Archive for January, 2010
Last year, DC Comics ran a Blackest Night promotion to increase sales of new copies and thank loyal buyers. For specified orders placed, a bag of plastic rings would be sent to the store that made the purchase. It was then up to each cashier to distribute a ring with certain purchases. The promotion was successful and DC Comics decided to go at it again.
This time around, the sun has come up and it’s a Brightest Day promotion to look out for. The ring tossing goes as follows: Retailers who buy 10 copies of The Flash #1 can order the Flash Promotional Rings. Those who purchase 10 copies of Green Lantern #53 can then order the Green Lantern Promotional Rings.
Die hard comic fans will want to buy these new editions regardless of the cool incentives, but receiving a promotional ring will certainly be the highlight of their purchase. New fans will feel welcomed into the DC Comics family when they receive the rings and old fans will keep them safe as a valued collector’s item.
I’m pretty pumped to see a major player like DC Comics utilizing promotional products. Their savvy salesmanship is likely to be just as successful as their first ring promotion was. Creator of both, The Flash and Green Lantern, Geoff Johns, said “One of the many great Flash Facts about DC Comics is that they actually do support the retailers with promotions like this that not only make our whole business a bit more fun, but also bring the promotion to every single reader. Of course, the proof is in the content and I couldn’t be prouder of the work Francis Manapul and I are doing on THE FLASH and Doug Mahnke and I are creating on GREEN LANTERN. Thanks to everyone, retailers and readers, for an amazing 2009 and here’s to an even better 2010!”
Sounds like 2010 is off to a great start for DC Comics so far, thanks to some smart marketing with promotional items.
A sports team’s logo is the number one way to identify fans. It’s the symbol of your state’s pride and the easiest way to strike up a conversation while waiting on line. A team’s logo ignites the players and unites the fans, as it’s worn by millions packed in stadiums across the United States.
Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association each have 30 of them. But blitzing by the batters, skaters and basket ball dunkers with its 32, is the National Football League. That’s 122 logo’s that run through the veins of fanatics and powers their support. Keep in mind that’s 122, without even considering college and university teams.
Imprinted logo sports apparel has become a permanent fashion trend, it’s brought husbands and wives together, and it even sparks fights in rivalry games such as New York Yankees versus the Boston Red Sox’s. When you wear your favorite player’s name on logo apparel, you show your unwavering dedication to your team.
The power that a well designed logo can have on any given team can be measured by the sale of apparel and tickets. In the past week, the fans over at Michigan State University have shown their own dedication to their basketball’s traditional logo through a out lashing against the new logo to be introduced in April. Since 1987, the university has abandoned its “gruff Sparty” mascot and adopted the helmet. In the last twenty years it’s changed colors and had redesigns, but never before has there been such a out roar.
Some students complain that allocating money to new branding is senseless considering that other budget cuts are being made. Others complain that it’s hard to keep “re-connecting” with new logos. Head coach, Tom Izzo however, thinks neigh-sayers have got to change their attitudes. He had to take time out of his weekly news conference today to address the strong alumni and student dislike of the new logo calling it the, “dumbest time to talk about it…”.
He said, “It’s a lot bigger than the team; it’s a lot bigger than the program. It’s about our athletic department and our university, which is way bigger than one game or one season.” He reassured fans that this logo change is being made to unite the entire MSU athletic department and voiced his opinion of the previous logo’s saying, “I think we didn’t have an identity.”
MSU graciously got the help from Nike as they traced the school’s identity back to Greece because of the historical name, the Spartans. While students and alumni may not be feeling the new design just yet, I’m sure come April, everyone will be wearing the new logo all over campus and across the United States.
In the midst of an earth shattering disaster in Haiti, people across the world are working to put the pieces back together. As orphaned children walk the streets and businesses lay in shambles, we ask ourselves, “What can we do?”
Promotional products serve us daily helping to raise awareness for special foundations and to reward hard working students and employees. Without these giveaways, trade shows would be less exciting, friendly competition between stores would decrease and sports teams would be fan-less. However, tragic events like the earthquake in Haiti remind us that we are very priviledged to have such things.
Players in the promotional industry have begun relief efforts with personal donations but one corporation decided to go above and beyond. Cintas Corporation of Cincinnati partnered with the local Matthew: 25 Ministries, to donate over $330,000 in promotional items to the people of Haiti. Aware that medical supplies are in high demand, Cintas is sending over 21,000 medical scrubs along with latex gloves, first aid kits, hand sanitizers and masks. To help clothe those that have lost their belongings, over 21,000 other piece of apparel will be sent as well.
Chief Executive Officer, Scott Farmer said, “The people of Haiti have suffered immeasurable loss and we are pleased to do our part to help them overcome this tragedy.” It’s amazing to see a member of the promotional products industry working so hard for such a fantastic cause. Then again, promotional products have always played a strong role in awareness events and benefits. In the coming months, organizations will be raising money and goods for relief and reconstruction in Haiti, and you better believe that promotional products will be doing their job to enlist dedicated donors and selfless volunteers.
The PPAI Expo 2010 is closing up shop today, confident that 2010 will be a prosperous year for promotional products. As more people become employed across the United States, the orders come flying in across offices everywhere. This gives hope to all involved promotional product industry from distributors to suppliers and everyone else whose efforts help to surpass the demands for smart, fun and effective giveaways.
Booths at the PPAI Expo were each manned differently while many representatives sported similar apparel and handed out the same trade show giveaways we’re all used to. To stick in a potential customer’s mind, representatives had to connect and instill confidence in their products and services. Throughout the trade show, there were some booths that outshone the others.
