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Contents Edge .PROMO

featured articles

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Editors Notes

Review & the Best Pages

Case Studies: We Explore Ten Companies and

How They Used Promo Products to Achieve Their Goals

Banks Use Promotional Products On a BIG Scale

Support Your Favorite Charity

Required for All Corporations to Give Back

How to Maximize Your Impressions

It’s All About How Many People See Your Brand

Case Studies: Producing Big Returns

Brand Awareness and Client Database Expansion

Update on Legislation Pending in Congress Trending... National Chains Use Promotional Products Instead of Print, Radio or TV Advertising for Local Promotions

Life In The Fast Lane

Running Multiple Promotions At The Same Time


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the best pages

WOW…what a whirlwind time it’s been so far this year. Only 90 days into 2018 and America has been subject to some pretty big upheavals. Even the promotional products industry has been hit…and you’ll read about it inside this issue. New tariffs against China could raise your costs and eliminate many jobs in the USA. But on another most serious note, we’d like to talk about our kids and their “March for Our Lives.” campaign. I marched with the kids because I have a kid in school. It was peaceful--really well planned--and EVERYBODY was wearing or displaying a promotional product to support their efforts. From t-shirts, signage, hats, and more…all across the nation, people marched. Interestingly, their message was carried around the world but the March for Our Live’s organizers didn’t spend a penny for an ad in any newspaper, nor hired an announcer for a radio spot…rather they depended pretty much on the internet and promotional products to carry their BIG message and it went around the world. Think about it--EVERYBODY that marched used t-shirts to promote their cause and brand. The March for Our Lives shirts will be worn again and again. T-shirts like the March for Our Lives will remain the most sought after and worn the longest, getting their sponsors the most impressions. And that leads me to what we’ll discuss in the May edition of IdentityEdge. We are going to educate you about the many types of printing on garments. It’s no closed secret that there are hundreds of methods to logo your wearables but unfortunately, most people still rely on silkscreening. There are a lot of reasons why silkscreening is the king, but if you want your garment to be



“remembered forever” read our May issue. Without breaking the bank IdentityEdge will fill you in on all of the best decorating techniques. You CAN create a Michelangelo and not have it bust your budget. IdentityEdge is provided by us--your Distributor. We like it because it informs you--our buyers--about trends in the industry. We keep you up-to-date on the truly HOT new products...and get you the skinny on what promotions work and which ones don’t. All along your purchasing path we hope that you allow us to be your partner. You can look at us this way: We’re an extra hand you didn’t expect would be there for you that knows all about promotional marketing. And speaking of being in the “know”, here’s an interesting fact about the March for Our Lives. Within two weeks of announcing the date for the march, more than 1 million t-shirts were printed all across the nation (really the world). There’s more...750,000 signs, 200,000 hats. People carried hundreds of thousands of their personal backpacks/fannypacks too...most with logos on them. Think about how wonderful it would have been for you to support that movement and have your brand on worldwide TV. Hundreds of stations and countless hours are being broadcast! Then add in the internet and its probably billions of impressions..all from a t-shirt.

Priceless... But without a doubt the true power of promotional products. Brian Brown Editor-in-Chief IDENTITYEDGE.PROMO 17







TOP COMPANIES AND HOW THEY USED PROMO PRODUCTS TO ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS ST. JUDE & CHILI’S CO-OP PROMOTION St. Jude’s is internationally recognized for its pioneering research and treatment of children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Chili’s Restaurants is a chain of 1,400 restaurants located all across the United States. The restaurant chain wanted to enhance their initiative

to raise millions to benefit St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. St. Jude and Chili’s chose a silicone bracelet. Silicone bracelets had just “taken off ” as a hot promotional item and were very inexpensive. Both St. Jude and Chili’s promo buyers felt that they would make a cool promo and would do the job to raise money and awareness for St. Jude’s. How did the program work? The Chili’s servers competed nationwide to see who could sell the most bracelets to consumers. Almost 1 million branded packaged silicone


bracelets were shipped to all 1,400 Chili’s Restaurants. The servers felt good…the restaurant hit their goal to support St. Judes and the people that bought the bracelets felt great about supporting St. Judes.

