Sure, social media campaigns, content marketing, and SEO are important. Just make sure your marketing plan also includes promotional items people can hold in their hands.
Because it works.
In their 2016 Sales Volume Study, PPAI (Promotional Products Association International) reported that $21.3 billion worth of promotional products were sold in the U.S. that year. You can be sure that marketers didn’t spend that kind of money on something that doesn’t yield results.
And what’s always among the most popular promo products with businesses and their customers? Promotional pens.
Here are 4 reasons why.
1. Promotional Pens are Inexpensive
It’s obvious how the low price-per-unit cost of pens is attractive to your business. Small and large budgets alike have room for pens that customers can get from reception areas, trade show booths, meeting rooms, gift bags, and conference packages.
But did you know the low price-point also makes your branded pens popular with potential and existing customers?
People know they aren’t expensive items so they don’t give a second thought to taking them.
And that leads us to…
2. Pens Are Easy to Keep and Share
No matter how much clutter someone has at home or the office, they’re unlikely to toss out pens when cleaning up.
Pens take practically no space to keep in a computer bag, purse, drawer or pocket. They also take little space on a customer’s desk, kitchen counter, or work surface.
People keep pens because they never know when they’ll need one. And when they do reach for your branded pen, they see your logo. Again and again.
Promotional pens are also easy to share. In real life, people lend pens to each other all the time. But they’re also easy to use organically on social media.
3. Pens Hold Their Marketing Value
There are no official statistics on the average lifespan of promotional pens. But anecdotal evidence shows that pens with logos can sit on desks or in computer bags for years.
They don’t spoil. (You can revive most dried out pens.) But in the moment of need when a person reaches for a pen and finds yours in their pen holder, drawer, or bag they are once again reminded of your brand. You can’t get that kind of longevity and impact from digital marketing.
4. Promotional Pens Are Versatile Yet Practical
An added benefit of using pens to spread awareness of your brand is versatility. Ordinary stick pens might work well for hotel chains but what if you want something fancier? Or that reflects your business or values?
You can get branded pens that double as a tablet stylus. Or have comfort grips and built-in highlighters. There are pens with LED lights, great for writing in low light.
Here is a guide for all of our product re-sellers out there, top tips on how to avoid being scammed by clients.
Unfortunately there are people looking to scam you in practically every industry. Scammers are figuring out how to bypass security features just as quick as companies are inventing new security protection. So learning how to spot a scam is extremely important no matter what kind of business you work in. The only full proof way of protecting yourself from most scams is to be aware of what a scam is, and what isn’t.
No matter what industry you’re in, there will always be numerous types of scams that you will be vulnerable to, and the promotional product industry is no different. One of the most common scams in the promotional product industry is orders that are filled using stolen credit cards. The payment will go through, and the scammer placing the false order will receive the product and/or services. However, once the victim of the stolen credit card notices their money is missing, the company distributing the products will lose the money used to pay for the fraudulent order, as well as the product.
Believe it or not identity theft is also something of concern in the promotional product industry. Stealing the identity of both distributors and suppliers is something that has become increasingly common. Unfortunately there are some states that make it easier for scammers to access confidential company information that can be used to steal the company’s identity. They can even change information so the company address become the scammers address. Pretty unsettling, right? It goes without saying that knowing how to pin point a scam is exceptionally vital in these states.
Identifying a Scam
Unfortunately, bringing a scammer to justice after the damage has been done can be quite difficult. However, there are certain things that will give a scammer away before they have a chance to affect your business and your bank account.
We have listed some general tips and traits that will help you pick up a scam immediately:
Do Not Open Unknown E-mails
General rule of thumb is that you don’t open e-mails from senders you are not familiar with. This is very important because sometimes it takes something as simple as opening an e-mail to give them access to everything they need to scam you. In fact, if you don’t know the sender very well, you shouldn’t open an e-mail that you were not expecting. If you think the e-mail may be legit, contact the company or customer to verify the e-mail before actually opening it.
Never Open Spam
Replying to spam is always a bad idea because most of the time it leads to either a virus, spyware or worse. So if it looks like spam you shouldn’t even bother opening it. Be sure to explain all of this to your employees. It does no good to just assume everyone knows that’s not a good idea.
Pay Attention To Punctuation and Grammar
Most fraudulent e-mails that are sent with the intention of scamming you will have poor grammar. Sometimes the mistakes will be subtle, and sometimes they will be extremely obvious. So if you’ve already opened the e-mail and you’re questioning whether or not the e-mail is genuine, study it for grammar and punctuation errors. People that run respectable businesses and companies want to be professional. So sending a simple e-mail with grammar mistakes is rarely something any established company would allow.
Be Cautious With Large Orders Placed Online
Anytime someone new to your customer base places an order online you should be extremely cautious and take extra security measures. A very large order of various different products (or an abnormally large amount of one product) is a red flag that it is a scammer. They want to make a large order at once because they know they will most likely not be able to order from that place again, among other reasons.
Never Trust Anyone Asking For Personal Information
Don’t ever give personal information about you or your bank in an e-mail. Anyplace that will need personal information from you will never try to acquire it through an e-mail because they are aware of the security risks. So never divulge any important information to anyone that asks for it via e-mail.
Devise Your Own Personal Security System
You should sit down and create a list of certain steps you take to ensure the security of you and/or your company. Make sure all of your employees are completely familiar with your personalized company security rules. That will reduce your risk of getting caught in a scam. You should also make copies of the security steps that you want followed for all of the employees in your company. That way you know everyone knows the security procedures. You can do things like enabling encryption on your e-mail account, keeping your anti-virus up to date, never leave a window with personal information open longer than you need to, and anything else you can think of that may be helpful.
Always Question An Order Going to a Personal Address
If a customer places a large order and requests it to be delivered to a home address, consider this a red flag as well. It is very rare that someone will place a large order for their company or business, and have it shipped to their home. Now that doesn’t mean that it can’t happen with an honest customer, but you should always take extra safety precautions.
Verify The Authenticity of All New Companies
Anytime you gain a big company client you should do some research on their company to make sure it is not a fraudulent company with a bad reputation.
Always Double Check Customer Information
Always check to make sure the phone number and address coincide with the address and phone number on the company’s web site. If it is different do not proceed with the order until you get things cleared up.
Check All New Credit Card Accounts
Always research new credit card accounts to make sure they are legitimate. Most scammers use credit cards, so it is important that you do this with all new customers.
Beware of Common E-mail Addresses
If the customer claims to be a big company or business, but has a common e-mail provider like Hotmail, msn, yahoo, etc., do some research on them before allowing the payment to go through.
Familiarize Yourself With All New Customers
If you have no idea who this new customer or company is, try to find someone that has done business with them before.
Never Release The Order Without A Signature
Make sure the carrier that is delivering the order knows thata signature is mandatory for the release of the order. If it turns out to be a scam, you’ll have their signature. If they don’t sign, you have your merchandise.
Request A Copy of Their Driver’s License or Photo ID
If you have a copy of every new customer’s driver’s license, you can compare the address on the credit card, the website, and the ID.If all of this fails at least you have a copy of their ID. For extra safety measures you can even enforce an authorization form for credit cards, which requires a signature.
Use AVS And CVV
AVS is Address Verification System. CVV is Card Verification Value. This will help catch anything you may have missed.
Reading books is something that will never go out of style. Especially when it comes to learning about something like business, or self-improvement. Books allow you to easily see what you are reading inside of your head, which sometimes makes it easier to soak in information. So, you can never read enough books that may improve the way you do business. The times and the way people do things will always change, so there is always going to be something more or something different you can learn that may help your business. Even a small tip or trick that you pick up can sometimes mean a world of difference for your business.
Although you’d be more knowledgeable the more information you soak in, your schedule probably limits the amount of books you have time to read during your spare time. There are a wide range of different types of books aimed at improving the way you do business. However, that doesn’t mean that every single one is worth your time. So you will want to start with a few books that you know will be worth the read. We have put together a list of books that will help you improve the way you have been doing business.
“The Effortless Experience” by Nick Toman and Rick Delisi
Regardless of what type of job you have, customer service is always an important skill to have. At some point, most people will deal with customers and/or clients numerous times throughout the year. So it is imperative for everyone to have good customer service skills. After all, without the customers most of us wouldn’t have a job. “The Effortless Experience” is filled with different tips and tricks that will help improve the most vital part of any business or company, customer service. You can test and repeat each tip that is written in this book, so you can experience the effectiveness of the book first hand.
“The Ten Faces Of Innovation” by Tom Kelley
This book teaches you to think outside the box and look at things from a whole new perspective. In “The Ten Faces of Innovation”, Tom Kelley shows multiple strategies that will help you rise to success through creativity, and innovative thinking. This book will show you the benefits and endless possibilities when you keep an open mind.
“The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything” by Stephen M.R. Covey
Trust is everything, in every aspect of your life. When people begin to lose trust in you, the way they look at you begins to change, and they don’t think of you with high respect. If someone was to show their boss and colleagues some untrustworthy behavior, the likeliness of them going anywhere further in that job diminishes. In this book, Stephen M.R. Covey teaches you how build trust with your business relationships, as well as the trickledown effect it will have on your life as a whole.
“Welcome To The Real World” by Lauren Berger
This book is a good read for anyone in the business and/or corporate world, but it’s an especially good read for beginners. In this book, Lauren Berger helps you cope with the expectations of the real business world, versus somewhat fictional expectations you might have had. One of the things that she mentions in this book is how to be self-learner, self-teacher, and self-starter. This is very important because there are going to be times that you’ll be ‘thrown to the wolves’, so to speak, and the only way out will be for you to figure it out on your own.
I had gotten a promotion once and assumed that I would have extensive training, so I’d know exactly what to do. The reality of it was there were some things I was never even shown, let alone taught how to do. There were a lot of things I had to learn about by myself, and had to make sure I learned how to do a good job of it as well. If I wanted to keep my promotion and prove I could handle it, I had to learn, teach, and do myself. I had to become a self-starter. This book is excellent at helping you cope with curve balls like the ones I have just mentioned.
“Rhinoceros Success” by Scott Alexander
This book explains that if you want something you have to go full force and charge it like a strong rhinoceros. Not many people that have achieved great success has done it by staying quiet and meek. Most truly successful people got where they are because they had to be strong, persistent, and went after what they wanted with vigor. This book will build your confidence up and teach you how to charge your goals with persistence and tenacity.
You may have heard of lanyards before, but may not know what exactly it really is. The truth is you probably know them just as neck straps, key cords etc. They are the seat belt looking necklaces that ID cards, VIP cards, and name tags hang from. Actually, lanyards have many many different uses. Gym teachers, coaches, and referees may hang whistles on them, while a janitor may hang his keys on the end of one. Security guards also use them to hang swipe cards and all access passes on. Custom Lanyards make great promotional gifts as well.
Below is a list of some of the most common uses that lanyards have.
Warning: its a big list!
Hanging ID Cards and Keys
Lanyards are most commonly used by employees that work in an array of different fields. Security guards and police officers can use them to visibly wear their ID, badge, and/or access cards. Janitors, company caretakers, and management can use them for keys as well as identification, coaches can use them for hanging whistles, and the list goes on and on.
Academia and educational use
Lanyards are known to be used at schools that teach students of all ages. They are used on various kinds of school trips, school functions, orientations, and more. School athletic teams commonly wear them to support school spirit. Teachers and school staff are also known for using lanyards for identification/name tag purposes.
Trade shows and business exhibitions
Although trade show security guards are known for wearing lanyards, they are also used to help security determine who is a legitimate paying visitor, and who is trying to get a free ride. Traditionally, you will be handed a lanyard with proof of payment after you have paid the greeter at the entrance. Company vendors also use them to promote their company and/or brand, which also makes it easy for the visitors to pin point the workers from each individual company.
Business and college seminars
Printed lanyards are frequently used at seminars for multiple different reasons. However, all of the lanyards used for different things at seminars have one thing in common. Promotion. Company names, brands, logos and/or phone numbers can be printed on the lanyards, making them great promotional gifts to both perspective clients and staff.
Business and corporate functions and events
Lanyards are common at most company functions. It is important to clearly identify yourself and the company you’re representing at big business gatherings, such as conventions. They provide a convenient and visible place to wear a company ID, and they can be customized to promote your brand
Entertainer or promoter ID (VIP/ backstage passes)
Entertainment promoters are usually looking for talent and leads in crowded places. It’s extremely important for them to have printed ID cards at least a VIP pass on them that are visible, so their perspective clients can pin point who they are. Promoters also hand out lanyards to staff and security, etc. at events that they are overlooking. They’re even used to give out VIP passes to people.
Charity and fundraising events
Charity events are also known for using lanyards for identification and promotion. They are known to be handed out to guests as a souvenir as well. You’ll often see the speakers at the charity event wearing a lanyard with their name on an identification card at the end.
Novelty store sale item or merchandise selling
A lot of novelty shops and gift shops sell lanyards. They may have funny or trending remarks or pictures printed on them, or they may have the name of the town on them.
