Thursday, August 18, 2016

Top 5 Ways to Build a Better Business

Summer is coming to an end and we hope you were able to relax and spend some time with family and friends and maybe even squeeze in some beach time. But now it’s time to get back to business and round out 2016 with some serious success.
To that end, here are five best practices for building your brand.

1. Create better customer experiences. Your brand is about so much more than what your logo and website look like. Your brand involves experiences, as in how do you make your customer feel every step of the way? Think about the experience you want your customers to have and make sure everything you do and every interaction you have helps create this experience.
What to do: Take a hard look at the different areas of your business—customer service, social, sales, customer loyalty strategies, and so forth—and see what needs improvement. Pay attention to customer feedback. They won’t be shy in telling you what’s working and what’s not, but it’s up to you to take action. You will learn the most from your biggest critics, so listen carefully.
2. Be consistent. If you’re touting one string of messages on your website and another on your social channels, then this creates a disconnect. Be consistent with your messaging across all channels.
What to do: Conduct an audit of all materials/places where your core messages appear and see if the messages are consistent. Better yet, ask someone else to look at your channels (e.g. website, social, online ads). Use a service like if you need help. For each channel, ask the person what the main message is. Based on the feedback you receive, identify any inconsistencies and correct them.
3. Make sure your content marketing supports your brand. All the content you produce should reinforce your brand, and not just in terms of messaging, but also the look and feel.
What to do: If you haven’t been using one already, get in the habit of creating a content calendar. A calendar provides a clear snapshot of all your content so that you can easily spot holes or issues (for example, perhaps you spend too much time on one message while neglecting another). Conduct an audit of all layouts and make sure the physical presentations align with your brand from a visual perspective as well.
4. Do something different. If you want your brand to truly stand out, then you need to do something that will make it stand out. And, yes, we’re talking about something bigger than simply stating on your website the ways you’re different from your competitors. Here are some ideas:
  •         Create a company mascot and use it on everything
  •         Become an industry thought leader
  •         Publish books or eBooks, whatever works for you

5. Develop brand ambassadors. You can’t do it alone. The way to build your brand and get the word out is by tasking people with the job of promoting your brand—both employees and customers.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Company Logo Products that are Missing from Your Waiting Room

Starting up and running a  small business is an all in endeavor and  one of your top priorities is to make your clientele comfortable and welcome. You've put thought into how your office or business looks when someone walks in the front door, maybe a few strategically placed plants or artwork, possibly a coffee machine in the waiting area to win customer satisfaction points.  There's still room to improve the experience in that critical, first - impression stage.

Company logo products can help...

Personalized coloring books are a lifesaver for parents with kids in tow. Not only will they appreciate the giveaway, they'll potentially have more time and focus to have an uninterrupted conversation about your services.

Pens are the essential company logo product for your waiting room-make sure they are available on a counter or coffee table for quick and easy access to fill out forms, and it's your name they will be showcasing everyday with this affordable customer take-away.

Photo Business cards are another great company logo product to have available in your waiting room.
This will not only remind you to pass them out rather than tucking them away to collect dust, it will also let people know who the members of your team are at-a-glance.

Personalizing and adding your logo builds brand recognition and by simply adding a few items to your waiting room you will allow your customers to spread the word with an affordable give-away.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Magnetic Calendars: Opportunities to Make Your Message Stick

Imprinting magnetic calendars with your company logo and contact info is a great promotional strategy-as long as you can find the right opportunities. Here are some good and not as good times to give away branded magnetic calendars.

Good: at the point of service in a customer's home or office space; a handy way to post an invoice as there will likely be a refrigerator or other appliance nearby to attach the magnet to.
Not as Good: Parades; attendees are far away from home and receive a lot of promotional papers and items and these are often left on the ground or thrown away.

Good: At the point of purchase ( if you sell food, baked goods, medical prescriptions or delivery items) customers will be bringing their purchases straight to the kitchen so there's a good change the magnet will be remembered and added to the artwork already adorning the fridge.
Not as Good: in a mailing campaign that lacks the proper packaging or fulfillment guidelines. You can prospect with a mailing and include a magnet but be sure to check with your post office.

Good: Send a follow-up thank you to clients for choosing your business. A Thank You goes a long way and magnet calendars are an affordable way to say "thanks" and included your information for future contact.
Not as Good: At a conference or trade-show; attendees are typically traveling and often will throw the product away rather than taking the space and time to pack it.

Whatever your plan is magnetic calendars add staying power to your promotion and keep your contact information visible all year long while in use.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

4 Customer Types That Still Love Promotional Calendars

We often hear how business is becoming paperless, and how customers prefer to do their banking, shopping and communicating on line. But printed promotional calendars still make sense for lots of people and here are 4 potential customers you could reach with a printed giveaway:

Moms - Moms love having a wall calendar near their command center, where ever that may be, so they can choose a convenient date/time for your service call or free estimate.

