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Consumer Trends to Help Boost Brand Success in 2018

Posted By: SGK January 10, 2018

To ring in each new year, the world’s leading marketing intelligence agency identifies the key consumer trends that are most likely to influence businesses in markets around the world. For 2018, Mintel is highlighting two intriguing trends that will have a big impact in the U.S. and Canada.

In our next BrandSquare webinar, learn about “Trust Funding” and “Health Yourself” — and what these trends mean for advancing your brand in the year ahead.

Be sure to register now and tune in Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 1-1:30PM ET.

Register now for: Mintel’s 2018 Consumer Trends for North America 

We live in interesting times. But how can you transform interesting into profitable for your brand?

About Stacy Bingle: Stacy Bingle is a senior consumer trends analyst at Mintel. She joined the company in 2013, bringing with her an exciting blend of CPG, agency and marketing experience. Stacy’s time is spent traveling the Americas engaging global clients — from media and agency companies to CPG, beauty and financial services brands — in meaningful discussions around the consumer trends that will propel their businesses forward. A fascination with the dynamic ways consumers think, act and interact motivates Stacy to search the world, observe how trends play out, and continue to hone her market savvy.

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Key Strategies for Winning at the Digital Shelf

Posted By: SGK December 04, 2017

The most successful brands know that the experience consumers have with their products in-store is critical to brand growth. That’s even more true online, where brands need to make sure that their products can be found easily and that their product content creates the right consumer experience to incite purchase.

In our next BrandSquare webinar, SGK’s Uma Kannappan and Bruce Levinson will uncover strategies you can use to move your brand to the top of search results on retailer sites, build engagement, and motivate shoppers to fill their online carts.

Be sure to register now and tune in Thursday, December 14, 2017 at 1-1:30PM ET.

Register now for: Key Strategies for Winning at the Digital Shelf 

Compelling product content creates relevance. We’ll show you how to achieve it!

About Uma Kannappan: Uma brings over 20 years of experience in developing and implementing marketing, digital and e-commerce strategies and technologies to create omnichannel customer engagement. Her experience includes working extensively with clients in various industries and sectors, including consumer products, retail and technology. She has also worked with industry bodies like The Consumer Goods Forum on thought leadership around how CPG manufacturers and retailers can collaborate to create mutual value, foster innovation and drive growth.

About Bruce Levinson: Bruce has been managing, supporting and growing many of the world’s most famous brands for more than 20 years, both as a client and an agency partner. In his current role, he consults with blue-chip CPG and retail companies to accelerate their brand growth and optimize their marketing spend. A classically trained CPG marketer with international experience, Bruce is obsessed by strategies designed to generate new consumer demand in a marketplace transformed by new possibilities.

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Why Brand Engagement Isn’t All About Your Brand

Posted By: SGK November 03, 2017

There is a critical role for creative insight in today’s numbers-driven marketing world. In fact, the most engaging brands have always broken through the statistics to reach a deeper awareness. Consumers aren’t always rational and consistent. But they’re always ready to be surprised and delighted.

It seems counterintuitive, but true brand engagement isn’t always about sticking to your brand’s core messaging, based on market and demographic research.

In our next BrandSquare webinar, presented by Anthem’s Eleanor Dake and Amy Small, learn why your consumers are more than just numbers and break through to their deeper values.

Be sure to register now and tune in Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 1-1:30PM ET.

Register now for: Why Brand Engagement Isn’t All About Your Brand 

This is your opportunity to gain their insights into the creative and strategic processes that tap into unexpected human motivations. Explore inspiring examples and get tips for transforming your own brand.

About Eleanor Dake: Eleanor is responsible for managing Anthem’s client relationships. From her years of experience in the agency environment, her ultimate goal is to ensure that the client and agency team are able to uncover the strategic and creative common ground to develop solutions that drive toward successful consumer engagement. Both as a consumer and as a marketing professional, Eleanor enjoys being surprised by new ideas and finding that sweet spot between the data and the delightful “a-ha” moment!

About Amy Small: Amy Small brings nearly 15 years of creative and strategic experience in traditional and digital advertising, brand development, social content, non-profit support, and .com platform experiences to her role as group creative director for Anthem Atlanta. Her work has been recognized by the Webbys, Effies, Addys and NY Festivals, and she is an active participant in the 3% Movement to bridge the gender gap in creative advertising leadership.

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SGK’s Michael Fox to Present BrandSquare Webinar

Posted By: SGK October 03, 2017

Eighty-two percent of consumers say they’ve used their smartphones in-store to help make purchasing decisions. With SmartLabel™ technology, simply scanning the label takes shoppers directly to all the details about your product and brand.

