After a long break from writing articles for my blog, I’m finally back. I read some of my older blogs before starting this one and decided I was writing too many rants about bad service and image. You all were going to think I was Mr. “Debbie Downer.” So this blog has a couple of examples of marketing tools that these screen printing companies are using that impressed me. They get “IT”! If you have any suggestions of others whose marketing tool box is impressive, please let me know.
Black Duck (Albuquerque, NM)
I was fortunate enough to get a personal tour of “The Duck” when I was in Albuquerque recently. One of the excellent art/digitizing folks who also runs the company’s Twitter account (www.twitter.com/blackduckinc/) took some time out of his busy day to show me around. Erich is a great guy and is very proud of the shop. After the tour, I could see why he was proud of it. I would be too! Note: Click on images for larger view.
From locating the facility until I left, I knew exactly what they did. They are creative people in a creative business, and I was impressed. The first very positive marketing effort they put forth is their store front. They are located along the frontage road of one of the major interstates in the area and their sign out front is a bright yellow color with large black lettering on either side that says what they do. In the middle is a large, very cool looking 3-dimensional flying duck. Even if I didn’t already have plans to stop by, I would have because the sign grabbed my attention.
Then once I arrived I walked in the front door and was in their show room. Fantastic! They had great samples, good lighting, and it was clean and clutter-free. If I were there to discuss a one-color shirt job I needed, I might be inclined to also ask about a multiple-color job or maybe some cool hats similar to the ones in the show room. Customers can be creative too, and sometimes all it takes is just a little spark and their heads start spinning with the possibilities because they saw all the things your company was capable of producing.
From there, everything else in their shop fit that same bill. Even though I could tell they were very busy, all the production areas were clean, clutter-free, and many of the open wall spaces were decorated with the company’s logo and murals by the creative folks in the art department. Just wonderful show pieces letting the customers know they are in good hands when doing business with this company.
I have yet to have the pleasure of meeting Gabe of My Friend Moomba, but I am certainly looking forward to that someday. I follow him on Twitter (http://twitter.com/MyFriendMoomba) and one day he was kind enough to share his business cards on Twitter for the rest of us to see. (http://twitpic.com/1gy2yx) To say I was impressed is an understatement. They were obviously professionally printed and designed by someone who knows what he/she is doing. They are easy to read and give all the details needed to do business with Gabe. On top of that the back (http://twitpic.com/1gy38f) is a stroke of pure marketing genius. As you see, the back gives the potential customer some space to sketch out their own design and gets them thinking: “Hey, maybe I do need some shirts, and now I know that My Friend Moomba has the ability to make that a reality.” Just a great and easy marketing tool I hope Gabe gives out by the fistful!
Those are just two good examples of some of the garment decorators out there who get what marketing is all about. They didn’t have to spend thousands of dollars to do it; they just took the time and put in the effort to do it right.
Regardless of where you work, there will almost always be times when you have a customer in your shop. Are you going to be proud of it like Erich or are you going to hope they are not grossed out by how messy your shop is. There is a supplier right here in Arizona that I have had people tell me they won’t even go inside because it is such a mess. There are kid’s toys everywhere, empty food containers on the floor, and in general a mess. What is worse is they promote it as an actual store front and invite people to stop by. Take pride in what you do and show it off!
With regards to business cards, as you have read in some of my past blogs, just splurge and spend the $20 (or less) to have them professionally printed. No, we cannot all be as creative as Gabe (my cards pale in comparison), but we can still look professional even if we are a small one-man operation working out of our house.
As I mentioned at the top, I would love to hear other great marketing tools that you have seen or even those you are using that I can feature in upcoming blogs. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.