Post-it® Notes Proves To Us All the Power of Print and Paper

More Evidence Digital Alone Doesn’t Get It Done. Today More Than Ever, We All Need The Power of Print and Paper

We often share information here about the power of print and paper.  The tangible benefits of printed pieces are significant, and apply to everyone. I especially love hearing about the power of print and paper when it involves students, since so many of us mistakenly think that younger folks are “digital natives” who have no use or appreciation for paper.  We’ve discussed how students retain lessons better when they read them in printed textbooks than on a screen and they remember things better when they take notes on paper instead of on their laptops or tablets.

I saw an item in Ad Age the other day that rounds out the story pretty nicely. The article talked about a new ad campaign for 3M’s Post-it® Notes brand. The campaign, called “Make It Stick” is based on research the company commissioned on students’ study habits.

Research Results Worth “Noting.”

We all have some sort of “note” function on our laptops, tablets and smartphones. I’ve even seen software that mimics the familiar sticky note shape as it “attaches” those would-be Post-Its to your computer’s desktop. And with students so comfortable in the digital world, it would be pretty logical to assume that they wouldn’t likely look elsewhere or use “old school” tools.

It would be logical, but it would be very wrong. The research study targeted members of Generation Z, defined as those born between 1995 and 2012. It collected email responses from more than 1,000 email responses from students aged 13-19, and the results were surprising. Some of the highlights:

  • 85% of Gen Z members learn best when using a mix of digital and non-digital tools.
  • 81% would feel restricted if they could only use digital devices.

And frankly, here’s what I think is the big one:

  • 42% are more likely to complete a task they’ve handwritten.

If It’s On Paper, It Matters More.

The Post-It Notes ad campaign is built around what the research study called “the impact of commitment, accountability, and written goals on goal achievement.” And it sure rings true for me. Typing things on a screen makes them seem transient – easily created and easily deleted, and very easily lost in the digital datastorm we are all plodding through every day.

But much like the handwritten “thank you” note after a job interview, something written out is worthy of more consideration. Sure, you can throw away a sticky note, but the act of writing your goal, your task, or your promise out and putting it up for all to see gives it a presence that is a lot harder to ignore. When it’s on paper, it’s real, it’s visible, and it’s substantial.

The Post-It Notes TV spot does show a girl using them in a very creative way, not only to help her achieve her goal, but to dramatically demonstrate the fact that she reached it. The bigger story behind it is more about writing down goals, and using that to motivate you to achieve them.

Can The Power of Print and Paper Help Your Business Reach New Heights?

Putting things in print can do the same for a business. I don’t mean just your mission statement, but your whole product story; whether it’s a brochure that describes your product’s benefits, or a catalog that “proves” you have great looking merchandise and a wide range of offerings.

Traditional printed marketing and collaterol materials continue to thrive, because putting your words out there sets a standard and demonstrates who you are and who you are going to be. And that’s reassuring for you, your people, and your customers.

After a lifetime in print representing our almost century year old, family owned company, I have plenty of ideas to share on how you and your business might use the power of print and paper to stand out from the crowd.  Give me a call and let’s talk about it. If you don’t have time right now, make a note to do it later. Might I suggest Post-It Note?


Share this article: