Our recent Pinnacle Promotions Atlanta Idea Expo ’14 was a huge success! We invited area customers and prospects to join us for the day to take advantage of promotional samples and a chance to meet with vendors. We hosted several educational seminars. And, we invited our guests to sit down with us for lunch provided by local fav Cue. One of the educational seminars focused on the idea that you can use social media to connect, sell and reward your customers using promotional products.
We see it all in the promotional products industry. We’ve seen clients order everything from the traditional promotional stick pen to the custom mug with a brass knuckles handle. There is a perfectly good use for even the most eye-catching promotional products. Here are a few of our favorites:
The Kikkerland Cranky
This completely functional promotional product with imprint area on the key, doubles as a business card holder. This product was recently purchased by a software development company. Think clever? Think techy? Think geek? Think software development company.
The Lung Stress Ball
This lung shaped stress ball is a fantastic awareness product. November is COPD Awareness Month and these would make a perfect personalized giveaway for events. The key to awareness product is impact and functionality. The better suited the promotional items, the better the opportunity for engagement and return on your investment in the form of participation and donation.
The Hot Rod® Vent stick
Looking for the pine tree air freshener? We’ve got something better. This stick air freshener glides right into the air vents of the car. Brand the end, the most visible part of the product. This product can be used for the local car wash as a giveaway for patrons. It makes the perfect swag bag item for a large car show. And, can be branded and sold in auto parts stores to turn perfume into profit.
This promotional umbrella doubles as a chipping target. When you see this umbrella in it’s traditional position, it looks like your average umbrella. Except for two, dog ear holes on top. Do they go up? Do they go down? Actually, when the umbrella is inverted they serve as golf holes for chipping or putting. We don’t have to tell you that this makes the perfect golf outing prize or branded with the club or league logo and it becomes a fabulous country club self-promotional item for sale in the pro shop.
Biodegradable Sweatshirt Water Bottle
Because every water bottle needs a hooded sweatshirt, right? As fun as this cooler cover might look, the advantage of this product is the reusable BPA-free water bottle. The large imprint area on the bottle cover makes this product perfect for your corporate picnic or fraternity or sorority-tailgating event. The tickets to the Florida State Football game pictured here are not included! ;)
Some of these branded products might not immediately come to mind for your event or organization. Some of these customizable products might even make you say “WHAT!??!” But then again, some of these promotional items are so creative the sheer shock value provides an unforeseen return on your investment. These promotional items keep your brand top of mind long after the initial engagement and remind your audience of your unique ability to bring something to the table that sets you apart from your competitors.
Do you have a picture of a branded item that made you say WHAT!?!?!?! Tell us about it here or post it to our Facebook wall.
Everyone is talking about it! The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The challenge was started by golfers on a television show called the Morning Drive, and brought full-circle when golfer Chris Kennedy challenged his cousin and connected the challenge to fundraising for ALS research. The challenge has helped to raise almost $95 million dollars this year, whereas the ALS Association raised just over $2 million dollars in all of last year. The Pinnacle Art department was recently challenged, and they performed their own ice bucket challenge. (Watch the Pinnacle Promotions Ice Bucket Challenge HERE)
If your organization doesn’t have the notoriety yet of the ALS challenge, there are things you can do to generate awareness for your cause or event with the use of promotional products. And, when thinking about awareness products the first question you should ask yourself is, “What do I hope to accomplish with this promotional item?” Most of our top promotional products fall into one of three categories: Giveaways, Prizes, For Sale.
Here are some examples of products our clients have used for Awareness events, and the categories in which they were used:
Brand the right promotional product for either a giveaway, a prize or as a for-profit item, you can put your event or cause logo on an item that can extend the reach of your message. Use the branded items to share your story, to start a conversation or to raise money. Awareness is the ultimate goal even if you aren’t using an ice bucket to get your cause out there.
Do you have a favorite promotional product from an event or cause? Share a picture with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/pinnaclepromotions.
‘There’s no such thing as bad publicity’ – Phineas T. Barnum
That’s not completely true. In today’s crowdsourcing environment, a positive public image is vital. Businesses are competing for an ever-dwindling mindshare using all tools at their disposal. Which means that the value of the credible, qualified customer review is higher than it has ever been before.
