Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Earth Day is April 22, 2011

Yes the official Earth Day is almost here, but every day should be celebrated as earth day. As a society that is the world’s largest producer and consumer we have a responsibility to help sustain out natural resources and our planet.

Sustainability is more than just a word in our corporate culture but a way of doing things right. People don’t stop consuming and promotional marketing is still one of the most cost-effective ways to tell your story and get your brand out there. Not only that but promotional campaigns yield some of the highest ROI in marketing. Since the promotional media has the ability to touch on every emotional and price level we too are striving to do this with our planet in mind.

Special biodegradable papers with seeds embedded not only provide long-term branding appeal but it is good for our environment. Call us for ideas and choices to fit any direct mailing or event budget.

Also ask about our complete line of products made from 100% USA Grown Corn. These products look great, are useful, do not use traditional petroleum-based plastics and are biodegradable naturally. From mugs, letter openers, health-care items and more the choice is easy. New this year we also have products made from natural wheat and potato.

Think of us for all your promotions that are good for you, your client and our home.

Contact Bruce Felber 330-963-3664 x 2 for all the details.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Make People Ask For Your Card

You walk into a meeting of five people, and the instinct is to immediately hand them your business card. Don't do it! Why? Because they didn't ask for it. Promotional Consultant Today shares these strategies for making people ask for your business card

Let me explain why that's important. What happens when we give out our business card before someone asks? We announce: This is what I am doing. And maybe even: I want you to buy from me.

By giving out our business card when people don't ask for it, we put ourselves and our businesses in the spotlight-- this might be gratifying for our egos, but it's not good for our positioning.

"Get in touch with me when you need me" is a weak attempt to get someone interested in our product or service. Although most people will politely accept the card, they will seldom, if ever, call.

But that doesn't mean that you should leave everything to chance. Think in terms of earning the right to be in people's contact lists. This way you will be asked for your business card, which is an entirely different situation. As a result of your extra efforts, people will also keep your card, and maybe even refer to it instead of trashing it with the others they receive unsolicited.

First of all, strive to become a person that attracts others. That's very simple. It begins putting other people in the spotlight instead of ourselves.

Another necessary skill is active listening. Like it or not, people are much more interested in their own lives than in ours. And they love others who are genuinely interested in their plans, desires, headaches and values. If you encourage them to talk, you will be amazed at how quickly they will reciprocate and ask: "And what do you do?"

Isn't this a nice prompt for handing them your business card?

My favorite is asking for their card first. You simply say "Gee, this really sounds very interesting-- let's make sure we stay in touch. May I have your business card?" Usually this prompts them to say "Sure, and may I have one of yours?" It is that simple. And what if they don't ask? I do not offer mine.

Now, when I have their business cards, I also have permission to contact them. And that allows me to take the initiative, so most of the time I immediately follow up with a personal note and this time my card will be enclosed in the same envelope. Of course, that doesn't mean that person is going to call me. It doesn't mean that she will want to do business with me right away--quite the contrary. Most of the time it will take a lot more follow-up than that one note. But it is a pretty good way to begin a relationship, don't you agree?

Source: Wanda Loskot is professional speaker and business coach for small business owners and self-employed professionals who love what they do, but hate selling. She offers free business strategies, marketing tips, teleclasses and other valuable resources.

Reprinted with permission from Promotional Consultant Today and PPAI.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Commercial Bowl XLV - Dissappointing

Every year the Super Bowl commercials get a lot of hype. So much so that there was a 1 hour special on CBS Friday night about the best Super Bowl commercials. I of course watched it. After getting a sneak peak at some of this year’s commercials, I was mildly disappointed. They showed a handful so I thought, there must more – perhaps they didn’t show the best of the best?

With that in mind, I watched the commercials with an open mind. All in all, I was very disappointed. While I’m going to give a recap of my top 10, only the top 4 deserve a round of applause. Here is the recap compared to USA TODAY’s Ad Meter (UTAM) rankings:

1. Pepsi Max – Love Hurts (#5 on the UTAM): Not only did this commercial have enough humor to keep me laughing but it stayed on target with Pepsi’s message – Zero calories.

2. Doritos – Pug Goes for Chips (tied for #1 on the UTAM): In typical Doritos fashion, this ad is full of humor and has you wanting Doritos.

3. Pepsi Max – Torpedo Cooler (#24): During the few seconds of this commercial, my living room full people all sighed with “aw,” and then a huge burst of laughter. Pepsi did it again with laughter and a targeted message.

4. Volkswagen – Young Darth Vader (#3): I tweeted (@MichelleSeeber) this ad on Friday and still loved to watch it again. It was sentimental, had humor and who doesn’t love parents playing tricks on their kids? While this is my FAVORITE commercial, as a marketer I had to bump this down on my list since the only thing we’ll remember is the tiny Darth Vader and not the name of the car company.

5. Budweiser – Wild West (#16): I thought this was a great commercial – what better way to remind you of Budweiser than the Clydesdales, a bar and the song “Tiny Dancer.”

6. Bridgestone – Reply All (#11): Funny and clever however the message tying it to Bridgestone didn’t really do it for me.

7. Bud Light – Dog sitter (tied for #1): This was cute but I don’t think it deserved to be tied for #1.

8. Coca-Cola – Border Guard (#10): I feel like this spot was an old standby with a new situation and people. It was still well done and left you with that share-a-Coke-feeling.

9. E-trade – Baby Gets a Suit (#15): This was another solid commercial by E-trade. It weaved in the fact that they have helpful customer service, its easy to use and how well someone can do when using E-trade.

10. Verizon – iPhone Coming (#46): I thought this commercial deserved a better ranking by UTAM. It was simple and hit the target with identifying a pain from prospects.

Honorable mentions: Snickers (#17) , CarMax (#23) , Telflora (#30), Careerbuilder (#6), Pepsi Max’s first date (#7) and Chevy Cruze (#51).

A few commercials that just didn’t sit right:

1. Doritos: Grandpa (#4) and licking the finger (#14) were a little too strange for me. The gross factor just didn’t do it.

2. NFL (#8): It was so exciting to see all the old shows but what a let down at the end when we saw it was an NFL commercial.

3. Eminem does a commercial for Lipton (#50) about how he doesn’t like to do commercials. While this is done well, Eminem is also in another commercial for Chrylser/Detroit (#44). If I was Chrysler, I’d be pretty upset that its star person just ranted about not doing commercials.

4. Chevy: all your commercials before and probably after the Super Bowl with Tim Allen as the voiceover have got to go. While I like him as “Santa Claus,” his voice is too distracting for a car commercial. His voice reminds me of “Home Improvement” and all the movies where he is a humorous guy. It’s just not working...

That’s it for this year’s recap of Super Bowl XLV… let’s hope the commercials in Super Bowl XLVI are better!

Feel free to comment and let us know your favorites and who missed the mark.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Sweet Deal to Show Your Love

Wow! What a start to 2011. This should be a year of renewed energy in marketing by evidence of the current activity in the marketplace. I said I would report from our national convention held in early January, but so many new campaigns have prevented me from writing until today.

As promised here is a brief run down of what we can expect this year.

1. This will be the year of complete interactive marketing. Marketing that will transcend current methods without giving up on the techniques of the past. Look for more information about QR Codes, Search Engine Management and my favorite “Dimensional Direct Mail”.

2. Increased awareness for the environment as evidence by the growing number of “GREEN” products and services.

3. More online offers and specials with as little as 24 hour service

4. Increased public relations strategy for the recovering business to business environment.

I will get into more detail in the future posts. For now here is a great offer - Want to show your clients how much you love their business? How much you care? Then why not “Share the Love” with a custom branded food gift that will excite their senses and keep you top of mind. Here are a few examples.

Custom Hershey’s Kisses

We will print your logo or copy and affix to each kiss. Perfect to handout at meetings, trade shows, client visits and as a leave behind.

Custom S’mores Kisses Kit

Kits contain graham crackers, Hershey’s Kisses, Marshmallows, Toasting Sticks and a custom, printed insert with your logo and copy.

Want to know how successful food promotions can be? Take photo with your smart phone to activate the QR Code with your smart phone code reader.

