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The Visualogistix Blog

Informational content about the marketing, restaurant and retail industries. Newsworthy stories and ideas. Knowledgeable inputs from our team. Informative, interesting, and insightful – the Visualogistix blog.

Written by Maria Brock

A few decades ago, we all watched as the small, locally owned shops on Main Street closed and the big box retailers opened on the outskirts of town. As consumers, we supported the change, finding ourselves (with a little guilt) strolling the aisles aimlessly, picking up lower cost goods, and tolerating homogenized service.

These big-box stores seemed to fit perfectly with our often busy and hectic lifestyles. They offered a one-stop shop where we could easily pick up groceries, toiletries, and entertainment, all in one short trip on the way home from the office.

As we inch closer towards the holiday season, marketers everywhere are eagerly working on perfecting their holiday marketing campaigns. Restaurant marketers are figuring out the best ways to promote their seasonal food and beverages and retail marketers are brainstorming best practices for broadcasting their sales and holiday specials to their customers.

Let's face it: creating and implementing these campaigns is stressful for the marketers in our lives. Not only are they the brains behind the development of these campaigns, but they also have to worry about how their franchisees will order new marketing materials and how they will be customized for various franchise locations.

And that's before they can even worry about their campaign's measured success.

The solution to this problem is simple: marketing asset management.

In today's competitive retail and restaurant environments standing out is everything. Clever marketers and operators are increasingly looking for ways to transform their physical locations, whether it be by incorporating creative and trendy furniture and decorations into their design strategy or creating a soundtrack of popular music that plays throughout the space.

Another way for these creative types to transform their physical retail or restaurant space is through the use of wall graphics. Wall graphics will help ensure a strong brand presence and help to capture customers' attention and imagination.

Restaurants are increasingly looking for ways to become more innovative, creative, and diverse. With all the competition in this marketplace, it may be hard to stand out to your customers. However, an easy way to do this is by implementing creative, engaging, and changeable signage and menu boards in your restaurants.

The first thing that may come to mind when the words "engaging" and "changeable" are brought up is digital signage. Although this method of information delivery is highly buzzed about and has been proven to have a high ROI, it can be initially very expensive and may not be a feasible choice for many franchises. A more affordable way to achieve the creativity, engagement, and changeability that digital signage lovers crave is through the use of visual magnetics.

Visual magnetics are exactly what they sound like. Large (or small) magnetics that are printed with your promotional materials or menu boards directly onto the magnetic material. They can be used for full menu boards, promotional material throughout the restaurant, or even only on the pricing section of your current menu boards, making it an especially cost-effective visual for franchises with multiple price points in multiple locations.

Retail Infographic

Although online shopping is becoming more and more popular, customers still enjoy the experience of shopping in a brick-and-mortar store and physically interacting with the items they wish to purchase. Retail brands must observe and keep up with signage trends to remain relevant and exciting to in-store shoppers. Download the full infographic to learn more about the importance to signage in retail stores.

Restaurant Infographic

Your customers will judge your brand before even tasting your food based on the look and feel of your store environment and the ease of navigating the ordering process. Combining creative use of print and smart use of the latest digital technology can not only enhance customer's enjoyment of your restaurant, but help boost your bottom line. Download the full infographic now to see how you can add signage to the menu.

Cross Media Infographic

It's important to put your message and brand directly in the hands - and in front of the eyes - of your important customers. An easy and cost-effective way to achieve this goal is through cross media marketing. Download the full infographic to see how you can effectively engage with cross media marketing.

Digital Signage Infographic

Today's technology allows brand messaging to connect with customers in a more focused, relevant way. Whether a brand is changing messaging based on day part, season, inventory availability or audience awareness facial recognition technology, digital signage is the solution for targeted marketing needs. Download the full infographic to see how you and your brand can take advantage of today's digital signage technology.

Print Signage Infographic

Print is the most cost effective option for longer term brand messaging. Simple steps, such as localizing images and messaging, can make a brand more relevant to local customers, boosting sales and profits and encouraging brand loyalty. Download the full infographic to discover how the power of print can help you and your business.

The loss of relevance for brick and mortar stores may seem like a self-fulfilling prophecy for some.

