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Beyond the PDF. Flipbooks add impact.

May 14, 2015

Example eBrochure You spent the time, money and effort to create some great printed collateral. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could also use it online in a way that was more engaging and dynamic than a plain old PDF?

Enter the flipbook

What is a Flipbook?

Flipbooks are interactive digital documents hosted on your website that mimic the look and feel of a real printed piece. Customers interact with flipbooks intuitively, turning page by page, viewing spreads as they were originally designed. Common documents and publications that utilize flipbooks include: brochures, newsletters, magazines, journals, catalogs, employee handbooks, and more.

Why Flipbooks?

Because they’re digital documents hosted on your site, they also have unique features and benefits that your print collateral and PDFs don’t have. Here are a few of the added benefits flipbooks can bring to your marketing campaigns.

Enhanced Customer Experience

Flipbooks provide customers with an interactive platform that’s similar to their day-to-day web browsing capabilities. They can search within the document, share the document with friends instantly with social media, and swipe from page to page on their touchscreen device. Flipbooks also have the option to contain a table of contents, thumbnails, and the ability to jump to a specific page with a simple click. Other e-document formats, specifically PDFs, don’t have the same interactive capabilities, and can seem more like endless scrolling through pages and pages before finding what you’re looking for.

Seamless Compatibility Across Devices

Recent studies have shown that more and more consumers are using mobile devices for web browsing. According to a 2013 Nielson Study, 82% of smartphone users in the U.S. are browsing the web on their device. With mobile web browsing becoming the norm, it’s important to make sure your digital documents are not only compatible with mobile devices, but that they look just as impressive on a 5-inch screen. Flipbooks are compatible across devices and operating systems, which means whether you’re viewing the document on a PC laptop or an iPhone, your viewers will see a version that’s tailored to the device.

Tracking Capabilities and Search Engine Optimization

The benefits of a flipbook aren’t limited to the customer experience. Flipbooks are hosted on your site, giving you control of the document and boosting your SEO efforts. Unlike static PDFs, flipbooks are interactive, allowing users to search and click on what interests them. These clicks and searches can then be tracked through Google Analytics and reported as valuable data on customers’ browsing habits on your site. Also, by enabling customers to search the document, that same information housed in the document is now also available to search engines. So if your customers are looking for a particular product on your catalog or news feature in your magazine, they can easily find what they’re looking for by searching on Google, Bing, etc.

Flipbooks offer you a way to utilize your print collateral in a new, interactive way. If you’re interested, check out the unique page-turning capabilities of a flipbook.

Featured Project: Women Lead Magazine

May 11, 2015

We were excited to work with Michelle Bergquist of Connected Women of Influence (CWI) on her new magazine, Women Lead. Zuli Creative was able to take her vision and translate that into a clean and classy design that would appeal to professional women. We enjoyed being part of the team to launch such a great publication. It was fun seeing all 32 pages come to life, and after the publication was printed, we offered her the option of a digital flipbook. She liked the idea and the flipbook for Women Lead magazine was created.

Freshen Up Your Marketing Strategy This Spring

March 20, 2015

With the official start of spring, it’s time to start thinking about that annual tradition we all love (or loathe) – spring cleaning.

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The promise of longer days and warmer weather gives us the inspiration we need to clean out the clutter both at home and at work. Spring cleaning can go far beyond scrubbing floors and throwing out the trash, though. For some of us, it’s the one time of the year that we reassess what we have and either oust the old, or reorganize what we deem still relevant to our lives.

The same perspective can be applied to the way you approach your current marketing strategies. When was the last time you reevaluated your marketing plan and reassessed your collateral? There’s no better time than now to toss that outdated brochure or review your current online presence. The spring season can be a perfect time to clean out old, irrelevant collateral and bring fresh, new ideas to the table.

Here are a few tips to help you clean up your marketing strategy this spring:

Check for Brand Consistency

Take some time to review your current marketing collateral and campaigns, and evaluate whether all of these pieces are communicating a strong, consistent message about your brand. You’ve worked hard to develop and maintain your brand, but sometimes that carefully crafted brand can become muddled with conflicting messages spread across all of your collateral.

