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Discover how to leave a “deeper footprint” in the brain of your clients

By Blog

I recently ran into an old business acquaintance at a social event. We shook hands and talked about old times. When we finished our conversation, I handed him my business card. In return, he offered his card, but before he handed it to me, he took out a pen, crossed out his old email address and wrote in a new one.

This may not seem like a big deal to you. People change their emails. People even change business addresses and phone numbers. What struck me most about this exchange was the fact that this guy is a printer. This is what he does for a living! How can a printer not have an updated business card?

I guess it’s like the story of the cobbler’s children who have no shoes.

The more I thought about it the more I realized that this happens to many people when it comes to marketing their business.

Different types of marketing collateral

There are many types of promotional collateral used by businesses worldwide. They include business cards, letterhead, brochures, flyers, sell sheets, catalogs, booklets, point-of-purchase displays and more. All of these print materials are used to support a company’s advertising message. It’s how they communicate important information about their company’s products and services. But when was the last time their marketing collateral was updated?

Updating marketing materials

You may be asking yourself, “When should I update my marketing collateral?” Well, if you answer, “yes” to any of the following questions, it’s time to refresh your marketing materials:

  • Have you expanded capabilities?
  • Have you had any changes in the look and feel of your brand?
  • Have you recently won any awards or have new accomplishments that should be featured?
  • Do your competitor’s materials look better than yours?
  • Have you had any changes to your company that should be communicated to prospects and clients?

Remember, your brochures and other print collateral convey important information about your company’s products and services.

Does your marketing collateral design contain images of products that are three or four years old? What conclusions will your current and prospective clients reach if they see dated material in your promotional products? This can make your company look old and out of date.

Refresh marketing materials using the latest technology

Advances in neuroscience marketing and growth in print technology have opened up some creative ways to update your marketing materials. Research from branding agency Millward Brown suggests that print materials are not just easy to understand they’re also more memorable than digital marketing materials. Check out the video below to learn what Millward Brown and the UK’s Royal Mail discovered about physical and digital marketing pieces.

According to the research, physical media leaves a “deeper footprint” in the brain. Printed materials generate more activity within the area of the brain associated with the integration of visual and spatial information, which suggests that physical material is more “real” to the brain. The research also suggests that the physical presentation may be generating more emotionally vivid memories.

“Print advertising can maximize sensory appeal.” – Roger Dooley

Roger Dooley, author of Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing, says, “Science clearly shows paper can be more impactful and memorable than digital.” Dooley also believes that “Print offers the ability to deliver rich, vivid images along with tactile stimuli.”

Maximize sensory appeal

Imagine refreshing your print collateral with a dimensional piece containing a unique texturethat goes beyond the weight of the paper. Create a piece where the consumer can touch and feel the feathers on an image of a bird or the lines in an image of a circuit board, or the rough, bumpy feel of a waffle cone.

And, if you want to generate more emotionally vivid memories use the new channels that digital print has opened up for marketers. You now have the ability to add variable text and images that result in personalized direct mail and print collateral. Digital print allows marketers to create several short run point-of-purchase displays that can focus on specific markets. And digital print can now produce all these products using gold ink.

Digital metallic gold offers customers a cost-effective gold metallic solution, especially for lower quantities. Now marketers can use gold more often, or use it in places that might never have been considered.

And, when discussing neuroscience marketing and how physical material is more “real” to the brain, imagine printing on substrates that have a texture like plastics, wood veneer, or cardboard. With Westamerica’s new Komori printing press, if we can run it through the press we can print on it.

So, don’t be “that guy” with the outdated business cards and marketing materials. Remember, your brochures and other print collateral communicate important information about your company’s products and services. When refreshing your marketing materials take advantage of the innovations in printing techniques to connect with your clients on a more memorable level and leave a “deeper footprint” in the brain of your clients.

Saving Marketing Dollars and Losing Sales

By Blog

Since the great recession hit, it seems that marketing budgets have been in the sights of cost cutters throughout most companies. Immediately following the recession, we saw budgets decrease by 50% or more.

