Litho Connect The Official Blog of Lithographics

Branding in Print

Posted on March 19, 2018 at 12:29 AM

Print marketing does more than send a message about your products and services.

It communicates about your brand. The elements of your printed pieces send a strong message whether or not you intended it to. Use these five tips for help with communicating the right brand messages:

1. Keep a consistent brand message across all channels. From piece to piece and across channels (print, email, displays, web), be sure your brand stays consistent. Use the same color palettes, the same type of imagery, and a tightly controlled logo. Create a similar look and feel, even if the design isn’t identical. Every communication from your company should send an identifiable brand message.

2. Tell a story. People love stories, and print is a great storyteller. Let's say you are selling pizza and wings. Instead of promoting “Wings 25% off this Friday only!” why not try something different? “It’s kick-off time and what’s for dinner? Not chicken AGAIN! Spice it up with our hot wings instead!”

3. Identify and target your audience. People are out there talking about your brand. Discover who they are and target them with brand-building messages. This builds word of mouth, which (when positive) is the most valuable marketing you can get. In the world of consumer marketing, these people are often called “instigators.” Find out who they are and create targeted messaging just for them.

4. Use testimonials. Whether it’s in print, online, or social media, people believe testimonials over traditional messaging. Begin collecting testimonials and add the best ones to your postcards, direct mail letters, in-store signage, and other print marketing materials.

5. Don’t skimp on quality. Well sure, you could print those brochures on your desktop inkjet printer, but quality is an important part of your brand message. Having professionally produced print materials is a sign of a trust worthy business. Printing on the cheap sends the wrong message.

Every print document you send or display sends a brand message.
Make sure you’re sending the right ones.

Five Myths that Undermine Customer Satisfaction

Posted on March 19, 2018 at 12:28 AM

It’s more important than ever to provide excellent service. Competition is fierce, and in this economy, you can’t afford to lose customers. And because money is so tight, you can’t spoil every customer. Relax. Often, changing just a few little things can have a huge impact on customer perception. You’re probably doing a lot of things right already – you just need to highlight them to your customers. In other words, focus on your customers’ perception. Here are six common myths that might be keeping your organization from receiving the stellar customer satisfaction scores it deserves:

Myth No. 1 – Only ‘crabby’ customers fill out surveys.

You may think surveys are ineffective because customers only fill them out when they have a bone to pick, right? Wrong. Look at your data, and you’ll probably find that the majority of respondents were satisfied. Usually, less than 10 percent rank organizations poorly. But don’t focus your attention on that bottom 5 or 10 percent who rated your organization poorly. This 10 percent, which I call “crabby” customers, may have some legitimate concerns, but they’re determined to be dissatisfied. You’re better off increasing the satisfaction of customers who rated your organization “fair” and “good.”

Myth No. 2 – The data supports your current strategy, so don’t change.

Let’s take the story about a hospital that was struggling to improve its ratings on how often it was quiet at night?” After numerous decibel readings supported relatively low noise levels at night, the hospital decided not to make any changes. It was doing everything “right.” I advised them to lower its lights earlier in the evening – around 8 p.m. – instead of toward midnight. Three months later, the perception was that the unit was quieter. Did it make scientific sense? No. Did it work? Yes. Data can sometimes lead you astray. The focus on being right can keep you from considering what your customers really need.

Myth No. 3 – Telling people how long things will take is a bad idea.

Customers don’t always receive instant gratification. And when it comes to service, sometimes your customers have to wait. The fear is giving them that “estimated wait time.” Organizations that excel in customer satisfaction have learned how to set expectations they know they can exceed. It’s not that they have reduced wait times; it’s not that they’re perfect; and they definitely haven’t eradicated annoyances. They’ve simply learned to manage people’s expectations.

Myth No. 4 – You should never call attention to inconvenience.

When something is broken, inconvenient or unpleasant, the naturally inclination is to resist calling your customers’ attention to it. But let’s face it: Your customers are going to notice. If you ignore the bad stuff, they may even think you don’t care about their experience. But when you’re open about the inconvenience and tell them you’re working on it, people become more understanding. Their perception of how much your organization cares goes up.

Myth No. 5 – Service happens only once in a blue moon.

It’s not that you believe wowing your customers is impossible, you just assume it will take an exceptional, out-of-the-ordinary effort on your part to elicit that kind of response. So, most days, you aim for “adequate” instead of “amazing.” But service isn’t thrilling or sensational – it’s personal. And personal doesn’t have to be made of big, showy stuff. It’s easy to incorporate into everyday processes. Before you buy into a common assumption about what it takes to achieve customer satisfaction, take a few moments to consider how you’d feel if you were in your customers’ shoes. In most cases, you’ll probably find that improving perceptions won’t require you to move heaven and earth, though it might require some outside-the-box thinking and a willingness to engage with your customers on a personal level.


