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What Your Customers Expect–Even if They Don’t Tell You

 

The first step to retaining and growing your marketing share.

Consumers have more influence on the growth of your business than ever before. Social media and online reviews tipped the scales years ago to the point that consumers now have a direct and significant impact on customer service policies and even product improvement and development. Why not? They’re the ones using the product or service.

None of the above is news. On the other hand, how your customers are served says a lot about you or your company. It’s easy to become so emotionally or financially involved that you can’t see things from your customer’s perspective–especially entrepreneurs. Let’s look at an example of a customer interaction and see how you would choose to resolve it.

A Typical Customer Experience

A customer calls about a broken part on an $800 mountain bike that they bought from you 18 months ago. The part comes with a 1-year warranty and your cost for the part is $3 ($9.99 retail). Do you:

A.) Kindly remind them that the part is out of warranty and you would be happy to email them the link to purchase a replacement or you can take their order over the phone (you make $6.99 on a sale).

B.) Kindly remind them that the part is out of warranty and you would be happy to ship it free if they would like to purchase the replacement part (you make $6.99 on a sale).

C.) Kindly remind them that the part is out of warranty, but you would be happy to send them the part free of charge and it will go out today (your cost is $7 with shipping).

What’s Your Choice?

If you picked “A” it’s likely that you still use a flip phone and fax machine, because you’re doing business like it’s 1999. “B” is not a terrible choice, but it’s doubtful that your customer will be telling everyone how they got free shipping. “C” is the best choice if you want to convert your customers into ambassadors for your business–consider the cost an advertising expense.

What Your Customers Will Tell You if You Listen

Your customers have expectations for you and your business. If you’re listening, this is what they would tell you.

“I consider myself an informed consumer and I rarely buy on impulse. I like to do some research before I make a purchase, and the higher the cost the more the research I do. I often read company websites, independent product reviews, customer reviews, ask friends, and sometimes even visit a few stores to inspect the items in person. In the end, I am placing my trust in you and what you have to offer.”
   
“I have clear expectations about what I have purchased from you. If I contact you in the future it is because I have a question or a problem. I hope that you will have a friendly attitude and a willingness to help me. If I leave a voicemail or send you an email, the response time tells me how important I am to you.”
 
“If a mistake is made on your part, please do your best to make it right. Please let common sense rule over policies and procedures. If you resolve the situation beyond what I expect I will be thrilled.”

“I am interested in hearing from you occasionally if you have information that enhances my experience or educates me about your product or service. Please do not share my contact information or consider it an open invitation to place other items in front of me several times a week.”
 
“Please be clear on the costs and anything else related to what you are offering. If I am unpleasantly surprised I will be unhappy. It is likely that I will take my business elsewhere in the future, and tell others about my poor experience.”
 
“Do what you do best and don’t offer more than you can deliver. Referring me to another product or service if you can’t help me is impressive and it motivates me to do business with you in the future.”
  
“In the end, I hope that you delight me more than you satisfy me. If I am delighted, I will tell others about you and be unreachable by your competition.”

Are you ready to wow your customers? We’d love to hear about your next print marketing project–we’re good listeners. Let’s talk.

There’s Nothing Better Than a Good Story

A simple and powerful way to create connections.

Since the beginning of time, stories could transport us to a different time and place. More importantly, they have the power to insert us into the story as if we are experiencing it ourselves. Great stories resonate with us because they share a belief or value that we embrace. That’s why they’re memorable and persuasive.

Movies are a great example of powerful storytelling. It’s why we laugh, cry, cover our eyes, or yell at the screen when one of our values are violated. If you think about it, most of the information we experience in our everyday lives are in the form of a story: texts, news, sports highlights, reality shows or even a conversation with a co-worker.

In its purest form, a story has three most basic elements: 1. a character 2. overcoming an obstacle 3. reaching a goal. The same features apply when you build your business story.

Building a Powerful Business Story
Let’s apply the format to your business. A business with a product or service (the character) wants to bring awareness (the obstacle) to consumers to make a purchase and share their positive experience with others (the goal).

That’s a simplistic example, but creating a powerful and lasting connection between your business and your customers is a complex marketing journey.

What a Powerful Business Story is Not
The standard business story goes something like this,

“Tom needs a lawn mower to cut his grass, so he goes to the store and buys a Lawn Monster 27 mulching lawn mower with premium direct drive, ultra mulching blade technology, and electric start. Tom loves how great his lawn looks, and it takes less time to cut than with other lawn mowers. Buy a Lawn Monster mower today!”

The story does communicate the product, points of difference, and a call to action to buy one, but it’s a pretty dull story. It creates no connection because it’s product-focused rather than customer-focused.

A Better Approach
Now let’s reword it to create a connection.