Now that the budgets are moving back up, our lessons from the penny-pinching days of the recession stick with us. That isn’t a bad thing, but I believe it can cloud our thinking.

Reducing marketing costs is not the same as increasing sales


There are methods of reducing marketing cost, but that shouldn’t be Marketing’s primary goal. Marketing is the fuel that drives all the machinery in the business. Pull out the marketing efforts (I like to think of Marketing as an umbrella that includes sales, marcom and media) and your organization will stall.

Management has to set the tone. If a marketing department is receiving more kudos for cost reductions than business growth, client growth, retention or revenues then we’ll see a misplaced focus.

Progressive companies see marketing as an investment.

How reducing marketing expenses cost you more than you save

I recently came across two examples of marketing programs that were operating well, but the client wanted to make changes purely for cost savings purposes.

Example 1 – Reducing frequency of contact

Our client has been sending out quarterly offers to consumers with pre-approved letterchecks. These letterchecks can be immediately deposited and charged to their current credit account. They are great for paying off higher rate bills.

In 2015, we sent out 53,000 letterchecks (approx. 13,000 per quarter) during the year. Each letter featured three checks. The client realized a 5.5% response rate for a total of $7.5 million in redemptions for the year-long campaign.

In 2016, we increased the count of checks to six per letter but we decreased the number of mailings to only 2X per year, sending out a total of 27,000 letters (13,500 each mailing). The client received a higher response rate of 7.7%. However, their total redemptions only amounted to $5.0 million. Why? The response rate increased because we had more checks in each mailing…a more effective package. But, total redemptions went down because we had only mailed to them twice during the year, instead of on a quarterly basis.

Yes, we saved money. But would you rather have a 5.5% response on 53,000 pieces for $7.5 million or 7.7% on 27,000 for $5million?


Example 2 – Changing the media mix

This client has been working with us for an ongoing consumer lending initiative. For three years we have been sending out pre-approved loan offers via direct mail to about 35,000 recipients. Historically the response rates on these letters have hovered around 2% and total loan production would average about $12 – $15million each quarter.

Last year we began adding emails to the marketing mix so that recipients would receive a letter and then a follow-up email as a reminder.

With the combination of both media response rates got even better.

Since we all know that email is much less expensive than direct mail, it wasn’t long before the suggestion came to see if we can execute the campaign using less direct mail as a way to reduce costs. On the next campaign, we split the list and sent half the list as “email only” and the balance the normal way.

The customer’s feedback said it all, “Shoot, I just compared the current campaign to the last four and the number of accepted loans is only half of the previous offers. I think we need to go back to the letter. We didn’t save enough money to offset the reduction in the number of loans.” There are definite advantages of direct mail pre-approved loan offers.

Lessons Learned

We can never save our way to increased sales and profits. However, being smart with your marketing budget means taking a few risks and trying different approaches. If you are going to adjust your mix, make sure you are tracking and evaluating results to make sure you receive the results you really want and can adjust where necessary.

In both cases our clients have re-evaluated their initial decisions. However, in many situations there is no analysis and the results of these type of decisions is never fully understood.

We can never save our way to increased sales and profits. Your minor cost reductions are not worth the risk of decreasing major sales.


Traditional Financial Services – No Longer a Retail Business

By Blog

There has been a lot written about the demise of the financial branch system. This article is not going to be more of the same.

The branch isn’t dying, but it needs to be re-purposed in line with consumers’ overall attitude toward the entire retail experience and the death of branch transaction activity. Retail bank marketing plans need to be reassessed in line with these realities.

The Changing Face of Retail

The face of retail was nearly single-handedly transformed by Amazon. Amazon is a distributor. They don’t manufacture much, but they sure move a lot of other company’s merchandise. Now that they have built a distribution system to deliver everything from Ab Rollers to Zero Gravity Chairs, they are setting their sights on the core of our basic needs — food.

