Solutions: Gratitude bags

Like any business, we rely on other businesses to keep ours running smoothly. After all, on a most basic level, if it wasn’t for companies that sell ink or paper or presses, where would we be?! There is a village supporting each one of us and a village supporting each business.

Now some might say that paying for those services is thanks enough. But just as we see ourselves in partnership with our customers, we also see ourselves in partnership with our suppliers – and we wanted to let them know. We knew we didn’t want to compete with all the gifts and cards given out over the winter holidays. Last year we made fun St. Patrick’s Day baskets in leprechaun hats. This year we decided on Valentine’s Day. Lots of fun Valentine’s themed and unthemed goodies – and a tag we designed and printed specifically to convey our gratitude.

Who helps to support your business?

Your Businesses Printing Partner

social-media-coffee-cup2The single biggest mistake startup companies make is failing to maintain sufficient cash flow. However, an often unrecognized villain in this mix is failure to restrain overhead expenses.

In other words, spending too much on the wrong things can cut your business off at the knees. But the good news is, spending just enough on the right things can help you compete successfully to grow your business!

Your printing partner can help! Here are five ways print management services can help you achieve your business goals.

Achieve and Maintain Consistency in Print Marketing

With so many avenues (online and offline) to promote and market a business today, consistency is a key aspect of developing brand loyalty and trust.

No matter where you promote and market your products or services, you want customers to quickly recognize your logo and brand. This can only happen when all of your marketing materials are consistent.

By working with a print management company, you won’t have to order test prints every time you run a new job. You won’t worry that your colors won’t look right or your logo will be distorted. By running all your print marketing with one vendor, you will achieve consistency in your marketing materials that produces greater brand trust and loyalty.

Sustainability

Print marketing has gotten a bad rap as unsustainable when compared to digital marketing. But no one stops to consider all the fossil fuels it takes to keep all those internet servers up and running.

When you work with a U.S.A.-based print management company like Porath Business Services, you are working with sustainable print marketing! In fact, out of the 4 million trees planted daily in the U.S.A., 1.7 million of those trees are planted by the print industry itself.

In other words, you CAN use print marketing without harming your company’s reputation as a sustainable business. In fact, by choosing the right print management company to work with, print marketing can even improve your commitment to sustainable business practices.

Strategize Print Marketing for Special Events

One of the perks of choosing a dedicated print management company like Porath Business Services is that you have a marketing partner to brainstorm with when you are planning marketing for special events.

You can have your logo, website, and slogan imprinted on any number of specialty items and all it takes is a quick phone call or email to place your order, because your print marketing partner already has all of your materials and color notes on site.

Support Both Print and Digital-Based Branding Efforts

Today’s print management vendors do more than just print business cards or postcards.

With a full range of design, editing, and production services to offer, your print partner can help you develop your unique brand and logo from scratch for digital and print use.

Make Marketing Your Business Fun Again!

In addition to staple print marketing materials such as business cards, post cards, brochures, flyers, and letterhead, today’s printing technology can brand all kinds of fun and affordable novelty items with your logo and website.

You can create custom branded decals, posters, magnets, door hangers, invitations, newsletters and even checks that make marketing your business in person fun again.

Solutions: Puzzled or Intrigued?!

Part of the goal of any mailing is to first inspire people to open it and second to get them to interact with it long enough to make an impact. This is generally done with things like a great message, creative graphics, and textured paper.

But imagine if you were holding an envelope that had a bunch of bumpy things in it. You’d probably be more likely to open it, wouldn’t you?

Sending an easy to put together puzzle is a great way to grab attention! People are more likely to open it because of the different feel of the envelope and they can’t help but put the puzzle together to see what it says. They have fun – which means they have a positive feeling about you and your organization – and they absorb your message because they are spending time with it.

3 Ways to Get Clients to Remember You

Getting clients is a crucial part of your success in business, but it’s only half the battle. One often overlooked aspect of business is making yourself memorable to clients, so they become repeat customers and even refer people to you. Although getting people to remember you and your business is no small feat, there are a few simple methods that can set you apart.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Different

It’s always easier to join the crowd than to be bold and different, but no one remembers all the faces in the crowd. If your business is similar to five other businesses, clients have no reason to remember you. You have to find a unique quality that only your business has. That could be something as simple as going into a crowded marketplace and offering a higher end product for a higher price. Then, your business isn’t one of many, it’s the one with the more expensive product. While that may seem bad, people naturally perceive higher-priced items as more valuable. Since your business is the only one offering a high-end product, the people who want that have to come to you.

