May '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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In Print 20 1 4 M ay Printwear | 3 3 3 2 | Printwear M ay 20 1 4 Ten years later, I found myself engulfed in an online mystery I could not walk away from. An online darts supplier launched a contest offering up a prize no dart play- er could resist (a set of 23 gram John Part Latinum Darts). The contest was similar to the scavenger hunt, but with a little bit of a trivia garnish. Trivia pulls on the same ad- dictive strings as mysteries do in most cases, and once I got started, I couldn't log out of their website. The contest seemed simple enough: regis- ter using your email address and look over a list of questions related to the darts sup- plier's products, then provide your answers via email before the contest ends. Each and every answer could be found on their web- site. In the end, not even my Google-Fu ninja search talents could provide me with all of the answers very quickly, and I spent enough time going through every page of their website to memorize the entire inven- tory of darts and supplies. Mission accomplished in terms of their Internet marketing plan. They drew thou- sands of visitors to their site for the contest, encouraged those visitors to study their entire catalog of products, and collected all of their email addresses to follow up with through their email marketing campaigns. I can't speak for others, but I made a sig- nificant purchase to stock up my dart case. In 2014 we have a much broader means of launching an online mystery challenge, and a much wider range of channels for the mystery to go viral. Social media alone can make the number of users joining in on the challenge multiply to levels dwarfing statis- tics the Embroidery Mall saw in 1998. In addition, everyone is running around with a mobile device, constantly connected to the Internet. With a little time and creativi- ty, you can create an online contest that gets people engaged, intrigued, addicted and de- termined to reach the prize at the end. Consider trying this Internet marketing strategy yourself. In the end, the benefits and advances in your online exposure are stacked very, very deep. How deep? Well, that remains a mystery, now doesn't it...? where the dimension of the inks need gut- ters for spacing and ink transfer. The easiest way to execute this step is to create another color that will not be used around the type as an outline, giving us the space we will need for our dimensional effects on press. We output just three film positives, and it was off to screen making. Creating Chrome The outline and the under-base for the fill were exposed on three screens, standard 156/54 threads per inch with a quality dual cure wet emulsion stencil. The fill areas went on an 83 tpi, 70 micron thread screen with a 400 micron capillary film pure pho- topolymer stencil. All screens were in the 30 to 35 N/cm2 tension range. We ended up with five screens total. The inks required some special mixing. We needed a flat black that would go under our dimensional ink to provide a platform. For the blood red outline, we chose PMS 186. The black gel would be a standard HD clear mixed with matte black 75/25. The silver aluminum ink was made using a chrome or liquid silver and mixing in the HD clear at about 90/10. We set the job up beginning with the flat inks, black and red, first. We flashed at that point and cooled the print. The red was printed again to get a nice bright red. The black gel followed, and printed with a wallpaper brush in place of the squeegee to get a textured, chrome effect that had peaks and valleys. Another flash and cool station, then the silver gel printed on top, using the same print technique to create our brushed chrome look to the final print. Incremen- tal off-contact distances were critical in this print. We began at 30/1000 and ended near an eighth of an inch for the final screen. The print turned out very cool and we ran a couple hundred for sales samples and merchandising prototypes. The initial re- sponse to the design and several others was very strong. Or so we were told. According to the customer, the product is selling very well and production orders are due in May. We shall see! How do we buy it? What's the risk-factor in buying? Will you and your company keep its promises? Do I trust you and the people I'm buying from, both as humans and their ability to deliver service after purchase? Will you be my main contact after pur- chase or are you going to relegate me to "the service department?" Do I believe you? Do I have confidence in you? Are you telling me the truth? Do I have the trust and comfort to buy now? HOLY COW! All that? YES! All that and more! This list of questions is by far the most comprehensive I have put together. They address both confidence in product and confidence in the salesperson. The customer is seeking validation and wants to believe you. They need what you have and they're going to buy what you of- fer. The only question is: From who? De- pending on the answers to the above ques- tions, they may not buy from you. OUCH! Here are a few more thought-provoking challenges to help you understand the buy- ing process: 1. The first sale that's made is the salesper- son. If the prospect doesn't buy you, he's not going to buy your product or service. 2. How's your online reputation? What's your Google ranking and reputation? NOT YOUR COMPANY. YOU! 3. What's your social media reputation? Not Tweeting is a choice, but a poor one. How about LinkedIn? Do you have a business Facebook page? 4. Did you offer proof? Did you use "voice-of-customer" as testimonial proof to your claims? 4.5 Does the buyer have enough peace of mind to purchase? I have just given you a mind full of sales information, from the mind of the only person that matters in your sales conversa- tions: the customer. continued from page 14 continued from page 18 continued from page 30 pw Selling Smart pw From Software to Substrate Internet Strategies pw PW_MAY14.indd 32 4/17/14 9:57 AM

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