Their most recent acquisition of Whole Foods is another reminder that the rules of old are disappearing….quickly. I don’t believe they bought Whole Foods to get into the retail business per se. They purchased Whole Foods to get even deeper into the distribution business.

Whole Foods will provide Amazon with additional systems and locations to allow “hyper-local” distribution of perishables foodstuffs and every other food imaginable. Think of it as free warehousing space being covered by their existing retail model.

Now that your favorite products from Whole Foods can be delivered to you the same day, do you really want to spend time, money and opportunity food shopping? You’ll likely be shopping less.

Hence it is with the challenges for all retailers. Once we make products and services widely available with minimal effort, the consumer becomes accustomed to the new expectation for everything. And that expectation is going to extend to ALL experiences, from pizza restaurants to the corner bank. It already has.


Surviving in Retail Requires Change

To survive as a retailer in today’s environment demands a change. In our upscale community of Orange County California, malls are struggling. Major retail chains like Radio Shack are just a memory.  The middle market stores like Sears, JC Penney and Macy’s are in crisis. The high-end stores with exclusive products and high service philosophies, like Nordstrom’s, are holding on.

The Irvine Spectrum Mall, on the other hand, is thriving. It’s so busy on the weekends that parking is scarce. Why is it thriving while others are closing?

Shopping at the Spectrum is an experience.

People want to go to the Spectrum to shop.

According to Joel Kotkin, R.C. Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University, the new retail model will consist of more experiential services, services that can’t be duplicated online. For instance:

  • One of a kind artisan shops
  • Educational stores
  • Farmer’s markets
  • Eclectic clothing stores and the like.

That means retailers will need to differentiate both the buying experiences (the act of shopping) AND the product experience (the quality and uniqueness of the product and its respective benefits).  

If Fintech, as a category of digital financial alternatives, is the Amazon of the financial world, how does the smaller regional institution compete? Once consumers experience the advantages of online banking services, including online account opening, hassle free and application free lending and the transparency of information and speed/efficiency of these new digital services they’ll never settle for anything less. This is our reality today.


Transform the Financial Institution into the Place for Experiences

Adopting Fintech solution products allows the financial institution the chance to move the transaction-based activity into cyberspace: Automated Account Opening; Lending Automation and Pre-approved Lending Campaigns; and of course, Online Banking. With transaction activities being handled by more of these tools, the institution can focus on taking care of the financial health of the consumer.

Training front line staff to become true consultants and making every interaction an insightful and worthwhile experience to the consumer is the strategy. The tactics are many: increasing the activity surrounding financial seminars such as new home buying, basic budgeting, retirement planning, buying your first car…the list is endless.

Since almost everything we do as a consumer involves some form of financial transaction, financial institutions have the license to help in all areas. They can truly change lives.

Maybe they’ll even conduct a seminar on how to save money shopping on Amazon!

The Gold Standard in Marketing

By Blog

J. P. Morgan once said, “Gold is money. Everything else is credit.”

There’s a certain mystique that surrounds gold. Something can be “worth its weight in gold.” We measure things by the “gold standard.”

Gold, because of its scarcity, has always been valued. Images of gold evoke the idea of kings and riches. The color gold in marketing materials is usually reserved for special occasions.

The reason gold is rarely used in marketing materials is due, in large part, to the fact that it’s difficult and expensive to reproduce. You can buy Pantone Aspen Gold, Pantone Honey Gold or Pantone Gold Flame but you can’t mix those colors with CMYK. Those colors are special.

If you want a shiny gold foil on your printed pieces you’ll need to add an extra process to your print job. You’ll need to buy gold foil and a die and have your job printed by letterpress. The press operator will run the paper stock through the press and “kiss” the paper with a heated die to transfer the gold foil to the paper.

Until recently it was difficult and expensive to add gold to your marketing materials but that’s changed.

