It never fails, I’ll conclude a sales call and a distributor partner will walk out completely blown away by the creativity and design aspect of a journal/notebook and will find themselves asking, “How have I been missing out on this goldmine of a product?” Why? Although a token piece in a business environment, we somehow forget that journals have tremendous value and unmatched branding power. The design possibilities are endless, from full color, to oversized deboss printing, and even intricate window cutouts on the covers. Paper is the greatest form of use for four-color process printing and the amount of real estate space in a journal is unmatched by just about every other promo and advertising specialty item out there.
We’re seeing an interesting shift from digital media back towards analog media. You see, we acknowledge that we live in this digital world with laptops, tablets and smartphones, but we’re finding that we are still an analog society…we still have to write things down. There is just something very personal and unique about a journal. For starters, journals are gender-neutral, non-age specific, and are useful in almost any industry. A journal can be used by practically anyone and because the product price ranges from $2 to upwards of $60, they are a great choice for any budget.
Another benefit of journals is that we recall information much better when we’ve physically written it down, rather than typing on a keyboard. There’s a massive shift back to notebooks and journals. I mean look down at your desk right now, chances are there is a journal! Not just that, try walking into a meeting these days with a laptop or tablet. It’s unengaging and I’d go as far as to say borderline intrusive. In my experience just about every single person in a meeting is using a notebook!
So here we go, you’re on board now I know it! And better yet, we’ve got endless ideas and possibilities. Think about the branding being left on the table (no pun intended) with a regular notebook. No mission statement, no values, no corporate history, or competitive advantages. All of these things can be easily listed within the journal as insert sheets (or as some call it “tipins”). Honestly I’m not here to pass product on, but I’d like to end with a cool case study, as well as a challenge. So let’s start with the case study:
Take a look at this journal. This is a very cool, full color logo and really has a great creative draw to it, but it doesn’t tell me what they do, what makes them different from their competition, what services they provide, how to contact them, or even gives their name! But one of the trends we are seeing with journals is that people are taking these pieces and using full color to become an extension of their brand by decorating the inside with full color spreads.
See the inside branding here? This is where this piece becomes powerful. Through the use of full color, now I have the ability to tell my story. What products I sell, what makes my products better than my competitors, my rich history, and so on. What’s better? We know that people don’t throw away a journal. Believe me, if this were an ad that someone received as a mailer, or digital e-mail, it would probably be disposed of. But because it’s in a journal, in a product that people use every single day, this branding information is going to be seen throughout the life of the journal.
Okay, so as I promised, here’s the challenge. I’d like to ask that you take a moment to think about your client base. Think about the branding messages they have, the full color logos and messages they want to display to their customers. Are they looking for ways to get their values out there? Maybe they are looking for a way to tell their story, or they’d like to find a way to differentiate themselves from their competition? Would they be a great potential customer for a journal/notebook? I bet it’d be worth the effort to try. And through our creative team, I bet we could come up with a few options for your next project.
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