brandenergy Insights for brand builders from

The Brand Energy blog is ALitho's take on marketing in a competitive world and how we can do it better together. Every couple of weeks, we'll send you sparks of inspiration on topics ranging from retail merchandising strategies to direct mail ROI to the newest developments in printing technology and their value in building your brand. Look for our thoughts on industry trends, lots of success stories and lessons learned that can help all of us think and work smarter.

ALitho earns 9 new awards from the Great Lakes Graphics Association

Congratulations to the entire American Litho team!   We’ve just been notified that we have won several new awards from the Great Lakes Graphics Association, including 3 best-in-show awards for projects delivered on behalf of our clients in 2016.   The awards ceremony will be held May 24 at Medinah Shrine Center, Addison, Illinois and… [Read More]

Keepin’ it real: why digital natives love print

You’ve heard about the love affair with old-school vinyl recordings. Turns out its main proponents aren’t Baby Boomers grooving on their college album collections. Research from MusicWatch shows this trend is driven by a whole new wave of aficionados under 35, who account for 72% of surging vinyl sales. We believe digital natives (including Millennials)… [Read More]

Are you engaging your customers in real time?

We were blown away by the findings of this recent Accenture survey. Who would have guessed there’d be such a huge gap between what leading U.S. retailers deliver and what shoppers actually want? The survey shows that 47% of all customers want up-to-the-minute information on new products, discounts and special orders while they’re in the… [Read More]

VIDEO: How can we improve your next direct mail campaign?

At American Litho (ALitho), we’re not afraid to take on a challenge. That’s the theme behind this digital case study with Sam Dentino, the latest in a series we will share with you this year. Sam walks us through the process of reworking a direct mail piece, coming up with creative, cost-effective ways to manufacture… [Read More]

VIDEO: Why all-in pricing makes sense for our direct mail clients

Print costs alone won’t tell you the whole story when it comes to evaluating the total cost-efficiency of your direct mail campaign. That’s why American Litho now offers all-in cost estimates for brands that want to see the bigger picture. This approach takes into account every step involved in creating your mailing, from list cleansing… [Read More]

Perspectives on the USPS rate rollback

Unless Congress or the courts intervene, a postal rate surcharge in place since January 2014 will be rolled back on Sunday, April 10, giving us the first rate decline in nearly a century. Sounds like great news for direct marketers, right? And in many ways it is. But what about the Postal Service’s claim that… [Read More]

VIDEO: How can we improve your next campaign?

Making promises is easy. Delivering takes a lot more work. That’s the theme behind this video case study with Brian Johnson, the first in a series we will share with you this year. Brian explains the process of diving deeper into the details of a catalog mailing, looking for every possible way to manufacture and… [Read More]

Don’t forget your mail carrier!

One of my favorite holiday shows is the Rankin/Bass TV special “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.” I love the show’s narrator, Special Delivery Kluger, voiced by the unforgettable Fred Astaire.  S.D. is a friendly mailman whose delivery truck is actually a custom snowcat that carries him throughout the North Pole, sharing tales of Santa with the… [Read More]

VIDEO: Why run in circles? We’ve got you covered

A few months back I shared some thoughts on growth with you, explaining why American Litho has expanded at a time when so many others say the printing industry is shrinking. The reasons we’re growing are simple – and they have everything to do with your brand. In a multichannel world, print remains an indispensable… [Read More]

Boot camp for brand builders

Ever heard of the 7 P’s that are part of the preparedness strategy used by the U.S. Marines? It’s all about being ready when the big challenges come your way. Success with any print-based marketing campaign depends on having a detailed map of where you’re headed and the best tools and strategies to help you… [Read More]

Your kind of town for direct mail ROI

Chicago is known for its dazzling skyline, delicious deep-dish pizza and world-class sports teams. But there’s another reason for our fame – one you might know about if direct mail is part of your brand’s success. Our city is a mailing powerhouse, with some 40% of all national campaigns launching within an hour of here…. [Read More]

How hard are ALL your marketing dollars working?

Seeing the big picture across all channels of your marketing program is a constant challenge. That’s why we’re intrigued by a new analytical tool we recently previewed with our U.S. Postal Service representative here in Carol Stream. USPS’ new Marketing Impact Calculator, or MIC, is designed to help any business with $1 million or more… [Read More]

Leveraging the Best Ideas from the National Postal Forum

We came home from last month’s conference in Anaheim with fresh knowledge and ideas that we’re rapidly putting to work for you. Here’s how we’re working with Truman Pope and the American Litho postal logistics team to help you take advantage of the best opportunities. When he wasn’t immersed in courses leading to his new… [Read More]

Multichannel marketing: when you gotta have more cowbell

I know you’ve seen that classic Saturday Night Live skit with Christopher Walken as the crazed music producer who just KNOWS his band’s new recording will go platinum if Will Ferrell can give him more cowbell. Walken is a pretty versatile guy, having appeared in 100+ films and TV shows. He’s one of only 2… [Read More]

Mega-mergers, paper costs and your next print job

If your head is spinning as you watch the ongoing parade of mergers in the paper industry, you’re not alone. We’ve been keeping a close eye on things as the marriage of Verso and NewPage hit the headlines — a deal so big it prompted the U.S. Department of Justice to order the sale of… [Read More]

Web, sheet-fed or digital? What drives the decision now

Clients often come to American Litho for advice on the best way to design and produce a given print project. How exactly do we figure that out? Whether we’re talking about a direct response campaign, a major sales promotion launch or the package for your new consumer product, determining the right press environment is often… [Read More]

What the hockey greats know about building your brand

The closest I’ve ever come to actually playing hockey is the occasional pick-up game with the neighborhood kids every winter. Still, thanks to my famous-sounding name, people often ask if I’m related to Hall of Famer Chris Chelios, the Blackhawks superstar who also helped Team USA win… [Read More]

The magic touch for direct mail results

Your prospects are looking for warmth, sparkle, and excitement — and ALitho is ready to help you deliver. The ideas we’ll share with you here are part of the trend toward multisensory marketing, which is proving its value in direct mail and many related fields. In working with clients all over the country, we’ve proven… [Read More]

An eye-opener in your mailbox

If you’re a direct marketing partner of American Litho, you’ve already seen our colorful mailer asking what’s keeping you up at night. We want to know if you’re worried about the same things we are: How to max out all possible postage discounts every time you mail How to reach prospects with the right offer… [Read More]

Better mailers for bigger response rates

We just mailed something really great to decision-makers at 50 major grocery chains, but we wanted to share it with you, too. If you’re a retailer in any sector and you’re currently using direct mail to boost sales and customer engagement, we think you’ll identify with the challenges in this story. We’re all looking for reduced cycle… [Read More]

Do you have a minute?

Think how many times you hear this question in the course of a business day. Ever noticed how differently you respond, depending on who’s doing the asking? The people we make time for are trusted partners and friends. We know that a quick exchange will help us do our work better, avoid pitfalls or understand… [Read More]