Shout Your News with Stylish Printed Announcements

27 Oct

Have you recently won an award, reached a milestone, or done something pretty incredible?

Whether you’re launching a product or expanding to a new market, your business or organization can share the news far and wide with printed announcement cards. In a world of digital noise, the medium is just as important as the message, so why not opt for something more personal and pristine with gorgeous custom announcements?

Share Something Special and Significant

Announcement cards offer a wonderful way to market your events, products, achievements, or stay in touch with your clients. These stylish notes are more than just fluff; they denote something of significance that boosts your brand and business.

Want to put your news at their fingertips? Here are just a few catchy headers:

  • Launching SOON
  • Coming to a neighborhood near you
  • We’re Hiring
  • The Future is HERE
  • You asked, we answered . . .
  • Save 20% more time with _____!
  • We’re growing. Find us at our new location __________
  • The best in the business: presenting our award winning ___________
  • Your new investment expert: welcoming MBA Edwin Harris to our endowment team

Want to have some fun with your announcements? Try one of these energetic theme ideas:

Take a photo of your team holding a sign announcing the news. Add colored party hats, streamers, or sparkling confetti.

Try peel-to-win cards or scratch-off tickets. Everyone loves a surprise, so include peel-to-win promotions (for example: 20-50-75 percent off or an exclusive 10 grand prize winners) as part of your announcement card.

Post a picture of a new location or featured team member using eye-catching props (like pulling a $100 bill from a magician’s hat or posing with a llama that is wearing a birthday hat).

Print a customized puzzle and send it in an envelope, so recipients have to put together the pieces to learn about your exciting news.

Do a mailing to your key referral contacts (or top clients) with a note and gift relating to the announcement. You may use a simple postcard for the majority of customers but add an incentive for others. For example, when announcing your new GOLD status, send bags of gold chocolate coins or gold-dusted chocolate strawberries to your VIP clients.

Keep Readers Curious

Remember, while announcements involve your news, readers will enjoy them more when you make it about THEM.

In all your messaging, focus on how your news translates into value for your friends and customers. Reiterate a special offer, a time-bound coupon, or a free sample for clients who attend your event. Use powerful action calls or “you” statements that convey benefits for the user. Whether you are a political candidate or a neighborhood business, reader-focused messaging gets the best results.

For example:

Measure Strain Without Stress

Make the Most Out of Your ________

Advancing our Community Together

Save $100 on Your Subscription When You Bundle _________ and __________

Something to Write Home About

Printable announcement cards make it easy to send exciting news to your friends and associates without breaking the bank.

From elegantly embossed envelopes to oversized foil-stamped postcards, ensure your message shines strong as you share events, grand openings, sales announcements, and more.

Drive Exponential Growth Through Omnichannel Marketing

23 Oct

The more technology advances, the more it is integrated into our daily lives.

From customized print ads to apps that help you find the kitchen section in your favorite IKEA store, customers are no longer confined to a single channel or platform as they interact with a brand. And as entrepreneurs become increasingly responsive to individual customers’ needs, the lines between what we do on- and offline will continue to blur.

Omnichannel Marketing in Action

An omnichannel experience is a multichannel approach to marketing, selling, and serving customers that unifies many mediums to work together.

Here your print marketing, onsite displays, mobile marketing, and testimonials all tell a consistent story while providing an integrated shopping experience. The focus is on building a stronger relationship between consumers and the brand by smoothing the customer experience, generating consistent content, and multiplying conversions.

What might this look like? The possibilities are as varied as your imagination! Here’s just one example from Coca-Cola:

According to the 2018 World Happiness Report, Romania ranks amongst the top 10 unhappiest countries in Europe.

To turn the Romanian’s attention to the country’s overlooked positive news, Coca-Cola Romania launched an inspiring campaign with the hashtag #halffull and an innovative package.

The special bottle, full from the half up, displays positive news about Romania, and urges people to share their “half full story.” Two hundred bottles were sent to Romanian influencers, and the campaign appeared in contextual outdoor displays, social media videos, and websites.

Marketing manager Luliana Nedelcu said this:

“Optimism and positivity are the heart of the Coca-Cola brand, and what better way to launch a conversation about seeing the half full side than through Coca-Cola’s most iconic asset, the glass bottle? We believe this idea has the power to make a true impact, and the reactions and engagement with the campaign so far are a testament of its success.”

