Holiday Reminder!

Yes, I know it is only October. And while I do enjoy a pumpkin spice latte just as much as the next, I have no shame in my game when I opt for the hot coco instead!

When it comes to the holidays, I am a firm believer in giving not only your clients, but yourself a reminder that when the October time rolls around, you can never be too early in regards to gift planning.

Below are some easy tips to help motivate your clients (and maybe yourself) to start at the very least thinking about the holidays!

  1. Organize your list:

This is the very first thing one should do! Write down who will be getting a gift! At the very least, who will be getting a card versus’ who will be getting cookies and versus’ who will be getting a high-end gift. Organize your client list based on how much you intend to spend, whether you plan on doing a holiday card or more.

  1. Research:

Every year, Gossett Marketing always tries to choose the most innovative gift for our clients that will help us stand out. Last year, our S’mores kit was such a success, that people still bring it up to this day! Research the year’s newest and most innovative gifts for you and your clients. It will do more than just help you stand out, but it will also tell your clients that you put some thought and care into what you gifted them.

  1. Presentation:

It is also important to take some time to consider presentation. If you choose to simply send out a card, think of ways that will help your card stand out from others. Maybe the card includes a bag of tea or package of seeds. Maybe you are going to give out journals and a pen. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of personalization and really creating something extra special that your client will appreciate and use. The possibilities are truly endless, so take the time to consider the ways you can really showcase your appreciation for your clients support over the past year.

  1. Execute:

Finally, consider sending holiday favors/gifts well before the holiday season is in full swing. Once December hits, delivery and shipping services become overwhelmed and inundated with so many packages and envelopes. You don’t want to risk anyone’s card or gift being lost or delayed that they ultimately don’t receive it in time. It is suggested to have all cards and gifts (unless you are giving them in person) in the mail immediately following Thanksgiving/the first week of December. This gives you some “bumper” time so not only will you ensure they receive the gift on time, but that they will get to enjoy it prior to receiving an influx of gifts from others.

Go for Gold: Olympic Fashions!

Every 4 years, the world gathers around one special city to support and cheer on their beloved athletes and countries.

This year that city is Rio de Janeiro. All eyes will be on the Maracanã Stadium as athletes from over two hundred countries parade together in celebration of the start of the 2016 summer Olympics.

Go USA!

Go USA!

While this year’s festivities have been muddied by negative headlines surrounding the overall preparedness of Rio and the Olympic facilities, one aspect never fails at gaining the most attention: what will the athletes and their loyal fans be wearing?

Dawning face paint, crazy hats and of course, flag capes, the promotional items touted over the course of these 2 weeks never ceases to amaze viewers. Here are some of our favorites!

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind who this guy in the hate is cheering on. I mean, where can you even find a hat like that do you ask? Look no further than of course, Amazon!

Why stop at the faux fur? Add a statue to your hat!

Why stop at the faux fur? Add a statue to your hat!

I can only hope that this Brazil fan on the left is going to this year’s Olympics in his beloved country. I mean, if he went all out for the London games in 2012 like this, can you just imagine what he has in store for us this year?!

Norway has had a long standing tradition of dawning some pretty over the top uniforms. The Norway uniforms from the 2014 Olympics in Sochi inspired a whole new fashion trend: PRINTS. ALL OVER. So much so, that their fans began showing up to events in the same chevron-patterned pant suit in support of their curlers and skiers. Work it, Norway!

Olympics

Team Norway!

One of my favorite promo items that has been spotted on Shark Tank and all over are the peel away face masks. The Game Face company has everything from Olympic masks to jewel masks that all can be easily peeled off after cheering on one’s perspective team, instead of dealing with all of the messy paint. Dawn your country’s flag or favorite college team without the mess! Sure to be a big hit at this year’s Olympics!

Tell us who you will be rooting for and what are some of your favorite Olympic events below! Go USA!

Understanding Branding Solutions!

Many years ago, just about the only option for branding items was with a simple, one color imprint, one location.

Today, with the help of new technology and machines, the options for branding have expanded is almost hard to keep up with! Below are some of the newest and most popular branding methods that will truly help your band stand out!

Deboss:

Debossing is a popular technique that we see used often for items such as journals, luggage tags and even a few Bluetooth speakers. The process is fairly simple which consists of using a metal plate that is pressed down on to the desired surface, leaving a grooved impression of the logo or name being used.  T802_2_v1445626182.1467035559

Epoxy Dome:

One of my favorite branding methods is the epoxy dome. The logo is rendered on a base. Depending on the size of the logo, the base can vary in size. Then it is overlaid with a bubble of clear acrylic epoxy. The dome is then affixed to the promotional product using an adhesive. Epoxy domes are being used on virtually everything. From pens to speakers and headphones to even bags and drink wear, it can turn an item that would normally get a standard one color silkscreen to an item now showcasing a beautiful, full color decoration that stands out from the rest.

4-color Process:

Showcasing items to clients with complex logos can be daunting. It can be hard to explain to those with four color logos why that alone will skyrocket the price of certain items. This is where items with a standard 4-color process imprint come in handy. I always try and take advantage of these items and showcase them to clients that I know will want to take advantage of an item that looks and feels more in line with the complexity of their brand. With this process, you can beautifully on pens, journals, speakers and tablet/phone sleeves, just to name a few. So, keep an eye out for those items where this is standard decoration. You will look like the genius that you are!

360 degree & Enlarged laser:

This new technology has allowed our clients to maximize the space allowed on the pens that hold their brand. We like to say that pens are like walking advertisements. They get stolen, dropped, forgotten and reused by many people over the course of their lifetime. Why just settle for a one location laser engraving or imprint? 360 degree laser allows you to maximize the entire surface of the pen barrel with step and repeats throughout the surface. 2

Liner Pages/Inserts:

When a client approaches us telling us they are looking for a journal to give as a gift or at an event or perhaps a back to school item, we try to always encourage them to take advantage of the inside of the journal. That is valuable space that is often forgotten about. That is why we love liner pages. Whether it be a school map for new students, or an outline of speakers at an event, or your client just wants to take advantage of 4-Color Process on the interior pages of the journal, this option really takes a simple item to the next level.

Full Coverage Deboss/Indented Dome: 3

Finally, this has to be my favorite branding method of all. Combining the technology of debossing with epoxy domes, you will be left with an item that truly stands out. Only for journals at the moment, this will certainly step up your creativity level and earn you genius points. A metal plate will deboss the entire front cover of the journal, leaving a recessed portion that features a precisely cut area for including an epoxy dome shape of any size. Now being done on power banks, this has to be the most head turning decoration method at the moment, always catching the eye of our clients at showcases and meetings.

Pricing for each of the above techniques varies of course, but depending on your client and what their brand represents, adding the extra few cents for an additional location or liner inside of a journal maybe worth it!

How are you using these branding solutions to help your brand and your clients brands stand out? Let us know below!

Silkscreening 101

One of the most common techniques for imprinting promotional marketing products is silkscreening. It’s a fairly straightforward process. First, a mesh screen is created with your company’s logo – the design that is going to be printed is left open and the non-imprinted spaces are closed off so that they remain blank. Once the screen is made it is placed on, say, a bag and ink is spread over it. Ink passes through the portions of the screen that are open and the places that are closed off remain blank. Your bag now has a 1-color imprint.

But what if your logo is multiple colors? In that case, silkscreening becomes a more labor intensive process. You see, imprinting a multicolor logo requires the creation of several screens – one for each color. Each color is printed individually, and each must dry completely before the next is added. Because it requires multiple setup and it takes additional time, silkscreening multiple colors on a t-shirt or other promotional item is more expensive than just imprinting with a single hue.

What about sizing? Well all of that depends on what you are imprinting. A logo on a tote bag may not transition well onto say a pen or stress reliever. In fact, certain items will only accommodate a maximum of one color. It is important to keep that in mind when picking items to hold and reflect your branding. Modifications may have to be made to the artwork when printing across several items.

Sizing also matters when it comes to silkscreening on a shirt. A logo that looks good at 14 inches to 24 inches, is most likely too detailed and intricate to print the same on a t-shirt. And depending on the location you will be imprinting on the shirt, you must also consider sizing, whether it will be the front chest, left chest, the sleeve or back. Front and back imprints can range anywhere from 10″ to 12″. Keep in mind the fit of the shirt. If it is more formfitting, the logo may look best a bit smaller, rather than trying to max out the imprint area.

The items that you can silkscreen are seemingly endless. Some of the most popular items include gym towels, mugs, pens and grocery totes. It’s a great way to get your logo on items that your customers will carry – which will, of course, assist in your branding efforts!

 

Vote “Yes” for Promo!

We are knee-deep into election season.

With this comes the great joy of ever evolving promotional items that the Presidential candidates sell on their perspective websites.

And I am not talking about the Guaca Bowle that Jeb Bush was selling on his online campaign store or the “Fillibuster Starter” pack that former presidential candidate Rand Paul was selling. (featuring a t-shirt and bumper sticker that read, “The NSA knows i bought this Rand Paul sticker”) No really, I didn’t just make any of that up. 

