Do you Stylus?

Most people seem to know what a stylus is, but just in case you are unaware, a stylus is a small instrument that looks like a pen (and many times is also a pen) that is used on touchscreen devices instead of say, your finger.

With the constant addition of new applications and mobile devices a stylus is becoming a more and more commonly used item. You place the stylus on the surface of the screen to either scroll or tap to make selections or draw.

I don’t know about you, but I do have issues at time with getting the “right” keys on my smartphone with my finger (I thought I had small fingers, guess not). And of course, I have friends that refuse to use the ATM or debit machines with their fingers (you don’t know the germs on them they say – and I am sure that’s true) and they have a stylus they use for those.

Stylus Pen is a Useful Tool with Today's Technology

Stylus Pen is a Useful Tool with Today’s Technology

A stylus can be just a rounded plastic tip or a rubber tip on the end of a pen or it could be a metallic fiber capacitive stylus. Why the difference? Well, most resistive screens just need a small precise touch so it can be made of just about any material. But some of the more advance touchscreens are capacitive in nature – they have a charge in it. So you screen may not be able to read the touch of a simple plastic tip. With a capacitive touchscreen the stylus is designed to conduct electricity and for the touchscreen to be able to “react” as you would like. Most of your higher end stylus will be capacitive in nature.

Advantages of using a stylus:

  • Can touch the keyboard more accurately
  • Use the touch screen more quickly
  • Draw on the touch screen more accurately
  • Using a stylus keeps the screen cleaner
  • Mostly makes it easier to interact with some applications
  • Projects a more professional appearance when using a tablet in meetings

Many of the top pen manufacturers have stylus’s and stylus pens in their lines and are introducing new styles on a regular basis. They are available at almost every price point from very inexpensive to your high-end gift pens.

If you are looking for something this holiday season that would be used regularly, think about a stylus pen. They can be easily branded so that as they are used time and time again your company message is reinforced.

Are you Working Networking Events

Is there a right way to work a networking event? I must admit, sometimes I marvel at how well some people are able to work a room, while others never seem to move.
I was at the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce Trustee Reception recently at the newly opened Doctors Hospital Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation Center on South Dixie Highway in Coral Gables. It was a great location for the reception – plenty of open space for all the attendees to mix and mingle.
Of course the bar area was quite the popular spot and when I first approached there was a gentleman just standing to the side observing everyone. He wasn’t engaged at all. I saw others I knew nearby and was immediately intercepted to be introduced to some new members. Probably a half hour later I walked back to the bar area and discovered the gentleman was still standing in the same place, seemingly had not moved an inch, still observing, not speaking with anyone.
I introduced myself to him and we discussed his business a bit and exchanged cards. But I couldn’t help but think – Why was he here? He was just waiting for people to come up to him instead of reaching out and engaging others in conversation. I saw him leave shortly after and thought – was my card the only one he received?
I don’t pretend to have the best or right approach to networking. I do understand how many people are shy or unsure how to walk up to a stranger and start a conversation. However, one way that I get over that feeling is to think of myself as the “hostess” of the event. It helps me to get in the right frame of mind to reach out to make everyone feel welcome and for me to introduce myself to those looking lost.
Do you have any networking “tips” to share? Please comment below. dg

Is Your Logo Up to Standards (on everything)?

Logo Standards As a brand, you should take your logo standards seriously to create a cohesive image across all visual mediums, from websites to promotional products. That means utilizing the proper fonts, determining an encroachment area so that the logo is never placed too close to other images or text, setting size parameters, and utilizing the proper colors. Once these logo rules are created, they need to be used consistently, whether your logo is on a t-shirt or a billboard. The whole of the Gossett Marketing team is acutely aware of corporate logo standards, to the point where we consider ourselves to be their “logo police” who do not submit their proofs to them until we think they are up to standards.

That said, I/we analyze a lot of logos – those for various departments within Baptist Health, different University of Miami entities, cruise lines and their individual ships, tech companies… the list goes on and on. In all of that analysis, I’ve come to think that one logo standard is the most important of all (other than choosing the correct logo!) and that is utilizing approved corporate colors. When you think about Home Depot, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For me, it’s the orange logo: the same bright shade of orange remains consistent whether it is in a print ad or on a business card, plus employees wear aprons in the same hue. But how does Home Depot keep its orange the same on every type of material upon which it’s applied? Easy – they utilize the Pantone Matching System and submit their color’s number (PMS 165) each and every time they use it.

As a rule here, when we order our customer’s promotional products from our suppliers we always supply the proper PMS color for the given logo. That way, the supplier will prepare his ink so that it will imprint according to logo standards – so whether the Baptist Health logo is going on a white non-woven bag, a tan jotter, or a silver pen, it will always be the same PMS 336 green. To the average customer, that logo color is much more easily identifiable than the font in which a department’s name is printed, so, in my opinion, keeping it uniform is the most important of any company’s logo standards.

Branding is all about consistency, so make sure that your logo is up to standards every time you use it. And if you have to choose just one rule to follow, make sure that your PMS colors are utilized each and every time you imprint anything.

This YouTube clip gives you a more complete definition of the Pantone Matching System (and it’s under a minute long) – give it a watch if you’re interested.