Customers on the Move

Why is omnichannel marketing so important?

Because today’s consumers are always on the move! For example:

  • 98% of Americans switch between devices on the same day
  • 71% of shoppers who use smartphones for research in-store say this has become an important part of their shopping experience
  • Today’s consumers average six touchpoints with a business before making a purchase, with nearly 50% regularly using more than four communication channels

The difference between multichannel and omnichannel marketing is small, but mastering omnichannel marketing can work wonders for your bottom line.

Businesses that adopt omnichannel strategies achieve 91% greater year-over-year customer retention rates compared to businesses that don’t. And companies with robust omnichannel customer engagement see a 9.5% year-over-year increase in annual revenue, combined with a 7.5% decrease in cost per contact.

Why Print Prompts Action

Weaving your print and digital marketing together is an integral part of the omnichannel approach.

Print continues as a catalyst to drive online research and buying practices, and it can spark interest at crucial points in your sales funnel. Data shows that 44 percent of customers visit a brand’s website after receiving direct mail marketing (10 percent more than people who visit landing pages after receiving an email). While under half of all consumers act on an email immediately, almost four out of every five customers will act on direct mail right away. And half of all consumers hold on to print marketing materials for future reference.

Ready to expand the role of print in your omnichannel marketing? We’re here to help you integrate the “moving parts” of your campaigns and point customers to their next best action!

How to Ask for Help at Work

20 Oct

Were you forced to work from home in 2020?

What were your biggest challenges? Perhaps it was learning the necessary technology – or teaching it to others. Maybe it was forming a new business plan. Or perhaps you struggled to meet the workday demands while homeschooling your kids.

If you weren’t stretched this year, you were probably in the minority! And as you reached the end of your abilities, you probably faced a question most people prefer to avoid:

“How can I ask for help without looking weak?”

Though an independent attitude is great, at some point, everyone needs to lean on others. And sometimes, a can-do spirit can push you to take on more than you can reasonably handle, leading to failure or burnout. According to a 2018 Gallup study, 23% of full-time workers reported feeling burned out at work very often or always. And one major reason for this burnout was an unmanageable workload.

Examples of How to Ask for Help

Do you need more help but struggle to verbalize this? If so, having a script to start from can be a push in the right direction. Here are some principles and example “asks” that might be helpful:

Keep it Simple

When you beat around the bush, people sometimes feel manipulated or deceived. Instead, lead with a simple phrase like, “I’m stuck,” or “Can you please help me?”

Be Specific

When you want a clear answer, lead with a specific request.

For example: “Are you free Wednesday morning? I need feedback on my sales report and would greatly value your input.”

Or: “Can you give me a warm intro to Russ Colton? He’s your head of marketing, and I would love to collaborate with him.”

Give the “Why” Behind Your Request

People are much more likely to help you out when they know why your request is important. Try leading with a need, like this:

"I’m awful at design, and my slides look terrible. Could you help me tweak this presentation?”

Or: “This project needs to be done by Friday, and I have no idea how that will happen. We are juggling three proposals, and I can only manage two projects this week.”

Use Examples of Effectiveness

When you compliment someone during your request, they realize you truly value their input.

Try leading with a specific example of their competency, like:

“Would you please review this before I send it to XYZ? Your input really helped my previous pitch to ABC succeed.”

Begin with a Question

When you want to ask for help, start your request with a discussion and a clarifying question.

For example: “I’m still learning the ropes on this – could you give me an idea of how long this task should take me?”

From here, you can follow up with natural questions, press into another’s expertise, or pose a specific request about where you need assistance.

Say Thanks in Advance

Gratitude is always a powerful way to appeal to others.

A recent study of 350,000 e-mail exchanges found that sign-offs like “thanks in advance” and “thanks” yielded average response rates from 63-66%, compared with 51-54% for other popular options (including “best,” “regards,” and “cheers”). Even expressed preemptively, gratitude can keep people invested in helping you, as long as you focus more on their generosity and selflessness—and what that says about them as people—than on how you’ll personally benefit.

Together is Better

Finally, remember that when you need help, it’s best to be as honest as possible.

Being authentic and truthful makes people trust you and increases their desire to pitch in. And when you ask for help, you increase your team’s likelihood of succeeding and thriving.

