Let’s Talk Journals…

The growing trend taking over many industries it seems, is technology.

As technology continues to develop and weave its way into our everyday tasks, the benefits of journaling, whether on paper or touch-screen, seems to remain the same. In a 2005 study, researchers found that taking just 15 to 20 minutes of writing sporadically over the course of the month can lead to dramatic increases in mental health and physical health. Simply writing thoughts on to paper or in the palm of your hand can help you clear your mind enough to relieve depression and trauma, and help you come to a solution faster. tablet-and-stylus-shutterstock-510px

As a promotional item, journals continue to be a top seller across the board. Available in various styles and price points, there is something special about receiving a journal with crisp, blank pages that can speak to a wide range of people. Whether you are looking for a simple pocket journal for students at orientation or a leather bound portfolio for executives, journals truly resonate with all.

While tablets such as the iPad and Windows Surface have capitalized on individuals on the go who prefer note taking on a screen, many prefer putting pen to paper. Every now and then, I may take down the name of a song, or remind myself with a small to-do list of certain things I think of while on the go. But that’s about the extent of it. Personally, when I receive a brand new journal, I can’t wait to fill it up with random to-do’s and life’s every day random happenings. Hey, some of histories greatest discoveries happened on paper!

What do you think? Are you more likely to quickly type notes on your smart device or grab a piece of paper and pen to get down your thoughts? Sound off below!

The Amazon Drone

Drones were one of the holiday’s hottest gift, but have been on the rise for years.

The American Military boasts an arsenal of over 7,000 drones, one that it has been building for over ten years. While controversial at times when considering how they are being used, the appeal is they cost less to man and of course don’t risk the lives of military personnel.

Over the past couple of years, the rise of domestic drones by hobby-enthusiasts has grown tremendously. So much so, that the FAA now has set weight limits and all drones must be registered through an online system. gettyimages-487540612

E-commerce powerhouse, Amazon announced yesterday a new service, Prime Air. According to Amazon’s vice president of global public policy, Paul Misener, in his interview with Yahoo, “The drones will weigh up to 55 pounds each, but they will deliver parcels that weight up to 5 pounds.” The packages will arrive within 30 minutes of being ordered.

These newly released details have been a long time coming for Amazon, as well as other companies such as DHL and Walmart. Talk of drone delivery has been going on for a while now but seemed “so sci-fi”. Although details like how much it will cost and how the packages will be secured while in flight is still being worked out, conversation has sparked once again about potentially seeing our packages flying above.

I see one everyday being flown outside of my window. And recent incidents of obstruction to aircraft or emergency response crews has led many to feel drones are not regulated enough. Many have a hard time even fathoming the idea of looking up and seeing drones flying over us, dodging power lines, trees, buildings, wind gusts and so forth. Others worry drones will become target practice, for anyone looking to make off with a mystery package. What is to stop one person following a drone to the residence of someone and making off with the parcel once it has been left by the drone?  Who will be running all of these drones?

It is safe to say, as the technology of drones develops further, regulations and rules are soon to adapt. More likely than not, we will see drones being used by companies to do things we never thought possible. Are you into the idea of drone delivery? Do you have a personal drone that you use daily? Sound off below!

Branching Out: Innovative Promo Items!

2016 is promising to bring more innovation in promo items thus far!

We are starting to see more origination and creativity, apart from the traditional embroidered cap or duffel bag. Don’t get me wrong, a pen still proves to be one of the most highly effective promo items, as we like to call them “traveling billboards”. They go everywhere with you. However, promotional items have evolved into being more useful. Our client’s want their clients to receive a promotional item that they will use every day effectively.

2,600 "Kissable" Power Bank from Orig Audio, a must-have!

2,600 “Kissable” Power Bank from Orig Audio, a must-have!

Wireless technology has taken over promotional items with the rise in power banks, Bluetooth headphones and wireless speakers. But the items that stand out are the ones that catch the client’s eye and they will want to carry with them everywhere they go, for the simple “wow” factor. One of my favorites is this lipstick tube power bank from origaudio.com, perfect for any woman on the go! A perfect example of a popular promo item, but with a twist of innovation and creativity to it. A great way to stand out from the crowd and leave others wanting to know, “where did you get that?!”

Speaking of women on the go, really any on the go can benefit from the next innovative promo item. The desire for RFID protection incorporated into our traveling promo items has risen dramatically (and we really need it here, down in Miami). From passport holders and travel wallets to luggage tags and journals, RFID technology takes the next step in what would be just an ordinary travel accessory. Protecting your personal information with these great items provides you the peace of mind you need while staying stylish and organized.

So cozy with SoHoodie!

So cozy with SoHoodie!

