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Adjusting for Success









LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR SUPPORTIVE SERVICES TEAM PPS.CSA.CANON.COM/SERVICES *Total cost of operation Canon is a registered trademark of Canon Inc. in the United States and elsewhere. All other referenced product names and marks are trademarks of their respective owners and are hereby acknowledged. ©2019 Canon Solutions America, Inc. All rights reserved.



Inside this issue





In line

Aligning your sales and marketing teams for team selling


THE McNAUGHTON WAY How embracing inkjet catapulted the Michigan printer to new heights


Publisher’s Note

Linear Threat




 top worrying S about your end-of-the-year print goals



Industry news & awards


08 09 P2

Your 7-step plan to gaining a competitive advantage Promoting your passion(s)



And another thing about why convergence matters...

CANVAS Buyer’s Guide

16 18

New Products, Newer Ways To Profit Words matter

20 21

Ideas that Matter There’s a new Pearl in town



Ignite thirst in your sales conversations



 esign visionary D Vicki Strull on why the big picture matters

Inside this issue| Publisher’s Note


Linear Threat


hen Erik Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom Inc., reported on an underwhelming performance in the first quarter of 2019, he referenced their logical decision to move to a digital-first program as part of the problem. It turns out that they eliminated paper notes within their loyalty program and discovered that a segment of their customer base relies on receiving those notes by mail. As a result, they saw a reduction in traffic across all channels. REI is launching a new venture to lift up environmental and outdoor journalism through the debut of its own print magazine this fall. The 81-year-old retailer will retire its full-price mail-order catalog in favor of Uncommon Path—a print magazine. Leadership announced the news at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Denver, citing the belief that they can better inspire a life outdoors by supporting compelling storytelling. Over the past couple of decades, there has been a new breed of decision makers that has infiltrated businesses like Nordstrom and REI. This group of influencers is married to logic and reason. They believe that their superior level of education qualifies them to make economic decisions. CFOs, economists, and consultants all believe that algorithms and so called financial logic rule the day. And many of these decisions lead to a dramatic decrease in advertising and print. Don’t get me wrong. I respect the use of data and certainly think By using simple economic that reason and financial discipline models with a narrow view have their place. However, this limof human motivation, linear ited thinking is what holds people thinking has become a threat and companies back. Our industry, which is a derivation of advertising, to the human imagination. has taken its share of pain but it is not just due to technology. There are a slew of people who earn their salaries looking backwards through data and ultimately leave very little to imagination. Advertising has been torn apart by technology by starving the press of revenue—all under the guise of efficiency. However, what many of the logical fail to understand is that advertising is not really about efficiency. The old adage that half of advertising works, we just don’t know which half, still rings true today. Consider all the money that has been spent on digital advertising and social media due to the assumption that they are more efficient. Linear logic leads people to think you can target people more accurately and the cost of transmission of each message would be lower without really knowing that it is more effective. What Nordstrom and REI discovered is that oversimplifying a process or eliminating portions that look inefficient within the numbers is not a path to success. Paying attention to people, understanding what they are feeling, and accepting that some stuff is just emotional and unexplainable is what inspirational leaders know. The overly simplistic model of print advertising assumes that we ask, “What is the advertisement delivering?” rather than, “What does it mean that the advertiser is spending money to promote their offering?” By using simple economic models with a narrow view of human motivation, linear thinking has become a threat to the human imagination. The right brain is the portion of our mind designed to deal with the unexplainable parts of real life rather than some buttoned-up theory, yet we are consistently discouraged to use this side in favor of the linear left side. Our industry is dedicated to the right brain. It always has been. And while I sense that we are addicted to cherishing numbers over simple observation, I know we are collectively reminding everyone that creativity matters and that print taps into imagination.

Enjoy the issue and all the best,

Mark Potter, Publisher @MarkRicePotter



CONTRIBUTORS Justin Ahrens Founder & Principal Rule29 @justinahrens Greg Chambers Founder Chambers Pivot Industries LLC @ChambersPivot AmyK Hutchens, Founder, AmyK Inc. @AmyKHutchens

Brad Wolff Managing Partner PeopleMax


2009 Mackenzie Way, Suite 100 Cranberry Township, PA 16066 WWW.THECANVASMAG.COM

THE CANVAS TEAM MANAGING EDITOR michael j. pallerino ART DIRECTOR brent cashman SALES/MARKETING mark potter

EDITORIAL BOARD tom moe Daily Printing gina danner NextPage david bennett Bennett Graphics scott hudson Worth Higgins

PUBLISHED BY CANVAS, Volume 13, Issue 4. copyright 2019 CANVAS, All rights reserved. CANVAS is published bi-monthly for $39.00 per year by Conduit, Inc., 2009 Machenzie Way, Suite 100, Cranberry Township, PA 16066. Periodicals postage pending at Duluth, GA and additional mailings offices. Periodical Publication 25493. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to CANVAS, 2009 Machenzie Way, Suite 100, Cranberry Township, PA 16066. Please note: The acceptance of advertising or products mentioned by contributing authors does not constitute endorsement by the publisher. Publisher cannot accept responsibility for the correctness of an opinion expressed by contributing authors. CANVAS magazine is dedicated to environmentally and socially responsible operations. We are proud to print this magazine on Opus® Dull Cover 80lb/216gsm and Opus Dull Text 80lb/118gsm, an industry-leading, environmentally responsible paper. Opus contains 10% recycled fiber and SFI and FSC chain of custody certification.


channeling content & connections conduit-inc.com


Time. Resources. Dollars. You name it and when it comes to content, today’s marketers are all in (still). According to “Ascend2’s Content Marketing Engagement Survey Summary” report, 87 percent of marketers are planning to increase their content marketing acumen. Here’s a look at the types of content that are the most trusted by their target audiences:











ENOUGH ALREADY Study says overreliance on Big Data is impeding customer insights


60 42 10 The percent of B2B buyers who said that reading about a product makes them search for it. To note, that is why marketers who have adopted the content marketing experience report a six-times higher conversation rate. (NetLine Corp.’s “2019 State of B2B Content Consumption and Demand” report)

You knew it was going to happen sooner or later. Is the quest for Big Data getting a little pushback? Depends on who is asking. According to “How Customers Think, Feel, and Act: The Paradigm of Business Outcomes” by Forrester and FocusVision, only 29 percent of marketers say they rely “completely” on Big Data when making decisions, while 41 percent using small data say they know why their customers choose products or services from them. Interestingly, the report, which surveyed 500 consumers and 200 marketers, found that marketing and business intelligence teams are communicating, but not effectively. Despite their heavy reliance on one another, the two groups are often siloed, causing disparities in communication to lead to breakdowns across marketing strategies. The solution: By working closely with customer insights or business intelligence teams, marketers can gain a holistic, detailed view of their customers that delivers increased customer engagement and, ultimately, more conversions, the survey concluded.

The percent of marketers who agree that technology will threaten their jobs someday. Interestingly, 75 percent say they are currently investing the right amount of martech into their budgets. (Walker Sands’ “State of Marketing Technology 2019” report)

The percent of marketers who are thoroughly convinced they will meet their engagement and revenue goals on a given project, while 73 percent say they are only partially set up to do so. (CMO Council’s “Reshaping Global Engagement Operations”)



Perspective | Leadership | Insights BY BRAD WOLFF

Your 7-step plan to gaining a competitive advantage


s it just me or does it seem that today’s business is more competitive and difficult than it used to be? One year you are dominating the marketplace, the next you are looking for answers. Too often, companies find that what worked in the past is no longer effective. Leadership has no idea how to fix things. That is when it is time to use proven techniques to gain a competitive advantage. Identify the root causes of your problems and put an action plan in place to regain your competitive advantage. Following is a seven-step process based on sound principles that will help put a focus on leveraging your internal talent. EMPLOYEE ALIGNMENT When a significant percentage of duties performed by employees do not fit their innate characteristics or core nature, they will not do well. For example, people low in detail orientation doing work that requires high detail. Training and development, management encouragement and other wellintended efforts will not fix alignment issues. As Peter Drucker said, “A manager’s task is to make the strengths of people effective and their weaknesses irrelevant.”


CULTURE OF GROWTH In truth, personal growth results in professional growth. It results in a greater capacity to handle life challenges, accomplish longterm goals and work well with others. Personal growth and development includes an increased awareness of self and others, the ability to manage one’s ego, ability to manage emotions and development of innate talents to maximize productivity and effectiveness. Most performance issues managers complain about relate to one or more of the above. These are fundamental character traits of success.


MISSION ORIENTED People have an innate need for meaning and purpose in what they do. This means they care about how their efforts affect the world outside themselves—people, the environment, animals, etc. Which workers do you think are more motivated? Engagement and performance are directly affected by people’s connection to the outcomes of their work.