Teamwork benefits everyone – so don’t be afraid to ask!

Command Results with These 4 Direct Mail Brochure Formats

16 Oct

Ready to open doors and grab leads for your business?

Direct mail brochures are a great piece of any marketing plan and are especially useful in building consumer confidence. According to the Direct Mail Association, 56 percent of consumers consider print marketing the most trustworthy form of advertising, and 65 percent of consumers have bought something from a direct-mail piece.

When considering your next direct mail campaign, here are some reasons brochures might be best:

Clear Comprehension

The human brain is designed to understand more when something looks “real.”

As a time-tested commodity, brochures offer an easy-to-follow layout that builds instant connections with all types of people. Brochures also connect well with memory because they engage people’s spatial memory networks.

Increased Brain Response

In this busy age of low attention spans, physical materials increase the brain response of every viewer.

There’s something blissful in physical opening print pieces: the smell of the ink, the texture of a product. And that sensory stimulation has big benefits – people continue reading longer from a physical page and retain information better from print than from digital media.

Enduring Presence

Direct mail brochures are ideal for customers who weigh a decision because people can read them many times or store them for future reference.

Brochures offer an attractive, compact option to get your advertising read or handed around to others. Every time someone new picks up your brochure, your message makes an impression. And brochures are far more likely to be saved or filed when someone needs more time to consider.

Bring Your Message to Life

When you’re building a concept for your next direct mail brochure, here are a few schematic options to consider:

1. Product/Benefit Layout

When you want to share more information about your business or its benefits, brochures provide a clean, logical layout.

Your brochure panels might tout your firm’s professional capabilities, your product’s unique selling points, or the practical advantages of your services.

2. Testimonial Brochure

Personal endorsements are extremely valuable, as prospects value others’ opinions more than any direct claims you make.

Use your brochure panels to feature pull quotes, before and after success stories, or reviews from real people (featuring names, photos, or dates). Best fit customers are influencers that prompt your readers to think, “I can relate to this person, and I trust their opinion.”

3. Question/Answer Format

Similar to a testimonial design, the Q/A format is very versatile.

Use it to address target customers’ felt needs, disarm suspicion, or present interviews with key company executives. Answering questions reduces buyer tension and creates an immediate bond with readers.

4. Fold-over Mailer with Postcard

Want to double your impact?

Try a fold-over mailer with a postcard inside. Fold-over mailers serve as both a brochure and a mini-poster and allow for heightened reader engagement as postcards are removed. Either piece can be passed to others or posted for later reference, allowing flexibility in concept and design.

Hook, Story, Offer

No matter what format you use, every direct mail piece needs a strong hook.

Most people will scan your external copy looking for a reason to read (or toss!) your brochure. State significant benefits upfront, or ask a question that must be answered. Start headlines with active verbs and keep this big question central: “What’s in it for me?”

Lead with this perspective, and you’ll entice them every time!

How to Use Normalization to Change Behavior

13 Oct
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How to Use Normalization to Change Behavior

If you grew up in the early eighties, you’re probably familiar with the “Mikey likes it” Life cereal campaign.

This capstone commercial centered on three young brothers eating breakfast. Before them sits a heaping bowl of Life. Two brothers question each other about it, noting that it is supposed to be healthy. Neither has any desire to taste it (“I’m not gonna try it—you try it”), so they test it on their brother (“Let’s get Mikey . . . he won’t eat it, he hates everything!”).

Mikey briefly stares at the bowl, then starts devouring the cereal, as his brothers excitedly exclaim, “He likes it!”

Strategically Shaping the Internal Narrative

If you are a professional marketer, your job exists to do one key thing: to make change happen.

Finding an agent to trigger change – like Mikey demonstrating healthy cereal is delicious – is the key to persuasion. But this can be harder than it sounds because all people act in accordance with their internal narrative. You can’t get someone to do what they don’t want to do! And most of the time, the action a person takes is one that reinforces their internal narrative.

In sales, your fundamental goal is to tap into someone’s internal narrative and strategically shape it. Some people have a narrative that makes them open to changing their behavior (e.g., Martin Lloyd votes for various individual candidates, not a specific political party), while others are very resistant.

But for most people, behavior change is driven by a desire to fit in (people like us do things like this) and perception of status (affiliation or dominance). People don’t make decisions in a vacuum – instead, they base them on the perceptions of their cohort.

Actions are primarily driven by one question: “Do people like me do things like ____?” For example:

  • People like me don’t speed in residential neighborhoods.
  • People like me avoid debt.
  • People like me love funky accessories.
  • People like me buy organic.

Normalization creates culture, and culture drives choices, which leads to more normalization.

So marketers can prompt change by normalizing new behaviors among a specific cohort of people. In the “people like us do ____” paradigm, the “us” matters. The more specific you can be about who “us” is, the better.

Here are three steps toward normalizing new ideas:

1. Map and understand the worldview of the cohort you seek to change.

2. Focus all your energy on this group. Ignore everyone outside this persona and build stories that will resonate with your target (soccer moms, granola hippies, techie teens, etc.).

3. Within this subculture, build an exclusive cohort. Exclusive is an internal measure (us versus them, insiders versus outsiders) that members resonate with. Exclusive organizations thrive when members are clearly identified, and inclusion is perceived as valuable or beneficial. People love to belong and to gain status as they link up with others “like us.” And when you market to “we” or “us” cohorts, your message carries much greater weight.

Case Study: The Blue Ribbon School District

Ready to see normalization in action? Here’s one example from marketer Seth Godin:

My little town had a problem. Despite having extraordinary schools (our elementary school won the national Blue Ribbon School designation), there was a schism over the upcoming budget vote. Many were upset about rising school taxes and, for the first time in memory, the first school budget failed.

Before the final budget vote, school proponents stopped trying to defend budget numbers and took a new tack: they tied one hundred blue ribbons to a big tree in front of the middle school in the center of town. Within days, the idea spread. In the week before the election, dozens of trees around town had blue ribbons hanging from them. Thousands of blue ribbons hung by dozens of families.

The message was simple – “people like us, people in this Blue Ribbon district, support our schools.”

The budget passed two to one.

When you target the smallest viable market, you maximize your chance of changing behavior. This subset of people, enriched and connected by the change you promote, can then organically share the word with the next layer of the market.

That is the power or people like us.

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Shout Your Brand Identity with Strategic, Clever Imagery

6 Oct
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Shout Your Brand Identity with Strategic, Clever Imagery

If a picture paints a thousand words, then brand imagery is one of the most dynamic means for communicating with your customers.

From stained-glass church windows to the world-renowned Nike swoosh, images add immediacy, power, and clarity to your ideas, with a transformative effect on a brand’s overall impact. Colors and graphic metaphors have surprising staying power, so it’s important to consider every element you include in your brand imagery.

Brand Identity vs. Brand Imagery

So, what is the difference between brand identity and brand imagery?

Brand identity is the image or character of your business as people relate to it. For example, the BMW image of elite luxury has grown naturally from customers’ repeated exposure to BMW’s ads, endorsements, and products.

Brand imagery is the aesthetic appearance of your brand’s core identity and messaging. This is a result of all the visuals that represent your brand’s identity. These visuals may include anything from billboards to print ads or website banners to product packaging. Great imagery goes beyond simple appearance; the idea is to connect the right messages with your target audience so that they will have strong feelings that prompt a response.

Choosing brand imagery isn’t rocket science, but it takes some careful planning. Before you start slapping images on the page, think about these foundational elements:

Consistent Photography

How do the best brands convey their identity? They use graphics consistent with their brand character.

Burt’s Bees, an international personal-care company, has focused its products on nature from day one. Whether it’s their infamous lip balms or their newer makeup line, Burt’s always sticks to this mantra: “Providing customers with the best nature has to offer.”

From their “Whoa, Natural” print ads to their “unfiltered” social media posts, every image they use has an element of nature. Sometimes it’s through an eye shadow pencil held against a background of trees, while in others, it’s a little bit of honey accompanying a facial scrub.

On-Brand Colors

While colors offer a great deal of flexibility, it helps to define larger color palettes that encompass your brand.

Since colors carry psychological weight, selecting color patterns in advance can help you convey the right emotions or moods. Start with identifying a base, accent, and neutral blend. Cohesive color schemes should be woven into your logo, store design, advertisements, and even uniforms, so choose carefully and have fun!

Viewer Perspective

The GoPro technology company is all about taking their cameras everywhere you go, no matter the journey.

