Friday, September 24, 2010

Customized Promotional Gifts For The Holidays

Ok, it's only the end of why am I already talking about holiday gifts.  This is the time to think about it. You know how fast these next few months will fly!

If you put it if off to the last minute, you run the risk of rush charges & the possibility the item will no longer be in stock. Everything takes longer this time of year because of the huge increase in business. It's not only the production of your promotional imprinted product, but UPS & FedEx add days to their delivery schedules.

Also, don't be the last one to give out your gift. Get it delivered before your competition does & most importantly, when it will be remembered & appreciated. If you wait until December 22 & 23, it will most likely be pushed aside & forgotten as people concentrate on their own shopping & holiday plans.

I actually think you will make a bigger impact if you give it long before anyone else--like around Thanksgiving. Choose a personalized gift, with your company name & logo, that is both relative to your industry & is useful to your client. The more they like it & the more useful it is, the more they will use the item, giving your business repeated exposure throughout the year.

It's so important to give your customers a gift to let them know you appreciate their business. If this is where you decide to budget, you may run the risk their loyalty will fizzle out.

Promotional custom products that are gifts must meet the following criteria in order to be effective:
1. The items must be useful. Ideally give something that can be used daily in order to keep the memory of your company visible.
2. The products must have value. This doesn't mean you have to spend alot on the gift but don't give out the fifty cents pen you've been handing out all year. Make sure they know it's special & meant for them--not something you bought to distribute among the public for company recognition.
3. The item must be appropriate for your targeted audience. The same rule applies here that applies when you give out promotional imprinted products to the public. Be aware of the recipient's age group, the area they are from, etc.
4. The gift should be personalized clearly with your company logo. Remind your customer who gave them the gift & hopefully it can be something that remains visible long after the holidays are over.

With an unlimited choice of personalized items, you can get creative & give a gift that is both useful & one that compliments your company. Here are a few ideas:
1. Candy Dish--if you call on your customer throughout the year, make sure to bring candy or nuts to refill the dish during the sales call......conversation hearts in February, jelly beans in the spring or candy corn in the fall.
2. Gift Baskets filled with gourmet food that includes drinkware with your logo on it......ceramic coffee mugs, insulated travel tumblers or stainless steel water bottles. 
3. Gifts That Lights Up......a mouse, mouse pads, flashdrives, pens or luggage tags to name just a few.
4. Fleece Blankets with your logo embroidered in the corner. These are long-lasting gifts.
5. Digital Picture Frames--these are so popular & perfect for anyone who has a family or is involved in sports or an organization.
6. Protective Covers For Laptops--most people have laptops, but after purchasing one, many don't want to spend the extra money on a cover & put off buying it until a later date. This could be a welcome gift & depending on your budget, they come in both leather & synthetic materials. On a gift like this, I suggest your logo go discreetly in the lower corner.

Remember, above all--give something you'd enjoy getting. I hope this helps!
Ronni Sherman

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Support Your Football Team With Promotional Custom Products

Across the United States, in small towns & big cities, football season has kicked off & avid fans are rooting for their local teams. You may be thinking that football has nothing to do with your business, that it has little to do with the services & products you provide your customers with. That line of thinking may seem logical at first, but you could not be further from the truth.

You see anything that has to do with your community directly corresponds to your company & this is a concept that all business owners should keep in mind. Becoming involved in those things that are an integral part of the community lets you put your advertising message in a place where everyone can see it. This is the ideal way to get your name out in public & get your company recognized as an important asset to your town.

There's a wide selection of promotional imprinted products, available in all price ranges, that will help support the team & your business. One important tip to keep in mind when you're ordering these advertising specialties is to make sure they are in the team colors & not your colors. Your company name & logo should be prominent though......after all, you're promoting your business. If there's room, you can also display the team's name.

Here are a few suggestions for customized promotional items that will be used in the stadium & hopefully around town all season long.
1. Stadium Cushions: Not the old-fashioned vinyl ones--those had the same fate as a VCR player. They are now foam, covered with polyester. Some are foldable & can fit in a pocket while others have a sturdy back or pockets & a drink holder.
2. Drinkware: Your choices are endless......insulated coffee mugs that can keep drinks warm for the entire game are great for chilly fall nights. There's also colorful sports bottles & stainless steel bottles. Stadium cups with lids are popular at football games.
3. Foam Footballs: They come in all sizes from 5" to 9" & a large array of colors. You can get them with the stripes & laces in contrasting colors.
4. Stadium Blankets: These definitely can be embroidered with both your logo & the team's name. They are most commonly seen in fleece, but are also available in chenille & sweatshirt material. Yes, they are pricier than the other suggestions, but they make wonderful thank you & executive gifts. Don't wait for the holidays to show your appreciation to your customers......give them an early gift that will be long-remembered & more welcomed than the stale tins of popcorn they'll get in December.

It doesn't matter how large or small these promotional wholesale products are or who you give them to--what really matters is that they travel to the local football field & bring in new business for you. No matter where you live, no matter the caliber of your team, these items show your support for both the team & the community.

Good luck to your local team & to you this football season.
Ronni Sherman


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

How A Customized Promotional Item Can Travel The World

In today's age there are websites and companies that are going online daily. Many of these websites that are going live are new entrepreneurs that have the idea of owning their own online business. As more and more of these entrepreneurs get online they are in need of the same thing as everyone else...traffic! Just like a traditional business needs foot traffic or customers walking through them, an online business needs traffic as well.  While I have been an online entrepreneur and do much marketing online that we are all familiar with like article marketing, video marketing and PPC, this is not one of those types of marketing strategies; this is one outside the internet arena.
What I consider one of the most powerful promotional imprinted products you could invest in is one that gets stolen all the time. It is something that you always need many times a day and most people have hundreds of them around the office or home. It is a pen! A pen is an item that many people borrow but never give back, and it could potentially travel the world within a week or two. I really think that would be an interesting documentary. What if a tracking device was installed in a pen to see where it went? Think of the last time you lent a pen out and never got it back. Think if that pen had advertising on it for your business, how powerful could that be and how far could it go?

