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Put on a good show!

Tradeshows - how to make the most of themTradeshows are a dime a dozen. If you have recently been to the ICC in Sydney, you will see that there can be up to five shows on any given day. This year alone, I have gone to over five tradeshows.

Tradeshows are a great way to engage with your current and potentially new customers in a way you cannot do online.

But it’s a show. It’s theatre.

The more theatre, the more engaging, the more customers to your stand, the better the opportunity for new business.

The same people are attending the same tradeshows year on year, it’s in everyone’s best interests for business and brands to continue to bring new life to their stand.

Here are our tips for putting on the show:

  1. Each year start with a blank canvas – Open the door for some new thinking. How can we do it better than last year?
  2. Communicating to your customers before the show telling them what they could expect when they visit.
  3. Create space in your space. More room for customers. And the more customers on your stand, the more drawn to the stand will any passers-by.
  4. Bring some fun. What are the fun spikes? This is good for both the staff on the stand and the customers.
  5. Food is always a draw card. As long as it’s relevant. Having chocolates and snacks gets people, but it’s even better if the give-away has a direct association with what you do. Promotional products are a great take-home. If you take the time to create something that is too good to discard post the show, it’s a great opportunity for your brand awareness and consideration. Even better if you tie in a call to action.
  6. Stand design… it’s worth the investment. It’s the difference between someone stopping or not. You want to stand out. What will it take for you to be up there with the best of the best.
  7. Follow up! Get leads, add to your database. Then make sure you follow up and keep interacting after the show.

Energy is everything. Dynamic personalities that can speak to anyone and everyone and have fun at the same time. Find these people to work on your stand so you make it work hard, and get a great ROI.

Not Just Another… Pen

Pens would have to be the most popular choice for a promotional item. So versatile, always needed and easy to brand. But there are lot’s of different pens, so how do you choose?

I think most of us have used promotional pen after promotional pen, finding that they don’t work to begin with or last for no time at all.

The Turnkey pens were more expensive, but they last. I have lost count of how many people have told me about how good the pens are, or how often I see people pull this pen out, or even ask for another one! They have proved to be a nice reminder of what we do and the quality we provide.

If you are going to the effort and expense of buying promotional pens, invest in one that works. Cheap pens speak volumes about your brand. So don’t be afraid to choose a pen for your next promotional campaign, just make sure it’s going to make a mark!

Brand Intimacy

Brand intimacy – what is it? Creating not just a connection, but an intimate connection with your brand, sounds potentially farcical, but before you judge, just listen and observe. People can and do get very close to brands. Why on earth would someone buy a $400 T-shirt from Gucci?

I once was asked, by a marketing team (of course!), if a brand was actually a person, who would I want to share my bed with? Sounds ridiculous, until you start to think about how you would answer the question! Then your inner dialogue starts, and you are thinking maybe this brand, maybe that brand!

We all use brands in our life to demonstrate to ourselves and the entire world who we are, how we think, what we like and what we don’t like. Social media has only exemplified this form of aligning ourself with brands, giving us a platform to scale our associations.

So knowing this, how can we build on the relationships customers are having with our brands, so they become more intimate? So they become an extension of the person. This is not limited to fashion brands. All brands can find a way to build deeper relationships with customers by finding the balance between resonance and aspiration.

Promotional items can definitely help with this. It’s a great way to invigorate a brand … but first dedicate the thinking around selecting the right item and the message.

Find the sweet spot, that encourages your customer to get that bit closer.

When it comes to branding, is something better than nothing?

Marketers are always looking outside their walls to see how other marketers are bringing their brands to life. With this comes lots of opinions as to what is right, what is not right, what you would do, what you wouldn’t do, how far you would go…

At times you may find yourself wishing that you didn’t have the brand guidelines or the long approval process. That you could just go with it.

You are the brand manager, marketing manager, marketing director, general manager – shouldn’t you be the one to make the final call? You could well be the closest person to the brand. You are the person in the company that protects every inch of that brand.

Then you find yourself having a conversation with yourself about whether the loss in time due to the lengthy approval process is worth the loss in motivation, brand exposure, speed to market? Who are we protecting the brand from? People in the business or people outside the business. Given the volume of brand and messages in general, are we overthinking the details versus the objective and impact?

