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The Everest of Expos!

Whilst you were summering it up in Australia during January, I was trumping it up in America!

This was travel for both work and play!

The Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) Expo was the main purpose for the trip – the biggest industry expo in America. We are talking 11,000 distributors representing 4,000 companies and 30 countries, attended by over 20,000+ people. The Everest of Expos, both in respect to the variety of products, the exhibition space … and trying to get through it in three days. Then throw in the Las Vegas location – the epicentre of ‘can you make it bigger and better’!  

With something as big as this, you have to plan and be selective from the start, or you could find yourself lost in the noise, hype and excitement.

The opportunity to attend this Expo in Vegas was a milestone for not only my business, but also for me personally …. as I extended the time to experience America is a completely different way.

We, my husband and I, experienced Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco and then drove to Las Vegas via California Highway 1 for a stay in San Simeon, home to the amazing Hearst Castle. We miraculously stumbled across over 3,000 elephant seals that come to the coastline every year to give birth and mate….But that is for another time and something I would be happy to share if you are thinking about travelling to America.

So, back to the show.

We had a plan and it worked very well.

The first two to three days were purely education in sales and marketing, specific to the promotional products industry. I attended a lot different educational sessions. I think it was 16 in total. Customer Service online and offline, continues to be top of mind. There was also a lot of education around high performance selling, unifying sales teams and the latest trends and topics related to social media, metrics, branding and positioning. A great opportunity to immerse myself in how the world is seeing business and integrating promotional products to further extend and leverage marketing communication and programs.

For the following three days I walked the Trade Show floor on the lookout for new products or a new and fresh approach to existing lines and found the segments with a lot of momentum are:

1. ENVIRONMENTAL PRODUCTS are big and only getting bigger. Which is great to see. Recycled straws, recycled materials, less materials, reusable straws, bags, containers for food and drinks.

2. BLING AND MORE BLING! What I mean is bling decoration on anything and everything – bags, drink bottles, in cars, books, clothing, phones. I don’t think this is going anywhere soon. The asian influence in our markets continues to grow, and anything bling acts as a means of creating your own signature add on. Click on the image below to view the Sequin Artwork.

3. SOCKS has turned into a means of self expression. We are seeing a lot of branded socks out there. If designed with the customer and positioning in mind – this is very effective.

4. DENIM. The days of denim are definitely not behind us. There is a lot of denim still to be lived. It’s exciting to see the different ways in which this material is being integrated with other materials – and bringing new life to products we haven’t seen before.

5. THE EXPO LIVE ‘GET IN TOUCH’ interactive stage was also a good bit of fun. There is where live product demonstrations and interviews with industry leaders were streamed. A non-guilt rest break!

Also throw in the very talented, knowledgeable and ENGAGING KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:

David Goggins, the closing speaker, was a stand out for me. He spoke on the topic “Stop Talking Yourself Out of Being Great”.  An inspiring talk about personal accountability and building momentum. He spoke about in the early challenges in his life, becoming a Navy SEAL in most elite unit in the American military, and the only member of the U.S. Armed Forces to complete SEAL training. He also was in the U.S. Army Ranger School, where he graduated as Enlisted Honor Man, and Air Force tactical air controller training. A few years later he became one of the greatest endurance athletes in the world.

Scott Stratten was also another great speaker . Who was named a top five social media power influencer by Forbes. He has completely changed how corporations do business. During his presentation, he shared his ‘radical’ insights on how to engage better with customers through social and viral marketing and blended real-world strategies with memorable stories to rethink the way we market and sell.

Connie Podesta … well I have not laughed so much at this stand out presentation on sales as I’ve never heard it being presented before.  As an award-winning author, Podesta is an expert on the psychology of sales, leadership, change, life balance and getting your act together, which helped to inspire industry professionals to do what it takes to increase sales, attract and retain more customers, build longer-lasting relationships, strengthen leadership skills and become more profitable, happier and successful.

So back to our plan for the show. It worked well. Or we thought it was working well. Until….we heard about the ‘Pop Up Puppy Stand’. (Which was amongst foodie pop-ups chocolate-dipped bacon, meatballs and rolled ice cream and caricature artists and an illusionists). In a flash we made a run to cuddle the most beautiful puppies.

This is genius marketing distraction and also drove traffic to less populated areas of the venue … and the perfect reminder that we are fundamentally, as humans, emotionally driven. Which brings me back to why promotional products continue to work.