GoPro photos scream adventure, with deep, natural blues or stunning orange reflections. But beyond the colors, many brand photos are taken from the perspective of the camera operator. For example, perhaps a landscape with bike handlebars in the perimeter or a shot of a pair of feet on the high dive as a viewer gazes down into an Olympic pool.

When you want to generate intense emotions, set your viewers in the driver’s seat as you put them behind the lens of the delightful experience you’re offering.

Authentic Messaging

Finally, it’s essential to ask whether your images are truthful.

Can you deliver on the experience you promise in your advertising? Aesthetic is important, but it’s not enough to win over an audience on its own. Brand loyalists will only arise when they see your brand imagery as authentic to the experience your business can bring.

Compelling Images Create Community

Successful brand imagery can build an internal narrative and external community, prompting customers not just to “buy” your product but to “buy into” to your brand image.

Finding images that perfectly represents your brand is more than a strategy, it’s an essential part of your identity. Spark consumer confidence and generational loyalty as you mobilize fantastic images to shout your identity in unique, inspiring ways.

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4 Reasons People Don’t Buy from You

5 Oct
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4 Reasons People Don’t Buy from You (and quick-fix solutions that can help!)

Your product is perfectly aligned to meet customer needs.

Your doors are open, the sales team is ready, and your marketing is top-notch. Your employees believe in your mission and are passionate about coming to work each day, but . . . sales still seem a bit sluggish. Why? When people aren’t buying, you could have a range of possible problems.

Here are four potential snags with tweaks that could make the difference:

Problem: They Think the Price is Too High

Solution: Sell the Value

Is the price of your product too high?

This is a subjective opinion. An item is only worth the price someone is willing to pay for it, and if some people are willing to pay your price, there must be a good reason.

If you don’t make the cheapest product on the market, it’s your job to figure out why it is worth more. Do your homework. Find out in advance what your competitors’ prices are like, and what advantages your company brings. Instead of focusing on price, draw attention to the benefits of your service compared to competitors. Your product quality or customer service may be the major differentiator that cannot be replicated!

Whether it’s convenience, bundled service options, or incredible durability, price-sensitive shoppers are willing to pay more if they just know WHY.

Problem: Decision Paralysis

Solution: Simplify the Process

Some people never master good decision-making skills.

Marketers often assume that the more choices they offer, the more likely customers will find just the right thing. However, research shows that there can be too much choice. When there is, consumers are less likely to buy anything at all (and if they do buy, they are less satisfied with their selection!).

Decision fatigue is real, and it causes many consumers to give up on purchasing. To circumvent this problem, list customer “favorites” on your website, combine items into a small number of “value-bundled” packages, or have customer service representatives walk people through decisions so they can make suggestions on the most suitable products.

Problem: Lack of Reviews

Solution: Ask Existing Clients for Testimonials

According to Nielsen research, 92% of people will trust a recommendation from a peer, and 70% will trust a recommendation from someone they don’t even know.

People depend on reviews, and companies that publish testimonials dramatically increase the quality and quantity of their leads. Reviews not only help buyers make purchasing decisions, they also grow traffic and boost conversions.

To gather (and print) great testimonials, it’s important to ask clients for reviews directly, especially if you can do it face to face. People are easier to engage when they feel their opinion is valued. Instead of asking directly for a review, start with an open-ended, conversational approach. Try questions like, “what was it like before you had our product/service?” or, “what has exceeded your expectations since working with our company?” Testimonials will naturally flow from here.

Problem: Stopping Short a Sale

Solution: Ask for a Clear Commitment

When surveyed after non-sales situations, a high percentage of prospects say they were never asked to buy.

After pitching your product’s vision, benefits, or value, it’s time to take that ball to the hoop. Ask for a commitment. Clearly, concisely, and directly ask for their order, their money, or their business.

No matter what phrase is right for your business, the bottom line is this: you must ASK!

Simplify for Success

In a world that’s rife with competition, it’s crucial to pinpoint areas where your sales process is breaking down. Make the process from discovery to purchase as simple as possible, and don’t be afraid to close the sale.

In life and sales, sometimes you’ll only get what you dare to ask for!

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Build Enthusiasm with Gorgeous Print Catalogs

26 Sep
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Build Enthusiasm with Gorgeous Print Catalogs

Do you have a favorite catalog?

