The following is a guest post from Ken Macro, author of the February/March Book of the Month, The Future of Print Sales. Below, Ken recalls one company looked “outside of the box” to create a new product and grow their client base.

I was contacted recently by a friend who works for a printing company that has expanded into the wide/grand-format market. As a result of product development, they were able to obtain a new client (a furniture manufacturer) by creating the “Good Award”—a small Grammy-like desktop award custom-printed for the company to distribute to employees who have gone above and beyond their assigned roles by helping out their colleagues.

The awards were ganged up on a wide-format printer, mounted to foamcore, and then cut out using a Kongsberg cutting table. A crosspiece is slotted at the base of the award to allow it to stand on one’s desk, and it sports the face of the owner of the furniture company that says, “Thanks for being so Good.” As a result, the company is now exploring other printed matter for both their internal and external clientele.

The printing company’s sales force has reportedly been able to leverage the “Good Award” into gaining access into other new businesses in their area.  The uniqueness of this particular product is that it challenges the traditional roles often stereotyped through the psyche of the potential print buyer. Instead of asking for big volume printing, the salesperson presents a new product idea that is potentially needed—and therefore deemed valuable—by the buyer.

What makes this so interesting is that the buyer didn’t even know they needed this product. That is what we—in the industry—must now do, create products that people do not know they need. They know that they need marketing collateral and, as a result, seek to find the least expensive means in which to cast their message. What they didn’t know they needed was a product to assist them in enhancing the morale of their employees.

For more fresh ideas and step-by-step guidance on launching new products within your organization, visit Enjoy a 15% discount when purchasing this title before 3/31/2013. Use the discount code MACRO at checkout.