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Millennials in Print Marketing: A Look At How They Work

Millennial – while the term may be synonymous with technology-and-wine-driven young people, it’s more appropriate to view this generation as a force to be reckoned with in every industry, including print.

To better define millennials, they’re the generation of young adults born between 1980 and 2000 – their size exceeds past generations with 83.1 million people representing more than one quarter of the population. This group possesses over $200 billion in direct spending power per year. Moreover, it is estimated that millennial consumerism will surge to an estimated $1.4 trillion annually by 2020.

Jeff Fromm, FutureCast President and millennial marketing expert, defines the Millennial Mindset in six categories: social circle, self, innovative, trusted, purposeful and accessible. In a recent seminar, Fromm explained the extensiveness of motivation for millennial’s stated and derived importance: what millennials say is important versus the money that they spend on a brand to express importance.

This seminar, while intended to help B2B companies, made us think about millennials in a different light. As millennials come into the workforce and baby boomers phase out, many millennials are occupying positions such as print buyers, design directors, and planning and allocation specialists in various retail development roles.

We recognize that working with millennials to produce print products is different from what we’re used to, so we’ve altered Fromm’s millennial mindset to rethink how we interact with this new generation of print professionals.

Social Circle:

While many millennials might not jump at the opportunity to discuss large format printing within their social circle, print professionals crave collaboration. Fromm explained that the ABC of working with millennials is Always Be Collaborating.

When scheduling meetings with clients, our sales executives work to include team members of all levels. Bridget Suarez, Custom Color Account Executive, makes a spot at the table for millennials because “they’re authentic and they care more about what others feel about the brand than what the brand thinks about itself.” Even print professionals new to the industry can contribute quality feedback and suggestions that add fresh new perspectives to old printing principles.

Self:

Brands that build an emotional connection with millennial consumers have better brand performance – the same is true when interacting with millennial consumers that are representing their companies. Utility is important to millennial employees. We value our millennial customers by providing customized experiences through research and development, facility tours and showing our loyalty to their brands.

Innovative:

Millennial consumers want novelty, efficiency and effectiveness in product innovation. One of our motivators at Custom Color is to make store-level install as easy and as seamless as possible. Using silicone edge graphics and fabric frames provides an effective, high quality aesthetic that requires effortless install, which in-turn increases store efficiencies. Whether store managers or store associates, millennials across the retail spectrum appreciate the innovation of SEG Graphics. 

Creative is key with millennials. To millennials, creative means more than being artistic, it means solving problems, exuding expression, being successful and producing new ideas. This group of young consumers expect brands to appeal to them creatively. Through our Research & Development process, we continue to create innovative and unique print solutions – our millennial employees serve as a constant reminder to make sure our inventions are “on fleek.”

Trusted:

Millennials are unconvinced by advertising – they are so skeptical that only about 1% of millennials claim that a compelling ad influences them. When discussing our services with millennial print professionals, we’ve found that they want data.

Because of this, we’re taking the time to compile the numbers that they need. A catchy song and commercial might make them contact us, but we’re betting that our statistics impress them more: 1.5 million kits distributed with over 99.95% accuracy, thousands of vehicles wrapped, and over 15,200 jobs in the past 12 months.

Purposeful:

Millennials want brands to possess purpose. Companies that are good to the world and that are committed to making earth a better place will stand out to millennial consumers.

One aspect that millennial print professionals appreciate is that Custom Color strives to be as environmentally conscious as possible. The ink used by our three HP 3500 latex presses contains no Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs), are nickel free and have obtained Greenguard Gold and Ecologo qualifications.           

Accessible:

All millennial professionals seek accessibility – after all, they have the world at their fingertips. We’ve found that by incorporating live chat into our website, we’ve made ourselves more accessible to our clients. In a meeting? Don’t want to pick up the phone? No problem, chat allows us to answer questions, share photos and ideas and work with customers to place orders.

Millennials yearn to be more than “media-connected,” “savvy” or “technology junkies”– they want to be treated like the purchasing superpower that they are. At Custom Color, we will continue to evaluate our strategies to accommodate the millennial print professionals that we work with.


Jason Milbourne is the Vice President at Custom Color Corp. A designer, pre-press connoisseur, and Royals fanatic by day and a fantasy baseball pro and taco and craft beer arbitrator by night, Jason loves all things fun and crazy….just like his hair. Connect with him on LinkedIn, but don’t follow him on Instagram, because he won’t follow back.

Wondering About Windows? A Q&A.

Josh’s recent Perfect Window Advertising blog starts out by explaining how underused, but incredibly effective, perforated window film is as an advertising medium. While reading about his take on perforated window film, a thought hit me: windows are awesome.

Perhaps while reading his blog you had some questions about window graphics.  I’ve outlined some of the most common inquiries that we receive when discussing window advertising or design with clients.

Why are windows so important anyways?

