rushIMPRINT Company News
Another report, the 2011 State of Marketing: Outlook, Intentions and Investments, found that marketers are now beginning to focus, and accordingly spend more, on digital media and online marketing. Comparative research by the CMO Council revealed that of the marketers surveyed, a majority planned to increase their social media budgets by more than 5%. This budget increase could also be allotted to other forms of online marketing such as search engine optimization, mobile initiatives, online videos and banners, and brand building and promo products.Despite these increases, the report states that increased spending on digital media will still make up only a maximum of 10% of marketing expenditure. According to the CMO Council, it is of critical importance that marketers implement an approach that takes advantage of both digital and online marketing tactics. With the effects of these strategies capable of measurement, it’s no wonder these approaches are becoming increasingly popular for brand building and increased sales. This was reinforced by CMO Council’s Executive Director, Donovan Neale-May: “Today’s successful marketing organization is unifying its extended ecosystem, aligning more effectively with business and sales groups and integrating campaign components to drive efficiency and more measurable outcomes.”
In addition to the enhanced brand building tactics and increased use of promotional items, the report also revealed the participants’ plans to enhance customer segmentation and targeting. The CMO Council concluded by saying that marketing, has evolved from simple branding and now impacts many aspects of business operations, including strategic planning and forecasting, business development, pricing, channel management, and even product design.
We are excited to announce our new video series – rushVIDS! We are going to present an exciting array of videos that both entertain and educate. Watch our rushCREW put products to the test, explain the latest and greatest happenings on rushIMPRINT, discuss promotional ideas and tips for your business, and answer customer questions or comments! Subscribe to our YouTube channel and learn of the newest videos first!
Enjoy our inaugural video and let us know what you think!
Stress…it’s the weight of the world on our shoulders…and we all carry it. Question is, what can we do about it? Well, it is with all modesty that I tell you my great, great grandfather Clayton Lee created the first “Jesse James” stress ball in 1868. Okay, so it was made out of a sawdust, asbestos and mercury compound that led to finger loss, but just the same, he was ahead of his time.
Completely safe today, the stress ball has become one of the business world’s more popular promotional items, with plenty of choices to suit any taste. There are globes, golf balls, dice, cows, computers, baseballs, basketballs, hockey pucks, and even the popular Ben Franklin Stress Ball, who, if he could talk, would probably remind us to “never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.” Of course, he never had Rush Imprint in his corner like you do.
But, even with all those great choices, my favorite stress reliever, the one I use at 2:00 a.m. when my wife is yelling at me to quit memorizing the RushImprint.com website and come to bed…is the Light Bulb Stress Reliever. It is not your everyday “nervous tension, relief mechanism,” but the very symbol of the bright idea. But, don’t stop with the bulb…go ahead and put an inspirational quote on it and inspire your people to squeeze not only the tension out of their day, but creative magic into their lives. I guarantee it’ll keep them talking…and squeezing. It’s an idea that would make great, great grandfather Clayton Lee proud…if not a little envious.
Now, I’m off to study the positive effects of logo branded mouse pads on productivity among data processors. So, until next time, remember…“stress is when you wake up screaming and you realize you haven’t fallen asleep yet.”
I was a promotional products prodigy. My dad gave me my first sippy cup when I was eleven months old. It was imprinted with the words, “The minute you get the idea you’re indispensable, you aren’t.” Of course, it had the Morton Meat Packing logo on it, but it was such a heartfelt gift that I still drink coffee out of it today…1.5 ounces at a time.
So, who am I? Well, I’m Virgil Winston…Marketing Guru. I’m a fourth generation Marketing Man who eats, sleeps and breathes logos, slogans and beautifully stunning Gemini Pen & Pencil Sets. I spend my days, and most nights, monitoring, analyzing, deconstructing and generally commentating on promotional products. Which is why, as we approach that prime branding opportunity I like to call Summer, I can’t help but think of the wisdom passed down from my great, great grandfather Clayton Lee, starting with the mantra—”put your name on everything,” which works great on a paperweight, but not so ideal on your wife’s wedding gown. But, that’s another story.
For you…your name is your lifeblood. It’s your calling card, identity and future. Just ask Apple Computer, Oprah or KISS. You are only as powerful as your name. It’s what Tanya Harding calls—the “skate in the shin.” Use it right and it will get you the attention you want. Use it wrong and you’ll end up in a boxing ring with Tootie from Facts of Life. So, let’s you and I make a pact right now, from this moment forward….your name goes on everything. I’ll show you how, where and what…and, in fact, we can start with the Golf Ball & Tool Gift Set, the perfect Summer Promotion. Imprinted with your logo or message, this kit includes three super-balls, 5 quality tees, a pair of ball markers and a repair tool for divots. That’s 18 holes…and your name will be at the top of every swing. That’s what I call driving you to success.
Well, I’m off to a Scandinavian Tractor Pull Trade Show. Until next time…remember the words my Uncle Marty once stole…“it’s fine to stand out from the crowd, but not when they’re shooting at you.”
In my previous posts before I was trying to give you advice on what your logo should be imprinted on, but I just realized that I have absolutely overlooked the question of what exactly should be printed. Of course, for most occasions a simple logo will do. Or logo plus phone number or web site address if just a logo is not enough. But sometimes some creative idea could not only make the impact of your message bigger, but also get your message further than any simple promotional product would get.
