It’s natural to feel a little uneasy about the safety of your private information these days. Between Cambridge Analytica and 2017 being among the worst years in history for mass data breaches, the insecurities of the digital age are becoming vividly apparent. The walls around your digital footprint may seem paper thin, but there is something you can do to put something a bit more solid between you and those out for your data.
You may feel a fair amount of anxiety when using the internet; browsing social media and making purchases through online stores involves putting a lot of personal and financial information out there. This, however, is only one avenue that thieves use to get at your personal data. Not only in cyberspace but also here, in the physical world, thieves can use discreet and relatively simple technologies to make off with everything, from cars to credit card numbers, without the owner even knowing.
The way it works is that the thief utilises radio-frequency identification (RFID) or near-field communication (NFC). It sounds like complex jargon, but these features are present in pretty much everything you’ll be carrying around on a daily basis. Almost every modern smart phone features NFC, you’ll probably recognise the pointed ‘N’ logo from your handset’s pulldown menu, and RFID chips are featured in everything from contactless paywave cards to household pets and passports.
As this video shows, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZp24Twkykw, the process by which thieves can go about getting data is incredibly simple. Scooping up a plethora of card numbers and account numbers in an hour or so just by walking about an average urban neighbourhood.
It’s frightening yes, but the solution to this problem is also devilishly simple. By investing in an affordable travel sleeve for your passport or credit card, you can turn the tables on would-be thieves and hackers. For the frequent flyer and avid traveller, a passport is their life. So why risk it? And there’s no need to speak to the universal importance of keeping your hard earned cash secure. These products are cheap to produce, fairly quick to turnaround and can be customised to feature almost any colour, design or insignia. Subtle, smart and safe. A low-key investment that will not only save any savvy buyer a wealth of time and money, but give them a priceless peace of mind.
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.
Wellbeing products are somewhat ubiquitous these days. You’ll see them lining the walls of a pharmacy, perhaps stuffed in next to the Cadbury’s or even right at the checkout to prompt a last minute ‘Oh gosh I forgot about X’s birthday’. The ever-presence is for a good reason though. They’re an excellent gift idea, having a universal appeal and a price range that lets consumers pay a little or a lot whilst still getting a presentable, quality product.
Everyone likes to be pampered. Everyone likes to smell nice and feel detoxified. Consumer engagement is very high with wellness products and it’s only getting higher. With the recent surge in popularity of wellness and spirituality, more natural products such as diffusers are seeing a high adoption rate and their place in the gift market gives them an even broader reach.
Smelling great and getting comfy can be done on a budget with wellness products, and the potential for customisation and creativity is strong. Diffusers in particular can be tailored to a variety of tastes, or perhaps more accurately smells. As Promotherapy, a producer of sensory promotional products, puts it:
‘Marketing isn’t meant to be bland and boring, it should engage all the senses.’
The results are scientifically proven too. Our senses are tied to our memories, and positive stimuli that engages some or all of our senses can invoke a strong emotional reaction, as shown in a recent study carried out by the National Institute of Neuroscience in Turin, Italy.
Certain types of diffuser have even been shown to increase house prices! Driving up asking prices by as much as $100,000! Now that’s a strong smell.
So don’t underestimate the power of these seemingly simple products. By effectively utilising wellness products (smells in particular!) you’ll see your brand retention and engagement improve spectacularly!
Winter is on the doorstep. Head protection from extreme weather is a necessity… for how many weeks of the year, all depends on where you live and how often you travel to cold climates.
From another perspective, head attire can have nothing to do with protection, but more to do with a personal identity, statement or association. Celebrities known for wearing a beanie in the summertime include: Robert Pattinson, Ashton Kutcher, Justin Bieber, David Beckham and Liam Hemsworth.
Here are some different ways you can wear a beanie, thanks to instyle.com.au:
- Take a casual approach – team up with a pair or sneakers
- Patterned beanie – Wear with block colour outfit
- Work the tones – Compile your outfit on different tones of the one colour
- Dress up your beanie – Wear with a tailored coat and Knee high boots
- Off-duty model – Match with leather jacket, skinny pants, and sneakers.
- Play with Texture – A fluffy beanie with a fluffy jacket.
- Stripes – Beanies with stripes.
What are some other interesting facts about beanies:
- There is a world record for the most beanies worn at once. One hundred beanies, by a man in New York, in 2016.
- It’s believed that the first beanie dated back to the 12th and 13th centuries.
- 1990s, the beanie increased in its attractiveness, becoming a favorite accessory for skaters and snowboarders
So we get that beanies have been around for a long time and are super popular, both in winter and summer. So how can you make a branded beanie work? There are lots of fun and cool things you can do with beanies: animal designs; full colour images, branding or messaging; ear warmers; visors; or even a pompom on top. It also comes down to your brand personality, message and the theme/event you are tapping into.
Lots of brands do caps and visors, so why not try something a little different. Beanies are a great way to tap into the millennial market; if you want to go for the grungy / anti-social movement; and also the adventure tourism market (involves exploration or travel to remote exotic areas) – a market which is expected to grow by 20% in the next 5 years.
Not just another…. Cap
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):
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
Running out of mobile battery has climbed ahead of death and public speaking as our biggest fear! How life has changed!!! This is a bit of a joke, but there is a thing called “low battery anxiety’. An LG Survey revealed (sourced by Daily Mail Uk):
- 90% of us panic about losing power on our phones
- 32% of us will drop everything to head home and charge phones
With the current battery capacity compared to the power required to run more complex apps at faster speeds, our batteries are running out a lot sooner than they ever did.
Phone charging Technology continues to improve. With wireless charging becoming the latest must have.
What’s so good about the inductive wireless charger, is the charger transfers power from a charging device to a receiver without a cable. On top of that, you can brand your own wireless inductive charger, as a means of reducing ‘low battery anxiety’ for your customers or staff.
Phones that have wireless charging:
- Apple iPhone: 8, 8 Plus, X
- Samsung Galaxy: S9, S9+, Note 8, S8, S8+, S7, S7 Edge, Note 5, S6, S6 Edge
- LG: V30, G6 (US version only), G4 (optional), G3 (optional)
- Microsoft Lumia: 1520, 1020, 930, 929, 928, 920
- Google Nexus: 4, 5, 6, 7 (2013)
Benefits of a wireless charger:
- Safe way to charge your phone
- Easy to charge by placing your phone on the charger
- Never have to find the right cable for your phone.
- Can listen to music and charge your phone at the same time
Not just another.. USB
“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.
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
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.