Why Be Involved

I met someone today via phone that came through an introduction by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. We have very similar businesses and yet quite different. We came away from the conversation agreeing that we will complement each other’s services quite nicely and we expect to be doing business together in the near future. That’s networking at it’s finest!

However, in the course of our conversation she asked an interesting question. Why are you so involved at the Greater Miami Chamber? And it gave me pause because there isn’t just one answer. One, I do like to give back to my committee and being a business person it fits that I can help other businesses with their development. Secondly, I have gotten a lot of business from my membership. But it’s more than that. I enjoy it. I enjoy meeting new people and introducing them to others.

Yes, I spend a good deal of volunteer time with the Greater Miami Chamber. I am on the Board of Directors, a Trustee member, Chair of Business Excellence (that overseas three important task forces), an Ambassador and on the membership committee. Whew. That is a lot! But to me it is time well spent.networking

For one, I enjoy the camaraderie of the membership. I’ve met some amazing and inspiring people. Many of them have become friends. I enjoy the interaction with other business people. I enjoy learning from them and from the programs the Chamber puts together. I like staying well informed about my community.

We talked about the time spent. Yes, at times it can be quite a bit and at times it can be overwhelming to me. But in the long run I get so much more out of it. My business benefits from it and so do I.

If you are in the South Florida area and want to check it out, let me know. I’d be happy to help. If not, I encourage you to get involved with your local Chamber of Commerce. And once there and involved, don’t forget to ask for the business!!

Effective Trade Show Tactics

For many industries the fall is Trade Show season. I’ve exhibited at many trade shows and open houses over the years and some have definitely been more successful than others.

For me, early planning for the show was a big component of the success. I like to know who will be attending and try to tailor our booth presentation and gifts accordingly. Some shows will actually give you a list of the attendees ahead of time so you can send them an invitation to come to your booth. Of course, you need to be prepared with a hook. Bring this card for a free gift for instance.

And “that” free gift can be the key to successful traffic to your booth. You don’t want to be giving out something that is really cheap looking; you want something that will make people stop and talk to you.

Branded Items Key for Sucessful Show

Branded Items Key for Sucessful Show

Of course, if your budget allows, we like to recommend you have levels of gifts to give out. Something for everyone, then a slightly nicer item for a new potential prospect and then an even nicer item for those that actually talk to you and now seem like a qualified prospect. Think, Good, Better, Best! It works.

I’ve attended shows where people were standing in line to talk to an exhibitor so they could get the better or best gift. Of course, you may waste some time, but you may also leave with some great new “hot” prospects.

There are several schools of thought on the actual type of gift. No matter what you want it to represent your brand. I’ve never understood people that would give away an item and not tie into their company or promotion. We do have levels of gifts. Our recent primary gift was a ruler that was also a mini office that included post-its and paper clips inside. On the outside is our logo with the tagline “Where Effective Promotions Rule”. Our “better” item is a journal book with pen. It’s neon orange and our logo looks like it’s glowing. Then our “best” item is a USB. All are always appreciated and I can definitely point to new business received as a result.

Are You Nice?

I have to say that we here at Gossett Marketing like to think of ourselves as nice. Really. To be perfectly honest, I try to make that part of our mantra. Maybe it’s because I’m a southern girl and was brought up that way, but I do believe you get more with honey than vinegar.

Nice WINS!

Nice WINS!

I am constantly amazed that clients and vendor partners mention how “nice” we are and how they enjoy coming to see us. That we are so responsive we are and seem like we want to help. I’m not saying this to toot our own horn. I do believe we always have room to improve. As a matter of fact, we have a new employee and she came to us from the world of Disney. That company is known for their outstanding customer service. And it’s true. On her first day answering the phone when I called in I was so impressed with how I was greeted. It showed me once again that we can take our “nice” to yet another level.

And it made me realize that maybe we need to start a “nice” campaign. I know I am guilty sometimes of trying to quickstep in front of someone with a cart full of groceries at the check-out line. When what’s my hurry, I can’t wait 5 extra minutes?

I do believe we all need to take a breath and slow down. I think we’d be nicer and happier if we did. I do find myself getting agitated when I drive in a hurry. In hindsight I probably would only save a minute or two, but at the time it seemed imperative I make it to the head of the pack.

I think we get so distracted with that long to do list we all have, multi-tasking beyond rationale that nice gets lost in the shuffle. If we are nicer and think about the other person more I think we will reap some tremendous benefits. If we’re not in such a rush maybe we’ll make a new business contact or friend.

So, as we slow down this summer, maybe we can take that slower process with us into the fall and then maybe we will all be nicer and get more accomplished as a result. Take a moment and re-group and look at your office environment – are you all considered “nice?”

