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February 16, 2018

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February Favorites: Cool Tech Gifts for Your Favorite Clients

 Client meeting

The holiday season is over, but smart business owners know that gift giving is a year-round business strategy. One group that deserves your special attention year-round is your best clients.

We won’t skirt around the fact that not every client is created equal. Some are more profitable, easier to work with or simply more valuable to your business. It’s just common sense to prioritize these clients and focus on growing your relationship with them. But to do that, you need a gift that offers greater value than a basic branded pen and notepad set.

That’s where cool tech gifts come in. Technology has become an indispensable part of our everyday lives. By strategically gifting your favorite clients with useful tech products, you can keep your brand on their mind for the long-term and foster loyalty and trust in your company.

The Power of Client Gifts

Before we discuss which cool tech gifts we’re loving right now, it’s important to understand why rewarding your best clients is a smart business strategy. There are plenty of benefits to client rewards, so here are just a few reasons why this strategy will work for you.

Cultivate Brand Loyalty

It’s no secret that your most loyal clients are your most profitable ones. Repeat business is what keeps your doors open, but fostering trust in your company isn’t easy these days.

Your clients value your brand enough to do business with you, but there is always room for improvement. By giving your valued clients a distinctive gift, you can build your relationship and solidify the relationship with your company.

client relationship

Gain Potential Referrals

Word-of-mouth marketing is key to acquiring more referrals. According to a recent study, consumers trust recommendations from family and friends more than they do traditional forms of advertising.

How can you get people talking about your brand? With promotional gifts, of course!

Giving your favorite clients the best promotional products is a great way to start a conversation about your brand. Once someone notices the custom PopSocket with your logo on their phone, it is likely to turn into a conversation about your brand.

Create Opportunities for Partnerships

To compete with today’s big corporations, many small business owners have turned to forming strategic partnerships with other small businesses to achieve their goals. Oftentimes, these partnerships use a referral system to feed the pipeline.

Give your client a cool gift that they can use every day to remind them of your brand. When opportunity or a creative idea strikes, they will know exactly whom to contact.

Grow Brand Identity

A good brand identity is more than a logo and a brand name. It is a symbol of your company’s reputation in the industry.

Branded gifts are a great way to grow a company’s brand identity, but only if you choose the right products. It doesn’t make sense for a fitness company to use branded candy bars to promote its brand, for example. Instead, a custom water bottle or gym bag is a better choice for bolstering health and wellness messaging.

Choosing the right products for your brand will boost your brand identity and recognition, making your unique service and products more memorable in the eyes of your clients.

Wow-Worthy Gifts to Delight Your Favorite Clients

tech gifts for cell phone

You know why your business needs to gift your favorite clients. But how do you choose the right tech gift without breaking the bank?

The good news is that cool tech gifts don’t need to drain your budget. Here are our favorite affordable and useful tech gifts that will delight any client:

  • PopSockets: This useful item can be used as a media stand, a grip for photo taking, or to corral earbuds. Just be sure to get the original PopSocket for your branded gifts, not a knock-off!
  • Data Blocking USB Adapter: Protect your client’s private information with data blocking USB charging adapters. This cool tech giveaway is great for clients who need to use public spaces to charge their devices.
  • Bluetooth Speakers: Need a trendy gift to impress your favorite clients? Give them a pair of Bluetooth speakers to enjoy time and time again.
  • Phone Chargers: Perfect for every budget, phone chargers are always an appreciated gift. With how often we use our phones, you can rest easy knowing it will get plenty of use.
  • Power Banks: A personalized power bank with a sleek design will attract the right kind of attention as your clients charge their devices.

Final Words

When it comes to showing your appreciation, basic promotional gifts aren’t going to cut it. You need gear that will get your favorite clients excited, reward their loyalty, and keep your brand front and center in their mind. The cool tech gifts we’ve listed here are sure to be used repeatedly, providing value to your clients and reminding them of your brand with every use.

February 14, 2018

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Branded to Thrill: 5 Reasons Quality Matters

Brand Strategy Chart

As a small business owner, you’re probably constantly looking for ways to reduce costs and get the best deal possible. But when it comes to your company’s branded products, you can’t afford to cut corners or settle for the bare minimum. A half-baked promotional strategy will result in half-baked success, which means wasted money and time.

The truth is that quality and presentation matter more now than ever. Consumers have high expectations for your brand, and they won’t settle for cheap, boring promotional products. If you want your branded items to make a lasting impact, they need to be high-quality, useful, and relevant to your target market. Still not convinced? Here are five reasons why the quality of your branded products matters.

1.) Branded Items Are a Reflection of Your Brand

We’ve seen it time and time again: Small business owners and marketing managers order cheap promotional items and squeeze as much of their company’s information on them as possible.

This isn’t doing your brand any favors. In fact, it’s most likely hurting your company’s reputation as a vibrant leader in your industry. Promotional products are a reflection of your business and your brand. When used correctly, they are a powerful way to spread your brand’s message and tell a story. Used the wrong way, and they might sink consumer trust in your brand and damage its reputation.

From design to presentation, every detail matters. Keep your design elements clean and minimal, choose quality promotional items and present your branded swag in a unique and memorable way. By focusing on the smaller details, both your brand and your audience will reap the benefits.

Friends having fun

2.) Less Is Not More

Sure, you’ve managed to handout 1,000 plastic keychains with your company logo and website on them, but what happens when they stay on the bottom of the swag bag?

If your promotional products aren’t unique, useful, or valuable, your audience isn’t going to hang onto them. Now, a custom PopSocket with your logo on it? That’s something that tech-savvy millennials are going to use every day.

