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

How to Give Effective Promotional Products

Lip Balm I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: when you give away logoed promotional products, be sure to give away items that your customers will actually use. That way, they will see your company’s logo whenever they utilize the gift you’ve given them, and, better yet, if they have it with them in public, then they will be marketing your company all around town!

If you regularly read Gossett Marketing’s blog, then you know that I always recommend imprinted bags as giveaways. I also tout the virtues of embroidered polo shirts, brand name merchandise, and even water bottles – they are all items that individuals appreciate and put to good use. Some other great promotional marketing products are truly indispensable: consider giving away toiletry items.

It sounds weird to say that you should give away logoed toiletries, but I’m not talking about imprinted nail polish (although that is an option!). The cosmetic products that I like are things like lip balm, packets of sunscreen, and even hand sanitizers. These are unisex items that people actually carry around with them and use in public, so if they have a snazzy imprint on them, then they will catch the eye of those around the user. The latter two items (sunscreen and hand sanitizers) are also frequently shared – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used a spritz of another person’s sanitizer spray. When that happens, your logo is literally in the hands of another potential customer. You can’t ask for better marketing!

Not only are toiletry products useful promotional marketing tools, but they’re also inexpensive! So the next time you need a fun giveaway that will give your logo exposure time and again, consider one of these fabulous items.

Just for kicks, click on this YouTube video, which shows “beauty tips” from Ursula, the sea witch from Disney’s The Little Mermaid:

Presidential Promotional Products

photo from www.americanflagstore.com

photo from www.americanflagstore.com

Recently I wrote a post about the importance of online promotional products stores. As I mentioned, they are a great internal tool because they help keep a brand’s identity consistent. They are also ideal for those organizations who want to sell imprinted promotional products in order to both make money and to promote their cause. Although I had not thought of these online stores in terms of presidential campaigns, it makes perfect sense that people in that (endless) race would have stores of their own.

I recently opened Yahoo and stumbled upon a very thorough article documenting the importance of promotional marketing items to presidential campaigns. Its author, Olivier Knox, has done a very thorough job of researching and explaining this to readers. Click here to check out his article and be sure to let me know if you’ve seen any memorable campaign souvenirs on your own. No matter which side of the aisle you’re on, you have to admit that “Hillary’s Hard Drive” is awfully amusing!

Chinese New Year & Promotional Products

Chinese dragon dance

Chinese New Year is quite different from our Western New Year’s celebrations. It is a 15 day long festival and is considered to be the most important holiday of the Chinese Lunar Calendar. Central to the celebration is family – meaning that individuals who have moved away from their ancestral homes travel great distances to return for the festivities. China does not necessarily have the level of infrastructure that we are used to, so travel times can vary widely. Some workers might spend over a week trekking to see their families – and don’t forget that they have to make that journey both ways!

While I’m thrilled that the hardworking Chinese people have an extended opportunity to celebrate the New Year and to visit with their families, Chinese New Year is difficult for the promotional products industry. Like seemingly everything else, the majority of promotional products are produced in China, then our suppliers ship them in and imprint them with companies’ logos domestically. During the Chinese New Year celebration, the overseas factories shut down so that their workers can celebrate – a closure that results in zero new marketing products entering the US from China for about a month! So if a supplier runs out of an item that one of our customers wants to order, then I have either find a different supplier with the same product or our customer is just out of luck. The result is lost orders for our suppliers and extra work for us.

As I’ve mentioned previously, Gossett Marketing produces a large amount of custom promo items for our customers. Again, these are mostly made in China, so during the New Year celebration we are unable to get accurate price quotes from the Chinese factories and the orders that have been placed have to wait for about a month to be completed. Frankly, this makes meeting in-hands dates difficult without proper planning.

Chinese New Year’s Day is on February 19, 2015, so whether you are ordering promotional marketing products or something else around that time, be aware that this celebration can make receiving goods difficult.

Take a look at this YouTube video of lanterns being released – a traditional, and beautiful, part of the festivities:

Quality – Not Quantity – Networking

Quality Quantity

In my mind networking is less about quantity and more about quality. Yes, if you attend an event you want to meet several people, but what’s more important than simply exchanging business cards is actually connecting with someone else. You want to get past the perfunctory, “My name is Lillian Osborn and I am an Account Executive with Gossett Marketing…” elevator speech and have an actual conversation. Ask questions, answer questions, have a laugh or two! When you really engage a new contact that is when he or she is going to remember who you are, what you do, and how you can do business together.

When I follow up with the individuals with whom I’ve really connected at networking events, I always find them more receptive and willing to continue that connection. It generally ends up with a meeting, referrals, and increased sales of promotional marketing products.

Do you really try to engage others at networking events? Or does a quick introduction and business card exchange work for you? The latter has never been successful for me, but if it does well by you, please let me know in the comments below – I’d love to learn your tricks!

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.

