December 10th, 2009
Pinnacle Promotions has been selected as a nominee for not one, but TWO 2010 PPAI Web Awards. These prestigious awards are given to distributor and supplier members of the promotional products industry based on demonstrated excellence in five distinctive categories. We have been nominated for the categories of “Functionality/Usability” and “Visual Design/Creativity.”
To me, both of these nominations speak to Pinnacle’s role as an innovator. A recent blog post by Rosabeth Moss Kanter discusses why “steady progress – step by single step – can win internal support and the external race for share of market or share of mind.” She discusses several characteristics of innovations most likely to effectively garner support, and the attribute that struck me as most closely aligned with Pinnacle’s accomplishments is tangibility. In her explanation of what “tangible” innovations entail, she states that:
“It offers concrete results that can be seen to make a difference in something that users need and value.”
What do our users need? What do they value? We think that an intuitive website and enjoyable shopping experience are ultimately two of the most sought-after ideals of buyers when choosing a promotional products distributor. So what broad areas constitute these two components? Why, “Functionality/Usability” and “Visual Design/Creativity,” of course. From the addition of Quick Links and Themes on our homepage to provide ideas for customers who are “just browsing,” to the recent reorganization of the navigation bar at the top of our site to make it easier to peruse our most popular categories, every change we make happens for a reason: our customers. In every facet of our website, we strive to create personal connections with our visitors. Even now, I can tell you that our team is hard at work improving our website and thinking of new ways to enhance the overall experience delivered by a visit to our site. After fourteen years of “step by single step” innovation, it seems fitting that Pinnacle Promotions has been nominated for recognition within our industry. We are humbled by this great honor and whether we win or lose in January, we look forward to retaining our status as an innovator for many years to come!
Team Lead – Social Media
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October 29th, 2009
Happy International Magic Month! In this day and age, what better manifestation of the word “magic” exists than the fictional book character Harry Potter and his bewitching peers?
In 2003, due to the immense popularity of author J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series, the word “muggle” first appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary with the definition “a person without magical powers.” In the Harry Potter books, wizards consider themselves to be superior to muggles, but the fact of the matter is that potions and wizardry are not always the best solution to tough problems.
At Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry and his friends often fall prey to clever marketing gimmicks targeted at young, green wizards. If only they had been informed about the mesmerizing power encompassed by promotional products when properly utilized! Keep reading to find out which alternatives make the grade…
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October 20th, 2009
While salary and benefits certainly are factors in regards to motivation for employee productivity, research has shown that a personal sense of accomplishment and being rewarded for hard work are more powerful motivators when it comes to output in the workplace. In fact, the Wall Street Journal found that 4 out of every 5 employees stated they would switch companies for the same salary if they knew that they would receive praise and recognition for their work in the new company. Thus, companies today are beginning to create corporate awards programs for their companies as they realize the magnitude of the effects recognizing and rewarding employees has on their performance.
Awards can be presented to employees for a range of purposes from simple recognition or appreciation awards, awards for service or anniversaries, incentive or achievement awards, and even awards for the attainment of specific goals like those relating sales. When giving these awards to employees, companies just need to make sure they maintain fairness and consistency regarding the efforts that delineate receiving such honors. Each person who makes the same or similar contributions should have equal opportunity to receive an award for these efforts. Each month at Pinnacle Promotions for example, we give out beautiful glass awards for the “Employee of the Month,” a worker nominated by their peers for the hard work and dedication, as well as a “You’re So Money” Award to the sales employee with the highest gross margin for the month and an “ABC – Always Be Closing” Award to that employee with the highest total monthly sales. (Katie Barnes, this month’s “Employee of the Month” is pictured with her glass award above!)
Additionally, companies should also consider giving awards that acknowledge certain groups of employees or even the entire company, as it is the dedication of all employees that contributes to a business’ success. At Pinnacle Promotions, in addition to our monthly individual awards, we have a monthly sales contest that sets goals for the company to achieve as a whole. If we meet these particular objectives, we are all awarded with a company-wide prize that ranges from a catered breakfast, to a cash grab bag drawing, to a balloon popping contest like we had last Friday for attaining our September goals! Pinnacle employees gathered to the front of the office and chose a balloon to pop. Inside each balloon was a gift certificate with a variety of offerings. In this way, the company created a fun, motivating event and everyone was a winner!
Team Lead – Multimedia
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October 13th, 2009
I’m not a big television watcher, but I have to admit that I have an unhealthy obsession with The Office. It’s the only show I watch, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. My roommate knows not to talk to me during that special half hour on Thursday nights and my parents have learned not to call at that time. I sit on my couch, talk to my TV and act like I am a part of the funny office pranks and lunchroom gossip. In fact, when Jim and Pam got married last week, I was almost a little hurt that I wasn’t invited to the wedding.