Look at this picture. It’s supposed to be promoting some plastic surgery clinic in Canada, but over the past few weeks I’ve seen it in many places, starting from sites that write about advertising in different languages and are read by people from Brazil to Russia and ending with personal blogs of people who found this idea to be creative.
There have been many successful marketing campaigns that have used our products. I have also seen campaigns that could have been even more successful. When choosing promotional products there are a few keys to consider:
1) A product might work because it is useful. Or at least it stays where it is easily seen and attracts some attention. Even a mouse in your hand might carry your logo.
2) Another way to make your promotional gift work is to choose something unusual, or funny, or weird. Or a product that does something unexpected. Even if this gift will not be used, it still will be remembered. Or may be even shown to everyone around to share the fun. What about a calculator that you can roll up, for example?
3) The product that you choose might also be important just as a sign of attention to the person who receives it. Add some emotion when you give it (or make it more expensive than the common set of mug, t-shirt and pen) and the person who receives it will feel distinguished. You can work this out with almost every gift except the cheapest ones. There are too many to even start giving examples.
Once you have figured out how the promotional gift you chose fits in any of the above mentioned categories, you are on the right track. Good luck!
The demands of producing promo items ten times quicker than the normal industry turnaround is nothing new to me. Most of my days here run on deadlines. We are, after all, the web’s first source for logo merchandise ready to ship in 24 hours. Clients who need promo items fast come to us everyday, because that’s what we do – we take care of last minute needs. They can simply select and order promotional products online before 12 noon of any day, and we can ship it less than two days later.
We do everything with the precision and regularity of clockwork, from customer orders, to order fulfillment, to shipping. We do all the worrying so that our clients never have to. It’s a stressful job, sure, but it is also very gratifying.
This just in: I got a call from my dentist, and he was asking if he could have fleece crews made to give to his staff for their anniversary, which is tomorrow. Great idea, considering that his office is quite chilly. He and his assistants can layer these fleece crews not only to protect themselves (as required by the state and OSHA compliance laws), but also to keep warm and promote the clinic. He was worried that the notice is too short, but I was quick to correct him, of course. I told him what I always tell clients: At RushIMPRINT, it’s never too late
Everything is going pretty well with the fleece wear order. Production is in full swing, which means I can now put down my third mug of brewed coffee, breathe, and do some research for the client.
Warming up to fleece
Our instincts were right. Clothing is still the most popular category for promotional items (more popular than mugs, actually). T-shirts are still the most used, followed by fleece vests and hats. But fleece is really moving up – many experts say that it is now quickly replacing golf shirts and polo shirts (the ‘it’ promo items in the late 1990’s). Everyone is now quickly realizing that fleece is lightweight yet warm (twice as warm as wool), very durable, dries fast, and always looks good.
Now a staple in colder climates, fleece clothing is permeating even upscale fashion in the guise of ‘corporate casual style.’ But not all fleece apparel is the same. Recipients will probably throw pieces with cheap, shoddy workmanship straight to the trash, along with the company logo. That’s why we at RushIMPRINT make sure that every promotional item we produce maintains functional and visual integrity. We carry only well-made polar fleeces with stretch binding at the armhole and the bottom opening, and fashionable contrast inside-collar, collar binding, and side panels. You don’t want your logo on anything less.
At 9:20 on my watch today I received a rather frantic email from the marketing representative of an old client – an insurance company – who said that they needed 200 pieces of fleece wear embroidered with their logo right away, in three days. They are sponsoring a local mini-Winter Olympics event and would like to give their customers something tasteful and functional – something that they could actually use, not shove into the back of the closet.
She asked for my suggestion and I recommended this unisex pullover…
…which comes in all sizes, and looks great on anyone. Fleece sweats are more flattering, lighter, and warmer than cotton sweats. That probably explains three things: (a) why many people now run around in them, (b) why you’ll find them in all colors in every GAP store, and (c) why they’re the hottest thing in the promo item industry.
To get the ball rolling, I headed off to our design department to decide on how the logo should be embroidered. We all agreed on a design that will embroider well – this way we keep the fleece elegant, stylish, and very wearable.
So many things have to get done. I have to coordinate with the design team and check back with the client and verify with production – basically pull all strings to make sure the order gets shipped by Wednesday morning, at the latest. It looks like I’m having another working lunch.
Interesting tidbit: Only a little bit more than six percent of the promotional products produced in the United States are aimed at attracting new customers, according to the Promotional Products Association. What are the rest used for? Business gifts, employee relations, branding, public relations, and dealer and distributor programs – all to retain existing customers and employees.
When you’ve been working with promotional products for as long as I have, you instantly know this is both sad and exciting. It’s sad because so many businesses are missing out on the sales advantage inherent to promo products (and that can’t be good news), but it’s also exciting because this means that we can grow even more as an industry.
This means that we can – and should – refocus some of our energy to educating our clients about how promo items can widen their customer base instead of just retain it; how promo items can attract potential employees instead of just increase the morale of those already there.
So that goes down on my to-do list (which, lately, has been filled with contact numbers of all the clients needing rush promo items). Looks like I would be busy in the next couple of weeks. I have to admit – this business still surprises me.