The Newsletter Pro - April 2017

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Second, you have to create an experience your customers will want to return to. We aren’t just talking about amazing customer service (which is important). They created what they called a “third home” community in their cafe. When their

On one side, you have Coca Cola, who increased their marketing budget in 2016 by a whopping $1 billion, bringing it to about $4 billion annually. You also have McDonald’s — $1 out of every $6 spent on restaurant advertising in the U.S. is spent by the Golden Arches. Then there’s Starbucks, becoming one of the most globally recognized brands without the use of ads. They pulled it off by understanding two things: First, you have to have a quality product that is worth talking about. When the first mom and pop Starbucks opened in Seattle’s Pike Place Market in 1971, they brought in high-quality Italian coffee that was supposed to be the best in the world. It was good enough for customers to tell their friends about that place with the latte they were “absolutely addicted to.” To this day, they strive for quality as they expand, which companies like McDonald’s sacrificed as it expanded. Why are kids who are too young to remember cassettes obsessed with vinyl? Why are magazines thriving in the digital world? Why do “real things” matter? These are the questions that drove David Sax to research the resurgence of analogue technology — a project that led to his superb new book, “The Revenge of Analogue.” Sax begins by acknowledging that digital technology, from iPhones to MP3s, has fundamentally changed how we live as a species. “But,” he writes, “digital’s gain was not without sacrifice." He saw this sacrifice early on, at a dinner party that fizzled when everyone was more interested in their phones than each other. Enter “analogue,” defined simply as “the opposite of digital.” Instead of 1s and 0s, analog has physical presence. Instead of hitting a button to send information to an iPod, which then sends information to your speakers, you set a needle into a groove on a record — and let simple physics do the rest. Most analog devices don’t require electricity, never mind

customers returned again and again, it had just as much to do with the atmosphere as it did with the coffee. It worked better than expected — and still does. The average Starbucks customer visits six times a month, and a whopping 20 percent visit every other day. That’s loyalty you can’t buy with a traditional marketing budget.

magazines.” That’s because they don’t really exist. Coca Cola proves that no company is too large to advertise — Starbucks proves that no company can buy word-of-mouth advertising. Your business can do the same thing. Providing a product good enough for people to tell their friends and family about will ensure new customers, as will providing an aesthetic people want to share. It’s not opinion — as Clarke said, it’s nature.

You might be thinking to yourself, “Come to think of it, I never see Starbucks billboards or ads in

BOOK REVIEW Old Tech Strikes Back! David Sax’s ‘The Revenge of Analogue’

the internet. A mechanical typewriter is analogue. Your laptop is decidedly not. And here’s the twist: Analogue is more popular than ever. In his book, Sax describes walking down the street in the middle of the digital age and finding thriving analogue businesses — film photography, handmade watches, fountain pens, and more.

camera. The companies Sax examines are bringing the past into the present. And they’re using digital tech to do it — including crowdfunding and the latest social media marketing to sell analogue products. Sax puts it best. “Reality is multicolored,” he writes. “It smells funny and tastes weird … and the best ideas emerge from that complexity, which remains beyond the capability of digital technology to fully appreciate.” As an analogue company bringing print newsletters to the digital world, we can’t recommend “The Revenge of Analogue” enough. Although, we hope you won’t use an e-reader to check it out, because there’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh print on paper pages!

Sax takes a look at all these industries and more in this book, concluding that the analogue-digital dichotomy is not a question of replacement. Yes, you can now do everything your old camera can do with a digital one. On the other hand, the one thing that your digital camera can’t do is take photos on physical film. And if that’s what you want, then you’re going to use an analogue film


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