Promotional Branding


We’ve Moved

We made it through building our new site.  Being sick, I’m going to celebrate with a vitamin water 🙂

We are now live with our new site and we have integrated this blog to that new site.   So please follow the link to the new location and keep reading, asking questions, and hopefully we will create better branding in 2010.


Seeing is Believing with Anthony Robbins

Yesterday I saw Anthony Robbins speak for the very first time.  After years of being a naysayer, I have to say I’m now a believer in his message.  I walked away with ideas, strategies, and energy that I plan to use each and every day.

His questions were poignant and revealing.  What do you focus on in life?  Do you focus on what you have or don’t have?  Do you focus on things you can’t control or things that you can control? 

I walked away with a few things including the following:

  1. See things as they are.  No panacea or blue sky in your business or personal life.  Be real with the current situation.  At the same time, don’t see things worse than they actually are in life.   What can you be thankful for with family, friends, work, and life?
  2. See things better than it currently is or how it can be in the future.  Live life with passion and help others be passionate.
  3. Make life as you see it by taking action every day towards your goals or what ever it is you are focused on achieving.

The most powerful thing I walked away with is to focus on those things that you can control in business and in our personal lives.  Everyday, we need to stand guard at the gate of our minds and not let negative people or information such as the economy take over and make us feel like we are a victim and not in control.

Companies like Disney, Microsoft, and Apple all started during a recession because the owner(s) believed that they could change their future and make their dream become reality.

What are your thoughts?  Is the current economic condition an opportunity for those that can focus and willing to take a risk or is it better to play it safe and wait out the recession for better days?

High Recall From Promotional Products

Promo Products Relatively Strong on Consumer Recall: PPAI Study

Those are some of the findings from a two-part survey on the reception and relative impact of promotional products, released this week by the trade association that represents those vendors, the Promotional Products Association International.

Fielded in late 2009 in partnership with independent research company MarketTools, the panel-based study takes a two-part look at how promotional products perform in terms of customer acceptance and relative to other basic vehicles for brand promotion : namely TV, print and online ads.

According to the survey, 44% of the 1,005 participants reported receiving a promotional product of any kind in the previous two years, and 90.4% of that subset reported currently owning a promotional product of some kind. Of that latter group, 94% said they could recall the product, and 89% could recall the advertiser. Seventy-eight percent said they could recall the message on that product, while 76.2% could recall all three elements.

When it came to which promotional products they recalled, branded pens led the list (84%), followed by magnets (72%), calendars (67%) and key chains (54%).

But none of those figured high on the list of promotional products respondents most likely to create a favorable impression or induce a receiver to take action. Respondents were asked to rank promotional products on a scale of 1 to 5 for their ability to create a response. The indexed list showed respondents most receptive to food baskets (mean score 4.03 out of 5) and MP3 players (3.96) as promotions, followed by clocks or watches (3.74), digital picture frames (3.73) and luggage (3.69). Coffee mugs dipped below the 3-point mark to a mean of 2.89, and pens came in at 2.77, trailed by calendars, notebooks, water bottles, mouse pads, magnets, trophies and stickers, which earned a mean impact rating of 2.10 out of 5.

Of those who reported owning a promotional product, 91% said they had one on display in their kitchen, and 82% reported having two or more of such items there. Seventy-four percent of that group reported having at least one promotional item in their office or work space, and 59% said they had two or more items there. Of respondents who owned promotional products, 55% said they had one or more in their bedroom closet or storage space�and 41% had two to 11.

The second part of the PPAI survey focused on marketing reach and recall among 910 of the respondents who reported receiving a promotional product in the last year. Respondents were categorized according to the number of promotional products they had received in the previous year, and the number of TV, print and online ads they�d been exposed to in the previous two weeks.

According to the study, nearly half the panel of 910 subjects had received three or more promotional products in the prior year, compared to 56.2% who saw 11 or more TV ads in the two weeks before being questioned. Fifty percent had seen three or more print ads in that time and 53% had seen one or more online ads. (E-mail messaging was not included in this study.)

