Unique Holiday Promo Products

Holiday Gifts

The holidays are coming and that means it’s client gift time! Our customers tend to take one of two approaches to this time of year. Some people order the same thing annually – usually something edible. These taste treats are great (logoed chocolates are made fresh, so they really are delicious), but they might not be terribly memorable. That is why the second group of customers likes to give the people on their holiday lists unusual gifts – creative items that help to differentiate them from the competition.

I absolutely love to receive unique gifts like those that our latter group of customers sends; however, I’m often charged with locating those quirky presents and, let me tell you, it can be hard to come up with interesting suggestions! To get everyone’s creative juices flowing, here are a few of Gossett Marketing’s favorite imaginative ideas:

  • If your company has a green initiative, give out certificates that allow your customers to have trees planted in their names. When they do, they will receive a branded certificate to commemorate the donation.
  •  A tech company might give imprinted Bluetooth keyboards that are compatible with tablet devices – their customers will see their logo every time they type.
  • If price is no object, go for luxury! A beautiful pashmina or an elegant Bulova watch is always appreciated. Even if you choose not to include your logo on the actual items your customer is sure to remember who gave it to them – lavishness is memorable.
  • And if you usually give out that box of chocolates shake things up this year! Give out logoed bags! They can be inexpensive, and people absolutely do use them – hello, marketing!

So start thinking about the holiday season – it’s an excellent time to do a little marketing while making your customers happy.

Just because I’m now in the holiday spirit, click on this YouTube clip of “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” from the original How The Grinch Stole Christmas!

Keeping an Open Mind

Ice Cream Sandwich

One of my dearest friends lives in Los Angeles and is very close to two young women entrepreneurs who own a rapidly-expanding gourmet ice cream business called Coolhaus. They already have trucks in Los Angeles, New York, and Austin, so they decided to set their sights on Miami just in time for our tourist season to really pick up – good planning!

Freya and Natasha, the company’s principals, had done their research on Miami’s food trucks, but our mutual friend encouraged us to meet. To be perfectly honest, I was a little nervous: I’m not part of the local food truck “scene,” and I didn’t want to disappoint them with my lack of knowledge (or hip-ness!). Truthfully, I did not want to waste their time. So when we met I was pleased to discover that Freya and Natasha didn’t want to talk to me to learn about Miami’s chicest hot spots – they already had contacts who could point them in that direction. They came to our meeting with totally open minds and seemed to appreciate any insight I could give them.

If you ask me, keeping an open mind is an excellent way to network, but it isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Had I been in the Coolhaus women’s shoes, I probably would have thought to myself, “Lillian is a born-and-raised Miamian with great contacts through her work at Gossett Marketing – who can she introduce me to?” But they did not do that. Instead, they explained their business and asked for my perspective as to how it could thrive in my hometown. Hopefully my ideas about farmers’ markets, our local universities, etc. will prove beneficial to them in the long run.

Maybe our meeting will also result in Coolhaus purchasing logoed t-shirts or promotional marketing products, but even if it doesn’t, I’m glad I had a chance to chit chat with Freya and Natasha. They reminded me to keep an open mind when I network. After all, you never know what someone else’s perspective can bring to your business.

Networking With Your Customers

Business Networking Event Whenever I think about networking events I always immediately assume that I am going to meet new people, but sometimes that is not the case. And sometimes that’s a good thing!

This morning I was talking to Danette about a Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce event that she attended last night. She said that she felt like she knew everyone in the room, so rather than spending the evening making new acquaintances, she used her time to strengthen connections with our current customers. She said that she saw several individuals that we’ve worked with in the past who didn’t realize that we produce their company’s promotional products – they thought we just did their logoed apparel. Because those particular customers know her, she didn’t have to do the “elevator speech” thing and she was able to take the time to expand their understanding of what Gossett Marketing does.

She ran into another familiar face from Baptist Health South Florida who had an “aha!” moment when she saw her. She had been meaning to call about some custom promo products but just had not gotten around to it. Seeing Danette gave her the opportunity she needed to brainstorm some ideas, and Danette has already sent her quotes!

While it is always great to meet new contacts at networking events, seeing familiar faces can benefit your business too. Take the opportunity to get to know them a little better. Who knows? They might need your services, you might need theirs, or you both might get some excellent referrals from the event.

This YouTube video has some great examples of what NOT to do when you’re networking!

Marketing Absurdity!

Mardi Gras Casino Udderly Ridiculous PromotionI always watch The Today Show when I’m getting dressed for work and usually I am able to tune out the commercials, but one caught my attention this morning. It was for the Mardi Gras Casino and it was advertising a cow milking contest that gives players (milkers?) a chance to win $4,500.00.

This is utterly bizarre to me. The casino is in South Florida – known more for orange groves than dairy farms – so why on earth would they have a cow milking promotion? I searched their website and I still can’t understand what cows have to do with the establishment, nor can I determine if they even use real cows for the contest. Because the casino isn’t cluing me in, I’ve come to my own conclusion: they’re running this promotion for the sheer absurdity of it.

It’s not an uncommon marketing strategy, actually. Look at the recently-departed Burger King “King.” A big, silent, creepy-looking character who had little-to-nothing to do with hamburgers but whose campaign lasted for years. Why? Because people talked about him and therefore spread the word about BK.

