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Outstanding shining lights of 2021

Part 2 of our reflective blogs of 2021. The top 5 projects and the highlights of what we’ve seen in 2021. Projects that have caught our eye for the right reasons and ultimately will perform.

Starting at number 5, Julia Elvin, (personal private project) Christmas Cards, meeting the exacting challenges for Julia in 2020, was an interesting journey, this year we had a progression with this year’s Christmas Card, from original artwork, scanned, retouched, colour balanced and reproduced on some stunning James Cropper Vanguard board (Ivory Cream). Great to use British made products in our print.

In at number 4… Shy Burhan, Shipley based photographer, collaboration, engagement, consideration, inclusion were at the heart of the project we did for Shy in June of 2021. What can only be described as an exhibition catalogue, celebrating the works of a project Shy led. We produced a perfect bound catalogue, with beautifully sharp imagery. Supported Shy in creating the artwork, within an environment she understood and knew.

A significant project for number 3, a book on customer service, geared up for a specific audience and design to build trust and authority on the topic. The author was a definitive point of knowledge on the subject, and the trend for prospects to turn into customers is becoming harder as we get flooded with multiple channels of marketing noise, crying out for attention. 

The second most noticeable project(s) of the year, has been the work we’ve done for Flat Stan First Aid, daring to be different, changing the game and engaging and taking on board ideas to progress. Simon’s leadership on actively listening, planning, implementing and careful review process, has allowed him to aim a bit higher in how he pitches and presents. The “how” has been at the key of this work, whether going slightly lumpy and physical with his marketing, addressing tone of voice for communications or thinking more strategically.

The most significant piece of 2021, Nick Shaw, Always Networks, Security book. Nick is a highly credible experienced professional in the world of data and online security, his career progression has given him exceptional experience and it shows. This was part of the enabler in creating a marketing tool, which worked not just on the levels as identified in project number 3 above, but to a higher level. The two-way engagement we had, sparking ideas to deliver, measures, controls, engagement monitoring tools, goes beyond what I call an “ink on paper” print house and makes us a partner delivering marketing support in a realistic SME business environment. 

Overall, we love the diversity of what we do, the magic it creates, the journeys it enables for others to progress their objectives. So, if you need the magic of transforming your engagements with real people, with real meaningful physical touchpoints, we have some stunning ways and means. Oh and I should have included this project, for Lee at Fordies Detailing

Building authority on your subject matter…

One of the major principles underlying marketing and a sales process is “know like trust”.

For some professions and trades, when intangibles are at the heart of what you deliver, when it is about culture, the way things work, demonstrating and unpacking what is essential to gain traction with potential customers. Seeing is believing, even the written word provides this too.

One interesting concept which we are seeing more examples of, is where subject specialists use a book as the means to demonstrate their knowledge. In turn builds the trust on a subject with their audience, as it provides creditability through being a “produced” piece.

Some of our recent projects have utilise this as a point of providing leverage.

In an age where flash, almost retro buy it now graphics and corny imagery are now making a comeback, for look at this, wow isn’t this brilliant etc. The very opposite stands ground for delivering re-assurance and security of being. Trust is built on values and being grounded. So the nature of certain things need gravitas to aid the progression with a customer audience. 

We are seeing photographers committing projects to print, to provide longevity, to drive the story telling of their work in a specific manner. The progression of the subject or development of the concept. When online means provides the ability to jump around, miss the finesse of the story telling, print provides a structured manner to deliver it in. After all an artists’ portfolio is compiled in such a way to build, inform and tell the story. 

One of the books we’ve recently printed has been a niche market sector customer service guide, illustrating the challenges and the way to overcome, alongside social and political environment which present within this given community. Being able to tell the story in a manner which was narrative and unpack the why and how behind the concept, is to build the trust in the author as a subject matter specialist. 

I am well aware of other management consultants using this process to enhance their leverage with their prospective client base. A well-presented paperback book carefully arrived with a prospective client has a point of value about it. Whether it is self-published, published with a large publishing house or even a self-commissioned as a marketing tool. 

Equally we have fulfilled and mailed on behalf of an author how used her book as a social media content tool. Getting people to engage with her on social media to receive a physical copy of the book. Of course the journey involved here doesn’t just involve the give-away copies, as nothing is free. Careful use of social and electronic media, then prompts the recipients for feedback or reviews, which then boost the profile of the book in the relevant online searches.

It is fair to say, the age of the physical printed edition, is far from dead. It provides the opportunity to build trust, gain respect or likes from your audience. Where we can hardly remember what we saw on the social media the day before. A book remains on a desk, side table, kitchen counter for some time, increasing the awareness or knowledge of you.

Want to see Stuart delivering this topic….

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