Paw Print was a quaint little printing company located in a residential neighborhood in the north end of Burlington Vermont. Their logo and all branding material were that of a kitten, with little kitty prints on everything. When the owner first met with me he had just moved into a nice new commercial space. He told me he wanted to compete with the big printing companies in the area. Having worked in this market for quite some time I was very familiar with his competition. Many of them were long-time suppliers, with the owners becoming very good friends. I knew how much work would be needed to accomplish this goal.
I began the process the same way I always do - looking at who I am trying to reach and evaluating the best way to reach them. In this instance, it was business decision-makers. Paw Print had a very good database/mailing list of businesses in the region which was a big plus. I knew whatever I did for the mailing would have to be specific to Paw Print's capabilities while also being meaningful. It had to stand out.
The first thing I did was change the logo. The kittens were too passive. I wanted this company to be aggressive. I went with a tiger, using the tiger print and images instead of kittens. Strong. Confident. Next, I developed a monthly postcard mailer. The standard format was to max out the first-class postage size of 6.125" x 11.125". Each month I chose a quote and matched it with a design concept. Then I utilized different aspects of Paw Print's printing capabilities to highlight what they could do and get people thinking about other ways to print. We used different types of paper, varnishes, color combinations, and so much more to make a strong statement through the mail.
It worked. The combination of rebranding and strong messaging made a huge impact on the market. Paw Print grew. It became known as one of the players in the market. It proves that the value of creativity is huge. Without it, this would have been just another direct mail program that got tossed with all the other junk mail.
"I've been doing this a long time, so I've tried a lot of different things. I've made some mistakes and learned from all of them. You can benefit from all the knowledge I have now. Wouldn't you like an objective, educated opinion of what you should do with all the options there are in front of you? I can give you that. It could become a starting point for a bigger relationship, but maybe it's just free advice."