

What about your method for calling prospects to action? Does your advertisement ask them to commit to a 30-day trial AND use a customer discount code DURING a selected 14-day window? Does your podcast ask people to share with a friend, AND subscribe, AND download previous episodes (all in one breath)?

Perhaps you need to take a step back and use these three evaluation tools:

1. Know Your Main Goal



When you ask people to do several tasks at once (like visiting your website and joining your e-mail list), you’ve probably overshadowed your main goal with several smaller goals.

Focus on one main goal for customer conversion, and use customer loyalty programs down the road to call customers to greater steps of engagement or loyalty.

2. Test Action Statements in Advance


If your communication is a mist in the office, it’s probably a fog on the streets. To determine which CTAs are crystal clear, run some A/B tests with sample customers and find out which ones are generating momentum.

3. Pack Some Punch


Start call to action statements with a strong command verb, like buy, shop, order, subscribe, or win.

Use concise phrases that build enthusiasm. Which of these CTA statements excites you more?

“Consider many of our 200 exciting destination possibilities,” or

 “Plan your dream vacation today!”

Keep things sweet, simple, and customer-focused. Once they take the bait you can always present them with more!

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

Friday, February 8, 2019

Print: Use Faces to Command Viewer Attention

                    Print: Use Faces to Command Viewer Attention
 Did you know that humans are the only primates with eyes that contain a white sclera around the dark iris and the pupil?

Consequently, unlike our animal counterparts, we have the ability and tendency to follow each other’s eye gaze, to pinpoint precisely what someone is focusing on, and even to read into the emotion behind a viewer’s eye. This also gives us an innate ability to sense when we're being looked at or to hastily avert our gaze in awkward moments.

Eye contact plays a crucial role in human communication, and faces have an incredible ability to command a viewer’s attention.

Imagine yourself walking down a busy street in a large city where you don’t know anyone. Suddenly, among a sea of faces, you spy a family member. Among hundreds of people, you can immediately recognize one individual and you have a strong emotional response.

Why is this experience so powerful?

Scientist Nancy Kanwisher identified a special part of the brain called the fusiform face area (FFA). The FFA allows faces to bypass the brain’s usual interpretive channels and helps us identify faces more quickly than objects. Because the FFA is so close to the brain’s emotional center (called the amygdala), the time lapse between recognition and response is nearly non-existent.

Faces Add Impact in Marketing

How does this play into marketing and print? First, it’s important to recognize the impact of faces so we can prioritize them in design.

Research by Catherine Mondloch (1999) shows that newborn babies less than an hour old prefer looking at something that has facial features. Humans prefer humans, and people buy from people! It would be careless to overlook these statistics while continually deferring to inanimate objects. When you’re looking to add that personal touch to your marketing mix, remember faces can help you to:

Connect With People

Large, faceless corporations feel cold and manipulative.

Putting faces on your brand allows people to connect with your audience in a way they can relate to. As you position faces in your ads, remember eyes looking right at people will have the greatest emotional impact, because the eyes are the most significant part of the face.

Create Curiosity

If a face on your poster is gazing toward another spot or product in the margin, people will also tend to track toward that area.

Emotions can be carried from a subject to a viewer as you set a tone within your design. The emotion in the faces you display can draw people to linger at your design or to be drawn deeper into the message.

Cultivate Trust

People react to a photo on a page faster than any other design element, and seeing the people behind a business can establish credibility very quickly.

You can use faces to cultivate trust by using staff profiles on your website, facial photos in welcome displays or high traffic areas, or by utilizing brochures that include testimonials and photos from real customers. If viewers can relate to the people enjoying your product they will automatically build positive associations.

When used properly, the use of people and faces can help you connect with people, create curiosity, and cultivate trust.  Bypass resistance and build connections through the magnetic power of people!

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

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

How to Use Your Competition for Strategic Expansion

                How to Use Your Competition for Strategic Expansion
In 2006, Aviva Weiss was struggling to help her daughter cope with a sensory-processing disorder.

As an occupational therapist who worked with children on the autism spectrum, Weiss knew how overwhelming life could be for families like hers. When she ordered her daughter a weighted vest (an item that helps overstimulated children stay focused), she was horrified when it arrived. “It was super ugly,” she said. “I thought, ‘there’s no reason that special-needs products should make kids stand out even more.’”

Weiss sensed a market opportunity and seized it, founding Fun and Function to create more attractive versions of existing products like chewable necklaces, noise-reduction headphones, or clothing that soothes children with sensory issues. Items were showcased in the company’s catalog, which was designed to put parents at ease, cutting through technical jargon to connect with families on a more authentic level.

By 2010, the company had grown sevenfold and was considering a major market expansion: targeting institutions like schools and hospitals. While these clients accounted for about 38 percent of existing sales, executive Ilana Danneman believed the number could be much higher, especially as institutional clients place recurring orders in larger quantities. Weiss was uneasy about shifting from a colloquial to a more clinical focus but she trusted Danneman’s expertise, especially since Danneman had previously worked for one of the company’s chief competitors. "We never saw a need to change anything," Weiss says. "But we could not in good conscience ignore her."

