Marketing · Uncategorized

What’s In The Packaging?

According to the publication “Private Label Buyer,” studies show that packaging of products can increase customer satisfaction, increase visibility and set one product apart from its competition. In addition packaging can dramatically increase the perceived value of the item.  Much like the importance how your meal is plated at a restaurant, your promotional product gifts are seen with greater value when “plated” in an attractive package.

Let’s imaging for a moment that you are attending a trade-show. You stop at a booth,  the vendor greets you discusses how their product might be of interest to you. The product has a higher price than some other vendors exhibiting.  As you are about to move on the vendor hands you promotional pen with the company logo and website. As you walk away you might be thinking to yourself “Wow this vendor wants me to buy their high-priced item and they give me a cheap pen for stopping at their booth.” You come to another booth exhibiting a similar product in the same general price range. The same exchange takes place and you are handed another “gift” for stopping by. However, this gift is in an attractive box with a small ribbon tied around it. Your first though here is likely to be “Wow I wonder what’s in the box.” Behold you open the box and it’s a similar pen in a presentation box with a post it note attached thanking you for stopping at the booth.

This concept isn’t limited to trade-show giveaways. Packaging can take ordinary S.W.A.G. and turn it into a gift that is appreciated, useful and long-lasting.

 For some packaging ideas check our signature packaging catalog.


Phil has spoken

Well it’s official. The infamous Phil groundhog prognosticator extraordinaire has spoken. We can expect an early spring since Phil failed to see his shadow on Groundhog’s Day.

What does that mean for your upcoming marketing?

It’s time to think about the possibilities for marketing programs to get customers to connect with your company. Whether it be through an event, creative mailer, purchasing incentive. The goal is to get results “Return on Investment”

Here’s some dates to consider for your targeted marketing.

  • National Hug a G.I. Day – March 4, 2020
  • International Women’s Day – March 8, 2020
  • National Pack Your Lunch Day – March 10, 2020
  • Red Nose Day – March 15, 2020
  • St. Patrick’s Day – March 17, 2020
  • World Down Syndrome Day – March 21, 2020
  • National Puppy Day – March 23, 2020
  • Major League Baseball Opening Day – March 28, 2020
  • National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day – March 29, 2020

Did you know that March is:

  • Irish-American Heritage Month – March 2020
  • March Madness – March 2020
  • Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month – March 2020
  • National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month – March 2020
  • National Credit Education Month – March 2020
  • National Music in Our Schools Month – March 2020
  • National Umbrella Month – March 2020
  • National Women’s History Month – March 2020
  • Poison Prevention Awareness Month – March 2020

There’s still time to plan your March – Spring Promotions. Contact me to schedule an appointment to discuss ideas and develop your promotion. Email: or Call 518-234-1938

Dave Slater – Chief Idea Guy


Some Underlying Reasons Why Promotional Products Work. Reason 3

I’m borrowing this from Bob Salvas
Marketing consultant, a certified SCORE counselor and a champion for the small independent local business.

Underlying Reason 3

By Bob Salvas

This is one of 3 articles on some underlying reasons why promotional products work. There are more than three reasons,
but these are some of the main drivers of success for businesses who utilize promotional products. The three reasons are

Reason number three is WORD OF MOUTH. In a world where we are drowning in information, where trust is hard to come by and where everyone has access to the megaphone that is social media, it should surprise no one that word of mouth and referrals are quickly becoming the most important factor influencing buying decisions.

“92% of respondents reported that a positive recommendation from a friend, family member, or someone they trust is the
biggest influence on whether they buy a product or service.”
– Paul M Rand, Highly Recommended: Harnessing the Power of Word of Mouth and Social Media to Build Your Brand and Your Business

In order to generate word of mouth, it is incumbent upon a business to be different and to EXCEED expectations. I have
never heard a business say they have lousy products and that their service is marginal. NO ONE says that. They all say they have great products and great service. And some may even deliver on that promise- but remember that it is usually those who OVER-DELIVER that get the word of mouth.

