Branding 101

To brand or not to brand? That is the question. Micah Whitfield, Magna IV’s director of business development in Northwest Arkansas, recently shared how both green and established companies can use proven branding techniques to ensure long-term marketing success. Check out his expert advice from the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal below:

Branding, is it really worth it? The short answer is yes. Where it gets tricky is figuring out how much to invest in your business’ brand activation strategy. Whether you’re a large corporation or mom-and-pop shop, you know you’ll need to gain consumers’ trust so they’ll purchase your products and services. But you’ll also need a game plan for retaining that trust, and consumers’ short attention spans, in order to ensure long-term marketing success. In today’s ever-evolving media market, there’s no magic formula. However, there are several tried-and-true “bargain branding” rules that every business should follow.

Build brand loyalty: When it comes to branding, authenticity is key. Give consumers an opportunity to get the “real” experience behind your product or service through promotional marketing. Try to peak and maintain customers’ interest by offering product samples, loyalty programs, point-of-sale displays or free branded items. Promotional marketing can be modified to fit any budget, and the collateral can be used in multiple contexts—from trade shows to direct mail campaigns. Snap-on, which designs, manufactures and markets high-end tools and equipment, is a prime example of how promotional marketing can lead to increased brand loyalty and, in turn, increased sales. It often uses print discount coupons, direct mail offers, event promotions and eye-catching displays to boost recognition—and purchases—of new equipment lines.

Stay consistent, yet flexible: You’ve successfully secured your customers’ loyalty. Now, it’s time to deliver the same great customer experience while keeping things fresh to sustain their fleeting attention spans. This can easily be accomplished by telling your brand’s story through different mediums, adjusting sales tactics or modifying communications channels based on customers’ feedback. With more than 90 restaurant locations across the U.S., Dave & Buster’s is the epitome of an American business that has been able to maintain its iconic brand, yet still mix things up for its constantly evolving customer base. Through its online marketing portal, Dave & Buster’s stores are able to access and order the same print collateral, large-scale displays and seasonal promotions. So, whether a customer walks into a Dave & Buster’s in Tulsa or Kansas City, they know they’ll have a consistently fun experience every time they visit.

Utilize real estate: If there’s an opportunity to share your brand, take advantage of it. Utilize all your available real estate—from creating a cover photo for your business’ Facebook page to adding point-of-purchase displays to utilizing fleet graphics on company vehicles. The more customers see your brand, the more likely they are to recognize and be loyal to it. It’s relatively cost effective to add branding to your businesses’ real estate, and it’s an easy way to remind customers why they should choose your products or services. Take, as a real-world example, Mars Inc.’s recent use of branding in its new office building in Rogers. It created different “themed” rooms with the company’s world-class brands, complete with product samples, to engage clients and employees. For just a small investment—in this case, in branded wall graphics—Mars was able to reap a large return in impact.

There will always be new trends or suggestions to follow when it comes to brand activation strategies. But if you follow the “bargain branding” basics—building brand loyalty, staying consistent and taking advantage of all available real estate—your business will continue to see marketing results. 

Expanding into Northwest Arkansas

As the home of three Fortune 500 companies—Walmart, Tyson and J.B. Hunt —Northwest Arkansas has become one of the fastest growing regions in the country. Over the last few years, Magna IV has steadily built its presence and client roster in the region, serving national accounts including ConAgra, the University of Arkansas, Mars Brands, Umarex and more.

To help us manage our growing presence, we’ve brought on Micah Whitfield to serve as our director of business development. With more than 35 years of experience in print, marketing and sales, he will help Magna IV’s existing and future clients implement innovative solutions, such as online marketing portals, to streamline their ordering and procurement needs.

Check out Micah’s spotlight as a “Mover & Shaker” in Arkansas Business, and join us in welcoming him to the team!