For instance, the above deluxe scrabble game was on display and utilized to serve a purpose. The letters spelt out, “Welcome to PPAI,” making for a cheerful greeting and effective branding idea. This booth could have incorporated even greater marketing tools by giving out a letter tile to each visitor and creating a game to go along with it. Likewise, tiles could have been directly mailed and include a note telling the recipients to visit their booth with the letter tile to redeem a prize.
Another booth that attracted the eyes, featured this captivating display of custom umbrellas. These vibrant colors and intricate designs show clients and potentials that your company imprints each item with excellence. It’s important to bring the best of your product to the trade show floor. Consider the trade show floor your stage. Make it a great performance by designing an attractive booth and displaying your best items.
One company thought ahead and had their hot new item placed on display on the expo lobby area. This fantastic keyboard and mouse pad duo are entirely imprinted making for an impressive end product. This goes to show that by networking before the show and staying in close contact with PPAI and other promotional industry outlets, success is achievable. It’s important to get out there, shake hands and show your clients and potential clients that you’ve got the drive needed to succeed in this industry.
As you head home, be sure to use the smart and affective trade show giveaways that the savvy companies gave away so generously. Luggage tags were a big giveaway as usual considering the many people flying in to Las Vegas this week. Likewise, if you’ve held on to some of those trade show snacks, they may curb that hunget while waiting at the security check point.
Have a safe journy to your respected homes and wear your logo or the logo of your favorite trade show representative proudly the whole trip there.
A few quintessential promotional product trends have been flowing in and out of booths at the PPAI Expo 2010. Helping to reinforce the trends I spotted were last nights PPAI Awards, where the best in the business were honored. Between being that coveted badge wearing trade show attendee to watching the most innovative company’s claims to fame in 2009 at the award ceremony, there are three things to focus on for 2010.
It’s no surprise that some of the most showcased items this year were environmentally-friendly products. From biodegradable drinkware to plantable seed cards, going green is all the rage. As new government policies are enforced and the general public is made more aware of the dangers of climate change, using sustainable items are becoming increasingly important. Many people will want these items to show their eco-friendly support while others may just be attracted to the cool solar technology that some of these posses. The best thing about eco-friendly giveaways at the PPAI Expo this year was that suppliers are hopeful that going green won’t break the bank. While sustainable materials are harder to find, resources are being found and prices on green items aren’t pulling too far away from traditional promotional item numbers. Now you can go green without using all of your green.
One trade show booth display read, “1 Day Production.” However, the number 1 was actually a piece of paper attached. When questioned about it, a representative answered, “It used to say 5 days! That used to be great but now people want things even faster.” And thankfully, many companies offer quick production and shipping. That said, another trend at the PPAI Expo this year was fast production and shipping times. If a customer calls in and wants an order for an awareness event five days away, they may be hoping for a miracle. Because of the importance of pleasing every customer, many suppliers have added rush service to their already competitive business.
Lastly, a trend that is sure to grow is multifunction items. Today, cell phones can take a photo, post it on twitter and send it to the computer to be printed. As technology bring everything we need right to our fingertips, it’s important to jump on board in the promotional industry. One company showcased stickypads with perferated edges for extra large adhesive paper or adhesive flag options all in one. It even included a clip that held the note pad together and could be used to hold note reminders or important documents together. Other multifunction items at the PPAI Expo included padfolios with attached calculators and pen/flashlight duos.
More then half of the trade show floor has been explored so far leading to these new trends but there’s more to see. I’m sure that these trends will be seen at the upcoming booths and am excited about the strategies and designs that each company incorporates to make their promotional products the most desirable. Stay tuned for more trends and as always, the promotional items buzz.
You don’t have to set foot in the convention center to see that one of the top 50 trade shows in the United States is taking place. A group of men sitting behind us on the plane ride from New York spent most of the 4 hour trip discussing the latest in embroidery and screen printing. Meanwhile, all over our hotel passersby sported custom badges and held non-woven totes. While today was filled with no trade show floor action, I felt like I was surrounded by giveaways.
There were promotional snacks on our awesome Southwest flight. (I chose the Southwest logoed nuts.) There were promos in the airport itself and then once we reached the beautiful Luxor Hotel, there were more giveaways. They invited customers to fill out survey cards about their experiences at the hotel. Next to the informative cards were a lovely bunch of promotional pens. I’m certain we’ll be running in to a ton of pens tomorrow- so much so that I’m considering not bringing my own pen at all.
Later in the evening we even hit up the promotional items in a hot, or should I say cold, bar. Below 5 is a bar of ice- literally. From the glasses we drank from, the chandeliers that hung and the sculpture of Elvis, everything was ice. They bundled us up in promotional jackets and even offered custom caps and boots if the below freezing weather was too much for us.
But tonight, as I eyeball my corporate apparel (an imprinted promotional woven and black slacks), I’m realizing no snow hats will be needed tomorrow. I have however been preparing with the essentials for any trade show attendee. Thankfully I’ve got a skilled trade show guru with me to help coach me on the lifestyle and traditions of trade shows.
Tomorrow, I’ll be up bright and early to join my team on the convention center floor. We’ll be walking up and down aisles filled with the hundreds and hundreds of booths to scope out the best in promotions and meet up with the brightest personalities in the industry.
Tomorrow morning, as the sun rises over the flashing, “Las Vegas” lights, I will wash up on the shores of Mandalay Bay and try out my new pair of legs. You see, it will be the first time I walk on trade show ground.
My love for clever branding opportunities and ground breaking event strategies will come in handy as I limp up the sandy bay, shore. With each step, I’ll gain strength- finding cool new trade show items and engaging long time members of the promotional products industry.
For now, our team’s all ready to go. Custom apparel? Check. Eager attitude? That’s a go. All engines on. We’re ready to shift into gear and speed to the Promotional Products Association International Expo 2010.