Posts tagged business
Quick response codes (QR) are flat little squares of black and white dots that are cropping up across the mobile marketing field. Smartphone users simply snap a photo of these dots and a QR code reader app connects to an Internet landing page, revealing a world of useful information. For those who market with promotional products, QR codes could be the most prescient, agile and robust way to appeal to the burgeoning mobile market.
The growing trend toward QR codes for marketing is already well established in Japan, where 25% of shopping takes place on mobile devices. The US market has been slower to catch on to the QR trend, but forward-thinking marketers are beginning to sit up and take notice. Promotional products are the perfect platform for quick response technology. A QR code reader app can make a product perform all sorts of Internet tricks that can keep consumers entertained and engaged for years to come.
The ways advertisers are able to use QR codes for marketing is limited only by imagination. These little black and white dynamos are more than just two-dimensional barcodes, they can really pack a marketing wallop. They can be stamped on almost any flat surface or digital location, and linked to all sorts of Internet destinations, from functional to frivolous. Landing pages can include product information, reviews, discount coupons, online shopping pages, social media platforms, music, videos, games, surveys, polls, and much more.
One really innovative way to use QR on promotional products is to embellish the code itself with a graphic or message. The codes are made up of black and white patterns that can only be read by a QR code reader app, but unused areas in the code’s design may be crafted into a simple picture or words. This is even more reason to put QR codes on promotional products.
Clearly the trend toward consumer use of QR technology is growing quickly and the mobile movement shows no sign of slowing anytime soon. Using QR codes to market promotional products is simply a smart business move. Advertisers can start by learning more ways for marketers to use QR codes creatively.
A truly great promotional item is one that works well and will be used often, building goodwill with every use. With summer grilling season in full swing, now is the perfect time to distribute promotional grilling items imprinted with your company’s logo. Customers will be excited to receive high-quality custom grilling kits or custom spatulas for free, far more so than if they received a pen or a magnet. The positive associations with your company will then be reinforced every time they fire up the grill for summer fun.
The best promotional grilling items are ones that are going to be used frequently and kept close to hand at the grill. Items like digital grilling forks and lighted bamboo spatulas are perfect multipurpose grilling tools that can easily find a place in any home grill master’s toolbox. Custom spatulas with logos are unusual and distinctive, so you don’t need to worry about your promotion blending into the crowd. The lighted bamboo spatula is an especially clever promotional item because it is a conversation piece in itself. Many cooks won’t have seen a spatula that lights up for evening grilling before, making your item even more noticeable and unique. Digital grilling forks allow for quick temperature checks throughout the grilling process, and will keep your company’s logo right next to the grill on the handsome carrying case.
For a truly memorable promotional gift, custom grilling kits are unbeatable. With all the most essential grilling tools in a single sturdy case, this is an item that will not only be used at home, but for camping, tailgating, or any grilling opportunity. Your 8″x3″ logo on the case will be clearly visible to everyone who assists in the grilling process, and the rugged, professional grade kit is sure to stand up to season after season of use. No matter what items you choose, though, you can’t go wrong with promotional grilling gifts this summer.
Just the other day, I had a unique experience to sit in on a professional sports team staff meeting. The staff was clearly excited and buzzing in preparation for the upcoming season and everyone had their lists of responsibilities from season ticket organizing to corporate golf tournament management, but one thing caught my ear in particular.
The head coach surely had is pressing issues that needed addressing, but he spent most of his time discussing something the rest had seemed to almost forget about, the in-game camera operators for the jumbo-tron. On top of everything else going on in the office the coach was concerned about the commonly ignored $8.00 camera operators, and more importantly how the organization could keep camera operators longer than just one season. The initial response was to simply pay them more, but due to restrictions with the facility and their employment this was not negotiable. The coach then asked the group: What can we make special for them that adds value and builds their loyalty to us – the brainstorming began that very moment. I was simply fascinated at how all of these other important issues froze for that moment to figure out what the organization could give to camera operators to impress upon them how valued they were.
I won’t give away the final decision, but it’s looking good for the men behind the lenses. I took this as a lesson for the future though: Cool stuff with your brand on it should transcend simply finding new customers. Business owners and managers have responsibility to their teams and their staffs to develop not only loyalty but personal investment. Sure, these camera guys won’t stick around because they got some cool team-branded swag, but providing the experience and connecting with them with legitimate gratitude makes ALL of the difference in the world.
rushIMPRINT has so many options for you to consider recognizing your teams today. Check us out and make the difference for your most valuable resources, people!
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!
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.
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!
Businesses that thrive need to have a powerful strategy in order to help growth everyday. Check out these 5 straightforward ways to getting your company on board for business.
This is the bridge that connects everything together. It is one of the most important components in any business strategy as it creates brand equity which is crucial for the growth and success of almost any business in this world.
Items such as press releases, contacting local editors, writing articles and getting in front of media professionals is a fantastic way to get your companies name out there. This way, you will be able to drive customers to your locations, call centers and website, and also encourage your customers to purchase your products or services.
You want to stand out in the minds of your customers, so put yourself out there to stand apart from your competition. Your marketing strategy should include all forms of marketing including direct marketing, online marketing, email marketing, article and event marketing and non-traditional as well as traditional methods of marketing.
Not only should you hold special events and coupons to drive sales and customers up, but by creating promotional products to get your name out there is one of the most important and passive ways of making money.
