Saturday, November 9, 2019

Home Sweet Home

For me the holidays mean pulling out boxes to switch out cherished holiday decorations. In fact, those extra touches make our house a "home". For many, home ownership seems out of reach. Our company has been both a sponsor, fundraiser, donor and branded provider for Habitat for Humanity. 

The Wake County chapter has made amazing strides to put record numbers of local families in homes. Nationally our suppliers are showcasing their heart for organizations by offering a percentage of proceeds to help. Our fresh food partner, Maple Ridge, has some products decided to Habitat for Humanity in their hometown. By working together in our communities we can solve challenges together. 

If you are not already invested in the communities that you serve, consider aligning your brand with efforts that give back to others this season. Simple ways to help a non profit- defray costs are to volunteer or take up a collection of goods on their shopping list or monetary donations from employees or patrons; matching that investment. 

We've helped a variety of organizations in the community over the years with donations of products, services and dollars. Today I shared a post on my LinkedIn and personal Facebook page to an article suggesting that volunteering reduces your stress level. Looks like I was having fun to me- you be the judge!

Friday, November 8, 2019

How Are You Using Your Green Backs?

Did you know greenback is a slang term for U.S. paper dollars? Greenbacks got their name from their color. However a Benjamin that can be crushed up to grow plants or conceptualizing the idea that you can grow money, well that's not only green but smart! 

Take a look at this seed money used by our partner CW22 My RDC for a promotional campaign to remind us of the importance of recycling. A message on a greenback that actually grows flowers is not only an idea that recycles but the message of saving money is amplified on this $100 bill! 

We've been pitching green promotions for years. We used this type of promotion back in 2012, as a direct mail campaign, when we were in the re-branding process, to remind our client base that growing profits was easy when we worked together to plant the right seeds.
Over the years we have grown brands by designing seed paper projects using
  • Plantable shovels for groundbreakings
  • Postcard memos to remind employees to recycle paper internally
  • Invitations to corporate retreats at Maple View Farms
  • Saving trees that provide pancake syrup while educating kids about insects at BugFest
  • Creating snowflake ornaments for a daycare to acknowledge the individual gift of each child
  • This month we are working on a seasonal mailer for a local company with a snowman theme. 
  • Planting seeds to the future with a quality education is critical to career success. Supporting the annual Wake Tech Foundation Campaign insures your planting seeds to the future. 

Ready to grow your brand dollars with creative marketing?

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Gifting Series: Cashing In Your Chips

Picture this, a way to actively engage employees to participate. Personalized poker chips used as currency within the office to promote participation, kind acts, and more! Your company can start by giving each employee and allotted amount of chips to kick off the program. Each month, a newsletter can be sent out with all the different rewards that can be redeemed with using the chips. Maybe it’s company swag, a lunch or specialty coffees!

Each employee would start out with a set amount of chips, then receive a quarterly newsletter featuring the prizes they could "buy" on the company website link. ( you do know we create company stores right? ) Managers can handing out the chips, ask for coworkers "nominate" a team member for overlooked accomplishments and toss out coins at town hall type meetings to encourage interaction. Consider a dry ease leader board to manage team results or pose the question of the day.

By implementing this type of reward system, employees feel acknowledged and appreciated. Given the opportunity to choose their own prize, they are in control of what they get instead of receiving a gift which adds immediate excitement. What types of coins? Chocolate, metal, poker style, wooden, enamel and plantable seed papers! Yep- we have numerous choices for this type of program.

Add acknowledgement throughout the year with this type of program. Since we already in November, kicking it off this type of incentive program with chocolate coins at employee work stations is an exciting way to start the day!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Harness Your Brand For Awareness

Yesterday I was a presenter for inaugural Women's Summit, held by the Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce. If you were in doubt, my topic was branding. The title was If the Shoe Fits, Wear It! - A practical guide to branding management. Branding is about harnessing the power of your unique position within your market and articulating that story to consumers. While our client base is as broad as the individual working from home to Titan's in their industry at a global level- there are still many parts of brand management that seem overwhelming.

As part of the presentation yesterday, I outlined 10 Tips For Effective Brand Management . One of my tips encouraged business owners to break their own brand guideline rule from time to time! Why?

Once we've created a logo and brand guide for a client most businesses don't think about the image again- considering that image their brand. A logo is the visual representation associated with your company, but its the people that work at your company, the products you manufacturer or service you provide is the actual brand! It's your story.

Branding should not be a chore!

An exciting opportunity for a smaller to mid sized business is the ability to quickly deviate from the norm. A larger corporation would need to meet internally with their marketing, PR and creative teams to add a twist to their logo for an awareness campaign. However a smaller company participating in a walk to cure cancer or supporting the troops on Veteran's Day can easily switch up their normal branding palette.

Imagine the impact of changing your branding short term around a cause that's important to your business.

Take a look at these examples using our logo.

The Red & Gold Glitter add to the sparkle of the Holiday Season
The Red, White and Blue- remind of our patriotic dates such as July 4th, Memorial Day or Veteran's Day. 
Pink would be perfect for Breast Cancer Month

Does this look like fun to you?