While going the cheap route may seem frugal, it’s a waste of your promotional budget. To get a better ROI, consider investing in a smaller quantity of higher-quality promotional items and prioritize who receives them, based on your marketing objectives.

3.) Low-Quality Products Don’t Last

Many people use their mobile chargers every day, which can make them a valuable promotional item. However, if you choose the cheapest material possible, and the branded logo wears off quickly, it won’t land the best impression.

There are endless options for promotional items, and many businesses instinctively want to pick the most cost-effective option. It may seem fiscally responsible, but marketing data will tell you that you’ll get more mileage out of 500 high-quality promotional products than you would from 5,000 low-quality items.

The cost may be higher for you to upgrade your product’s material from plastic to aluminum, but it will make your product last longer and have a lasting impact. Additionally, consumers will appreciate the sleeker, higher-quality design compared to poorly-made swag.

man with high quality laptop

4.) First Impressions Matter

According to research from Princeton, all it takes is one tenth of a second to form a first impression. Do you really want your audience’s first impression of your brand to be made from cheap-looking branded swag?

Luckily, you don’t need to purchase expensive promotional products to make a good first impression. Rather, you just need to choose items that are relevant to your target audience.

For example, if you’re targeting millennials, use cool tech gear to capture their attention. Present these items in an interesting and visually-pleasing way to make a lasting impression on prospective clients.

5.) Quality Moves You Closer to Your Business Goals

Quality promotional items are more likely to be held onto longer, making the prospect more likely to remember your brand. By focusing on quality, you can begin to make smarter use of your promotional budget and finally start reaching your business goals.

Conclusion

Promotional products have been used for years with enormous success, but times are changing. Consumers expect your brand to have high-quality swag presented in a unique and memorable way.

If you’re sacrificing the quality of your promotional products by trying to save money, your brand will suffer for it. By improving the quality and presentation of your promotional products, you will be more likely to attract leads, win sales and get a better return-on-investment.

January 11, 2018

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21 Tips for Aligning Corporate Swag with Your Marketing Objectives

tips aligning corporate swag marketing objectives

Everyone knows that corporate swag is an awesome way to spread the word about your brand and engage new and existing customers. But did you know that it’s also a perfect opportunity to boost many of your other marketing objectives? With cool promotional items, you can re-energize your existing customer base, attract new talent and even gain followers from a whole new demographic.

So how do you tailor your giveaway items to meet these marketing goals? The key is to align the DNA of your brand with the audience and the event. Everybody knows that brand storytelling is a big — though often underused — opportunity for marketers, and one of the simplest ways to tell your story is through cool swag. Let your promotional items demonstrate what makes your company unique and exceptional.


Company Swag for Lead Generation

In the majority of cases, you simply won’t get very far if you don’t have a solid base of prospective customers. Lead generation is all about attracting and converting strangers into loyal fans, and there’s basically no better way to do that than through branded promotional items at trade shows and conferences. Cold-calling is no longer effective; you’ve got to catch potential clients’ attention in more commanding ways.

  • Offer an Incentive — According to Dr. Robert Cialdini’s book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, reciprocation is one of the most valuable tools in terms of branding. Even small booth giveaways — like a promotional pens or stylus— will encourage conference attendees to feel the need to reciprocate. Invite them to sign up for your e-mail list or follow your company on social media for a branded gift.
  • Give Something Useful — Let’s not kid ourselves. Conference attendees come home drowning in business giveaways. So much so that they may even fail to register the business names in their pile of corporate swag. Pick something useful, like cool tech giveaways, to ensure that your handouts actually get used. The more use your branded gifts get, the more effect they have.
  • Design with Quality — This one’s especially important if you’re prepping for an event, trade show or conference in your specific industry where you know that attendees will be bombarded with competitors. The best trade show giveaways are those that are well-designed and eye-catching so they stand out in a crowd.
Lead Generation Tip

Company Swag for Building Brand Awareness

According to this powerful study, 50 percent of consumers keep a promotional product for between one and four years. That’s a good chunk of time to make an impression. If your primary goal at your next event or conference is to make your brand a household name, a good place to start is with unique swag items.

person with phone

  • Choose Something Industry-SpecificHow do you tell the story of your brand in a way that’s memorable and relevant? Pick branded swag that’s aligned with your business. Top promotional items are those in the education, technology, financial, healthcare and nonprofit sectors. So if you’re a university angling for more potential students, you can’t go wrong with branded notebooks. If you run in the financial realm, you’ll definitely get attention with wallets featuring your logo.
  • Go (Really) Big With BrandingDid we mention that good design is vital to good swag? When your goal is to improve branding, make sure that you choose corporate swag that puts your logo front-and-center. Your logo should be large and in charge, complemented by messaging that helps prospective clients understand what you do.
  • Leverage Social MediaHow do you market your brand at lightning speed in this day and age? Of course, it comes down to social media. Encourage recipients to share swag with their social media followers by creating a unique hashtag. They’ll be more likely to share your giveaway items if it’s something unique or funny. You can even use the gifts as part of your social media sweepstakes to get more visibility.
  • Building brand awareness tip

    Company Swag for a New Service or Launch

    You’ve worked hard on your new service or product, and now all you need is some buzz. Cool promotional products are a good way to help garner attention, whether you’re debuting your new product at a launch party or hyping it up pre-launch at an industry event. You’ve just got to make sure you pick the right gifts and the right messaging.

