Marketing is a tough competition to get your name in the minds of consumers. The phrases used in marketing statements can range from simple facts to outrageous claims of grandeur. Everyone wants to make sure their products or services really shine. It’s important that we don’t stretch the truth to accomplish this. It’s unethical and consumers are too smart to let these practices continue to be successful. Here are 5 of those shady marketing practices that you should be wary of:
- Avoid meaningless broad boasting statements like, “We’re the best in America!” People hear phrases like that and automatically dismiss the statement as a cheesy marketing technique. They know that you have no way of proving that and are instinctively wary of any other statements you make after that.
- Avoid making claims that will instill false hope in your customers. Weight loss products are notorious for this when they say things like “She lost 30 pounds in two weeks with our supplement.” It’s a nice concept but when you look at the fine print, you see that they also state that the level of weight loss advertised is not the average amount and was attained through a rigorous workout schedule and a healthy diet. These scenarios will only lead to disappointed consumers.
- Avoid using explosive action words to explain a mundane product or service. Nobody wants to see the word “rockstar” used to describe something like a home cleaning service. You would be much better served choosing a word that conveys the concepts of reliability and professionalism.
- Avoid using phrases such as “virtually indestructible” or “near flawless.” Consumers are well versed in marketing techniques. They understand that these types of phrases usually mean the opposite of what they imply. “Virtually indestructible” really translates to “this product can break.” “Near flawless” translates to “there are imperfections in this product or service.”
- Avoid cliché phrases like “thinking outside the box.” Those sayings used to impress people but now every company makes similar claims. You need to let your products do the talking for you. If you truly “thought outside of the box,” your product’s innovative nature should be impressive enough to convey that idea without words.
The best way to beat the competition is through the use of honest and strong value statements. Provide quality products and services and only promise exactly what you can deliver. Consumers will appreciate and support the honest and direct approach.
United Reprographics is proud to sponsor an upcoming installment in Seattle’s art community:
Art Event: Myths, Fables & Legends!
When: Friday, April 19th, from 6PM to 12:30AM
Where: The Piranha Shop – 1022 1st Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98134
The Hive Gallery and Studios from Los Angeles and Seattle’s Piranha Shop present an exciting new collaboration between California and Washington’s alternative, urban and underground art scenes. The show features over 80 contributing artists, live music by Battlecat Mars, and Impending Past, as well as performances by Morgue and Circus Act by the Wreckless Freaks! Food and drinks will be available during the event.
Here are some samples from the featured artists for the event:
Isobel and the Mammoths
Arduinna The Huntress
Embodiment of Her Soul
Full list of artists:
13fingers * 179 * Aaron Jasinski * Alexandria Sandlin * Aliesha Larson * Archie Jones * Augie Pagan * Braden Duncan * Brandon Shea * Brian White * Bryan K Ward * Carlos Aguilar * Charles Wilton * Chet Zar * Chris J Olson * Chris Sheridan * Christa Jefferson * The Collagemonauts * Corey Skillman * Corey Urlacher * Curtis Ashby * Dan Broxon * David Enriquez * Dennis Turner * Don Deleva * Duffy * Echo Chernik * Ego * Elijah Wolff * Elizabeth Beronich Sheets * Gabe Marquez * George Jennings * George Long * Hallelujah Goat * Hera Won * Hillary Gore * I Niemand * Ian Douglass Ferger * Jacob Cass * Jason Soles * Jeremy Gregory * Joe Vollan * John Michael Gill * Jonathan MacKinnon * Jonathan Wakuda Fischer * Joseph Brooks * Julie Baroh * Julie Luke * Kat Houseman * Keegan O’Rourke * Kree Arvanitas * KRK Ryden * Laci Shaffer * Larkin * Laura Cameron * Levi Hastings * Maj Askew * Marc Tweed * Margaret Organ-Kean * Mark Romney * Mark Tedin * Mark Walker * Matt Savage * Matthew Hinshaw * Michael Leone * Michelle Boshart * Nathan Cartwright * Richard Olmsted * Ron Evans * Ronnie Taylor * Ryan Ebelt * Sam Hamrick * Sean Michael Hurley * Seb Barnett * Seth Kupchick * Siolo Thompson * Sonja Stockton * Stephanie Battershell * tnglr * Tracy Cilona * Wednesday Wolf * Wilky * Worm Morphology * Xavier Lopez Jr * Yoko Holbachine * Yvette Endrijautzki * Zeb Shaffer
Louie Gong is a multicultural artist and activist who has been making some impressive waves in the art community. He gained international recognition from his custom shoe artwork and rigorous touring schedule. Louie is setting out to change the way Native artists are perceived. We had the opportunity to speak with Louie recently when he stopped by to watch his new art feature print out on our large format eco-solvent color printer.
