Wednesday, 30 July 2014 18:38

K&N Filters and Benchmark Displays

Published in Benchmark Blog

So you have an incredible product and you want to distribute and display it in stores. Where to begin. Probably with research. If you have never had a custom display created for a product, you more than likely will start an exhaustive internet search. What type of material do I want to use? Acrylic, Plexiglas? Or maybe an entirely different direction with a wood or wire display. Often times our clients will ask for recommendations. If you have a drawing or dimensions for the display that’s a great  place to start! We can help guide you as to the best material to use, to keep costs at a minimum and help you achieve the desired look.  Often we are asked if there is a difference between acrylic, and Plexiglas?  The answer,  yes and no.  Acrylic is a transparent thermoplastic derived from natural gas and is marketed under many different names, including Plexiglas and Lucite.  Plexiglas is a type of acrylic that is cell cast, versus being extruded.  This means that it has fewer impurities and is therefore more expensive to purchase.

 

 So, now that you have a material in mind and you know what you want in terms of aesthetic, How long will it take for me to receive my displays? Depending on the scope of the project, a custom order, once a prototype has been approved will take about 10-15 days, but we will keep you posted every step of the way on the progress of the order.  We hope this put’s your mind at ease, but if you have any additional questions not answered here just give us a call!

Published in Benchmark Blog
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 16:13

Offering Information via Brochure Displays

You can’t just explain everything about your business in a sentence or two. No matter what services or products you offer, there is always complex information that demands a more in-depth explanation. While a few sentences in a commercial or print ad are perfectly fine, there are customers that will want to be better informed about the products and services you offer. This is where the brochure comes in. The brochure your company or business puts out for potential and existing customers should have all the information they need to make an informed decision on whether to purchase or continue to purchase from you.

Getting It Out There

Once you’ve created an informative brochure that not only educates your customer on what your company is, but also provides specific information about each of your products, you need to have a way to display them that will attract as much traffic as possible. The more hands you can get your brochures into will result in more business. Benchmark Displays has several options to choose from to help you display your company’s brochures.

Each type of business will have completely different needs when it comes to displaying their company information. If you are the proprietor of a toy store, you can be sure that you will be flooded with rambunctious kids, so you will want to look into the chipboard displays and chipboard brochure holders. They tend to be less likely to be destroyed by little kids bent on destruction. You can also go with a wall mounted brochure case that you can put out of reach of little curious hands.

Maybe you are a doctor with your own private practice. In this case, you might want something that looks a little more professional. Benchmark Displays also have acrylic magazine sleds as well as custom acrylic brochure displays that add a touch of professionalism that cardboard displays just can’t do. That isn’t to say cardboard brochure holders haven’t evolved into a much more modern look; there is just a level of class that clear acrylic has that can’t be beat.

Eco-Friendly Options

If you run a health store specializing in organic and vegan products you will more than likely be interested in the more eco-friendly options Benchmark Displays has to offer. This is where cardboard and chipboard show their worth. They provide a sturdy and useful display for any product brochures you want to display while still showing your attention to the environment.

 

No matter what services or products your company has to offer, we have the ability to provide you with custom brochure displays. This will put the necessary product information at customers’ fingertips allowing them to educate themselves about the things they are purchasing. Let Benchmark Displays work with your marketing team to come up with brochure display solutions that are stylish, functional, and ideal for your business setting. There are plenty of options to choose from that will not only reflect your professional and creative background but also can attract the attention of future consumers. 

Published in Benchmark Blog

For this particular experiment into the future of marketing for your business, we will say your company specializes in hobbies.  Your particular store has an amazing selection of model cars and specialized paint along with arts and crafts for every age group.  It may also include several delicate pieces for dollhouses or larger items for a detailed model train town.  Even though there are a large amount of people that have needs that can be fulfilled by your store, there is still an untapped well of consumers that  you have yet to reach.  By creating a custom marketing strategy for your displays and other business related signs and promotional items, you can improve the visibility of your hobby store by leaps and bounds.

First Impressions

When it comes to your hobby store, your customer’s first impression can lead to repeat business if you approached it properly.  The first thing your customers should see when they walk in the door is an exceptional custom display.  Benchmark Displays can work with you to create a quality display that you can put at the front of the store for people to see first thing.  You can use this display to alternate products for certain specials throughout the week.  There are multi-level custom plexi displays and custom acrylic displays that are not only functional but stylish as well.

Easels are another way to advertise to your customers while inside the store.  You can have them at the front door or placed strategically around with special sales and pricing. They are easy to move around from place to place depending on your store layout.

