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Maintain Your Brand Value

Five Ways To Maintain Brand Value

When it comes to your business, do you know the value of your brand? In other words, what is the monetary impact of your brand to your bottom line? According to Forbes magazine, the values of some of the world’s top brands look like this: Apple, $104.3 billion; Microsoft, $56.7 billion; and Coca-Cola, $54.9 billion.

Your brand value is most likely not in the billions like these global companies, but nonetheless, it’s important to maintain your brand value. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share five ways to retain your reputation, make the most of economic upswings and positively impact your bottom line from Mark Di Somma, a partner and senior brand strategist at The Blake Project.

  1. Be part of a rising category. If you have a brand in a rising product category, then you want to invest in building that brand interest. If you don’t have a brand in an up-and-coming category, then consider how you can get your brand in that space either through acquisition, a partnership or co-branding opportunity.
  2. Tackle social issues. What are the reputational or social issues that your market segment faces? What impact could your brand have on a social issue? For example, product safety is closely tied to child safety. In the fast-food industry, those brands are being challenged by healthier brands, so they are having to step up with more health and nutrition programs.
  3. Increase “share of life.” This phrase from Millward Brown refers to expanding your touchpoints and extending your ecosystem to reach customers in multiple ways and through multiple products and channels. Di Somma uses the example of Apple, a brand that affects lives every day through mobile phones, apps, iPads, point-of-purchase, music and entertainment. Amazon is another brand example of this with its easy, one-click shopping and relevant purchase recommendations. Nike, with its Nike+ Fuelband, has transformed itself from a mere apparel brand to a companion and coach for runners.
  4. Be more convenient. One way brands like Apple and Amazon are successful is by creating seamless experiences. This is convenient for the consumer while also helping the brand control the consumer journey. Di Somma points out that digital media plays a key role with this, so think of ways you can develop digital touchpoints through your brand to keep the customer engaged and connected.
  5. Beautify. Continue to review and adjust the design and style of your products and your advertising so that your brand feels “now.” This is hard, but not impossible, for brands with long lead times. It is also relative, and chances are your competitors face the same logistical issues that you do. By continually checking the appeal of what you offer, you can introduce your brand to new segments. Remember the slogan, “It’s not your father’s Oldsmobile”? An updated car design led to a younger market for the car manufacturer.

Be a champion of your brand and try these tactics to continue to increase your brand value.

Source: Mark Di Somma is a partner and senior brand strategist at The Blake Project. For more than 20 years he has helped decision makers, brand owners and brand agencies define, articulate and elevate the value of their brands.

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Go ahead…Take a Dip in your car!

Will DipClip Be The Next Big Promotional Product?

If you have ever scarfed McNuggets while in traffic, or wolfed down a Whopper in a parking lot in between sales appointments, you’re going to want to read this.

The geniuses – yes, we’re declaring them geniuses – at Milkmen Design have come up with a product called DipClip.

Basically, it’s an in-car condiment holder for folks who enjoy dipping sauces when getting down on transit noshing.

Brilliant in its simplicity and practicality, the DipClip consists of a clip that attaches to vehicle vents. Into the clip’s 5-in-1 aperture design, there fits a food-safe polypropylene Ramekin that holds 1.3 fl. oz. – about five packets of ketchup. Of course, if ketchup isn’t your thing, you can also drop in other condiments, anything from barbecue sauce and mustard to hummus and salad dressing.

Milkmen Design described their inspiration thus:

“At Milkmen Design, we believe that dipping sauces were made to go with nuggets and fries. For generations, humans had to choose between making a mess in their vehicle or consuming bland, sauce-free food. We were tired of standing by idly as the perfect union of fries and nuggets, and the precious sauces that compliment them, grew strained. So we created the DipClip to repair this relationship, reuniting ketchup with French fry, nugget with BBQ, and so on.”

Folks, these guys are humanitarians.

While the fast food gods have clearly inspired this ingenious invention, the reality remains that the DipClip is still in Kickstarter phase. As of Friday morning (Eastern Time), the DipClip campaign had blown past its Kickstarter goal of $10,000 and exceeded $48,000. The campaign was scheduled to run through January 5.

Once DipClip becomes commercially available, we could see it potentially being a much sought-after item in the branded merchandise space. It’s a product anyone who drives – and eats – could use. It would be displayed in a high-visibility area where recipients are daily – their cars. And we’re guessing it’s not going to be super pricey. While the clip doesn’t have a lot of surface area for branding, the Ramekin could hold a logo and appeal to a range of end-clients – from fast-food chains themselves to auto industry clients.