Assuming you are OVER-DELIVERING in your business, how can you use promotional products to spread word of mouth further?

1- Get multiple promotional products into the hands of your advocates over time. Your advocates can be the people who like you or your best customers or industry influencers. Remember that people can forget you very quickly if there is not
something to remind them of you. I remember when I bought our family’s first home. Everything went well but over time
I forgot the name of the real estate company that we had used (we ended up living in that house for almost 25 years).
It is important to stay top of mind with those who might be able to refer you in the future.

2- Give utilitarian gifts to customers. This is a great way to thank them for their business and if a bunch of my customers are walking around wearing a shirt or hat with my company name and logo on it, they are in fact, practicing non-verbal word of mouth for my business. Their friends and others will see that logo and name. For the most part, people do not go around wearing the name of a company or organization that they dislike or don’t believe in. That would be like wearing the jersey of the rival sports team!

3- Give incentives and/or thank you gifts for referrals. reported that promotional products draw as many as “500% more referrals from satisfied customers than an appeal letter alone.” There are a couple of ways to do this. You might give them the promotional product gift upfront before you ask for a referral; you might offer the gift in exchange for a referral (“quid pro quo” or “this for that”); or you might just ask for a referral without the offer but then send them a nice surprise thank you gift. This is sometimes called a “lagniappe” (pronounced lan-yap). The term originated in New Orleans and it is a small gift given to a customer usually at the time of purchase (in this case at the time of the referral). Some call it a ‘delightful surprise’ and when you pleasantly surprise a client, that is when they are even more likely to talk about you!

The beautiful thing about promotional products is that all on their own, they can generate word of mouth. When a branded item is out there being used by ANY person or company or organization, it is implied support of that brand. We know that one of the most powerful forms of word of mouth is when you hear it from a friend. But another form of word of mouth is when you hear it from people you don’t even know. This is the reason online review sites have become so popular. Even if a stranger is showing your logo and company name, it can still leave a positive impression.

“A customer talking about their experience with you is worth ten times that which you write or say about yourself.”
– David J. Greer, Wind In Your Sails


Some Underlying Reasons Why Promotional Products Work. Reason

I’m borrowing this from Bob Salvas
Marketing consultant, a certified SCORE counselor and a champion for the small independent local business.

Underlying Reason 2

By Bob Salvas

This is one of 3 articles on some underlying reasons why promotional products work. There are more than three reasons,
but these are some of the main drivers of success for businesses who utilize promotional products. The three reasons are

Reason number two is TACTILE. A promotional product is, after all, a PRODUCT. That means it is a physical thing and humans respond to THINGS! Holding a tangible thing in our hands affects our brain in a completely different way.

In recent years, many marketers have shifted their focus to the digital world. And certainly, digital marketing is effective, and it is here to stay. But in this shift to digital, we may have forgotten that we have FIVE senses that send messages to our brain about the world around us. The largest organ in the human body is on the human body- the skin. The skin is full of receptors that transmit information to the brain. In fact, the fingertips have about 2000 of these receptors in them, making the sense of touch one of the most important things.

“Of our five senses, touch is one of the most important. It dictates how we perceive the world around us, influencing emotion and decision making. Incorporating this underutilized sense into your marketing strategy just makes, well, sense. Here’s why: Touch triggers a reaction.”
-sappi paper and the work of Dr David Eagleman (neuroscientist)

In a famous 2009 case study by Millward Brown, they measured the brain activity of their subjects who engaged with reading a digital message and then again while they were engaged with the same message in a physical form. The two major insights from this study were:

• Tangible materials leave a deeper footprint in the brain
• Physical materials produced more brain responses connected with internal feelings, suggesting greater “internalization” of the ads

In other words, the physical form message had a stronger effect on memory and emotions. And memory and emotions are two of the most powerful influencers on buying decisions.

