Awards & Engraving

2012 Sublimation Report

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Make It More Than A Gift —Make It A Memory BY JIMMY LAMB I T'S BEEN SAID THAT NO ONE ever throws away anything that has their picture on it. I beg to differ, as I can't wait to toss that driver's license of mine into the circular file. But in reality there is quite a bit of truth in this observa- tion, especially in terms of gifts. Why? Two reasons. The first is that a gift item that has been embellished with a photographic image typically is perceived as a higher-end gift product, thus a greater degree of worth and value have been placed on it. (Keep that in mind when setting your prices!) Sometimes the best memories need no explanations or enhancements. The second and perhaps more significant reason is that pictures capture and preserve important moments in time. Though time travel is not yet possible, treasured memo- ries are the next best thing for reliving the great experiences of our life. I learned this concept years ago when I was working with a major retailer to estab- lish a personalized products section in one of their stores. I coined the phrase "Make It More Than A Gift—Make It A Memory" which was immediately adopted and used throughout the store to spark emotion, in hopes of driving shoppers over to the per- sonalization department. And it worked pretty well. One of the key things about retail marketing is figuring out how to play on people's emotions. Not take advantage of them, but rather get their attention in a positive way that captures their heart while ignoring their brain. And while that may still sound a bit below the belt, it is a key component for generating the highest level of margins. Ultimately, it's only worth what the customer perceives it to be worth to them. Therefore, your goal is to raise their perception of value to your level of pricing, rather than dropping your pricing to a poorly perceived value of worth on the customer's part. So how do you develop a line of profit- able gift items to offer your customers? Start by focusing on the emotional aspects of the situation as seen through the eyes (and heart strings) of the customer. For example, take a look at the image on p. 37. From your perspective, it's a hard poly-fiber board with an image sublimated on it. Something that took about two minutes to print and press at a cost of about $6 for the substrate and 60 cents in ink and paper. However, when you take a look at it through the eyes of the customer, you see a beautiful little girl named Hannah Elizabeth who has just entered their world and brought new joy to their life, which is a spe- cial memory that they will cherish forever. She is only born once; thus, the only way to preserve that special moment is with a unique gift that recaptures every detail of the emotion that was felt on that joyous day. 34

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