T-Shirts People Want to Wear

Boccalone T-Shirt

We live in Miami, but my husband is a California native so we end up in San Francisco a lot. Whenever we are out there, I make a point of going to the Ferry Building, which is where they have a fabulous farmer’s market as well as unique shops and delicious cafes. It’s all great, but I must admit that I do have a favorite – Boccalone.

Boccalone is salumi store selling wonderful, small-batch cured meats. Everything that they make is absolutely scrumptious and I’m so happy that I discovered the store because, to be honest, I almost didn’t. You see, I have a huge sweet tooth so on our first trip to the Ferry Building, I was dragging my husband toward a beautiful chocolate shop. That’s when I first saw Boccalone and, with my sights set on truffles, I didn’t give the meat store a second thought until I saw their tagline – “Tasty Salted Pig Parts.” That was it! I had to see what Boccalone was all about!

During my visit, I swooned over scrumptious nduja, bought plenty of salami for our family, and then made my favorite purchase – I got a Tasty Salted Pig Parts t-shirt! To this day I wear the shirt at least twice a week, and whenever anyone sees me in it (generally at the grocery store – I try to look a little bit better most of the time), they always chuckle and ask about Boccalone. Essentially, I paid them $25 to do their advertising for them! Plus, I have several friends who have requested their own shirts for Christmas – we’re spreading the word in a big way!

Like mine from Boccalone, t-shirts give your brand excellent exposure, but only if they’re something that an individual wants to wear. If you are considering giving out or selling T’s, make sure you give the end user a reason to actually put it on – a clever saying, a beautiful silkscreened image, or performance fabric could all be motivators. After all, you can’t promote your brand with a shirt that sits in a drawer.

Check Out the New Site

Sales Promotions

It’s a crazy day here at Gossett Marketing, so instead of writing a lame-o article in the bits of time that I have available I’m going to direct you to Danette’s other site, SalesPromotions.org. On it you can read about promotional products, networking, trade shows, sweepstakes, incentive programs, and more. Check it out and then come back and see us here tomorrow!

Why Proofing Promos is Always Worth It

photo from gamedayr.com

photo from gamedayr.com

Here at Gossett Marketing, I’d say that 99% of the time when we produce promotional marketing products for our customer we have him or her review a paper proof prior to production. This generally adds a day or two to production time, but there are a lot opportunities for human error in imprinting promo items. I might inadvertently submit the wrong artwork to my supplier (we have a lot of logos on file!), our supplier might get the color incorrect, or our customer could have given a misspelled email address to print on his items. It happens! And it is much better to catch those little mistakes when they are on a paper proof instead of when they have been printed onto 15,000 t-shirts and given to that many baseball fans.

The Colorado Rockies had just that happen not too long ago. They had announced that they would be giving away Troy Tulowitzki jerseys at a particular game in order to drum up attendance. Lots of people came to the game; however, they got a Troy Tulowizki jersey instead. Someone had dropped the ball and left a “t” out of the admittedly-hard-to-spell last name. Oops! Now I’m not saying that the team or its promotional products distributor made this mistake because they failed to review a proof prior to production, but having one sure would have given them a good chance of catching the error.

The moral of the story is that even though they add a step to your promotional products ordering process, insist upon reviewing a proof prior to production.

Good Marketing (and good coffee)

photo from facebook.com/IKEAUSA

photo from facebook.com/IKEAUSA

I went to a Miami Marlins game recently and there was an IKEA display on wheels sitting in front of the stadium. It was a big truck with different room vignettes shown within. The store rolled it out to the event to promote its new store opening in Miami. And to lure Miamians to the mobile showroom, the people working there were giving out cafecito – strong, sweet Cuban-style espresso that is beloved in my hometown.

If you know anything about IKEA, then you know that it is a Swedish retailer as heralded for its meatballs as it is for its furniture. Personally, I was hoping that they’d be handing those out, but I actually think cafecito was the way to go. Would many people really want to eat a meatball outside on a hot day? Probably not. And you might think that a hot drink would also be a little bit iffy, but cafecito is this city’s lifeblood and nothing prevents us from standing around sipping it, not even a stifling summer.

The new IKEA is not yet ready for business, but seeing the rolling showroom at the Marlins game the other day did remind me that it’s coming. And I have to tell you, I’ve checked the website a few times for updates. I could spend an entire day at IKEA (yes, buying things that I probably don’t need) and when they do open their doors I plan to do just that. So good work with the marketing, and thank you for the cafecito!

How E-Mail Enhances Networking

email networking If you are a diligent networker who frequents networking events, makes strong connections there, follows up with those you’ve met, and really created relationships, then you know that over time you can build up a large business network. Having so many business contacts can actually prove difficult – how do you maintain relationships with so many people? If you ask me, you’d better start to harness the power of the internet, and e-mail in particular, to keep yourself relevant to your network even if you do not have time to connect with each and every one of its members personally on a regular basis.

The easiest way to stay top of mind with your vast business network is to send out newsletters. Your newsletters should be informative and relevant to your industry, providing helpful tips that your contacts will appreciate and/or use. The key to a good newsletter, though, is not to send it too frequently. I stop and take the time to read the newsletters that I receive biweekly or monthly, but I delete those that come through daily or twice weekly. I just don’t have time to read that many non-work e-mails, so individuals who e-mail their newsletters too frequently get deleted, and ultimately forgotten.

Writing a blog is another excellent way to stay top of mind with your network. Like your newsletter, your blog should largely be pertinent to your business, although it’s always fun to throw in some “Easter Eggs” to keep your readers interested. The nice thing about a blog is that members of your network can subscribe to it and get e-mailed updates when a new article is posted. In the case of this blog, I write new posts three times per week, meaning that my subscribers see my name that frequently. I recognize that in the previous paragraph I griped about receiving too many e-mails and ultimately trashing those that come in too frequently; however, blog updates are different. Because the people who receive e-mail updates have elected to do so, they are less likely to be annoyed by receiving them.

Now, I’m not saying that sending out a newsletter a couple of times each month or jotting down a few blog posts are all of the networking/networking follow up that you should do. But if you have an extensive network, then both are great tools for your arsenal. The old adage “out of sight, out of mind” is especially true in the networking world, so make sure that you are visible!

My All-Time Favorite Promos

photo from tervis.com

photo from tervis.com

Here’s the thing about Miami in the summertime: everything is constantly damp. It is hot and humid and it rains every day, so there is no real chance for anything to dry off. Plus, we all keep the interiors of our homes and cars cold, which causes condensation to form on the outside of windows – it is actually actively rolling down those of the Gossett Marketing office right now. While South Florida might be unique in this gross perpetual dampness, the rest of the country is plenty hot during the summer too. You guys north of us might not have condensation on your windows, but I’d be willing to bet that your glassware is a sweaty mess when it’s 98 degrees out. Enter what is probably my all-time favorite promotional marketing product – the Tervis Tumbler.

It might be a product of being a native Miamian, but I grew up with Tervis Tumblers and so did most of my friends. They sell them at Publix, so they’re pretty commonplace around these parts. But if you are not familiar with these items, I will explain them. Tervis Tumblers are double-walled drinking vessels that are made out of clear, heavy-duty polymer. They keep hot drinks hot and cold ones chilly, don’t shatter, are dishwasher safe, and they resist condensation so they are the ideal cups for life in the tropics where coasters are no match to the amount of water a cup can sweat off. That’s all well and good, but why are they good promotional items? Because most of them come decorated!

As I said, Tervis Tumblers are double wall insulated. The interior wall can be a color, but the exterior wall is always crystal clear, so you can see the interior wall and whatever decoration is adhered to it. That can be an embroidered patch or a clear acetate wrap that can be fully imprinted. Growing up, we had Tumblers with my parents’ club’s crest. Now I have my own, half with my University’s logo and half with my husband’s (we never forget whose drink is whose). Many of my customers order them as giveaways for event attendees – they are excellent gifts at fishing, golf, or tennis tournaments because their recipients love them and use them.

I can’t lie to you, Tervis Tumblers are not inexpensive. But they do give any brand great exposure because I’ve yet to hear of anyone just getting rid of theirs. They have a lifetime warranty, so why would you do that? However, if you still can’t make these brand-name beverage vessels fit your budget, then there are knockoffs available. And your customers will still love, keep, and use them regularly!


photo from pitchfork.com

photo from pitchfork.com

I hadn’t heard about or thought of Weird Al Yankovic in a really long time. But suddenly he is back on my radar because he is releasing eight new music videos – one a day for eight days. I guess I’m not as sophisticated as I thought because I keep watching them and they crack me right up!

Fortunately for someone like me who gets a kick out of them, the videos are everywhere. My friends keep posting them on Facebook, and they’ve been on sites such as Gawker. We’ve gone from zero Weird Al to an inundation overnight, which is a smart way for a satirical musician who had been off the radar for some time to promote himself. Get those videos out, make people laugh, and hope that they want more so they buy the album that the silly little films support.

In case you haven’t seen them, you can check out Weird Al’s newest music videos by going to his site – just click here.

Non-Traditional Networking

Plymouth Congregational Church

Think about the word “networking.” What immediately springs to mind? For me, it’s two of the business networking groups here in South Florida – the Coral Gables and Greater Miami Chambers of Commerce. They both host wonderful events that attract excellent professionals, and I’ve made good connections through both organizations. However, some of my best contacts have come from less traditional outlets.

If you’ve read this blog before, you probably know that I’m a runner. But you might not know that I actually lead a half marathon training group. We run extremely early on Saturday mornings because about 95% of us are business people and that’s the only time we can all get together. We come from all walks of life and professions and spending hours together each week has really allowed us to get to connect with each other. I know who to call when I need a top rated neurosurgeon, an architect, or a legal guru, and they know who to call when they need promotional marketing products (me!).

While I don’t go quite as often as my mother would like, I do frequent Plymouth Congregational Church. After Sunday service, there is always a social hour in the garden. While I don’t always talk shop with my fellow parishioners, I do develop bonds with them. Those bonds can ultimately extend to business – a man I met while sipping my coffee actually ended up re-roofing my parents’ house! And I know that when he needs marketing materials, I am going to be his first phone call.

Those are just two quick examples, but the moral of the story is that you can network anywhere! Get involved in groups that interest you, make new friends, and business will follow.

Unique Promotional Products, Volume 1

photo from snipe.net

photo from snipe.net

By and large when our customers approach us looking for promotional marketing items, they want something pretty simple and straightforward: pens, notepads, water bottles, stress relievers. I think those requests are great because those products are things that their target audience will use, and because they are imprinted with my customer’s name, it helps boost their brand’s exposure. But, to be perfectly honest with you, sometimes it gets a little old putting together presentations with the same old stuff, which is why I love it when my customers hit me with oddball ideas. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Rubik’s Cubes: although I’ve never been able to solve one, I can certainly get you custom-printed Rubik’s Cubes. If you give them to your customer, I guarantee that he will test his wits against it!
  • Dog Collars: we had a customer who was doing a dog walk for charity, so she asked for dog collars. Fortunately, we have suppliers who will print them, making Fido and Rex your brand ambassadors. Too cute.
  • Mugs: mugs don’t sound like very exciting promotional products, but when they are in a custom shape they are. We’ve done them in the shape of an airplane and explored several other options (pineapples and University of Miami’s “U”- shaped handles come to mind).
  • USBs: like mugs, USBs don’t sound particularly groundbreaking, but they’re pretty neat when they are in the shape of, say, a cruise ship. We’ve done custom USBs for various cruise lines down here depicting both their ships and their logos, and they look great! Plus, they are a little more fun than the usual thumb drive.
  • Snow Globes: if you have enough time and need enough pieces, then snow globes are a fun route. They can depict your building, your logo, something about your industry…really, your imagination is the only limit.
  • Costumes: does your company have a mascot? Or do you produce a particular type of item? Then why not make a costume to represent that? We have a fruit distributor who wanted to send its employees to trade shows dressed as bananas, and we were actually able to source those outfits for them.

Now that my coworker and I are brainstorming, we’ve come up with tons and tons of different/fun/strange items that our customers have requested of us. I’ll leave you with these six, and maybe they will get your creative juices flowing! Stay tuned for more volumes of unique and different promotional products.

On a different note, can you solve a Rubik’s Cube? Check out this YouTube video and see people who definitely can:

Uh Oh, it’s a Sharknado!

photo from darkhorizons.com

photo from darkhorizons.com

Well we’re smack dab in the middle of hurricane season here in Miami. It’s just a part of life when you live in South Florida. And while hurricanes aren’t any fun, at least they aren’t Sharknados! No, those mythical storms only happen on the SyFy channel, and they’re so bad that they’re good. The trailer for the next installment of the Sharknado franchise was just released, and we have been cracking up in our office, so I thought my readers might enjoy it. Without further ado, behold!


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