5 Reasons You Should Buy Holiday Employee Gifts


The heart of any business is made up of the employees. A business can succeed or fail based upon on the behaviors and work ethic of the employees. The end of the year during the Christmas holidays is a great time to show your appreciation for the hard work of your employees.  Here are 5 great reasons you should buy holiday employee gifts that are personalized with your company logo.

  1. To simply say, “Thank you for your hard work this year.” It is proven that salary is not the number 1 factor in job satisfaction, but happiness with the work environment. Show your employees that you appreciate them and their hard work and they will continue to work hard for you.
  2. Employee motivation – You don’t have to and you shouldn’t only give gifts at the end of year, but reward your employees throughout the year for meeting sales quotas, wrapping up a big new deal, using no sick time, etc. There are many things that your employees do regularly that make your company money, so reward them for that to help keep them motivated.
  3. Corporate gifts promote good will and build team spirit toward your company for your employees. Give them something of value and something useful and it helps them to bond more with the business. The more they feel like a valuable piece of the company, the more they will promote it when dealing with clients.
  4. Marketing – the more your employees use promotional products with your company logo printed on them, the more advertising your company receives. It’s great for clients to see employees supporting the company they work for because it makes them feel more comfortable choosing your company.
  5. Generosity – Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31. It’s just the right thing to do. It’s one of the most famous quotes from the Bible and for a good reason. Treat your employees well and your company will be rewarded as a result.

When rewarding your employees, please don’t be cheap. You don’t have to buy $100 gifts, but don’t buy them a $5 gift either. You have to evaluate how much your employees are worth to you and your overall budget. Typically gifts ranging from $40-$60 are great for end of the year Christmas gifts for employees. If your company does high dollar sales and deals, you should increase the amount you gift proportionally. There are thousands of premium promotional products to choose from and I recommend you always brand the gifts with your logo when possible to reinforce the brand of your company with your employees. If you give gift certificates, they are spent and gone with no remembrance of your company. However, for example, if you gift a premium cooler with your logo that gift will be kept for years and continue to market for your company. Be smart and be generous and you find this expense is not an expense at all and is really an investment that pays off big time.

10 Costly Mistakes When Buying Promotional Products


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Nearly every business, whether large or small uses some type of promotional item to giveaway to their customers.  The reason they do is because promotional products are one of the most effective forms of marketing.  Buying promotional items should be an investment that brings a return on your money and NOT an expense.  Here are the 10 most common pitfalls with businesses buying promotional products.

  1. Buying from Order Takers – The top mistake that most buyers make is going with an inexperienced company or with a company that takes no interest in helping your campaign succeed.  To elaborate further, many promotional product distributors are interested only in the sale and not the well-being of your marketing campaign success.  These distributors will gladly take your money but their customer service is lousy.  Experienced distributors know that any future repeat business from their clients hinges directly on the successes of their campaigns, so any smart distributor is going to try to help their clients in every way possible to offer any suggestions to better their marketing efforts.  Therefore, using a knowledgeable distributor will benefit you greatly with any campaign.  It doesn’t make any sense to go with a company that is just simply offering a lower price on an item if they give no service, especially if you’re just talking pennies per item.
  2. Not Developing an Objective for Your Campaign – So what are you trying to achieve with your purchase of promotional items?  Are you just going for brand awareness?  Are you actually wanting to increase sales?  Are you trying to get customer contact info for a mailing or telemarketer list?  Are you using your giveaways as thank you gifts?  Are you using the items are employee incentives?  All of these are crucial questions that need answers because you must define the target audience and define what you action you desire.  If you want to increase sales, you might want to use the item as a FREE gift with purchase.  Or if you are wanting to thank your employees for a job well done, you will want to give them a premium item that they will keep and use often.  If you are promoting brand awareness, you will want to get an item that is related to your product, brand, or service.  A promotional products consultant can help you with creative ideas and it doesn’t cost you any extra for this service.
  3. Buying Trash – You don’t go through your neighbor’s garbage can and offer to buy his garbage and then give it away to your customers, so why buy useless junk that will end up in the trash can that same day.  Don’t buy a 20 cent pen and expect people to jump up and down in excitement.  A cheap item like that is likely to skip when writing, smear, and possibly not even write at all.  Then all you have done is wasted your money and given your customers and potential customers a bad taste about your company.  They get a cheap feel about your business and associate your service and products as cheap and useless.
  4. Being Stingy – I always love this one!  I see people buying promotional products all the time, but they hoard the items in a closet and don’t give them away.  They save them for “special people” or “special occasions” that never really come.  The items stay boxed up in a closet and offer no marketing value.  You’ve spent the money on the items, so now get some use out of them.  An average promotional item is viewed by many more people than just the recipient.  Therefore, one item has a lot of marketing power to affect multiple locations. 
  5. No Contact Info – Having just your logo printed on items without contact information such as your website, address, or phone number is not usually recommended unless you are simply promoting brand awareness.  Even if you are just promoting brand awareness and not trying to get orders from this marketing item, you should still at least have your website printed on the items, unless you have National or Worldwide recognition such as Microsoft.
  6. Wrong Item for Your Target Audience- So often I get calls from people wanting specific items, but when I question them about their intentions with the items, I find out the items are completely inappropriate for the recipients.  You don’t want to have custom imprinted pocket knives and pass them out to kindergartners or give logo molded chocolate out at a diabetes seminar.  Although, these examples are extreme, this drives the point home.  Make sure you know who the recipients will be.  If most will be elderly, give out something that age group can use.  If they are a younger audience, make sure and give out something that will appeal to that generation.  This simple concept is often overlooked and should be thought about carefully.  In many instances, you may need to think about getting 2 or 3 types of items if you have a diverse crowd.
  7. Too Much Information Printed – Printing too much information on a promotional item is a no no.  Often people want to print their business name, logo, address, website, phone number, fax number, and a tag line on a pen with a 1/2 in.x 1 in. imprint area.   This of course makes no sense because with most promotional items, the imprint area is limited and the more you print, the smaller the imprint will be.  What good does the imprint do if you need a magnifying glass to see it.  Think about the pertinent info you need.  Your logo, business name, phone number, and website is usually sufficient.  Do you really need a fax number on a promotional item?  Simpler is often better.  Information overload will cause people to not read the info.
  8. No Tracking Method - Having a way to track the Return on Investment (ROI) is always a great idea with promotional products.  You can use them like a coupon and include an exclusive discount or coupon code so that you will know exactly how many people placed an order or made a purchase that was directly related to this item.  For example, bring this tote bag to the store to bag your items at checkout and receive a 5% discount.  Or have a coupon code that says 10% off your purchase on our website by using promo code TAKE10.  By doing this, you can measure results and know if this type of marketing is working for you.  In order to be successful with your campaign, there is still a lot of other planning to do such as targeting the right audience with the right product.
  9. Giving Away High Dollar Items in Bulk – I have seen several companies (the ones with plenty of money to spend) giving away premium items to anyone they see.  While premium items are very effective to giveaway to your top customers, I never recommend giving them away to just anyone.  That is the quickest way to break the bank.  Bulk items should be the lower cost items under $3.00 each. 
  10. No Advance Planning – Make sure you order early enough in advance to avoid rush charges and expedited shipping charges.  Most promotional products can take up to 2 weeks for production; however, you can get many products these days with free rush service, but you still may have to use 2-day or overnight shipping to get your items on time.  This can be avoided with a little advance planning and ordering early enough.  Why waste money on rush or expedited shipping fees?

While most of these tips may seem like no-brainers, these are common mistakes made by thousands of businesses everyday.  These simple mistakes can be avoided by using the services of a qualified and experienced promotional products distributor.  Use the expertise of these consultants to help ensure your next marketing campaign will be the most successful one ever.

Copyright 2010 Patrick Black and Perfect Imprints.  All rights reserved.

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2010 Reasons to Buy Promotional Items


Okay, so I’m not really going to list 2010 reasons, but I will list several VERY important reasons why promotional items should be used to market your business in this new year and decade.

We are coming out of the worst economic times since the Great Depression.  Although economic recovery is not predicted to come back with a boom, it will likely be a slow steady growth.  It is extremely important for your business to get visibility now, even if your clients aren’t buying right now.  There will come a day soon that they will be buying and if they do not see your business name in front of them often, they will see your competitor.  It’s very easy to get comfortable in your day to day job and fail to market your business.  This is a pitfall for disaster.  Promotional items are excellent items to market your budget and get the best cost per impression.  So you may ask, “What is cost per impression?”  That is simply defined as how much it costs you for each person to see your advertisement, whether it is on a television, radio, newspaper, or magazine ad or on a promotional item.  The cost per impression for a promotional item is just pennies compared to other forms of advertising and much more effective.  Everyone loves to get something free if it is useful, unique, or has value.  You sometimes have to think outside of the box and veer away from pens or koozies and think of a more unique item for your business.  The sky is the limit.

More often than not when times get tough, business begin to trim the fat to help sustain themselves.   However, many businesses actually trim the lean muscle (the marketing budget) without thinking of the consequences.   Effective marketing is what drives sales.  If you track your marketing and are smart with your advertising, you should see a direct correlation between sales and marketing.  Promotional items can be very effective if used properly.  Make sure and utilize a knowlegeable promotional products consultant for creative ideas for your industry.

A typical promotional product is kept for 7 months.  How long does a customer hold on to a newspaper ad or a radio or tv ad?  I haven’t heard of many people TIVOing commercials so they can watch them later (Super Bowl commercials of course may be an exception).

Direct mailing to customers may not have a high response rate; however, add something lumpy in that evelope and that will be the first piece of mail they open.  Curisosity is a great human emotion to utilize.  Of course you want the lump in the envelope to be something with your company name and something that would be useful for that customer.  The more useful an item is the more exposure that product will create for you.

Make sure and start the new year out right and use effective marketing techniques to give you business the edge over your competitors.  Promotional giveaways are excellent resources to help your brand and company recognition.  The earlier you start, the sooner you will benefit.    Good luck with 2010.

Marketing Your Business in 2010 with Promotional Products


Marketing in 2010 will be much different than in past years.  At the height of a recession with some small (really small) signs of economic turnaround, all buyers will be very cautious.  Buyers are looking for sales and coupons more than ever now.  Buyers are also looking for FREE gifts that are offered with their purchases.  Giving away free marketing gifts is a great way to drive in more sales, and I don’t mean giving away a cheap koozie or some other type of inexpensive giveaway.  You should giveaway items of value such as promotional tote bags, custom calendars with your personalized coupons for each month, or maybe even a nice promotional mug.  The possibilities are endless; however, you just want to make sure and giveaway something of value or something of perceived value.  The more useful the item, the more perceived value the particular item will have.  Promotional giveaways have been used successfully for years and there is no better time than right now to use them to increase sales for your business.

Top Promotional Products for Marketing in January


Well, Christmas will soon be here and gone and we will be into a new year.  It’s hard to believe that in a few short weeks it will be 2010.  I remember counting down the seconds to the new millennium like it was yesterday.   It’s time now to get a marketing plan for January.  Many businesses don’t think about marketing gifts for the various seasons, but only promotional gifts relating to their own business.  This type of thinking significantly limits you when there are thousands of great and useful promotional items out there.  Here are a few historical best sellers that are both useful and effective for promoting your business in January.

Promotional Ice Scrapers- A promotional ice scraper is one of the promos that will tend to hang around from winter to winter,  especially if you are located in the Northern parts of the U.S.  You can choose from mini ice scrapers, standard inexpensive ice scrapers, or the more premium ice scraper with a mitt to keep your hand warm.  Whatever your budget, there are many different price points and styles to choose from.  Ice scrapers are durable items that will last for years and keep on marketing for your company.  As I’ve stated before, buying useful items such as these will maximize your investment in promotional items and have them work for your by keeping your business name fresh in the minds of your customers.

Custom Calendars- Calendars with your personalized logo imprint are great promotional giveaways that will hang around for the entire year.  As a matter of fact, when you give out a good quality calendar from year to year, your clients will expect a new one every year.  If you happened to skip a year, it will cause a lot of disappointment.  This is exactly the type of behavior you want to create because if your customers expect your promotional calendar every year, that means they remember you all year long.  These are one of the best year long promotional products around.  Everyone needs a calendar and uses one almost daily.  My favorite are the Span-A-Year calendars that show the whole year on one large wall calendar.  With this type of calendar, I can quickly find any date during that year.  You can also choose from desk calendars, magnetic calendars, or traditional month at a time wall calendars.  It’s now time to get your 2010 calendars. 

Promotional Hand Sanitizer- With all of the colds and viruses going around in the winter, as well as H1N1 virus, promotional hand sanitizers with your personalized logo imprint make great winter give aways.  Show your clients that you care about their health while at the same time benefiting from these great marketing gifts.  Choose from standard small bottles of antibacterial hand sanitizer to larger bottles and specialty bottles with carabiners attached.  You can’t always wash your hands when you need too, but you can sanitizer your hands as long as you have these bottles available.

Personalized Lip Balm- Personalized chapstick is a perfect winter giveaway.  Lips tend to get more chapped in the cold months, so why not give away a marketing item to help combat that.  Your customers will certainly appreciate it.  Keep your clients with health lips so they can spread the good news about your company to everyone they meet.

Promotional Ice Scrapers Custom CalendarsPromotional Hand SanitizerPersonalized Lip Balm