Brand the Sand: A Fun Summer Item

Flip Flops

Even though it is only May, it already feels like summer here in Miami. The days are long, the sun is bright, and it is hot. So hot, in fact, that I am planning on hitting the beach this weekend- a nice dip in the ocean will refresh this overheated blogger!

A great perk to working at Gossett Marketing is the fun, branded samples that we receive. One of my favorites is a pair of rubber Havaianas-style sandals that we had made for the Orange Bowl a year or so ago. They’re black and have silver “Obie” logos. Subtle but cute! And you can bet that they will be on my feet when I hit the sand on Saturday.

While I love our Orange Bowl flip flops, I wish we had added one thing to them. If I had my way, we would have carved their logo out of the sole of each sandal. That way, when the wearer walked on the beach a logo imprint would have been imprinted in the sand. Imagine giving your customer sandals that literally branded the beach for you! If that person was on Miami Beach, then thousands of viewers could potentially see your company name. It’s a creative promotional product that is ideal for the summer – what an impression custom-soled flip flops could make! (Sorry for the bad pun, I couldn’t help myself!)

Hashing Out the Almighty Hashtag

photo from www.neboagency.com

photo from www.neboagency.com

If you are anything like me, then when you are on various social media sites you employ the hashtag. It makes terms searchable, it gets your posts noticed by others who share your interests, and ultimately they will increase your following on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the like. But are you using hashtags to their full potential? I know I’m not. Fortunately, I recently found a handy infographic that explains their importance and breaks down the most effective ways to use them. I am not going to waste your time or mine by writing out what is already conveniently illustrated; rather, I’m going to have you click here to check out SurePayroll’s blog. Hopefully it will help you boost your hashtagging game!

Completely Random Post

www.virtuousyou.com

www.virtuousyou.com

This post has absolutely nothing to do with anything else on the blog, but that’s why we have a section called “Everyday Life Vignettes,” right? I’m about to tell you a little bit about makeup so if you have zero interest in that feel free to read something else (maybe head to our blog archive to read less-frivolous content!).

I was puttering around the Internet, trying to come up with some sort of blog post inspiration and I stumbled across a Forbes article headlined “I Spent $28 On Mascara So You Don’t Have To.” I love makeup and wear mascara every single day so I simply had to read it! As the title implies the author, Emma Johnson, purchased a tube of designer mascara – and wasn’t impressed with the results. She dug a little deeper and found that the difference between drug store and their more expensive department store counterparts is, for the most part, the packaging. As a firm believer in Maybelline mascara I was not terribly shocked to learn that this is the case with that type of product, but I was surprised that some drug store foundations are dead ringers for drug store formulas. Could it be time to give up my beloved MAC powder? Probably not, but let me know if you know of a more economical alternative!

Click here to read the aforementioned article. And never fear, we will be back to more pertinent topics next time!

“Sweatworking” – are you in?

photo from spectrum.ieee.org

photo from spectrum.ieee.org

I had the radio on in the car today. Everyone always makes fun of me because I listen to it at such a low volume that it’s barely audible, which is probably why I’m never really hip to the newest music and whatnot! I guess I had turned it up a notch because when the DJ came on he mentioned something called “Sweatworking” and explained that it’s a way for professionals to get to know each other while exercising – kind of the opposite of a normal networking event where rather than burn calories you consume them in the form of snacks and alcohol.

As I drove I was thinking about the “Sweatworking” concept. I have written blogs here in the past about how I have had excellent networking luck within my running group – we got together based on our pace and are a motley crew but somehow we get along well and are even able to help one another in a professional capacity. However, when we met our intention was not to sweat and network: it was all about running. For some reason, that makes me feel like “Sweatworking” is somewhat awkward.

I love the idea of non-traditional networking, but I think that I like it when it happens organically like it has within my running group. “Sweatworking” is non-traditional but to me it feels somewhat forced. Maybe it’s because I’m a drippy-sweaty worker-outer, or maybe it’s due to the fact that many exercises are terribly unflattering, but I do not really want to meet potential business partners when I’m exercising. I’d really rather them see me at my best first, then later on they can witness me doing my thing in possibly-sheer Lululemon pants!

Now, just because “Sweatworking” isn’t my thing does not mean that it’s not a perfect fit for you. Maybe (hopefully) you look better than I do mid-workout – perhaps you glow instead of sweating like I do. Perhaps you’re shy in normal networking situations but the gym brings out the best in you. If you like it, then go for it. “Sweatworking” is a real thing, in Chicago at least. Visit their website by clicking here. Me? I’ll stick to huffing and puffing with my already-established running buddies and hopefully we can continue to expand our business relationships.

Presidential Promotional Products

photo from www.americanflagstore.com

photo from www.americanflagstore.com

Recently I wrote a post about the importance of online promotional products stores. As I mentioned, they are a great internal tool because they help keep a brand’s identity consistent. They are also ideal for those organizations who want to sell imprinted promotional products in order to both make money and to promote their cause. Although I had not thought of these online stores in terms of presidential campaigns, it makes perfect sense that people in that (endless) race would have stores of their own.

I recently opened Yahoo and stumbled upon a very thorough article documenting the importance of promotional marketing items to presidential campaigns. Its author, Olivier Knox, has done a very thorough job of researching and explaining this to readers. Click here to check out his article and be sure to let me know if you’ve seen any memorable campaign souvenirs on your own. No matter which side of the aisle you’re on, you have to admit that “Hillary’s Hard Drive” is awfully amusing!

Top 5 Twitter Errors

Twitter Error

I have been handling the majority of Gossett Marketing’s social media for about a year now, so I’m getting more comfortable blogging and interacting on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Having somewhat of a handle on the various sites has also allowed me to understand what not to do. So many self-proclaimed social media “gurus” make egregious errors that are so easily avoided! Because of its fast pace, I find that these mistakes stand out the most on Twitter, so I am going to focus on that networking site for this post. Here are the top 5 Twitter errors that hold people back:

  1. Having no biography. If you don’t have a quick, informative blurb about yourself, then I am simply not going to follow you. You can’t take the time to tell the Twitterverse about yourself, so why are you going to take the time to get to know me?
  2. Having a horrible biography. I’m constantly amazed by the number of bios that I read that contain profanity or are sexually explicit. I do not follow those people! And I tend to stay away from people who have huge spelling or grammatical errors – if they can’t pull together 140 characters correctly, then chances are they won’t share meaningful content.
  3. Not having a picture. Our Twitter account, @MarketngTidbits, has over 2,000 followers and we follow about that many people ourselves. I use other accounts’ pictures as a quick and easy way to identify them. Some people really like photos of the account holder, but I’ll take anything: your logo, your face, your dog, just something that helps me pick you out of a lineup.
  4. Tweeting the same thing all of the time. I understand that most of the Twitter accounts that I follow are business related, so they try to focus on that. I recognize that I can get very myopic and talk about marketing all day long! But I don’t tweet the exact same information 17 times in a row, and I don’t think you should either. I know that you’re proud of your latest blog post, but if you throw it into your followers’ faces continuously, then they will stop paying attention to you (they might even unfollow). Give us some useful and varied info about your subject of choice – it’s all about content!
  5. Not letting conversations end. OK, the key to successful Twitter networking is engagement, and I know that I love to talk to my Twitter friends. However, sometimes our conversations need to end! For example, when I give @faketwitter a #FF mention and he thanks me, I usually say something like “you’re welcome, have a great weekend!” To me, that should be that. @faketwitter does not need to respond with an emoticon! If @faketwitter and I were having a conversation in person and I said, “have a great weekend” and walked away, he wouldn’t tap me on the shoulder to give me a goofy smile – treat Twitter like you would a real conversation.

Actually, I think #5 is a good stopping point. Treat the people on Twitter like you would people at a typical networking event. Don’t beat them over the head with the same sentence, let conversations stop naturally, and present yourself in a good light (both as a picture and in your biography). Basically, be a normal but engaging human being and you never know who you’ll meet or where your normal but engaging interactions will take you!

Why Online Promo Products Stores?

photo from www.shumsky.com

photo from www.shumsky.com

As any reader of this blog well knows, I work at Gossett Marketing and we are a promotional products distributorship located in Coconut Grove, Florida. That means that we sell the imprinted promo items that keep your logo in front of your customer 24/7. Traditionally promos are sold when we talk to a customer, determine the type of product that they need, make suggestions, secure the order, process it, and have it delivered. Pretty straightforward. Well, we’ve found a way to make ordering even easier – by offering our customers their own online promotional products stores!