Not only does touch alone influence your decisions but holding a promotional product in your hands can also trigger the phenomenon known as the ‘endowment effect’:

“Studies have shown repeatedly that people will value something that they already own more than a similar item they do not own. According to the old adage, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” It does not matter if the object in question was purchased or received as a gift, the effect still holds.”

So, if a person is given a promotional product, the physical properties through touch cause a more pronounced affect on the receiver of the gift in terms of emotion and memory. Additionally, the person holding the object will value that more than something they do not have (the endowment effect). And lastly being given something of value can also trigger the reciprocity principle, the idea that as humans, we want to give something back when something is received.

The evidence is clear. Giving a high quality, useful and relevant promotional product gift to a person can have a big influence on how that person views and remembers your company or products and it will, in all likelihood, affect their buying decision.

“Touch has a memory.”
-John Keats


Some Underlying Reasons Why Promotional Products Work. Reason 1

I’m borrowing this from Bob Salvas
Marketing consultant, a certified SCORE counselor and a champion for the small independent local business.

Underlying Reason 1

By Bob Salvas

This is one of 3 articles on some underlying reasons why promotional products work. There are more than three reasons,
but these are some of the main drivers of success for businesses who utilize promotional products. The three reasons are

Reason number one is REPETITION. Promotional products are a form of advertising and it has been long accepted that the
main reason advertising works is REPETITION. Consider the words of Thomas Smith from his book “Successful Advertising”:

The first time people look at any given ad, they don’t even see it.
The second time, they don’t notice it.
The third time, they are aware that it is there.
The fourth time, they have a fleeting sense that they’ve seen it somewhere before.
The fifth time, they actually read the ad.
The sixth time they thumb their nose at it.
The seventh time, they start to get a little irritated with it.
The eighth time, they start to think, “Here’s that confounded ad again.”
The ninth time, they start to wonder if they’re missing out on something.
The tenth time, they ask their friends and neighbors if they’ve tried it.
The eleventh time, they wonder how the company is paying for all these ads.
The twelfth time, they start to think that it must be a good product.
The thirteenth time, they start to feel the product has value.
The fourteenth time, they start to remember wanting a product exactly like this for a long time.
The fifteenth time, they start to yearn for it because they can’t afford to buy it.
The sixteenth time, they accept the fact that they will buy it sometime in the future.
The seventeenth time, they make a note to buy the product.
The eighteenth time, they curse their poverty for not allowing them to buy this terrific product.
The nineteenth time, they count their money very carefully.
The twentieth time prospects see the ad, they buy what it is offering.

What’s interesting about this is that Thomas Smith wrote this in 1885! The concept of repetition of a message working has
been around since the beginning of advertising! You may have also heard about it as THE RULE OF SEVEN, which asserts that
seven repetitions are the minimum needed to make a sale. More modern studies suggest that the number of brand impressions
needed is somewhere between 6 and 20. The truth is that there probably is no ‘magic’ number but there is also no doubt that
repetition works.

When it comes to repetition of your brand message, there is nothing more effective or affordable than promotional products.
Having your message seen in the cluttered digital world or even on television or in a newspaper is a challenge. Having it seen by
the same prospects (in order to achieve repetition) is even more difficult. Added to that, you probably pay for the ad on those
mediums EACH time it runs. That can make the cost prohibitive. With promotional products, you pay for an item once and that
one item delivers multiple repetitions of your brand message. In fact, many useful promotional product items are used by their
owners an average of once a week, meaning you would have 52 repetitions of your message after one year (and some items,
like writing instruments, may be used daily!).

“Repetition,” according to Researchgate (2009), “imbues the statement with familiarity.” It turns out that familiarity does NOT breed contempt. In fact, when it comes to promotional product advertising, familiarity breeds success!


To Freeze or Not To Freeze…

This Blog is from PromoCorner’s Promotional Journal 3/19/19

To Freeze or Not To Freeze……Your Credit Reports

By Harvey Mackler, Banking on Harvey

Worried about identity theft? How about the data breaches? Keeping you up at night? You should be! I hope you have worked hard to protect your credit rating through your payment history. Now is the time to protect it from the “deep dark web.”

