2009 The Year of Change

9 12 2009

2009 has been a year of change. After 23 years Sorrento Mesa Printing has a new logo, look and feel to its brand. We’ve added services and increased our capabilities on many fronts including upgraded CRM software and storage servers to improve our efficiency. We’ve gone through the G7 certification process of our color digital proofer and offset press for perfect color matching. We’re now offering wide format printing for posters and trade show graphics and expanded our CD/DVD print and burn capabilities. In 2009 social media has also driven change in how we interact with our clients. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook (Sorrento Mesa Printing now has a fan page) and even this blog have added new dimensions to how we communicate. There’s no replacement for personal one-on-one time, but now we can keep in touch with so many simultaneously.

2009 has also brought its share of unwanted change as well. This has made itself apparent after spending the last few months calling clients to update contact information and catch up with those I’ve not spoken with for a while. Many of my client contacts are no longer there and it’s been quite a revelation. Some have been fortunate to find other opportunities, others are still searching. So much change in such a short period of time. The pundits say we’ll be looking at these employment conditions to stay with us for awhile. What is different during this downturn though is previously I might have lost contact with some of these clients, now through social media I’ve still been able to stay in touch and even been able to help by making introductions though my LinkedIn network.

So, even though 2009 has been the year of change there are things you can do to adapt and help others adapt as well. Take a few moments and think about what you can do. Even the smallest gesture can have a big impact. I would welcome your thoughts and ideas.


Lessons we can learn from United Breaks Guitars

19 07 2009

Until earlier this week I had never heard of Dave Carroll, but this weekend as I was working in the yard I found myself continually humming the refrain from his phenomenal Internet video United Breaks Guitars. It’s a catchy tune packed with a devastating blow to the image of United Airlines. If you haven’t read the story, take a moment from this blog and read the “detailed version” of what happened to Dave and his band Sons of Maxwell. Then watch the video.

Story: http://tinyurl.com/l74j68

Video: http://tinyurl.com/knxyvm

As I write this, the video which was posted on July 6th a mere 13 days ago is rapidly approaching 3.5 MILLION views and has a rating of 5 stars with almost 25,000 people giving their thumbs up. Obviously Dave hit a nerve.  It could have been any airport and any airline, but in the musical chairs of airline travel when the music stopped it was United in Chicago and the indifference of the employees from that day until a year later that sparked the will and creativity of what we now know as the story (and video) of United Breaks Guitars.

So for those of us in business, what can we learn at United’s expense?

We now live in a new connected world where social media and one individual can bring a story of ultimate customer indifference to many, and in the process reverse the efforts of millions of dollars of brand promotion and positioning.

We also see that this could all have been avoided if someone somewhere in the United organization would have just stepped forward and taken some responsibility for making things right.  It would have been so easy to do.

United Breaks Guitars is a wake up call to big corporate America and small business America and everyone in between that the customer ultimately is the boss. The customer writes your paycheck and in the end the customer can vote with their feet and in this case probably influence a lot of other feet as well. Dave says that he intends to make two more videos to complete a trilogy, and then we all get to vote for the best. I’m looking forward to the next installment and in the meantime I hope we can all learn a lesson or two from the story of United Breaks Guitars.

Print in the Mix

4 06 2009

“Print in the mix” what does that mean? It means that print media is no longer a solo act, now it’s a voice in the choir.  Its part of the harmony consisting of all the marketing tools of today’s multiple media choices (web media, SEO, email marketing, social networks, broadcast media) that communicate your marketing message. For most of this decade, the marketing emphasis has been weighted towards web media. Consider that for a number of years now, when you ask most new creatives coming out of design school what media they want to design for, the answer is overwhelmingly, The Web.  But it is becoming more and more obvious that a balanced approach to communicating your message is much more effective, and a mainstay of that balanced approach is print media. Content should ideally be designed for both electronic and print media for maximum effectiveness.

Consider the advantages of print:

It’s credible.

Things that appear in print usually carry more weight with the reader.

It’s portable.

You can read the message without being near a monitor or a phone.

It’s convenient.

You can choose when and where you read the message, on your timetable.

It’s easily archived.

Print Media doesn’t need backups or protection against drive crashes.

It’s fun.

Try making a wicked paper airplane out of a web page.

Your print media should be used to inform, and also to drive readers to your website, where they can learn more about you, and you about them.

Work closely with your printer, he or she can help you in this process. Printers know how to increase the effectiveness of your print projects so you can spend wisely for the best results. Print media is a powerfully persuasive tool.

Use it.

For more specific information about the effectiveness of print media, I would invite you to visit  www.printinthemix.com

The Beginning

20 05 2009

Everything has a beginning, and so sorrentomesablog begins. My goal with this blog is to comment on what I see. The trends affecting my industry, the strategies that help my clients, the events that occur in my city, the things that happen in life. One of my favorite quotes comes from The Great One, Wayne Gretzky:

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”

I think this is one of the keys to success in anything one does. Anticipate what is to come, and position yourself for the best outcome. Truly wise words.

As a salesperson, a small business owner, one who has worked in the scientific community, a resident of a beautiful city in the deep south of California, husband, father, brother, UCSD Alumnus and someone who is highly engaged in making things go, I hope to bring value with my words and comments about what I see. For those that can relate, I have a day to day reality check that drives my actions  called making payroll. Those of us who live with this responsibility tend to see things a little differently than most, and I hope to bring that perspective to the mix as well.

Blogging is new for me, although I participate quite frequently on an assortment of email listserves and am no stranger to speaking my mind.

I have a presence on LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/sorrentomesa

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/sorrentomesa

and Facebook. I would encourage those who read my blog to leave comments and share your thoughts as well. This looks like it could be fun.

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