Advances in Technology Makes Gold Printing More Affordable

Digital print has opened up new channels for marketers. They now have the ability to add variable text and images that result in personalized direct mail and print collateral. Digital print allows marketers to create several short run point-of-purchase (POP) displays that can focus on specific markets. And digital print can now produce all these products using gold ink.

Digital metallic gold offers customers a cost-effective gold metallic solution, especially for lower quantities. Now marketers can use gold more often, or use it in places that might never have considered.

Product Launch Kits

Imagine a client who’s looking to create a unique product launch kit. They’d like to add gold ink to their print materials but they’re leery of the cost. With the ability to print digital metallic gold, inline with CMYK, marketers can now save they clients both time and money.

Direct Mail Campaign

Imagine a direct mail design that incorporates gold highlights. Besides standing out from all of the other mail, this piece will convey the feeling that the product being sold or the event being advertised is something special.

Point of Purchase Display

A POP printed with metallic digital gold will catch the eye of the consumer and suggest that the product is special. A POP with a product information holder may be printed digitally and customized to a specific area or location while the marketing materials in the holder are more generic and can be printed by offset lithography and then used in multiple POPs.

Custom Packaging and Promotional Boxes

Imagine the increased shelf appeal of a package printed with metallic digital gold. It will not just stand out it will also hint to the consumer that this product is unique among the rest on the shelf.

Award Winning Packaging Design

It’s important to understand that the use of digital metallic gold in and of itself will not necessarily make your printed materials stand out. As with all packaging, direct mail and print collateral, it’s extremely important to work with a company that provides quality design and creative services. Their designers need to specialize in designing integrated and holistic campaigns that have a real impact on ROI and your bottom line.

If you’re for a cost effective way to make your unique designs stand out from the rest then take a minute and think how digital metallic gold can work in your design. Whether creating designs for membership drives, non-profit fundraisers, packaging, product launch kits, or any other printed product, digital metallic gold printed inline with CMYK, is a great way differentiate your product. Gold is no longer just for special occasions.

Maintain Brand Consistency

By Blog

Marketing in today’s multichannel world requires a company to present a unified, coordinated presence. This can present continuity problems. In its simplest form this means making sure the logo on your website is the same as the logo on your social media channels, print collateral, and email blasts. But it goes way beyond your logo.

Achieving Brand Consistency Across Multiple Units

What happens when you have multiple units, perhaps bank branches or restaurant locations? How can you insure that each unit is using the correct brochures, stationary, business cards or pocket folders? How can you track, organize and warehouse your supplies? How can you do all this and maintain a consistent brand presencethough each of your locations?

This was the dilemma facing First Foundation Bank (FFB) in Irvine, California. With branch offices throughout California, Nevada, and Hawaii, they needed a way to provide their branch offices with marketing materials but still allow the local branches the flexibility they needed to personalize their own products.

Looking for a Time Saving Marketing Solution

First Foundation came to Westamerica looking for an online system that would help their branches deliver a consistent brand message while allowing local customization. In addition, they wanted to eliminate the bottleneck of funneling all orders through corporate. Their list of requirements for the system included:

  • A warehouse to store their stationery and marketing collateral materials
  • Customizable business cards with built-in approval and fast turnaround
  • 24/7 web access
  • Reporting Systems
  • Multiple user logins
  • A site that mimicked their own website, skinned with their colors and images

One of the first thing on FFB’s list was warehousing. They knew that ordering in bulk can save money but they didn’t want to store all the materials in their corporate office, or in the respective branches.

Next, they were looking to streamline their business card orders. They wanted the ability for each branch to create personalized business cards for their employees without having to send every card through corporate for approval. The process had to be quick, have immediate online approval abilities and all the while keep the content consistent with their brand.

Westamerica’s Marketing Asset Management System

Through an in-depth discussion with the representatives from First Foundation Bank, we created a centralized portal where they can store, order, customize and print their marketing collateral on demand. In addition, our online marketing fulfillment solution program allows FFB to easily manage their inventory from anywhere.

