Monthly Archives: January 2017

Display Your Brand Everywhere With Promotional Products

Businesses looking for a unique way to market their brands should consider investing in promotional products. Promotional products are cost effective because they become walking adverts which are often passed from one customer to another. Because of this, they become an advertising tool with infinite possibilities for future return.

For example, if a company chooses to give away pens printed with its name and contact information with every order, the pen travels to a variety of locations and will be used, or offered to others for use, throughout the day. From the post office to the bank or school, even if it is left behind by the original recipient, the pen continues to function as a promotional product, reminding all who see it of the valuable services offered by this business.

Promotional products give the best return on investment (ROI) when they are highly visible, travel easily, and provide a needed service. Promotional umbrellas fit all three of these categories. Because they can be used for both sun and rain, people carry them everywhere, including the office, public transport, shopping trips, and vacations. Whenever promotional umbrellas are used, the customers remember the business which offered it, and this generates good will toward the company. Along the way, the company’s logo is prominently displayed to potential new customers. The dollars spent on this walking advert is an excellent investment that can attract customers for many years.

Promotional products are versatile because they can be used in several different ways. Businesses may give them to important clients or customers as a form of appreciation. Promotional items may be used as awards to employees for doing great work or achieving special goals. This type of incentive has been proven to increase company morale and loyalty. Businesses find promotional items especially useful at trade shows to provide a visible reminder of the services that are offered by their companies.

Whether the promotional products are imprinted with a company name, a logo, some form of contact information, or another important message, fifty-five percent of the people who receive them keep them for over a year. Research shows that fifty-two percent of the people who receive promotional products actually return to do business with that company again. Because promotional products result in such good publicity, highly successful companies, both large and small, include them in their annual budgets and are pleased with the results of these walking adverts.

To find a distributor of promotional products in the UK visit the BPMA sourcing site. All British promotional merchandise Association members must supply trade references and a suitable financial history before they can join. During their membership, they must adhere to a strict code of conduct ensuring that their practices are legal, decent and honest.) Look out for their logo displayed on their website or stationary. If you are still unsure you can log onto the British promotional merchandise association website.

Brand Extension Is an Important Key to Increase Consumer Product Line and Service

Do you know what brand extension is? It is defined as using a well-known brand in order to bring forth a new product to the market. The basic theory is that a recognized brand will ease way in into the marketplace for new products, thereby reducing the costs related to it with promotion. Most importantly, this strategy in particular can reduce the risk of breakdown of the ‘new’ products, for the reason that the consumers will readily agree to new products that are launched under acknowledged symbols.

Brand Extension is a Significant Market Strategy

The term ‘brand extension’ is used for marketing and it is basically used for marketing strategy. A firm or organization marketing a particular product along with well-enhanced images makes use of the similar brand name in some different product grouping. The new product termed as spin-off or follow-up is then promoted. The organizations make use of this strategy in order to increase as well as leverage their status and reputation which is known as brand equity. Hence, expanding your products or services through brand extensions is an important key for marketing strategy.

The technique of brand extension has already been practiced on various products and moreover for client product brands for several years. It is thus an amazing approach in order to increase a mature business. But, to be more precise, brand extension ought to make sense to the most significant asset, i.e. clients and customers. Do not harm them at any cost! Expanding your business enterprise may prove to be a thrilling endeavor for each and every entrepreneur.

Know your Clients Better

You must spend more and more of your valuable time serving your existing clients and also attracting the new ones. When you try to build your brand and promote your business concern, then the most exciting thing is to have an absolutely clear message as what your business can actually do. Besides, it also helps in knowing as what you desire your clients and probable clients about you. In general terms, it is really very critical to recognize as what really makes you special. So, it’s better to communicate the message with few impressive words and images.

In this competitive era, entrepreneurs come up with numerous ways that they can adopt for brand extension for the success of their business as well as brand. First of all, try and make a list of the uniqueness of the clients with whom you wish to work with in the coming times. It will be beneficial for you to draft an outline of your ideal clients by identifying their major clients and then start your marketing strategy in that direction. In majority of the cases, if you target the clients with whom you desire to work, then you will definitely earn good in return of your hard efforts. It is better to write down the entire description of your client’s contribution as well as their expenses, overhead costs and various other expenditures as per each and every client basis. At times, it becomes really very important to make use of measurable information of your clients.

Creating a Custom Product Box for Your Brand

So, you’re in the final stages of your new product design. You’ve come up with a name for your product, and have started manufacturing. You are adding the finishing touches and working out tweaks. You’re just about ready to bring your new item to market; while in the middle of your excitement and anticipation, you are interrupted by a thought. You don’t have anything to put your product in!

