Concord Litho : Sweet Smell Of SuccessOctober 2009 By Erik Cagle
PART OF the challenge that confronts printers in 2009—economy aside—is not only selling potential clients on the quality of their production, but also the value of print itself as opposed to its electronic alternatives. What ultimately brings buyers back to the printed piece is its versatility and the tactile experience that triggers an emotional response.
Well, at least one printer has figured out a way to leverage more of the senses in order to take its game to another level. Concord Litho, the pride of the New Hampshire town that bears its name, has captured more than 50 awards in the past three years from entries in various worldwide printing contests.
Augmenting the powerful designs and superior printing jobs from this independent web and sheetfed printer, in some cases, is a breath of fresh air in the form of chocolate, fresh-cut grass, popcorn, Oreo cookies and pickles. Yes, pickles.
While scratch-n-sniff technology has been available for quite some time—and recipients of fashion magazines have long been hit with a ton of bricks from the excessive aromas emanating from perfume zip strips—Concord Litho has built the better mousetrap with the use of Scentisphere scented varnishes. The advertisements produced with these varnishes have generated superior response rates, likely because they add a new element to the enjoyment of print.
"Scented inks let the customer bring a different dimension into their marketing," notes Peter Cook, CEO of Concord Litho. "Studies show that people can retain and respond to scent differently from other aspects of a marketing campaign. It's an inexpensive way to apply scent to a piece; since you have to rub it to activate and reactivate, it adds an interactive element and lets the consumer control the experience."
The scents have been a runaway hit—the company offers clients an "idea kit" to flesh out their own possibilities. Some of Concord Litho's award-winning ideas include dill pickle-scented Shrek Valentine's Day cards, a chocolatey burst for a "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" DVD insert, as well as a Laugh-n-Sniff interactive scent card in TV Guide tied to a television episode of "My Name is Earl."
The beauty of scents is that they are not relegated to any one subsection of print customers. Tom Cook, president of Concord Litho and leader of its fundraising division, says the successes that their commercial customers are having with scent marketing led the company to suggest it as an option for its nonprofit clients.