With DipClip, commuting just got tastier, and promo pros may one day reap sales from that delicious fact.

Posted in advertising, Blogs, Branding, Entrepreneur, Events, Holiday, Marketing, Promotional Products, Sales, small business, Trade Shows, Uncategorized

Retail Best Sellers (You Didn’t Know You Could Brand!)

The best branded giveaways are ones that are useful and become integrated into your customer’s and employee’s routines.  Whether that be a travel product they can’t imagine going on a trip without, or a favorite fleece blanket they love to snuggle up with during their Netflix binges.  We all have our favorite go-to products we can’t live without. And the emotional connection people make with their favorite products creates an opportunity for your brand to turn customers into fans.

So how can you give branded products that will not only be kept but loved?  We’re here to help!

We turned to the retail sector and explored bestseller lists from retail giants like Amazon and Target.  Lo and behold, a ton of awesome and trendy products that your customers are searching for and buying are products that are available to brand.  With these retail trends in mind, we created an ideabook for you that takes the guesswork out of promotional products.  See some of our favorites from the best seller’s list below!

Tech & Travel

Tech and Travel

  1. iLuv Wireless Speaker with Amazon ALEXA | Play music, ask questions and more with this smart speaker!
  2. FUJIFILM Instax Mini 8 | Enable your audience to capture those life moments with this throwback camera.
  3. Magnetic Metal Phone Mount | For hands-free phone usage in the car.
  4. PocketCloud | A media hub to free up valuable space on your customer’s phone.

Home & Kitchen

home and kitchen

  1. Marble & Bamboo Coaster Set | Marble and bamboo combine for a trendy home piece your customers will want to show off.
  2. Cotton Zipper Pouch | Minimalism is trending, making this pouch a winner from the retail sector.
  3. Electronic Essential Oil Diffuser | Help your customers unwind with this top seller on Amazon.
  4. Cork Base Ceramic Mug | Trendy and useful, make your brand a part of your customer’s morning routine.

Games & Toys

  1. Hair Chalk | Fun colors and unicorn hair is trendy, but it doesn’t have to be permanent with this popular pick.
  2. Fidget Spinner | The breakout hit of 2017, this product will gain you some serious traction with your fans.
  3. Rubik’s Cube | This throwback game will give your customers a blast from the past.
  4. Fidget Cube | Keep idle hands busy with this fidget favorite.

Sports & Outdoors

  1. YETI Rambler | This infamous insulated tumbler offers the ultimate co-branding opportunity for your brand.
  2. IGLOO Cooler | For the outdoorsman or casual camper alike, soft-sided coolers are all the rage.
  3. Swiss Army Knife | This trusted multi-purpose tool is a fan favorite.
  4. Shaker Bottle | This mixer is perfect for your healthy and sporty customer and a favorite on holiday wish lists.

No matter your brand or budget, there is a perfect promotion to engage your customers and create Brand Love moments. Check out all of our picks here, or contact us to talk through your promotional strategy!

Posted in advertising, Blogs, Branding, Entrepreneur, Events, Family, Holiday, Keynote Speaker, Marketing, Podcast, Procurement, Promotional Products, small business, Trade Shows, Travel, Uncategorized

2018 Trending Travel Products

Business travel can be tough. Just ask anyone who’s lived out of a suitcase, stood in line for hours at a busy airport or eaten dinner alone after a day of never-ending client meetings.

If the recipients on your gift list spend a lot of time traveling, we’ve got some can’t-miss ideas that will make life a little easier. These are practical, stylish gifts that your audience would be thrilled to receive. And best of all, they make the road less traveled a little less bumpy.

Wireless Earbuds

Cords are so yesterday, so keep yourself tangle-free in busy airports and on long flights with wireless technologyWireless headphones, already gaining in popularity, quickly became the go-to choice when Apple released the iPhone 7 without a traditional 3.5mm headphone jack. If the biggest tech company in the world thinks that the future is wireless, we’re paying attention.

Our Pick: Micro True Wireless Earbuds and Powercase

earbuds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Packable Jackets

Lightweight jackets are a must when traveling to different climates. Space and comfort are at a premium when you’re on the road or trying to fit everything you need into your luggage.

