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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.

‘Show-Me’ Brochures Help You Sell More

Last week, FEI marketing whiz Marka advised Zoot on how to use brochures during his selling activities. This week, the tables are turned; Zoot shows Marka how “show-me” pieces can creating effective, attention-grabbing brochures. Remember, fire = print.

One afternoon, Zoot met in his office with Aventinus Jones, a sales rep from Hercules Printing & Bindery. Zoot was considering using Hercules to print, bind and finish FEI’s new sales brochures. To demonstrate Hercules’s capabilities, Aventinus had brought in one of the company’s own promotional brochures.

Aventinus held up the brochure for Zoot to see. “In the printing industry, we call this a ‘show-me’ piece,” he explained. “‘Show-me’ pieces—which can be brochures, postcards…really anything printed—help printers and binderies sell their services by physically demonstrating the impressive printed materials we can create.”

“Your brochure is in the shape of Hercules’s bicep,” Zoot noted. “Is this meant to show off your diecutting capabilities?”

“That’s right,” Aventinus said. “Not many printers in Olympus have diecutting equipment. We want prospects to know what this means for them. This piece emphasizes that complicated diecut shapes are a breeze for us. It also shows prospects that we can apply our creativity and capabilities toward creating a distinct diecut piece that relates to their brand or product.”

Zoot opened up the brochure. “This staff photo is an impressive two-page spread. It’s so colorful, it just jumps out at you.”

“The entire brochure is printed using stochastic screening technology with inline UV coating,” Aventinus pointed out. “The random dot patterns combined with UV help images appear to jump off the page. This combo is another specialty of ours.”

Zoot was suitably impressed. “Anything else?”

“I’ve saved the best for last,” Aventinus boasted. “The Hercules bindery is known for its super-strong PUR adhesive binding capabilities. We’ve bound our brochure with PUR glue. Every Hercules salesperson has been trained to demonstrate exactly how strong it is. Let me show you.”

Aventinus jumped on Zoot’s desk and pulled violently at the brochure’s inside pages, trying to rip off the glue. Then, he scuttled over to the water fountain in Zoot’s office and poured water directly on the glue. The brochure remained intact.

“See?” Aventinus declared. “It’s dripping wet, but the glued spine is completely intact!”

Zoot was convinced. He promised to call Aventinus as soon as FEI had finalized its brochure’s design. After Aventinus left, Zoot headed down to Marka’s office.

“Marka!” he said.

Marka looked up from her desk. “Yes, Zoot?”

“We need to make our brochure a ‘show-me’ piece,” Zoot declared.

“How?” Marka asked.

“What if one of our brochures was also a torch?” Zoot asked.

“You’ve lost it,” Marka chuckled.

“Hear me out,” Zoot continued. “First, we dip the brochure’s pages in flame-retardant material. Then, we fasten a giant FEI-patented DuraWick to the top. Inside, we attach a pack of matches to light it. Voila! This will lend new meaning to the phrase ‘book burning.’ More to the point, we’ll show prospects how powerful our flame-retardant torch material is, and how long our DuraWick lasts!”

“Boy, Zoot, you never run out of good ideas,” Marka said in amazement.

“And I just got another one.” Zoot grabbed Marka’s uneaten frozen yogurt off her desk and started eating it.

Today’s FIRE! Point
If a picture’s worth a thousand words, a “show-me” piece is worth a thousand pictures. “Show-me” brochures let your printing company visually demonstrate your most impressive capabilities for prospects to see. 

FIRE! in Action: CRP Industries Uses Creative Brochure Direct Mail to Grow Sales

The auto parts distributor mailed three versions of a brochure featuring a humorous message. These brochures achieve a 15 percent response rate and contributed to a 31 percent sales increase in 2010 in the market segment the brochure mailers targeted.

Next week: Marka brings the tribe another tip for creating effective company brochures.

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