We’ve all heard the quotation, “you never get a second chance to make a great first impression.” This statement is so true, and should be applied to all relationships, especially those with customers and prospects. In reality, windows give retailers an opportunity to make the best first impression.

Looking to build and express your brand? If so, a blank window is not the way to go. Successful window signage will draw customers into your space to interact with your product or service. Windows provide an ideal canvas to advertise promotions and specials. Your customers might not follow you on social media or read your ad in the newspaper – instead of making the passersby wonder about your offerings, tell them! Long story short – window graphics are instant, inexpensive advertising for your business or organization.

I run various campaigns and need a window graphic that is easily removable – is that possible?

Of course! Just like all of our materials and applications, we have multiple options for removable window advertising!

The most commonly known removable window advertising option is static cling. We carry a 4 mil cling in both clear and white – this no-adhesive cling produces a one-sided print.  Static cling looks best when applied to a smooth and clean, nonporous, indoor or outdoor surface where humidity and other external elements will not come into contact with the graphic.

Perforated window film is an incredibly popular substrate at our Color Castle. For years our customers have been asking us about an inside mount perforated window film with a reverse print. We’re now able to deliver– even businesses in municipalities with regulations against outdoor mounted window graphics can still benefit from window film!

I want removable and reusable – have anything like that?

An option that is very similar to static cling is glass adhere. This substrate is comprised of many microscopic suction cups, which adhere to glass without glue or static electricity. Glass adhere holds to any smooth surface, has the potential to be repositioned and reused, and lasts indefinitely when used indoors.

One of our more popular, non-permanent and reusable graphic options is easy dot, a vinyl that features special air release properties, which allows for both bubble- and wrinkle-free installation. Easy dot is a guaranteed easy installation, as it does not require special tools, equipment or training. At Custom Color, we offer white and frosted clear, both of which are perfect for windows!

Any double-sided options?

Absolutely! For a more cost-effective option, customers opt for a thin card stock or styrene. After printing on both sides, our master finishers use a GBC air release laminate on the window side of the print.

We can also print second surface on a 4 mil optically clear material and flood with white ink. Sandwiched in between the two layers is a block out material to prevent graphic bleed through. A first surface print on 4 mil optically clear finishes the graphic off.

Do I need to hire a professional installer to apply these graphics?

Installation is no longer an excuse for not employing window advertising. Special tools and training are not required to install static cling, glass adhere, easy dot or double-sided prints. The lack of special requirements makes it easy for anyone, from teenage employees to franchise owners, to apply these substrates to windows.

Window advertising is great, but I want something for interior decoration.

You’re in luck! We have worked with many companies to renovate and innovate everything for office interiors, from wallpaper to windows. 

Sprint recently underwent an office redesign. We worked with Rees Masilionis Turley Architecture to create the appearance of etched glass, without going through the trouble of etching the glass. Through a little bit of research and development, we discovered a new usage for 2 mil optically clear isotropic adhesive. We printed a combination of white and black inks at different opacities to create the illusion of etched glass. This layered effect was installed in full sheets rather than cutting and weeding the vinyl, which reduced turn around time and cost. This professionally installed permanent window option is much more cost effective than etching all of the glass in their office.

In Conclusion…

Windows are an underrated advertising space – they are oftentimes an afterthought to in-store signage and POP displays. Now that you know the many different options for window advertising, hopefully you’ll leverage the advertising capabilities of windows.

Even if you’re not looking to use your windows for advertising, they can certainly be dressed up to revamp the look and feel of your office space.  Our customers will attest to this improved (and affordable) design upgrade. 

Maybe you shrugged before when I said windows are awesome – I’m confident that you see their full potential now. Whether you’re looking to use window graphics to boost your brand or overhaul your office, you won’t be sorry.

Want us to work on your window graphics? Let’s chat.


Jason Milbourne is the Vice President at Custom Color Corp. A designer, pre-press connoisseur, and Royals fanatic by day and a fantasy baseball pro and taco and craft beer arbitrator by night, Jason loves all things fun and crazy….just like his hair. Connect with him on LinkedIn, but don’t follow him on Instagram, because he won’t follow back.

Generating Greatness: G7® Master Qualification

This quarter has been an exciting time at Custom Color. Last month we received an A+ SAGE rating for being a high-performance promotional products print provider. This week we added another certification to our collection.

We achieved G7® Master Qualification, awarded by Idealliance®, a not-for-profit industry group dedicated to guiding print production best practices, specifications, and standards, worldwide. Custom Color joins a select group of print service providers who have successfully completed training, examination and qualification process of their print production processes, validating their capabilities to the highest level of global industry standards and specifications.

G7 is Idealliance’s industry-leading set of best practices for achieving gray balance and is the driving force for achieving visual similarity across all print processes. The application of this method enables printers to reproduce a similar visual appearance across all printing types and substrates.