So you ponder about ideas for storage for your new masterpiece. There are a couple of different avenues you could take depending on the size, shape, and amount of item that you have. Other key parts that will play a key part in what type of package you’ll need will be the location you’re selling your item at (for example large department stores vs. locally owned) as well as whether you’re selling in a store or online.

Let’s say for example you’re selling handmade owl earrings. We can refer to the aforementioned criterion to define our box. These earrings are likely to be small enough to fit inside a small cardboard 2 ½” x 1 ½” jewelry box. While they have a unique shape, we won’t have to worry too much about it because they are small items. Because they’re handcrafted we can go ahead and assume that there will not be a large amount manufactured. The small supply would indicate that these will likely be sold at local jewelry stores. These stores will likely have your jewelry in some larger glass display case with the earrings face up for consumer viewing. So from this equation, we know we will need a small cardboard box, with a small cotton insert for padding. Items similar to this one are unlikely to have a full-scale brand and logo design for fitting so that a plain white box will do the job just fine.

However, let’s say that you work for the company Nike and you have just manufactured the newest model of SB sneakers. These sneakers are going to be mass manufactured, and sold across the United States. Packaging for these shoes will be much more detailed than the owl earrings. They are likely to be sold in chain department stores rather than small local businesses. This means that they will be put alongside other competing brands inside the same store-your shoes will have to stick out. Bright, vibrant colors will do good for this. Including on your box as well should be your logo-the Nike swoosh-and possibly a label as well depending on how the company would like to market them. Finally, bold lettering is going to make your product easily visible to any passerby.

Custom Box Printing

There are many different tools at your disposal for putting your ideas into print. Some sources for designing your own custom boxes include but are not limited to:

• Soopak

• Packlane

• The Custom Boxes

• TheBoxCoOp

• Pakible

Each have their own pros and cons, check them out yourself to find out more!

Branding Strategies

When I was ten years old at a summer camp I was leading in the potato sack race.

To check on my competitors I looked over my shoulder and suddenly tripped and fell. I came in last place. Even the slowest person, Marsh Mellow Matt beat me. It was humiliating. But in the end I gained a good learning experience.

When a bargain-brand product attacks your premium-brand space, is it still healthy to look over your shoulder? Will you trip over too?

In a robust economy it’s relatively easy to maintain profitable growth of a premium-brand product. Conversely, in today’s economy, the competitive forces are testing the best of us. We are entering a new paradigm of business and the days of conspicuous consumption are quickly receding. Since 2007 over 8 million jobs have been lost. We have chronic unemployment at 10%, or in reality its 17% when you add the people who gave up looking for a job. As fear, insecurity, and the need to be frugal enter the consciousness of consumers, companies are responding by introducing lower price bargain-brand products. What’s a premium-brand to do?

There are three strategies a premium-brand can consider; (1) Introduce your own bargain-brand, (2) Innovate a new value product category (3) Or, maintain status quo. Let’s consider the ramifications of deploying your own Bargain-Brand.

As Jacqueline Kennedy once said, “I don’t react, I respond.”

There’s a saying, “Never fight a pig because you’ll get muddy and the pig will enjoy it.” The same goes for a premium-brand looking to protect its market share against a bargain-brand. Every day we see new bargain airlines, bargain consumer products, bargain cars, bargain food, and bargain electronics. Be careful of the panic reaction when you deploy short term tactics in price discounting and couponing. It may only deplete profits. You can hold the line, but can you afford customers who defect to lower price brands. As Jacqueline Kennedy once said, “I don’t react, I respond.”

Seek your uniqueness

There are no right answers, but a journey of discovery will help determine your strengths, weaknesses, and uniqueness. In a recent book by Dr. Caroline Leaf, called, The Gift In You, this PhD. Researcher discovered there are seven layers of thinking processes in our minds. The seven layers of thinking processes are: Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Math/Logic, Visual/Spatial, Music, Kinesthetic, and Linguistic. Starting from the most dominant thinking process, when a new thought enters our mind it will loop into the seven layers in a different sequential order. For example, someone who thinks first in music will be able to read between the lines to give meaning to it. While a logic/math dominant thinker performs pattern recognition in huge numbers and reasons in a precise order. We all see the world differently and think differently. We are all unique and so are our companies and the way we collective process our thinking. As such it’s fruitless to be like someone else such as Steve Jobs. None of us can think like him and nor do we want to. We must learn to be ourselves by knowing our uniqueness and using it to your advantage.

Are you an elephant or a cheetah?

As Shakespeare once said, “To thine own self be true.” In other words, do you have the competencies to compete as a Bargain-Brand?

When launching a new product you’ll have to adjust and adapt quickly. Is your company a cheetah that can move quickly and adapt to consumer and market changes? Or, are you a slow moving elephant that makes decisions at a sluggish pace? A slow moving elephant should think twice when competing against fast moving bargain-brand cheetahs.