Non-Traditional Networking

Plymouth Congregational Church

Think about the word “networking.” What immediately springs to mind? For me, it’s two of the business networking groups here in South Florida – the Coral Gables and Greater Miami Chambers of Commerce. They both host wonderful events that attract excellent professionals, and I’ve made good connections through both organizations. However, some of my best contacts have come from less traditional outlets.

If you’ve read this blog before, you probably know that I’m a runner. But you might not know that I actually lead a half marathon training group. We run extremely early on Saturday mornings because about 95% of us are business people and that’s the only time we can all get together. We come from all walks of life and professions and spending hours together each week has really allowed us to get to connect with each other. I know who to call when I need a top rated neurosurgeon, an architect, or a legal guru, and they know who to call when they need promotional marketing products (me!).

While I don’t go quite as often as my mother would like, I do frequent Plymouth Congregational Church. After Sunday service, there is always a social hour in the garden. While I don’t always talk shop with my fellow parishioners, I do develop bonds with them. Those bonds can ultimately extend to business – a man I met while sipping my coffee actually ended up re-roofing my parents’ house! And I know that when he needs marketing materials, I am going to be his first phone call.

Those are just two quick examples, but the moral of the story is that you can network anywhere! Get involved in groups that interest you, make new friends, and business will follow.

Make Them Remember You

Remember Name Button
I received an Amazon Kindle for my birthday and I absolutely love it. It’s compact and light, purchasing books is convenient, and the battery lasts forever – I’ve downloaded and read three entire books and have yet to charge it. I’m a huge fan! My only gripe about the Kindle is that I can never remember the titles of the books that I’m reading or have read on it. I guess it’s because I don’t have to pick up an actual book, which would have the title displayed on both the cover and the spine, so I see the name less frequently. That lack of exposure allows the book’s name to escape me even if I really love what I’m reading.

I’m sure you’re wondering where I’m going with this. Well, here it is… I can’t remember the title of the book that I’m reading while I’m reading it because I do not see it every time I pick up my Kindle – lack of exposure is the problem. So if your customer is not exposed to your company’s name and logo, how will they remember you? Sure, they might have “Accountant” or “A/C Guy” programmed into their phone, but will they be able to refer you business if they don’t have that phone with them? Probably not!

Get your logo out there if you want people to recognize your corporation! Promotional marketing products are an excellent way to do that. If you are an accountant, give out calculators – that’s a no-brainer. I have my appliance repair company’s magnet on my refrigerator so I see their name – Glenn’s – every day. And Gossett Marketing gives out fun logoed items to our customers: bags, hand-shaped, highlighters, you name it! We practice what we preach!

So put your logo on something and give it to your customers. It really helps them remember your name!

Imprinting on Promos has Come a Long Way, Baby!

Four Color Process In the past, the standard decorating method on almost all promotional marketing products has been a one-color, one-location silkscreened or pad printed imprint. While that kind of logoing gets the point across, it’s not always the perfect type of decoration for everyone. Unfortunately, the companies who ordered promo items were often either stuck with the only available imprinting option or they had to custom order their giveaways from overseas. Well, luckily our suppliers have come a long way, baby! Fortunately for companies who have intricate logos, colorful designs, or just want something different, many suppliers now offer a wide range of imprint options that can accommodate special requests domestically – not in China.

One of the domestic decorating methods that we’ve been seeing lately has been the four color process transfer imprint. This allows you to basically print on a promo item in any and all colors with a tremendous level of detail. We just produced a large order of tote bags with cartoon children, a building, a happy sunshine, and landscaping all around them and it looks adorable! And we would never have been able to include so much detail with a silkscreened print.

We also have suppliers who actually create customized promotional products stateside. For example, one of the companies that we frequently use to produce sticky notepads now makes acrylic holders for those items. They can be die cut to look like just about anything – a skyline, people, books, you name it – and printed inside and out to really drive a branding message home. And speaking of notepads, those can also be die-cut Stateside for a truly custom promo item.

I won’t bore you with further examples, but just remember that imprinting on promotional marketing products has improved vastly in the last few years. So if you have an intricate, colorful logo that you thought could never go on a coffee mug, think again! Not only is it possible, but it can probably done quickly and at low minimum quantities.

Promotional Products: A Marketing Double Whammy

photo from wsw.org.uk

photo from wsw.org.uk

You know what I’ve noticed lately? When people attend events where they receive lots of cool promotional marketing products, they tend to post pictures of said products to social media sites. For instance, I have lots of friends who live in Austin and several of them have photographed their SXSW swag, each and every piece of which features a prominent logo. So not only is the recipient of these goods seeing that logo, but so are all of his or her friends and followers. It’s a marketing double whammy!

The next time you consider buying promotional products, consider the fact that if you give enough of them or if you hand out very interesting promos, you will probably get exponentially more exposure than you had anticipated. So maybe it’s time to think about investing a little bit more in this form of marketing?

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