Friday, January 22, 2010

Pens Pencils and Highlighters Oh My!

We may find ourselves texting and e-mailing more and more today, but keys at any size are not replacing writing instruments. Pens, pencils, highlighters, multi function pen-highlighters, lanyard pens and even germ free pens are showing up daily with new looks for every promotion. Writing instruments top the list of most requested items each year in our industry as they are funcitonal, adaptable to multiple budgets from inexpensive click to high end products for the executive. A high return on your investment is also a deciding factor for many marketing campaigns as pens are used, passed, given and see frequently in the daily routine offering a low cost impression with high performance and longevity for your marketing dollars. Did you know any of the following facts? Pair some of these fun facts with your next promotion!

More than 14 billion pencils are produced in the world every year-enough to circle the globe 62 times.

Pencils didn't always have erasers. The first patent for attaching an eraser to a pencil was issued in 1858 to a man from Philadelphia named Hyman Lipman. In fact, today in Europe most pencils are still sold without erasers.

The first great success for the ballpoint pen came on an October morning in 1945 when a crowd of more than 5000 people jammed the entrance of New York City's Gimbels Department Store. The day before, Gimbels had taken out a full-page ad in the New York Times promoting the first sale of ballpoints in the United States. The ad described the new pen as a "fantastic...miraculous fountain pen...guaranteed to write for two years without refilling!" On that first day of the sale, Gimbels sold out its entire stock of 10000 pens-at $12.50 each.

100 billion crayons have been made since before World War I. That means your great, great, great, great grandparents colored with crayons.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Need Some Inspiration for 2010?

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Be always at war with your vices, at peace with tour neighbors and let each new year ding you a better man. “ Referencing this passage as an introduction for a motivational article, Editorial Director for Promo Marketing, Nicole Stella, recounted the relationship of the quote to a required reading by author Rabbi Harold S. Kushner. In the book Rabbi Kushner wrote that, “Nature is morally blind, without values. It churns along following its own laws not caring who or what gets in the way. But God is not morally blind; God stands for justice, for fairness for compassion; for me, the earthquake if not an ‘act of god’. The act of God is the courage of people to rebuild their lives after the earthquake and the rush of others to help them in whatever way they can”. Here is hoping that you work for your passions this year and make it a successful year.

Promotional Arm Tattoo Sleeves

Here is a new fad that we hope becomes a trend because the applications for sports, road races, sponsorships, spirit wear and uniform work wear are numerous! This is a US made product that can sport an instant tattoo or brand your company logo or sports theme quickly in full digital color. Best of all it is easy to remove or apply for comfort given the environment you are in without becoming as cumbersome as a sweater or coat when mobility is important.

How Apparel Savvy Are You?

What makes cotton organic?

You’ve probably heard the term organic cotton, but do you really know the difference between what if standard and organic cotton. Organic cotton means that the cotton is grown without pesticides or chemical additives. Additionally the soil that the plant is grown in must be chemical free for at least three years. Once harvested, the cotton must be processed differently than regular cotton to avoid contamination. Among organics there are different standards or certifications for the integrity of the cotton as pure. If your company requires certification papers, please ask us to provide those documents to you for review.

Performance fabrics:

Trademark Names may often hold similar properties. The idea with performance fabrics is to keep the body cooler and provide fewer odors. If sweat is odorless, why do we stink after physical activity? The bacteria on our skin cause the odor to form on the fabric. What will help to destroy the odor? Is the answer Moisture Wicking, UV resistance, Antimicrobial or anti pill? If you answered Antimicrobial, you are correct because the fabric has been treated with chemicals to inhibit the growth of bacteria. If you knew that, do you know what fabric has natural anti bacterial and fungal properties? Garments made from Bamboo! Our clients with bamboo apparel have provided feedback that the comfort and resilience of the fabric is makes it a great choice for mobile individuals.

Last test:

What is the difference between waterproof and water resistant or water repellent? Waterproof is seam sealed to withstand a specific amount of water pressure keeping the garment dry since it blocks water absorption. Water resistant is treated chemically to repel or resist water. While water repellent is when the fabric can resist the penetration of water with limited conditions, however once washed or dry cleaned those properties are usually altered.

