The Book Of Flies Helps Reel In Clients

od013_book_of_fliesAccording to the American Sportfishing Association, with more than 46 million anglers, more than twice the number of people fished in 2011 than attended every NFL game combined.  To put the financial impact of those numbers in perspective, if fishing were a company, the amount spent by anglers to support fishing related retail sales would rank 51 on the Fortune 500 list.  With that information in mind, it may be time to consider corporate gift options that appeal to the millions of fishing enthusiasts in this country.

The list of fishing related promotional merchandise options is long, and there are items that will appeal to every recipient and every budget.  For example:

  • Handmade leather Book of Flies is a styish way to store and organize fishing flies
  • Hook & Tackle microfiber Fishing Shirt with UPF 35+ sun protection, rod holder and utility loop
  • Waterproof pouch to protect fishing license
  • Eagle Claw collapsible open cast Rod & Reel
  • Bobbers to keep the line afloat
  • Fishing Clipper with knife and line pick includes 36″ neck lanyard
  • Rapala Fishing Lure in 3 different sizes to attract different types of fish

With figures that prove more Americans fish than play golf and tennis combined, this is a demographic that deserves your attention.  Freshwater or saltwater – lakes, oceans or streams – the avid angler will find the time and the place to enjoy this sport.  Give him or her a reason to connect your brand with such an enjoyable part of their lives!

Easy Does It

easyIt may be true that not much in life is easy, but when corporate customers launch a promotional merchandise fulfillment program, it is the duty of the distributor partner to make it appear that way.

In this case, appearances should be a bit deceiving, since, in fact, to design a user-friendly, budget-conscious, logistically innovative on-line corporate store requires a great deal of research, planning and focused management of countless details.

To begin the process, nothing can happen before an anlaysis is performed of past customer purchasing trends.  What do they buy? How often? In what quantities? (to name a few of the more obvious questions).  Does everyone have internet access?  Are there department budgets to consider and track? Do purchases require management approval? (moving on with a few considerations that may be less apparent).

And the background due diligence is only the beginning of a long building process that moves from research to web design, order management, storage and packaging, and final product delivery.   All stages of the process – from proposing the program to fulfilling the orders – must be thoroughly analyzed and impeccably executed.  I view the work of the program management team as the engineering, design and build process that will eventually become the final structure in which all of the work will take place.

But, back to the easy part.  The reason program RFP’s are issued and contracts are executed is so that the corporate marketing and procurement departments don’t have to manage all those details.  Once a supplier partner has been chosen, the sometimes confusing and complicated process of launching a logo products store should be seamless.   The distributor takes care of the day to day challenges of moving branded products to the end recipients, and the corporate administrator should only need to allocate an hour or so each month to review the progress of the program with the account manager.  If the client begins fielding calls about product quality, web site ineffciencies or shipping delays, then process improvements are in order.

Consider how your current program is operating, and if it isn’t easy for you, the customer, then schedule a time to meet with your program manager to discuss how to get things back on track.

Taking It To Extremes

1349975049According to the Global Industry Analysts, Inc (GIA) report on the popularity of extreme sports, the global demand for these high adventure activities is expected to surge. No longer reserved for the eccentric, the customer base is broad and comprises of teenagers and young adults to more mature, mainstream sectors of the population.  Some extreme sports have even surpassed more conventional sports in popularity.

What does that mean for corporate marketing departments?  For one thing, it means that companies targeting daring, sports-minded consumers should be conscious of the fact that some of those sports may fall into the the extreme category, and the promotional merchandise they give away should be able to stand up to the same elements these sports enthusiasts endure.

A few products that can hold their own under extreme conditions:

Eco Extreme Speaker Case:  Durable, high quality speaker case that can be used by snowboarders and hikers – but is also perfect for golfers and boaters.  It’s a waterproof case that floats, with built in speakers to carry the sound of an iPhone, Ipod or other MP3 player, and can withstand falls, drops and the elements.

Quench Hydration Packs:  Made from durable 840D polyester, this ready-for-anything backpack offers a large main comparment and a separate rear compartment that holds a 2-litre water reservoir.  Extra pockets for storage and padded back panel, waist belt and adjustable straps gives the sports enthusiast the ability to stay hydrated while climbing that last 100 feet.

Sunglasses by Coleman:  Polycarbonate frames, polarized lenses and rubber molded detail for comfort make these sunglasses an essential part of the arsenal when the sun is shining off the helmet of the biker in front of you.  Shock proof case provides protection and microfiber cloth keeps them clean.

Extreme sports are gaining in popularity for participants and spectators.  Sports of all kinds have been popular since the beginning of time.  Corporate marketers looking to get their brand in front of an active, aggressive audience need to consider products that can keep up with their lifestyles.   Ask for samples and take them for a test drive – if you dare!

Global Study On Effectiveness of Promo Products – Part 1

globeWith the goal of providing corporate customers a statistical cost analysis of the value of promotional merchandise in their brand marketing intiatives, the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), the largest media and marketing organization serving the ad specialties industry, sent a  research team to 12 cities from July through September, 2012, to poll nearly 5,000 consumers about the branded products they had received.  In New York, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Seattle, Dallas, Philadelphia, London, Paris, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal respondents were asked questions about how many promotional products they had received, how they used them, why they kept them, and their impressions of the advertisers that gave them the items.

In this first of a three part series of articles that will summarize the high points of that study, I will focus on the most popular products by category.  Since products are the carriers for the brand logo, it’s important to know which items are most likely to be used by the targeted audience.

In the United States, the following results were reported for the most popular products by category, and their appeal by gender and age.

  • Writing Instruments – 50%  (most popular with women and older adults, 55+)
  • Shirts – 43%  (most popular with men and younger adults, 21-34)
  • Bags – 29%  (most popular with women and older adults, 55+)
  • Calendars – 21%  (men & women are nearly equal on calendars, age 45+)
  • Desk/Office Accessories – 17%  (most popular with women and younger adults, 21-34)
  • Caps/Headwear – 16%  (most popular with men, age 45+)
  • Drinkware – 14%  (most popular with women and gen-x consumers, age 35+)
  • USB/Flash Drives – 9%  (most popular with men and younger adults, 21-34)
  • Health & Safety – 8%  (most popular with middle age women, age 45-54)
  • Outerwear – 5%  (most popular with younger men, age 21-44)

Knowing which products are popular in a particular demographic is important, but the study also concludes that these products are kept by the recipient for an average of 6 months, with awards being held the longest at 7.6 months and writing instruments the shortest at 5.1 months.  Knowing that each promotional product will be around much longer than any other form of advertising makes a strong case for the importance of branded merchandise in any corporate marketing initiative.

The next 2 articles will summarize the study’s findings on the recipients’ view of advertisers and the cost effectiveness of ad specialties.  Once all data has been presented, it should give corporate marketing teams a solid place to begin meaningful conversations with their promotional product providers about their 2013 campaigns and the logo products that will be selected to represent the brand.