As you look at all of your marketing pieces for brand consistency, be selective of what to keep and what to toss. Now would be a good time to refer back to your marketing goals for the year and make sure the pieces you do keep connect with your customers and provide a consistent message. This step doesn’t necessarily call for a major overhaul if you don’t need it. But it will be beneficial to approach this step with the understanding that you may need to refresh a few pieces to make sure they’re consistent with your brand.

Evaluate Your Marketing Channels

As you think about the components of your marketing strategy, make sure you consider all the channels you utilize in your approach. In today’s hyper-connected society, there are a myriad of ways you can communicate with your customers – from flyers to Facebook posts – and it’s important to make sure you’re making the most of each.

While the internet has given way to new digital marketing channels, print media still holds numerous advantages you would be remiss to ignore. Print collateral, such as your corporate brochure, sales handouts and trade show materials, can give you the benefit of having complete control of your messages. Unlike the unpredictable nature of digital marketing, your print materials will always communicate your brand in the exact way you planned – no need to worry about negative comments or unexpected account hacking.

Those brochures and sales handouts can also have a more meaningful and lasting impact on your customers, especially when you’re meeting with them face-to-face. A well-done, high quality piece can be a direct representation of the quality of products or services you provide. Don’t underestimate the power of print materials – the piece in your customer’s hand has the ability to significantly impact his or her impression of your company.

Review Your Goals

As you solidify and strengthen your marketing strategy this spring, always be mindful of the goals you’re trying to accomplish. Your planning and organizing should be guided by the marketing goals you’ve set for the year. For example, if you’ve decided to increase brand awareness, then your marketing strategy should reflect this goal with tasks that will produce the results you need.

As you refine your marketing strategies, you may realize that some of your goals may be inconsistent or inadequate in the long-term. Since it’s still early in the year, you have plenty of time to reassess. The sooner you evaluate your current marketing approach, the more time you have to make adjustments and plan for new tasks.

3 Tips for Maintaining Brand Integrity During a Crisis

November 25, 2014

In today’s digital age, it has become easier than ever to interact with your customers. The internet has undoubtedly simplified the way we do business, with customers researching companies, products, services and more from all around the world with just a few clicks.

With such a wide array of products and services available at the touch of a button, consumers tend to select products and services that come from brands they can trust. For example, shoppers may choose to shop at Target instead of Walmart, or maybe purchase clothes at American Apparel instead of the imported items elsewhere. Often times, a company’s image and success rely on the ability to communicate their values to potential customers and show that their commitment to these values can be trusted.

Unfortunately, there are a number of issues that can happen that may jeopardize the integrity of your brand and ultimately you company’s image in the eyes of your customers. These crises can range from a handful of bad Yelp reviews, to product recalls, to major data breach that compromises thousands of customers’ information (such as the recent Home Depot data breach).

In times of crisis, it’s more important than ever to maintain the integrity of your brand. Your customers – and potential customers – are looking to see how you’ll manage the problem, and it’s critical that you address the issue in a way that’s 100 percent consistent with your brand. You need to reassure everyone that despite this issue, your company still holds true to its values and, most importantly, your company can be trusted now and in the future.

Here are a few tips that will help you maintain brand integrity when managing a crisis:

1. Be Prepared

It’s important to establish your brand strategy well before any crisis occurs. Remember, your brand is much more than just your logo, color palettes, and font selections. It should also encompass your core messages, such as your organizational values and goals, which you want to constantly communicate to your customers with the goal of establishing trust in your brand. These messages can include a commitment to exceptional customer service, or a promise to use locally sourced products, etc. By mapping out all of these elements beforehand, you’ll have an established tool that can help you and your crisis management team guide the steps you take in dealing with any unforeseen issues that may arise.

 2. Be Honest

The internet can be a phenomenal promotional tool – with its plethora of search engines, sites and apps, companies have a number of platforms for reaching customers. At the same time, it’s important to remember that bad news can spread on the web just as easily – if not more easily – than good news. For example, negative reviews tend to catch potential customers eyes more so than positive reviews. In the case of major recalls and data breaches, this negative publicity can make waves across all media outlets, from Twitter to The Wall Street Journal.As much as the internet can be a huge help in giving your company exposure and increasing your revenue when times are good, don’t forget that truth about any issue is likely to emerge for the public to see. In the event your company faces a crisis, look back on the company values and goals you established in your branding strategy. If you tell customers you value honesty, it’s in your best interest to be honest.

