Author Archives for Rich Graham

Open Letter to Gov. Jerry Brown

February 28, 2011 5:46 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

via WHITE THREADS. Dear Governor Brown, Last week, in an attempt to ease California’s budget deficit, you ordered state agencies to stop using promotional products to as a means to market their programs and services.  I was born in California and lived there for 25 years – I certainly understand the mess the state is in.  What I don’t understand is why you chose to ban one form of marketing but not others.  I don’t understand why you specifically went after promotional products:


Lessons from the front: How NOT To Do Email Marketing from Chili’s – No Place Else!

November 17, 2010 2:05 pm Published by 2 Comments

I’ve been a customer and fan of Chili’s for a long, long time. In fact, my ex-father in law actually built the first one in Dallas, so we go back a little. Imagine my joy when I see an email from Chili’s in my inbox, with the subject line “That Happy Little Place Between Work And Home” – offering some kind of happy hour special. Then imagine my disappointment when I see that their email marketing vendor has somehow screwed something up and caused the email to be worthless. Now imagine potentially half a million (HALF A MILLION? YES!) Facebook fans talking about this messed up email. I head to their Facebook page, and it looks like this has been going on for at least 2 hours. So here’s the skinny: Fish Bowl sends out a non working email on behalf of their client, Chili’s. The email falls apart and is totally confusing and non-functional. Recipients begin to talk about this on the Chili’s Facebook page. Somebody should be fired over this. Epic fail. In fact, you can make your own chili. Here’s an awesome recipe from Jen Reviews.


New Goodies from ASI Vegas

April 20, 2008 4:54 pm Published by 1 Comment

New product reports from the ASI tradeshow in Las Vegas. Enjoy! Day 1 [HTML1] Day 2 [HTML2] For info on these items, call Rich or Mark at 1-877-776-6669.


The Rather Difficult Font Game

April 14, 2008 4:36 pm Published by 1 Comment

This is a fun site, and a useless diversion! And it’s rather difficult to boot. In my job I mess with fonts all day and all night. Most of our clients are not huge organizations with binders full of Graphics Requirements. They have fonts they like, and use those fonts for their logos, ads, and overall branding. Usually I get to work with these in JPG format: totally not usable for print. So the art has to be redrawn/reset. That’s where the font fun starts for us. Take a shot at this link: The Rather Difficult Font Game You’ll be amazed what you think you know, but really don’t.


Build Name Recognition With Walking Billboards!

March 30, 2008 8:11 am Published by 1 Comment

by Jaqueline Bodnar Shoes AND shirt required! That’s right, there aren’t many places in this country that you can go and get away without wearing a shirt. Whether you’re on the the street, shopping on a Saturday afternoon, or mowing the lawn, most people will be wearing some type of shirt. The t-shirt is one of the most commonly worn styles there is. If you’ve been thinking about using t-shirts as an effective marketing tool, you’re in good company. T-shirts that include company names and logos, slogans, or messages are a highly effective, surprisingly affordable way to promote any size business.


How To Cure WhirlyBrand!

March 14, 2008 1:41 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Ed Roach has brought up some interesting comments about the pitfalls of a brand’s image being all over the place in his article How To Cure WhirlyBrand!  from the Small Business Marketing & Branding website. As a provider of imprinted promotional products, our job is to help our customers promote their product, service or company the right way. All too often customers settle by saying, “Just print our name in red block letters” without regard to a specific color or typeface, or even a logo. There’s a reason that little kids that can’t even talk know what the Golden Arches are. That is BRANDING. Come up with a consistent look, and then plaster that look on every means of communication, from the fax cover sheet to the company truck. 


Cuban – “Rules” for Startups

March 10, 2008 12:23 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Mark Cuban – blogger, professional sports team owner, and full-of-himself entrepreneur displays his entrepreneurial prowess in his article A Couple of My Rules for Startups  Cuban offers basic, common-sense, by-the-book business ideas. Revolutionary? Probably not. And I kind of take exception to his Rule #10: NEVER EVER EVER buy swag. A sure sign of failure for a startup is when someone sends me logo polo shirts. If your people are at shows and in public, its ok to buy for your own folks, but if you really think someone is going to wear your Yobaby.com polo you sent them in public, you are mistaken and have no idea how to spend your money    Horsefeathers! Imprinted promotional products are the PERFECT vehicle for start-ups. They’re a whole lot cheaper for the marketer than broadcast, print or internet advertising.If a prospect receives an imprinted promotional product from somebody he’s never heard of, he’ll probably check them out. If he likes what they’re selling, he’ll buy it. But he’ll surely use whatever that item is, whether he buys from them or not. Remember, it’s not about simply getting that logo on something for ONE person to see, but for many many people to see. A 2″ x 2″ pad of 50 sticky notes displays a logo or message 1000s of times. And a Logo Polo is appreciated by the wearer, and seen by everyone he sees.  If Cuban thinks that simply exposing the audience to the brand’s logo and marketing message is a foolish idea, he’d better not tell that to Dr. Pepper, Taco Bueno, Dave & Buster’s, or any of the gazillions of sponsors that display their logos at his games.Mark, send me your shirt size.


McDonald’s Samples McSkillet Burrito for Leap Year Event

February 27, 2008 4:02 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Everybody loves something for nothing. Well, almost nothing. McDonald’s is giving away McSkillet Burrito’s tomorrow and Friday, but you gotta buy a drink. No big whoop. But this reinforces the theory that people LOVE free stuff. McDonald’s Samples McSkillet Burrito for Leap Year EventThat’s why imprinted promotional products work so well. A clever gadget, a handy notepad, magnet or pen, or an expensive desk item or gift that’s discreetly branded does wonders for your image.  


Being Everywhere

February 18, 2008 4:24 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Lisa Suzuki, a massage therapist in Santa Barbara, relates to her readers the importance of “being everywhere” when starting their own massage practices. She further explains how promotional products are helping her accomplish that goal: I bought magnetic To-Do Lists with a peel-off sticky spot to adhere my business card to. The only reason I bought them really was I felt I should support the PR person in my networking group. I thought they were kind of cheesy, actually. I stuck my cards on them while I was watching TV at home and then distributed them to my clients. To my surprise, clients were actually happy to receive them and in some cases even asked at later sessions if they could have “more of those cool To-Do Lists”. Not only that, but three years later, I had a new client come in for her surprise birthday appointment. Her boyfriend, who had to be out of the country on business for her birthday, had secretly scheduled and paid for the session ahead of time. He then called her from Paris the day before to tell her that he had scheduled a massage for her and told her where to go to receive it. When I asked the woman how her boyfriend found out about me, she said, “Oh, I’ve had one of your To-Do Lists on my fridge for the past few years and have been meaning to come get a massage.    Read her complete article here