Our Pick: Silverton Packable Insulated Jacket

folding jacket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RFID-Blocking Wallets

RFID is a BIG buzzword these days since the technology helps protect against identity theft. These items are typically made from a material that interferes with radio waves, making a credit card’s RFID chip difficult to read by someone trying to “skim” sensitive information from the card or passport.

Our Pick  Modena Slim RFID Passport Wallet

RDIF Wallet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ultra-Comfort Knits

Stay versatile with Ultra Comfort Knits in washable wool blends. There’s only so much you can pack when you’re living out of a suitcase. Whether you’re dressing business, casual or somewhere in between, these are pieces you can pair with a polo and dress pants for work during the day, or throw them over a T-shirt and wear them with your favorite jeans at night.

Our Picks: Equinox Knit Blazer & Stratton Knit Quarter Zip

Knits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Space-Savers

Space-saving compression bags and packing cubes are great tools to help you travel light and stay organized. Packing efficiently means you won’t have to leave any essentials at home, and also makes unpacking a breeze.

Our Pick: Compression Stuffer Sack Set & BRIGHTtravels Packing Cubes

space savers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ultimately, the goal is to choose a gift that people are going to notice – something that establishes or reinforces a brand and is useful for the recipient. You want to provide a giveaway that becomes an essential part of your customer’s lives, so why not give the gift of better business travel.

Authored by: PCNA

Posted in advertising, Blogs, Branding, Entrepreneur, Events, Holiday, Keynote Speaker, Marketing, Podcast, Promotional Products, Sales, small business, Trade Shows, Uncategorized

Creating Multi Sensory Brand Experiences

Let’s say you are looking for a hotel online and while clicking around you see an enticing web banner for the Westin hotel.  You click through and after scrolling through amenities and pictures, you book your stay.  Months later, when you arrive there is a welcome kit that includes a Westin branded lavender essential oils kit and a card that invites you to sit back, relax, and enjoy your stay.  After a long flight, a luxurious soak is just what you need, so you draw a warm bath, close your eyes and let the lavender scent lull you into a state of relaxation.

Westin

This is what you call sensory marketing, and promotional products are the only form of advertising that can engage all of the senses at once.  So it may have been an ad placement online that first got your attention, but long after your stay it is the smell and memory of the relaxing lavender bath that is going to be what really solidifies your opinion of Westin as a brand. In the digital age, traditional advertising isn’t working on its own. More and more companies are employing stimuli such as scent, sound, touch, taste, and hearing to build stronger emotional connections with the customer and drive preference for their brands.  For a very minimal cost, you are immersing your customer in a multi-sensory and memorable experience that has the potential to forge some serious brand loyalty.

So, how important is sensory branding, and does it really work?

According to the 2005 book “Brand Sense” by branding expert Martin Lindstrom, 83% of current advertising appeals to the eyes only.  Visual advertisements (think billboards, print ads, web banners) are being processed in the cortex of the brain, which is responsible for a person’s thoughts and actions.  Smell and taste, however, are linked to the limbic system which is responsible for forming memories and emotions.  If a brand can integrate smell and taste into their advertising efforts, they are going to make an unforgettable impression and can even influence a customer’s purchasing habits.

The science behind sensory marketing is solid and increasingly more and more marketing firms are including the discipline in their media offerings.  As for its effectiveness, Nike increased purchase intent by 80% just by adding scents to their stores, and gas stations that emitted the smell of coffee near their pumps saw coffee sales increased by almost 300 percent!  Appealing to the senses is proven to be effective, and branded merchandise is the most cost efficient way to do so.

5 senses

I am incredibly passionate about promotional products and truly believe in their effectiveness to spread what we like to call those “Brand Love” moments.  At the same time, it is not my intention to cannibalize other forms of advertising and instead want to encourage you to add branded merchandise to your media mix to add value and increase ROI on advertising spend that is already in place.

With traditional advertising, you are acquiring impressions as long as your advertisement is running. When your contract ends, so does your reach.  With promotional products, you continue making impressions and spreading Brand Love long after your campaign has ended.  For example, a single backpack can generate 5k+ impressions in its lifetime, essentially making it a walking billboard for your brand. A bag is also something you can see and touch and can become a part of your customer’s everyday life. You can extend the life of your advertising campaign by adding branded merch that appeals to all of the senses to the mix.

So, what can your company do today?

