Wacky Promotional Products

Sports Drink Dispensers

If you’ve ever read the “Promotional Marketing Tips” section of our blog, then you probably know that I’m a big advocate of promotional products that are useful, but also those that are distinctive. For the most part, I think that giveaways should be handy because the more times a logoed promo item is utilized, the more times your logo will be exposed to new audiences. However, not every practical product is going to be used because, well, sometimes practical can be dull. Take a white t-shirt as an example: it is certainly functional, but it’s pretty boring – this might not entice its recipient to wear it, so your marketing dollars are wasted.

As you can see, the majority of the time I (like everyone at Gossett Marketing) advocate taking a unique-but-useful approach to promotional products. But every now and again I like to throw you a curveball – a totally wacky promo item that enhances your marketing because it’s a weird conversation piece, not because it’s practical at all. And boy do I have one of those for you today!

While perusing the most recent Advantages magazine, Danette stumbled across a sports themed drink tube. It’s a drink dispenser with a 100 oz. capacity that is designed to showcase a particular sport. You’ll notice that the image above has a football helmet for a base, but there are also hockey, baseball, and basketball options. Now, I’m sure that these dispensers aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I think that they are excellent giveaways for teams. I can imagine the Miami Dolphins or Miami Marlins putting their logos on the base of the football or baseball versions, respectively, and giving them to season ticket buyers to either utilize at their tailgate parties or to simply have at home – perhaps in their “man caves” or memorabilia rooms. Whether they are taken to events or they sit on a shelf, they’re going to attract attention, which will definitely get the teams’ logos noticed by sports fans – and maybe that will motivate them to, in turn, buy their own tickets!

I truly believe that the majority of your company’s promotional marketing budget should be spent on practical but distinctive items; however, it doesn’t hurt to go a little crazy every now and again. Maybe sports-themed drink dispensers aren’t for you, but I know that, no matter what your industry, there is something fun and unique out there that can serve as a conversation piece and enhance your marketing!

Brand Building – and Profitting with Promo Items

Audi
My husband recently got a new car – an Audi (fancy!). He loves it, and I love how the company handles its promotional marketing! You see, he purchased the car and a few weeks later he received a large envelope in the mail. Upon opening it, he found a letter from the president attached to a product catalog with an Audi-branded paperclip.

The catalog is chock full of logoed Audi products. One can purchase anything from a branded golf towel to a leather tote to a sports car driving experience. And because people are proud of owning luxury cars, I’m sure that very many individuals who receive the catalog buy a logoed knick-knack or two. This is excellent brand exposure for the car company, and it’s also making them a decent profit – their markups are not insignificant on the items that I recognize!

Anyhow, I thought that sending a catalog to a car owner who loves his sweet new ride was a smart move by Audi. It might increase their brand visibility, it certainly makes them money each time anyone purchases from said catalog, and, little did they know it, but it got them a blog post!

The Value of Logoed Apparel

photo from sanmar.com

photo from sanmar.com

I spend a hefty amount of time discussing the merits of various promotional marketing products in this section of the blog. The vast majority of my focus is on promo items that you’d give to customers – anything from a pen to an imprinted power bank to chocolates to high-end holiday gifts. I tend to talk about that vein of the industry because those giveaway items give your logo great exposure and thus enhance your marketing efforts. You know what else does that? Logoed apparel.

Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m not sure why I don’t talk about logoed apparel more often. I sometimes feel like I spend all day, every day quoting it for people – and I have my embroiderer and silkscreener on speed dial! And that is for good reason. Like other promotional marketing items, logoed clothing gets seen by a lot of people!

Most of the clothing that we sell is shirts with embroidered logos on the left chest. Embroidery, physically sewing a logo onto a piece of cloth, seems like it might be expensive, but it usually is not. Pricing is based on the number of stitches it takes to sew your particular image and the quantity that you order, but it generally only adds a few dollars to each item. The nice thing about it is that it lasts and continues to look crisp even after washing, so any employees wearing a decorated shirt will be sharply dressed time and time again, which always makes a good impression.