Many successful business owners have developed partnerships that either increase their client list or add extra products or services to their product line.
Bringing customers back and keeping your current customers happy is one of the most important and at times, most difficult things to accomplish in the life of your business. The steps go beyond simple customer service. The items below are ones that will lead you to distinguishing yourself from the competition. Stick to these steps to pave your road to success.
Answer the phone.
This sounds simple, maybe even stupid because of its obvious nature. But as simple and straightforward as it is, it’s truer than most other things in business. If you aren’t the phone answering type, get someone to do it for you. Hire an answering service, forward your calls, hire an assistant or a team to answer the calls. Don’t have a recording; people want to talk to a live real person. This is the first step to good business is answering the call that’s going to bring in revenue.
Commit what you can do, no more, no less.
When you think of commitment, don’t only think of a relationship with a loved one. Think of committing to your customers individually. This will bring value and a certain level of distinctness from other companies. However it is worse when you can’t deliver what you have committed. Make sure what you say is what you do. Simple as that!
Be a listener.
Every business owner is also someone else’s customer. Then they also know like the rest of the world how frustrating it is when someone is not listening to you. This is your customer’s money, make them feel comfortable with the money that they are spending with you and your venture. This way they are more likely to pass on the good news that your company is of good value and that you are good listeners.
Deal with complaints.
Walking away from a complaint helps no one. It frustrates your customer and may lead to the badmouthing of your business for the future. Assume that every customer is the most important and even if you are just listening (as many customers want, only) it is important to let them know you want to resolve it.
Be helpful, even when you don’t profit.
Not only does this concept help the world go round, it also helps business make names for them. When you go out of your way to help a client and not charge them for every bit and bop available, they feel special, valued and are likely to remember your kindness in many ways, for many moons.
Walk them there.
That extra step is what keeps people going to their favorite stores and companies. When someone asks for the best fertilizer in the store walk them there, don’t just let them know what aisle it resides. If you are on the phone and someone has a computer question, take them there, let them have the comfort of your knowledge on the other end.
A bit extra for you.
Give away things for those loyal or even tough customers. Keeping and saving face is important in business. Obviously you won’t be giving away the farm. But if you are selling a couch for $3000, why not throw in a couple of throw pillows? When we extend ourselves, people’s brain cells tend to grow memory in accordance to your act of kindness.
When you are creating a logo for your company, you want to be remembered. You want people to stop, glance, (hopefully) stay, and ultimately buy your products. While developing a logo as part of your brand, remember that brands should be:
Remembering a logo is to remember a company and, ideally, what they stand for. Having a client or customer be able to point out your logo from the rest is, in many cases, the difference between you and your competition. When customers aren’t in a purchasing position, they should be able to remember you when they are.
Anything too complex or not understandable is easy to forget. When people describe Subaru’s logo, they describe their six star melodies in a simple circle. Or the Apple logo–an Apple with a bite taken out. All of the uber successfully branded companies in the world have one thing in common: a describable logo.
Not straying too far from your sphere of business is truly important. If you sell meat, make your logo relevant to the butcher industry. If you sell paper, make your logo relevant to the stationary industry. Help your customers remember what you do within your logo, as well as remember the logo itself.
Effective with and without color
With color, your logo may be wondrous and magical, but without color your logo should still have a lasting impression. There are a number of instances where your company logo will not be in color; maybe in someone else’s publication, or even in a document within your own company. Make it work.
Scalable (works no matter what size)
Whether your logo is the size of a banner or a little spec on a document, you want it to be something that people will recognize no matter what. When creating your logo, be aware what it looks like in all sizes.
In a recession many people need to get creative with work. With layoffs abounding the nation it is up to you to get yourself a paycheck. In order to do this, make sure that you flow in the direction of the water if you want to stay afloat. Check out some independent/entrepreneur positions that you could begin all by yourself.
If you are better at something than most people and don’t mind teaching it, this is the job for you. Take your special skills and share them with the world. Spend the $20 on: $14 on a box of clean-edge laser or inkjet business cards and $6 buying your first prospect a cup of coffee one morning.
To do it right, start by picking a subject matter you know a lot about. Then get a domain and create a web site. It doesn’t even matter what technology you use just as long as you have original and interesting content. Set aside time every week to put new content on the site, delete dead links, and other maintenance. After you are getting the hits coming to your site from your interesting regularly updated website, you can sell primo advertising room.
Spend the $20 on: $8 or less for a domain (see our Online Business Guide’s list of cheap domain name registrars) and $12 for a year of hosting (search for “$1 hosting”).
House sitter / Pet sitter
People need security. Give it to them. Whether its pets or just home visits you can really rake in the money making people’s lives more comfortable. You don’t necessarily need to have any skills or requirements other than being trustworthy and organized. Be sure to have personal references available, and you’ll also need reliable transportation. If you want to get serious, you can get bonded and insured as well. Spend the $20 on: $2 on flyers to put up on bulletin boards, and the rest on classified ads in your local neighborhood paper (not a big city-wide one).
People these days are simply overwhelmed by their “stuff”. Help them figure it out! There are plenty of people that feel quite overwhelmed by their own things and what to do with them. There’s a prime opportunity for people to come in at a reasonable rate and get houses organized. And while there is a National Association of Professional Organizers that you can join when you’re ready, mostly it takes common sense and organizational skills.
Spend the $20 on: Classified ads.