I encourage you to take a hard look at your marketing plan and assess your current use of sensory branded products.  Could you promote an upcoming new flavor of ice cream by giving out a custom flavored and scented lip balm?  Or maybe you really want to push a new jingle with liquid soap that plays your song every time you dispense it?  Brands that appeal to multiple senses will be more successful than brands that only focus on one or two.  At Boundless, we specialize in creative branding and can assist you in identifying which branded products will best suit an overall sensory branding initiative. Let’s face it, to be memorable in the digital age you have to stand out and immerse your customers in an experience and a feeling.  Let’s create a sensory journey your consumers can go on with your products and services!

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Humanity Please

In a wide-ranging conversation with Yuval Harari at TED’s theater, TED’s Chris Anderson (left) asked: How should we behave in this post-truth era? And Harari replied: “My basic reaction as a historian is: if this is the era of post-truth, when the hell was the era of truth?” Photo: Dian Lofton How to explain the…

via “Humanity can rise to the challenge”: Yuval Harari in conversation at TED Dialogues — TED Blog

Posted in advertising, Branding, Entrepreneur, Marketing, small business, Uncategorized

Power of Innovation: Drive change and create new revenue opportunities

 

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin

The Power Of InnovationInnovation plays a key role in business. It drives change, and change can lead to new revenue opportunities for your business. Innovation can produce sudden and dramatic changes to the way business is done and the way consumers experience the products and services made by companies.

Innovation, as described by innovation expert Jake Nielsen:

A lot of managers think of new markets in terms of geography, such as entering an emerging market like India or China. While that can be highly valuable, new market innovations can also refer to use cases, such as applying a current product in a new way and sometimes even for a different segment of customers. The classic example often cited is Arm & Hammer baking soda. The primary use for baking soda is as a leavening agent for dough when baking bread. However, after baking soda had been in the market for a while, Arm & Hammer discovered a trend among its customers—using baking soda as a deodorizer. People were putting an open container of baking soda in their refrigerator (baking soda does not need to be refrigerated) simply to neutralize any odors from foods. This prompted the company to start marketing baking soda as a multi-purpose product rather than for use only in baking.

There are several things to consider when exploring new markets for your product including:

Adjacent spaces: What industries or uses would you consider as adjacent? Often adjacent spaces are fertile ground for introduction of your existing product(s) or service(s).

Other jobs to be done: Like in the Arm & Hammer example, baking soda was capable of performing multiple jobs for the customer quite well, even though at the beginning Arm & Hammer was only thinking of the job of baking. What other jobs does your product do? Could those be marketed to other customers?

Customer usage studies: For some products, customers may already be using your product in new and different ways that you haven’t considered yet. Market-research methods are best suited to bring those use cases to light.

New market innovations can be extraordinarily successful if executed well. In some cases, all it takes to introduce a product into a new market is educating your customers, both current and new, about the other things your product can do. This can either be a cost-leadership or benefit-leadership strategy. If you have a product that is basically a premium-value product (benefit leadership) in its existing form and you manage to successfully apply that product to a new use case then the value of your product will need to be weighed in light of the alternatives for the new use case. For example, if Arm & Hammer baking soda costs $4 a box while most other baking soda brands cost around $2 a box, then it’s safe to assume that the Arm & Hammer baking soda is viewed as a benefit-leader product.

However, if most refrigerator deodorizers cost an average of $8 a bottle, then the Arm & Hammer baking soda is essentially a cost leader against the alternative deodorizers. This scenario is often what can make some products so successful when applied in a new way.

Ready to learn about one more strategy for innovation? Read PCT tomorrow and get tips on being disruptive.

Source: Jake Nielsen is the founder of TheInnovativeManager.com, which includes the tools and trade secrets great innovators, entrepreneurs and thought leaders have used throughout history to change the world. He is also a contributor to Innovation Excellence, an online home of the global innovation community, building upon a rapidly growing network with thousands of members from over 175 countries.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson

Posted in advertising, Branding, Entrepreneur, Gen Y, Marketing, Millenials, Podcast, Uncategorized

PromoKitchen Podcast #108 | Daniel Bielak – Are We Ready for Gen Z? November 30, 2016 By Mark Graham

A conversation with Daniel Bielek: Many people in our industry worry and complain about the younger generation, most commonly known as millennials or Gen Y. Whether their concerns are based on reality or fiction, suffice it to say that much ink has been spilled on why our industry needs to sit up and pay attention to younger buyers and employees.

http://www.promokitchen.org/blog/promokitchen-podcast-108-daniel-bielak bill-korowitz-podcast-graphic

Posted in advertising, Blogs, Branding, Entrepreneur, Marketing, Promotional Products, Uncategorized

6 Personalities in the Workplace

Author Bio

Range of Personalities

As a marketer, it is my job to deliver the right message to the right person, at the right time.  While that seems simple enough, in reality there are many factors that go into communicating with your audience and representing your brand.  The tone has to be equal parts informative and entertaining, and the content should be catered to what your audience wants to read.  That last part is key.  And understanding who your audience is, and what motivates them is arguably the most important factor in making a connection (AKA, building Brand Love!).