Additional In-Store Options

Once your customer has made it in the door and is making their way through the aisles, you can have detailed product information as well as pricing for each item in our channel sign holders.  We also carry Vinyl products in the way of hanging sign holders to direct customers to a particular section of the store.  This helps with customer service so they don’t have to stop and ask where each product is.

Once your customer has made their final selections, they will be heading to checkout.  This is where POP, or point-of-purchase displays come in.  With their strategic placement by the registers, you can place specialized items that grab a customer’s attention.  These can be holiday specific items or just items that you happen to have on sale.  This is your last chance to acquire additional sales, so they need to be carefully thought out.

With a proper display setup throughout your store, you can increase your sales in ways you may have never thought possible.  Benchmark Displays has the ability to create personalized marketing strategy no matter what your business model is.  We have the ability to customize your POP displays, hanging signs, and custom display cases with your company logo to offer a professional marketing setup that can work with businesses from the level of a small toy store on up to a large retail clothing store.

 

 

Published in Benchmark Blog
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 17:51

Display Marketing for Your New Business

Let’s imagine for a moment that you are starting a new business.  For argument’s sake, this business is a boutique adult beverage store.  You want to offer the finest spirits and wines that your customers could desire, but you also plan to provide locally produced items as well.  Liquor stores aren’t too difficult to come by, so you have to find a way to stand out among the big box options.  You will want your potential customers to be aware that you are a specialty store offering a more unique experience.

Promotional Offerings

Right before you are ready to open your doors, one thing you may want to consider investing in when it comes to marketing is promotional incentives.  There are several options available, from calendars to paper weights, to choose from that we can customize with your company logo.  These are things that you would take around to other businesses in the area to get people talking.

Just like pharmaceutical companies have custom pens and notepads they leave with doctor’s offices, these are items that would be left in view on a daily basis.  The other business owners and their employees would see them and so would their customers.  Having these custom products readily available to give out will put your business on the map before you even open.

Signs and Displays

Inside your store will be where the magic happens.  To bring the people not only to your doors, but inside them as well, you should have an eye catching sign holder with your business name and logo in an easily visible location.  You can choose a hanging sign holder that you can place outside your door for the whole world to see.

Once inside, your customers will be impressed with your selection of custom display cases that show just how much thought and care you’ve put into the products you have to offer.  If you have an extensive selection of locally grown wines, you can put them in an eye-catching custom plexi display case.

Given the specialty nature of your boutique adult beverage store, you can also have brochure displays informing your customers about the products you sell.  It can provide a more detailed background about the vineyard, the grapes in the wine they have chosen, were grown in.  This will not only offer a more personalized experience than the usual liquor stores, it also provides exposure for the local vineyards and growers that you purchase from as well.  While increasing your own sales you can also bring attention to their business as well.

 

You can’t forget the small things either.  Benchmark Displays also offers the channel sign holders you will need on your shelves to provide pricing information as well.  Not only can we give you a well-rounded marketing strategy for your business inside and out, but also we can do it with your personal specifications in mind.  Benchmark Displays can work with you to create a successful business model that will not only improve your visibility but increase you chances for sales as well.

Published in Benchmark Blog
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 16:49

The Beauty Beat Goes On

Women and men of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds are turning to the makeup industry to help them look and feel their best.  This would explain why the cosmetics and personal care industries continue to see a steady increase in profits from year to year.

 

What is trending in the beauty world in 2014?

Here are a few that I found interesting… Drinkable skincare for one.  Most of us are obsessed with anti-aging, the term growing old gracefully has long gone out the window.  The good news is we can forget about having to slather on the anti-aging collagen creams over our overexposed skin.  Companies are now introducing Hyaluronic Acid drinks, and collagen boosting liquid supplements are now readily available.  Granny perfumes are another new trend for the year.  Perfume makers have been working to come up with modern re-interpretations of scents our grandmothers used to wear.  So look for scents like rose, violet, gardenia and jasmine to be popular again.  I find it a bit of a paradox that we want to look young but smell umm…nostalgic?  But hey, that’s just me!  Last but certainly not least in my opinion is the Russian banyas (saunas), the latest trend in wellness…in Europe anyway.  The steam is supposedly more hydrating which helps with the detoxification process….but here is where things get interesting.. The treatment also involves being lightly, dare I say “whacked” with birch, oak or eucalyptus leaves and twigs to help improve circulation.  I’m not completely sold on that one yet, not really my idea of a relaxing day at the spa.. but I may come around.

 

People are continually seeking new products and treatments to improve their well-being.  Every season brings new color palettes, and every year brings new trends geared towards improving one’s self -image.  The one constant in all of this is that manufacturers need to come up with clever, unique packaging to go with their new and improved products.  Custom Displays will always be an integral part of the equation, as you want to showcase your innovative new product in a way that gets it noticed.  Especially is this evident in the cosmetics industry.  How many retail stores that sell makeup do you walk into that have their products concealed behind cabinets or in drawers?  Most are beautifully presented in an acrylic or plexi display case so as to capture a consumer’s attention as they walk by.  The bottom line is that your brand’s success depends on your ability to market your product from packaging to display, so make it stellar all the way around!