  • Host a Product Launch EventBefore you book the venue, send out the e-vites, secure the catering, and make sure that you’ve got some solid swag ideas on deck as party favors. No good launch party is complete without custom-branded tech swag to fill your gift bags.  
  • Customize Swag to the New ProductJust any old branded gear won’t do! Make sure that the swag for your launch party or debut is specific to your new service or product. You can achieve this both through the design of your custom gifts and the product itself. For example, if you’re debuting a new fitness app, choose custom insulated water bottles with your new product’s name  clearly positioned.
  • Use Swag as a Pre-Order IncentiveIf one of your primary goals for your product launch event is to get people committed to signing up, don’t start the day of launch. Instead, prepare with pre-order promotions that encourage people to sign up early. You can do this by offering affordable, branded gifts for the first group of users.
  • new service tip

    Company Swag for Entering a New Market

    Your swag is only good if it’s actually valuable to your target consumer. That means that if you want to reach new groups of customers, you’ve got to pick promotional items that they’ll actually want to use. Whether you want to break in with a certain age group or expand your business to a new geographical region, promotional messaging can help.

    group of workers in office
  • Use the Right Wording for Your AudienceOne of the most important aspects to breaking into a new segment is understanding the market’s habits. For example, you know that millennials are more likely to be loyal to businesses that have a strong social media presence. Since they’re the most brand-loyal generation, make sure that your promotional products include social media information.
  • Pick Products They’ll Actually UseHere’s a riddle for you: if you’re looking to break into a geographical market in the hot, arid southwest, should you offer them branded umbrellas? No, of course not! Try to dig deep and get specific with your target audience to ensure they’ll actually use your product.
  • Use Market-Specific Graphics — If you’ve been into a new Whole Foods 365 store lately, you may have noticed that the new supermarkets are totally tailored to the geographic area in which they exist, using fun signs and graphics that tie the brand to the region. Companies entering a new geographic region can get personal with potential new customers by adding local graphics and wording.
  • Entering a New Market Tip

    Company Swag for Retaining Customers

    Don’t forget about your existing customers! You already know that keeping your current consumer base loyal, happy and brimming with positive reviews is an effective marketing strategy with a relatively low ROI. Take it to the next level with promotional items tailored specifically to the customers you already have.

  • Create Customer Appreciation GiveawaysEvery once in a while, surprise your customers with branded giveaways simply as a way to say thanks. If you’re an eCommerce business, this might mean adding a small, affordable promo gift to your large online orders. The same goes for in-store purchases.
  • Use Swag as a Promotional ItemCustomers love free gifts. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Marketing showed that free giveaways can maximize sales, but that customers were more likely to spend more when the gift was expected and not a surprise. Leverage e-mail and social to promote incentives for purchases over a certain dollar amount or when existing customers reorder or try a new product.
  • Feature Loyal Customers on Social MediaAs you can tell, retaining your customers is all about making sure they feel appreciated. Consider adding a customer appreciation post to your social media rotation where you say thanks to one particular customer each month. You’ll get major bonus points if you share a photo of your favorite customers in your company swag.
  • retaining customers tip

    Company Swag for New Talent Acquisition

    Forward-thinking companies know that the key to business success is good talent. What’s the key to attracting and retaining good talent, though? Belief in the brand. One way to build employee loyalty right at the outset is to invest in branded employee onboarding gifts that make your new hires feel welcome and excited to join the family.

    branded bottles
  • Create a Welcome Swag BagWe love the idea of surprising new employees with trendy onboarding kits that contain thoughtful company swag for employees coupled with celebratory gifts like candy and snacks. Make sure to choose useful items, like gadget giveaways emblazoned with your business logo, so that your employees actually get use out of the products.
  • Choose Items They Want to WearThere aren’t a whole lot of scenarios where it makes a ton of sense (sizing can be an issue if you’re dealing with mobs at a tradeshow or conference), but employee onboarding is one of them. Gifting your new hire with some stylish, logo-embroidered polos or T-shirts is an awesome way to make sure that he or she feels pride in the company and markets it, even outside the office.
  • Pick Out Swag Desk ItemsOne of the best parts about starting a new job is decorating a fresh, new desk! Get your new employees excited about making the place their own with branded desk décor, such as company business card holders and desk organizers. Of course, you can never go wrong with custom pens, phone chargers, power banks and drinkware, either.
  • new talent acquisition tip

    Corporate Swag for Establishing Your Company

    If one of your primary goals is to be considered a leader in a certain industry, you have to take certain steps to ensure that customers and potential clients take you seriously. Company credibility is one of the most important factors to building trust and loyalty within your base of prospects and existing customers.

    • Brand with Honesty — You’ve heard it again and again: Authenticity is everything in modern marketing. Make sure that your branded, corporate gifts reflect your overall brand story in a way that’s totally honest. Nothing will drag your company credibility down faster than dishonesty and a lack of transparency. How does this translate to swag, you ask? It all comes down to messaging. Make sure that everything you put on your branded gear is vetted and honest.
    • Promote Your Achievements — Humility is important to keeping your brand authentic and sincere, but there’s no harm in touting your best assets, either! Choose wording on your giveaways that celebrates awards, achievements and high positions within a certain market. This will help customers understand that you’re reliable, successful and, most importantly, well-established in the industry.
    • Give Away Corporate Gifts — Swag is also a fantastic way to establish your company in a certain industry and help boost legitimacy. Another great way to help increase credibility is to use branded corporate gifts to entice executives, investors, fellow entrepreneurs and customers. When you give away unique business gifts, you’re more likely to get good reviews and endorsements, which can heighten your company’s credibility.
    establishing your company tip

    The Bottom Line

    Just like anything else in business, choosing the right corporate swag for your specific marketing objectives is a combination of art and science. As long as you put in a little bit of thought, effort and passion, you can be sure your branded products will help you reach even the most lofty marketing and recruitment goals.

