Quality is One of your Greatest Marketing Tools

Below is an article I wrote in 1996 for the company newsletter at Scholin Brothers Printing Company where I worked from 1995-1998. I came across this recently and was impressed with how timely it still is. It is a great reminder that as much as the tools of marketing evolve, the fundamentals remain the same: great marketing begins with a great Product.

Printer's loupe.

My printer’s loupe from my days at Scholin Brothers. I keep it in my office as a reminder of the importance of quality and attention to detail.

Do You Know How Many Salespeople Work at Scholin Brothers?

The other day I spoke to a friend of mine whose job we were printing here at Scholin Brothers. He told me he knows of printers that cost 30% less but was still able to convince his clients to pay extra for the quality of Scholin Brothers Print. Sometimes he would even take a cut in his profit to enable clients on a limited budget to use Scholin. He knew that producing five-star pieces would pay off in the long run.

This conversation led me to think about each step that occurs during every job we have. For example, through choosing quality and being willing to take a pay cut, my friend was able to bring us more business. He gained customer loyalty by building Scholin Brothers’ reputation. Every employee affects this reputation and in this way, every employee at Scholin is a salesperson.

Think about your job: How many opportunities do you have to provide the quality that leads a client to choose Scholin over another company?

As I was picking samples for my friend’s job, I thought about the areas where Scholin Brothers could fall short. Nonetheless, we completed the jobs with the quality we set out to achieve. For example, John Wilson’s press strategy and color choices were consistent and impeccable. Greg’s careful folding and stitching ensured that all the images lined up beautifully. And, Alan used the cutter precisely. Josephine’s role of delivering the finished products in a timely manner was also imperative to the final success of the job.

Commercial printing press.

Printing press similar to the ones we had at Scholin. Scholin had dedicated proofing room with lighting to exacting specifications to ensure colors were matching.

There are many steps on the path of getting and keeping customers. This level of precision and quality is critical to the success of Scholin Brothers. A catch in pre-press, correct scheduling, and paying attention to detail in stripping are all crucial to delivering the level of work needed to thrive. Scholin’s label, “Crafted with Pride”, speaks to the level of excellence that we aim to reach consistently.

Every detail in the process, from a salesperson’s first meeting to the delivery of a job, from customer interactions to the billing process, offers a chance for us to support a potential customer’s choice. Furthermore, the quality of our work determines whether clients recommend us highly to their network, thereby expanding our business.

If you search “Printers” in the phone book, you will see 10 pages listing nearly 350 printers. What separates Scholin Brothers is the quality that we deliver consistently. What small differences can you make that can help a client choose Scholin Brothers over another printing company? Scholin is a sales force of 98 people, selling with quality every day.

 

Author Kurt Hoffmann is Creative Director and Founder of Abra Marketing, a digital marketing agency in Santa Rosa, California. Looking back on my nearly 30-year career in marketing, I appreciate more and more the great jobs I had and how each of them brought something critical to my experience. At Scholin Brothers I had a unique position: I worked in Preflighting, which meant I checked all digital files when they came in to verify everything was in order to go to production. I was also in charge of pulling the final printed samples that would go to the client. These two roles worked ideally together since I knew the job from the moment it came in and the quality it would have to achieve at every step to ensure those samples would meet the client’s satisfaction. I was also a graphic designer at Scholin so I learned a great deal about designing projects not just so they would look great, but also so they would successfully make it through the printing process.