The Great Race- Pittsburgh’s Fall Fitness Classic

“If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up.  Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”  Michael Jordan

I recently started getting involved with races last year in 2009 and   have  been inspired to continue this healthy trend by signing up once a year for a race.  It’s important to get involved around your community and also to get some exercise.

The Great Race- Richard S. Caliguiri

The 5K we signed up for last year, was Richard S. Caliguiri for the 2009 Great Race.   My boyfriend absolutely hates waking up early, so when I tried to wake him up at around 5 a.m. I received an earful.

Since we don’t exercise on a regular basis we kind of fell behind in the race, and as we neared the end he said he wanted a running finish to pass everyone up.  I noticed a lot of people had mp3 players while they were running, which is a good idea to enjoy the run.  The sponsors were very kind, we received a long sleeve shirt, which we wore, chocolate energy drinks one before and one for after the race, hair ties, and a fruit cup.  After the race they had food and drinks for us from many sponsors.

We then decided as much as we liked the race we would sign up for another next year.

What are you involved in?

♥ Brandi

What Happened To Customer Service?

We live in a world where not valuing your customer service is a severely poor idea; information travels too quickly for your brand to combat bad customer experiences!  I’m really frustrated right now with my cell phone and trying to get a seemingly simple problem fixed.  I’m quite confident that this could be taken care of effectively if somebody just took the time to care about my issue, but I don’t think I’ll be so lucky.  Honestly though, I don’t blame the people on the other end of the line; I feel the problem is quite clearly with a compartmentalized system and poor treatment of customer service representatives.

Cell service is bad - and it isn't their coverage!My phone is having an issue connecting to the internet, it keeps telling me to have an authorized person contact the customer service 1-800 number.  I called.  I spent six minutes going through an automated system designed to spit me out to an appropriate representative to resolve my issue.  The young gentleman informed me that due to system limitations he would not have access to help me and that the issue was something I could manage online myself.  I was then transferred to online support and another digital queuing machine only to be spat out to another representative who walked me through the process of creating an online account to fix my own issue.  Before the problem was resolved, she assumed that I had done all the tasks required, but since I was calling from my phone I would need to disconnect before I could investigate our success.

Problem remains.

not getting what I need accomplished ]The system makes it impossible for me to find the same rep again.  I go through the queue again; after explaining the issue (3rd time) to a new person they again remind me that they can’t fix it and it’s my job to do this online and then I am transferred again.  More time… more digital queue.  New young man in online support gets a lightly frustrated version of myself and a full explanation of the scenario; his response: “Well I can help you with that!”  He then takes a few moments and claims that I should be good to go – again, I can’t check unless I am off the phone.  I disconnect after thanking him.

Problem still remains… Mobile internet is not in my future it would seem.  Looks like I’ll be switching to Verizon after all.

The moral:  Information travels so fast these days – companies like major cellular providers can’t afford to continue this level of customer service.  Business owners would be wise to realize that your customer interactions are the fundamental cornerstone of success while your customer service representatives, cashiers, baggers, and phone operators are the front line for your business – pay them well and make them value the experience of working for you.

3 Things You Should Be Doing To Celebrate Your Customers

A friend of mine works for a professional hockey team in their sales department.  We were discussing customer relationships and the difference between types of customers.  He was talking about how season ticket holders have an emotional commitment to the team, while group customers require a unique one-time experience to effectively lock them in as long-term repeat customers.  His philosophy is true in all forms of sales; there will always (hopefully) be YOUR customers that do business with you because of an emotional investment in your company and your products, while some other great customers might turn to you in search of something different than the alternative.  Here are threeways that you can create a unique experience and develop long-term customer relationships.

Give Back

If you don’t have some kind of rewards program already in place, then you NEED to start one now.  Don’t just cut a deal like “buy $100 and get $5 off…” this is overused and tired.  Perhaps placing your brand on some unique, useful, and valuable things is a better route; the more the customer buys the more rewards they get on top of their order.  Build your brand around giving – people will notice.

Invite Them In

New Belgium is the 3rd largest microbrewery in the United States.  They offer FREE tours of their brewery with samples of their beer five days per week; these tours are full 3 weeks in advance.  They invite about 150 people into their building most days to touch, feel, smell, learn, and enjoy how their product is made.  Inviting people behind the curtain provides them with an experience; providing them with great content about your product and company history provides them with the opportunity to share that with others.

Be Grateful

It seems like common sense to “be grateful,” but you could probably think of a time when places of business just didn’t care.  I cheated on my diet the other day and got Taco Bell (don’t judge…); in my attempts to not totally kill my efforts I kept it under $4, and the attendants seemed like my tiny order was legitimately a burden.  Imagine if you could receive sincere gratitude from the people that you give money to in exchange for products and services.  Let’s face it, we ALL have competition in our markets, so outdo everyone else with genuine respect and gratitude for every person that comes through your door.

