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We’ve all heard the phrase one-stop…. Does it work for Trades based businesses?

Savvy Trades have come to discover that building a recognisable brand and having values to it, which reflect who and what you do can help achieve more in business.

Over the last few years, we’ve worked with multi-faceted construction businesses, one-man plumbers, country-wide gas and plumbing engineers, groundsmen and landscapers. What rings true is when they take their identity and use it to not just deliver the basics but tie the visuals and communications together.

HAD-Print – understanding your needs…

It often starts with workwear, which has numerous benefits, and promotion, builds awareness of who and what you do. With customers, it also sets a tone of professionalism with a standard of apparel that reflects the business. As one trades business said to us, “We even get sub-contractors wearing our kit, and then they take ownership of the job they are doing”. Customer expectations have shifted with the rising cost of everything, and labour charges reflect this, equally, customers do expect to see professionalism and presentation. We have a wide range of workwear, from high visibility through to thermal protection

Building on professionalism; Regulatory requirements also mean that ownership of site health and safety can mean localising to make it relevant. Here at HAD-Print, we are well aware of the requirements to produce compliance (Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals Regulations) 1996). We have access to a library of standard Prohibition, Warning, Mandatory and Safe condition signs. So, site access boards combined with your branding and office details and relevant site marshals can be developed appropriately.

Over the years, we have been well aware that project sign-off, and authority to proceed following inspections all require necessary paperwork with signatures. Whilst digital technologies might provide some solutions in certain parts of the construction trade, the need for a physical document is the benchmark which provides the authority and sign-off on the job. We have a wealth of experience with No Carbon Required (NCR) sets providing duplicate and triplicate. Plus, we know what you expect to make them hardwearing on site.

More than just print – relevant marketing

Whilst every business runs social channels and other marketing, people still like people and referral is the strongest. Referral cards and business cards are probably key items. We do get asked for a bit more. One Gas and Plumbing business, left it late to ask us, can we do some flyers for an event… yes is the answer. However, what the owner wanted to develop the business into was maximising some of their recently high-value bathroom work. When running a team of lads, sometimes you just don’t get pictures of work done, equally pictures which sell. Thankfully through our connections, we were able to source the right pictures to meet the aspirations and benchmarks of the business. Combined with some careful copywriting finished flyers were artwork approved, printed and in the hands of Ben within 36 hours of the request.

Another top reason for using HAD-Print for your trade business, is we know/understand you (we’ve grown up with mates and friends in the trades); we can reflect this in any branding work. Make sure it will work across workwear, van graphics, site boards, traditional print and also into your socials. What makes it different, unlike “creative designers” that be architects and interior designers to you as a tradesperson, we suggest functional designs which work across multiple print and production methods. Plus, in our approach of being honest, like yourselves, we know how to bring it in on budget, plus our range of knowledge allows us to specify more efficiently.

All about the difference…

Anyone with any common sense knows it’s not what you do, but how you do it. With a wide variety of print service providers out there, some purely online shifting products without any relationship. To us print is an art form when done well, it adds value, understanding what you want to achieve is at the heart of how we do it. So distinguishing what matters and why, makes a real difference to the result. With over 70 years of combined experience within HAD-Print, the small differences are what make the difference, so here are a few examples.

What makes us different?
“More than box shifters” at the very heart of what we do – is understanding your needs as our customer. Easy words, but here’s one example.
It’s not just understanding you, but the needs of your end users. The work we’ve done with Simon Ferris at Flat Stan First Aid is about maximising the learning of the children partaking in the programme and after the learning. We’ve helped Simon to evolve his resources into something more dynamic which is engaging on many levels. Simon doesn’t just use us for the print, but as a sounding board to help his develop ideas – it is a pleasure to be valued in this way.

What makes us different?
“More than box shifters” at the very heart of what we do – is understanding your needs as our customer. Easy words, but here’s another example.
When you meet a business person regularly you get to understand them and their business. Ben at Phoenix Heating and Plumbing was one of these customers. Seeing, talking, understanding, and knowing his “pain points” really helped auto meet his aspirations of where he wanted to take his business. Introducing a brand identity for Phoenix Heating and Plumbing, was probably the first significant thing we did, we amazed Ben when after a few words, we were able to hit the brief on the nose for him. Workwear for his team provided the opportunity to raise the level and put pride in the business. We’ve since helped get marketing collateral to hit the mark as well. Quick response due to circumstances, favours pulled from some of our contacts, and leaflets with the right professional high-end images he required to help them pitch for the work they knew they could achieve.