Paul Bellantone, CAE, PPAI president and CEO said. “Promotional products are the only medium that allow us to connect with consumers on a tangible level”.

The benefit of tangible connections, is increasing emotion, trust and engagement – which are the foundation for establishing sustainable business and brands.

If you would like more information about the show and the latest promotional products please get in touch – info@turnkeypromotions.com.au

A Marketing Ploy with Good Intentions: Birthdays, Father’s Day, Christmas Day, Valentines Day. Do you buy in?

It seems like every other day is something-day. On the 10th of August, we had Duran Duran Appreciation Day and World Lion Day, Photography Day on the 19th, Be An Angel Day on the 22nd and Dog Day on the 26th.

Increasingly smaller holidays and events are being used to sell an array of products. An appropriate approach is vital. Done right, a holiday or celebration can be the perfect way to boost sales and create a strong brand association, but done poorly and the effort can appear transparent and tacky.

The most straightforward and most suitable instance of tying into any given x-day is when the product is inextricably tied to the day in question. National Donut Day, the 1st of June, is something of a no-brainer for Krispy Kreme, who mark the day by offering a free donut to every customer. It gets feet through the door and nets a tidy little profit to boot.

Greetings card companies stock their shelves with every kind of Birthday card imaginable, and deck their halls with the pinks of St. Valentine or the greens and reds of the festive season. There’s an undeniable and well-ingrained link in these industries and products. People may complain every year that they’re being inundated with Christmas-this and Halloween-that, but they buy it all the same. You’ll see dad rock albums climb the charts in the run up to fathers day and florists will beam when mothers day rolls around. It depends on the holiday, but when the link is clear and established marketing to a day or holiday can make sense.

In the bigger markets, Christmas in particular, where so many products and services are vying for consumer attention, the question actually becomes less of a ‘should we’ and more of a ‘how do we’. A common marketing ploy is to play on cultural associations. Coca-Cola’s Christmas campaigns have been wildly successful because they so effectively capture classic images of Christmas. Families around open fires, the mad dash for last minute presents … all of it wrapped up in a cosy, wholesome family image. They’ve even helped to define the modern day image of old St. Nick (though contrary to popular belief they weren’t responsible for turning his suit red http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7152054.stm). Coca-Cola though, especially in the cold December climates of the US and Europe, hasn’t got a whole lot of relevance to Christmas.

Whilst Coke have managed it, products being advertised and associated with events that they share no link with can also be a big misstep. Cynical and irrelevant marketing will only cause annoyance. Sticking with a festive theme, the UK-based supermarket Sainsbury’s tied into the hundredth anniversary of the First World War in their 2014 advertising campaign, to a fair amount of scorn from the press and public. Trying to sell groceries with images of one of humanity’s most horrific conflicts is a tenuous link at best and downright offensive at worst.

Here in Australia many will be familiar with Meat and Livestock Australia’s controversial lamb advertising campaign, which utilises controversy around Australia Day to drum up interest. These sorts of controversial campaigns can be very hit and miss, and those that do succeed often do so by means of leaning into more out there and incongruous forms of advertising. Dick Smith Food’s own (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7y6iE0aB5s) Australia day advertising plays off of absurd notions of patriotism and the inherent irrelevance of the product to the day itself for comedic effect. However it does also feature some pretty obnoxious casual racism. If you’re planning to use a holiday to sell something that has very little business being associated with it, recognising this inconsistency and playing off it is the best way to go. Tenuous association and causing offense in a needless and tasteless fashion is not.

Tying your marketing to a specific day, season or holiday can be a great way to drum up interest. If your product or service has a very clear link it’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. Did you know the 1st of June was Donut Day? You probably didn’t until every cafe had a sign in the window informing you of it. Drawing attention to these fun little events is an easy and relatively risk-free form of marketing. When dealing with the bigger hitters, Christmas, Easter and the like, it comes down to the suitability of the product and its ability to stand out from the crowd.

Branding – How far is too far?

In an increasingly diverse and ever-expanding marketplace the temptation to go big, better and more in-your-face, can be overwhelming. There’s a time and a place for more restrained and exact branding, and it’s here and now.

When the average person thinks logos, advertising and everything brand-related, they probably picture seas of logos, flashing lights and electronic technicolour. Think Times Square, Piccadilly Circus, Shibuya Crossing. It’s a trend that persists and exists across cultures and continents. From Tokyo to the Big Apple, bigger is seen as better.