  1. Put Your Brand Everywhere

The more people see your business’s name and logo, the more they think of it. That’s why companies spend millions just to have their products featured in movies or television shows. It makes viewers subconsciously think of the product. Even if you don’t have a huge advertising budget, you can still spread your brand with customized products that your clients can use. You can have pens made with your company information on them, and include those as freebies to your clients. You could include a TabTalker when sending documents to a client, so they have a file folder they can use which also reminds them of your company every time they see it. The most beneficial part of branding products like this is that if your clients pass these items on later, future owners see your business’s information.

  1. Follow Up with Clients

Get some type of contact information from your clients, and follow up with them periodically. This is another way of keeping your business on the minds of your clients. It usually takes multiple interactions for people to remember another person, and the same is true when it comes to remembering businesses. For the best results, make your follow up communications with clients as personalized as possible. You could ask a client how the product they chose is working for them, or mention a sale you’re running on a product of interest to them. A personal touch makes clients feel special and appreciated, which in turn makes them more likely to remember you.

It’s not that difficult to get clients to remember you, it just takes a little effort. As you make yourself and your business more memorable to clients, it becomes a habit, and you can expect more and more clients to come back.

Small Business Branding – Image is everything

How to Optimize Your Small Business’s Brand Image

If you run a small business and want it to become as successful as possible, it’s important to recognize the role that optimizing your brand image can play in generating the desired outcome. In many cases, business owners lack information regarding how they can make their company’s brand image as amazing as possible. To put the brand optimization process in motion, utilize some or all of the following strategies:

  1. Utilize Promotional Products.

One of the best ways to optimize your small business’s brand image is through the use of promotional products. These promotional products will provide you with a way to expose more people to your brand. Aesthetically appealing, eye-catching objects like coffee cups, t-shirts, and pencils will help you expose more and more people to your product or service line. People like promotional products and all the research shows that the vast majority of people keep their promotional products for a year or more and are apt to pass them on to friends and family. That is a lot of potential views and reminders of your services. With over 24,000 products available at every possible price point – you are sure to find something perfect.

  1. Encourage the Production of User-Generated Content.

While many business owners know that developing high quality online content can optimize their brand image, some have yet to tap into the efficacy of user-generated content. User-generated content is a form of media through which individuals like media professionals, current customers, and reviewers can publish information about your product or service line. There are multiple forms of user-generated content. Some of them include:

  • wikis
  • posts
  • discussion forums
  • blogs
  • tweets
  • chats
  • digital images
  • podcasts
  • audio files
  • video
  • ads
  • online reviews

There are several ways that you can encourage the production of user-generated content. One of them is by encouraging customers who like your brand to produce positive online reviews about it. These reviews can be on your website, on your facebook page, or on Yelp or other on-line review and information sites. This strategy will help build your brand image by showing online audiences that people find your product or service line valuable and advantageous.

  1. Optimize Your Social Media Optimization Processes.

As many online advertising experts know, social media marketing is an incredibly empowering way to build your brand image. This is the case because communicating with prospective customers via social media is a wonderful way to optimize the engagement process that enhances brand awareness while also improving the relationship-building project that causes a consumer to want to invest in your brand.

There are several strategies you can use to optimize your social media optimization process. One of them is running polls on Twitter. These polls get your target market involved with your brand by asking them questions about it. A sample poll question might be “Which of our products do you find most beneficial and why?” This type of question can really optimize your small business’s brand image by showing Twitter audiences that people find your product or service line useful in some significant way!

Don’t Delay: Start Optimizing Your Small Business’s Brand Image Today!

Small businesses grow when their leaders implement proven business-building strategies that enable the customer to connect with the brand in a powerful way that promotes relationship and repeat conversion. The key to attaining this outcome is building your small business’s brand image in a savvy, effective way. Use the techniques outlined above to expedite and optimize your brand enhancement campaign!

