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My studio partner & I went out to lunch last week. We like to have our brainstorming session over lunch. And we thought that we would revisit, 

The Taproom in North Portland, OR

The Taproom in the industrial side of Portland, OR and is a part of MacTarnahan's (Pyramid Breweries). We had finished a nice lunch outside and went into the hostess area. There were business cards of the managers for the restaurant on the table. And me, the curious marketing guy, picked up one of them and flipped it over. Below is what I saw on the back of their corporate card.

pyramid-brewing_bizcard

I had to take a second look. All their beer product line was blurry (out-of-focus) and the image of all the bottles weren't even centered on the card. I just couldn't believe that such a large company probably had these business cards printed on line or with a digital printing company that really didn't give a damn!

 

I spent some time trying to find the corporate office to send them an email telling them that I could really help them with this part of their marketing. What I would of suggested:

1. Use a high resolution image of their beer product line.

2. Print the backs of the business cards (100,000 at a time). These shells then could be reprinted on the fronts with each new employee.

3. Go to a reputable printer that has a color management system in place.

4. Go to the press check to inspect printing quality and colors.

Needless to say, I never heard back from them! Didn't shock me, why would you admit that you made a mistake to your audience?

This is the warning that I give to my regular clients about printing on-line. Yes, there are some great deals but you get what you get! They gang tons of business cards up on a printing run and adjust the color for all the cards so that you get pleasing color. Everything is automated and no one is taking responsibility for quality control. It really can destroy your brand.

 

© 2011 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved

Published in marketing 101
Tuesday, 17 May 2011 13:23

Restaurant Marketing - Newest Fad

I was approached by a local restaurant (Madison's Grill) to help produce their logo on a beer growler. I have another vendor that makes a mask using a sticker material that is great for sand blasting. We adhere the sticker to the glass growler and Voila!

madisons-growler_2011

SUGGESTIONS FOR MY CLIENT.

1. When they originally approached me, they wanted their logo on a clear growler. I went to a local beer supply house and bought a clear & amber growler. I explained to my client that we ought to try a sample on two different growlers to see how it looks. I was concerned that the sandblasted logo would not be seen clearly with its texture on the clear glass.

clear-amber_growler

 

2. They liked the amber growler with their sandblasted logo. But I also slipped in the question of how they would feel about using some paint in the sandblasted area to really make the growler "pop" and have their brand recognized at distances. They were skeptical and asked about the cost. I will bring down the painted version to show them the difference and hopefully they will see that I am going the extra distance for them. In fact, I will volunteer to do it for free.

 

TAKEAWAY

By taking a risk and trying something new, I may have a new niche to fill in creating sandblasted growlers for the restaurant/bar industry.

 

 © 2011 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved

Published in marketing 101
Friday, 13 May 2011 13:46

Redesign of bus ad

This is my suggestion.

 

bus-advertisement-fix_mj2

 

•  Visible from long distances away (and readable by traveling faster than 25 mph). There are no black lines that are breaking the ad into separate pieces of information.

• Clean  - limited use of copy or fonts

•  Photo larger and is more prominent (can tell what is happening)

•  While driving behind the bus you will not be able to write down phone number or even go to your smart phone to look them up but you will possibly remember their name/brand.

 

What do you think?

Published in marketing 101
Tuesday, 26 April 2011 13:51

See Anything Wrong with this Bus Ad

So my question to all you designers out there. . .

Do you see any problems with this bus ad that was recently spotted in Portland, OR?

kennedy-restoration_ad

I will post my comments next week.

© 2011 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved.

 

Published in marketing 101
Friday, 25 March 2011 07:01

Portland Design Agency & CEIC member

Meet DHX Advertising

I was introduced to another CEIC (Central Eastside Industrial Council) member that used to be the president/executive director (Tim Holmes). As being the curious student that I am, I naturally went to their web site and was very impressed. Very clean and direct.

DHX_web_site

 

Marketing 101 Booklet

They also have a wonderful booklet that is included on their site of great little marketing tips for business people. It is an easy read and great little illustrations. I will be providing snippets and my thoughts on the subject matter in my next posting.

 

DHX_marketing_booklet

 

 © 2011 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved.