Where Could It End Up?
Now if you have the mindset like I do and also many other entrepreneurs, we think BIG. You always have to think BIG or otherwise you will get left behind. Okay, follow me here...
You buy three hundred ball point pens for $120, and you find a way to leave six in public reach for thirty days. You now have 180 traveling silent advertisers for your business, and what did you do...not much. Your pens have the potential to be in hundreds of different people's hands in a month. This still leaves you with just under half of your order to distribute or do other things with.

Can You Follow The Pen?
Where does it go? Ok, say you are taking your spouse out to dinner at Applebee's in Kansas City, MO.
At the end of the dinner your waitress brings you the bill and a pen. You could accidently switch her pen with one of your business pens or leave her both. You leave after signing the bill and then the rest of the night other patron's are using your pen. Let's say one patron is a school teacher that takes the pen and then takes it to work with her the next day. Then she accidently leaves it in the teachers' lounge. The pen is used by a few other teachers and one picks it up with his papers and takes it to his night class. He just happens to sit next to someone who forgot their pen and it is passed off as a "favor".

This Is Where It Gets Fun...
The fellow student who borrowed the pen as a "favor" takes it home and lays it on the counter at night. The next morning the fellow student's spouse takes it to work at their car rental business. The spouse rents a car to a traveling business man from Hawaii. This business man "borrows" the pen only to slide it into his pocket; never to be returned. He gets back to his hotel for the night and looks at the pen, and then goes to your website. After being on the run for 14 hours he is tired and throws your pen in his briefcase. The next day he hops back on a plane to Hawaii to meet up with one of his business partners in Maui. It happens that his business partner is originally from Japan and travels home once every two months to see his mother. During the quick 30 minute meeting at the airport, his business partner "borrows" the pen and is off to Japan.

So What Did It Cost You?
Following the pen through about ten different people: the pen cost you .40 and ten different people wrote with it. If you know human nature like I do, they read the writing - we are all very inquisitive. Ok, I agree it cost you a dinner with your spouse, but you needed to do that anyway. So breaking this equation down into getting your business in front of people could be as low as .04 a person.

What Am I Doing?
I am reaching out to a great friend of mine, Ronni Sherman, who owns Creative Images or actually Cre8iveimages. I will tell you first of all, Ronni is a high class lady who considers customer service her top priority and goes the extra ten miles for every client. With Ronni's business, she not only offers pens but also:
*Breath Mints
*Adhesive Notes
*Caps, T-Shirts and other apparel
*Golf Balls
*Luggage Tags
*Computer Items
*Drink Ware
*Executive Gifts
*And so much more!!!

So what I am trying to tell you is quite simple. A great way to get your company name out in the world at a low cost is with promotional custom products.
Wishing you everlasting success,
Your friend and mentor,
Robert David Strong
Written by guest author, Robert David Strong

Let your pen be the one that travels the world. Thank you, Robert!
Ronni Sherman

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Successful Promotional Campaign Using Customized Promotional Items

In this economy, when most businesses are experiencing loss of sales & their revenues are down, it's difficult to think about putting money aside for advertising. Yet, it's during these difficult times that you need to think about promoting your company. Sure, everyone's cutting back, but people still need products & services. Even though the media is screaming recession,  you see advertisements on TV & people in stores with shopping bags. And that's why it's so important to get your name out there now & remind the consumer that you're around, ready to help them with whatever they need.

Promotional imprinted products are one of the most economical & successful methods to advertise your business. These advertising specialties are an efficient way to be seen by a slew of people everyday & to elicit a response from the public.

To achieve a successful promotional campaign you should have three goals:

1. Make sure your marketing message reaches your target group. Research & identify the needs of your audience. Are they a special interest group? Is age, sex or where they live a factor? Will you be giving out your promotional custom products to the public in general or to a certain sector? Windshield scrapers will be appreciated at a car auction in Maine, but not in New Mexico. Spiral notebooks are ideal for a high school or college fund-raiser, but if it's an elementary school then educational activity books would be more appealing.

2. Make sure your message is clearly understood by your target audience. This is so important because if your message is hard to read, you've wasted your money.  Customized promotional items shouldn't be a guessing game. If you pick a smaller item like a pen or letter opener, then don't try to say too much. You don't have the space & a company bio is not necessary. Your company name & contact info is sufficient. You can be colorful, you can make it fun, just don't make it crowded. Your objective is for someone to read your website or phone number easily. Have more to say? Then think about note pads, mouse pads, drinkware or bags. If you're mailing or traveling with these, I suggest you stick to the small & light-weight items & include additional information with attached printed material.

3. Make sure your message drives your target group to act. I've said this before & I can't stress it enough......make sure what you give out is useful, looks appealing & works as it's supposed to. You don't have to go for the most expensive items, but stay away from the least expensive because the promotional imprinted products you give out will define who your company is.  It's better to be known by a brightly colored pen that writes smooth than a .19 stick pen that skips. A cheap note pad with thin paper that is not glued properly at the top will only end up in the waste paper basket & you will be forgotten. But your competitor will be remembered if what he gives out stays on the desk & is used. Get the message? Now make sure your customer does when you give him your promotional wholesale items.

So remember, target your audience, then make sure your message is clear & it inspires the consumer to go to you when they need your product or service.

I hope this helps you & that your next promotional campaign will be a success. Good luck!
Ronni Sherman