Print Marketing: 8 Benefits to Leverage in Your Business

You’re always looking for ways to improve your business. What better way than with print marketing? Below are eight benefits print marketing provides to leverage in your business.

1. Print marketing is cost-effective.

Print is cost-effective because of its high return on investment.

The return on investment of print marketing is about 13 to 1. This could partially be driven by the way print drives people to act. About 80% of consumers act on direct print mail advertisements compared to 45% for electronic advertisements. Furthermore, we will work with you to find the best solution to fit your budget. Whatever you choose, it’ll pay off! 

2. Print marketing has staying power.

The best marketing strategy is the one that stays in your customers’ minds.

The best way to stick in your customers’ minds is by utilizing a marketing campaign that provides advertisements that customers will hold onto. Print marketing does just that! Customers tend to hold onto their brochures, magazines, pamphlets, and promotional products. The longer they hold onto it, the more likely they’ll remember your company and buy from you. 

3. Print marketing is visible.

Digital ads flash across the screen, following the old adage, “Out of sight, out of mind.” 

But the best marketing campaigns are the ones that are visible to the clients and allow the clients to truly digest the information. 

The Penny Experiment

Here’s an example. Think of a penny. What does it look like? Which way is Lincoln facing? What words and numbers are on it? What do they say? Where are they placed? Now, look up a picture of a penny. 

How well did you do? If you’re like most people, you probably didn’t do very well. Why? After all, you’ve seen a penny numerous times. It’s because you never truly looked at a penny, therefore, the physical attributes were never properly encoded into your mind. 

When advertising, you want the material to be properly encoded in the minds of your consumers. Print is a powerful tool to achieve this. For example, print advertising, on average, leads to 77% brand recall compared to 46% for digital ads. 

4. Print marketing outperforms screens.

Print outperforms the digital world in a variety of categories. 

One study found print activates customers’ perception of desire and valuation. Furthermore, print had the highest correlation with advertising effectiveness. 

5. Print marketing generates better retention.

Multiple studies show that print causes higher levels of recall. 

In a study, recall was 70% higher among participants who were exposed to a direct mail piece than a digital ad. Additionally, print was easier for the study participants to understand. 

6. Print marketing provides connection.

Print feels more personal. 

After years of COVID, people are craving connection. Print feels more real and personal than digital advertisements. Perhaps this perceived connection is why people trust print more. 82% of consumers trust print ads the most when making a purchase decision. 

7. Print marketing appeals to all ages.

In order to have the best marketing campaign, you’ll want to be able to effectively reach your entire target audience. 

The problem? Not everyone is tech-savvy. Sometimes, you can even spot a member of the younger generation yelling at their electronic device. Luckily, print doesn’t require technical skills to navigate. It won’t anger any of your potential clients. 

8. Print marketing is a multi-sensory experience.

Great marketing appeals to all the senses, and print can help you do that. 

  • Print appeals to the sense of touch. Customers can feel the weight and texture of the paper, and they can feel the turn of the pages.
  • Print appeals to the sense of smell, and people love the smell of fresh ink.
  • Print appeals to the sense of hearing, and customers can hear the crinkle of the paper and the rip of the envelope.
  • Print appeals to the sense of sight, and customers can see the vibrancy of the colors without the eye strain caused by screens.
  • Technically print can appeal to the sense of taste. But, we don’t recommend that. 

We want you and your business to be successful, and we believe we can help you on your road to success by helping you leverage the benefits of print in your marketing strategy. 

By: MI4P

Loyal Customers

10 Ways Print Marketing Earns Repeat Customers

Loyal customers are extremely valuable.

A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect profit-wise as cutting costs by 10%, according to the book Leading on the Edge of Chaos.  Below are 10 ways print marketing can help you earn repeat customers.  

1. Print builds trust; trust builds loyalty.

Print is one of the most trusted advertising methods out there. 

82% of consumers trust print ads the most when making a purchase decision. Customers who trust a business are more loyal to it, leading to greater revenue and business growth. 

2. Loyalty programs … create loyalty. 

Loyalty programs do just as they’re intended: they build loyalty! 

Start a loyalty program by printing loyalty cards. This helps both your customers and your business keep track of points. Loyalty programs will turn the buying experience into a positive one for customers. They will feel like they are doing something good because each purchase gets them closer to the end reward. For example, every $100 spent equals 10% off their next purchase. 