ORGANIZATIONAL VALUES People need to feel they fit in with their social groups. Employees who are significantly out of sync with an organization’s culture and values will never make their best contribution. Having perfect alignment is not the goal, since diversity of thought and behavior allow a culture to adapt and thrive. However, significant misalignments are damaging. It is also important for leaders to consider whether they should change their culture. Examples of this would include a culture they know is toxic and when there’s a shrinking population of workers




who fit the current culture. In both cases, without the ability to attract and retain needed talent, organizations will fail. ALIGNING GOALS In today’s environment, organizational goals and strategies must change to adapt. Frequently, roles and supporting job duties don’t adequately change to align with these shifts. When this occurs, some or much of employee work efforts are out of alignment and can impair the ability to achieve the desired outcomes. For example, a company changes strategy to shift most customer communications from telephone to online, yet the employees’ duties and training continue to focus on telephone communications.


ASSESSING WEAKNESSES Weaknesses are the negative side of strengths. It is impossible to have a strength without its vulnerable side. We have been taught to hide or deny our weaknesses despite them being obvious to others. Our ego’s impulse to protect our self-image is normal but counterproductive. It hinders our true potential from being realized—a loss to the organization and ourselves. When leaders openly and honestly acknowledge “challenge areas,” this sets the example for others. The organization opens the door to growth and development.


COMMITMENT Studies on human potential and positive change demonstrate self-awareness is the first step, but it is not the last. Committing to take steps (starting with baby steps) and taking them allows for the development of positive habits that create lasting positive change. Deliberate change intended to meet the needs of your environment creates a flexible, adaptive organization—one that is poised to thrive despite the torrent of unpredictable/ unwanted change that defines your world. Thriving in an unpredictable world is about your willingness to acknowledge change that you do not like, openly discuss it and consistently take the actions required to adapt and emerge stronger.


Brad Wolff specializes in workforce and personal optimization and is author of “People Problems? How to Create People Solutions for a Competitive Advantage.” He also is managing partner of Atlantabased PeopleMax. For more information, visit PeopleMaximizers.com.

Perspective | Leadership | Insights



Promoting your passion(s) “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” — Charles Dickens


he first time I stepped off the plane in Ethiopia, I suddenly and dramatically realized the world was a lot different than I had thought during my first 36 years on this earth. That might sound obvious, but for me, being in a completely foreign context enabled me to gain an understanding of what previously I could only imagine. And not just any foreign culture, such as a trip to Paris or Rome— this was a country with some of the poorest conditions on the planet, and my reason for being there was to internalize it so I could communicate it. As a creative, the challenge of helping others “experience” that very different reality was especially daunting, knowing that most would never get a firsthand opportunity to experience it for themselves. When I first decided to launch my firm, I wanted to focus on the kind of work I believed in, but more importantly, I wanted to create a culture that was positive and believed in helping to make the world a better place. No matter how naive that might sound, the reality is that most of us at some level want to make a difference, a positive contribution. And while there are many ways to approach the subject of culture, our work in Africa—along with other mission-driven work—has made the biggest impact in the way I see, lead and feel at our studio. It is all about being open to what presents itself. In other words, as you go about your work, what ideas or opportunities can you reflect on, talk about, participate in, ideate from and push for? In the process of understanding the realities and explaining them strategically, both visually and through your writing, you will experience a shift in your own consciousness. For me and my team, taking it all in during our time in Africa—the joy and love, the heartbreak and anger—brought out the best in us, and in the work itself. By allowing ourselves to fully experience what was in front of us, we couldn’t help but look at our work—and each other—differently. In the process of attempting to explain micro finance, for example, we helped develop and pilot new micro finance models. When we wondered how we could use design to help educate largely illiterate rural communities about malaria symptoms and medicine dosages, we were able to partner with several universities to develop innovative ways to accomplish this—and one year later we were in the field testing those ideas. We partnered with a school to develop an illustrated manual for proper sanitation and safe water practices that could work independent of culture. And most recently, we have been able to be a part of creating an event that has helped thousands get safe water in Uganda and the Congo.

Get out and make things happen

None of this would have been possible if we had stayed within the confines of our comfortable studio, brainstorming from afar. No real shifts could have been made without getting on a plane and experiencing Africa for ourselves. Now, I am not suggesting you have to travel to a foreign land to experience a shift like this, but you definitely must find a way to experience worlds beyond your day-to-day, beyond your everyday normal. The point is to be aware about what fuels your creative output. It is being intentional about creating a balanced intake of experiences that can shift your world, your teams, and your reality. This concept has dramatically handled the way my company values the work we do. We now understand how important, powerful, and valuable it can be—we have seen the impact firsthand. This has transformed the way we approach the design process. By changing what we see, we’ve changed how we see. The same can be true for you. When you see the world differently, it influences what you design and the stories you tell. It challenges you to let go of any assumptions you might have. You do this by being purposeful and creating space for that understanding. Do your research, schedule time for play, and be committed to exploration. Expand your horizons, and over time, I think you will experience, as I have, a richer day-to-day existence and a more vital, engaged culture.

By changing what we see, we’ve changed how we see.

Here are some steps to take to get things rolling: 1. Identify a list of things you or your team are passionate about. 2. Look for an organization that shares those passions. Learn more about it and ideally serve as a volunteer. 3. Figure out how you can help and/or how you can connect this organization with one of your clients. 4. Dive in and experience new perspective. Justin Ahrens is founder and principal of Rule29, an award winning suburban Chicago-based strategic creative firm. He is a frequent guest blogger, national speaker and author of “Life Kerning: Creative Ways to Fine Tune Your Perspective on Career and Life” (Wiley). Follow him and Rule29 on Twitter –­ @justinahrens and @rule29.



Perspective | Leadership | Insights BY MATTHEW PARKER

Stop worrying about your end-of-the-year print goals


oes your company have an end-of-the-year target? Most printing companies set a goal they aspire to hit. Some are more realistic than others. The business is often relentlessly focused on achieving the figure that has been set. At the end of the year comes celebration if the goal is met or even exceeded. Or there is disappointment. The annual target can actually be dangerous for a business. Creating all your business plans around this single figure can lead to a loss of focus on a day-to-day basis. Let’s find out why.

3 reasons annual targets do not work

First, most end-of-year planning is hopelessly optimistic. Most print companies are aiming for constant growth. Even those that are happy to keep the same turnover are being too hopeful, unless they plan to go out and win new work during the year. Most companies fail to plan for decline. But research shows that any business should plan to lose 15 percent to 20 percent of their customers every year. Some of your customers will go bust, some will stop using print and some may start using the competition. So if you want to increase revenues by 10 percent, you better have a plan to win a lot more new work than you might have expected to need. Next, there is a lack of urgency with an end-of year goal. Many people find it hard to get going in January. They do not start planning their new sales activity until far too late in the year. By February, they have lost nearly 10 percent of their sales time. It is also easy to take your eye off the ball when it comes to making sure there is a steady stream of new work. After all, surely a small dip in work or a lack of new sales for just a week or two will not make any difference to the end-ofyear results. Or will it? This highlights the third problem. With an annual figure, it is often hard to know if you are on target or not. You may feel you are badly below where you need to be. Yet, even toward the end of the year, there is always the hope you might land that big opportunity that gets you back on track. Equally, you might have a bad month that suddenly derails you. An annual target is a lag target—you never know whether you have achieved it or not until it is too late to do anything.

Here’s the alternative: A 13-week sales plan

It is far more effective to make a shorter-term sales plan. Here are three reasons why they are so much more effective. First, they are extremely focused. Because you only have three months to make the target, there is a real sense of urgency. People like to get going straight away. Second, a good 13-week sales plan is very specific. You set a precise sales goal. In addition to the revenue and profit

figures, it should include the exact type of work you are going to win. It should also state whom you are going to win it from and the actions you are going to take to achieve your goal. Third, a 13-week sales plan is based on lead targets, not lag targets. You measure the activity you are carrying out. You also measure if the activity is creating the right results. This is all about whether the prospect is carrying out the next step that you want them to in the sales process, rather than analyzing actual sales. This means you know early on if you are on track to win the right sales or if something needs to change in order for you to achieve your target.

What should you do next if you want to start a 13-week sales plan?

Here are three things to think about before starting a project like this: 1. Think about what type of work you want to win from a focused sales campaign. Is there a particular type of customer you want to win, or a particular product or service you would like to sell? 2. Set a revenue and profit target for selling this work over the next 12 weeks (you are allowed a week off in the 13 weeks). 3. Decide what activities you need to carry out to win this work. Are you going to try and win this work on social media? Will you carry out a direct mail campaign? Will you create leads from attending events? Or do you have other sales channels that work for you? There are two other things you should do as well. First, look for my article in the next edition of CANVAS, where I will take you through how to create a successful 13-week sales target. If you cannot wait that long, I have shared some other resources below. Remember, it is easier to get the next three months out of the way before worrying about your year-end goal. PS: Find out more ideas on how to increase sales with today’s buyers. Download my free e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them” right now at http://profitableprintrelationships.com/e-book/ You’ll also receive my regular “Views from the Print Buyer” bulletin, which is full of ideas on how to sell print effectively. Also, if you want to start using 13-week sales plans straight away, check out my book, “How To Succeed At Print Sales: Setting Targets, Planning the Right Activities and Making Sure Goals are Met.” I detail exactly how to plan and carry out a successful sales project like this. It is also full of practical, simple strategies to organize your week, manage your time, and make your day-to-day life easier and more productive.