So let’s talk about personality and why it matters.  Think of your brand, your logo, and how you project your brand to your audience.  If you were to assign your brand a persona, what would it be?  If Crate & Barrel were personified, some of their personality traits would be organized, inviting and friendly.  If REI was a living, breathing person surely they would be adventurous, down-to-earth and outdoorsy.  Your messaging should reflect the personality traits that your brand represents in order to be effective.

Now, think of your target audience.  Who are they? Are they easy-going, or a perfectionist?  Do they like to take charge, or work behind the scenes?  Everyone is different and some products and brands will appeal to your audience more than others will.  Although every single person in your audience is unique, for this exercise, think broadly about their profile.  According to psychologist John Holland, there are 6 major personalities in the workplace and each one is unique and is motivated by different factors.

Realistic PersonalityRealistic

These are the doers!  They are independent, stable, active, persistent, practical, and thrifty.  They prefer to work with things rather than ideas and people.  They are no-nonsense and down-to-earth people and are often the ones that keep the team level-headed in a crisis.  They prefer being outdoors and like to “learn by doing” as opposed to learning in a classroom setting.

An example of a brand that appeals to a Realistic audience is:REI

InvestigativeInvestigative

These are the thinkers!  They are introspective, inquisitive, analytical, and intellectual.  They prefer tasks that involve using logic to solve highly complex, abstract problems.  In the workplace they are often the one that insists on doing their research and having hard data to support a plan of action.

An example of a brand that appeals to an Investigative audience is: IBM

 

Artistic

Artistic

These are the creators!  They are intuitive, creative, expressive, original, and innovative.  They place an emphasis on feelings, imagination, and are spontaneous and open-minded.  In the workplace they are often the ones coming up with creative solutions and ideas.

An example of a brand that appeals to an Artistic audience is:Apple

 

Social

Social

This type of audience is helpful!  They are friendly, generous, idealistic, responsible, helpful, empathetic and tactful.  In their workplace they are always willing to step up to any challenge asked of them.  They care a lot about workplace relationships and enjoy working in group settings.

An example of a brand that appeals to a Social audience is:TOMS

 

EnterprisingEnterprising

These types of people are persuaders!  They are adventurous, ambitious, self-confident, enthusiastic, and motivational.  In the workplace they are a natural leader and their co-workers look to them for direction.  They prefer work that involves public speaking, taking risks, debating, and competing.  They are good at seeing the big picture and are highly motivated by promotions.

An example of a brand that appeals to an Enterprising audience is: Tesla Motors

Conventional

Conventional

People with this personality type are organizers!  They are conscientious, conservative, logical, efficient, organized, and detail-oriented.  They value precision and accuracy in the work they do. In the office they are the one keeping everyone organized and on schedule.  They excel in practical tasks, quantitative measurements, and structured environments.  They like clearly defined rules and expectations.

An example of a brand that appeals to a Conventional audience is: Crate & Barrel

Is there a certain personality that you felt aligned with your brand?  Often times, people are a combination of these types and are susceptible to a broader message.  By learning more about personalities and brand personas you will be able to reach and communicate better with your audience and open doors to new opportunities.  This exercise is not only useful in learning more on your target audience, it is also a great way to improve synergy and team dynamics within your own office!

Curious about which one fits YOUR personality?  Take the quiz to find out.

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Impact, Exposure & Influence

A survey revealed, via @PPAI, the power of promotional products by measuring how end users respond to organizations that use promotional products as part of their advertising mix. More than 71 percent of respondents surveyed indicated they had received at least one promotional product in the past 12 months. the study also showed that respondents’ ability to recall the name of an advertiser on a promotional product they received  (88%) was much better than their ability to recall the name of an advertiser  from a print publication they had read in the past week (53.5%).

Product-Personas
Promotional Products Work – a cost effective advertising medium