The shift brought incredible expansion ($6.2 million in six years) and a 50 percent growth spurt between 2015 and 2016. Weiss went on to launch the Active Mind School Partnership, a program geared to empower and educate teachers who work with neurologically distressed kids. This partnership brought the largest growth to date, reminding its founders that the company mission was never about building profits but about helping people.

Competition Fuels Innovation

Competition is healthy for businesses – forcing you to innovate and consider opportunities or markets you might otherwise ignore.

Success comes from examining the marketplace, doing something in a unique or superior way, and from crafting a plan to better serve customers.

Whether you’ve plateaued or continue to expand, it’s important to keep an eye on the competition. What are they doing that's different? How could you serve part of their client base in a better way? Does it make sense to expand your target area?

Healthy leaders take time to plan for expansion several strategic ways:

Understanding the Competition


Take a hard look at the market.

What opportunities are your competitors filling that you may be ignoring? What do they do well that you could do better? What aren’t they doing that you could do instead?

Highlighting the Difference


Do you have cheaper prices? Customizable service options? A local connection or more ethical sourcing for products?

Find an angle in your company’s story and communicate it like crazy.

Targeting New Markets


When you have one market locked down, push to grow your boundaries.

As Fun and Function discovered, new markets lead to faster and better growth. Initially, Weiss thought a market expansion might alienate existing customers but instead she found that equipping teachers and therapists contributed to better quality of life for every sensory-challenged child.

Using Branding to Reinforces the Message

Accurate branding contributes to a clearer message and builds stability with customers.

As you adapt or expand, be sure your motive and message remains distinct. When Fun and Function expanded its market, the ethos of the brand never wavered:

“The message,” said Weiss, “is that being different is normal.”

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

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Streamline Your Next Project with Print-Ready Proofs

               Streamline Your Next Project with Print-Ready Proofs
Streamline Your Next Project with Print-Ready Proofs
Ever rushed out the door only to trip on your shoes in the entryway? Or made a hasty stop at the intersection and found yourself in a costly fender bender?

Accidents happen when we hurry, and that’s true in both life and work. In project management, sometimes we fail to allow adequate time for extra details or unexpected delays. As you draw closer to a deadline, errors are made and important details are overlooked.

Print-Ready Success

Do you want to be proud of your next print project with a smooth transition from design to print?

Here is a handy preflight checklist to help you eliminate panic or costly mistakes when a deadline is near.

Thoroughly proof your document for typographical, punctuation, margin, or grammatical errors. Have one or two other people proof as well. Mistakes are easy to miss but embarrassing to everyone. To slow yourself down, trying reading your document out loud or read your text backward.


Embed your fonts and designs. There’s nothing worse than pouring over a precise design then finding a poor imitation after it comes back from print. To maintain the integrity of your design, it is important to link all aspects of your piece (images, artwork, and fonts) into a high-resolution PDF. This includes crop marks for bleeds displaying the exact size of your trimmed and finished piece.


Use correct proportions, dimensions, and resolution. Images should be proofed by others to make sure they fit on the page, are correctly centered, and are cropped or outlined as desired. The resolution of image files needs to be higher for print: a JPEG file needs a minimum resolution of 300 DPI (Dots per inch). If your file does not meet that standard the quality will not be as sharp or distinct.


Use consistent page layouts. Clean layouts communicate professionalism and make documents easier to read. Proof your design (especially multi-page documents) to be sure margins are consistent on every page, including booklet covers or pages that feature charts or infographics.


Convert image formats to CMYK. JPEG is the default image format for photographs from many cameras, cell phones, and mobile devices. Screen images on TVs, computers, and cameras use red, green, and blue in varying percentages, but commercial printers typically separate artwork into four colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, black). Most design software will allow you to easily convert or save a file in CMYK, or there are several free online file conversion tools as well.


Print a proof and confer with our team. A surefire way to ensure a quality product is to generate a poof and discuss it with us before the final printing. It’s also important to discuss turnaround times so you can plan your milestones accordingly and allow for multiple print runs (if necessary).


We’re here to help! With local printing, you get the benefit of a work-in-progress partnership. While it’s helpful to have a preflight checklist, the trained eye of a professional is even better! Our goal is to increase your productivity, reduce your stress, and save you time and money as your prep and proof your print projects.

We’re only one phone call away, and your questions are always welcome! 516-561-1468 For more of our informative blogs go to: https://store.printcafeli.com/blog/Print_Cafe_Blog.html

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Why You Should Serve, Not Sell

                                              Why You Should Serve, Not Sell

Social media is an increasingly dominant medium for modern communication.

According to facts from the Pew Research Center and the Hootsuite Social Media Barometer Report 2018:


* There are now 3.196 billion people using social media (up 13% from last year)


* 11 new people start using social media each second, which is about one    million people every day


* 88 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds say they use social media


* The total number of mobile phone users is 5.14 billion (up 4% from last year), which means people are increasing in their social media accessibility


As you look to grow your digital reach in conjuction with your print campaigns, social media is an obvious choice to feature ads, products, and (let’s be honest), to feature yourself!

But, how well does this go over with consumers? Not swimmingly.