It’s an approach to branding that attempts a sort of omnipresence. Being here, there and everywhere as a constant reminder and reinforcement. The Trump approach to advertising, who focuses on a relentless self-aggrandisement. Slapping a name, big and gaudy, on every product and property. Steaks, planes and towers, all under one almighty title. It’s worked to mix success for Trump, and in it’s modern context, this sort of very personal branding will divide audiences. Because it’s so tied up in perceptions around his character and what he represents. Success depends on how he, or his name, is perceived. Regardless of what’s being sold. Trump steaks aren’t sold on meat quality, the brand brings images of wealth and excess from its bombasity. That’s the selling point.

Relentless branding, and its relative effectiveness, comes down to the extent to which the brand is tied up in the success and essence of what’s being sold. Hello Kitty, whilst very different to the Trump brand, operates with a similar ethos, albeit one that is arguably more effective. The image of Hello Kitty herself is inexplicably tied to the brand and target audience. She is visual shorthand, aesthetic and selling point all in one. Overbearing and ever-present but also highly targeted in terms of audience.

It’s about knowing the product and the brand, the extent to which they exist synonymously, and what one says about the other. Targeted digital advertising allows any brand an omnipresence if done correctly. But that doesn’t necessarily make it the right approach. More subtle approaches to branding are becoming more numerous, and more importantly, are reaping the rewards.

Recent years have seen even the biggest brands; Coke, Durex, McDonald’s. Move towards a more minimalist design aesthetic with a focus on simplicity and stark design. There’s also been the rise of brands such as fjallraven and Paperchase, which tend to focus on simple elegant design acting as branding.

This trend is also present in larger scale retail and businesses with wide product ranges. General Motors shrunk its brands from eight to four, and saw a 16% increase in sales within the year. Head and Shoulders reduced it’s product line from twenty-five to sixteen and saw a 10% bump in sales. You can get even more mundane. Aldi, which has a far lower number of brands (and very little focus on brand recognition for individual own-brand products), less intrusive imaging and choices on offer, has seen a surge in popularity for exactly this reason.

Take a long hard look at your product(s), and how you want to brand them. It’s all a balancing act, and your approach to branding should reflect the core design ethos. In being too brash and boisterous a brand can drown out its own appeal. Any recognition becoming lost in its own noise.

Brand Experience

Experiences over Products – What does this mean for your brand?

Brand Experience

According to Euromonitor International, “There is a fundamental shift in consumer values towards experiences over things that bring happiness and wellbeing, with spending on experiences like travel, leisure and food service to rise to US$8.0 trillion by 2030.”

Millennials are driving this change:

  • 91% of Australian Millennials (aged 18-34) attended a live event, ranging from entertainment-focused experiences like concerts and beer festivals, to more cause-related events like marches and rallies.
  • 81% said they would choose to buy an experience rather than something desirable, ahead of their Gen X (35-45) peers at 72%.

So what’s shaping the experiential economy, they believe the growth is derived from (according to Eventbrite a Event Platform):

  1. People crave interactions off social media – Four out of five millennials say that attending live events makes them feel more connected to other people, the community, and the world.
  2. People are looking for a new perspective – In a world where the today’s headlines are yesterday’s old news, in-person events provide the opportunity to connect and gain perspective.
  3. Our cultural climate is shifting – A high percentage of people believe it’s essential for people to come together in person to promote positive change
  4. Millennials are starting families – Seven in 10 (69%) of both younger and older millennials attend live events to challenge themselves and escape everyday routines. Their interest in attending events doesn’t lessen once they start families.
  5. Livestreaming is making experiences more valuable – According to Facebook, people spend more than 3x more time watching a live video than a recorded video.

1. Knowing this what can we do about it when it comes to branding:

  • Create experiences. Start small if you have to. Some ideas to get you thinking:
  • Tasting testing before purchase. Mezzina do a great job of this.
  • Offer classes. The Sydney Fishing School has done a great job of this. Now we are seeing cooking classes pop-up everywhere.
  • Collaborate with a partners to hold an event – We are seeing this happen more and more. You split the costs whilst cross-leveraging your audience.
  • Demonstrations. They have been around for a long time, and they continue to pull a crowd. But it’s not an ordinary demonstration… people want theatre. So give them theatre. This doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of money, it may just mean that the demonstrator is highly entertaining.

2. Crossing over to the virtual world. Real estate agents, particularly ones selling off the plan dwellings are using virtual technology to enhance the buyers experience. It completely changes what you can deliver to a customer – without being limited by your location.

