What is the Vistaprint RV?
Vistaprint is on the road this summer connecting with customers— one mile at a time — to see how America does small business.
Over the course of 25 weeks, the Vistaprint RV is traveling across the country, staffed with employees, to learn more about small businesses and the marketing techniques that keep them going.
To see whether we’re headed to a town near you, see the schedule here: http://ontheroad.vistaprint.com/
I recently got to spend a few days on the Vistaprint RV in Washington, D.C. Here’s what I learned:
1. Vistaprint Businesses Come in All Shapes and Sizes
From a police officer to a notary, from a confectionery with global distribution to an accessories shop that sells at local craft fairs, the businesses of our customers come in all shapes and sizes. We like to think in terms of industries, personas, and clusters, but when you’re working side-by-side with customers, you realize just how unique each business is.
Our customers each have different needs, different hopes, and different dreams and it was great to be a small part of the solution in my time on the RV.
2. You Can Get a Lot Done in an Hour
My time on the RV was a whirlwind. One minute I’d be helping a customer reorder a modified version of their business cards, the next I’d be helping a new-to-Vistaprint individual with their first website on my team’s website product.
But one thing was consistent, in the right hands, the tools and products we provide our customers can be used to build a wide variety of products at incredible speed. I was impressed how quickly I could pull together, from scratch, matching business cards, postcards, and a website for a customer, getting their entire business off the ground in less than an hour!
3. Customers Are Looking for a Brand, Not a Product
We like to think about products a lot at Cimpress: Can we print on this? Merchandise that? How big is the market for x? How can we launch 1000’s of new products per month?
In my time on the RV, it’s clear that our customers don’t usually think on a product-level. Rather, they think about their brand and how our products connect with and support that brand. Once they trust Vistaprint, they prefer to think about the goals they have for their business and look to us to suggest the means to achieve those aspirations.
We’re a trusted partner in building their brand and we should take that responsibility seriously.
4. Physical Presence Has a Lot of Power
After my time on the RV, I’m a strong believer in the power of physical as a complement to digital. Based on what I observed from our physical presence with the RV, our customers and even non-customers were incredibly receptive.
They loved the ability to feel the products before ordering, they appreciated the design help and advice, and they enjoyed sharing more about their business with someone who cared about helping it succeed.
5. We Can Do Just About Anything for a Small Business
On the RV, we provided not only full access to the Vistaprint and Promotional Products catalogs, but also professional headshots, demos of our digital products, and advice from members of the Vistaprint Marketing, Product, Design, Development, and Merchandising groups.
With this “dream team” and essentially limitless product portfolio, there was no request that we couldn’t fulfill for the small business owners who stopped by. It was incredibly empowering to be able to offer this value to individuals who stopped by and all for free!
My time on the Vistaprint RV was incredible and I encourage you to stop by and visit as we travel across the country to learn more about what we’re doing to help small businesses.
Check out my first book, Building Digital Products at www.buildingdigitalproducts.com
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