Take your business to a new level!  Start giving back, inviting your customers behind the veil, and being more grateful and your business will do better – it’s that easy.

How to Keep Your Company Relevant with Technological Advances

Imagine the year is 1990, only 20 years ago. Someone asks you a random question: Who was the 2nd person to sign the Declaration of Independence? In 1990, where would you find this info? You could ask someone that may know or find it in a history book or encyclopedia, if you had one. You could visit a library, and hunt down a section on books that may help you. Either way, there would be some time involved. Flashforward to 2010 (more…)

5 Ideas For Fall Football Marketing

Use this season on the gridiron for marketing your brandIt’s that magical time of year again!  Freshly cut grass, white paint on the ground, shoulder pads crushing into one another, Friday night games, and the pound of the snare drum during half time herald in the sound of football season.  Make this Fall season your time shine by using America’s greatest game to market your brand.

1)      Booster Clubs

Most High School football teams have a booster club.  Get on board by sponsoring a local organization that supports fun and educational programs for students.  Contact their leader to investigate what the booster club needs and how you can help them offset the costs for the parents.

2)      Sponsor a Little League team

Youngsters are learning how to play the game, and countless communities across America have several teams looking for sponsors.  Imagine 20 kids wearing your company logo every weekend through November, that’s a great opportunity for community involvement and raising brand awareness, not to mention the parents knowing the good deed you did.

3)      Tailgate!

Before the Friday night lights come on, there’s fun to be had in the parking lot.  Hosting a tailgate with food, drinks, and giveaways for fans is fine opportunity to put your logo in the hands and minds of your potential customers.

4)      Handouts

Everybody loves FREE stuff!  Think like a fan this Fall and imagine what you might want/need for a game.  You may consider warm knit caps, insulated mugs for hot chocolate, water bottles to keep cool, the ever-popular Kan-Tastic, or something else unique and useful.  Provide something of value to your potential customers/clients and let them know that you care about their positive experience.

5)      The Terrible Towel

Support your local teams by distributing sports towels with both the team and your logos!  Nothing intimidates the other team like a furious wave of fans having fun and spinning a distracting wave of towels over their heads!

rushIMPRINT is your home for all the promotional items you could need to raise your brand awareness this Fall.  We are looking forward to working with you to make this football season a memorable one!

No Time to Exercise? Stay Active with these Tips

“Without regular physical activity, the body slowly loses its strength and ability to function well” The American Heart Association.  The most important thing to remember is never overdo it, keep a steady pace and listen to music to relax yourself.

Staying fit is important to me.  I make working out part of my daily routine. Whether it’s early in the morning, lunch, or after work in the evening; I always try to get at least 30 minutes or more of exercise. Working out is convenient for me; I have a membership to my local gym.  Also here at Rushimprint we are fortunate that we have a gym right here in our office.

Keeping it Fun

It’s easy to lose motivation over time, so in order to keep yourself from becoming bored and to keep your muscles guessing, try performing a variety of exercises.

Here are some of the things I enjoy:  running, spin, weight training and belly dancing. This week I plan on taking a jazzercise class with a friend,  sounds like it will be a lot of fun.

Getting Started

At most of our jobs we are sitting behind a desk for several hours a day.  Make becoming active one of your priorities. We all have busy lives so a great way to start is to just devote 20 to 30 minutes to yourself.

You can break it up into 2 fifteen minute workouts.  Set small goals for yourself and when you reach them, reward yourself.  Research shows that exercise helps improve your mood and productivity. You will also look and feel great.  Try different things and see what works best for you.

Here are a few fun products that you can use right at home:

  • Stay Fit Digital Jump Rope



    This is an article from The American Heart Association

Employees who are healthy are more productive because they are absent less often and are able to focus and perform better at work. That’s why the American Heart Association created the national initiative called Start!. Start! calls on all Americans to create a culture of physical activity and live healthier lives by walking.

Did you know that by adding one hour of regular, vigorous physical activity, adults may gain up to two hours of life expectancy? There are more than 140 million Americans over age 20 who are overweight and obese — a serious risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Also, only 30.9 percent of U.S. adults age 18 or older engage in regular leisure-time physical activity.

Start by including more physical activity into your daily routine. Take a walk, ride a bike or take the stairs.  To help you reach and maintain a healthy body weight, the American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days a week.

Promote good health in the workplace. Your employees will reap the benefits with lower out-of-pocket medical costs, a reduced risk of developing a chronic health condition and increased satisfaction with their jobs and lives. Medical, workers’ compensation and disability costs will be lower, too.