Take a quick scan through the business posts you see online. How would you best summarize these? Does the content bring an encouraging word to you, the reader? Or do the majority of these posts seem narcissistic?

Bruce Kasanoff, author of “How to Self-Promote without Being a Jerk,” summarizes it like this:

“Two-thirds or more of the business posts I see on social media can be summarized in one word: Me. They are all about the person or company that shared the post: what they are selling, what they want, what they did. Yawn. Pause. Where’s the unfollow button?”

Instead, Kasanoff coaches entrepreneurs to embrace this mantra: serve, don’t sell. Intrinsically, people respond to those who approach them in a friendly, helpful manner. Social media is no different. When you take a self-centered or pushy tone it is a turnoff, whether you’re sharing online or in person. In contrast, everything you share on social media should offer a benefit to those on the receiving end. Kasanoff gives this example:

“Imagine that you are delivering a webinar in Chicago, and you share this news via social media. Don't just say, ‘Come to my seminar.’ There are a ton of people who don't live in Chicago or will be busy that day, so they can't come. Instead, offer a lesson related to your seminar, and then say, ‘By the way, if you're going to be in Chicago next Tuesday, I'll be talking about this and related lessons.’ Thus, members of your network benefit even if they can't do what you want them to do.”

Grow Influence Through “You-Centered” Communication


Living in the information age, people have grown increasingly resistant to interruption marketing, or “in-your-face,” one-way communication.

Instead, they crave engagement marketing: brand-consumer relationships built on trust and mutual respect. The foundation of this trust is thoughtful communication specifically tailored to the consumer’s needs. Effective communicators make the audience believe that the most important person in their correspondence - in their business relationship - is "you," the consumer.

The key to successful communication is to make the reader feel – in every memo, letter, printed piece, or social media post – that the most important person is the reader.

Consider this contrast:

Option A: “Pixie Dust Cleaners brings a dazzling deep clean, offering eco-friendly products at the best possible price.”

Option B: “Looking for freedom from chaos? Pixie Dust Cleaners gives you a dazzling deep clean, with eco-friendly products that allow you to take a deep breath and enjoy every minute at home. Your peace of mind is worth every penny!

Before you communicate, ask yourself what your audience needs, wants, or values. Consider what is most important to them and try to personalize your correspondence or social media posts to these felt needs. As you produce more customer-centered communication, you will grow sales, enrich your reputation, and enhance the well-being of your business.

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

Monday, January 21, 2019

4 Print Marketing Trends to Inspire You in the Year to Come

          4 Print Marketing Trends to Inspire You in the Year to Come


Print marketing is compelling, memorable, and engaging.

As people touch, hold, and even smell paper, they respond in a profoundly personal way.

While digital communication is booming, this has only enhanced the unique voice that print brings for any business. Millennials and Gen Z are very difficult crowds to reach digitally, with 63 percent using AdBlocker and 82 percent ignoring online banner ads. This trend toward tactile is stirring potential for many exciting creative opportunities.

Today, we’ll highlight four print marketing trends from 2018 to inspire you in the year to come.

Simplicity


The world is filled with chaos, and fundamentally, viewers long for a return to simplicity.

Minimalist designs offer the respite people crave. Minimalist designs include images with a clear, elegant purpose, maximizing white space and using layouts that are clean and authentic. Uncluttered visuals bring an honest, compelling point into focus in a quick and arresting way.

For years, TBWA Paris has been on a mission to advertise McDonald’s in the most minimalist ways possible. This started in 2013 with extreme close-up photos of food and followed with computer-icon-style pictograms featuring McDonald’s menu items reduced down to very spare illustrations. Many of these ads used no branding whatsoever: the point was that the food was so recognizable it didn’t need a label.

By 2017, McDonald’s had the food disappearing altogether, featuring top sellers like fries, McNuggets, or Big Mac cartons that were completely empty (apart from a few crumbs), because the food had already been devoured by famished customers.

Effective? Absolutely. These simple ads bypass the brain and go straight to the stomach.

Personalized Print Pieces


Print is already a highly personal medium, but advances in technology allow businesses to enjoy increased access to personalized posters, flyers, direct mail, and more.

If you want to impress, try gathering online data about customer preferences and include that in print.

Branding even the simplest products has also allowed companies to gain a more personal touch. For example, a local auto garage printed customized labels for its water bottles and offered complimentary water to customers while they waited.

Color


If you’ve ever painted a room, you know the significance even a slightly darker hue can bring. Color experts Pantone released color trends for 2018 with this advice:


If you want to look resourceful, employ blue and orange hues
If you want a playful tone, choose yellow
If you’re looking for something discreet, try pink
If you want more sophistication, choose gold
What if you want to reach a diverse crowd?

According to Pantone, rosy tones bring a palette that “reaches out and embraces many different cultures.” Pantone said in 2018, print marketing was trending away from pastels and toward bright, bold colors:

“Intense colors seem to be a natural application of our intense lifestyles and thought processes these days.”

Storytelling

Storytelling is not just for YouTube.

Print that tells a story can alleviate suspicion and make instant connections, especially with younger audiences.

