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September 2008

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Destination Marketing Incentive Travel Choices to Match Your Brand Getting the Most from Incentive Travel Toolbox for Brand Assessment

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contents

Vol. 5, No. 9

in this issue September 2008 Cover Story 8 Incentive Travel Choices to Match Your Brand 8

Brilliant Results interviewed three purveyors of unique travel experiences. Pat Walker, Founder of The Cultural Explorer, offers travelers the opportunity to make a difference, Dave Guenther, Founder of Roadtrips, Inc. provides experiential and sports oriented travel and Ron Gulasky, Celebrity Cruises’ Director of Corporate and Charter Sales suggests that a cruise to the far reaches of the sea in luxury is an excellent choice for incentive and business travelers.

20 Features 20 Travel Rewards Can Make

22 38 Have You Asked Your Customers Lately? By: Ed Rigsbee, CSP

Incentive Programs Take Off

By: Mary English

26 Toolbox for Brand

Assessment and Repositioning By: Bill Nissim

28 Comfort Reluctance:

The Cause of Many Missed Opportunities

By: Michael Merrick Crooks

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Departments 6

22 Getting the Most from Incentive Travel

By: Dr. Peter Tarlow

24 When Planning an Incentive Trip Only One of the Best Beaches in the World Will Do!

Publisher’s Letter

36 Products on Our Radar

46 Advertising Index

Get FREE information from this month’s advertisers

48 Meet the Manufacturer

Brilliant Results spends time with Dana Emberson of Cozy Faux

By: Barry Siskind

Columns

34 The Art of Consumer Show Exhibiting

26

Brilliant Results | September 2008

By: Arnold Light, CTC

40 It’s All Personal By: Dave Ribble, MAS

42 Delegate Your Way to Success By: Megan Slabinski, The Creative Group

44 Passionate Leadership

By: Barton Goldsmith, PhD.

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Publisher’s Letter publisher’s letter

Maureen Williams Publisher Maureen Williams maureen@brilliantpublishing.com Publisher 717.608.5869 maureen@brilliantpublishing.com 541-788-5022

262467

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ORGANIZATION‌I love it! I must admit I have a bit of an obsession with cleanliness and organization. I buy any and every self help organizing book or magazineFor I see‌after all I am certainhas someone years, advertising used out there has “thetravel secretâ€? it is going to workand for me as aand purchase motivator a once and for all. promise That in of and itselflife is has the to problem, theofbest offer‌ well that and the â€?Calgon time it takes getawayâ€?‌â€?Virginia and stay organized. Let’s face take tome it there those of us who are constantly is forare loversâ€?‌â€?See the USA in your challenged by chaos and clutter. I don’t necessary Chevroletâ€?‌â€?Stop searching, startlike it but I live with it until it (Southwest)‌â€?Life takes over then I buy travelingâ€? is aanew book and learn a newtravel “systemâ€? of (United)‌â€?For organization. Last month I am embarrassed to journey it wellâ€? admit bought a you newcan’t computer. Why? Well primarily because my old comtheI America see anywhere puter was too slow‌maybe because delete anything andhave have 30 elseâ€? (Amtrak)‌these slogans andI never hundreds more like them been things motivating people for years. or more opening when I turn on the computer‌oops! But, I am certain that the magazine and my publishers’ letter will be more brilliant Travel and today’s savvy corporate executives are and in 2008 duemotivates to my investment. I also bought “Unclutter Your Mindâ€? making incentive travel a part of their motivation arsenal. In “Organize Yourselfâ€? ‌they should give me some new ideas and systems this month’s cover story Brilliant Results presents three entirely to use to get that uncluttered clean organized desk! different travel options, allowing our the opportunity Here at Brilliant Results magazine we readers are always searching fortothat meld their travel motivation with their brand image and message. right product or idea that will super charge your marketing and brandSo explore with us the possibilities of travel that makes a difference, ing efforts and help your organization cleanup when it comes to the travel that offers the experiential adrenaline rush and travel that bottom line! This issue is no different...we decided to look at trend delivers luxury on the seas and in the exotic ports of the world. watching and its potential impact on the way business is done. We also Other articles in this issue explore the ins and outs of making included a few up and coming trends that might inspire as well as sevtravel a part of your incentive program, how to get the most out eral articles packed with suggestions on how to make 2008 a more proof your travel incentive programs and how a great location can ductive year whether you are evaluating your promotional merchandise contribute to travel success. or reviewing your incentive programs. Who couldn’t use a little help from time toyour timebrand to better themselves? (PS: I alsohighest had them include an Because is one of your organization’s priorities, article on organization.) taking the time to read Bill Nissim’s Toolbox for Brand Assessment As weRepositioning strive to bring yoube a some betterofmagazine must not and could the most we profitable timeforget you to saywill Thank youthis to all the suppliers that support our Merrick efforts and you our spend month. Then there is Michael Crook’s readers who make it allpromotional worth while. I love a challenge and 2008 will be discussion of the opportunities of urinal screens even betterwith the his 2007! I amthought certainprovoking of it! Let me know what you think, touch of humor. Add offered usual what like what you don’t like and hey if you have ansuccessful idea or 2 that ouryou articles about customer satisfaction, delegation, could make usand a better for youconversations let me know and thatyou too.have We can exhibiting how toresource handle difficult onlythe improve help. perfectwith issueyour to kick off your ‘back to work’ month. For me I’m off to organize my desk and get ready for 2008 with a So slate! as you close your office door and focus, remember to clean Hard to believe that another year has come and gone‌where does the Have time go? Until next A Brilliant Day,time‌always remember to‌ Have a Brilliant Day!

Brill492

Brilliant Results | September 2008

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Brilliant Publishing LLC 9034 Joyce Lane Brilliant Publishing LLC Hummelstown, PA 17036 9034 Joyce Lane Ph: 717.571.9233 Hummelstown PA 17036 Fax: Ph:717.566.5431 717.608.5869

Fax: 717.566.5431

PUBLISHER / ADVERTISING Publisher/

Advertising

Maureen Williams maureen@brilliantpublishing.com Maureen Williams 541-788-5022 maureen@brillantpublishing.com

717.608.5869

EDITORIAL

Editorial

Editor in Chief EditorMorrill in Chief MaryAnne

MaryAnne Morrill

Senior Editor Senior Editor Michelle Donofry

Michelle Donofry Style Editor StylePlata Editor Charity

Charity Plata

Asst. Editor Asst. Editor Mildred Landis

Mildred Landis

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Contributing Writers Michael Merrick Crooks, Susan A. Friedmann, CSP, GiftCertiďŹ cates.com, Goldsmith, Michael MerrickBarton Crooks, MaryPhD., English, Maria Gracia, Arnold Light, CTC, Bill Nissim, Barton Dave Goldsmith, Ph.D., Arnold Light, CTC, Ribble, Ed Rigsbee, CSP, Nissim, Dave Ribble, MAS, Dr. PeterBill Tarlow, Trendwatching, Dave Willmer

Ed Rigsbee, CSP, Barry Siskind,

PRODUCTION / DESIGN Megan Slabinski, Dr. Peter Tarlow Art Director Percy Zamora

Photography

Brilliant Results is published monthly by Brilliant Publishing LLC, Cover Cover Story Images Courtesy 9034 Joyce Laneand Hummelstown PA 17036 (717) 608-5869; Fax#of: (717) 566-5431. Postage paid at Mechanicsburg PA and additional Culturalplease Explorer, Roadtrips, and ofďŹ ces. The POSTMASTER send address changes Inc. to Brilliant Results, 9034 Joyce Lane, Hummelstown PA 17036. Volume 4. Celebrity Cruises Number 12. Brilliant Results subscription rates: one-year $120; Canadian $160 USD; one-year foreign $225 USD. All subscriptions are non-refundable. Copyright Š 2007 Brilliant Publishing LLC. All rights reserved. The publisher reserves the right to accept or reject any advertising or editorial material. Advertisers, and/or Art Director their agents, assume the responsibility for any claims against the publisher based on the advertisement. Editorial contributors assume Jami Hubbard responsibility for their published works and assume responsibility for any claims against the publisher based on published work. Results is published by Brilliant Publishing No Brilliant part of this publication can bemonthly reproduced in any form or by LLC, 9034 Joyce Lane Hummelstown PA 17036 (717) 608-5869; Fax# electronic or mechanical means, including information storage (717) 566-5431. Postage paid at Mechanicsburg PA and and adretrieval systems, written permission fromaddress the publisher. ditional offices.without POSTMASTER please send changes to All Brilliant items submitted BrilliantJoyce Results become the sole property Results,to 9034 Lane, Hummelstown PA of 17036. Volume 5. Number Brilliant Results Brilliant Publishing LLC. 09. Editorial content does subscription not reect the rates: views oneyearpublisher. $120; Canadian $160logos, USD;trademarks one-year or foreign $225 USD. of the The imprints, trade names All subscriptions are non-refundable. Š 2008 Brilliant (Collectively the “Marksâ€?) displayed on Copyright the products featured Publishing LLC. All rights reserved. The publisher reserves the right in Brilliant Results are for illustrative purposes only and are not to accept or reject any advertising or editorial material. Advertisavailable for sale. Theagents, marks do not represent the impliedfor or actual ers, and/or their assume the responsibility any claims endorsement bypublisher the ownersbased of theonMarks of the product on which conagainst the the advertisement. Editorial responsibility for property their published works and astheytributors appear. assume All of the Marks are the of the respective sumeand responsibility for any claims the publisher owners is not the property of eitheragainst the advertisers usingbased the on published work. No part of this publication can be reproduced in Marks Brilliant anyorform or byResults. electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the publisher. All items submitted to Brilliant Results become the sole property of Brilliant Publishing LLC. Editorial content does not reflect the views of the publisher. The imprints, logos, trademarks or trade names (Collectively the “Marksâ€?) displayed on the products featured in Brilliant Results are for illustrative purposes only and are not available for sale. The marks do not represent the implied or actual endorsement by the owners of the Marks of the product on which they appear. All of the Marks are the property of the www.brilliantpublishing.com respective owners and is not the property of either the advertisers using the Marks or Brilliant Results. www.brilliantpublishing.com

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destination marketing

Incentive Travel Choices to Match Your Brand A journey begins with a single step but today’s travelers are stepping out in many different directions. Travel has long been a very effective part of incentive programs whether as the prize of meeting or exceeding a sales goal or as a part of the corporate retreat to recharge executive’s batteries. To provide corporate executives with unique ideas to satisfy those different footprints and mean the most to their personnel, Brilliant Results is featuring three entirely different travel alternatives in this travel and destination marketing issue. For those with their sights set on making a difference we spoke with Pat Walker, Founder of The Cultural Explorer, for the experientially and sports minded we spoke with Dave Guenther, Founder of Roadtrips Inc. and finally for those wanting to cruise to the far reaches of the sea in luxury we spoke with Ron Gulasky, Celebrity Cruises’ Director of Corporate and Charter Sales. Brilliant Results thinks these selections should provide food for thought for those who are looking to ‘get moving’, make a difference, be unique, and get results.

