Archive for the ‘Brand awareness’ Category

Food for thought…

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

If you’re looking to put a tasty spin on your marketing and sales efforts, think food!  Custom designed food boxes can be used to promote your brand; introduce a new product or services, or to simply say “Thank you”.  Food gifts are fun to receive and can be shared in the office. Think of it as a billboard by the coffee pot. Everyone will know who brought the treats and you have 10-20 valuable minutes of a captivated audience to tell your story as you delight them with delicious treats.

Custom Food Safe Boxes are great for:

  • A New Client gift
  • Customer Appreciation
  • Employee Appreciation
  • Thank you for the referral
  • Introduce and cross sell new products and services
  • Conferences and meetings
  • Any special day to celebrate

With the food scene so ridiculously good in Northeast Ohio, our food theme is “keeping it local”. If you know of any local artisans that create goodies, let us know. We welcome any suggestions!

If you’d like to see samples, let’s schedule a meeting. We promise not to come empty handed!

The Power of the Pen (and Paper)

Monday, January 22nd, 2018

“People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
– Maya Angelou

We love this quote. In fact, it’s hanging on our wall. One of the simplest, most cost-effective ways of making people feel appreciated, loved or valued is to send them a handwritten note.

Building Relationships the Write Way
A handwritten note is such a rare treat these days, and a surefire way to make the recipient feel special. As the Experience economy* becomes more relevant, this is an excellent marketing tool to promote the customer experience.

Go Old School
It’s ironic that now, you can make someone feel special simply by putting pen to paper. There’s something powerful about a thank you note received in the mail vs. receiving a text or email. The extra effort and deliberate thought process involved in writing and sending one is definitely felt and remembered by the recipient.

Be Different
According to John Coleman in an article in the Harvard Business Review, the average home only receives a personal letter once every seven weeks. The stats Coleman cited date back to 2010. I imagine it’s even more a rarity today. What an easy way to stand out!

Tips for Writing Handwritten Notes

  • Don’t fret about your handwriting skills! Your kind words, and the perceived investment in time will make an impression.
  • Keep it to a few meaningful and personalized sentences.
  • Your choice in words – and even the design of the card – becomes a part of the customer experience, and an opportunity for you to express your brand.
  • Build note writing into your marketing and sales process. Carve out time in your schedule each day, or week. Whatever works for you… just do it!

*The Experience Economy, written by Joesph Pine and James Gilmore. 2011. A great business read reinforcing the importance of making unique connections to secure customer affections. (back cover)

The Amazing Beebop Bluetooth Headphones!

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

Here at RAD Graphics, we fight over who gets to use these just about every day. They sound, look and perform great.

I’ve connected these to iPhones, iPads, laptops and computers easily. These can be ordered in quantities as low as ONE, and that’s what makes these great for showing appreciation to an employee, or thanking a client. These bluetooth wireless headphones have a large imprint size and feature…

  • A 33 ft. wireless range
  • Stereo sound with outside noise reduction
  • Multi-function on-ear buttons
  • Built-in microphone for phone calls
  • Cool gift box

Price for one = $41.50

Price for 50 = $32 each


Get better ROI with Food Gifts

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Businesses make significant investments in their holiday gift program, but too often, gift purchases are left to the last minute. The result? ROI is much less than it could have been. However, with a little planning you can be assured of getting the best ROI from your program.

The gifts you send to customers, fellow business associates and employees are a reflection of you and your company. You want to showcase the excellence of your brand by sending a gift that is memorable and exceptional.

Follow these three basic planning steps, and remember, we’re here to help you through the process!

1. Evaluate last year’s program
Think about last year’s program. What did you like about it? What didn’t you like? What went wrong? The answers to these questions will help you get off to a good start with this year’s program.

2. Choose the proper food gifts

  • Gifts for individuals vs. gifts to be shared
    When purchasing gifts for individuals you may want to consider something that serves one or a family. Such as hams, smoked turkeys, or individual gift boxes. However, when selecting gifts for an office environment, options like gourmet towers that can be opened and shared at once are a better choice.
  • The correct gift size
    Choosing the right‐sized gift is an important step. Sending a 12 piece box of chocolate to an individual is fine, but if it is to be shared in an office with 30 people it doesn’t go very far, so it is important to select gifts tailored to fit the recipient. When sending gifts to be shared you will want to send a gift that includes enough for all. We can help you narrow down gifts by the number of people they will serve.
  • Branded gifts deliver more value
    Sending a gift that features your company’s logo on the packaging adds a classy touch and shows that you put extra thought into gift selection. It also helps build your brand by keeping your name top of mind. If you are sending gifts to individuals, you may want to consider gifts that contain a branded item that will be retained long after the food has been enjoyed, such as a cutting board, desk accessory or collectible wooden truck.
  • Special dietary considerations
    Do some of your customers or employees keep Kosher? If so, you will want to select gifts that are certified to be Kosher.

