How can we help our clients and our community during this time?
The continued momentum of the coronavirus pandemic has found many small business owners tossing around questions, such as:
- “Do we pull back on marketing now or lean more into it?”
- “How do I stay connected with my audience without coming across as insensitive or tacky?”
- “I wish we could do more to help others in our community right now, but I don’t even know where to start.”
If you’ve found yourself in that boat, it’s okay; you are not alone. In fact, that inward tension you’re feeling of trying to find the perfect balance between continuing to build your brand and showing your customers and community that you care is one of the very things that unites us all at the moment.
So, take a deep breath. We will get through this. Together.
In the meantime, here are some ideas and examples to help you not only build your brand but also show your community that you’re a team player willing to help.
Do What You Do Best: PRINT!
Banners and Signs
- Offer free or reduced-priced banners and signs for local businesses with simple, standard messages, such as:
- We are open!
- Curbside pick-up and delivery available!
- Store closed. Visit us online!
- Here are some examples of what other print shops are doing:
- Capitalize on other community movements such as yard signs for high school seniors (#allinthistogether) or heart-shaped signs for essential workers (#aworldofhearts).
Thank You Cards for Essential Workers
- AnchorPoint Graphics in Hillsboro, Oregon, created an online form for people to write a personal message to be printed on a card and sent to a member of the medical community.
Labels and Stickers
Here are some examples of label products that were created for the current need and situation.
- Discount Labels has launched a “Healthy Hygiene” label series.
- Carstickers.com is offering coronavirus stickers, decals, and labels in a variety of designs covering everything from stopping the spread of germs to encouraging others with a little humor.
- Many families with high school seniors have already printed their graduation invitations and announcements and are now hoping the information is still correct despite the coronavirus. What if you offered to reprint their announcements for a discounted rate?
- Others will be adding additional graduation postcards or business cards like this one to let their audience know that plans have changed due to COVID-19.
Business Reference Guides
Mike Jensen of Tri M Graphics in Owatonna, Minnesota, says
“We did have success creating a Business Reference Guide for our community. We engaged with close to 60 businesses in the area that participated in the program. We utilized our Mi4p website order form to create the way for them to submit their info. It worked awesome. We have info about it on our website – we then mailed out 13,400 of them through the Every Door Direct Mail Program.”
Spread the Love
You can also think bigger than individual print products with ideas like these:
- Be a conduit for others to give as well. People all over the world are looking for ways to help each other but are unsure how. You can help others be both the givers and the receivers by running a donation campaign. For example, “We’ll donate $10 from every order to a struggling local business. Because we’re all in this together.” (Tip: If you do a campaign based on an emotional connection like this, show your intent by using words, such as help, serve, partner, assist, aid, donate, share, etc.)
- Another approach is to simply ditch your agenda. Use this time to pick up the phone and do “wellness calls” with your clients. Just by reaching out to them and seeing how they’re doing can go a long way in being helpful.
- Consider your resources. If you have less business right now, do you have current resources that could be of use by sharing them elsewhere (paper, people, inventory, facilities, expertise, money, etc.)?
When all is said and done, it’s important to recognize that the number one thing people will remember about your print business is how you treated them during their time of crisis. Keep your focus on people first and profits later, and things will work themselves out.
Read Other FAQs Regarding COVID-19: