Tag Archives: Industries

Promotional Products to help your Marketing Campaign Win Big

While many people swear that bingo is a game of luck, I have my doubts. In the 20 years that I have been playing bingo with my family, my older sister has consistently been the winner. In fact, she’s stockpiled so many M & M’s (we don’t play for money) that she could open her own candy store. Despite the fact that I very rarely win, I love bingo. There’s something about choosing a card and covering the free spot that brings me back to my childhood in a way that I just don’t find with more competitive games. And, the best part is that people of all ages and cultures can share a game of bingo.

In fact, the game of bingo originated with an Italian lottery game called “Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia” in the 16th century. Over the years, the game evolved and its popularity increased. Germans often used the game in schools as a way to teach spelling and math, a tradition that has since been brought to America. While bingo has been around for many centuries, only recently have businesses begun to realize the game’s marketing potential. And, since December is Bingo Month, I thought now would be a great time to share my love for the game, as well as a valuable lesson about promotions.

In addition to being a great way to bring family and friends together for a little healthy competition, bingo and other scratch2interactive games are great ways to advertise a brand. Like bingo cards, customized scratch off cards engage and excite consumers by offering them a chance to win a grand prize at essentially no expense. Scratch-off cards, which feature pre-selected numbers that are hidden behind a removable film, are cost-efficient promo products that are especially great giveaways at tradeshows.

You can customize the cards with your company’s name and logo and have each card contain a small prize, such as merchandise or service discount. Hand out the cards at the tradeshow entrance and increase your traffic by telling winners to claim their prize at your booth. Or for improved Internet sales, allow winners to redeem their prize only by visiting your Web site. Any way you choose to utilize scratch off cards, you will surely hit the jackpot for your marketing campaign.

Sarah
Creative Writing Intern
view my bio!

 

Take A Tip From the Automobile Industry and Logo Your Promo

mercedesbenz_logo1Consider the logo pictured at left. What thoughts immediately came rushing to your mind upon seeing that particular image? Speed? Class?  Luxury Vehicles? Even Germany, perhaps?

This simple circle surrounding a 3-sided star has the ability to evoke so many different associations in ones mind from the products the company produces to the place of its origin. While this logo has been around since 1926, having had decades to establish such recognition for the entire Mercedes-Benz automobile company from its simple design, it is purely an example to demonstrate the power that symbols have in our world today.

Promotional products can be successful means of aiding in establishing logo identities as logos are like links to memories in consumers’ minds, and material items can help to reinforce those memories. After all, even with well-known car companies it’s not only their own automobiles that don their symbols. They produce apparel, key chains, and more, that are all customized with their logos, providing exposure for their brands in more arenas than just on the road.

Automobile companies have some of the most recognized logos throughout the world – see if you recognize a few, or all, of these:

car-logos2

Jaime
Team Lead – Multimedia
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Elect to Use Promotional Products on Election Day

LaMenta3-image_2097Today is Election Day. And if you’re sitting there reading and thinking, “Oh no, I hope she doesn’t go into a rant about the responsibility of voting,” you don’t have to worry. This isn’t a blog to lecture about the importance of exercising your right, but rather to look back on famous political campaigns and the use of promotional products.

It’s impossible to talk about Election Day without discussing how just a year ago, Barack Obama made history as the world watched with captive eyes. And let’s not forget the “hanging chad” incident of 2000, were many Floridian’s votes were not counted because the hole did not detach completely from the ballot. While these stories recount historic Election Day media frenzy, they do not take into account the months of campaigning and the strategy behind it.

The first documented political campaign in the United States occurred in 1789, when George Washington ran for reelection. Washington used commemorative buttons to gain momentum for his campaign, effectively creating the first promotional products. And, from lapel pins to bumper stickers, promotional products have been an important part of politics ever since. In fact, bumper stickers are some of the most effective marketing tools because they travel everywhere a recipient goes, and they last long after the election is over.