Professionals Who Work with their Hands - Restaurant owners, chefs, and mechanics to name a few, need a quick at a glance reference while their hands are busy for planning and reference.

Government and Public Service Professionals - Teachers, social workers, police and firemen are often scrambling to make the most of scarce budget dollars. Advertising your business to them with a promotional wall calendar is a win-win, as it gives them one less supply to buy for themselves so they will be sure to use it. 

Seniors - Businesses that cater to senior citizens do well by supplying promotional calendars at the point of service or in a direct mail campaign. Seniors are less likely to track their schedules on a mobile device and the larger font makes for easier reading.

Your clients will thank you and our calendar reviews attest that printed calendars are "a great tool for a fair cost and get your name out there." Start your fall promotion off with a logo or personalized calendar and advertise your business 365 days a year.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Business Thank You Notes: 3 Steps to an Amazing Customer Experience

Email isn’t always best- certainly not when it comes to saying thanks. To create a truly memorable and amazing customer experience in the 21st century, some companies are discovering they need to follow their mom's advice. Want to copy their success? Follow these simple steps:

1. Buy some branded or personalized business thank you notes

2. Encourage your sales team and  account reps to hand write genuine notes of thanks when customers buy, renew or even leave you for a competitor.

3. Be sure to set up a forum for positive and potentially negative feedback via social media and online reviews. Remember this can be an opportunity to change and grow.

Interacting with your customers encourages loyalty and creating a personal relationship creates an open dialog for better customer service.

This company learned the value of handwritten notes- read more

Our goal is to help your small business succeed one printed product at a time!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Affordable Company Birthday Cards that Deliver Valuable Results

When is a cheap company birthday card more than just a birthday card?

When you plan and create a campaign around it- one that can deliver valuable ROI.  Here are four industry examples of how to leverage cheap company birthday cards:

  • From an accountant - A birthday card sent outside of tax season, with an invitation to check out financial services (in addition to tax filing services), might create a successful cross-sell
  • From a salon- A coupon for a free birthday service in conjunction with a regular manicure/pedicure
  • From a dental office- A discount on teeth whitening services 
  • From a physician - add a helpful reminder about important milestone years that warrant a specific type of exam or procedure e.g. mammogram
If possible, give customers a code or special web landing page to reference so that you can measure the results and traffic from these efforts.

Your signature will add a personal touch your message and our greeting cards offer free imprints with your order.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Take Part in Small Business Saturday

Mark your calendars! Small Business Saturday is around the corner! An American shopping day held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (after Black Friday and before Cyber Monday), this annual event encourages shoppers to do their holiday shopping at small and local businesses — like yours!

Small Business Saturday is anything but small and all about community. It was founded by American Express in 2010 as a way to celebrate and promote the local businesses that make America’s neighborhoods so great. Due to the big response, in 2011 it became recognized as an official shopping holiday.

This year Small Business Saturday falls on November 29th.
No matter what type of business you are in, it pays to participate! Take advantage of this unique opportunity to promote your business and boost sales for your business.

Encourage your customers to Shop Small®.
Encourage your customers to shop your business by creating memorable marketing materials that promote your business and invite customers to Shop Small®.
1.    Extend an invitation. Create an in-store event to attract new and old customers to come to your business. Send out simple customized invitations. You can also promote online by creating an event on Facebook.
2.    Let it fly. Put up a flyer in your store window that reminds shoppers of the date and encourages them to shop local. Not only is it a great way to support your community, but it is also a great way to boost your brand image.
3.    Gear up on giveaways. Plan a special giveaway that reminds your customers to shop at your establishment all year long. Customized 2015 calendars, personalized pens, and custom-printed t-shirts are all great, functional gifts your customers can use every day of the year.
4.    Create special offers. Increase the incentives with special one-day discounts and promotions that will improve foot traffic into your store location. Giving away gift certificates  for every $XXX spent is a smart way to encourage repeat business.
5.    Give them something to smile about. Create even more excitement for your local small business by doing something unique to generate attention. Have a DJ play music in the store. Hire a magician or clown. Serve free coffee in the morning. Display balloons outside your store and give away free cake.
6.    Be social. Social media played a critical role to the first Small Business Saturday’s success. Be sure to follow the movement on Facebook and hashtag #SmallBusinessSaturday on Twitter.

Regardless of whether you are a retail store or restaurant, a beauty salon or a bakery, Small Business Saturday is a fantastic opportunity to reach out and show your community that small businesses matter. The only “wrong” way to participate is to not participate at all.

Be sure, too, to check out the free materials American Express provides to assist you in promoting this fantastic and meaningful event.

Thing big. Shop small.
Have you celebrated Small Business Saturday in the past? Are you planning to participate this year? We want to know! Please tell us your story below.