The CMO’s Guide to the 2014 Social Landscape

The CMO’s Guide to the 2014 Social Landscape. This is a great article shared by Brandlove. Weren’t aware that “Pinterest activity associated with a web page is among the top 10 factors that generally result in a higher Google search ranking, according to a recent survey?” Aren’t excited about Google+? Read on and understand why you should be.

RhinoTech is one company that has learned along the way that utilizing social media is a great tool, customer and friend builder. Don’t delay! RT Screen Graphics Digital 3 2014

Thanks, again, for reading and subscribing and sharing this info. And, kudos to Brandlove for continuing to offer great info time after time….

 

The CMO’s Guide to the 2014 Social Landscape

Originally posted on BrandLove, LLC:

This infographic  is a fantastic guide to the CMO’s (and all marketer’s) social landscape. It shows the advantages and disadvantages of each social media with regard to SEO, brand awareness, customer communication and traffic generation. For 2014, the ‘Big Fou’ are joined by newcomers SlideShare,  Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram. The infographic was created by CMO.com who teamed with data visualization specialist Visual.ly to help with both content and design.  Worth the read and a valuable resource to share with your colleagues.

the-cmos-guide-to-the-2014-social-landscape_532b26d0144c1_w1500

If you found this article helpful, be sure to follow @BrandLoveLLC on Twitter, “Like” BrandLove on Facebook, follow BrandLove on LinkedIn and add BrandLove to your Google+ circles. There are many more tips and tricks on my other social networking sites. Thank you for reading this post and feel free to share it with your friends and colleagues. Your support is much appreciated!

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Starting a Business the Lean Way

business planWhen it comes to starting a business, the path for many people involves carefully charting a course by following the traditional steps of creating a business plan. In an earlier blog article, “So you want to start a screen or graphics printing business”, the steps to beginning/completing a plan were outlined. They included doing market research; defining financial management, sales strategies, responsible organizational and management personnel; how to apply for a loan and more.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

In “Launching Lean” by Daniel Bortz (Money Magazine, page 40, March 2014), the author outlines what this “lean” means. Here it is in it’s entirely. It’s very different than the traditional approach to building a new business. Many will argue its demerits, others will find that this approach speaks to them.

LAUNCHING “LEAN”

Some entrepreneurs are trading in the traditional business plan for trial and error. This methodology, popularized by Eric Ries’s 2011 book, the Lean Startup, is not “rapidly going around the world, ” says Alex DeNoble, head of San Diego State University’s Lavin Entrepreneurship Center.

What Lean Means. It’s a fast-track to launch. Instead of painstakingly researching the market first, you dive into product testing, using consumer feedback to develop a “minimum viable product.” So, if you’re making a game for tweens, have kids play with it, pivot based on their reactions, then test again.

When to Skip It. This strategy isn’t for businesses that need to come out of the gate with a fully formed product, says Jeffrey Bernel of the University of Notre Dame’s Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship. A restaurant, for example, might struggle to establish a customer base if it keeps changing its menu.

How to Do It Right. “The output is only as good as the input,” says Daniel Cohen, director of the eLab accelerator at Cornell University. So, clearly ID your target customer before convening focus groups. And, set an end date for testing so you don’t exhaust resources before you launch.

We appreciate that you are a subscriber and/or an occasional reader! Thanks for your input.

Survive and Thrive in Screen, Graphics and Digital Printing.

That’s the Way it Was and We Liked It!

Do you remember the Dana Carvey sketch on SNL, “That’s the Way it Was and We Liked It”? Basically, the character’s mantra was “Phooey on progress. I don’t like things now compared to the way they used to be!”  In thinking about the skit’s theme and how tough change can be for some people, in fact, for many in our industry, it’s actually understandable why people don’t relish change and why they want to hang on to the same way of doing business that has served them for decades (even if not very well).