Published in Benchmark Blog
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 17:46

Boost Your Business With Custom Displays

If you are in the business of offering a product in retail stores, one of the best ways to attract customers to your product over a competitor’s is by implementing a custom display.  If you product stands out and really “pops” so to speak, it will catch the eyes of your potential customers.  Studies have shown that visually appealing products on the shelf attract consumers attention, and increase the amount of time spent looking at these products!  The best part?  A custom display can be designed to target your ideal customer base.

 

Putting your Display to Work

 

 

 So let’s say that your company is looking to put your product up for sale, and let’s say for the sake of argument that you sell cosmetics, and you want to put them in a retail location, or maybe your product is a specialty beverage that you want to sell in an upscale liquor store.  A well thought out custom display can, and will increase visibility.  Taking into consideration the amount of time a customer will spend scanning the sales floor before heading to one display or another, keep in mind that consumers unconsciously tend to search for environments that create a positive mood and are inviting.  Why?  Because most purchasing decisions are emotion driven.  Using the most optimal display type, whether it’s acrylic, plexi, vinyl or chipboard, and being mindful that size, shape and color can all be deciding factors for increasing sales, you want to give your display a great deal of thought.  Given the fact that according to POPAI (Global Association for Marketing  at-Retail) 60% of purchases are decided right in the store, why leave it to chance?  Give your brand the boost that it needs!  Put Benchmark Displays to work for you and let us show you what we can do to increase your product’s sales!

Published in Benchmark Blog
Wednesday, 12 February 2014 16:58

Eco-Friendly Display Options

With all the news about global warming and climate change, it is time to start considering ways to reduce our carbon footprint in personal and work life. Statistics show that 70% percent of Americans believe that global warming is very real.  Off course, 92% percent of all statistics are made up on the spot, so take it for what it’s worth. When it comes to your ability to contribute to the betterment of the world in relation to your business, it’s vital to sit up and take notice

Brochure Displays

Benchmark Displays began way back in 1983 as Taymar Plastics.  Successfully designing, making and marketing virtually millions of plastic brochure holders, promotional literature racks and product displays was the mainstay of our business for more than twenty five years.  Then, the national conversation turned to bulging earth-fills and environmental sustainability.  First a few and then many of our customers in the pharmaceutical, financial, food, retail product manufacturing, automotive and national retailer industries told us that new, internal company policies required that environmentally friendly and recyclable materials be used for their point-of-purchase brochure holders and custom product displays.  Acrylic and Plexiglas displays were no longer welcome in certain settings.

Paperboard packaging was the obvious and simple solution.  Chipboard or cardboard can be made from recycled newspapers and corrugated shipping containers or made from virgin wood chips but in either case, it’s biodegradable and eco-friendly.  Benchmark Displays, our new brand and identity, quickly added the capacity to furnish all types of brochure holders and product displays produced in our family-owned factory.  These displays can be screen or digitally printed with company logos and product advertising if the requirement is small in quantity or litho printed if the quantities are larger.  

Retail Displays

So, if you are looking for ways to display your products and promotional literature while still being conscientious of the environment, then cost-effective paperboard displays are a great bet! 

We only have one world to live in, (unless you know something that we don’t) so it might be time we all try a little harder to take care of it. While recycling has long been touted as a way to help the environment, we are finding out ways to reduce our carbon footprint in everything that we do. Cars are becoming more economical in regards to fuel consumption, for example, you can now get a car that is the size of a large shoebox, which reduces the amount of fuel you will need (for obvious reasons) and more people are choosing mass transit or carpool as a method of transportation. There are more and more packaging options being made out of recycled products, and because brands typically update their packaging every couple of years, cost is no longer a large company’s biggest concern.

 

The good news? It is possible to do your part when it comes to your business, Benchmark Displays is more than happy to do its part in reducing our own little carbon footprint! 

Published in Benchmark Blog

We’ve all heard the expression “you only get one chance to make a first impression” right?  And let’s face it, we’ve all had that “first impression” experience, over and over again actually….whether it was a job interview…ugh!  Or first date, even bigger UGH!  And there have been some good, some bad, and some, yes, you guessed it, heinous!  (You thought I was going to say Ugly, didn’t you?)  You know the one’s I’m talking about?  The first date with the “nice” guy or girl your friends set you up with…who as it turns out spends way too much time talking about HIS or HER feelings, (that and their cat skizzy)…or the employer who spends 20 grueling minutes interrogating you for the only open position they have, and then he/she asks that impossible question they all seem to ask, describe one of your biggest flaws…and scratch!  You blew it….Next….