How Can I Spot a Trend?

Experts at encourage trackers to set goals. Understand how the hot products in our industry can apply to your target audience. Keep up with the 7 stages of a trend which are: Emerging, Incoming, Pre-Peak, Peak, Post-Peak, Outgoing and Decline.
Be aware that trends can cross industries. Need an example? What is your home thread count on your sheets? The push for luxury hotel pampering for spa items and high quality dense thread count lead to a desire to offer the average consumer high thread count sheets. The same application works in our industry when the average client wants to impress their end user and prospects with luxury based products geared to their client’s interest. For example custom crystal barware, personalize golf club or bag, electronic equipment even Godiva chocolates!

Are You Tracking Trends?

Effective Promotions use cultural and demographic trends that motivate your target audience. Did you ever wear leggings in the 80’s or a beehive hairdo in the 60’s? If so you were part of a trend. Currently apparel in our industry caters to both the traditional work apparel as well as contemporary style like burn out, tattoo inspired arm wraps, as well as hot fabric choices like bamboo, environmental conscious with recycled content.
Apparel suppliers offer new lines seasonally, with name brand product choices, popular requests for fabrics, knock offs to name brand looks and of course the “HOT” colors or styles for that season.

What is the difference between a fad and a trend? In short, trends are products that are showing a wave of change. In our industry the push towards green product in all categories such as sustainable, organic and recycled as risen steady the past three years. BY contrast fads are immediate impulses like “pet rocks” from the 70’s! Sometimes fads can continue to resurface across generations like tie dye. What was your worst fad?

When the Office Has the Flu!

Employee absenteeism affects sales, operations and morale across all industries. Many companies are fighting back by offering time away from the office for flu vaccines or large companies are coordinating efforts to have healthcare professionals on site. Options for smaller companies include having a health care professional visit at a staff meeting, posting literature about best health practices for disease prevention or short educational video pointed to ways to reduce passing along germs to other employees. For industries like healthcare professionals who will be exposure to more germs, products like pens, optical mice and keyboards that are treated with permanent antimicrobial properties represent a way to show you care about keeping there organization running with healthy employees.

Internally providing Wallet sized, cold and flu kits, anti bacterial wipes, hand sanitizers, vitamin C tablets in a pocket roll, lip balm, antimicrobial pen and stainless steel water bottles to keep germs contained to individuals are all ways to provide some assistance to company’s employees that do business with your company!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Generate More Traffic at Tradeshows

One of our industry suppliers, Target Graphics, created a unique T-shirt promotion to drive more traffic to their booth. The shirt featured their logo on the front of a black t-shirt highlighting one of their new leather ink processes. On the back they used a four color process to create a simulation of a $100.00 bill with text below it reading, “If we print on paper we’d be counterfeiters”. Pre-show mailings and publicity included teaser with the action call, come to Target’s booth and get a t-shirt to wear at during the show for a change to be entered to win a chance for $100.00. What was the result? They yielded enough traffic to post double their leads from the previous year!

Ask us to help you create a clever way to generate more traffic at your next convention booth or tradeshow event.

Boring Business Cards?

Take a look at your business cards; consider your cards a low cost way to beef up marketing for 2010!

Make your business card a more effective marketing tool by giving the recipient something they can use such as a calendar, tip calculator card, use a holographic/ lenticular image to get their attention or provide a discount for their first order on the card.

Turn your business card into a useful tool with a large imprint area, such as a nail fail, pocket mirror, pen, magnet, or a USB drive that looks like you! Instead of giving them the card give them something they can use each day!

Get Ready to Market Yourself in 2010!

Self Promotion is the key! Here are Five Quick Tips to get you started

5 quick tips:

1. Public Speaking Engagements give you a moment to share you expertise and gain credibility.
2. Publish articles in your trade journals or association newsletters. Link those back to your website or blog
3. Build up a social presence on one viral networking tools such as LinkedIn, face book, 919.
4. Create a blog to post tips, trends, new products and success stories. Make them entertaining and educational. Don’t be afraid to use video, even the youtube type to make your blog more interesting.
5. Apply for awards and recognition; look within your industries and associations for applications for awards.

Please share your best tip with other partners!