GM was slow to introduce Saturn to compete against the Japanese, but Intel was quick to respond to constant AMD attacks. At first, Intel’s bargain-brand chips (Celeron) performed poorly, but they responded quickly to the market and beat AMD at their own game.

Will you divide and conquer yourself?

Julius Caesar’s strategy to overcome the enemy was to divide and conquer. When launching a Bargain-Brand, you might be dividing your resources and placing your entire organization into a weak position. Without sufficient resources, people, and focus, both your premium and bargain brand products could become diluted and fail. If the Bargain-Brand fails then you’ll have the added cost and time of cleaning up plus the cost and time to rebuild the Premium-Brand.

It cost GM $15 Billion to launch and maintain the Saturn division. Delta Airlines launched Ted Airlines and lost billions too. These two elephants didn’t understand their uniqueness nor able to response quickly to market changes. Rather they copied the competition thinking that would satisfy the market.

On the other hand, fifty years ago, Anheuser-Busch was facing a low-price assault from regional players which opened up a whole new market category. Anheuser-Busch responded by opening up another company that was completely separate from the parent company; perhaps you’ve heard of Busch Beer.

Are you looking at your customers or just your competition?

The famous basketball coach John Wooden won more college basketball championships than anyone else. Part of his success was to never allow one player to be compared to another. Rather, each player was judged by his own skills, performances, and productivity. Companies trying to copy Bargain-Brands don’t have the same competencies, people, collective thinking processes, and experiences like their competition. Look at Steve Jobs and his string of successful products; iPod, iPhone, iTunes, etc. Therefore, don’t copy your competition, rather seek what is good for the customer and use your uniqueness to develop your product.

Know thy customer

This is a key time to study your customer to determine their true needs and the perceived value of your offering. Advances in Neuromarketing have discovered that traditional marketing research can fall short in truly understanding how a customer receives your message. Each year billions of dollars are spent on traditional market research and still 80% of new product launches fail. Neuromarketing will give you insight on the emotional needs of your audience and how they will perceive your messaging and marketing.

The power of Neuromarketing starts with the engagement of our seven senses; (1) Taste, (2) Smell, (3) Hearing (4) Touch, (5) Sight, (6) Humor, and (7) Intuition. To make it all work one must understand the power of association that directly impacts our emotional brain and how past experiences are recalled when we encounter a brand experience. Walk into a Whole Foods Store and you’re bombarded with a cornucopia of beautiful food, fresh baked bread, brewed coffee, and desserts turned into art. You’re flooded with emotions of mom, home, security, abundance, and happiness. The experience is frequently joyful and you’re willing to pay premium prices for their products.

The power of association will engage our senses to recall positive experiences that we will tie to the brand. Called somatic markers, they represent a total compilation of emotions, negative associations, and positive associations. When a woman is given a light blue box with a white ribbon, the Tiffany brand and blue color evoke strong feminine emotions. When we think of a well branded product, such as Coach, Chanel, Harley Davidson and Tiffany, many of us experience an emotional and somewhat sensual positive response. A good brand tied to Neuro-marketing should offer:

o A great experience that exceeds customer’s expectations
o A clarification of the value of the product
o A decision by the prospect to consider purchasing it

How we associate products with past experiences can determine our purchasing considerations. Mr Lindstrom in Buyology highlighted a few examples such as;
o Light blue for a woman can be associated with engagement, marriage, babies, and fertility. Pink is associated with luxury, sensuality, and being feminine.
o Color will increase brand recognition by 80% and represents up to 50% in the decision making process to choose a brand product.
o People will buy more out of love (53%) versus sex (26%).
o Be authentic, transparent, and real. We buy from people we can relate to.

Don’t let your Bargain-Brand cannibalize the profits of your Premium-Brand.
If you decide on launching a Bargain-brand be sure you are capturing the right revenue. If one part of your target audience is not profitable with your premium-brand and your bargain-brand can capture that profit, then go for it. On the other hand, if your Bargain-brand is going to cannibalize your premium-brand profits then reconsider your options.

It’s essential that your bargain-brand have a different perceived value, messaging, and pricing. Years ago Kodak came out with a bargain-brand film that had little distinction from the premium brand. Customers went for the lower price product cannibalizing profits from the premium-brand. On the other hand, when P&G purchased Luv’s Diapers brand, it repositioned it as a bargain-brand. Their Pampers brand was given greater features and advertising thus creating a higher perceived value.

Must Develop a Difference in Perception and Value
If you offer a bargain-brand, then your goal is to offer two products with much separation in value and messaging. You’ll want to consider using Neuromarketing research techniques. It is essential that the premium product maintain its true value benefits while the lower-price brand act and look like a bargain-brand one. By acting like a bargain-brand, you’ll be able to cut costs on marketing, support, operations, and production and thereby creating the gross margin to compete effectively on price. You may want to use a hot button here to connect people to your article on Neuromarketing.