Or visit here

For detailed information call Bruce Felber 330-963-3664 x 2 or email:

2011 may have some challenges, but we are ready to meet them and help our clients achieve their marketing expectations

Friday, January 7, 2011

2011 Starts off with new and exciting ideas

Now that you have all recovered from the holidays, crazy weather patterns and the year-end push it is time to renew your creativity.

Let us all go into the new year with a positive attitude with conviction. Ask yourself the following:

Can I do more to help my clients?
Can I be more creative?
Can I look for new ways to market my products and services?
If you don't answer YES to these questions, then ask yourself what are you really doing?

2011 should be the hope of new markets and new trends. Jump on now as it may be a fast moving train.

I will be traveling to our industry's annual convention in a few days and the pre-show vibe is high. This year look to re-gain marketing programs that are sure to turn some heads. I will report on new services, products and trends during the week-long convention, so check back next week.

Here is something to get you stared. NEW promotional products have just been added. Click here and go to the NEW tab.

For more information visit all the pages here.

Look forward to a bigger, brighter year.

Bruce Felber, MAS.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Are you much cooler online?

Are you more like Jason Alexander in Brad Paisley’s hit country song and video “Online” or do you let your true self appear online? In the song/video, Alexander sings about changing his appearance, occupation and wealth via his online alter-ego. With the explosion of any medium such as social media, also comes the inevitable claim of “experts” that pledge to increase your reputation and presence online. While there is much truth to search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM), the later being a pay-per-click option, I would caution you to monitor and control how much of your company brand you allow to be created by outside consultants.

Let’s face it, LinkedIn, Twitter and FaceBook are just not that hard to use. The danger is not as much in identity theft and spam message (simply do not click on anything you do not recognize, just like that old communication method called email) as in the impact these services have on your brand. Who are you entrusting with your image?

Think of your brand as a person. Your brand and identity is much more than your logo, web appearance or the design your company brochure. What would your brand do or say in a particular situation? How would Southwest Airlines react to controversy vs. General Electric? Whether you are a startup or a well-established company, your brand is your identity. So, why would you let someone pretend to be you or a representative from your company? You just might end up with “Peggy” the bearded, clueless and very male credit-card customer-service representative. Thickly accented Peggy works for "USA Prime Credit" in a snowbound shack in the middle of nowhere. While the commercial for Discover highlights the outsourcing of customer service, you could end up with your own Peggy.

Your clients and prospects know you, your sales and customer service staff. They experience your brand at every interaction. They will also know if your social media is not inline with that brand. By all means, seek help in creating your online presence. It is a key component (not the end all) of your marketing plan. But, in the end, it should be you and your staff posting and responding to web interactions. If you trust outsiders like a certain player’s “decision” it will stink to high heaven. The result could be a brand crash harder than any pro golfer or would-be champ could resurrect. Find your own champions in your organization and give them a voice. You will be amazed at how much it sounds like you.

Rob Felber

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy New Year Reminder

2010 is almost behind us and we are all looking forward to a new year filled with new and exciting challenges.

Before it is loo late don't forget to place your order Happy New Year cards. Still time for last minute orders. Click here for selection.

I will be reporting (as time allows) from the annual PPAI Convention and Trade Show the week of January 10th. I will try to give you a sneak peak of new marketing ideas and products. Keep challenging us and yourself and 2011 will be a great year.

Happy Holidays to all.

Bruce Felber, MAS*

* The Master Advertising Specialist (MAS) certification is awarded to promotional marketing professionals who have completed education requirements demonstrating exemplary commitment to their profession. MAS recipients are recognized for providing the highest standard of conduct, integrity and professionalism to clients. Only 1% of all industry practitioners have attained this prestigious designation.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Promotional Gifts of the Season (9) - Last minute gifts

Waiting for the lines at the mall to thin out? Too busy to think about the holidays? Well we have an answer for you. We have last minute capability to handle those classic food gifts in branded wooden containers, carving boards and baskets filled with a variety of nuts, candies, cheeses and meats.

We still have One Day and Two Day service available, but hurry time is running out.

Just give me a call to see what can be done.

Bruce Felber, MAS
330-963-3664 x 2