Small quantity cost with big quantity impact

In an internet-driven world, the need for printed material isn’t always clear. Sometimes a PDF will do. But sometimes you need that “thunk” factor…the credibility that an actual brochure creates when it lands on your customer’s desk. A physical piece has a different emotional impact than a digital one. And Be Green Packaging wanted a piece that set them apart.

They also needed the flexibility of a set of inserts that could be customized for a specific prospect or project. That required a pocket in the back to hold them all, and that meant die-cutting and gluing. So, for the graphic elements on the cover, we decided to use blind-embossing and foil stamping — all similar processes that could be done by the same vendor. And all this meant that the quantity had to be large enough to amortize the cost of dies and set-up.

But here’s the problem. Be Green just doesn’t need thousands of brochures. For them, a digitally-printed solution makes sense. They can run 50 or 100 at once, keep them up to date, and only print what they can use (which is environmentally sound, too).

The solution? Give them the best of both worlds. Produce a larger supply of covers with pockets. Then print and bind the body of the brochure as needed, in small quantities. The result is a piece that makes a wonderful impression, but is flexible and cost-effective, and can be brought up to date easily and inexpensively.

Bike It! Day in Santa Monica

Bike It! Day logoDon’t you just love it when an idea you helped promote builds into something wonderful? Me, too!

A couple of years ago strategic marketing guru, organisational whiz and fellow parent Richard McKinnon asked me to create a brand identity for Bike It! Day. He was working with student activists Charlotte Biren and Jenna Perlman to create more awareness of bike-riding, and to try to make it cool again. It looks like they succeeded admirably.

From a single school, the program has grown to encompass the entire Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, with 3,300 participants. And Biren and Perlman received a Commendation from the Office of the President (yes, THAT president), honoring their achievement at a national level.

I’m thrilled our little contribution added some visibillity. But it’s amazing what kids can do when they have a vision and a champion.

Streetsblog Los Angeles » Best Practices: Bike It! Day in Santa Monica.

(Note to self: Don’t let WordPress add “recommended links” without checking them! Amusingly, “Office of the President” linked to The President of the Philippines before I fixed it manually. Sorry for any confusion, peeps.)

Be Green celebrates new domestic manufacturing plant

When clients of ours are recognized for making a difference in the world, it’s a real pleasure to share the news. On Thursday, Be Green Packaging hosted South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley at their new manufacturing facility in Ridgeland, South Carolina. The plant creates 175 new jobs in Jasper County (which, like most places in the U.S., can definitely use them). And it shows once again how green technology is leading the way in getting the country back to work.

Nikki Haley welcomes Be GreenBe Green makes sustainable packaging from easily renewable plant materials. Originally sold to food packagers like Whole Foods, this year they expanded their business to mass-market consumer packaging. Their new Gillette Fusion ProGlide trays garnered a Diamond Award at the 23rd Annual DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation.

As regular freePress readers know, FreeAssociates designed Be Green’s new website which their CEO told me recently “positions us perfectly….the Web site helped carry the day.”

Great companies strive to change the world in some way. They stand for something, and they let their customers know what that is. We believe creative communication supports that goal, and we do everything we can to differentiate Qelpour clients, help them find their authentic voice, put forward their strengths, and inspire their customers to connect with them.

So when our clients shine the way Be Green does…well, it’s a wonderful feeling to let you all know about it.

Car of the Future

Techno-geeks unite! General Motors has been pushing the idea of a hydrogen powered car for a generation. Now we’re getting somewhere. True, making hydrogen for fuel cells at the moment uses a lot of energy, but, interestingly, it generates a lot of energy once you do it. Far more than it takes to run a car, for example. If we could harness that extra energy, perhaps the transition to hydrogen as a fuel for vehicles could be well worthwhile. If only because the exhaust is….water vapor.

Here’s a video (thank you, Joe!) of what driving will look like in the (surprisingly near) future.

Green opportunities all weekend

greenlightWhat a week! I started in Boston at BAI’s annual Retail Delivery Conference and Expo (for which we’ve created the campaign and graphic theme for four years in a row — more on that in separate blog post), and ended up at the Opportunity Green conference at UCLA over the weekend.  To quote from their website, “The world can no longer afford business as usual. Opportunity Green emerged to confront this challenge and bring together the brightest innovators leading the growth of the new green economy.”

A few highlights of the conference — at least for me:

  • Hearing Adam Lowry, one of the founders of Method cleaning products (whose concept, design, copy and creativity have made me a huge fan) talk about their beginnings, what the company has learned, and where he sees the industry heading. About how a company is more of an organism than it is an organization. And how, despite all the metrics and business models, sometimes companies “just have to do something awesome.” Continue reading