Elle Luce, Marketing Associate at First Foundation Bank, said thatWestamerica’s custom-created portal “makes our job easy when it comes to ordering all supplies and keeping our stock organized. Our admins can access the site, order anything from envelopes, note cards, or brochures, right online, without having to go through my team.”

“First Foundation Bank’s marketing team really appreciates the ability to see the actual inventory counts on each item right on the website portal.” – Elle Luce

Westamerica built in an effective customer service feature that immediately sends order confirmations to the marketing staff so they know exactly when their orders are shipped.

StōrFront: Westamerica’s Marketing Fulfillment Solution Program

We call our online marketing fulfillment solution program StōrFront. It’s easy to use and perfectly integrates traditional marketing fulfillment practices with the latest digital technology.

Here are the key benefits from using StōrFront:

  • A single web-based portal for all your marketing collateral, from print-on-demand to preprinted inventory, kept in our dedicated warehouse
  • A single manufacturing source that can maintain brand consistency across your printed products
  • A user-friendly portal that gives your team access to collateral, print-on-demand or even promotional products
  • Product restrictions based on budget, product or user permissions, allowing you to control usage and prevent hoarding
  • StōrFront can be skinned to mimic existing client websites, creating a unified experience between your primary website and the portal

If your company wants to present a unified, coordinated presence and create a consistent brand message throughout multiple units you need to consider StōrFront. It worked for First Foundation Bank and I know it can work for you.

credit card crop 2

Helping You Win The Battle For The Retail Shelf

By Blog

I was standing in a checkout line at a retail store when I came to an interesting realization. My plan was to walk in, buy a few necessities and then leave. The next thing you know I’m entering my PIN to pay for a basket full of “stuff.” I don’t know how they do it.

Actually, I do know how they do it. I’ve been in printing and marketing for most of my life. I help clients improve their printing and packaging which in turn will increase their shelf appeal. But it’s still a surprise when it works on me!

Understand Shopper’s Habits

According to Point of Purchase Advertising International’s 2014 Mass Merchant Study, it seems I’m not alone. When researching mass merchant shoppers they found:

  • 82% of purchase decisions are made in the store
  • 34% of shoppers do not make any kind of shopping list
  • 62% of shoppers do not use newspapers, circulars, coupons, etc. when making a purchase

The study also found that today’s consumer is less brand loyal, which opens the way for the use of in-store media.

This is great news for marketers. If so many people do not have a shopping list when they enter a store that means they are open to suggestions during their shopping experience. And without brand specific coupons, consumers are open to trying a different brand within a product line.

Point of Purchase Display

There’s no better way to make your product stand out then to create a Point of Purchase (POP) display. These are a great way to make a suggestion to a consumer during their shopping trip. You’ve seen these at the end of a shopping isle or in the main isle of the store.

To be successful you’ll need to work with a company that has both large format printing capabilities and an on-site structural design center that can assess your needs and build a one-of-a-kind custom solution that’s unique to your product.

Food Product Packaging Design

In addition to POPs, there are other ways to attract consumers during their shopping trip. Working with an award-winning packaging and creative services team that understands the emotional connections between colors and consumers can make all the difference.

While planning your design put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. When discussing color, some great points to think about are explained by Judy Scott-Kemmis on her website, Empowered by Color. Scott-Kemmis says you’ll need to consider their age, their gender, their economic status, and their education level. Design decisions will also need to be made based on the product itself. Is it a luxury product then you need to make choices that convey elegance and sophistication. You need to take into consideration any cultural preferences of your target market as well as any cultural meanings attached to your color choices.

Custom Packaging and Promotional Boxes

In addition to product placement and packaging colors, keep in mind the packaging itself. There are a number of ways to increase your product’s shelf appeal. For example, foil can make the package stand out on the shelf. Embossing or a nice soft touch aqueous coating can appeal to the consumer’s sense of touch.

There are numerous printing and finishing operations that can increase the chance that a consumer will pick and purchase your product. Some of these include dimensional printing, die cutting and spot UV Coating.

