Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

photo from miamism.com

photo from miamism.com

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Gossett Marketing team!

We are taking a couple of weeks off from the blog in order to celebrate the holidays. See you again in 2014!

5 Hot Promotional Products from 2013

photo from smehealthandsafety.co.uk

photo from smehealthandsafety.co.uk

2013 is winding down and it’s been a busy one here at Gossett Marketing. We’ve assisted customers with orders of all sizes for a wide variety of promotional products – everything from standard, white coffee mugs to custom-designed products that were produced overseas. You can truly imprint a logo on just about anything (mayonnaise, anyone?) but some promotional items are more popular than the rest. Here are our most commonly-ordered products of 2013:

  1. Writing Instruments – Although we all spend the majority of our days on computers, pens are still some of our best-sellers. Their price is right, everyone can use them, and they’re often shared, meaning that many pairs of eyes will see your logo.
  2. Bags – Bags offer a great return on investment because their recipients actually use them and as they carry them around town, your logo is visible to anyone they pass. People also use promotional bags multiple times before getting rid of them, so you are getting marketing exposure time and time again.
  3. Tech Items – This year we have sourced a spate of tech-related items for our customers. Tablet and e-reader cases are super popular, as are car chargers and power banks. Seemingly everyone has a personal electronics item on them at all times these days (even my grandmother!), so they’re sure to use something tech-focused.
  4. Health Items – One of our very biggest sellers this year has been hand sanitizer spray. It is inexpensive, the entire label can be imprinted (so you can include lots of information on each piece), it is very portable, and anyone can use it. Personally, I have a tube in my car that I whip out every time I go to a gas station and I always notice my customer’s logo when I use it.
  5. Apparel – Almost all of our customers order imprinted apparel from us on a regular basis. T-shirts are always popular for events like walks or festivals. Moisture-wicking polos with an embroidered logo are ideal for golf outings. And non-iron blouses and cardigans were in high demand for our corporate customers this year. Whenever I go to the mall it seems that I see someone wearing an item of clothing that we have either had silkscreened or embroidered – again, great logo exposure!

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, we’ve helped our customers with orders for a huge variety of promotional products this year but the five aforementioned items/categories were wildly popular in 2013. I’m not exactly sure what new types of promo products 2014 will bring, but I’d be willing to bet that these five stay hot next year!

Marketing for the Season

photo from brandactivation.nl

photo from brandactivation.nl

I recently wrote a blog post touting WestJet’s Christmas marketing miracle in which the airline had passengers tell Santa what they wanted for the holiday and then actually granted their wishes. Well, WestJet isn’t the only one who is using Christmas to its marketing advantage; Heineken is doing so as well. The beer maker’s strategy isn’t quite as warm and fuzzy as the airline’s was, but it is a lot of fun. You see, Heineken took over a room at a karaoke bar and invited patrons to sing a Christmas carol only to reveal that they were actually being recorded and that their renditions of holiday tunes would be played on the Jumbotron at a basketball game, in Times Square, or in all of New York’s taxis. The potential singers had a few seconds to decide whether play along, and those who did sing had…mixed results to say the least!

Heineken’s so-called Carol Karaoke campaign is a lot of fun and it is getting the brand attention in New York and beyond because it is so relatable. We’ve all gone karaoke singing (and if you haven’t then I’ve gone enough times to make up for you!) but we’ve probably never been broadcast while doing so, which begs the question: would you accept Heineken’s Christmas dare? I think I would!

Check out the cute YouTube video of Carol Karaoke by clicking below. And tune up those vocal cords – you could be next!

Pick the Right Networking Group

picture from politic365.com

picture from politic365.com

Miami, where Gossett Marketing is located, is a very diverse town. It is a melting pot to the nth degree, it is geographically varied, and it is home to a range of different businesses. Because of this eclectic mix of people, places, and companies, Miami also has a number of different, specific business networking organizations. We have dedicated chambers of commerce for women, Hispanics, and Haitian-Americans. There are also specific ones dedicated to particular parts of town: Miami Beach, North Miami, and Coral Gables to name a few. Plus, some focus on particular industries such as tourism. This wealth of networking groups gives us Miamians almost endless opportunities to meet new people, and to target those who might be able to help us grow our businesses. Most large cities in this country have as many (if not more) networking organizations as Miami does. The question is how do you decide which groups to join?

The first step to figuring out which chamber of commerce to join is to research them all. See who their members are and what kind of events they hold and you can quickly knock a number off of your list. For example, if you want to meet people who work in professional sports you should see which chamber has members from those organizations and check out some events to see who shows up. Speaking of showing up, you really need to do so to get anything out of a networking organization, so in your research figure out whose events work with your lifestyle. If Networking Group A has mostly morning meetings while Group B is more of an evening-oriented organization and you’re a morning person then eliminate Group B because chances are that you won’t attend the nighttime gatherings.

Once you have narrowed your list down to a handful of potential networking groups to join, attend a few of their gatherings. Different groups have different personalities, so figure out which one is a good match. You’re most likely to find me at a Greater Miami or Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce event than any others around Miami. I find the members of both to be very warm and open, plus they host events that are near where I work and live, so I’m more inclined to attend than I would be something in North Miami – traffic just makes it too challenging to get there and back.

While I think that you should join a networking organization that is home to members with whom you think you can grow your business, it’s also important just to get a good feeling from any given group. If you like the people and you like the events from a timing and location standpoint, then you will be more inclined to participate, and at the end of the day that is what networking is all about. So do a little research and find the right networking organization that works for you.

The Best Marketing

photo from theblaze.com

photo from theblaze.com

I’m sure that most of my well-informed readers have seen this video already, but I just have to share. Canadian airline WestJet surprised its customers by answering their Christmas wishes. Just watch the Youtube video below if you haven’t seen it yet.

I’m sure that this amazing Christmas stunt was expensive and terribly difficult to pull off. But no matter what it cost or how hard it was, it has gone so viral and made the airline look so good that it was worth every penny. This is marketing at its finest and something that every company can strive to emulate to some degree. Well done, WestJet!!

Excellent Customer Service Benefits Everyone

photo from everyguyed.com

photo from everyguyed.com

My dad hadn’t been to the eye doctor in a while and when he recently did so, he learned that his vision had changed and that his eyeglass prescription had changed quite a bit. Having had worn the same glasses for some years now, he took his new prescription as an opportunity to pick out new eyewear. In fact, he went ahead and bought four new pairs of glasses! I have a sneaking suspicion that my mom had a hand in pushing him to go all-out and buy a whole new wardrobe of spectacles, but that’s beside the point…

My father went on his glasses shopping spree at a local store called Specs Appeal Optical. He was clearly very happy with their inventory and when I made him model all of his new frames for me he mentioned that he was very pleased with the way the store had fit them to his face. Well, he was very happy with three of the four – the arms of one pair sat awkwardly on his ear. He brought those back to Specs Appeal the following day to have them adjusted, and rather than do that they offered to replace them with a pair of glasses that he would wear comfortably and love. My dad neither asked for a new pair nor expected to receive one, so when it was offered out of the blue he was thrilled! He took Specs Appeal up on is offer and will get his new, even-better-fitting prescription glasses later in the week.

When I heard that story I was impressed. Specs Appeal Optical certainly did not have to be so generous – they could have simply re-adjusted the glasses that my dad originally bought. They went above and beyond to make their customer happy and I’ll bet that my father will tell everyone who compliments him on his new glasses where he got them and how well the store treated him. Not only will he be a repeat customer, but I expect that some of his friends will visit Specs Appeal when they need a new pair of their own. Great customer service, then, is not only good for the customer, but it also benefits the company in the long run because it makes for excellent word of mouth marketing. Treat your customers well and they will keep coming back – and they’ll bring their friends!

Creative Promotional Products

photo from gamedayr.com

photo from gamedayr.com

As a native Miamian I am obligated to dislike the New England Patriots (among other teams), so it almost pains me to share this with you but as a promotional products professional I feel that I must because this is a really fun one. The Patriots have a linebacker named Jerod Mayo – and he is releasing his own line of mayonnaise!

Dubbed Jerod’s All Pro Mayo, the condiment comes in three flavors: Kickin’ Buffalo, Bruisin’ Bacon, and Crushin’ Chipotle. It can be found online or in stores in the Boston area (where silly people actually like Mayo’s team). I just find it to be a clever product – a fun play on the linebacker’s name that fans will enjoy. As I said, I do not like Mayo’s team, but I am awfully tempted to buy a bottle of his sandwich spread to send to friends who are!

