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From Half-empty to Full

How to survive the pessimism and succeed with name-brand beverage companies

March 2012 By Michael Cornnell
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There are clients that are terrible for terrible's sake, and there are clients who are terrible because they're trying to protect a multi-billion dollar brand image that's more recognizable to the world than pizza, the Olympics and the moon combined. With clients that are just bad, there isn't much you can do besides wonder what marketing sins you've committed to make your business such a jerk-magnet. With companies that are a pain because they're trying to protect a million-dollar trademark though? There's plenty you can do to soothe the jerk out of even the fussiest, whiniest, most miserable clients.

With big brands it all comes down to paying the proper amount of care to their artwork. Promo Marketing spoke with several suppliers skilled in taking care of the biggest of the big brands: Name-brand beverage companies (because when it comes to famous, it's hard to go above Coors or Coca-Cola). Whether you're looking to work in the concession big leagues, or just with major brands in general, there is plenty of advice here to make your work go as smoothly as possible.

1. Printing Details
Big brands can be fanatical about how their logos are printed, obsessing over even the most microscopic presentation details. Rightly so, since for a major brand even a slight difference in a logo can invalidate years of expensive marketing research, as well as risk legal harm to their trademarked designs. For this reason, careful proofing and communication about art expectations with your name-brand client is a necessity.

Offering electronic proofs of artwork is one way to ease a nervous client about a logo's appearance. Paula Piano, director of sales and marketing for Las Vegas-based drinkware supplier Visstun, stated that the company has found that offering free pre-press e-proofs helps big-brand legal departments approve art in a timely manner.

Physical pre-production samples are another option. Steve Ess, sales representative at drink and barware supplier Co-Rect Products, Golden Valley, Minn., strongly stressed a physical sample's value when working with large name brands. "We always do a pre-production sample, even if they say 'Go ahead and run it, we won't have a problem with it, we're sure it will be fine,'" he said. "Our feeling is if you really want to do it right, do a sample so that they can look at it and make sure it's exactly what they want," explained Ess. "The last thing you want is to do a big order off just an e-proof, then when they receive the order get the call of 'Hey it's not what I thought it was' or something like that, which does happen."



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