3. Choose the best method of distribution
Personal delivery of gifts is the best way to distribute them. However, because of time and logistical constraints, this isn’t always possible. There are a number of other ways to get gifts into your recipients’ hands…

  • Shipping gifts from your facility
    Shipping gifts from your office or shipping department is a great option if your shipping list is not quite complete at the time you order. Gifts will ship to you as you continue to fine‐tune your list until you’re ready to ship.
  • Shipping directly from the producer
    There are a variety of situations in which it is best to have the vendor ship the gifts for you:

    • Perishable Gifts
      If you are ordering perishable products like hams, smoked turkeys, or natural cheese packages that require refrigeration it is generally best ship those gifts directly to each recipient. It can be difficult to receive a shipment of perishable gifts and then turn around and get them delivered to the recipients in time, especially if you lack necessary storage facilities.
    • Tight Timeline
      If you are on a tight timeline, shipping directly from the vendor can save you valuable time and ensure your gifts are delivered when you want them.
    • Large Orders
      If your order is large, it may be unmanageable to handle the shipping yourself. Simplify the process and reduce stress by having the producer handle the shipping.

When you give a gift, you’re giving an experience. Giving your recipients the best possible experience and in a timely manner will boost your ROI and ensure that your gift and brand will be remembered positively long after the treats have been enjoyed.

RAD Graphics partnered with Maple Ridge Farms as our food gift provider of choice. Maple Ridge Farms gifts are sold exclusively through businesses like ours. They follow FDA guidelines for food handling, labeling and packaging. Their food is fresh and of high quality, and their packaging is beautiful as well as customizable. They offer a wide variety of options and in price points between $10 – $250. Maple Ridge Farms is located in Liz’s home state of Wisconsin – another bonus!

Built-In Marketing Ideas for 2016

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Have Fun today!

It's Fun at Work Day today!

Happy “Fun at Work Day”!


Did you know that today – January 28th – is National Fun at Work Day? If that sounds like another bogus reason to make the day special, consider this… according to Dave Hemseth and Leslie Yerkes, the authors of 301 Ways to Have Fun at Work state “Organizations that integrate fun into work have lower levels of absenteeism, greater job satisfaction, increased productivity, and less downtime.”

Not only is Having Fun at Work important to organizations’ success, noting the day is a great (and fun) way to stay top of mind. Showcase your culture on social channels; tell your clients a funny joke; send a goofy promo item to prospects – the possibilities are endless.

Every business needs to create and execute a marketing strategy throughout the year, so why not work with built-in dates and awareness issues? 2016 is filled with unique and noteworthy reasons to reach out to your market to build awareness and celebrate. Download our guide with a full year of dates, tips and marketing topics broken down by month.

Want more marketing, print and design info you can use? Just click to sign up.

Are You Adding this to Your Marketing Mix?

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Printed materials are making a comeback as a marketing channel that works. Considering how saturated digital marketing is, it’s pretty easy to understand why.

Here are a few reasons you should consider incorporating more print in your marketing mix:

  1. Print allows the reader to chose when they will engage with your brand – Most digital marketing channels are out of mind, out of sight… messages are seen, then gone, and unfortunately, very hard for your audience to remember. Printed materials can be saved for a time when they need or want your information.
  2. Print allows the viewer to “unplug” – In our over-connected, and over-stimulated world of information pushed to us 24/7, it’s critical we unplug from the noise. Now more than ever, your audience will appreciate being able to learn more about your brand without having to be “plugged in”.
  3. Print can help your market remember you – Print is tactile, and touch is one of our most powerful senses when it comes to storing memory and information. Think of how effective a physical piece can be if it encourages your audience to touch and engage with it? Tactile stocks, high & dull gloss finishes, interesting folds, scratch-off’s and cool die cuts – all scream “touch me”!
  4. Print plays well with other media – Quick reader (QR) codes and augmented reality (AR) technologies are just a few ways marketers can link print to mobile ready offers or landing pages. Incorporate digital with print to maximize your engagement and reach. is a great example of a brand creating cross-platform opportunities for advertisers while responding to increasing consumer demand for a curated, printed product. Circulation of their print magazine has grown 40% within the last year to 900,000, and the advertising dollars have followed.
  5. Print is used less, so it stands out more – With so many organizations heavily marketing through online and social channels, there’s a void in the print channel. Why not fill that void before your competition does?
  6. Print can yield a high ROI – A 2010 study by the Direct Marketing Association revealed that for every $1.00 spent on print advertising expenditures, an average of $12.57 in sales were generated. That’s a great ROI, and even better, all industries showed that average.

As you develop your marketing strategies for 2015, consider print a powerhouse in your marketing channel mix. There are so many interesting finishing techniques, stocks and ink options out now to help you create memorable brand touchpoints.

Are you ready to get creative?

RAD Graphics is a tactical marketing firm that helps businesses grow by creating, producing and delivering award-winning pieces and campaigns through a variety of marketing channels, including print. For a free consultation, please call 216-371-3003.

Your business card may be small, but it plays a big role in brand recognition!

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

Last week I went to a few networking events, where I exchanged business cards with those I met.  I was struck by the number of comments I got on our newly designed card… “Wow.. nice card”, “I love the feel”, “What do you do?”.  This small piece of paper plays a big role in reinforcing your brand.

Your business cards can stand out with smart design and print techniques

Business cards collected (and saved) over the last year

What shocked me was that the majority of the business cards I received were quite boring – and forgettable.  Unfortunately, for many professionals, the “art” of the business card has been traded in for quick, cheap and boring.

Let me ask you: are you – or your products or services – cheap or boring?

I didn’t think so.  When you look at your cards, what qualities do they reflect about your professional brand?  Does it give any indication of your unique value, and is it memorable a day or two after receiving it?

Following are a few print techniques you can incorporate to ensure your business card reflects what your brand stands for:

PAPER & MATERIAL: There are so many stock options that have interesting color, texture or weight to  them.  Some even go beyond paper such as plastic, metal and wood.  Explore the options and have fun!

COLOR: We love to design with color… lot of bold, beautiful color!  Consider adding a spot color or metallic for visual punch.

SHAPE & SIZE: There is no reason why a business card must be 3.5″ x 2″.  Design the shape to be different by rounding or clipping corners or trimming to a non-standard size.

SPECIAL FINISHES: Die cutting, foil stamping, embossing and spot varnish can add a unique tactile and visual element to your cards. There are new, unique coatings like spot dimensional UV and soft-touch varnish which add tactile interest without breaking your budget.

So, please banish boring, and talk to a good designer and printer about options that reflect your brand!

FYI, our new card is a 2″ x 2″ square with rounded corners on 3 sides, and finished with a soft touch varnish.  I’m happy to say I’m proud to hand it out!

RAD Graphics is a tactical marketing firm

that helps businesses grow by creating, producing and delivering award-winning pieces and campaigns through a variety of marketing channels, including direct mail. For a free consultation, please call 216-371-3003.

Why Direct Mail Fails, and How to Fix It!

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Direct Mail is still one of the most highly effective marketing channels available to businesses, but it’s also one of the most misunderstood.  It’s complex and costly, and as a result, businesses tend to shy away from it either because of a bad past experience, or the fear of the unknown.  Direct mail can work for almost any business, and it doesn’t have to fail!  The key to success is in understanding this powerful channel’s strengths and weaknesses, so you can determine if and how it fits into your strategic marketing plan.  Some common direct mail fails we see often are:

  • Using a Bad List – Using an old list with obsolete contacts, or too general a list of names not targeted to your market is simply
    Why Direct Mail Fails, and How to Fix It

    Why Direct Mail Fails, and How to Fix It

    a waste of money.  Statistics show that personalized mail nets a higher ROI, but if you’ve ever received a piece with your name mis-spelled, or with someone else’s name, you know it’s actually worse than non-personalized mail.  In the world of direct mail marketing, a good, high quality list is – and always will be – King.  We feel it’s so critical to direct mail success, we created a separate post with tips on building and maintaining a high quality list.