So the next time you’re standing in the checkout line at your local grocery or retail store, and you look down at your cart full of additional products that younever planned to buy when you entered the store, you can thank a quality design team and talented print production department for your extra purchases.

touch me

Communications You Can Feel

By Blog, Marketing Strategy, Technology, User Experience

Have you ever stepped into a car, sat down and closed the door and heard a nice solid “thud” as the door closed? There were no rattles or any objectionable noises at all. And then other times you’ve stepped into a different car and you heard a metallic, clanking kind of sound when you closed the door. At the time you probably made a snap judgment about the quality of the car you were entering. You most likely concluded that the first car was a reliable, sturdy, perhaps more expensive model. And you may have thought the opposite of the second car.

I realize that most people don’t go around listening to the sound of car doors. At the same time I know there are some of you who have heard the sound of the closing door and drew a conclusion based on the sound. You may have even drawn a conclusion about the owner of the car.

The truth is the sound of a closing car door can affect your perception of the quality of the car.

Your Senses and Perception

Have you ever be awakened in the morning by the smell of fresh brewed coffee being made by your significant other? You probably got a warm feeling all over from the aroma and an even warmer feeling inside for the person who was making you the coffee. The smell of the coffee can affect your perception of that person.

Now let’s take the car door and sound, and coffee and smell one step further. Studies have shown that paper and touch affect the way people receive and retain information. These studies have also shown that touch and paper can even influence the way people feel about the companies who use paper to market their products and services.

How Does the Medium Shape the Message?

Dr. David Eagleman is an adjunct associate professor at Stanford University. He has worked with a team of researchers in the Psychiatry Behavioral Sciences Department of the university to determine if the weight and type of paper can affect the perception of individuals who touch and read marketing materials.

“In humans touch represents a powerful form of non-verbal communication. Our sense of touch plays a fundamental role in daily life, from learning about objects to communicating with other people.” – Dr. David Eagleman

He and his research team created marketing materials for three fictitious companies. The materials were presented to test subjects on heavy coated stock, on lighter uncoated paper and on a website.

According to his research, he found that when subjects read a message on heavy, high quality coated paper they remembered it better, even when asked about the massage a week later.

He also found that when the message was printed on a high quality paper stock the individuals had a more positive first impression of the company. And they were more likely to recommend the company to a friend or a colleague. The test subjects rated the quality of the company based on the quality of the paper stock.

Direct Marketing Strategy

Let’s take this research and apply it to your marketing. You want consumers to remember your message and have a positive feeling about your company. I’ve previously discussed how effective direct mail is in reaching new clients and consumers. Now imagine a direct mail piece that goes beyond heavy coated stock.

Imagine a dimensional mail piece where you can go beyond the weight of the paper to the touch and feel of the image on the paper. Imagine feeling the feathers on an image of a bird. Touching and feeling the lines in an image of a circuit board. Or the rough, bumpy feel of the waffle cone in the video below.

We’re talking texture that makes people want to engage and experience your marketing piece. A message that people will share with their friends and colleagues. A marketing piece that will capture attention, and be memorable. A message your customer will see, read and feel!

Our senses help us gather information, draw conclusions, and make decisions. If you want your marketing to make an impression then take advantage of the sense of touch.


Millennials are about to move into their prime spending years

By Blog, Direct Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Millennials, Mobile Apps, Technology


One of the largest generations in history, millennials, is about to move into their prime spending years. How best can you get your products and services in front of the millennial generation?

When most people think of millennials they think digital. According to Forbes, it is not uncommon for millennials to use multiple tech devices. “87% of millennials use between two and three tech devices at least once on a daily basis.” Perhaps this is why millennials are always pictured with a mobile device in their hand.

With an estimated $200 billion in annually spending and more than $10 trillion during their lifetimes, millennials are the “holy grail” of consumers.