So..because our livelihoods need to flourish, it’s a mandate that we continually look at trends, what the competition is doing, changing technology, needs of customers, the economy, new printing techniques, the decline of large-run printing jobs, innovation and more .

Diversify and be Flexible.

This article, Tracking Trends is Key to Business Survival, is a highly recommended first and/or second read. It was written by Greg Kitson,  founder of Mind’s Eye Graphics, for Impressions Magazine on Nov. 19, 2013. In “Tracking Trends is Key to Business Survival”, Greg thoughtfully shared how he was forced to change during complicated economic times and the impact of the loss of hi-volume orders, how he accomplished the change by looking at a variety of industry trends, what worked and what didn’t.  In order to survive, Greg shared that small- to mid-sized shops may find they need to regroup and discover what customers are willing to pay for, while also finding enough clients who want the same thing. Companies that are content and continue to do what they have been doing for the past 10 years will be in trouble. This statement remains unchanged today.

RhinoTech on Trend.

An example of a company’s ability to thrive is Eagan, MN-based, RhinoTech. With an ever watchful eye on trends and the tempo of the screen printing industry, the 18 year old company orchestrated its entrance  into the digital printing arena many years ago to ensure its place in the industry and to help its textile and graphics printing customers easily diversify, as well.

In doing so, RhinoTech (info@rhinotechinc.com) broadened its products/equipment base. It remains attuned to the nuances of heat press printing, equipment and heat transfer papers. It offers a wide range of heat press equipment, printers, toners and papers. The company extends its knowledge-base through in-person training and step-by-step video instruction. The company also sells Smart Designer X6 Creative Assistant software (that wraps into CorelDRAW X6) so that customers can buy an entire digital printing package complete with art production software. To help customers capture business with the Fluorescent printing on BLACK trend, RhinoTech offers RT SunAngel DARK. Screen and graphics printers AND embroiderers can easily diversify their businesses with this system to help capture all customers, especially those with short run project needs.

BE PROACTIVE.

Greg Kitson says it best, “I identify trends by reading industry trade magazines, attending trade shows and talking with peers. Don’t find out too late. Track trends now and be prepared for whatever the future may bring.” You can contact him at greg@mindseyeg.com. And,  please be sure to mention that you read his great article on this blog.

Many thanks for reading and subscribing!

Another option to print on DARK garments and fabrics from RhinoTech.

In the world of all forms printing (screen, digital and graphics), the search for a way to print on black, indigo, red, aubergine and other dark apparel and fabrics is on-going.  And, if found, the resulting image from this almost-perfect product should have durability through the virtue of the product, itself, and via prime washability characteristics. The following educational video is from RhinoTech (youtube.com/rhinotechcompany) featuring Jet Opaque Inkjet Heat Transfer Paper. The characteristics you seek have been found!

A Simple, Easy way to Transfer to Black.

This video is a great example of how a new guy to the industry not only learns the digital printing process and a few creative techniques, but then is able to share it to the world in a matter of a few hours due to the ease of use of the heat transfer paper and equipment. As you view the video, be aware that this inkjet transfer process can also be used with other substrates such as T-shirts, hoodies, golf towels, pillow cases, bags, hats, mouse pads and more. Another great aspect of the paper is that it offers a much softer hand, allowing for photo-quality transfers with a white base. Additionally, Jet Opaque heat transfer paper has a distinctive white coating that is actually peeled back and laid down onto the shirt for printing.

These are the steps to printing with Jet Opaque:

Trim off any excess white background (or, as you’ll see with the second that shirt that is going to be printed, add some extra something with a ripped edge – be wholly creative).

Prepress shirt to remove moisture and wrinkles @ 350F (adjustable temperature control, too)

Peel design

Place design on shirt

Immediately cover print with parchment paper and heat press for 30 seconds (using adjustable timer)

Slide t-shirt off press and lay flat until paper is cool to the touch

Remove parchment paper -  the colors will POP!

For best washing results, turn shirt inside out.

