Advertising A Stationery And Newspaper Store
( Originally Published 1902 )
This may be a small business, but do not forget that no matter how inconspicuous may be the business it can be expanded under the genial influence of advertising.
The manner in which the business itself is conducted is a capital advertisement. The wider this manner is known the greater increase will this business experience.
Let us consider how to make it known.
I know a young man-a boy in fact—in a small town in the central part of New York state, who owns a small station. ery and newspaper store. His business profits are not large, enough to warrant his advertising in the local paper save on state occasions—which occur about four times a year. These occasions are when he opens a new line of stationery, or school supplies, or adds some new periodicals. Then his ads are brief, but bright-very bright!
He has a printing press in a back room of his store and -nearly every week he strikes off a lot of small hand-bills which he distributes when he and his younger brothers are distributing papers on his route. These hand-bills are excellent. I put in three weeks there last summer on my vacation and never saw.one in the gutter or lying in the street. They were well distributed and I believe were well read. Each gave a crisp, convincing talk some reasons why his store should be patronized, which talk was followed up by items and prices—just as the most experienced retailer would do.
His business is constantly increasing. He told me that while he gave a lot of credit to his business methods he also believed that his advertising alone had much to do with the growth of his patronage.
There is a suggestion in this young man's efforts that other stationers and newsdealers can study with profit.
Stationers who appeal to men and women of discrimination and intellegence can pick up some valuable hints from the manner in which the Edward J. Merriam Co., New York, advertise the latest styles in writing paper. In fact, printers and others who wish to advertise in an attractive, out-of-the-way style, can get ideas from the advertising of this concern. Once upon a time they issued a booklet entitled " Fancy Fabrics for Fastidious Folks," the sheets of which were bound with a cord—and of each leaf there was a large leaf and a leaf of half the size of the other. The small leaves contained the following notes, each printed in inks that harmonized with the papers:
" How does this new color strike you? Asale. ` Looks as clear as morning roses, newly washed in dew.' And this is not so bad either. Franciscan. A little more subdued if that's what pleases you the better. Ah! and here is Celestial. Did you ever see a more delicate shade? Just think of office stationery ruled and printed in dark blue on this paper. Another delicate shade, Heliotrope. ` Chaste and pleasing to the eye and modest withal.' Rather somber and heavy this, but Mazarin, printed or stamped in dark blue, is odd and tasteful, and touches a chord of harmony within the human breast.' Now here we have something a trifle different—Opalesque—which helps to make up the assortment. Maybe you don't like tinted paper. Well, here it is in Pearl White. ` As pure as the snow on Himalaya's mountains.' This Elite Superfine will appeal to the lover of kid finished pure rag stock, so scarce now-a-days. Yet, if you prefer the same paper with smooth surface, we can please you.`For two minds alike doth seldom meet.'"
How eminently superior is this sort of advertising to a bare catalogue These sentences are reproduced as being clever, and there is no reason why they should not furnish hints to printers and stationers, paper men as well as advertisers in general.