3. Personalization builds loyalty.

Print adds that personal touch that can be lost in the digital world. 

Try sending out birthday cards to remember your customer’s big day. Or send out thank you cards to let the customer know you appreciate their purchase and support. A grateful company that remembers its customers’ birthdays will earn loyal customers. 

4. Direct mail campaigns foster loyalty.

Direct mail campaigns remind customers about your business. 

Try collecting the names and contact information of every customer who walks through your door. Then reach out to them through direct mail campaigns. Even the most loyal customers get busy and forget to stop by. Send them a friendly reminder! 

5. Promotional products build loyalty.

Promotional products keep your business at the forefront of your customers’ minds. 

The most loyal customers are the ones that are most often thinking about your business. By sharing practical gifts, such as pens, calendars, t-shirts, lanyards, key chains, and toys, customers will remember your company every time they frequently use the promotional product. 

6. Customer feedback creates loyalty.

Customers love to know their feedback is taken seriously. 

Jumpstart customer feedback by sending out surveys in the mail. Even better, respond to their feedback and let them know how you incorporated it into your business plan. This will make the customer feel valued while also providing constructive ways to improve your business. A valued customer is a loyal customer. 

7. A positive first impression produces loyalty.

Drawing in loyal customers starts at the very beginning: the first impression.

What better first impression than with print? It shows the customer you are a quality, trustworthy business that cares about its customers. 

8. Exclusive invitations generate loyalty. 

Host special events for your loyal customers and invite them through custom invitations. 

Holding special events for your customers will make them feel appreciated. They’ll want to support a business that appreciates them. 

9. Inserts foster loyalty. 

Put inserts inside of packages being shipped and customer bags. 

Include upcoming sales or special coupons within these inserts. This will keep your business on the customer’s mind. Loyal customers are the ones who remember you. Help them out!

10. Booklets build loyalty. 

Print informative booklets just for your customers. 

The fact that you took the time and effort to create booklets will appeal to any customer. They’ll want to remain loyal to the business that provides them with their favorite reading. 

Loyal customers are the best customers. Print can help you attract more loyal customers. 

Winning the Name Game: What We Can Learn from the World’s Stickiest Brands

Making Your Name Stick

A great name can make a brand.

In today’s expansive global market, it gets harder and harder to win the name game. If you want your name to be known and respected, you have to pick a winner and make it stick.

What makes a great brand name? The “stickiness” of the word can make all the difference. Names that closely align with the service they offer are especially memorable (like Twitter, Smuckers, Naked Wines, SnapChat, Netflix, PayPal, Red Bull, Dollar Shave Club, and Snuggie).

Names with engaging metaphors are powerful too. When paired with a clear graphic device, names that suggest something beyond their literal meaning create some of the most evocative brand identities.

Take Amazon, for example. When Jeff Bezos was looking to carve out space as the biggest bookstore globally, he wanted to convey his company’s sense of mystery and endless possibility, available to any customer with an internet connection. Bezos tried two or three names before settling on “Amazon.”

The metaphorical impact of this name had great appeal: the Amazon River was the biggest in the world, home to a vibrant ecosystem as exotic and different as Beso’s dreams. It was the ideal metaphor for his new venture. The Amazon was striking and boundless, just as he wanted his online store to be. It was also the largest river in the world, 10 times larger than the next contender – perfectly fitting the vision for Amazon’s status today!

Growing Top-of-Mind Awareness

Once you’ve found the right name, it’s time to get it in circulation.

Brand awareness is the extent to which a brand is recognized by potential customers and correctly associated with its particular product or service. When your name becomes familiar, you will enjoy all kinds of perks:

— People will know who you are and what you do

— A viewer will be more open to reading your ads or mailings

— Search engine users will be more likely to visit your website

— Prospects will be warmer toward a referral from one of your current customers

— Customers will be more likely to choose your brand over others, even if there are cheaper options available

Looking for ways to get your name out in your community or industry? Here are 10 ideas:

1. Create a custom hashtag that plugs your unique selling proposition 

2. Participate in or sponsor local events

3. Build bright, colorful infographics 

4. Post regularly to social media using your brand voice

5. Sell your name through special shapes (i.e., die-cut postcards, magnets, or key chains)

6. Go mobile by creating colorful decals for vehicles

7. Hang full-size posters in “can’t miss” locations

8. Add a blog to your website and feature it in printed inserts or newsletters

9. Invite your employees or VIP customers to wear branded clothing at key community events

10. Design beautiful labels for all your products

It’s a good idea to use a mix of online and offline strategies to build awareness in most cases. The more customers see your company, the more likely they are to think of you when they’re ready to buy.