Trustpilot is an online-review platform for ecommerce businesses. Trustpilot boasts more than 7.5 million reviews on its site, representing businesses in more than 16 countries. One of the key value-adds of Trustpilot is its relationship with Google that lists Trustpilot reviews in the Google Seller Ratings. Unlike other crowd sourced or location-based review options, Trustpilot is regulated and cannot be “gamed” in the business’s favor. It is entirely customer focused, customer controlled.
Pinnacle Promotions uses Trustpilot for its customer review program. And, we are so very proud to accept the first-ever Trustpilot Customer Milestone Award. In July, Trustpilot recognized Pinnacle Promotions for collecting more than 500 reviews. Of those reviews, the majority are five-stars.
“We are honored to be the first recipient of the Trustpilot Customer Milestone Award, the party was fantastic. The entire company got to celebrate this achievement together over cake, cookies and champagne. We take our customer experiences very seriously and it’s great to know there’s a company out there that does too and is willing to recognize those that do. Thanks Trustpilot.” – Justin Hutchinson, Director of Inside Sales at Pinnacle Promotions
Trustpilot threw a party for the team at Pinnacle to celebrate this momentous occasion. Complete with cake, cookies and champagne, Trustpilot raised a glass to Pinnacle. Trustpilot selected their top ten favorite reviews and had them framed and presented to the team during this company-wide event. Read the Trustpilot blog post, here.
Pinnacle strives every day to provide a high level of excellence in products and service. We look forward to continued positive relationships with our customers. Thank you, Trustpilot, for recognizing Pinnacle and this groundbreaking achievement!
Link farming used to be a standard SEO practice. Pay people to put links to your website on irrelevant or micro-sites to trick Google into believing everyone is linking to you so that you rank higher because you seem very important. Keyword loading was also standard SEO practice. Pay people to write hundreds of articles about you loaded up with your brand name and keywords and post those on irrelevant or micro-sites to trick Google into believing everyone is reading about you so that you rank higher because your name is everywhere.
Starting in 2010, Google used Panda and Penguin updates to sniff out these schemes and punish the offenders. The shift has already happened from “link farming” and “keyword loading” to “content saturation.” Content saturation is the idea that if you put out excessive amounts of content, any content, you are bound to get activity. The problem with content saturation? First, content shock: too much content and the user’s tolerance for consumption. Secondly and more importantly, relevance.
Google’s current Hummingbird algorithm is brilliantly designed to combine original site links, keywords and site content to determine relevance. And the more relevant the content, the higher Google organic visibility. So, content saturation can actually hurt your brand. Many companies will blog about anything just to get your eyeballs. It doesn’t matter if the blog relates to anything they do or sell.
So, while we will never write a blog just about chocolate cake…we WILL write a blog about how to bake a chocolate cake with promotional items! And, as an added bonus…we are going to throw in a pretty awesome recipe for chocolate cake!
5 Promotional Products to Help You Make a Chocolate Cake
And now, the easiest, best chocolate cake recipe ever!
Not putting your brand name on the door of your business is the same thing as not using a promotional product. The price of NOT using promotional products all but guarantees people will forget you.
The Advertising Specialty Institute, a leading promotional products association, releases an annual impressions study. ASI breaks down the effectiveness of promotional products against other types of advertising, by product, and by demographic. Every single study type drives home the high-value effectiveness of promotional products.
Here are the top 5 ways to not use promotional products to guarantee people forget you:
1. Don’t put your brand logo on a promotional pen that people find in their kitchen drawer, on their desk or in their purse.
2. Don’t brand a personalized note pad…let’s just keep calling it scrap paper.
3. Don’t put your logo on a shirt or customized uniform to ensure no one thinks about you when you see it in a crowd.
4. Don’t put your company name on a reusable tote bag that you give out at a tradeshow and no one will thank you for not helping them carry all of their show swag.
5. Don’t put your restaurant logo on a custom mug, on the menu or on the café door. Why do you want people to remember where they at that delicious meal that time?
Click to see our best selling promotional items, and make sure your brand is never forgotten!
Your last breakup may not have been worth millions of dollars. But, perhaps you too had to decide what to do with a corporate logo after dissolution or split. Perhaps you needed to find an outlet for your uniforms after a company name or logo change. Or, maybe you decided not to give that favorite concert t-shirt back to your ex. Either way, there’s a lot more to think about after a big breakup than just the feelings. Don’t forget to consider the stuff!