For today’s hyper-conscious consumers who want to know how their choices will contribute to their wellness and satisfaction, nothing could be easier. Using SmartLabel™ is simple, but implementing it for your brand can be challenging.

In our next BrandSquare webinar, learn how to overcome the barriers and make SmartLabel™ a valuable asset for your brand.

Be sure to register now and tune in Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 1-1:30PM ET.

Register now for Michael Fox’s BrandSquare webinar: How to Successfully Implement SmartLabel™

By 2020, almost every major North American brand will be offering SmartLabel™ technology to support more informed consumer choices. Don’t get left behind.

About Michael Fox: Michael Fox, director of client solutions at SGK, brings 8+ years of experience effecting organizational change with Theory of Constraints and Lean/Six Sigma methodologies. He has a broad-based technical background in system and industrial engineering and product lifecycle management. His projects with SGK include finding workflow efficiencies that benefit world-class brands such as Procter & Gamble, ConAgra, Nike and Heinz.

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Why Empathy-Driven Marketing Works in a Changing Healthcare Marketplace

Posted By: SGK September 06, 2017

How can branding and marketing consultants help healthcare clients shift to a more value-based, consumer-centric model?

In our next BrandSquare webinar, join SGK Health’s Karin E. Bauer, VP, client services and Teresa Diehl, associate creative director, as they discuss one methodology for creating this emotional connection rooted in strategy and brought to life through the right blend of thoughtful deduction, intuitive ideation and attention to detail.  

Be sure to register now and tune in Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 1-1:30PM ET.

Register now for Karin E. Bauer and Teresa Diehl’s BrandSquare webinar: Why Empathy-Driven Marketing Works in a Changing Healthcare Marketplace

Healthcare is an empathy-driven industry. But changes in healthcare information gathering and sharing across systems have created a disconnect between quantity and quality of care.

About Karin E. Bauer: Trained in science and journalism, Karin discovered two developmental cancer therapies before honing her research skills to focus on telling compelling stories about products and organizations that move markets. Karin is a passionate advocate for break-through technologies that transform healthcare for the better. She has led in-house and agency brand strategy communications on healthcare products that have moved markets, and maintains strong ties to the research and health technology communities that are driving the future of healthcare.

About Teresa Diehl: Teresa has worked with some of the world’s leading consumer brands providing breakthrough thinking and elegant design solutions. She believes that leveraging consumer-centric design thinking in healthcare is the key to innovation in an industry undergoing dramatic changes. Teresa’s work has attracted multiple industry awards including a Bronze Pentaward and a Gold Graphis with work featured in Taschen’s Perfect Package series.

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Schawk's Owen Pratt to Address the Power of Photographic Storytelling

August 14, 2017

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, AUGUST 14, 2017 — Schawk, a part of the SGK Brand Solutions group of Matthews International Corporation, announced today that Owen Pratt, creative director, will present The Brand Benefits of a Photographic Memory in a webinar on August 17, 2017, 1:00 P.M. (ET).

Photographic storytelling is far more than an image. It’s a fresh brand impression captured inside the mind’s eye of the consumer. It’s emotive content that can keep your brand alive and well every minute of every day. It’s more than just a reminder. Photographic storytelling can shape consumer decisions.

In celebration of World Photography Day, Owen Pratt will address the power of photographic storytelling for brands and explain how you can put it to work for you, how far photography has come and how further we can all go to take creative content immediately into the open minds of the consumer. Registrations for the August 17th webinar will be accepted up until the 1:00 P.M. (ET) start time at

“The digital age has transformed photography,” said Pratt. “Digital content has changed the way we interact with the world and with each other – the immediacy of the technology has fundamentally changed the speed and the way we make decisions.”

Pratt added: “For brands using photography to message their market, photographic storytelling is a powerful opportunity to connect with your customers and to influence decisions that favor your brand.”

With a background in fine art, painting, design and photography, Owen Pratt has led and inspired creative teams to bring brands to life for nearly 20 years. A passion for always searching for the larger, more impactful story that can be told through images and words, Owen is masterful at achieving the right balance between art and science.

His extensive experience includes work benefiting world-class brands including Nike, Oakley, Jockey, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale’s, The Home Depot, Procter & Gamble, Miller Coors and other industry leaders.

