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!

Achievement Unlocked: Business Lessons Learned from Xbox 360

I like to consider myself a gamer and the Xbox 360 is my system of choice. Xbox 360 was the first next-gen console to debut and being a Sony Playstation devotee, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I researched it thoroughly and after reading previews, seeing images and videos, I decided this was something I had to own. I knew the launch date was drawing near but had no plan of action to secure one system of what I knew would be a limited supply. So I decided to patrol the retail stores to see how bad the lines were. At 11:30pm on the November pre-launch day, I found that Target had a surprisingly short line and decided without cold weather preparation to wait in it until 7am. (Probably something I’ll never do again) I succeeded in my efforts as the 360 was everything I wanted it to be. However there is one small feature on the 360 that didn’t really factor my purchase but has been a really enjoyable part of the experience. (more…)

Races can be Great Opportunities for Promotional Items

I first began running in 2008 when I got the news about registration opening for the 2009 Pittsburgh Marathon.  The race was coming back to our city for the first time since being canceled in 2004.  The marathon was always such a big event in our city.  Thousands of runners would participate in the event from all over the world.  I remember as a kid going to the Southside with my family to cheer on the runners as they passed by.  I thought that it was amazing that those runners could go such a distance (26.2 miles). How can that be possible?  I would soon find out for myself.

After running the half marathon in 2009, I decided that 2010 was going to be my year to test my endurance and register for the full marathon.  I began my 18 week training program in the winter and followed it consistently.  Running the Pittsburgh Marathon - Finish LineSometimes it was not easy going out in the cold and snow, but I was determined.  I kept track of my miles in a weekly planner.  By increasing my miles each week I finally ended up with 42 miles on the 16th week.  It was enough to get me to the finish line. Race day came and I am proud to report that I accomplished the marathon successfully, and actually much faster than I anticipated.  This was one of my greatest accomplishments.  I enjoyed the race, scenery, people, entertainment along the course, and the enthusiastic crowd support.  I can not wait to do it again.

Preparing for the race

Some of the necessary things I used in training that I never left home without are:

-In the winter this is very important because you are running outside, and are at a great risk for Hypothermia.

-Moisture wick apparel keeps the moisture away from your body.

Lip Balm-This was definitely a necessity in the cold winter months and in warm weather as well.

-I downloaded some of my favorite music to keep me motivated.

- Staying hydrated is very important even in the winter.  I would use it for Gatorade & water.

- On weekends, I would go out for long runs between 12 and 17 miles. The drawstring back pack was light weight and easy to carry snacks I would need to take along to stay fueled.

Whether you sponsor your favorite Charity that is racing, volunteer, or even run with a team, it is a great way to promote your company.

Friday Matinee: Let’s Talks Movies…

Who doesn’t love summer blockbuster time? Flashback: Summer 1977. My family and I sitting in a classic theater complete with marble pillars, balcony, vaulted ceiling, ornate decor and deep burgundy drapery throughout. I am sure ‘Gone with the Wind’ and countless other classics debuted in this theater.

As a 10 year old kid I had been to plenty of movies; lots of Disney flicks mainly. Jodie Foster and I were practically boyfriend/girlfriend. Yeah, I’d been to see other “big” movies as well, like the awful ‘King Kong’ remake the summer of 1976. With all these movies I’d been to, this was the first time I had to wait in line to get into the theater after purchasing tickets. “What’s this all about” I wondered. There had to be 500 people in line, roped in by the soft velvet ropes and chrome poles. Some looked excited, some looked bored. I really had no idea what all the fuss was about.


Simple ways to get organized for vacation

Almost everyone has taken a vacation.  Whether it’s a short or a long one, it helps to plan ahead.  Knowing where you’re going and what you’ll be doing will be the reasoning for what you pack.

Step #1 Buy a planner

Like me, if you always feel like you’re forgetting to pack something, you can start off with writing everything in a pocket planner or a journal.  I would start by writing down the most important items that you can first think of, then write anything else that comes to mind.  Always double check the items on the list against the items you are packing.

Step #2 Pack to your own needs

If you usually carry a wallet, it would probably be best not to pack that into the travel bag so you have all of your most important information with you.  While you’re on vacation you may need something a bit smaller to carry around with you and keep your personal items together.  How about a tote bag, they are big enough to fit many things into but small enough to not get in the way.  Don’t forget to take your sunscreen! I hate going on vacations and turning red.


3 “Aha” Moments to Think About For Your Next Promotional Plan

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine the other day discussing some of the more difficult aspects of his job.  My friend works for a professional sports team and is responsible for ALL of the promotional products, giveaways, and half-time events.  During our chat I had a few “A-Ha!” moments about finding the right promotional goods for the right clients; I thought I might share them with you today:

Start at the end and work your way back

Sometimes we forget to think like an end user, and end up buying things that can quickly find their way to the trash.  Before your next event, giveaway, retreat, or any other thing that would benefit from things with your logo on it, spend some time considering how the product will be used and who will use it.  Notepad holders are great for conferences, water bottles for sporting events, and reusable grocery bags would be great for green folks.

Be unique and stand outDon't be another pencil or pen

Pencils, pens, and foamy balls may be inexpensive when preparing for a mass giveaway, but I can’t begin to count the writing utensils I have amassed over the years that have gotten lost or lent without ever even being looked at.  When planning your next move try to come up with a few ideas the might help you stand out from the rest.  Don’t be bland and boring just because of cost.

Stay on target with the environment

It seems off to me when people give out USB drives at sporting events – sure everybody at some point can use a USB drive, but that isn’t the right crowd; perhaps a warm knit cap for a football game this Fall would be a wiser choice.  Plan ahead and remember where you are going to be distributing your promotional goods.

