Pardon our Dust

photo from stjohns-dc.org

photo from stjohns-dc.org

We recently spruced up the Gossett Marketing website (check it out here) but we’re not stopping there. Our home office in beautiful Coconut Grove, Florida is presently being renovated. It will be all fresh and beautiful by 2015 – which is when I will be back to blogging! Until then, have a wonderful holiday season!

Welcome Back, Eastern!

photo from miamiherald.com

photo from miamiherald.com

Did you know that Eastern Air Lines is making a comeback? The fabled carrier – part of the original “Big Four” airlines – is re-launching with its home base in Miami. It will begin as a charter service, and with 20+ jets on order, it will expand from there. The great news is that Eastern is expected to bring about 2,000 jobs to the state of Florida. Now that’s exciting news!

To learn more about Eastern Air Lines, visit their website by clicking here. And look out for their livery in the skies above sunny South Florida in 2015!

Show Some Personality when Networking

photo from socialmediaimpact.com

photo from socialmediaimpact.com

Going to networking events, to me, does not feel like a normal, natural thing to do. It’s not in my wheelhouse to want to walk into a roomful of strangers and start chatting with the first person I see. Nor am I so gregarious as to be the person who spots the obvious group of “cool kids” and marches up to them to join their clique. But in order to expand my business I force myself to behave as if I was a born extrovert when I’m in a networking situation.

Forcing myself to behave like someone I’m not seems a little disingenuous, though: like I’m pretending to be someone I’m not. So in order to combat that feeling at a networking event, I am also sure to let my personality shine through. But how? Well, if you’ve read this blog then over the years you’ve come to know a bit about me. I love to travel, live for good food, I’m on the goofy side, I attend too many weddings to count, I’m a big Miami sports fan, etc. So much like I do in this format, when I’m at a networking event I think it’s totally OK to talk about those aspects of my life as well as the business side.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t walk up to the first businessman I see at a chamber of commerce luncheon and immediately tell him about my friends getting married in Amelia Island. But once we’ve exchanged elevator speeches and learned a little bit about each other’s businesses, what’s the harm in asking someone if he likes the fact that the Marlins signed Giancarlo Stanton? I actually find that that type of casual, less business-y conversation breaks the ice a lot better than something more professional. It also makes our interaction more memorable, I think, so hopefully when he or I calls or emails to follow up, we will know who the person on the other end of the phone actually is (rather than trying to picture a random person in a suit).

Networking events are unnatural to begin with, but if you let your personality peek through your business persona, they might just feel a little bit more normal. Plus showing your true colors might ultimately increase the amount of business that these meetings bring.

The Value of Logoed Apparel

photo from sanmar.com

photo from sanmar.com

I spend a hefty amount of time discussing the merits of various promotional marketing products in this section of the blog. The vast majority of my focus is on promo items that you’d give to customers – anything from a pen to an imprinted power bank to chocolates to high-end holiday gifts. I tend to talk about that vein of the industry because those giveaway items give your logo great exposure and thus enhance your marketing efforts. You know what else does that? Logoed apparel.

Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m not sure why I don’t talk about logoed apparel more often. I sometimes feel like I spend all day, every day quoting it for people – and I have my embroiderer and silkscreener on speed dial! And that is for good reason. Like other promotional marketing items, logoed clothing gets seen by a lot of people!

Most of the clothing that we sell is shirts with embroidered logos on the left chest. Embroidery, physically sewing a logo onto a piece of cloth, seems like it might be expensive, but it usually is not. Pricing is based on the number of stitches it takes to sew your particular image and the quantity that you order, but it generally only adds a few dollars to each item. The nice thing about it is that it lasts and continues to look crisp even after washing, so any employees wearing a decorated shirt will be sharply dressed time and time again, which always makes a good impression.

Silkscreened shirts would definitely be our second most popular type of imprinted apparel. Recently we have been doing dry-fit shirts with logos front and back for many of our customers. They wear them at outdoor events, and all of the attendees see their company name again and again. It’s an easy way to create a unified look for staff members, it provides good branding, and keeps wearers cool and comfortable all day!

Long story short, when you are thinking of ways to promote your brand, consider apparel. A few shirts for each employee – whether they have an embroidered or silkscreened imprint – won’t cost you too much, and they will give your logo excellent exposure!

3 Tips to Foster Business Relationships

networking relationships

Of course the reason that any of us attend networking events is to build new business relationships. It’s easy to meet people at events, but it’s not necessarily so simple to turn those meetings into productive connections. It takes time and a good amount of follow-up to make yourself known and memorable to the people that you meet at an event, and even if you do put in the effort, there is certainly no guarantee that anything will come of it. So I’ve taken a poll of the Gossett Marketing team to see how this group of successful (and modest!) networkers does it. Here are 3 simple tips to foster the business relationships that begin at networking events.

  1. Have a reason to follow up with someone. After an event, it’s tempting to send out a generic “it was nice to meet you today” e-mail to everyone whose business card you received. Resist the urge! Instead, send a personal note that brings up the topics that you discussed. For instance, if you spoke with someone about a problem they are having, try presenting a solution in your e-mail. Not only will you look like a useful contact to have, but you will open up a dialogue that will help your relationship grow.
  2. Bolster your budding business association through social media. As Gossett Marketing’s blogger, I’m particularly fond of this idea – when I meet people in the real world, I like to then connect with them on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn because I find that it is a more casual, open way to connect than with them than by leaving stiff telephone messages. It’s amazing how quickly you can bond with someone via 140 word tweets!
  3. When all else fails, resort to snail mail. I think that everyone has been rejected when trying to build a business relationship with a new contact. You call, you e-mail, you tweet – all to no avail. At some point you have to throw in the towel (or else risk looking like a stalker). Before you do that, though, take the time to write the object of your business affection a quick note and mail it to him or her. Be sure to include your card, and just be honest about it. Say that you understand that he or she is busy, but that you wanted them to have your information. Everyone likes to get mail, so you know that he or she will read it, and perhaps it will move them to give you a call. If not, then at least they will have seen your name and company logo again – every bit of exposure counts.

I recognize that we aren’t reinventing the wheel with these tips, but sometimes networking – or the time spent following up after an event – can be frustrating. Rather than give up, try some different approaches. You never know, they could help you build new business relationships that could be profitable to both parties.

Powerful Branding with Promo Products

photo from bulletline.com

photo from bulletline.com

We live in an ever more mobilized world. We are on the go, yet in touch and online 24/7 with our smart phones, pads and laptop computers. Our requirements for electric power outlets have catapulted from need to full-blown craving. Just visit any busy airport, conference center, hotel lobby or coffee shop to see what I’m talking about.

So let’s turn this craving for power into an opportunity to do some powerful promotional marketing for your business brand. I travel with my own personal source of power for my cell phone, pad and computer. It is called a power bank. I never have to go in search of an electric outlet and can communicate and work wherever I am, inside or outside.

Power banks come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. They can power from one to five devices simultaneously. Imprinted with your company logo, they would be wonderful gifts and incentives for clients, employees, and customers – even family members.

The last time I traveled I was stunned at the surge of people huddled along walls in the airport, the conference center of the summit I attended and the hotel where I stayed. Many men and women in business attire were sitting on the floor connected to their devices that were plugged into the nearest outlet. Imagine saving your clients or employees from having to crouch on a floor that’s been trampled by the masses.

The holidays are coming and single device power banks are perfect stocking stuffers that everyone will surely love and appreciate. If there’s not enough time to get power banks imprinted with your logo for the season, perhaps you can bestow this gift as a welcome to the New Year.

The most important aspect of selecting power banks is to make sure they are UL inspected for safety. When gift giving, it is impossible to select one power bank that will work with all the different brands of devices. However, those that are UL inspected are sure to be the safest. There are some hazards associated with power banks that everyone should be aware of. However if you order from a reputable promotional marketing company and discuss safety concerns before placing your order, you will be assured of a quality product.

The power of mobile communications is astonishing to watch as our world continues to evolve and change. As this phenomenal method of communicating expands there are opportunities galore to cash in on the trend. I, for one, am a huge proponent of putting my logo in the places where it’s going to be most noticed.

Isn’t it time for you to cut the cord too and give your clients, customers and employees the freedom to do business without being tethered to a wall? It’s a powerful feeling to give people a new sense of freedom and a powerful way to build a brand.

Chinese New Year & Promotional Products

Chinese dragon dance

Chinese New Year is quite different from our Western New Year’s celebrations. It is a 15 day long festival and is considered to be the most important holiday of the Chinese Lunar Calendar. Central to the celebration is family – meaning that individuals who have moved away from their ancestral homes travel great distances to return for the festivities. China does not necessarily have the level of infrastructure that we are used to, so travel times can vary widely. Some workers might spend over a week trekking to see their families – and don’t forget that they have to make that journey both ways!

While I’m thrilled that the hardworking Chinese people have an extended opportunity to celebrate the New Year and to visit with their families, Chinese New Year is difficult for the promotional products industry. Like seemingly everything else, the majority of promotional products are produced in China, then our suppliers ship them in and imprint them with companies’ logos domestically. During the Chinese New Year celebration, the overseas factories shut down so that their workers can celebrate – a closure that results in zero new marketing products entering the US from China for about a month! So if a supplier runs out of an item that one of our customers wants to order, then I have either find a different supplier with the same product or our customer is just out of luck. The result is lost orders for our suppliers and extra work for us.

As I’ve mentioned previously, Gossett Marketing produces a large amount of custom promo items for our customers. Again, these are mostly made in China, so during the New Year celebration we are unable to get accurate price quotes from the Chinese factories and the orders that have been placed have to wait for about a month to be completed. Frankly, this makes meeting in-hands dates difficult without proper planning.

Chinese New Year’s Day is on February 19, 2015, so whether you are ordering promotional marketing products or something else around that time, be aware that this celebration can make receiving goods difficult.

Take a look at this YouTube video of lanterns being released – a traditional, and beautiful, part of the festivities:

Networking Results in Party Time!

questgarden.com

questgarden.com

When I need inspiration for a new blog post, I very often turn to the Internet to see what I can drum up. Usually I can read other people’s words, something in my brain clicks, and I can rattle out a post of my own in no time flat. Today I had planned to seek inspiration from another writer and roll with what I came up with, but the article I found was just too good not to share. It’s about networking and one of the first lines involves drug kingpins – how can I compete with that?! Rather than try to come up with an equally entertaining blog piece about business networking, I thought I’d share what I found.

From the website The Week, I give you Eric Barker’s article, “Barking Up The Wrong Tree.” Click here and learn how networking results in party time!!

A Good Use of Promotional Products

photo from www.germany.info

photo from www.germany.info

My husband Nick and I spent Thanksgiving in Berlin, Germany – I mean, where else do you celebrate the most American of holidays other than Europe?! Joking aside, we had an absolute blast exploring the city, visiting historic sites, learning about the culture, and we even liked being cold (we live in Miami so it was a great change). But overall, our absolute favorite part of the visit was getting to go to the Christmas Markets that sprung up throughout the city during our stay. They were so festive and all different! What a great experience!

If you’ve read this blog for any time at all, then you know that I can’t help myself – I must relate seemingly every experience in my life to promotional marketing products. My visits to the Christmas Markets in Berlin is no different, it is about to get the promo items treatment! As I mentioned, it was cold in Germany. Very cold. So when we visited the outdoor markets we had to do something to stay warm. For my husband that meant eating a variety of delicious foods. And for me, staying warm meant that I had to drink some gluhwein.

If you are unfamiliar with it, gluhwein is hot mulled wine, often brewed with spices, citrus, and sugar. Honestly, it’s not my very favorite beverage, but when the thermometer read 0 degrees, I did what I had to do to warm myself up. And after the first mug it just keeps getting better…

When you visit the Christmas Markets in Berlin, and presumably the rest of Germany, gluhwein is served in decorative glass or ceramic mugs emblemized with the name of the market and often a Christmas-y scene. When you order your drink you pay a certain number of Euros, and then upon returning your mug you received a deposit back – generally about half of the initial amount you paid. Or if you wanted the mug, then you just kept it. It was such a unique use of promotional products because many of the people who ordered gluhwein photographed themselves with their mugs, and probably shared that image on social media, which is a great promotion for the market in question. And the people who kept their mugs now have that promotional item to remind them of their time in a given Christmas Market. It’s good marketing!

If you ever head to Germany during the holidays, be sure to enjoy some gluhwein – and do with your mug as you see fit!

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