In this Simply Print article, we talk about the best ways to keep your clients thinking about you in the future and ask the important question, do your clients remember you? After all, most of us in small business have competitors who would love to steal our clients.

When my family moved to the Sunshine Coast way back in 1991, I went to work for a very small printing firm. Just the boss, me and an apprentice, plus a bookkeeper who came in on pay day. Coming from a very large printer in Brisbane, I really enjoyed the small business experience, and being just two minutes walk to the surf in my lunch break was an added bonus. Some of the things I learned while being employed by a small printer gave me the confidence to enter into business myself. It also taught me a lot of tricks about the importance of keeping ahead of your competitors and increasing the chance of re-orders.

One of the first things I noticed was that my boss had a large roll of brown kraft paper that he would wrap most of his jobs in. I asked him why he chose to wrap his jobs in such plain paper. He said it was just convenient. I asked him if he’d considered printing his own wrapping paper with his logo on it. After all, he had the presses and the printer (me) to do it. He laughed and said “No, what’s the point in printing my logo on something that goes in the bin?” What he’d failed to understand is that his products usually sat in an office cabinet for a while before the wrapper went in the bin. He’d failed to see a good branding opportunity. As much as I tried to convince him, he wouldn’t jump at the idea.

McDonalds drink cup

I like to use the McDonalds principal when it comes to branding. When you go to McDonalds, do they serve your soft drink, shake or coffee in a plain white cup? Does your burger arrive in plain white wrapping paper? No, the big M is plastered on absolutely everything from the drink cups right down to the paper tray liners. Sure, it all ends up in the bin, but their brand is constantly in your mind from the time you walk through the golden arches, to the moment you wipe your mouth on their “Big M” branded serviettes….. complete with useful nutritional information. It’s a very clever and successful plan which has worked well for generations, and is used by the world’s top businesses. Business and marketing strategies tend to change with the times, but blanket branding has always remained constant.

So when Simply Print was born, we copied McDonalds, and the first thing we did was “brand the hell” out of everything we sold. Letterheads, business cards, invoice books, the lot. Our logo ended up on wrapping paper, it was printed on business card boxes, or on stickers splashed on cartons. The last thing we wanted was for any of our clients to sell their business, and the new owners searching the internet or yellow pages to find the printer. In fact, we get a lot of phone calls every week from businesses asking if we did their printing. Obviously our competitors aren’t branding themselves enough. By having branding on ALL our products, it removes any doubt about who did the printing, and increases the chance or re-orders. The other important thing is if you’re proud of your products (like we are), why not present them to the client professionally? Brown paper just doesn’t cut it in my view.

If you don’t sell a product, you might be wondering how you can ensure your clients remember you? You can still brand your services by supplying vouchers for your clients to give to their family or friends. A lot of my clients give out free gifts such as note pads to their customers. Many trades people leave fridge magnets with every job, or place a sticker in a cupboard reminding them of their next service date. There are lots of ways that you can brand yourself better to ensure your clients remember you. Are you doing enough to remind them? If not, give us a call and we can discuss various ways to help you.

Photo: @Mehaniq via Twenty20

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