Silkscreened shirts would definitely be our second most popular type of imprinted apparel. Recently we have been doing dry-fit shirts with logos front and back for many of our customers. They wear them at outdoor events, and all of the attendees see their company name again and again. It’s an easy way to create a unified look for staff members, it provides good branding, and keeps wearers cool and comfortable all day!

Long story short, when you are thinking of ways to promote your brand, consider apparel. A few shirts for each employee – whether they have an embroidered or silkscreened imprint – won’t cost you too much, and they will give your logo excellent exposure!

A Successful Business Promotion Is Key to Growth

photo from salespromotions.org

photo from salespromotions.org

Last week I wrote a piece about how we here at Gossett Marketing practice what we preach in that we give away logoed promotional products, just like we tell our clients to do. Well, great minds must think alike because I was perusing our sister site SalesPromotions.org and I noticed that Danette had also written a post about our promo items. Hers focuses less on the items themselves and more about the reason for giving them away. Namely, to keep our name top of mind with our customers, which makes them great networking tools. There is no sense in reinventing the wheel, so click here and head over to that site to check out her thoughts on our promotional items and how they help us build our business.

Unique, Handy Promotional Products

photo from ourwhiskeylullaby.com

photo from ourwhiskeylullaby.com

I recently went out of town for a wedding – it was in Austin, Texas, and if you’ve never been you should go. It’s a blast! But that’s not the point of this post. Whenever I travel I realize that airports are a hotbed of promotional products. You see people carrying imprinted duffel bags, working on tablets with logoed cases, wearing embroidered polos and caps, and even toting custom stone crab carriers (only in Miami!). Aside from that, the gift shops are loaded with promotional souvenirs.

During my trip back from Austin, I wound up getting to the airport really early, so my girlfriend and I dawdled around our terminal. She pointed out a funny little promo item and today I’m kicking myself for not taking a picture to share with my readers. It was a can of Coke that was wearing a “hoodie” for insulation. So basically, rather than a regular koozie, the Coke looked as if it was dressed in a sweatshirt. And of course it said “Coke” across the “chest,” so that if you put a Pepsi product or a beer in there, you’d still be advertising for the Coca-Cola Company.

I tried a Google image search to see if I could locate a picture of the item, but I came up short. However, I did come across lots of different promotional products that serve the same purpose. Some look like tires, some are large enough for a 2 liter bottle, I spied camouflaged ones with the Duck Commander logo, and one even looks like a fish swallowing the drink. They’re useful, inexpensive marketing items that can be customized in a variety of ways – including looking like a hoodie sweatshirt!

When I started this post I hadn’t intended to praise the humble can insulator, but they certainly are handy and can be awfully unique. And if that isn’t a great combination of attributes for a promotional item, then I don’t know what is!

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.

Creating a Promotional “Registry”

Baby Strollers
I am a frequent baby shower attendee. In fact, I went to one in Coral Gables just last weekend. I have no children of my own and I sat with another non-mother at last weekend’s shower, and as we listened to a new mom and one who is expecting discussing the merits of various strollers, we couldn’t help but laugh. As an outsider, it was amazing that these otherwise-sensible women seemed to have been brainwashed by the salespeople at various baby stores and were agonizing over the “right” carriage!

Thinking about it a few days later, I’ve realized that identify with the salespeople and, well, I don’t think they were brainwashing my friends at all. In reality, they were just trying to steer them in the right direction in what must be a pretty overwhelming situation. That’s actually what we here at Gossett Marketing try to do: we create promotional marketing “registries” to take some of the burden off of our customers. Rather than helping them with their diaper bags and onesies, we figure out which logoed desktop items, bags, and custom promotional pieces will help them best market their company in any situation.

Not being a mother, I’ve come to greatly appreciate and depend on registries as I shop for showers. That expert guidance makes it so much easier for me to pick the right thing! Fortunately, our customers have come to depend on our recommendations too. There is no need for them to pick blindly when we are here to assist them with their promotional marketing needs – we’re always happy to help them build their brands. What can we do for you? Let us know in the comments below!

