You have information about your products or services and you want to put it in the hands of customers and potential customers. How do you package it? How do you market it? Let your end-users help you answer those questions.
In 2010, we developed a fold-out brochure for our client Holy Spirit that included all their locations and a map illustrating those locations. The piece, which we named “Find Us Where You Need Us,” was designed to fit into a small pocket on a Lucite stand that also held other material about the health system and was placed in waiting areas of their doctors’ offices and outpatient centers. It gave easy access to information the health system wanted patients and families to have—and that those people wanted as well. It was the perfect size to fit into a purse, jacket pocket or glove compartment.
Since the piece was first printed, it has grown as the health system has grown and is now a handy-sized booklet. Its usage has grown, too, as patients, partnering medical offices, staff and visitors find it helpful over and over again. At one point, the suggestion that the printed piece was not necessary because the same information could be found on the health system’s website was met with an outcry of opposition. The consensus was that lots and lots of people preferred the information in a printed form that they could simply pull out of their pocket.
The evolution of this particular project reminds us of these important points: Your end-users are smart. Listen to them.
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1 She had a little alphabetical fun with her kids’ names.
Julie has four kids who are two years apart: Zach, 27; Elizabeth, 25; Olivia, 23; and Zoe, 21.
“It was pointed out to me when we had Zoe that her name is the first letter of each of the other kids’ names and they thought we planned that, but we did not,” she says. “But we did give Zach and Zoe the same initials on purpose, ZTR.
2 She likes doing upcycle projects.
“I always have some sort of project started in my garage,” she says, “or several at once. I am currently painting a shelf unit for my daughter’s house that she purchased at a yard sale. I also am painting a bedside table that I retrieved from the curbside in my neighborhood. And I have a brass headboard to paint in the line-up, purchased at a used furniture store.”
We’re sure there are many more projects, just waiting in the wings…
3 Around her house, she is “the handyman.”
Julie explains that her dad was “a fix-it guy” and she learned a lot from him.
“I fix things like the toilet, the sink, the kids’ bikes,” she says. “I can put in door locks, replace drywall, paint, put together furniture. I need help with some things, like plumbing, I have a friend who is teaching me. I enjoy fixing things.”
Now you know why we call her “the glue” of our agency!!
We’re honored to have just finished working with Ephrata National Bank (ENB) to tell their story in their 2016 annual report. The cover, shown here, features a photo of the ENB main office, dubbed the “Grand Lady on Main Street,” as it appears today. Inside the report is found a photo of the main office from 1936 that shows how the building’s façade and the name have remained steadfast over the bank’s 135-year history.
This is our fourth year helping ENB with their annual report and it’s rewarding to work with a company of great integrity and strong dedication to the communities they serve.
1 He’s a paper sculpture pioneer.
Jeff did his first paper sculpture in art school for a National Library week contest, which he won. His three pieces became available for schools to purchase and hang in the library.
“Looking back, they were pretty ugly,” Jeff recalls. “But at the time, paper sculpture was not well known or being done by anyone. I thought it was my idea and perhaps it was.”
Jeff began doing paper sculptures for “real” around 1990. His first one was a birthday present for Kim (our art director). He estimates he has completed well over a hundred pieces and sold or given away all but a few.
2 He is a PEZ collector of epic proportions.
At a grocery store in Ohio, during a car show many years ago, Jeff spotted his first novelty PEZ candy dispenser, with a Mario Brothers design. Thinking it was “cute,” he made the first purchase of what would become an outsized passion.
“After that trip, I went online to learn more,” he says. “That’s when I discovered Ebay and the world of people who collect these little pieces of plastic. And that’s when my collection started to grow and my wallet started to shrink.”
Jeff now owns “well over 1,000” PEZ, ranging in value from a few cents to $700. He adds current designs and could be tempted to add older ones…maybe.
“I would need to spend $200 or more on those,” he says. “The mortgage seems more important than a 1970’s Mary Poppins PEZ.”
3 He has always wanted to race cars—so he did!
A trying medical issue in 2003 led Jeff to thinking about things he had always wanted to do but, for whatever reason, had not. And that led to his “novice at best” racing adventure.
