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    Infographic: What your brand colours say about your business

    We came across this cool infographic on colour psychology in business via sgentrepreneurs on pinterest. Being strong believers in the power of colour ourselves, we thought it was a creative way to demonstrate how colour can and should be used effectively in business communication. How are the world’s top brands using colour in their logos? What do your brand colours say about you? How do consumers react to certain colours? It’s all displayed simply for you below.


    How many Ps in Marketing?

    By John Ross

    Middle East MarketingFor those who did Marketing 101 the answer to the above question is a simple 4: Product, Price, Place and Promotion.  For those who have read more widely it might be 6, the 4 above plus People and Process, some might even include a 7th P which is Physical evidence, however I contest that there is only 3 Ps in Marketing: Perception, Possible and Pleasure.

    According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Perception is “the process of becoming aware or conscious of a thing or things in general; the state of being aware; consciousness; understanding.”  However to perceive something is not necessarily to understand something, but rather to hold that perception as a truth.  If we put that into marketing terms it is that which makes customers buy a brand or product.

    The second P is Possible defined by the same noble tome as “capable of existing, happening, being done”, and the Chartered Institute of Marketing defines Marketing as “The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements, profitably”  is this not the art of the Possible?

    It is on this premise that I postulate that these are the first 2Ps in Marketing.  If it is Possible that an organisation can develop a product or service, communicate with it’s target audience in such a way that they believe that there is a need for this product or service then they Perceive it to be of benefit and will buy it.  The more difficult part is now maintaining or exceeding that perception in order that the experience is an enjoyable one and repeat purchase or recommendation occurs; I call this Pleasure.

    Again referring to the Oxford English Dictionary Pleasure is “feeling of satisfaction or joy, source of gratification” or if you like Customer Satisfaction, and, as Peter Drucker once said, “The measurement of a successful organisation is an external one; it is called satisfied customers”

    Therefore Marketing is delivering Perceived Pleasure whenever Possible to those who could Possibly Perceive the Pleasure of an organisations product or service.

    New Oki “Print Smart” Range Launch event


    Yesterday we held a big launch event at the prestigious Armani Hotel in Dubai to unveil Oki’s expanded printer range to our channel partners in the United Arab Emirates, led by our very own John Ross, general manager for the Middle East, India and Africa. The new products launch comes as part of OKI’s Print Smart strategy to offer competitive, cost-effective solutions to businesses of all sizes across a range of industries in the Middle East.

    We’ve completely revamped the range and are proud to offer cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions that will help businesses Print Smart. Over half of the revised product range consists of new or upgraded products, creating the opportunity to significantly increase our footprint in critical markets.

    With the launch of the new range we aim to improve green practices in businesses across the region as carbon emissions become a growing concern for leaders and decision makers and we hope businesses will realise that the use of green technology will ultimately cut costs and carbon emissions simultaneously. With our new products businesses of all sizes are set to benefit from the energy saving benefits and our green technology products, which are now in compliance with the latest European regulations and are based on the company’s unique proprietary LED technology.

    The extended OKI range boasts improved product performance and upgraded features that will help micro-businesses, SMB’s, and larger businesses Print Smart. We’ve had some great feedback from the market so far and look forward to your comments on the ASkOki blog!

    The new products range includes the following:

    Colour/Mono Multi-function products (MFPs)

    MB491, MB441, MB451, MB461, MB471,  MC352dn, MC362dn, MC562dn

    Colour/ Mono Single Function Products (SFPs)

    C301dn, C321dn, C331dn, C511dn, C531dn, C822, C831, C841, B401

    You can watch John’s recap of the launch event here

    The Science of Colour: Understanding Colour Psychology for Effective Business Communication



    Did you know that invoices printed in red are paid up to 70% faster? Or that yellow cars have notoriously high accident rates? Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, colour psychology plays an important role in our everyday lives both here in the Middle East and around the world.


    Everything from the paint on your villa wall to the clothes that you wear have the ability to subconsciously affect mood and behaviour. Colour psychology goes beyond cosmetic appearance and actually plays a significant role in the business world. In fact, the colours you choose to use on your printed documents have the ability to affect the decisions of consumers from a business perspective and impress your customers for good or for ill.