Online stores can work a couple of ways. One is to have a traditional internet-based marketplace where imprinted promotional products are sold directly to the public. So if someone is particularly passionate about, say, a hotel chain, they would be able to buy its branded items. The other way to handle a promotional products online store is to create one that is for a company’s internal use: this is the way we have been creating and utilizing them lately.

We do a lot of work for large, decentralized companies. They all have their own marketing departments who determine their logo standards, but very often that information is slow to trickle to each and every affiliated entity. Therefore, although the organization is only supposed to give away promotional products with its logo imprinted in a specific PMS purple color, very often the distant branches might miss the memo and give away orange-logoed pens. That’s not great for creating a consistent brand, which is why a corporate online store is an excellent way to ensure continuity.

When we set up online stores we tend to work with an organization’s marketing department to select appropriate promotional items – very often it’s hundreds per store! – so that when it is mandated that their promo products must be ordered through the online store they know each item lives up to brand standards. Additionally, when we sit down with a marketing department to better understand the types of items they feel comfortable imprinting with their company’s logo we are also able to learn more about their logos. So when a distant branch wants that pen with an orange imprint, we can nip that in the bud pronto!

Whether you are interested in selling your promotional marketing materials directly to the public or if you would just like for those types of items to consistently reflect your brand standards, you should definitely consider taking the plunge and setting up an online store!

Recognizing Administrative Professionals

9 to 5
Administrative Professionals Day falls on April 22nd this year, so there is still plenty of time to order gifts to celebrate those members of your team. Sure, you might be thinking about taking your employees out to lunch to celebrate, but how long does that type of recognition last? Through the end of lunch, that’s how long!

A physical gift that acknowledges an administrative professional’s hard work and dedication is a lasting reminder that you care about him or her. For example, an attractive paperweight will sit on his or her desk and serve as a daily “pat on the back.” A duffel bag that the employee carries to the gym would be a useful token of appreciation. Or if you are lucky enough to live in South Florida like we do, then an imprinted beach blanket would be a fun way to commemorate a job well done – plus you get the bonus of marketing your brand.

Lunch is great, but don’t your administrative professionals deserve more?

Brand Building – and Profitting with Promo Items

Audi
My husband recently got a new car – an Audi (fancy!). He loves it, and I love how the company handles its promotional marketing! You see, he purchased the car and a few weeks later he received a large envelope in the mail. Upon opening it, he found a letter from the president attached to a product catalog with an Audi-branded paperclip.

The catalog is chock full of logoed Audi products. One can purchase anything from a branded golf towel to a leather tote to a sports car driving experience. And because people are proud of owning luxury cars, I’m sure that very many individuals who receive the catalog buy a logoed knick-knack or two. This is excellent brand exposure for the car company, and it’s also making them a decent profit – their markups are not insignificant on the items that I recognize!

Anyhow, I thought that sending a catalog to a car owner who loves his sweet new ride was a smart move by Audi. It might increase their brand visibility, it certainly makes them money each time anyone purchases from said catalog, and, little did they know it, but it got them a blog post!

Networking with Friends

photo from www.videoinspiration.net

photo from www.videoinspiration.net

In this blog I ramble on a lot about the importance of networking, how to go about networking, what to do if you hate networking, etc. Yeah, I’m kind of a networking know-it-all, but I very often forget to mention the most obvious resource: friends.

A good friend recently had a birthday and we celebrated with a big brunch. 15 of us sat outside for hours enjoying a water view, mimosas, and each other’s’ company. A delightful afternoon was had by all, and during our leisurely brunch we realized that we should all be doing business together! Our group involved a finance guy, a doctor, a couple of lawyers, a PR person, a pharmacist, a promotional marketing products distributor (me!), and a medical equipment guy, just to name a few. Between the 15 of us, there were definitely some opportunities to work together now or later, referrals were mentioned, and introduction meetings were planned. Funnily enough, though, it had never really dawned on any of us to connect on a professional level! These are, after all, the people who have seen me at my worst – and vice versa.

Anyhow, I have been remiss in my networking with friends; therefore, I have never really mentioned doing so on this blog. So go out and have a nice long meal with your oldest buddies. You will have a great time, and you might just realize that your friends could be an excellent business resource.

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