Jun 13, 2012

Test Your Promotional Products IQ!

In marketing, it's all about repetition. Remember the longstanding Rule of Seven? The average customer will probably need to see and hear your message seven times before purchasing your product or service. That, in a nutshell, is the definitive reason why promotional products work. Instead of high-cost print ads customers might see only once a week or once a month, it just makes good financial sense to put a wisely chosen promotional gift in their hands--something that will keep your name in front of them (and possibly their family and friends!) consistently.

I thought it might be fun--and informative--to give you a short quiz on promotional products. Which items get the most impressions? What's the most-frequently-used promotional item category? The answers were obtained by an Advertising Specialty Institute study released in 2010, so the numbers may have changed slightly since then, but the numbers truly speak for themselves. Here's the quiz, with the answers at the end!

1. The cost per impression (CPI) of a promotional product in the U.S. is:
     a) $0.006
     b) $0.005
     c) $0.004
     d) $0.007

2.  The percentage of an audience consisting of the average American consumer that reported currently owning or possessing a promotional product they'd received in the last 24 months is:
     a) 60%
     b) 70%
     c) 80%
     d) 90%

3.  The product category that delivers the most impressions per month is:
     a) Shirts
     b) Bags
     c) Caps and Hats
     d) Writing Instruments

4.  The most-frequently-used promotional product category is:
     a) Calendars
     b) Writing Instruments
     c) Caps and Hats
     d) Bags

5. The percentage of consumers who could recall the advertiser on a promotional product they had received in the past 24 months is:
     a) 89%
     b) 72%
     c) 68%
     d) 94%

6. The number of respondents who remembered the advertisers of the promotional products they received was:
     a) 5 out of 10
     b) 6 out of 10
     c) 7 out of 10
     d) 8 out of 10

7.  The percentage of promotional products that were kept because they were considered useful is:
     a) 63%
     b) 81%
     c) 71%
     d) 66%

8.  The percentage of respondents who did business with the advertiser after receiving the promotional product is:
     a) 29%
     b) 46%
     c) 52%
     d) 37%

Let's see how you did! Here are the answers:

1. c
2. d
3. b (with an average of 1,038 impressions per month per bag)
4. b (a single writing instrument is used, on average, 18.2 times per month)
5. a
6. d
7. b
8. c

I hope the quiz upped your promotional products IQ! And don't forget--The Icebox is known for our QI (Quality Impressions!)

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Jun 11, 2012

Potent Promo Products? Digitize the Prize!

Give 'em what they want. Makes sense, no matter what business you're in. If you don't offer products or services people absolutely need, then you spend a lot of time and money making them want what you've got, right? So your promotional gifts should make current and potential customers remember you to help seal the deal. How do you choose a sure-fire promotion that gets the response you want? The Icebox has what you need! I'm talking about Digital Rewards!

Let the 'Net Work for You!

Like you, your customers turn to the Internet for everything. Consider this: global research and advisory firm Forrester.com reports "more than 80% of US households have some type of PC, and almost half have more than one. About 77% of Gen X has a desktop PC at home, and 61%, a laptop." The digital life--certainly the ultimate convenience--engages consumers from every demographic and customer profile. There is virtually nothing a consumer can't buy on the Internet. Why not profit from this reality with Digital Rewards Cards? The Icebox can help you create promotional campaigns that integrate your brand or message with
valuable online content.

Like What?

Things people want and use! Music downloads, movie tickets, magazine subscriptions, fitness downloads for workouts, e-book downloads, photo print cards, dining certificates, hotel rewards cards, prepaid phone cards, pizza cards and more. You don't even have to be the one to decide what your customers might want. There's a "digital choice" card that lets recipients choose a gift that suits their interest and lifestyle!


Something Cool, Something Keen, Something Caring, Something Green...

Here at The Icebox, we're diligent about our commitment to the environment, so we're especially excited to offer the Digital Rewards Card that allows your customers to plant a tree! If you're looking for a way to demonstrate your dedication to the future of our planet, the Plant a Tree rewards card is the way to go! Printed on recycled or seed-embedded paper that grows wildflowers when planted, Plant a Tree Cards donate a tree to a global re-forestation project when they're redeemed.
How's the future of your business looking now?
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Jun 8, 2012

Curvy Customers Only? Be a Brilliant PromoteHER with These Five Ideas!

Do you own a dress shop, hair salon, women-only fitness center, beauty supply store, lingerie shop, an OB/GYN practice or another business focused solely on women? I don't, but I do know what makes a business memorable for me: it's absolutely the little things that count.

I'll remember that there was a bowl of candies on the counter (okay, probably not at the fitness center), a completely private fitting room, the offer of a beverage, a call-back asking if I'm happy with the haircut. I'll walk out of a lingerie shop with a few frilly things in a bag with your logo on it and throw it away as soon as I get home. Not the frilly stuff--the bag. Wouldn't you like a way to stay on the mind of a customer longer than a ride from your business to her home? A well-chosen promotional gift as a parting perk has the power to bring her back, perhaps with a friend or two next time. Let's look at a few great ideas for cost-effective giveaways just for girls! Add your logo--and they're ready to go to work for you!

