Grow Your Brand, Grow Your Sales Blog
BUILD YOUR BRAND, BUILD YOUR SALES with Promotional USB Flash Drives.
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An insider’s guide to small-business marketing.
When my grandparents moved into a retirement center, I helped with the garage sale. My cousin Claire and I were joking about how best to display the odds and ends from their 60 years together when I stumbled upon a gift from the gods of high kitsch. It was a letter opener, but this was not your typical letter opener.
In the clear acrylic handle floated a mini uterus with two pills strategically placed where ovaries normally reside, alongside the drug’s name, Hormonin. This promotional product was a gift from a drug company representative to my granddad, a doctor in Laredo, Tex. I tried to imagine how this token must have been received by the taciturn Dr. Puig. “Thanks Hal, I’ll put this next to my collection of kidney stones.” Or, “Do you have that on a T-shirt in an extra large?” Highly doubtful. He probably focused on its utility and kept it right there on his desktop. Which is probably what the drug company’s marketing department was counting on.
Promotional products are, some say, the oldest form of advertising. American businesses spend $20 billion a year giving away stuff with logos, according to Jerry McLaughlin, president of Branders. Which is pretty good evidence that it works. Mr. McLaughlin credits the effectiveness of promotional products to centuries old cultural norms around the rule of reciprocity. “If you give something, the recipient is honor bound to give something back,” he said. “In every language and culture, research has found there are really pejorative words for people who get and don’t give back. We humans are hard wired to respond if we get something.”
Are we really that easy? When you get that survey in the mail with a crisp dollar bill attached, do you fill the survey out or pocket the money and relegate the envelope’s contents to the circular file? I visited with Dr. Robert Cialdini, professor emeritus of psychology and marketing at Arizona State University. Dr. Cialdini, who has written a book on the topic, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion,” became interested in studying the rule of reciprocity out of self-defense. “All my life I’ve been a sucker,” he said.
Dr. Cialdini observed Hare Krishna Society members in airports, watching them foist paper flowers upon travelers. As soon as travelers accepted the flowers, they became more likely to reach into their pocketbooks and reciprocate with a donation. Sociologists and anthropologists have found, he said, that there is not a single society in the world that doesn’t train its people from childhood to this rule. “Marketers take advantage of this all the time,” he said. “Tupperware parties — one of the things that happen very early on — they play games so every one at the party wins a prize from the Tupperware representative. And they feel very obligated to give something back in return.”
A well-known veterans’ nonprofit group, the Disabled American Veterans, is a case in point. When the group sends a mailing for contributions, Dr. Cialdini said, it gets an 18-percent response rate. When the same letter is sent with personalized address labels, which cost about eight cents, the response rate goes up to 35 percent. “For the cost of the address labels they get almost a doubling of return,” he said. “It’s very powerful rule and very small things can trigger it.”
How do companies find the right promotional item? Here are four suggestions:
• Give items that members of your target audience will use in the environment where they make decisions about using your product or service. If you go after executives in corporations, give them something they will use in their offices, around their desktop so your company can be top of mind when they make decisions. Golf-related items are exceptions because lots of business happens on the golf course.
• Have it underscore your marketing message and differentiate your company. Mr. McLaughlin recounts a computer software client who makes antivirus software. The client put its logo on boxes of condoms and sent them to information technology types with the message, “Protect yourself, protect your computers.” Results? “Most I.T. people are male,” said Mr. McLaughlin, “and don’t really have girlfriends so that’s particularly titillating. They believe they got pretty good results.” A bit edgy for most companies, but you get the idea.
•Personalize them. While we are fond of our company logos, customers really like to use items that have their names on them. “People like seeing their own name above all else, said Mike Linderman-former chairman of the Promotional Products Association International.
• Skip the logoed water bottles and other items that will be quickly used and tossed. Make your promotional products investment something that will have a shelf life.
Some of the most popular promotional items these days are thumb drives, aluminum sports bottles, reusable grocery bags, and anything green or American made. But will this stuff really replace the calendars with alluring young women? “I don’t know who the folks were who figured out that men would look at pretty girls and if you put your tools, software or cars next to it, they will look at it. I don’t think that trend is going away,” Mr. McLaughin said.
Did receiving the uterus-enhanced letter opener prompt my granddad to write more Hormonin scripts for menopausal patients? Can’t say, but this promotional product made it 40 years without seeing a trash bin. And it’s now in a prominent place on my desk, right next to a Charlie the Tuna desk lamp.
From the Small Business Page of the New York Times (Published in the NY Times by MP Mueller)
Have you ever had "one" of those days? Your boss is hollering for deadlines, the kids need to be picked up early and oh you just realized the only thing you have in the fridge for dinner is sprouting roots. Oh and you need to get your social media posts done for the day, or the week, or the month. Breathe. We've got it covered for you.
Aside from your regular engagement of connecting, liking and commenting on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google Plus, and Instagram your time is usually spent on content creation. But where can you quickly and easily create content? Here are some quick ways to boost your engagement.
