Flash drives are nothing new to the promotional products industry (you can find Pinnacle’s most popular USB flash drives online at The USB Drive Shop) Companies everywhere have been snagging up these little items imprinted with their business’ name and logo to give away to customers and to use internally for their own data storage and transfer needs. But it seems that a new wave of USB flash drives is emerging care of a Korean company (the website is all in Korean but it appears to be called EARLYSHOP) that hand makes little flash drives to appear as tiny replicas of different types of food. Yummy. Continue reading…
As a newcomer to the world of blogging and online marketing in general, yesterday’s exchange on our very own Pinnacle Promotions blog blew me away. Just to recap, a correspondence took place between my extremely talented, but also fairly new to the realm of blogging, coworker Acree Graham, and a blogger that I consider to be one of the most prolific social media thought leaders, Jay Baer of Convince and Convert. In my mind, this exchange exemplifies the phenomenon of blogs and their power to spark high level interactions between newbie marketers and established industry experts in a matter of hours. As a recent college graduate, I feel that my generation is extremely fortunate: the wealth of information available to us, faster than ever before, is one benefit that we have over generations past, but furthermore, it is the accessibility to people whom we admire and respect in our lines of work that is an even greater privilege, should we have the confidence and courage to reach out to them.
“What makes marketing the best career in the world is that is it ever evolving. There’s always a new insight, new tool or tactic. So if you want to be at the top of your game and really be someone your clients love and rely on — keep learning. Read, write, listen. Every day.”
-Drew McLellan, author of the blog Drew’s Marketing Minute.
Team Lead – Social Media
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Reading Acree’s blog yesterday did make me a bit nostalgic about college life. My sadness did not last long, however, as a late afternoon brainstorming session with my coworkers left me giddy with excitement about all of the creative ideas that we hope to bring to fruition. Today, as I write this blog, I am slightly overwhelmed by the blank document on my computer screen, but I am hopeful that after jotting down my thoughts and organizing them in a logical progression, anyone who stumbles upon this post will be left feeling satisfied and intrigued.
The sheer number of emotions that we experience on an hourly, and even minute-by-minute, basis is mind-boggling. One of the downright coolest websites I have seen in a long time (other than Pinnacle Promotions, of course!) is Trendhunter.com, recommended to me by Pinnacle’s Relationship Manager, Natasha. Trend Hunter garners over 9 million monthly views and claims to be “the world’s largest, most popular trend community”. With over 61,000 posted trends, this site is an incredible resource for anyone interested in innovative gadgets, concepts, and campaigns.
But enough about Trend Hunter and onto the real inspiration behind today’s ramblings. My first paragraph with distinctive feelings bolded and underlined relates to a Trend Hunter slideshow called “34 Emotion-Based Innovations.” While I am not sure whether inventions like the TouchMan cellphone, which allows for visual sharing of emotions during phone conversations, will be met with widespread acceptance, there are some products on the list that may take the world by storm.
The LadyBag, designed by Canadian researchers, uses RFID technology to detect the contents of the purse- if it detects an absence of a certain item, a visual icon representing the missing item appears on the external LED display. When every RFID-tagged item specified by the user is detected, a smiley face graphic shows up on the outside display. The LadyBag also determines the user’s emotional state via physical sensors, and visually depicts the emotions on the outside display as well. I’m not sure how I feel about literally wearing my emotions, but the RFID detection technology would be useful, to say the least!
The mood pen, created by electronics powerhouse Philips, features sensors in its shaft to monitor the user’s heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature and pressure. The inks and shape of the writing tip adapt to the emotions detected, so written words will appear different depending on whether the writer is happy or sad. The emotion-sensing technology could be turned off if the user decides not to put his or her feelings on display. My question is, if users are going to turn off that special feature, why wouldn’t they just opt for regular promotional pens?
The general public may not be ready for some of these innovations just yet, but it is fascinating to think about how emotion-detecting technology will affect communication channels and marketing. Someday in the future, will marketers be able to capture and analyze consumers’ emotional reactions to billboards, television commercials, and point of purchase displays? The examples in the slideshow seem to point to “yes,” but it will be exciting to observe the developments as they infiltrate mainstream outlets.
Team Lead – Social Media
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It all started with a straightforward question. “What are you doing?” asked the people at Twitter.com, and millions responded. Twitter officially launched in 2006 and by February 2009 the site’s total number of unique visitors per month had exceeded 7 million, a more than 1382% increase over the previous year according to Nielsen Online and Mashable.com.
Twitter continued to grow in popularity during the summer months- and not just with ordinary Joes. The site also developed as a marketing tool, with more and more companies tweeting contests, rewards programs, free trial offers and even promotional products giveaways.
