Don’t Let this Happen to You! Choosing the Wrong Marketing Product Can Lead to the Wrong Impression of Your Business

Take a good look at the picture below. Yes, that’s a blue rubber band attached to the left corner of the envelope—something I have never seen before. The rubber band was used to hang around the door knob of my front door. Inside, there were two cards advertising the services of 2 local dentists. Now, I am sure these 2 dentists are quite competent. But having someone use a hole- puncher to punch holes into envelopes, secure rubber bands through it, and then having them sent out to hang on people’s door knobs was not a wise idea. It caught my eye alright, but the presentation was not attractive. Furthermore, it left me thinking that these 2 doctors must be clueless when it comes to marketing themselves. If you are business owner, short on time and wanting a quick and simple way to advertise your services, you may be tempted to do something similar. However, there are better (and just as inexpensive) ways to market your business.

Wrong Marketing Product

Wrong Marketing Product

The same simple marketing campaign used by the two dentists could have been executed using a promotional door hanger. Door hangers are designed to be hung from door knobs –unlike envelopes—so automatically your business will be marketing itself in a professional manner. The generous size of door hangers also gives you ample room to convey your message. A detachable business card magnet or calendar magnet could also be included with the door hanger. Now, not only will potential patients see the dentists’ information hanging from their door knob, but they have added incentive to keep the information on hand by using the magnet. Next time they are in need of a dental appointment, they only need to look at their refrigerator door.

Fun and Fundraising With Color Changing Cups

If you work with young children, or have some of your own, you know that sometimes the simplest things can elicit giggles and excitement from them. Take for example the simple concept of a color-changing cup. The Mood Stadium cup changes its color when ice-cold liquids are added to it.  The color it changes to depends on the cups original color. For instance, the clear frosted cup turns into blue, the yellow cup turns to green, the blue to purple. There are 14 color combinations to choose from!  Since only the portion of the cup that is contact with the cold liquid changes color, you can create a half color changed, half original color effect. Or fill the liquid to the top to change the cup in its entirety. Sounds fun, right? Well, I tried out these cups, as well as a color changing water bottle, with my own children and it was! Seeing the cups and water bottle instantly change colors immediately engaged them. They were excited to add more water to them and then watch the colors fade away as the water was poured out. These products certainly grabbed their attention which was exactly what I was hoping for.

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Now imagine you are trying to fundraise for your Islamic school. You are looking for something you can buy a large quantity of and at a reasonable price so that you can resell them to students and even staff. These Mood Color Changing products are a fantastic option that meet all three criteria. A school fundraising item that has instant kid-appeal is certainly more likely to sell and help your school reach its fundraising goals. The ability to customize these products with your school’s logo or motto is also an easy way to promote yourself in your local Muslim community. It will open up the opportunity to work with local Islamic Center to sell fun, custom school items and thus draw upon a larger donor base. With the right fundraising items, getting much-need funds to support  your school can be less of hassle for both the school’s administration and parents alike.

See all our color-changing school fundraising products here. Promotional color changing items

 

 

Help Recharge Your Next Promotional Campaign with This Hot New Item!

The hottest item to hit the promotional product industry this year is the power bank or mobile charger. Power banks solve the problem every smart phone user faces: the low battery message when there are no outlets around to recharge their device. Power banks are external batteries that allow you to recharge your mobile device anytime and anywhere you need to. They come with a charging cable that you can plug into any USB port to fully charge it.  Once that’s done it’s ready to go. Bring it with you and the next time you see that dreaded ‘low battery’ message, simply plug in your phone or tablet’s charging cable into the power bank. The best part is that mobile power chargers are small enough to fit into a purse, briefcase or even your pockets! So there is no need to worry about carrying around something heavy or bulky. They also come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes , including some modern, sleek designs.

