Categories for Success Stories

ASI Survey: Promotional Products More Cost Effective

November 16, 2008 1:03 pm Published by
With the economy uncertain, it’s comforting to see that promotional products, also known as ad specialties, outperform other types of business advertising… by a lot. In times like these, when you might only have limited resources, getting your business noticed and remembered with promotional products is a good investment.
Adweek has the story on a just released new study conducted by theAdvertising Specialty Institute that found promotional products beat out all other forms of advertising — powerhouses like TV, radio and print — as the most cost effective way to promote a business. The research was conducted by a team of interviewers who talked with 600 travelers in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. The majority of respondents were businesspeople over the age of 21.
ASI figures have advertising specialties (i.e promotional products) accounting for 13% of the advertising market. In 2007 these products generated $19.6 billion in sales. 

"I'm A MAC" and "I'm A PC" Branding Lessons

October 26, 2008 12:31 pm Published by
As someone who works in advertising, I often watch commercials… looking for ideas, successes, failures and trends I can use to help my clients.
One series that’s been running for a while now are those smart, carefully crafted ads for the Apple Mac — a mere 30 seconds of wit and white space that prove a visually simple, consistently applied branding strategy can work. And work quite well.
Of course the ads, irreverent and humorous as they are, poke fun at PC’s and their… well… stodginess by pitting two perfectly cast characters against each other. Mac, played ably by actor Justin Long, and PC brought to life by actor/writer John Hodgman present the two ccompanies and their products in a very unique way. No tech talk… no promises or price cuts… just simple, head to head comparison of one product against another.
Being a die hard Mac user, I always saw Long as getting the best of poor, misguided Hodgman.

New Survey Shows Businesses Benefit From Telecommuting

October 24, 2008 12:29 pm Published by


Here’s a bit of news that’s near and dear to my heart… telecommuting from my home office as I do, and have for some time now. Technology makes it possible for me to work in one place and nearly instantly deliver what I do to another place… across the street or across the Atlantic ocean. Who would have ever thought it possible?
Research by Kate Lister and Tom Harnish in 2008 identifies a potential 33 million Americans who have jobs that could be done out of a home office. Current estimates place the number of those who telecommute at 14 million by 2009. Just imagine if we could reach the 33 million mark… the cuts in oil dependence (an estimated 24-48%) alone would be startling. Not to mention the reduction in worrisome greenhouse gases of an estimated 67 million metric tons each year.
According to a report in ASI Central, allowing employees to work from home (more…)

Small Business Owners Confidence Up 2 Months Running

August 26, 2008 11:47 am Published by
You’d think the pollsters, with the 2008 election so tantalizingly close, would have their hands full with weighty questions on party and platform. 
And yet, nearly 1,000 small business owners and consumers were surveyed in August not on their preference for a candidate, but rather on their spending intentions and capacity. The survey, conducted for Discover’s Small Business Watch by Rasmussen Reports, LLC an independent research firm. also asked for opinions on the economy and a rating of personal finances. 
Back in June, if you’d believed the slew of reports, recession was on the way… trouble was on the horizon… and everyone should beware. There was a post here that questioned the dire economic news of the times. I guess someone forgot to tell these small business owners things were bad and sure to get worse. Instead the small business owners economic confidence rose for the second month in a row.

"This Is Your CEO Speaking, How Can I Help You?"

June 12, 2008 10:45 am Published by
It’s a daring move, but well worth the effort.
A recent story in Business Week presents this rather unique approach to building trust and credibility with your customers and prospects. Most recently used by online personal financial services companies, it’s an amazingly valuable way for CEO’s and others to hear the voice of the customer for themselves. All it takes is an hour a week, and a dedicated phone line.
By spending time on the phones (or reading e-mails if phone work isn’t possible), senior executives have access to some pretty valuable data — how customers see you or your products, the experience they have with your company and the things that are important to them. This may, or may not be the messages you share in your advertising. Over time, you’ll get a fabulously accurate picture of your customer — a profile thats realistic and timely. Beyond this, your employees get the message that quality service is important enough for everyone, even the big guys, to make time for it.

Overcoming Sales Objections

May 29, 2008 2:30 pm Published by

In sales, objections are great. Yes, that’s right. Objections are at the heart of an adrenaline surge for any professional salesperson. You see, when potential customers raise objections to you, what it really means is that they’re interested in what you have to offer, but you haven’t addressed all their questions yet.
If this happens, welcome it with open arms. It is a signal that you need to go back and find out exactly what they want, get their questions answered and get the order signed. They are already listening to you. (more…)

Recession Success Stories

May 22, 2008 11:24 am Published by

In a perfect world, promotional products would be a line item on every organization’s budget not to be scratched come bad economy or cutbacks. They would be thought of as an investment, not an expense. And their inherent value would be understood by all.
Unfortunately, we do not live in that world. But PPAI Chairman of the Board Stan Breckenridge hopes to get us all a little closer. Through his post, Breckenridge aspires this year to spread the message of speaking with “One Voice.” Here’s the pitch: (more…)

Easy Does It

April 2, 2008 11:36 am Published by

It has been said the easiest way to get something done is to do it yourself. Well this is one theory, my theory is it is much easier to get someone else to do it and take the credit. Okay that is false but now that I have your attention here is the thought for the day “Make it Easy on them!”
Staples introduced an “Easy Button” in their commercials. The idea was that it was so easy to find what you needed and be done shopping that the touch of a button could do it for you. This “Easy button became so popular, that Staples began to sell it in store and online for $4.99. Not only is the “Easy Button” fairly good size, when you tap it a voice says “That was easy!” Everyone is looking for the magic button. So, make it easy on them! (more…)

Small Investments. Big Returns.

March 28, 2008 4:57 pm Published by

Truthfully, all I could remember about him that was he was big and lumbering and his pants sat well below his waist, but he knew my dishwasher like the back of his hand. He came out the same day I called, fixed my problem in half an hour and charged a fair price. I had a houseful of aging appliances and I knew I’d use him again, despite his unabashed lack of fashion sense.
So when my dryer stopped working two years later he was the guy I thought to call. Except that I’d long since filed (some might say misplaced) his paper invoice and the business card he left behind. I couldn’t remember his name… the business name… or how I’d found him. All I could remember was the pants, and how quickly and cleanly he’d worked. (more…)

McDonald’s Samples McSkillet Burrito for Leap Year Event

February 27, 2008 4:02 pm Published by

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.