Is Brand Awareness Worth the Investment?

We all want to sell more products and services, and for decades, brand awareness has been the subject of research and study. Is this a good investment of your marketing dollars? To what extent does brand awareness truly influence the final purchase decision? As it turns out, quite a lot.

Here are the results from one fascinating study:

  • In a blind study by the University of Newcastle and the University of South Australia, 85.5% of subjects chose the familiar brand in the first trial, even if they preferred a less familiar brand.
  • Even when testing brands during an initial trial, consumers were more likely to purchase the product from a familiar brand name, even if they preferred the taste (or, by extension, the look, smell, or function) of an unfamiliar brand.
  • Consumers were not only likely to choose the more familiar brand but were more likely to make the decision more quickly — 9.8 seconds faster.

What does this mean for you? Get to the consumer early. Stay in front of them and don’t quit! Repetition is critical. One statistic we regularly run across is that the average person remembers three to five brands per category. To get in there, you have to push someone else out and then stay there.

This is where consistent drips of brand messaging can pay off in a big way. Send a direct mailer and follow up with an email. Invest in retargeting with social media ads for visitors to your website. Create constant reminders of who you are and what your brand offers.

Creating brand awareness is not always about getting someone to buy right now. It’s about staying top of mind—and keeping your competitors out in the cold—so that when your target audience is ready to buy, they think of you.

Source: “Brand Awareness Effects on Consumer Decision Making for a Common, Repeat Purchase Product: A Replication” (Journal of Business Research)


Streamlined solutions eliminates multiple pain points!

Streamlined solution eliminates multiple pain points!


A high-growth company with 80 locations and counting was experiencing delays in providing necessary materials to their new locations. Simple onboarding materials for required training could take as long as 4-6 weeks from time of order to in-hand date. The marketing team was challenged with meeting expectations of franchise owners and corporate needs creating multiple pain points.


ImageMark developed a digital storefront housing all the possible items a new location needed along with replenishment options for existing locations. The franchise owners were given access to the ordering site eliminating the marketing team involvement in placing orders.


ImageMark’s ordering solution combined with our in-house production capabilities streamlined access creating a much shorter turnaround time for required materials.

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Waste reduction with ImageMark’s tightly controlled processes.

Waste reduction with ImageMark’s tightly controlled processes.


A leading manufacturer of instruments and chemistries was frustrated with the amount of waste in the production of their water testing kits. The testing strips in their kit react in a color gamut when dipped in water which is then compared to a bottle label. The color match must be within a tightly controlled range for effectiveness of the test. They were experiencing a rejection rate that resulted in 35% waste of their printed material.


ImageMark worked closely to understand this manufacturer’s requirements and developed a solution that started with file creation through print production. Quality control steps involve the client’s review and testing to eliminate unnecessary costs.


The reduction of waste moved from 35% with their prior print vendor to a resounding 3% waste with ImageMark!

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Capturing a historical moment in a timely manner!

Capturing a historical moment in a timely manner!


The Charlotte Knights, a Minor League baseball team built a beautiful new ballpark and wanted to capture the first pitch in a special way. How could they share this historical moment with their 12,000 attending fans?


ImageMark created a quick-turn response plan to have multiple photographers staged around the ballpark to capture the first pitch. The photos were quickly selected and uploaded for print production in our facility 27 miles away. Before the 7th inning, the commemorative prints arrived at the ballpark and were distributed to fans on their departure.


The Charlotte Knights had a successful opening game with a special touch for their fans to remember the historical event.

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What is key when bringing a new brand to life? Color consistency!

What is key when bringing a new brand to life?

Color consistency!


A medical practice in the final stages of a major rebrand was concerned about the color consistency of their new brand in the marketplace. Their experience with using multiple vendors resulted in their logo produced in a rainbow of colors. They invested in developing a new brand and feared their printed materials would not represent their corporate image.