Matthew Parker is the Champion of Print at Profitable Print Relationships. He speaks globally at print events and is the author of "How To Stop Print Buyers Choosing On Price." Parker also trains and mentors printing companies as well as produces content for them. As a buyer of print, he was sold to by more than 1,400 different printing companies, so he knows what works for customers and what doesn’t. Download his free e-guide to using social media to sell printing and similar services at http://profitableprintrelationships.com/social-media-printing-marketing/



R.I.P. Digital Marketing Despite continued growth, future digital marketing trends will be different from the ones we are used to, according to a survey by the Economic Times. While some trends might travel to the future, most are bound to die. Why? The world of digital marketing is constantly evolving. And while it has maintained a customercentric approach, it is now much more detailed, thoughtful and highly personalized. Following is a look at what to expect: ORGANIC REACH OF FACEBOOK The organic reach of Facebook has been dying for years as a result of the algorithm change under which it has prioritized points of interactions between closely related individuals over posts generated from business pages.

LACKLUSTER BLOGGING Remember those short, general blogs that had no relevance? Forget about them. Thanks to more user-friendly technologies, people are spending more time with content. The new landscape will further tighten the requirements of the already present hyperspecific blogging and there is a larger market for quality over quantity. Join the movement toward more innovative digital marketing ideas, which bank high on quality.

LONG VIDEO ADS Social staples like YouTube have shown a push toward hypershort video ads, i.e., shorter videos are more marketable. You must be able to create magic in seconds, as these video engines are pushing ahead with six-second brackets for commercials to match future digital marketing trends.

AUTOMATION IN MARKETING Digital marketing trends are robbing brands of a human touch. Today’s marketing strategies need a personal touch, i.e., making each customer feel like they matter. Prolonged digital marketing trends are the ones embracing personalization to the core.

OPTIMIZATION OF TEXTS The rules of optimization have changed. Just playing around with text is not enough. To survive, it is time to start considering video and image optimization. Search is becoming more dependent on the voice, so any strategy that focuses on text only is bound to be phased out.

Source: BBN Times, June 20, 2019 https://www.bbntimes.com/en/companies/digital-marketing-trends-set-to-be-phased-out



GWP, PIA join forces on mentoring network

If you are working as an industry print or graphic communications professional or looking to test the waters, Girls Who Print (GWP) and Printing Industries of America (PIA) have just what you need. The Women’s Print Mentoring Network is designed to advance the profile of women in the printing and graphic communications industries through the creation of positive, meaningful mentoring relationships. The group, a collaborative effort, is open to women interested in taking their profession to the next level. For more information or to register as a mentor or mentee, visit www.womensprintmentoring.com.

Going, going, green…

Sappi North America’s recently released “2018 Sustainability Report” showcased its industry-leading sustainability efforts. The report highlights the yearly progress toward the company’s long-term sustainability goals through ongoing investments in employees and mills, safety standards, environmental commitments and continued innovation. Achievements included: > E xcellent industrial safety performance with a Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate of 0.35 for the year—the lowest in Sappi North America’s history. > Among the lowest carbon footprints in its sector, with just 0.38 tons of CO2 generated per ton of product made. To note, more than 75 percent of its total energy needs are derived from renewable resources like woody biomass. > 100 percent of its wood and pulp is sourced in conformance with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) Fiber Standard and 58 percent is thirdparty certified under either SFI, FSC, PEFC or as part of a certified Point of Harvest program. > Strong and innovative waste reduction initiatives, including reuse of byproducts to avoid landfill. Its pulp mill operations alone last year reduced waste by 18 percent from its 2014 baseline.

Awards & Recognition Premier Graphics, Stratford, Connecticut, took home multiple honors during the New England regional “Awards of Excellence Competition,” held by Printing Industries of New England (PINE). Premier won four “Pinnacle Awards” (Best of Category), one “Award of Recognition,” and two “Awards of Merit.” The competition attracted 300-plus entries from more than 35 companies across New England and the United States, as well as Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Paraguay, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. Ripon Printers, Ripon, Wisconsin, was honored during the “2019 Graphics Excellence Awards” sponsored by the Great Lakes Graphics Association (GLGA). All of Ripon’s nine entries received recognition, with specific awards including “Best of Category,” two “Best of Division,” five “Awards of Excellence” and one “Certificate of Merit.” Six of the winning entries received further honors, including the prestigious “Benny” for Ripon’s Elite Traveler Magazine Series. The “Benny” is the highest recognition of the Premier Print Awards. StoneHouse Marketing, Norman, Oklahoma, was awarded a bronze “American Advertising Award” (ADDY) for the

American Advertising Federation Tenth District competition. Agencies from Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas participated in this regional awards competition. The winning poster series was a marketing promotional piece enhanced using Magnifi•Sense—StoneHouse’s service using the Scodix foil and spot UV digital press. The underlying posters were first printed on an HP Indigo 12000 digital press, and then embellished using a creative variety of foils and spot UVs (ultra-shiny polymer) on the Scodix press. The series showcased the design boundaries that can be pushed using digital enhancements that do not require traditional foil dies and analog techniques. Canon U.S.A. Inc. emerged as the market leader in all U.S. A3 Copier/MFP segments, according to the “IDC U.S. Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker, 2018 Q4.” Canon was the only manufacturer to place in the Top 3 in every U.S. market segment analyzed in IDC’s tracker in both A3 and A4 markets across both monochrome and color. Segments included 2018 Total U.S. A3 Copier/MFP (Monochrome and Color), 2018 Total U.S. A3 Copier/MFP (Monochrome) and 2018 Total U.S. A3 Copier/MFP (Color). Canon’s evolving imageRUNNER ADVANCE color and monochrome solutions incorporate an array of security features and support cloud connectivity.

Mergers & Acquisitons JR1, the subsidiar y of Minneapolis-based commercial printing and marketing ser vice provider The John Roberts Company, has purchased the trade name and selec ted assets and intellec tual proper ty rights from HM Graphics Inc., Milwaukee. Following the acquisition, The John Rober ts Company group of companies will continue to ser ve HM Graphics’ clients’ needs for


grand format, creative, high quality projec ts that require timely distribution. EP Graphics, Berne, Indiana, has entered into an agreement to acquire the operating assets of McCormick Armstrong, Wichita, Kansas. Following the acquisition, a sales and customer service office will remain in Wichita.

Industry news & more

Around the industry The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) has named its 2019 scholarship recipients. Out of 67 applicants, the association awarded 20 SGIA Educational Institution Member students with $2,000 each. Since its inception in 2016, the annual program has awarded 50 scholarships totaling $100,000 toward students’ education, books, and room and board. The recipients were selected by a small group of SGIA committee members who evaluated applicants’ scholastic achievement, financial need, extracurricular activities, achievements/awards and work experience, in addition to an essay and academic and professional recommendations. For a list of this year’s recipients, visit https://www.sgia.org/programs/sgia-scholarships.

For the past 10 years, Canon U.S.A. Inc. has helped with the Arbor Day Foundation’s reforestation program. Since 2009, Canon U.S.A.’s enterprise division has contributed to the planting of more than 500,000 trees across the country. This year’s efforts count toward the Arbor Day Foundation’s “Time for Trees,” which looks to plant 100 million trees worldwide by 2022. Canon contributes to the planting of one tree for every eligible imageRUNNER ADVANCE solution sold between April 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019, up to a maximum of 50,000 trees. Canon’s aid is in support of reforestation efforts for the Superior National Forest in Minnesota, habitat restoration for rare species in the Upper Altamaha Watershed in Georgia, and restoration of the longleaf pine ecosystem in the Big Thicket National Preserve in Texas.

Personnel Moves Global think tank and non-profit graphic communications industry organization Idealliance named Todd Maute, partner at CBX, as chairman of its Board of Directors. Other directors include: Joan Solà, EVP, Chief Global Markets, Zinio LLC, Vice Chair; Edward Jansen, VP of Professional Services Production Printing Solutions, Canon Solutions America Inc., Secretary/Treasurer; Wayne Marshall, President, Flatout Branding & Design, Past Chair (ex-officio); and Tim Baechle, Idealliance, CEO. The Idealliance 2019/2020 board includes Patrick McDermott, President, J-C Press (Owatonna, Minnesota), Chair; John Barnhart, President, Barnhart Press (Omaha, Nebraska), Chair-Elect; Thomas Murphy, President, CARDSource (Eagan, Minnesota), Vice-Chair; Perry Klein, VP, Mittera Group (Des Moines, Iowa), Secretary/Treasurer; Lana Siewert-Olson, President, Ideal Printers (St. Paul, Minnesota), PIA

Natl. Rep.; and Brad Eslick, General Manager, Record Printing Company (Story City, Iowa), Past-Chair. Printing Industry Midwest (PIM), the not-for-profit trade organization representing the Midwest’s leading print service providers, has named its new board of directors. They include: Darren Carlson, CEO, American Spirit Graphics Corp. (Eden Prairie, Minnesota); Creston Dorothy, CEO, Pro Print (Duluth, Minnesota); Alan Hillmann, CEO, Standard Dynamics (Burnsville, Minnesota); Tim Johnson, CEO, Impact (Minneapolis); Micheal Lane, CEO, Meyers Printing Co. (Minneapolis); John Lynch, CEO, Woolverton (Cedar Falls, Iowa); Samantha Metcalf, Principal, Clifton Larson Allen (Minneapolis); Ben Olk, President, NCCO (St. Paul, Minnesota); Tim Olsby, President, Graphic Finishing Services (Coon Rapids, Minnesota); and Jayme Wisely, CEO/President, GLS / NEXT Precision Marketing (Brooklyn Park, Minnesota).


