Wedding season

June 24, 2011 04:09 by Adrienne
      

I have many weddings to attend in the next few months (as well as my own) Yay! Promotional products can be the perfect favor for your wedding or bridal shower. A custom printed pen with your names and the date of your wedding. What about a custom water bottle for hydration while dancing at the wedding? If you want to go green, take a look at some of our environmentally friendly promotional products. With so many different colored items we can be sure to match your color theme. These are just some ways I have thought of using promotional products for weddings. I'm sure you can think of many more!

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Press Giveaway

June 24, 2011 03:11 by Nicholas
      

This past weekend was my first freelance writing opportunity of the summer - to cover Northside Festival in Brooklyn, NY.

For four days straight, I made the trek into Williamsburg (even with the torrential Friday rains) where some of the most up-and-coming artists from all across the nation came to dingy bars and outside parks for a weekend of celebrating music and the arts in the Williamsburg area.

One of my favourite parts of any festival is picking up credentials. I stand in line with people from other blogs and sometimes from the biggest names in the media like Spin Magazine, Rolling Stone and even NBC. Additionally, the festival committee always tries to make reporters and VIP members welcome by giving out promotional products which can include any number of things.

I was handed a custom tote bag with the Northside Festival logo on it. It was so beautifully designed that I took a photo of it and brought the bag in at least once this week to show the others here!
And the bag was useful too! It was incredibly durable and I was able to place my heavy camera bag and any band merchandise I had purchased without having any problem.

And then there was my press badge. The press badge is definitely one of the coolest perks to covering a music festival. Skip the line and flash it at the door - before you blink, you're inside the party. Sometimes press badges are just a paper bracelet or a small card. The Northside Festival commitee had printed out a confirmation pass and put it in a promotional ID holder. And for added convenience, they put the badge on a promotional lanyard. The festival's biggest sponsor, Heineken, had printed up their logo and included them in the promotional product giveaways. While Heineken was free all weekend for press and VIP alike, the lanyard was a constant reminder for those around me how delicious it is.

 

 

 

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Back to School Already?

June 23, 2011 07:02 by Brandon
      

These days, companies begin advertising their promotional campaigns months in advance. Winter holiday specials are promoted as early as September, summer sales begin in March, and I've seen Halloween costumes for sale by August. Unfortunately for children and teens across the country, the strategy behind many "Back to School" promotions is no exception. It seems that as soon as students finish up their last final exams, corporations are already planning their "Back to School" sales.

For example, according to an article by a staff reporter for the International Business Times, Apple Inc. has already begun planning its 2011 "Back to School" promotion. "Apple Inc. will not offer free iPods as part of its annual 'Back to School' promotion," the article stated, "instead it will offer a $100 gift card." What's sure to disappoint young people more than Apple's less-than-exciting promotion is the fact that, as reported in the article, as of June 16, the campaign has already begun. That's right; before summer even officially started, Apple's "Back to School" campaign was already in action.

Because of the competitive retail market, we can't really blame Apple for its preemptive advertising. We can, however, suggest some ways to jazz up its "Back to School" promotional campaign. One way Apple can guarantee its campaign is a success is to distribute custom backpacks with every purchase of a Macbook or iPad. These highly appropriate promotional products are sure to draw in crowds, especially considering how in-style the Apple logo has become. 

Other giveaways, such as promotional calendars (which kids will undoubtedly use to eagerly count down the days until school starts again, right?), promotional polo shirts, and custom embroidered fleeces would also help to amp up Apple's latest promotional campaign.

Then again, what business do we have telling Apple how to promote its products? After all, it's recently been named been named one of the world's most reputable brands.

Still, we think free iPods would've been cool.

Pay It Forward

June 23, 2011 03:02 by Nicholas
      

We all know that custom rubber band bracelets are perfect for promoting a business or for even supporting research for a debilitating disease. But what about promoting random acts of kindness?
Meet the Pay It Forward Foundation. Inspired by the movie from 11 years ago and the book, (both with the same title) the foundation encourages us to use random acts of kindness and, in turn, ask those we have helped to "pay it forward" to others. To give an idea of how this organization works, here is an excerpt from the book Pay It Forward that the not-for-profit organization uses on its homepage.

"You see, I do something real good for three people. And then when they ask how they can pay it back, I say they have to Pay It Forward. To three more people. Each. So nine people get helped. Then those people have to do twenty-seven." He turned on the calculator, punched in a few numbers. "Then it sort of spreads out, see. To eighty-one. Then two hundred forty-three. Then seven hundred twenty-nine. Then two thousand, one hundred eighty-seven. See how big it gets?"