Solutions: Self-mailing package

Usually when we think of sending out a mailing, unless it’s a postcard it usually involves an envelope. But it doesn’t have to always be that way! With some ingenuity and folding techniques, the printed piece itself can be the mailer – and can even be designed to carry something along with it.

As you can see below, one of our customers sends out the Farmer’s Almanac to their customers every year. The obvious choice would be to design a brochure with the information they wanted to send along with the almanac and put both pieces in an envelope (preferably with some branding and messaging on it! Don’t forget about that prime printing real estate on the envelope) and send it off. But we wanted to help them really make a splash.

The brochure has all of the information laid out in a way that is both eye catching and easy to navigate. And when the pieces are all folded in on each other, the result is an ‘envelope’ (often called a self-mailer) perfectly sized for the almanac!

The other example is the holiday mailer we sent out this year. We printed some cool coasters with our new branding  – and designed a card that folded around the coaster and acted as the envelope/self mailer.

We were thrilled with the results – we’d love to hear what you think!

 

Stories to Promote Your Business

real-storiesAre you looking for a way to get more attention to your business or organization? Are you feeling like you aren’t getting your message across in a way that is connecting with your audience? One of the most effective ways to connect is through stories.

We are captivated by story. A big message in the non-profit world is to connect with donors through story – not just the organization’s founding story, but also the stories of how lives have been impacted whether as beneficiary, donor, staff, volunteer, family, etc.

It’s not only important for the non-profit world – it applies to business as well. Throwing around facts – no matter how compelling – will not resonate or connect with the people you want to reach as much as a good story.

Before you think that your business is not story worthy, think again. Stories are all around. Any solution that you provide can be turned into a story – and every business is in the market of providing solutions. New acquisitions can be turned into a story. Company philosophy can be turned into a story as you explain the rationale behind it. Are you getting the picture?

One of the most compelling reasons to focus on stories is it tells people what you want them to be saying about you, and maybe more importantly it gets you in the mode of telling people what you want them to know. Sometimes businesses hide behind facts and figures. Stories, especially those that don’t apply directly to the business at hand, may seem irrelevant at best and self-aggrandizing at worst.

It’s time to toot your horn! People want to hear about the things that make you human rather than just the things that make you a good business – they go hand in hand. So, let’s hear about the problem you solved for a client, the decision you made that led to something unexpected, the donation you made to support a charity you believe in, why you got into this business and why you’re staying, etc. Go ahead and incorporate some facts and figures if you want – they are more memorable when tied to a story.

When you are sharing stories, don’t forget photos! Photos bring your stories to life, give them validity, and help people connect. The most powerful are those that include people (especially faces). Photos add visual interest and more importantly they help people connect to you and your message. Use quotes to give more legitimacy and personality.

A company which is amazing at this on their website is Coca-Cola. It’s one feel good and do good story after another – no more facts and figures for stockholders – even the popup urging you to get their newsletter says “We’re on a mission to refresh the world, one story at a time.”

How about you? What stories do you want people sharing about your business or organization? What creative ways can you think to get those stories out to your customers and supporters? Posters are a great option and can be very motivating. Printed newsletters, flyers, promotional mailings, brochures, banners, greeting cards, website, email newsletters, and more!

New Years resolutions

new-years-cookiesWith the new year fast approaching, it’s inevitable that our thoughts turn to setting intentions and resolutions for the coming year. Before doing that, it might be helpful to take a look back. After all, it’s hard to know where you want to go, if you don’t know where you’ve been!

Often our inclination is to highlight regrets and focus on the negatives – it seems to be in our wiring that the negatives hold more prominence in our memories. But that’s only a small part of the picture. Remembering positive achievements, people who have helped us along the way, and fun moments are incredibly important – in many ways more important than focusing on the negative.

Here are some thoughts to help you look back, to lay a good track for the year ahead:

  • Find the positive, even in negative experiences. Think about what you learned, how you dealt with the experience, who helped you, what skills you developed.
  • Be kind to yourself! Chances are you did the best you could at the time.
  • Note where you made headway and give yourself credit for getting to that place.
  • Assess where forward momentum on last year’s goals stopped. What insights do you get into your personality? This way you can develop strategies to best work with your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Be honest! This is not the time to sugar coat, exaggerate, or gloss over things. You can’t change what happened, but you can parse out the lessons and move forward. What do you want to take with you into the new year and what do you want to leave behind?
  • Break down any ideas for change in the coming year into small achievable goals. Set aside a monthly time to review and assess.

