Monday, April 29, 2013

Don't Let This Happen To You!

Don't let your next promotion embarrass you. Whether it's a sign advertising your company or a customized promotional item, it's important to not only think about the product being imprinted, but what kind of message are you sending.

When a business places any sort of message on a printed product, not only must the statement be politically correct, but the logo or an image you're using must not carry a secondary meaning. Even if it's an innocent or subconscious mistake, others may see it as intentional & view your company unfavorably.  Look at what you're printing as others would--people who know nothing about your business--how would they interpret your logo?

It might even be a good idea to put your mind in the gutter while you're studying a new logo or image. Here's some examples of what could go wrong:
The black & white images in this poster create an unintended optical illusion.

It even happened to Disney Pictures. Millions of video covers for The Little Mermaid were sold before a hidden phallic symbol was discovered in the castle.

Now I've got your's not just images that can give a wrong impression. Spelling errors can make your company look sloppy & give potential customers the idea that you don't care about the end result.  Spacing between words & letters & your selection of fonts is also very important.

When it comes to marketing & promotional custom products--sweat the small stuff. It's those minute details that can make or break your advertising campaign......or worse, make or break the public's image of your company.

Advertising is the main contact that you & your business have with the outside world. Therefore, you & your company must always make sure that your image professionally reflects your company & what it stands for. Above all, this must be consistent--don't waver because you have just one chance to make a first impression & once you make it, you have to keep it. Don't bank on your customers' loyalty.

We've all seen errors like these & we've all laughed at them. Jay Leno flashes them on The Tonight Show constantly. But they're far from being humorous when it happens to you. That's why it is so very important to be meticulously observant when you get a proof for the printed product you ordered.

What do you think a client could do after spending $600 on 1000 pens that read:
That actually happened to one of my customers (before he became a customer of mine). He was terribly upset over the mistake, but owned up to the fact that was his error & eventually saw the humor in it. Very few people have his forgiving temperament.

Any message placed on a promotional imprinted product must be sure to follow good promotional marketing practices. For example, in 1998, an elementary school in New York received pencils with the imprinted message: Too Cool To Do Drugs.  The customized promotional pencils were a great idea to promote a positive lifestyle to children.  But unfortunately when the pencils were sharpened, the words would spell out "Cool To Do Drugs" & eventually "Do Drugs".  The pencils were recalled & altered by imprinting the beginning of the slogan at the erasure end of the pencil.
Here's an example of a bottle opener sending a wrong message. A national car rental agency used to purchase key tags with a bottle opener attached.  They claimed they were given out at non-alcoholic events they sponsored & not to customers renting cars.  But still, think of the message they're out a bottle opener with their corporate logo on it when it's associated with driving?  It promoted drinking & driving in an indirect way. Someone must have rethought that strategy because that item was later replaced by others more conducive to the nature of their business.

So another thing to watch out for--while a promotional imprinted product may work for one field, it could be disastrous in another.

Reputations & lasting impressions can take a long time to build but can evaporate in  an instant!

I hope this helps you from an unforseen disaster. Think everything out beforehand.  Good luck!
Ronni Sherman

1 comment:

  1. Barry Weile (Weile Assoc.)May 7, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    Very good article.

    Good points to remember and take into account.