H&M and Kenzo, now that’s an interesting collaboration. I wonder if it was in the Kenzo brand guidelines?!!

And then you see examples of a brand execution that feels far from right!! You think – what, why, how did that get out the door? The realisation or reminder that positioning and guidelines play a vital role in building brand surfaces.

The art of marketing…. Finding the best way to simultaneously cut-through, resonate, be efficient, stay on brand, keep to budget and evolve. That’s when it pays to talk with someone who gets it – brand plus execution – and knows how to get it right.

A walk in the park!!!

Umbrella’s – still a popular choice for gifting

The go-to promotional item for so many businesses, particularly if there is someone in the business that plays golf. And who doesn’t want a massive umbrella?! No fun when the sun is out, but when the rain hits, you couldn’t be more in love. The umbrella has its hero moment.

So it’s a bit of a winner as far a promotional item… but how do you get more out of this medium and avoid becoming another boring golf umbrella.

  • Think about your brand positioning.
  • Think about your customers.
  • How can you find the sweet spot between your brand, the customers and the promotional item?
  • Can the message be more than your logo?
  • Is there an opportunity to stretch the usage? Smaller umbrellas may be the answer during hot summers.
  • How do you stand-out from the crowd of branded umbrellas, so the user becomes excited to see rain fall.

Let us know if an umbrella is on your wish list as your next promotional item, and we can work on a way to get more interest from this perennial favourite.

Minimising Waste + Saving Money.

It’s so topical. Your regular take away coffee cup is not disposable, despite the fact that it is made of paper. Your clients and customers are becoming more educated about this issue, and are getting on board the movement to save nearly 1 billion coffee cups from going to waste each year in Australia. So why not consider reusable choices?

One of the most popular ways to embrace this trend is the reusable cup trend. So many options to choose from, design through to branding applications.

Plus – a money saving bonus! Over 1,600 café’s are now offering a discounted price on your coffee when you use a reusable cup, which gives you something extra to talk about when you present this item as a gift. Visit https://www.responsiblecafes.org/ to find a cafe close to you that offers this.

This is one fashion item that can be really positively aligned to your corporate and brand values.

Baby, it’s cold outside! Time for getting out your winter wardrobe.

Yes, winter has arrived. It may not be as cold as our friends in the Northern Hemisphere, but we’re feeling it!

It’s not surprising then that you see a change in peoples behaviour during the cooler weather. Let’s be honest, things slow right down. Lot’s more watching TV and eating comfort food, but we also see more time spent in organising – planning for the upcoming busy Christmas period.

If you’re looking for something that your staff and clients are going to love – you can’t go past the basics of winter apparel. Everything from beanies & scarves through to fleece lined jackets are a super practical choice.

It’s a great example of how you can combine fashion with your brand, and create a seamless transition into your customers lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’re never too old for building blocks – everything is awesome.

There is something about building blocks, the inspiration of many cities, flying objects, robots and epic battles.

Nostalgia is back in full swing, and having the multi purpose use of tech and stationery items that you can play with at your desk is pretty appealing. The grown up’s version of the fidget spinner!

Bright colours, loads of different items and great branding space, the new office blocks series is an easy choice for  a simple way to intrigue your customers.

There are too many to list here, so just call me and we can talk about your project and how you can have more fun with it.

 

Brand Experience

A welcomed brand experience.

brand experience

We spend a lot of our time in the digital world, seeing brands. An Apple study found that on average we unlock our phones 80 times day. The mobile has been referred to as an extension of your body. Are we saying that your phone is a new body part… well close enough!

Despite spending more time in the digital space, our appetite for ‘living experiences’ has grown. This may well be in direct relation to, the life we would like to portray, through the digital world, or that, we want more from life. The booming travel industry is proof of this.

How does this relate to your brands and business? What experiences are you creating or being apart of to connect with your customer in the real world? If you are creating experiences that are memorable and have high talk-ability and Instagram-ability then the life of the experience extends beyond the moment.

How can you do this and do it better? Some questions to ask:

  • Who are my customers?
  • What’s important to them?
  • What do they do?
  • Where do they go?
  • What do they do for fun?
  • How can my brand play a role?

We are seeing brands become savvier in how they are connecting. Nike Running Groups, Google Digital Garage, Restaurants offering Cooking Classes, Starbucks Country Origin Merchandise. These experiences are seen to be designed for the user, with the brand being a complimentary partner in how they live their life.

Adding value to customers in the space that they are already in or through creating new spaces, whilst still maintaining brand positioning, is the win-win for everyone.

It’s a great place for any brand to be.

4 ways employers can reduce stress and encourage healthy living

Organisations seeking to assist their staff and clients with stress management are well-placed to show their support by offering corporate branded exercise apparel and equipment that promotes a healthy lifestyle.

Anyone grinding madly towards a deadline or the end of financial year knows how stress can impact your work productivity and your life away from work. As well as increasing your overall health, the links between exercise and stress-reduction have been acknowledged for some time.

Endorphins are the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters and they spike in production when you exercise.  Whilst exercise also helps stressed employees forget the long tiring days and allows them to focus on moving their body, it’s also beneficial in clearing the mind, especially with outdoor activity or yoga. Being physically tired instead of not just mentally tired is also a great way get a good night’s sleep and feel recharged in the morning.

Employers can help reduce stress with a few simple ideas:

  • Management can Lead By Example: In order to reduce stress it’s important for managers to lead by example. They can stay positive in the face of negative or stressful circumstances; make time to go for a run and fit in exercise; drink plenty of water and eat healthy, organise walking meetings outdoors rather than in an office or boardroom; take regular breaks and socialise.  This will show your employees that it’s OK to take some time out. Consider a clever gift for your employees that allows them to monitor how much water is being consumed during the day.

 

  • Introduce a Corporate Wellness Program: statistics show that exercise and a healthy lifestyle is important when it comes to alleviating stress at work. A wellness program can include paying for a portion of gym membership; running a company-wide health eating challenge or encourage divisions to compete in a step challenge.  A couple of ideas that will help employees unwind and feel better about themselves.  This program can be supported with a range of promotional merchandise that employees can aim for if they achieve certain goals or levels within the program, such as pedometers, smart bands,  workout apparel, fitness Towels, High End Water Bottles to name a few.

  • Create Social Activities: Your staff spend a lot of time with each other and it’s really important that they have good working relationships. When staff enjoy coming to work, the atmosphere will improve and lead to higher productivity, collaboration and even customer service.  Perhaps once a week set aside some time to bring your staff together in a fun environment; play a team sport such as game of basketball or soccer or even take the staff our for a healthy lunch at a vegetarian or raw food restaurant.  Social activities help reduce stress, boost morale and build successful teams.  By also providing the staff with suitable sports gear like t-shirts, socks, shorts, sunscreen and caps, they will also feel rewarded and part of a team.

 

  • Provide a ‘Chill Out’ or ‘Zen’ Area in the office: By creating a quiet room in the office with some lovely relaxing music playing in the background, walls painted in a soft neutral colour, scented diffusers; with some oversized bean bags and encouraging your employees to take a 10 or 15 minute break during the day to relax and get away from technology, can help stress and possible burn out. A nice environment can improve happiness. Include some products such as branded LED Candles, stress relievers, eye masks, yoga mats etc.

Sports gear improves fitness engagement!

Stanford researchers summarised 26 different studies in a paper published in The Journal of the American Medical Association and reported that collectively, the studies showed that pedometer users walk more than 2,000 additional steps each day than non-users, and their overall physical activity levels increase by 27%. Aussie kids scored a dismal D minus (worst grade) on the physical activity report card, Australian children are the least active in the world.  By encouraging parents to get more active through company programs, they can lead by example for their children and ensure they live a healthy active lifestyle. Lower rates of active transport (walking) as well as higher rates of sedentary behaviour, particularly increased time spent in front of screens is a contributing factor. Branded sports gear is by no means a solution to this issue, but could prove to be a motivator.

With the Promotional Products Association International noting that 73% of those who received promotional products use it at least once a week, branded promotional sports and health/lifestyle products are going to improve not only your brand awareness and overall business, but the wider health of your staff, customers and general public.

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