Determining the Best Marketing Channel

There are a number of marketing channels that can be used to reach customers. Online video, social media, and email are channels that seem best suited for an “online” digital generation. But traditional marketing channels should not be ignored. In fact, research show that millennials react better to traditional forms of marketing, like direct mail, than to online electronic marketing.

A 2016 USPS Marketing White Paper reported that:

  • 84% of Millennials take the time to look through their mail
  • 64% would rather scan for useful info in the mail than email
  • 77% of Millennials pay attention to direct mail advertising
  • 90% of Millennials think direct mail advertising is reliable

And when it comes to marketing and purchases:

  • 82% read direct mail they receive from retail brands
  • 57% have made purchases based on direct mail offers

The chart below demonstrates that despite their digital appearance, millennials read, open and interact with direct mail.

The Top 200 Direct Mail Service Providers

Direct mail gets your message in the door and into the consumer’s hand, where it can be seen, read, and felt and generate a response! That’s why a big part of what we do is focused on direct marketing. In fact, it’s so big we’ve just been named to the Bell & Howell Top 200 Direct Mail Service Providers list for 2017.

The reason direct mail works for millennials, and all other generations, is simple. As Nabeel Jaitapker, Senior Communications and Marketing Manager, Content Development and Demand Generation at Bell and Howell stated, “Direct mail marketing is getting more personal, more real, and more effective thanks to affordable high-quality digital printing and technologies that simplify integration into a multi-channel campaign.”

The USPS White Paper highlights some of the new technologies that can engage millennials with direct mail. They include:

  1. Incorporate multimedia and digital: Embed QR Code® barcodes, near field communication, or augmented reality to link your mailer to video and interactive materials on your website or social media sites.
  2. Keep your messaging succinct and easy to read. Provide bite-size pieces of information.
  3. Be authentic. Millennials distrust traditional advertising, so avoid hard-sell language. Use a straightforward, transparent approach.
  4. Use enhancements such as scent, sound, or texture to make your piece stand out.
  5. Help them feel good about their purchase. Millennials are compassionate and want to improve their world. Campaigns that donate a percentage of profits to a worthy cause or in some other way demonstrate corporate responsibility can resonate—if they’re seen as authentic.
  6. Use slang with caution, even if you are a Millennial. You risk turning your audience.

When you’re looking to engage millennials, or any other generation, you need a variety of proven marketing channels. A direct marketing campaign that includes mail, video, email and social media, is sure to accomplish your goal.

Westamerica Communications Selected a Winner in the 37th Annual Telly Awards

By Blog

I’m very proud of our team here at Westamerica Communications. As a cross-media marketing company we work in many different communications channels. And this requires our team to be knowledgeable and flexible. But the rewards are great.

Award Winning Marketing

In the recent past we’ve received numerous awards for our client’s work
in various industry categories. We’ve won a couple “Bennies” in the Premier Print Award Competition, from the Printing Industries of America. This international competition recognizes the highest quality printed pieces in various categories.

We’ve received Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards from the Marketing Association of Credit Unions, which “has been recognizing the best of the best in marketing achievements since 1986.”

And now we’re very excited to announce that the Telly Awards has named Westamerica Communications as a Bronze winner in the 37th Annual Telly Awards. These awards honor the best in TV and cable, digital and streaming, and non-broadcast productions.

Award Winning Video Production


One of our clients was launching a new product. They were also exhibiting at a trade show. They wanted to help their clients understand the new features available in their new microprocessor controlled prosthetic knee. Because we understand the importance of video in today’s marketing environment, we suggested a 3-D product animation video with 360° rotation and exploded details.

Our video production team created a video that highlighted the 8MHz microprocessor, the customizable settings and the fact that the entire unit is fully submersible.

The client was extremely happy with the final outcome. The video was a great addition to their trade show graphics. And, due to the versatility of video, the client has featured the video on it’s website and distributed it through their social media channels.

It seems the client wasn’t the only one impressed with the video. Now it has been recognized as an outstanding video production by a group of top advertising and production professionals.

