Print is often the first point of contact between customers and brands— and printed pieces are often remembered and kept longer than their digital counterparts. We talked with four outstanding print providers about how printers can help clients sustain and grow their brands. Here’s what they had to say:
- Be Consistent.
From Coca-Cola® red, to Intel® blue, to The Home Depot® orange, brands identify themselves by their color. As such, accurate color matching is a goal any printer worth their dots will work hard to accomplish. Bill Chilton, Director of Sales at Blue Ridge Printing, recommends following an established protocol to ensure consistent color.
“First, we encourage the customers to use spot inks, and we explain their advantages over four-color builds,” Chilton explains. “Once a client has printed their initial collateral, the colors are set and must be maintained. We keep sign-off sheets on file to match future printings. We also order drawdowns when printing corporate colors on anything other than white paper. Inks are transparent and a colored sheet will change the color drastically.”
- Make an Impression.
In a crowded marketplace, techniques like die cutting and foil stamping can help brands stand out. Printers can recommend the best techniques to match branding goals.
“Once we have a good understanding of the message our client’s brand is trying to convey, we can utilize unique papers, interesting formats or cool coating techniques to assist the client in communicating that message,” says David McNerney, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Think Patented. “For example, a reticulating varnish can make a piece appear high tech or high end. A soft-touch coating can give a sense of warmth.”
- 3 Build Relationships.
The most successful brands focus on building relationships with their customers, and printers can help them be more successful in this area. Jeff Hernandez, Vice President of Classic Color, recommends variable data and augmented reality to make print campaigns more personal—and more effective.
“Variable campaigns talk to the consumer in a more personal way, offering content that is customized to their needs,” he maintains. “We’re also proponents of augmented reality to tie digital mediums into print and create additional touch points. Their strong analytics capabilities aid in measuring response rates and campaign effectiveness.”
- Be More Than a Vendor.
Printers have a lot more to offer than ink on paper. Today’s communications companies offer everything from strategy, to design, to motion graphics, to 3D animation.
“Our focus is to provide great communication experiences using all aspects of our technology and in-house talents,” said Scott Gray, Vice President of Branding for MET Fine Printers. “Our bindery experts have pushed boundaries with wood, acrylic and metal works. Our large format teams install event-specific environments. And our new media team creates immersive tours with computer generated images that allow users to virtually explore high-end properties and even change lighting and color schemes, with photo-realistic results.”
- Make it a Partnership.
Every printer we spoke with agreed that collaboration is key—the earlier clients start the conversation, the better. If contacted at the concept stage, printers can recommend papers, finish sizes, special techniques and more. Blue Ridge’s Bill Chilton said it best:
“When clients, designers and printers collaborate, you can expect great results.”
Ready to be more than a vendor? Subscribe to our Blueline Magazine to receive fresh new Print Works! content every quarter.