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destination marketing

www.theculturalexplorer.com

— Travel that makes a difference: BR: Pat, how did you become involved with The Cultural Explorer? PW: I am the founder of The Cultural Explorer. I started going to South Africa in 1994 right after the end of apartheid. At the time I was working in the aviation and aerospace industries and went to Johannesburg to attend an air show. I spent a couple of weeks there and fell in love with the people and the country. I went down every year for several years to the same show and would travel all over South Africa and into other countries including Namibia, Zambia and Botswana. Everywhere I went people would ask me how to start a business or how to market their business — always saying that Americans are the great entrepreneurs or the great marketers. I could see that the disadvantaged people, especially in South Africa, had such great hope and wanted so much to succeed after years of repression, so I decided to start a travel/tour company where people could get together and talk about ideas. My vision was to take Americans down to South Africa and have them meet with the local people and give them business and marketing ideas. My vision was also to inspire my travelers to get involved and give back to some of the projects that we visited. So today my travelers get to “make a difference” as they explore this extraordinary country. The Cultural Explorer is really about inspiring success. I am not pretending to try to end poverty — but if we as travelers can give people a few ideas and suggestions as to how they can have better lives and be more productive, then I have achieved my goals. BR: What are the most important features/benefits to participants of The Cultural Explorer experience? PW: My customers call it a life-changing experience. I think our trips certainly change perspectives. As Americans we have so much and so many parts of the world are struggling and have very little. My customers always feel so grateful for what they have and have been given. They always want to help out in some way. It has been very gratifying for me to see that. I think it makes all of us feel good to help others, so while they explore South Africa, my customers have the advantage of getting to know the locals, often helping out in some way.

And just about everyone falls in love with South Africa.

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destination marketing BR: What makes The Cultural Explorer  a good match for executives planning incentive programs, meetings or events that include a travel destination? PW: Philanthropic travel is all the rage right now. Companies are asking — what can we do as a corporation or an organization to get involved and help out? Where can we go and how do we want to use our money? I think especially in the fields of education, women’s rights, and medical relief — much help is needed. At The Cultural Explorer, we have the expertise, the contacts, and the integrity to put together travel programs that really benefit the host country and the local people. Personally, I can’t think of a better use of corporate funds than to rebuild a rural school and give children a chance. Just look what Oprah is doing. We need more companies willing to go out and redo schools in poor villages and help develop educational programs. What a great gift to the world. Nothing is more important than education. There is a school out in Didima Valley in Kwa Zulu Natal. The area is desperately poor, but the principal of the school is really motivated and the students are so eager to learn. This small school needs a computer center, a library, and some new classrooms. Right now it is just a few dilapidated rooms with ancient desks and many broken windows…chickens wander in and out. It would be a great restoration project for a corporate incentive program. BR: In your opinion, what makes an incentive program successful? PW: Well, of course, given what I do, I think anytime you can help others - it is a win/win. The ‘giver” feels great — and the “recipient” feels inspired and validated. BR:

Examples?

PW: I have a client from Dallas who is donating books, supplies, blankets, and cupboards to a preschool near Elim, South Africa, that we visited. She is a retired school administrator and wanted to help. (Oh, well this is not an incentive program.) BR: What has been your most effective marketing campaign and what was the key(s) to its success? PW: I have a trip that goes out to meet the Venda and Shangaan tribal artists in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. This has been a big success. Many of these artists have become quite successful and have developed projects that help women and children of their villages. I think it is successful because people love meeting these eccentric artists and spending time in their homes and studios. And they get can’t help but get involved with some of the community projects that benefit the kids and the women. And they get to explore rural South Africa and spend time with tribal people that don’t see many tourists. So I think the key to the success is to offer travelers an unusual, authentic experience — with an opportunity to give back. BR: How  do you brand  The Cultural Explorer  as a  destination or experiential  part of an incentive program?  PW: We are working right now with an organization of women attorneys who want to go down to South Africa and meet and work with women attorneys there.

 hey are exploring ways to encourage young South Africa women to become more involved with T the law. (They do this here in the US as well). I think they see this as a way to help empower the

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local women…something that is much needed in many of these African countries.

I hope we are past the era of travel where tourists just pass through on a bus and take photos. I think this is a time when we need to look carefully and connect with the people in other countries that we visit. We are, as the Olympic slogan says, one world!

BR: In your opinion, what is the most important aspect of destination marketing? PW: Finding what motivates people to pack their bags and head out. BR: What promotional merchandise has been well received as a part of The Cultural Explorer travel experience?  PW: When someone signs up for our e-newsletter we send them Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, we suggest it is good reading material on the long flight to South Africa. Our customers love the book and it really prepares them for their journey. BR: Do you remember the last promotional or incentive item you received?  PW: A key chain. It is something so small - but so powerful. A software company in South Africa gave out key chains in the shape of the country. What makes the key chains remarkable is that they are fashioned from ordinary street wire (like telephone line) by disadvantaged people. Street Wires has become a thriving organization that now employs thousands. They make all kinds of things from wire…jewelry, baskets, art, and beautiful wire animals. I still have the wire key chain sitting on my desk.

I think it reminds me to look for the extraordinary in the ordinary!

BR:    Do you have any final thoughts or advice for our readers?   PW: It takes so little to make a difference as you travel. Sometimes it is just a conversation with someone that gives them a sense of validation. Sometimes it is volunteering — building a house or a school, working in an orphanage, teaching for a month, or mentoring. Sometimes just a hug makes a difference.

We all have talents and gifts, so why not share them as you travel?

www.roadtripsinc.com ­— For

the experiential and sports minded:

BR: Dave, how did you become involved with Roadtrips Inc.? DG: I’m the company Founder. BR: What are the most important features/benefits to participants of the Roadtrips Inc. experience?  DG: Experience is the key word. The goal of Roadtrips’ experiences is to create memories and special moments that will last far longer and have a far more motivating effect than any other premium or incentive product. Amazing travel experiences have a huge advantage in this way. When we take someone to the Olympics and they see Michael Phelps win a gold medal or if we take

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destination marketing someone driving through some of the most picturesque countryside in Europe in a Porsche 911 we create mental yard markers that that person will never forget. The motivational impact of that translates into massive ROI for the promotion or incentive planner. BR:

W  hat makes Roadtrips Inc.  a good match for executives planning incentive programs, meetings or events that include a travel destination? 

DG: Roadtrips brings some truly unique and special experiences to the table for planners who want to really WOW their constituents. Our Exclusive Travel Awards series provides planners with a very easy to use way to provide a travel reward to a top destination or experience. Award choices include luxury hotel stays with unique lifestyle experiences, championship golf getaways, major sporting events, gourmet food and wine getaways and many more. Each of these awards is designed for independent travel so that recipients can go when they want and with whom they want. For the planner, all pricing is fixed and administration is effortless. So, if providing a top quality travel experience fits a planners program, there really isn’t an easier high quality solution. On the group side, Roadtrips does amazing things to International Sporting Events. The Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010, the World Cup of Football (Soccer) in South Africa in 2010 and the Summer Games in London set for 2012 will all be major events for us. These are all big-ticket items but they provide a legacy of benefit for companies that are looking to build long-term relationships with key people. Roadtrips has also recently been named the Official Travel Partner of Porsche’s Travel Club. This partnership with Porsche means that we will continue to create amazing travel experiences, particularly for the incentive marketplace utilizing Porsche cars. BR: In your opinion, what makes an incentive program successful? Examples?  DG: In my mind, a good incentive program has solid ROI fundamentals mixed with a top quality reward. I think too many companies fall into a budget trap and end up providing less than inspiring rewards. You are far better off pinpointing program goals and pushing program participants to new heights by using a reward that truly motivates. This is one of the reasons why I think luxury travel is such a great thing for an incentive program. Lots of companies know about this on the group side with their big ‘Gold Circle’ or similar trip but few of them are incorporating this kind of highly motivating travel reward using a unique luxury travel experience that can be achieved for personal use on the recipient’s own time. Historically, I think that’s had a lot to do with the hassle and variables involved in planning independent travel but these days Roadtrips can take all of that work off of a planner’s hands. BR:  What’s a recent example of an effective independent travel program and what was the key(s) to its success?  DG: Recently, we completed a promo program using Exclusive Travel Awards where recipients received their choice of one of twelve amazing travel experiences around the globe. Choices included an

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destination marketing Elephant Safari in Thailand, a trip to the Cannes Film Festival, a Diva for the Day personal shopping spree and spa experience, a chance to attend Fashion Week in Milan and a deluxe Mediterranean cruise among others. The trips were very compelling and created great results. The challenge was the intricate details of the trips. Our staff did a fabulous job, guests had a great time and now we have a handful of clients that are interested in similar awards. BR: And for groups? What’s coming up that planners should be aware of? DG: It’s definitely not too early to be thinking about the Winter Games planned for Vancouver and Whistler in February 2010. Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and the close proximity to all North American markets make this an excellent opportunity for planners who want to make a big noise and obtain big results from their key people.

www.celebritycruises.com, www.celebritycorporatekit.com

— If luxury is your passion: BR: Ron, how did you become involved with Celebrity Cruises? RG: I worked in Marketing at Polaroid Corporation for Dan Hanrahan, who had moved on to accept the position of Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. By staying in touch with him, I became aware of a Director of Sales position in the Northeast, then followed him when he became President of Celebrity Cruises. That position is the role I hold now, and I love it. The Celebrity brand is absolutely ideal for companies seeking a premium incentive or meeting. What stands out most to me is that on land/resort programs, at the end of the night, after you have the reception

in the same ballroom you had your meetings and meals in all day; everyone goes and stands in the bar or disperses in taxis. Conversely, on a Celebrity Cruises ship, our guests can experience

spa treatments, visit the casino, attend a Broadway-style show or an art auction, enjoy complimentary 24-hour room service, the fitness center, a variety of dancing and entertainment options, such as karaoke, the Martini Bar, first-run movies, and so much more. BR: What are the most important features/benefits to participants of the Celebrity Cruises experience?