But in terms of recall, the PPAI study found, promotional products performed better than the other media. Among those who had seen two of more products in the year, 82.6% could recall the brand or company on the first product, 79.6% could recall the type of product, and 74.8% remembered the message. More than 69% said they could recall all three.

By comparison, brand recall for the first TV spot (among viewers who�d seen at least two in two weeks) was 67.6%, and just over 60% remembered both the brand and the message. For print ads, the first-ad recall rate for brands was 60.2% and the brand/message recall was 55%. Comparable metrics for online advertising were 31.3% brand recall and 28.7% brand/message recall.

Recall rates declined for the second instance in each medium, but PPAI�s research found that the brand/product/message recall rates for the second promotional item received in the year dropped only to 55.3%. By contrast, second-ad brand/message recall for print ads viewed in the previous two weeks fell to 51.2% and for online ads to 20.8%.
However, second-ad brand/message recall for TV spots over the two-week period remained relatively stable at 56.2%.

Source: Promo Magazine

One Cup Of Coffee = 2 Shirts

How cool is this?… now my wife can’t complain about me drinking coffee.  Plus, at work I’m surrounded by tea drinkers.  Now I can say to each and everyone of them… I’m doing it for the environment.  A Taiwanese company called Singtex Industrial Co. collects waste coffee grounds and turns them into sportswear.  Yes, you heard me correctly… The results is a fabric that is light weight, flexible, and breathable.  The great thing is that it uses fewer resources in it’s production than other organic and even traditional apparel.  The company website claims the grinds from one cup of coffee is enough to create material for two shirts.   I can’t wait to see live and in person… in the meantime, I will continue to build up a supply of coffee grinds for future production.  Check out their site or you can reach out to our team for more information.

Promotional Products Reach Efficiently, Don’t Annoy

A survey of marketers who buy promotional products found that the channel scored especially well as a way to reach targeted audiences with a single campaign spend and without annoying them.

The survey, conducted in November for the Promotional Products Association International, asked 1,000 buyers of promotional items to compare the medium against such other promotional channels as TV ads, direct mail, newspapers, consumer magazines, trade publications, the Internet and social media on a number of key attributes.  Read more by going to

Size doesn’t matter; it’s how you use it.

I’m talking about “honesty” of course.  A dynamic shift has happened with the new era of transparency for a company’s products and services. Web communities are taking over a key role in how people see things in the marketplace.  So, no matter how big or small your company is in the marketplace, the ability to communicate ‘honestly” is critical. Creative teams often use inflated capabilities and overstate what a product or service can do for a consumer. The very word “honest” used by several companies has almost become a cliché in their marketing efforts. Today, the customer experience, testimonials, and repeat customers really tell you how “honest” the company is? With the transparency via the web in products and services it doesn’t matter how much you spend to position your company as an “honest” company with great products if it’s not true. Consumers now have a platform to discuss, analyze, and critique your business in open forums. Traditional advertising still may get people’s attention and spur interest, but the web communities and reviews will truly influence purchase decisions. In many ways it’s Caveat Venditor (Seller Beware) that applies in today’s marketing.

Who knew about Bamboo?

Did you know bamboos are the fastest growing plants in the world? They can grow up to 24 inches per day according to Wikipedia. People use it for building materials and even food sources all over Asia. Now companies are making apparel items from Bamboos that are naturally anti-microbial, exceptionally soft and absorbent. I personally have a few shirts and I have to say they are very nice. So why am I writing about bamboos? Why do I think it’s important for marketing teams that are adding a “green” message to their branding? Branding your company as eco-friendly is about participating and doing your part to change how your company impacts the environment… It’s more than recycling paper at the copy machine or putting up a single bin outside to collect a few plastic bottles. It’s about consistency in your message on what your company stands for in the marketplace. I’m not suggesting everyone has to put on Birkenstocks and start walking to work to show they are eco-friendly… but if a company adds the “green” message to their brand, they need to consider replacing many of the items they use in the office such as corporate apparel and marketing materials with items that are just as good, but stay consistent with the overall “green” message.