Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Who's looking? What will they say?

As we considered names for our business seven years ago, we kept coming back to Promotional Partners. It was not the most creative choice on the list or quickest to type, but as we considered the meaning behind the words- PARTNERS kept coming to the top.  The last seven posts have illustrated reasons some of our partners choose to work with our company. Branding is a little like clothing one's kid.  Products need to be safe, make folks want to get to know and interact with the person and send the right message about who they are as a individual.  When parents ask the question, "Are you planning to wear that to school", they are really saying, "If you go out like that someone will think I don't care and there is no one to guide you".
Sending your brand out into the world for everyone to see is a big step; take your steps with a partner. Make sure you are branding on safe, quality products that get your brand the interaction and awareness it deserves.
“When I joined GFI Software,  our tradeshow and promotional items were searched for and bought from untested sources on the web- with mixed and unpredictable results.  A co-worker suggested I contact Olivia at Promotional Partners and since then, she has made me appear to be very good at my job.  Now I can focus on my marketing responsibilities and the bigger picture, and I let the gang at Promotional Partners handle the details of our tradeshow booth- and our brand has never looked better.”

C Johnson- GFI Software

Monday, May 19, 2014

What is the secret to results? Collaboration


Part of proper product selection is creating the best imprint on your branded pieces. For example, too much information in a small imprint space can crowd the message and reduce the impact. Products with a large digital area allow for photos to replace words; telling stories visually. 

A large imprint area allows space for check list of services if you have several distinguishing features to promote or a slogan that hooks in the consumer. QR codes and watermarks can do more than go to your website. Use these shortcuts to take prospects to a blog, a video or client testimonials. If you are using tech components such as a QR code, track whether you have the type of clientele that is “tech” oriented; know your results. 

Having just completed 7 years, we understand how a small business owner thinks; every dollar is precious. Brainstorming and discussing your goals and objectives are part of every “first visit” to our showroom location. In a collaborative environment our team considers all variables for how your products will be kept and used long term, creating tangible pieces that reflect your marketing plan and yields results.
The owners of Mosquito Wizard of NC have a great product adding value for those that would like more enjoyment in their outdoor spaces during summer months. In our initial meeting we focused on learning the events or distribution methods they planned to use for promoting their brand. The products selected fit indoor and outdoor venues for quick display signage and the hand fans were an economical way to chase away pests and heat at the outdoor events they had lined up as a business sponsor. 
Owner Art Church had this to say after working with our company.
"I cannot say enough about the work Olivia and her team at promotional partners did to help us get ready for our first major event. They completely understood our company, our budget and what we envisioned for our booth. It is a great feeling to know that we have found our long-term partner for all of our promotional needs!!"

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Programs create change- what do you want to change?

When kids are little stickers on their shirt, stamps on their hand and stars by their name provides simple, low cost, effective ways to show acknowledgment. As big kids, adults still like to be recognized. Let’s be honest, right now my written words are only being heard as thoughts in your head; no one can “hear” us. I bet you can name a time when you sat through an award presentation, a company meeting, a volunteer event thinking maybe this time they will announce my name; I deserve this award. It’s natural; we want to be recognized and validated for our efforts.
The question then becomes how, where and when will we acknowledge. Many of our own clients use recognition programs to build morale for employees, reward referral partners and retain top consumers by acknowledging their loyalty. Here are some examples from our own case study archives.
Visa gift cards, with set face value such as $50.00 each cards are distributed. The cards are branded first as a company store card, then redeemed on a branded company store site. Once on the site, the recipient selects from numerous national name brand selections for the value of their card. After selection, they are shipped a card from that national chain of their choice for the value of their branded visa gift card. It’s a turn key all inclusive program that is easy to use.The visa gift cards are actually cheaper than purchasing them at the local store AND come with all those extra perks!
This program is being used for a client that travels all over the USA. He needed an easy to carry item that would be a “one size fits all” program, properly fitting the taste of any recipient. He uses this program as a thank you for new client business. This program added a layer of personalized company branding, a component previously missing when he picked up random gift cards. It also added more choice to the recipient for selecting their favorite place to shop or dine.
Redemption cards for company store- these programs are designed to provide a branded card with a pre-determined value such as $25.00, $50.00, $100.00. Cards are distributed individually in a custom presentation package. The recipient visits a company branding store using their personalized card to select an item of their choice to be mailed to them directly. 
The program is used by a company that wanted to be able to give away branded cards to employees, referral partners, clients and as door prize gifts; this program offered flexibility, easy storage, personalization and allowed for them to brand their company with a simple turn key distribution plan.
Personalized Company Store- platforms can be created, maintained and hosted for a modest fee. There are several models that can be applied to provide a company access to showcasing only pre-approved branded pieces within their network or to their consumers. Inquire for details for the appropriate model for your company or organization.
If you are not currently creating reward events, employee programs designed to generate incentive or shape change, hosting education events for clients ask us how we can assist. One of our clients with on going employee incentive, achievement and communication programs in place is Leith Automotive Group
I’ve worked with Promotional Partners since 2008. I’ve learned to stop asking if you they can do something, because they always find a way to make things happen; it’s like having my own fairy godmother “to poof”, just make it happen. They provide us quality products, on time and direct us to new cool ideas that will get the notice we want for employees or customers. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Do you know a good storyteller?