While the statistics are undeniable, a new question has arisen in the minds of both Twitter users and non-users: Why should we care? On a personal level, Twitter has given us more information than we ever thought necessary to know about our friends, families and neighbors. In fact, this morning I awoke with an e-mail to learn that my sister’s boyfriend’s former college roommate was following me on Twitter. Really?? On the surface this seems absurd; I mean, I’ve met the guy maybe twice, and we haven’t had any contact in years. But when it comes down to it, Twitter is all about creating a network and advancing your resources. After all, he works in the marketing industry as well.
Furthermore, many marketers are learning that analyzing the trends in consumer’s tweets provides valuable information about their clients and better yet, their potential customers. Although it’s true that only a small number of tweets have any sort of pass along value, conversational tweets still contain consumer insight that allows us to personalize campaigns accordingly. As marketers, it’s important for us to understand the wants and needs of our target demographic… and that all stems from understanding their backgrounds and consumer behaviors. Do you see the value in Twitter? Let us know @pinnaclepromos.
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While jean leggings, Swedish nail beds, and other fads of 2009 have mostly come and gone with the passing year, some shopping trends are here to stay. In 2009 more seniors were shopping online than ever before, and experts predict this will be an ongoing trend. The new senior market offers many advertising opportunities, making it important to stay educated about how to effectively reach this group.
Seniors- defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as those aged 65 or older- are the fastest growing segment in the United States and moreover the group with the largest disposable income and ability to make purchase decisions (unlike teens who also have large disposable incomes but often have their spending controlled or limited by parents). In fact, seniors spend over $7 billion online according to research by SeniorMag.
So, how do companies target the influential senior demographic? One important detail to recognize when marketing to seniors is that older men and women often have more time to research products and are less likely to buy on impulse. That being said, seniors are increasingly turning to the Internet in order to compare items and they often make their purchases online too.
In order to appeal to this developing demographic, companies that focus heavily on e-commerce need to ensure that their sites are user-friendly. Marketers can do this by posting pictures of seniors using their products and writing promotional material that contains relevant and interesting information, as seniors are often skeptical of ads that sound too “sale-sy.” Since seniors are more likely to trust companies that they view as honest and practical, distributing promotional products is another effective way to garner attention and loyalty from the senior audience because it allows them to sample functional products while reinforcing a brand name.
Although seniors are often savvier shoppers than teens and baby boomers who shop online, they are typically interested in the same types of products as younger audiences. Top purchases made by seniors include travel tickets and hotel arrangements, MP3 players and other electronics, and apparel. And, Americans over the age of 65 are some of the most loyal you can find, evidenced by an AARP survey showing that more than 80% of seniors who shopped online were satisfied with their purchases. Just don’t try to sell them the latest heavy metal CD!
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Its no secret that college football players often get special treatment. Many colleges treat their star players like royalty, allowing them to miss class occasionally (some schools are more lenient about this policy than others!) to prep for upcoming games, and even the opportunity to register before their peers for next semester’s classes. Fans clamor to get their autographs, take pictures with them, and just shake their hands. Yes, their athletic abilities are admirable, but is this extent of recognition truly warranted?
In my humble opinion, absolutely. These young men have worked hard to reach their goals, many times battling to overcome injuries, balancing their studies and football commitments, and dedicating countless hours, days, and months to learning plays and honing their athletic prowess. Their payment comes in the form of scholarship money and respect from their fans, but unlike professional athletes, there is no true monetary compensation for college athletes’ hard work. They do not get summer or winter holidays off like most college students, and rigorous practice schedules force them to spend much of their time away from their friends and families.
For college football teams that extend their seasons because of coveted invitations to bowl games, there are some additional perks involved. I just learned that the NCAA allows college bowls to give each player up to $500 worth of gifts at the site of the bowl. The bowls can either offer players the gifts or allow them to select their own gifts through a shopping spree or gift suite. According to an article by David Fox on rivals.com, at least half of the 34 bowls this year are opting to present players with shopping sprees, hosting a gift suite or letting players choose gift items from a catalog. Here are just a few of the awesome gifts that college bowl football players will be presented with this year:
Poinsettia (Utah vs. California, Dec. 23, San Diego):
Flo TV personal television and one year of service
Best Buy gift card
Sports Tek hoodie
Meineke Car Care (Pittsburgh vs. North Carolina, Dec. 26, Charlotte, N.C.):
Option of Bose Quiet Comfort headphones set or Bose Sound Dock or iPod Touch, iLive speakers and $20 gift card
OGIO duffle bag
Rose (Oregon vs. Ohio State, Jan. 1, Pasadena, Calif.):
19-inch Sharp television combo
For a list of even more bowl game giveaways, check out the article by David Fox at rivals.com, and rest assured that even if your favorite team is defeated in a bowl game this season, the players will not be going home empty-handed. Promotional electronics, apparel, and jewelry awaiting them in their hotel rooms should help to soften the blow of a demoralizing loss.