A Spanish lollipop grabbed this edge with its “ant aversion” ad for Chupa Chups lollipops. While normally a company might bore viewers with guilt trips for sugar-free products, Chupa Chups chose a “visual story” to make their point.

In the print ad, a sticky sucker had been discarded on a rock slab near the lawn. Meanwhile, a triple-wide line of ants detoured around the candy, heading toward the grass. The headline, “It’s Sugar Free,” brought a resounding finale to this playful story.

Chupa Chups reminds us that print is at its best when it is used as an art. Use vibrant colors, minimalist designs, and personalized print pieces to grab their attention and tell your story this year.

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

Friday, January 18, 2019

True Empathy Can Win the Day

                                  True Empathy Can Win the Day

A farmer had a litter of puppies for sale. As he was driving the last nail into his advertising yard sign, he felt a tug at his overalls. “Mister,” said a boy at his feet, “I want to buy a puppy.”

"Well," said the farmer, "These puppies come from fine parents and cost lots of money. How much do you have?"

The boy dropped his head momentarily, then drew several coins from his pocket. “I don’t have much, but is this enough to take a look?”

The farmer paused reluctantly but before he could answer three puppies rolled out of the doghouse. One tiny, awkward pup hobbled behind. The boy’s eyes lit up. “I want that one,” he exclaimed, pointing to the runt. The man shook his head solemnly. “Son, that puppy will never be able to run and play like the others.”

The boy rolled up his trousers to reveal a steel brace running down both sides of one leg. “I do want that puppy. I don’t run too well myself, and he’ll need someone who understands him.”

That day the boy won the puppy because he moved the farmer’s heart. Why? Because empathy impacts people. Researchers define empathy as the ability to sense other people’s emotions and to imagine how they might be thinking or feeling. Empathy is essential to human interactions because it allows us to connect in authentic ways and to offer helpful words, comfort, or assistance. Empathy is essential in every human interaction but is especially significant for those in customer service.

Empathy Begins with Real Listening


Would you like to be more successful in minimizing difficult situations or by helping customers overcome their hesitations as you’re trying to make a sale?

All empathy begins with real listening. As you listen with empathy, ask questions like:

“How is this situation affecting you?”
“Can you tell me more about _____?”
“What do you think would be your ideal outcome here?”
As a person processes, take care not to interrupt. While you may not be equipped to address their concerns, asking empathetic questions can shift your focus to listen more effectively, opening new lines of communication and diffusing tension so everyone can move forward.

Empathy involves reflective listening, using phrases that demonstrate your understanding. Phrases that show customers you are taking customers seriously might include:

“I can understand how frustrating it is when . . .”
“I see this is very complicated/upsetting.”
“I’m sorry to hear that and I’ll do my best to help.”


Pair Compassion with Action

As you communicate compassion, be ready to follow your words with action.

Take ownership of a situation by following up immediately, by referring it to a superior, or by positively addressing both the person and the problem. Phrases like, “ok, we can fix this,” or “let’s get this sorted out right away,” will reassure customers you’re taking ownership of the problem.

Action-based empathy also means thinking outside the box for large-scale change. Erin Henkel, portfolio director at the IDEO global design and innovation company, says often positive innovation begins with empathy:

“Effective companies need employees who constantly imagine themselves in the customer’s shoes. As they make the customer’s problems their own, they are better able to meet expectations, make necessary changes, and to retain customer loyalty for another day.”

Being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes is a hallmark of intelligent leadership and of excellent teamwork. Work hard to grow empathy and you will open new lines of communication, create greater understanding, and help everyone achieve common goals.For more of our informative blogs go to: https://store.printcafeli.com/blog/Print_Cafe_Blog.html

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Gain the Mouth-Watering, Competitive Advantage

                  Gain the Mouth-Watering, Competitive Advantage


In 2011, Matt Salzberg was a restless associate at a Silicon Valley investment firm. He and his friend Ilia Papas wanted to create a business and were intrigued by food.

"We both loved food," Salzberg said. "We liked trying new ingredients, new recipes, new techniques, but we found it really inaccessible to cook at home. It was expensive, time-consuming and difficult to find recipes that we trusted."

The duo tried a few ideas before landing on the one that became Blue Apron: give people an easy way to make dinner using chef-recommended recipes and the fresh, precisely measured ingredients they'd need. With 20 friends beta-testing the product, Salzberg immediately realized they had a winner. Beyond rave reviews and contagious social media sharing, they had undeniable momentum:

"Pretty much from day one we've had steady exponential customer growth. I think the moment we did our first week of deliveries we sort of knew that we had a business that we thought would be really successful."

By August 2012 the team was shipping recipes to early testers, and three years later Blue Apron was delivering millions of meals to monthly subscribers, the company valued at a whopping $2 billion!

Find Your Competitive Advantage


Initially, some scoffed at the thought of paying restaurant prices for something you labored to cook at home.

But they overlooked Blue Apron’s unique advantage: appealing to “foodies” who loved high-end meals but relished the opportunity to cook them. Blue Apron found a niche in the market that catapulted them to exponential growth and national exposure.

Competitive advantage is that “special something” that draws customers and keeps them coming back.

