Introducing Amherst Label’s NEW Very Special Agent (not Tony Dinozzio)
Posted by Marketing Manager Ruth Sterling
The Painted Picture
A year ago, Nye and Angela Hornor of Amherst Label went to the TLMI (Tag & Label Manufacturers) show and came home all excited about “painted pictures,” a strategic planning tool introduced by a speaker at TLMI named Cameron Herold. Nye and Angie showed me a sample painted picture—a short movie with music and motivational concepts. I said, “You know, we could make one of those In I-movie.” Amherst Label’s 2014 painted picture started the Marketing program that is coming to life today.
In the painted picture, Amherst Label is the coolest place in the world to work. We have the most potential of any company I’ve ever been associated with. So when Nye, Nick Dawn, Ruth, Angela and I started having Marketing meetings, I was excited to introduce some new Marketing possibilities. I remember the exact day I realized that the Marketing opportunities for this company were bigger than I could facilitate as an outside consultant. It was Halloween 2014 which happened to be my birthday. I sent Nye a text saying, “I think you need a full-time Marketing director… and I recommend me.” Things came together and on January 1, I started working full-time on making the painted picture dreams come true.
Making the Marketing Map
The first thing we did was develop a Marketing map based on a form I’ve used with countless companies in the past. The map asks questions such as what is the unique thing about Amherst label that no one else offers? Where are our target markets—in what geographies and what industries? Who are our competitors and what do we need to learn from them? We answered all the questions on a three-page document that we now call the Marketing map.
From these exercises a new campaign theme developed which is, “Everything is better with A LABEL.”
We retain the company slogan, “When it comes to labels, we really apply ourselves.” This slogan is a reflection of the unique thing about Amherst Label that no one else has. Super people willing to do their very best to get the job done right. The company slogan is a pun and is clever and is a different way of saying what Amherst Label said for years which was, “Our people make the difference.” You can see how this all builds on itself and comes together in a cohesive way.
Why do we need a Marketing program and why do we need a Marketing director? Because in order to reach the painted picture goals Amherst Label cannot be a well-kept secret anymore. Everyone who could benefit from the products we offer needs to know about us. That is our Marketing mission—to connect with people who need us. Our Marketing challenge is to share information about Amherst Label with people who will benefit from us as a resource.
We have been choosing media, or channels of communication, to get our message out. Job One was to make sure our Website did an adequate and accurate job of representing us. We have been making improvements in this direction.
Developing our Character
Early on we realized one communication tool that could be helpful here is a special character to serve as the face of Amherst label and help teach people about how capable and cool Amherst Label is.
Many of us—including president and vice-president Nick Calvetti and Nye Hornor—are Disney fans and appreciate Disney philosophy and creativity. Disney started with a mouse—a little character that represented qualities of the Disney company.
We decided to give Amherst Label a character to represent the company and to bring a breath of fresh air to our messaging. Often we at Amherst Label are called “the label people” so the idea of a personality made out of labels was starting to form and here’s how he came to life.
You can call him AL
It is a little known fact that young Thomas Hornor, a member of the next generation of the Calvetti line, has some pretty significant artistic ability. He and I went to see an exhibit at the Currier Museum of Art featuring the amazing illustrator Escher. On the way home from that visually stimulating experience, I told Thomas I believed he could draft a character of a little guy made of labels who could represent us in our marketing efforts. I said that the character should represent creativity, industriousness and craftsmanship and be very, very clever and attention-getting. When he got home, while the rest of us were out at the Amherst Label Christmas party, Thomas put pencil to paper and drew the first image of a new character. I loved what I saw and executed his drawing in Illustrator software. I made slight improvements and modifications. And then the real magic happened when the art was sent to Ruth Dichard in Amherst Label’s Design & Prep department. The little guy came to life when he got his sneakers. He started glowing and gleaming in a way that really represented the creativity here, the goodness, the positivity. And he had charm and was immediately lovable.
One January day on the way home from work, I realized that he already had a name in my imagination, the initials of Amherst Label… AL. AL is going to attract attention for us. He is going to be the adorable ambassador of Amherst Label in our communications to the world. So far, he has some wardrobe items and some personality traits but he needs many more. Please feel free to share your AL suggestions about his outfits, his attitude, his vocabulary, etc., and help us round out Amherst Labels‘s very special agent, AL. Thank you!