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Desktop Item Promotes Company Store

Earthlink, an IT services, network and communications provider, wanted to promote a new service within the company. The provider has offices around the country as well as three subsidiaries with their own brand and management, and had launched an internal store offering branded merchandise at all three companies. A promotion was necessary to announce the store launch, encourage people to use the service and build a sense of family by incorporating all three logos.

Earthlink brainstormed with their promotional products partner to find a product that met several key criteria: It had to be a useful desk item, it had to be cost-effective and it had to have a large enough imprint area for all the logos and messaging.

The firm decided on 1,000 handy desktop books filled with sticky notes. The book cover was imprinted with the e-store's Web address and logo, as well as the logos of the three subsidiaries. A postcard tucked inside the book welcomed employees to the new store.

To drive sales immediately, a limited-time free shipping offer on all orders was offered. The sticky books were sent to users across all of Earthlink's brands and locations.

Make sure your company store is successful by using it to its fullest potential. Contact your distributor for ideas and the best promotional products to market your store, build awareness and goodwill, and get a better return on your store investment.

Eight Earthy Marketing Ideas

Earth Day is April 22, which begs the question: Do you have what’s needed to field an eco-friendly marketing effort?  Here are eight ideas to help you develop your company’s environmental awareness into an effective Earth Day marketing campaign.

  1. Plant a Message – Say "Come Grow With Us" to customers by labeling seeded promotional products to get your Earth Day message across. Choose from a wide variety of plantable products that can be mailed or hand-delivered, including seeded postcards that customers tear off and plant to grow colorful wildflowers. Calendars printed on seeded paper can be planted at the end of each month. A business card can be produced on full color seeded paper. All of these items have the capacity to display your message in vibrant hues, and once they’re planted, the colorful results linger on.

  2. Tee Off for Earth Day – At your next golf tournament, hand out biodegradable golf tees packaged with a customized wraparound imprint that can be illustrated to "tee-off" current sales campaigns or to introduce new products. The promotional tees are made from corn which biodegrades three times faster than wooden tees, and when the tees get left behind, they won't splinter and cause blade damage when chopped up by golf-course mowers.  If you’re playing around water, add another eco-dimension by offering biodegradable golf balls that can be left in place if they land in water hazards.

  3. Bag New Customers – Experts estimate that if used once a week, four or five reusable grocery bags can replace 520 plastic bags a year. Many reusable bags are biodegradable, including ones made from woven hemp which is also resistant to mold. Add your logo and a "Shop With Us" message before handing out these reusable promotional greenies at your trade show booth.

  4. Write-Up Sales – Biodegradable pens with vividly colored barrels and striking trim will add Earth Day excitement to sales calls.  Eco-conscious customers will be anxious to accept these promotional pens from your sales team when they find out they can toss them in the trash can with impunity once they’ve outlived their usefulness. They’ll biodegrade anywhere, and their carbon imprint is 22% lower than conventional pens.

  5. Keep It Healthy – Offer health-conscious customers a recycled mouse pad with an antimicrobial surface with a sublimated "Let’s Build A Healthy Relationship" Earth Day message.  This mouse pad will attract interest by using its antimicrobial properties to keep computer areas germ-free. Health organizations, medical facilities and doctors’ offices are just a few of the health-related customers who will appreciate your campaign efforts when accompanied by this promotional gift. 

  6. Dress-Up Retention – Develop an Earth Day customer retention program by awarding recycled promotional clothing to repeat customers. Add a "We Appreciate What You Do For Us" message that lets repeat customers know you’re rewarding them with eco-friendly clothing that’s produced with less fossil fuels, creating less waste and fewer carcinogens.

  7. Grow A Customer – Try something different with a beautiful desktop terrarium that’s guaranteed to garner prime space on your client’s desk. The terrarium provides a perfect home for plants that thrive in indirect light and grow with little effort.

  8. Light the Way – Let your sales team impress potential clients with a "We’ll Light The Way For You" Earth Day message by handing out eco-friendly light-crank LED flashlights that will keep your customers safe during power outages. For extra impact, choose promotional brands that include AM/FM radios, headphone outlets, emergency sirens and cellphone chargers.  

Hotel Celebrates With Party & Promo Products

Marriott Hotels recently hosted an interactive cocktail party to celebrate their global marketing campaign, Travel Brilliantly.

The party was designed to reflect the Travel Brilliantly manifesto, where map patterns were placed on a variety of items including cocktail glasses, coasters, napkins, servers’ aprons and gift bags.

Marriott Hotels decided to use branded material to communicate its new verbal and visual identity, which was rolled out globally in July. To signal industry change, Marriott Hotels worked with their distributor partner to develop a new look featuring a series of maps and travel-inspired patterns.

The canvas gift tote bags for the San Francisco Travel Brilliantly launch were filled with a travel charger for mobile devices, a branded USB, press materials and photos. Other branded items produced for the campaign included on-property elements such as key cards, flags, "do not disturb" hangers and in-room directories.

Want to celebrate a company milestone or other festive event? Contact your promo

Promo Products Help Firm Expand

When Cargotec, a cargo handling solutions provider, wanted to expand its business into Latin America, they turned to their promotional products distributor to help them focus on prospecting and targeting more business below the border. The target audience was high-level management for corporate distributions and operations companies in Argentina, Brazil and Chili, specifically the automotive, steel, paper and beverage industries.