RG: For Celebrity Cruises’ guests, it’s our “Star Treatment” — being treated like a star the moment they step onto the ship. Considering the majority of the population has not cruised before, a cruise is a firsttime experience for many, unlike the hotel and resort experiences they are accustomed to. Celebrity guests consistently rate Celebrity Cruises as one of the world’s finest cruise lines. Celebrity fulfills

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destination marketing corporate guests’ dreams of remarkable, memorable company functions and celebrations. Our exceptional level of personal service, award-winning cuisine, incredible amenities and accommodation — among the most spacious at sea — not only promise an unforgettable cruise experience, but forge a lasting relationship between our guests and ourselves. We deliver the ultimate team-building experience. BR: What makes Celebrity Cruises a good match for executives planning incentive programs, meetings or events that include a travel destination? RG: We immediately save them 30% or more compared to a land program! For a meeting planner, entertainment and food are the most time-consuming and expensive budget items; but, on a cruise, they are included, so there’s no need to worry about the time or cost involved in putting them together! Considered the standard by which others are judged, the Celebrity fleet combines modern-day technology with casual elegance, exceptional cuisine, exclusive entertainment, spacious and stylish accommodations, state-of-the-art meeting rooms and AV equipment, and the signature service Celebrity is known for. We also just instituted a fleet-wide fitness equipment upgrade, recently introduced a spa product and service line specifically for men, expanded our shore excursions offerings and golf programs, including our “golf concierge” services, implemented onboard cell phone use (main dining rooms and theaters excluded), introduced a new bedding program, redesigned and expanded our gift shops, expanded our wireless Internet access, and introduced new onboard entertainment.       Selecting the right destination is always a critical choice to be made for the program and we’re sure meetings and event planners will feel confident in selecting a Celebrity cruise. We are consistently rated as one of the world’s finest cruise lines; in fact, in the most recent annual Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Survey, Celebrity marked its sixth consecutive year of top rankings within the “Best Cruise Ships in the World” poll. We also swept the rankings in food/dining, crew/ service and design/layout. BR: In your opinion, what makes an incentive program successful? Any examples? RG: I really think it’s the carrot at the end of the stick; something people haven’t done before - making a cruise the obvious choice! Everyone who is incentive-based has been to a nice resort or hotel before, but few have done a cruise. They’re very interested, but for some reason have not done it yet! We really get the candidate and significant other excited when they know they could win a cruise. They get excited if they haven’t cruised, because it’s new, and if they have already cruised, they get excited because they love it! Add to that a cruise line known for “Star Treatment” — Celebrity Cruises — and you have yourself a real winner. We also recently added a cruise gift certificate program where an individual can redeem points in their individual incentive program and get a free cruise. This has really taken off, and many companies are amazed at the excitement and motivation this has generated. BR: What has been your most effective marketing campaign and what was the key(s) to its success? RG: For our department, specifically, we did an email blast to 4,500 corporations, introducing our new web portal, www.celebritycorporatekit.com, and the number of hits from that announcement was absolutely incredible. The site explains why a cruise is such a great choice, and then why Celebrity Cruises is the best choice of them all!

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BR:

How do you brand Celebrity Cruises as a destination or experiential part of an incentive program?

RG:

I think most people get a little bored staying at one land-based destination for more than two to three days. With a cruise, you avoid that entirely, since you move from port to port each day, so every day is truly a wonderful new experience! Combine that with Celebrity’s ships, with unlimited things to do onboard, and you have something for everyone to look forward to, enjoy and remember an incredible incentive trip. The people have worked so hard during their incentive program qualification period; to be able to sit back and enjoy Celebrity’s pampering during their award trip is very exciting and motivating.

BR:

What promotional merchandise has been well received as a part of the Celebrity Cruises travel experience?

RG:

In recognition of the pressure often placed on meeting planners to flawlessly execute exciting, unique travel experiences tailored to corporate groups, we have a Corporate Amenity Selection (CAS) program aimed to serve as a one-stop shop that will eliminate planners’ need to coordinate every detail. A simple point system allows planners to select from a wide range of amenities for meeting attendees, including cookie trays with milk at turndown; Celebrity Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon collectors’ bottles; and a variety of apparel and gifts. Available points are based on the particular departure the planner selects. We have found that the martini shakers or our collectors’ bottles are among the most popular items. After enjoying them personally in our many lounges and dining venues on the ship, they’re great keepsakes to take home.

BR:

Do you remember the last promotional or incentive item you received?

RG:

Actually it was a martini shaker with a Celebrity logo on it, and I love it. For some reason, the whole martini-making experience livens up any occasion!”

BR:

Do you have any final thoughts or advice for our readers?

RG:

Choose a cruise for your next incentive or meeting! There really is no excuse why not to choose a cruise ship for the next event, since it will not only save the company over 30% compared to other venues, but it will also be an incredible carrot for those seeking the award. And remember these key selling points over land: Multiple destinations, open menus for dining choices, personalized service, state-of-the-art conference centers equal to land-based products, no need for meal planning, self-contained floating resort, business services, wireless Internet access, most marketing material free, 24-hour medical service available, high level of security. Also, cost containment and value, through built-in activities, no charge for meeting rooms, no charge for standard A/V equipment, no charge for health club, entertainment is included, choice of activities, specialty dining, production crew onboard, daily programs free, photographer onboard, customization affordable, theater for large meetings or award presentations.

For all our Brilliant Results readers, now the only hard part of your next travel incentive program will be deciding which one of these very different options will match your corporate brand image and motivate your staff. We feel sure that whichever one you select will delight everyone who has the opportunity to make the trip!

www.brilliantpublishing.com

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Travel Rewards

Can Make Incentive Programs Take Off By: Mary English

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” — Lao Tzu When the ancient Chinese Taoist Philosopher Lao Tzu created this saying, chances are he wasn’t referring to incentive programs and using travel awards as part of a reward and recognition program. But the ideals behind the meaning of that saying can certainly be applied to any successful incentive program. Just as any successful journey is made up of many steps, a successful reward and recognition program is made up of those many awards that recipients desire. And more and more, what recipients are looking for in their incentive selection are travel awards. Increasingly, participants in incentive programs are asking for and wishing for more experiential redemption options. In addition to the standard merchandise or product choices that have been the staple of programs for so long, employees, customers and other participants want redemption choices that allow them to “get away from it all” and create lifelong memories. Offering travel awards is the perfect solution to meet the desires of your participants. Incentive programs that offer travel rewards among their redemption options are becoming more popular, and more successful, because they offer recipients the choice of creating those memories. Whether it’s from a trip or a stay at an exclusive hotel, travel rewards offer nearly unlimited choices. But “choice” isn’t the only reason travel incentives are gaining in popularity. “Choice is a big factor, but it’s also a ‘one size fits all’ category,” states Peter Friend, President of Pier 35 Events, Inc., DBA Travelocity Incentives. Friend also describes that there are more benefits to having travels rewards as redemption options. “Fulfillment is a breeze compared to merchandise,” he explains. “And family members get to enjoy a travel award with the recipient, unlike a golf club, an iPod or other piece of merchandise that only one recipient can use.” It’s these benefits that have fueled the growth of travel incentive rewards as an option alongside gift cards in the recent past. “Absolutely,” Friend confirms. “Individual incentive travel cards allow people to access travel at lower award levels and travel is always a high aspiration product.” Friend also outlines the overall impact of travel awards – for the incentive program administrators and the recipients. “Dollar denominated travel cards are economic for everybody because the issuers offer a reasonable discount and the program members are wanting travel awards in their program.”

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Offering an incentive program that includes an option for travel gift cards also has one other major benefit that appeals to recipients – freedom. Gift cards that can be used to make travel plans are rising in demand because they give the user the freedom to design their trip to their own personal tastes and schedules. Being able to use a travel reward gift card means a recipient can choose where they stay, when they travel and which companies to use. They no longer are forced into selecting one of those pre-determined “vacation packages” where travel dates, times and locations are already set. Friend agrees, describing the vacation packages the “dinosaurs of the travel industry.” According to Friend, while those pre-set packages offer higher margins, they just don’t have good value for the recipient. “Dynamic packaging of airfare, hotel, rental car plus activities not only gives the individual tremendous choice,” says Friend, “but it also brings real savings.” The one caveat a program administrator of a reward and recognition program offering travel incentives should keep in mind is fuel – or more specifically, the high cost of fuel. As Friend describes, “The price of gas is a deterrent for all travel and hurts individual travel as a category compared to merchandise and other awards that can be enjoyed at home.” One way to position travel awards as still a viable redemption option, however, is to showcase the travel gift card as a savings for another part of the trip. If a recipient uses a travel gift card to buy airline tickets, for example, the money that they normally would have spent for flights can then be used elsewhere, such as gas in a rental car, or tickets to a theme park. For those not flying, but driving to a vacation destination, using a travel gift card to pay for the hotel rooms means a family now has more money to pay for those driving costs.