It took selling his motorcycle and a prized original 1975 MGB to get him on the road. With his wife’s blessing, he then bought a new 2004 Dodge SRT-4. He made a few more purchases…suspension work, tires, shocks, etc….to transform the car into “a big go-kart on steroids.”
“Next, I discovered racing clubs all over the country where anybody with a ‘normal’ road-worthy car can come to national tracks and race,” Jeff explains. “Really, I’m not kidding.”
His racing adventure took off from there.
“My first event was Watkins Glen, the same track that NASCAR uses and it was a blast,” he says. “I was a race car driver! Although, everyone was passing me. Racing, as it turns out, is really hard to do well.”
Jeff went on to race at Pocono raceway twice, two tracks in West Virginia and Watkins Glenn two more times. He stopped three years ago, but says he may do it again. Regardless, he can list “race car driver” on his resume. For real.
For our client Armstrong Ceilings, we developed a direct mail piece about using their Woodhaven planks to easily make-over an outdated drop ceiling. The piece was targeted to contractors. Using some of the same photos and editing the copy, we created a flyer and statement stuffer for contractors and, with refined copy, a direct mail piece aimed at consumers.
No need to completely re-invent the wheel when you have a darn good wheel to begin with!
Click here to see the direct mail piece.
1 If you can’t recall when you last updated your marketing material, it’s time. If it’s been more than two years, you should at least evaluate your material to assess whether it is still working for you.
2 Do you truly know whether your marketing material is still working for you? Ask your sales people. Ask your customers. You can ask the senior executives in your company, but know that while these smart folks have insight and perspective, you really need the views of staff on the front lines.
3 Do your marketing materials make you look like a modern company? Now, that word may sound like a throwback to another era, but modern connotes contemporary, of current times. Do your marketing materials have a modern look? Is the design contemporary? Of course you want to maintain your unique identity and there can be great value in holding on to components of your company’s legacy. But you also want your customers and prospects to feel they are dealing with a company that’s current, innovative and forward-thinking.
4 Has some major aspect of your business changed? Did you introduce a new product or refine your market niche? Your marketing material may be due for a change as well.
5 Do you look good across all the media you use? Your logo and design style may look great on your printed brochure, business card and website, but what about on an electronic billboard or in an online banner ad? How does your brand hold up on social media, which is an entirely different viewing environment? Now may be a good time to update your logo, typefaces, color palette and other design components of your corporate identity to ensure that you stand out and are consistently identifiable wherever you are in the public realm.
Here are some marketing pieces we are proud to have created for some great clients.
Have questions about your marketing material? We have answers. Call us at 717-569-7705 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 19th annual YWCA Lancaster Race Against Racism is coming up this Saturday, April 29, starting at 9 a.m. The Race starts and ends at Musser Park, East Chestnut and Lime Streets, in downtown Lancaster, and goes on rain or shine. A host of local businesses support the Race and more and more people participate every year. You can run or walk or both along the 5k/3.1 mile course. A Kids’ Fun Run begins at 10 AM.
This is a favorite event of ours, and it’s not just because we’ve provided pro bono design support since the race’s first year. It’s because, with its focus on eliminating racism and empowering women, the event deserves attention.
Along with the Race, a Humanity Fest runs from 7:00–11:30 a.m., to showcase the cultural diversity of the local community. Ethnic foods, locally handmade crafts and fair trade products from around the world will be featured.
The Race Against Racism is a great way to spend a Saturday morning and an important way to show community spirit. There is still time to register, so gather friends and family and join in the fun!
Visit ywcalancaster.org for more information.
A million dollar budget? We’ve managed that.
$10,000 budget? We can make that work.
No matter the amount, we treat our clients’ budget with care and expertise – as if it was our own money!
Here’s what one client had to say on our amazing budget-maximizing abilities:
“TCG worked within our budget so that it was affordable to create a new website for Wee Care Day School. The result has been a continuous flow of emails/phone calls for future enrollments! I love working with this group of creative people.” – Kristin Troop, Owner, Wee Care Day School