Platinum - Direct Mail Thinking Outside the Box
As a leading manufacturer of visual equipment, NEC Technologies, Itasca, Ill., worked with a few hundred distributors and was finding it difficult to meet the needs of all its clients. As a result, NEC decided to divide its clients into two categories—first- and second-tier distributors. The first tier would be comprised of five value-added distributors to whom NEC would sell its products. The second-tier distributors would be smaller clients.
NEC decided that the best way to service both levels of distributors was to support the first tier, which would sell to the second tier. The company's plan involved putting together a kit that introduced the five first-tier players and helped the second tier decide with which company to align. However, it was crucial that in the process the second tiers weren't made to feel like they were being abandoned.
"This was a serious endeavor, not only for NEC, but for the five resellers as well. It changed how the needs of the second tier, would be met," said Matthew Theis, an account manager for Shamrock, Westlake, Ohio. "Our task was to find a way to provide something that didn't appear as though the preferred indirects were being deserted."
After speaking with NEC, the team at Shamrock set out to find the perfect solution. "We thought there must be a way to organize the information so that it would have a better impact," said John Bennett, art director.
Shamrock knew that the kit needed to be durable and recognizable to NEC clients, and representative of the five major distributors. "We decided that we could construct something that would fit their needs and hold up on the shelves," said Dave Larson, creative director.
After the necessary criteria, the team began to design the kit. Danielle Rini, a designer at Shamrock, put the box together. The final product was a file folder-type box with a pocket for each company. In the front of the file folder was a spiral- bound booklet, detailing facts about each company.
"NEC took what could have been a negative experience and put a positive spin on it. It was careful to emphasize that the second tiers weren't losing NEC, and it was great being part of that," said Theis.
Manufacturer: Box, Marketing 4, Elmherst, Ill.; Booklet, Galley Printing, North Royalton, Ohio.
By Sarah Lerow