3. Bring your product to where the people are. Race days do a great job of this. You can go and have your make-up and hair professionally touched up, and not have to the leave the race course.

4. Social Media… make it seamless, make it effortless, make the audience feel like they couldn’t possibly not share this experience with their online friends.

5. Branding – Every brand has not choice but to have a level of coolness. Even if it’s a daggy cool brand. Over emphasising your positioning, so your customers, get it and embrace it, because they want to create a ‘by-association’ run off-effect. If I am in this place, experiencing this, then this says something about me that I want others to also know.

We cannot go past the inclusion of promotional products to help you create a deeper more engaging experience for your customers. People love tactile things, they love to touch, and take something away with them. Whether it’s a hat at a sporting match, drink bottles at a running festival, showbags at a conference, T-Shirts at a music event, USB’s after a presentation. Consider how you stretch the experience and the memory to continue beyond the event… this is something promotional products can definitely help you achieve.

Promotional T-Shirt

Not Just Another… Promotional T-Shirt

Promotional T-Shirt

The trusted t-shirt first debuted during the Spanish-American war between 1898 to 1913. They were worn under the Navy uniform and to the delight of all the t-shirt fans, undergarments they did not remain.

The prices people are willing to pay for t-shirts has blown out in a big way. This isn’t a new thing. A Run DMC Adidas t-shirt, produced on the back of the 80’s hip hop music movement had willing fans spending $13,000 on a DMC (in collaboration with Adidas) concert t-shirt. A 100% pure cotton t-shirt, round neck-line, short sleeves. Made for comfort… and made for value! T-shirts as an investment strategy, something to think about??!!

So what’s so appealing about the t-shirt:

  1. Easy entry level – to design, manufacture.
  2. In Australia – we are in t-shirts 9 months of the year – so usage is high.
  3. It crosses all demographics and socio-economic groups.
  4. It provides high-end brands to produce less expensive products to reach a wider audience, though still charge a premium.
  5. The versatility of the t-shirt – can be dressed up or dressed down.
  6. T-shirts are becoming increasingly ‘all occasions’ socially acceptable.

Promotional T-shirts to promote your business, brand, product, message:

Is a very good idea. If you put thought into who will be wearing it, the design, the quality and creating a tee that they want to keep wearing versus storing in the bottom of the drawer. The initial costs per person may be high if comparing to other communication mediums, but the engagement opportunity could far outweigh this. Not only is the person completely engaged with the t-shirt and consequently your brand, but the number of people they cross paths with whilst wearing your t-shirt can create many more impressions of your brand for years to come. Then you can go further to social media, if they are posting images wearing the t-shirt, this will further grow your reach.

The catch is – relevant message, good design, good quality.

Quality says just as much about your brand as does the design and message. So don’t surpass such an important component.

T-shirt fabrics details

  • Combed cotton – Fine brushes are used to eliminate short strands and straighten fibers, making the fabric stronger, softer, smoother and perfect to screen print.
  • Jersey – A stretchy knit typically made from cotton or a synthetic blend, it’s very flexible and comfy.
  • Organic Cotton – Cotton grown with minimal fertilizers and pesticides. Usually softer and more expensive than treated cotton.
  • Pigment dyed – A coloring process that coats the outside of the fibers, it can create a faded, worn-in look.
  • Polyester – Maintains its shape well and resists shrinking and wrinkles. Traditionally polyester is non breathable unless moisture wicking / cool dry treated making the fabric pull heat and sweat away from the skin for rapid evaporatio out of the fabric.
  • Polycotton – generally a polyester and cotton blend.
  • Rayon – A breathable man-made fibre made out of trees, cotton, and woody plants. Has a silky hand, yet wrinkles. Also called viscose.
  • Bamboo – tees made from bamboo fabric are beautifully soft, sustainable, easy to straighten, dye and the fabric has a splendid colour effect of pigmentation. Can also be known as rayon.
  • Rib knit – A ridged pattern that creates a thick, structured garment with a lot of give – usually this fabric can be used around the neck and sleeve to provide more structure.

Some of the list of t-shirt fabrics was sourced from: https://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/clothing/sweaters-tops/t-shirt-fabric

Where is the t-shirt made?

Look for the WRAP accreditation label. Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) is an independent, objective, non-profit team of global social compliance experts dedicated to promoting safe, lawful, humane and ethical manufacturing around the world through certification and education.