Mary English is the Vice President of Marketing for Hallmark Insights, the leader in providing business incentive solutions and personalized reward programs for employee recognition, customer acquisition and retention, sales and dealer incentives, and health and wellness programs. To learn more, go to HallmarkInsights.com.

Even with the higher costs of gas, offering travel incentives is an ever-increasingly important part of any incentive program. Because no matter how many “things” we have or prizes we win, there will always be a part of us that wants to take that first step of a thousand mile journey and just “go.” Or, as the author of ‘Treasure Island’ once said:

“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” — Robert Louis Stevenson

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Getting the Most from

Incentive Travel

By: Dr. Peter Tarlow

Even in an age of difficult air travel, there is no doubt that people still love to travel, especially when they do not have to pay to travel. The business world has long understood the value of incentive travel. Incentive travel is not merely a perk, if used correctly it can be a way to open employees’ eyes to the world, and broaden their horizons. There is also the hybrid of incentive travel mixed with educational travel so as to provide your employees with both the gift of travel and the gift of education. Incentive travel can be divided into three subsets: (1) pure pleasure motivational travel, (2) incentive-educational travel, and (3) incentive/careerenhancement travel. Each one of these subsets has its own use. Additionally incentive travel can be to a particular destination; the winner receives a free trip to place X, or to a place of the winner’s choice.

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To get the best results from your incentive travel programs, consider the following points: • What is the goal of your incentive travel program? Is the program merely a means to increase sales or do you want to send a particular message to your employees? Think clearly about the results that you want from such a program and then tailor the program so as to receive those results. • Know your staff/employees. Do not create an incentive program that will not be appreciated. If your employees tend to be of the less adventurous nature, then an African safari may be counter-productive as an incentive program. If your employees hate water sports, do not consider a beach resort. Instead chose places that will be to the liking of the majority of your employees rather than to your liking. • Be clear as to what the incentive program travel will include. In today’s world of high costs, a free ticket to Europe may become more of a hassle than a reward unless your incentive program also includes the cost of a hotel and at least some meals. A free airline ticket to Europe for people who cannot afford the euro-dollar exchange, have never obtained a passport, and are monolingual may become more or a disincentive rather than an incentive. • If giving airline tickets, make sure to include the hidden costs. Airline travel today has become a minefield of hidden costs. Permit your reward winner to keep receipts for a baggage check-in, aisle seats and other amenities that used to be standard and are now charged. • Make sure it is clear who is receiving the award.

Dr. Peter Tarlow is a founder and president of Tourism & More Inc. Dr. Tarlow has appeared on National televised programs such as Dateline: NBC and on CNBC. Dr. Tarlow organizes conferences around the world dealing with visitor safety and security issues and with the economic importance of tourism and tourism marketing. He also works with numerous cities, states, and foreign governments to improve their tourism products and to train their tourism security professionals. For additional information visit www.tourismandmore.

Is the incentive travel merely for the employee, for his/her spouse, or for the winner’s entire family? If the person must obtain childcare services during the period of travel, will the travel become more of burden than a reward? • Provide incentive travel only to those who want it. Not everyone wants to travel today, if the goal is motivation then provide two or three non-travel alternatives. That way the person who is choosing the trip truly appreciates it. • Change incentive travel into work improvement travel. When possible combine the trip with skills improvement. For example, use half the trip for career enhancement skills and then use the other half of the trip for pure leisure. That way, your employee has gained a new skill and at the same time received an award. • Ask for feedback. Most winners of incentive travel want to talk about their trip. Give them the opportunity to tell you about the airline, hotel, restaurants and what they have learned that may be of benefit to others on the staff. Even if the incentive travel was purely for pleasure, sharing information allows others to feel part of the trip and provides them with useful reference information. www.brilliantpublishing.com

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When Planning an Incentive Trip Only One of the

Best Beaches in the World Will Do!

By: Arnold Light, CTC When you have an experienced group of incentive winners year after year and they just love sun and fun but don’t want the glitz and glamour of some of the other Caribbean islands then of course you take your top achievers to Turks & Caicos, BWI on the island of Providenciales (Provo) because it has been ranked as “Best Beach” by Condé Nast magazine and by the World Travel Awards for several years running. This plush gem of an island is just the right escape from busy schedules and hectic sales quotas. Located just 600 miles southeast of Miami Turks and Caicos beckon sophisticated travelers. Here on the sugarsand shores of the Island of Providenciales outlined in azure blue, the simple pleasures of island living mesh seamlessly with contemporary luxuries in a Caribbean Paradise. The perfect setting for an incentive trip! Smack in the middle of it all is the Regent Palms Resort, situated on world-famous Grace Beach lies this elegant hideaway consisting of just 72 luxuriously appointed suites that include a full wet bar, safe, high-speed Wi-Fi and cable television, a full kitchen utilizing Viking appliances, and of course daily butler service is available. Other worldwide amenities include a 25,000 square foot spa and two gourmet restaurants.

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When the shining jet hits the runway at Providenciales International Airport, its just a few formalities and then a 15-minute ride to the posh resort where a cool towel, a refreshing drink and delectable snacks await the award winners, 50 of the top salespeople and their guests from a well-known computer manufacturer. This trip is the beginning of a 6-day, 5-night all-inclusive reward for their efforts, dubbed the President’s Club. Each guest receives a welcome gift consisting of a wonderful goodie bag filled with logo-imprinted towels, sun block, hats, tee shirts and bottles of water. The first evening in this Caribbean paradise begins with a beachside welcome reception and dinner at The Regent Palms. As the sun starts to set and the group gathers there’s a feeling of warm camaraderie. There are welcoming local musicians and dancers in the background. Once the sumptuous buffet is opened all are treated to the specialties of the Regent Palms hotel while being entertained by a smooth swaying Caribbean band. The evening ends with a soaring bonfire on the beach. The next day begins with a business meeting for the associates who worked so hard to earn this trip. The meeting is followed by a luncheon while spouses and guests are entertained by the President’s wife at a special luncheon with champagne, and Lobster at a nearby beach restaurant. That evening the dinner is at a local restaurant on the beach with a succulent barbecue of local dishes. There’s a DJ to keep the party moving. On an island such as Provo there are all kinds of activities and guests have the option of choosing from a variety of these activities over a period of several days. They include: spa treatments, scuba diving, snorkeling, deep sea fishing, eco kayaking, sail fishing, and a full day out on a Catamaran visiting several islands. Perhaps the highlight of the trip was participation in the fifth annual Turks & Caicos Music Festival, a week long extravaganza featuring such well know performers as LJ Cool, Billy Ocean and Anita Baker. The night the group attended Lionel Ritchie was the main attraction preceded by local singers, comedians and musicians. The party lasted until 3 am! On the next to the last day, the President of the company chartered a Catamaran and treated the top performers to a day of sailing, snorkeling and island hoping. The final night is always special. The entire group decked out in white attire (very elegant) gathered for a glass of champagne and a group photo and then it was off to the sheik Nikki Beach Hotel where an elaborate Awards Reception and Banquet was held. Great ambience. Wonderful food. Cool music, all topped off with a spectacular fireworks display. A great ending to a wonderful trip to one of the greatest beaches in the world and a very powerful motivator to those participants who made this year’s trip to work hard during the year to earn next year’s incentive award trip. Have a Rewarding Day. www.brilliantpublishing.com

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Arnold Light, CTC, Founder of Fire and Light has 35 years of marketing experience specializing in incentive and loyalty marketing helping multinational corporations develop and implement B2B and B2C results oriented performance improvement programs. For additional information visit www.incentivesmotivate.com or call 914-397-0800.

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Toolbox

for Brand Assessment and Repositioning By: Bill Nissim

In order to weather the current economic storm, companies must take a step back and assess their core business and brand for continued relevancy. As reported on July 28, 2008 by CNNMoney. com1, “Americans drove 9.6 billion fewer miles in May compared with a year earlier, according to a report Monday from the Federal Highway Administration.” This dramatic change in consumer behavior has impacted respected brands like Starbucks (closing 600 stores) and automotive giants (Big Three Detroit automakers, Toyota, Honda (HMC), Nissan) which have all announced cutbacks in North American truck production according to a July 2008 BusinessWeek.com article. 2 Did these organizations anticipate the downturn and make the necessary adjustments in advance? Consider one such forward-thinking company, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. In May 2006, Starwood announced a plan to reduce their dependence on real estate while concurrently creating new brands tailored to a new generation of travelers. This innovative company implemented an “asset right” strategy in 2006, which included the sale of more than $5 billion in non-strategic properties. At the same time, the company retained ownership of its most attractive assets that could be redeveloped, repositioned or those that possess vacation ownership opportunities. Starwood continued to churn its real estate portfolio as it mined the value in its retained assets. As a result, in Q2 2008 they were rewarded with an 11.7% increase in year over year management and franchise revenues. Starwood is also committed to connecting emotionally with their guests through brands with brand-specific innovation, the creation of memorable experiences. This results in the cultivation of great preference and brand loyalty for Starwood brands. As noted in a July 2008 Starwood news release, Frits van Paasschen, CEO said, “Starwood’s global footprint and strong brands drove the Company’s second quarter results above expectations and ahead of our competition.” It’s healthy for a company to step away from their business and conduct a strategic, situational analysis. How often do organizations collectively assess their business and brand in unison? Furthermore, do they take time to understand the current and future landscape of the industries they serve? Finally, do they take this information and “plot” a trajectory, as Starwood Hotels did, to ensure the vitality of their core business?