Student or teacher identification
School faculties come in contact with new students every year, which is why it’s important for them to have a visible ID with them at all times. Lanyards are commonly used by school staff to hang an ID on them. Coaches and gym teachers commonly use them to hang a whistle around their neck as well.
Camps and excursions for kids
Lanyards help team leaders at youth camps to be organized and in control of the children’s whereabouts. They can be used to help identify either the children or the staff, and they can also be used to carry whistles. Although the group leaders will commonly carry a whistle, they are known to be handed out to children as well. This is so if they get lost, they can stay still and blow the whistle until someone comes and finds them. Sort of like communicating from a distance without a phone.
So this is good! You have booked a 10×10 foot slot at the (insert your industry here) annual trade expo. There is one little problem, your going to be competing for attention with 50+ other exhibitors, you start thinking, what exactly can we do to show people what what our company does and why they should choose us. Well I am going to tell you about the 5 most popular items in our arsenal of trade show display solutions on offer, these are tried and tested by our clients – the majority of which have contacted us just to let us know how well their event went.
First off though, a bit of background about these kinds of items
Trade show display items?
Any company worth their salt won’t go out to an event they have paid money to attend with a camping trestle and some brochures, your not going to gain positive attention or the trust of visitors with this kind of strategy. So this is why people are choosing custom branded solutions like banners, signs and even interactive displays which I will go into a bit further along in this guide. So let’s cut to it, here is my 5 tips for a successful trade show booth.
1: Get interactive with an iPad or Tablet display
Research is showing that the majority of the worlds people are becoming used to scrolling on touch based devices. Its nothing for someone to click onto a galaxy tab, iPad or similar and browse your interactive catalog or your website.
Set up one of our stretch display stands with the interactive iPad and some takeaway catalogs for maximum engagement.
These are also great because even if your staff are busy with other booth visitors, people can interactively browse your products and services without the need for that staff member to hand out material. I call that marketing on auto-pilot!
2: Enclose your space but not too much
Media walls are a newer product that is becoming extremely popular for indoor events where your company is allocated a fixed area for their display. They allow you to enclose your zone and show people a clear boundary where your display ends and another company’s begins. They also provide a good central point for a display table or service counter.
With one of these walls placed at the rear of your area you can divide yourself from other exhibitors and ensure people don’t visit the wrong company! They also offer a huge branding area for presenting your services, employ a graphic design company or even supply us your marketing material from previous print jobs and our team will mock up the perfect media wall for your event and show you prior to production.
3: Make sure your staff wear uniforms
This is pretty elementary but so many companies won’t send their staff to a convention in uniform. A shirt, jeans and good pair of shoes is fine but you really need your staff to match and be seen. Even when they are not at their station, Printed t-shirts are a good option if you have a lot of people in your team and not a big budget. If you are sending 2-3 staff members out for the day get them into something like a good snag resist polo shirt with an embroidered logo or a button down might also work. Ask your staff their thoughts, they still have to be comfortable and able to do their job after all.
You could try some branded lanyards. Get a short run of lanyards made and have your staff wear them with their ID passes or event credentials on display, If you get some extras you can give them to people who visit your stall.
Giveaway items never go unnoticed, people love free things and something they can actually use after the expo is definitely a winning bet. I will cover this below.
4: Give people free stuff
Okay its not quiet as simple as giving away stuff. Its got to be branded stuff and its has to be usable by the recipient. There is a reason promotional pens are still ranked the #1 promotional product in the world. They are in use, every single day without fail.
Yep lanyards, protein shakers, stress toys, tools and even sunglasses and key tags are an awesome items. You can even get a printed tote bag to throw it all in, say you are a building company and someone enquires about a house design, pop a brochure a pen and some business cards into a branded bag and send them on their way with your information in their hot little hand your chances of them engaging your company to provide.
5: Light it up
Bring some lamps and try to get a powered site for your booth, I have also seen people using hanging tube lights and even white Christmas lights to draw attention.
Alternatively you can purchase little battery powered lights that are specifically designed to clip onto a media wall or banner, just ask our team about these. They are a great way to illuminate your brand. Combine with vibrant printing and some good old fashion customer service and you have yourself a wicked trade show booth that won’t go unseen.
Talk to our people for more information and tips
I hope these trade show booth ideas have been helpful to you, if you would like to chat more about getting your company branded the right way then we are on standby to assist, visit our home page and have a chat via our live chat app or send us an email on [email protected] We don’t mind having a chat about your trade show booth needs and we are able to quote you a custom price in minutes.