Archive for July, 2011
A recent article featured on the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI)’s official Web site reports fantastic news for promotional product distributors. According to the ASI article, in the second quarter of 2011, distributors reported an overall 5.9% increase in revenues. The article reports that “industry sales for Q2 totaled $4.6 billion, rising by $257 million compared to the same period in 2010.”
Furthermore, the ASI reports that firms are expecting continued growth for the rest of the year. Perhaps even more encouraging is the fact that, according to the ASI, “The number of distributors anticipating an increase in sales this year is four times greater than those that expect a decline.” At a time when most industries are suffering due to the weak economy, this news is quite inspiring.
We look forward to watching numbers increase even more in the coming years!
Bobbleheads have been around longer than most of us can remember. And yet, for some reason, they’re still a wildly popular form of promotional products. These days, it seems like everyone, from movie stars to political figures, has been turned into a bobblehead at one point or another.
In a recent article for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Howard Pousner reports on how “bobbleheads are taking over America.” Pousner cites many current-day examples of bobblehead promotions; he makes mention of “countless Captain America and Thor bobbleheads,” as well as bobble replicas of Snooki, President Obama, and Progressive Insurance’s ad icon, Flo.
In a world where we’re constantly on the lookout for the latest and greatest technology, how is it possible that a simple bobblehead can make a memorable impression? Pousner quotes Gus Eurton, the executive director of marketing for the Atlanta Braves: “I don’t think the nostalgic value of bobbleheads has ever gone away.”
That’s why the Braves will be handing out 20,000 Chipper Jones bobbles on Thursday’s game and another 20,000 Dan Ugglas bobbleheads on August 18. According to Pousner, “Eurton views bobbles as recruiters of future fans, youngsters lured initially with their parents by a free toy that becomes a holder of fond family memories.” Eurton clearly understands that with the right promotional product you can create unbeatable levels of brand exposure and loyalty.
You weren’t one of the lucky ones– you didn’t get to make it out to the Advertising Specialty Institution’s big 2011 Chicago trade show. You might be stressing out about all the great products you’re missing out on. If these statements resonate with you, you’ll be happy to know that ASI has an official YouTube page on which the organization has been uploading a variety of videos covering the tradeshow’s highlights, takeaways, and hottest products.
Check out the latest video posted by ASI, in which the company’s President and CEO, Timothy Andrews, shows off some of his favorite products.
Andrews predicts the Gigantic Fortune cookie from Good Fortunes ASI/57689, Vinola from Logomark ASI/67866 and the heart-shaped mirror from Hirsch Gifts ASI/61005 are going to be big sellers in the fourth quarter.
A blog was posted on the New York Times’ Web site yesterday about author MP Mueller’s recent encounter with a stand-out promotional product. In the blog update, Mueller describes stumbling upon a promotional letter opener that was a bit out of the ordinary. The letter opener featured a clear handle in which “a mini uterus with two pills strategically placed where ovaries normally reside” floated next to the medication’s name.
“Promotional products are [...] the oldest form of advertising,” asserts Mueller in the blog post. Indeed, there are many instances in which the addition of an inexpensive promotional product to a promotional campaign increases the response rate. Mueller cites an example in the nonprofit veterans group, the Disabled American Veterans. “When the group sends a mailing for contributions, Dr. Cialdini said, it gets an 18-percent response rate. When the same letter is sent with personalized address labels, which cost about eight cents, the response rate goes up to 35 percent,” says Mueller.
The point that is driven home in Mueller’s blog is that companies must strive to find the right promotional item for a specific campaign. Mueller offers the following tips:
- “Give items that members of your target audience will use in the environment where they make decisions about using your product or service.” For example, if you’re looking to appeal to high-power execs, distribute items that can be used in offices, Mueller says.
- “Have it underscore your marketing message and differentiate your company.” It’s important that your promotional product not only reflects your organization’s overall brand image, but that it also helps to set you apart from your competition.
- “Personalize them.” Make the consumer feel like he or she is special by printing your item with his or her name. Going that extra mile will really impress potential clients and customers.
- “Skip the logoed water bottles and other items that will be quickly used and tossed.” Give away items that are not easily replaced.