    Research commissioned by OKI has found that human response to colour can be predicted and that it is indeed a powerful form of communication that is driven by our deepest instincts.  Regardless of nationality, culture and gender, we as human beings share common reactions to colour. These reactions can be predicted with startling accuracy when one has an understanding of the science behind colour.


    So, how can colour psychology help a business in the Middle East and Africa? On average, a customer takes 15 seconds to make a purchasing decision. This means that it is important to grab your customer’s attention before they even notice aspects such as typeface, copy, and layout.  The skilful use of colour and ensuring that the colours you use are related to the basic proposition of your product will help convey your key messages effectively.

    For instance, blue is an essentially soothing colour and when used correctly, can imply intelligence, trust, and serenity. This would be a good colour to use if you want your customers to trust you.  Then you have red, which has a physical effect. In contrast to blue, the colour red stimulates and activates a “fight or flight” reaction. Think about why red is so effective in stop signs and traffic lights.  Red could work if your company has anything to do with sport or physical activity or if your business needs to appeal more to the senses than to the mind, red will work well.

    Gaining a general understanding of the 11 basic colours that have fundamental and universal psychological properties can help you communicate more efficiently, depending on your line of business.

    Remember, nothing is as black and white as it may seem!


    5 simple tips to getting the most out of your printer and printed documents

    1.)    Do your research before buying a printer: You might think that choosing a printer is easy, but its important to do your research beforehand not only to save money, but also to pick the best printer for the types of documents you plan to produce. An office printer that is capable of mass producing different types of documents in a short period of time for instance, might not be suitable for someone who only prints a few pages on A4 paper a day. Read up on various models and make note of how often you print and on what types of media.  A simple tip for those who do a lot of document printing is to go with a toner based printer rather than an inkjet printer. While toner based printers might cost more, each document page printed on a toner based printer will cost a fraction of the price of each document printed on an inkjet.


    2.)    Know your technology: Understanding the technology behind printing is essential to getting the most out of your colour printer. Things like LED vs Laser technology and the type of toner used can make major differences in the final outcome of your printed document. At OKI, the combination of LED technology and toner technology are carefully constructed for precision placement of toner on the documents to create enhanced images that can be printed on a variety of mediums.  LED printers are also more reliable than laser printers and produce higher resolutions and better colour definition.

    3.)    Understand the role that colour psychology plays in business communication: Contrary to popular belief, colour goes far beyond cosmetic appearance. Doing some research into colour psychology in business will give you insight into how colour can be used to influence specific responses from customers or clients. For instance, did you know that invoices printed in red get payed 70% faster?

    4.)    Adjust your settings: Know that changing print settings on your computer can actually help you get the most out of your colour cartridges and save energy and money. Make sure you optimize the energy saving settings on your printer in order to consume less energy when the printer is idle. Many people who use printers also don’t know that adjusting the dots per inch ratio on your computer will help you use less ink and get the most from your cartridge. Printing using “Draft” mode on toner printers will also help you save money in the long run.

    5.)    Take a little time to evaluate the software that came with your printer: Oki printers ship with hundreds of dollars’ worth of free software to help you manage your printer, optimise performance and simply do more with it – getting more ‘bang for your buck’. Software such as Template Managerr, which helps you quickly and effortlessly print labels, letterheads, business cards, CD labels, fridge magnets and others for a huge range of other useful applications.

    Print Smart, Print OKI!

    John Ross, General Manager at OKI Middle East recaps his experience at the Oki Smart Business Conference 2012 in Barcelona Image

    Last week, OKI brought together Channel Partners, Press, Industry Analysts as well as senior members of the parent company in Japan, for the first time in a number of years. A total of over 430 people gathered in Bercelona for a key event: Oki Smart Business Seminar. A critical objective of the conference was to address the issues of the recent supply shortages due to the floods in Thailand and to reassure all parties that, to quote Morioka San Deputy President of ODC, “Oki is back in the game.”

    The event started with Morioka San advising the audience that in the space of 4 months since the flooding in Thailand, which were the worst for over a century and resulted in about 30% of Thailand being underwater, the Thai factory was back in production catching up on back log and with the increased capacity the expectations are that within the next few weeks all backlog will be effectively reduced to zero and the new products announced today would be in free supply.