The objective of the campaign was to reach out to prospects who were not currently using the tractors for distribution, introduce the terminal tractor and add prospects to a sales funnel for the company’s sales reps to follow up with. Since this particular type of tractor is the Mercedes Benz of heavy lifting machinery, prospects had to be shown how much time and money the tractor would save them. The motto became, “Time is money – make the most of yours,” and they utilized an existing time-lapse video to compare it to the competition.

A custom USB in the shape of the terminal tractor was created. When the recipient plugged in the flash drive, they were taken to a custom landing page and shown the time-lapse video. Registered viewers were then entered for a chance to win a Swiss Army watch, and the website was able to collect the data that the sales team needed to follow up.

The USB was packaged in a U-line box with custom stickers to display the client’s messaging and branding. Over 130 mailings were sent to key contacts in Latin America via FedEx International. During the time of the program there were 253 unique page views and 97% of the traffic came as a direct result of the campaign with only 15.85% bounce rate (average bounce rate is 40%-50%). A translator and a webpage designer that had an international lawyer were consulted to insure accuracy and efficiency.

Caped Crusade at Comic-Con

Warner Bros. Entertainment was flying high at the San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) last summer, when it gave away branded backpacks with a detachable cape that allowed every attendee at the convention to be a superhero. It was the “must-have” accessory of the show, and fans with capes bearing titles from the media monolith’s TV, motion picture and animated movie offerings could be spotted throughout the convention center.

"Con is a huge showcase for us. It's the one time where Warner Bros. TV is front and center with the fans and with our brands," says Lisa Gregorian, chief marketing officer of Warner Bros. Television Group.  "At Comic- Con, we all stand together and the entire company is represented – the power of the shield."

SDCC is the world's largest gathering of pop culture fans under one roof, a four-day event that draws some 150,000 passionate fans of a wide variety of pop culture mediums. Many of the attendees show their enthusiasm for the event by wearing costumes honoring their favorite characters of comic books, movies and TV series.

Warner Bros. has been making the official Comic-Con bag since 2008, and its booth at the convention sparks a frenzy of fans. "We give away the bags as a thank you to our fans," says Gregorian. "There is always complete insanity at our booth." Fans use the Warner Bros. bags to tote all the swag and licensed merchandise they pick up at the convention. Over 130,000 bags were distributed at last year's convention.

Each year, Warner Bros. offers something unique. Last year, it changed its bag style to a backpack, to make it easier to carry. Gregorian has been lobbying for a cape for years, and finally, at the 2013 SDCC she got her wish. The capes, which were easily detached from the backpacks, were a big hit.

Each of the backpacks featured double-sided artwork:  One side carried the official Comic-Con design, and the other showcased titles from the Warner Bros. entertainment stable. Warner Bros. usually offers 10 designs per convention, and incorporates all of the company's divisions, including DC Comics, WB Gaming, Theatrical and Television, says Gregorian. The planning process for the artwork and the bag starts about 8 months ahead of SDCC, held annually in June.

Gregorian estimates some 40% of convention goers of all ages were wearing the capes. "We know it's a hit when our stuff ends up on eBay," she says. There is also an active aftermarket for the bags, as fans trade among themselves to get the show or movie they follow. Attendees were tweeting each other, seeking to trade bags. Some of the stars of the Warner Bros. shows were tweeting links to the bags. When Warner Bros. posted the cape backpacks on its "Media To Go" press site, they got so much traffic the site went down for a half hour.     

The company also distributed a host of other products at Comic Con, including T-shirts, hats, books, masks, figurines, iPhone covers and medallions, as well as nearly 40,000 branded hotel key cards that provided Warner Bros. TV points of interest to the top hotels in the area.

Shirts & Selfies Spark Interest In CRM Firm

Customer relationship management firm SugarCRM produced a fun "disruptive" campaign for Dreamforce, the biggest cloud computing event of the year, which took place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco in November. The program, named Escape Dreamforce, promoted its CRM tool for businesses, and an Escape from Dreamforce sweepstakes offered a chance to win a $5,000 Hawaiian vacation.

In addition to taxi-top ads and mobile banners, SugarCRM street teams engaged with Dreamforce attendees, distributing SugarCRM T-shirts and encouraging everyone to tweet a “selfie” with #SugarSelfie and #DF13 while wearing the shirt. Those without a SugarCRM shirt could create their own shirt or sign. Dreamforce participants could win additional on-the-spot prizes if seen wearing their SugarCRM shirt during the conference.

“Escape from Dreamforce is a great opportunity for attendees to take a break from the convention’s packed schedule and share a selfie with their friends,” says Jennifer Stagnaro, senior vice president of marketing with SugarCRM. “We’re focused on the individual. This fun campaign provokes individuals to think about CRM from their perspective: ‘This is How I CRM.’”

There were 4,000 T-shirts, 14 street team members and one SugarCRM branded truck as part of the event. The street team handed out fliers with the shirts explaining the program. Participants had a chance to win additional on-the-spot prizes if seen wearing their SugarCRM shirt during Dreamforce.

Have an event coming up in which you’d like to make an impression? Experts suggest you use bold colors to stand out at a conference or trade show. “The bright red T-shirts stood out from the blue of Dreamforce,” says Stagnaro. Make sure you contact your distributor partner to give you great ideas and help you find the best products to make a splash.

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