Monday, October 29, 2012

Customized Promotional Food Gifts For The Holidays

The holiday season is upon us. It comes earlier & earlier each year. In the past, it used to be the Friday after Thanksgiving that marked the season; but no are on TV showing holiday bargains. Last week the HomeGoods store looked like it was December, not the week before Halloween. Christmas decorations were already replacing pumpkins & witches.

Big business is also getting on the holiday bandwagon & trying to up their sales by adding to what they already are marketing. Sometimes it works & sometimes it doesn't, as in the case of Pringles.

It's never good to stay stationery. Customers will move away from your product & gravitate to a competitor if you don't offer something new or give a new twist to the old. It will also expand your customer base if you expand your product line. Good examples of this are Colgate & Crest--they don't only sell fluoride toothpaste; but they have a wide variety of toothpastes & gels, whiteners & tooth brushes--something for everyone.  Pepsi doesn't just have regular Pepsi, but the shelves are filled with diet & flavored drinks. Johnson & Johnson used to be known for bandaids but now they've infiltrated the market with health & beauty products as well as food items.

And this is good as long as your new product has been tested, tested & retested before you market it. Oreo cookies has always had hits with their flavored fillings, especially their latest--Halloween themed candy corn. That produced one rave after another.

Pringles, on the other hand, hasn't been so lucky with their new seasonal flavors: Pumpkin Pie Spice, Chocolate Peppermint & Cinnamon & Sugar.  So far the reviews have not been great. One example is the Huffington Post which wrote that "all the flavors are a little weird with some venturing into downright disgusting."  Ouch!

Still food products are the number 1 gift item for the holidays.  So while it's not my favorite--only because it's expendable & your company name could soon be forgotten--I suggest you don't give the ordinary stale tin of popcorn or generic tin of Danish butter cookies.  Stand out from everyone else & customize your food gifts. You don't have to reinvent the wheel & come up with a new flavor........just make sure your logo & company name are prominently displayed either on the container or the food item, itself. This will make you stand out.  You can give a promotional imprinted product as a gift as long as it's not what you've been handing out all year long.

In fact, you could have the best of both worlds by putting your food items in containers that will last & be used throughout the year; such as ceramic coffee mugs, novel desktop candy dispensers or candy jars. The important thing to remember when giving customized promotional food gifts is that your logo should be easily seen.  You will wow them with your originality & hopefully they'll remember you in the new year when your products or services will be needed.

When giving a food product as a gift, keep the flavor simple so it will appeal to all tastes. Stay away from pumpkin spice potato chips & stick with the regular & proven flavors--those that are still tasty & popular.  Impress them, instead, with your presentation. Creatively wrap it & make sure your logo is on the container or the chocolate bar.  Do it with pizzazz......that's impressive.

Looks like the door is open for the holiday season to begin & the frantic race is on! Wishing you a successful season.  Good luck to all of you!

Ronni Sherman

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Maximize The Effectiveness Of Promotional Custom Products

Offering custom corporate gifts & promotional imprinted products are great ways to build a relationship with your existing customers while also spreading word of your business to potential clients. After all everyone, everywhere loves getting something for free, so it's guaranteed to help your company grow, right? Well, not so fast. People may like customized promotional tote bags & custom coffee mugs, but those don't necessarily translate into instant sales. While these items are great selling & marketing tools, they need to stand out from the rest to be noticed & for you to be remembered when your services or products are needed.

Not surprisingly, your business isn't the first one to realize the marketing potential of advertising specialties, so you can bet that for every stress ball you hand out, there are a half dozen similar ones crowding that person's desk drawer. You need to show creativity to make sure that your products stand out from your competitors. To help you along the way, here are a few tips to maximize the effectiveness of your promotional custom products.

Bigger Is Better
While it might not be true in all cases, bigger is certainly better when it comes to marketing gifts. Why is this? Let's use personalized pens as an example. Sure, your logo & company name is right there on the side, but chances are that pen is surrounded by many more like it in a desk top coffee mug. You need to encourage that person to reach for YOUR pen. It will be easier to that if it's the fatter & taller one poking out of the group. Believe it or not, these 8" pens are as easy & comfortable to write with as their smaller cousins.

