Part of our job as printers is to help customers find creative uses of print media for marketing purposes. Yes, we can print, bind, or laminate material for them, but we can also give them ideas on how to use print to be creative.
Years ago, a friend shared a promotion she ran at Alaska airlines. Airlines used to exclusively distribute their tickets through travel agents. (Yeah…I am dating myself). She had come up with an Alaskan Airlines kit that was sent to travel agents. It was a window box type of kit that allowed the agents to be creative in creating travel scenes to display in their offices. It even included planes and other items.
It was one of the most successful marketing promotions Alaskan had at the time.
So, I came across something that Adobe is doing that sounds similar. It’s expensive yes, but it shows the possibilities of how print and digital can be used together. The Harvard Business Review has a detailed description of the Adobe Innovation Kit.
The top of the box features a clever fire alarm image with the words “Pull in Case of Idea” written on it. When you break open the seal, you’ll find instruction cards, a pen, two Post-It note pads, two notebooks, a Starbucks gift card, a bar of chocolate and (mostly importantly) a $1,000 prepaid credit card. The card can be used on anything the employee would like or need without ever having to justify it or fill out an expense report.
The instructions inside the Kickbox take the form of a six-level curriculum that encourages employees to beat each level and “beat the box.” Each level contains exercises and a checklist. The exercises are designed to guide employees from ideation stages to a small-scale test of at least 100 users (the fifth level). The sixth level’s exercise is selling the idea to management. Putting selling to management as the final level is intended to democratize the process of getting new ideas – like many organizations, Adobe feared that its most creative ideas weren’t ever getting tested because they had to be sold to management first, to even be given a budget for prototyping.
The kit comes with a variety of objects to help with the creative process of innovative thinking. It combines print media with digital to encourage out of the box thinking for creating new products or ideas. So, you can use your roll laminator, uv coater, or binding machine to offer product to put into a creative marketing package.
Can’t you see some of your clients doing similar things? Even something as simple as a calendar could provide a creative approach to print marketing. Instead of the usual pictures for each month, maybe a monthly contest to win prizes that combines the print with some online promotion.
Print is not dead, be creative. Get out of what everyone else does and do what no one is thinking about doing.
Oh, if you need the machines or supplies to help them, don’t forget about us in the process.