With great success, the $1 from the sale of each bracelet brought $1 million to St. Judes. Fundraising, awareness, and feeling good about giving back all wrapped in a cool little package.

Article continues on Page 40


Banks Bet BIG

on Promotions & Promotional Products “Show Me the Money!” Banks are all scrambling for new customers and opening new accounts. There’s so many ways for banks to use promotional products to increase your new customer base while at the same time having some fun doing it. The bottom line: Make banking more enjoyable for your consumers…you say that banking can’t be fun? Guess again.

bank and your customer. From scratch off cards to Rubiks Cubes…there are plenty of games you can employ to bring in new customers. Using Rubiks

branded t-shirts with an offer that the drive through customer cannot turn down. You can get almost any high school or college to participate and


Put comedy routines into your phone on-hold messages. You’ve been there…listening to that horrible Musak on hold that’s either too loud or isn’t to your liking. A comedian cracking jokes will make people smile and keep them entertained while on hold.


Put some fun on to your ATM receipts. Jokes, cartoons, fun facts about the bank or even instructions on origami can cause a lot of buzz about how cool your bank is.


Get some games going. There are plenty of games you can co-sponsor promotionally. Games promote interactivity between the


cubes to figure out a graphic and then win a prize is a great promo.


Want to open a new branch and get lots of publicity? A credit union purposely mis-loaded a few 20’s with 50’s/100’s into one ATM and then announced when, where and how long the ATMS were loaded with the bonus cash. Hundreds of vehicles lined up to use their ATM’s.


Co-sponsor a car wash…in your drive through lanes. It’s clever; a free hand car wash with a trip to your ATM. Make sure your staff is wearing

they can use the opportunity to raise money for their Fraternity/Sorority or other organization.


Want to increase student checking accounts? Sponsor a Dorm room makeover contest.


Use toy cars to sell auto loans. Squeeze balls fashioned in the shape of cars are brilliant give-aways that can really increase your auto loans. Other great promos are USB drives shaped like cars/trucks…great news is on the USB drives you can feature all the information about the loan, including an application.

Banks and credit unions push checking accounts and other financial products on college kids who have other priorities. How about a $500 dream dorm room makeover?

branches are located? Advertising doesn’t get any better than that per impression.


March Madness.

America goes bananas for the NCAA basketball championships. It’s okay to use the idea of “March Madness” — using plays-on-words and the concept of brackets — just don’t use the actual trademarked term “March Madness” or you’ll find yourself in deep legal doo doo.

What college-age student doesn’t want that? Everyone can remember

A federal credit union held a “Battle of the Brackets” promotion built around a standard “pick-your-teams”

the first time they laid eyes on campus housing. They are dull, lifeless, functional spaces painted an antiseptic shade of white. Bor-ring!

contest. Grand prize: a 60” HDTV. Cost for the TV—around $500…number of accounts that were opened as a result…over 200.


We could continue and give you over 100 ideas on how to promote your bank, but best to brainstorm with your promotional products Distributor…they have a ton of ideas and they probably know how to promote your business as well as you do.


You’ve heard the expression “you get what you give.” That’s how it works when you want people to change behaviors. If you want someone to take action or do something differently than they have in the past, you’re going to have to incent/reward those behaviors. For instance, if you’re launching mobile check deposits, build a promotion where some winner(s) win “Double Deposits.” If you want to increase credit/debit card activity, create a promotion where you randomly select and pay for purchases. If you want people to change ingrained habits, you’re going to have to make it fun.


Send unusual thank yous. Everyone likes cake…so send your customers a small cup cake sized dessert… complete with your name on it. You can shape it like a debit card or like your banks logo.

Hold a fitness challenge. Health related promotions are always great. Co-sponsor a mini marathon while providing t-shirts is a sure way to connect with your local community. Imagine 1,000 runners all featuring your logo running through your community’s streets where your






SUPPORT YOUR FAVORITE Required for ALL Corporations You Gotta Give Back It’s really easy to get so involved in running all of your promotional campaigns to forget to give back. Your day is so overwhelmed as the Buyer and Promotional Marketer that you become obsessed with making money for your company. But take a moment to think about how you can combine the two.

Don’t ever let that go…because it will serve you well. Let’s take a look at some programs you can install. In some cases you can co-op them so you can save money AND make a bigger splash.