Mueller’s point is nicely summed up by the blog’s ending paragraph: “Did receiving the uterus-enhanced letter opener prompt my granddad to write more Hormonin scripts for menopausal patients? Can’t say, but this promotional product made it 40 years without seeing a trash bin. And it’s now in a prominent place on my desk, right next to a Charlie the Tuna desk lamp.” The next time you consider purchasing and releasing a promotional product, take Mueller’s advice. Create a unique promotional product that will be used, and your brand exposure will undoubtedly skyrocket.
The Advertising Specialty Institute reported today that WorkflowOne, a Top 40 distributor, has named Tim Tatman its new CEO, effective immediately. The news comes in response to former CEO Dean Truitt’s departure from the firm. Tatman, who formerly served as the organization’s senior vice president of strategic accounts, said he is looking forward to strengthening the firm’s presence in the ad specialty industry, reports ASI in an article on its Web site.
According the ASI article, Tatman states that WorkflowOne has placed an emphasis on expanding its product lines as well as its distribution services. “Also, we have added several new telemarketing specialists to our support and customer service staffs,” Tatman said.
After experiencing a stretch of difficulties, WorkflowOne climbed out of bankruptcy this spring. The firm has experienced many improvements over the past couple of years. One such improvement is in its ad specialty sales. WorkflowOne currently ranks as the 18th largest distributor in the promotional products industry.
Everyone in the promotional products industry knows that in the fourth quarter many of the year’s major business deals are made. Your clients are going to be looking for innovative promotional products with which to motivate and reward employees and customers. That’s why it’s important to be on your game and aware of the latest promotional product trends.
To help you prepare for the crazy year-end, the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) has organized its Holiday Preview Tour. The tour, which will make stops in Los Angeles, Toronto, Atlanta and Philadelphia, will provide attendees with a spectrum of promotional product choices. According to the ASI’s Holiday Preview Tour Web site, the tour will feature “leading ad specialty suppliers showcasing their seasonal products in a tabletop setting, along with free hot-topic education focused on ways to boost your revenue along with valuable networking.” The tour is promised to help distributors make strong sales in their fourth quarter.
Additionally, according to a press release released yesterday by ASI’s Randi Bromberg, Proforma, a top 40 distributor, will be hosting an end-buyer event in Toronto and Philadelphia. Bromberg’s press release reports that ASI is excited about working with Proforma and about helping the distributor to develop its end-buyer program. “With a strategic full-day schedule, exhibitors will be able to meet with Proforma Owners and their end buyers in the morning before spending quality time with hundreds of distributors during the traditional distributor portion of the ASI Holiday Preview Tour,” said Dan O’Halloran, Executive Vice President of ASI’s Distributor Services.
Even though it was only just released, the buzz around Google’s new Google+ platform is already making headlines. And the general consensus is that it’s about to get huge. A recent article featured on RICG creative agency’s Web site reports that big-name brands are already seeking ways to utilize Google+.
According to the RICG article, Ford Motor Company is one big-time company that’s using the new social site to launch a promotional campaign. RICG’s article reads, “Last week, the American automaker created two accounts on Google+ – one for the American branch and one for the European arm. Ford Europe is holding a contest to give away a free copy of a racing video game to the person who creates the most popular brand-related comment.”
The motor company has been progressive in the past with its social media campaigns, so its early adoption of Google+ should come as no surprise. We’re curious to see what other influential companies jump on the bandwagon!
A top promotional products industry supplier, Camsing Global, announced today that it’s completed a deal to acquire Avaline, according to a Counselor PromoGram sent out by the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) earlier today. And for those who don’t like change, there’s no reason to be alarmed; the PromoGram reports that while Camsing will move Avaline’s inventory and its production to Largo, Florida, its ”[c]ustomer service and certain administrative functions will remain in Avaline’s New Jersey offices.”
The ASI announcement quotes Billy Dolan, CEO of Camsing Global: “Avaline fits very well strategically within our umbrella of legacy industry brands.” According to Dolan, complementary product lines between Camsing Global and Avaline will now be combined. The merge also allows Camsing Global to expand into new product categories, said Dolan.
ASI’s announcement reports that as of 2010, the Camsing organization was the 18th largest supplier in the country.