Micah Whitfield

Telling the story of Harding University

As Harding University’s partner for the past 25 years, Magna IV has been proud to help the university tell the story of its people, places and moments. Every year, we’ve printed, packaged and shipped more than 60,000 copies of its alumni magazine, Harding Magazine, to subscribers across the U.S. and those living abroad. Harding University recently spotlighted our partnership in its video series, “2 Harding Minutes.” Check it out: http://bit.ly/2mdlSZe

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“2 Harding Minutes” gives a behind-the-scenes look at Magna IV’s pressroom.

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Harding University’s Winter 2017 issue, printed with Magna IV’s offset equipment.

A brand-new UV press

Whether you’re printing restaurant menus or upscale business cards, there are countless benefits to using ultra-violet (UV) printing. Kent Middleton, our chief executive officer, recently gave THV This Morning a behind-the-scenes look at how our brand-new UV press helps businesses create eye-catching print and marketing materials: http://bit.ly/2kqqPN2

UV Press THV MagnaIV

Thinking about using UV printing for your next project? Here are a few reasons why you should:

  • Faster printing: UV ink dries within seconds so your print job can move on to the next production step. With conventional offset printing, materials often have to dry overnight.
  • An eye-catching look: With UV coating, materials can be finished in a high gloss or high matte finish. In addition to being scuff resistant, collateral will have greater opacity, more vibrant colors and sharper graphics. They’ll also be chemical resistant and last longer outdoors.
  • Endless possibilities: UV inks can print on any substrate—including plastic, foil, synthetic, vinyl and more. UV coatings such as glitter, glow in the dark, curable silver, liquid foil, textured, scratch off, optic white or scratch and sniff ink can also be added.

If you have questions about Magna IV’s UV printing services, contact us at 800-946-2462 or magna4.com.

Saluting Our “Women Entrepreneur”

We’re excited to announce Kristi Dannelley, partner and chief operating officer of Magna IV, was recently featured in the Arkansas Times special Women Entrepreneurs’ issue. Read her full profile below.

Kristi Dannelley Arkansas Times Women Entrenpreneur MagnaIV

Kristi Dannelley expected her stay at Magna IV to be brief, but 18 years later and she has no plans to leave. In fact, she’s now partner of the growing print and marketing business.

“I had been in public accounting as an auditor and was really tired of traveling. So, I took a job as the accounting manager for Magna IV. I really thought this would be a stopover, and I would go on and work for a public company like Alltel or Dillard’s,” she says. “But I really loved it here. I still love it.”

She moved up to controller, then chief financial officer and then chief operations officer, joining her partner Kent Middleton in buying the business from his parents.

She loves the variety of responsibilities she has at Magna IV.

“We do a lot of printing, but what we really do well is help customers solve problems by centralizing and streamlining the procurement of their marketing needs,” Dannelley says.

“The printing business is very technology-driven and is rapidly advancing so we’re constantly making investments to ensure we’re delivering the most value we can to our customers. Today, I may be researching new equipment to make us more efficient. Tomorrow, I may be meeting with one of our larger client accounts to develop a program that will allow us to better serve their marketing needs.”

Magna IV has full-time programmers and the technological capability to build online marketing portals for clients, effectively creating “one-stop-shops” for businesses’ print and marketing needs.

“Our marketing portals are extremely valuable, especially for those big businesses like Dave & Buster’s or Gold’s Gym with multiple locations. The general managers can go to these portals and order brochures, signage or t-shirts—really whatever they need.  By ordering it all through one central location, they are able to ensure brand consistency,” Dannelley explains. “Their colors are consistent, their logos are consistent, the sizing is consistent…We are able to do that because we have such varied capabilities. There are very few printers, even in the nation, that have the breadth of services Magna IV does. That’s what sets us apart.”

Magna IV has served national clients like Gold’s Gym, Dave & Buster’s and St. Jude Research Hospital’s Dream Home Giveaway, along with several well-known local companies such as ConAgra Foods, Staley Electric and Harding University.