And while on the go, we need to keep our heads warm right?! One of the most innovative promotional items that I have seen introduced in the past year is from SoHoodie.com. It is a standalone hoodie that can be worn anywhere with anything! I mean, who doesn’t like the cozy feeling of a comfy sweatshirt hoodie? Customize it with your brand or logo and you are certainly going to be turning heads while keeping yours toasty!

These items above all have one thing in common: they took a rather simple, common promotional item and put their own whimsical twist on it. You want the promotional items you choose to not only stand out from the rest, but also to make your audience want to use them every day and for their most important functions.

 

Watch Out!

Is it the end of watches as we know them?

Well, yes and no.

The high-end collector’s market has remained relatively stable, while many studies have shown that watches have become more of a fashion statement then functionality. I for one, have become one of those people.

That is where technology comes in. Technology has allowed the creators of LG, Apple, Samsung etc. to create a line of “wearables” that keep us more connected than ever. Although sales of the iWatch have yet to be released, Apple is not backing out of the watch market. While other watches have struggled to gain traction in this market, Apple is sticking to their guns with plans to capitalize on a new market of tech-savvy, Apple-loving fans that want to streamline their Apple gadgets and days. And if they have anything to say about, the wrist wearable market will soar in the coming years.

Today’s watch-wearer needs to be connected more than ever. From a built in heart-rate monitor to receiving emails, and requesting an Uber at the touch of a button, watches today have developed into more than just a time piece. In fact, it seems they have become less about telling us the time, and more about being our personal assistant, trainer, and friend.

While these “wrist-wearables” may be trending and the way of the future, there are many, including myself, who prefer to leave the watch trends to the likes of Movado, Citizen, and Tag Heuer. The high-end market of watches is one that will remain steady no matter the success of this new tech-watch market. In wearables, wrist wear continues to dominate the market, soaking up nearly 90 percent or the wearable market.

So while the face of the wrist-wearable industry will continue to change in the coming years as technology further develops, classic time-pieces will hold their ground firmly as many seem to prefer the classic over the new. It will certainly be interesting to see how much further technology can develop and take the tiny time-teller that has been around for over 500 years.

What do you guys think? Do you still prefer the classic time-piece or are do you like the new “wrist wearable” trend? Sound off below!

Dominate Social Media!

Social media has provided a platform for anyone to gain the audience they desire.

In fact, many companies owe the success of their companies to social media. I know I have followed many projects and product lines that started very modestly on social media that now have huge followings, endorsed by the likes of celebrities and athletes. So how do they get there?

Divide and conquer!

Divide and conquer!

Well first, they divide and conquer. Social media can impact your business tremendously if you are actively present on multiple platforms. This extends your outreach tenfold. It also tells your audience that you are wholly and faithfully committed to providing the best services to them and most of all, being accessible to all. Platforms such as Twitter and Instagram allow you to connect with your consumer on a personal level. You can respond directly to consumer’s issues and also “like” or “retweet/repost” any positive feedback you have received. Many companies now schedule set “Chat Times”, which is when a representative is live “tweeting” or responding to any questions a follower may have. Or offer fun contests and giveaways. You want to share with them and you want them to share back. Again, this provides a sense of trustworthiness to your consumer through the keyboard, that behind these keys are in fact, humans.

These platforms all interact with consumers differently but they all provide the same free feature to you: ways to monitor your relationships with the consumer. On platforms that track “likes”, “ratings”, “or “repins”, it offers you the chance to monitor what posts garner the most attention. Probably one of the most popular ways to track data across any social media site is by using hashtags. The hashtag, once created is tracked, almost like making your own copyright then and there. From that point on, if someone uses the same hashtag as you, you can click on that hashtag and follow what everyone is saying or posting about you and your hashtag. You can track via programs such as Hootsuite which posts caught the eye of your consumer the most. From there, you can gear your content more to the likes of your clients.

Take advantage of all social media platforms!

Take advantage of all social media platforms!

Speaking of Hootsuite, this platform is one of many that allow you to easily streamline all activity across numerous social media accounts. These programs allow you to schedule posts in advance, allowing you to stay on top of your content across all of your accounts. This also will free up time opening and signing into all of your different accounts and posting individually content across severely accounts. It’s your social media one-stop shop.

Once you have all your social media platforms streamlined and active, it’s time to share. Share all your accounts with all of your other accounts. Make the consumer want to follow your every move, so they can stay up to date with the next context date, or know when you are going to be in their area. You want to engage with everyone across all platforms to enhance the experience of watching your social media presence grow. And once you share yours, do someone else the favor and share all of their accounts as well. This creates a sense of union ship and can only increase your reach to a wider audience once they share your accounts in return. Don’t miss out on potential opportunities to share and gain a new follower.