Basically in 1 minute you are on your way. If you have a minute this is an easy to use design tool with lots of free graphics. We love, love, love Canva!
Another easy-to-use photo editor that promotes engagement.
Grab an image and go. In literally one minute you can grab a photo, add a quote and you are on your way.
Follow the Leader
Check out the leaders in Content Creation and get your juices flowing. Here is a great blog by Seige Media:
What's hot on Alltop will produce top notch articles that you will want to share with your audience. Tailor it to your market and you will always have a great source for content.
Medium is another great source to get your creative juices flowing.
Medium is home to the world’s curious minds. From the clever to the controversial, find ideas worth making time for.
And there you have it: 6 Ways to Boost Your Social Media.
Housewarmings and client appreciation gifts are usually the top two reasons we get calls for these wine bags, also known as wine totes. This is a totally new and clever use for this handy little wine tote and we wanted to share with you this client success story.
The challenge for this law firm has always been being creative with referral gifts. Always grateful for referrals and wanting to send a little something as an appreciation gift the firm was looking for a non-wine gift.
The law firm sent out a wine tote filled with gourmet chocolate. This wine bag was filled to the brim with delicious chocolates (Belgium of course!) and a clever personalized hang tag was attached. The response was amazing. The client shared that the staff loved the gift and were so appreciative. "This had a much better response than the wine we have done in the past."
Next time you are looking for an alternative to wine but want to do an elegant personalized gift consider a promotional wine tote customized with your logo.
Crazy is how it is around here, but I love it." David one of our technology clients tells us.
We normally "noodle" or if you want to get fancy "strategize" twice a year for ideas to keep his company, a technology recruiting firm, top of mind with potential recruits and firms looking to hire.
We throw around the usual ideas: creative mailer, mousepads, notecubes, USB memory flash drives, pens and this handy jolt charger was presented.
We have to be creative with logo product ideas, promotional products, and giveaways that diminish the brand value. We look for strong promotional technology ideas that will increase brand recognition and brand loyalty.
He initially did this order for a small quantity to see what the reaction was. "Everyone loves this charger and everyone needs it." Needless to say he has since done three more orders and it appears everyone is happy, including David's boss (they landed a big deal!).
Here are some other tech items we love that helps to keep your brand front and center:
- Promotional wall phone chargers customized with your logo (low cost but high impact)
Promotional Speaker and Tablet Stands customized with your logo (the sound is amazing)
Keep it fresh: Now it's time to remember that with any marketing or promotional campaign you must track your results and keep it fresh. While you keep your branding or messaging consistent you will also need to keep your marketing fresh. How do you keep it fresh? Keep up with the latest trends, tips and new products that will reinforce your marketing and branding efforts.
Get your branding on with the latest color trends. Pantone has just announced the following colors as being the top colors for Spring 2017.
- Primrose Yellow
- Lapis Blue
- Island Paradise
- Pale Dogwood
- Pink Yarrow
To read more on this announcement visit the Los Angeles Times article.
Ok so we get a call each year from Alice, the nicest realtor from a state in the southeast.
"Hi this is Alice. May I place a reorder for my little calendars."
I get the call and always introduce myself.
"Well you know every year I send these out for the holidays. People call me for them. Do you have any idea how many houses I have sold with these darn little calendars?"
I always tell her "I am sure tons!"
"Yes I do sell a lot of houses in my little town and its because of these little things I do. You folks are always so nice and I like the price."
We like you to Alice! We love these little peel and stick calendars for so many reasons:
People love gifts! Giving these handy little magnetic real estate calendars out during the holidays means you are a giver.
The magnetic back means it is going right where you want it: the refrigerator! Think about it, your message gets seen several times a day, all year long!
This magnetic real estate calendar is so easy to mail! This particular style of magna peel and stick calendar (also known as tear off calendars) include all the envelopes.
We also love the full color image area for your business card. You can peel and stick your business card to the do-it-yourself style or for a bit more spoil yourself and have your business card printed on the magnet.
Alice called again this year (back in March) to share another sold house story with us.
"The people I sold the house for told me they felt like they knew me all these years. They mentioned my little tiny, weeny calendars and I thought you folks at Kaylin should know." Thanks Alice!
Contact us if you would like more information on the peel and stick calendars
Any time you can take a great promotional item like an imprinted t-shirt and combine it with fundraising for a great cause and add in a good message you got a winner campaign!
This fundraising idea is quick and easy and it works!There are 3 quick and easy steps to get your fundraiser going:
1. Contact us for a marketing flyer and program details and your organization will receive an email with a poster to hang up. You can make flyer copies and send them home with staff and students. Or you can send out the flyer in an email blast.
2. Collect your order forms and payment.
3. Place your order.
Organizations can collect whatever they want. A good estimate for 100 orders would be around $1000 going back to your organization. You can also change your graphic and shirts colors!
Your custom branding on these logo shirts are the perfect promotional products for teambuilding and building awareness for your organization. Teams looking for logo product ideas or fundraising ideas with little effort involved might consider a custom design shirt for their next fundraiser.
If you would like more information on custom t-shirt fundraisers please Contact Us.