ImageMark took time to understand the new brand guidelines and devised a solid production process with carefully selected paper to best protect their rebrand launch. Testing and proofing occurred with client involvement before the first printed piece was released.


By selecting ImageMark as their single-source partner, the brand launch was a success! Their brand continues to live on with tight color consistency throughout their multiple locations.

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A highly responsive solution that lasts for years to come!

A highly responsive solution that lasts for years to come!


An Alumni event was quickly approaching with final touches requiring directional signage.


Instead of using the obvious “go to” materials for standard one-use signage, ImageMark suggested a nicely finished metal frame containing the directional signs. The design excluded a date purposely for reuse in future years. ImageMark created the art, provided a sample for client approval then produced the project within just a few days.


Client gained a quick solution with proof-of-concept before investing in multiple signs across campus. The reuse of the product removed the need to purchase signage for future years making the most of their budget.



An Alumni event was quickly approaching with final touches requiring directional signage.


Instead of using the obvious “go to” materials for standard one-use signage, ImageMark suggested a nicely finished metal frame containing the directional signs. The design excluded a date purposely for reuse in future years. ImageMark created the art, provided a sample for client approval then produced the project within just a few days.


Client gained a quick solution with proof-of-concept before investing in multiple signs across campus. The reuse of the product removed the need to purchase signage for future years making the most of their budget.

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The Value of the Traditional Holiday Card in the Digital Age

In this digital, mobile age of communication, the personal touch is often missing from important client, employee and partner interactions. In a rush to be present on social media sites and participate in the latest and greatest technology enabled trends, companies may make the mistake of forgoing the personal touch of sending a traditional holiday greeting card. Holidays are the perfect time to remember and thank customers, partners, suppliers, and employees for the vital role they serve in the success of your business.

If sending out cards isn’t a yearly tradition for your business, or if it’s fallen by the way-side in recent years, it’s time to rethink that approach. Holiday cards and other types of thank you cards may seem like a small gesture, but when done in a genuine way, this gesture can help forge a lasting bond between your business and the recipient.

It’s important to remember, however, that not all holiday cards achieve their goal. That may be because they don’t have the right design, so they don’t stand out as special. Or, the message on the inside of the card may not communicate what it was intended to communicate. For these reasons, you should take time planning before sending out cards for the holiday season.

We receive a lot of questions about this time of year for best planning of our client’s holiday communications. Following are our answers to the ones we hear most often.

Why send holiday cards?

Here are the five reasons we believe are the most important reason to send holiday greetings:


Holiday cards can be used to express gratitude. With them, you can say “thanks” in a way that is customized to the relationship you have with the recipient.


Goodwill is valuable to any business. Sending holiday cards is an excellent way to nurture important relationships and generate goodwill in a non-salesy way.


By having your cards reflect your brand image, you are reinforcing your brand in the minds of the recipients.


Sending holiday cards to prospects and dormant clients will help your business stick in the minds of prospects and help dormant clients remember your business.


What do you do when you receive an envelope that is obviously a part of someone’s direct-mail campaign? Odds are that you throw it away. What do you do when you receive an envelope that looks like a personal note? You open it and publicly display the card it contains. It’s still direct mail, but it works harder for you.

Who should I send cards to?

The core list of recipients should include your top customers, supportive suppliers, prospective customers and employees. These are the people your business touches:


One of the best ways to show gratitude to your customers is to send them a holiday card. Remember, to be effective, the card must not contain a sales pitch. Also, consider personalizing your cards with a handwritten message. Handwriting the address is another great personalization technique.


If your salespeople use a customer relationship management or CRM platform, then you have lots of prospects. Use that database to send cards to those prospects to reinforce your brand and make them feel special.


As we mentioned above, sending cards to dormant customers puts your business back on their minds. When they need your product or service again, they may think of your business because you made a thoughtful gesture.


Your employees are the bedrock of your business. Sending them a card shows how much you appreciate them and the work they do. Although it’s a small thing, it can help boost morale and job performance.


