This is default featured slide 1 title
This is default featured slide 2 title
This is default featured slide 4 title
This is default featured slide 5 title
 

Monthly Archives: June 2017

Marketing Rules to Your Past Customers

Rule #1 – Collect all of their information.

It sounds like a no-brainer but you would be surprised. The more information that you have on your customers, the more likely it is that you will be able to get in touch with them to let them know about specials or to remind them it’s time for their next service. Also, don’t neglect to ask for your customers’ email addresses, most everyone has one and most will give it up pretty easily.

Rule #2 – Don’t treat your customers like prospects.

Make sure when you collect the information in your database you differentiate between people who have placed an order in the past and people who have not. Customers want to feel like you are paying attention to them and when they have placed a few orders with you and are still getting your “10% for First Time Buyers” postcards they tend to feel unappreciated. Bottom line, if they don’t qualify for an offer you are sending out, don’t send it to them.

Rule #3 – Don’t let your designs get stagnant.

When you are mailing to databases of people that you have never spoken to before, it is OK to send them the same postcard multiple times. It helps to increase recognition and will eventually increase your response rate. Dealing with customers and prospects that you have already spoken to (meaning they already know most or all of the details of your business) you need to mix things up a bit. Your mailings should be attention getting and informative. If you have started offering a new service recently, a piece designed to let your database know about it would be a smart move. The main point is to keep your company in the front of their mind and to keep them reading your promotion.

Being great at what you do is not always enough to keep the customers that you have earned. With all of the competition out there today you need to be constantly reminding your customers that you are the best at what you do. Direct mail is the best way to give them that reminder.

Always remember to keep mailings that you send to your database informative, attractive and most of all current. Personalize everything that you can and make sure that what you are sending to a past client actually pertains to them or their company. Anything less and your customer may start to drift, and the only people that are going to be happy when that happens are your competitors.

 

Packaging Ideas

1. Create a Reusable Package

The boutique beverage market is mature and extremely competitive, so you might think there are few really new ideas when it comes to packaging. You would be wrong. POM Tea has created something truly different. For a start the product itself is different – it is tea infused with pomegranate juice. But it is the packaging that is remarkable; the drink is packaged in a regular tall drinking glass with a lid and a clear shrink wrap label. It says on the label: Remove the label, keep the glass. In our local Wild Oats it retails for $2.79, not that expensive for a bottled tea, and you get a free glass. No need to worry about recycling here – you get to reuse the packaging.

2. Add a Little Extra to Your Packaging

Sometimes you can have very standard packaging, but stand out from the crowd by just adding a little twist to it. Amy’s Kitchen has done just that with their line of pasta sauces. It is a standard size jar with a standard color label that really blends in with all the other pasta sauce offerings. What sets them apart is the paper and gold bow over the lid of the jar. It looks like the way your grandmother would package it, and you can’t go down the aisle of pasta sauces without noticing it.

3. Make Design the Focus of Your Packaging

Most people think about the product first and the packaging second, but Method Products turned that equation around. They focused on packaging from the very beginning – they wanted to create packaging that was beautiful, that you didn’t have to hide in the cupboard. They created a premium line of cleaning products with packaging that you could display in the kitchen or bathroom like a home accessory. Just stroll down the aisles of any Costco or Target and you will see this focus on design really makes Method Products stand out.

4. Create Fun Packaging

Fun packaging doesn’t just have to be for kids, after all adults like to have fun, too. The bright colors and unusual shapes that dominate kids”products can work in adult products, but usually a more subtle approach is better. One industry that has started to embrace a little more fun in their packaging is the wine industry. Just take a trip to the local liquor store and look at all the fun animals on wine labels these days. We have penguins, kangaroos, frogs, horses, swans and many more critters appearing on wine labels. We may not be ready for a penguin shaped wine bottle, but a colorful penguin label can add an element of fun and really stand out from the more conservative wine labels.