Eliminate The Ordinary
The most useful & popular promotional products are ones that everyone gives out because they've been proven over time that they work. So if you can't make it bigger, how can you make it stand out & not blend in with the others? Wow them with bright colors, change the whatever it takes to be different than your competition. A good example is a sports bottle. You see them everywhere now. People carry them wherever they go. But you see round ones--look at this six-sided bottle in bright jewel tones. Ask yourself what you'd rather receive as a token of appreciation.

Keep It Practical
Promotional gifts like mini rubber basketballs & hand-clappers are fun......for about 10 minutes until the person forgets about them forever. The most effective advertising is going to come items that people need & use on a regular basis--ones that are useful to them, so stick with the practical products. Custom & colorful note pads, ceramic coffee mugs & even letter openers come into play almost everyday. These, along with pens, are some of the best products to imprint your logo. Reusable shopping bags are the number one marketing item right now & they not only keep your name in front of your client but it's in public for potential customers to after day all year long.

Do It For The Kids
There is one instance when you should consider ditching the practical route for a more fun option--children's toys. After all, if there's one group that loves free stuff more than any other, it's kids.  And the parents in your target audience will appreciate that you thought of their children. In fact, it's a good way to win them over. Stuffed animals, beach balls, coloring books, crayons, sidewalk chalk, hacky sacks, yo-yos, slinkies (remember those?), banks & the list goes on. These are all great & inexpensive gifts that the little ones are sure to love & that's bound to get the message to their parents also.

Don't Be A Dinosaur
There are many marketing products that used be extremely effective in the promotional field, like key tags & magnets. They have outlived their use & if you continue to give these out, you can be sure that they will most likely end up in the waste paper basket. Keep up with the times & make sure what you hand out is useful & will be used on a regular basis. Just because it worked in the past doesn't mean it will work now. The whole point is for your company name & logo to be seen so you will be remembered. Mouse pads, cubicle pins, sticky note pads & cell phone holders are some items that keep up with the times.

So the next time you hand out your promotional custom products, think how yours can make an impact & stand out from the others. What can you do so your customers will want to use what they get from you over what they get elsewhere? Good luck!

Ronni Sherman

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Specialty Coffee Promotional Custom Products

It's fall......the leaves are already starting to turn, the weather is cooler, night time football games at high schools & universities. All this brings to mind piping hot drinks. There's nothing like a roaring fire, a soft afghan & a hot cup of coffee or tea to take the chill out of the early morning or late evening air.

Consider this: according to annual industry reports, 150 million people in the US (that's half the population) enjoy tea, coffee & specialty coffee drinks. What does this mean for you? Adding a jolt of joe to your promotional imprinted products could open new grounds for success.

Iced teas & iced coffee are being replaced by hot tea, coffee, cocoa & cider laced with cinnamon. Make sure when your client reaches for his favorite drink, your logo & company name are in front of him all the time.

Now is the time to consider gifts for your loyal customers & your employees. Coffee related customized promotional gifts are available to fit any budget.

They say a picture is worth 1000 words, so scroll down & see the wide array of options available to you.

Ceramic coffee mugs: make sure your mug doesn't blend in with all the others & ends up at the back of a shelf in a dark cupboard.

A modern chrome & ceramic mug.

Mug with eye-catching graphics like these paint drips.

Mug with a handy, removable spoon.

Stunning black gloss mug with a colored rim.

Insulated tumblers & mugs: take the ordinary out of the usual & wow your customers with shape & color.

Stainless steel with a leatherette accent for a rich look.
Italian design with stainless steel interior & acrylic outer shell.
Acrylic & stainless tumbler with a modern touch.
Acrylic travel tumbler with a black grip & a one of a kind design.

Individual drink packets: don't give an empty mug......load it with goodies. These can be purchased individually or with a mug. All are imprinted with your logo & name.
1.5 oz package of fresh roasted coffee brews one pot (10 -12 cups).