Team Lead – Social Media
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1. The Cinchpack of Notre Dame
The pitch: A String-A-Sling backpack sold to tourists at the Notre Dame Cathedral is hired to kidnap the beautiful Esmeralda. The cinch pack ends up falling in love with Esmeralda and attempts to save her from her captors, at his own risk…
Why the film was never made: Producers claimed cinch packs weren’t pitiful enough to inspire sympathy in audiences.
2. The Hills Have Ice
The pitch: Deranged ice scrapers descend from the hills to attack and cannibalize a family of innocent tourists. In the end, however, the ice scrapers feel remorse and decide to help the tourists by clearing the frost from their car windshield.
Why the film was never made: Producers argued that the ending was too postmodern for a box-office slasher.
3. Pirates of the Carabiner
The pitch: Keychain thieves hijack a college bookstore and take a pretty co-ed hostage, in hopes that her magic carabiner will free them from an ancient curse.
Why the film was never made: Studios felt the college football tailgating crowd was too small of a target audience.
4. Kites of the Living Dead
The pitch: Hordes of the undead wreak havoc on post-apocalyptic suburbia. After successfully turning all human survivors into zombies, they organize a worldwide day of kite flying that unites zombies in global peace… until the sequel.
Why the film was never made: Studios couldn’t predict that in 2009 zombies would rival even vampires in popularity.
5. The Fan-tom of the Opera
The pitch: After her father dies, a singer at the Paris Opera House hears the sound of whirring fans when she sings. Finally, a ghostly figure of a fan emerges from the shadows and declares its love for her.
Why the film was never made: Producers were unable to cast a fan with a decent singing voice.
The pitch: Promotional mice begin communicating with a five-year-old girl in suburban California through static on the computer screen. Eventually they travel through the computer monitor and into the house. “They’re here…”
Why the film was never made: Studios felt the story would be too traumatic for post-9/11 audiences. Maybe in 2010.
Creative Writing Intern
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Although I am far from what you might consider “outdoorsy,” last weekend I ventured into the wilderness and went camping. As I was sitting around the campfire- surrounded by trees, water, and insects rather than cubicles, advertisements and televisions- I realized that in spite of the natural surroundings I was accompanied by many brands.
From my flashlight to the collapsible can cooler and of course the Swiss Army knife, many of the items I brought had been given to me by a corporation. I started thinking about how these promotional products successfully traveled all that way with us, and came to the conclusion that functional promotional items are key to building any brand.
Functional products, including drinkware, blankets, chairs and other outdoors products, can be imprinted with a company name and logo for increased brand exposure. Giving a product that is not only practical, but also small and easily compactable for easy travel, ensures that your company goes everywhere recipients go. Here are some camping tips to help you incorporate useful items into your next marketing campaign and some activities to inspire a trip to the outdoors.
-Hiking: This is not only a fun activity, but also a way to get to know the area where you will be staying and to tire yourself out before a night of sleeping on the ground. For kids or less active individuals, a leisurely nature walk is also a good afternoon pursuit. Stay hydrated and healthy with promotional sports bottles.
-Grilling: Plan ahead and make sure to pack food that can be cooked outdoors on a grill or open campfire. It’s also a good idea to bring items that won’t leave a mess, to ensure that pesky animals don’t bother you. And don’t forget to keep items fresh in a personalized cooler until you are ready to cook
-S’more making: Making S’mores is delicious and a good way to stay warm around the campfire. Carry a promotional flashlight with you if you venture into the woods to look for the perfect sticks. And always take a buddy, too.
-Camp songs and ghost stories: Singing songs and telling stories are great pre-bedtime activities. Don’t forget to write down your favorite tunes and spooky narratives in promotional jotters so you can remember them for next year’s trip to the wilderness.
Creative Writing Intern
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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:
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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Since its creation in 1994,
Pinnacle Promotions has been a promotional company that offers more.
Providing customized solutions for any marketing or branding need,
With all exclusive services designed around one overriding goal – speed.
From processing orders with our service of 24-Hour Rocketship Express,
To saving you time with custom IdeaKits that are sure to impress.
Let our dedicated Account Teams help you find unique products of quality,
And know that your order will arrive on time, and as approved, with our Platinum Guarantee!
From apparel, to drinkware, to stress balls galore,
Check out everything we have to offer in our online store!
We have journals, pens, backpacks, candles, candy jars and toys,
We have magnets, spa kits, golf balls, lanyards, and shirts for girls and boys!
We have accessories for travel and fitness, for your computer, your cell phone, and your car,
We have gifts that tell time, display photos, play games, and even stock your bar!
Whether for man or woman, young or old, business or pleasure, or all,
We have thousands of products for everyone in our virtual product mall!
Too many products to choose one on your own?
Just e-mail us, live chat or pick up the phone.
With account managers who know the industry like the back of their hand,
Their insight and knowledge can help find the perfect item for your brand.
What about custom artwork and logo designs?
Our graphics team can produce amazing samples that go beyond basic lines.
Let us help you along each step of your promotional products decision,
And help us enhance your overall marketing vision!
Team Lead – Multimedia
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