People news. New products. Trends shaping the way our industry does business. If you have a news item, CANVAS wants to hear about it. All you have to do is email us the information and a photograph, and we’ll do the rest. Send your information to michael@thecanvasmag.com





And another thing about why convergence matters...


n the last issue of CANVAS, I wrote a piece regarding the term “convergence,” which is being bandied about by certain people to push a theory of monoculture in the printing industry (See “Why Divergent Thinking Wins the Day” in the June 2019 issue). It is a message catered to people and companies who are not sure how to remain in the print industry and, as a result, have resorted to a herd mentality. After all, converge means to arrive at the same point from different directions. It is surprising how many feel comfortable on the convergence bandwagon. Maybe it is just natural. Conformity is human instinct. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution proposes biological and social “advancement” through competition, i.e., natural selection, but that same competition arguably also results in a mediocre majority. In other words, competition also breeds conformity. Businesses are no different. Convergence uses its seductive ability to calm those who are anxious and fearful in

times of uncertainty. If we all approach the future with the same ideas, the same technology, and the same offerings, maybe we can continue along the same path we are all currently clinging to—and maybe we can all somehow survive. Sure, companies want to do things faster, better, cheaper, than their competitors—but they are all doing fundamentally the same thing. Ironically, print’s future value in today’s world lies in recognizing that the world is becoming more personalized

and our offerings need to cater to this rampant individualization. It is not a time to converge. On the contrary, it is a time to give everyone their own personal, tactile experience. Since my original column, I have started to see more people resist the convergence trend and speak more forcefully for creative and independent thinking. Some have agreed with me but argue that it is just a matter of semantics. But words matter. Convergence is limiting. Divergence, by definition, is failure to reach a limit; it is infinite.

Print’s future value in today’s world lies in recognizing that the world is becoming more personalized and our offerings need to cater to this rampant individualization. Our industry deserves better than a place to just converge. It needs an advocate for divergent thinking. Our industry needs a place to learn from the immense diversity of technology, ideas, and possibilities. Innovation and new ideas are bred from an insatiable curiosity which leads to business success and a unique value proposition. At APTech, PRINT 19, and future events we conduct and will be announcing later this year, will be forums in this brave new world. There is a chance for us to refocus on the hard work that lies ahead and the extraordinary opportunities that await those of us willing to change. APTech will give those who dare to break away from the herd a place to discover. Converge at your own peril. Divergent thinking wins the day.

Thayer Long is president of the Association of Print Technologies (APTech), formerly known as NPES, and serves as president of the Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF).


The good old days are what got us to this point: bankruptcies, buyouts, diminished revenues. To continue with business-as-usual will just get us more of the same. In order to survive, to thrive even, we must change what we offer our customers. New products based on their needs, not our capabilities. New solutions rooted in digital technology. We must be innovative, fearless, unsentimental. PRINTÂŽ 19 will be a forum on this brave new world. See you there.

OCTOBER 3-5 | Thursday-Saturday | McCormick Place North | CHICAGO

Register now at PRINTevent.com



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New Products, Newer Ways To Profit

4over is taking "new" to the next level with a variety of hot-off-the-press, high-impact advertising opportunities. These attention-grabbing signage solutions are affordable, durable and designed to make you more competitive in the marketplace. Lightweight and versatile, Aluminum Sandwich Boards are perfect for directional signage, real estate marketing or anywhere professional advertising is needed. Hardware and bindery options are also available for added sales potential and impact. With Backlit Display Posters, you can transition from day to night with illuminated, can’t-miss advertising that

commands attention 24/7—a classic choice for cinemas, and a fresh alternative for airports, conventions and shopping malls. Need to claim space with convenience? Look no further than highquality Sidewalk Signs. Place at key points to manage traffic flow and help guests find their way to registration tables and ticket stands. Use multiple designs and easily swap out messages to say exactly the right thing, at the right time. These profit-building products are fresh and ready to be introduced to your customers. Pair with Majestic products such as Painted Edge Cards, Raised Foil and Brown Kraft for a complementary brand package.

For more information on these or any other of our new products, visit bit.ly/newproducts-canvas.




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Words matter

Two Sides works to counter environmental messaging

“Go Green—Go Paperless.” “Save Trees.” If Two Sides has its way, environmental claims such as these regularly used by banks, telecoms, utilities, insurance companies and other service providers to entice customers to switch from paper to electronic statements will cease to exist. According to a Two Sides global anti-greenwash campaign operating since 2010, the majority of these claims are unsubstantiated and misleading. To date, Two Sides has successfully engaged with 441 companies worldwide to remove or change such claims about print and paper. In North America alone, 120 companies have changed or removed wording following discussions with Two Sides.

Two Sides’ North America President Phil Riebel says that environmental claims in the United States and Canada must meet the guidelines and rules of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (Green Guides) and the Competition Bureau of Canada (Environmental Claims: A Guide for Industry and Advertisers). To use such claims, they must have credible and specific science-based facts to support them. “Unfortunately, we have found that these requirements are rarely met and corporations use ‘Go Green’ claims purely for marketing and enticing more customers to digital options,” Riebel says. “Companies are also ignoring the growing environmental footprint of their electronic infrastructure, including the use of nonrenewable


Recent research commissioned by Two Sides has shown that consumers feel strongly about their choice to receive paper bills and statements from service providers.

resources, energy and the large amounts of e-waste generated.”

Drive to digital not welcome by many consumers

Recent research commissioned by Two Sides has shown that consumers feel strongly about their choice to receive paper bills and statements from service providers. This past February, Two Sides and Toluna commissioned its “Busting the Myths” surveys in the United States and Canada, revealing that consumers increasingly recognize greenwashing claims for what they are—a money saving tactic. The survey found that 61 percent of U.S. respondents and 58 percent of Canadian respondents think claims about the switch to digital being “better for the environment” are made primarily because the sender wants to save money.

For more information on the surveys, visit www.twosidesna.org. You can also follow Two Sides on Facebook (@TwoSidesNorthAmerica), Twitter (@TwoSidesNa) and LinkedIn (Two Sides North America).



Ideas that Matter

Sappi program continues to make a difference

2019 call for entries

Where the rest of the world sees problems, designers see solutions— which is why Sappi created the Ideas that Matter grant program twenty years ago. Since its inception, the program has granted more than $13 million to designers, partnering with more than 500 organizations ranging from community arts, animal welfare, international humanitarian efforts and children’s healthcare. Not only does Ideas that Matter perpetuate social good across the globe, but the designers we work with find joy in the program as well. One of our past winners, Doug Hebert, won $35,000 in


2003, which he used to design a book for the University of Texas Health Center Neonatal Program. Fif teen years later, his involvement with Ideas that Matter is still making an impact. “The book was not to raise funds or even raise awareness—it was simply to help parents like me at 29 years old navigate the scary, intimidating world of caring for a premature infant with serious health issues,” Heber t says. “Given all of the interest and number of copies printed, I would say the project was an overwhelming success in helping others.”

Sappi is endlessly proud of the designers, judges and beneficiaries we are honored to work with each year, and now we are calling for new additions to the Ideas that Matter family. Bring us your influential ideas—big and small—that might benefit from some grant money to get off the ground.

To apply for a grant and set positive change in motion, visit sappi.com/ideasthatmatter.

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There’s a new Pearl in town


Convertible Solutions continues to focus on being a leader of innovation and provider of paper-based solutions to the printing market. Its introduction of Luminous Pearls is no exception. Stagnancy, lack of innovation and limitations of product options have plagued the pearl paper offering for decades. With a majority of the pearl products coming from European suppliers, those purchasing them have restrictions on the weights, calipers, colors, sizes, base paper types and other specifications. Additionally, the pricing for those “standard” options is at a premium price point. Convertible Solutions is here to change that. The Luminous Pearls product is the most cost-effective pearl offering in the industry. More importantly, the customization capabilities of Convertible Solutions has broken the mold of what’s possible with pearlescent papers. You’re no longer limited to the few uncoated base paper options of other pearl brands.