What makes us different?
“More than box shifters” at the very heart of what we do – is understanding your needs as our customer. Easy words, but here’s another example.
A very recent example. And a very sweet one at that. Mrs H, whose husband had recently passed, wished to ensure his legacy was a positive one. He had extensively researched the mills in 2 local valleys and the documents whilst useable, they were in no format to be shared or passed on. We took the documents, and a wallet of photos, and worked our way through and artwork up the book professionally, after a round of proofreading, the 2 volumes (books) were printed on a limited edition basis, enough for the family, placing in local libraries and history centres.

What makes us different?
“More than box shifters” at the very heart of what we do – is understanding your needs as our customer. Easy words, but here’s another example.
Over the last 2 years, we’ve produced all sorts of card decks. A lovely item to work on, as they are usually so diverse in content. At the end of last year, we had a referral enquiry which said… “Can you…” well, the answer is yes, as ever. It was a different size, a different number of cards. Gareth had in his mind’s eye exactly what he wanted. Getting to know, and understand is the usual key to creating a specification which works. It was nice that it was 2 decks of the same specification, different designs running in parallel, which makes things easier in production. Gareth in asking the right questions to us, enabled us to tweak and develop what he was looking for from an existing reference point. Here’s why it works with us, we are truly bespoke, unlike your online portal funnel web-based printers, we use, knowledge, and experience to devise the right solution for you.

Need your print to work smarter for you? Why not start a conversation with us?

Truly unique print…. That’s what we do.

Bold statement, in an age of internet portals which deliver faceless, no support, and only transactional engagements. We exist to deliver customer service, and understanding with a blend of experience, values and pukka print.

We love working with people who have value sets similar to ours. Understand why a working relationship of understanding, and appreciation of the “craft” delivers not just a product, but something which will deliver above and beyond.

The Renaissance is just around the corner. Seriously we know this. No bullshit here. We talk to more and more people in marketing, and business, who are starting to question “the new norm”. The environment we have existed in, socially, politically and commercially has allowed “buzz fads” to lead and not be accountable. So, to some, it is just the bottom line, to the savvy it’s the return on investment.

Speed seems to have overtaken everything, instant gratification, quick fix and hit. However, can you remember, take in, and absorb important information in this environment? This has been echoed in two conversations recently

Chief Operating Executive and trustees at a board meeting (this was feedback to me by a trustee). “We are struggling to get engagement; we are getting less, and less event sign-ups. It takes more work to get people involved.” The trustee then asked the question around the “how” to the answer was “email shots, website portal entries, professional social media etc” The trustee then said, “Have you thought about targeted physical mail?” Yes, he’s a friend of ours and knows what we can do.

Another interesting conversation from a Marketing Executive who we know well “We’ve not been looking at the metrics, my manager/business isn’t bothered”

If you aren’t looking at the performance how do you know you are getting the results?

If you were in the Maclaren team, data, stats, and break-down analysis are key to tweak, change and develop. So, does this explain why this country’s growth is so stunted at the moment? Existing, rather than the desire to achieve? The definition of insanity is doing the same and expecting different results.

Thursday evening was a night out at Wilsons Republic (WR10 event), which is a creative community gathering in Huddersfield. The biggest learning from the event was the freedom of creativity. This freedom in creativity allows for the opportunity to “break the rules”, and to do something different, which is key to making an impact. Both the speakers; Dani Molyneux from Dotto and Tony Brook from Spin both ably demonstrated this break the rules and start the creativity. What was also very apparent, was that both them as skilled practitioners could transcribe this creativity into very reproducible work, or very print-savvy. Something which fresh, younger designers struggle to make happen.

Both of the above designers illustrated beautifully the impact which good design, which was considered for the mediums they were working with could truly deliver. This was backed up in conversation with Graphic Designers who knew about print, however, didn’t practise or promote print (we did talk to some who do print). The design process is all about creating an experience, helping marketers craft the journey, utilisation of different mediums is essential – both physical and digital.

We believe that the right piece of physical marketing or print can go a long way in moving on a customer journey. Everyday mundane, really doesn’t kick it now. Here are our headlines to making it work…

–           Be creative, challenge your audience, and thus be rememberable.
–           Structure and performance before making it look pretty – simple is sometimes best.
–           Be tactile and use different textures, paper has a huge range of textures.
–           Finishing and presentation, use folds in different ways, look to use different shapes of collateral.
–           Linked into the customer journey, what is the next action you want the customer/reader to do?
–           Make people talk about it.

So, if you want to be in the next wave of marketing, perhaps it’s time to revisit the “marketing mix” as we used to call it. Or the “marketing toolbox”, remember one tool doesn’t do every job.

The team at HAD-Print has over 70 years of experience between us. Ranging from magazine production, book production, commercial print, marketing agency and a lot of hands-on print experience. Harnessing digital print technologies with a wealth of experience brings a unique.

So, are you brave? Or are you mundane?

I’d hazard a guess you’re mundane, so don’t do any action after reading this.

If you’re ballsy, brave, an agent provocateur, leader in what you do – really simply talk to us.

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