Manchester United, one of the champions of the Barclay’s Premier Football League in England, made big news recently when they switched from Nike to Adidas as the main supplier for their kits. The deal is the highest uniform deal of all time in any sport. Adidas will pay Manchester United $1.3 billion over 10 years to provide uniform kits.
The Initial Breakup:
Nike decided after a 10-year relationship that ManU wanted too much money to continue the relationship. Did this have anything to do with Manchester’s recent poor performance in the Premier League? They finished 7th this past season. Either way, when word got out that Nike was moving on, sports powerhouse Adidas was more than happy to move in. Adidas worked a deal to pay $130 million per year for the next 10 years to Man United. They expect $400 million in sales per year to generate from this relationship. Man U put Nike on notice in January, and the Adidas deal was done by June. The new kits start in the 2015-2016 season.
Intellectual Property and New Gear:
Of course, the brand owns their logo as intellectual property. But as part of the complete kit, Adidas will outfit Man U with an updated, slightly tweaked logo, and full game and training uniforms (down to the underwear). However, the deal is only for playing and training wear. Unlike with the Nike contract, now the team will control any other licensing for promotional products directly.
And what is the team to do with the old, outdated Nike gear? The team will continue to use the kit through the 2014-2015 season. But, what happens to the gear after that?
Often, teams need an outlet for getting rid of outdated products. Some clubs sign the old items and give them to charity. Others are required to donate the items, but not in a geographical area that they can be resold or profited. It can be mandated that the items be sent to third-world countries and given to charity.
Man U is hosting a contest this season so that people can enter to win Nike Tour Gear worn during game play and signed by the players. You can enter here.
Whether a logo change or corporate split, what do companies do with all the old stuff? Have you found creative ways to use last year’s marketing materials? Tell us in the comments below!
Pinnacle Promotions recently celebrated our 20th birthday! Pinnacle owners Mitch and Dave Weintraub have been in this business long enough to see new products come and go. We decided to take a look back at promotional products that weren’t around 20 years ago when these two brothers started up the business.
2. BPA Free Water Bottles
4. Stylus Pen
Take a look around you right now! What things do you see that weren’t around 20 years ago? Tell us in the comments below.
By Elizabeth Fenlon, Merchandising Specialist
When you think promotional products, what comes to mind? Probably stress balls, pens, note cubes? Some janky item you’d pick up at a tradeshow? You most likely don’t think of promotional items as useful products that will enhance your next event. Promotional products are not just bland, boring products that trade style and personality for inexpensive and purely functional.
The use of promotional products, especially in unique and subtle ways, can do wonders in helping to build brand awareness in your client base. Event planners and marketers, take note.
1. At an in store event, CUSP by Neiman Marcus offered refreshments to guests in simple frosted cups with their logo imprinted on them.
2. At another in store event, Neiman Marcus gave guests a sweet treat! They are sure to take these home with them and think of Neiman’s fondly as they enjoy their tasty morsel.
3. Celebrity stylist and fashion blogger, Rachel Zoe, adds a subtle hint of branding to her event by supplying logoed metallic sharpies for attendees to use.
4. She also shows us logoed office supplies don’t have to be boring with these metallic journals!
5. Sometimes, it’s not the product, but the messaging that ties everything together. Nylon Magazine lets their personality show with these simple, metallic pencils available for purchase on their website.
6. CFDA thinks outside the ‘block’ with their promotion for their studio visit with Band of Outsiders.
Not sure how to find the right ‘glam’ product to enhance your next promotion or event? No matter the parameters, we have something for you! Tell us about your event and let us do the thinking for you, matching the perfect product to fit your brand and event. Trust us, we’re experts.
Where were you 20 years ago? Pinnacle Promotions was just starting up. What started as two brothers in a small office above the Park Bench Bar in Buckhead, north of Atlanta, has grown to a $20 million company with more than 100 employees. Humble beginnings, to say the least! Click to read about our story on our website.
In the last 20 years, Pinnacle has changed logos, developed new websites, built a 100+ person team, and moved offices three times. One thing that has never changed is our mission to help our customers make the right impression by working with them to select quality merchandise that is branded perfectly and always delivered on time.
We asked some of our longest-running employees five questions. We put a few of their answers here.
1. What is the biggest trend you’ve seen since you started at Pinnacle?
Jasmine: Technology gadgets become more and more popular every year. And not only more popular, but more advanced.