When Anheuser-Busch rolled out Busch Beer they created a whole new company and identity. They invested in new distribution, new trucks, and new sales people to ensure that the Premium-brand and Bargain-brand were not confused but optimized.

Don’t recreate the wheel or build a new organization unless there’s a market for it
GM invested $15 Billion in Saturn and it failed. Is your goal to market a Bargain-Brand or build a new company?

Consider your resources, sales volume, and gross margins. Your goal is to make a profit. If your Premium-brand cannot serve another large market, then a new organization, such as starting up a discount airline division or Busch Beer may be an answer. On the other hand, if your premium-brand can cover the market then re-consider your options. As I mentioned earlier, GM spent $15 Billion on the new Saturn division, when their existing product lines at Buick and Chevy reached the same target audience.

The Final Strategy to Consider: Innovate a new product category
A recent book called Blue Ocean Strategy stated that it is sometimes better to innovate a new product than to compete in blood thirsty waters or Red Ocean. Look at the crowded fields of electronic consumer products, automobiles and food. When you launch a new product in these categories how do you stand out?

Conversely, companies will innovate new products developing a new category where there is no competition; hence Blue Ocean. Years ago Sony launched the Walkman. Apple introduced the iPod and iPhone. An example in Blue Ocean Strategy was the Casella Winery from Australian who wanted to launch a new wine in a very crowded and snooty category.

A strategy based on innovation will look at different customers with shared commonalties. In the crowded wine business, more wineries did not think of looking for low budget beer drinkers. The Casella winery saw things differently and believed beer drinkers would want wine if the purchase decision was made simple and fun. Out came Yellow Tail wine in simple red and white versions.

A blue ocean is created when a company achieves value innovation that creates value simultaneously for both the buyer and the company. The innovation (in product, service, or delivery) must raise and create value for the market, while simultaneously reducing or eliminating features or services that are less valued by the current or future market.

The lesson I learned in the potato sack race was easy, keep your eye on the goal line not what your competition is always doing. John Wooden’s success was doing the best he could possibly do every day. As you consider your premium brand, think about the best you can do every day with it. As any typical SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) and PESTEL analysis (Political, Economic, Social, Technology, Environmental, Legal) you should consider:

Are you an elephant or a cheetah organization?
Will your Bargain -Brand cannibalize your Premium -Brand profits?
Do you have the resources to run two brands simultaneously at a profit?
Are you able to clearly define and communicate the different unique selling proposition for each brand?
Will the customer perceive the differences?
Will your current Premium-Brand cover this market? Or is the Bargain-Brand a new demographic?
Lastly, do you innovate a new product to create a new category and target audience?

As Jacqueline Kennedy once said, “I don’t react, I respond.” Panic and fear should not be part of your tactics, but a well thought out response that optimizes your resources, strengths, and uniqueness in meeting the needs and wants of your customer.

Let Your Handouts Hyper Brand Your Message

There exists the customary business cards we’ve all seen, carried by the dozens and handed out to associates at meetings or clients over lunch. Easy to acquire and keep, but just as easy to be overlooked or lost by those who receive them. Of course they are a necessary part of any business, but cards alone should not be the only tangible representation of your brand. And while some items such as, say, frisbees, play a little too much into the sense of carefree playfulness, branded screen cleaners for mobile devices that we all have in abundance say something better and say it more often.

An Elevated Brand

When thinking of ways to market yourself and your company, consider reaching for higher levels of brand awareness. Think something that will hyper brand your company, which means giving your message a ton of impressions. It doesn’t take much to improve the representation of your company in the form of a small gift. By choosing to take this additional step and making the most of your marketing resources, you can create a name for yourself through a single line of product that is present in the office of every person with whom you interact.

Giving your logo and company information in the form of a quality item like a screen cleaner tells your associates a little something more about who you and your business really are. The practicality of the item shows a thoughtfulness and capability that will be translated to your entire company. The quality of the item is attributed as also that of your business, and so it is important that your branded ambassador be well made. Truth be told, it should be something that is used often, far more frequently than that frisbee or pen, brought out only at the annual company picnic or when the dog needs a chew toy.

Points of Connection

The opportunities for greater customer interaction that come from having pieces of your name out in the world are endless. Neatly packaged travel sized phone cleaners or desk-handy larger branded screen cleaners are constantly reaching out on your behalf, reminding of your proven business acumen and trustworthiness by flashing your brand every time they use their devices.

There is of course also the potential for use as employee incentive. Such a gift shows a touch of investment in each employee that can go a long way. Aiding in office tidiness and promoting a greater sense of belonging on your team, spreading branded screen cleaners is useful in and out of the office.