By the end of the conversation we had come up with some unique, useful, and valuable solutions for him and his clients.  Surely this fall should have some surprises for the fans of this team.  RushIMPRINT can be your one stop shop for promotional goods – let’s find some solutions together.

rushIMPRINT and the return of Fantasy Football

If your office is anything like ours, the month of August is a lot more boisterous then previous months. It brings the start of fantasy football and the hope for redemption, at least in my case. This will be the company’s 3rd season of fantasy football and each season has evolved. Competition gets better and talk gets louder, but it’s all in good fun. Our first season started innocent enough, no one really talked too much. Which would have been fine if we started a book club but half of the fantasy fun is talking smack, win or lose. That was a role I was happy to get behind. It kind of loosened the mood a bit and the smack talk started to build especially around playoff time. Anthony from the IT department had the best team on paper and in the regular season but I was feeling good about my chances. My dreams were crumbled when I lost to Dan, our CEO. He was riding the Cinderella story, and my Wide Receiver threw a pick. You read that right, I lost by hundredths of a point. Anthony ended up with the crown the first season and ended Dan’s Cinderella story. Considering the dramatic fashion and narrow margin of defeat, I was chomping at the bit for our 2nd season. (more…)

Meet the rushBLOGGERS!

We’ve made many changes and what better place to make another change than our blog! We want our readers to feel a part of the rushIMPRINT community and so we’ve pulled in our talent – and by talent, we mean our team members! Meet our fantastic new blog authors here to share their stories, thoughts, and experiences. They will write about everything and anything from office culture (including an intense office fantasy football competition), movie reviews, to industry news!

We’re your one-stop-shop during your morning prep, lunch surfing, or mid-afternoon coffee break … stop by the blog @rushIMPRINT to see what is happening and join in on the conversation. Now, without further delay, meet our bloggers!

DanDan - Author Picture
aka: “The Chairman”

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Favorite movie: Goodfellas

Last book I read: Delivering Happiness

Favorite Quote: “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any one thing.” – Abraham Lincoln

Kathy - Author PhotoKathy

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

My dream job: Personal Trainer

Something Unique About Me: “I have a heart of gold! …. well that’s what Robin said when I asked her.” (we all agree with Robin!)

Favorite Time of Year: Summer

What you can expect to read from Kathy: Holiday topics, running & fitness, Shopping, Office tales.

BrianBrian - Author Photo

Hometown: White Oak, PA

Favorite Movie: The Hangover

Last book I read: Too Fat To Fish

What annoys you most: “Filling out these silly surveys.” (Too bad Brian. Too bad….)

Ashleigh - Author PhotoAshleigh

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Favorite Time of Year: Fall / Halloween

What annoys you most: “My dogs.”
What makes you happiest: “My dogs.”

Last book I read: “….”

ChrisChris - Author Photo

Hometown: San Diego, CA

What did you want to be when you “grew up”? “I wanted to be a Jedi, when I found out that was a fictional occupation, I wanted to be a computer programmer.”

Favorite Quote: “There are 6.9×10^9 kinds of people in this world.” – Anon.

Last move I saw: Avatar in IMAX 3D

Chrissy - Author PhotoChrissy

Hometown: Latrobe, PA

Favorite Movie: Hoosiers

What annoys you most?: “People that drive slow in the fast lane.”

What makes you happiest?” “Spending time with my family and friends.”

PerryPerry - Author Photo
Nickname: “Warlock”

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

My dream job: Artist or Musician … mission accomplished?

Favorite Holiday: Christmas

Favorite Quote: “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” – Albert Einstein

Brandi - Author PhotoBrandi

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Favorite time of year: “I love the 4th of July, my favorite thing about it are the cook-outs.”

Something unique about me: “I’ve played softball for 4 years … you may find some of my writings deal with softball/baseball because it’s a fun subject for me!”

What you can expect to read from Brandi: Memories, experiences, general interests.

ZachZach - Author Photo

Hometown: Latrobe, PA

my dream job: Talk show host

Favorite Movie: Big Fish

Currently reading: Pink Ribbons, Inc. and American Conspiracies

Favorite Quote: “The meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not intend to sit.” – Anon.

Todd - Author PhotoTodd

Hometown: Vandergrift, PA

Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving

My dream job: Actor

Something unique about me: “I am the youngest of 6 children.”

What you can expect to read from Todd: All about the customer experience, from beginning to end, and what we learn as a company and individuals from each purchase.

LoranLoran - Author Photo

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Last book I read: The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

Lost movie I saw: Knocked Up

What you can expect to read from Loran: Observations of daily life.

Linda - Author PhotoLinda

Hometown: PIttsburgh, PA

My dream job: Professional Dancer

Last book I read: Dear John

Something unique about me: “I make stain glass windows.”

ThomasThomas - Author Photo

Hometown: Pittsburgh PA

My dream job: Actor, Comedian or Football player

What annoys me most: “When there is no explanation for why something stops working.”

Something unique about me: “I’ve seen more movies than you.”

Last book I read: Me of Little Faith by Lewis Black

Mike - Autor PhotoMike

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Nickname: Daddy (says twin girls)

Favorite Quote: “Not all days are created equal.” – Anon.

Annoys me most: Negativity.

Makes me happiest: Family.

CrystalAuthor Photo - Crystal

Hometown: Loveland, CO

Favorite Quote: “If you worry about what might be, and wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is.” -Author Unknown

Last Movie I Watched: Inception

Last Book I Read: The Twilight Series!