How Fantastic Managers Bring Out the Best in Each Person

Have you ever had a “bad” boss?

If you’ve ever led a team, you’ve probably encountered a life-sucking person, problem, or habit that’s restricting your potential. But a challenging situation doesn’t guarantee a poor outcome, especially if there’s a good manager in the mix!

Managers have the power to make or break their organization. Strong managers can lead teams, help them grow, and bring out the best in each person. These leaders don’t just produce great work; they inspire it. Why is that?

While effective managers are goal-oriented, they also have an innate ability to bring out the best in people.  And while these people come in many flavors, there is one quality that sets truly great managers apart from the rest: They discover what is unique about each person and then capitalize on it.

Marcus Buckingham, head of people and performance research at the ADP Research Institute, characterized it this way:

“Great managers know and value the unique abilities and even the eccentricities of their employees, and they learn how best to integrate them into a coordinated plan of attack. This is the exact opposite of what great leaders do. Great leaders discover what is universal and capitalize on it. Their job is to rally people toward a better future. Leaders can succeed in this only when they can cut through differences of race, sex, age, nationality, and personality and, using stories and celebrating heroes, tap into those very few needs we all share. The job of a manager, meanwhile, is to turn one person’s particular talent into performance. Managers will succeed only when they can identify and deploy the differences among people, challenging each employee to excel in his or her own way.”

Positioning People for Success

When you want to bring out the best in your team, here are some specific steps to consider:

1. Ask the Right Questions

To assess your team’s strengths and skills, try using questions like these:

  • What do you like best about your work?
  • What skills do you have that are being underused?
  • What was the best day you had at work in the last three months? Why?
  • What was the worst day you had at work in the last three months? What drains you?

2. Find Optimal Triggers

Everyone works for a purpose.

Some work for money. Some for the personal challenge. And still others for relational equity they build through personal and professional friendships.

Managers can bring out the best in people by finding unique ways to motivate people. One company that does this exceptionally well is HBSC, a London-based bank. Each year it presents its top individual consumer-lending performers with “Dream Awards.” Each winner receives a unique prize, precisely tailored to something especially motivational to each employee (though capped at $10,000 and redeemable in prize form only). At the end of the year, HBSC hosts a Dream Awards gala and shows a video about the winning employee and why this person selected a particular prize. From college tuition funds to dream vacation airline tickets, the celebration of individual dreams is a win for the entire company.

Beyond individual awards, other performance triggers may include financial incentives, ownership shares, public recognition, increased autonomy over key projects, workday perks, or even quality time with key leaders.

When you tailor perks to your team’s unique strengths, they will feel more motivated to give their best effort.

3. Invest in Training Opportunities

People are more likely to excel when they feel valued.

One simple way to invest in people is through training. Did you know an astonishing 87% of Millennials say that career development opportunities are very important to them? When you want to motivate and shape your people, look beyond daily tasks, and encourage people to grow their skills. And as you’re evaluating training opportunities, look for those that fit each person’s unique learning style, like analyzing, watching, or doing.

Great managers look to build and mobilize people. By investing in individual people, you will work with them, not above them. And that’s a win for everybody!

How to Kickstart Your Noodle During a Creative Block

“Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.” (Paul Rand, graphic designer)

Never does a page seem so bleak as when you experience a creative rut in design.

Design ruts are the graphic artist’s equivalent of writer’s block. And everyone has been there! The world’s most imaginative people have experienced this obstacle and found a way to battle through.

One benefit of getting stuck is that you’re forced to rediscover your own creativity! Need help getting started? Here are some different ways to break out of stagnation when you’re stuck on a design:

1. Think laterally

Designs are ultimately problems waiting to be solved.