Here’s Looking at You, Desk!

For anyone who spends any time during their days at a desk, it can sometimes become of place of restlessness confinement. A study conducted at New York’s Polytechnic School of Engineering explored how just “fiddling” with desk items may increase productivity in the brain and at work. They studied 40 workers and how gadgets on their desks, i.e. Slinkys, pes, putty, etc. affect the brain and help jump-start the creativity within the brain. What they discovered was that when we are “holding, pressing, or bending small objects, our focus is improved, we ease stress away, and we think more creatively”.

So how can we spruce up our desk environments to engage our minds and stimulate our senses physically through releasing stress? Below are some fun tips and tools that can help you look forward to sitting down at your desk every day!

Desk Envy!

Decorate for the holidays!

Make others envy your desk! Make them wish they were sitting at your desk! The best way to do this is to have fun and innovative toys at your desk that do more than just stimulate your mind. They also serve as conversation pieces and stimulate others around you to converse and generate thoughts and open conversation.  Grab a planter and plant some flowers or herbs! Decorate for different seasons. Personally, I love stress relievers (the funky shaped ones, hockey pucks, hot dogs, pineapples, etc.) and silly putty. Manipulating and squeezing and object release tension and stress throughout the body and can help creativity. Think beyond the slinky and Newton’s Cradle! Although you may be asking people to leave your desk eventually, you will generate conversation thought would’ve never happened without some fun desk accessories.

Squeezie!

Squeezie!

Color Up

Outside of decorating your desk, you can’t leave those walls and corners bare! Make sure to put up pictures of loved ones in bright frames, colorful pieces of artwork, even curtains if you are able to. This will enhance the space and make it feel warm and welcoming to not only others, but when you first arrive in the morning.

Clear the Clutter

Organizing your space can reflect an organized mind. File papers and clear those trash bins. Remove all the excess and you will in in turn feel a “weight” lifted from your mind. This will allow for more positive productivity and an enhanced daily work environment.

Make it Fun!

Smooth stones promote creativity and relieve stress.

Smooth stones promote creativity and relieve stress.

Play music that motivates you! Keep a yoga mat under your desk so you can take some time to stretch during the day and move around. Keep dumbbells to keep the blood flowing and heart rate up! And if you don’t mind, keep a stash of your favorite snack for a sweet treat (in moderation!) Keep stones as paper weights and as a form of a stress reliever. Bring innovation and fun to your work space! The impacts will be tremendous and you will be thanking yourself in the long run!

Oprah’s Brand Secret: Power

2015 has come and gone!

Everyone is off and running with their respective New Year’s resolutions, including the Oprah Winfrey. I know what you are thinking. You may be thinking, “The folks over at Gossett Marketing know OPRAH WINFREY?!” Not so fast. The only reason I know this is because I have been bombarded with her new advertising campaign as the face of Weight Watchers.  Back in October, Winfrey announced her partnership with Weight Watchers, doubling her stake now valued at almost $150 million, according to bloombergbusiness.com. Following the debut of the ad campaign this past Wednesday, shares in the company surged. This got me thinking. What is it about Oprah Winfrey and her own brand that is so darn powerful?

Winfrey’s motto, “Live your best life” has resonated with millions of Americans. She has shared her favorite books and turned them into best sellers. Some have gone to even credit Winfrey with reviving and “saving” the publishing industry. Her annual holiday list of “favorite things” is one of the most anticipated lists of the year. Items that were selling a few thousand units a month, would make it on to her show or list and would instantly sell out and be bogged down with orders for the following months to come.  That’s brand power.

One’s brand can only extend as far as the reach that is sought. Winfrey has constantly sought to reach a new audience and surpass all boundaries. What is more impressive is that in a world where social media is becoming a credible source of expertise, is that Winfrey maintains the same level or expertise and the same brand power she has held for all these years.

Winfrey has the career, character and charism to make anything, “THE thing”. Throughout her years on radio and then television, she connected with an audience beyond her own. It was an audience that seemed to rally all together as one, sitting in front of our TV’s later afternoon (before TiVo here, people) to catch the Oprah episode of the day. Her brand holds a resiliency that hasn’t been questioned or been under any public spot light. Her audience TRUSTS Winfrey. I think that is key when developing a brand that is going to appeal to the masses. Trust. With that, she is honest, authentic, and provides unwavering support for all whom she interacts with. She has also always spoke openly about her struggles with weight loss, so this venture with Weight Watchers seemed only right. All of those characteristics have molded Winfrey’s brand and career into the lucrative business that it is.

 

 

 

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