Thirty years ago, I worked for a design boutique, where I was tasked with creating promotional materials that were “too big to file and too pretty to throw away”. The logic was that, if our designs were worthy of the customer’s desks or walls, our branding and messaging would work overtime. That was our secret sauce.
As a marketer, I’m aware of the fact that a print calendar can do the same thing, because it has year-long functionality. But my YEAR IN THE CITY calendar was designed to hang around even longer than most. By trimming three inches off the bottom of each page, buyers can hang – or share – prints for a lifetime.
Just 18 months after launching A YEAR IN THE CITY, I am fortunate to have a presence in 27 St. Louis area stores. When I “shop” my calendar to a new store owner, I explain that it can be marketed even after the season has passed. Come February, I’ll collect unsold calendars and recast them as individually signed and packaged prints for the shop to sell. This brings added value to store owners and year-round visibility to my brand.
Much in the same way, A YEAR IN THE CITY gives the consumer 12 opportunities to draw more value from their calendars, because individual prints can be used to regift someone else.
If you’ve ever taken part in a white elephant exchange, “regifting” may have a negative connotation for you. But I maintain that, if a gift resonates with its intended, it is valuable, no matter the cost – or the lack of it. And I love that! In our throw-away culture, I love the idea that a print of St. Louis may move freely about – from one home or office to another, from one city to another. It may accompany a gift or a prize. It may get packaged with a business proposal. There’s really no telling where it will end up.
But with that print goes a story. And with that story, goes the brand. And with that brand may someday come another customer. Somewhere in the chain of repackaging, repurposing, and regifting, meaningful connections can be made.