Whether you need coated or uncoated, text weight or double thick board grades, rolls or sheets, recycled or virgin fibers or other specification, we can help. We’ll even custom match base sheet and pearl colors, all for shockingly low MOQs and outstanding pricing. With versions for printing applications ranging from offset to wide format, HP

Indigo, dry toner, label presses, and even home-based inkjet printers, Convertible Solutions has the perfect pearl paper to make your project shine. We can even add our Multiloft cohesive adhesive for post press lamination. Luminous Pearls are also environmentally friendly and use plastic-free pearlescent and water-based glues.

For more information, contact Convertible Solutions at 866-832-0217 or email info@convertiblesolutions.



Profitable Conversations By AmyK Hutchens

Ignite thirst in your sales conversations


here’s a famous dialogue in sales about two account executives discussing the plight of the market over cocktails. One account executive complains, “I can lead the horses to water, but I can’t always make ’em drink.” The cohort responds, “Make ’em drink? Making folks drink is not your job. Your job is to make them thirsty.” Our brains are naturally curious and thirst for new information. When information creates intrigue or shows us how to be better, we are hooked. Creating thirst is about enticing people to want to know more about how your products and services will make get them closer to their ideal outcome or desire. There are two fundamental ways to incite thirst in your sales conversations. First, you trigger your customers’ brains to have a sensory reaction, to experience a feeling. Second, you help your customer visualize who they have the potential

to become should they partner with you. Your offering is then what takes them from a mediocre or downright painful here to a fabulous there. In order to create that fabulous there, your prospect’s brain craves new information and solutions wrapped up in an emotionally enticing package. Yes, there are millions and billions and trillions of pieces of information [offerings] out there, but it is just information with an emotional bow. Using this metaphor for brain input and stimulation, every salesperson, whether corporate or entrepreneur, needs to ask themselves, “What emotions and solutions am I selling, and how might I best package them together to create thirst?” Your product or service needs to create enough thirst to get your prospects to buy. You create this thirst by triggering your prospects’ brains with very specific emotions followed by solution-oriented hooks. But it’s the emotion that serves as the bait. Think about this: Nike does not sell us athletic attire, it sells endurance and the feelings of victory for overcoming our fears and fulfilling our destinies to perform. Bit exaggerated? Perhaps, but its commercials create an emotional, physiological response in your brain and body that says, “I’m thirsty for that.”

There are four techniques you can use to incite thirst for your offerings:

No. 1 — S  ensory associations, especially visual

From collateral, to website, to proposals and wardrobe, what are you strategically communicating through the mind’s eye of your customer? Do your business cards, brochures, email signatures, Instagram posts and thank you notes trigger the brain with unique and creative visuals? Or unfortunately and more commonly, your prospect’s brain might be skimming over all of your materials and thinking, ho hum, nothing new or interesting here. Yawn. The brain is “thirsty” for new, novel, unique, and innovative information and stimuli to consume. Satisfy its thirst by being visually different.

No. 2 — Repetitive yeses

Repetition is paramount for building up to that final “Yes” in the sales process. Mini-yeses (mini-closes) throughout your sales cycle help that final “Yes” to be a no brainer. Your customers make new decisions based on new information. An effective sales process demands that you incorporate minicloses as soon as you have established value, but before you share all the

information. Each time you provide a new nugget, a new gem, a new point of value about your product, you have the right to confirm this worth that you just added. It’s the difference between saying, “Hey, Mr. Buyer, our product is amazing and here’s why...” versus “Hey, Mr. Buyer, our product solves X, is that a need for you?” And you keep sprinkling these mini-yes questions throughout each conversation in your sales cycle. “Hey, Mr. Buyer, do you see our product as an effective solution for you?” “Hey, Mr. Buyer, are you excited to see the results?” When your prospect keeps saying that mini-yes anywhere through the sales process, it builds connections throughout his or her brain so that when you ask for the signed contract, you also get a “Yes.”

No. 3 — O  utstanding or different qualities

The brain triggers on the new, the novel, and the unusual. What is your unique selling proposition? And if you answer

service, think again. You must specifically define your unique, yet phenomenal quirks. You must remove yourself from all the noise so you can stand above the fray and be seen. What makes your product or service [your information] fresh and different? How can you package it with a bow no one else is using or has ever even tried to tie before?

No. 4 — Intense associations

Customers want to relate. They want to feel as if the product or service you sell them is inherently accurate in reflecting who they want to be in the world. We purchase products and services to be the person or company we thirst for. People do not buy products and services to say, “This will help sustain my mediocrity.” People buy products and services because they feel a need to be more creative, higher performers, better producers, etc. Herein lies the gem: Your product or service must transport people to where they want to be, not keep them where they are.

When you create enough thirst for your product, you will have lots and lots of customers who will ask you to start pouring. And that is a profitable result worth toasting to.

AmyK Hutchens is an International Award Winning Speaker, Biz Strategist and Cool Aunt. With an Amazon best-selling book and a globally popular online leadership and communication program, she’s still keeping it real. To learn more about AmyK, visit www.amyk.com.


Brilliant leaders are masterful communicators.

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Design visionary Vicki Strull on why the big picture matters Photography by Guy Welch Photography

Design strategist. Brand visionary. Customer engagement specialist. The expertise of Vicki Strull can be described by myriad definitions. With more than 25 years of left brain Ivy League intellectualism and right brain dynamic creativity, Strull brings a unique combination of energy to the table. No matter the project, Strull's big picture approach continues to deliver what her clients expect in brand positioning, customer experiences and packaging innovations. In a world of constant motion, Strull knows that you have 8 seconds to grab your customer's attention—and that window is getting shorter. Strull understands that to be seen, your message must be instantly bold, colorful, attractive and compelling. CANVAS sat down with her to get her thoughts on today's branding landscape and what it takes to succeed.

Give us a snapshot of today's graphic design market. What are you seeing out there?

I am seeing a big push in enhanced consumer experiences (CX)—pop-ups, merchandising displays, and e-commerce




becoming brick-and-mortar stores. As a strategic designer who specializes in packaging, this has a lot of implications for packaging. The package is the brand’s most important touchpoint—it influences whether or not a consumer picks up a product off the shelf. Or, if purchased online, the packaging may be the first physical interaction a consumer has with the product when it is delivered to their home or office. In each of these instances, the package says a lot about the product. If the package does not appear to be high quality, the customer reaction is to wonder what else about the product is substandard.



In terms of design, tactility is becoming huge in packaging. It is influencing consumer interaction with packages; it is driving more memorability; and it is creating brand loyalty. In point of purchase (POP), we are seeing more interactivity as part of the CX (customer experience). Brands are beginning to embrace “smart” interactions—integrating a physical experience with digital experiences. We are seeing this in the realm of QR codes, linking graphics to apps, promos, AR, and even VR to immerse consumers in the brand experience before they even purchase the product. That customer experience is critical for brands to connect with consumers. As a design strategist, I am leveraging empathy skills in the design—not only the structure for a seamless or meaningful unboxing experience, but also the graphics, materials and embellishments—to connect with consumers. And then to give you some details, I am seeing a lot of growth in flexible packaging, with some great design elements—films and substrates that include metallized, soft touch and holographic. There is an opulence to it that feels fancy and premium. That is different than what we are seeing in folding cartons, where the design is a more natural look. It could be coated substrate, like a high-end white. Or it could come from an uncoated substrate, but there is a tactile feel to it, and that is becoming more prevalent. We are also coming off this era of sans serif type, and we are seeing type that is not so clean and sparse. It is more engaging, more interesting —people can connect to it better. And that brings us full circle to what I said earlier: There is a focus on enhanced CX and engagement.

Pictured to the left: 1. Client: HP Indigo HP SmartStream 2. Client: Eden Foster HP Indigo, Highcon 3. Client: HP Indigo 4. Client: HP Indigo

What are your clients looking for today?

Today’s brands are looking for a consistent thread across all of their touchpoints—web, social media, direct mail, packaging, labels, etc. Consistency of message and design is powerful and more memorable. For example, a brand might have a pop-up store at a festival like Coachella, and they want it to have the same message, look and feel as their other brand elements. At the festival, it will get all those impressions on social. Next, it is going to promote it before and after, then in the store, and it wants all the different environments to be very consistent in message, language, voice, colors, typefaces, etc. This helps the brand have unified messages with its customers, and that is important for brand loyalty. Once messages are integrated into social, the message becomes a twoway conversation—the brand gets feedback and it can respond to it, not only on social media, but also in product development, packaging, POP, instore, in the press. Responding with multiple touchpoints creates an ongoing conversation and better connections with customers. I also think clients are looking to tell a strong story, i.e., narrative, about their brand. When you look at positioning, messaging and connecting with a variety of customers, there has to be an emotional story rooted in the purpose of the brand that its customers connect with it.

What's the one quality every art director must have today?