  • Being Ordinary – Look through the mail you get now.  How much truly catches your interest. There’s so much you can do with size, folds, finishes, color and texture, that there’s really no reason to be boring. You’re brand is not ordinary or boring, so why on earth reflect that?
  • Not Knowing USPS Regulations and Options – There’s a lot of details involved in creating and sending a unique and successful direct mail campaign, which is why I think so much of what we all see in our mailboxes is boring. Consult an expert on how to make your mail stand out and get noticed while remaining deliverable for your budget. There are also a few unique products that the USPS offers, including the Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) service that can dramatically save businesses money.  Again, work with an expert that can provide guidance and help you plan.
  • No Clear & Measurable Call to Action – so many times, we receive direct mail pieces that simply ask the recipient to “contact us” or “give us a call”. People are so busy and distracted these days, you need to give them a super clear and strong call to action that includes a deadline, or they’ll set it aside and forget about it.  Consider this: about 40 years ago, the average person was exposed to 500 messages per day.  Today, it’s close to 5,000, so being clear and succinct is crucial now more than ever.  Add an offer code or train your staff to ask the question “How did you hear about us/this offer” when they call, and keep a record of the response you get.
  • No Clear Definition of Success – Knowing specifically what success looks like is critical to determining how to make adjustments going forward. Define success in specifics like: “We’d like to receive 50 calls for more information on our new service line in the next 2 months”.  Keep in mind, that on average, the response rate to direct mail is anywhere between 1- 4%. You want to make sure your definition of success is attainable, so work with a direct mail professional if you need help defining success for you.
  • One & Done – Only sending a mailing one time is such a common error we see.  Direct mail can be extremely effective, but you need to commit to more than one mailing.  Be consistent and constant and your market will realize you’re here to help them, and provide value to their lives or business. Use feedback you gather from your mailings throughout the campaign and tweak as needed.

RAD Graphics is a tactical marketing firm that helps businesses grow by creating, producing and delivering award-winning pieces and campaigns through a variety of marketing channels, including direct mail. For a free consultation, please call 216-371-3003.


How to Choose the RIGHT Promotional Product

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Promotional products and apparel are great for showing your appreciation, launching a new service, or even for building loyalty. The key, of course, is to choose them wisely.  Here are a few tips for choosing the right promotional item for your customers, prospects or employees.

Know Your Target Market
This is the most important place to start.  Keep in mind your audience will accept just about any free item, but the goal is to get them to use it, and that’s why it’s important that the item addresses your target markets needs AND their tastes.

So, who is your target market?  What’s their average age, gender and income level?  What do they struggle with?  If your target market is a business professional, what position do they typically hold?  Analyze your customer base and figure out what makes them tick. You can do this by simply exploring social media sites, or surveying some of your clients directly.  Once you’ve defined who your audience is, it’s easier to find relevant items.  Reach out to us or a professional in the industry for help if you’re still stuck.

Know Your Distribution Method
How will you get these in your target market’s hands?  If you’re including a product in a mailing campaign, chose a light, thin item like a pen or a magnet.  Apparel items and mugs or stemware are ideal handed out in person or at trade shows.

Looks ARE Important
Cheap looking items or those of low quality, or worse, items that don’t consistently work, will reflect poorly on your brand and company reputation.  Always make sure they are good quality.  Keep in mind, that doesn’t mean expensive.

A few more tips to remember:

  • Don’t be boring. You’re not boring, so why should an item that represents your brand be boring? There are so many options for almost any type of product you’re seeking out.  Remember, the objective is to choose an item that gets held on to and used!
  • Choose a product with a long shelf life. The longer it gets used, the better brand exposure you get. Great long term items include lipbalm, unique mugs and quality apparel to name a few.
  • Imprint with your logo and a call to action. Do you want people to visit your website, email you or call?  Whatever you want them to do should be your call to action.  Make sure the color of the item works with your brand.
  • Have a few different items on hand for various occasions. This is a great strategy for trade shows.  Have an inexpensive give-away for all who stop by and a nicer item for those who give them contact info, and an even nicer option for those you have a conversation with.
  • Think ahead! It’s best to get a sample of what you’re interested in ordering so take action weeks – maybe even months – before you actually need the item in hand.  This allows time for you to touch, feel, and even use a sample before committing to a large run.

If you’d like our 3-step worksheet on How to Choose the Right Promotional Item, just send us an email!