Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Guilty Pleasures & Customized Promotional Gifts

A guilty pleasure is defined as something you like that you can't justify liking. Guilty pleasures are those things you do that you love, but feel a little embarrassed to tell people about it. Or it's something you love doing, but feel you should be doing something else instead.

It's playing games on Facebook for hours on end or lying on the couch all afternoon watching old movies on TV. It's spending an entire day going from one garage sale to another & then looking back to wonder if you should have been doing something more productive.

My guilty driving or walking aimlessly along the beach when there's a long "to-do" list waiting for me at home. Even when there's not a list, I can't help giving into that urge a few times a week.

The point is: even though we may feel guilt for enjoying that special something, we still indulge ourselves in it from time to time.

As a business owner, guilty pleasures are your opportunity to give an appreciation or holiday gift that will really wow your customers. If you give them an item that naturally appeals to them, they will not only love it, they will use it. And every time they use it, your business name & logo is right there in front of them. That's how promotional custom products can work their magic for your company.

Don't forget about your employees. You can use your staff's guilty pleasures when choosing incentives or holiday gifts which will solidify your relationship with them.

There is a large "guilty pleasure market" out there if you're willing to be a bit more creative. If you incorporate it with a customized promotional item, you'll be giving a gift that will make a huge impact with your customers.

Is your audience crazy about technology? Do they always have to be connected? Techies will probably relish a USB flash drive, a computer travel set, a multi-USB kit, a mouse pad with a memory foam wrist rest or a laser pointer pen.

Do you know a lot of foodies, coffee fanatics or people with culinary tastes? You can dive right into these clients' hearts by giving them ceramic soup bowls, a stainless steel coffee mug, an ice cream scoop or a recipe calendar. Don't forget about that box of chocolates with your name on the chocolate & the box.
If your audience indulges in regular pampering at salons or spas, then you may want to appeal that. You could offer your customers a star massager, nail files or manicure sets, candles, or a set of liquid soaps, lotions, sun screens & lip balms. There's an array of sport, duffel & gym bags available for the work-out devotee.

Or maybe your clients are television or music enthusiasts. Try giving gifts that they would most likely pick up in a store anyway--like a fleece blanket or a CD holder. These items will both promote your company & help them feed their pop culture & media interests.

And who doesn't know that person who spends hours on the golf course or putting green when they should have been in the office? There are so many promotional imprinted products available for the avid balls, golf towels, ditty bags packed with tees & other essentials, umbrellas--even first aid kits that can fit in a golf bag or a water bottle. Believe it or not, tees can be imprinted. Let your logo fly off the tee towards the green, sink in a sand trap or float in a pond when you imprint it on any name brand ball.

Let's face it--Americans love their guilty pleasures. Almost everyone has at least a couple whether they will admit them or not. They're part of what makes us unique.  They help to give each of us a personality, & without them, our lives just wouldn't be as fun (or guilty).

How well do you know your customers?  Can you guess what theirs are?
Ronni Sherman

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chocolate As Delicious Promotional Custom Products

Come on...who doesn't like chocolate? This is a really fun way to promote your business since chocolate is pretty much universally loved. This is a promotional custom product everyone is sure to want. So why not get this sweet treat that says something about you & your company & take advantage of the world's love of chocolate!

Some of the best reasons to use chocolate as customized promotional holiday gifts are:
  • Chocolate tastes good! Chocolate is a fun way to get your message across to new & potential customers as well as your loyal clients. You don't have to limit it to holiday gifts......have it on hand if customers come to your place of business, as an appreciation gesture in the middle of the year or distribute at trade shows.
  • Chocolate tastes good! Chocolate is loved by almost everyone. People will look forward to getting your holiday gift each year. It's a good idea when giving it out year after year to do it in a variety of ways.
  •  Chocolate tastes good! Chocolate is proving to be full of anti-toxins, so give dark chocolate & you will give a holiday gift that's a tasty & healthy treat--one people will remember. Make that memory even sweeter by imprinting "thank you" next to your logo.
  •  Chocolate is a comfort food, which when eaten, releases endorphins that make your customers feel relaxed. A relaxed customer is usually more open to your concepts & products. This a good for your next trade show. It now only draws a crowd to your booth, but if they feel relaxed they won't be in such a hurry to leave. It might be wise to have small squares of chocolate with your logo on the wrappers when you make sales call throughout the year. This is a promotional imprinted product that will be sought after all year long.
Chocolate is versatile & can be given as gifts in a number of ways:
  • Chocolate bars are small, lightweight & easy to carry. It's just the right size to fit easily in greeting cards you're mailing. The wrapper has plenty of space for your logo & company name. Many times the bar, itself, can have the same imprint as your wrapper. It will leave an impressive image when a client unwraps the chocolate & finds your logo is also on the bar.
  • Want to give chocolate as a gift for the entire office? One of the most popular ways is a box with a pound bar displaying your logo in the center of the box. It's surrounded by individual size chocolates, some molded to identify with certain fields like travel or finance. 

  • Can't decide between chocolates & chocolate covered pretzels, nuts or fruit?  You can order it all in an imprinted tin with your logo on top or give a tower of boxes each filled with a different treat. The boxes & the ribbon tying it all together are imprinted with your name & logo.

  • I've stressed in older articles when giving a gift during the holiday season, it's a good idea to give something that will remain with your customer throughout the following year so your company will always be in sight. I still think that's the best idea & you can do it while giving out your favorite chocolate. It can be added to any customized promotional gift you give whether it's an engraved pen, an umbrella or something for the desk. You can include it inside drinkware or insert it in a pocket of a bag or tote you're giving.
I do like the idea of giving a chocolate bar with your logo on the wrapper as a holiday or thank you gift. What a delicious surprise! But when incorporating it with another gift imprinted with your company name, it will make a lasting impression of your business & your product or service.

Did I mention that chocolate tastes good?!
Ronni Sherman

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Get In The Spirit Of Halloween With Promotional Imprinted Products For Children

It's's's the beginning of the holiday season. What a great time of year! I don't know about you, but this is my favorite & I wait for it all year long. One of my best childhood memories is trick or treating in Minneapolis, MN & the sidewalks were completely covered with dried leaves. I loved the sound of them crunching under my feet.

I miss those bright colored leaves & how the trees painted a picture more colorful than any master artist could. In California they turn gold in November. But what fun now to see pumpkin patches crop up everywhere & all the pumpkin displays in the grocery stores.

Here are some fun & interesting facts & history about Halloween:
  1. The celebration of Halloween started in the United States as an autumn harvest festival. In pioneer days, Americans celebrated with corn-popping parties, taffy pulls & hayrides.
  2. With the large increase of Irish immigrants to the U.S. in the late 19th century, Halloween became associated with ghosts, goblins & witches. It was a tradition the Irish brought across the Atlantic with them. But it was never associated with the devil or a devil's holiday, as many believed.
  3. Jack-O-Lanterns are an Irish tradition. In Ireland, oversized rutabagas, turnips & potatoes were hollowed out & carved into faces & then lit with candles to be used as lanterns during Halloween celebrations.
  4. The word "witch" comes from the old Saxon word "wica" meaning "wise one". Witches were once respected dealers in charms, medicinal herbs & tellers of fortunes.
  5. The pumpkin originated in Mexico about 9,000 years ago & is one of America's oldest known vegetables. They generally weigh from 15-30 pounds but can grow to be as big as 200 pounds.
  6. Four out of ten (41%) adults admit that they eat the sweets from their own candy dish filled with goodies they give out to the trick or treaters. I bet that's closer to ten out of ten (100%).
  7. On Halloween night the majority (52%) of those providing treats to witches, superheroes & goblins will be passing out chocolate while about 30% will drop lollipops & chewy sour candies into the bags.
  8. 90% of the parents admit to sneaking goodies from their children's Halloween trick or treat stash. Their favorite treats to sneak are the snack-size chocolate bars. We want to help our kids eat healthier & not consume so much sugar, so we're doing this to protect them--not for our enjoyment.
Well, it's getting close to that exciting time of year. Halloween is only a few weeks away. This is a critical time to really market your business in order to finish the 4th quarter strong. A great way to do this & circulate your company name in the public's eye is using Halloween promotional custom products for children.