I think there are three key qualities that today’s art directors and designers must have, beyond having a good eye. They have to listen well. They have to be a good storyteller. And they have to be problem solvers. Problem solving is vital. I come up against it all the time. A client will tell me that he wants to do X. Instead of just jumping in and creating X, I ask, "What are you trying to achieve?" That is a better conversation than just telling me what you want me to do. Once I learn what his objective is and the business goals, I realize that the “X” may not achieve it. So we continue the conversation. We go deeper and clarify. We talk about their desired outcome; their message; their consumer. And that is the problem-solving quality that is needed in today’s art directors. As designers, we have a material impact on a company’s and/or a brand’s growth. Why is it important for graphic artists to embrace the power of each project?

Client: WS Packaging, CARES I believe that the power of a project is its potential to solve a business problem— otherwise it is just aesthetics and we are not decorators. Graphic design is not “art for art’s sake;” it is not fine art. Design, whether it is packaging, logos or a branding system, solves a lot of business objectives. As a graphic designer, you embrace the power of a project because you are trying to help a business grow, connect better with its consumers, support social causes, drive positive organizational culture—whatever its purpose and objectives are, that is what your design is doing. The difference between commercial art and fine art is that commercial art is not beauty for beauty’s sake. The splendor happens when you solve the problem and create beauty at the same time. Or you solve the problem and create meaning at the same time. That is the power, or as I call it, the magic.

What’s the best piece of advice you can offer today’s designers?

I would like to put this question into the context of the qualities employers are looking for when hiring young designers. Here are my top three: 1. Resourcefulness: Designers who can figure out what needs to be done and get it done within the time frame. That is how you become indispensable. 2. Curious and eager: Curious and eager is for longevity.

Resourcefulness is immediate. It is how you show up on Day 1. If you are curious and eager, they will keep you around longer. 3. Knowledge: You need to know more about the latest and greatest design techniques and technologies than the person who hired you. The goal is to learn from each other. As a P.S., as I mentioned earlier, you have to be a good listener, a problem solver and a storyteller.

What’s the biggest thing on your to-do list right now?

In terms of my own learning, longevity and relevancy, I am always, always reading. I have a long list of sources that I read, and I’m always looking for new sources to stay up on what’s current and to understand what the trends will be. Right now in my stack I have the new Sagmeister book. I am reading a book on store design, merchandising and the consumer experience. I also have the latest HBR issue, the DMI (Design Management Institute) Review; AdWeek and Wired. So No. 1 on my to-do list is to read from a variety of sources and get through my current stack. Also on my to-do list is to stay relevant to what’s happening in design and to stay ahead of trend and begin to predict trends.




Cover Story: By Jennifer Morrell

Adjusting for Success


ost of us strive continually for comfort. The “comfort zone” is where we want to be, and we don’t want to venture outside of it. It is our safe place—no surprises, no roadblocks, no curveballs. But as we navigate life, we find ourselves in positions that are far outside of our comfort zones. Though an out-of-the-box experience can be unsettling at the time, it usually leads to emotional growth and mental evolution. This concept of embracing discomfort also applies to your brand. Though the reasons can vary, discomfort can happen, and it can happen fast. It is how you respond to being uncomfortable that can make all the difference. “Brands become uncomfortable for many reasons,” says Bob Rosen, chairman and CEO of Healthy Companies International. “Sometimes a resource becomes more or less readily available, impacting quality or quantity in production. Sometimes a competitor disrupts the market. And sometimes, brands become associated with something negative. It is very easy for a company leader to have their faults exposed to the world, and the brand can suffer for it.”


Reboot The real question is how a brand manages that discomfort. Change is difficult, especially rapid, unforeseen change. But that difficulty creates a feeling of discomfort that, ultimately, can be invigorating, and that is required for survival. That is why, in many regards, discomfort can be a good thing. Discomfort is an indicator of when something needs to be accepted, changed or avoided. “Discomfort is a catalyst for learning and change,” Rosen says. “If we constantly avoid discomfort, we will miss opportunities for essential growth, and will end up digging ourselves into a hole.” It goes back to the idea of learning from our failures as much as from our successes, and failing definitely throws us out of our zone of comfort. “You've likely heard the quote, ‘Success is just on the other side of your comfort zone,’ and it’s true,” says Kindra Hall, president and chief storytelling officer at Steller Collective, and author of "Stories That Stick: How Storytelling Can Captivate Customers, Influence Audiences, and Transform Your Business." “Being uncomfortable leads to new stories, and new stories lead to new successes.”

“Do something different, and if that helps, do more of it,” says Mark Montini, owner of Montini LLC. “If it doesn’t, do something else different.” — MARK MONTINI, FOUNDER, MONTINI LLC

Managing discomfort

The first stage of managing discomfort is to acknowledge it is there, and leave the judgment at the door. Feelings of discomfort do not have to be labeled

Five ways to set your brand straight

When your brand is experiencing discomfort, it may be time to hit the proverbial reset button. Times of uncertainty can be optimal opportunities to reassess your mission, goals, offerings and processes. Bob Rosen, Chairman and CEO, Healthy Companies International, offers the following tips for setting your brand straight during times of discomfort.

1. Be willing to embrace the unknown. Every time you breathe, the world changes. Don’t delude yourself into believing that stability exists. 2. Distinguish between what you can and cannot control. The more honest you are about the difference, the less time you will waste and the less angst you will feel. 3. Become comfortable with being uncomfortable. This requires that you accept yourself as imperfect by nature. Allow yourself to fall down, put a bandage on your knee, and try walking again.


Karaoke is a great, low-cost way to practice being uncomfortable. 4. Be tough enough to be gentle with yourself. Especially when you feel vulnerable. Cultivate confidence and humility, even when it hurts. You’ve been there before, and you’ll be there again. Remember that the sun will rise once again tomorrow. 5. Pause, reflect, refresh, and get a good night’s sleep. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Recommit to your purpose tomorrow, when you can look at the situation with fresh eyes and more clarity.

as “good” or “bad,” and doing so interferes with our ability to adapt. “Once you’ve acknowledged the discomfort, consider what you can learn from it,” Rosen says. “What is causing the discomfort? Do you need to accept something you cannot change, or does something new need to be developed? Discomfort isn’t an end or a failure. It’s the start of something new, and that new thing depends on you.” For every brand, the “way you’ve always done it” eventually will not suffice. You will be faced with change, and that is not a bad thing. “Do something different, and if that helps, do more of it,” says Mark Montini, owner of Montini LLC. “If it doesn't, do something else different. The faster you can try new things, the sooner you'll find the solution to your uncomfortability.” Often, a time of discomfort is opportune for brand examination and reinvention. Rosen shares an example of how Healthy Companies International took advantage of the change to undergo reinvention. “As our clients have moved forward in this new digital era, we have had to follow the four practices of being conscious to reflect those changes,” he says. “First, we had to get real, acknowledging honestly what was and wasn’t working, and

“Once you’ve acknowledged the discomfort, consider what you can learn from it. Discomfort isn’t an end or a failure. It’s the start of something new, and that new thing depends on you.” — BOB ROSEN, CEO, HEALTHY COMPANIES

identifying our strengths and weaknesses. Then, we had to go deep, diving into our values, products and services to re-examine who we were and what we wanted to bring to our clients." Rosen says that once it did that, the company had to think big, imagining a world of possible paths to follow. Finally, it stepped up, making bold changes to pursue new platforms with its IP. "We codified eight bestselling books, various materials, and leadership

experiences, translating them into scalable products that can help leaders at all levels via digital access.” And, while Hall has not necessarily had to reinvent herself, she has had to reinvent her message. “One of my primary offerings is as a keynote speaker for companies and conferences,” she says. “My expertise is in strategic storytelling—how using stories can increase effectiveness in sales, marketing and leadership. My first method was to say I could help with their storytelling. However, my potential clients were not looking to be better storytellers. They were looking to get their teams on track and increase close rates.” Hall reinvented her messaging to focus on the problems her clients were facing, and how her expertise could help solve those problems. “Once I adjusted that story, everything changed.” For Montini, managing discomfort is somewhat formulaic. The frequency of team meetings is tripled, and the length of those meetings is decreased by two-thirds. “The frequency serves to create a culture of urgency and also align the team,” Montini says. “The length requires greater focus on a single objective and promotes action over discussion. The result is a greater operational velocity.”



How embracing inkjet catapulted


Feature Story: By By Michael J. Pallerino

ould you believe it was an insect? Jim Clark swears that was one of the reasons McNaughton & Gunn (M&G) made its foray into the production inkjet game. In a 4-color textbook filled with everything and anything you ever wanted to know about insects, the photos were critical to the presentation. But in short run after short run, month after month, the client was not happy with how the photos looked when we used toner.