Do your homework and/or work with someone who has a sounds knowledge of the ins and outs of global manufacturing, so you receive the right product for your business – particularly if your business/brand chooses to align with ethical and environmental compliant business.

Sensory Brand Engagement – Off the Charts!

Watch this video, a Coke campaign case study, to see what an integrated sensory brand engagement experience can look like.

https://www.facebook.com/marketingmarvelswf/videos/1461206567325641/

By the end of it, even if you don’t drink Coke, you are thinking about it. And that’s just watching the video. Imagine if you are the customer that experiences all these touch-points? It’s next level infiltration, and you have no idea, the effect it’s having on you.

The magic of this campaign is in the journey:

  1. TV (Sight, Sound)
  2. Phone (Sight, Sound, Touch)
  3. Outdoor events (Sight, Sound)
  4. Social media (Sight, Touch)
  5. Print (Sight, Touch)
  6. Shopping centre where you experience the product (Sight, Sound, Touch, Smell, Taste).

The engagement of more than one sense, creates a compound effect, as you continue along the marketing funnel to the conversion point – where you receive/buy the product. One versus all sense interplay – is the part versus the sum. The sum is a lot more powerful.

This is poetry in motion. And we haven’t even mentioned the effect this has on your consciousness or subconscious. Messages coming through, via different channels (Sight, Sound, Touch, Smell, Taste). Creating stored memories and emotions. Imprinted in your psyche for the rest of your life. Wow. Sounds a little scary, when you say it like this. The power of sensory marketing!

Coke does have big brands and big budgets, and whether you do or not, the learning’s you can definitely be taken into your marketing campaigns. Look at your activity and ask yourself how many senses are we engaging? How can we engage three? Is it possible?

Some ideas that can inspire your team:

  1. Promotional Products – Whether it’s a t-Shirt, cooler bag, notepad or pen – have fun with this. There are lots of ideas, but what will make your idea unique to your brand?
  2. Scented Printing – The candle industry leverages the scent of smell to create nostalgia, relaxation, passion, etc. Is extending ‘time on page’ through incorporating a second sense experience, something to think about?
  3. Events – What event can you create for your customers? If you can get your customers in a room, you have access to all 5 senses, and an opportunity for the highest level engagement. If you don’t wish to run your own event, can you collaborate with a partner?
  4. Sound – We all know the sounds of milk being warmed at the coffee shop, and the sound of opening a Coke or packet of Pringles. Is there a sound that is unique to your brand that you can leverage through your communication?
  5. Signature Scent – Could you create your own signature scent? Who says you have to be a fashion brand to have your own scent. If you had to create a scent for your brand what would it smell like?

If you are looking at your marketing activity and investment, keep asking yourself how you could extend the life or the engagement with the customer, beyond 20 seconds, 3 minutes, 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months… This is the magic that well-thought through promotional products provide. Your customers end up loving them so much, that they promote your brand for you in a way that you couldn’t do yourself. And there is nothing more powerful than third-party endorsement.

A logo on a notebook, umbrella, is ok, but you can do so much more. Your customers will be grateful for the effort you put in and reward you with free advertising as a result.

Good business and good brands make sensory marketing both seamless and mutually benefiting.

 

Sensory Marketing – Next Level Engagement

“In his 2005 book Brand Sense, branding expert Martin Lindstrom argued that those that invest in multisensory branding are likely to have a loyal customer base.” https://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/multisensory-branding-immersing-all-five-senses

A book written more than 10 years ago and we are glued to our digital screens more than ever. However, we are seeing consumer trends move from material to experiences.

A ‘Smells and Emotions’ study of 1,000 people by psychologist Silvia Alava, found that people remember 35% of what they smell and only 5% of what they see. And that 85% of people said happy moments were recalled with certain smells.

So how does a brand tap into the senses? How can you taste or smell an App for example or an online brand, or a charity?

We find ourselves in an environment that has a lot of noise. Yes we might be able to reach our audience, but will they remember you/your brand? There are more brands, more products, more messages, more channels. A creative problem awaits us all, which means brands to survive need to think outside the status quo and become more adventurous and continue to test a variety of applications to connect with their customer.

We are seeing online stores, like Amazon create pop-up shops. Fashion stores creating café experiences, fragrant collaborations across all industries, non-food brands opening restaurants, car brands selling apparel….

Champagne is a classic 5 senses product – smell, touch, sound, sight, taste. A magical moment that brings all your past celebratory moments in one. A lot of Coke’s ads have been based on how Coke stimulates the senses. When this happens, I don’t know about you, but it takes me right back to childhood summers and no responsibility.