As in-store customer counts decrease due to online shopping, banking, and ordering, retailers are beginning to opt towards self-serve POS systems to reduce labor costs. Regardless of this improved technology, customers still need a reason to come in. And that reason is usually human interaction, assistance, and positive customer service experiences.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been a buzzword as of late, and rightfully so. According to Cisco, the number of “things” currently connected to the Internet has surpassed the number of people on Earth. And that number just keeps growing.

So, what exactly are these “things” and how are they connected?

A “thing” is any object that can be assigned an IP address and can transfer data over a network. The data can be transferred via a sensor installed in or on the object or via Wi-Fi connectivity. Examples include smart phone apps that allow users to heat up their showers without leaving their beds, microchips implanted in cattle to let farmers know when they are pregnant or sick, or lift and learn technology implemented in retail stores.

According to Stephanie Miller, VP, member relations, and chief listening officer, of the Direct Marketing Association, 79% of consumers act on direct mail immediately and 40% of consumers said they tried a new business after receiving direct mail. Based on those statistics, why isn’t everyone using direct mail? Part of it is probably because of the incorrect “print is dead” assumption. Part of it is probably because e-mail can be easier to design and deliver in today’s technology-driven world. Another part (the most significant part) may be because creating a vibrant and creative direct mail piece takes time — something a lot of marketers don’t have in today’s day and age. Here are three tips guaranteed to make your direct mail pieces pop. Use this list as a reference for your next direct mail campaign to save yourself a little bit of time and get rid of those pesky creative headaches:

The digital signage revolution is here. It may seem as if every time you enter a restaurant a new digital menu board is displayed or every time you walk through the doors of a retail store a new video wall has popped up. The question on everyone’s minds is, will digital signage technology replace print signage?

Thankfully, the answer is no. In fact, when partnered together, these two visual mediums can create innovative, unique, and engaging marketing materials. Something neither print nor digital could accomplish on their own.

After much anticipation, we are proud to premiere our new promotional video, showcasing the wide range of solutions and services that Visualogistix has to offer.

The video was filmed in our Houston Production and Fulfillment Center, one of the most action-packed Visualogistix locations in the nation. The stars of the video are actual Visualogistix team members who are experts at speaking about all the ways that we can help take your marketing strategy to the next level.

The state of New York recently announced that they would raise the minimum wage for fast food workers to $15 per hour, more than a 70 percent increase from the state’s current minimum wage of $8.75 per hour. The mandate will apply to all workers in fast food restaurants that are part of a chain of 30 or more establishments.

Fast food franchisees are worried, and rightfully so.

According to EPI, 70 percent of franchisees said they would be very likely to raise their prices in response to this mandate. 85 percent said they were likely to reduce employee hours. And 45 percent said they would either be very likely or somewhat likely to close their restaurants in response to the mandate.

According to Nielson Research, digital signage is the fastest-growing marketing and communications medium in the world, second only to the Internet.

Digital signage is all around us. In the stores that we love and the restaurants we frequent. Even in the back of the cabs that we take home from the airport.

It’s worth learning about for many reasons. It’s exciting, it’s fresh, it’s new. And the possibilities of what you can do with digital signage are endless.

Here are three reasons why we love digital signage (and you should, too).

On July 9, 2015 the FDA announced they would push back the requirement for calorie counts to appear on menus until December 1, 2016. The deadline had originally been set for December 1, 2015.

Menu Boards icon

The FDA indicated they are extending the deadline after restaurants and other retailers expressed the need for more time to put the new rules in place as well as train workers, install menus and menu boards, and develop software for more efficient and specific calorie label displays.

Currently, the law requires that calorie counts be posted on menus or menu boards at companies with 20 or more locations. The FDA has estimated the law could affect 1,640 chains around the country, with a total of 278,600 locations.

What does this mean for restaurants nationwide? More time = more creative menu options.

A few days ago, the NYC Dept. of Health voted to consider the proposal that all chain restaurants add a salt-shaker-like symbol on menus next to products that contain more than 2,300 mg of sodium. Initiatives in other areas consider warnings about high sugar content, artificial sweeteners, MSG, gluten, and GMOs. Nationally, we are just finishing the addition of calorie count to our menus.

As information requirements on menus continue to expand, we may reach the point of information overload. Like those pharmaceutical ads on TV, will we struggle to focus on the beautiful food photography while a soundtrack of risks plays in the background? (may cause…dizziness, nausea, or depression)