Jet Opaque is available in two sizes: 8.5” x 11” and 11” x 17” and can be found HERE and HERE.

Contact info: info@rhinotechinc.com, 651-686-5027 or 888-717-4466.

Facebook, Twitter; RhinoBlast the blog; Google+ and more!

Really appreciate that you’ve read, watched and subscribed!

 

New Launch from RhinoTech!

RhinoTech assures us that the search for vivid, outstanding durable prints for DARK garments ends with the launch of its new RT SunAngel DARK. As you’ll see in the video, it is difficult to contain the normally calm Greg Markus as he introduces the latest heat transfer paper and the accompanying specialty printers and toners.  

DIGITAL PRINTING JUST GOT BETTER!

With the RT SunAngel DARK set, those into digital printing can now transfer color and dazzling WHITE prints to all types of BLACK and DARK apparel. And, it also transfers to all types of light fabrics. An additional benefit is that the paper is weedless; only the toner transfers, not the background film. 

The FLUORESCENT toners are intense; colors practically bounce off the shirt! The WHITE, WHITE toners are especially brilliant! In comparison to other white toners on the market, RhinoTech reveals that the RT SunAngel WHITE has no hint of gray.

DUAL USE W/RT SunAngel PRINTERS and Toners!

An added feature is that the new printers and toners can also be used with SingleStep™ and SinglePrint™ that are heat transfer papers from RhinoTech.

For a more complete description, please watch for other RT SunAngel videos along with the complete selection of step-by-step training videos offered by RhinoTech @ youtube.com/rhinotechcompany. Find all RT SunAngel paper, laser printers and toners @ rhinotechinc.com/digital-transfer.

Contact info: info@rhinotechinc.com, 651-686-5027651-686-5027651.686.5027651.686.5027 and 888.717.4466888.717.4466.

Facebook, Twitter; RhinoBlast the blog; Google+

Again, thanks for subscribing and commenting.

NEW RHINO LOGO

 

Screen Cleaning Solutions from RhinoTech that Increase Your Eco-Sensitivity Score!

As part of its line-up, RhinoTech announces its latest, most powerful Filtration System – the M-10F! M10F Rhino Logo

Filtration is Good!

Focused on environmental sensitivity, the company has created a triple-action filtration system to help printers/business owners/educational institutions become and remain stewards of the earth, septic and plumbing systems. The cost of the system is competitive while remaining a dramatically efficient way in which to dispose of emulsion and ink by-products.

Like all RhinoTech Filtration systems, the M-10F offers space saving features to enable it to easily fit underneath a RhinoTech (or most other) Washout Booth and connect to plumbing systems. With the use of compatible RhinoClean Green ² Screen Cleaning chemicals that are eco-friendly and biodegradable, the filtered liquid becomes even more drain safe.

The M-10F screen cleaning filtration system works like this:

  • during the screen cleaning process, ink and emulsion flow from the washout booth into the M-10F that has been positioned securely underneath the washout booth.
  • The first of two filtration chambers fill with liquid from the booth.
  • When the liquid reaches the top inside divider of the M-10F, it transfers to the second chamber that houses an auto discharge pump.
  • As the second chamber fills, the pump activates automatically pushing the liquid out of the chamber and through two additional canister filters. At that point, maximum filtration has been achieved.
  • And, only then is the filtered water allowed down the drain.

Utilizing an M-10F Filtration System offers an affordable way for any screen printing company to meet their responsibilities to comply with city, county, state, Parrish, township and federal regulations regarding liquid disposal. Home-based studios especially benefit when septic and plumbing systems are kept in tact with a purposeful screen cleaning filtration system!

Contact information: info@rhinotechinc.com;www.rhinotechinc.com; 88.717.4466; 651.686.5027; youtube.com/rhinotechcompany; rhinotech.blogspot.com; facebook.com/rhinotech; twitter.com/rhinomitemn

Again, thanks for your interest and your subscription!

Screen Printing Revelations!