Monday, November 4, 2019

Do You Know Our Top 10 Tips For Successful Trade Shows?

Tomorrow is the Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce Women's Summit. It's a new event this year with keynote speakers and break out sessions on a variety of topics. Sponsors like us will have "booths" to engage the attendees. Whether your at a trade show with a footprint the size of several football fields or a small local event the goal is the same; making new connections.

First quarter will be here before we know it! Get ahead of the curve by starting to plan NOW before the beginning of the year is here. Planning for success if critical. Keep following our blog posts this week for tips around successful show planning. Let's start with our 10 top tips for a successful trade show.

1. Set appointments. Make the most of your time by setting times for attendees and key people in your organization; consider offering incentives to those that book a specific time. Need to create some space for a private conversation in a busy show? We have solutions!

2. Make your giveaway relevant. Make sure what you are giving away speaks to the message you want to convey and will be both appreciated and used by your target market. Working through product selection and your show day message is a critical part of the plan.

3. Be memorable, smart and relevant. Consider ways to add some fun to your booth, encourage social media sharing, a product attendees will want to win or add value with a quick QR code to scan to information- blog, video, website location or registration to a seminar. 

4. Does your team know the plan? Each member of your team should have training to identify qualified leads. Provide ways for dialogue to continue in your booth such as a charging station or game of chance.

 5. Promote the event like it's your baby- because it is...make sure the team knows why this show counts. We can design pre-show mailers to strategically invite key attendees to your booth. Use social media platforms, emails and newsletters to let attendees know there are special perks for them to stop by your booth.

6. Respond. Make good on all promises made during the show. Nothing kills a lead faster than a poor follow up with an attendee; outreach should be within 48 hours.

7. Look sharp, be sharp and be kind. Talk to attendees, be assertive and make sure the entire team understands the importance of standing, talking and not looking at their phone! Practice scenarios for how to engage walk ups when you are already involved in conversation.

8. Trade leads and create leads. Consider swapping or sharing leads with sponsor at the show. Along the lines of trading cards, create new conversation by purchasing products like the one shown here that offer dual space; allowing you to promote future events, products or service that might not be the focus that day.

9.  Build trust. When you speak, don't pitch "stuff," help them. Consider creating specific white papers to solve common challenges in your industry and use that information as a talking point at the event, as well as a qualified reason to follow up with an attendee.

10. Get out of your comfort zone. Each event requires a different approach. Put yourself in the attendees' shoes, you can better identify what will make someone stop and engage with you. Sometimes a bit of fun is just the right touch!
Keep following our blog and your November newsletter for additional tips!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Let's Have Some Skele-fun!

While it may be too late this year, Halloween is often an overlooked holiday in terms of promotional opportunities.

Custom candy bags to hand out to all of the ghouls and goblins is an excellent way to get your brand involved in the local community. If your in an industry that provides safety, security or engages with families this type of promotional campaign would be one to add to your calendar for next year.
Sure you can buy candy from the store, but have you ever thought about putting your brand on the candy package? Logos can be placed on the packaging and sometimes directly on the candy. This pillow package comes with numerous popular brand name candy options such as Jolly Ranchers, Tootsie Rolls, Double Bubble Gum, and Hershey chocolate, ensuring everyone gets the same amount of candy.

Maybe you want to go the nontraditional route by handing out something besides candy. Pumpkin spinners are a great option that will be sure to capture the interest of your trick-or-treaters but won't add sugar to the diet and sticky treats on braces!

Perhaps have fun with an alter ego for the day. Did you know we can provide masks, mustaches, capes and many other items that would make you SUPER to others? 
Being prepared to have a little fun it's hard, it simply takes planning ahead. Lucky for you, we have hundreds of calendar dates to incorporate into your social media, community outreach and employee engagement for next year. As the year winds to a close, make a resolution to have more fun this year.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Kit It Together

Whether you are looking at the last minute or you are just so busy you don't have time to consider a ton of options, we have you covered. A pre-made gift set branded with your logo is a great solution! Gift sets offer a wide array of themes from technology to food items. Choosing a gift set that will prove to be useful would be best - it'll help keep you top of mind and will increase brand exposure.

Technology gift sets are a great option. Everyone has a smartphone that they need to keep charged - consider this kit that comes with a powerbank and a RFID wallet to protect their identity. Each item, including the box can be personalized with your logo. Crafting a well designed box will set a positive tone before they even see the inside!

A set featuring drinkware is another option. On average, promotional drinkware is kept for 12 months and can generate 1400 impressions. These gift sets can include one or two coffee tumblers and even have an option to do wine tumblers. If tumblers seems ordinary, enhance the value by offering a food insert or have us design a custom kit.

Regardless of the direction you are thinking of going for the gift sets, you can't go wrong. Kitting and gift sets are on the rise in popularity because of the ease of distribution.We can drop ship each individual items for you or considering the ease of being able to pull a ready made kit out of your bag when visiting your clients!

Looking for ways to make your holiday distribution easier?

Attend our event next Thursday for additional ideas or simply reach out to our team for help.