You don’t have to be running for office to effectively utilize lapel pins and bumper stickers as part of your marketing campaign. These cost-effective items are ideal as mass giveaways, and can be easily customized with a company name and logo to provide increased brand exposure.

In addition to being fun and functional, the staying power of promotional products provides an advantage over traditional advertising and mass media. No one can deny that mass media has played a determining role in elections ever since the first televised debates between Robert Nixon and John F. Kennedy Jr. and that the use of social media has become widespread on the campaign trail in recent elections. But while social media is a great way for politicians and businesses to generate buzz, ultimately it is the promotional products that become integrated into everyday life and last long after the TV is turned off and the computer shut down.

Social media that generated buzz last year:

Sarah
Creative Writing Intern
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Information Overload: Why Buyers of Promotional Products Should Care

lil'bearAs a newbie in the world of marketing, it is hard for me to imagine how the industry functioned before the introductions of the Internet, TV, and cell phones. It must have been much simpler for marketers to communicate their messages to their target audiences, but they also lacked the extent of efficiency and information available to marketers in today’s society. But has some of the value of that information diminished in importance because of what author Guy Kawasaki refers to as, “information obesity?” When I came across an online article written by Kem Meyer and edited by Kawasaki the other day, I knew I had to dedicate a blog post to Meyer’s topic of discussion.

The premise of the article is that NONE of us are immune to the presence of information overload. Alvin Toffler coined the phrase, “information overload” to explain the phenomenon which occurs when individuals are presented with an excess amount of information and lose sight of the task(s) that they were originally trying to complete.

People are exposed to hundreds of thousands of marketing messages daily, so as a marketer, it has become increasingly tougher to break through the clutter and get your voice heard. There is a fine line between “over-selling”, which runs the risk of potentially offending end users and invading their personal space, and not being aggressive enough, which may cause a campaign to be ineffective and quickly forgotten.

Meyer provides valuable information about how marketers can maintain a happy medium, and I have taken the liberty of adapting a few of her recommendations to apply to the more specific marketing subset of promotional products.

1. Stick to the facts. Provide the necessary information to enable consumers to make a decision. In the promotional products industry, this can be applied by limiting the amount of text imprinted on a given item. For example, customizing a promotional pen with the name of your organization, phone number, and website address may be sufficient to drive sales.

2. Stick to the point. In my experience, this step cannot be emphasized enough. Meyer states, “Start with the end in mind before you take action.” As marketers, it is our job to inspire people to think and act in accordance with our desired objectives. If you are unsure of what you hope to achieve by executing a promotional products campaign, how can you expect your audience to follow through on your call to action?

3. Deflate your self-importance. There is a time and place for a sales pitch, and generally, promotional products are not appropriate vehicles on which to deliver lengthy monologues stuffed with industry-specific terminology. As Meyer eloquently explains, “Work hard to think like your audience to find ways to connect.” In the Healthcare industry, maybe this means tailoring a promotional healthcare products campaign to the needs of nurses, whose job descriptions and equipment often differ greatly from those of physicians or other medical providers. Take on a tone that demonstrates a clear understanding of these professionals and they are likely to appreciate the individual attention paid to them by your brand.

To avoid adding to the noise which constitutes information overload, I’m going to cut this post off here, but you can learn more about this subject by reading the full article “How to Fight Information Obesity” at http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/the-world/article/how-to-fight-information-obesity-guy-kawasaki.

Dana
Team Lead – Social Media
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Test Your Promotional Products IQ and Win Cool Prizes!

Mensa is the most well known, oldest, and largest high-IQ society in existence. The elite club was established in England by Roland Berrill and Lancelot Lionel Ware on October 1, 1945. The name “Mensa” stems from the Latin term meaning “table,” which is symbolized in the organization’s official logo. People who rank in the 98th percentile or above on a standardized, proctored intelligence exam are granted the right to join this prestigious non-profit organization.

In honor of the 64th anniversary of Mensa’s creation, today’s post entails a quiz designed to test your promotional products IQ.

Leave a comment below and be entered for a chance to win a Pinnacle Promotions goodie bag, filled with a few of our favorite promotional writing instruments, jotters, and much more! To protect your answers, comments will not be displayed publicly until after winners have been announced.

Hint: some of these answers may be referenced in past blog posts, but others are drawn from a variety of reliable sources and websites. Use any references you would like, as winners will be randomly selected (meaning your number of correct answers will not be taken into account) from qualified entrants. Deadline for entries is 1 pm EST 4 pm EST on October 2nd, and winners (and an answer guide!) will be announced right here on our blog before 6 pm EST on October 2nd.

See below for complete contest rules and restrictions.

PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS IQ TEST:
1. Which former president of the United States is often associated with the start of the promotional products industry?
2. What item affiliated with (1) is credited with being the first promotional product?
3. Name three imprint methods that can be used to customize promotional products.
4. What does the acronym “EQP” stand for?
5. What is the approximate estimated annual value of the promotional products industry?
a. $15 million
b. $150 million
c. $25 billion
d. $18 billion
6. What was the top-selling category of promotional products in 2008?
a. Writing instruments
b. Wearables
c. Tote bags
d. Padfolios
7. Please copy and paste the complete url (ie link/web address) for your favorite Pinnacle Promotions product or category page (our website is http://www.pinnaclepromotions.com).

Thank you for playing and good luck!

Dana
Team Lead – Social Media
view my bio!

Contest Details:

You must provide an e-mail address where requested in the comment form. The address will not be visible to site visitors and will only be used for the purposes of this specific contest.

Employees and families of Pinnacle Promotions are not eligible. Void where prohibited by law.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Purchase will not improve chance of winning. Open to residents of the United States and the District of Columbia only, must be 13 years of age or older at the time of entry. Contest ends at 4:00 p.m. (EST) on 10/02/09.

Pinnacle Promotions is not responsible for: incomplete, lost, late, damaged, scrambled or misdirected entries or other errors of any kind whether human, mechanical or electronic, which may limit a user’s ability to participate in the contest. Limit one attempt per person.

Winners will be selected by a completely random integer generator at Random.org. Winners will be notified by e-mail and have 72 hours to respond. If there is no response, the prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner will be chosen.

Prizes will be assigned to those who have been identified as winners. Players will be informed before 6 p.m. (EST) on 10/02/09 if they are a winner. Winners will receive their prizes via mail after the contest has been closed and winners have been verified. Pinnacle Promotions and its agencies assume no responsibility or liability for any damages, losses, or injury resulting from the acceptance or use of any prize.

Acceptance of prize offered constitutes permission to use winner’s name and/or likeness for purposes of advertising and trade, worldwide in perpetuity, without future compensation, unless prohibited by law. Prize winners will be required to verify mailing address prior to awarding of the prize. Entering the contest is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

All programs and guarantees are subject to terms and conditions.

Promotional Products to Recruit A Few Good Employees

promotional jottersFor the first time since its inception in the 18th century, the US Army has introduced an advertising campaign to recruit officers. Overcome with young recruits – due in part to the economic downturn and the damaged job market – they have found themselves short on officers to lead them. The force has expanded by more than 50,000 troops since 2005, only 83 percent of which in 2008 held a high school diploma, coming up just short of the Army’s goal of 90 percent for the third consecutive year. So while it is meeting, and exceeding, its goal for total number of recruits, it is not finding enough men and women qualified to lead them.

The new ads do not stray far from the style of their typical recruitment efforts depicting soldiers in fatigues marching to patriotic music. But they have been altered to appeal to more ambitious and higher-educated young Americans, those who may not normally consider the Army as a positive step toward their career objectives. They have created four television commercials as the nucleus of the campaign, featuring stories of high-ranking corporate executives who began their careers as Army officers or showing pictures of notorious generals from George Washington to Colin Powell. The goal is not only to find officers for the Army now, but also to do an overall better job of marketing that position within the force. As Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, head of the Army Accessions Command, which oversees recruiting told NY Times reporter Douglas Quenqua, “If you think about it as brand or product management, we have this product within our brand that gets no notoriety. For those who just graduated college, now is the time to become aware they can come to officer candidate school. We think the timing is right to get the notion out.”