When asked about the inspiration for the new piece, Louie shared a story from his past to help explain what it meant to him. As a child, he had a fantasy of catching a bird. One day, he was walking in the woods and noticed a small bird near the ground. He quickly reached out and closed his hands. To his great surprise, Louie had actually caught the bird. “So this art is partly for that memory and also to represent my feelings about the success I’m experiencing now. I’ve reached out and caught what I thought was unattainable and now I have to decide what to do with that success.”
The art will be shown with the exhibit “War Baby / Love Child” which is presented to show the identity and struggles of mixed race Asian American peoples. More information on the exhibit can be found here: warbabylovechild.com.
Louie has been working with United Reprographics for the past 5 years. When asked what made us his printer of choice, Louie stated, “I’ve stayed with the company because of the great customer service and the ability to work with people who really care about the work they do. It’s also really inspiring as an artist to see the back end of the production process, to see my work as it’s being printed.” Louie also mentioned that he is very passionate about pursuing environmentally friendly production and that he can count on our “bend over backwards” guarantee to accommodate his requests.
We’re excited for Louie’s success and even more excited to see what he will accomplish in the future. Find more information about Louie at his website: eighthgeneration.com
United Reprographics is proud to unveil the newest addition to our line of robust printers: The Play-Doh 3D Printer!
This modern marvel can print your designs with stunning accuracy using Play-Doh’s new architectural grade “Doh.” The semi-lifelike prints will make you quickly forget that you’re working with materials meant for small children. The Doh-prints are perfect for architects and engineers who frequently need to change their designs or just want to add exciting colors to their prototypes. The end-product is also quite environmentally friendly and non-toxic too! Just squish the print when you’re done and it can be used all over again.
Naturally, Play-Doh understands the need to keep pace with cutting edge technology. They’ve included iPad integration as well as their proprietary iPlay-Doh 3D App. Users can utilize the software to create advanced designs as well as receive in-depth feedback from the printer device.
You can also pick up your very own Play-Doh 3D Printer for a reasonable $49.99. However, we strongly recommend leaving the printing to the professionals as the machine’s dual-crank operation can be quite difficult to master. The manufacturers only recommend use of this high-tech printer for users ages 3 and up. At United Reprographics, we fully guarantee that all of our print operators are at least 4 years old.
For more information on the Play-Doh 3D Printer, visit: Think Geek : Play-Doh 3D Printer
Note: All information in this article is 100% certifiably facetious. Happy April Fool’s Day!
Sandwich boards are a simple and very effective marketing tool. If you’re new to local marketing techniques, you may be asking, “What is a sandwich board?”
Not quite! They actually look like this:
Sandwich boards are a simple freestanding A-Frame designed sign. You can display a message or image on both sides of the board to get your business noticed. Here are 4 great reasons to incorporate sandwich boards into your local marketing strategy:
1. Cost Efficiency
Sandwich boards may have a higher initial cost than printing a run of posters but they will last for years and can be reused many times over. You can increase the usefulness by adding a chalkboard or dry-erase section to the sign which allows for customized daily messages.
All of the sandwich boards that we offer are made from high-grade materials that can hold up in all weather conditions. We offer options for wood or plastic boards. Our double-sided MDO sandwich board is the most popular item. It is made from Douglas Fir glued together with waterproof glue and primed twice to increase water-resistance and prevent warping. The edges are covered with a UV-stabilized T-molding which has a 5 year life expectancy. Even the ink we use is designed for durability and longevity.
Sandwich boards are perfect marketing tools to bring to special events. Set them up as an information panel next to your booth at a convention. Use them to provide directions to your kiosk at a show. Use them to display prices at your sales table. Our sandwich boards also utilize flexible hinges and extruded rubber feet which allow them to remain stable on uneven terrain. Another benefit to having a portable sign is that it can be brought inside after business hours to prevent vandalism or theft.
4. Increased local awareness
Many businesses don’t have the luxury of roadside visibility. If your location is “buried” behind other businesses or hidden by obstacles like trees, sandwich boards can help you achieve that important visibility. Simply placing your sandwich board by the roadside is a great alternative to renting space on a stationary sign (that is most likely being shared by the other businesses in your immediate area).
