Simple Paves Way to Success
How do you turn a small print shop with limited print color reproduction and services into a fully integrated marketing firm. First, don’t confuse people with printing technical jargon. Second, offer full color printing at a reasonable price with quick turnaround. And third, expand your services to include powerful marketing tools like variable data.
This is the way family owned Effects of Color (EOC) has prospered in recent years. The firm is headed by the husband and wife team of Robin and Joe Eschenberg who bought a company called Minute Man Press in 1987. At the time of the purchase, Robin and Joe had no direct experience in printing. Joe’s only qualification was work in the graphic design business and fine art. Today management has expanded to include the Eschenberg’s daughter Hayley who serves as vice president sales and marketing.
When the Minute Man Press was purchased in 1986 the pressroom was limited by two-color presses. The Minute Man franchisers got the business moving by providing printing training for the entire staff. Meanwhile, Robin Eschenberg was and remains EOC’s main sales generator. She spent many years cold-calling on potential customers. Until about seven years ago four-color work was done for them by other printers. By 2004 the amount of color work and its potential to bring in new business was such that they decided to purchase the Heidelberg Quickmaster DI.
The new press prompted the Eschenbergs to form a separate corporation called Effects of Color. It was an appropriate name for the fledgling four-color printing shop. Since then the firm has added more color equipment in the form of a HP Indigo and, just recently a speedy Konica C8000. These two machines enable their variable data capability and often includes the swapping out of photos the appeal to a specific audience. Hayley Eschenberg reports that these two machines are also quite useful when it comes to printing specified Pantone colors or plain black ink.
EOC is located in the town of Hauppage almost exactly in the middle of New York’s Long Island. Most of their business comes from the surrounding towns and counties. They even have clients in nearby New York City and the surrounding states of New Jersey and Connecticut.
With two college degrees from Hofstra University, one in marketing and the other in psychology, Hayley over sees the creation and distribution of their own direct mail programs for high visibility in the region. They maintain their own mailing list which is constantly updated and expanded.
Their recently upgraded web site is a simple presentation of their offerings. Four color printing, on demand marketing collateral, direct mail and fulfillment, variable data and marketing promotional items. Three separate blocks succinctly emphasize three basic company assets: printing (includes on demand collateral materials), marketing (variable data and marketing promotions) and eco-friendly (highlighting FSC paper and waterless printing.
A well executed portfolio page features brochures, sell sheets and direct mail samples in thumbnail form. When you click on the little sample image, it opens a very large window showing the item in greater detail. There are no long equipment lists which helps keep the site clean and fresh looking.
Instead of focusing on themselves, the EOC news section offers valuable business tips with articles on everything from brand building to trade show marketing. This page is regularly updated and has featured as many as five interesting articles published in a single month. According to Hayley Eschenberg, the web site has generated a substantial amount of new clients. We admire the tasteful simplicity of their site. Perhaps the look of the was is inspired by Joe Eschenberg’s artistic sensibilities. Joe is an accomplished fine artist whose work has been shown in New York City and the Hamptons area of Long Island. He has his own art gallery in his house in the Hamptons, a very popular vacation spot during the summer months.
Despite their lack of experience in the early years, the Eschenbergs have made their business an outstanding success. See them at www.eocprint.com
(Photo to come)
Left to right, Robin, Joe and Hayley Eschenberg of Effects of Color.