Toolbox Defined Imagine a “Toolbox” that can help your firm both assess and reposition your brand now and for the future. In September 2008, the Author that brought you “The Brand Advocate” will release his second book that takes the marketing practitioner through the mechanics of evaluating both the business and brand as well as help determine its future trajectory. 1 2

CNNMoney.com, July 2008 BusinessWeek.com, July 2008

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What is the value of this process? Many organizations maintain the status quo when it comes to their Brand Strategy. The focus of their activities primarily resides in tactical promotion and short-term planning. Very little time is devoted to evaluating their current state (brand position) much less plotting a future direction. This process also goes beyond the brand itself and incorporates strategic business planning. Utilizing a toolbox that examines both your business and brand strategy at the same time will allow the management team the necessary vision to face current challenges and future opportunities. This toolbox centers around three basic elements and compares two of the three at any given time. These three elements include attributes of your offering, how consumers behave when they interact with your brand, and the circumstances that surround this interaction. By evaluating all three combinations, you begin to develop an understanding of your current position and through this process, anticipate the ever-changing economic landscape. Let’s view each element that constitutes the brand toolbox: Attributes: Whether you are discussing people, places, or things, attributes are the basis by which you compare, contrast, and distinguish levels of acceptance for use and/or consumption. Everything we do on a daily basis draws upon attributes to discern and validate who we are and our place on this earth. Do you believe that? Why do you buy a certain car, brand of clothing, or a cup of coffee? Additionally, why do you connect with certain associates, friends, neighbors, etc? Conversely, why do you reproof, reject, and distance yourself from other products or services? Whether we want to admit it or not (intellectual verses emotional), we rely on associations (a.k.a. brands) that surround the attributes of people, places, and things. In short, attributes are indeed imperatives in our daily discrimination process and form how we make choices. Attributes alone will not satisfy anyone. There must be a foundation and process by which these attributes are executed and delivered to form such perceptions. Next, we will consider behavior in response to attributes and what that means to us as we consume. Behavior: Would you consider yourself a rational consumer? Most of us would answer yes. Interestingly, what we do and how we do it often defies reasonable thought despite our best intentions. Don’t we all behave the same way? You walk into a store to buy a can of soup. You see two products on the shelf: one has a noname white label, another red with the brand name Campbell’s TM written on it. Which one would you buy? Remember, the type of reasoning that both buyer and seller share enables the basis of a relationship. As a consumer, you are buying more than a can of soup and this purchase reflects who you are (at the cash register), the perceived quality you provide your family (brand trust), and what you deem as acceptable in your world (values). This synergy between behavior and attributes, however contrived, becomes the paradigm by which we consume. Marketers could gain greater insight into attributes/behavior relationship by observing HOW people actually behave verses WHAT people say they do (i.e. surveys). If you ask owners of CD players how to improve this product offering, they probably wouldn’t have come up with the iPod TM concept. If you observe HOW they use CD Players, their behavior would speak volumes about the gap that exists between the current offering and a desired solution (i.e. runners use for mobile music devices). Now let’s consider the last element which is the setting where we consume. Circumstances: The circumstances surrounding how we make purchasing decisions are situational at best! As a marketer, you may have the right attributes and behavior in place, but if the setting isn’t appropriate, the whole concept falls apart. As an example, let’s discuss the auto industry.

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Buyers were seeking the next generation consumer vehicle. Automobile companies had the same relative resources, processes, and values to compete fairly for this emerging market. The attributes of design, functionality, and capability preexisted along with the behavior of consumers to continuously improve their driving experience. However, the problem for one Auto Company came into play with circumstances: the general public wasn’t prepared to give up their gas consuming cars for a sub-compact, rangelimited electric vehicle (EV) that this company had so heavily invested in. The technology of EV’s under the current circumstances was not a good fit at that particular time, and as a result, the electric vehicle product died a timely death. Conversely, Japanese automakers like Toyota and Honda took the next, logical step and created a hybrid (gas/electric) vehicle that was closer to a standard car but with all the benefits of high mileage and environmentally friendly. What valuable lesson was learned? Although people desire higher mileage vehicles (attributes/behavior), the idea of a car that relies solely on battery technology (charge each night, limited range, and very small size) defies the circumstances of mainstream consumers.

How does this Toolbox function? Now that you have considered your current Attributes, Behavior, and Circumstances as it relates to both your overall business and brand(s), the next step is to compare and contrast any two of the three on a scale. Evaluating one element against another is important to understand three things: your current position, controllable and uncontrollable variables, and plausible trajectories your organization may consider. This triangular approach allows each of the three elements to be gauged against the other. Within this toolkit also resides a more subtle scale that enables a future view of your business. This “Second Dimension” prompts the marketing practitioner to monitor nuances in the marketplace and affect change before these tremors become a major shift in consumer demand. Once all three combinations (including the second dimension) have been assessed, the next step in the process considers the controllable and uncontrollable aspects of your environment. This may include socio, political, economic, or other events that are outside of your control. Rather than view these variables as negative influences on your business, factor these insights into your overall strategy. Most likely, your closest competitors will eventually face the same limitations either now or sometime in the future. Starwood Hotels anticipated and repositioned their business model and now hold a leading hotel pipeline of growth potential (20% higher than closest competitor). 3 The final step in this process is to consider your next move. After assessing your current position and variables that may limit directional changes, scenario planning helps the management team select a future trajectory. By reviewing “Scattergrams” based on actual consumer usage and constructing radar maps, the team can “plot” a series of movements along each leg of the triangular model. The outcome of this exercise yields a Brand Triad Map™ that illustrates a current position and future direction. This exercise complements fundamental business and financial analysis and in no way usurps traditional practices. What it does provide is both a visualization and convergence of your brand and business strategy. With this information in hand, the management team may begin the process of repositioning the organization for change and signaling to the marketplace of your new direction.

Bill Nissim helps organizations create synergy between their Business and Branding strategies. To learn more about the Brand Triad model and this process go to www.brandtriad.com. Here you will find additional information, be able to join the blog discussion, or preview a free portion of this newly released book. To learn more about the author or his prior work, please visit www.ibranz.com. 3

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Do you have the right tools in your Brand’s Toolbox? This new book, Brand Triad, releasing in September 2008 will be your go-to guide for assessing and repositioning your brand. A must read for all in charge of brand strategy. It will transform how you approach your branding process.

Let ibranz ™ help You create a Powerful Brand Strategy! For more information: www.ibranz.com ibranz ™ Powerful Brand Strategies Successful Business Solutions

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Comfort

Reluctance:

The Cause of Many Missed Opportunities

By: Michael Merrick Crooks

Recently, I was accused of having a filthy mind. As a creative problem-solver, I’ve been accused

of a lot of things through the years — it comes with the territory. So I operate under the assumption that no matter what I do, say … or write, someone, somewhere will have a problem with it.

In the most recent case, I was involved in a discussion regarding the promotional applications of urinal screens. (Below I share the ideas developed. You can be the judge.) The comment regarding my mind, and the fact that “ …some things are better left unwritten,” led me to ponder: “How many promotional marketing opportunities are missed and how many issues go unresolved in the workplace and in our communities, due to Comfort Reluctance?” Reluctance to explore issues, subjects or creative approaches because we are uncomfortable with them is why relationships fail, company’s go out of business, the “other guy” comes up with a great idea, careers are stymied and social problems go unresolved. Promotional marketing, however, can be a powerful, effective medium by which to appropriately address these subjects and issues.... if we can get beyond Comfort Reluctance. Let me be clear. I do not advocate saying whatever you feel like saying whenever you feel like saying it to the disregard of other people’s feelings or beliefs. I do believe, however, that as adults we can effectively overcome “Comfort Reluctance” by being situation appropriate. Simply put, how I discuss a particular subject with my buddies at deer camp is far different than how I’d discuss the same subject with a client, my children or my mother. As marketers, we often are reluctant to address one audience for fear of alienating another. Unlike mass media however, the beauty of promotional products is that we can effectively minimize negative sentiment among our non-target audience through our ability to specifically impact only our target audience. With promotional products you can put your message in their hand…or, in the case of urinal screens, right in front of them.

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Overcoming Comfort Reluctance We overcome Comfort Reluctance by 1) Taking the emotion out of the scenario, 2) Focusing on what’s possible, 3) Focusing on what’s appropriate. By taking the emotion out of the scenario, we get beyond what may be perceived as “icky”, unpleasant or beneath our moral or social standards for discussion. This allows our mind to roam more freely, focus on what’s possible and open creative doors that were previously closed. Finally, we determine the appropriateness of our approach based on the intended audience, the words and graphic we use to create the message and how our message combined with the product will be perceived by the intended audience. With that in mind, let’s explore the use of urinal screens as an effective promotional marketing tool. Urinal Screen Ideas Urinal screens are a great place for health-related marketing messages. One symptom of prostrate trouble is frequent urination. Seems like a great place to promote prostate exams. County health agencies could use urinal screens to promote any number of issues with which we are normally uncomfortable such as: “Burning sensation? See your doctor.” Or “Wash Your Hands Because You Know Where They’ve Been.” A yellow urinal screen could carry a message of, “If Your Urine is Yellow, You May Need to Drink More Water.” To combat drunk driving: “If 1 Hand Is Against The Wall, Consider Calling A Cab.” Or, “If You’re Weaving Here, You’ll Weave on the Road. Call A Cab. The fact of what is taking place at the time the message is read is irrelevant. The messages are appropriate for the audience and the situation.

Michael Merrick Crooks is a 24-year advertising and promotional marketing veteran. His firm, Crooks Advertising Alliance, is a creative strike-force specializing in creative problem-solving. Read and learn more about his unique, creative style at www.CrooksAdvertising.com.