I don’t really have any other analysis to offer other than the fact that I think Jerod’s All Pro Mayo is a fun line of products. It also shows that you can use anything, absolutely anything, to promote yourself and your business. So get creative with your promotional items!

A Blatant Attempt at Going Viral

photo from worknearyou.com

photo from worknearyou.com

I glanced at the Yahoo homepage the other day and saw a blurb about an NFL quarterback making trick shots in a sporting goods store. The accompanying picture looked like it showed Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, so being a Dolphins fan I clicked on the link. Sure enough, it was Tannehill playing around in a Dick’s Sporting Goods with the guys from DudePerfect.com.

The video is a blatant marketing piece – surely Dick’s and Dude Perfect want it to go viral so they’ll get more traffic. And the stunts that Tannehill pulls are so neat that they’ll probably pull it off! I know I’ve already shared it with friends and family.

Click here to see my team’s quarterback goofing off in a sporting goods store. I have to say, it looks like a lot of fun! Will you share the video too?

Hand Deliver Holiday Gifts

photo from marvelousmommy.com

photo from marvelousmommy.com

I don’t know if it’s writer’s block or what, but lately I’ve had a hard time thinking up blog topics. It’s been a particular challenge when it comes to writing for this, the networking category. What can I say that I haven’t already covered? This morning I had a particularly acute case of bloggers block. I knew I wanted to get my networking post out of the way, but when I thought about it (and Googled “networking” every which way from Sunday) I still came up with nothing. Then, lo and behold, the doorbell rang! You might not know this about Gossett Marketing, but in addition to our human workers there are three rescue dogs in the office on a daily basis. So the doorbell rang, barking ensued, and in came Hada Grullon, president and founder of our preferred courier company, Roy’s Delivery Services. What a breath of fresh air she was on a busy morning!

Roy’s Delivery has been around for 19 years, and our company has used their services for that long. They are simply the best – on time, affordable, and incredibly customer service oriented. Plus, today Hada came by to drop off our Holiday gift, an assortment of delectable sweet treats! Now the Gossett team is even more enamored of Hada’s organization! I could go on and on praising Roy’s Delivery Service and its fearless leader Hada, but right now I want to focus on how smart it was of her hand deliver our gift.

As a promotional products distributor, I spend a lot of time helping companies find the perfect holiday gift for their customers. I think that the things they give should be tasty or useful and that they should be imprinted with their company’s logo – might as well get some marketing out of a gift! We often end up drop shipping those gifts directly to the individual recipients. That’s all well and good (who doesn’t love to get a present in the mail?!), but hand delivering something gives a fantastic excuse to do some networking.

It can be difficult to get a meeting with customers, particularly at this hectic time of year. But if you show up at their office bearing gifts, I’ll bet that the majority of the time they’ll see you – they’ll want to know what kind of surprise you brought them. You might not have a full meeting, but at least saying hello and catching up for a few minutes will bring you and your company back to the top of your customer’s mind.

Sure, hand delivering holiday gifts takes more time than just sending them, but if you have local customers it might just be worth your while!

Cheers to Promotional Products

perrier-jouet
It’s the holiday season, and in my family that means one thing: champagne. When we get together any time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day – be it to celebrate a holiday, a birthday, or even just for regular old family dinner – we pop the bubbly. I have to say, it’s great fun to be a member of my family this time of year!

While champagne is a constant for my family during the holidays, the brand changes. This past Thanksgiving found us enjoying Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut. Perrier-Jouet makes a fine product, plus their bottle, which is decorated with flowers, is beautiful. I’ve often seen this type of champagne sold with promotional products such as flutes that are also imprinted with flowers. This year our bottles were packaged within a different type of promotional item – they were each packed in their own satiny cooler bags.

As you can see in the image above, the “cocktail bags” are really quite attractive. Designed by Claire Coles, they are reminiscent of the iconic Perrier-Jouet bottle but they are not overly-girly like the flutes might be. They are also practical because they are insulated and they do, in fact, keep a bottle of the bubbly stuff cool. While they were designed for Perrier-Jouet and are imprinted with the company’s logo, I’ll bet that people who end up with the cocktail bag will use it for other brands of champagne, wine, and water – and that’s darn good marketing for years to come! I know I will happily carry my pretty cooler with me whenever I volunteer to bring a chilled bottle of wine.

I’m always on the lookout for neat items to share on this blog, and I thought that the cocktail bags were unique enough to qualify. So cheers to the holiday season and to pretty promotional products!

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