Admitting fault or wrongdoing can be tough, but owning up to the matter quickly will reassure your customers that you’re attentive, quick to respond to an issues, and honest. Also, by addressing the issue with honesty, you’ll also have the opportunity to explain what plans the company has to address the current issue and prevent it from happening again.

3. Be Committed

During a crisis, it’s important to be consistent in your messaging and approach. Remember, you’re trying to keep or re-establish your customers’ trust, and if you start changing your approach mid-crisis, you’re likely to lose their trust altogether.

The customer expects you to fulfill their expectations, which are based on the core messages you have communicated through your brand over time. If an issue occurs, and it results in you not meeting expectations, you need to reassure the customer that the issue is being taken care of, and that they can continue to rely on you to meet their expectations. This is the time to fall back on your established branding strategy – remind your customers why they trusted you in the first place and reassure them that they can continue to do so in the future.

Dealing with a crisis is stressful and the way you manage it could make or break your company. Luckily there are ways to help your company emerge from the issue more quickly and with less damage. By addressing the crisis quickly in a way that’s consistent with your brand, you can help your company rebound faster and reassure your customers that you’re still the company they trusted before the issue.

Lessons from a Giant Rubber Duck

September 17, 2014

The giant rubber duck is making rounds in the news again, this time popping up in the Port of Los Angeles for the city’s popular Tall Ships Festival. This enormous 60-foot version of the iconic childhood bath-time toy has been spotted in some of the world’s most famous harbors over the last few years, sparking the curiosity of thousands of people and inciting a media frenzy every time it sails into town.

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Giant rubber duck at Tall Ships Festival, San Pedro, CA. August 2014. Photo: Port of Los Angeles

So why is it that this massive duck has gone viral?

From a marketing and branding perspective, the giant duck, which was created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, is actually a great example of approaching something simple in an eye-catching and unexpected way.

In today’s saturated media, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that in order to stand out among the crowd, you have to use imagery that’s bold and complex – something no one has ever seen before.

However, as we see with the popularity and viral nature of the giant rubber duck, sometimes the approach is much more important than the object itself. The rubber duck is far from a unique, new concept, but blow it up to 60-feet and put it in an unexpected place, and all of a sudden its spreading through social media and news outlets like wildfire.

You can apply a similar approach to your brand by utilizing simplicity in unique, eye-catching ways. You can do this in a number of ways, but here are 3 tips to consider:

  1. Pair simple colors with a unique brochure size.

    Use a smaller color palette, and make your brochure or other print collateral a unique size, like a 9” x 9” square or 12” x 5” wide rectangle. Let the approach, in this case the size of your materials, make a lasting impression with your audience. Plus, you’ll continue to stand out among your competition when your odd-shaped brochure peeks out from a stack of brochures.

  2. Find a single image that resonates with your audience.

    Collages tend to be everywhere these days, and while you may have a number of related images you want to incorporate into a project, having so many photos may detract from their intended purpose. You may want to use a single image that really appeals and resonates with your audience. This one image may prove to be more memorable and leave a lasting impression, in turn giving your brand more recognition.

  3. Substitute in-depth detail with brief, yet powerful, messages.

    People are inundated with a constant stream of news and advertising on a minute-by-minute basis. The “Age of the Internet” has bred a new kind of audience, and unfortunately this audience has little tolerance for long paragraphs or pages and pages of text. Instead of counting on an in-depth description of your organization and/or services, you may only have a few seconds to catch their attention. Make the most of your first impression with brief, yet carefully crafted messages. Be sure these messages convey relevant, easy to remember information.

It’s important to remember that sometimes less really can be more, if you approach it in the right way. Could a 60-foot abstract work of art sticking out from the Port of Los Angeles have been newsworthy too? Yes, of course anything is possible, but it’s likely the giant rubber duck has made a lasting impression because it’s a simple, everyday object that has been reimagined and presented to the public in an extraordinary way.