Tasteful, appropriate marketing opportunities exist with urinal screens, whether they be direct advertising or sponsorship of a message, for everything from cab companies, police and insurance to health related companies and banks. Companies that own chains can sell urinal screen advertising to other companies to create a new revenue stream. (No pun intended.) Why Comfort Reluctance Matters Comfort Reluctance robs marketers of the ability to recognize opportunity. It robs communities of the benefits that come from addressing social ills. And it robs companies of the ability to openly discuss workplace issues that undermine productivity and contribute to worker dissatisfaction. I believe I’ve proven here, that uncomfortable subjects and issues can be addressed without being vulgar, obscene or adolescent. Promotional items such as condoms, urinal screens and toilet paper may not work for everyone. But I believe that if more marketers were able to get beyond their Comfort Reluctance, they’d see that appropriately discussing “the uncomfortable” will pay dividends whether it’s creation of a new promotion, discovery of a new delivery method or acknowledging a workplace or social issue that needs action. As for my filthy mind … I’m thinking about going to church a lot more. I bet lots of churches will buy urinal screens that say, “Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness. Wash Your Hands.” www.brilliantpublishing.com

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The Art

of Consumer Show Exhibiting By: Barry Siskind

For some strange and mysterious reason exhibitors at consumer shows (B to C), don’t follow the same guidelines that those who chose trade shows (B to B). While there are some obvious differences, there is no reason that many of the same rules shouldn’t apply. Here are some of the basics for the consumer show exhibitor. 1. Get focused — One of the mistakes both trade and consumer show exhibitors have in common is the lack of clear, measurable and realistic goals. For the consumer show exhibitor these may include such things as selling products, setting up meetings for future business, branding, samplings and so on. What is important is to put a value on these activities ahead of time and then ensure that your results fall within these guidelines. For example, if it would normally cost you $50.00 to realize a sale of $1,000.00 in your normal activities, then use this as your baseline. Your cost for a sale at the show needs to fall below the baseline or you are not moving forward. However, one mistake consumer show exhibitors make is focusing all their attention on immediate sales. Studies have proven that you can expect to achieve between 30% and 60% more business post-show. These moneymaking contacts should also be equated into your calculations.

2. It’s not retail — A consumer show exhibit is different from a retail store for three reasons: time, space and choices. Consumer show visitors spread their visit among hundreds of exhibitors, which eliminates the luxury of relaxed browsing. A typical trade show booth is 10 X 10 (3mtrs. Square): a fraction of the size of a normal retail store. In addition visitors have lots and lots of choices to make in a very harried environment. All this means that your display, the number of products you bring and the focus of your booth needs to be well thought out so you don’t add confusion to the list of obstacles these visitors face.

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Barry Siskind is author of Powerful Exhibit Marketing which is available at www.amazon.com or www.siskindtraining.com. He is president of the Toronto based International Training and Management Company and can be contacted for more information at barry@siskindtraining.com.

3.

Provide a meaningful experience —

Customers don’t just want to buy products and services they also want an experience. Savvy exhibitors know this and avoid product pitches and flat uninteresting displays. The trick is to bring your presentation to life. Let your visitors feel what it is like to shop with you.

4.

Give them options —

Some visitors may not be prepared to make a commitment immediately and say something like “I would like to walk around and see what else there is first.” The chances of them coming back are slim. There is too much at the show to remember, too many products to differentiate between. So, rather than pressuring them into a decision, provide some mechanism for staying in touch with them. For example you may want to send them a text message in 2 – 3 hours reminding them to drop back to your booth. Consider putting them on a mailing list or inviting them on a studio tour.

5.

Be proactive —

I am not suggesting you become overly aggressive, but rather take the approach of welcoming visitors to your display. Get rid of those timeworn questions like, “Can I help you?” Attempt to engage them in a meaningful conversation, which will give you clues as to what products and services you can direct their attention. Participating in a consumer show has its rewards. With some pre-planning and effort you can realize your goals.

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Products On Our Radar For Information about any of these exciting products, please contact Brilliant Results at 717-608-5869 or email art@brilliantpublishing.com.

Importika

Handpresso — Wherever you go, a good espresso can follow. Hiking, boating or even on the beach — the Handpresso lets you enjoy a premium quality espresso anytime, anywhere. Made to work with E.S.E. (Easy Serve Espresso) pods that are available from your favorite brands. Nothing is easier! Just pump the Handpresso to the 16 bar mark and add hot water from a kettle or a thermo-insulated bottle. Place an E.S.E. pod in the filter, close the top and press the button to dispense the espresso.

Tumi Eton Sound100 Radio With Ipod Dock — Fun To Use Anywhere This AM/FM Radio (Style #14391D) with Dock for your iPod has updated the retro glamour of radios past with swooping, curved lines and today’s in-demand colors. This little radio packs a wallop, making it ideal for home or office use.

3M

Scotch® Lint Sheet Pocket Pack — PCLS – For the Customer on the Go! This little packet contains sheets that quickly lift lint, pet hair and other debris from clothing, car upholstery and more. Specially designed cover stops lint sheets from sticking to purse or pocket contents. Choose from 2 background designs: Silver Satin or Beige Stripe, then imprint the cover with up to 4 colors with logo printed on top of the background design.

Krejci

Tubus Collection Bags — Travel with Recycled Style When designer Doreen Westphal received a bag full of inner tubes as a joke Christmas present she started to play around with the material, after much experimentation and study KREJCI succeeded in creating TUBUS, a line of strong, unique looking bags based on unusual materials: original Amsterdam bicycle inner tubes and felt. All KREJCI bags are handmade, strong and have a high-quality finish.

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Royal Apparel Hooded Fleece Jacket — Go Organic & Stay Warm This popular hooded fleece jacket is now available in 100% super heavyweight organic cotton. Soft yet created to stand the test of time, this jacket features a full front zipper, set-on sleeve ribbed knit cuffs, set-on ribbed knit bottom band, a hood with drawstrings, and full pouch pockets. Double-needle cover stitching throughout ensures this garment will hold up well through normal wear and tear. Sizes S – 4XL in natural night, bark & ocean.

Tumi Eton FR500 Solarlink Crank Radio — Never Leaves You Out of the Know When your outdoor adventures take you off the grid, you need a device that can fill multiple needs. The FR500 (Style #14390D) is a compact unit that you can toss in your rucksack and take anywhere. Self-Powered and SolarPowered it functions as an AM/FM/Shortwave radio with NOAA Weatherband, Flashlight, Siren and Cell Phone Charger. It also has an emergency beacon.

Kyp Systems iKyp™ Webkey — A Product Success Story Leading pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has broken through the clutter with an innovative digital iKyp™ Webkey campaign connecting physicians with helpful information and resources about ZOMIG® (zolmitriptan) migraine relief medication. The direct marketing program, developed by Digitas Health in collaboration with Kyp Systems, Inc., is the first program of its kind to be used in the US by a pharmaceutical company. The iKyp Webkey was mailed to physicians in mid-June, and within five days physicians began utilizing the device*. This immediately fulfilled the project’s goal, which was to test a new and interesting way to reach physicians. “We are always looking for ways to appeal to health care professionals with useful and relevant information the way they want to receive it, and this innovative campaign fit what we were seeking. We are the first pharmaceutical company to utilize the iKyp Webkey technology in a US campaign of this kind and scale,” said Paul DiMattia, Executive Director Commercial Operations at AstraZeneca. “After we experienced the iKyp Webkey technology with a small project for another brand, we were immediately driven to utilize this technology for ZOMIG.” Selected physicians were sent a ZOMIG “Power Key” box containing a custom designed iKyp. This guide uses interactive knowledge wheels and expanding inserts to engage physicians with information about ZOMIG. The mailer’s highlight is Kyp’s patented and recently launched iKyp Webkey, a breakthrough USB-style device that seamlessly connects users to a protected Web site where they could access product information and resources, as well as order product samples. * Results are sourced from Kyp Systems.

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Have You Asked

Your Customers Lately? By: Ed Rigsbee, CSP Bound for Savannah, sitting on a transfer boat from a resort island in South Carolina, I cannot help thinking about the resort; beautiful and staffed by nice people. But is that enough? I think not.

How Was Your Stay? When I checked out of the resort, the woman at the front desk never asked me about my stay; wonderful, good, bad, or indifferent. This is the best time to query guests — asking for their honest feedback about their stay. However, nobody cared to ask me. Had she, I would have mentioned the cob webs hanging from the ceiling, the fact that the bathroom was in desperate need of repair, that I had to call to request maid service, and that none of the resort’s materials were in the room, not even a pen and paper — good thing I did not need to order room service.

My Conversation As I leave, the conversation that I’m having with myself about the resort is, at best, mixed. While most of the time that I’m visiting hotels and resorts is as a speaker, I also organize a number of small meetings each year. Would I bring my group to this island resort? I really do not think I would. My conversation with myself about the place is, “Pretty property and nice people; however I truly question the competency of the resort’s staff. Every time one of your customers does business with you, it is your opportunity to develop or strengthen the relationship — or to damage it.

What’s Their Conversation? How in the world can you query all your customers? Simple, ask them. You can have customer service representatives ask your telephone customers and you can have other employees ask in-person customers. How do you get your employees to ask? Motivate them through incentive. This information is golden as you periodically review your business strategy. Earlier this week, when I was in my office, I received a call from one of my suppliers. The customer service person was calling to ask how we could do more business together. I suggested a strategy change for sample ordering from their web site — to make ordering easier on the customer. They asked! And, if they make the change, I will do more business with them.

