4 New Year's resolutions for your business in 2019

Posted by digitalpress on 24 January 2019
4 New Year's resolutions for your business in 2019
The year end is a natural time for planning, so why not write some goals for the year ahead? Here are 4 great resolutions to get your started and tips on how to keep them.

1. we will prioritise customer experience
Did you make your customers feel special this year? Research shows that 66% of customers who switch brands do so because of a poor service experience, so it's a pretty crucial consideration.

But as customer expectations change, how do you know the standard you should be aiming for? Of course, courtesy goes a long way you'd never be rude, ignore enquiries or fail to fix a mistake. But over time, best practices and technologies evolve and advance, making customer satisfaction a moving target. Fortunately, the best way to find out what customers want is easy just listen.

How to keep your resolution
Here are a few ideas for assessing your customer experience:

  • Collate your online reviews and any complaints/emails to look for trends and repeated themes. These are the points to tackle first in the new year.
  • Looking at your existing customer base, work out what percentage of your customers were returning vs new. A lack of returning customers could point to a poor experience. Work on cultivating repeat business and consider checking in with first-time customers to make sure they're happy.
  • Run a short, anonymous survey among customers on your database asking for ratings on common metrics like delivery times, website experience and interactions with staff. This will give you a baseline to measure improvements against.
  • Keep an ear out on social media, whether it's checking your Twitter mentions during the working day, or automating your social listening with software.

2. we will have an up-to-the-minute social strategy
Few things move faster than social media. That's why you should regularly review your social strategy to make sure you're still focusing on the areas that will best benefit your business.

If you have a dedicated social media team or an expert on staff, they should be able to point towards any obvious improvements that require extra budget or different ways of working. If you're approaching it from a generalist perspective, fear not it's probably easier than you think to make improvements.

How to keep your resolution

  • Check you're using the right channels. Although the 'big' social names like Facebook and Instagram are unlikely to change much year-on-year, it's worth keeping an eye on emerging technologies and networks, particularly if your customer base includes under 25s, and consider adopting new platforms or jettisoning old ones.
  • Make sure your update frequency is optimal. If you're posting too often or too infrequently, you could be wasting resources. It's worth looking at your mix of promotional updates vs. interesting content as well. You may want to ramp up the content and play down the promotions, or vice versa.
  • Check your policies and approaches are up to date. As with customer experience in general, your interactions on social need to be in line with what your audience is expecting, whether that's the speed of your replies or how you tackle difficult questions.

3. we will have a brand that does our company justice
Branding isn't just the colors on your letterhead done right, it's the backbone of your business identity. The new year is a great time to check that your current branding is still working for you, and make sure it expresses your company's values, personality and strengths.

How to keep your resolution
Give your brand a once-over to make sure it's performing in all the important ways.

  • Do a competitor review compare your branding against similar businesses to make sure you're still distinctive and not falling behind current design conventions
  • Assess your tone of voice with a quick spot-check across your website, emails and social. Pick a few pages, tweets or newsletters at random to get a representative sample.
  • Review your brand values and make sure they're in line with the way your staff members feel, speak and act. If there's a discrepancy, either your brand or your company culture may need to be refined.

4. we will deliver a great employee experience
Most businesses know the value of a great customer experience, and as of recently, employee experience is receiving a similar level of recognition. Why not take the new year as an opportunity to make sure you're taking good care of those all-important human resources?

Employee experience starts at the interview stage (or on seeing the job ad, if you're being precise), and continues to the point of exiting a company, so this is a resolution your entire organization can get on board with.

How to keep your resolution

  • Make a great first impression by onboarding new employees well. A warm welcome goes a long way towards getting new hires up to speed and happy in their environment.
  • Open up channels of communication so your staff can feed back honestly and openly. An online survey is a popular. option, or you could go the lo-fi route with a comments box in a communal space.
  • Review your benefits package. Are your staff perks up to scratch?
  • Keep an eye on work-life balance. Do you offer flexible working or an option to work remotely? Can staff organise their time to suit childcare and other commitments?

Wishing you a Happy New Year from everyone at DigitalPress, do CONTACT US about all your printing needs in the New Year, we look forward to chatting.

{Source: Moo.com}

Posted in: Inspiration  

What your branding says about your business

Posted by digitalpress on 17 January 2019
What your branding says about your business

The choices you make about style, tone, look and feel are the blueprint of your brand. Here's how they reflect your business personality.