Everyone has a at least one mobile device these days so it’s easy to why power banks are quickly gaining in popularity. With your company’s name  or message imprinted  on promotional power banks, it becomes the ultimate way to build both your brand recognition and customer loyalty among all your clients who are on-the-go everyday.  This also makes a great employee appreciation gift, letting them know you care and appreciate what they do for your company and brand. Recharge your next promotional campaign with this must-have custom portable charger.

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Below is a great YouTube video that sheds some light on power banks.

How Google Used Promotional Giveaways to Get Results.

In this blog we will be sharing a great example of how a big brand like Google gave out promotional products to get feedback. This year’s Search Marketing Expo East was held at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. Here, Google held their own mini conference called “Learn with Google.” This mini conference was held in a portable glass room (a mobile version of their office), with refreshments, snacks and fresh fruits for the attendees. This whole area stood out as a separate, cool area to hang out. Outside of the glass room were charging stations for you to charge your electronic devices.  Attendees got to relax on large bean bags that were in Google brand colors. This idea was ingenious and provides an invaluable lesson on how to drive traffic to your booth or session. By setting up comfortable seating and a place to charge mobile devices, Google created buzz for their mini conference. This one day conference was to showcase Google AdWords new features and also teach internet marketers different strategies to be successful with Google AdWords.

Google Search Marketing Expo East 2013

SMX East 2013

In each session Google placed a survey with a custom stylus pen as giveaway. If you completed the survey, they gave you another free promotional gift as you submitted it at the end of the session.  Google gave out variety of items imprinted with their logo, such as  tote bags and mini speakers that can be used with all your electronic devices. This truly worked for Google. It gave them the chance to distribute all of their branded items plus they got more attendees to complete their survey by offering a second promotional gift. It was clear that their selection of giveaways were  well thought out and contributed to the great buzz and excitement that surrounded their presence at this expo. Google will get continuous, free advertising of their brand each time their promotional stylus pen, custom tote bag, and promotional speakers are used. This shows another excellent example of the power of promotional products when they are used correctly.

googlespeaker googlestylus

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Magnets

My refrigerator door is not unlike millions of other ones found in kitchens across the country: it has numerous magnets haphazardly stuck to it. At times they are holding up important reminders, such as upcoming events, or a note I’ve written for a family member, but usually they hold up my kids’ latest drawings.  These promotional magnets have come by way of a local medical center, the library, and a reading web site for kids. There are also a few non-promotional ones my kids made as craft projects. It just dawned on me recently how handy I find these magnets to be. And as crazy as it sounds, I believe I should have more. After all, there a number of businesses that I frequently patronize and they are not represented in my collection of magnets.  For instance, it certainly would be convenient if the local halal eateries we sometimes order take out from gave out promotional magnets. It would save us the trouble of having to dig out a copy of their menu to look for their phone number! I’ve ordered books from an online bookstore several times and don’t a magnet from them. If I had one I might remember to use this bookseller more often instead of only when my kids need books for school.  You see, the best thing about promotional magnets is that they make a practical giveaway for just about any business. Professionals, like doctors, and organizations, like masjids or charities, will also find that using custom magnets are an easy way to promote themselves.  I would welcome a magnet handed out by my local Islamic center. Sure, they have information available online, but isn’t it also convenient to promote some of your programs this way as well? These days, so many Islamic centers have a social media presence. A magnet touting this could be a way to get more young people to keep up-to-date on all the masjid’s activities.

Custom Magnets

Business card magnets, custom- shaped magnets, super strong power magnets—they all provide advertising at a low-price point and in a highly effective manner. Think about how many times a day we open our refrigerator door or use a file cabinet at work. When entertaining friends and family at home, a well-designed promotional magnet (a unique shape, bold print or colors) will casually catch the eyes of others. Bringing attention to your brand to grow your business, isn’t this what advertising is all about? What simpler way than with the handy, under-rated magnet.

The Ultimate Thank You Gift: Chocolate!