On-Campus Organizations Encourage Millennial Minded Philanthropy. WOW, what a great association for many companies including Banks/ Credit Unions, cell phone companies, retail stores and auto dealers.

There are so many opportunities to grow your company while at the same timeserving your community.


For those financial institutions who are aggressively marketing to college campuses, here’s a great opportunity. Because college students represent new business for banks--from new checking accounts and credit cards-supporting a local college campus can bring big returns. For phone

companies, there’s no mistaking that students are constantly on their phones so offering them a cool phone case in exchange for attending a seminar on your company’s services will provide thousands and thousands of impressions because students carry their phone with them all the time. Retail stores in the local community can also get a big boon by co-oping with you…offering a BOGO (buy one get one) sponsored by your company; coupon required!

Develop a Guide to Corporate Giving for the Office Every company should have a company document that provides an overview on how many times per year your company should sponsor some sort of socially responsible event. Not only will that help you grow the company but it will also create an

• Leukemia & Lymphoma Society • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center • Multiple Melanoma Research Foundation • National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund • Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance • Pancreatic Cancer Action Network • Prevent Cancer Foundation • Prostate Cancer Foundation enormous amount of good will within your community. Think about the critical times of the year when giving is highly important, like December. Bottom line there many times during the year when you can help.

Cancer Charities—Always Needed and Really Worth It There are many charities that fall into

this category. Here’s a list of a few of them:

• Breast Cancer Prevention Partners • Breast Cancer Research Foundation • Cancer Research Institute • Entertainment Industry Foundation

So you’re probably saying there are a lot of choices, and there are. The ones listed above are all “A+/-“ (and there are many more that are B-rated or below so be careful). ALL of them will do coop promotional programs with you. So instead of taking off on your own program that you have to run/pay for all by yourself, you now have a partner.




More = Higher Returns There are seemingly unlimited ways for today’s businesses to market themselves and maximize their impressions. So, what marketing method is right for your business? How much is it going to cost? What market do you want to reach? What is the desired outcome? Let’s assume that you are using


Promotional Products as the way to market your brand and build your impressions. But, first let’s make a distinction: Are your objectives linked to a “for-profit marketing program” or more to doing something socially responsible? Let’s focus on the


“for-profit end” and getting the most impressions for medium to large companies using promotional products. So we can achieve our objective, let’s define brand impressions: They are any time an ad is viewed or seen. Every car insurance commercial you see during the 7 o’clock news is one brand impression. Every car commercial you see during the morning news is one brand impression.

Getting a High Number of Impressions = Lots of Business TV and magazine ads cost 1.8 cents per impression, whereas ad specialties/ promo products, cost an average of .6 cents per impression. Impression costs for social media depend on varying factors like how many

followers an account has and how much a business spends to manage ads. In some cases, social media or internet ads might cost less per impression, but we’ve read research that their cost is on the rise. From data provided by the Nielsen Company, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America and other industry sources, we were able to calculate just how some promotional products stack up against other forms of advertising based on how many brand impressions one marketing dollar can get a company. Yes, you read that right–bags get 1,000 impressions per dollar spent when billboards only get 500. (That’s why bags are used so much in Malls.) And the number of impressions drops further as you look at competing TV, radio, and magazines. Imagine that! Promo products perform. Other industry sources note that-without the interruption inherent with other forms of advertising-promotional products deliver the same or better ROI than most other forms of media. It’s true, your customers can


fast forward through commercials for shows or take an alternative route that bypasses a billboard, but they can’t ignore your logo or brand on a shirt or pen they use at their desk every day. What promotional products get the most exposure? Simple math shows how much it costs to get eyes on your brand: Multiply how long a recipient has the product and compare it to how many people see it each month while using it. Bags generated the most impressions – almost 6,000! Bags show off your brand to tons of people because they’re used in high-traffic public places. Other high-impression items include anything that gets daily or regular use or wear, such as writing instruments, caps, outerwear, calendars, and shirts. Here are some other outstanding facts about getting the most impressions:

• People hold on to promotional products an average of seven months – representing more than half a year of continued use in people’s home and offices.