5. Let Your True Colors Shine Through

Candle-Lite is the goliath of the candle industry with over 160 years of continuous candle making operations. Their packaging is nothing fancy, just a candle in a clear jar, but the colors they choose are striking. They use bright colors, often with multi-layered candles and they let these colors shine through with simple clear jars. And a simple label on a white background accentuates the colors in the jar. On my local supermarket shelf their candles really stood out from the dozens of other brands.

6. Extend Your Labels with Sandwich Printing

If you are selling a clear liquid in a clear bottle then you have an option available to you that can give you more packaging space for very little extra cost. I am talking about printing on the back of your labels. You can’t put regulatory information on the back of your labels, but you can run contests, tell a story about your company, or give ideas about how best to use your product. It is a simple way to give your customers more information and not detract from the presentation of your package.

7. Try the Metallic Look

Most labels are printed on white or clear material, but there are many other options available to you. One look you can consider is using a metallic foil for your labels or packaging. With a good design the metallic look can be very striking when compared to the same design on white, and really isn’t that much more expensive.

8. Focus Your Packaging on a Specific Target

The Axe line of products from Unilever has a very specific target audience – young men aged between 18 and 35. So they built their packaging to appeal to that target. The package for the Axe Shower Gel looks like it could just as easily contain motor oil as shower gel. It is a thick molded black plastic container that has a rugged appearance that appeals directly to this demographic. Here is a product that has tailored not just the contents but also the packaging to their specific target market.

9. Merge Two Packaging Concepts

Another very competitive industry is the beer business, with the big players there always looking for an edge on their competitors. Last year Anheuser Busch came out with a completely new concept in packaging that ended up winning several packaging awards. The concept was so simple it is amazing no one had done it before. We all know beer comes in glass bottles and aluminum cans. What Anheuser Busch decided to do was just combine these two concepts and they came up with the aluminum bottle. It was different, it looked classy and eye-catching, and it was 100% recyclable.

10. Look to Nature for Inspiration

Nature has some amazing examples of “innovative packaging.” Consider the banana, the pea-pod, the kangaroo pouch, the pine cone – these are all examples of nature creating efficient packaging. Nature’s packaging is usually elegant and beautiful as well as efficient. There are shapes, colors and even packaging concepts that you can borrow from nature’s example. So next time you go for a walk in the woods, take a look around you and marvel at the innovative packaging created by nature.

Declare Your Niche

Let’s say you’ve already decided on an area or niche to specialize in. You also need to know who the target market within that niche is. It could be women over 50 that are at high risk for developing heart disease if you are a healthcare facility. Or it could be the marketing director for business’s that work with alternative medicines if you are a copywriter. The key to successfully marketing your business is to be extremely specific and know the person you are selling your services to.

We all hear about how important being identified as an expert in one particular area is, but how many of us have really been brave enough to say “this is who I serve” — knowing it could turn some business away.

I know that putting a stake in the ground and declaring “this is what I do and who I serve” can be scary. You may be concerned that you don’t know which niche is right for you. Or that there may not be work in a niche once you’ve chosen it. But let me assure you from experience the benefits of specializing in one area far outweigh any disadvantages that come along with it.

Let’s take a look at some of the advantages for a business that declares an area of expertise, or a very specific niche:

– Helps you clearly identify and target your ideal client

– You are seen as an expert

– You can charge more because you are an expert

– You’ll find your work is easier because you learn the industry slang

– Marketing is easier. Because you have a specific target market it’s much easier to identify a prospects pain and address how you can fix that. Can your marketing address issues in other markets or related fields? Sure. Can you take work in that field? Absolutely!

– Smaller market segments are easier to market to

– No matter what you do differentiating yourself is not easy. Being specific about who you serve and choosing a niche clearly, narrows down the choices for your prospects and more clearly identifies who your competition is.

So no matter what your concerns, think about these many benefits and how much easier it will be for your ideal clients to find you once they know who you are; once you’ve told them that you are here specifically to help them solve their problem.