Colour
When considering your business branding, colours are often the first thing that springs to mind. There are some established associations between colour and mood. Everyone's associations are slightly different though, depending on their life experiences so these are trends not rules.

  • Red is bold, exciting and energetic
  • Purple is creative and calm
  • Green is peaceful and natural
  • Yellow is optimistic and positive
  • Orange is fun and confident
  • Blue is trustworthy and strong

Beyond this, your colour choices mean something in your particular industry. Blue, for example, might be classic for a bank but a distinctive choice for a bookshop. What's typical for businesses in the same niche as yours? Whether you tap into the established norms or break the mold with a new approach will say something about who you are as a company.

Font
We love fonts and we can pretty much talk forever on how to use them in your branding. Because fonts have such a rich cultural history, lettering style can have a huge impact on how you're perceived. Here are a few considerations:

Serif or sans serif?
Serif fonts are classic and elegant, and carry a sense of tradition and authority. Sans serif fonts are more modern, minimal and a little bit cool. Think Times New Roman vs Helvetica.

Multiple fonts or one?
Using several fonts at once adds energy and could even make things look a little busy, indicating a brand that's full of ideas and always has something new happening. Sticking to a single font means you'll come across as calm, purposeful and deliberate, with a no-fuss approach to getting things done.

Script and decorative fonts
If you choose decorative or script-style fonts, you can create a trendy throwback aesthetic or a timeless, classic feeling. And depending on your font choice, a handwriting-like style can also create a more personal, casual feel.

Illustration style
Few aspects of design are as expressive as illustration, and every artist has their own take on crafting editorial or creative imagery. That said, there are a few trends that most brands fall into. If you're using digital illustration, there are two primary types

  • Curvy, stylised digital vector illustrations are modern, fun and clean-looking. They often go hand in hand with tech and innovation, and are a staple among start-ups. Flat colors and clean lines are hallmarks of this style, which is often used in infographics. Vector illustrations can be easily edited in Adobe Illustrator CC, for print, web, and mobile-friendly designs.
  • Then there's the hand-drawn digital illustration style, which uses line, hatching and shading to emphasize a human element in your business and suggest creativity and artisan skills.

Of course, any kind of art can be part of your brand, from collage to watercolor, but generally, choosing analog formats rather than digital will give your brand more of an old-school, handmade identity.

Tone of voice
Tone of voice isn't just about what you choose to say the way you say it also plays a big part.

  • Does your brand use contractions (isn't, we'll)? Do you talk about yourselves in the first rather than the third person? (i.e. "We started out" not "Acme Company was founded") If so, you have a more informal tone of voice. This is a friendly tone that makes you more approachable to new customers.
  • A popular tonal approach is to use lyrical and witty language, which can be tricky to pull off one person's playful is another person's silly. But if you do this well, you'll come across as clever, approachable and competent.
  • Then there's the minimal style. If you use short statements with few descriptive words and allow images or data to take center stage, your tone of voice suggests that you're confident and quality-oriented you let the products and services do the talking

Whatever your approach, take note if your brand tone originates with a single founder or staff member, it will only be with you as long as they are. Write down a few style rules to make sure it lives forever! Read more about capturing your brand's spirit in our guide to building your brand culture and our step-by-step primer on building brand values.

The secret ingredient consistency
A brand is like a sports team every player counts, and they all need to work together. To make sure your 'team' of brand elements is performing at its best, make sure they all show up when they're needed, every time, every place.

So if your design is on point and your tone of voice is perfect, but your font choices are random and unplanned, it's never going to be a winning combination. Likewise, if you've got beautifully branded Business Cards but your website design isn't recognizably similar, your brand personality won't always shine through.

To see how we can help you get your branding and identity off to a strong start in 2019, send us an enquiry or give us a call today on 1300 377 377

{Source: Moo.com}

Posted in: Inspiration  

Bringing Print to Life: Beginning with Augmented Reality

Posted by digitalpress on 10 January 2019
Bringing Print to Life: Beginning with Augmented Reality
Print always has value. It communicates. It intrigues. It helps to tell a story. Sometimes, however, you want print to deliver more. Augmented Reality can meet that request by creating a link between print and other media to extend a story, add more information, or add some fun! Augmented Reality can be implemented in several ways. Some require deep investments with months of planning, but others can be quite simple to implement.

Augmented Reality (AR) is a mature technology that has evolved over the last 15 years. In retail settings alone, Statista projects that the market for Augmented Reality solutions will be a half billion-dollars by 2020, growing to $1.6 billion in 2025. Augmented Reality works without barcodes, QR codes, or specialized watermarking and it can be added well after the original designs are approved. In fact, they can be added even after the piece has been printed and delivered to a client as an add on.