• That means your brand’s message goes beyond the initial market. 63% of people report sharing promotional products with someone else when they no longer had a use for it. So items like pens, shirts, drinkware, magnets, and tote bags, the average consumer owns about ten different promotional products at a time. • 36% of people who receive promotional products reported they would likely do business with the company that gave them the items and 53% of recipients feel favorably towards an advertiser that gives out promo products.

Don’t spend for a clever commercial campaign when promotional products

can help you make a great impression. Promotional products get shared and gifted building goodwill with customers. This equates to more and more impressions as they definitely get people talking about your business and products. Without a doubt there’s a product that matches the personality of every brand and proper product selection will get you higher impressions. But with over 700,000 products in the promotional products industry-ranging from simple things like pens…to very expensive things like $300 leather bags—the correct product choice could be difficult. Your promotional products Distributor can help you make those decisions.






The objective was to increase brand awareness and expand AT&T’s customer base. How it was accomplished: AT&T needed to increase their exposure and brand awareness at conventions and trade shows, as well as expand the qualified client database for sales opportunities and targeted mailings. This was not an easy thing to do. But, AT&T developed a solution that was quite clever: They developed electronic invitations to the tradeshows. The invitations were first sent out to existing customers and then prospective clients encouraging them to set up a meeting with the sales managers at the event. All qualified clients who met with the sales managers would receive a company and product information package stored on a recycled plastic USB flash drive that the consumer could use. By loading the information on to the USB people who inserted it into their computers were almost forced to review it. The information started running the moment the drive was inserted. 40 IDENTITYEDGE.PROMO

This did a great job pre-selling for AT&T. Moreover, AT&T saved money and minimized their environmental footprint by not printing brochures. Furthermore, the sales managers had a great opportunity to build relationships with qualified clients, who walked away with the company information in a useful and reusable gift. The meetings also allowed the company to increase their customer database with qualified leads.

STIMULATE SALES AND INCREASE AWARENESS Best Buys wanted to stimulate sales and increase awareness of a computer retail and repair store to both local residents and businesses. The solution was to develop a direct mail program which was sent to local residents and businesses. The mailer stated that all shoppers who visited the store received a Keyboard Brush during the one-week promotional event. Each Keyboard Brush was imprinted with the store logo & contact information on one side, and a promotional code on the other side to be redeemed during the promotional week. The outcome was strong: Best Buys was overwhelmed with the number of potential new clients entering to the store. Sales increased significantly during the promotional week. Customers loved the functionality of the Keyboard Brush and used it

regularly, but it was also the promotion code that made a big difference. This constant exposure to prospective buyers resulted in increased calls, recognition and sales.

2016 GLOBAL DAYS OF SERVICE—BOSTON UNIVERSITY For the entire month of April 2016 Boston U faculty, Students, Staff, Alumni, families and friends participated in the Global Days of Service…an initiative offering service opportunities to BU friends worldwide. Boston U’s Global and Population Health and Alumni Relations coordinated many volunteer opportunities designed specifically for their university family. The number of faculty, student, staff, and alumni volunteers during 2016 Global Days of Service almost doubled from the number of volunteers in 2015. This year’s Global Days of Service events include the following and used

the following promotional products:

volunteer events)—T-shirts/Aprons

• Al Huda Society’s Healthy Smile: Healthy You--Toothbrushes

• Haley House Bakery & Café (14 volunteer events)—T-shirts/Aprons

• American Red Cross Blood Drive—Tshirts/Tote bags

• Yawkey Club of Boston Give Kids a Smile Dental Health Fair (two volunteer events)-T-shirts/Toothbrushes

• Charles River Cleanup—T-shirts/ Backpacks • Greater Boston Food Bank (5

that are logoed with the charity/ socially responsible—are worn many times which dramatically increases the number of impressions that their program deserved.

You’ll note that the overwhelming response was to use T-shirts and that’s because wearables—especially ones

It just goes to show you that wearables are the number one marketing tool companies, colleges, and business small and large use. They create a huge number of impressions and when they are worn they create a personal endorsement of your company. IDENTITYEDGE.PROMO 41






we are now entering a trade war with China and that could have a major impact on the promotional products industry. One word of advice, buy as many of your promotions now and avoid price increases.

President Trump signed into law in late March 2018 to level tariffs on over $50 billion worth of Chinese Imports. In addition to the tariffs the US also plans to impose new investment restrictions, take action against China at the World Trade Organization and the Treasury Department also will propose additional measures.


What can you do? Many promotional products Distributors that you buy from are aligned with other Asian rimmed factories. Vietnam is one that is not in the President’ sights, at least for the moment. But, can Trump really win in a trade war with China? Here’s some interesting thoughts. We think the answer is no. There is no way to impose $60 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports without it having a negative impact on American consumers and all of us in the promotional products industry that import quite a bit of our products. In the end the bill will be charged to Americans who will pay more at the checkout lines and for the promotional products you buy because China will raise its tariff rates on our exports. Other countries will put up their trade barriers too—as China has already announced that they will—and that will hurt US exports and offset reduced imports—meaning

the trade deficit wouldn’t vanish. One of the unintended consequences of this new policy with lower exports will be increased unemployment. And a little point of history here…the last time the USA imposed sweeping tariffs like this was in the 1930’s. The effect was to prolong and worsen the Great Depression, so winning a trade war by destroying both imports and exports would be too great a cost to have been worthwhile for the victor. Stay tuned for more next month.











Retailers & Malls Boost Biz with Promotional Products. No matter where you go in the mall these days there’s no shortage of promotions. From retail bags with the store’s logo on them, to general mall signage, high tech gadgets, and instore giveaways, there are promotional products everywhere. And all the stores and malls have one common goal: Find new and retain existing customers. So how are they doing that?


It always comes down to budget. The budget and resulting frequency of promotions have clear differences between the chains and the smaller boutiques. But the biggest difference is in their goals. Where small retailers typically look for promotions to generate immediate sales, larger ones are more interested in building brand recognition and getting more impressions. But let’s stay focused on the big boys. National chains pick products for their promotions based more on

budgets and choose products that don’t make that personal connection. They should, for each local market they are in, allow their store managers to pick what works in that area. That’s so important but decisions are made based on budget more than not. The more closely you target your customer, the higher the resulting impressions will be…while at the same time making a big brand connection.

Some of the products used by national chains and malls range from presell premiums that help generate excitement and demand for an upcoming product or service launch, to gift-with-purchase items that help drive action at point-of-sale. Signage is also big, as well as packaging, displays, retail associate uniforms and identity pieces such as name badges and lanyards, to name a few. Believe it or not all of these products are readily available from your local promotional products Distributor, along with some really great ideas that can expand small or large retail outlets.










So your marketing department has saddled you with running multiple promotions all at the same time. There are only two of you in the department—you the manager and your assistant. Sound familiar? This happens more than you know, especially in small and medium sized companies.

they are professionals, well trained and know what products to recommend for what promotions. In addition, they are well skilled in organizing events because that’s what they do many times during the year for their clients.

The key to managing several programs at one time is your promotional products Distributor. They will be there for you every step of the way with expert guidance, and endless patience to get your jobs done on time and to specifications. They become your third employee and they have a lot of experience.

First, especially when you are running multiple promotions with different delivery dates, create a flow chart. Determine what needs to be done with as many pathways as you have. Chart them with the objectives you need to achieve. Include themes, suggestions for promotional products and dates for the products to be in-hand. Get your Distributor involved. Always keep your promotional products Distributor in the loop because they will ultimately be responsible for getting your products to where they need to be and on time.

What can your promotional products Distributor do for you? Just about everything, including running your promotion and that could take a lot of weight off your shoulders. Remember,

In addition, here are some ideas that can help.

Make sure that you get your preproduction samples done way in advance of your event(s), that way there are no surprises when it comes to delivery time. Believe it or not there are times when a shipping company like UPS might lose or delay your shipment. Request tracking numbers right away when your Distributor tells you your order is ready to ship. But make sure you are shipping well in advance because if your order gets lost you will want time to rerun it and make sure your goods arrive on time. We’re saying this because so many times in promotional products Buyers wait until the last moment to order product and it’s a mad house to deliver on time. Your promotional products Distributor will work miracles, but why risk missing your in-hand dates? Proper planning will make your life a lot easier and your promotions will come off without incident.






Identityedge april 2018 2impress  
Identityedge april 2018 2impress