Categories for Brand Development

Promo Products For Spring: Bursting Out All Over

April 7, 2015 8:59 am Published by

5C8DEB7B-672A-4EB1-BA68-2FFFF30A5368At long last our calendars tell us it’s true… spring has arrived. Depending on where you live, you’ve seen the signs. Snow disappearing. Birds singing. Maybe you’ve opened the car windows on the way home.
The change of season is an ideal point to pause – to see where we are based on what we expected at the beginning of the year. Maybe do a bit of business spring cleaning to keep things on track. Recommit to goals. Move forward with what we’ve learned. Prepare for what’s ahead.
At this time of year when our thoughts turn to getting back outside, there are many promo products for spring that do double duty. Tie into the season and the urge to get out, breathe fresh air and enjoy the sunshine, while still promoting your business name and number. The challenge is choosing something that works with the season and your business. Think fun and functional.

Brand Authenticity: If You're Not Genuine We'll Know It

February 18, 2015 9:59 am Published by

authenticbrands-700x700 copyOnce upon a time, a brand could rely on billboards and signs, radio and TV ads, public relations efforts to promote itself and attract buyers. Potential buyers had to go to a physical storefront to learn more or buy what they wanted. By mail came catalogs, flyers and the like. Brand authenticity wasn’t a part of the mix simply because the company controlled the message.
In today’s digital world consumers have access to anything, 24/7, delivered right to our front door or handheld device. We have all kinds of access to (and impact on) brands that consumers past didn’t have. The hyper transparency of today makes it tougher to stand out over the noise of everyone else trying to do the same. We can talk about our favorites, complain about the bad stuff, share hints and experiences. It’s a whole different ball game.

What To Do To Win The Millennial Buyer

February 3, 2015 11:59 am Published by

Millennials seem to be getting a lot of attention lately, and it’s no surprise. This generation’s numbers are pretty impressive. To start, there are 76.6 million of them, larger than those famous Baby Boomers (1946-1964) and Gen Xers (1965-1980). Today this age group makes up half the work force, and are on pace to be a full 75% by 2020. And then, there’s this tidbit — Millennials account for $1 trillion of annual consumer spending.
Certainly enough motivation to try and win them as customers.
That starts by learning a bit about what this age group is all about. This generation has a unique sense of self, an optimistic outlook and a not so traditional approach to the stages of life. They buy, but they don’t do it the way many brands today still think they do, because people this age are becoming adults in a different world. Growing up without need or want, with technology and resources, they see limitless possibilities to create the life they want.

Gearing Up For The Game Of The Year

January 20, 2015 11:59 am Published by

Can you feel that certain something in the air?
r_DS10328-10_SPRT_HDZ_FTBLL_FNATCDespite a year of scandals and shameful behavior, the NFL is as much a commercial success as ever. With winter having us firmly in hand, and massive TVs on sale everywhere there’s no doubt another Super Bowl is coming up. For the next few weeks just about everyone will be thinking, talking, eating and sleeping football, and this gives you ample opportunities to use football themed promotional products to build your business… to get noticed and remembered.
There are plenty of options…

You might give any of these items to customers/employees, or make them a “Gift with Purchase” given out in the buildup to Super Bowl Sunday. Either way, you’ll share a love for football and an important message about your business at the same time.

Corporate Social Responsibility So Important For Your Brand

December 10, 2014 11:59 am Published by

o-CORPORATE-SOCIAL-RESPONSIBILITY-facebookIt’s a basic human need to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. That’s why sports teams sell out stadiums. Why churches are filled. And why some businesses succeed in today’s economy and others don’t. Three words: Corporate Social Responsibility.
According to a 2013 report released by PR and marketing agency Cone Communications corporate social responsibility, CSR for short, is increasingly important to consumers across the globe in terms of brand loyalty. Today companies are expected to participate in (if not drive) solutions to the most pressing of social problems. In fact, 91%  of consumers surveyed reported being likely to switch brands if that brand compares in price and quality while also supporting good causes.
That’s huge when it comes to brand positioning.