Why do you buy a Ford versus Chevy? Why do you spend $80 on a certain brand of jeans? The answer lies in the competitive advantage, the unique set of features a product has that makes it superior in the eyes of a target audience.

Competitive advantages include niche strategies (like Blue Apron), cost advantages, and product or service differentiation. Consider these examples:

Cost Competitive Advantage

Companies can grab an edge when they control costs and efficiency in ways that create maximum value for consumers.

Walmart uses this advantage by providing a large selection combined with low prices through its retail size and strength. Some companies draw from years of experience, overseas production, or streamlined workflows to minimize expense.

As you brainstorm cost advantages for your customers, consider how you can improve productivity from your team, if your technology or equipment is cost-efficient or needs upgrading, or where you can give customers a cost break via delivery options, locked-in service rates, or freebies that come as a bonus for specific orders. 

Product Differentiation


Another way to gain a competitive advantage is through product differentiation.

As you distinguish yourself in the marketplace, focus on the value you offer through your unique products. What makes your toothbrush one of a kind? How is your technology superior to other market options? How does your farmer’s market produce outclass the bounty of your competitors?

People love getting the best product for their penny, so work hard to highlight your advantage and shout it loud through print and digital pieces that spotlight your strengths.

Service Differentiation

 
While cost or product advantages can quickly disappear (or be duplicated), every company can offer one-of-a-kind service advantages.

Whether its bundled subscriptions, outstanding customer care, or unrivaled warranties, build a benefit that is exclusively yours. Consider bonus delivery features, apps that are user-friendly and easy to learn, terms that are simple and risk-free, or energizing ambiance (like funky d├ęcor or stellar store atmospheres). Make customers so spoiled they’d never consider your competitors!  For more of our informative blogs go to: https://store.printcafeli.com/blog/Print_Cafe_Blog.html

Monday, January 14, 2019

4 Book Printing Tips to Save Time & Money

                         4 Book Printing Tips to Save Time & Money




The flow of information from customer to printer – and vice versa – is critical to all aspects of the book production cycle, from estimating and scheduling to packing and shipping. To be sure the finished product meets your expectations, everyone involved in its production must know all critical aspects before ink is laid on paper. Here are some tips to keep in mind when exchanging information about your book with your printer.

 1. Getting Back to Basics

It sounds simple, but start by communicating the basics of your book project: page count, quantity and final trim size. This information is needed to begin preparing an estimate.

This is a good time to ask for the printers ideas on how to save money with standard sizes, economical papers, how recycled paper may affect the price, etc. Your printer likely has helpful ideas based on their equipment and experience in printing. Use them as a project resource.

If your project is a rerun supply a sample of the original version during the estimating process. This allows your printer to create the most accurate estimate possible. During this stage, we may be able to suggest stock or slight format changes that can enhance the value of the book.

Good book planning begins with the delivery date. Once your printer knows the date by which you need your books, they can create a production schedule that meets your deadline. This includes blocking time on appropriate presses and other equipment, and checking availability of paper. Be sure to plan in shipping time to accommodate your delivery date too! Sometimes delivery can take up to a week depending on distance.


2. Building Your Book

Book pages are printed as signatures, or multiple pages laid out on a single sheet of paper. The number of pages that can fit on each side of a sheet is determined based on the final trim size of your books. Since common trim sizes are designed to fit 8, 12, 16, or 32 pages on each sheet, the page count of your book plays an important role in how much paper is used and how efficiently the book will be produced.

The format of your book should also be considered; oblong layouts can be less economical to produce, so be sure to let your printer know if your book will be bound in portrait or landscape format.

Page Counts vs. Sheet Counts

One important note: “Page counts” differ from “sheet counts”. In the printing world, page refers to one side of a sheet. Therefore, a book with 120 pages would require 60 sheets. This can cause confusion between designers and printers, so be sure that your book’s page count refers to the number of pages that will be printed, not the number of sheets.

Paper Stock

The cost of paper is often a large percentage of the total price of a book project. There are also hundreds of types of papers, and they vary based on weight, color, brightness, finish and a host of other factors. Therefore it is important that you consult your printer when selecting papers for both the text pages and cover of your book. Most printers maintain an inventory of “house stocks”, or commonly used paper selections that are bought in volume and therefore often can be offered at a discount.

Planning Tip

Paper availability fluctuates, so give your printer plenty of time to order the exact paper you require. If you choose to purchase your own paper, supply your printer with all of its specifications. This allows us to make appropriate recommendations for inks and coatings.

Sheetfed vs. Web Presses

Ink coverage, bleeds and areas of critical registration should be communicated to your printer. This information will often help your printer determine the best equipment on which to run your books, especially if your printer has a mix of sheetfed and web presses. For example, if your book requires critical registration on many pages, it may not be a good candidate to be run on a non-heatset web press.


3. Sending Files Correctly 

 
Once your book is designed, it’s time to send your files to your printer. One of the most critical aspects to timely print production is to send all necessary files to your printer completely and correctly. This includes all layout files, all screen and printer versions of fonts, and all image files. Most book printers have the latest versions of all layout software in both PC and Mac format, but a quick call can save some headaches.

