Benchmark Blog

Monday, 15 December 2014 23:06

Marketing Trends In 2015

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Since we are fast approaching a new year,(yes, where did 2014 go!) I thought we would talk about some trends in marketing for 2015.  I know for everyone here at Benchmark Displays, we are constantly looking for ways to increase our online visibility.  We have been working on creating a series of short corporate videos, so I was happy to discover, during my research that video promotion is a trend that we will be seeing more and more of throughout 2015. One article I read said that 40% of people respond more positively to visual content, with videos getting three times more likes than posts that are text only in content.

The whole point of marketing is to create brand awareness.  You want your potential customers to engage and connect with the content you share with them.  Long term  relationships are key, so if you are creating captivating, personalized content, you are more likely to inspire your customers to stay on your website longer, and make recurring purchases.

 Social Media will continue to increase in popularity, especially since everyone can download social apps to their smartphones and stay connected 24/7.  Now that both Facebook and Twitter have added buy buttons to certain posts, users can even make purchases directly through these social sites without having to leave the page.  We will see how well that does in the upcoming year. One of the sites that we have really taken notice of has been LinkedIn.  They made some big changes in 2014, one of which was adding a publishing platform to their site. It gives companies like ours, the opportunity to build and develop a professional brand through content like a company blog, and allows us to showcase our capabilities directly to our target audience, other businesses.

 

As with anything else, trends come and go.  But I think social media will continue to be an important tool for marketing and advertising.  With the ability to reach a limitless number of customers, and tracking analytics integrated into these sites, it’s really a no brainer to try them out!  So, if you’ve been toying with the idea of a promotional video, or have a brilliant new product you want to market, post/pin and tweet away!

Wednesday, 10 December 2014 19:57

Are QR Codes Effective Marketing Tools?

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As we approach a new year, we have been trying to think of ways to kickstart our marketing efforts.  It seems everywhere I look, companies are using QR Codes (Quick Response) to entice customers to check out their products.  You are seeing them more and more on the shelving at large retail stores, on business cards and even point of sale displays.

So, what are they exactly, and how do they work?  Invented in Japan, QR Codes are similar to bar codes, except that they have the ability to store more information, including images and video.  Now, with the popularity of smart phones, companies have seen the potential to use QR Codes in marketing campaigns.  You can easily download a free App that can scan and read bar codes directly on your phone.  One of the challenges to using QR Codes, is figuring out how to use it to add value.  You have to give people a good reason to scan the code, after all, it requires effort on their part to take out their phone, find the app and scan the code.  If, after all that the customer feels dissatisfied with the content, you’ve lost a potential sale, so make sure your message is well thought out!

Some uses for QR Codes?

·        Using it to connect to social media

·        Using it to offer coupons

·        Contact or Quote Requests

·        Product Details

·        Newsletters

·        Are QR Codes Effective Marketing Tools?

·        Videos

Consumers are becoming increasingly open to scanning QR Codes, after all, who doesn’t love a little mystery, so with the right marketing strategy, it could become a powerful marketing tool for you in the new year!

 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014 18:41

The Popularity of Gift Card Displays in Retail

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Benchmark Displays has, in the past produced clever gift card displays just in time for the Holiday season.

 

Gift Cards are always convenient gifts for the holidays, or any time of year for that matter!  In the past retailers had relegated Gift Cards to a discrete rack hook or scrunched up next to the candy, hoping for the last minute impulse sale.  Now, due to their popularity with customers, they are placing them front and center.

Rainier Industries, Ltd, an agency for Retailer Eddie Bauer had a better idea.  Turning to Benchmark Displays, they decided to put gift cards right in the shopper’s path.  Incorporating a metal floor stand sign holder, we created a 24” wide by 36” high acrylic display.  Each display has special holders that were added vertically to hold Gift Cards depicting different holiday themes.  Surrounding the gift cards is an exciting holiday message and Free Gift offer with every Gift Card purchase.

The free gift, a miniature holiday stocking perfect for packaging the card, can be hung on a tree or added to the wrappings of other gifts and is a great added value.  Sourcing the little stockings was accomplished by the client, yet making it all work together was Benchmark’s challenge.  In the end, a very tacky tape was used to secure a sample stocking to the acrylic signs.

Design and graphic teams collaborated on the finished reverse-screened images, which have been incorporated into two separate holiday looks.  One unit is with red and green graphics on a kraft background and the other red and white on a holiday silver background.  The displays are double sided so shoppers can see them coming and going.

 

Benchmark is proud to have produced 1050 of the special holiday displays and shipped them out to nearly 400 Eddie Bauer stores and outlets throughout North America, just in time for the Holiday Season.

When it comes to the branding and marketing of your commercial enterprise, one of the oldest strategies in the book is to offer your customers and clients some very creative promotional items with your company logo clearly displayed.  When done correctly, this method of advertising can prove very effective.  But we need to be careful.  Flooding the market with promotional items of extremely poor quality or taste can also have a negative effect on our business.

Offer Quality Items!

It is not enough to simply purchase a few boxes of ballpoint pens with your company name emblazoned on the side.  Cheap, poorly made products will send a signal to your clients that your company lacks professionalism and attention to detail.  Imagine the negative branding image associated with a cheaply made ballpoint pen exploding in someone’s shirt pocket!  When it comes to advertising through promotional products, quality is always a critical factor.

Offer Variety!

 

Dare to be different.  Be creative and choose products that your clients can actually use on a daily basis.  Thanks to the advancements of digital graphics technology in recent years, a company logo can be artistically displayed on nearly any type of promotional item.  From calendars to post-its, t-shirts to ball caps, and even portable USB hard drives to umbrellas, utilizing promotional items for your marketing strategies has never been easier or less expensive than it is today!  Think outside the box.  You’ll send a positive message about the originality and creativity of your company brand in the process.  We here at Benchmark Displays have decided to try it, so we will keep you posted on how our marketing efforts through promotional products turn out!

Tuesday, 30 September 2014 21:59

The Benefits and Uses of Polystyrene

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Because we can use various materials in the fabrication of our custom displays, depending on budget, time frame, and use of the product, we thought we would discuss some of the various materials in depth, including their many uses and benefits, starting with polystyrene.

 

First of all, polystyrene, both solid and film, is used in many of the products we use in our everyday lives, including disposable plastic cutlery and dinnerware, CD Cases, envelope windows, license plate frames the list goes on and on...

 

Polystyrene foams are good thermal insulators and are therefore  used in food service products as well as building insulation.  As a thermoplastic polymer, polystyrene is in a sold state at room temperature, but easily melts when heated, which makes it ideal for both extrusion, as well as injection molding where it can be easily cast into a mold.

Used in many composite products, like tub and shower enclosures, automobile body panels, wind turbine parts, and boats.

Polystyrene is a very hard and brittle plastic, and when purchasing sheets, comes in many thicknesses, starting at one thousandth of an inch (.001), .020, .030, .040 and up.  Project and budget would be factors to consider when choosing both the material and the thickness.

Pieces can have visible relief markings due to the molding process.

Usually more cost effective than injection molded acrylic or fabricated acrylic

 

 

In a nutshell, product functionality, and budget are important things to consider when choosing a material for your project, something our team here at benchmark displays can walk you through!


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