A Great Tribute that’s Great Marketing

ray lewis baltimore ravens
I am a Miami native and my husband works for the University of Miami, so although I didn’t attend UM, I am a pretty ardent Hurricanes fan. As such, I tend to pay attention when I hear about The U’s famous alums – and one of those has been in the news quite a bit lately. In case you missed it, Ray Lewis, who played for UM from 1993-1995, recently announced that he will retire from the NFL at the end of the season. Well, fortunately for his fans his team, the Baltimore Ravens, has gone deep into the playoffs! One Baltimore hotel is using this as an opportunity to celebrate Lewis’s career, the team’s success, and to gain a fair bit of publicity.

Before every home game, Ray Lewis famously eats a clump of turf and dances “the squirrel.” He slides left and right, sort of wiggles, and then roars in excitement – his signature dance has been pumping up Baltimore crowds for 17 years! Well, the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront has created a laser light show of the squirrel, which is being projected onto the side of the building nightly until the linebacker’s last game. It’s a remarkably accurate rendition, and I for one think that it’s a great tribute to the star. It also happens to be turning the side of their building into a giant movie screen – a screen that also happens to display the hotel chain’s logo. The display is attracting locals, tourists, and the national media (I read about the laser show on Yahoo). If you ask me, the hotel is turning itself into a kind of promotional marketing product for itself!

Whether you love or loathe Ray Lewis, his dance is undeniably fun and I know I’ll miss seeing it. Click on this YouTube video and you too can enjoy “the squirrel” as a laser show:

How to Get Your Business in Front of the Youth Market

college vanderbilt In this video blog post, I (Lillian from InterestingMarketingTidbits.com and Gossett Marketing) sit down with Rob from SanMar, our preferred apparel distributor. Because Gossett Marketing does a significant amount of work with the University of Miami, I thought I’d ask Rob for his thoughts about ways for businesses to get in front of a college-age or even a true youth market. He didn’t disappoint me with his suggestions! He suggests giving away promotional apparel products including the following:

Gameday Cammo and Trucker Caps – Kids love to wear cool hats even when their teachers tell them to take them off in the classroom! So if a corporation was to give a really on-trend cap with its logo imprinted upon it, the recipient would most likely wear it. That would give the logo exposure all over campus – easy marketing!

Youth-Oriented Fashion – SanMar now has junior-styled tanks and t-shirts in super-soft cotton that rival those from Hollister and Abercrombie. Pair those with new printing techniques that can make a company’s logo or message look vintage, and those tops are sure to be worn because they have a true retail look and feel. Again, this will make a teen want to wear these tops, which leads to her flaunting your logo all over the mall or wherever she may be!

Intermural Uniforms – It seems to me that young people are more apt to be on various teams than we crotchety old grownups, so why not outfit them with the appropriate uniforms? The jersey and shorts, which would obviously be imprinted with your logo, would not only be seen by everyone on the team, but also by opponents and spectators. Easy marketing yet again!

We have plenty more ideas to help your business gain exposure within the youth market (and by using the youth market as walking billboards!). To learn more, be sure to contact Gossett Marketing or visit InterestingMarketingTidbits.com whenever you can! And, of course, be sure to check out our YouTube video below:

International Marketing for Pennies

ING Miami Marathon Half Marathon I talk about running a lot because, well, sometimes it feels like running is all I do! This week I actually get a break, though, because I ran the ING Miami Half Marathon on Sunday. It’s a beautiful race in which I participate annually, but I didn’t like it as much this year as I have in years past. Why? Because it was so darn crowded! On this, the 10th anniversary of the run, there were 25,000 participants – 8,000 more than there were in 2011 – yet there didn’t seem to be any extra water or any extra space on the course.

Although I felt crowded and like I spent the entire 13.1 miles bobbing and weaving around slower runners, one good thing about the extra bodies on the course was that there was always someone to talk to. Every few minutes, I’d fall into step with a new person and we’d shoot the breeze for a while. Well, these were total strangers to me, so we talked about what we had in common: what we saw as we passed through the race course. We discussed the cruise ships at the Port of Miami, we laughed about the drunk people stumbling out of the clubs on South Beach only to find tens of thousands of people running by, and we commented on all of the witty and sentimental signs that fans were waving.

Interestingly, many of the signs were provided by corporations. Baptist Health South Florida, for instance, gave spectators posters that included their logo and an encouraging message, but that also gave fans a place to write some words of their own – maybe a runner’s name or their own message of support. One gentleman noticed that half of Baptist’s signs were printed in Spanish and the other half in English, which is very indicative of our local culture. Being from the Midwest, he found that unusual so we chatted about the importance of the Latino population in South Florida and about Baptist’s position in our community. I’m sure that others also discussed the signs too because they were everywhere – that kind of conversation does a tremendous amount of marketing for just a few pennies per poster!

Another group whose signs got a lot of attention was Lululemon Athletica. Employees from their Miami Beach store set up a tent and waved placards with witty slogans: my personal favorite was “Who Needs Toenails?!” I tend to lose my toenails when I run – I’m down to 9 today – so it gave me a chuckle. At that point in the race I was still with members of my training group, and they all know about my feet so they were all sure to point it out to me. We laughed and then we talked about Lululemon and how we love their products. Our conversation elicited comments from several of the women around us, and we ended up spending about a mile talking about their “anti-stink” technology with total strangers. Again, a simple sign got a company great brand exposure.

My examples are isolated incidents; however, with 25,000 people in the race, seeing the signs that various corporations provided you know that others had similar conversations. The race attracted people from all over the world, so for a nominal amount of money Baptist Health and Lululemon managed to do some international marketing at the ING Miami Marathon and Half Marathon. Not bad for a Sunday morning!

Click on this YouTube video to check out the marathon course – it really is beautiful!

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