Think Pink!

Yes, I do mean let’s think Pink in July. As fast as the year is going by the upcoming Breast Cancer Awareness month promotions for October will be here before we know it. Last year we had a number of clients call us at the end of September looking for pink items for programs they were initiating during October. Unfortunately all the manufacturers were sold out. Yes, sold out. It happens more often than you can imagine.

I know how difficult it is for many to think ahead, especially in this day and age of instant gratification but the reality is that there are limits to what is available. Most of the items are made overseas and shipped to the United States and decorated locally. Our manufacturer partners try to judge the level of need and order accordingly. Some items are more popular than others obviously so if you don’t plan ahead you may not get what you really want and need for your promotion.

Travel Tumblers Are Always on the Go

Travel Tumblers Are Always on the Go

Pink Accents Work Too!

Pink Accents Work Too!

So, what’s hot (pink!) this year? Of course for walks shirts and caps are always a hit, but don’t forget shoelaces and lanyards too. Also drinkware is a great long term reminder with the various tumblers, cups and travel mugs available. And let’s not forget bags. Pens are always useful and bags are one of the longest kept and seen promotional items available (behind a shirt of course). That’s why last year every pink bag that I searched for in early October was SOLD OUT! And given the fall is also football season you may want to try one of the clear NFL approved bags that has pink trim!

So during the summer slowdown, maybe you can carve out some time to think about the best say to remind everyone how important Breast Cancer Awareness is this October. And of course, let us know how we can help!

Imprinting Class: Embroidery

Embroidery A large majority of my blog posts involve me harping on the importance of putting your logos on promotional products. Now, I know that you know what promotional products are (giveaway t-shirts, stress balls, padfolios, koozies, bags, pens, etc.), but what do you know about the actual imprinting processes? This is part one of an informative series about those processes. Today’s lesson: embroidery.

The MacMillan online dictionary defines embroidery as “the activity of decorating cloth with [colored] stitches.” That’s easy enough. A design – in this case your company’s logo – is sewn onto fabric. But how do we get from your logo on paper to having it sewn on a cap?

First the logo must be converted into stitches, a procedure that we call “digitization.” This involves figuring out exactly where which type of embroidery stitch will be used, how letters and symbols will be connected to one another, and logo sizing. It’s an involved process that ultimately determines how much your embroidery will cost.

Once the logo has been digitized, an accurate stitch count is determined. That is, we know exactly how many times the needle will need to pass through a piece of cloth to achieve an embroidered logo. Higher stitch counts are more expensive than lower ones because they require more time on the embroidery machine and they use more thread.

But price is not decided by stitch count alone, the cost of embroidery is very dependent upon quantity. Setting up the machines for each logo is a lot of manual labor, so if you are only sewing your logo onto 6 polos (Gossett Marketing’s minimum order quantity), then the price will be higher than it would be for 500 shirts. Basically, if the cost of the setup is amortized over fewer shirts then the price is higher.

And that’s what it takes to embroider your logo onto fabric! Leave a note in the comments below if you are interested in embroidered promotional products.

Click on this YouTube video to see an embroidery machine in action:

Thank Those Who Refer You

If you’ve ever read this section of our blog before, then you probably know that the Gossett Marketing team is very involved with networking. We do so through our local chamber of commerce, running and golf groups, and more recently via Twitter and other online channels. You get it: we’re out there, we network, and we want you to do the same! So what if you are already a networking pro? How can we help you take it further?

Well, if you are networking successfully then certainly you are getting referrals. You’ve met so many business contacts through your efforts and you have made such a great impression on them that they want to help you grow. I sincerely hope that this is the case, and if it is, then kudos to you! Other than assisting the individuals and companies to whom you’ve been referred, what do you do when you’ve received a glowing recommendation from a business contact? One thing that I like to do is to say thank you with a hand written note and a gift – nothing extravagant, just a token of appreciation that makes me stand apart from the pack.

One gift that I’m loving right now is a nice metal pen inscribed with my referrer’s name. Sure, you can give them something that is imprinted with your company’s logo, but personalizing the pen helps to ensure that they do not lose it, plus it shows that you took the time to think about them – you’re not just giving out a promotional product that is taking up space in your gift closet.

If you know your referrer very well, then you can give him or her something more personal. Does he enjoy wine? Then what about a pretty corkscrew or bottle stopper? Or if she’s a golfer, then a ball marker would come in handy. Maybe she talks about her dog all of the time – get Fido a colorful bandana! The world is your oyster, I’d just be sure to have any of these items imprinted with your company’s name to keep you top of mind.