    Throughout the rest of the conference, attendees were engaged with a number of interesting and insightful presentations covering  topics ranging from the issues facing the SMB sector today to smart printing and the latest statistics on the print industry (Most interesting was the confirmation that the single function inkjet market is declining at around 19% per annum whilst at the same time the toner based multi function segment was growing at over 20% per year). It was also revealed that according to a survey done in December 2011 and January 2012 regarding what is important to the SMBs, environmental considerations such as low power consumption are at the top of their consideration list, making Oki an ever more obvious choice.

    The multi-media presentation was slick and contained multiple positive messages regarding Oki’s commitment to both the Channel and Customers, principally SMBs.  With a refresh or completely new set up, products unveiled that results in Oki having updated 50% of its product range, it became obvious why this event was held.

    In the words of Takao Hiromoto, President of Oki Data Corporation, “After today you will be in no doubt that Oki is your smart choice as a printer supplier.”

    Going Green: Celebrating Earth Day by Fulfilling our Duty toward our Planet

    ImageWe live in a time where global warming and climate change are critical issue facing the world and generations to come. As the international community continues the discussion on what can be done to confront and solve these issues for the sake of our planet, organizations are also beginning to realize that they too play a role in contributing to a low carbon society. The question is, are ENOUGH organizations taking issues like energy consumption, environmental saving, and environmental protection into consideration?  Our research has shown that UAE businesses are wasting millions of dirhams per year on avoidable energy costs.

    Energy efficiency should be a collective effort by organizations and individuals alike to work toward greener communities and a greener society at large. In order to encourage individuals and families to adopt greener habits in their personal life, organizations should increase emphasis on educating employees on what they can do to contribute to a better environment. Taking the environment into consideration should be a critical component of your organization’s value system as a whole. At OKI Group, we consider the mitigation of climate change and the realization of a low carbon society as two critical issues on our agenda. We’ve been active in an ongoing campaign to promote “Green IT.” After all, IT is what we do best.

    Our world today is highly advanced technologically. From sending a simple text message to transporting ourselves from home to work, we depend on IT in many aspects of our lives. While it is a challenge, we believe that adopting a green approach to developing IT devices can have a significant impact on energy consumption across the world. Since 1998, OKI Group has made a deliberate effort in conducting environmental assessments in the design phase of product development, comparing each product to its predecessors. We call this “Green of IT.”

    On the other hand, the efficient use of IT is also critical to the reduction of CO2 emissions. As a carbon-neutral company, we’ve developed technologies such as CoolClover and Web Sensing which allow users to manage energy as well as track and collect environmental information. In a sense, we use technology to further enhance technology with the aim of being friendlier to the environment, hence why we call it “Green By IT.

    Here are some simple tips to consider when going green:

    • Calculate your emissions in order to plan where you should start when it comes to reducing your footprint. You can calculate your business’s CO2 emissions at: http://www.climatecare.org/business/business-co2-calculator/
    • You’d be surprised to know that many office appliances continue to consume energy even when they are idle. Invest in green office technology or optimize your energy settings to save money and reduce energy consumption in the long run.
    • Don’t print unnecessarily. Of course, there are cases when hard copies of documents are required, but one of the benefits of living in the digital age is that it has actually become more convenient to store and share documents electronically. Ask yourself, “do I NEED to print?”
    • Keep a recycling bin next to the printer to collect scrap paper. Much of what we print we dispose of, so rather than wasting paper, recycle your unneeded paper documents.

    Happy Earth Day to everyone around the world =)

    The Forgotten Printing Variable: Paper | Cartridge Save Blog

    The Forgotten Printing Variable: Paper | Cartridge Save Blog.

    By: James Murray in How To

    Paper coming out of printerThe type of paper you use can have a big effect on your printing results

    Of all the factors that define the quality of your printer’s output, the one that is most often overlooked is probably paper.

    There is a vast array of paper out there — specialist, photo paper, textured paper, glossy paper, and all at different quality levels. There are papers marketed for individual uses and specific printers. Some will fade in a few weeks while others will last for decades. How do you decide?

    The first part of your decision is easy; are you buying paper for a laser printer, or an inkjet?