Is your company looking to recruit new hires? While you may not have the budget to permit a national television ad campaign, there are many other less costly ways by which to find the right candidates to help build your business. The job market is beginning to heat up again, and especially the demand for entry-level employees. One way to acquire new recruits is by offering promotional products, especially if the candidate is not actively pursuing a position with your company. Promotional products can help lure people to your booth at job fairs and career shows, and help them remember your company after the event too. You could choose something of use to them at the time of the event like promotional jotters to take notes about the companies they meet or even offer bottles of water with labels customized with your company name and logo. Another idea to support your recruiting process is to offer promotional gifts as incentives for employees who bring in prospects. Browse our online selections of gifts and giveaways for some more promotional marketing ideas.

Here is one of the new Army Officership Recruiting Commercials:

 

Jaime
Creative Writing Intern
view my bio!

Promotional Products to Bring Out the Inner Musician in Each of Us

_e.t-Davies-Symphony-HallSeptember happens to be Classical Music Month. As a longtime flautist (I began playing in the fourth grade and continued to pursue my passion for music throughout college), I have always been a fan of classical music and famous classical performers like Yo Yo Ma and Bocelli. I don’t know how I would have made it through college without the comforting sounds of classically trained musicians wafting through my headphones during late-night study sessions!

If you are looking for unique promotional products to distribute to musicians or loyal followers of the music world, sometimes the best product choices are also the most unlikely. During the time I spent developing my musical talent, I found many promotional products to be extremely useful. I never attended a Wind Ensemble rehearsal without a pencil and highlighter in my flute case to make necessary revisions and notes on my sheet music according to the conductors’ instructions. My home or dorm room practice sessions always made use of media players or speakers to amplify professional recordings of pieces that I was currently working on, and whenever I was stuck without a music stand to display my sheet music, I would look to handy desktop items like portfolios or note holders to prop up the pages. I also never left home for a rehearsal without a canvas tote bag to keep my sheet music, metronome, and tuner accessible at all times.

Both of my former flute teachers played in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and encouraged me to listen to recordings and learn from world-renowned musicians like flautist James Galway. They would always give me CD recordings of performances by classical musicians for holiday and birthday gifts, and my collection of classical recordings has grown to include hundreds of discs. I store many of them in CD cases, but my favorites have earned a spot in my CD visor that I keep in my car. Don’t get me wrong; I listen to country, rap, rock, and pop music as well, but every once in awhile I find myself in the mood for some soothing classical performances to escape from the realities of horrendous traffic and lousy Atlanta drivers.

Promote your brand by giving away custom imprinted products to bring out the inner musician in each of your clients and employees!

Also, make sure to check out my current favorite musician, David Garrett. Not only is he a Juilliard graduate who holds the world record for the most notes played on the violin in one second (13!) during his rendition of Flight of the Bumblebee, but he has integrated incredible covers of songs by Michael Jackson and AC/DC into his extensive repertoire. See him breaking the world record here:

Or, if you are more intrigued by his ability to transcribe Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” into a violin performance, take a look at that video below:

Dana
Marketing Coordinator
view my bio!

Stay Healthy this Flu Season with Promotional Hand Sanitizers

mcfarlandmoThe H1N1 virus, commonly referred to as the Swine Flu Virus, is expected to infect between 30 and 50% of the American population this fall and winter. The resurgence of the Swine Flu virus may begin as early as September because of the start of the new school year, and experts predict cases to peak in mid-October. The H1N1 vaccine is not going to be readily available until mid-October at the earliest, and furthermore, vaccinated individuals won’t develop immunity for several weeks after they actually receive the vaccine. Particular groups that are more susceptible to infection include pregnant women, health care workers, the elderly, parents or guardians of infants younger than 6 months, and adults under 65 with an underlying health condition.