If an individual takes the time to refer you and your services to his or her business contact, then certainly he or she deserves a thank you. If a thank you and a smile go far, then think about how much your referrer will appreciate a thank you and a gift! And every time they use that present, you and your company will come to mind.

referral

July 4th Promotional Products

Apron

The 4th of July is coming up. Of course it is a day in which we all celebrate the birth of our nation, but it can also be a day to celebrate your brand! Give your customers and employees one (or more) of the promotional products listed below – they’re perfect on the 4th and all summer long:

Caps: protect your customers’ skin with an embroidered cap.
– Beach Towels: your logo can be huge on these!
– Sunglasses: it’s always great to have an extra pair.
– Coolers: ideal for picnics or days at the beach.
– BBQ Tools: yes, you can put your logo on these too! Great for, well, barbecues!
– Hand Fan: they’re inexpensive and have a large imprint area.
– Sunblock: put your logo on high quality sunblock, something everyone should use.
– Matches and Lighters: your employees have to light their grill and sparklers.
– Koozies: they work for beer or soft drinks.

If you’d like some additional ideas, contact the Gossett Marketing team! Have a safe and happy Independence Day!

And to get you excited about the holiday, watch this amazing fireworks display on YouTube:

The Simplest Business Tip

Woody Allen Woody Allen once said, “80 percent of success is just showing up.” He has a point, but he should also add a caveat about showing up on time. I’m about to get on my soapbox, so brace yourselves…

Do you have friends who always seem to show up late or cancel plans at the last minute? I did, but to be perfectly honest, we’re not really friends anymore because I never see them! I also have some suppliers that are frequent cancellers. They schedule appointments to show off their new product lines, then either call at the last minute to postpone or cancel, or they don’t show up at all. Guess what? I don’t give them business unless I absolutely have to!

Now, I’m not saying that I’m the perfect friend or businessperson who never has to change an appointment; however, I do try to limit it. Actually, at Gossett Marketing we make a point of planning our days so that we have plenty of time to get from meeting to meeting (although sometimes Miami’s traffic tries its hardest to throw off our scheduling!). It’s not that we’re uptight, we just respect our customers’ time: doing so is important to business and, well, it’s just polite.

I know that this is just about the simplest tip that I can give anyone, but it’s a pet peeve of mine so I thought I’d get it off of my chest. Does anything that your customers/coworkers/fellow business people do really irk you? If so, please tell us in the comments below – maybe we can change their behavior!

Bolster Your Business Card

Business Cards

To me, networking events can be overwhelming. I meet dozens of new contacts in a short period of time, and, not being particularly good at remembering names or details of new people in general, I often find it difficult to recall too much about a person once he or she walks away. That’s why I love individuals with good business cards.

I like a card that gives me more than just a company’s name, person’s name, and his or her contact information. Give me a clue about what you do! For instance, my card tells you that I am an Account Executive at Gossett Marketing and that we deal in “Creative Promotions & Products.” It also indicates the professional organizations with which we are affiliated – Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, Advertising Specialty Institute, Promotional Products Information Center, etc. You get the drift.

Aside from content, I love unique designs that make me take notice of my new contacts’ business cards. I recently received one that had a space for notes on the back – no more writing tiny, later-illegible notes to myself! Some have beautiful graphics that are spot varnished. Those are always memorable to me. Others are in unusual sizes or shapes. That style of card isn’t my favorite because it won’t fit in my business card holder, but it does stand out, and there’s something to be said for differentiating yourself. And I actually once received a nail file that served as someone’s card: it’s still in my handbag!

Your business card might be the only thing that your new contact can remember about you, so it should make an impact. Keep that in mind the next time you re-order!

Do your cards stand out? If so, please tell us why in the comments below.

Great Promotional Marketing Tool

UM Sunglasses
Although we try to make it as easy as possible, I understand that purchasing promotional marketing products can sometimes seem like a daunting task. You’re generally buying thousands of items at once, so you definitely want to get it right! No one wants 2,500 bags in a color that clashes with their logo! The good news is, we are now able to provide “virtual samples” prior to your order. These virtuals show a particular product, in the color that you prefer, with your company’s logo in the location and colors that you’re considering.

Virtual samples are a great tool that we can offer, at no cost, for most of our promotional products. So if you like to look before you leap, ask your friendly Gossett Marketing representative for virtual samples prior to placing your order!

If you look above, you can see a virtual that we provided the University of Miami for some really fabulous sunglasses. The virtual below was for Royal Caribbean International – it’s a notebook with several different imprint methods. Pretty cool, huh?

If you’d like to see some virtual samples for items that you’re interested in, leave a comment below or shoot us an e-mail!

Royal Caribbean Notebook

FEATURED VIDEO


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