Prior to our first G7 Master Qualification in 2015, our large format digital print services to clients in the hospitality, retail and trade show industries was thorough, but standardization was lacking. With a growing arsenal of printing equipment, we recognized that we had to ensure standardization across our presses so that mixed material marketing campaigns would appear cohesive in color. We looked to our Prepress Lead Larry, and the Idealliance G7 Master Program, to achieve further productivity gains to better serve our customer’s objectives for brand color quality and control.

“Ensuring color quality for our customers is vital,” stated Larry Legg, Custom Color’s Prepress lead. For the past two years, we have dedicated time and energy into achieving the accurate G7 gray balance. This color standardization in gray scale and color across our presses means assured accuracy and consistency for our client’s brands. “

"We applaud Custom Color for utilizing the G7 Master Program to assure consistency and quality in their proofing, brand color management and print processes," commented Steve Bonoff of Idealliance. "G7 Master Qualification demonstrates a level of control and expertise that places Custom Color at the top of their field. We applaud their leadership, commitment and support of the G7 Master Qualification Program."

Generating Greatness: G7 Master Qualification

Our G7 Master Qualification, in conjunction with our unparalleled customer service and top-of-the-line technology, are all reasons to think about switching from your current print services provider to a print solutions provider. Want to talk about it more? Contact us!

Ink Inquiries: Our Most Frequently Asked Questions

There is a certain unspoken mantra at Custom Color – it is best explained by Alan Weiss, author of Million Dollar Consulting. Weiss stated, “Ask your customers to be part of the solution, and don’t view them as part of the problem.”

We’re collaborators, we always include our clients in the solutions to their printing problems. Oftentimes, customers coming from the hospitality, retail and trade show sectors have questions about large format printing, the process, and its worth to their organizations.

We decided to compile a Frequently Asked Questions blog to calm the qualms of printing prospects and current customers. Without delay, a bit of Custom Color proficiency from the beginning of the printing process to the end:

Why does my company need large format printing?

As we stated in our Questions Answered blog, the reason that you must incorporate large format printing into your campaigns is because “it’s, hands-down, the easiest way to attract customers, increase brand awareness and boost sales.“

Fun retail fact: 53% of all customers’ in-store buying decisions are classified as impulse buying – if you’re not employing POP or POS displays, you might be missing out.

It’s simple! You provide art and specs and we do the rest.

Can you make __________________________?

If you can think it, we can ink it (we have t-shirts that say this, so we’re very serious). Our large variety of over 125 inventory items works great for a majority of our client’s projects. However, if you’re looking for something that we don’t stock, we can special order any substrates or accessories that your custom project requires.

I need this by this afternoon (or tomorrow, or the day after) - can you make that happen?

While we try really hard to meet every deadline that we’re challenged with, perfection takes a bit more time than a day. Our general turn around time from receiving print ready files, to production to shipping is five to seven business days. We like to dedicate our energy to each and every piece of a project, which our clients love.

What kind of proofs do you offer? When will I receive my proof?

Customers have a few options when it comes to proofs. If you’re looking for a proof of the entire art file at a reduced size, you’ll need a production proof. We can make our production proofs at any reduced size. Oftentimes, our customers ask for a mag proof along with their production proof. A mag proof is“magnified” and is the term that we use when requesting a cut out section of the artwork printed at 100%.

Full-sized production proofs is exactly what it sounds like – a proof of the image printed at 100%.

Proofs are sent after our prepress process deems your artwork error free and print-ready.

Can I alter the provided template?

Many of our promotional products require templates provided by our prepress peeps. While we encourage inking outside of the box, it’s important not to alter the cut files or bleed lines on the templates provided or else ink might not make it on your box.

Tell me how you prefer your files:

Lucky for you, our prepress lead, Larry has put together this art requirement guide that you can pass on to your design team. Following these art requirements will ultimately benefit your printing timeline – if we receive art-ready files, we can usually decrease the print turnaround time by one day, in addition to providing print perfection on our client’s projects.

How long until I receive my prints?

Our centralized location in the Midwest means that we can deliver graphics and kits to most of the country in three days or less using standard ground shipping.

Fed-Ex Shipping Map:
UPS Shipping Map: 

Printing technology? Pricing? Materials? Tracking numbers?

Our fantastic group of Happiness Heroes double as print professors – they can answer any questions about the printing process, substrates, pricing and tracking information. Have a question that we haven’t covered in this blog? We’ve got the answer to that, too. 

Basically...

Solving printing problems is our number one goal. We find that including our customers as part of each solution that we provide ensures that our customers are 100% satisfied with the final outcome.  Let’s celebrate solutions together. Print with us.


Jason Milbourne is the Vice President at Custom Color Corp. A designer, pre-press connoisseur, and Royals fanatic by day and a fantasy baseball pro and taco and craft beer arbitrator by night, Jason loves all things fun and crazy….just like his hair. Connect with him on LinkedIn, but don’t follow him on Instagram, because he won’t follow back.