Adobe PDF files are gaining in popularity because of their ability to embed all graphics and fonts, allowing you to create a single “print-ready” file that includes all the elements of your book. When submitting PDF files, however, your printer may request that you send native files as well. That allows your printer to make changes easily during the prepress stage, which can save time and money.

Proofing

There are a variety of proofs available from printers, including “hard” (physical printed proofs) and “soft” (digital files) proofs. Turnaround time, cost, and your comfort with a particular type of proof will help determine the appropriate proofing method. Clear and timely communication with your printer during proofing is essential to keeping your project on schedule.


4. Binding Your Book

 
Of course, no book product is complete until it is bound. A full-service book printer can provide several in-house binding services, and will help you choose the right binding method for your project. Your binding selection will trigger the need for ancillary services such as folding, gluing, drilling, laminating and shrink-wrapping.

Even packing and shipping details must be communicated prior to the start of production. Maximum carton weight, label information and other special instructions need to be funneled through the printer to maximize production efficiency end-to-end.


Better Planning Means Happier Customers

No book product becomes a work of art by itself. Many hands play pivotal roles in bringing your books to life. The printer, often at the center of the production activities, needs to be armed with as much information as possible to deliver the book as the you envisioned. By including all of this information early in the estimating and production planning processes, you can greatly impact production efficiency and take a giant leap forward in having a finished book you the meets your expectations.

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

Friday, January 11, 2019

Leaving a Legacy with Your Small Business

                       Leaving a Legacy with Your Small Business

In the 1950s, a young boy named John was enthralled by every chance to visit his best friend.

This family owned a soda pop bottling plant, which sparked a lifelong love for exotic flavors in John Nese. Years later, Nese brought soda to his family’s Italian grocery store in Los Angeles, known today for its 600 soda and beer flavors from around the world.

The variety wasn’t always this broad. Nese said the change came 20 years ago when independent grocers were being squeezed out by chains. One soda dealer offered a profit of $30 a pallet if Nese would streamline shelves and eliminate variety. Nese wouldn’t bite:

“Nuts to that,” he said. “A light bulb went off (and I said), ‘You know, John, you should be happy you own your shelf space, and Pepsi doesn’t, and you can sell anything you want.’ So I went out and found 25 brands of little sodas.”

Nese says this “freedom of choice” philosophy defines his family and his business, and customers can even make flavors of their own at the store. Rows of cane sugar syrups line the wall, along with bottles, caps, and carbonated water dispensers. “Whatever you think of, you can make!” Nese exclaimed.

This passion has fueled the Galcos’ grocery for over a century, and the Galcos plan to continue this legacy.

Successfully Passing Down Your Business


Small businesses make up around 99 percent of U.S. companies and 20 percent of these are family owned.

These businesses play a crucial role in creating jobs, exporting products, and generating wealth. As Baby Boomers reach retirement, 4 million of them will be handing off their privately-owned small businesses; in the next 15 years, we will see the largest transfer ever of private business to the next generation!

What are the keys to successfully navigating these transitions?

Preparation and communication are essential. Here are a few steps businesses are taking to pave the way for a smooth handoff:

Think decades in advance.


Small business owners often wait too long to start planning a transition, and typically only half of those planning to retire have identified a successor.

Justin Goodbread, a certified financial planner and exit planning advisor says the process is especially weighty for families:

“Families will most likely also have to cope with emotional and psychological issues that surface during a generational transaction. I believe a 10-year period is needed to successfully navigate a family business transaction.”

Sketch out clear successors and exit strategies.


A strong mission statement and business plan, a clear exit strategy for senior leaders, and an early commitment from successors are important hallmarks to longevity.

Build the right team.

Many businesses believe they can manage their transition independently, but this assumption is costly.

Healthy handoffs will require input from lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, business valuation experts, and a family business planner to shepherd the process. Though senior leaders may wish to gift the business ownership, experts believe financial buy-ins allow successors to get some “skin in the game,” as they emotionally double-down in commitment, maturity, and vision.

Be flexible as you exchange roles and responsibilities over time.

The gap between generations requires effective communication and an organized structure for each person involved.

This should be reviewed regularly to adjust the roles or time commitment of each team member. Goodbread recommends younger successors earn more responsibility on a day-to-day basis:

 “It has to be earned or merited,” he says. “The problems start when a junior takes over a senior’s position in the company without earning it or wanting the position.” For more of our informative blogs go to: https://store.printcafeli.com/blog/Print_Cafe_Blog.html

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Reel in Prospects by Adding Print to Your Content Marketing

           Reel in Prospects by Adding Print to Your Content Marketing
Researchers estimate that in 1984 a person saw an average of 2,000 ads per day.

By 2014, they saw about 5,000. With the explosion in spam and social media ads, that number increases daily. But consumers are fed up with in-your-face advertising that seems disruptive or manipulative. Instead, they’re attracted to authenticity and friendliness in a brand.

How can you build that kind of culture in your business?

It's All About Content

Narratives and content marketing can bring fresh life to your marketing mix!

Content marketing is a strategic approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. It shifts your team away from a “message” focus to a more optimal “people focus,” building trust and driving more profitable consumer action.

