Modern Stone Age Branding

The Flintstones

When I was a kid my sister and I took Flintstones Vitamins every morning and we always knew that we were going to have a good day when we got a purple Barney. Barney Rubble was our favorite character on the cartoon – sensible and pragmatic – and purple was the best flavor (it was sort of grapey), so combining the two had to be a good omen!

Anyhow, as I took my boring Centrum this morning I started thinking about my old vitamins and then about The Flintstones in general. Talk about a brand that’s stuck around! The show aired on ABC from 1960-1966, and since then there have been dozens of spin-off shows and made-for-tv movies, 3 feature films, comic books, and 2 theme parks in the US, and a reboot of the original series is coming in 2013. So…how has this brand stayed relevant for over 50 years?

I think there are several factors, but for the sake of brevity I’ll stick with two. The first one is that The Flintstones is not afraid of evolution (terrible pun intended). In the various spin-off shows they’ve always somehow modernized. For instance, The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show depicted the former toddlers as teenagers. And in the 2013 version of the show, characters will have “the prehistoric equivalent of an iPad,” according to its creator. Essentially, they work hard to keep their content fresh, which keeps people watching.

My second theory about the strength of The Flintstones branding is probably just my personal connection speaking, but it could be true. As I mentioned, I took their vitamins for years and years – but this was during the 80’s and 90’s, it wasn’t when the show was necessarily on the air. However, even though I might not have seen them regularly those chewable tablets kept me aware of the characters and made me stop to watch when I caught a re-run. The vitamins were introduced in 1968 and are still around today, so they have provided brand awareness to decades of little consumers, many of whom certainly saw the movies and plan on watching the new show.

What do you think? Am I just biased because I love purple Barneys so much? Leave your comments below!

And, just for kicks, watch this YouTube video of the opening credits:

Promotional “Real Estate”

Ecosphere
Living in South Florida, real estate is always a hot topic.  It’s hot in the promotional marketing business too, but to us the most valuable piece of property is your client’s desktop.  We want your promo piece to get there and to stay there because if that happens, then your customer will see your logo every time he or she sits down at his or her desk.

Tons of items can take up “desktop real estate” – stress relievers, letter openers, and paperweights will all do it.  But for the most impact, I always recommend something fun and unique.  My new favorite: the Ecosphere.  Originally designed by NASA, it is basically an enclosed fish bowl that houses live marine shrimp and never needs feeding or cleaning.  The shrimp tend to last for 2-3 years, but one actually lived for 10!  Your logo can be laser engraved on the Ecosphere, and I can all but guarantee that it is an item that will sit on your client’s desk and get noticed – a great real estate purchase!

Take a look at this YouTube video to see what I’m talking about!

A Good Networking Event?

Networking EventWhat makes a good networking event? I am sure it’s different for everyone. For me, it’s a good combination of people – those I know and don’t know. As well as individuals that are there to meet people – not just sell.

I prefer an event where there are a few people that know me and are willing to make introductions. I find it helps put most people more at ease rather than walking up to a stranger and introducing yourself.

I was at a function recently at the Ritz Carlton Coconut Grove and was introduced to a woman starting a new company. We discussed many aspects of her company and as I offered her my card I told her not to hesitate to contact me with questions or if she felt I could introduce her to some prospects. Her response was surprising. “Wow, at most events I go to, no one ever offers to help. It seems they just want to sell me their products.”

A good reminder for any networking event – it’s give and take. Not all take. How many times have you been at an event when someone interrupts a group to push their business card into your hand with not even an attempt to understand what it is you do or need. First impressions count. So don’t be remembered that way or not at all because I throw those business cards away

While we are all out there trying to make an impression and market our small or large business, we also need to be willing to listen and understand the needs of the people we meet.

Running Billboard

The Miami Marathon and Half Marathon are coming up. I was an avid runner for years and have done the Half several times. While running is no longer my exercise of choice – I’ll now take The Bar Method over pounding the pavement any day of the week – I do still have a lot of the promotional t-shirts and caps that I received back when it was. Read below and find out just how much free stuff you get when you are a runner! And good luck to all of my friends who are competing in the races!