In days past, the Sears Christmas edition or the Lana Lobell fashion catalogs were the birthplace of many shopping addictions.

But though these nostalgic beauties hold a special place in many hearts, catalogs certainly haven’t disappeared from today’s marketing landscape. Companies like L.L. Bean, Ikea, J. Crew, and Athleta continue to dominate sales through the distribution of printed catalogs.

And people enjoy reading them. According to USPS, 47% of people set aside catalogs to read later, and 84% of consumers said they genuinely enjoyed receiving unexpected catalogs from places they had previously shopped. Enthusiasm has soared – response rates from catalogs has increased 170% from 2004 to 2018!

Using Hard Copy Catalogs in Your Omnichannel Marketing

With a decrease in printed mail, today’s paper catalog is primarily a marketing tool – one of maximum potential during the holiday season.

The most sophisticated retailers are continuously working to build a seamless omnichannel operation, and companies that integrate catalogs, websites, and physical stores can simplify the shopping experience while closing more sales.

Print advertising is a great compliment to your online sales platforms, because print marketing often prompts greater follow-through. BRAND United reports that 86% of shoppers bought an item online after seeing it in a printed catalog.

Want to weave together catalogs and online purchasing? Here’s one inspiring example of a killer omnichannel strategy.

Quadratic: Selling the Adventure

For 30 years, Quadratic has prided itself on providing Jeep enthusiasts with the best parts and accessories for their customers.

From Antenna kits to light bars, Quadratic is committed to providing parts and accessories for daily on- and off-road needs.

Today millions of people receive Quadratec’s printed catalog in the mail. Even though there are more products on the company’s website than in their catalog, Quadratec uses printed catalogs to demonstrate it is an authoritative brand leader. Jeep enthusiasts love “jeeping,” and there’s just something about a giant catalog that gets that adventurer’s heart pumping!

In combination with its print success, Quadratec has elevated digital marketing efforts. By creating a corresponding mobile app, Quadratec allows customers to scan each product in the catalog with a mobile device. Scanned items bring customers to that item’s specific page on the website, so customers can easily tag it for a wish list, add it to their shopping cart, or purchase it from their phone.

Is this effective? Absolutely. Since launching its first AR-enabled catalog, Quadratec has experienced a three percent sales boost, and its mobile app is used an average of 200,000 times each month.

A One-Two Punch

Direct mail meets customers where they live, and catalogs are a long-standing customer favorite.

Data shows 44 percent of customers visit a brand’s website after receiving direct mail marketing, which is 10 percent more than people who visit landing pages after receiving an email. And because catalogs are extremely engaging, people feel more confident about purchasing when they receive one.

David Naumann, vice president of marketing for BRP, noted studies that have shown people can spend upward of 20 minutes looking at catalogs compared to the seconds they might spend looking at product images displayed online:

"When you have that physical catalog, customers might ponder it longer, even write notes on it," he said. "It’s something you really can’t replicate in other media."

Want to explore catalog marketing options for your business? Visit us online today for a free quote!

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Unique Fold Options for Your Marketing Masterpiece

22 Sep
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Unique Fold Options for Your Marketing Masterpiece

Looking to add some finishing flair to your next marketing piece?

Unique, eye-catching folds offer so much room to flex your creativity! When creating your next masterpiece, here are some fun print folds to consider:

Sliding Message Sleeve Mailers

To fuel engagement with your prospects, try a die-cut envelope that peaks through to a sleeve mailer inside.

Upon first glance, readers see one message or image. But when they slip the inner card out of the envelope, a brilliant reveal appears from the back panel.

Accordion Folds

Accordion folds are great because they fold down small but hold a great deal of information.

Accordion folds resemble the letter “Z” and zig-zag back and forth, dividing a page into thirds (or even sixths!). Use them for brochures, mini-booklets, or sticker-sealed mailers. The average accordion-folded sheet includes two folds and six panels of design space (front and back). Make the most of your real estate with this flexible, engaging design.

Poster Folds with a Zip Strip

Looking to send something large in a pocket-sized package?

Try a zip strip opener with an inner package that unfolds to a unique shape or size. Whether the folded section is wide and narrow or opens as an iron-cross brochure, this small package blooms bright for a big, memorable impact.

Roll Folds

Rolls folds consist of four or more panels that roll into each other.