What could be better than receiving delectable chocolate as a “thank you” gift in the mail?  Imagine with me, if you will, that you are in your office or home and in comes a package in the mail.  An unassuming box with the return address of the interior designer you recently worked with, or the Islamic center you recently gave a lecture for, or the realtor that helped you find your dream home, whatever the case may be. You open it and inside there is an elegant box with a bow.  It has the name and logo of the sender printed on it. You remove the bow, peek inside, and see delicious chocolate brownies waiting for you to eat!  The accompanying thank you note inside expresses appreciation for recently working with their business or organization. Immediately you smile and think how thoughtful it was of this person to take the time and send you this gift.  Not only that, you think how you would like to do business with this person again.

Now, if you are a business owner and are concerned about growing a loyal customer base, the above scenario demonstrates one way this can be achieved: giving out a promotional food gift as a sign of appreciation.  There certainly are a number of custom food gifts to consider— jellybeans, assorted nuts, or gourmet coffee, for example. Yet I feel that there is something about chocolate that makes it the ultimate “thank you” food gift. High- quality, beautifully package chocolate always exudes elegance.

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Take for instance this sophisticatedly packaged box of brownies I had the pleasure of taste-testing recently. Inside is a trio of individually wrapped brownies, moist and delicious. There are 3 flavors as well: Double Chocolate, Chocolate Pecan, and Chocolate Butterscotch Coconut. My personal favorite? Chocolate Butterscotch Coconut. These brownies are not just perfect for businesses to give out to valued customers. Schools can give them to their teachers and staff in recognition of all their hard work. Charities and Masjids can give them to generous financial donors or their most dedicated volunteers.  And, of course, this would make a wonderful Eid gift for any employee. Whomever the recipient, a gift of chocolate is sure to leave a lasting impression.

 

Olive Tree Soap Company: Product Review (plus the handmade promo gift!)

If you’re like me, you have been hearing more about the harmful ingredients found in most personal care products. Always looking for ways to limit my exposure to artificial ingredients and chemicals, I decided to look into purchasing some natural deodorant and came across The Olive Tree Soap Company on Facebook.  The owner, Sobia, makes hand-made personal care products like lotions, soaps, and deodorants with “100% pure, free from harmful chemicals, eco-friendly” ingredients. Now, I know the word “natural” is frequently tossed around these days, and sometimes items labeled “natural” have as many chemicals and  artificial ingredients as traditional brands.  However, her deodorants are made with only 5 simple ingredients, including coconut oil and pure beeswax.  I was intrigued by the possibility of purchasing something truly all- natural. My deodorant order arrived several weeks ago and I must say, I love it! The scent I have is Tea Tree, Rosemary, and Lavender. I like that you definitely get the refreshing scent of tea tree and it applies without leaving a white residue. The best thing about this deodorant, though, is that it actually works! It lasted all day, even on the most humid days of summer.  As an added bonus, it’s great being able to support a small business owner (especially a Muslim woman) that’s taking the time to handcraft products. Her deodorant definitely seems to be of high quality, and I am looking forward to trying her other line of products.

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Along with my order came a small, hand-made one-week scheduler. This promotional gift had whimsical, hand-drawn pictures on each page as well the business’s email address and Etsy store address. I found this homemade promotional giveaway to be charming and thoughtful—not to mention useful! I personally love to jot things and often make a daily schedule for myself. In fact, one may not think it, but promotional business items can be a smart choice when choosing a giveaway for your customers. Even if your company and primary customer base have nothing to do with the business world, you may want to consider these type of promotional products.  Certain business or office supplies are commonly found in households everywhere and will get lots of use—translating into a practical promo that will actually be used rather than stashed in drawer or tossed in the garbage! Think of pencil holders/desktop caddies, notepads, and custom shaped magnets for starters. Check around your own home. You probably have at least one logoed business item that you use on a regular basis.

It’s Back To School…Again!

Is it me, or is there is something about all those back-to-school ads that pop up very August that signal the end? To me, it’s the end of doing things on your own schedule, the end of homework-less evenings, the unofficial end of summer. If you are a parent or educator (or both) you know exactly what I mean. My children, on other hand, are looking forward to their return to school. Like many kids, they especially love back-to-school shopping. Getting fresh school supplies, new shoes, and clothes creates enough positive energy that they actually forget that their vacation is ending.