And the best part of this? As my friend who introduced me to the organization explained to me, you hand off a signature custom rubber band bracelet with the organizations' imprinted logo to the person you have helped as a symbolic way to "pay it forward". This type of promotion allows word-of-mouth to spread the name of the organization and the custom rubber band bracelet acts as a visual reminder of the organizations' values and way-of-life.

 

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Mold Your Brand Image with Promo Giveaways

June 22, 2011 06:17 by Brandon
      

It's impossible for anybody who's ever stayed at a Hilton DoubleTree Inn to forget the warm, freshly-baked cookies they received upon checking in. These delicious giveaways help the DoubleTree Inn define its brand image.  By handing out gooey homemade treats, the fancy hotel chain distinguishes itself as its guests "home away from home." 

It's surprising that more hospitality-focused corporations don't distribute promotional products to their guests upon arrival. Through handing out image-specific giveaways, hotels, bed and breakfasts, and resorts can effectively paint a picture of their brand to clients.

Let's say you own a group of hotels that are all located on or near a beach. One great way to differentiate your company from the competition would be to hand out brightly colored, beach-friendly custom tote bags to every guest. By imprinting these useful items with your company's name and logo, you'd help to reiterate your brand image:  We are THE hotel to stay at for a fantastic time at the beach. 

Similarly, if your hotel appeals to tech-junkies, you might want to consider handing out promotional flash drives to vacationers. Many resorts capture photographs of fun family moments during guests' stay. Load these photos onto your flash drives, along with promotional materials, and give them away when your guests check out. They'll certainly appreciate being able to hold onto their memories forever, and your tech-savvy image will be even more obvious.

Don't leave it up to others to define your company's style. Give out relevant and useful promotional products, and you can mold your own brand image.  You may not be the "warm chocolate chip cookie" institution, but you're sure to find a niche that will help catapult your business into the limelight.

Strictly Business

June 22, 2011 03:10 by Nicholas
      

As I do every morning, I take lunch at 14:00. While I tend to spend most of my lunch break watching reruns of NCIS or paroozing the Internet, I will be spending today's lunch period with an old college housemate of mine, Jeremie. Jeremie will do the unheard of and make the long trip from Connecticut just to show up for a quick sit-down. While this meeting of the minds is mostly to chew the fat, there are other, more important reasons for the lunch. This lunch will be a business lunch, where we will talk about some investment opportunities.
On other jobs in the past, I would have to regularly organize and attend lunch meetings with a variety of clients. And anyone who has ever been on a lunch meeting knows how hard it is to please your client(s) and how hard it might be to break the ice.
I have come to learn that corporate gifts is the best way to do all this. Nothing is better than saying, "Hello, this is for you," and handing your client an elegant wine set. I bought my corporate gifts in bulk and handed them out to anyone we were interested in working with - and, between the corporate gift and cunning research and execution, out client would always be impressed with what we had to say. I know if I had one right now, Jeremie would really appreciate one.

 

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My Triumphant Return to the Sea

June 21, 2011 07:01 by Brandon
      

Since I was a teenager I've been an avid surfer. However, back in those days I worked only four hours a week at a clothing store, so I had a lot more time to practice my skills. Now I'm a little older, and I have a lot less free time.

This week, in conjunction with the official start of summer, I'm determined to return to the ocean and catch some gnarly waves. The 5:00am wake-up call is certainly going to be brutal, but I'm sure it will be well worth it.

My friends and I will pack our promotional bags with a few items to make sure our excursion serves a successful kick-off to the summer. First, we CANNOT forget our sunblock; I refuse to walk into this office looking like a giant lobster. Second, because my iPhone is basically my baby, I'll be sure to protect it from the sand and surf with one of my custom iPod covers.

 

One thing I always tend to forget is my custom water bottle. I'm going to have to remember it this time, because I don't want to show up to work dehydrated and exhausted. Nothing wears you out like the combination of the hot summer sun, salty sea water, and paddling through rough waves for a few hours.

I'm also going to do my best to bring along items that are environmentally friendly promotional products; if I've learned anything while surfing over the past few years, it's that we've got to keep our beaches clean if we want to continue to enjoy their beauty. One fantastic organization that supports this cause is the Surfrider Foundation. The foundation's mission, according to its Web site, is "the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves, and beaches through a powerful activist network."

Hopefully my return to the sea will be a triumphant one. Although I haven't surfed in about a year, I've been training hard to prepare for whatever the ocean throws at me this week. I can't wait to feel the rush of the water beneath me as I catch my first wave of the season.