When you are stymied by the project at hand, come at the problem from a different angle, no matter how extreme it might seem.

One way to do this is to temporarily focus your thinking around individual parts of a message, like why a client might need your product or what pictures might best communicate its benefits.

2. Concentrate on your market

What are your target customers used to seeing, and what would make them lean forward and take note?

Maybe you need to challenge existing assumptions and go for something bolder. For example, in the financial world, materials tend to be produced in very corporate colors, like navy blue and grey. How could a fresh design upend traditional concepts in a way that is appealing and energizing?

3. Try the “what if” or the “why” game

When designs don’t seem to flow, start with questions instead. Like this:

What if questions:

  • What if I only use illustrations?
  • What if I only use type?
  • What if the type made the illustration?
  • What if I draw it with my eyes closed?

Why questions:

  • Why do I need to focus on this particular product feature?
  • Why is this feature important to prospects?
  • Why is this something that will impact their life in a significant way?
  • Why is this something they need to think about now versus later?

4. Take a Quick Tutorial

While it can be tempting to rip off a design from someone else, one of the best ways to build your original muscle is to go back to the drawing board.

An easy way to do this is to jump into an online tutorial. Though traditionally intended to educate, tutorials can be a rich source of design inspiration. Don’t merely skim the tutorial and glance at the result, go through the tutorial step by step with the author.

Doing this will force you to think like another person as you try to understand the implementation of methods that aren’t your own. This can energize you to think about new possibilities.

Don’t Force a Solution

When you feel overwhelmed by your lack of inspiration, remember that feeling stuck is just another step in the creative process.

If all else fails, embrace the moment and give it some time. What seems like a rut now might be an important step on your creative journey. Be patient, learn from it, and trust that you’ll come out on the other side.

Need help with your design idea? We can help!

3 Companies with a Killer Brand Identity

Trust builds confidence.

That is why a strong corporate brand identity can make or break a business. Brand identity is more than key values or approved color palettes; it is the collection of all elements that a company creates to portray the right image to its consumer.

When a company has a strong brand, it is easily recognized, which grows people’s trust. Trust builds confidence, and confidence begets loyalty. When a business has built superiority in a particular niche, repeat customers are more willing to buy in other areas. When you have loyalty from your base, you have space to increase prices or ask for bigger commitments. 

Want to craft a style that is timely and relevant to your audience? Here are three inspiring examples of brands who have nailed it:

Tesla

Tesla is an electric vehicle and clean energy company with long-range, eco-friendly electric cars. 

They are also very expensive. To build customer confidence, Tesla leaves price out of their branding and focuses on combining its fun personality combined with its incredible quality. CEO Elon Musk has built himself up as a Tony Stark-like character, and the brand promotes its uniqueness through ads and quirky features (like Super Cars with a “Ludicrous Mode”).

Tesla also relies on communities to tell its story, and passionate ambassadors have sprouted up worldwide to shout their love for the brand. Spain’s Tesla Club on Facebook has more than 7,300 members, and user-generated content is some of the most effective marketing in Tesla’s toolbox.

Dollar Shave Club

When you see this name, what comes to mind? Probably value.

At its core, Dollar Shave Club (DSC) is an everyman’s brand with a simple proposition: name-brand razors cost too much, but DSC offers quality alternatives at a rock-bottom price.

The brand bills itself as smart and stylish, conforming perfectly to customer needs. Each month, customers receive beautifully branded boxes with playful welcome notes and dapper products. When you join DSC, you’re not just subscribing to low-cost products; you’re investing in the monthly delight that comes with them! 

To reinforce this tone, the brand snubs highbrow marketing and pursues a cheeky, casual vibe. While other shaving brands go for a sleek image (with men who look like actors and models), Dollar Shave Club features average looking people across a wide age range. 

Parkinson’s Foundation

For many nonprofits, design can be an afterthought. 

But the Parkinson’s Foundation has created a fresh visual identity that reflects the exciting, dynamic organization it is. A unique logo resembles a brain in a head, a subtle nod to the neurological disorder. The bright blue is a vibrant hue, communicating excitement and zest for life and the promise of “Better Lives. Together.” 