Packet of rich hot chocolate fills 1 mug--just add water.

Each packet contains 4 flavors of individually wrapped tea

Yummy apple cider packet fills one mug.

Other fun items: go for the unusual & put your logo on these accessories.
No more cold coffee or tea. This mug warmer plugs into your computer or any USB outlet.

Genuine leather coaster with white stitiching.

Lid with a coffee bean decor to keep beverages hot or to keep from spilling.

As you can see, there are a lot of options. Promotional custom products are important for your image whether you're handing them out on a daily basis or using them as gifts. A word of caution: if you're giving these as gifts, do not give the same promotional items you use all year for marketing. You won't get the response you were expecting.

Hope these pictures give you some new ideas for your next marketing campaign or as gifts for your customers.
Ronni Sherman

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Promotional Halloween Bags Promote Your Business & Safety

It's always a great thing when your business can promote both child safety & your company at the same time.  It's easy to do with customized promotional Halloween trick or treat bags. Many trick or treat bags have safety tips printed on stock designs. Add your custom logo & you'll help promote Halloween safety to both kids & parents while promoting your business. You can choose from a variety of bags & a wide range of colors. They're available in plastic, non-woven & a reflective metallic plastic--which adds even more safety because of the reflectiveness of the bag material.

Safety is such a huge issue on Halloween, I'm listing some tips to keep your kids safe while trick or treating:
  1. An adult should be with your child at all times.
  2. Only trick or treat in neighborhoods you deem safe--neighborhoods you know.
  3. Plan a trick or treat route in advance.
  4. Go in a larger group--for both safety & visibility.
  5. Have each child wear or carry something lit such as a glow stick, flashlight or reflective clothing.
  6. Don't carry dangerous props such as metal knives or swords.  Use plastic or flexible props.
  7. Keep your dog at home if he is nervous around crowds, a barker or biter.
  8. Trick or treat during the times when most people are out trick or treating.
  9. Check your child's candy before letting them eat it.
  10. Don't let your children wear masks or costumes that obstruct their vision.
  11. Use crosswalks when crossing streets & major intersections.
  12. Make sure your child's costume isn't too long so they don't trip  & fall.
  13. Don't go inside people's houses to get the treats.  Stay on the porches.
  14. Only trick or treat at houses that are well lit & have a porch light on.
All parents of trick or treating age children look for Halloween bags or other containers for their kids' candy. With the expense of costumes (they now cost as much as an outfit or more) & the accessories, most parents will appreciate receiving these as a gift. These bags are inexpensive & are great to give out in mass quantities for branding & marketing exposure. They are the perfect promotional imprinted product. The bags you give to your clients & prospective customers will end up in the hands of their children or the children of their friends.

In light of Halloween coming up at the end of this month, I have listed some ideas to use trick or treat bags to help market your business.  All ideas won't apply to your company, but many of them will.
  1. Use Halloween bags as a retail shopping bag when your customers purchase small merchandise.
  2. If you have a medical practice with children as patients, make sure they get the bags--maybe with some stickers inside.
  3. Realtors can hang them on neighborhood doors in place of the usual door hangers.
  4. If you provide written quotes or estimates to your clients, insert the printed quote in the Halloween bag when you deliver the estimate to them.
  5. For photographers, deliver your client's printed photos in a trick or treat bag.
  6. Give out quantities of your bags printed with your logo to businesses to pass out to kids that come in.
  7. Give out the bags to non-profit organizations that deal with children.
  8. Give out your bags at conventions that take place in October.
  9. If your company provides samples of products, put them in the trick or treat bags & hand them out.
  10. Have a display at your place of business with a sign saying FREE--TAKE ONE--& give out to your customers who have children.
  11. Insert brochures, business cards & other literature about your business in the bags & pass out around neighborhoods or businesses.
  12. Pass out enough Halloween bags to schools to give out to each student. The child will bring the bag home & that will market your business to parents.
Customized promotional Halloween bags are an inexpensive way to be noticed & remembered.

Keeping the kids (& adults) safe while trick or treating on Halloween should be a top priority for everyone.  Have a happy & safe Halloween.

Ronni Sherman

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Promotional Custom Products That Have An Impact

Do you want to give a promotional imprinted product that will wow your customers? That will make you stand out from your competition? That will attract attention from people passing by?

Think outside the box--beyond the notepad, letter opener or stress ball. What customized promotional item will make an impact with your customers? What marketing product will display your logo so it will be noticed & remembered?

This is also the beginning of October & time to start thinking about holiday gifts whether for your customers or for your employees. Give a gift that they will be sure to use & that is different from your competitors. Stay away from food items--they're expendable. Give something that will make you stand out & that they will use all year long. Keep your logo visible.

Promotional custom products that light up do just that, but here are a few other ideas. These are newer items on the market that are not only innovative, but very useful.


High tech & common sense come together for everyday safety. This stainless steel dispenser has a 16 oz capacity for soap or lotion. It's touch free sensor prevents mess & germs by automatically dispensing the liquid. You've seen it advertised on TV, now see it with your logo. This is sure to be a hit with everyone. It's something that belongs in every home & office.

As more & more people invest in electronics such as iPads, Kindles & other tablets it is important to have the right media storage cases to store & protect them. As portable electronics grow in popularity, companies should consider using promotional padded tablet sleeves to promote their brand. Whether a person uses their iPad in a coffee shop or at a trade show, people pay attention to the devise & the case they store it in. Consumers are intrigued by tablets & ebooks & the accessories that come with them. With all eyes on electronics, get creative with brand awareness by jumping on the portable electronics  bandwagon. Customized promotional media storage cases could be the marketing factor you need to be seen.

Winter vacation time is almost here & even if you don't have plans, many of your customers will be traveling. Whether they go by plane, car or boat......whether they go to a busy city, a tropical island or ski in the mountains......whether they travel in the U.S. or abroad, they will most likely take their smart phone, laptop, iPad, Kindle or another tablet. And a host of chargers & cords so they can stay connected even when on vacation. This light-weight neoprene computer travel accessory case can store cords & chargers. How convenient to arrive at your destination with all your cords & charges securely in one place. It's ideal for travel & probably has the same priority as luggage on wheels.

Yes, I just got through saying don't give out the same old marketing item to make an impact. And for sure, don't give the same .50 pen you've been handing out all year as your holiday gift this year. This is not the impression you want to leave with your client. But a pen is not just a pen. This stylish twist-action with a soft touch stylus is to be used on smart phones, iPads, Kindle Fires & other tablets & touch screen devices. The delicate, round, rubber tip will not scratch or harm the screens. Even with all the technology, everyone still uses a pen daily & almost everybody has a smart phone & a tablet of some kind so this combination is a natural.

Not everything has to fit in the world of technology.  As long as it's something the recipient wants, it will be used & appreciated. How about this crystal paper weight with a modern, swirling inner design? It's functional but also a work of art that be proudly displayed anywhere. Each piece is hand-made. The color, size & inner design will vary between each paper weight. It's also available with a blue inner design. This is definitely thinking outside of the box & will make a huge impression on your client. It isn't your typical tin of stale popcorn or box of candy that will be gone in a day.  I'm willing to bet they won't get two of these.  Your company will surely be remembered throughout the year.

This is a popular gift, as well as a functional one.  Just make sure when you give this, you do it with flare so it's not just another coffee mug to be stored in the back of a cupboard. Find one that is unique & will stand out & not look like the mug from the neighborhood pancake house. The one I'm featuring is a brightly colored ceramic mug with a stainless steel square base. This is not your average mug & it will draw attention to your company. Don't give an empty customized promotional mug. Fill it with wrapped candy or individual servings of coffee, hot cocoa or tea bags along with snack packs of cookies of trail mix. Be creative........make sure your mug stands out from all the rest. It should be seen daily on a desk top, not hidden on a dark shelf.

So whether you are giving a holiday gift or handing out a promotional imprinted product, think how you can differ from everyone else & make an impression that's as unique as you are. Do it with pizzazz........with flare........with creativity.

Ronni Sherman