We are not all in the space of creating a restaurant dining experience for our brands, but if we were to think about the 5 senses, what would our brand sound like, taste like, smell like, sound like, look like?

A promotional product campaign can take this knowledge and apply it to create an experience, a strong alignment with your brand where there is not just reach, but also recall.

Why Promotional Products Work?

Australian marketers spend more than $1.34billion on promotional products each year …. despite the growth in digital marketing spend.

“69% of advertisers said promotional products increased brand interest and 84% it created more favourable impressions of the brand itself.” Australasian Promotional Products Association.

Why promotional products still work for the marketer?

  • A way to position your brand, more serious, more fun, adventurous, innovation, etc.
  • It helps to grow your brands perceived value, through association, partners, etc.
  • If delivered correctly, you have a captive audience.
  • It can be an inexpensive way of engaging and connecting
  • It demonstrates brand creativity and effort.
  • You go beyond tapping into one of the senses and therefore have a greater opportunity of engaging and creating memory.
  • A lot of promotional products a kept and used by the receiver for years – creating engagement and personal memories with your brand.
  • The creativity used to get a response is the key to increasing profits and promoting your brand.

Why promotional products work for the customer

  • It’s physical. It tactical. People like to hold onto something. Evidence of this is all around us – people with their phones!
  • They provide customers with an added benefit – not just you advertising your brand.
  • If the synergy between customer, brand and promotional product is right, the customer will enjoy the association.
  • Customers feel special when they receive a gift. The acknowledgement of being a valued customer feels good.
  • Their impression of a company is more positive after receiving a promotional product.
  • They are more likely to do business with a company after receiving a proposal product

Not Just Another… USB

You can never have too many USB Flash Drives. It’s the one office product that never gets re-gifted, because you know how valuable it is to your working day.

USB has made our lives so much easier. Particularly given that a big part of life revolves around storage and convenient transferability of information.

They come in a huge range of shapes, sizes, colours, capacity and can be fully customised to your specifications.

The latest flash drives are super cool … you don’t have to stick to the stock standard anymore.

The latest trend is the OTG or On The Go flash drives that provide expanded storage for smartphones and tablets.  An OTG flash drive can be plugged directly into your Android or iOS smart phone to backup files, photos, videos and more without needing to be in front of a computer.  This way you don’t have to miss out on any experiences whilst out and about if you happen to run out of memory on your device.

However, not all USB Flash Drive chips are the same.  At TurnKey Promotions, we have staked our reputation on providing high quality products and only use a reputable technology factory providing A-grade chips sourced out of Japan.  We have had clients come to us after sourcing cheap ones with real issues such as viruses being spread, the memory not being as stated, slow read-write speeds and general dissatisfaction.

USB Flash Drives are a useful branded product that will still be in demand for years to come by your customers, staff and suppliers … providing your brand with continued impressions well into the future.

Here’s My Tip – Break the Year into Quarters

You have your strategic plans, your 12 month plans, now put this to the side and focus on what you can make happen in the next 12 weeks. Sometimes we stay in the big picture and forget about the small things that can make a massive difference. They also keep the ship moving. We just want to make sure that’s it’s moving in the direction you want it to go.

Here are some questions to get you thinking about how you can make small changes in how you approach the year and create an edge that takes you beyond what you produced last year.   

  1. What do you want to achieve for the first quarter of the year? Two things. Customer growth, Value growth, brand awareness, internal morale, database growth, etc.
  2. Now take it a little wider and look at the remaining quarters, what are the 1 or 2 things you can achieve in quarters 3 & 4 that will make for an impactful 2018?
  3. How can you build on the customer experience through-out the year? You might break it down into, as an example: Quarter 1 – Education, Quarter 2 – Inspiration, Quarter 3 – Participation, Quarter 4 – Reflection
  4. How can you increase your knowledge of your customer? What do you know about them, what don’t you know about them? How can you find the answers? By asking, social media, research, etc.
  5. Is there an opportunity to improve your communication to your customer? Is your customer interested in what you are saying? Do they look out for it? Does it add value?
  6. What can you do around your brand to keep it fresh, contemporary and relevant? A brand will continue to grow if you water it. So keep watering it. It might not need a lot of water, but it still needs water.
  7. What systems in your business need to be refreshed? Systems could range from how you launch products to how you work with your agency partners. Shake them up, in a good way, to see how you can improve on last year and ignite a new level of momentum.

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