Let’s highlight the creative and useful items that have found there way onto the sites of the 2016 Presidential candidates. The ones that will have you saying, “that would make a great gift” or “wow, that is a good idea!”.

I have to start with Senator Marco Rubio, who is still selling his “Marco Polo” shirt via his campaign site, despite having suspending his campaign. Not so wacky, but creative and hilarious in and of itself.  Kudos to the person who thoughts this one up!

Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton made waves shortly after announcing her candidacy last year by selling a “pantsuit” t-shirt for ladies via her campaign website. I have recently visited her site, and while the pantsuit shirt remains, she has chosen offer promotional items that feel a bit more retail. She is selling distressed t’s, lapel pins and socks, a Tory Burch t-shirt and tote bags with a retail signature style. Even including a “homeware” category, featuring a pillow, mugs and a frame.

Not to be outdone, candidate Donald Trump, who spent over half a million in February on promotional products alone, is churning out t-shirts and signage for his rallies. His “Make America Great Again” caps are now being sold in various colors and styles.    Cruz-BBQ-Pack

However, if you already believe America is great because we get to have BBQ’s, you may want to check out the Ted Cruz bbq pack. This set features a Cruz 2016 cooler, spatula and “Cruzball” koozie 4-pack. Oh, and don’t forget your Cruz 2016 paper plates for your BBQ!

If all of this is making you “feel the Bern”, then don’t worry! Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has you covered. His promotional items mirror fellow candidate Hilary Clinton’s items as more traditional and retail-friendly. Outside of his “Feel the Bern” stickers, mugs and pins, the most creative item was a tote bag reading, “I’m totes votin’ for Bernie.” Yea, it left me hanging out to dry too.

We still have a way’s to go in election season, so hold on tight. Candidates have implemented the promotional items they sell into their campaigns more so this year than before. You may want to grab a piece of it too, as this is surely becoming an election to remember.

 

 

 

 

2016 Nurses Week

Nurses Week is celebrated annually from May 6th – 12th to honor the hard work and dedication of professional nurses throughout the country.

One way that many hospitals celebrate this week is by giving their nurses gifts, many of which include the hospitals’ logos. Some of our favorite promotional products for nurses this year are:

– Totes and duffel bags (If planned well in advance, you can present some very cool custom bags)
– Spa-type gift sets (Essential oils are a great gift that will surely be appreciated!)
– Anything Tech! (power bank, car charger, selfie stick)
– Collapsible lunch containers with matching utensils
– Picnic blankets or beach chairs

There are literally thousands of other options around, but these are what I like the most right now – they’re all unisex and either useful or fun! But regardless of what gift you choose, the important thing to is to recognize these often-unsung healthcare professionals. So to all of the nurses out there, thank you for all that you do!

Protect Your Checks with Anti-Fraud Ink!

Most may not realize it, but the checks we write are one of the most targeted forms of fraud.

According to a 2015 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey, they account for 77% of all fraud cases. Check washing accounts for more than $815 million in fraud every year. Even more so, prescription drug fraud accounts for more than $10 billion in annual losses.1439318971954

To many, writing checks is an “old-school” method that has virtually been replaced by debit cards. Because of this, when we write checks now, we may not consider the ink inside of the pen that we are using to write. This is where ISO (International Organization for Standardization) has established ink standards to be used in pens that protect our documents from fraud. ISO-12757 applies to the ballpoint ink refills used for documentary used and general use as well. These standards mean the ink under these standards must be water-resistant and fade-resistant. The ink will essentially become trapped in the paper, making it impossible to erase or alter any important documents. Other requirements include Ethanol resistance, bleaching resistance and light resistance.f

While the FBI estimates that losses total over $18.7 billion annually in check fraud, the testing and standards of the ISO-12757 are reviewed every five years. So how are we to protect ourselves?

As I mentioned earlier, many people don’t find themselves writing checks anymore thanks to bank debit cards, allowing easier access to our bills online. However, for the occasions that you do have to write checks, or fill out personal prescription information, it is important you come prepared.

I can almost guarantee at this very moment you have multiple pens on your person or in your general area while reading this. I know I have about five in my purse next to me and even more inside the desk I am sitting at. A great tip is to always keep a set of these specific pen in two environments where you may need to write a check or fill out important paper work : at home of course, maybe at a desk where you pay your bills and such as well as in your car/purse for the ladies. Mark the pen with a piece of tape if that will help you tell it apart from other pens you may have laying around. This way, you will always be one step ahead.

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!

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.

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