Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe is the flagship, downtown, indie bookstore in Asheville, NC, and always does a great job in outreach and marketing to the community. With an award-winning events program, website and social media plan, a sister-store at Downtown Books & News, and a bustling café with local pastries and house blends, Malaprop’s is nationally recognized as a leading independent bookstore. Even their free bookmark shows me why they are such a success.
Last week I bought a book at Malaprop’s and the associate stuck a free giveaway bookmark into the volume – a simple, direct way to reach your customers. The bookmark (see above) promotes shopping at local, independent establishments like Malaprop’s and Downtown Books & News, and spells out 10 clear reasons why doing so helps you, helps your community and helps the larger world as well. Click the photo above to see a larger version and read the 10 great effects of your choice to buy local and indie.
What makes this marketing piece so effective?
- It is useful, and will therefore have longevity. A printed bookmark will stay around to mark your place while you read, getting notice each time the book is opened – a much longer “life” than for most printed direct mail or marketing pieces.
- The message is clear. The card draws a clear connection between the act of choosing to spend your dollars locally and 10 specific results of that choice.
- It is thought-provoking. Issues of job creation, environmental sustainability, choice, local economics and growth and more are effected by the decision to shop locally from independent merchants.
- It rewards the consumer. The free bookmark is positive reinforcement for a smart choice.
And all from a small piece of printed paper! Print and paper are the perfect marketing fit for a bookseller, but if a bookmark is not a natural fit for your business or product line, consider the huge selection of promotional products that you can brand with your logo and message to use in a similar way. Think creatively about new ways your business can reward customers while establishing in their minds the message you want to promote. This little bookmark can help get you thinking about ways you can do that in your own style.
Don’t forget to buy your print locally! A community printer will understand communication and design, with a special emphasis on your local market. They should be able to provide you with the latest information, inspiration, technical advice, and innovative ideas for communicating your message through print, design and typography, signage, apparel, variable data printing and direct mail, integrated marketing and environmental responsible printing. If they can’t, you have the wrong printer! The best advice, always, is to ASK YOUR PRINTER!