Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Power of Print(ed) Stickers

The reason that Print is better than the web is that it brings information into the real world. In the heyday of mass market advertising , "information" was used to persuade potentially everyone to buy stuff. It was straightforward because there were masses of people that needed the stuff that was being sold.
Richard Sears illustrated the cover of his 1894 catalog declaring it the "Book of Bargains: A Money Saver for Everyone," and the "Cheapest Supply House on Earth," claiming that "Our trade reaches around the World." Sears also knew the importance of keeping customers, boldly stating that "We Can’t Afford to Lose a Customer." read more
Today that mass market has evolved into millions of addressable niche markets. In the mature economies of the North - USA, Western Europe and Japan - masses of people already have alot of stuff. So the selling event is less about persuasion and more about taking friction out of the buying event.

But, buying and selling remain the same; a well enough informed consumer, a reputable enough seller, a clear enough value proposition, an easy enough way to complete the sale and a convenient enough way to get delivery. The only thing that keeps changing is the definition of "enough."

Today in New York City, a buyer can look at the menu on the wall and see how many calories that Starbucks latte is going to cost. Starting in 2009 in Washington State every car sold is going to have a sticker informing the buyer of the greenhouse effects of the car they are considering purchasing. Oh. . .and it's probably also on some website somewhere.
Sticker Labels for New Cars:
"Everybody wants to buy the best that their money can afford and if there is a sticker label on a vehicle with the greenhouse gas production of those cars, it is much easier for a buyer to choose a better car not just in terms of performance but taking into consideration what its environmental impact would be.

Starting 2009, passenger cars, vans, SUVs and light-duty trucks will have these sticker labels on their windows. It will become a standard for all new vehicles and without these sticker labels then the cars won’t be allowed to be sold. So it is everyone’s right to look for sticker labels when choosing to buy a brand new vehicle. This way you’ll find out whether or not the car you are eyeing is ecological or not."


  1. So are you proposing that print estimates and invoices be presented with as much quantifiable information as a car window sticker in order to assuage the buyer with a cocoon of defensible information?

    Not a terrible idea, especially if it's treated as a list on the left side of a value equation, the right being the price.

    And calculating the carbon footprint of each job would be a nice touch, although most would be way wrong, and perhaps shockingly embarrassing to the buyer.

  2. I hadn't thought of that, but it would be very cool. An itemized list. Starting with quote, plus AA's, plus extra deliveries+ plus shipping.

    My point in the post was more that a little printed piece could go along way.