The H1N1 virus is highly contagious, but there are some ways to protect yourself and those around you from falling victim to this illness. The CDC recommends several basic steps, which most people normally follow anyway, to minimize the spread of germs.

1. Wash hands frequently with soap and water, particularly after coughing or sneezing. Promotional hand sanitizers are also effective tools for warding off infection.
2. Shield your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Make sure to dispose of the tissue properly after use.
3. Try to avoid touching your face with your hands, as this is a common way to disseminate germs.
4. If possible, keep your distance from people already infected with H1N1. People mainly contract influenza as a result of being exposed to the coughing or sneezing of infected people.

Should you happen to catch H1N1, stay home from work or school to minimize the risk of passing the virus to others.

Keep your employees, clients, and loved ones healthy by distributing inexpensive, yet highly effective, promotional hand sanitizers to encourage clean hands. Pinnacle Promotions sells many types of promotional hand sanitizers in a variety of forms and styles. Consider the impact that antibacterial spray or antibacterial gel imprinted with your company’s name and marketing message could have on your target audience. Any recipients of practical promotional products from our Hand Sanitizer collection are guaranteed to appreciate the items during flu season, and they will be reminded of your company’s concern for their well-being every time they take action to ward off germs!

And lastly, although the Swine Flu is a serious subject, this video posted on YouTube puts a humorous spin on the virus’ name. It made me laugh out loud, and hopefully it will brighten your day, as well.

Dana
Marketing Coordinator
view my bio!

Promote Your Brand with Brand Name Promotional Products

 

brand name promotional productsWithin the social structure of the United States, and any other developed nation really, there is a preoccupation with symbols of status – consumer products being one of them – used to denote one’s position within society. Though the nature of any correlation between these notions is highly subjective, it is hard to deny that those consumer products with brand names or designer labels are regarded as ones denoting wealth and prestige, and generally lie within the realms of the upper class. While many of these so-called designer items do rightfully align themselves with the rich and wealthy, owing to the quality of their goods, the true determination of their value is merely a social construct, initially developed from marketing schemes and sustained by consumer perceptions. More than just name recognition and the benefits of that familiarity, along with a brand name comes an identity of quality and excellence.

Your company can benefit from these marketing efforts of already recognizable labels by using their promotional products, and ultimately pairing your name with their reputation. At Pinnacle Promotions, we carry brand name promotional items such as promotional pens by Bic®, tools and watches by Swiss Army®, and office accessories by Alicia Klein®, just to name a few. Promotional products with brand names will be sure to impress clients and employees, and recipients will be even more likely to keep these products that they recognize to be of a certain value. You can see our entire collection of brand name promotional items by clicking here.

Jaime
Creative Writing Intern
view my bio!

Bueller… Bueller…

I have to say I was in shock after hearing the news of director/writer/producer John Hughes’ unexpected passing earlier this month. It is always sad to hear of someone passing, but even more so when it comes too soon in one’s life.I may be a bit young to be quoting lines from his films, but that is just a testament to his work and the fact that he could relate to the youth of that generation and even those that followed. His most famous films (Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller) centered on the high school genre and revolved around one student’s woes or how a group of students interacted with one another.

Since the school year is beginning again for all of us in the real world, I thought it was appropriate to pay homage to one of the greats in the entertainment industry whom immersed himself in teen “dramedy”. We always want our kids to be prepared for whatever may come their way and Pinnacle is a great place to find supplies that make things a little easier. Not only do we have some stylish backpacks and cool functional USB drives, but we also carry the “not so fun” but necessary promotional items like pens and composition notebooks

So the next time you catch one of John’s flicks on TV or have nostalgia for those high school years just- “Don’t you, forget about me (Pinnacle)” for getting you geared up.

Stephania
Sales and Marketing Production Assistant
view my bio!

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