Yes, you can pay a monthly fee to some of the services out there. But you can do it yourself for next to nothing, if at all. Just freeze your credit reports with the three main agencies; Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. Both freezing and unfreezing your reports should be free.

Once you freeze your reports, no one can retrieve your credit report without you first unfreezing your accounts. And no creditor would approve your application unless they could retrieve your credit report. (Those creditors who have a history with you can get updates. They are not blocked. It is only the new requests that are blocked.) And freezing your reports does not affect your credit score.

For all of the right reasons, I froze my accounts thinking that I would never have to apply for credit again. One of the side benefits was a significant reduction in the “preapproved” unsolicited credit offerings. I no longer had to worry if these mailings were stolen from my mailbox.

OK, you say, but a few things happened along the way. I wanted to trade in my car and I wanted a lease. Dealer needed my credit reports. While sitting in their office, I unfroze my accounts for one day! Boom, the lease was approved.

My bank needed to renew our corporate line of credit. (If you are a loyal reader of my columns, you will understand the necessity of such a line.) I guarantee it personally, so I unfroze the accounts for a few days. The line of credit renewed.

A bigger and totally unexpected issue. I applied for my online Social Security account. (Yes, I am part of the grey power community!) I could not create an online account. I had no idea why, and have you ever tried to get an appointment with Social Security to resolve this apparently simple issue? Well, a light bulb went off.

Yes, even our Social Security Administration relies on the credit reporting agencies to validate or confirm your identity! I unblocked my accounts for a day, applied online answered a lot of questions (same as I answered annually for, another tidbit of advice in previous columns), and bada bing, I was approved for an online Social Security account. It unlocks all of my benefits.

How simple is it to freeze your accounts? Just go to the website of each of the reporting agencies, search “freeze” and follow the prompts. Yes, you will have to confirm your identity based on historical credit information, and then you can place the freeze. You will be given some sort of PIN or procedure to gain access in the future.

How simple is it to unfreeze one or more accounts? As you read above, I have done it routinely. Just go back to the sites and follow the prompts with your PIN or procedure.

The freeze stops new accounts from being opened. It will not protect you if someone has an existing card of yours (or just the information from the card), so please remain diligent with your monthly statements. It will not help you if someone has your social security number and files a fake tax return. Hopefully, they cannot create your online account with Social Security, but if they knew all of the answers to those random questions, it is possible but very unlikely.

Yes, you might argue that the few days your reports are unfrozen, you are susceptible to fraud. Highly unlikely.

Stop reading, and go freeze your accounts. You will thank me for it and hopefully sleep better as a result.

A 1975 graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Harvey enjoyed a 20+ year career in commercial banking, exercising his “golden parachute” in 1996.  In his volunteer life, he is a past chair of the Small Business Banking Unit of the American Bankers Association, Easter Seal Society of New Jersey, the SAAGNY Foundation, PPAF EXPO, and Supplier Committee of PPAI.  He is also a past President of PPAF.  PPAI awarded him the H. Ted Olson Humanitarian Award in 2013.


Five Smart Marketing Tips For 2019

I received this article from PPAI (Promotional Products Association International). As you approach 2019 these tips will assist you in Planning for Marketing Success.

Top-Shelf Tip No. 220:

“The first step in exceeding your customer’s expectations is to know those expectations.”

Roy H. Williams

Five Smart Marketing Tips For 2019Today marked a typical milestone for this marketer: planning for the coming year. Planning involves assessing all that was, or wasn’t, accomplished over the past year, and prioritizing the focus for the coming year, along with the tools and resources needed to reach these goals. It also requires being thoroughly honest about accomplishments and shortcomings—hey, we all have them—and the new strategies in place to resolve them.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we are sharing five key points to consider when developing your 2019 plans, as according to Billee Howard, founder and CEO of BRANDthropologie.