There was another client, too. Clark says the job done with toner that featured solid colors throughout the opening pages and across the header on each page of the chapters. The customer ordered 200 copies of the 660page book, printed on 60# uncoated white, every other month. But as the job went on, the customer complained about the color consistency from run to run. The orange solid for Chapter 5 was not the same from printing to printing. Between inconsistent insect colors to faded color schemes, Clark, director of operations for the Saline, Michiganbased digital book printer, knew something had to be done. In addition, the McNaughton & Gunn sales team told Clark and his team that they needed a better color solution. As more and more publishers turned to 4-color images in the text component of their books, printing with toner was becoming more of a challenge. One of the solutions they contemplated was inkjet, but Clark and company did not believe it would be feasible for short run, trade paperback books. Could inkjet print on the uncoated substrates that most books use?

the Michigan printer to new heights


The McNaughton Way The digital printing side of McNaughton & Gunn's business was growing as much as 30 percent per year. The offset side, while still 90 percent of its business, was holding on and not growing. "Publishers and distributors are getting a better handle on inventories and run lengths are dropping," Clark says. "Many were falling into the digital book printing space. We had to find a digital solution that could keep up with demand, be consistent and help us grow." Inkjet was the answer, but where to begin? Their search led them to Canon Solution America's Océ Varioprint i300 sheetfed inkjet press (see sidebar, "A Closer Look at the Océ Varioprint i300"). One of the first sheetfed inkjet color production inkjet presses on the market, Clark says the i300 offers an alternative between higher-cost, less flexible inkjet web presses and lowerspeed, toner-based, cut-sheet printers. It also makes it possible for the M&G team to address new market segments productively and cost-effectively. "We wanted a machine we could change substrates on by just loading a new drawer, and in sizes that would allow us to do small format books 4 up and large format books 2 up," Clark


“Our team not only has tremendous experience in producing books, but longevity with our company and our customers.” — JIM CLARK, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, MCNAUGHTON & GUNN

says. "The ROI was tough because we were going to use the i300 to grow our digital book business, not take work away from our already thriving offset business." In truth, the ROI did not show a payback until the fourth year, but the McNaughton & Gunn teams' ability to produce faster, more reliably and add consistent color was worth the investment. ColorGrip became a deciding factor, allowing the team to produce books on its standard uncoated house sheets. "For our publishing clients, they would not have to make changes in substrates," Clark says.

The Inkjet Factor

The biggest thing inkjet brings to the table compared to the traditional method of digital manufacturing toner is consistency. With the adaptation of things like color grip, the McNaughton & Gunn team can print on standard substrates with great quality and reproduce that same quality time after time (remember the insects?). The other factor related to consistency is speed and up time. Clark says that toner boxes tend to need a lot of maintenance and diminish over time. "Our experience with inkjet is that the up time of the equipment brings us speed and reliability. Most people also want to talk about the total cost of ownership for the operation being less, but in our experience, that is not the case. Inkjet ink is very expensive; when you factor in the clicks and the ink, the total cost per page is not significantly lower compared to other digital platforms." But when you compare it to offset, depending on the size of the project, inkjet is much more favorable. "When we put inkjet in our system, the goal was to increase our digital business, not convert work from offset, so any savings have been done with up time and consistent output," Clark says. The process in McNaughton & Gunn's digital effort mirrors, to some degree, the process in offset, with a few less touches. The unique thing about its digital book production process is that its Top 10 digital customers are in its Top 20 on the offset side of the business. "The majority of our customers have already produced books with us and they understand the process," Clark says. "We do use a web portal on the digital side as our primary communication tool, tracking, uploading, pricing and specification delivery for both our customers and our plant." The process is pretty simple: The customer gets a price they can agree on; they load their files, which are preflighted and proofed. Upon approval, the files move to output devices and are imposed and printed. Once printed, the covers are laminated and the text is cut into book blocks. The books are then perfect bound, packed, shipped and billed.

"Most of our customers understand the process and what is required," Clark says. "Their expectation is that the digital process is faster compared to offset. They are using the digital platform for a reason. Generally, it is to get books into the marketplace quickly for whatever reason."

Leading by example

For new customers, McNaughton & Gunn employs two digital customer service reps who walk the customers through the process, along with a digital preflight specialist who handles any file issues that may arise. "Most of our 'self-publishers' or new customers take considerably longer through the process, but it is extremely rare that they are surprised with the outcome when their books arrive," Clark says. "That is because we handled them properly from the start." Whether it is employing a new initiative or working through the job-tojob responsibilities with a client, the process is something McNaughton & Gunn is known for. The family owned, privately held business was founded by Bob McNaughton in 1975—his second book manufacturing start-up. Today, the company is run by his daughter, Julie McFarland, who serves as president.

The process in McNaughton & Gunn’s digital effort mirrors, to some degree, the process in offset, with a few less touches. M&G was founded on two key principles: "Where people make the difference” and “Where we make a difference to our customers.” One of the key ways it has pioneered these promises is through its earth care and green book printing initiatives. Clark says that every team member is invested in M&G’s award-winning environmental stewardship and committed to upholding the printer’s high standards. From its paper choices, recycling efforts and other production practices, every M&G employee is committed to doing their homework when it comes to protecting the environment. That means procuring materials, engaging vendors and implementing policies, including its FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council™) Chain-Of-Custody Certification. Books printed on

A Closer Look at the Océ Varioprint i300 The Océ VarioPrint i300 helps bridge the gap between higher cost, less flexible inkjet web presses and lower-speed, tonerbased, cut-sheet printers, making it possible to address new market segments productively and cost-effectively. With the Océ VarioPrint i300, you get: In Productivity... >>Production speeds of up to 294 letter images per minute >>Up to 8,800 letter sheets per hour >>Up to 10 million letter-sized images per month >>Maximum paper capacity: 13,800 letter sheets >>12 trays (9,200 letter sheets from four trays is standard) >>Standard sheet size of 12.6 inches x 19.2 inches >>Maximum sheet size of 13.9 inches x 19.7 inches >>DFD interface for connection to inline finishing options In Image Quality... >>1200 dpi perceived image quality with multilevel droplet modulation >>Océ drop-on-demand, piezoelectric >>Water-based pigment ink >>Accurate front/back registration >>Nozzle failure detection and compensation

FSC certified paper are eligible to carry the FSC logo, which is used to identify products coming from well-managed forests. Due to the growing awareness and popularity of the FSC logo, McNaughton & Gunn continues to process FSC claims for its customers. Among the many accolades it has received for its efforts is the "2017 Saline Be Green Award." Presented by the City of Saline Environmental Commission, the award is given to businesses and residents who demonstrate a concern for the environment through sustainable

practices, recycling, composting, watershed protection, rain gardens, energy conservation, clean energy or simply going that extra step to make the community more environmentally friendly. "We are a service-oriented company that provides book manufacturing to publishers all over the country and a few worldwide," Clark says. "Our team not only has tremendous experience in producing books, but longevity with our company and our customers. It shows in the products we produce every day."




Feature Story: By Greg Feature Chambers Story

Growth drivers Finding the right salesperson at the right time


hat does it take to build an elite, high-performance sales force? How do we develop a team of highly motivated, client-service oriented, quota crushing machines? Like

explorers searching for the city of gold, business leaders are on the lookout for secrets to building an effective sales force. I do not have a secret map, but I do have a process focusing on sales behaviors matching the stage of your business or product. Here we will outline business/ product lifecycle stages, identify sales behaviors for each stage, and share a tactic for interviewing.


Growth drivers The Stages

Every business or product follows a similar lifecycle, going through predictable stages. At the beginning it is all about “Survival.” New products are in a fight for their existence. Just as we entered this world with different talents and treasures, some products are better funded than others, some have access to more talent, but all start life fighting for existence. Consider Starbucks launching a new combo coffee-soda product. Starbucks as a business may be beyond the survival stage, but the new product is in survival mode. The next stage is “Viable,” which we will define as a product or service that has made it and is now focused on growth. In general, products or services in this stage make money, customers are ordering and re-ordering, and there is a track record of success to point to. Going back to Starbucks, once the idea of pre-made muffins and scones made it through survival mode and they knew the food items sold, the menus added food. From there, a business or product moves into “Scale.” Not all businesses or products make it to this stage because it requires capital and patience, but once your business or product is viable, scaling is next. Again, back to Starbucks and the food products. Once food became viable, each store scaled to add multiple ovens and move beyond breakfast. The final stage for products is “Thriving.” Products in this stage generate their own gravitational force and attract customers through reputation alone.


When traveling to China and looking for food, seeing a familiar green Starbucks sign brought our group comfort and eased anxiety. It did not matter that we may have been right next to the most amazing culinary experience known to man, it was day one and everyone headed to what was familiar. Starbucks is thriving.

So what?

What does this have to do with building an elite, high-performance sales force? A lot, it turns out. For starters, consider the kind of sales rep you need to succeed in a scaling/thriving business compared to a survival/arrival business. Consider these contrasts:

The first action to build a highperforming sales team is matching your sales team’s strengths to the stage your business or product is in.