It’s safe to say that when a screen printer and a screen printing educational video producing giant asks his audience for their questions, he has to be ready for anything. Lucky for us, unflinching Jonathan Monaco, who IS Catspit Productions, shared his LOL video response with us. He tactfully and with good humor, answers the previously unasked, burning questions regarding his hair, fashion and the business of screen printing.

Screen Printer or Rock Star?

Though many of his fans believe he looks like Chad Kroeger from Nickelback, Jonathan has assured us that he is not.

RhinoTech, Screen Cleaning Issues and More!

In answer to the question regarding whether or not there are “cheap” screen cleaning chemicals, Jonathan highly, emphatically recommended that the RhinoClean Green² line of screen cleaning chemicals is the way to go. To be safe and environmentally sensitive, Jonathan not only handles this line of screen cleaning products, but has produced product review videos on these cleaners (with a thumbs up) that will help to lessen the impact of screen printing on our environment. Together w/RhinoClean Filtration systems, all screen and graphics printing businesses can increase precautions when it comes to helping protect plumbing systems and septic fields.

Buy it – Don’t Build It. Save Time, Money and Energy and Buy Screen Cleaning/Screen Printing Equipment!

Yes, some people do build exposure systems and washout booths hoping to save money. In the end, however, the inordinate amount of time, money and effort that has been expended and the fact that home-made systems may or may not conform to safety measures (washout booths built w/glass backs that often shatter, for example) ends up negating great intentions. There is good sense in purchasing equipment to ensure that it is safe, gets the job done efficiently and is easy to use. Taking the time to research and source out the good from the bad will really pay off in the end.

 

Do You Half Tuck?

 

Finally, the reason for the half tuck is revealed live! It’s a great option, whether you’re in a hot climate like Arizona or not.

 

We appreciate your comments and all future content suggestions. Thanks!

Screen Printing. Bold. Multi-dimensional. More Artistic than Ever!

“Old School Screen Printing in the Digital Age” (SGIA Journal, Winter, 2014) reflects what we have never disregarded – that traditional, manual screen printing remains a mainstay in the art and reproduction world despite the onset of the digital age. For those rediscovering or just discerning its potential, the simplicity and relative affordability of setting up a home-based or storefront studio and the dynamics of creating/selling beautiful, handcrafted pieces has kicked up a firestorm of brilliance.

DIY ART IS SCREEN PRINTING

SONY DSC

Serigraph of Ringo that is a screen printed limited edition print

As mentioned in the SGIA Journal feature, Etsy (on-line), art festivals and even Thunder on the Bay (a Sarasota, FL, biker festival of music, crafts, art and food) represent the face-to-face business that is building as manual screen printing churns out vivid creations in wearable and print arts. Various venues in 2014 will continue to host specialty, handmade items in small batches. Check out Art Expo in NYC. Watch for music festivals in Seattle, Barcelona, Chicago, Austin and Hamburg, Germany via Flatstock poster shows. The Renegade Craft Fairs in London, Chicago, Brooklyn, Austin, LA and San Francisco will also be favorite exhibits sites to be awed as will be other arts/crafts fairs throughout U.S. cities and around the nation. 

COMMERCIAL ART IS SCREEN PRINTING

And, for the artists who are venturing into printed art/fabric design that appeals to commercial enterprise, the resurgence of manually screen printed items remain big ticket items. Gregory Markus, president of RhinoTech was interviewed after his attendance at a fine art show in the Park Avenue Armory in NYC that is a grand, towering exhibit space in itself. He noted the multi-dimensional screen printed art on display, the bold graphics and sharp, expressive designs. His zealous enthusiasm was infectious regarding the artists whose multi-layered original art prints represented a new wave of “traditionalists” creating limited-edition posters, lithographs and more.