 

While, as a parent, I’m dreading the hectic schedule that will begin in just a matter of days, the professional side of my life sees it quite differently. I love all the fun and practical promotional back to school items that I’m confronted with on almost a daily basis. Honestly, when I went back to school shopping with my kids, my mind was just buzzing with ideas that schools could use for school fundraising or building school spirit. And what school couldn’t use a little of both? So, here’s my list of 5 custom school supplies and school spirit items that your school may want to use this year.

 

1. Duffel bag or Messenger Bag
We all think of backpacks first and foremost when talking about school supplies. However, I’m suggesting using a custom duffel bag or messenger bag as an alternative for upperclassmen. Why? It has a more mature look than a backpack and can be used to carry a variety of items without looking like you are going to school. Therefore it can be continued to be used even after graduation. A great promotional idea is to offer custom duffel bags or messenger bags for all graduating seniors as a gift at the start of the school year. A simple motivational statement can accompany your school’s name and logo, making it more special. It’ll give the students a sense of pride that they have something exclusively given to graduating seniors, a mark of distinction, if you will.

 

2. Insulated Lunch Bag
Now here is an item that’s practical for students, teachers, and staff! Everybody needs to pack a lunch from home some days. Custom school lunch bags make perfect sense to sell in school for fundraising. Many kids will obviously arrive the first day of school already having purchased a lunch bag elsewhere, however, this does not mean that your school can’t still sell them later in the school year. Some kids are pretty rough on their lunch bags (my kids’ had several stains on theirs by mid-year) and a fresh new bag bought to support the school won’t be a hard sell. You can even have the lunch bag tie-in to a school-wide healthy eating campaign, encouraging students to pack fresh fruit and other healthy snacks and water bottles instead of sugary juices. Oh, yes and speaking of water bottles…

 

3. Sports Bottle

A simple way to encourage students and staff to drink more water is with some colorful sports bottles. Added bonus: parents save money on buying all those juice boxes that are typically packed into lunch boxes! Custom sports bottles are, of course, practical to use outside of school as well so this is a good way for your students to advertise your school. Possible fundraising campaign tie-ins: equipment for your sports team/gym or out-of-town school trip.

 

4. Silicone Wristbands

A great way to show off your school’s name and motto is to have it printed on the popular silicone wristbands sometimes called awareness wristbands or bracelets. Encourage students to wear them on school outings as a sign of school solidarity. You’ll find that these silicone bands are very economical to buy, so they make great giveaways or fundraising items. And don’t be surprised if students like them enough to wear outside of school as well. Just a few weeks ago at the library, I saw a girl proudly wearing a silicone band around her ankle bearing the name of her elementary school. If you’re school has no motto, this is a great opportunity to have a fun, school- wide campaign to come up with one. Have older grades come up with suggested mottos, then have the entire school vote for the one they like best! The new motto gets printed onto silicone bands to be distributed in school. A great way to promote school spirit!

 

5. Hand Sanitizer

I don’t need to remind you of the plethora of germs that exist in schools. Providing hand sanitizers is a no-brainer. There are several kid-friendly options, like those that come with a clip so it can attach to their backpack, or easy-to-use spray. Alternatively, your school can provide each teacher with a custom hand sanitizing pump to put on their desk.

Our First Blog Post

As-salaamu Alykum and Welcome to our first blog post. You may ask “why do a blog?” Or say “not another blog.” Well blogging is and should be an important part of your online marketing strategy. Whether you are an ecommerce site or an organization you need a blog. Blogging is essential to help your search engine ranking and to grow your online presence on the social networks. Your blog is a marketing tool that helps you gain exposure, visibility and builds trust. Our blog will mainly focus on how custom products can help you promote your business or organization. Below I have shared links that show why blogging is important.

Why blogging is no longer optional for small businesses
Blogging for SEO
Guide to Blogging

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