It’s the art and the packaging that makes the product, not the other way around

Too often in this industry, the client will be looking for the next coolest item. The newest craze, something hip, sleek, sexy… in other words, the promotional product version of me. Now I know what you are thinking. That was a disturbing image you did not need to be burdened with. The odds are, you are you probably right. But I want you to keep something in mind. The greatest, most powerfully delivered promotional item is not the greatest product necessarily, but the combination of the vivid art that is imprinted on it, and how it is packaged and delivered.

Take a tee shirt for example. There is nothing inherently clever or special about a $2 tee shirt. Yet, when covered with a vivid specific artistic imprint, it becomes a canvas. A canvas that can sell in the $20 – $30 range. I know, right? I once bought a tee shirt for $75 at a Madonna concert for my wife. Yes she made me go to the concert, but you are missing the point. There is no greater walking billboard than the tee shirt. You can imprint the front, the back, and the sleeves. You can customize the label. Billions of people wear them every day. Everyone you know has them.

If you want to get creative, if you want to get funky, if you want to drive home a specific message to the recipient of the promotional item or decorated apparel item, spend more time making the graphics jaw dropping, then trying to find the coolest new item. The odds are, if you give your client something that is useful, with artwork that is powerful and vibrant, and is packaged in a manner that reeks of being a GIFT, they are going to keep it for a much longer period of time.

Really think about that the next time you are ordering your logoed gifts. If you don’t have an artist in house, contact someone like me who has incredibly creative designers on hand that want to make you the next promotional product Picasso. When you do work with your designer, communicate to them what the message is. What is it you want your customer to know about you and your brand?

The promotional product is the canvas. Your brand and how it is presented is what translates and is most powerful.

As always, thank you for listening. Enjoy the day.

Dan

Tradeshow Marketing. Establishing A Game Plan

Raise your hand if you have been visited by the tradeshow gypsies. People who go from show to show, grabbing hand fulls of the free logoed promos you have on your table, and have absolutely no intention of doing business with you.

In reality, there might be 3 to 10 prospects at a show that have real potential. Here is what to do to defend against the promo swipers and at the same time treat the top prospects with the respect they deserve.

While you need to have the inexpensive handouts for the masses, take the time before the show to giftwrap a handful of higher end gifts and keep them hidden behind the table. A nice Cross or Waterman pen with your logo on it are great ideas. If you know the size the prospect wears in advance, embroider your logo on a high end brand name apparel item such as Columbia, Nike, or Cutter & Buck. Review the list of attendees to see who you can expect, and plan accordingly. Giftwrapping the nicer item, letting the prospect know that you had hoped they would stop by, and then providing a more expensive, special vip gift will make a very strong impression. It means they were important enough that you took the time to prepare for them, and that will translate to the prospect big time. After the show when you follow up, odds are that cold call will not be so cold.

Have a Happy Passover and a Happy Easter. Thank you for listening.

Dan Broudy

Easter Gear to Share With the Family

Dyeing and decorating eggs, chocolate bunnies, fabulous brunches, and spending time with family and friends are some of the wonderful things about Easter. Seeing the kids search for eggs on an Easter egg hunt, filling their Easter baskets with chocolate and a stuffed bunnies that makes even the oldest person squeal with glee. This is the time to relax and forget about all the things you have to do the next day or the day after. Therefore, take tons of pictures and enjoy the time with your family and friends. While are you enjoying your Easter day, don’t forget this gear to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

The kids will need Easter baskets to carry all the eggs they are going to collect during the hunt. Therefore, make sure that you don’t forget to have plenty around, so that the kids don’t miss the chance to get the most Easter eggs.  You can even have them decorate the basket the way that they want, so it can also be a collectible item that you can give to the grandparents.

Chocolate is something that everyone can have on Easter day without the guilt usually associated with it. There are so many different types of chocolate that you can eat or give to someone special that you will be sure to find a chocolate to fit their taste buds (and yours).

Cook your loved ones’ meals, pack it up, and drive to a beautiful park. You can have a picnic basket that has everything you need, so that you can have a nice, relaxing time with your family. Maybe play some frisbee, tell stories, and just enjoy one another’s company.

Getting stress balls that look like bunnies are a great way to provide a way for your loves ones to relax. It isn’t just by squeezing all their frustration out on the stress ball, but it will remind them of Easter, so it will automatically get them to calm down, and realize that everything will be alright.

You will be out all day, so you have to protect yourself from the sun. Take sunscreen for your family and you in personalized Easter dispensers. Your kids will not put up a fight to put on sunscreen when they see how the Easter bunny has no problems putting on sunscreen.

Easter reminds you the value of being surrounded by family and friends.  Therefore, turn off the phones, televisions, and any other disruptions, and enjoy the time you spend together.  Eat all the chocolate you want, and don’t be ashamed to have your own stuffed bunny.

Give your client something with their name on it, not their logo

Hello everyone. I want to talk to you today about the importance of the personalized leave- behind. Oh yes my friends. When you are working with a specific individual who is in charge of the purchasing of your product type or service, I have found it is better to give them something with their name engraved, embroidered or printed on it, than it is to have their company logo or your logo for that matter.

People take pride in where they work, but, quite often, they leave that job for another. Once they do, the logoed item you gave as a gift with their logo on it is no longer useful. Now you could make the argument that you would give them a logoed gift with your logo on it. After all, you are the vendor, and you want them to remember your company. Here is what I have found… while people do take pride in their jobs, at the end of the day, they would much prefer to have an item with their OWN NAME on it. PERIOD. It means you cared enough about them as a person to take the time to personalize this gift just for them, and not just anyone in the office. NOW… if you really want to be a stud and show that the prospect/client is important, do some research on what their interests on and personalize that. Take for example, I remember I researched someone who I found out loved to fish. We engraved a cutting board for fishing with his name on it. Another prospect loved pizza. We engraved a pizza cutter with their name on it. To this day, they are using those items. They know we took the time to research what their interests were. They are not just another link in the corporate chain. They are recognized.

Make it personal folks. They will remember it. When you do endeavor down this personalized gift scenario path, you know what vendor to contact. AKA me. If you have any prospects or important clients you want to give something cool to with their name on it, contact me dbroudy at Rushimprint.com. I will find you something badass to make you look like a rockstar. It’s what I do.

Thanks for listening. Enjoy the day.
Dan Broudy

Why is it that when you receive an apparel order, sometimes the same colors will come in different shades?

Hello everyone. This is a question that I have heard many times over the years. You order navy blue polo shirts, they come in, and yet they are not all the exact same shade of navy blue. What gives? I will tell what you the deal is. Two words… DYE LOTS. A dye lot is a record taken during the dyeing of yarn to identify yarn that received its coloration in the same vat at the same time. When a manufacturer has their apparel item made overseas, quite often, they make the same item in several different factories. Factors such as price of material, availability of material, and production capacity play key factors in that. For example, you will notice that when the color does not come in the exact same, on the label it will say made in China on one, and made in Vietnam on the other. Check it out next time. Because they were made in different factories, the color dye lots are not identical, and thus the different shading.

If you want to have a better shot of avoiding that scenario, ask the place you order your logoed apparel from (preferably that should always be me), to make sure the country of origin is all the same for the apparel order you are placing. Otherwise, what I described above can definitely happen.

Thanks for listening. Enjoy the day.
Dan

When was the last time you gave your employees something cool to say thanks?

by Dan Broudy, CEO of rushIMPRINT

When was the last time you gave one of your employees something cool to say thanks?

Hello everyone. If the answer to the title of this blog is, “I cannot remember”, dude…. it’s time. I am guilty as well. We have a lot of talented people on our staff, and with the speed at which we get
things done, sometimes I forget to say thank you. I just assume it’s the norm to work that fast and be a badass if you work at rushIMPRINT.

On the right is a picture of Perry, our head of our graphic design. I just hooked him up with a logoed Nike windshirt to say thanks for always rocking it for us. Those email virtual proofs you get from us… it is either Perry or one of his team members getting it for you. When you give your employee something cool, add your logo to it. Make them feel like they are one of the team. Make them want to wear it or carry it outside your workspace and be proud to market it to the community. If you need any ideas on cool employee gifts, tweet me,
email me (dbroudy at rushimprint.com), Facebook me, post it to this blog or just pull a Matt Parkman and use mental telepathy:

Whatever is easiest for you. But whether you get them something or not, thank your employee stars. Without them, your company would not be the same, and you know it. Thanks for listening. Enjoy the day.

Why You Need to be using USA Made Hand Sanitizer

Hello everyone. Since the 4th quarter 2009 and still going to this day, Anti-Bacterial Hand Sanitizer spray and gel has been selling like hotcakes. It is the iPod of our industry. H1N1 this, Swine Flu that… everyone has to have some. Did you know that for anti-bacterial gel and spray to be approved by the FDA, that it must have an alcohol concentration of at least 62% to kill bacteria. Unfortunately there are some sources overseas that are supplying our industry with as low as 40% alcohol. In other words, if you were using the 40% version you might as well be washing with water and getting spiritual, because it ain’t killing germs.

The benefits of using USA Made is that it is produced at an FDA approved and audited facility, meaning the products come out of a clean, up to code facility with ingredients and methods that are up to date with the FDA. Unfortunately there are some distributors that are using sources that are bringing in their personal care goods from China, where there is no regulation as to what is going in these products and they also don’t have to provide documentation for what is going in these products. They also don’t have to have any kinds of regulations for what kind of facility these are being produced out of. They could be using a hut for all we know.

It’s just a matter of what do you want on your skin & lips. A product that you can guarantee is clean and sanitary or something you think might be that way. I’m not saying that all sources overseas are not using facilities that are nice, but without an FDA approval it’s impossible to tell. And anyone that tells you they are an FDA approved facility that is importing their product is lying. They may use FDA standards, but it’s impossible to be an FDA approved facility in China.

The moral of the story… when purchasing logoed anti-bacterial hand sanitizer spray and gel, it is safer to use USA Made product. Cheaper is not always better, especially when it relates to your health. Thanks for listening. Enjoy the day.

PS – The only kind we carry at rushIMPRINT is USA MADE.

Get Ready for Kick Butts Day on March 24

It is Kick Butts Day on March 24, 2010. You might be wondering if this is something that I made up on a whim, or is there actually a day like this. Well, there is. Kick Butts Day is a way to empower the youth in the United States to take a stand against tobacco. There are events all over the country.  When you go on the  web site, you will see a national map, powered by Google, that shows what cities are holding events on Wednesday.  The site also shows you the way you can get involved, whether it be attending an event or making #kickbutts a trending topic on Twitter that day, resources, and gear you can wear to show your support.

The Kick Butts Day Store has a variety of products that can appeal to many people, mainly tailored to the youth of this country. There are wristbands, iPod case, shirt, and temporary tattoos.  You can even get a custom Kick Butt Day photobook to always remember that day.  What if you are older, but you still want to show your support, and you are not sure if a temporary tattoo is something you want? Here are some gear that older people can tailor for Kick Butts Day.

Take a red shirt, and put a creative phrase on there that shows your support for the youth in this country taking action against tobacco.  You can even download some promotional material off of the Kick Butts Day site, and use that to put on your shirt.

More than likely, adults will have to be with the youth while they go around and show their support for this great cause. Therefore, why not create a tote that show your own support for Kick Butts Day, while holding all of the kids’ stuff that you will be dragging around.
Place your mug in a spot where everyone can see it and can come ask you, “What in the world is Kick Butts Day?”  It will give you a way to tell people about the day without them feeling that you are being intrusive.  While you are showing off your Kick Butts Day, make sure to take care of yourself and fill it with your favorite drink.

Kick Butts Day is a great campaign to show kids how to stay tobacco free.  If there are events happening in your city, then jump at the chance to help or attend.

Help us improve rushIMPRINT and you could win $200 of free promos

by Dan Broudy, CEO of rushIMPRINT

I want to make the rushimprint.com online experience faster and more user friendly for our customers.

Hello everyone. I need your help. While we have made many upgrades to rushIMPRINT this year, I want to make the user experience easier and faster, and I am hoping you will help us to do that. Every aspect of what we do at rushIMPRINT has to do with speed. We love getting orders done faster than expected, getting art proofs out in record time, and we love making our customers experience as quick and easy as possible. I liken our inside customer service reps to gunslingers. They need to be quick on the draw for any rush scenario, and be relentless in their pursuit of customer satisfaction.

In the immortal words of Jerry Maguire: “Help me help you”. All I ask is that you don’t laugh at me the way the character Rod Tidwell laughed at Jerry Maguire. If you could please submit to me your best ideas of what upgrades to our website or tweaks to the ordering process that would make the overall user experience better and faster, any changes that get implemented, I will give you $200 worth of promos with your logo on it. Post them on our blog, tweet us, make a comment on our Facebook account or just email me dbroudy at rushimprint.com.

If you can get back to us as quickly as possible, it would be much appreciated. Thank you for your patronage, and for sharing your ideas.