    Laser printers

    Laser printers are not fussy. They are capable, in theory at least, of printing on just about any surface that will make it through the machine’s paper path. The office standard, photocopier paper that you find in convenience stores and supermarkets is perfectly fine for a laser printer.

    Lasers do have problems with thicker paper, though. At grades (or weights) over about one hundred and sixty grams per square meter, heavier papers are going to cause more jams in a laser printer’s tortuous paper path. There is also paper on the market that carries a layer of plastic on its surface, and you can just imagine what the plastic is likely to do inside a laser printer: melt. Let’s not even think about it, shall we?

    There is special paper on the market for laser printers. It is just a little thicker than photocopier paper, with a slightly glossy surface. While the printer’s output will be exactly the same, it will look and feel of a higher quality.

    Inkjet printers

    Inkjets are different. Paper can and will make an enormous difference in the appearance and durability of the printouts that emerge from your inkjet printer. If you have been using an inkjet for years, then you have undoubtedly observed this yourself. A lot of inkjet users have no idea why this happens.

    Consider first the type of ink you’re using. Check the packaging. The dye-based ink designed for most photo printers isn’t meant to stay on the surface, but instead to get absorbed into the paper. That keeps colours from mingling and maintains images pricisely the way they were intended, with the different elements sharply defined. Dye-based ink, printed on normal paper, tends to pool and run, with the result that images will look fuzzy and letterforms sloppy. They will also look dull because dried ink is not as shiney as the paper’s glossy surface.

    The other type of inkjet ink, pigmented, avoids this problem, but the colours will be less vivid. This type of ink will also produce more of a matted look. The general rule is this: Use pigmented ink for printing text on normal paper and dye-based ink for printing photographs on special paper.

    The next decision to make is about the grade of the paper, or its weight. If you just want to archive some forms or routine business correspondence, then you can get away with standard copier paper, which has a grade of seventy-five to eighty grams per square metre. If on the other hand you are printing ads or greeting cards with an inkjet printer, then you will want to consider inkjet paper, which has a weight of niney to one hundred grams per square metre. That will include some brighteners, but also special layers to keep the ink from running.

    If you are printing display advertising or brochures with high-definition colour photographs, then you need glossy, photo paper. If you want even higher quality, then there is fine art paper, which you can expect to endure for decades. Of course, one thing it is not going to be is cheap. Expect to pay a pound per sheet of standard, A3-size paper and more.

    Considering the planet

    There are those among us who want to consider the environment as well as the appearance of their printer’s product. For these people there are products like recycled paper and “virgin fibre” paper, whose pulp comes from sustainable forestry. These environmentally-sound papers also have no bleach, which in turn means lower contrast than what you will see from mainstream paper.

    Finally, consider the advice given by your printer’s manufacturer. (On the other hand, you can safely ignore that manufacturer’s branded paper — you don’t really believe HP and Canon make paper, do you?)

    Finding the best paper for your printer and your work means reading labels, keeping a few of these pointers in mind and then experimenting on your own.

    How to win an Oki colour printer at Gitex 2011

    Join us at Gitex 2011 for a quick Print Bingo game at our stand to win a brand new Oki colour printer.

    Here is how you can do it

    –         Come to Oki stand at hall 4 stand No. 416

    –         Collect your Print Bingo Card

    –         Cross out the names of our printers from your bingo card as we call them

    –         First one to cross out the 9 names and shout Bingo wins a new Oki C110 colour printer

    We run two games per day at 2pm and 4pm, except for the last day we’ll hold 1 game only at 2pm.

    Check out photos from first day at Gitex

    Print Control: How to Manage your Printing Cost

    There are lots of ways through which businesses can save on printing cost. Print Control, a utility provided by OKI for free, allows you to track printing operations at the office and provide reports and stats on printing usage. It allows you to monitor the usage of both individuals and groups of people.

    Print Control helps you to plan your printing policy and decide who get to print what.  For example; it allows you to grant print access to authorized personals only or restrict printing to monochrome. You could also assign a limited number of printed pages for your employees and also limit the number of pages printed in colours or even limit the time of print use.

    Print Control provides various options that help you manage you printing and hence achieve effective cost control. It is particularly useful for small and medium businesses which follow strict budget.

    Watch the video below to learn more about Print Control and how it can help SMBs

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