There’s a prediction from ASI this week that the next big thing in promotional products will be adult coloring books. Yes, you read that right. Coloring books with amazingly intricate patterns intended for adults. The kind that call for fine tipped markers or colored pencils. Maybe you’ve noticed them yourself. Over the holidays, stores reported them as a popular gift. Five of Amazon’s current top 15 best selling books are adult coloring books. A recent Fortune article points out that adult coloring books are one of the biggest contributors to the boost in print book sales.
Author Archives for Susan Morgan
It’s not the idea of repetition that’s we’re questioning here. Repeating your message is key. It’s the number. Why 7? You’ve heard it often enough, people need to see an ad 7 times before they remember it. This Rule of 7 is most often quoted by people in advertising with such confidence that you would expect to find tons of studies to back the claim. Not so. What we found was a fascinating piece from @successfulsw that takes a hard look at the science behind that all too readily accepted number. The evidence to back the Rule of 7 theory, as the author finds, is limited. There aren’t reams of statistics, surveys dating back years, or journals full of research to back the claim. There’s only one study to be found, from 1989 no less, and this mentions no magic number. Seven just took over somewhere along the way.
We can all agree that no one likes to hear the word “No.” Business or personal it doesn’t matter, being denied something you’ve worked long and hard for is no easy thing. Most of us don’t take it very well. That’s really not a problem unless you happen to be selling something. Then taking “No” for an answer had better be in your repertoire, or you’ll turn off a lot of potential customers. There are ways to make the most of a sales rejection, but you’d better, at you core, be capable of hearing (and understanding) the word “No”. This most simple of skills was utterly beyond the capability of the salesman who presented a rather expensive product (replacement windows) to us recently. True his product was good, had lots to offer, including a hefty price tag. This gentleman made no secret of his astonishment when when we didn’t jump up and sign on the dotted line. He could not seem to get past us leaving, “x amount of dollars on the table.”
We’ve talked about this before, two years ago and then again earlier this year. It bears repeating, as now is the best time of year to order your own imprinted promotional calendars and be ready for the New Year. We’ve wondered in the past if tech had given the trusty promotional calendar the boot. It hadn’t. Technology marches on, and so we’re asking again. Has the imprinted promotional calendar seen its heyday? Has tech taken over? These days there are any number of electronic calendars to keep you on schedule and yet the imprinted calendar remains. It has permanence. You can touch it, use it anytime. And then, not every living soul on the planet is comfortable with technology or wants to use it every second of every day. The latest research from PPAI shows that in 2011 a full 80% of homes and businesses continued to use a printed calendar. Here’s my (non scientific) thinking as to why that might be…
The story I’m going to tell you about an always under appreciated promotional product is true. The names and locations have been changed to protect a consumer from drowning in unwanted but insistent marketing efforts. My Dad is 81 years old, oxygen dependent, but still (by far) the smartest guy in the room. He lives alone, and has since my Mom passed last year. While he has every service (cleaning lady, cook, gardener, plow guy) imaginable at home, the house, without my mother, is too big. Too lonely for him. He’s warming to the idea of an assisted living community. Now you see the need for secrecy. If his name and intention were made public the poor soul would be swamped under a deluge of glossy, multi page brochures. He’d be turning down event invitations left and right, and his phone would be ringing off the hook with cheery “check in” calls.
You’ve probably noticed a few familiar company logos (Google, Verizon) have changed their look recently. Not anything drastic, more of a refresh and acknowledgement that we all view these logos on many different devices. How does this apply to your business? It shows how very important a logo is to a business. The company logo is the face of your business, your first impression and professional stamp. There is a reason companies hire professionals to design them. Creating one looks simple (a 4 year old could do it, right?), until you sit before a blank screen and try to do it. There are an endless number of fonts to use, as well as styles like bolding, italics and underlining. Text spacing comes into play. Graphics and color must also be considered.
It’s true, the signs are all there. Heat waves are harder to take. Days at the beach don’t hold the allure they once did. We get annoyed at the ice cream melting all over us before we can finish it. Barbecues have become routine. We’ve reached the point in the season where the idle days of summer are drawing to a close, numbered now in single digits as fall schedules take shape. Going back to school or not, there is something about this time of year that has all of us ready to switch gears. Change is in the air. Which makes this the perfect time to get to work on your plans for promoting your business this fall. This season offers lots of opportunities to build business. Back to School
If you think about how many signs you see in one day it’s probably a far larger number than you expect. Like the song says, they’re everywhere. Good signs attract attention, educate or provide vital information. They help you stand out. What makes a good sign. Readability. Location. Durability. How do you make a sign readable? Less is more, as few words/symbols as possible Dark letters, light background Thicker, chunkier letters rather than fine, fancy fonts Simple graphics How do you locate a sign so more people will see it? Put it in front of as many pairs of eyes as possible. Anyone who’s driven in traffic knows that vehicle signs provide a nice source of distraction while sitting there waiting for things to move. It’s a great way to expose your company, and contact details to a wide, varied (some might say captive) audience. Lots of eyes, all looking for something else to look at besides break lights.
Let me start by saying there is no self interest at work here. None at all. There’s nothing wrong with a healthy work ethic, except when it gets in the way of being productive. Those 60 hour work weeks might make you feel productive, essential to the operation of things. But in truth, research finds that overwork actually saps your energy and leaves you less productive than you might have been if you just worked the 40 hours everyone else does. Hard to hear, I know. Science is telling us that sitting for long periods (even for the physically fit) is not good for your health; now we’re learning the same may be true for effort and productivity. More and more research is finding that the longer you stay in front of that screen the less productive you get. That’s why getting up, going for a walk, taking a lunch break away from the office, or even having a conversations with people you like has become such popular behaviors among workers looking to be more productive. Imagine — being productive without unending drudgery. And there’s this; our brains aren’t even set up for continuous thought. We’re more productive (creative, focused) during shorter increments of time, say 15 minutes of solid effort and then a quick break. It’s using the brain like you use a muscle; working it then resting for a bit. When you think about it, that makes sense. Especially in the creative work world, most often flashes of the (best) inspiration come “out of the blue” during off hours… when you’re driving home or cooking dinner.
We’re getting to the time of year where Old Glory takes a place on center stage. And deservedly so. Seems like U.S. flags fly everywhere this time of year. We’re all proud Americans. Flags got their start as military banners, a way to recognize an approaching enemy/ally. Early on in our own history there were several different revolutionary flags, but by June 14, 1777 the Continental Congress had selected one. The one we know. The red is meant to signify hardiness and valor, the white purity/innocence and the blue vigilance and perseverance and justice. Flag Day didn’t come into existence until much later, 1949 thanks to a law signed by then President Harry S. Truman. The celebration of the holiday had started unofficially back in 1885 by a grade school teacher in Wisconsin. The flag we know today has been the official flag of the United States since 1960.