If branding is telling a story, what type of storyteller are you?
Yesterday I made a joke about being an effective story-teller when introducing a speaker for our rotary meeting; saying he needed to “hook ‘um in” from the start. Everyone knows someone that tells a great story. Think about that person’s stories for a moment. What exactly compels you to hang on each word? Are you looking for the punch line? Is it the way they speak? Is their voice melodic, do they add crescendos or punctuate words? Maybe it’s their facial expression or their gestures; you get the idea.
Promotional products selection is a key part of story telling. When you look at the item, what do you see? Just an item or does that item suggest how that company’s products or services work? Has the business been so dedicated to color selection, with a “stand out” color that when you see pink- you think T-Mobile? Products that are clever or that become a “partner” in the recipient’s daily use become a platform for long term brand interaction.
Small business owner want to make sure before they spend their money that the investment is going to be worth the expenditure. Exploring how, when and where they plan to distribute products is an important step in the selection process. Identifying the parts of their branding that are important to them allow us to protect those elements in the selection process. One has to feel “good in their skin”. I’ve stood next to companies in an expo setting only to find the representatives giving out branded products have no clue why that product was selected.
Small business owners need to feel like their product choices reflect their message, adding punctuated moments to the recipient that draw them into their brand from the start; good story telling. Today’s posting features yummy- Apex Wings-
I initially began working with Promotional Partners to have T shirts made up for my staff.  The convenience of meeting in their offices provided me with the ability to touch and compare the products I was considering which I couldn’t do through the on line companies I investigated.  Also, being at the office was able to meet with the staff and communicate what I wanted in design.  As we discussed what I was trying to accomplish, they were able to show me other products and ideas that they offer that are helpful to my business.  I am using scratch tickets as a promotional item and they have designed coupons and gift certificates for me.  I think having a relationship with a local company that can help me with my business is worth whatever savings I may miss out on by using an online source.  Promotional Partners is exactly what the name indicates, they are a partner not just another vendor.
NIck- Owner Apex Wings


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ready set brand, but what........

I’ve hear it said that branding is a marathon not a sprint.
Selecting the right promotional piece is a critical step to sustained longevity. It’s not just any pen. Does that pen work in your target environment to tell your brand story? If you are in a medical field and distribute antimicrobial pens, it shows you understand your recipient’s environment. A promotional product starts a relationship as a “gift”, a gesture, from your company to advertise who and what if significant about your brand message. Over the life of your company promotional pieces form connections as gifts, recognition for employees, define the appearance of your physical facility as well as the appearance of your employees on site or traveling in the community. Branded pieces even take the form of an ambassador when you sponsor a local charity or team.
Promotional pieces are not about how many items one can pick up at a tradeshow to take home to the kids. Pieces selected are about creating an identity and making connections via the vehicle of a tangible piece. Recall and brand retention are stronger using promotional pieces than other forms of advertising because they are useful; generating interaction. At Promotional Partners we believe that collaboration with our partners yield strategic selections, incorporating each branded piece as part of a larger “story” about your brand.

 What do you want each recipient to think when they hold your branded piece?

 Yesterday we posted a video for a line of handmade leather products, tanned here in the USA-custom to order. Leather leaves a lasting impression of high perceived value; quality leather becomes softer over use and time; adding a rich patina to the appearance and the feel of each piece. Because products are custom to order, add personalization such as a name or logo water marks to pages. Tell your story with a product that will be kept and used over years not just months.

Enjoy this video link from our face book posting yesterday, showcasing products:


PS- Be like Oprah, the Pope, The White House, Robert Redford, Justin Timberlake, BonJovi- all consumers of this product line for branding.

 How important is collaboration in developing unique referral packages or event planning? Dialogue will define direction and focused planning will create positive results. Today’s anniversary testimonial is from one of our partners that creates fantastic events and referral reward packages for their practice via collaboration with their marketing team’s vision.
“Thank you Promotional Partners for always taking my concept and vision for a referral delivery to an amazing finished product. Any job small or large, I know I am in good hands with your choices”
“Promotional Partners helps me convey a truly unique experience along with branding our business.”
Lisa -
Marketing and Education Liaison, Nuimage

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Quick Name 10 Promotional Products- Go!

Are you one of those people who if asked to name 10 promotional pieces would name:
Mug, pen, grocery tote, magnet, bumper sticker, tee shirt, cap, coozie, lanyard or a post-it note? You might not be alone.
One of the joys of our job is seeing all of the creative products and applications for those products. Yesterday we met with about 35 key industry suppliers to learn what’s new mid year. Product development is on going and supplier representatives provide us case studies for industry applications that will help our clients solve promotional objectives and goals. Among the items were several unique applications for repositionable vinyl pieces and some fun temporary tattoos for the face.
Branding can be fun, check out our face book link :
As we celebrate reaching 7 years completed in business; we will be sharing 7 testimonials over the next 7 days related to how our creativity, collaboration and certification help our clients achieve more.
Want great ideas? Want something fast? Want it done right? That’s Promotional  Partners! We use them for all of promotional events and client and station apparel. And while most of us are busy…leave it to Promotional Partners to keep on top of it and keep you informed. Never a worry! They can do it!