You know what’s really impressive? Finding products one might normally think of us “basic” or “routine” – but with fantastic packaging that makes them anything but.
A community newspaper in the Midwest delivered copies of each morning’s paper in plastic bags to their subscribers. Pretty standard, right? Isn’t every newspaper doing that these days… bagging their readers’ papers for home delivery, to protect them from the elements?
(Protect the papers, that is. Not the readers.)
Yes. Pretty much every publishing company delivers their newspapers in plastic bags nowadays.
But this publisher cleverly had their local large-format printer add a cute logo to the outside of the bag. It featured a cartoon drawing of an adorable dog, along with a big headline reading “Here’s the latest poop!”
In smaller type, below the logo, the bag read “Reuse this bag for your pet’s latest edition.”
I don’t know if the bags were a commercial success… I’m not sure how much growth the publishing company saw in their subscription base, or in their bottom line.
Nor could I guess how much of that growth (if any) they could attribute to the fun newspaper bags.
… But I’d be surprised if those specially-printed bags didn’t pay for themselves.
They were an amusing, memorable surprise. Not something you see every day.
The publishers sent some powerful messages with those bags (I mean, beyond the messages contained in the newspaper). With a simple thing like printing a humorous message on their newspaper bags, they told their market:
- We don’t take ourselves too seriously…
- … But we’re very creative…
- … We’ve thought about what you’re going to do with this bag…
- … And we came up with a clever way to encourage its reuse…
- … Which shows our company’s concern for the environment…
- … And that we care about the beauty of our circulation area’s neighborhoods.
But wait! There’s more!
They also told potential customers:
- We also know how to advertise in a way that gets attention…
- … And that stays in your mind long after the first time you see it…
- … And that reminds you of our creative, upbeat style every time you see it…
- … And we can do the same thing for your business if you place your ad account with us.
Just a silly little joke on the wrapper… but with the surprising potential to deliver a powerful, effective message to subscribers and advertisers alike!
How Can You Surprise Your Customers?
Your local large-format printer can print just about anything just about anything.
And they’re great at coming up with unique, interesting (and sometimes amusing) ideas for your product packaging and marketing.
A lot of small businesses have their phone numbers and logos printed on pens, right? How about the small business owner who also added, in tiny type, “You stole this pen from…” above their logo? Is that firm sending a message to prospective clients?
“I don’t take myself too seriously… but I’m very creative, and upbeat… you want to do business with me.”
If you’re going to have pens printed, this business owner figured, why not surprise the people who end up getting the pen with a message that says a little about who you are?
One business owner had decals printed up to add to very-delinquent accounts-receivable invoices:
“Please pay us, so we can pay them, so they can pay him, so he can pay you.”
Even when things are serious, you can still put them in perspective with a message like that. And give your customers a memorable, positive impression of you and your business.
Stop by your large-format printer’s shop, and ask for ideas on how you can use something as simple and “routine” as packaging to put a smile on your customer’s face. Your large-format printer is full of great design ideas to help you squeeze every market advantage out of the printed things your business needs anyway, as a matter of course.