Megan: The BIGGEST trend I have seen is with TECH. From inexpensive earbuds to bluetooth speakers…everyone uses TECH items. They span across all Industries and are loved by all. Adapters, power banks, speakers, iPad cases, phone accessories, stylus pens, etc!
Katie: Technology has definitely been more of a focus. Development of systems and programs that drive efficiency internally, as well as, customer facing processes that make it even easier to work with us.
Christina: I think the biggest trend as far as products would be koozies, sunglasses, glassware…..we did soo many wedding koozies a couple years back! ha Sunglasses and tumblers seem to be popular all the time too.
2. What is the biggest change you’ve seen since you started at Pinnacle?
Shelley: The amount of people! I think when I started there were 2-3 people in art, 2 people in marketing, maybe 8 in sales and 1 person in IT and accounting plus Dave and Mitch.
Benjy: My left front tire.
Jodi: Obviously, the growth of the company is a big change. When I started almost 8 years ago, the company was much smaller and we did continue to grow but at a slow rate. Today, Pinnacle is growing so quickly! We have added so many talented and wonderful people to the Pinnacle team within a short time and continue to do so. Also, another big change was the new Pinnacle branding.
Brooke: The beautiful, new office!
Steve: More structure and improved leadership team.
3. Where do you see the promotional market in the next 20 years?
Shelley: I think products will be more retail oriented with a quicker time from being in stores to being available for branding.
Katie: I see a lot more room for competition. As potential customers become more and more Internet savvy, SEO is going to become increasingly more important.
Benjy: The CafePress model (extreme customization) will expand into larger quantity runs and B2B — basically mirroring self-publishing — and will represent the majority of ad specialty sales.
Amy: Promotional Products are here to stay! There is no denying the power and return on investment that our medium provides to our clients. Over the next 20 yrs I can see the mkt continuing to grow. The Ad Specialties market will continue capturing a larger share of advertising spend vs. other mediums. Promotional Products are and remain to be one of the most cost effective products for the amount of CPI that they deliver.
4. Where do you see Pinnacle Promotions in the next 20 years?
Jodi: I believe Pinnacle will continue to grow in its staff numbers and expertise in the promotional world. The more years of experience we get, the more knowledge we gain as individuals, teams, and departments and as a company. I believe Pinnacle will continue to work hard and have fun in the process.
Jasmine: Twice the size and still going strong! :)
Megan: I see Pinnacle growing further to develop private labeling and designs. Pinnacle not just buying from suppliers but creating a truly unique experience on another level with products that are cutting edge and thoughtfully useful.
5. What has been the best part about working at Pinnacle?
Jodi: The people and the environment. The people are just great to work with. I really feel like everyone is more of a family and truly care about the people they work with. This makes a difference in every day happiness in your job. The environment of the office is relaxed and fun, but we also work super hard. It’s great to have that balance.
Benjy: Family atmosphere.
Jasmine: Everything is constantly changing! You never get bored around here :)
Megan: The BEST part of working at Pinnacle is working with such cool people! We are all individuals but we seem to work together well and I learn so much from everyone here. :)
Brooke: The fast-paced environment, and working alongside “A” players. Each person at Pinnacle strives to do better every day. I enjoy the encouragement and the challenge from co-workers on a daily basis. I also love Pinnacle because of its size. I feel as if I am able to work with all departments, and learn from them, as well as make an impact.
Steve: The people.
Katie: The ability to voice your concerns and make positive changes within the organization. The opportunities are endless! If someone asserts him or herself and are straight forward with what they want their career to be within the company, good things will happen! And we get to wear jeans to work everyday :)
Shelley: Making new friends. My closest friends come from Pinnacle and I am so happy to have friends that work with me.
Amy: The PEOPLE! We all learn from one another and take the lesson with us over time. All in all we have a great culture. On those days that it has seemed hard to get motivated it is not only the commitment to the company but the people on your team that keep you coming back and pushing harder.
Christina: Seeing the company grow and knowing that I helped play a small role in the success. It feels good to work at a company that you see improving each year. It makes all your hard work worth it. Pinnacle was my first job out of college, so I feel like I have really grown up alongside the company.
Pinnacle Promotions is celebrating our birthday by inviting you to celebrate with us. Pinnacle is hosting a #Pinnacle20 Photo Contest! Post a photo using the #pinnacle20 hashtag and be entered to win an iPad Air, or other great prizes. Check out our contest at facebook.com/pinnaclepromotions for ways to enter.