The brand’s fundraising hinges on a promise of hope and progress and designs highlight this sense of cooperation. Custom imagery features a wide range of real individuals from throughout the Parkinson’s community—doctors, caregivers, donors, and people living with Parkinson’s — united by a single bright blue color that symbolizes their optimistic approach to fighting the disease.

In a spirit of community, the foundation logo is specifically designed as a platform for community expression, offering an open space (like a speech bubble) for individuals to handwrite messages or personalize materials (like, “For Dad”). Parkinson’s supporters love customizing it to share their own messages on social media and engage others in the fight.

A Voice All Your Own

Corporate branding has the power to attract, engage, and communicate just what you want with your clients. 

But you can only do this by connecting with customers where they are. Strong brands succeed because they resonate with a portion of their market better than anyone else.

When you’re working to shape designs, use a voice that resonates with your audience. If your brand was a person, how would it communicate? Be consistent, confident, and unique, and your voice will shine through on every occasion!

Build Enthusiasm with Gorgeous Print Catalogs

Do you have a favorite catalog?

In days past, the Sears Christmas edition or the Lana Lobell fashion catalogs were the birthplace of many shopping addictions.

But though these nostalgic beauties hold a special place in many hearts, catalogs certainly haven’t disappeared from today’s marketing landscape. Companies like L.L. Bean, Ikea, J. Crew, and Athleta continue to dominate sales through the distribution of printed catalogs.

And people enjoy reading them. According to USPS, 47% of people set aside catalogs to read later, and 84% of consumers said they genuinely enjoyed receiving unexpected catalogs from places they had previously shopped. Enthusiasm has soared – response rates from catalogs has increased 170% from 2004 to 2018! 

Using Hard Copy Catalogs in Your Omnichannel Marketing

With a decrease in printed mail, today’s paper catalog is primarily a marketing tool – one of maximum potential during the holiday season.

The most sophisticated retailers are continuously working to build a seamless omnichannel operation, and companies that integrate catalogs, websites, and physical stores can simplify the shopping experience while closing more sales.

Print advertising is a great compliment to your online sales platforms, because print marketing often prompts greater follow-through. BRAND United reports that 86% of shoppers bought an item online after seeing it in a printed catalog.

Want to weave together catalogs and online purchasing? Here’s one inspiring example of a killer omnichannel strategy.

Quadratic: Selling the Adventure

For 30 years, Quadratic has prided itself on providing Jeep enthusiasts with the best parts and accessories for their customers.

From Antenna kits to light bars, Quadratic is committed to providing parts and accessories for daily on- and off-road needs.

Today millions of people receive Quadratec’s printed catalog in the mail. Even though there are more products on the company’s website than in their catalog, Quadratec uses printed catalogs to demonstrate it is an authoritative brand leader. Jeep enthusiasts love “jeeping,” and there’s just something about a giant catalog that gets that adventurer’s heart pumping!

In combination with its print success, Quadratec has elevated digital marketing efforts. By creating a corresponding mobile app, Quadratec allows customers to scan each product in the catalog with a mobile device. Scanned items bring customers to that item’s specific page on the website, so customers can easily tag it for a wish list, add it to their shopping cart, or purchase it from their phone.

Is this effective? Absolutely. Since launching its first AR-enabled catalog, Quadratec has experienced a three percent sales boost, and its mobile app is used an average of 200,000 times each month.

A One-Two Punch

Direct mail meets customers where they live, and catalogs are a long-standing customer favorite.

Data shows 44 percent of customers visit a brand’s website after receiving direct mail marketing, which is 10 percent more than people who visit landing pages after receiving an email. And because catalogs are extremely engaging, people feel more confident about purchasing when they receive one.

David Naumann, vice president of marketing for BRP, noted studies that have shown people can spend upward of 20 minutes looking at catalogs compared to the seconds they might spend looking at product images displayed online:

“When you have that physical catalog, customers might ponder it longer, even write notes on it,” he said. “It’s something you really can’t replicate in other media.”

Want to explore catalog marketing options for your business? Visit us online today for a free quote!

Why Direct Mail Postcards are Worth Every Penny

Although postcards are one of today’s beloved print pieces, they had a humble beginning.

The earliest postcard dates back to 1840 when an English man named Theodore Hook sent one to himself. By 1861, the US Congress allowed privately printed cards, weighing one ounce or under, to be sent through the mail. That year, John P. Charlton copyrighted the first postcard, and by 1901 postcards were a regular part of mailed communication.

