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Real Books are so 2019 . . .

As our digital lives grow busier, consumers are reaching for something real.

Dave Pilcher via LinkedIn [ https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/real-books-theyre-so-2019-dave-pilcher/ ]

It was the end of 2017, and there were a lot of rumblings about the resurgence of print books.

“Books have always had a fetishistic quality to them, with their dusty secretiveness,” wrote Alex Preston in The Guardian in December that year. “Now, though, it feels like we’re living through a special moment in the history of book design and beautiful books are everywhere.”

He cited several examples of that year’s new releases, including George Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardo and Peter Frankopan’s The Silk Roads, with its cover inspired by mosaic from the Imam mosque at Isfahan. Even the classics are getting makeovers, like the stunning Penguin Hardcover Classics reissue of the works of F Scott Fitzgerald, or its clothbound editions of Austen, Brontë and Dickens.

“It’s hard to know whether to read these books or caress them,” he wrote.

Apparently, we are doing both, if books sales figures are any indication.

“In the UK,” writes Natasha Frost in Quartz, “Nielsen BookScan recorded year-on-year book sale growth of 22 million pounds ($28 million). It’s likely that 2018 will top 2016’s total sales of 1.59 billion pounds, too, with booksellers on both sides of the Atlantic noting an anecdotal uptick in sales and browsing customers.”

As Frost notes, this bodes well for UK booksellers, and the same it seen here in the U.S. Indies, where the number of indie bookstores has grown since 2009, and sales of physical books are up for the past 5 straight years.

“We’re buying books, and we’re favoring the kind you can borrow, lend, or drop in the bath: In 2017, print book sales were up 10.8% from four years earlier,” Frost writes. “Between 2016 and 2017, however, e-book sales actually dropped 10 percent. In October [2018], book sales were at $699 million, up by $50 million from a year earlier.”

It’s more proof that nothing beats a real book when it’s time to curl up and relax … and the experience is not nearly as satisfying on a digital screen.

“There’s nothing like the smell of old books or the crack of a new one’s spine,” wrote Abigail Wise in Real Simple. “Plus, you’ll never run low on battery.”

Maybe it’s time to get yourself to one of those great new indie shops, or reactivate that library card and bring home a big stack. There’s nothing like going deep into a real book to help you relax, comprehend and remember.

Books … they’re so 2019.

Paper as an Extension of Brand. Neenah Retail Revolution

CLASSIC Retail Revolution; a resource for designers

Written by 

Retail is alive and kicking! According to “Debunking the Apocalypse”, a 2017 report released by IHL Group, retailers were opening 4,080 more stores in 2017 than they were closing, and planned to open over 5,500 more in 2018. So, it’s time to start thinking about your retail clients.

Neenah is addressing the uprising with CLASSIC® Retail Revolution. Right from the start, this book’s multi-layered waterfall effect of overlapping sections encourages you to open and interact!

This promotion, designed by Dallas-based Matchbox Studios is filled with industry research data, retail marketing samples, and beautiful combinations of paper, design and printing. This high-energy, highly tactile book is a must-have design inspiration.

The 10 x 12 red Wire-o bound book focuses on four imagineered brands in the growing health and wellness market: 1) Knetics Athleisure & Sportswear, 2) Pack Men’s Apothecary & Skincare, 3) Desert Mothers Spa, and 4) Odyssey Food Subscription Service. This tool is designed to provide ideas on how to: Get customers in the door, engage and excite customers, spread the word, and build a following.

Get customers in the door: An oversized, visually dynamic postcard and a gift card in a die-cut carrier draw customers in — 44% of people say a gift card has sent them into a store they otherwise wouldn’t have visited.

When you look more closely, the Knetics brand is all about energy and movement and uses color to make an impact. Imperial Red is the star of this identity, and it appears here in three different textures, Stipple, Smooth, and Techweave. The hangtag embodies movement with grommeted combination of CLASSIC® Techweave, Imperial Red, CLASSIC CREST®, Windsor Blue, and CLASSIC® Linen, Chambray.

How to engage and excite customers: Research shows 70% of purchase decisions are made in-store. What drives those decisions? Packaging can be credited for 30% them.

When you’re marketing to men, you’re also marketing to the women who buy for them. Here we see the Pack brand, a men’s skincare line features on-trend shades of gray and an exfoliant product cleverly boxed in CLASSIC® Stipple to offer a textural description of its contents.

How to spread the word: Unique experiences and VIP treatment matters according to 66% of today’s consumers. This spa, Desert Mothers Hot Springs uses an oversized mailing to invite customers to a unique experience – oversized envelopes are reported to have the greatest household response rates.