    December 29, 2017

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    Corporate Swag for New Employees: Cool Gifts for New Talent

    You already know that finding and retaining top talent is one of the toughest challenges businesses face today. In addition to guiding them through general onboarding tasks, it’s not a bad idea to surprise new employees with a welcome gift that makes them feel valued while simultaneously promoting your brand. Plus, it sets the stage for lasting company loyalty.
    New employee

    How important is that first impression, though? The fact of the matter is that employees are more likely to stay with a company for at least three years if they have a great onboarding experience, but only 22 percent of companies have a formal program in place.

    From basic office supplies to wow-worthy swag, welcome gifts help promote the company and culture to new hires. Plus, it will show them that they are a valued addition to the team, which can set the stage for lasting fidelity.

    It all comes down to finding corporate swag they’ll actually use, both in and out of the office. Plus, you can’t beat the added bonus of marketing your brand while you’re at it. PROMOrx has tons of unique branded gifts perfect for celebrating new talent. Rest assured, these aren’t your average tote bags and coffee mugs. This is high-quality and unique corporate swag that will thrill your new employees and boost their excitement to join the team.

    • Tech Gifts — If there’s one surefire way to make sure that new employees actually use your team-branded gear, it’s to choose items that make life easier. For example, you can bet your branded power banks and chargers won’t sit unused in a drawer. Another thing that you can do to elevate the onboarding experience is to offer your new employees some sharp desk swag, like custom USB hubs and USB drives.

     Gadget Cases

    • Gadget Cases — If your brand-new team members will receive company gadgets — phones, tablets and laptops, for example — make sure they’re outfitted with branded cases. Most new employees will be happy to show off the company swag on their personal devices. Encourage company loyalty with custom tablet cases and phone cases featuring your logo or company name.
    • Workday Essentials — While it’s not a bad idea to surprise new talent with things you think they’ll use outside the office, make sure to give them items that they’ll reach for throughout the workday. For example, set up their new desk with branded notebooks, planners, business card holders and other custom office swag to really make an impression on their first day in the office.

     Metal drinkware

    • Metal Drinkware —Company-branded drinkware featuring your stylish logo is something you can be sure your new hires will use every day. It’s uniquely versatile so you can tailor it to suit your business perfectly. For example, if you run a fitness-focused business, give the gift of a stainless steel water bottle or tumbler.
    • Bluetooth Speakers — These days, people can’t live without their music, and some portable speakers will delight your new hires. Custom Bluetooth speakers are perfect for pairing with your company swag, including T-shirts, hats and sunglasses. Pop them on the new employee’s desk, and be prepared for their excitement and appreciation.
    • Headphones — Like Bluetooth speakers, you can’t go anywhere without your trusty headphones. Ensure that your new hires promote your brand and spread the love wherever they go with a pair of custom headphones in a convenient carrying case or in a handy pouch that’s easy to toss in their backpack, briefcase or pocket.
    • Tote Bags — There’s no shame in loving a good promotional tote bag. These classic giveaway items are simultaneously functional and cool, making them easily one of the most versatile pieces of corporate swag out there. Plus, they are environmentally friendly, a factor that millennial employees value in a big way. They can use them for their office gear, gym clothes, groceries, and more. Provide them with a nice cotton tote and they’ll take it everywhere they go, which means more visibility for your brand. If you want to splurge on some messengers bags or backpacks, we stock some of the most stylish options on the market!

    With all of these outstanding gifts ideas, you’ll have everything you need to give your new employees the warm welcome they deserve and help foster their loyalty to your company for many years to come. Don’t forget to stock up on extras to support strong hiring initiatives or surprise your entire staff for a job well done!

    December 28, 2017

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    Cool Conference Giveaways for Upcoming Trade Shows: Making the Right Impression on Millennials

    Let’s face it: you’re pretty much guaranteed to come away from a conference or trade show with tons of booth giveaways. It’s really no surprise why some of the most successful companies put a huge amount of time, money and effort into their conference swag. The fact of the matter is that these handouts work.

     Trade show

    But after a while, the branded products at trade shows and conferences all blend together. One of the best ways you can make your booth stand out from the competition is to hand out cool company swag that’s tailored to your target audience. If that audience just so happens to be millennial-based, don’t worry. We have all the branded items you need to catch the attention of this dynamic demographic.

    • Branded PopSockets — What do millennials love? Their phones. Seriously, 98 percent of them own smartphones, and a lot of them say they couldn’t live without one. If you really want to catch the attention of millennials with branded promotional items, then you can’t go wrong with custom PopSockets. These handy little gadgets are great for propping up your phone — especially when you want to share photos and videos hands-free — and can be used to wrangle earbud wires and more. Plus, we offer them at different price points to keep you on budget for every event.
    • Branded Tech Items — The key to choosing the best branded items is to pick things that you know will get use. Branded stylus pens are an awesome idea, especially if you’re trying to reach college students who tend to use tablets and smartphones in class. Of course, since we already know that millennials love their phones, you’re guaranteed to get awesome feedback when you hand out eye-catching, branded phone cases.

     trade show displays 

    • Practical Handouts — You can also make a big impression by branding products that are designed for practicality. For example, branded USB drives are ideal for handing out to millennials because they’re something that they’ll use every single day. These great little giveaways are easy for recipients to toss in their backpack, purse or briefcase for the next time they need a storage solution. Take it to the next level with data-blocking USB charging adapters that add extra security. These handy gadgets protect against unwanted data exchange at public charging stations.
    • Branded Earbuds — Noticing a trend here? Millennials love their tech products. No matter what kind of business you run, you can be sure that conference attendees will grab your branded headphones and sport them with a passion every day. Everyone could use a spare pair, after all. Bundle them with practical branded Bluetooth speakers for promotional products that will make the right impression. These are great promo items for bands, musicians, record labels and other music-focused businesses.

    LG headphones

    • Wallets and Accessories — Again, some of the best giveaways are those that serve a solid purpose. It’s the branded everyday items that tend to get the most use, after all. Branded wallets and accessories are some of the best conference giveaways for millennials because they’re guaranteed to get use. And when they get used, it creates more exposure for your brand. Just imagine how many times a day your logo will peek out during daily expenditures at the artisan coffee cart or a cocktail with a friend.
    • Fidget Spinners — Maybe the fidget spinner craze is on its way out, but that doesn’t mean these addicting little gadgets are any less fun than they once were. Branded fidget spinners are an awesome way to get customers’ attention and keep it engaged every day. Who can resist fidgeting with one for hours on end?
    • Canvas Cooler Totes — For a wow-worthy gift, encourage your conference attendees to take fresh, cold beverages wherever they go — tailgating, concerts, picnics and more — with branded cooler tote bags that hold over a dozen cans or bottles. While you’re at it, give the gift of custom coolies that coordinate perfectly with these easy-transport items.

    Once you choose the perfect branded items to appeal to your specific audience, make sure to design your products in a way that’s unique and eye-catching. Remember, your potential customers and clients will see hundreds of items at each trade show or conference, so yours has got to stand out in a crowd. Luckily, PROMOrx can help you create truly unique company swag that resonates with millennials. 

    December 19, 2017

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    How A Major Investment Management Company Failed Holiday Gifting

    Buying Company Holiday Gifts or client gifts year round takes budget, thought, and attention to detail.

    Let me share a holiday gift my husband and I just received from our investment management company.
    I'll not share their name, though you'd certainly recognize the company as a huge player in the investment field.
    My husband and I are grateful for the gift but we both find it a brand disconnect for many reasons you'll see below. 

     

     

    And what's the bottom line?
    It's YOUR marketing budget that needs to be wisely allocated. 

    The dollars and sense (or cents!) of it in part two of the video.

    We've said details count and preached branding alignment for years here at PROMOrx

    When the details matter (and they should!), spend your marketing dollars wisely!

    December 08, 2017

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    How to Avoid Holiday Shipping Nightmares

    Tis the season--and if you are expecting company swag delivered to your business or toys delivered to your home address, the delivery game changes in December. 

    US retail ecommerce sales are expected to jump 16.6% in 2017.
    And that's what drives package delivery times. Volume.

     

    Don't Chance It

    We tell our clients who have ordered corporate gifts or trade show swag to build in extra time for delivery year round but especially in November and December. A thunderstorm in Memphis affects FedEx many months of the year as do wild fires in California, hurricanes in Florida and Texas--just to name a few challenges from 2017.

    Here's what not everyone knows: all bets are off for guaranteed deliveries in the month of December. 

     

     The One Thing You MUST Know

    The first thing you need to know is exactly where an item is shipping from. (The pros here at PROMOrx can give you the details on anything you purchase from our website!) If you don't know, ask. It's critical when you must make an informed decision about shipping and arrival. 

    Here's what UPS says: 

    From November 20 through December 30 a limited number of UPS® Ground and UPS® Standard packages with transit times of three or more days, and with specific origins and destinations, will require an additional day in transit. 

    All UPS 2nd Day Air® and UPS 3 Day Select® packages shipped on December 18 and 19 will require an additional day in transit. UPS 3 Day Select packages shipped on December 19 will be scheduled for delivery on December 26.

    And what about FedEx? First, you need to know which FedEx method is being used: Ground, Home Delivery or Express. 

    The money-back guarantee for FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery® will be suspended temporarily for packages picked up on Monday, Nov. 27, through Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017

    FedEx Express Money-Back guarantee suspended Monday, Dec. 18, through Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017, for shipments delivered by the end of the day on the published delivery commitment date for the selected service and destination.

    The Best Advice

    Allow extra time. Or decide to ship after the holiday rush. If it's a business gift, it will get lots more attention in January. 

    If UPS and FedEx don't guarantee shipments this month, businesses won't either. And if an item is delivered late--after the trade show or training event or heaven forbid, Santa is late--what good is a guarantee? 

    Yep. That's my point.

     

     

    October 03, 2017

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    The Art of Rejection Swag

    A successful HR department can spot an opportunity, but an exceptional HR department takes advantage of opportunities others never saw coming.

    One of the most difficult and sometimes controversial elements of the hiring process is notifying a candidate that they aren't a good fit.

    Everyone hates rejection!

    But telling an applicant they aren't getting a job has never been viewed as an opportunity for your company...until now.

    We have a way to turn the rejection process into an image builder for your company. We're going to help you

    • Improve your company visibility
    • Attract those stellar applicants you're looking for and
    • Keep you from earning negative reviews on sites like Glassdoor.

    HR's Dismal Rejection Reputation

    According to HRDrive.com, most job candidates spend around 6.5 hours each week on their job search, with as many as 38% dedicating up to 10 hours a week.

    Yet almost half believe they may not get a response to their applications, let alone a follow-up after interviews.

    The same report says that most candidates will go through the same application process as many as 27 times before they get a job.

    That's a lot of rejection and a lot of frustration building up for the applicants.

    It's no wonder that they get a little, shall we say vocal, about the response from your HR department, or lack of it when the stakes are high. They feel like their time and effort doesn't even earn the respect of a quick email to let them know they were out of the running weeks earlier.

    How does that affect your company?

    Pew Research Center estimates that one-in-three American workers are Millennials, easily surpassing Gen Xers.

    And we all know that Millennials live and breathe social media.

     

    So imagine the reviews, tweets and Facebook posts about your company if they can't get a simple acknowledgement.

    Ouch!

    Frankly, we see this as a major missed opportunity to spin an uncomfortable conversation into positives for your company.

    But like most trends, this one takes some vision and some...courage. (Did that just sound like a challenge? It is! Let's go!)

    Interview Rejection Swag

    For some it's a controversial trend they want no part of. But with correct timing, rejection swag acknowledges job applicants and let's your company go to the top of the appreciation list. 

     

    It turns out, Millennials are especially vocal about rejection, but they are also surprisingly vocal about being shown some appreciation for their efforts.

    Alyssa James wrote an article for Bustle about one applicant’s experience applying for a job at Toggl, a time tracker and employee timesheet software provider. 

    Laurel Wright was not only appreciative of the follow-up, but of the gift.

    And she shared her experience on social media where it snowballed into articles about her experience on all kinds of sites from Bustle to radio stations.

    Toggl got brave and inventive. They turned a negative experience into an opportunity to build their company image.

    But there is a dark side.

    Some companies are hesitant to send out a "consolation gift" because it highlights failure, leaving the applicant with a bad last impression.

    But we think this is where most HR departments have missed a HUGE opportunity. They ditch the rejection swag without considering one crucial element.

    Timing.

     

    How to Do Interview Rejection Swag Right

    Rejection swag is an impressive tool, if you pay attention to the simple, two-step process.

    • Assess the candidates' chances
    • Send the gift appropriate for their status at the right time

     

    Let's take a look at how that would play-out in a real situation.

    Remember, 43% of candidates never hear from a company where they have applied. That is the first missed opportunity.

    If a candidate isn't a good match from the beginning, make it a priority to get in touch. Yes, it eats up time you want to spend in other areas, but it's also an investment in your company image.

    And it isn't enough to skip it because a lot of other companies do.

    If you want to stand out in your market, be different than all the rest. We've written on the topic. A lot. 

    10 Tips for Buying Swag Your Customers and Staff Will Love

    4 Secrets for Prospecting with Branded Giveaways

    The Psychology of Swag

     

    We share everything on social media and since they’re already sharing their experience with your interview process, give them something to talk about! Taking the time to update an application status will pay-off when strong candidates read your reviews.

    But let's take it a step further.

    Step one is to evaluate a job applicant's chances of being a good match. Let's say you have a candidate that obviously won't make the initial cut.

    Instead of just an email, send a small gift and an acknowledgement of their time BEFORE you send out the rejection.

    It's classy! Classy is memorable and memorable gets shared!

    STEP ONE TIP: Don't associate your swag with a negative event like a rejection notice. Timing is everything! Other companies use swag as a consolation prize and hope it softens the blow. That’s why some companies hesitate. You DO run the risk of associating your company with a negative experience.

    Done correctly, you have the opportunity to link your promo gift to a positive. You are taking the time to acknowledge applicants—and that's an image building opportunity!

     

    The interview time-line can be a long one with several stages, especially if you have several candidates with great potential.

    Step-two is for those applicants who clearly move further into the interview process.

    It's still important for your company image to acknowledge their time and get in touch. But the gift should be a more substantial and meaningful. Sometimes you can personalize the gift to the position. For example, if you're hiring in the tech department, cool tech gadgets are a perfect choice.

    STAGE TWO TIP: If you have candidates that you want to impress or that you want to keep interested in your company, up your game. Send a larger gift that is more appropriate to the position, or the level of interest you have in the candidate.

    If you're in HR and you're trying to find ways to improve your company image or the quality of your job applicants, you have to stand out. You aren't going to do that by treating them as the disposable assets that your competitor will.

    Recognize an upcoming trend and take the challenge. You aren’t alone in taking the challenge. Companies like Molton Brown (the British luxury bath and body brand), Sonos, Toggl and many other big names are already on board.

    Start turning a negative into an opportunity that pays off by using interview rejection swag to build your company image.

    It pays off.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    September 22, 2017

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    5 Tips for Buying Client Holiday Gifts (Hint...Time Sensitive!)

    Industry tips and secrets! Everyone wants them, especially during the holidays when they are searching for client holiday gifts.

    Here's a secret that we've been dying to share!

    The holidays are the absolute worst time to start thinking of business gifts!

    After more than seventeen years of helping people choose the perfect items to brand their business and say thank you to valued customers or staff, we've learned a thing or two about how to avoid the disaster holiday gift buying can become.

    And you can avoid them, too..if you know the tips and tricks.

     

    Avoid Problems You Never Saw Coming

    Hit the site. Choose the product. Confirm your order. Boom! Your holiday corporate gift shopping is done!

    That's holiday shopping at its best.

    We like to make it look just that easy for our customers. But on our side of the screen, there are a lot of moving parts to make that happen. 

    We know you don't have time to figure out how the promo industry works, so we do that for you. We're more than just a catalog site. We are also marketing consultants dedicated to helping you skip the problems we see all the time.

    Here are the problems (and solutions) you don't know about that we see every holiday season.

     

    PROBLEM: They weren't impressed last year...we wasted our budget

    It happens every year. Some company will make a quick decision based on what's cheap and can ship quickly, primarily because they waited too long and availability is limited.

    Don't worry! It isn't your fault. A lot of companies get rushed right down to the wire and make a quick decision to get it done.

    But we want to ask: If you've sold enough products or services to say thank you for your business, or you're marketing something that requires a significant financial outlay on your customer's part, how does it reflect on your company to thank them with a super cheap gift?

    Yes, a little tough love is called for if it keeps you from being embarrassed. We've got your back.

    SOLUTION: Match the gift to the level of the client, or higher

    The holidays are the perfect time to help your company shine. When you wow them with a spectacular gift that says, "You matter to us!" people are impressed.

    I can't think of a better way to use your budget than to be outstanding in the eyes of your customers.

    So if you want to avoid a yawn when they receive your gift, or far worse, the possibility that you offended them with a cheap show of appreciation that's far below the level of their worth to you, match the gift to the level of the client.

    And don't wait until availability is limited.

     

    PROBLEM: The gift isn't appropriate

    A few months ago we told you a story about a boss who awarded his stellar employees expensive gift certificates to the best steak house in town.

    His employees were vegetarians.

    A common problem is choosing gifts you think have big value, but may not be a great match for your customers or employees.

    And it's important that those gifts support your brand, too.

    SOLUTION: Know who you're buying for

    Your gifts have to hit a few targets:

    • Keep them appropriate and valuable to the recipient
    • Choose quality gifts
    • Opt for gifts that get used often so they stay visible
    • Match them to your company brand

     

    We want your gift choice to reflect your brand, so we offer consultations to help you choose the perfect product and reflect your company. Having an idea of who will receive the gifts shows that you are invested in the people, not just hoping to win their business or support with a generic gift.

     

    PROBLEM: Hot items are already out of stock

    Some of the most popular items sell out as early as late summer and early fall. Sure, some are restocked, but much of that is pre-sold before it leaves customs.

    SOLUTION: Order early

    Something doesn't feel quite right when stores hang Christmas decorations before Halloween. It dilutes the fun of gift buying in crisp air, with roaring fire, and the aroma of cinnamon and evergreen trees.

    It doesn't evoke the same level of excitement.

    Talking about holiday swag in October is right up there with Santa competing for floor space with bats and skeletons, we get it.

    ...Unless it means you pay more or don't get the company thank you gifts that you want.

    Before you select an item, check the availability.

    Or better yet, start shopping in September while we still have the cool tech items you have your eye on.

     

    PROBLEM: Delayed Shipping

    In past years, shipping delays began as early as the third quarter due to problems at a national hub. The increase in volume and staffing also trigger chaos during the holidays, causing shipping delays we can't predict. Throw in the weather and you've got a recipe for delays.

    It's one of those moving parts we have no control over.

    SOLUTION: Start now!

    Take back the control.

    We have trusted suppliers from coast to coast. If you order early and our supplier on your side of the country still has product, there are fewer delays.

    If they run out, we have to order from the other side of the country causing longer delivery times. And that's if we can get the product!

    So not to be repetitious, but take back the control and ensure you get the product you want without delays by ordering early.

     

    PROBLEM: No time to research which products are hot!

    What sells? What moves out fast? And which of those products will my customers love?

    You don't have time to do research and you don't want to order based on what you see others ordering.

    Who wants to look just like the competition!

    SOLUTION: We've got resources to help you choose quickly.

    We know which swag sells and why. And we share it with our customers.

     

    And so much more.

     

    What's HOT for the Holidays?

    One word...tech.

    To be more precise, cool tech security and tech items that make life easier and more fun.

    Cybersecurity takes center stage after the Black Hat convention in Las Vegas this past summer, making products like our Data Blocking USB Charging Adapter an excellent budget friendly choice. 

    Mobile power chargers continue to be sought after company swag - but be sure to know what sets one apart from the other. Ask us!

    But don't forget fun and useful!

    Bluetooth speakers and earbuds and headphones are both. 

    What if you're not into tech? We have an entire selection of other categories like wine gifts, food gifts, executive gifts, business traveler gifts and more that are perfect corporate holiday gifts. We'll be happy to guide you through branding your choice with your logo and message.

    Just give us a call and we'll be happy to help...but do it now! Don't wait until even one of our best insider tips can't help.

    Start planning today and don't stress out during the holidays!

     

    August 25, 2017

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    How to Sell Online Courses and Build an Upsell Strategy with Company Swag

     

     

     

    The eLearning market is exploding!  The 2016 income forecast for those of you creating and selling online courses in the United States alone, was a whopping $27 billion, and by 2023, the global industry is expected to exceed $240 billion.

     

    But if you've done any research at all, you know the big pay-off comes from product upsells — the products you follow-up with during and after the original course.

    We've done some research too, and we've spotted a quiet little trick using company swag that not many course creators are sharing. This gem will boost your upsell rate and branding at the same time.

    And that translates to your share of a $240 billion industry.

    If you're a business coach, personal coach, or you're selling an online course of any kind, we've got a secret for you.

     

    The Future of the Course Creation Industry

    The best news for everyone from universities to stay-at-home moms is, the Docebo® eLearning Market Trends and Forecast Report for 2017-2023 projects the online eLearning industry will continue to soar.

    The global industry total was over $165 billion in 2015 and expected to grow by 5% through 2023, exceeding $240 billion.

    What caused that incredible escalation?

    A variety of factors from the rising cost of traditional education, to the popularity of finding instant how-to advice online made the online learning industry an instant success.

    Now, rather than just reading, we engage and interact on every level with personalized information, teachers, coaches and others who are learning alongside us. And we do that at our convenience.

     

     

    Technology plays a huge role. Online social platforms like Facebook have grown in popularity in part due to their ability to provide members only groups where students can discuss and compare the latest course module.

    Online course creation is an industry that is quietly changing the traditional learning environment and not just for adults. Public grade schools and high schools are routinely promoting a fully accredited, high quality education, with challenging content at every level.

    But that's not where the true popularity of eLearning shines.

    The average person looking for a specialized skill (without signing up for an expensive traditional course) is likely to find exactly what they are looking for, online.

    And they are prepared to pay a premium price for specialized, expert advice.

    The day the average student realized, "Hey, I have a special skill I could share!" was the day that online learning was poised to take over.

    Online course creation will continue to skyrocket and the ability to provide quality information and usability is the key to the future of successful online course creation.

    So what does company swag have to do with selling your expertise especially if you’re a single mom, company of one? And how will it help build an upsell strategy for your course?

     

     

     

     

    Course Creation Has a Glitch

    No matter what size your company is, the essential foundation of your strategy is to present a product in a way that empowers the student and entices them to keep coming back when they need information.

    Many of you are providing specialized information for people who just want to improve some part of their daily life, whether that's family issues, health or even their business. Your goal is to provide a quality experience that will enhance their life so they will recommend you and come back for more.

    Here's the catch.

    Generally speaking, people will forget up to 50% of what they learned within an hour. Tomorrow, they will forget 70%, and within a month, they’ll forget 90%.

    To provide the ultimate experience and build your reputation as a coach or teacher, you have to understand that people don't all learn or retain what you teach in the same way.

    Some are more likely to remember written material, while others are more auditory...they like to listen. Others learn best in a group and still another group would prefer kicking back in front of a screen alone, taking it all in.

    The trend we've spotted that will help you boost your upsell rate AND build your reputation is to provide content and bonus info in as many different ways as possible, but do it with a twist.

    Providing course material in a way that is most beneficial to your audience is fairly common.

    Putting your course, webinar, bonus templates, video, podcast and any other product you offer on a company branded USB and providing it as a bonus or an upsell is!

    Does it really work?

    Absolutely!

    GKIC is the Glazer-Kennedy powerhouse marketing and entrepreneur network. It stands for Glazer-Kennedy Insider's Circle. Most people in the marketing world are familiar with the books and products written by one of the founders, Dan Kennedy, who combines classic lead generation with multimedia for more effective sales.

    GKIC is one of the recognized industry experts in course creation AND — the upsell.

    I recently attended a GKIC seminar and purchased one of their many marketing products. In the back of a notebook full of information were sleeves of DVD's with the course recorded for auditory and visual learners.

    And...a tiny, USB branded with their company logo.

    Now let me ask, would an industry leader provide a USB packed with the entire course and bonus information if it didn't work?

     

     

     

    Build Your Upsell Strategy

    Most of us aren't multi-million dollar companies like some of the big names, but the take-away is that you don't have to be if you can spot a trend.

    Building your strategy begins by recognizing trends.

    Right now, the trend for promoting and selling online courses is public speaking, so let's take that and build a strategy blueprint.

    Wait...what? Public speaking? That doesn't make money or sell courses, does it?

    Meet NY Times Best Selling Author, Suzanne Evans, who landed on the INC 500/5000 list for four straight years after realizing that the key to selling was a 15 minute (or less) stage pitch.

    Suzanne ditched her secretary's gig and went from there to a six million dollar business in 6 years by selling her program from the stage.

    And now, of course, she teachs others how to do it with an online course!

    Not everyone is going to be able to take it to that level, but as an upsell strategy, it's the beginning of a great blueprint.

    Just imagine talking to a room full of friends about how you gained some really useful information and how it changed your world. As simple as talking to a friend on the way to the parking lot.

    But at the end you let them know that you have a tiny USB with everything you learned going from secretary to six-million.

    Now that’s the beginning of a beautiful upsell!

     

    The Blueprint

    Start by assessing your material and your offers.

    Can you build quality materials to add value?

    • Check lists
    • Templates
    • Reference Library
    • Key Terms
    • A bonus related mini-course
    • Tip Sheets
    • Past recorded webinars

     

    Any of those would make perfect material to add to your branded USB.

    Make sure that the USB you choose is a match to your brand and even your course. For example, let's make our blueprint for a health and wellness course that promotes yoga, non-toxic living and simplifying your lifestyle.

    I would choose a USB that reflects those qualities. An Eco-Friendly Bamboo USB or these Rectangular Shape USB's will reinforce the message. 

     

     

     

    So what if you are offering a course to help people clean up their credit and get financially stable?

    Let them know the only credit card they need is the credit card-thin USB Flash Card (with the ability for you to add full color customization on both sides.)

     

    You get the idea. 

    The next step is to make sure you don't miss opportunities to share your products.

    • Make them a bonus for early sign-up
    • Use them as an upsell after a free webinar
    • Offer them as a thank-you
    • Mention them in related courses
    • Sponsor a contest
    • Add them as a suggested item with related products (Amazon-style!)
    • Sell them on your website
    • Preview future courses inside the material

     

    And, yes, take every opportunity to speak about your course, whether it's a thirty-minute mini-course at a local coffee shop, or asking to tag on to someone else's presentation in a related field.

    It’s incredibly easy to find opportuinites to build your brand. If you're getting into the online course creation field, and we highly encourage you to look into it, or you already have a business that could benefit by providing a course, start looking for ways to provide a quality user experience along with your expert content.

    Don't forget to brand your documents, and of course, call us and we'll show you exactly how to make the most of your own branding opportunity.

     

     

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