I started running a couple of years ago.  It’s something that I do a lot; however, I’m usually not particularly fond of it.  What I do enjoy: the free stuff!  When you run in a race, you get tons of goodies!

I recently participated in the ING Miami Half Marathon, and when I went to pick up my race bib I got so much stuff!  I filled my bright orange cinch bag from the University of Miami Health System with a running shirt, a lightweight cap, sports drinks, energy gels, even bandages with a company’s logo!  If I put everything on at once, I’d look like an advertisement for every running product known to mankind, so I just wear one piece at a time and serve as that company’s walking (running) billboard.

If you’d like to see some of my fellow billboards crossing the finish line, watch this YouTube video:

Logos, Logos Everywhere

Plane

Being in the promotional marketing business probably makes me more cognizant of logoed items than most.  But whether or not think about it as often as I do, you are surrounded by branded items.  I was at Miami International Airport last weekend, and I was astonished by the sheer number of logos I saw!  They were on people of all ages and on all sorts of products, including:

–          Bags: Computer Bags, Backpacks, Totes, Cinch Bags, Duffels, Rolling Bags…

–          Caps

–          Toiletry kits

–          Apparel: T-Shirts, Polos, Sweatshirts, Shorts, Sweatpants

–          Cell Phone, iPad, and Kindle Covers

–          Travel Pillows and Blankets

–          Silicone Bracelets

–          Passport Covers

And those were just the items that people had brought with them into the airport – think of the logoed items in cars, homes, and offices!  They’re everywhere and they make a big impact!

Back to School Branding

School Bus

Even though I feel like the summer just started, as of yesterday Miami-Dade County Public Schools are back in session. This time of year is ideal for promotional marketing products – there are so many opportunities to give away logoed items that kids and parents can use, which will showcase your brand.

For instance, the elementary school that I attended now mandates that all students must wear hats during PE and recess, so a local dermatologist gave away caps with her logo embroidered on the front. It’s a great way to teach children about sun protection, plus their parents and teachers will see the doctor’s name regularly – and really, they’re her target audience. She spent a few hundred dollars and the kids are marketing for her all year long!

Another great idea is to give branded items to teachers. A great idea would be to give them school year lesson planners. These books are invaluable to educators, so chances are they will carry it all year long. And if your logo is on the cover, then they and will see it from August until June: that’s great exposure.

Don’t worry, Gossett Marketing practices what we preach. We donate hundreds of pens to schools each year. They are all imprinted with our company name, website, and phone number. Kids don’t necessarily need our services, but they take those pens with them, lose them, and they end up in potential customers’ hands. True story: we got a phone call from a total stranger in New Jersey who wound up with one of our giveaway pens – he placed an order for promotional products.

Children complain about going back to school, but companies should be thrilled! It’s a great time of year to get out there and promote your brand while doing something useful for local schools.

Need a New Hobby?

I don’t know why, but when I walked home from the gym last night one of our very earliest blog posts popped into my brain. It’s about a fish training kit, which is just as weird as it seems. Read below and check out the YouTube video. Bizarre!!

I’m in Miami, Florida and we have great outdoor hobbies – golf (my favorite), tennis and fishing are probably the top 3. But with the bad weather most of the country experienced this year I thought I’d look for some interesting indoor hobbies.

Why not fish training? I’m serious. I have to admit I’m a skeptic, but it’s so bizarrely interesting I just had to pass it on.
fish training kitFishing training kit

They state that you can train your gold fish to shoot hoops, do the limbo, play fetch and much more. What better way to amaze and delight your friends at your next party. And if you want it can even be logo’d with your company brand!

Watch and be amused!

White Hot Miami Heat Branding is Powerful

White Hot Heat Billboard

It’s official: South Florida is in a frenzy because the Miami Heat are in the postseason and they’re doing really well. I know that the Heat have been pegged as the villains of the NBA, but love us or hate us, you have to admit that they’re doing a great job of promoting their playoff run.

You see, the playoffs are being promoted as “White Hot,” thus we’re currently the “White Hot Heat.” If you’ve seen a home game on TV or in person, you’ll see that they’re really taking this slogan seriously. The seats in the American Airlines Arena are normally orangey, but they’re currently all garbed in white seat covers. Fans are asked to come dressed in white, plus everyone gets a white, logoed Heat t-shirt to wear during and/or after the game. It’s really interesting to see – the whole arena is white!