Content marketing generates stronger leads, increases sales, and enhances customer loyalty. Consider these facts:


* 77% of internet users read blogs


* Small businesses with blogs get 126% more lead growth than small businesses without blogs


* Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about three times the leads


* A 2014 Brandshare survey found that the majority of consumers are suspicious of brands’ intentions, but 87% said they would like a more meaningful relationship with their preferred brands


Why Print + Content Marketing = Success


When people consider content marketing, they typically think of digital media.

However, true diversification means thinking bigger. The Content Marketing Institute suggests two out of three marketers don’t include print in their content marketing, but there is strategic value to including printed content elements.

Why?

1. The Information Factor


Nielson found about 56% of consumers rely on printed matter for sales information, and:

* 56% preferred mailed or delivered circulars


* 52% relied on newspaper circulars


* 37% relied on in-store printed pieces or store-generated e-mails


* 27% relied on store websites


Print is seen as a concrete, reliable source, especially by prospects nearing a decision. If you neglect printed content marketing you may minimize your chance of landing a valuable client.

2. The Trust Factor


With today’s “fake news” paranoia, trust in digital media has decreased.

A 2017 study showed that printed news magazines are the most trusted news source (72% rated them positively) while only 33% believed social media provided honest information.

Even print versions of national newspapers were regarded as more trustworthy than the websites of that exact same publication!

Because of the physical nature of the medium, print is naturally viewed as more informative and trustworthy than digital media.

So how can you add print to your content marketing strategies?

1. Use embedded QR codes in game-style promotions or in-store displays. Check some inspiring examples here or here.


2. Look for ways to get your business or product featured in magazine or newspaper articles.


3. Employ printed “how to” postcards or maintenance checklists with online coupon discounts included in the text


4. Print inserts for invoices or point-of-sale kiosks that highlight an excerpt of your blog to lead them online.


5. Consider generating your own quarterly or bi-annual niche publication.


6. Print custom thank-you notes with a snippet of your brand story or the first paragraph of your blog on the back.


Printed content marketing should be used as “bait” to generate nibbles from your potential customers.

If you don’t have a place to reel them in (like a “get started today” link) or a way to keep them in the net (a defined sales funnel or a customer retention program), all your time and energy will be useless. So be strategic, be customer-focused, and get out there and fish!

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

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

How to Keep You and Your Team Motivated and On Task Before, During, and After the Holidays

How to Keep You and Your Team Motivated and On Task Before, During, and After the Holidays
The holiday season is upon us yet again, which can be either a good or a bad thing depending on your perspective.

On the one hand, it's a great opportunity to reconnect with all of those friends, family members, and other loved ones that you may not have had as much time with as you would have liked throughout the year. On the other hand, your attention is constantly being pulled in about a million different directions - which can have bad implications in terms of your business' productivity.

But, in truth, the holidays don't have to kill the momentum you've been steadily building throughout the year. If you really want to keep yourself (and your team members) on task before, during, and after the holidays, there are a few key tips you'll want to keep in mind.

Separate Your Work and Home Lives as Much as Possible

We've written in the past about how important it is to maintain a work/life balance, but it is especially so for you and your team members during the holidays.

As a leader, it is in your best interest to lay down a few hard and fast rules about "work is work, home is home" during the month of December.

Remember that according to one study, almost two-thirds of people say that they get stressed during the holidays due to a perceived lack of time. If people feel compelled to put in long hours in the office and then take work home with them on top of that, you're only going to compound a problem.

Instead, be clear that the holidays are a time for friends and family members and barring a few important projects and deadlines, most things can and absolutely should stay in the office.

Embrace the Opportunity For a Little Down Time

Yes, it's true - you're about to lose a bunch of business days in a row right at the end of the year because of the one-two punch that is Christmas and New Years.

Yes, you'll probably have a lot of days cut short all throughout December due to holiday parties and other gatherings. But the fact of the matter is that this isn't something that you should fear or try to avoid - instead, you should lean into it as much as possible.

Remember that a number of different studies have been conducted over the years that show that when we work a strict 40 hours a week, our productivity actually takes a bit of a dive. People quickly start to feel over-stressed and overwhelmed, which does the exact opposite of what you're trying to accomplish.

Especially during the holiday season, don't overlook an opportunity to let people relax, take a little time off and go home early. At the very least, they'll be primed and ready to go the extra mile when they return.

Never forget that when it comes to productivity during the holiday season, you should always be focused on "quality" and not "quantity."

These are just a few of the key things that you should consider when keeping everyone motivated before, during, and after the holidays. If at any point you still feel stressed, just remember - the season is going to charge on ahead whether you're ready for it or not. Soon it will be January and you'll be ready to take 2019 by storm... until next December, that is.

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

Monday, December 24, 2018

7 Gifts that Delight (But Won't Break the Bank)

                  Last Minute Gifts that Delight (But Won't Break the Bank)
Tis the season to be gifting!
What is a gift? A gift is not comprised merely of what is given, but of the thoughtfulness or care that is behind it. A gift is appreciation on wheels.

