Bottom Line Up Front: For the AP Design team, sticking to one thing never cut it. They took their commitment to offering diverse, high-quality services and applied it to helping their community in a time of crisis. We break down the 3 (!) initiatives they started below.
Today’s Spotlight examines how the Here for Good movement, which was first created by an InkSoft customer more than six weeks ago, is still continuing to gain traction and make a difference for communities that let it in.
Whether it’s a screen printer that follows the Here for Good formula to a T, a screen printer that takes the Here for Good foundation and turns it into something unique, or a screen printer that combines the Here for Good formula with other initiatives for maximum impact, we continue to be blown away by the effort we’re seeing.
Oh — and all of the returns we’re seeing with it.
We know that the weeks have been passing, and that the uncertainty is still every bit as prevalent as it was when this all started.
But we also know we’re closer to the end of the tunnel, and that if we keep sticking together, if we keep doing our part to ease the plight of others, then we’ll emerge in much better shape.
Today’s feature takes that notion in stride. This can-do screen printer is using all it’s got to make every campaign — including its Here for Good fundraiser — as impactful as possible. If you’re not blown away by the innovation you see today, we’ll be more than a little surprised.
So, without further ado, join us in giving a warm welcome to today’s Spotlight: AP Design and the Here for Good MN campaign!
It starts with values
For Nancy and Brian Kor, the owners of this Minnesota-based full service design and print company, customers always came first.
Regardless of the type of service they were giving — whether they were creating awards, designing apparel, or producing promo products and signage — the Kors wanted to make sure that the effort and care taken to ensure the customer was happy was always the same.
AP Design was built on the belief that every customer deserves the same respect, and that the focus of every project is the customer.
From inception to execution, design to print, the whole AP Design team was dedicated to providing the most value possible, every step of the way. And it was that level of commitment — that level of thoughtfulness — that set the team up to conjure unity in the face of crisis.
Here for Good, Minnesota edition
In the first week of April, when local businesses were really starting to feel the panic, the AP Design team was hard at work, designing a campaign that would bring some much needed relief.
“We’re adapting it for our state,” Brian told a local news source, referring to the Here for Good movement that had already seen ample success in other parts of the country.
The week before, he’d gotten on the phone and called all of his customers, inviting them to take part in the initiative. They’d get to choose their t-shirt color and simple design, and the AP Design team would create the t-shirts, showcasing them in a custom online store.
The customers and fans of each of the local businesses would then be able to visit the site and buy a t-shirt — and since $10 from every purchase goes directly back to the local business, it was a direct route to showing support.
For the local businesses that hopped on board, it was a no-brainer. Brian was offering to design, showcase, and print the sold t-shirts at no cost to the businesses, and they would be able to earn money even while their normal operations were on pause.
At a time when every business was hurting, and when a community was forced apart by social distancing, the Here for Good MN store was a real way of helping out — and bringing people together.
There are 80 different t-shirts available for purchase in the Here for Good MN online store, which means that there are 80 different local businesses being directly helped by this initiative.
From Andy’s Body Shop to Falls Boutique, from Marshall Floral to Sportsmen’s Barbershop, the businesses involved differ in just about every way. But what brings them together — their urgent need to be supported by the community they’ve serviced for years — is what makes this campaign work.
Community members can visit the store, scroll through the t-shirts, and recognize that their favorite salons, auto repair shops, and breweries are going through the same tough period as they are. And then they can do something about it.
With more than $28,800 already raised, it’s clear that the community is showing up. And, with the AP Design team still welcoming new local businesses into the fold, this is only the beginning.
Never sticking to just one
When AP Design first started out in the “˜90s, it was a business centered around producing trophies and awards. The company has steadily expanded to where it is now, offering four more pillars of service opportunities: apparel, promo products, signage, and online solutions.
Just like they’re able to offer their customers a wide range of services, so too were the Kors interested in offering their community different ways to unite amid the pandemic.
The Here for Good MN store was an excellent jumping-off point, and it’s still working to bring incredible returns to businesses who need them — but it wasn’t looking at other groups in the community who needed some support too.
Students, for instance.
The AP Design team knew that, like everything else that requires group congregation, high school graduations would be canceled (or postponed).
The students who worked so hard to complete their education and receive their diplomas wouldn’t get the chance to be recognized as those before them had.
So, instead of dwelling on the problem, they got to work on a solution. Using their signage capabilities (and InkSoft technology to design and sell), AP Design was able to create an online store where families of the graduates could purchase a personalized sign.
These signs include the school name and the graduate’s name, with “Class of 2020 Senior” written — and a graduation cap added — for good measure.
Looking to the future
But that wasn’t all the AP Design team had up their sleeves. They also designed products that were oriented around helping local businesses re-open as smoothly as possible.
These products, from floor decals reading “Stay Safe! 6 Feet Apart” to window signs announcing “We Are BACK!” work to prepare these businesses for functioning in a post-pandemic world. Not only is this online store practical, but it also helps businesses convey the message that they care about their customers — just like AP Design cares about its customers.
So, as you can see, AP Design really is a full-service business — in every sense of the term. It’s working to provide as much value to its community as it can through a diverse offering of products, but it’s also working to unite the community as one that cares.
About local businesses who are hurting.
About graduates who aren’t getting the celebrations they deserve.
And about public health and safety, well after doors and businesses re-open.
For each of its initiatives, AP Design relied on InkSoft’s technology to design products, showcase them in online stores, and streamline the overall e-commerce experience — for buyer and seller.
If you haven’t started a campaign or joined one that’s already rolling yet, what are you waiting for? With your capabilities and our tools, the process couldn’t be easier — and we’re here to help with any questions you have.
We can’t wait to see what kind of difference you make in your community. We’re rooting for you, now and always.
The InkSoft Team