Not only that, but in the week leading up to the playoffs, anyone could show up at the arena and have a “White Hot Heat” decal adhered to their car’s back windshield. I am amazed by how many of these huge white stickers I see when I drive around the city.

The Heat are using these methods and several others to spread the word that they’re “White Hot,” and right now in Miami, there is no escaping that brand!

Do you like the “White Hot” promotion? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Easy Branding with Promotional Products

Company Store One of the many great benefits of promotional marketing products is that, if used correctly, they help to strengthen your brand’s identity. For instance, if a company known for luxury products orders logoed iPad cases, then they should be high-end leather pieces with a subtle logo, not cheap neoprene sleeves. Or let’s say Coca-Cola plans to give out stress relievers at a tradeshow – they had better be in Coke’s iconic red or white with a red logo! Promos should convey the look and feel of the company and help spread the message that it hopes to convey, which enhances branding. But how can you ensure that all divisions of your corporation are using their promotional products to build your brand? One way is the creation of a company store.

A company store that features promotional goods is an ideal way to control the products that your business uses to represent itself, as it allows you to pick and choose the items that are allowed to be imprinted with your logo. For instance, Gossett Marketing is currently putting the finishing touches on an online store for one of our customers here in South Florida. We brought in hundreds of samples so that their corporate marketing department could appraise them for quality, color, imprint size, etc. The final selection was narrowed down to 400+ products that the company’s entities (which span 3 counties) can purchase. Because their employees have preapproved options that well represent the company, their marketing department can be sure that their branding is being enhanced by their promotional products.

Now, now every company spans three populous counties or needs over 400 promotional items to represent them, but even having a dozen approved pieces can really make a difference in strengthening your brand’s identity. Decide on items that are representative of your company, and create your own version of the aforementioned store – online or not, it can only help your branding.

Promos Keep Your Customers & Employees Fresh

Lululemon store I exercise a lot. Probably more than most people. I run in the mornings, then I do a class called The Bar Method most afternoons. I enjoy both activities, they keep my weight in check and my cardiovascular system strong, plus they are great ways to relieve stress (particularly running – it’s a group therapy session!). The one drawback to my prolific exercise is the amount of laundry that I generate. It’s actually quite amazing – I wear one outfit to run, one for work, one for Bar Method, then when I get home from that class I change into non-sweaty clothes! That’s four outfits a day, not even counting pj’s!

I don’t always have time to wash all of my laundry, so occasionally sweaty things sit at the bottom of my hamper for a while and, well, let’s just say that they don’t get fresher as they linger in there! This is one of the reasons that I’ve started to wear Lululemon Athletica clothes for my many, many workouts – a good number of their items utilize their “silverescent” technology, which is “anti-stink.” Let me tell you, this fabric, woven with silver yarns, works! It is anti-bacterial, so it manages to prevent sweat from leaving an odor on clothes – even if they sit in the bottom of a hamper for a while!

At this point in this post, you’re undoubtedly wondering why I’m telling you this. Well, many of Gossett Marketing’s apparel vendors have recently begun to carry shirts made with anti-bacterial fabrics that function just like those Lululemon tops that I love! They are ideal promotional giveaways for golf tournaments and the like, but they’re also perfect uniforms for any company’s employees. For any trade show I recommend staffing your booth with professionals outfitted in logoed apparel, such as an embroidered shirt. Well, the various shows and events down here in Miami are outside (i.e. the Miami Boat Show or South Beach Wine and Food Festival), so an anti-bacterial polo would be the perfect way to keep the individuals working the booths fresh all day. And if you own a restaurant, surely you want your wait staff to stay odor-free as they run in and out of the hot kitchen – why not outfit them in logoed stink-preventing shirts?

No brand wants to be affiliated with body odor, so the next time you distribute logoed apparel, consider an anti-bacterial option. Your customers, employees, and hamper will thank you!

For more about silverescent technology, check out this YouTube video:

FEATURED VIDEO


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