Prep Your Pink!

It’s never too early to start thinking pink, ahead of Breast Cancer Awareness month!

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Breast Cancer Awareness month promotions for October are here and they are better than ever. Now is the time to get moving on pink promotional items, as by the end of the month, manufacturer’s will be sold out! Yes, sold out. It happens more often than you can imagine.

We always strive to be one step ahead of the yearly trends for promotional items. Drinkware is no different! One of the most popular (and portable) items are the collapsible water bottles. Empty, these wide-mouth flip-top bottles fold down, making it easy to stuff in a back pocket or bag.

Of course for walks shirts and caps are always a hit, but don’t forget shoelaces and lanyards too. We also have had some requests for rally head wear. These multi-functional head gear can be worn several different ways and keeps your head at a comfortable temperature. Fully dye-sublimated, this item is great for patients and participants alike, participating in walks and fundraisers. And let’s not forget bags. Pens are always useful and bags are one of the longest kept and seen promotional items available (behind a shirt of course). Almost every year, we end up on scavenger hunts for pink bags because inventory is so scarce! This is why planning ahead is key!

So during the summer slowdown, maybe you can carve out some time to think about the best say to remind everyone how important this cause is not only in October, but all year round.

Let us know the creative ways you will be promoting Breast Cancer Awareness this 2016!

Gag Promo, Get Creative!

Are you tapping into your creativity?

I mean, are you truly promoting your brand and business in a way that will set you a part and catch the average consumer’s eye? aq5d2QM_700b

The average consumer is exposed to over 3,000 messages and advertisements on a a daily basis. From billboards to magazines our phones and emails, we are bombarded every second of every day it seems.

In particular, and I have no explanation for this whatsoever, but I have been noticing the wackiest, most creative items involving Sriracha. I know, very random.

But I love Sriracha so maybe I am programmed to notice these things more? Whatever the reason, I am loving these creative promo items lately! I mean, who doesn’t want a Sriracha bottle USB sticking out from their laptop/computer?37777646_069_d

From the to-go, mini-bottle of Sriracha with the carabiner to attach to your keys to the gag-promo Sriracha bra (yes, this ended up in my email and I am not sure why), my mind has just been infiltrated fully by Sriracha.

And now that I have my Sriracha on the go, it has me thinking, are we all expanding our brand beyond the boundaries regulated to our markets? Many are hesitant about branding wacky items such as these, but the truth is, consumers are more likely to desire or want that item more if it is something that will in turn, have others around them noticing their USB or wacky key chain.

So take risks with your branding! It could end up in the inbox or purse of one consumer and beyond the boundries of where you thought your branding ended.

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!

 

Promote Green!

Every year on April 22, 192 countries celebrate Earth Day by promoting going green!

On this day, many recognize the imperative need to give back to earth and the communities we live in. Whether its by using Eco-friend products, planting a tree, or picking up trash along a beach somewhere, there are many things individually that we can do to promote living in a “green” world.earth day 2

I love gardening. While doing some good for the earth and mother nature, you can grow an abundance of flowers, fruits and vegetables right in your back yard. Look for sets like this one from Prime Line. It includes three biodegradable planters and soil wafers. Add the seed packets of basil, parsley and chive and you are all set! This makes a great appreciation gift, and really is a gift that keeps on giving.

Bamboo items are a popular item as they are eco-friendly and just as useful! Whether is a desk organizer, pen, notebook, or even kitchen utensils, giving this out will surely turn heads and wow everyone.

Everyone appreciates items that can be used for multiple occasions. Give your end-user something they will want to use everyday and most of all, feel good about using day after day. From a recycled tote to a eco-friendly sport bottle, these items will always be an arms length from your client, all the while contributing to our community!

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.

 

 

 

 

The Shark Tank Effect

One of my guilty pleasures is without a doubt binge-watching episodes of Shark Tank.

Selfies for your pooch!

The bravery and ideas that many people bring to the table and the risk taken to get to that point has truly captivated a major audience.  Many people find themselves drawn in by the high stakes and stories of people putting their livelihoods on the line in front of a panel of major moguls.

Coatchex dominance

What is even more interesting to watch is what happens following the episodes debut. Whether the contestant scores a big deal with one of the moguls or walks away with nothing, the “Shark Tank effect” will take hold. After the show debuts, suddenly you have had anywhere from 8 to 10 million sets of eyes on you and your idea/product. And the results are astonishing. Company’s sales sky rocket while the phones ring endlessly. Simply showcasing your idea in front of a few people is nerve-wracking. Then you show case it in front of an audience of millions and the stakes are even higher. TJ Hale is as entrepreneur and produces a Shark Tank podcast, and he believes simply appearing on the show is worth anywhere from “$4 million to $5 million in marketing exposure.”

One of my favorite stories and example of this effect taking hold was with former Shark Tank contestant, Derek Pacque. His show aired in 2012, showcasing his business CoatChex, a ticketless coat checking system. He turned down an offer from panel member Mark Cuban (a $200,000 offer and handing over a 33% stack in his company) stating it “wouldn’t allow him to grow his business.” Following the episodes TV debut, he received so many inquiries and traffic that he packed up and moved his business to New York City. Since then, staff has gone from 28 to a cool 200 and revenue continues to double or triple compared to previous years. Exposure is just what Derek needed.