Print powered by Augmented Reality can be intriguing enough that people keep the print for much longer than average and continue to engage with it. AR solutions are perfect for marketing campaigns and instructional support. If you work with media planners and buyers they always look for consumer engagement, so it's no surprise that a Vibrant Media study (May 2017) found that 67% of surveyed media planners and buyers want more Augmented Reality options for their marketing campaigns.

If you buy wine, you may already know the campaign for The Walking Dead Blood Red Blend and Cabernet Sauvignon from The Last Wine Company. The campaign is called Watch the Dead Rise, and uses the Living Wine Labels App on your smart device the wine labels come to life with the story of Rick Grimes, the ultimate zombie hunter, and zombies on the loose. Using the App you see scenes come to life. If a Rick Grimes bottle and a Zombie bottle are placed together, you see a battle as each tries to win victory. This is similar to the grownd breaking 19 Crimes wine campaign which is credited with helping the brand grow 60% in volume sales and 70% in value.

While this example is on a label, AR can be used with anything you print! Labels, invitations, post cards, cookbooks, posters, and brochures can all be brought to life. Use AR to link a poster or catalog to an additional set of experiences. In catalogs the options are endless! The same in stores with opportunities to link end-of-aisle product displays to a video of the many ways to use the product. The opportunity to is link the physical print to the digital world. That digital link might be a web experience or a video experience it's all possible.

This exciting opportunity does require some planning and some new tools. Come back for the next installment to learn more about how to walk through the process!

CONTACT US about all your printing needs.

 

Your definitive guide to Greeting Card trends for 2018 / 2019

Posted by digitalpress on 3 January 2019
Your definitive guide to Greeting Card trends for 2018 / 2019
When it comes to trends for Greeting Cards and Stationery, the playing field is always changing. Taking inspiration from every corner, the trends in paper change as quickly as the clothes in our wardrobe.

It can be a minefield and if you're a stationery designer, how do you know where to begin?

Personalisation
As big as ever, personalisation shows no sign of stopping as we roll into 2019. From smart monogramming to customisable cards, consumers are looking for more and more ways to get the personal touch. Ted and Kip offer personalisation and customisation on all of their designs, proving that offering personalisation doesn't have to mean creating an entirely customisable collection you can work with what you have!

Botanical prints
It might be a little difficult to get yourself in that tropical mood while we're battling the elements, but next year the sun will be back (we promise) and with it comes an influx of tropical-inspired prints that are set to be huge news.

Until then though, pared down botanical prints also work well for the winter months, so embrace foliage, deep dark green and blue hues, accentuated with luxurious gold and bold elements for a wintery take on the trend.

Cards that care
Environmental impact and social responsibility are swiftly transforming from 'nice to have' into 'must haves' for companies looking to build brand loyalty. Companies and products that share the same sustainable values as their customers are more likely to build an army of brand advocates and we all know how important those second, third (and beyond!) orders are.

To add a sustainable layer to your cards, why not consider printing on Recycled paper for starters? You could also team up with a local charity and donate your profits? Or why not lend your services to a local community, club or school? You can shout about your involvement on social media and your website to help build some engagement and show your customers how you're giving back.

Foiling
If there's one trend that isn't going anywhere it's metallic foil. Lending itself to almost every design, style, occasion and event, there's nothing that Foiling can't elevate. Plus, you can combine it with every trend in this article too killing two birds with one stone!

Bold prints
Big. Bold. Bright. Beautiful. This year we looked at geometrics and Aztec styles, but next year it's all about fusing everything together. Mark our words, maximalism is a must-have for 2019! Don't be shy, combine your colours, prints, designs and mix and match to create a stand out collection like no other.

The great thing about this trend is that it caters for everyone due to its influx of styles, colours patterns and shades, so there's something for everyone!

Handmade
The handmade trend has been slowly gaining traction over the last few years in an increasingly digital world, handmade crafts hold more value than ever before. The perception of handmade might immediately strike you as time consuming, but it doesn't have to be! It can be as simple as adding a hand decorated element (like a bow, or some glitter) to your printed cards. Just be sure to call this out adding a sticker to your cellophane bags to let your customers know that their card is hand-finished is an ideal touch.

CONTACT US - we can help you with all your printing needs.

{Source: Printed Blog}

Posted in: Inspiration  

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