Hall of Shame #7: Sample Kit, Utterly Lacking

"Please don't open me!"

As a mother I can tell you that actions speak louder than words.  Every day I’ve got to model the behavior I want my own kids to adopt, or I’m just wasting oxygen.  I’m not saying it’s easy, but you’ve got to walk the talk.

Speaking of which, this week’s Hall of Shame entry comes from a print manufacturer mailing its sample kit to distributors — influential members of the trade who determine which printers get their customers’  business and which don’t.    I requested a sample kit last week from a printer whose quality I wanted to evaluate.   This is the package I received (pictured).

How do you sell the value of print and the value of your print services and mail your samples in an ugly brown, and yes, unprinted mailer? I tactfully blocked out the name of the manufacturer who sent this to me,  but really, there wasn’t much to block out.  The only print featured on this package was the mailing label.  And of course, the small yellow sticker valiantly attempting to overcome the drabness of this package with its “Information You Requested” message.

And perhaps that message gets to the crux of the problem.  A potential customer may be asking for “information,” but they may be seeking evidence of something much bigger:  Can you get the job done right.  Do you do quality work?  Do you demonstrate good judgement and can I trust you as a business partner ?

When I get a package that looks so utterly lacking in self-confidence, I have to say NO.  And when I get a package from a printer that looks like this, well, that belongs in the Hall of Shame.

-Sari McConnell at smcconnell@conformerinc.com


2 responses to “Hall of Shame #7: Sample Kit, Utterly Lacking

  1. And shame on you, too, Sari, for not showing 2-3 examples of how you would improve this. You whined and complained, you talked the big talk, but you failed to deliver any visual of a better alternative. Inshort, your blog was just another plain brown envelope.

    External mailing and shipping envelopes get dirty, bent and destroyed by USPS, FedEx and UPS. Many times the outside packaging gets dumped in the mailroom. The recipient wants to see what’s inside the envelope, appearance counts, but content rules. Did the contents of the package satisfy your request? If so, the goal was met

    Next time suggest you walk the walk and show specific ways that you would suggest improving something if you are going to criticize.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Paul. We’re passionate about our work too so we can appreciate where you are coming from. The truth is, Conformer Products were invented to address exactly the issues I identified in my Hall of Shame #7 posting. The Conformer mailer provides an incredible print opportunity for companies to connect with their customers AND its superior construction is more durable, has more versatile capacity, and is the most eco-friendly you’ll find. We designed these products because we believe that you shouldn’t have to put up with mailers that get destroyed in the mail or sacrifice design. In fact, the package that holds your contents is an essential part of your message.

      Because our blog is called the Conformer blog, we count on our readers making the connection to the Conformer website where this is listed on our homepage along with a beautiful photo archive of printed samples that demostrate how we’ve improved upon the drab brown mailer. In the Conformer blog, we strive to achieving the right balance of newsworthy, valuable info to our readers while not appearing overtly self-promotional. I mean, I personally love to read about Conformer solutions but it gets old fast for our readers. We’ve got a very robust following of readers on our blog and we strive to please them. In fact, did you know that our “Hall of Shame” postings are our most popular posts?

      So thanks again, Paul, for your feedback. We appreciate the outrage, and hope you’ll go to http://www.conformerinc.com to see dozens of examples of how Conformer Products has improved upon that sample kit.

      Best regards,
      Sari McConnell at smcconnell@conformerinc.com

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