December is a great time to show your appreciation. Whether it’s seasonal incentives, end of the year bonuses, or a just a friendly reminder that you care, here are seven unique (but inexpensive) gifts that your customers or employees will love:

Favorite Flavors

If you have a small staff or a handful of VIP clients, dig up info on the hobby or flavor of their choice (coffee, chocolate, classical guitar) and personalize a basket to their delight.

Or if you know your friends enjoy golf, assemble a kit including items like towels, ball markers, balls, and tees. Use a stylish bag that can clip easily onto their golf bag. Or assemble a sports tote full of goodies featuring a college or professional team of their choice.

Touchscreen Gloves


Gloves are both a necessity and a perk, especially in the touchscreen generation.

Cold weather commutes can be significantly brightened by cozy, oh-so-convenient touchscreen gloves. Your friends can text, browse online, or shuffle music while enjoying this thoughtful gift.

Cord Organizer

Nothing is more frustrating than a stuck zipper. Or a knotted shoe.

Scratch that: nothing is worse than tangled earbuds that take forever to unwind! A branded cord organizer can keep their earbuds (and their sanity!) intact. Choose from a range of colors or upgrade with a set of customized earbuds as well.

Charity of Choice

They say people won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Offer a gift that’s close to their heart! Ask what your client’s most cherished organization or non-profit is, and make a financial gift to this organization on their behalf.

Portable Power Bank

Today’s generation is on the run constantly.

Portable power banks allow users to store electrical energy and use it later, charging almost any USB connectable device (cameras, phones, portable speakers, tablets, and more). Great for airports, commuting, or hours “off the grid,” power banks are truly a gift that keeps on giving!

Bubble Umbrellas

Whether you walk to work or enjoy singing in the rain, bubble umbrellas are just plain fun!

Give a unique umbrella to protect your friends from rain and wind, covering their face but allowing them to see clearly as they stroll.

Coupon of the Month Club

Want to offer a unique twist this year?

Buy 12 gift card sleeves and label them with the months of the year. Whether you print custom coupons for your business or purchase a variety of gift cards from the community, there is no end to your creative options.

If you are gifting employees, consider paring coffee or restaurant gift cards with workday incentives (i.e. redeem for a half day off work one Friday this month, enjoy in-office chair massages on a staff reward day of the boss’s choice). Recipients can decide whether they’ll open all 12 envelopes immediately or enjoy a surprise per month in 2019.
 
For more of our informative blogs go to: https://store.printcafeli.com/blog/Print_Cafe_Blog.html  

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Four Tips for Authentic Photography in Marketing

           Four Tips for Authentic Photography in Marketing

In a digitally saturated generation, today’s marketer’s need great stories and striking, memorable images.

Regardless of your business or your market niche, powerful visuals can make all the difference! Consider these statistics:


Articles with relevant images average 94 percent more views than text alone and a press release with photos increases online views by 15 percent.


Sixty percent of consumers who use online searches prefer to contact a business whose listing includes an image.


70 percent of e-commerce shoppers say the product image is very important for purchasing decisions.


Your viewers crave expressive images, so photography is crucial in marketing. Photography offers a slice of life view that communicates authenticity and value to your customers. How well do your images translate the nature of your business? Are you using drab photos or bland stock selections?


Three benchmarks to evaluate your images are:

Engagement and Emotional Response


What emotions do your photos evoke?

How does the atmosphere of the photo connect with your viewer’s passion or life experience? Does it compel viewers to lean in or linger?

Brand Story and Context


What is the bigger brand story you want to tell?

Excellent photography adds credibility to this message because visuals increase the detail you bring to your message. Do your images hammer home your story?

Momentum and Shareability


Photographs can send numbers skyrocketing because people love to share captivating images!

As you employ vibrant photos, you increase your chance of people passing along your name, chatting about your product, or returning for a purchase. How much momentum do your images create?

4 Tips From Photography DIY-ers
What if you want to use more realistic photos but can’t afford to hire a professional?

By pairing modern technology with a few photography guidelines, even an amateur shutterbug can make photos pop! Here are four tips from the pros to get you started:

Rule #1: Avoid Low-Resolution Shots from Your Phone


While a casual snapshot can work for social media, if you are planning to share photos regularly, invest in a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) and check out an online tutorial. Even small investments will ensure the quality of your photos reflects the excellence of your business.

Rule #2: Use the Rule of Thirds

Most DSLR cameras can display their grid, which includes nine even squares. If your subject is directly in the center of the grid, the image will be more static because the eye is drawn to the image but has nowhere to travel from there. When your subject is positioned closer to the edges, the eye is forced to track toward it or be “drawn in” to the bigger message.

Rule #3: Think Slice of Life

What do you want to tell your clients about your business? Say it in photos! If social media or reality TV have taught us anything, it’s that people love following the ordinary activities of others. Casual photos of your team doing business are perfect for showing off your identity and featuring your unique competitive advantage.

Rule #4: Make Use of Natural Lighting

Ever think you’ve captured the perfect photo only to find the sun has wrecked it? On a sunny day, most photos will be compromised by shadows or overexposure. Overcast hues are better because the light is softer and more diffused. For best results, place your camera in a position where the light is coming from behind you and shining directly on your subject.

Marketing is all about communicating value to your clients. For more tips on putting photography to grow momentum and authenticity, give us a call!

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