Most companies stop with just sending cards to customers or clients. Fewer companies send cards to prospects, dormant clients, and employees. Fewer still send cards to the rest of the people on this list. Why send cards to vendors? Because it’s a good way to support the ongoing relationship.


It’s all about relationships. You count on your accountant, attorney, custodians, and other professional service providers to help you keep your business running smoothly. They will appreciate receiving a card that shows them you care about the work they do for you.


The people who have a vested interest in your business should also receive a holiday card.


For your business to be a good public citizen, you must foster relationships with your local government officials. Sending holiday cards is one way to do that. The gesture may remind them to think of you when a business opportunity is on the horizon.


Consider sending cards to your local police department to show that you appreciate the work they do to keep your business safe.


The leaders of your local chamber of commerce, convention and visitor’s bureau, and other organizations that support your community are all excellent choices for receiving holiday cards. The more organizations you can connect with the better. There may be opportunities that can come your way when you nurture professional relationships.


LinkedIn isn’t the only place to connect with influencers. Whether they are local or not, put together a list of the top influencers in your industry and send them a holiday card.

What type of card should I send?

It is crucial that your card represents your business well. Content and design matter. These two elements can make the difference between reaching your marketing goal or wasting time and effort. When the recipient looks at your card, they are looking at your business.

The short answer is to send a holiday card that proudly reflects your brand and your corporate culture.

To create a card that you are proud to say represents your business, be sure to select a quality card and envelope stock. Choose a weight that is substantial. A thin or flimsy card does not communicate quality. Also, choose a color that fits the season or your brand.

Next, help your card stand out by giving it a unique design. Consider creating a card with a die cut. It’s sure to be memorable. Also, because most people display their cards on desks, tables, or walls, a card with a unique shape will catch more eyes than a standard rectangle card.

To round out the look of your card, don’t run the envelope through your postage meter. Take the time to stamp each envelope by hand with seasonal postage stamps.

Should I personalize my card?

Yes. You should absolutely personalize each card. There are lots of personalization options. Simply choose the one that works for your business.

Start by addressing your envelope to an individual. If you only address your envelope to the business without a person’s name, you defeat your purpose of connecting with an individual. Besides, it’s doubtful that the intended recipient will ever see your card.

You can also personalize the outside or the inside of the card with a message that is meant specifically for the recipient. For the greatest impact, make the personalization handwritten. This may be too much of an effort for larger businesses, but it’s still possible. Some printers can use your database to personalize each card using a digitized handwriting font.

To hyper-personalize your card, send it to the recipient at their home address. And, be sure to include a handwritten note with a kind message. This only works if you have a personal relationship with the sender.

Otherwise, it may be considered to be inappropriate.


To get your cards delivered before the holiday rush (Christmas or Hanukkah), put them in the mail as soon after Thanksgiving as possible. This means planning the production of your card well in advance of the holidays. Recipients are likely to remember the first cards they receive. If you’ve personalized the card as discussed above, your card is sure to be remembered.

ImageMark Puts It All Together

As you can see, to gain the benefits of sending greeting cards for the holiday season, you must give the project some thought. Get it right and you will nurture long-term relationships. Get it wrong and your brand image will suffer. And, there’s another alternative. Stick to the middle of the road and produce a bland holiday card and it will get ignored.

The team at ImageMark is prepared to assist you with making all the decisions surrounding, what to send, how to send and when to send it. To get started, contact us to request a quote or a meeting.


Five Quick Tips for Planning Your Direct Mail Campaign

    Carefully select your audience based on your known targeted audience and do not forget a valuable step with your data – cleanse your list to avoid extra expense of mailing to inaccurate addresses.
    Craft a great message by telling a story in your communication piece and make sure to keep it simple to hold your reader’s attention.
    Formulate your budget to include all elements of the campaign from design through mailing including the biggest line item – postage!
    Design a format that stands out with your targeted audience while optimizing your postage usage within the USPS requirements.
    Select an experienced print and direct mail partner with all the capabilities in-house to execute flawlessly!