Call United Reprographics today to get started on designing your own sandwich board!
Adhesive graphics are a fun, versatile way to display your message! Do you need to let people know about your big sale next week? Put a vibrant window cling graphic on your storefront windows! Maybe you need to mark your vehicle as a company car? Invest in a vinyl decal instead of lowering the resale value with aftermarket paint.
Here are 10 great reasons you should take advantage of sticky graphics:
1. Cling graphics do not damage the surfaces they attach to. Removal of the graphics is quick, easy, and clean making them perfect for short-term promotional messages.
2. Adhesive vinyl makes great mess-free stickers to give to customers. They can put these graphics on vehicle bumpers, windows, mirrors, etc. without worrying about the residue normally associated with stickers.
3. Floors are an under-utilized marketing surface in many businesses. Floor graphics can be a fun way to catch attention and lead people to your business. (Try creating an interactive graphic by using arrows to lead people to your location)
4. Another great use for floor graphics is color-coding sections of your store which can help customers find their way around (this is especially useful in large businesses like department stores).
5. Sticky graphics turn windows into advertising space. Perforated vinyl allows you to use your windows to advertise without losing visibility.
6. For businesses with highly visible window space, window clings can even replace expensive external signs.
7. Sticky graphics can add a temporary message to a pre-existing sign. You can add a temporary “sale” decal to your storefront sign which would be a cost-effective alternative
8. Graphics can be added to automobiles for cheap without altering the original paint job. These graphics can attach as window clings, adhesive vinyl, and magnet backed vinyls.
9. You can wrap your whole vehicle with adhesive vinyl instead of dealing with the cost and permanence of a new paint job. The vinyl wrap will protect the original paint from damage and fading too!
10. Custom printed wallpaper has become a popular item for interior design. You can achieve special wall effects and imagery that would normally be unattainable through traditional painting methods creating a unique selling environment. (Plus you can design your perfect wallpaper to match your branding instead of sifting through catalogues to settle on close match)
Get the most from your advertising budget and reach your customers in fun new way with sticky graphics!
UV (Ultraviolet) Coating is a unique finishing process for printed products. The coating process covers a document in a liquid plastic solution which is then hardened and sealed by exposure to UV light. Here are some of the great benefits of utilizing UV coating:
1. Imparts a luxury look and feel
Glossy UV coating gives a sleek feel and adds extra contrast and shine to darker colors giving images a more vivid appearance. Matte UV coating gives a softer feel and balances out color tones giving the document a very legible and professional look. A glossy coating can make images “pop” but can cause a bit of glare which can decrease text legibility. For documents that mainly contain text, a matte coating may be the best option.
2. Resists scratching and scuffing
UV coating helps to reduce abrasion to the paper during handling and mailing. It also keeps ink from smudging and smearing because it helps seal toner based ink to the substrate.
3. Protects products from the elements
UV coating actually protects your prints from sunlight too. Now your prints will stay vibrant much longer even in direct sunlight. Another helpful feature is the significant improvement to the water-resistance of the coated material.
4. Keeps production time down
Modern UV Coaters allow instant drying which does not add too much extra time for production. This allows for the possibility of quality finishes on fast turn-around orders. (Traditional film lamination can take up to 24 hours to dry)
Consider upgrading your next print order with our UV Coating service. It’s a cost-effective way to ensure the quality and longevity of your prints.
Posters are simple large-format prints that raise awareness of a new event, product, or company. Posters are affordable and effective, especially on a local level. Here are four concepts that will help you get the most out of your poster marketing:
1. Design for style and simplicity
Design in a style that will catch the attention of your target market. Research pop-culture for your particular group and take advantage of some of the fads. Posters are not meant to be long-term forms of advertisements so gimmicky concepts (internet memes for example) can actually work well for this purpose.
Keep the design reasonably simple. People should be able to read the message from a minimum of six feet away. Make sure the design does not detract from the legibility of the text. The artwork should also complement the message and reflect the quality of the event you are advertising.
2. Use color to your advantage
Use colors that your target audience will respond to. (Don’t use pastel colors to advertise a rock concert)
Use colors that will react well with the environment you plan on placing the posters in. For example, a purple poster on a yellow wall creates a pleasant contrast that people can’t help but notice.
Use contrasting colors within the poster as well. The contrast between design and text can dramatically increase legibility.