Ask Strategies Consider developing both a formal and informal “ask strategy” for your organization. The informal will consist of your employees asking at every possible opportunity, “How are we doing?” And, truly caring

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10 Ways to improve... How? There are many possibilities. One exhibitor featured the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders in his booth. Another had an exciting increase their profitability at tradeE-mail is an easy, effortless way to additional time and effort, but you’ll multimedia presentation on a revolutionary new type of technology. An shows. Author: “Riches in Niches: reach multiple people at once. It has lNDITWELLWORTHTHEEFFORTs instrumentation manufacturer employed a magician to perform at his to listen, and record, the answers incentives to employees How to Make it BIG in a small the added advantage of being free. offered by customers. Offer various low cost that turn inAtheir “askdefense sheets� each week. Holdhired contests only allowingfighter the people that turned in their “ask display. major manufacturer a quick-draw to Market� (May 2007) and “Meeting However, this is one case where you Susan A. Friedmann, CSP, The sheets�people that week, or month, to participate. Offerblanks, positiveofmotivation. teach how useyou’re a six-shooter (with course!). & Event Planning for Dummies.� clearly get what you paytofor: Tradeshow Coach, Lake Placid, For more information running hugeformal chance of your e-mail NY,“ask is an internationally recognized Forayour ask strategy; mail (one out with order. Incentivize your customers visit to www. Once you’ve invented an event that surveys� generates realevery excitement but thetradeshowcoach.com. beingparticipate. deleted unread — if it isn’t expert working with companies to your product sales stafforconduct “askthis session� with every customer quarterly — and also ties in Have with your theme), an make the feature subject flagged as ‘junk’ the by the incentivize salescompany’s staff for of your mailer. Just as participation. spamtheir filters. Your target audience publishers win subscribers may never get a chance to lay her by featuring a free gift or a Path toward eyes on your e-mailImprovement message. price discount, a successful This leaves us with direct mail. trade show mailing You can improve yourfeatures products Combining the best ofmuch both worlds, and “gimmick� services more the rather than mailings offer the ability reach effectively when you tohave the exhibit itself. Fora several people once in aoffashion deeper understanding what example, aatmailing designed that’sto effective and consider polite: your customers to be draw people to the you’re gunbringing your attendee valuable valuable and important. Your fighter exhibit might read, “ask strategy� will quickly fito ll information without forcing them “MEET THE WEST’S in to your knowledge gaps in thisa adhere your schedule the way FASTEST GUN-FIGHTER area. call You does. do want to serve your telephone AT HIGH NOON AT THE customers the way want I’mAMCOM particularly fond they of postAIR SHOW – AND to be served, don’t you? cards.WIN Colorful, distinct and to the A GENUINE, OLD point,WEST postcards can serve a numTEN-GALLON HAT.� ber ofHere functions: we are selling the sizzle s#APTURE ATTENDEES ratherTHE than the steak.ATTENTION with bright colors and eye catch8. A powerful ing Exclusivity. graphics appeal of direct-mail – and of s$ELIVERESSENTIALINFORMATIONINACONcisetrade fashionshows – is exclusivity. One study released by s3ERVEASATANGIBLEREMINDERTOVISIT Trade Show Bureau yourthe exhibit reported that halfYOU thePLACE people s2EINFORCE THE VALUE ON attend trade shows the who customer relationship go AS specifically to MUNICATION see new s3ERVE THE INITIAL CO products and services that of your marketing message for the have eventnot been shown before.

If you’re introducing a new technology, a new product, or Ed Rigsbee, CSP is the author an improved version of an old s"EDISTINCTIVE of PartnerShift, Developing product, play this up in your s"E Strategic DELIVERED IN A TIMELY Alliances and TheFASHION mailing. Emphasize both the Artisofabsolutely Partnering.no Edsense travelsin sendthere importance of the product as internationally deliver ing out a mailing to that will keynote not arrive well as the fact that the reader and is workshops on untilpresentations after the show over is having an opportunity see profi table alliance relationships. s#ONTAIN A COMPELLING OFFER THAT In addition to serving as the not it first – an opportunity motivates your attendees to visit president of Rigsbee Research extended to other people the Consulting booth Group, EdThis also serves in the business. sense as the executive directorofof being a (501 of being exclusive, Ensure your success making prec 3) public non-profiby t charity. first,over is 1,500 flattering, andarticles it Ed can published showhas promotion part of your tradedo wonders for yourtoresponse helping organizations take full SHOWPLANNING2EACHINGOUTTOYOUR rate. advantage of their potential. For To be effective, postcards must:

key customers and hot prospects more information visit before the event may take a little www.rigsbee.com.

www.brilliantpublishing.com www.brilliantpublishing.com www.brilliantpublishing.com

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it’s all personal | By:

Dave Ribble, MAS

As the great motivator, Zig Ziglar, says, “You can have anything you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” To paraphrase, then: If you can give your people what they want (in a great destination reward they would love to win but would never line up for themselves on their own), they’ll give you what you want in return (more sales, better margins, etc). But, setting up an overwhelmingly successful program for your specific group is going to take research, because there are far more ways to do this than ever before. And, if you can key in on the right rewards, you will be providing your group with what they are willing to work hard to achieve. We flew last month to a conference in Florida that coincided with the same day that Hurricane Fay decided to travel northward and meet us in Orlando. Fortunately for us, Fay turned East and we had a safe journey. We were motivated to get there and not willing to cancel our flight. Instead, we crossed our fingers and toes and left LAX hoping all would work out. It did. Others on that same flight, I am sure, were on their way to a destination for vacation and had no other options. Their plans were set and they were now on their way. They were motivated enough to complete this flight to get where they wanted to go.

... if you can key in on the right rewards, you will be providing your group with what they are willing to work hard to achieve.

In figuring out what your group would fly toward a Hurricane to win, your options are far and away broader than ever before. Certainly, you can design programs that are all about fun, or speed, or death defying leaps. But, you can also add programs that are more about philanthropy, about helping others and educating and teaching and most anything else that would flip their switch. Fantasy Camp or building houses? Would it be exploring caves? Would it be teaching what one knows to perfect strangers in another land? Be sure to read this month’s cover story for three different looks and lots of ideas about Destination Marketing. But, whatever you do, build into your program promotional product support, because the right promotional products will help serve as subtle reminders of the opportunity before them. Promotional products can also be designed that appeal to the spouse and family members who might also get to go on the trip with your employee. There is nothing better than getting a three-dimensional product every so often that continues to remind them of their goal. And, use promotional products for rewards along the way because this keeps their minds going in the direction of doing the things they need to do to get the thing they have determined they want. The motivation to get to the goal must be consistent and often. Is this the more personal approach to helping folks take time out for themselves while getting you what you want in the process? You bet, because It’s ALL Personal.

Dave Ribble is President of The Company Image/Geiger, an award-winning promotional marketing company specializing in listening to what you want to accomplish, then providing solutions within your budget. 818.906.9894 or dr@geiger.com.

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Delegate

Your Way to Success

By: Megan Slabinski, The Creative Group

As a manager, the buck stops with you. After all, if a logo redesign fails to win over new

customers or a branding initiative flops and a client walks, you are ultimately the one to deal with the repercussions. Given the weight of your many responsibilities, you may avoid delegating in favor of keeping a controlling hand on all departmental activities.

While personally dotting every i and crossing every t ensures that mistakes don’t sneak by you, understand that there are costs associated with being mired in minutiae. Continually allowing yourself to get bogged down by nonessential tasks and routine projects prevents you from focusing on broader, bigger-picture organizational objectives. The following delegation tips will help you boost your productivity, avoid burnout, empower your staff — and still maintain the integrity of your team’s work:

Delegate Strategically Delegating isn’t about unloading uninteresting work on others; it’s a key time-management strategy that requires thoughtful consideration. To determine which assignments should be delegated and to whom, create a list of the tasks you typically tackle and break them down into three categories: •

Tasks only you can handle as a supervisor

Tasks a particular employee can likely complete

Tasks anyone on your team can do

After identifying projects you can delegate, think about the time, skills and resources needed for success. Which person is most capable of fulfilling the requirements of each project? Some assignments call for an

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outside-the-box thinker, while other tasks require the ability to negotiate or work under pressure. Assess individual strengths and weaknesses and assign accordingly. And if you’re unsure of who’s best for a given project, ask your staff for input. You’ll likely find eager volunteers and receive creative suggestions for streamlining the work. In addition, spread the delegated duties to multiple people — not just the standout marketer who always comes through in a pinch. You obviously want to select the most qualified employee to assume each duty, but be careful not to overburden someone whose workload is already heavy.

Focus on Clarity Once you’ve identified the right people to take on new tasks, clearly define your expectations. Making the effort to cover the details upfront will save you significant time answering questions or making corrections later. Everyone you delegate to should have a solid understanding of what needs to be done, how it can be accomplished, and how their work (a) will be evaluated and (b) contributes to the bottom line. Moreover, let people know the priority level of their respective tasks, and explain how often and when you want to receive status updates.

Megan Slabinski is executive director of The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service placing creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals with a variety of firms on a project basis. For more information, visit www.creativegroup.com.

Minimize Micromanagement One of the most challenging aspects of delegation is resisting the urge to micromanage. It’s understandable that, at first, you may feel a bit insecure about loosening the reins. However, for delegation to truly work, you must step back. Simply put, it’s critical that you delegate authority along with responsibility. Allow employees to put their own stamp on projects by giving them the latitude to make decisions and share ideas. By demonstrating trust, you’ll inspire your staff to think strategically and help them boost their problem-solving and decision-making skills. Of course, allowing others to take risks means acknowledging that things won’t always go perfectly. Expect to encounter a few hiccups in the short term before enjoying the many long-term benefits of delegation. Say Thanks If you’ve ever gone the extra mile to help a colleague only to receive no appreciation or praise afterward, you know how discouraging the experience can be. When you delegate, always thank your staff for the assistance they provide. Doing so will help maintain morale and loyalty. When a copywriter steps up and exceeds your expectations, for instance, take the time to let him or her know how much the contributions meant to the project’s outcome. Send a handwritten note, give public praise during the next staff meeting or offer kudos in the company newsletter. Remember, you may be a manager now, but you weren’t always in a position of power. When you were working your way up the ranks, you, too, looked for challenging opportunities to grow professionally. Delegating is a win-win proposition: It allows you to effectively bring out the best in your team and shows that you are a trusting leader who knows how to produce results. www.brilliantpublishing.com

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passionate leadership | By:

Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D.

Difficult Conversations The only way to appropriately handle conflict is to actually deal with it. Most people avoid difficult conversations with co-workers because it makes them feel uncomfortable. Unfortunately, if you avoid dealing with a troublesome situation, you’re actually prolonging the agony and may be creating some resentment. Here are my top ten tips for easing into and having a successful conversation about a difficult topic: 1.

Open the lines of communication. Ask for input from your teammates to help you best figure out a balanced solution to your issue. This will greatly reduce the other person’s defensiveness and make them more available to participate.

2.

Acknowledge your co-worker’s willingness to talk. Thank them for having the conversation with you both at the start and the end. It will make the discussion a team effort and make your co-worker feel they have given of themselves. It will also make having the next difficult conversation easier.

3.