Generate Huge Exposure with Just One Mailing

Fast forward a century. 

Postcards are now an essential marketing option for many businesses, and with good reason. These versatile tools represent a huge opportunity for companies that do it right.

And the results are compelling. One real estate agent makes $5,000 to $20,000 in commissions every time she runs a direct mail campaign. A Texas dentist added six figures in new revenue thanks to one mailing. And a financial services firm spent a few thousand dollars to net dozens of new clients with an average value of $1,500 each.

Why are postcards so effective?

According to UnitedMail, 79 percent of people act on direct mail immediately (while only 45 percent do so for email). More than two-thirds of consumers open all of their mail, even easily recognizable junk. And this is especially true for young people! According to the U.S. Postal Service, 36 percent of people under age 30 look forward to checking their mail, and 37 percent of the coveted 25- to 35-year-old demographic immediately read their mail.

Since postcards are so visually accessible, they are read frequently and generate huge exposure. When businesses target specific audiences and link to tailored landing pages on their website, they can spark considerable revenue with just one mailing.

Postcards generate fast results, and they work for any business. As long as you have a clear marketing strategy and great graphic design, postcards will work for you!

4 Keys for Designs that Deliver

When you are ready to launch your direct mail postcard, here are four keys for generating compelling, actionable designs:

1. Design with Your Audience in Mind

If there’s one mistake common to most marketers, it is this: assuming your audience knows the terminology of your industry.

Whether you’re a financial advisor or a chiropractor, frame your ideas in words that would make sense to anyone. 

2. Paint a Picture of the Problem You Can Solve

People won’t read every word you share, so don’t bury the lead.

Immediately communicate the problem your business can fix. Center your writing around how your product can make people’s lives easier or better.

3. Use Simple, Crisp Graphics

The image on your postcard should be instantly recognizable.

While it may be fun to try something clever, this often confuses the audience. Since you have mere seconds to communicate an idea, your image should reinforce the concept in a strong, obvious way.

4. Add Bulleted Lists and Distinct Next Steps

Readers won’t engage with longer text, so shoot for punchy subheadings or bulleted items that clarify value.

People want more than just a phone number or a web link. Be specific with CTAs like, “subscribe to ___ for ______” or “call today for your free consultation!” 

Let Our Team Mail for You

Ready to expand your reach with a focused direct mail campaign?

Save on stress and expense by consolidating your creative processes. Our full-service design specialists can provide the artwork, the printing, and even the mailing services. To get a quote, visit our website today! 

Generate Innovative Solutions with Strategic Design Thinking

Thoughtful young African woman brainstorming

Smiling young African American woman in white shirt looking at colorful brain sketch with gears drawn on concrete wall. Concept of brainstorming

Several years ago, a truck driver tried to pass under a low bridge.

Underestimating the truck height, the driver became firmly lodged under the bridge, unable to move his vehicle forward or backward. Emergency workers and city engineers gathered onsite, debating whether they should dismantle the truck or chip away parts of the bridge. Each proposed a solution most aligned with their area of expertise.

Just then, a boy walked by, observed the intense debate, and made a casual comment. “Why not just let the air out of the tires?”

When the solution was tested, the truck squeezed forward with ease, suffering only slight damage to his cab. The specialists were amazed at the solution and also by the fact that they were initially blind to an answer a child could easily recognize.

A Human-Centric Way of Thinking

This story symbolizes the struggles we face when the most obvious solutions are hard to recognize.

That’s just one reason strategic design thinking has become so prevalent in business. Design thinking is a solution-based, human-centric approach to solving problems, one that embodies both a particular way of thinking and a collection of hands-on methods. In business, design thinking allows you to look at things through your customers’ eyes while devising meaningful, profitable solutions.

Design thinking can be helpful because it pushes you to challenge existing assumptions, redefine problems, and uncover options. It is especially useful for creatively devising alternatives and prototypes with a team. While there can be three to seven phases in this process, many people find five modes to be particularly helpful. These stages do not have to follow any specific order and can occur in parallel or repeat iteratively.

5 Stages to Shaping Nimble, Profitable Ideas

Here’s how to implement the five-stage process of design thinking with your team.

