What we have done with some success as a business strategy at Benchmark Displays is immerse ourselves in the attitudes, and cultures of Mexico, and China, the countries we have come to rely upon as manufacturing partners. The reason for this is practical, not philosophical or philanthropic, as we design, engineer and source products with relatively high labor content for our U.S. customer base. The internet and the world wide web have combined to shrink the world in a virtual way so that global sourcing seems not a possibility but one of today’s mandates for business survival.
For example, this week, starting on February 19, China begins its annual New Year Celebration. Revolving on 12 year astrological/zodiac, animal, cycles, this year is the year of Yang or the Goat. Two point eight billion Chinese migrants, office and factory workers and executives are on their way home to the cities and villages from which they came to be with family and friends.
While here we revel in the luxury of a few four day Holiday weekends per year, the Chinese economy is entirely shut down and on vacation for anywhere from one to three weeks, with two being the average. Having visited China factories regularly for 25 years in connection with our work, we know to carefully plan for the heavy production backlog in the month before and then during the holiday, when there will be a complete shutdown of production and most business communication.
However, come March 1st , it’s business open once again, and with a renewed emphasis and urgency. Our special facility is with “on the ground”, competent and ethical, English speaking colleagues with a shared commitment to consistently exceed customer expectations. The commissions we earn for our services are inconsequential when measured against the assurance and insurance we provide our clientele that they will receive exactly what they ordered and when it is scheduled to be delivered.
Factory visits, QC audits and onsite coordination of first time orders are a routine part of our service. We produce prototypes and pre-production samples and bring them home in the overhead bin of our flight to save valuable time, when appropriate at no extra charge in an effort to distinguish and differentiate our service. You and or your engineers can accompany us on these long flights, sleep on hard beds and enjoy the various delicacies at the traditional meal with factory management, or leave it to us. We have adapted to this and all the other unfamiliar cultural aspects, which believe it or not, are an important aspect of the successful import business relationship.
Chambers represent the interests of businesses, and advocate on behalf of the business community. How many recognized members do you have in your chamber? As a small business owner, having begun our journey 30 years ago, we share your passion for promoting the creation and development of local businesses.
Whether it’s corporate awards or custom designed association club member plaques, Benchmark Displays have proudly served as the leading custom plaque provider for numerous chambers across the country.
As we roll into 2015, let us help you to acknowledge and recognize your members, commitment and dedication to your community. If your organization needs a new design or a new quote for a previous plaque order, Benchmark is capable of providing quality pieces in a variety of materials such as wood or acrylic.
Call us today!
We have had several clients contact us recently to inquire about utilizing wire or metal in their new product displays. I thought I would share some of the potential benefits to using this material. Wire displays can be used for POP displays, magazine and literature racks, card displays, etc. The point of purchase product display landscape worldwide, like display merchandising in general, is evolving at hyper-speed as new materials and processes emerge. As our clientele of designers, and display users across all the industries we serviced became more aware and conscious of the need to be responsible stewards of the environment, we realized that while plastic products can and are recycled, other materials like paperboard and metal are easier and more amenable to reprocess for additional and economical re-use cycles.
So, Benchmark today offers recycled vinyl products for retail merchandising, paperboard displays for products and brochures, and most recently, attractive and budget-conscious wire displays of all shapes, colors and sizes for semi permanent use on the counters and floors of convenience stores and thousands of other self-service retail environments across the nation.
Wire displays by their nature are very labor intensive to make. So, while Benchmark has capable manufacturing partnerships with domestic and Mexican producers, it primarily relies on its China-based manufacturers for elaborate or large quantity applications. And, to capture the maximum product cost advantage of production in Asia, we are also adept at developing designs that are modular in concept, ship flat to reduce transportation cost but are quick and easy to assemble.
Wire displays are often designed with headers to accept "slide in" printed, seasonal promotional ads. Or since silk screen printing in China costs a fraction of U.S. domestic rates, multi-color, multi-location imprints are practical and can enhance the product presentation and impact of the display at POP.
Benchmark's matchless value proposition includes all of the above benefits plus design service, prototyping, short-run capabilities for quick turn product launches followed by less expensive volume production and fulfillment services.
Add the peace-of-mind that comes from dealing with a friendly, English speaking, US. based company that warrants and guarantees 100% product satisfaction while being able to communicate during compatible time zones for conducting business, and you have an unbeatable win-win production.
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!
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
· Are QR Codes Effective Marketing Tools?
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!