Also known as a barrel fold, this option is perfect when you have a considerable amount of content but you need to keep the finished product as compact as possible. Roll folds also spark curiosity and depth as you reveal a new message or theme with each opening panel.

Exotic Folds

Like intricate origami, exotic folds are non-standard, completely unique folds created to a designer’s specifications.

Though they can be expensive, exotic folds allow you to stretch the limits in unforgettable ways. From a flower-petaled postcard to a custom-printed folding box, these highly tailored pieces will give your media a fancy, luxurious edge.

Pop-up Folds

When you want to add extra dimension to your booklet or brochure, go 3D with a die-cut and fold technique that creates a pop-up feature from within.

Pop-up pieces should instantly pique customer interest with a direct focus on the product or service you are promoting. Examples might include:

  • A performing arts invitation that reveals a pop-out “stage” once the card is unfolded
  • A fold-over mailer or brochure designed to look like a briefcase, which springs open to deliver your unforgettable offer
  • An architect’s brochure that brings to life a 3D city skyline, with revitalized storefronts in the center

A Shape That Tells Your Story

No matter what fold or design you choose, remember your story should play the starring role.

Choose a focused narrative and weave it through your imagery, tabs, pullouts, pop-up text, or brochure copy. From fun folds to creative exterior packaging, great designs will blend all these elements to share your clever, cohesive story.

Want to go a cut above the competition? Leverage your printed piece’s shape to add character or dimension people just won’t forget!

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Expand Your Influence by Growing in Self-Awareness

15 Sep
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Expand Your Influence by Growing in Self-Awareness

Have you exited a bathroom without realizing there was toilet paper on your shoe?

Or awkwardly tried to make conversation with someone who had food on their face? Whether someone is clumsy in conversation or they have really bad breath, a lack of self-awareness can profoundly hinder their reputation or influence.

Success Starts in Relationships

What is self-awareness?

Self-awareness involves being aware of different aspects of the self: including traits, behaviors, appearance, and feelings. Researchers find two areas of self-awareness to be especially important in leadership:

Internal self-awareness: This represents how clearly you see your values, passions, aspirations, fit with your environment, reactions (including thoughts, feelings, behaviors, strengths, and weaknesses), and impact on others.

Internal self-awareness is associated with higher job and relationship satisfaction, personal and social control, and happiness. It is negatively related to anxiety, stress, and depression.

External self-awareness: Understanding how other people view you can make you more responsive as a team member and more skilled at showing empathy or taking others’ perspectives.

When you more clearly see yourself as others do, you will have better relationships with your team, and they will view you as a more effective leader.

If success starts in relationships, self-awareness is arguably the most important capability for leaders to develop. The numbers reflect this. In a study of the stock performance of 486 publicly traded companies, Korn/Ferry International found that companies with strong financial performance tend to have employees with higher levels of self-awareness than poorly performing companies.

Know Yourself to Empower Better Choices

Do you want to grow in self-awareness? Here are a few areas to focus on:

1- Strengths and weaknesses

Each of us has strengths and weaknesses that can hinder us or help us reach our goals.

Take ownership over these regularly, and compensate for shortcomings through personal development, honest acknowledgement of your struggles, or by delegating weak areas to someone with greater expertise.

2- Triggers

Identify what factors, triggers, or indicators – both negative and positive – prompt others’ behaviors toward you.

Think about questions like: why do you do the things you do, and how do others respond? How do you respond in turn, and why do you react the way you do? What is the impact of culture on your perspective and others’ perceptions?

3- Moods

Try not to make decisions when you’re in a bad mood.

Whether you’re feeling depressed or just “hangry,” bad moods can make you lose sight of your hope or your values. Emotionally aware people can push pause, allowing trying situations to simmer down before they respond.

4- Personal Curiosity

Leaders are learners, and curious people are nimble amidst challenges.

While you can’t control your circumstances, you can take responsibility for who you become. Stay curious, respect others’ opinions, and don’t stop seeking to grow and change.

Commit to Continual Growth

Emotional intelligence empowers you to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and to proactively manage your relationships in healthier ways.

Leaders who focus on building self-awareness will seek honest feedback from others and examine why they succeed or fail in different circumstances. And this can be fun! Remember, no matter how much progress you make, there’s always more to learn. That’s one of the things that makes personal growth so exciting.

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