A 5-Year Marketing Investment for just $5 ?

Did you know that people hold onto t-shirts for an average of five years? 
I heard this statistic and was frankly a little skeptical until I took a look in my own t-shirt drawer.  My absolute favorite t-shirt is bright orange with the logo of the leadership camp where I purchased it from. It’s going on four years old and I have no intention of giving it up anytime soon!  Our CEO confessed to her favorite tee being seventeen years old! Looking around outside, you see people who pull on their favorites to run errands or meet friends on a relaxed day off.  How many times have you been cleaning out your closet, but refuse to get rid of an old faithful because you’ve developed an almost sentimental attachment to its easy charm?

How can you use our culture’s love of t-shirts to your company’s advantage?

Large Events:  Are you going to be helping out at a large event soon, such as a charity walk, sporting event or festival?  Pairing your shirts with a big event would provide an easy way for potential clients to associate your brand with nostalgia of the good time they had at a music festival or the sense of accomplishment after finishing a particularly difficult marathon.  T-shirts often give the best deal when bought in bulk, some priced lower than five dollars for a quality shirt, so you can get your brand out to a large number of potential new clients for little sting to your marketing budget.

Sponsorships: Instead of selling your own t-shirts at an event, you could offer to cover the cost of the t-shirts for the people hosting the event.  In return, you could ask to place your company logo on the back.This would be another easy way to help prospective clients associate your brand with the memories they made.

Client Gifts and Giveaways: People love feeling appreciated! When clients receive gifts, no matter how simple they may be, it creates a more personal relationship and clients are often more than happy to show their support for a company that cares about them.

A comfortable t-shirt can go a long way!  By giving, selling, or sponsoring t-shirts, you are essentially creating a walking advertisement for your company for the next five years,  for as low as five dollars!  What about you?  Look in your own closets!  Is there a t-shirt you own and continue to wear despite its advancing age?  Whose logo is on it?

-by Jenna Marie, Chief Code Breaker

What Ever Happened to “Hello?”

I was wrapping up some shopping at Burlington Coat Factory the other day, and was next in line at the checkout. If you’ve been to any of these stores with the corral checkout, you may remember that the registers all have numbers, and when a checker is free, they would call you over. I was standing directly in front of Checkout #4 and she became available. She looked right at me and hit a switch on her machine that prompted a recording “Checkout #4 is available” and the light at the top of the pole started blinking. No smile, no recognition that I might be HER next customer, no “Hello, I can help you here”…..NOTHING!!!

Now, I know that many of you have experienced this. I am not sure what is worse, the scenario above, or the one where the checker looks you right in the eye and says: “I can help the next person in line.” I find it both infuriating and sad. I want to call the manager over and point out how impersonal and rude this can be, but in my experience, the managers are just as impersonal and rude.

So what has become of personal relationships in retail? This store might as well install self-checkout kiosks – at least those have a friendly robo-voice to say “hello” , “thank you for your purchase” and “good-bye”…! Then, I could create my own frustration in trying to check out, instead of someone else getting my blood boiling.

Are interpersonal skills something not covered in interviews or training? If Undercover Printer treated our print customers like this, we wouldn’t have any. If my employees ever acted this way to a client, they wouldn’t have a job! So, to my question: is friendly, personable help that hard to find, or are we now moving into such an automated society that common courtesy and interpersonal skills just don’t matter?

I’d love to hear from you.


There is nothing like the power of a good connection. Just by mentioning garanimals in last month’s post, we were contacted by the company via Twitter (@garanimals). And what a cool company they are. We may never do direct business with them..but, then again, we just might!

It is astounding the number of ways to connect with your clients and prospects, and to connect them with each other. Building a network and learning how to work those connections is invaluable to the success of your business.

Are You Connecting your Connections?
Helping others connect is truly the key to building a successful network. Hiding in your network may be your client’s dream connection that could change their business. Take a little extra time when meeting with your clients to see how you can help them, and who you may already know that can solve that problem. Everyone is looking to meet someone –and that someone just might be your next door neighbor! Always be on the lookout for connecting others!

Stick it to them!

undercoverprinterSo you’ve made the effort and gone around to say hello to your clients – now what? How often will you have contact with them? Once a year for a check up on your services? Make sure you leave behind reminders of you and your company so that they don’t forget.

Now, wait just a second before you order up a fresh batch of chip clips or $.50 pens. Are your clients only worth half a dollar to continue doing business with you? Will the items you leave behind make an impression or end up in the receptionist’s drawer with the unwanted? Take the time, and the money, to plan out the ideal leave behind that portrays the value of your product or service and the value of that client or prospect to your organization.

I’ve never heard of an IT company making an impression with a chip clip – think about it. Seek the advice of an expert or a creative thinker if you are having a hard time finding that perfect thing to keep your message sticking around all year. Have fun and be creative! Make the giveaway a part of your brand and something with a perceived value that will not be tossed aside or consumed before it is remembered.

“Nobody Comes to See Me Anymore”

undercoverprinterYes, we are in the electronic age, but nothing compares to face time. Think about it: when is the last time anyone other than the UPS guy and the deli delivery person came to your office? I can’t think of the last time a vendor knocked on my office door to say a quick hello – and we do a lot of business with some of them! Surprising that they wouldn’t want to be sure that my loyalties lie with their company and not another.

Wondering how well your business is performing? Trying to figure out where to improve in 2012 or where to spend your marketing dollars?  GO SEE YOUR CLIENTS! They really do want to see you! They can also be a wealth of information on how loyal they are to you and possibly some ways that you can stay ahead of the competition.

As long as your visits aren’t always an attempt at a sale, good old fashioned face to face time is more valuable than any other form of marketing. Take one or two days out of your month and stop in to see the people that help keep the lights on. Oh, and if you want to stop in and see us on your way – we love company – just be sure to bring chocolate.

Don’t forget to keep in touch!

undercoverprinterEver ponder what happened to the clients that didn’t return from last year, or the year before? Was it the slow economy that kept them from buying from you? Possibly. But my research is showing that most companies lose business because they don’t stay top of mind with their customers.

Turnover in companies is more rapid than ever. The average employee stays only 2-3 years. If that employee was your main contact  – what happens to your visibility with that client?  Is it imperative that you make connections with several people in each company so that when your key contact transfers or moves on to greener pastures, your revenue does not go with him.

Now, lets talk about your competition. The competition for business is fiercer than ever in many industries. It takes some effort to keep up with the vultures out there just waiting to take care of the business that you’ve worked so hard to acquire. Don’t let them! It doesn’t take much to keep your clients thinking of you and staying dedicated to your company and its offerings.

Stay tuned for our series on Keeping in Touch in 2012. Whether you apply these principles we will reveal or hire Undercover Printer to help, your company’s client retention will be better than ever just by keeping in touch. Happy 2012!