Research shows only about 8% of New Year’s resolutions are followed through. Don’t make next year a repetition of years past. Take a few minutes to look back, so next year will be the best year yet!

Why you want Secure Laser Checks


checkbook
Check fraud runs into the tens of billions of dollars per year according to the FBI. It’s estimated that over 1 million checks are forged EVERY DAY in the US. Even as the use of checks is dwindling, paper checks remain the payment type most susceptible to fraud.

The most common techniques for forging checks are:

  1. A chemical wash to wipe away the written dollar amount so a larger amount can be inserted
  2. Toner lift off – removing toner with a razor blade or adhesive tape
  3. Photocopying – simply photocopying a check and cashing it at multiple banks

The best way to protect yourself and your business is to use secure laser checks.

Here are a few things you’ll want to look for in secure laser checks:

  1. A True Paper Machine Watermark. When held to the light, the watermark should be visible. This type of watermark cannot be copied or counterfeited.
  2. Visible Fibers. Visible yellow and blue fibers are distributed throughout the check paper to give a visible form of authenticity. This is often an additional charge.
  3. Invisible Fluorescent Fibers. Invisible fibers that fluoresce under UV black light provide check authentication and can’t be duplicated by regular printing.
  4. Chemical Reactive. A certain class of chemicals that cause the paper to react and change color when attempts are made to alter a document with bleach or another solvent.
  5. Optically Dull/Dead Paper. In order to allow invisible fibers to fluoresce under black light or to print with invisible inks there needs to be enough contrast with the surrounding paper. This is accomplished by using optically dead or dull paper.
  6. Security Level Toner Anchorage. A saturation treatment is applied to both sides of the paper to provide true document security. This treatment ensures that little or no toner can be removed using tape pulls, creasing the paper will not result in toner removal, and that scraping to remove toner will result in paper damage.

It’s important to do everything you can to protect your business from fraud. Even if you are the victim of fraud, showing the banks that you have done due diligence will work in your favor. Of course, we hope that will not happen to you – and using secure laser checks is one of the best ways to keep your business safe.

How Fonts and Color Affect Packaging

We’ve talked about how important paying attention to your packaging can be in influencing your customer’s buying decisions. Here are a few things to pay attention to:

Fonts and Typography. There are two things to pay attention to here. The readability of your font and the personality of your font. The personality of your font?! Yes. Think about it – would you buy an expensive computer component that used a curly fun font? Of course not! Fonts have ‘personalities’ and messages they put out even before anyone reads what they are saying. Elegant, serious, fun, delicate, aloof, strong, casual, formal, and more. So think about the message you want your fonts to be conveying.

Make sure your font is readable. Some fonts are best as text, others may be better as headers. Some fonts are so intricate that they are best left for wedding invitations – and perhaps only the name of the bride and groom at that!

The same goes for the actual typography – what is being emphasized, the placement of words, the use of capitalization, different sized fonts. All of these things work together to convey a message.

Color. Color is a science in an of itself. Some quick examples include: Red adds energy and urgency, bright colors give a less serious tone, white is clean and simple, blues convey calm and trust, black is heavy and powerful, green often is tied to eco-friendly, yellow is happy, orange is creative, purple is luxurious, and the list can go on and on. These same colors can also work against you if they are not conveying the message you are after.

Make sure you have a handle on your audience and what speaks to them. You also want to have a good sense of what is appealing about your product and what will best represent it to the audience you are after. Let’s take the example of makeup – depending on the audience you are targeting, you might concentrate on pinks for young women, green for eco-concious consumers, metallic and purple for the more distinguished crowd, and orange for the fun loving creatives.

Color is also important as a way to unify your products and communications. Given that the average consumer spends about 4 seconds looking at a product on the shelf, you want them to be able to identify your products quickly. The way to do that is to be consistent in your use of color and fonts and typography. It’s important to distinguish yourself from your competitors, but you don’t want to distinguish yourself from yourself. Your customers will thank you for making their job of identifying your products easier with increased sales.