1. Focus on emotion. Successful brands succeed in anticipating what consumers will do. Howard says these brands also succeed in anticipating how their consumers will feel, and how to encourage them to take action. We live in an “emotional economy”—an economy based on people and their relationships with each other and the brands they love—and recent advances in technology have moved the economy even further towards this. Marketers who understand this and learn how to draw value from it will become vital to the success of any organization.

2. Sharing is caring. According to Howard, we also live in a we-conomy, which involves a greater focus on finding solutions to problems rather than mass-producing products. People entrust the opinions of others, as well as reputable sources of information, but are gravitating less to traditional ads. The launch of Uber, Airbnb, Yelp and other highly consumer-driven resources has created an environment for sharing. These companies are structured by new business models that use trust as their foundation. As marketers and storytellers, we must build this trust by creating content that is authentic, reputable and purpose-driven. By doing so, this also leads to content that others will want to share with influencers and advocates.

3. Empathy continues to be important. Howard points out that we also live in a time of purposeful business, which is driven by the desire to make the world a better place. This requires successful leaders to focus on the world they live in as much as their own bottom line. Here are some things that Howard suggests when building a purposeful brand:

  • Clearly articulate your brand’s purpose. Purpose is different from a mission statement or company values.
  • Be aware that purpose is not cause and cause is not purpose.
  • Brands must demonstrate empathy by valuing consumers and demonstrating an understanding of their needs. They must place their managers and employees in the customers’ shoes. Purpose is about what a brand is doing for someone else, not what the brand is doing for itself.
  • Make purpose motivational, because it connects with the heart as well as the head.
  • Use emotion-driven storytelling to bring your brand’s mission to life.

4. View attention as your customer’s most precious resource. In today’s busy world, the most valuable commodity we have is time—and many of us don’t have much of it to spare. Do you treat your customer’s time with high value? A customer experience strategy should translate into the creation of an engaging and memorable experience for your customer. At every interaction or encounter brands must ask: are we seizing the customer’s attention?

5. Finally, invest in digital technology, not just digital marketing. Today’s technology and digital tools can be overwhelming, so it is important to first focus on those areas of the business that will drive growth as direct result of improved consumer relationships. This includes characteristics such as loyalty programs, personalized customer experiences and other types of high-touch opportunities. Then, invest in the technology that supports those experiences while also providing you with the data and insights to continue building on those personalized experiences.

Review these recommendations and allow 2019 to be your most personalized and profitable year yet.

Source: Billee Howard is the founder and CEO of BRANDthropologie, a consultancy firm that harnesses creativity and technology to solve business problems. Howard works with clients to identify their purpose and then creates the content experiences that will help define distinction and positively impact their bottom line.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson



Determining Value

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value”


   There are many ways to determine value. To some value means the highest quality products. Others look at value as superior customer service. Could your definition be trustworthiness?  We all have our own standard for value.

   In the realm of marketing I would suggest that value should be judge on knowledge. Understanding the marketing mix, the 4P’s, is the foundation on which marketing is built. Let’s view the 4 P’s from how they apply to your marketing approach.

  • Product – Does the person you are working with understand the products that will best deliver your message to the target market? Do they understand the product safety issues and the legal requirements to protect you from liability? This product knowledge adds value and differentiates your marketing partner from other sources.
  • Place – Does your marketing partner review your desired ROI to choose the right place to target your customers. For example would you choose a market approach that centered around camping media if your target is business travelers? Knowing the right distribution of your to include in your promotional marketing that gives you the highest ROI from your target market is what brings value.
  • Price – When it comes to price the value comes from working with a marketing partner that assist you in developing a promotion that give the great ROI – bang for the buck.
  • Promotion – Here I feel that the value factor is working with a partner that is not so focused on product that they lose sight of the entire package. What product, packaging, delivery method, and tracking that will get your message to your desired market and allow you to determine its effectiveness.

It all starts with a thorough evaluation of your goals, needs and budget.

