Direct Response Copywriters: Avoid Clichés
It is not out of the ordinary for printers to be approached by charities, not-for-profit corporations and cultural/art-based organizations that rely on the generosity of its donors and the local community to provide goods and services on a complimentary basis. This can be particularly true in smaller communities, where there are only a few printers, designers and marketing firms to engage.
Few businesses seek to give away their wares, but sometimes giving back to the community can not only satisfy that sense of tending to the greater good, it can also translate into marketing opportunities now that can pay dividends down the line. Capitalizing on those scenarios is going to be the topic for PrintMediaCentr's #printchat 4 p.m. ET on April 2—Creating Opportunities for Your Business: Making Something from Nothing! Click here for information on how to join in on the conversation.
When a newer or less mainstream printed product proves to be too difficult for your team to sell, perhaps the best tactic is to try giving it away first. And who better to give it to than an organization that supports the local arts?
That proved to be the case for Beeline and Blue, a wide-format printing and graphics specialist based in Des Moines, IA. Known for its banners, outdoor and indoor graphics, as well as retail displays, the concept of an outdoor wrap that could cover up an unsightly construction site had never quite taken hold with Beeline and Blue customers. It was an idea in need of a jump-start.
"For years, we tried to sell it and we were never able to," notes Beeline and Blue President Steven Strooh. "You had to see it to believe it."
When the local nonprofit, amateur theater group's building was undergoing a facelift at its entrance, Beeline and Blue was happy to donate a 600-foot graphic to wrap around the construction site fencing. The printer had donated work to the theater previously, in the form of window wraps for upcoming productions.
The theater's fence wrap quickly garnered the attention of the City of Des Moines. Its performing arts council was renovating a downtown plaza, and when it saw Beeline and Blue's handiwork, the printer soon got a call to do the downtown plaza. The council loved the amateur theater job so much, it insisted that Weitz Construction budget in a wrap.
The project, Cowles Commons, began in December for Beeline and Blue. The wrap is 812 linear feet and between four and six feet in height. Three workers spent four days attaching the wrap in 10-degree temperatures. In order to make sure the wrap could withstand Iowa’s long winter months, Beeline and Blue used Ultraflex mesh vinyl material.
As for the graphic itself, a local designer used Adobe Illustrator to create a folk art theme that included images of trees, leaves and branches, allowing it to blend in with its surroundings.
"We've had numerous requests to do lesser projects along the same line, but they're relatively small," Strooh says. "There was no interest in buying the fence wraps until we actually gave it away and showed them the attractiveness of a construction site that would otherwise be ugly."
Beeline and Blue is fortified with enough wide-format capacity to handle growth in this area, with a heavy concentration of Canon Solutions America wide-format digital printers, including two Océ ColorWave systems (600 and 900), an Océ ES 9160, an Océ LightJet 430 and an Océ Arizona flatbed UV printer.
"With the capabilities of our ColorWave 900—the quality it's able to produce and its speed, we can compete far more successfully with commercial litho printers, who have always had us beat hands down on speed and quality for bigger runs," Strooh notes. "We can't compete in tens of thousands, but now we can compete very favorably in the hundreds and low thousands."
Check out local video coverage of the Beeline and Blue project here.
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