I’m talking to you (and to everyone else) about the Mardi Gras Casino cow milking contest, which is excellent word of mouth marketing that is based on an idea that is so silly that the casino even calls it the Udderly Ridiculous Promotion! It might not work for every industry, but being a little kooky might just be a good way to advertise certain brands.

College Football Mania

UM TailgatingThe season of College Football is now in full swing. All Saturday afternoon in many homes the TV is on constantly with the all the various games. As a matter of fact, a friend of mine has installed a second flat screen TV so he can be watching multiple games without changing channels. And let’s not forget going to the games and all the wonderful tailgating that goes on. I had friends this past weekend at the Ohio State game –they arrived 4 hours prior to the game and set up their Ohio State chairs, umbrella and flags.

Being in Miami and a big fan of the University of Miami Hurricanes I am already looking forward to Home Coming and have a group getting together for the tailgating afternoon. As a group we’ve tailgated before and I am always surprised how many people stop by our “area”. They stop because our space and us are so “Hurricaned” — with the our shirts and hats, our shade tent, chairs, banners, tables and even the BBQ with the U logo.

It’s a great opportunity to show your school spirit, do you? Are you a fan? Take a look at this YouTube video of highlights…

Branding at the US Open

Jumbo Tennis Ball I watched a snippet of the US Open this weekend and was amazed by the number of logos that I saw. They were on the players’ outfits, t-shirts that fans wore in the stands, on the net, jumbo tennis balls that kids were having autographed – everywhere! Certainly people who were actually at the match saw even more than I did, but I was surprised by how much branding was obvious through the TV. What great marketing dollars those sponsors spent!

Your company might not be able to sponsor a national event like the US Open, but you can probably get involved in something local.  Gossett Marketing sponsored a University of Miami golf tournament, and our logo was everywhere!  We are also donating awards for an upcoming Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce event, which means that our name will be on all of the associated signage, invitations, etc.  I wish that our logo was on the net at the US Open (and thus shown on national TV), but until that happens, these Miami-based events are a great way to enhance our own branding and marketing efforts.  I encourage any company – big or small – to sponsor some type of local event.  Find something that interests you and fits with your business, and you will absolutely increase your logo exposure: what a great way to get your name out in the community!

Click on this YouTube video to see a recap of the event – how many logos can you spot?

An Invaluable Business Tool

Padfolio from Leed's A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about business card holders because I think they are vital to good networking. Another promotional marketing product that I find to be an invaluable business tool is a padfolio. You know, the leather or leather-like zippered folios that include an interior organizer, replaceable notepad, and maybe a pocket.

Personally, I do not attend a meeting without my padfolio. It gives me a place to write notes (or doodle!), it always has a pen and extra business cards in case I need them, and it is a great place to store small items. I never have that “may I please borrow a pen and piece of paper?” moment when I’m in a meeting, which helps me look and feel professional.

My padfolio also happens to have the Gossett Marketing logo on the front, so when I carry it we get excellent brand exposure.

No matter what you do, your company should consider giving padfolios to your employees – at least those who often leave the office for meetings and events. They will lend them a businesslike air, and they will help your marketing efforts to boot!

Click here to browse our selection of these fabulous products for business.

Check out this funny YouTube video – you never know where a borrowed pen has been!

A Brand Based on Infamy?

Nike LeBron 8 Tag I was walking around South Miami last week when I encountered a line of about 100 young men outside of the shopping center that houses our Nike Town. Curious, I asked them what they were doing, and they told me that they were waiting for the new LeBron James shoes – the Nike LeBron 8 PS “Finals.”

The line for the LeBron 8s really surprised me. I can’t really imagine waiting in line for hours for a pair of sneakers, but beyond that – isn’t LeBron a villain? Aren’t we supposed to hate him?

I know what you’re thinking: you live in Miami, LeBron plays for the Heat, of course people in that wacky part of the country love their star player! But according to the website kicksonfire.com, the shoes sold out completely in 10 minutes. Surely they couldn’t have all been purchased by Miamians…

I’ve been trying to figure out why I think the demand was so high for the LeBron 8s, and I’ve come up with a couple of theories. First, Nike is obviously known for its excellent product and these shoes are their latest and greatest, so people wanted them for the technology. Second, although LeBron James might be considered infamous by most of the country, there is no such thing as bad publicity. He gets talked about. A lot. And he has used that conversation to market himself and enhance his brand. Infamy might not work for everyone, but it works for Mr. James.

Why do you think the shoes were so popular? Please help me (and the rest of the Gossett Marketing team) figure it out by leaving your thoughts in the comments section below.

We love LeBron down here. Click on this YouTube video to see him in action!

A Re-Commitment to Networking

Handshake

Oh the dog days of summer. I don’t know about other parts of the country, but down here in Miami it’s muggy, buggy, rainy, and seemingly no one wants to do anything. Unfortunately, that includes networking: the few events that take place between late May and early September feel empty and no one in attendance ever seems to have his or her heart in it.

Well, Labor Day is coming up, so I am taking the holiday as an opportunity to re-commit to networking. I’m calling it my New School Year Resolution – I pledge to attend more events at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, to exchange business cards with all new acquaintances, to increase my time on LinkedIn, and to follow up with all leads.

The whole Gossett Marketing team has resolved to step up our networking, who’s with us? Please let us know if you are – and your New School Year Resolution pledges – in the comments below.

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