By: Liz Jazwiec
Liz Jazwiec is a nationally renowned speaker, strategist and consultant. She also is the author of several books, including “Service Excellence Is as Easy as PIE.”

Read the article in it's entirity by downloading the April 2015 issue of Connect HERE.

Re-visit PRINT!

Posted on May 19, 2016 at 12:27 AM

In a time where everyone is constantly focused on a screen, print has the power to capture attention as never before.

Printers like Bennett Graphics understand that print still has credibility over digital media – a caché that creates a special kind of relationship with the recipient. “If a brand sends you a printed communication, they think highly of their product/service and your likelihood to benefit from it,” Gillespie says.

Bennett clients are putting more thought into the emotional impact a tactile, printed piece might have when a person picks it up. Its design discussions with each client are thorough – paper, dimension, activity, etc. The experience of opening and handling the piece is considered and made to support the message, Gillespie says. What makes print work is that every piece tells a story. Mail. Catalogs. Brochures. POP. Dimensional communications. “Touch matters,” Gillespie says. “It’s emotional. Every inch of the human body has the sense of touch. Printing has power no other media has when all senses are considered. It’s more powerful than what you see, “A great printed piece is one you want to spend time with. It has more value and permanence.” – Stephen Brown, Chief Innovation Officer, Cookerly Public Relations smell or hear. Print can stimulate the emotions and prompt an immediate response. Printed advertising (mail, catalogs, etc.) can motivate you to head to the web and make your purchase or commitment. It can make you follow up with an email or text message to say thanks. It’s powerful stuff and keeps you connected to your audience.”

Stephen Brown believes that while social media and online content continues to be the “in” way to drive a brand’s message home, the strategy of the printed piece will always have its place in the communications process. “There’s an art to knowing how your eyes move on a printed page and the beauty of photography on paper can put great content in brilliant context,” says Brown, chief innovation offi cer for Cookerly Public Relations, a member of the Worldcom Public Relations Group, which has offi ces all over the world. “A great printed piece is one you want to spend time with. It has more value and permanence. Passing along to others is a sure sign that the content is quality.” Brown says that one of the staples of Cookerly’s public relations strategies is the postcard. For events, it still is a great way to cut through the clutter. “The temporal reminder nature of this genre of direct mail is very helpful when timeliness is a factor. I’ve seen some imaginative die-cuts that pop up and pop out into new dimensions. Great photography or graphics are key.” The notions of frequency and reach still are equally important, and marketers must connect with people where they work, live and play. “Seeing something online, on your mobile phone or elsewhere, plus seeing and touching it in print can make an entire integrated campaign pop,” Brown says. To fi nd the true power of what printers can do with their clients, you don’t have to look any further than the story of a Bennett Graphic’s client that was looking for an interesting way to promote its consumer research related to sweeteners. The agency approached Bennett to design a desktop item that could deliver survey results – an item that was so enticing that the recipient could not throw it away. The agency asked Gillespie if Bennett could cut cork so that they could do coasters for the client. After hearing what the business was, Gillespie asked if they wanted the coasters in the shape of bread. So Gillespie called his wife and asked her to measure a slice of bread. When he went home, he traced it, which became the dieline. Bennett ended up making a set of eight coasters, bagged them in a bread bag, and shipped them in a corrugated breadbox. The kit, shipped via UPS, was an instant hit. “While it is always a personal preference, from my perspective, and from what I see every day, dimension, texture, photography and interactivity are all keys in grabbing someone’s attention,” Gillespie says. “Copy and imagery that walks you through the message and gives you a planned experience. Print connotes a relationship.”

From books and magazines, to direct mail and posters, print marketing is making a splash...again.

Taken from the article "Encore," by Michael J. Pallerino, originally published in the April 2016 issue of Canvas Magazine



Posted on May 4, 2016 at 2:00 PM

How our weaknesses can become strengths

"David and Goliath is more that just about the underdog up against the behemoth. It tells a story about a small player creating a 'disruptive leap' against the competitor, which is a way to play the game in a market where you might be perceived to be the underdog."