Here are 2 ideas:

Halloween Trick or Treat bags. These are one of the best forms of marketing during the Halloween season. These bags not only market your business because of the custom imprint on them, but they also have many safety tips to help keep the kids who are trick or treating safe. They're available in recyclable, non-woven material & make great shopping totes all month. They also come in bright yellow or orange plastic displaying vivid Halloween designs along with your logo.

Halloween coloring books. These are full sized with approximately 20 fun-filled pages & bright colored covers. Many also have safety tips for trick or treating. There's an assortment for different age groups. They are an entertaining yet educational promotional imprinted product.

Want to stand out from your competitors? Get in the spirit of the holiday & be sure to give out promotional wholesale products in October that have a Halloween theme.

Have fun during this month of Halloween. Don't forget to take time out from your busy schedule to enjoy the holiday!
Ronni Sherman

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What To Do & What Not To Do To Make Your Holiday Gift Stand Out

Well, it's that time of year again......time to start thinking about gifts for your customers. And please take time to give it some thought. If you don't, you run the risk of giving a gift that's unappreciated or forgotten.

This is the time to go over your customer list & your budget. When thinking of a gift this year, think of something that will wow your client. Something that will make an impact & will be remembered next year, long after the holidays are over.

There are hundreds of promotional custom products that make great gifts, but where do you start. I'm not going to list ideas for gifts in this article. Let's just say that it all depends on your business & your customers.

But I will give you some tips on what to do & what not to do when giving holiday gifts. These points could determine if your gift will be appreciated & most important, how your customer will regard you in the future.

  • Do NOT give a gift that isn't useful or 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 age groups, the special interests, the area they are from, etc.
  • Do NOT give the fifty cent pen you've been handing out all year. Rummaging through your supply closet to find left-over promotional items you gave out over the years spells disaster, not thank you. The products must have value. This doesn't mean you have to spend a lot on the gift, but make sure your customers know it's special & bought for them--not something you distribute among the public for company recognition.
  • Do NOT turn this holiday gift into an advertising campaign. Although the gift should be personalized clearly with your company logo to remind your clients who gave the gift to them, your website & phone numbers shouldn't be included in the imprint. That would make it a blatant advertisement & it's value diminishes. 
  • Do NOT wait until the last minute to order your gift item. You may be hit with rush charges & added shipping charges. UPS & FedEx could add days to their delivery schedules & if you didn't allow for that, you could end up paying for air rather than ground transportation. There's also a possibility that the item you want may no longer be in stock.
  • Do NOT be the last one to give your gift. If you wait until December 22nd or 23rd, it will most likely be pushed aside & forgotten as people concentrate on their own shopping & holiday plans. Beat your competitor to the finish line & get it delivered early........when it will be remembered & appreciated. I actually think you make a bigger impact if you do it long before anyone else--like around Thanksgiving.
  • Do NOT give out something ordinary or common. Make your gift stand out & be different from the others. That tin of stale popcorn or 5lb box of Whitman's chocolates will most likely be regifted. Choose a personalized gift, with your company name & logo, that is both relevant to your industry & is useful to your client. They more they like it, the more they will use it, giving your business repeated exposure throughout the next year.
  • Do NOT give a gift card enclosed in a presigned holiday greeting card. This seems to be the trend lately & nothing could be more impersonal. If you want to give a gift card, then include it with a customized promotional gift......a gift card to a gourmet coffee shop inserted in an insulated travel mug, a gift card to a popular electronic store attached to a mouse pad with a memory foam wrist guard, a generic gift card joined with a shopping tote or book bag.
  • Do NOT give the same thing year after year. It's boring for the client & doesn't reflect well on you, as a business. Impress them with a new & exciting gift each year. Keep them guessing & waiting for your present. Variety, as well as quality, will also make a huge impact. 
It's so important you give your customers a gift to let them know you appreciate their business. If this is where you decide to budget, I'd rethink that--you may run the risk their loyalty will fizzle out.

Have fun with it & be creative. Most of all make sure you stand out!

Remember, above all, give something you would enjoy getting.
Ronni Sherman