Thursday, May 30, 2013

Turn Up The Heat This Summer With These Promotional Imprinted Products

Summer is less than a month away. Can you believe that! How many of you are making plans for vacations, camp for the kids, family reunions or signing up for Little League, soccer or swim teams? School is almost out & in most families plans are made for the three months ahead.

Let me ask you many of you have given the same consideration to your summer marketing plans? Are you satisfied giving out the same pens, sticky notes or mouse pads?

I'm sure you've heard the saying, "variety is the spice of life". That goes for your business too. So spice up your advertising campaign with these summer promotional custom products.

1. BEACH BALLS: They're fun & used over & over. How many people can walk by a beach ball without kicking or tossing it? They have a large advertising space for your name to be seen at a distance. Your logo will bounce along the coast or in a backyard around the pool. Take them on family vacations, camping trips or a day at the beach. They take up little space before they're blown up so it's a perfect customized promotional item to give out a trade show.

2. SPORTS BOTTLES: These are great because wherever they go, so does your company name & they are taken everywhere. They're available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes & colors. These are not the water bottles of the past that used to be forgotten & discarded in the trunk of your car. This new plastic doesn't retain odors or taste, is shatter resistant & comes in bright translucent colors that will make your business stand out. Sport bottles now come in aluminum & stainless steel for something different. Look around the store, in the mall, at the park or at the gym......people are carrying water bottles wherever they go. Let them take your logo along for the ride.

3. KOOZIES: These are fun promotional custom products that will keep beverages cold, prevent the can from sweating & keep your logo in the hands of your target audience. They are perfect for the beach, a Sunday outside get-together, family bar-b-ques, sporting events, conventions give-aways & fund raisers. They come in many sizes that will fit cans, bottles & even wine. There's also a large assortment of colors.  No more warm beverages in a sweaty can or bottle. Use them inside to prevent rings on a desk or table. And when an outside event is not so casual, you can get them in leather.

 4. SEED PACKETS: Promote effectively by giving out a gift that blooms & will keep on living. Customized promotional seed packs are hot, new marketing tools that provide an interactive experience & a lasting impression. They are available in a variety of types: organic vegetables, fruits, herbs, wildflowers, garden flowers & more. You can even get a money's that for an idea to promote your business! In some cases, they come with imprinted planters that can sit on a desk or windowsill. These packets will have such a positive impact on everyone who receives them.

5. FLYING DISCS: Frisbees have become a popular sport & can be seen in parks, at beaches--almost anywhere that people gather during the summer months. It's become a popular pastime on university campuses so hand them out this summer & your company may go to college in the fall. And don't forget your customers who are dog owners. Flying discs make a better game of Fetch than a ball. Let your logo fly through the air & be noticed on these bright colored discs.

6. GOLF ITEMS: Whether at a private club or a public course, your company name will be seen. Your options are endless......tees, balls, markers, divot tools, towels, gloves & yes, go for it--put your logo on an umbrella. Show you care about what is going on in your community & give them out at a golf tournament for charity. Your clients & prospective customers who are golfers will appreciate anything you give them that has to do with the sport. Your logo can be seen rolling around a golf course & you will be remembered.

7. T-SHIRTS: The weather is warmer & people are wearing lighter weight clothing & short sleeves. T-shirts are walking billboards & they are taking your company name to places where you haven't been. Just look around you & notice all the t-shirts. Most of them are imprinted & many of them advertising a business. These t-shirts are a sign of the times & should be inserted in a time capsule.  Some people collect them & to others they are a fashion statement. They boldly show a logo & what the company is all about. It's all prominently displayed. They are worn, they are read & they are noticed.

8. COOLERS: Customized promotional coolers run the gamut when it comes to size & uses. From the traditional square ones that hold a 2-pack or lunch to the large ones on wheels, these are indispensable. I can't begin to name all the ways they are used or all the places they are taken......camping, the beach or lake, boating, fishing, sporting events, movies in the park, schlepping frozen groceries home from the store, potluck dinners. Many day camps don't offer lunches & using coolers as lunch bags, you can pack more than a peanut butter & jelly sandwich.

Offering custom promotional products during the summer months is effective because the days are longer, people are active & they are spending more time outdoors. No matter how big or small your business is or what industry you be in, summertime promotions are a fun & wise way to boost your brand.  Just make sure you had out quality items that people will use repeatedly.

You may take a vacation this summer, but your company name won't as long as it's on products that will be seen & used by the public.

I hope this will help give your business a new & sizzling boost. Good luck!
Ronni Sherman

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Customized Promotional Items For Safety

My heart goes out to the people in Oklahoma who lost their homes & everything they own & especially to those who lost their loved ones. I can't even imagine the grief.

Towns are flattened as if they never existed--homes reduced to a pile of rubbish, trees stripped of branches & bark, cars landing miles from where they were parked.  The wrath of Mother Nature in just a matter of's unbelievable.

I think we are all reeling from the devastation the tornadoes left in their wake in Oklahoma. The residents of Moore & Newcastle are in our thoughts & prayers & have the sympathy of their fellow Americans. And I'm sure many of us are thinking "all but for the grace of God" for none of us are immune from this kind of destruction. Tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires......we could all be victims at any given time.

While Oklahoma is still in our thoughts & the question "what if" may linger in our minds, this might be a good time to rethink what we are giving out for promotional imprinted products. No matter where you live or what your lifestyle is, everyone needs first aid kits & precautionary items like flashlights.

Customized promotional safety items may be the best products you can give out now, especially with summer approaching. These can include almost any target audience & your clients & prospective customers will be grateful that you were thinking of their well-being. I'm not talking about the large emergency kits a family could live on for a week--that's the individual's responsibility.

Here are some FIRST AID IDEAS that can fit compactly in a car, carry-on bag, desk drawer, a child's backpack, an overnight bag or a sport bag.

How is it whenever you need a bandaid there isn't one handy? This plastic case holds bandaids & is refillable. Perfect for the car, boat, purse, backpack or any kind of bag.

This hard cover first aid kit holds an assortment of bandaids, swabs, tape, cotton & scissors. There's also an inside compartment for pills.

 This canvass covered kit contains an assortment of bandages, gauze, cotton, scissors, tweezers, sewing kit & a bottle for pills.

FLASHLIGHTS are a definite must in any emergency situation & a person can never have enough. They should be tucked away in every room, on the boat & in the car.

This handy aluminum flashlight is only 3 1/2" long so it can fit anywhere. Yet it shines bright with 9 white LED lights.

 This flashlight has a dual setting. You can shine light from front to side with a push of a button.

A crank flashlight means you never have to worry about batteries. This 3" flashlight has three extra bright LED lights.

This flashlight can function as a flashlight, a strobe light or a lantern. It has a bright white LED light & a convenient hook for easy hanging.

We all need to take precautions whether it's only a scraped knee or a real emergency. These custom promotional products are a good way to reach out to your customers & show you care.

Be safe.
Ronni Sherman

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Color & Your Brand

Color is extremely important in brand identity. The most prominent brands in the world are identified by their colors. McDonald's golden arches, UPS, Coca-Cola, Tiffany's--these companies, & many others, strategically use color in their logo, website & product for instant recognition & to appeal to customers.

Learn from these huge conglomerates & pick a color or colors & use them ALL the time--in your written communication, on your website, your promotional imprinted products & your packaging.  But don't pick just any color or a color because it happens to be your favorite.  Colors relay messages & choosing the wrong color could extend the wrong impression of your business.

Why should you care about your colors?
  • Studies have shown that a product color influences 600 - 80% of a customer's purchasing decision. Color can make or break a product.
  • Color is the 1st thing a customer will notice about your logo.
  • It costs your company next to nothing to choose a color, but making the wrong decision could cost your business in the long run.
 So you see, color matters........your brand colors will make a huge statement about your company!

Colors have an impact on people's emotional state & on their ability to learn & concentrate. The effect of color are physiological, psychological & socialogical.

Research has found that different color provoke different reactions. Here are some examples:
  • Non primary colors are more calming than primary colors.
  • Children prefer primary colors. Children's books & toys use these colors.
  • Blue is the most calming of primary colors. Test takers score higher & weight lifters lift more in blue rooms. Blue text increases reading retention.
  • Blue & black suppresses appetites.
  • Yellow evokes cheerfulness. Houses with yellow trim & yellow flowers in the garden sell faster.
  • Reds & oranges encourage diners to eat quickly & leave. Red also makes food more appealing & encourages people to eat more. Fast food restaurants always use these colors.
  • Red trim is used in casinos & bars because it causes people to lose track of time.
  • Orange is often used to make an expensive item look less expensive.
  • Pink enhances appetites & has been seen to calm prison inmates.

Companies use colors to express who they are & what they want you to think of them.  How many companies can you recognize just by the color they use?

After reading what emotion each color elicits, scroll down  & see if your list matched mine.  Did you add to it? 

Brands use red when they want to be seen as powerful, passionate companies.

Brands use green to show youthfulness, financial savings or gain, love of nature & the environment.

Brands use yellow to show they're fun & friendly.

Brands use orange to signify playfulness & physical comfort, enjoying social interaction & you get your money's worth from the product or service.

Brands use blue to seem calm & logical. It also conveys trust, integrity, & communication.  But if the wrong tone of blue is used, the company can seem cold & unapproachable.

Brands use pink to show femininity, love, nurturing & sexiness.

Brands use purple to seem luxurious, whimsical, highly intelligent & to convey a sense of royalty.

Brands use browns to show warmth, dependability, safety & earthiness.

Brands use black to signify exclusivity, glamor, luxury, sophistication & sometimes mystery.

Brands use white to be associated with coolness, cleanliness & freshness.

RED: The Virgin Group, Coca-Cola, Target & Macy's. The French shoemaker, Christian Louboutin won the right to trademark his shoes' distinctive red soles after suing Yves Saint Laurent.

GREEN: Garner Fructis, National Car Rental, Land Rover & Starbucks. And of course, the recycle icon is green.

YELLOW: McDonald's, Best Buy & Disney. IKEA uses yellow in their stores to emphasise a feeling of fun & happiness while shopping, inducing customers to buy more.

ORANGE: Nickelodeon, Blogger & Office Depot. The financial institution, ING, uses orange in their branding to show you'll get your money's worth; but they also use blue to show logic & trust.

BLUE: Facebook, LinkedIn, AT&T, GAP & Pillsbury.  Tiffany is immediately recognized by it's distinctive teal blue, which they had trademarked.

PINK: Victoria's Secret & Barbie. Different charities related to breast cancer have branded themselves pink.

PURPLE: Cadbury Chocolates, Yahoo!, Harrahs & various academic institutions. The pop singer, Prince, is known for only wearing purple & that has become his own brand.

BROWN: UPS, Luis Vuitton & Hershey's. The original M&Ms come in the easily identifiable brown package.

BLACK: Chanel, Nike & the car maker Lamborghini. Very few companies are known for just black--that color is usually combined with other hues.

WHITE: I can't think of any that uses white as their only color or as the main color.  Can you? But laundry products that use no additives--only natural & pure ingredients have solid white containers.

What are your colors?  How did you pick them? Because they were your favorites or because of the emotion behind them? After reading this post, do you feel they fairly represent your company?

I'd like to hear from you.
Ronni Sherman

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Customized Promotional Items Are A Sure Bet For Success!

What's the first word that comes to mind when I mention pop-up internet ads & TV commercials? If you're like most of us, it would be "annoying", "frustrating" or "interruption" or something along those lines.  Promotional custom products can advertise for you & reach a vast audience without being so annoying & so expensive.

What's more--promotional products stay with the consumer much longer than a TV ad; therefore, your company will be remembered for a longer period of time.  And they're not nearly as expensive as an advertisement on television or any other media.

How effective are promotional imprinted products? In a word: VERY. They are a proven, cost-effective way to attract new customers, increase sales, heighten brand awareness & inform current clients.

National & international companies continually use customized promotional items: airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, banks, escrow companies, realtors, colleges & universities, retail & grocery stores, trucking companies, construction, the medical & health field, television networks, auto makers & dealerships--you see them in all walks of life.

How about politicians & political parties during campaign seasons? How many times have you gotten a hot pad holder in the mail with a politician's name on it? While campaigning, swag is constantly being handed out......political candidates run the gamut from pens & buttons to bags & t-shirts, leaving nothing out in between.

So the proof should be in the pudding if Fortune 500 companies & political campaigns use promotional imprinted products.  If it wasn't a successful way of advertising, they wouldn't be doing it. This is the one time you can do the same as these huge conglomerates--maybe not on the same scale, but there is something for every budget.

Advertising Specialties Institute (ASI) interviewed professionals in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago & Philadelphia regarding promotional products they have received.  The purpose of this study was to understand how promotional items influence the consumer.

Summary of Conclusions:
  • INSTANT RECALL: More than 8 out of 10 (84%) respondents remembered the advertisers of the  promotional products they received.
  • VERY IMPRESSIONABLE: 42% of the respondents had a more favorable impression of an advertiser after receiving the item. And 24% said they are more likely to do business with the advertiser on the items they received.
  • IT'S ALL BUSINESS:  Most respondents (62%) have done business with the advertiser on a promotional product after receiving the item.
  • PENS ARE IN: Writing instruments are the most recalled advertising specialty item (54% of the respondents recalled owning them), followed by shirts, caps & bags.
  • USER-FRIENDLY: The majority (81%) of the promotional products were kept they considered useful.
  • STAYING POWER: More than three-quarters of respondents have had their items for an average of 7 months.
  • BAG IT!: Among wearables, bags were reported to be used most frequently with respondents indicating that they used their bags an average of 9 times per month.  They also delivered the most impressions: each bag averages 1,038 impressions per month.
  • MOST IMPRESSIVE: The average CPI of an advertising specialty item is $0.004. As a result, marketers get a more favorable return on investment from advertising specialties than nearly any other popular advertising media.

This last one, the CPI or cost per impression, is the most important because that determines how effective your advertising is & if you're getting a good return on it. The greater the frequency of exposure, the lower the cost per impression.

Just what is an impression? An impression is created when a person sees or hears your brand image/message in some sort of advertisement. Impressions are crucial in creating brand awareness. The more a person sees your brand message, the higher the chance that they will one day do business with you.

This study also proves customized promotional items aren't the "cheap give-aways" they were once considered to be & they don't go straight into the trash.  Think again......over 80% of the promotional products are kept because they are useful & they are kept for an average of 7 month.

What if there were no promotional products?
  • The budgets assigned for advertising would be significantly higher even for a small business.
  • The chief traffic driver to exhibitions, trade shows & seminars is the "free gift". This would not be available then. The result, less people attending the function & lesser visibility.
  • All this accumulates into into lower sales, lower chances at brand building & in turn less business development.
So the next time you & your staff are discussing how to divide up your advertising budget & what works the best for you, don't forget to include promotional products.  Without using these marketing tools, your advertising campaign will be like a puzzle with some pieces missing.

Ronni Sherman