Survival/ Arrival Stage Salespeople Focuses externally on understanding the market 1. Searches and listens for a model 2. Entrepreneurial and resourceful 3. Looks for prospects on the front edge of the demand curve 4. Deals well with ambiguity, eager for action 5. More curious as to why a prospect says yes than no Scaling/Thriving Stage Salespeople 1. Focuses internally on understanding the company 2. Executes and manages a model 3. Savvy intrapreneurial executives 4. Looks for prospects in the fullest chunk of the demand curve 5. Deals well with bureaucracy, has patience 6. More curious as to why any prospect would ever say no

The process

The first action to build a high-performing sales team is matching your sales team’s strengths to the stage your business or product is in. Think of a new software company in survival mode. While recruiting, they bump into a sales professional from a large

software vendor. This salesperson has all of the right tools, industry experience, the right contacts, and they have a track record of beating quota. When this new, exciting software company hires them, the rep is now in a constantly changing environment. Three months in, the new rep is suffering, and their manager is wondering what’s wrong. It is not a good fit. The yellow flag was this salesperson was not used to survival/arrival stage selling. Conversely, at one point I went to work for a large, Midwestern bank. They were taking a product out to the west coast and needed someone to drive growth. My strengths at that time were in building new businesses, not scaling them. I went in brimming with energy and ideas and suggested changes on day one, only to be shut down. Their model was in place, the growth was planned over several years and they needed someone to execute. Later, I realized we were using the same word, “growth,” but we had different definitions.

Finding the match

At this point, you are thinking, “Got it. But how do we do it?” I do not have the space to walk you through my entire flow chart, but I will tell you where to start, which is in the interviewing process. Start by taking your existing interview process and adding in a set of “behavior scenarios” to get insight into how the interviewees might behave in your stage of business. Say your company is that exciting new software startup and you’re interviewing the candidate I described earlier. Since you need strengths aligned with the “searching for a model” nature of your business, describe scenarios that will frustrate someone great at executing scale. For example: “Miss Interviewee, describe how you would handle this situation. A prospect has told you they are interested in your solution, but they have some caveats. To meet their demands, you know it is going to require our company to find outside resources, which will add time, expense, and be a challenge to deliver —let alone meet the client’s expected outcomes. Describe how you will work through this scenario.” Their answers to these scenarios will help you identify someone who excels at survival versus someone who executes at scale. I recommend inventing five scenarios and running each candidate through all five. When coupled with your regular interview process, these scenarios will serve as a basic algorithm to help you identify which hires are more likely to thrive in the stage your business is in.

Building an elite high-performance sales force starts with finding people that will be a fit for where your business is at when you bring them in. Building an elite high-performance sales force starts with finding people that will be a fit for where your business is at when you bring them in. The best reps for scale are rarely the best reps for launch and vice versa. This also means your best reps for launching a new product will probably not be the best for taking it to scale. Awareness gives you choice, and now that you are aware of fitting strengths to stage, you can decide what to do next.

Being something it is not

I will leave you with one more story. Years ago, I went looking for a new tree. We wanted something called a serviceberry tree. At the nursery, all the serviceberry trees were multi-trunk

and looked like bushes to me. I thought “tree = single trunk” and looked for it. The owner ambled by and when I described what I was looking for, he took me straight to a tree meeting my description. He said, “You know Greg, the thing is, serviceberries are meant to be multitrunk trees. It is what they are. I forced this one to be single-trunk because people ask for it, but it won’t thrive. You are asking it to be something it is not.” Great wisdom. The first step in building an elite, high-performance sales force is not to ask your salespeople to be something they are not. Start with the right people for where your business or product is right now. It is the fastest way to growth.

Greg Chambers is a consultant and businesses hire him to help build sales and marketing practices that are an exact fit for their resources, talent levels and demeanor. You can find him at https://chamberspivot.com.



Aligning your sales and marketing teams for team selling


Feature Story: By Michael J. Pallerino

Building an elite high-performance sales force starts with finding people that will be a fit for where your business is at when you bring them in.


ance Tyson has been in the sales game for more than 20 years. So when you mention the delicate relationship between sales and marketing, he knows where the conversation is heading. For starters, these are new days in the age old clash between the two departments. Today’s consumers, whether B2B or B2C, are more highly educated buyers. They research. They compare. And when it comes to making a purchase, they know what they are getting and why. As a highly sought after sales training expert, Tyson has seen this play out in his interactions. He was recently contacted through LinkedIn by a professional who read an article he published online. Getting his share of canned comments after posting articles on LinkedIn, this one was well thought out and offered some relevant comments. “It was clear that they had spent some time researching who I am and what I had to offer,” says Tyson, president and CEO of sales training group the Tyson Group. “That convinced me to contact him back.”


In line The experience also paints a realistic picture of what today's brands must understand when it comes to not only having their sales and marketing teams aligned, but working in tandem. Based on what Tyson sees in his client base, which is primarily B2B, the clash between marketing and sales is all too prevalent. For sales, what works best is highly tailored messaging, customized for each buyer. For marketing, recognizing what the decision maker is doing online and finding a way to reference it is key. "The word alignment is key because the messaging needs to be consistent across all channels," says Tyson, whose clients include TopGolf, and professional sports teams like the Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, Fenway Sports Management (Boston Red Sox) and Tampa Bay Lightning, among others. "Sales and marketing both need to say the same thing when speaking with prospects. There are too many cases in which the website messaging doesn’t align with the sales messaging, or vice versa."


"People sell to people, and people buy from people. You can’t circumvent that with automation. Much of the difficulty has to do with marketing automation platforms, which are often too general and templated to be effective for sales. There are lots of tools out there, but they can’t really do the job of the salesperson."

The first action to build a highperforming sales team is matching your sales team’s strengths to the stage your business or product is in.

 ays your company can w create perfect harmony

1. Align sales messaging needs with marketing messaging and vice versa. 2. M  arketing needs to gain a better understanding of the sales process. 3. H  ave cross-disciplinary conversations so that each department isn’t operating in a silo. 4. S  et clear expectations about the capabilities of marketing automation tools. 5. Adjust to what’s not working in real time, on the fly. Source: The Tyson Group (www.tysongroup.com)

When you talk alignment, two reasons for its relevance enter the conversation. The first is transience. These days, there is a lot of turnover on most sales teams, and organizations are constantly being re-engineered. Junior salespeople are mixed up with senior salespeople, and inside salespeople are doing business development prospecting. Tyson says that everyone must work as a team in order to be successful. The second is that there is so much information out there that it is hard to be a subject matter expert on everything. Because today's buyers are better informed, having a team approach can be the difference between success and failure. "Team selling helps to address organizational needs and also helps the salespeople to achieve a higher level of mastery in a quicker time frame," Tyson says.


Understanding the journey

More than 70 percent of the buying journey in today's B2B settings occurs in a self-service manner. As referenced above, there are a lot of different ways to make this point. The key is to understand that this is the way it works today. It means marketers need to work closely with customer-facing salespeople to understand what questions are best answered through digital communications and nurturing tools, and which aspects are best left in the hands of the salesperson. And sure, while that theoretically sounds pretty straightforward, marketing thought leaders like Kevin Groome believe it logistically can be devilishly difficult to strike the right balance. For example, Groome, founder of marketing automation company CampaignDrive, says most customers want to get a

sense of pricing parameters before they investigate a specific vendor too closely. Typically, salespeople want to leave this issue open so they can create the best possible framework for a pricing discussion or negotiation. So the team needs to decide—either at the persona level or in a completely situational way—where and how to address this issue and how to tie that into value delivery. "You need to strike a general balance, and then leave flexibility for the team to handle individual customer journeys," Groome says. Product feature descriptions pose another challenge where the hand-off from marketing to sales is not as clear and simple as it once was. High in the funnel buyers will want—or will assemble for themselves—checklists that allow them to comparison shop. How your product stacks up in such a comparison typically has been the province of the marketing department. But increasingly, the sales team wants to be able to control how individual features are positioned relative to the needs of a certain customer type—or even an individual customer. "This can mean managing an extremely complex content matrix to ensure that the team is making promises that are relevant and timely to the individual buyer and can be backed up 100 percent when the time comes to deliver," Groome says. "Once again, there's an interleaving of responsibilities where once there was a clear, more linear division." Finally, there is the on-boarding aspect of the complex sale. Traditionally, this has been a matter of handoff from sales to customer success or account management. But Groome says today's buyers know that onboarding is critical and they ask for information about it early in the cycle. This can be difficult because the complexity and duration of the on-boarding process can affect pricing. "Promise too much too early and you could hurt your margins," he says. "Play it too close to the vest and you may find it hard to build the trusted relationship on which closing depends." To overcome these difficulties, Groome recommends that the sales and marketing team employ the principles of two methodologies: agile and accountbased marketing (ABM). Account-based marketing forces you to think about the individual customer rather than manyto-one communications, while agile encourages you to collaborate both as a team and with your customer in a refreshingly open way. "Some people of a more traditional mindset might think this limits pricing power/flexibility too early," Groome says. "But in my view, if the sales collaboration delivers valuable insights and meaningful assistance to the customer, you'll find yourself needing less price flexibility than you might at first have thought."

(Said no successful marketer ever.)

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CANVAS Magazine - August 2019 - Reboot  

CANVAS Magazine - August 2019 - Reboot