Breast Cancer Awareness Key Chain

The fight goes on, and awareness is key to winning. I can see these key chains in a big bowl on the check-out counter at an OB/GYN doc's office, but this promotional item goes over big anywhere women frequent. It's that important. And women often use more than one key chain. I have one just to hold all my mini perk cards from grocery stores, pet stores, etc.

Reusable Hot & Cold Pack

Women-only fitness centers have popped all over the country! If you own one of these places, and you're going to stretch and strain your new customer's body until she begs for mercy, the least you can do is welcome her with a thank-you gift that makes her feel somewhat better after the torture you'll be putting her through. She be more likely to come back for more!


Women love flowers, so I really dig this promotional product idea for any women-centric biz! You're probably asking yourself, "Why on earth would this plastic vase be a handy item to have around?" Let's say you and your family go on vacation. A few flowers can brighten up any drab hotel room. The vase folds flat, so it's easy to pack. When you get where you're going, buy a few flowers at a nearby grocery store, fill the vase with water--you get where I'm going. Still not convinced? What about those times you're taking flowers to someone for a special occasion or a hospital visit? Fill this vase with water and keep the flowers full and fresh during the ride. You can hydrate the greenery in the lobby with the water from the vase.


Inexpensive and always appreciated in all four seasons, but especially summer and winter, which can be brutal on lips. You'll have your brand right before her eyes more often than you can possibly imagine, because the chapstick  with your name on it will go everywhere she goes!

Recycled Tote

Before you get the wrong idea from the name of this item, let me assure you the totes you give your grateful customers have not been previously owned. They're made from 50% recycled material, and, as Martha Stewart would say, "That's a good thing." What's that you say? Everyone and his brother give tote bags as promotional items? Oddly enough, that's also a good thing. I take my awesome collection of durable tote bags to the grocery store so I don't have to use paper or plastic. The more groceries I buy, the more tote bags I need to get them home, and I've done something good for the environment. Don't underestimate the value of the ubiquitous tote bag. And there your brand sits for all to see, on the check-out counter in a busy grocery store.

I'll close with a little tip. Women can boost your sales big time if they like your product or service. First, by word of mouth. Next, and this is huge when you consider how many women bloggers there are in the U.S. (Think thousands!) Statistics from BlogHer.com show that 59% of the women in the U.S. general population who actively use social media report that they turn to online or to social media as part of their purchase process. When you look at women in the general population who read blogs daily, the number who turn online to drive their purchasing rises to 81%. And among women bloggers? Ninety-two percent turn to online and social to inform their purchasing. It pays to pamper women customers!
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Jun 1, 2012

How To Give Your Brand Wings!

The quick answer is to put it on an airplane, and thanks to a few carefully chosen promotional products, there's a practical, cost-effective way to do it. In just a sec, I'm going to give you a few ideas, but first...

Did you know that about 445 million business trips were made by Americans in 2011? Sure, businesses are cutting back on their travel because of the economy, but that's still a big flock of folks doing a lot of flying. If you're B2B, that number includes a lot of your customers. Here are a few fun ways your company can tag along, where other travelers will see your brand on airport luggage carousels, on hotel desks and walking along city streets.

I've already mentioned tags, so let's start there...


My luggage is forest green, and apparently my taste is pretty mundane. I see at least three or four bags that look exactly like mine coming around the carousel on any given flight.  Of course, I use a bag tag, not just to differentiate my bag from the clones, but because in 2011, there were 3.39 reports of lost luggage per 1,000 U.S. domestic passengers. A bag tag helps, so bag tags make excellent ambassadors for your company. Want to go a step above? Throw in a sewing kit. This highly visible luggage tag has one on board!


These days almost half of biz travelers are women, and we don't go anywhere without a few essentials--make-up, hand lotion, ibuprofen, nail polish, other stuff (and by that I mean--well, women will know what I mean.) I've found that small cosmetic bags don't hold everything I need, and I don't want to shlep a big bag all over the place. At just 9" wide and 7 1/2" high, the Cosmo bag is just the right size. I can keep it close by on a long flight, and its flexible polyester fabric lets me stuff it in my luggage or large purse without damaging any of the contents.


I always keep a separate bag ready loaded with travel essentials at home in case I have to make a quick getaway. Instead of having to scramble in the bedroom and bathroom to pull everything together, the bag is ready to go at a moment's notice. Our travel wallet does the same thing--my passport is always in a place where I can find it. All I have to do is add my itinerary, my flight information, my room key or card when I get it, and any other stuff I need for a particular trip. It's all right at hand in a purse or pocket! Your customers will get miles of use with it, and you'll be presented at airport and hotel counters everywhere!


Q: What do you call two straight days of rain in Seattle?
A: A weekend.

If your customers are headed to Seattle or anywhere else on business, chances are they'll forget their umbrella. I keep an umbrella in my car, but if get anywhere by air, I'm stuck in a rainstorm. The solution? An extra umbrella just for travel. Give one of these logo-ready, reasonably priced umbrellas to your clients, and your brand can hit the streets anywhere from L.A. to London!


For your most valuable clients--and your own business! Step up your promotional gifts game with a thanks-for-your-business offering that shows just how you roll. I see these convenient corporate carriers in airports, office building lobbies, restaurants (business lunches!) and lots of other places. When you're ordering, get one for yourself and any members of your staff who are out and about selling your products and services!

When your business is ready to take off, we've got your ticket!

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