The Telly Awards

You may have never heard of the Telly Awards but I can tell you they’re a really big deal. To win a Telly you’re in the company of video production houses like:

  • Comcast
  • ESPN
  • Fox
  • HBO
  • NBC
  • The History Channel
  • Time Warner, and more.

And, it’s not like everyone who enters wins an award. These are not “participant” trophies. In 2016, there were over 13,000 entries from companies all over the United States and from five continents. And, when you consider that only 7 to 10% of entrants are chosen as Silver Telly Award winners and Bronze Telly Award Winners typically represent about 18 to 25% of entrants, earning a Telly Award is a significant creative achievement.

The Judging

The judging panel is made up of over 500 accomplished industry professionals, each a past winner of a Silver Telly.

It’s also interesting to note that the entries do not compete against each other. Rather entries are judged against a high standard of merit and thus are recognized for their distinction in creative work.

According to the Executive Director of the Telly Awards, Linda Day, “The Telly Awards has a mission to honor the very best in film and video.”

“Westamerica’s accomplishment illustrates their creativity, skill, and dedication to their craft and serves as a testament to great film and video production.” -Linda Day

It brings joy to my heart to be working with such a talented group of people. From our sales and customer service staff, our creative services department, our video and print production departments to our employees in the shipping department, we all work together to create some of the most beautiful, useful and dynamic marketing materials in all of Los Angeles and Orange Counties.


Butcher Block group photo crop

The Ultimate Point of Purchase Display

By Blog

We have this client, Jim, who we’ve worked with for a number of years. One day last year, he called and said he had decided to sell his restaurant supply company. And, like many entrepreneurs, Jim was not ready to settle down but instead had an idea for a new company.

His idea was to take a profitable part of his previous business and expand it into a full business of its own. Armed with this idea, and with the help of the creative design services at Westamerica Communications, Wood Welded West was born.

Developing the Brand

In a previous post I quoted Paul Rand, the famous American art director and graphic designer, who said the logo is only as good as the product it represents. Well, when Jim called looking for some help in branding his new company we knew the quality of the product he was producing and wanted to make sure his branding matched his product.

Jim is selling custom cutting boards, butcher blocks and other beautiful wood products from Michigan Maple Block Company and the Bally Block Company; know collectively as the Wood Welded® Companies.

These are some of the most beautiful and stunning kitchen countertops, food prep surfaces, and sturdy industrial workbench tops you’ll ever see. The popularity of Wood Welded® butcher block products is due in part to its continuous operation, by one family, for over 125 years.

The goal of our creative services department was to create print collateral, signage and even a van wrap that would reflect the beauty, durability, and history of the wood welded products.

Graphic Design Services

First, we slightly modified the company’s original logo to reflect the new West Coast location while keeping its original look and feel. We wanted to preserve the company’s 125-year history.

Wood Welded® provided a wonderful graphic with a butcher working on a butcher block and a maple leaf to represent Michigan Maple Block Company, which is located in Petoskey, Michigan—the heart of hard maple country. We enlarged the graphic, cleaned it up a bit and used it to create a sign for Jim’s showroom. We also used the same graphic on the door panels of the van.

The next challenge came when we started creating the artwork for the van wrap. The graphics needed for such a large output had to be high resolution. We started with stock images but they didn’t really have the look and feel we needed. So we took some photos of the actual wood stock that Jim uses to make his counter and work bench tops. We were able to capture the wood grain and texture in the images. Thus we used photos of Jim’s own products to create the van wrap.

Point of Purchase Display

You may argue this point with me but I think the ultimate Point of Purchase Display is a van wrap. To prove my point, Jim drove his newly wrapped van from our facilities in Lake Forest to his showroom in Anaheim. By the time he arrived there was a phone message waiting for him inquiring about his Butcher Blocks!

Up to that time, Jim had done no other advertising. He had yet to send any direct mail or distribute any of his custom print collateral. The only way anyone would have known about his new business was the van.

Jim, from all of us here at Westamerica Communications, good luck on you new endeavor!