Archive for February, 2009

Emotional Marketing in a Tight Economy

February 12, 2009

This morning I read an intriguing article in the Minneapolis/St Paul Star Tribune, titled The One Thing. Even in this tough economy, there are certain guilty pleasures we can’t live without. Readers wrote in about what they continue to purchase purely for happiness sake, even when times are tough. Among the items listed:

  • $4-$10/each handmade soaps
  • $10 bouquet of fresh flowers
  • $10-$12/4 pack of Surly beer
  • Specialty hobby books and hobby supplies
  • Bombay Sapphire martini
  • Gucci handbags
  • $300 jeans
  • Nail salon service
  • silk thread for needle work
  • Blockbuster subscription
  • Organic groceries and other specialty grocery items (dark chocolate, hot chocolate, real maple syrup)

My impression of the list? When consumers are emotionally invested in a product or service, they will continue to purchase it. What’s that mean from a marketing standpoint? Some ideas:

  1. Small companies: now is the time to connect with your core customer base. Take an extra moment to let your core customers know that they are important to you, too. Consumers like to know that the money they spend is doing a dual purpose: they’re getting the good or service they desire and they’re supporting a company they believe in. Let customers know that you think they’re special too: it could be as simple as taking a moment to talk with them in the store, giving them a quick call to thank them or follow up on a recent service, or sending a personal note.
  2. Promote your product or service as a guilty pleasure. Take advantage of the fact that consumers are selectively spending money on products they value. While competitors slash prices, you can stand out in the crowd by calling out your product’s exceptional quality and value.
  3. Help consumers to see your product or service as essential to a lifestyle. How does your product fit into the consumer’s identity? A lot of people in the Star Tribune poll mentioned items associated with hobbies. Hobbies certainly provide pleasure for consumers, but they are also a key aspect of the consumer’s identity—people define themselves by the activities they do, and cultivate the image that goes with it. Let consumers know that your product or service is the ONE THING that communicates their lifestyle, more than anything else.

It occurs to me that these are tried and true marketing strategies in any economy and not necessarily earth-shattering in their revelations. However, those businesses who can capitalize on consumer’s emotional spending are likely to fare best in this economy. Now, pardon me while I go purchase some gourmet coffee pods, sushi, and an Us Magazine.

Adding video to your website

February 5, 2009

With video compression technology becoming more sophisticated in its ability to turn large video files into web-friendly file formats, it’s now possible for nearly anyone to include video on your website. But should you include video on your site? Here’s what video can do for you:

1. Give you more visibility. Through video, audiences get to see more aspects of your business, whether it’s a tour of your facility or facets of your or your company’s personality.

2. Provide entertainment. Videos can allow your company to show off their creativity, as well as their products and services. A good script writer, combined with excellent videography and editing can really make your business shine to prospective clients.

3. Create a multi-sensory experience. Video appeals to multiple senses at once, allowing a more active connection with your audiences. Viewers are likely to stay engaged longer because they aren’t simply reading.

Thinking about making a video? See the following offer from Women in Networking!

Create Your Own Promotional Video
An affordable special opportunity to market on a whole new level!

Tuesday, February 24
Time: Reserve the time slot that works for you
Shoot location: InBeaute Photography Studio, St. Paul

WIN is excited to offer a one-day, one-stop video shoot, where WIN members can create a professionally produced video (complete with make-up artist, teleprompter and lighting in a professional studio) for marketing their own businesses on a whole new level and be set apart from their competition.

More and more, clients are searching for businesses through the internet. What would happen if you took some of your marketing dollars earmarked for outdated marketing that isn’t working for you (e.g. one time print ads, phone book) and shifted it over to interactive marketing where clients could get a sense of who you are and what you do?

By collaborating with new member, Brenda Piekarski of Pixelle8 Media, WIN members can receive their very own video for just $290. (To shoot a video on your own, it would easily cost well over $1000 per person with the cameras, teleprompter, lights, makeup, studio, editing). Brenda is a professional videographer experienced in working with business professionals and executives with companies such as Carlson Companies.

Your personal video shoot includes:

High quality video shot with white background that you can use to promote your business again and again such as on your website, blog and at tradeshows

Professional makeup application with Christina Snead from Blink! Christina will bring out your best clean, professional image with makeup specially suited for video

Teleprompter so that you can follow your script while maintaining eye contact with the camera

Editing to a polished 30-60 second video ready to go for your marketing

BONUS: If you would like to provide a video testimonial -no extra charge- about your experience with Women In Networking, you’ll get added visibility through WIN’s marketing and website!
Time-slots are limited. Reserve your video shoot soon so that you can be included in this incredible opportunity!

$290 WIN members/$990 guests

Environmentally-responsible printers

February 2, 2009

Mix Creative has relationships with several environmentally responsible printers that participate in the Printing Industry of Minnesota’s Great Printer Environmental Initiative, a voluntary effort by printers to demonstrate their commitment to minimize their company’s impact on human health and the environment while producing quality printed products for their customers. According to the Printing Industry of Minnesota’s website, Great Printers go beyond what is required by government regulatory agencies in environmental, health and safety compliance. Great Printers are green printers, and must meet the following criteria:

1) Sign the PIM Great Printer Environmental Initiative Principles.
This commits the company to:complying with all applicable environmental, health and safety requirements; going beyond compliance by minimizing wastes, reusing or recycling waste that cannot be prevented and maximizing energy efficiency; and pursuing continuous environmental, health and safety improvements.

2) Complete an Environmental, Health & Safety Compliance Audit annually or once every 36 months if they have a written and effective environmental management system ( EMS) in place that meets the PIM Great Printer Environmental Initiative EMS Plan Requirements.

3) Pursue Beyond Compliance Projects:
The company must have completed at least one beyond compliance project within the last five years and must currently be working on at least two other beyond compliance projects, one beyond compliance project if a company is renewing their participation in the initiative.  Beyond compliance projects are those projects that a company undertakes that have either an environmental
or an employee health or safety benefit to them.

To read more about the Great Printer Environmental Initiative, and to find additional printers not listed here, please visit the Printing Industry of Minnesota’s website:

Mix Creative recommends the following printers, all of which are FSC certified and voluntary members of the Great Printer Environmental Initiative:

Bolger Vision Beyond Print
Minneapolis, MN
Rep: Tammy Sly, 651.334.0739

Shapco Printing
Minneapolis, MN
Rep: Dana Hackett, 612.278.1534

Visions Print Communications
Plymouth, MN
Rep: Stuart Weeldryer, 612.701.7769

We also recommend:
Upfront Printing
In addition to being FSC certified, UpFront is innovative in finding ways to reduce waste throughout the printing process, while also using sustainable fibers and inks.
Minneapolis, MN
Rep: Mark Toskey, 612.884.0204

An addendum:

Yay! Since I wrote this post, I received an e-newsletter from—one of my go-to sites for inexpensive printing—saying they are now a green printer. You can read more about it on their website. This is great news to me, because it means that environmentally-friendly printing doesn’t just need to be for premium press jobs.

Time for some designer humor

February 2, 2009

From time to time my colleagues send me fun links to spoofs about graphic design and advertising.

A gangsta designer’s self promo:

Make your logo bigger, white space eliminator, etc:

And last, here’s a really cool history of the internet I saw at an AdFed meeting: