Monthly Archives: May 2011

Chocolate candies, red dye, and the power of perception

In marketing, perception is reality. In the mid-1970s, health concerns arose over the use of the dye amaranth, commonly known as FD&C Red #2. Studies linked the popular food coloring with cancer. Mars Inc., makers of M&M’s, decided in 1976 to replace red M&M candies with orange ones. Did the candymaker eliminate red M&M’s because they contained the dye in question? No. In fact, the candies contained a different (and safe) red dye. Instead, the company decided to remove the red candies to allay the fears of consumers who worried about anything with red dye in it.

Mars understood the power of perception. Although its product was perfectly safe, the company knew that consumers were concerned. Sure, it could have stuck with the red candies and focused its marketing on explaining that the red dye it used was safe. After all, that was the truth, and many people would surely have believed it. But Mars knew that not everyone would feel comfortable with that explanation. The brand might have been hurt by this negative perception. So, even though the truth was on its side, Mars decided to make a fairly significant change. In the process, it generated a lot of goodwill and got the added bonus (and buzz) of introducing a new color to the M&M’s fold.

How do people perceive your products, services, and brand? Are there any misconceptions that could be adversely affecting you? If so, what changes can you make to alleviate those concerns and improve your image? And what extra value can you get from making those changes?

There’s one final chapter to the red M&M’s story worth noting. Eleven years after pulling red M&M’s off the market, Mars reintroduced the color in 1987. It proved a popular addition at the time and remains so today.

Joe Gass @ Heritage Printing & Graphics

5900 Harris Technology Blvd, Ste G, Charlotte, NC 28269 * 704-551-0700 * www.heritageprintingcharlotte.com

22725 Washington Street, Leonardtown, MD 20650  * 301-475-1700 * www.heritageprinting.com

Wide Format – signs, banners & banner stands, displays, posters, wall and window graphics, vehicle and floor graphics, decals, backlit signs, point of purchase, end caps and toppers, on-site installation and fulfillment

Offset and Digital – newsletters, magazines, publications, catalogs, conference and meeting materials, brochures, rack cards, presentation folders and direct mail

Veteran Owned and Operated

A Coffeehouse State of Mind

I’ve always wondered how fancy coffee shops could charge so much for a product that is worth pennies on the dollar. But I recently had an eye-opening experience that caused my opinion to sway. While feeling slightly impatient waiting for a cup of joe, my attitude was shockingly transformed by the laid-back atmosphere, the enchanting aroma, and the unique boutique-style tables and chairs at my favorite coffee shop. For a moment, I forgot why I was in such a hurry. Time stood still, as I was engrossed in a coffeehouse state of mind.

I now understand that the value of coffee, like many other products we buy, is contingent on how it makes us feel. Sometimes when I close my eyes and smell a fresh cup of coffee, I recall my coffeehouse state of mind… and smile.

While other products might not offer the same memorable feeling as a good cup of joe, we should all strive to offer a memorable experience for the customers who walk through our front door. How can you make customers think of your business and smile?

Joe Gass @ Heritage Printing & Graphics

5900 Harris Technology Blvd, Ste G, Charlotte, NC 28269 * 704-551-0700 * www.heritageprintingcharlotte.com

22725 Washington Street, Leonardtown, MD 20650  * 301-475-1700 * www.heritageprinting.com

Wide Format – signs, banners & banner stands, displays, posters, wall and window graphics, vehicle and floor graphics, decals, backlit signs, point of purchase, end caps and toppers, on-site installation and fulfillment

Offset and Digital – newsletters, magazines, publications, catalogs, conference and meeting materials, brochures, rack cards, presentation folders and direct mail

Veteran Owned and Operated

Speed Up Your Computer

Nothing is more annoying than a slow computer. And no matter how expensive or powerful your computer is, it is inevitable that it will eventually become slower with frequent use. Like a vehicle, computers require regular maintenance to operate at their best. Here are a few tips to help your computer get back up to speed:

  • Defrag your hard drive regularly (Microsoft recommends setting an automatic defrag once a month).
  • Remove temporary/internet files and cookies regularly.
  • Consider a higher speed internet connection depending on your uses and needs.
  • Remove unnecessary programs, files, and startup files that were installed by the manufacturer or added through various downloads and program installs, with exception of your firewall and antivirus software.
  • Check your computer’s RAM (Random Access Memory) capacity and consider a memory upgrade if your hard drive is fully loaded with programs and files, especially if you use several programs at the same time. For optimal performance, at least 25 percent of your computer’s hard drive storage space should be free at any time.
  • Run a free registry scan to check for errors. Registry damage is often caused by frequently installing/uninstalling software and modifying system components, and is a very common culprit slowing your computer.
  • Consider moving large files (such as photo library) and other important files to an external drive to open up storage space (and also provide a safe backup).
  • Update your drivers, since outdated drivers can diminish hardware functionality and cause system crashes.

If you’ve taken these actions and are still having performance issues, it may be best to leave your computer in the hands of an expert. And remember, any time you need help from a printing expert, give us a call!

Joe Gass @ Heritage Printing & Graphics

5900 Harris Technology Blvd, Ste G, Charlotte, NC 28269 * 704-551-0700 * www.heritageprintingcharlotte.com

22725 Washington Street, Leonardtown, MD 20650  * 301-475-1700 * www.heritageprinting.com

Wide Format – signs, banners & banner stands, displays, posters, wall and window graphics, vehicle and floor graphics, decals, backlit signs, point of purchase, end caps and toppers, on-site installation and fulfillment

Offset and Digital – newsletters, magazines, publications, catalogs, conference and meeting materials, brochures, rack cards, presentation folders and direct mail

Veteran Owned and Operated