1. Observe with Empathy

The first step in design thinking is to empathize with your clients and partners, investing in conversations, and identifying hidden needs by living the customer experience.

During the 2020 pandemic, one design-build storage company noticed a significant uptick in interest for luxury storage sheds (can you say “man cave?”). Before pumping out products, team leaders spent considerable time with prospects, architects, and manufacturers. By looking at things from the customers’ perspective, the storage specialists became intimately acquainted with changing markets and how demand should drive innovation.

2. Define the Problem

Once you genuinely live and understand your customers’ needs, you can redefine the problem and approach it from different angles.

Through conversations with many families, designers from the storage company realized that a post-pandemic need was not for increased storage but for alternate living spaces that were affordable, durable, and even portable.

3. Ideate with Your Team

The next step is to develop solutions by involving all internal and external team members.

The wider your base, the more imaginative you can be. Creative sessions led our Midwest storage specialists to develop prefabricated backyard offices, “granny” pods, and even elegant miniature lake cabins that could be delivered and assembled on site.

4. Prototype Rapidly

After quickly building and releasing designs, it is important to make your ideas as nimble and customizable as possible.

Whether you add a “Most Popular Items” section to your website or you give customers access to “build it yourself” 3D configurator software, speed and wide-ranging accessibility are key.

5. Test and Validate

Design thinking is an adaptable process.

Results from prototype tests may show that you’ve misinterpreted customer behaviors and needs in steps one and two. That’s ok! From here, you can return to previous steps and tweak solutions so they are best tailored for current needs. View every blueprint as a living document, and keep working to capture the right opportunities in the right way.

As you test solutions with your team, you will unleash people’s full creative energies, win their commitment, and radically improve the end product.

Why Carbonless Forms Make a Great Tech-Free Solution

Packing Slip List, Pen, Pad Isolated White Background

Packing Slip List, Pen, Pad Isolated White Background

When you “cc” someone on an email, do you ever think about what this abbreviation actually means?

In 1801, Pellegrino Turri invented carbon paper to provide ink for his mechanical typing machine, which was one of the first typewriters. Five years later, carbon paper was patented and released to the general public. Carbon paper soon became a primary method for rapidly reproducing documents or booklets, and today its legacy has remained in the header of emails. The “cc” abbreviation stands for “carbon copies,” or copies intended for recipients other than the principal addressee.

Since Turri’s day, carbonless forms have largely replaced their early ancestor. Carbonless copy paper has micro-encapsulated dye or ink on the back side of the top sheet, and a clay coating on the front side of the bottom sheet. When pressure is applied (from writing or impact printing), the dye capsules rupture and react with the clay to form a permanent mark duplicating the markings made to the top sheet. In the span of seconds, intermediary layers act as multipart stationery, adding flexibility and convenience to any business exchange.

Simplify and Save

In many industries, carbonless forms work better than electronic documents, and they may be a perfect fit for your business.

Carbonless forms offer a speedy solution that is ideal for capturing handwritten signatures or personal notes taken during an order or appointment. Want to ditch the unnecessary equipment or the headaches of expensive tech repairs? These forms are especially handy for team members who are frequently in the field, when you’re working face-to-face with clients, or when time and accuracy are essential.

Where can you put carbonless forms to work? The possibilities abound! Try these sensible custom pads for:

  • Invoices or inventory tracking
  • Design drafts or sales estimates
  • Onsite service calls
  • Patient intake forms
  • Inspections, permits, or delivery confirmations
  • As a customizable receipt for your small business

Carbonless forms are used in a wide range of industries, including mechanical, agriculture, funeral services, transportation, home improvement, auctions, and more. They are great for any situation where you want a simple business solution or a quick reproduction of up to four simultaneous copies.

And just because these forms are practical doesn’t mean they have to be boring! Experiment with bold graphics, two colors of ink, custom finishes, or three-hole drilling to allow for archiving in binders or booklets. Sequential numbering will enable you to easily track your transactions, or you can also send varying designs to print multiple for types in the same size and finish.

Get Your Forms ASAP

Ready to get started? Go carbonless with this convenient, budget-friendly option. Craft smart, rapid-return designs that will hold up for years.

Send an inquiry today for your free estimate!