“To the homeowner who understands the value of reliable lawn equipment, considers a well-trimmed lawn a reflection of themselves, and who politely dismisses the compliments from friends and neighbors, but quietly feels a sense of pride. Lawn Monster mowers don’t cut grass; they make lawnscapes.”

The difference between the two stories is undeniable. The first one has no personal connection; the second one puts the consumer into the narrative by connecting what the brand stands for with what the consumer believes or values.

Connections like the above are far more likely to turn consumers into customers and hopefully into cheerleaders for your business.

Nike is a good example. It sells all types of athletic equipment, but what it sells is entirely different from the story it tells. Nike brand stands for achievement, perseverance, discipline, and dedication.

You can see it in their tagline, “Just Do It.”. It resonates on a deep level because it’s the same thing that little voice in our head says when we’re deciding to go to lunch or to go for a run.

All long-term relationships are built on shared values–not products.

12 Reasons Print Still Matters in the Digital Age

Print is Tangible
Your message in print is something your audience can touch, feel, and even smell in some instances. It creates a physical interaction between you and your audience, as they open it, turn the pages, or remove a special offer or mail-in response.

Print is Credible
Communicating in print has an implied level of credibility to the recipient. The investment made by you to convey your message in print means that it has value.

Print is Personal
In many ways, a direct mail campaign is like a digital advertising campaign. Reach targeted segments of your market their interests, income, or many other audience demographics.

Print is Engaging
Consumers (even millennials) continue to retain a higher level of interest in printed material. They read at a rate as much as 30% higher versus digital text. It increases the chance that your message will be read, understood, and better yet, not diluted by off-topic comments or other advertising in the sidebar.

Print is Memorable
Communicating in print has a “stickiness factor”. Research in neuromarketing reveals that print has a much higher retention rate than digital content. Another finding is that your message is more persuasive. Your audience can only respond if they remember that you’re a purchase option.

Print is Polite
Print is voluntary, so your message never interrupts or intrudes on your intended audience. Digital, TV and radio advertising is often an obstacle to get to the intended content. Your message in print is an invitation to be viewed when your audience on their terms.

Print is Responsible
Today’s print production processes and materials are renewable and recyclable. Sustainability standards for paper production, the availability of post-consumer paper and water-based inks means that the message you convey in print is a responsible one.

Print is Competitive
An online presence and social proof should be a consistent element of your marketing strategy. Print is a cost-effective channel for enhancing your digital brand and increasing your market share.

Print is Multilingual
Speak to your audience in their language. It reinforces the connection you have with your audience and multiplies your reach. Printed content also has the added advantage of communicating multiple languages simultaneously.

Print is Multidimensional
Print goes well beyond height, width, and depth. Shapes, textures, colors and high-quality images add dimensionality to your message that goes well beyond it being viewed on a screen.

Print is Measurable
QR codes and targeting landing pages give you the metrics you need to measure your ROI. A  direct mail campaign with message subsets gives you the insight to refine and adjust your message for a higher response rate.

Print is Multidirectional
Print is an excellent channel for pointing your market to your digital presence. QR codes and personalized landing pages seamlessly transport your audience to highly targeted information offerings.

It’s likely that we can help you with your next print marketing project in a tangible, credible, engaging and personal way–for starters. Let’s talk.

Wallace Graphics Branding has won GOLD in the 2018 Hermes Creative Awards

Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional and emerging media.

Hermes Creative Awards is administered by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (www.amcpros.com). The international organization consists of several thousand marketing, communication, advertising, public relations, digital media production and freelance professionals. AMCP oversees awards and recognition programs, provides judges and awards outstanding achievement and service to the profession.

Judges are industry professionals who look for companies and individuals whose talent exceeds a high standard of excellence and whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry. There were
about 6,500 entries from throughout the United States and 21 other countries in the Hermes Creative Awards 2018 competition. Of the entries, 22 percent won the Gold Award.

Being a Gold Winner is a tremendous achievement that is symbolized by the intricately detailed Hermes Gold awards. The name Hermes (Greek messenger) and the idea for the award were chosen to represent our roles as the messengers and creators of marketing and communication materials and programs.

 

SunTrust Park/Delaware North Window Film Printing and Installation

19 windows were output and installed on site The customer wanted the look of RTA vinyl, but liked the idea Of using an optically clear film and printing the graphics on – so Fans could not pull the individual pieces of vinyl off the windows.

The look was achieved using optically clear film and printing color Images backed with white ink. The panels were installed on the face Of the windows because the windows had been tinted already.

It was a great look, and the hope is to generate more sales by letting fans know that the building is a restaurant.