Until next time Choose your marketing partner based on the value they bring to the table.



Promotional Products Work!

Promotional products have the highest advertising impact over television, print and online advertising.
73% of people use a promotional product at least once a week.
45% use a promotional product at least once a day.
58% will keep a promotional product for one to four years.

82% recall
Promotional products are logoed or imprinted items that educate, recruit, highlight safety awareness, urge organ donations and encourage healthy living and lifestyle choices. Promotional products recognize and reward employee achievements and inspire action. Promotional products are used to celebrate milestones, sign legislation and reinforce critical messages.

Viral, mobile, highly targeted and inexpensive, promotional products are the only advertising medium capable of engaging all five senses. Adding a message to a tangible product turns an ordinary message into a marketing experience the audience can see, touch, hear, smell and even taste.

Business Gifts

Promotional products are the most cost-effective method for smaller businesses to market their products and services. These products are often used to reinforce personal relationships with customers, clients and prospects. In this period of economic uncertainty, it is more important than ever to provide a personal connection.

We help your organization gain and retain: Customers, Staff, Volunteers, Donors.

Until next time Have a Blessed Day

Dave Slater, TAS CIG




Promotional Products Work April 24 – 28

Why Promotional Products Work

(Hint: They’re More Than Just Products)
If you, like millions of others, watched this year’s Super Bowl for more than the game, you know the power of advertising backed by money and research; companies pitch brands and slogans that attempt to leave a lasting effect on the consumer. Many like to believe those messages don’t have much impact, but evidence overwhelmingly points to the power of persuasion.
It may be subtle, but persuasion by advertisers shows levels of success that prove television, radio, mobile and digital can—and do—draw consumers to their brands. They must compete not only with each other across traditional and digital media for the hearts, minds and dollars of the consumer, but they must compete with outside stimuli once the consumer walks away from the television, shuts down the computer or drives past a billboard. What does leave a lasting impression is the promotional product. A $20+ billion industry, promotional products are designed for staying power, and industry research has proven their power as an effective advertising medium.
A Promotional Products Association International – PPAI study conducted among travelers at New York’s LaGuardia Airport revealed new insights into promotional products’ value and effectiveness. Of the travelers surveyed who could recall receiving a promotional product in the previous 12 months, 88 percent could recall the name of the advertiser and 85 percent have done business with an advertiser as a result of receiving an item.
Imagine being able to craft a message one time, and see that message spread to an audience of hundreds, thousands and even millions. Now imagine that message being delivered by a t-shirt, a pen or a beverage cup. Promotional products professionals work with Fortune 500 companies and top ad agencies to create experiences people love through a product they can actually use.
The same study by PPAI reports that 82 percent of respondents possess at least one and as many as 10 promotional items, with 81 percent keeping them because they are useful. What’s more, 53 percent said they use these products at least once a week and even more—47 percent—said they keep promotional products for more than a year.
Powerhouse advertisers aren’t the only ones who earn a mighty piece of the advertising pie; from mom-and-pop to mid-sized companies, promotional products professionals apply research-based technical expertise to deliver the hottest products and production techniques to their clients’ campaigns, improving their reach and boosting their bottom lines as well.
What comes to mind when you think of the color PINK? How about a red lapel ribbon? Or a yellow wristband? Promotional products work because they leave a lasting impression in the hearts, minds and hands of recipients. The messages live on because the products are memorable, unique and personal. They are the only sensory medium that gives the consumer a tangible memory of a relationship to the brand. Promotional products are shown to build communities of like-minded consumers with a shared sense of brand loyalty.
Equally important along with choosing the right promotional product to deliver the message is the plan for executing the delivery of the product. Who’s the target audience, what is your goal, what is your budget, what is your expected ROI. This is where working with a Professional Promotional Products Consultant is important.
We help your organization gain and retain customers, staff, volunteers, and/or donors.
Until next time – Dave Slater TAS – Promoting Your Biz.