Also check out another great article with helpful tips:

Tips for Exercise Success by The American Heart Association.

Presenting … rushVIDS: Umbrella Product Test

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!

Promo Items Make Lasting Memories

Three words, The Pittsburgh Pirates.  I love going to their games and getting score updates on my phone.    I’ve been to about four games this year and hope to go to more next year.

What is your favorite thing to do?  You should take a few hours or a day to remind yourself why life is so precious.  What do I love?  I love putting on my favorite hat and standing in the crowd cheering for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Why you may ask?  Because I love the everything about it like the food, stadium, sport,  and just getting out for the night.

Everyone loves free things!

In April, when I went to a game with my boyfriend Chris, we had awesome seats and a very memorable day.  It happened to be really cold that day which is why I’m wearing a jacket in the picture.  Before the game started, we walked past this free game called Spin-A-Wheel.  All you had to do was show the workers your ID card and spin the wheel to win a prize.  I ended up getting an Eco friendly Pirate’s tote bag, and Chris won a Pirate’s T-shirt.

I always try to get close seats between home plate and third base.  Although, the Pirates probably aren’t your favorite team like they are mine, those seats are surely taken fast.   Well that night, we had awesome seats which may be why Chris caught two foul baseballs from Andrew McCutchen without a glove!  A few people sitting near us weren’t very happy and called us greedy.  This is my favorite memory, we had so much fun that night and he even gave me both baseballs.   That’s the first and only game we ever caught a baseball at.  We are still looking to get them signed.

After the amazing fireworks for the Pirate’s win we left in my car with my Pirate floor mats, license plate frame, and clear stickers on my windows that still makes me think of that day when I look at it.

You can find any of those types of promo products at rushIMPRINT.  Having the products we won still has us thinking about this night.  Now I buy all of my fan gear from them.

Well as much as I don’t like many other sports, like he loves hockey, I guess I’ll have to repay him by going to a game.

♥ Brandi

The Most Important Piece of Success

So, you want to be wildly successful? I just figured out the key ingredient in ascending to where I want to be.  I, you, all of us really, need to start focusing on the next two words: BE AWESOME!

The best way to find success is to be awesome“Awesome” might be one of the most overused and undervalued words in our language; it is used so much that people seem to have misplaced what the word actually means.  It doesn’t take a degree in English Literature from a division II state school to know that “awesome” simply means to inspire awe, but nobody seems to really remember what “awe” means anymore.  Dictionary.com tells us that “awe” is defined as, an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like: in awe of god; in awe of great political figures. WOW!

If you truly inspired awe in the people around you, then you would have no choice but to be truly and fully successful.  Being awesome isn’t about doing cool tricks on a skateboard, or writing a great song; being awesome is about moving people at their very core – affecting them. Be grand, be powerful, and inspire those around you to admire the life you live; touch the lives of everyone you can by being the best person you can be.  Those that are truly awesome don’t even have to tell people; awesome people just live good lives and the rest falls in to place.

Being awesome is a personal choice and it’s unlikely that anyone can make you awesome, but rushIMPRINT can definitely help you spread the word!  If you are already awesome and need some help getting people to talk about it for you, then let us help you promote your business and your personal brand!

The Key To Successful Branding

Information is more accessible today than any other time in human history, and with that ease of access comes a new responsibility to consistently market yourself for who you are and who you want to be.

Let’s face it, most of our businesses aren’t Apple, Nike, McDonalds, Starbucks, or Wal-Mart, and most of us aren’t as recognized as Michael Jordan, Donald Trump, or Oprah.  We are, however, placing decreasingly less value on previously established gatekeepers to approve us for super-stardom.  You and your business can definitely climb the economic and social ladders by remembering that YOU are your brand.

Most people fail at branding themselves and their business because they get too caught up in the structural foundations of branding (logo, name, imaging, etc.) and lose track of what branding is fundamentally about.  Branding is, without a doubt, about consistency and business.  Think about it: you probably know that McDonalds sells hamburgers (primarily), Nike sells athletic essentials, and Apple makes user friendly tech.  The outrageously successful companies across the world are successful because they consistently perform, people know what to expect, and (usually) they provide value to people’s lives in some way or another.

mcDonalds is a great example of good branding because YOU know what you're going to get

Success is yours, if you want it.  But to be successful you need to provide outstanding products, services, and/or customer support; you also need to perform consistently so that those that do business with you KNOW what to expect and can share your message with others.  Finally, remember that if you are consistently good GREAT at what you do, then eventually people will start talking.

As you develop your brand more thoroughly, remember that rushIMPRINT is happy to help you promote yourself and expedite the process of getting more people to talk about you and your business!