 

L3 Custom Lobby Interior by Wallace Graphics

L3 asked Wallace Graphics to assist with updating their lobby. We suggested a large mural for their main lobby wall and dimensional Acrylic logo to add depth to the image selected by the customer.

Wallace’s team output the wallpaper, fabricated the dimensional type and installed it all on site in Alpharetta, Georgia.

The customer was so happy, that 6 more wall murals were designed and installed in the rest of the facility!

 

Wallace Graphics Acquires MegaBytes Digital

Local, Family-Owned Printing Business Expands Large Format Service Lines with Strategic Acquisition

(STONE MOUNTAIN, GA) – Wallace Graphics Inc., Atlanta’s premier printing solutions provider, has acquired Alpharetta-based firm MegaBytes Digital, a leading large format and signage business. The acquisition represents the company’s strategic move to grow and expand its service lines to large format printing, as well as broaden existing digital services. The combined business will operate under the Wallace Graphics brand from our new, 70,000-sf freestanding building in Duluth, GA.

Founded in 1987 by John Wallace, Wallace Graphics Inc. has grown steadily over the past three decades to offer a wide range of print services, expert customer service and industry changing value. Family-owned and currently operated by Wallace’s two sons, Wallace Graphics focuses on maintaining a youthful, high-energy approach to offering superior printing solutions to a loyal customer base of thousands of successful clients.

With the addition of MegaBytes Digital, Wallace Graphics now offers turnkey print solutions – from digital and sheet-fed printing to custom signage, and large format capabilities for retail and point-of-purchase displays, trade show graphics, wallpaper murals and automotive wraps. The expanded business serves as a single source provider for full marketing campaigns from design, digital, small format printing, large format printing and direct mail.

“The acquisition of MegaBytes Digital has diversified and expanded our business,” says Jonathan Wallace, President of Wallace Graphics Inc. “In our 30 years of business, we have grown from a single small printing press to a larger operation that can provide complementary design and production services for digital campaigns all the way through physical signage. By bringing MegaBytes Digital into our evolving team, we run the gamut of services we provide to clients.”

With 75 full-time employees and steady growth, Wallace Graphics is relocating to its new facility in Duluth on December 15 to accommodate the company’s expansion. The new facility is designed to optimize efficiency among the creative workforce and centralize the company’s service lines in one dynamic space. With the larger, all-inclusive facility, the team can better collaborate to brainstorm ideas and offer our clients tailored approaches and continuity to comprehensive marketing campaigns. Wallace Graphics has plans to hire high-energy employees at its new location at 2450 Meadowbrook Parkway in Duluth. A ribbon cutting is also planned for December 15 at 11:30 a.m.

“By providing visually-stunning print products, we offer local and national customers the opportunity to showcase their products and services,” continued Wallace. “We are excited to help growing businesses achieve continued success with our improved, customized delivery services.”

About Wallace Graphics Inc.

Founded in 1987 in historic downtown Stone Mountain, Georgia, Wallace Graphics Inc. provides comprehensive printing services for clients in a variety of markets. With a mission to provide the best printing and most helpful service in its community, the company offers handcrafted offset and digital printing solutions with a distinctly human approach each and every day. The company takes pride in printing the strikingly beautiful documents that contribute to our clients’ success. Wallace Graphics prioritizes respectful relationships with its customers and vendors to offer premier printing services while maintaining its uncompromising principles of good service and community development. For more information, visit www.wallacegraphics.com.

Media Inquiries

Jerry Carbone

Director of Marketing

Wallace Graphics Inc.

P: 770-723-0202

E: jerry@wallacegraphics.com

How Vehicle Wraps Can Advertise Your Business

The opportunities for advertising can be mind-boggling. In addition to traditional advertising in printed media, on radio and TV, and on the Internet, digital printing opens up a whole new world of potential exposure. Whether you want on-site advertising, dimensional signs for trade shows, or some sort of retail display, there is a wealth of choice.

Fleet Graphic Wraps

One form of advertising that often slips the list of options, particularly for smaller businesses, is vehicle wraps. Yet vehicle wraps can provide an incredibly powerful form of sharing brands, products, services, and generally expanding your business as a whole.

Value of Vehicle wraps

Literally used to “wrap” your vehicle, vehicle wraps are engaging and can reach a wider audience than most other forms of advertising. Of course, it depends on how many vehicles you choose to use for advertising and how much time they spend on the road. But generally, vehicle wraps are cost effective and they can be redone more frequently than billboards for a much smaller investment.

Vehicle wraps are also an invaluable form of local advertising because you can target exactly the areas you want. If you’re driving around the neighborhood where you generally do business then your customers and potential customers are likely to spot your moving advert. If you drive further afield, there’s a good chance you’ll attract at least some additional business interest, depending on the products and services you offer.

How to Use Vehicle Wraps

It depends largely on the way vehicle wraps are designed.