The plus side of not actually knowing Jim, Pam, Dwight and Michael is that my work life is much calmer, more enjoyable and productive. And while Pinnacle certainly doesn’t have employees as extreme as any of the individuals on The Office, over the past six seasons I’ve come to appreciate that these characters are based on universal office truths.
With that being said, here are a few recommendations for promotional gifts to increase brand visibility among clients and employees who resemble the following characters:
Pam- Pam would love a custom journal so that she could practice her drawing any time inspiration hits. Or, keep her warm and stylish by giving her another classic cardigan sweater to wear.
Jim- Now that he has earned a well-deserved promotion, Jim would benefit from a personalized, executive-style briefcase. And of course, he can never have enough office toys in his desk to help him annoy Dwight.
Dwight- Nerdy and hard-working, Dwight would appreciate an ID badge to ensure that his identification never gets lost during adventures on his farm or a calculator (in particular one that fits right in his pocket) so that he can always maintain efficiency.
Michael- Where to even begin? He would go crazy for an acrylic award, especially one imprinted with the words “best boss” (think The Dundies episode) and he is definitely in need of a digital or atomic clock so that the employees of Dunder Mifflin can never set the time forward again.
No matter what you choose, personalized promotional products will win you awards for your marketing campaign.
Creative Writing Intern
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September 4th, 2009
This coming Monday, Americans around the nation will grill hamburgers and hotdogs at neighborhood barbecues, play water sports at the lake, and maybe see some firework displays – all in honor of Labor Day. Often regarded by Americans as the symbolic end of summer – the last long weekend of the season before autumn begins and those long summer days begin to fade – it sometimes seems as if this holiday means little more than just a day off work, or school, or of course the beginning of the NFL and college football seasons. Traditionally, however, Labor Day is meant to be a celebration of much more than that, outlined in the first proposal of the holiday in the late 1800s as a day to exhibit “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations.”
Coming off the heels of the American Industrial Revolution that spanned the mid to late 19th century, the average American worker endured 12-hour days, 7 days a week, to make a basic living. The use of child labor and harsh working conditions were also prominent during that time. As workers sought an outlet to express their demands for better working environments and a better quality of life, unions developed and held parades to voice their concerns, the first of which took place on September 5, 1882. Recognized as the very first Labor Day, ten thousand workers marched from city hall to Union Square in New York City to honor the workers of America and to vocalize their workplace issues. As years passed, more states began to hold these parades, and finally, in 1894, Congress passed an act declaring the first Monday in September to be the legal holiday known as Labor Day.
Honor your workers this Labor Day by giving them promotion gifts to show your gratitude for all their hard work. Whether it’s a crystal engraved award, an executive pen set, or a simple scented candle, they will be sure to appreciate the recognition.
Creative Writing Intern
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July 8th, 2009
The Tour de France is one of the oldest and most prestigious bicycle races in the world. The 96th annual Tour de France began on July 4th and continues through July 26th, covering over 2000 miles of France and its neighboring countries. The 23 day race draws some of the most esteemed cyclists from across the globe, and on-going television coverage allows those of us unable to jetset to Europe for the race to watch it from the comfort of our own homes.
Whether your customers or employees are aspiring Lance Armstrongs or just cycle to stay in shape, all bikers require the same basic items during their rides. Promotional products related to cycling can make great “thank you” gifts, holiday presents, or general giveaways. Versatile ideas include water bottles and reflective backpacks, both of which can be enjoyed by non-bikers and bikers alike. Not only are these options practical, but they also increase visibility of your brand and logo around the community.
The “green” movement taking the planet by storm has inspired many people to bike to work rather than drive, as automobiles release large quantities of harmful pollutants into the air. Reward environmentally conscious employees with an EarthSmart™ award plaque made from recycled materials. This gift recognizes their dedication to sustainable causes in a manner that is consistent with their eco-friendly actions.
Inspire your colleagues and clients to venture out into the fresh air for a bicycle ride toting custom products featuring your company’s logo and message!
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June 8th, 2009
On Friday afternoon, Pinnacle employees gathered in the front lobby for a special treat. As a reward for meeting May sales goals, our bosses held a “cash grab bag” drawing. Envelopes full of miscellaneous denominations of cash were inserted into a shopping bag, and every staff member reached in to pull out a surprise. We waited until everybody had an envelope in hand, and then opened them simultaneously to reveal our winnings. Nobody left empty-handed, and we all had extra spending money to take with us for our weekend activities.
Job satisfaction is extremely important in any corporate environment, so think about recognizing your employees’ hard work in a unique way periodically. Awards for positive attitude, Employee of the Month, or exemplary performance can keep your team motivated, and Pinnacle Promotions even has a wide array of RocketShip™ 24-Hour Awards for those of you who wait until the last minute to implement your ideas. There is no better time than the present to recognize the parties involved in making your business a success!
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