Set a time limit. It’s important that you talk, but also that you don’t wear each other out. Thirty minutes to an hour is about the limit. If you need to continue the conversation, make an appointment to do so, that way things aren’t left hanging.

4.

Paraphrase each other’s comments. Telling each other what you heard your teammate say will let them know that you really “got” (or didn’t get) what they were thinking.

5.

Work out a compromise. Business relationships are all about compromise, and how you get there will determine your level of satisfaction with your team. Giving your co-workers what they need is not the same as giving up. Your attitude here is very important.

6.

Make a list of what questions you have and what you’d like your teammate to do. It always makes it easier to remember and to stay on topic if you have something in writing. It also helps you make sure you complete the whole issue rather than just some of its parts.

7.

Be okay with being wrong. Difficult conversations don’t always end the way you’d like them to. Sometimes an apology or a change of mind is appropriate. Holding a grudge just because you didn’t get everything you thought you wanted will only cause more discord.

8.

Respect expert advice. If you get some coaching or read something that defends or rebuts your opinions, take the time to consider it. No one knows everything.

9.

Understand the emotional component. Difficult conversation can bring up lots of feelings. Make sure you’re talking from your heart, but don’t let your emotions run you. Discuss your opinions and ask for theirs. Using “I” statements like “I believe” or “I think” when sharing your thoughts will minimize any feelings of resentment.

10. Consolidate the gains and recommit to the team. After you have had the conversation, review what you have decided to do (even if that is only to continue the talking at another time), agree upon the conclusion, and let your teammate know you’re still in the game. Lastly, don’t punish them for bringing up a difficult issue. Being able to have a successful difficult conversation is one of the most valuable tools you can have in your business relationships. For most people this isn’t easy, but with time, willingness and practice anyone can get it. Getting past the first level of discomfort is key, as is knowing that once you have gotten your issues on the table, your working life will be lighter and brighter. For more than two decades Fortune 500 companies, educational institutions, and government organizations worldwide have relied on Dr. Barton Goldsmith to help them develop creative and balanced leadership. He is a highly sought-after keynote speaker, business consultant and author. His columns appear in over 500 publications, including the Chicago Sun-Times, the Detroit News, and the Los Angeles Business Journal. Considered an expert on small business, he has spoken worldwide to groups of 10 to 5,000, and is in high demand for Keynotes, Training and Consulting. He may be contacted through his web site www.BartonGoldsmith.com.

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Brilliant Results | September 2008

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essentials

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advertisers’ index ™

Free Product Information | September 2008 Issue For free product information from these suppliers, please complete and mail this page to: Brilliant Results Magazine, 9034 Joyce Lane, Hummelstown, PA 17036 or fax to (717) 566-5431 Please circle items of interest.

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3M®. ....................................................................................... Back Cover Aprons, Etc...................................................................................3, 45 Beautiful America Publishing...........................................................45 Brilliant Publishing........................................................................45, 47 Display Solutions by Aprons, Etc......................................................45 GROLINE................................................................................ 11,15, 29, 41 Hallmark Insights..........................................................................7, 45 ibranz™ ........................................................................................31 Motivation Show............................................................................17 Nike Gift Cards................................................................................5 R.S. Owens & Company..................................................................45 Uncommon Threads Line by Aprons, Etc.........................................45 Warwick Publishing . ..........................................................Inside Front Cover, .......................................................................................... Inside Back Cover

Title

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46 Brilliant Results | September 2008

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@ www.brilliantpublishing.com Check out our re-designed website, where you can read some of our most popular articles from the past, renew your subscription, and via links review the products of some of our fine advertisers!

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meet the manufacturer

Dana Emberson Vice President

Deborah Price President Cozy Faux

www.cozyfaux.com In order for corporate gift giving to build lasting relationships, encourage loyalty, thank for past business, reward for excellence or encourage performance successfully, the gift must speak for the corporation’s values. Cozy Faux produces just such a USA made gift. Not only does Cozy Faux produce high quality, elegant items, they realize that a corporate gift has to be handled flawlessly. Deborah Price, President, and Dana Emberson, Vice President, have built their business on providing the utmost in service and quality. This month Brilliant Results met Dana and had the pleasure of speaking with him about Cozy Faux. BR:

Please tell our readers about Cozy Faux and its products.

DE:

Deborah and I have a sales, marketing and branding background. Our willingness to think outside the box and have fun doing it is how we interact and conduct our business. We first met just over two years ago when a mutual friend suggested I contact Deborah. Within 3 hours of our initial meeting we developed the idea for Cozy Faux and we were on our way. It has been a whirlwind of brainstorming and implementing marketing and branding strategy ever since. Cozy Faux’s primary business is the design and manufacture of luxurious ‘faux fur’ blankets & throws for Adults, Kids, Babies & Pets. We combine our unique designs with the highest-grade faux fur materials to produce a signature line of top quality throws. All of our faux fur products are hand made in the USA. Our Cozy Faux throws are marketed consumer direct through our www.cozyfaux.com website, in select boutiques, and to the promotional product industry as an ASI distributor.

BR:

What distinguishes your company from others?

DE:

We take great pride in finding creative ways to best present our product and our clients in the very best light. We have a lot of fun doing what we do, but we take our commitment to our clients very seriously. Our goal is to achieve a long term client relationship by listening to our clients, offering innovative solutions, and performing with integrity and reliability. We have always placed an emphasis on giving back. One way we do this is through our blanket donation program. We have partnered with United in Harmony, (www.unitedinharmony.org), a non profit organization that serves underprivileged kids in Los Angeles. For every 20

blankets we sell we donate 1 blanket to one of their special children. And, we have partnered with Godparents Youth Organization, a non profit that offers hope through opportunities and awareness to inner city kids in Los Angeles. We are very proud of the relationship that we have established with these organizations.

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BR:

What is it like to work with Cozy Faux?

DE:

One of the first things you will notice about our style is that we ask a lot of questions. No one knows our products as well as our team. This knowledge and willingness to get involved in the entire branding process can pay great dividends if we are permitted to participate. A customer will pay hard earned money for one of our products and it is imperative that it is a right fit. We stress the “WOW” factor and we work exceptionally hard to surpass our customers’ expectations.

Lovey Baby Blankets

As an example, we recently assisted a promotional products representative by personally delivering a sampling of our throws for an upscale party in Beverly Hills. The representative handling the arrangement was out of State, but his event planner and designer were on site. The only thing the representative knew about us is that we came highly referred by several individuals in his company. He was feeling the heat because this was a new client for him, we had less than a week to deliver, and we were an unknown quantity to him. I assured him that I would handle his interests and our blankets would impress the event planner, designer, and most importantly the party hosts, but he had to release control of the deal. He reluctantly agreed and 24 hours later I was giving a presentation poolside. Everyone was delighted and the representative looked like a ‘rock star’. One final note, the representative has asked us for assistance with several proprietary products he would like to introduce into the promotional products industry. BR:

This issue is focused on Travel and Destination Marketing. What can you share regarding your company’s products along this theme and how can Cozy Faux help our readers capture more market share?

DE:

Our years of marketing and branding experience have shown that if we get the right product with the right industry success is sure to follow. The Travel and Destination industry is the perfect fit for our product. Hotels, cruise lines, resorts & spas all want to give their clients a memorable experience. They really want to give them a “Cozy” feeling and our products do just that. We have created personalized throws for spas, luxury Lear jet companies and we are presently working on a matching blanket program for hotel clients and their pets. Imagine staying at a hotel with your pet and being able to purchase a matching throw and pet blanket to remember your stay. Fun! Travel and destination markets realize it is important to create a brand that goes home with the client.

BR:

Give us one or two case histories that utilized your company’s products and tell us what the measurable results were.

www.brilliantpublishing.com

Meet the Mfg.indd 3

Grey Chinchilla & Chocolate Throw

Paisley Baby Blanket

September 2008

| Brilliant Results 49

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meet the manufacturer DE:

We have had the good fortune to work with a number of companies who recognize the importance of promoting their organization through a quality product with a high-perceived value. Our customers, by target marketing to their clients with personalized Cozy Faux products, are delivering a luxurious gift that is useful and lasting. Their clients remember them every time they wrap themselves in a plush and warm Cozy Faux throw. For example: A commercial real estate firm purchased 2,900 blankets as holiday gifts to their tenant’s decision makers. The outpouring of thanks continues eight months later as the company’s property managers are still referring tenant inquiries to the promotional representative for individual blanket purchases. •

A non-profit was desperately searching for a gift they could give to individuals who have been instrumental in their most recent annual fundraiser. Now this is Hollywood so they were a little nervous on what to give individuals that longed for nothing. They settled on a personally designed and branded throw. The response was enormous and our product is sitting on the sofa or chair in homes of celebrity’s we all know. We have blankets used by individuals that have the ability to purchase any blanket or throw in the world and our Cozy Faux throw is in their living room. Pretty Cool!

A post production company that takes pride in expanding their clientele through referral was looking for a way to generate additional business. They purchased personalized throws to give as a thank you to their present customers and as a promotion to prospective clients. The company was overwhelmed by the response they received from this promotion. Prospective clients called to thank them for the blankets and this “icebreaker” led to business opportunities for them.

Faux Paw Pet Blanket

BR:

Generally distributors represent suppliers to the enduser; however, many of the readers of Brilliant Results are end-users. What would you like to say about your products and services to end-users?

DE:

The true winner in our story is the end user. We have a great product that is appreciated by the customer. Everyone is looking for a unique and luxurious gift that does not break the bank and we have it. Companies can give a promotional logo item that meets a price point, but is it actually used and does the person getting the item benefit? We are told over and over that our blankets are loved and used and if we have assisted our clients in creating a high-end image for their companies then we have met our expectations.

Brown Rabbit & Mocha Throw

Dana, thank you for your time in answering our questions and in the interest of absolute disclosure, I will enjoy my Cozy Faux blanket for many years to come!

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BR Sept 08 Issuu  

Incentive Travel Choices to Match Your Brand September 2008 www.brilliantpublishing.com $10.00 ™ CALENDARS WORK. Contact your local Promotio...

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