Learn how to leverage photography to reach customers and impact your brands performance, register for The Brand Benefits of a Photographic Memory at

Schawk! produces brand assets and protects brand equities to drive brand profitability. Leveraging its 60+ years of industry leadership, Schawk! identifies and deploys scalable solutions to address a brand's complex production and delivery needs through proven expertise in workflow, resourcing, color management and imaging. Schawk! is part of the brand deployment group of SGK, which is a division of Matthews International Corporation (NASDAQ GSM: MATW). For more information visit: and

Patti Soldavini
SGK Marketing Director
Jennifer Adams
Trade Media Relations

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Schawk’s Owen Pratt to Present BrandSquare Webinar

Posted By: SGK August 01, 2017

Photographs are more than mere images. They represent a powerful opportunity to connect with your customers…and influence their decisions.

In our next BrandSquare webinar, join Owen Pratt, creative director at Schawk Chicago, as he explores the past and future of photography and its potential impact on your brand.

Be sure to register now and tune in Thursday, August 17, 2017 at 1-1:30PM ET.

Register now for Owen Pratt’s BrandSquare webinar: The Brand Benefits of a Photographic Memory

See how far photography has come and how much further we can all go to take creative content immediately into the open minds of the consumer.

About Owen Pratt: With a background in fine art, painting, design and photography, Owen has led and inspired creative teams to bring brands to life for nearly 20 years.

Always searching for the larger, more impactful story that can be told through images and words, Owen is masterful at achieving the right balance between art and science. His commitment to the craft and urge to innovate deliver killer content across channels.

Owen’s extensive experience includes work benefiting world-class brands including Nike, Oakley, Jockey, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale's, The Home Depot, Procter & Gamble, Miller Coors and other industry leaders.

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Explore the New Label Technology That Will Change How People Shop

Posted By: SGK July 17, 2017

Today’s consumers are demanding more information about the food, beverage, personal care and household products they buy. Now you can give them all the information they want where and when they need it — in the aisles of any store, anytime.

The new SmartLabel™ initiative provides complete information about ingredients, nutrition, allergens, social and environmental compliance programs, usage instructions and more. To get the information they want, shoppers can scan the label with their smartphones, do a simple online search, or call a toll-free number.

In our next BrandSquare webinar, join Jim Flannery, senior executive vice president, at the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), as he answers your questions and offers his unique insights into how you can build consumer awareness and confidence in your brand.

Be sure to register now and tune in Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 1-1:30PM ET.

Register now for Jim Flannery’s BrandSquare webinar: SmartLabel™ Technology for Shopper Empowerment and Trust  

More than thirty major CPG manufacturers and retailers have already signed on to the initiative. Should you?

About Jim Flannery: Jim Flannery leads GMA’s Industry Affairs practice, engaging with members and prospective members while helping create services and programs that enhance the value of GMA membership. He also develops collaborative relationships, initiatives and programs with retailers and their trade associations across all retail channels. Jim leads GMA’s work to develop and launch the industry-wide SmartLabel™ transparency initiative, which gives consumers instant information about hundreds of attributes on thousands of food, beverage, personal care, household product and pet care products.

Jim joined GMA in 2013 from after 36 years at Procter & Gamble, where he most recently served as managing director for customer development, P&G Global Operations. While at P&G, Jim also held volunteer leadership positions at GMA, the Food Marketing Institute, ECR–Australasia and ECR–Asia, and played an instrumental role in the creation of the Consumer Goods Forum. A native of New York, Jim holds a B.A. degree in Human Resources Management from Upsala College in East Orange, New Jersey.

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Grocery Manufacturers Association’s Meghan Stasz to Present BrandSquare Webinar

Posted By: SGK June 06, 2017

Consumers throw away 30 to 40 percent of the food they buy, contributing 44 percent of the wasted food that ends up in landfills. Date codes add to the problem, with 15 or more variants that create confusion over whether products are still safe to eat or are at risk for true spoilage. Confusing date codes can also hurt brands as doubtful consumers rethink their choices.

In our next BrandSquare webinar, join Meghan Stasz, senior director, sustainability at Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), as she explains a new product code dating initiative from the GMA. It’s all about providing simple, clear, standardized information that helps consumers buy and use food with confidence.

Be sure to register and tune in June 15, 2017 at 1-1:30PM ET.

Register now for Meghan Stasz’ BrandSquare webinar: Best if Used By: Labeling for Informed Choice, Less Waste  

Even if you’re not in the food business, you’ve probably been there; checking date codes in the grocery aisle, wondering whether you’ll have to throw something out if you don’t eat it all before it “expires.” You’re not alone. Date codes for food freshness can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be that way any longer.