3. The proper layout gets your information across in the right order
Make the headline obvious. People will be walking or driving by the poster and may only have a few seconds to comprehend the information so don’t make the message difficult to grasp right away.
Don’t make your business name (the signature) the focus of the poster. The event should be able to draw the audience in first before they notice the signature.
Keep the contact details to a minimum. Too much fine print in a poster will quickly be ignored. Just provide the exact information people need to know and nothing more.
4. Distribute posters intelligently
Focus your poster placement in areas where your target audience will frequent.
Try placing three or more of the same poster on one wall. It seems redundant but it will significantly boost the visibility of your message.
Distribute your posters within a few weeks of the event you are advertising for. If a poster is displayed too long before an event, the message can get stale or worse yet, the poster might be covered up by some other advertisement.
Keep these tips in mind during your poster marketing campaign and you’ll be sure to see improved results!
Business cards are a affordable way to market yourself and your business on a personal level. At a business convention, it’s not uncommon to receive more than 25 cards in one day. So how do you make sure your card stays at the top of the pile? Here are five cost-effective improvements you can make to your cards to make sure they grab attention:
1. Break away from the white background.
A vast majority of business cards feature black text on a white background. It’s quick to set up, easy to read, and is appropriate for most businesses. The problem is that this design is so common that it’s easy to ignore. Get noticed by using a colorful background or use a dark background with colorful text.
2. Use both sides of the card.
Most print providers will allow you to print on both sides of a business card for a small price increase. This option is worth the expense because you can let your design breathe. Your information can comfortably fit on one side. Your company image, name, and primary design elements can go on the other side. The result is a professional and uncluttered card.
3. Change the orientation of your card.
The average business card is set up in landscape style. Setting your card up in portrait style is the easiest way to be different without being too edgy. Portrait cards are surprisingly easy to read (perhaps because we are so used to reading portrait style documents) and they can look very elegant.
4. Think outside of the rectangle!
Rectangular business cards have always been the standard because they are the easiest shaped card to cut out. More progressive cards are taking advantage of modern die-cut technology to create interestingly shaped cards. Custom die-cut jobs can be expensive so ask your print provider if they offer any standard-issue dies at a discount. If one of their standard options doesn’t appeal to you, try a more DIY method: Hand cut or punch each card yourself with supplies from craft stores. It may be time-consuming but it will be worth the extra effort if the interesting card shape gets you noticed.
5. Bring your personality to your business card.
The best way to set yourself apart from your competition is to allow your business card to convey your personality. Let your card explain why you are worth remembering. Playing it too safe with business cards can come across as bland. Don’t be afraid to let yourself make a vibrant and lasting impression with an exciting card. Just make sure you don’t cross the line from exciting to awkward/bizarre.
One of the most essential elements of creating a brand is the logo design. You can hire a professional designer to create your company logo or you can save some money and design it yourself. If you’re feeling adventurous enough to tackle logo design, here are some processes that will help you produce professional results:
- Ask yourself some important questions. What are your core values and mission statement? How do you want the public to view your organization? What colors embody the values of your company? What design concepts will resonate with your clients and customers? What image will set your business apart from the competition?
- Get multiple people involved in the process. You might be surprised how many unique ideas are produced when you allow others to help with your creative process.
- Brainstorming also works as a failsafe for the design process because it gives everyone the chance to voice their opinion before you get too far into the design. It’s better to know your limitations before starting than to discover them after the work is already done.
3. Sketch Before Going Digital
- Don’t start your design software just yet! Pick up a pencil and piece of paper and sketch out your initial design ideas. You can be much bolder with the design since it won’t be the final version. You may also save yourself some time by eliminating the weaker designs before you get into the complicated part of the process.
4. Create Multiple Drafts
- You will most likely have a few very strong ideas for your logo by this point. If you can’t choose between the best, design them all. Design multiple versions of the same logo idea too. Sometimes you have to see the design finalized before you can decide if it’s right or not. This can be a huge time saver when you present the designs to the rest of the company. Someone may not like the first logo idea so instead of going back to the drawing board, you can submit multiple ideas.
5. Apply On Multiple Mediums
- Your logo will be applied to all of your products, uniforms, and communications. Your logo needs to work on a number of different colors and backgrounds.
- Invert your design to make sure it works on a light or dark background.
- Seeing your logo on paper, fabric, and digital mediums can solidify your confidence in that design.
These processes won’t guarantee a perfect logo but they will start you on the right direction to create the best logo for your business needs.