David Prosser, CEO, The Prosser Group

It's fair to say that Nike never saw it coming. In 1996, the all-everything brand was comfortably positioned as the sporting goods leader in footwear and apparel, not to mention a marketing trendsetter whose print and TV campaigns still stand as teaching tools today. Nike was preparing to introduce a slew of cutting-edge designs and marketing campaigns to further cement its growing legacy.
Nike was once the underdog, the David to Adidas' Goliath, so you would have thought that the Nike Corporation would have seen somebody like Kevin Plank working in the shadows. In 1995, Plank devised the idea for Under Armour while playing football at the University of Maryland.
Today, according to the most recent numbers from Forbes, Under Armour's net worth is $3.3 billion. The more interesting part of this story is that Plank, founder and CEO, still considers his brand an underdog. He says, "There have been all sorts of ups and downs, but we have learned at every stop and we have used those lessons to make ourselves better."

There are 4 lessons we can all learn from David and Goliath

  1. Nothing is impossible
  2. David found that weak point in Goliath's armor, which allowed him to trimph in the battle. you must find the proper approach, and/or bide your time for the right opportunity to take action.
  3. Lead by your actions
  4. David faced his fear and stood his ground, which in turn inspired an entire army. You can inspire your peers and co-workers to new heights through your actions.
  5. Don't over-complicate things
  6. Remember that David won using very basic tools and a simple approach. This proves that simple solutions almost always are the most effective, even to what initally may appear to be a monstrous problem.
  7. Perspective is everything
  8. David understood the task at hand, even while everybody doubted the outcome. to transform your company, you must transform your perspective of what's possible given the values and principles that make up your view of your place in the world.

Taken from the article "Underdogs," by Michael J. Pallerino, originally published in the May/June 2015 issue of Connect

Never Grow Up

Posted on May 3, 2016 at 10:45 AM

Why companies can never get too set in their ways.

Legendary and iconic Beatle Paul McCartney is still rocking and rolling, having recently embarked on a world tour. Tom Selleck is the star of the CBS hit drama series 'Blue Bloods'. And the greatest golfer ever, Jack Nicklaus, who mostly designs courses these days, still has it. He recently nailed a hole-in-one during the Par 3 contest prior to the 2015 Masters tournament. What do these all have in common? They are all well into there 70's.

One of the biggest secrets to never growing old is to think and act young. Channel that robust childlike exuberance and imagination.

Companies wary of the ever shortening business cycle and challanged to stay ahead of the curve could probably take a page from these ageless celebrities' staying power. Here are six business lessons that will help you stay forever young.

  1. Stay fit and agile
  2. "As a small business or entrepreneur, your agility is a primary competitive advantage," says best selling coach and business author, Lee J. Colan, Ph.D. "Being agile means being quick - responding to things quickly and acting quickly. Agility is a trait of a successful leader, and it becomes particularly valuable in times of change and uncertainty."
  3. Continually strive to build meaningful relationships
  4. Eric Holtzclaw, an entrepreneurial coach and strategist says that companies often gather some transactional data initially, and then assume they know and understand their customers. They make decisions accordingly, when in fact, the data they are using is outdated or skewed. "The best way to really get to know your customers is to talk with them, visit your best customers at their places of business, and see firsthand what they do and waht their challenges are."
  5. Get outside your comfort zone
  6. "When we get too comfortable, we no longer challange ourselves, and by ceasing to strive toward goals or push ourselves to accomplish, we stop growing," says senior advocate Liza Horvath, president of Monterey Trust Management company. Lee J. Colan says that seeking discomfort is essential to keeping your momentum and staying ahead of the curve. Most growth and learning occurs when you are uncomfortable.
  7. Broaden your horizons
  8. Today, business need to continually push their bounderies, explore new territories and look at the markets beyond their own industries. "You have to look beyonnd your competitive set," Colan says. "Explore and discover best practices beyond your immediate industry. find out who is doing what you aspire to do - whether it's customer service, innovation or cost management - better than you are doing it.
  9. Listen and learn
  10. Colan says that reverse mentoring is an effective way to pass on experience and knowledge within an organization. Companies in all industries have formal and informal programs designed to hone their talent and sharpen their competitive edge. Colan also emphasizes that it's important for leaders to make a personal commitment to staying fresh and continually breathing new life into their organizations by encouraging small ideas, and that means listening to the younger members of the workforce. "Put some new minds on old problems. You might discover that you are so far out of the loop you can't even see the loop."
  11. Have a positive outlook
  12. Having a positive attitude is essential for ongoing business success, as Colan emphasizes in his book, "Orchestrating Attitude," where he says, "You are the conductor of your own attitude. Nobody else can compose your thoughts for you. Once you develop a habit of choosing a positive or negative attitude - that is exactly what you will send and receive from the world. our attitudes are our personal boomerangs to the world. Whatever we throw out comes back to us. A life filled with positive attitude is also filled with positive impact."

Taken from the article "Never Grow Up," by Lorrie Bryan, originally published in the Nov/Dec 2015 issue of Connect

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