About Meghan Stasz: Meghan Stasz, senior director, sustainability at Grocery Manufacturers Association, works on issues such as waste, water, sourcing, energy and other topics as they pertain to the food, beverage and consumer products industry. Among other initiatives, Meghan is currently leading the Food Waste Reduction Alliance — a cross-industry initiative to reduce food waste sent to landfill and increase food donation to food banks in the U.S. She is also working extensively on packaging and recycling efforts.

Meghan has over 10 years of experience in the environmental sustainability field. Prior to joining GMA, she spent several years with the Environmental Defense Fund, where she was project manager of the organization’s Farm and Food Policy Reform campaign. Meghan received her bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College and her MBA from Boston College.

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Our Guide to Uncovering the Customer Engagement Path

Posted By: SGK May 30, 2017

Customer journey mapping is the process of defining, documenting, and describing all the experiences that customers have as they encounter a service or set of services.

Really, it’s about taking into account two types of experiences:

  • Intellectual
  • Emotional

The journey map includes not only what happens to the customer, but also their responses to the brand experience.

Recently, our Rachelle Sokan, engagement manager of Client Solutions at SGK presented a BrandSquare webinar, where she shared data and best practices of customer journey mapping.

Watch the entire webinar: 4 Insights You Can Unlock by Mapping the Customer Journey  

4 Insights You Can Unlock by Mapping the Customer Journey

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.” – Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Let’s ground ourselves with the facts in journey mapping, and what the research is showing. Bain and Company found that 80 percent of CEOs believe they deliver a superior customer experience, while only 8 percent of their customers agree.

How can we be this off?

Perception and reality is distorted. In fact, according to SiriusDecisions, 67 percent of the buyer’s journey is now done online, digitally. This means customers are experiencing the brand with no human interaction whatsoever. As a brand, work towards engaging with consumers in the digital space and leverage content where you know they’ll be.

As brands create seamless experiences, customers are more likely to return for purchase. Another study by SiriusDecisions notes that 94 percent of customers who have a low-effort service experience will buy from that company again. This is why 86 percent of senior-level marketers agree that it is absolutely critical to create a cohesive customer journey.

Gone are the days of brand loyalty — consumers are more concerned with their immediate needs and what a brand can do for them ‘right now’.

“Everything is about the micro-moment,” says Sokan, “and brands must ensure their content and messaging is relevant in the exact time and space consumers are interacting.”

Here are four steps to successfully map the customer journey:

Step 1: Determine the original intent. With an end-consumer focus, start at the point of client need before any interaction with the brand. Keep in mind; there may be several starting points for each consumer, so it is important to think about where you can find a place to have conversations. Look at the content you have to best determine the original intent of why they started the journey in the first place.

Step 2: Track the actual path. Many times a brand’s perception of where their customer’s journey begins is not reality. Think about all the variables and possibilities for your customer, whether that is through the brand site, word of mouth, in-store, or mobile. This will differentiate based on the each consumer.

Step 3: Consider the customer’s thoughts and feelings. Create a shared understanding of your customer’s wants and needs as they interact with your brand. It’s really important to think abut the thoughts and the feelings your customers are having leading up to interacting with the brand. This may have an impact on how they perceive their experience. 54 percent of consumers share negative experiences with more than 5 people, while only 33 percent of consumers share positive experiences with more than 5 people. Measure these thoughts and feelings — positive, negative, neutral — within your customer journey to track any changes.

Step 4: Benchmark your progress. Benchmarking is the comparison of one’s business processes and performance metrics to industry bests and best practices from other companies. When it comes to journey mapping, there is a lack of public benchmarks to work from. Oftentimes, companies are mapping in some form or fashion, but there’s no body of knowledge or template that can provide example journey maps for specific industries and brands. Start with a baseline and benchmark from where you currently stand to make measurable improvements.

“Nobody knows your customer like you do,” says Sokan.

To start customer mapping, first, identify the journey. When you’re thinking about identifying a journey, look at two variables:

  • Does this add value to the company?
  • Does this fulfill a customer need?

To be successful, you have to be somewhere in the middle of those variables. Secondly, utilize personas; a semi-fictional representation of the ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. Depending on the brand, you may use a different method of segmenting customers, however, this needs to be fact-based, on real people.

If you’re not already mapping the customer journey, you are missing out on valuable insight about your customer and the opportunity to unlock improvements to your product or service.

To learn more about customer journey mapping, download: 4 Insights You Can Unlock by Mapping the Customer Journey