Keeping it Cool

June 21, 2011 04:20 by Ozzie
      

Today, June 21st, is officially the first date of summer, the longest day of the year, the day I wait for 364 days a year! Being that I do not mind the hot weather, I love the summer more than any other season. Though just because I like the hot and sometimes sticky weather, I still need to be careful and use precaution on those hot summer days. The most important thing for everyone, young and old, is to stay hydrated. Sure you can purchase cases and cases of bottled water at your local grocery store or wholesale store, but I prefer my Brita filter and my custom water bottles.  Not only is refilling your bottle from the faucet more eco-friendly, it is also alot more cost efficient. Just think of all the money that you can save in a year when you do not have to buy cases and cases of bottled water on a regular basis. Brita even offers a great combo, when you buy the classic filter Pitcher, you get a free promotional water bottle, like the one seen on the "Biggest Loser." At home, I make sure to have all of my promotional water bottles filled and in the fridge ready to cool us down on those hot summer days.

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Don't Get Sick This Summer!

June 21, 2011 03:13 by Nicholas
      

I'm sick.

Being sick is a terrible thing. Most of the time you never realize where it comes from and the feeling just clotheslines you out of the blue. But what's worse is when you realize that you could have done something different to prevent it. This is why we never do things like eat food off the floor or go without using promotional hand sanitizer.

And now I am sick for a mistake that could have easily been prevented.

With the beautiful pre-Summer Solstice weather we had on Summer, it was only a matter of time until I found myself poolside, splashing about. It certainly was a great time. There were plenty of games of Italian explorers and games of strength named after some ornotholigical farm animals. I was in the pool for a few hours at least. Eventually, the time came where we could not stay in the pool any longer. I had forgotten to bring a promotional towel and there were unfortunately no extras. Rather than trek through the house soaking wet, I withstood the elements long enough to get dry. While shivering in the light wind, I knew that I would probably get sick by not having a towel. And I was right.

I will certainly make sure that I bring a promotional towel with me at all times. There is nothing worse than being sick during the summer.

 

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Tips from a Retail Master

June 20, 2011 09:53 by Brandon
      

My dad has worked in retail his whole life. To some, this may not sound like the most impressive career track. But huge corporations like Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue are dying to hire him because of his insight into consumer tendencies.

This past weekend was Father's Day, and my dad took my brother and me to Orlando to celebrate. We were lucky enough to see the fairly new Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park, which is part of Universal Studio's Islands of Adventure. It's honestly one of the most beautiful parks I've seen, but of course we couldn't walk through its retail shops without listening to my father's comments and criticisms. 

The bright and busy stores were filled with amazing promotional products. From magic wands to Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, there were plenty of appropriately-themed items to go around. But due to all of the hype surrounding the new theme park, it was extremely crowded. This was only made worse by the 95-degree heat.

To keep customers happy, my dad suggested that management hand out free pre-filled promotional water bottles. While this would certainly cost Universal Studios some money, it would also ensure that over-heated and irritated vacationers wouldn't have to leave a store in order to stay hydrated. They could sip from their custom water bottles while shopping, keeping them cool, calm and collected. This would result in more sales for the shops, and would certainly more than make up for the cost of the free water bottles. Plus, shoppers would walk away thinking, "Wow, Universal Studios really cares about me." And that emotional connection and its resulting brand loyalty is truly priceless. 

The Foo's Spin on Food

June 20, 2011 06:39 by Nicholas
      

As someone who has worked inside the velvet ropes and behind the stage for a famous musician, it is very important to make sure that your client is always happy and comfortable. The best way to do this is to make sure any and every request the artist might have be carried out by the best of your abilities. An unhappy client may lead to a very poor performance.
While my client was very easy-going, not every artist is this way. From injections of vitamin B12 backstage as Prince would repeatedly demand to flower petals in the toilet water like Barbara Streisand had requested, musicians have a very peculiar way of asking for what they want.
And then there are the Foo Fighters. With a new album under their belt and a nation-wide tour on the rise, the band is perparing their venues for some of their requests. So, while they might not be asking for their coffee to be stirred counter-clockwise only (we're looking at you, Jenny from the block) they have a very strange way of confirming that all of their requests have been looked over and reviewed by the venue.
The bands' tour rider for venues is a promotional coloring book. That's right. While some artists have written contracts that are faxed over and only include lengthy legal jargon, Dave Grohl and Co. have put together the "Foo Fighters Field Guide to Food Coloring Book and Activity Pages" book. As you can see below, there's an activity to see what precisely goes into a Foo Fighters-friendly salad. (hint: Simba and Richard Pryor do not make good salad ingredients) At a whopping 52 pages in length, we also learn other fun facts - like tridents and lightsabers should not be brought into a venue under any circumstances.
If the Foo Fighters are using a promotional coloring book to send out a message and to publicize their national tour, imagine what they could do for your business.

 

(A special thanks to Microsoft Paint for allowing me to color part of the cover)

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