Business Relationships In These Trying Times

If you have worked with us before, you know about our personal approach. ImageMark is all about diving into a project with you and walking through it from start to finish, side by side and ready to offer as much or as little guidance as you prefer. And the reason we’re so good at it is our people. The team at Imagemark is made up of people who genuinely care about creating good products to help our clients accomplish their marketing, communication, and operational goals.

Like you, we’ve been trekking through uncharted territory over the past few months and while it has been a challenge, it’s also been an affirmation of the multitude of talent, resilience, and grit inherent in our team.

You’ve heard about car companies shifting gears to produce ventilators, or major manufacturing companies either ramping up current production of personal protection equipment or starting from scratch to develop it anew. On a more personal level, members of our own team have broken out old sewing machines, acquired colorful fabric and other supplies, and crafted face masks for the staff to wear as we’ve remained open for business. Throughout the course of this pandemic, some of our team has been working from home, but others have remained on site as we’ve continued to offer essential services to the local community and nationwide.

If you haven’t worked with us before, you may be wondering what we do. You can read more about us on our site, but here’s the gist of it. We print marketing, advertising, and communication products that are essential to the successful operation of businesses large and small. We provide full-scale direct mail services, and we offer promotional items branded with your company logo. We work with hospitals, restaurants, retailers, financial institutions, manufacturing companies, theaters, schools, campaigns, and attorneys, just to name a few.

We’re accustomed to printing signs, decals, flyers, stationery, postcards, you name it, for these companies and others when they need to reach existing or potential clients, or to communicate internally with members of their own team. We produce catalogs and booklets, banners or bumper stickers. And quite often, we help develop a whole series of products to help with the rollout of a client’s exciting new product or service offering.

Maybe exciting isn’t the right word for what we want to tell you today, but it depends on how you look at it. After worldwide business closures and mandated stay-at-home orders, no matter how scary it is, people are anxious to get back to some semblance of normal. And that includes going back to work. Going back to shopping malls and mom & pop shops. Going out to concerts or taverns to hear live music. Sitting down at a corner table in your favorite local restaurant or coffee shop, lingering over a bite or a sip, and engaging in banter with the staff or your neighbor. Even as we’ve learned to adapt and adjust beyond our expectations, we are collectively excited about a return to the activities we once took for granted.

It will take time, of course. We will all continue to learn as we go and alter our business practices as necessary to be certain we stay safe and as healthy as possible, and ImageMark is eager to help along the way. And that’s why we’re excited. Just as we’ve helped our clients with their product rollouts, we are excited about the rollout of our own products.

To walk along with you—albeit six feet away from you—as you embark on your reopening or return to regular business, we present to you, ImageMark’s own safe-distance-products.com.

Visit the link for more information and contact our team with any questions you may have.

Call us at 704.865.4912

Email: sales@ImageMarkonline.com


Preparing Your Business to Reopen

While American business owners are eager to reopen, the impact on customer psyche from the extreme shutdown due to the Coronavirus will likely be an issue for months and even years to come. The latent fear that is created by the length of the shutdown and unknown duration of the virus will require an intense and intentional effort to convey a sense of wellbeing by every business owner.

The Coronavirus has already impacted how essential businesses protect clients and employees alike by visually and experientially creating new ways to work and to shop.  Implementing safe-distance measures and practices visually and graphically is no longer just an option, but a requirement.

Conveying a sense of calm, structure, and a clear demonstration of the measures you are taking to protect clients and employees will be critical to ongoing success.

safe distance products - Preparing Your Business to Reopen

While we don’t yet know all the challenges that the Coronavirus will create in the days ahead as we reopen, we do know that every day we must reinforce our commitment to safety, cleanliness and the implementation of safe distancing. We are ready to help you build a level of trust so that consumers feel safe the first time and every time they visit your business.