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Dove Direct Print & Marketing Blog - Why You Should Introduce the Printer to Your Brand

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Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today’s post, “Why You Should Introduce the Printer to Your Brand” speaks to the effort of unifying your brand messaging across all marketing touch points, including the brand identity that print collateral represents. The majority of print experts highly recommend that you should speak to your commercial printing organization of choice prior to starting any print project. That is a given. However, did you know that in the case of unified marketing concepts being able to build brands, that printed collateral should also reflect the brand’s identity?


Building a brand today requires much more than choosing a logo and building a website. Further, brand building also goes well beyond the social media channel development process and is now inclusive of all marketing touch points, and print collateral is a true customer touch point. Typically, the marketing world refers to ‘touch points’ as avenues that are available to customers and prospects in their sales cycle journeys, such as websites, emails, social media channels, and digital offerings where the majority of purchase decisions are culminated.

Notwithstanding any of the aforementioned touch points in the digital space, print collateral offers a touch point that is actually in the form of materials that can be physically touched and felt in the real word. Printed collateral actually rises to the top of the touch point designations in that it can evoke an emotional, tactile response that digital fails to compete against.

The look and feel of a brand’s identity covers a wide berth of marketing arrays, and the manner in which printed collateral decisions are made will either positively or negatively affect the brand’s persona. Yes, brands have personas too! That said, there are a number of aspects when choosing print that will provide a window into the brand’s level of professionalism, of the lack thereof.

The print choices range from paper weight, including opacity, various finishes, paper availability, reproduction accuracy, and printing options. Now let’s dig in to the reasoning behind why you should introduce your commercial printer to your brand.

The following print considerations are why you should schedule a meeting with your printer prior to committing to a print job. In the best cases, look for commercial printers that offer open houses so you can gain valuable insight regarding expertise, personnel and equipment the printer uses. If you are in the Atlanta, GA area, Dove Direct holds open houses the last Thursday of each month, with this month’s open house taking place on Thursday, April 26th, 2018, from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. You don't have to commit to the entire day, take an hour or two, depending on your needs.  Further, to ensure you have the best experience, you may want to contact Dove Direct in advance. If you don't want to wait for the Open House, you can reach Dove Direct today by calling 404-629-0122.  Now, let’s get to the reasons why you should introduce your printer to your brand.

Paper Consistency

How many times have you received a printed piece of collateral that is flimsy to the touch, or its opacity allows bleed through exposure of the back page? While it is becoming more rare, it still happens from time to time. By making an informed decision with your printer on the best paper treatments to select, it should be noted that brands should avoid switching paper selections as it dilutes the look and feel and strays away from brand consistency and unification.

Printing Options

Due to print technology now offering various printing options, such as digital, offset, and high-speed inkjet, it is wise to select a paper that can be applied to each of those print technologies, without losing output consistency. In addition, the finishes also play a major role when dealing with print unification efforts, which represents yet another decision to be discussed with your printer.

Finishes

Finishes are critical in that they convey a message all their own. When a targeted recipient first feels and touches a piece of printed collateral, that initial response is generated by the emotive human tactile invigorating the senses, which transcends imagery and messaging. In fact, one could make the argument that the feel of a well designed finished piece can bolster the image and message relevancy, because the prospect is already emotionally tied to what they have in their hands.

Did you know that un-coated paper can feel thicker than coated paper? Due to the fact that un-coated paper has a higher bulk than coated paper, the effects of feel become increasingly important. In addition, un-coated paper offers broader choices of textures and finishes as opposed to coated paper. Marketers looking for softer understated imagery would also do well with un-coated paper.

Reproduction

In the digital world, email campaigns, YouTube videos, blog offerings, not to mention the traditional world of television and cable, all share one common aspect associated with successful marketing techniques, and that is unified reproduction. The art of unified advertising production dictates that consumers will engage more confidently when they are sure about the brand, and that comes from them being able to consistently identify the brand over time and across all touch points.

Therefore, in order for printed collateral to also be included in consumer brand identification, consideration for reproduction must be adhered to. Translation? Different paper choices and finishes will affect the printed outcome, and aside from replicating the brand’s main colors, care should be taken to ensure that regardless of the print process, that being inkjet, digital or offset, that both finishes and paper selection be chosen with reproduction as a major consideration.

Other considerations for reproduction are the choices a brand is deciding to use, such as colors. Television for example, has issues with reds, stripes and some color patterns, particularly among some fashion choices. Similarly, in the print world, reds and blacks are notorious for displaying differently based on paper weights and finishes. In addition, printed collateral that utilizes people need to be scrutinized concerning skin tones and the proper reproduction of them.

Weight Choices

Print technology has come a long way since the early days and to that end paper weight choices matter more than ever. Print marketing now offers a wide variety of options ranging from die cuts, various fold types, cutouts, perforations, and more. Further, print marketing collateral choices now offer a range of designations, including direct mail, brochures, flyers, reports, infographics, and other print promotional types.

Therefore, the weight choices need to consider the brand’s efforts to maintain their printed collateral output quality that reflects the brand’s identity across all printed pieces.

Paper Choice Availability

This is an easy one for print considerations. When a brand selects a paper choice that has demonstrated the propensity to be out of stock more than readily available, then that could result in a huge problem. In short, if the brand is more likely to produce print collateral on a regular basis as part of their marketing campaign strategy, it would make sense to select paper types that are generally ready to be ordered on a consistent basis. There’s nothing worse than creating the print campaign and then having to forgo putting it on hold because the paper is out of stock consistently.

Paper Pricing

As with all things in the marketing world, investment costs trigger not only whether or not the brand will invest, but how much, and for how long. Since marketing is about frequency, it’s a good idea to have a conversation about paper costs, and what would your printer advise for budgeting considerations.

In summation, these aforementioned reasons demonstrate why it is important to have conversations with your printer of choice.  In the event your conversation results fail to address these print job considerations in a manner you are comfortable with as it relates to brand marketing unification, then it would be wise to consider looking for a commercial printing organization that can effectively address your concerns and offer subject matter expertise to solve those questions.

The Net-Net

Marketers, brands and print buyers can easily negotiate a print job for any brand. However, the overarching question becomes, will this print job contract deliver unified brand printing collateral outcomes across all print solutions, including direct mail, brochures, die cuts, packaging and more?  Happy Brand Introduction to Your Printer!

Let’s have a conversation about direct mail strategies, printing, print software, transactional documents, variable digital printing, brand equity and unified marketing collateral during our next Open House. We invite you to join us on Thursday, April 26th, 2018, from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Let us show you how to improve your document processes to optimize your workflow, reduce your costs, and maximize your organization’s printing, letter shop and mailing capabilities. Dove Direct does have an official USPS certified bureau located within our offices that will save you time and money. And, if you bring us your files, we will create a demo file for you. For more information call Carla Eubanks at 404-629-0122 or email Carla at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Dove Direct, your Atlanta based print and mail solutions provider offers organizations end-to-end data, printing and mailing solutions: Data Management, Variable Digital Printing, LetterShop and Fulfillment, Fully Automated MLOCR Presort Bureau, Marketing and Production Management Support and Secure Data Life Cycle Management.

If you don't want to wait for the Open House, you can reach Dove Direct today by calling 404-629-0122 or use the contact form for Dove Direct.

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Leland Hicks is the CTO of MatterMax Media, a digital marketing agency that provides business strategy, web design, social media management and training.  He can be reached at lahicks@mattermaxmedia.com