Promo Products: Still Best For Recall, Building Relationships

November 11, 2014 10:00 am Published by

When was the last time you watched a commercial on TV? Poured over an ad in a magazine or newspaper? Listened to a radio spot or didn’t click past an online ad? Chances are, like most people today, your answer to all this is “never”. Which is why the recent promo products news is so striking, especially if you’re trying to promote a product, build a business.
ASI (short for Advertising Specialty Institute) has released the results of this year’s survey of consumers, asking them about the company advertising they saw and remembered. This is the 6th year for this widely quoted, well regarded research that involves in person interviews with businesspeople as well as students in cities in North America, Canada, Europe and even Australia.
screen-shot-2014-02-20-at-9-25-36-amThis is key information for every business owner. Yet again, quality promo products bearing a company name or logo were recalled by 85% of the consumers in the survey. That’s far above the other ways to reach an audience, like ads on prime time TV or magazine and newspapers. Investments in these approaches bank on the idea that people will see, and remember the ad. If they don’t, the time, effort and money invested are a waste.

Lamenting The Loss Of My Promotional Calendar

February 12, 2014 10:59 am Published by

I am sick with disappointment. This year, unlike all others since 2005, my beach house realtor has eliminated the promotional calendar and (gasp!) replaced it with a double sided (get ready) word search. Yes, you read correctly — a word search, two sided no less.
Now I don’t know about you, but there aren’t too many people over the age of 7 who enjoy these things. Part of the reason may be that in the end you’re left with a bunch of overlapping ovals and a list of crossed out words. Once the “fun” is over, that’s it. A throw away. Being two sided is almost like a slap in the face… as if one word search was not enough.
Completely unlike that awesome promotional  calendar, sized to fit just above my keyboard, that displayed the whole year at a glance. I looked at that calendar (and saw my realtor’s name) from one to  ten times a day, every day. I relied on that durable little strip to plan ahead, get a quick glimpse of the upcoming months. This calendar was what every promotional product needs to be, high quality, intuitively useful and delivered right on time.

It's Not About The Drones, It's The Customer-Centric Culture That's Key

December 5, 2013 10:28 am Published by

Oh sure, the idea of those Amazon drones delivering packages on the day you order is way cool… it’s no wonder people are still talking about it. And yet there’s another intriguing (and more practical) gem that was mentioned in that 60 Minutes piece with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that has gone unnoticed. The term Bezos used was customer centric — doing everything possible to please the customer. I like the sound of that.
While those much talked about drones are still years away, the philosophy behind them is one you can put in place right now. Making the needs of the customer central to all you do. Customers, after all, don’t care about you, they care about themselves and their own problems. Which is why the successful business is always that customer question, “What’s in it for me?”
When it comes to being customer-centric an organization needs to take the time to learn what customers expect, and try to beat that expectation. This doesn’t have to be complex or life changing — just put yourself into the customer’s shoes and think of what would make the experience with your company better, easier, more pleasant. Little things matter. Thinking outside the box (as Amazon is doing with those drones) in terms of serving the needs/meeting the expectations of customers (not shareholders) needs to be the driving force behind everything you do.
How many businesses can you think of that operate as if the customer is central to all they do? I can’t come up with many examples. More importantly, do you operate (advertise) your business that way?

Reusable Shopping Bags: Good For Business, The Environment Too

November 22, 2013 9:30 am Published by

So… how many shopping (plastic or reusable) bags have you carried already this season?
There’s no arguing that plastic shopping bags are a modern marvel. These single use bags made their appearance in the grocery store checkout lines in 1976, and in the years since have become what  Guinness World Records calls  “the most ubiquitous consumer item in the world.” It’s true, they’re everywhere.
You can see why — these bags are durable, waterproof, can hold far more than their own weight and come in lots of sizes. What’s more, plastic shopping bags provide a fantastic place to showcase a company name, logo and message. A place that’s noticed by lots of pairs of eyes as it’s carried through the mall and back home. The fact that they’re affordable doesn’t hurt either.

Promotional Products: What Doesn't Work, And What Does

October 2, 2013 1:35 pm Published by

Since the U.S. government isn’t working right now, it seems like a golden opportunity to talk about other things that don’t work… when it comes to using a promotional product for your business, that is. Multiple surveys have shown that promotional products get attention, get remembered and are more cost effective, than other forms of advertising — and you can rest assured that this will not stop working.
The only way these little powerhouses don’t do the job is if you ignore some basics. So here’s what we know does not work when it comes to promotional products
Not planning — choosing a quality promotional product isn’t a decision to be made on the spur of the moment. It calls for thought, understanding of your customer/prospective customer, a bit of careful research on suppliers and an investment of precious dollars.