Dan Broudy

15 Fun Clocks to Help You Keep Track of Time

Time is something that everyone needs to keep track of sooner or later. Therefore, a clock is an essential item that is in every household. Being that everyone has a clock, then why not have fun with it and get a wacky, kooky one that will make your houseguests trying to figure out where you got it. Here are 15 fun clocks that will give some style to telling time.

1. Spirit of St. Louis Desktop Clock Radio

15 Fun Clocks - Clock 1This clock was made for world travelers who want an AM/FM clock radio that also tells time.  It looks like one of those old-school suitcases that you would stick stickers to show where you have been.  The clock’s minute and hour hands glow in the dark, so you can even use it as a night light.

2. Record Player Clock

15 Fun Clocks - Clock 2 Music lovers will rejoice when they see this clock.  It’s a clock that looks like a record player that is actually made out of one.  Made from a recycled Motorola record player, this clock even has an actual record that it uses, “I’ll Be Around” by Tommy James and the Shondells, which is replaceable.

3. Ying Yang Clock

15 Fun Clocks - Clock 3 This clock redefines that feng shui feel by balancing time with a picture that will make you stop and smile.  You do not have to search around for the perfect picture that is the right size to stick in the photo frame.  Instead, you can upload the image you desire, and you have your perfect ying yang clock.

4. Lego Radio Alarm Clock

15 Fun Clocks - Clock 4

This is a great clock for children and lego-lovin’ adults.  It has a AM/FM radio that allows you to wake up to your favorite music, or just listen to it whenever you want.  There are some clocks that make it hard for you to hit the “Snooze” button.  With the clock’s big buttons, you will never have to worry about that.  This could be a good or bad thing because you might just stay in bed.

5. The Gizmo Clock

15 Fun Clocks - Clock 5If you are someone who is constantly knocking your clock on the floor, then the Gizmo Clock is the right one for you.  It has suction cups on the bottom of the feet, so it will be stuck to wherever you place it.  You can place this clock wherever you want.  For instance, your bedroom, office, kitchen, living room, and the keeps going.

6. Uomino Tavolo

15 Fun Clocks - Clock 6 Everyone has heard that expression that “time is running out.” Now, there is a clock can say it for you.  This clock will be a constant reminder to not procrastinate because you will look at it, and see time passing you by.  It’s a great gift for someone who never seems to be on time.

7. Aspiral Clocks

15 Fun Clocks - Clock 7 A unique clock that comes in all different colors and designs. The red ball keeps going and going until it reaches the 12th hour. Like a pinball, it goes through the hole in the middle, and it starts right back up again.

8. Elements Water Powered Clock

15 Fun Clocks - Clock 8For the environmentalist in you, this clock actually runs on water for 1.5 weeks.  It helps you keep track of the time and date without needing to use a battery or power charger. Great way to teach people that you can make a difference even by telling time.

9. Retro Alarm Clock

15 Fun Clocks - Clock 9 This clock will make you think about all the beach movies you watched growing up. Where everyone starts dancing and singing out of the blue, and use words like “Cowabunga.” If you are into retro designs, then you will love this clock that looks like it’s on an old-school surfboard.

10. Helice Clock

15 Fun Clocks - Clock 10 Colors are a great way to bring light to a clock and your room.  This clock tells the time, date, and temperature.  The colors are brought out by the minimalistic design.

11. 3-Port USB Hub with Clock 15 Fun Clocks - Clock 10

If you want to keep track of time, while connecting your electronics, then here is this clock for your enjoyment.  You can connect three different gadgets (i.e. laptop, PDA, etc) at the same time.  The clock comes in green, pink, or blue.

12. Amone World Time Clock

15 Fun Clocks - Clock 12

This clock tells time in 18 cities all over the world.  It displays the time, date, calendar, and thermometer in three tiers.  It helps in reading the information, and not having it be in the same window.  Definitely a clock with style.

13. Starbust Clock

15 Fun Clocks - Clock 13 This clock will brighten any wall.  There are different color schemes, depending on your preference.  It may take awhile to tell the time, but it’s definitely worth it when you have everyone exclaiming how fun your clock is.

14. Beer Fly ClockFine Clock

15 Fun Clocks - Clock 14 Beer drinkers, now here is a clock for you. It is a custom image of a beer drink that will make you daydream while you watch time go by.  According to the makers, the print will last 100 years without fading.  So drink a beer, and enjoy your clock.

15. Impress Clock/Organizer

15 Fun Clocks - Clock 15 Time management and organization go hand-in-hand, so why not have a clock that helps you do this?  This clock will keep your supplies in order while you know what time it is.