This geometric, accordion-fold brochure uses dramatic diagonals, patterns, colors and images with the warm color and texture of CLASSIC CREST® Classic Natural White to invoke the essence of this event’s natural surroundings.

How to build a following: Odyssey is in the currently trending business of food subscriptions. In this evolving, highly competitive retail market the brands that succeed will be those that create an extraordinary customer experience. Standing out, and delivering on a brand’s promise, are key to securing and building a loyal following.

52% of consumers are likely to make repeat purchases from an online merchant that delivers premium packaging. The pairing of CLASSIC® Linen, lifestyle photography, blind embossing and raised UV gloss create an elegant brand presentation that customers will want to keep.

Matchbox Design’s Principal/Creative Director, Liz Burnett said, “What we hoped to communicate in this piece is that a paper’s texture and color has the power of persuasion. CLASSIC: Retail Revolution shows how much more memorable printed collateral can be with the right combination of design and paper.”

Print Works!

Here’s to Old Friends … This DM’s for You

As so much of the world turns to digital, why is it that direct mail still works so well?

According to Money Mailer CEO John Patinella, direct mail is effective because “giving, receiving and handling tangible objects remain deep and intuitive parts of the human experience.” 

We’ve talked about the importance of the tangible before; there are real psychological reasons why we value the physical more than digital. Perhaps because of this human preference, direct mail delivers the results, too.

As Steve Olenski writes in Forbes, “ U.S. advertisers spend $167 per person on direct mail to earn $2,095 worth of goods sold. That’s a 1,300% return on their investment. The response rate to direct mail pieces is much higher at 3.7% compared to 2% for mobile, 1% for email, 1% for social media, and 0.2% for internet display.”

Advertisers aren’t stupid. And marketers are under increasing pressure to prove their worth. They are realizing that even in this digital-heavy age, consumers like print marketing like coupons, for example.

“In fact, according to a recent study, 93% of people said they’ll use coupons from the mail in 2018,” Olenski writes. “This is up five percentage points compared to 88% in 2017. Although consumers rely on their smartphones, there is still a pleasant ‘tactile experience’ from touching and using physical coupons.”

It’s not just coupons; millennial consumers reportedly prefer receiving direct mail over email marketing. All the cool kids are doing it. Of course, they are the ultimate omnichannel consumer, so a hybrid strategy that transitions the reader from printed direct mail to an online interaction can be powerful.

As Olenski notes, it’s important to maximize the power of your direct mail.

“Use logos, visuals, charts, and targeted content to make direct mail a leisure activity,” he suggests. “It may be beneficial to use a geo-location strategy to encourage a call to action to visit a local storefront. Lastly, research the demographics in your area to align your messaging and visuals with your audience’s preferences and interests.”

Rethink your own marketing tactics and take an honest look at where direct mail might make a big impact. So here’s to our old and still very powerful friend, traditional printed direct mail.

Why Audiences Love Print on Paper [ InfoGraphic ]

The top 4 reasons:

  1. It’s more pleasant to hold than a digital device
  2. Paper provides a more enjoyable reading experience than a screen 
  3. Paper makes it easier to save, track and manage information
  4. Reading on a smartphone is too hard to be relaxing

Read the article by David Pilcher at freeportpress.com!

Could Gen-Z Represent an Emerging Market for Print Media?

FOLIO Magazine |   By Greg Dool :: 

Screen Shot 2018-05-08 at 3.59.01 PMA look into the mind of the Gen Z-er…
MNI Targeted Media, a division of Meredith Corp., revealed today the preliminary findings of an online survey of 2,500 students aimed at examining the interests, spending preferences, and consumption habits of Gen-Z—that is, those born between 1995 and 2012—which the survey suggests will represent a massive chunk of spending power in the U.S. by 2020.

Among the survey’s more intriguing findings:

  • 90 percent of Gen Z-ers rely on media to stay in touch with what is happening in the world.
  • 60 percent prefer to shop in stores over online, but 75 percent use their phones while shopping to price check or seek recommendations.
  • 50 percent agree that knowing a brand is “socially conscious” influences their purchasing decisions.
  • The average Gen Z-er spends one hour each week reading magazines.
  • 61 percent believe their generation would benefit from “unplugging more.”

Designer Pairs Pantone Swatches With Tiny Everyday Objects

Inka Mathew, a Texas-based graphic designer and owner of Green Ink Studio, matches tiny, everyday objects from ladybugs to jelly beans with their corresponding Pantone colour swatches.

In a personal project called Tiny PMS Match, Mathew combines everyday items with their Pantone Matching System (PMS). The objects she uses “pique her interest and/or have special meaning.”

Designer Pairs Pantone Swatches With Tiny Everyday Objects