While brightly colored wraps will certainly make your vehicles stand out from the others, the message needs to be clear. Lots of wordage is unlikely to be read, but pictures will only tell the story if they are clearly defined. The simplest example is to use photographs of the product you want to advertise, perhaps with a simple slogan. But if you are advertising a service you may need to use generic images and just a few words with great impact.

If this is an advertising medium that appeals to you, Atlanta-based MegaBytes Digital can help. Contact us now for ideas and a quotation.

Choose a Storefront Sign That Sets You Apart from Your Competition

If you have a real-time store it’s vital that you choose signage that will set you apart from your competitors. That is one of the best ways that you will be able to excel in your line of business.

window sticker | window vinyl | retail display

While there are a number of different types of signs that can be used outside and on buildings to help market a business, not all signs are suitable for a storefront as such. For instance, a pole or pylon sign might draw attention to the fact your store exists, but a wall sign will have a much bigger impact especially if it is mounted above or adjacent to the entrance of your store.

The Value of a Good Storefront Sign

Storefront signs don’t just identify businesses. Provided they are well designed they have the ability to attract a lot more customers to any business.

Above all else, the fact is that a storefront sign creates a first impression. If it’s good you’re likely to attract new business. Even if it is mediocre you are likely to attract new trade. But either way you do need to reflect your identity and the brand you want to market.

Choosing a Good Storefront Sign That Will Help Get You More Business

Storefront signs need to tell the story of the store, its products, and brands they are promoting and selling. Generally, a clean, attractive sign will attract attention. It should be clearly visible from street level and should reflect the corporate identity of the business.

Color is also important, and it helps if business owners are able to recognize the impact different colors have. While we all have our own favorite colors some colors have different effects across the board. For example, red comes across as a stimulant while blue is cooling and yellow is regarded as a happy, cheerful color. Blue is also a trustworthy color that represents dependability.

But no business can consider and expect results based on the impact of color in a sign alone. The company’s corporate colors, as well as the colors used in their logo, are also of paramount importance. In addition to colors that make an impact, a readable typeface and a good message are essential.

Wallace Graphics has a wealth of experience in terms of what works and our professional team can help you decide on a storefront sign that will set your business apart from your competition. Contact us to arrange for a consultation that will help you get the best signage in your business.

What Effective Signage Can Do For Your Business

Effective signage is one of the most important marketing strategies business owners can use to advertise their company, products, and/or brand.

Research shows just how powerful signage can be, particularly in terms of new businesses. For instance, the US Small Business Administration reports that a 24-month study of 165 small independent businesses revealed that half of their new customers were drawn to the business by exterior signage.

What Makes a Business Sign Effective?

window clings | retail signs

While there are a number of options when it comes to choosing business signs, there are some proven standards that make a business sign effective:

  • It must be specific in terms of the message it communicates.
  • Remember the KISS principle: keep it simple stupid. You have just five seconds to get the message across.
  • The message should be concise and clear with just enough information to get it across.
  • It must stand out rather than blend with the background. The use of a single color, a bold logo, or another kind of image can be immensely powerful.
  • Make sure it has a good call to action that will entice customers in the door or encourage them to buy a product.

Of course, signage isn’t always external. Businesses also use signs inside their stores to identify different departments, direct customers through their store or building, or to advertise in-house.

Regulations for Exterior Business and Advertising Signs

Every town, city, and/or community has rules and regulations that relate to exterior business signs and boards used for advertising. Before you have your business sign designed and made make sure you know what is allowed in your area. Regulations will specify sizes (width and height of the sign itself) as well as the height of the post or pole on which it will be erected, or where it may be displayed on a building. Allowable materials may also be specified.

Some communities place restrictions on color and letter sizes, and some even limit message content.

You will find this information at your local authority or zoning commission office.

Types of Signs for Business Use

There are many different types of materials that may be used for effective signage. There are also many sign variations including:

  • Simple pole signs where the sign is mounted on a post or pole and normally utilized by one company only.
  • Pylon signs that are frequently used by commercial operators at shopping centers, malls, hotels, and along the freeway. These usually display multiple signs and promote the businesses that are located close to the sign.
  • Wall signs that are erected on buildings above or near the entrance to a building. These range from flat signs and dimensional advertising boards that comprise lettering to signs that are illuminated from behind of within the sign.
  • Awning sides that are mounted over windows.
  • Window signs made with graphics that are stuck onto the glass of windows.
  • Vehicle signs and billboards mounted on trailers drawn by vehicles.

Of course, the material used depends on the type of sign chosen, which in turn will dictate price.

Wallace Graphics is well placed to help Georgia businesses choose the most effective business signs. Call us today for more information and advice. We’re here to help.