Simply put, this “Shark Tank effect” has become such a powerful and unique platform that can you benefit you beyond nabbing a money deal. Viewers become truly invested in the story and the idea being sold, so much so that contestants will reap those benefits for many years beyond the actual “fifteen minutes of fame.”

The Power of Uniforms

Uniforms
Sometimes it’s hard to get out of the house in the morning. I don’t claim to be the world’s best dresser, but I try to look put together when I walk out the door, and on occasion this proves challenging. On those mornings, I always think the same thing – wouldn’t it be great to have a uniform?

Uniforms can really be anything. They might be as simple as matching caps or as wacky as full-blown costumes. But no matter their style, they are all great promotional pieces because your employees are literally walking around advertising your company. They don’t have to be a huge investment either: we can embroider as few as 6 shirts with your company’s logo. What a great way to both advertise your company and to make it easier for your staff to get dressed in the morning!

Look at this YouTube clip from Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead – not quite the uniform I had in mind!

How Promo Items Lead to Networking

photo from calendar2015.loveitsomuch.com

photo from calendar2015.loveitsomuch.com

You know how I always tell you that promotional products are smart giveaways because they help your customer remember your name? Well I’m not lying! For the last few holiday seasons Gossett Marketing has sent a single-page annual calendar to our customers in lieu of cards. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve walked into a customer’s office and seen it tacked to their bulletin board, meaning that they see our company’s name each and every time they glance at it. Well, last week – months after the calendars were delivered – I received an email from a customer that read, “Just want to let you all know that the 2015 calendar card you sent for the holidays is a great help and useful. I look at it every day to help me schedule things throughout the year without having to flip through a monthly calendar.”

That email let me know that our own giveaways are working!

You might wonder why I am using the networking portion of our blog to sing the praises of promotional marketing products when the latter subject has its own category. You see, the prom item that we sent to our customer months ago inspired her to reach out to me. She was then at the top of my mind and when I had a vendor meeting later on, I saw a new item that I knew she would enjoy. I got her a sample and, lo and behold, she ordered it! Essentially, my promotional product spurred networking and got me a sale!

Awesome Promotional Marketing

photo from mangoandlime.net

photo from mangoandlime.net

Every once in a while I attend the Pinecrest Gardens Farmer’s Market. It’s a small event that happens every Sunday and whenever I do go I always end up enjoying myself, buying lots of delicious produce, and – my favorite – partaking of an iced coffee from Imperial Roasts. So if I like the Farmers Market so much, then why do I not attend every weekend? Well, to be honest with you, I forget about it.

Among my friends, I’m pretty notorious for not leaving my “bubble.” I live in a great part of town with lots of things to do, so I generally stick around in my neighborhood. While I probably miss out on many of the exciting things that Miami has to offer, I don’t really mind. I like what’s near me – and I definitely appreciate skipping out on South Florida’s nasty traffic. Anyhow, the Pinecrest Gardens Farmer’s Market isn’t in my typical “bubble” so it honestly slips my mind until I drive by and remember to pop on in.

As I pulled into the Market the last time, I remember telling my husband that I need to try to remember to come more often. Then I thought to myself, “the organizer should definitely be giving away promotional products.” Because if I received, say, a grocery tote with the name of the Market printed on one side, then I’d use it during my weekly Publix run and be reminded about the event. Then maybe I’d ditch the Publix produce and run down to the Farmer’s Market instead – giving them more sales and myself better-tasting produce!

Print advertising is great. A sign on the side of the road reminding us that there is a Farmer’s Market on Sundays is excellent. But a promotional item that a potential repeat customer can carry with them and use indefinitely? That’s truly awesome marketing!

Is it a Promotional Product?

photo from www.startswithyou.com

photo from www.startswithyou.com

I attended the Coconut Grove Arts Festival this year and one thing that struck me was the sheer number of businesses that were raffling off items. You could add your contact information to an insurance company’s email list and be entered for a chance to win basketball tickets, if you listened to a pitch about a new real estate development then you could have won a bike, and – my personal favorite – if you went to the H&H Jewels tent then you had the opportunity to obtain raffle tickets and a prize was given away each hour!

Full disclosure: I am an H&H customer. I think they have beautiful pieces and that their customer service is excellent. But I also have to say that I think they won the Grove Arts Festival’s promotional marketing and their social media. You see, the jeweler announced the winners of its various raffles over Facebook and showed the beautiful pieces of jewelry that each winner received. Which leads me to my question: are these bejeweled giveaways promotional marketing products?

Although a piece of jewelry is nothing like a logoed t-shirt or an embroidered bag – either of which would distinctly promote a brand by showing people its name – I do think that the jewelry items raffled off by H&H Jewels do serve as promo materials. Why? Because each and every time the recipient wears her bauble she will think about how she got it, and because I’d be willing to bet that she will tell someone the story behind the piece! Therefore that one piece of jewelry will provide excellent brand recall for the wearer and a good dose of word of mouth marketing for those around her.

So, although pieces of fine jewelry are not your typical promotional marketing materials, I do think that they fit the bill quite nicely in this situation. Well done, H&H Jewels! Next year I just need to win the raffle!

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