Promotional Marketing for America’s Fittest Cities

photo from gateway-pt.com

photo from gateway-pt.com

Did you know that according to the American College of Sports Medicine, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota are the fittest in the country? I was surprised to hear that because I equate fitness with getting out and exercising, and, well, I don’t think I’d be motivated to exercise in the harsh Minnesota winter! Clearly I’m a wimpy Miamian because the news report that I saw showed people out running, biking, walking, and doing other types of workouts in sub-zero conditions. That’s dedication!

What I noticed when I watched the news clip about the Twin Cities’ fitness was that everyone was bundled up from head to toe – and rightfully so, as it looked frigid. And naturally because I work at a promotional products distributorship I immediately thought of all of the logoed apparel opportunities exercising outside in Minnesota presents! Companies should be giving away warm hats, gloves, jackets, face gaiters, base layers, and even scarves to their athletic employees and customers. If those items were all imprinted with their logos and the recipient sported them while out on their jog, then the company could potentially make a marketing impression on each and every other exerciser the recipient encountered. And based on the report that I saw, that would be a lot of marketing opportunities.

The nice thing about giving away cold weather exercise apparel and accessories is that people are going to wear them all winter. Multiply the number of times that the recipient exercises by the number of people who can potentially see a corporate logo each time he’s out there running, and you can see why giving away this type of logoed apparel makes great sense. And while these promotional products are ideal giveaways in Minneapolis and St. Paul, they’re also useful and effective marketing tools anywhere else that it’s cold and people exercise. Meaning that they’re great giveaways almost anywhere! So help your employees and customers focus on their fitness while staying warm – your brand will thank you!

Persistence

Marathon
Geoffrey Mutai ran the fastest marathon in history last week, finishing 26.2 miles in 2 hours, 3 minutes, 2 seconds. That stat blows my mind. It took me about the same amount of time to finish the 2011 Miami Half Marathon.

I like my slow and steady approach to races. I’m not going to win any of them: I run them for pleasure (and so that I can eat a guilt-free burger afterwards). Even though I take that approach to my races, it can still be a real mental challenge to get through them, but I know that if I just put one foot in front of another for long enough, then I can make it to the finish line.

I’ve actually found that the persistence and determination that I’ve picked up by running half marathons translates neatly to my business life. I can’t tell you how many quotes I send out for apparel and promotional items every day, and sometimes it feels like a fruitless endeavor! So I make an effort to follow up on all of those proposals until I get an order. Sometimes I literally feel like I’m stalking my customers, but there’s no sense in letting my hard work go to waste. Plus, I’ve found that the follow up keeps me fresh in their minds, so even if the quote in question does not turn into an order, they’ll remember to call me when they need their next round of logoed caps. Slow and steady might not win a marathon, but it certainly works for me.

This YouTube clip shows Mutai crossing the finish line last week. I look much happier in my race photos!!

Don’t Give Away All of your Promotional Products

photo from customflagmaker.com

photo from customflagmaker.com

When you think of promotional marketing products, you probably think about the items that you’ve received at trade shows or other such events. Logoed stress relievers, tote bags, journal books, pens, calendars, t-shirts and the like, all given to you by companies who want you to use or wear those items in public, and thus give their name exposure in the community. As a promotional products distributor, those are the types of items that we sell most here at Gossett Marketing – things that our customers give away – but sometimes promotional products are strictly for internal use, and that’s great too!

I started thinking about this blog topic because we do a lot of work with some of the large hospital chains down here in South Florida and one group asked me to price a very specific item for them. It’s a sign that is placed across the door of a hospital room when it has been cleaned and is ready for a new patient – it says “This room has been sanitized,” and displays the hospital’s logo on either side of that message. While people in a hospital who see these signs surely know that they are in such an institution, I think that they are great pieces of marketing material because they remind patients and visitors that the hospital is doing everything in its power to keep them safe and germ-free. The banners are reassuring and they reiterate the institution’s name – good marketing!

Actually, any type of banner that is used internally can be a great marketing tool. Say you had a successful third quarter – make a big sign that you can hang in the lobby. It will be a great pat on the back for your employees, and it will show potential customers who visit your office how hard-working your team is.

Giving away promotional products is an excellent way to enhance your marketing reach, but distributing them to customers and employees is not the only way to use promo items. Have them visible within your office and they can serve the same purpose – great marketing for your organization.

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