The reemergence of this manually screen printed work, whether displayed in private or commercial arenas, signals an energized marketplace and excitement for a vastly creative, hands-on method in which to design and create. And, importantly, it helps to dispel the myth of manual screen printing’s downturn in favor of a solely digitally printed world. With a 30+ year background in fine art, screen, graphics and digital printing, Mr. Markus has been witness to bold changes and a new facination in producing art with manual screen printing!

NEW DIGITAL PRINTING TECHNIQUES VIA RhinoTech

RhinoTech is an example of a company that has remained true to its roots, firmly immersed in all things screen printing; yet, has recognized the value of digital printing and its highly creative genius. The company’s ability to blend these two types of printing practices helps all printers learn how to merge these processes under one roof to meet their own creative outlets and the needs of their customers. For example, though highly simple and refined software like Smart Designer Creative Assistant X6(that blends with CorelDRAW X6), this art production software tool offers value to both digital and manual screen printers. By tracking the pulse of these art-in-all-forms producing industries, RhinoTech offers value to its customers through providing software, screen cleaning equipment, earth-friendly screen frame cleaning chemicals, adhesives, manual screen printing accessories AND digital heat transfer equipment, the latest specialty transfer papers for use with both laser and inkjet printers.

Thanks for reading and checking out our site!

A Few New, Screen Printing Commandments.

1. Be creative using printing techniques.
Find out something interesting about your customers: the charities they support or participate in, articles they’ve published etc. Acknowledge an achievement via a thank you letter, the tag attached to their order, a Facebook post that includes your company logo.

2. Embrace change as needed.
Some companies transform themselves 2 or 3 times as they evolve and grow. If you find that your logo or brand is not an accurate portrayal of what you do as your business matures, change it.
new-rhino-logo41 is one company in the screen printing industry that embraced a new logo/branding.
Caps International did the same. CAPS-International-info label

Here are others from Business Insider.

3. Find your bliss in screen printing, graphics printing, and digital printing.
Learn and see the latest techniques from the highly creative people who post their printed designs on Twitter, FB, Tumblr and a host of other social media sites. Passion and inspiration will elevate when learning new techniques w/half tones, the ways to print on metal and glass with SinglePrint™ by RhinoTech, cool ways to print spot color and block graphics.

And bliss can even be found when the right combination of products and equipment come together as in clean ‘green’ screen printing products. Transforming a shop and especially a home-based screen printing studio into one using biodegradable cleaning products and filtration systems (powered by RhinoTech) offers a host of positive ramifications for owners, employees and Mother Earth.

4. Give Back.
In good and tough economic times, it’s noble to give back to the community in some form. Exhibitors at trade shows, for example, often times charge $2-$5 for their printed shirts hats, golf towels etc., used as PR and then contribute the proceeds to, for example, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. With a mission to one day cure Type 1, insulin dependent diabetes that affects children through young adults, this foundation gives 90 cents of every dollar to research. Being aligned with that type of organization like RhinoTech offers a way to “give back” and get some great PR shots!
small 200

Custom print at Bike Week and donate $.50 for every t-shirt purchased. The ideas are endless!

5. Repeat, Duplicate, Repeat.
For most screen, digital and graphics printers, it is tough to dedicate large sums of money for advertising/marketing. That means that for every dollar directed into advertising and marketing, your brand must count in a very big way. The mantra of marketing is Repeat.

Use your brand/logo on every note, label, letter, tag, brochure, catalog, over-sized business card thank you note and email you send out. It’s easy to make sure that your default signature on business emails also includes your company’s logo, phone #, Facebook, blog and all social media addresses. Anyone who receives an email from you should be able to click on and through to the social media site. SinglePrint Dog Tag Bling 300

Though you might have a distaste for social media, it is a must in 2014. A personalized Facebook page and these: Pinterest, Foursquare, Tumblr, Google+, Twitter and a host of others located here: Top 15 Most Popular Social Networking Sites | December 2013 that allows others access to your company during a search engine search. Duplicate your message in trade publications that also have e-magazines. This will be a double-pop for your company.

Thanks for reading!

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