So where am I going with this?  Well, when it comes to retail, I have discovered that first, as well as last impressions are critical.  Let’s face it, all of us are inherently visual, we are drawn to what we perceive is attractive….that’s why exhaustive research and expense has gone into case studies, and customer surveys… What color should our packaging be if we sell high carb protein bars?  Studies have shown the color green increases a person’s appetite…Also, scent marketing has become hugely popular, because again, studies have shown that scent has a proven impact on buying decisions.

 

The same can be said of brick and mortar retail stores.  A customer, such as me walks into the store, and where do my eyes land?  On that visually stunning custom display I see directly in my line of sight.  The one with the amazing new and improved 100 SPF sunscreen and the stunning bronzed gods and goddesses wearing next to nothing.  Wow, I suddenly want a tube or two, despite the fact that I live in far north Alaska and my body hasn’t seen the light of day in more than a decade!  In the cart they go… and I’m off… cruising up and down the aisles, distracted and suddenly I forget the one thing I came here for… By the time I make my way to the register, my shopping cart is loaded with essential as well as non essential items I must have… and take note retailers, here’s your final chance to get my attention before I walk out the door.  There it is!  Another custom POP counter top display, hair extensions in various colors!  So I horde.  After all, they’re on sale, a close-out special… Never mind that I’m pushing 80 and have virtually no hair left on my head!  With these beauties my grandkids just might invite me out to a club.  And so it goes.  With all the competing brands out there, you need to grab a customer’s attention.  You’ve made a great product, so now what?  If you haven’t gotten the hint yet, how can you make your merchandise stand out?  In a nutshell, make it appealing!  Showcase it with a well thought out custom display.  Whether your display is acrylic or more eco friendly like chipboard, your goal is to make me think your product is the one I just can’t live without!

Published in Benchmark Blog

Today’s screed is about offshore and nearshore sourcing, so take heed!

 

Five decades of business experience can give you a load of wisdom along with a fair amount of scar tissue and I have both.  We learn by doing and doing is often characterized by a process of “error…. correct, error… correct”.  Nowhere is this truer nor is there an area with more potential pitfalls than the process of trying to save money by direct, offshore sourcing of goods and services.

 

For Benchmark Displays, manufacturing many of our stock and custom acrylic displays and brochure holders in Mexico and China over the past 30 years has contributed in large measure to our success, while at the same time, teaching us some valuable lessons along the way.  In today’s globalized world, every consumer knows that many of the products they purchase are manufactured elsewhere and imported into the U.S.  Similarly, purchasing people use the Internet and can either search for, or are deluged with email solicitations from abroad that promise quality products at bargain basement prices.  All is not gold that glitters!

 

Here are some of the challenges we have faced and surmounted in order to consistently deliver sparkling, custom POP plexi displays, as well as counter top and wall mounted promotional literature racks from China and Mexico:

 

1.      Language Differences- Every Shenzhen factory that desires to export has an English speaking staff person to facilitate and communicate with foreign customers and prospects.  Her name is really Liang, but you know her as “Heather”.  She studied English online or in night school and is about 40-75% fluent for 50% of your online or Skype discussions.  But, beyond that peril, you definitely don’t want to use an idiomatic language or English jargon in communicating a job spec or you will find yourself so far up the misunderstood language tree you won’t be able to see the ground.  And, finally, don’t even think about using an online, free, translator program unless you are OK with everyone in Guangdong enjoying a good laugh at your expense.  We have and use in-house native language speakers for our communication, making sure all hands are on board every time.

 

2.     Cultural Differences-Mexico, Our experience has been that most of our dear employees are initially more interested in their friends, their family, all religious holidays and what’s up for the weekend than they understand the principles of hourly pay, product quality, productivity, career advancement, on-time delivery and dependability.  We patiently trained and recycled countless employees and ultimately re-invented our management style to eventually get the model right.  Now, for Benchmark, everything is perfect.  For you, on your own, not so much!

 

3.       Time Zone Differences- The right time for you is not necessarily the right time for Maria or Heather, or vice versa.  Seems like an easy one to adapt to, that is if you don’t mind getting on the phone or e-mailing with China after 5 PM at your local cocktail hour, when they are stirring their first cup of tea at the office.  Or, you can set the alarm and call at 5 AM if you thought of something important and don’t think it’s an imposition calling them just before lights out in the apartment, possibly to their dismay.

 

 

Out of blog space for today.  More offshore drama to be continued soon…..

Published in Benchmark Blog
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