The entire process begins from canvassing for tenant participations, products collection, product and mall photography, design concept, illustrations, design and layout of 20 booklets (one per mall), printing and production to final delivery and SingPost distribution coordination - all completed within three months. This wasn’t completed without challenges as it is a project beyond just design but also requires excellent project management, people skills and great coordination to ensure everything went well and smooth sailing.
Thanks to the extra help from our first-time Account Executive intern, Ng Guo Bin from National Technological University, who was here for a two-month stint with us, the project was completed successfully. As part of the project management team, we got Guo Bin to share his two cents worth:
The first challenge is to get the shops on board. Just for the record, there are almost 800 over shops in these 20 malls, and we need at least 300 of them to participate. As regular mom and pop stores, coupled by the age-group of the tenants mostly in their late forties and fifties, not all of them are receptive to the idea of promotions and marketing, as they were sceptical of how far this will help them in their business. Hence, it was initially difficult to get their buy-in. However, after hearing from their perspective and speaking to them, many were encouraged. We managed to gather 343 promotions in from 20 malls.
Expect the Unexpected
The second challenge is to get the promotion and the image right so that we can communicate accurately in our design for the shop owners to approve their promotion coupon. Most of these shop owners are in their late forties and fifties, who are mainly chinese-speaking and not well-versed in using technologies like email or whatsapp. To overcome this, we have to communicate constantly with the owners, through phone calling, sms-ing and even visit the shop again to have a face to face clarification.
This resulted in extra time outside what we originally planned for in this process. Time management is the utmost important aspect of project management. No plans is fool-proof. If you are able to expect the unexpected, and not be dejected if things did not turn out as planned, then you would not be losing sleep over it.
Design & Printing is More than Meets the Eye
The third challenge is the design and printing part. As part of the agreement, we have to come up with each individual colour for each mall’s booklet. With the limited number of colours, our designer has creatively used different shades of the colours to make up the number in the pastel palette. To make things more challenging, the paper used was kraft paper, specially selected to give the booklet a vintage “old school” feel. Unlike printing on standard white paper, the colours printed on craft paper will vary slightly. To overcome this, our designer and our printer have to make adjustments constantly to achieve the desired colours and effect! Hence, it is really more than what we laymen usually take it for granted that how these printed brochures are being produced.
Putting All Together
To sum up this post, I will share one of my takeaway from this project. There always bound to be obstacle along the way, no point losing sleep over it. You just need to know your end goal and work towards it, the ‘how’ will come eventually.
Together with the whole Concept Lab team, the project was completed within the stipulated project timeline. Kudos to them!