Dannelley also founded and oversees Magna IV’s gifts company, Incredibly Charming Paper and Gifts, which offers monogrammed and personalized items, as well as grab-and-go paper goods, foam cups, apparel, sorority lines, tumblers and more.

When she’s not creating new product lines or addressing customer’s needs, Dannelley spends her time volunteering for local organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas and spending time outdoors with her husband, Scott, and their sons, Connor, 11, and Cole, 8.

Scott bought her a bow for her birthday a few years ago, and she enjoyed practicing with it for a while, and then decided to join him on hunting trips.

“If I want to see my boys I have to go with them because that’s where they are,” she says. “Honestly, I’m so busy all the time. I’m always going, from the time I get up in the morning until I get into bed at night. So when I started joining them on hunting trips, and I realized I could sit in a tree, just sit there for hours, I began to really enjoy it. It’s so nice to just come down for a few hours.”

FORE! Magna IV Participates in Dave & Buster’s Charity Golf Tournament

For nearly a decade now, Magna IV has been proud to participate in Dave & Buster’s Annual H.E.A.R.T. (Helping Employees at Rough Times) Fund Golf Tournament, which helps provide temporary financial relief to employees in times of need. In addition to playing in the tournament this year—(and placing second!)—Magna IV helped produce vinyl sponsorship signs with our wide-format equipment. Check out a few photos from the tournament below:

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Magna IV’s 2016 team included Neal Keating,Kent Middleton, Mike Morehart and Raymond O’Neal.

Digital Marketing Platforms to Embrace (Or Ignore)

From Facebook to Snapchat, small businesses today are jumping on the social media bandwagon. But, how do they know what platform is the best for growing their brands? Steven Schilling, Magna IV’s in-house marketing guru, recently shared his advice with Arkansas Business about which digital marketing platforms businesses should embrace—or ignore. Read his guest column here: http://bit.ly/2ewKWWL

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Does your business need Steven’s marketing help? Contact him at steven@magna4.net.

Growing our team

Join us in welcoming industry veterans Mike Pelley and Karla Gabrion to the Magna IV team! As our new plant manager, Mike will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of production including printing, shipping and receiving, preparation and bindery. Karla will serve as our new marketing portal administrator and help customize, implement and update clients’ portal accounts to best meet their needs.

Magna IV is also excited to announce Casey Winters, a long-time employee, has been promoted to customer service manager and systems administrator. Casey brings more than 25 years of printing experience to this position, and we know he will do a great job.

Congratulations to Mike, Karla and Casey on their new roles and for being spotlighted in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette! We’re proud to have you as part of the Magna IV team.

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Read the full article at http://bit.ly/2dOBiyf, and then find out more about Mike, Karla and Casey at magna4.com.

Proudly Supporting THV11’s Summer Cereal Drive

Did you know more than 200,000 Arkansas children are food insecure? For 15 years now, THV11 and the Arkansas Foodbank have hosted a Summer Cereal Drive to help these families in need. As in years past, Magna IV helped THV11 design and produce posters for its drop-off locations, on-air tally boards and cereal box trophies. We also had the opportunity to host our own cereal drive and collect more than 100 boxes.
Congratulations to THV11 and the Arkansas Foodbank for collecting a record 324,138 cereal boxes! We’re proud to have played a small role in this important community initiative, and we are looking forward to a successful Summer Cereal Drive 2017!

Magna IV Summer Cereal Drive Awards

Staying sharp in the digital age

Magna IV’s “commitment to invest” in the latest technologies, such as ultraviolet (UV) printing, has solidified our spot as the largest printer in the mid-South and one of the top 400 printers nationwide. Today, we produce all the print and marketing materials for Dave & Buster’s Restaurants, as well as the national campaigns and location-specific marketing for hundreds of clients across the U.S. Check out the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s recent article, which highlights our work and how we’ve stayed sharp in the digital age:

MagnaIV printer stays sharp in digital age 2016