 

 

Published in marketing 101

Strategic Web Partner - John Hooley

I can't begin to tell you how much John (BlueBridge Development) has helped my company. We trade out our services for each other. He has done all the development for my web site, www.inkspotgraphics.com and I assist him with web design on his projects. He is easy to work with and allows me the freedom of design. 

He recently asked me to help him design a Joomla! extension web site called Code Haiku. The direction that he gave me was that the site was to be clean and the navigation to be user friendly.

screensnap_CodeHaiku

 © 2011 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved.

 

Published in marketing 101

Humor in Marketing that gets them talking

A buddy of mine, Rob Grant, sent me this email from a micro-brewery (Rogue Brewing) that has a wonderful marketing program that gets their client base involved (evangelists) and talking about your business to everyone.

rogue_roguenation

Marketing Letter

Rogue-Nation-letter

 

Now you can sign up!

So, I ended up going to their website and signing up to get my own Rogue Nation Passport. I love marketing merchandise like this. . .and you know I will show all my friends and clients! 

 

Smart group. If I were going to work for someone, this would be one of the creative places that I would put my heart & soul into.

roguenation_passport

 © 2011 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved.

Published in marketing 101
Monday, 17 January 2011 14:57

Client Gifts for referrals

Nothing better than using another's client's service for another client.

A great example of this is during Christmas time when my wife, Paula wants to buy gifts . . . I encourage her to use our family as a source first. She has a cousin, Leslie O'Connor that has a business making custom jewelry (Wild Iris). My younger brother, Jimmy Johnson has an organic berry farm and makes jams, syrups & vinegarettes (Johnson Berry Farm).

 

Wild_Iris_header

JohnsonBerry_postcard

Published in marketing 101
Friday, 07 January 2011 14:26

Business Innovation Quote for the Day

This one is from my buddy, Bobby Alverts.

 

"Taking action on a good plan today is better than going to be working on a perfect plan tomorrow!"

 

Something I will be telling my grandkids, someday.

 

Published in marketing 101
Friday, 09 July 2010 06:45

Marketing for Mariner's Baseball

 

I think that there are other great marketing ideas for the ball club to get interested groups and people who have never been to a game in the new facilities.
1. They could create a package deal with AmTrak, a couple local Seattle restaurants and a hotel with close accomodations to the ballpark. Make the package plan customizable so that the clients could choose their personal preference. Let them get a chance to talk about the experience to friends & family. What a great marketing idea when your club is not having a great year. I am sure that the other businesses would like the opportunity to collectively advertise with other established businesses. Cater it toward different groups. Can you imagine a whole train full of crazy Mariner rooters from Southwest Washington (Nike, Adidas, Fred Meyers, etc). Then when they get to the park they are treated like royalty. Signs, ballcaps, jerseys & momentos.
2. Have a marketing contest with your Mariner audience. On their blog have them decide what would be the greatest marketing idea ever. The winner would get season tickets and bragging rights about how they helped the Mariner's bring in a bigger audience.
3. Think Guerilla Marketing!

Unfortunately, the Seattle Mariner's baseball team is not doing so well as told by the Seattle Business Journal.

seattle_mariners_logo

Here were my suggestions:

 

 

1. They could create a package deal with AmTrak train, a couple local Seattle restaurants and a hotel with close accomodations to the ballpark. Make the package plan customizable so that the clients could choose their personal preference. Let them get a chance to talk about the experience to friends & family. What a great marketing idea when your club is not having a great year! I am sure that the other businesses would like the opportunity to collectively advertise with other established businesses. The other option is that they could cater it toward different groups. Can you imagine a whole train full of crazy Mariner rooters from Southwest Washington and Oregon (Nike, Adidas, Fred Meyers, etc). Then when they get to the park they are treated like royalty. Signs, ballcaps, jerseys & momentos.

 

2. Have a marketing contest with your Mariner fans. On their blog have them decide what would be the greatest marketing idea ever. The winner would get season tickets and bragging rights about how they helped the Mariner's bring in a bigger audience.

 

3. Think Guerilla Marketing!

 

 

© 2010 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved.

Published in marketing 101
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