Business, Customers stories, Inspiration, Marketing
#helloprinted: The versatility of print
At Helloprint we see our customers as partners and we love to help them to their journey to the top. We love chatting with them to get a glimpse into all the awesome projects they have been up to. Recently, we spoke with Jeremy Bond, one of the founders of Muro, a company on a mission to keep children engaged in the physical world around them.
Tell us a little bit about Muro.
Muro is a company that’s been around for about two years. We make educational activity centres that are modular. The idea is that people are able to buy toys that can grow up with their children, rather than having to be replaced, it’s all about fighting use of plastic and increasing the longevity of toys, whilst at the same time providing something that is custom to kids and engaging, because it helps them develop key skills for the physical world.
What’s your most important aim as a company?
We’ve got three principles, as a company we try to be ‘open’, ‘sustainable’ and ‘playful’. Those are our three guiding philosophies. We think it’s very important to be sustainable and we try to achieve this by decreasing the impact of the materials we use and increasing the function of the ones we do use.
The wood we use is all rubber wood, which is actually a waste material that is a by-product of the latex industry. It is grown for 25 years for the latex industry and traditionally it is burnt, but it actually makes for very good toys.
The play aspect is a very important part of our philosophy. It’s an activity that allows children to learn very quickly, because learning is linked directly to how engaged they are with whatever they’re doing. What is important to maintain that level of engagement, we do that through the modularity and novelty of the product.
In regard to ‘open’, we always try to include our customers as much as possible in the design process, so that we can create products they want. At the moment we use Instagram to do that. For example, if I am doing design work, I’ll put up poles, take suggestions, etc.
What’s your advice for companies that want to become more sustainable?
When it comes to sustainability we are all trying to do difficult things. I would say to be mindful about every step of the process and think whether something is necessary or not.
“Just because there is an established way of doing things, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a better way to do it.”
How do you use print products for your business?
We incorporate print mainly as part of the product delivery itself. We use print, because a lot of the conversation around Muro is getting people to engage with non-digital media, mainly when it comes to children, but extending the conversation to parents as well. So print fits with the brand there. However, because it is paper materials, I would say that print needs to be done intelligently.
“One thing I like about printed products is that they have a certain versatility to them.”
I try to make mine multipurpose. For example, what we are doing for our next promotional campaign is designing discount cards that also become products. It’s in process still, but essentially we are developing a way for parents to easily create little add ons to their children’s Muro boards.
Once you used the discount code and you don’t need the card anymore anymore, if we are going to be using paper, we need to ensure we make the most out of it. It’s frustrating, we know it’s another bit of rubbish that most likely won’t be recycled.
“An easy way to be sustainable is to increase the functions of something, if you don’t have the option to reduce the amount of material.”
Another thing we did was on my last production round, I made lots of notebooks, which on the back of them had something called the Muro exam. I wanted to give a discount to customers who are invested in our philosophy, so I sent people a drawing test, on which they had to practice drawing circles and other random shapes to get the discount code. We did that because children learn through modelling, so if you get parents to be creative, then children would be too.
Why did you chose Helloprint as your supplier?
I thought you were very reasonably priced, quick delivery and a good service overall. I had heard of you before and when your website appeared in google search I remembered. I was just impressed by your digital marketing, I could tell you were putting a lot of effort into it, which made a good impression on me.
What makes Muro special?
The product itself is completely original, me and my brother worked on it together, so I have a very special connection to it, as do the designer and now the manufacturer, who are also connected to every part of the business.
“It’s a very personal business, which makes it very special, and I think customers pick up on that, they are interested in our story.”
A lot of what people hope to do, we have been able to do, in the sense that we had an idea and we launched it, without the backing of a company or lots of money at the beginning. It’s really an underground story, if you will.
What does the future hold for you?
Who knows. This year we are going to be looking to increase the team, develop more products and carry on the momentum. We had a great last year, picked up lost of awards, which was unexpected, but fantastic and now we are looking more into developing the business.
Lastly, what is your number one tip for print marketing?
“Make it original and relevant to your brand.”