Thursday, February 18th, 2016

Why Promotional Items Work

Promotional marketing is ideal for start-ups and small to medium-sized companies. It helps your organisation and boosts the usefulness of your employees who can help develop creative sales approaches and customer services. You will want your company to stand out and there are many different marketing strategies that can help you achieve this goal. Perhaps one of the most effective is the use of promotional items.


Promotional items can vary widely – you’ll get value from them as long as they include your company’s logo, name and contact information such as a phone number, website and email. Among their many benefits:


  1. They increase your brand recognition. Your goal should be to make your brand stand out. Promotional items such as stress balls, pens or USB drives can be used as a simple tool to increase your brand awareness. Customers are always happy to receive items that they can use and it puts your brand out there.


  1. You can do promotional brand marketing on a budget. Companies like ours can give you more for your money when you order your items in bulk. With promotional products you can increase customer loyalty and save money.


  1. Business cards are so 90s. Let your promotional items be the new business card. Include your contact information on items such as mugs, recyclable bags and more. They can be used and seen every day by existing and potential customers.


  1. It’s repetitive marketing. These items are a one-time cost that can be seen multiple times by multiple people. They are consistently being used and you don’t have to splash the cash for a new strategy.


  1. It’s all about variety. People are tired of fliers and magnets, so mix it up with different items such as mouse mats, notebooks and more. The best part about these items is that they’re useful.


When you are just starting your business or you are trying to get your brand out there, promotional items can be an effective and budget-friendly choice. Choose from our wide variety of items that best suit you, your business and your customers.

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Monday, February 15th, 2016

Connected Sets for Connected Clients

Looking for real sticking power in your promotional products? For your clients who are on the go, create a branded set of computer gadgets that will get frequent use. Try this recipe:


Start with one power hub. USB connectors accommodate multiple devices at once and are great for laptop users, which includes so many of us nowadays. Our favorite in this range is the glowing, colour-changing aqua hub. Your logo is illuminated from behind, so it’s very eye-catching.


Add in a USB drive or two. These remain the ultimate in brand visibility. Despite our near-universal connectivity, most of us still need some type of off-cloud storage, whether for personal use or for sharing documents that we don’t want to put online with colleagues. Mikkis offer flash storage in a variety of materials and capacities, including our new sweet wrapper shape, recycled paper, wood, and colourful recycled plastics.


Fold in a stylus. From sleek and slender to earthy-looking, we have a line of combination stylus-pens that will work with any look.


Top with a dash of humour. A portable cutlery set, bottle opener, or themed stress ball sends your client off on the next journey with the message that you understand they’re busy.


Although these promotional products would work great as a set, any of them would be appreciated on their own because of their usefulness. Ensure your company name and logo remain visible with products that your customers will take with them.

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Friday, February 12th, 2016

Grab Your Stress Balls – 3 Simple Ways to Reduce Stress

Deadlines, family vacation is coming up, mother-in-law is coming for a visit – there are many reasons why we can get stressed out. This probably does not come as surprise: stress is bad for you, and reducing it will aid you in staying healthy. Check out these 3 simple ways to reduce stress:


  1. Take a deep breath. Literally. Deep breathing is a great way of calming down and refocus. Breathe in for 5 seconds and exhale for the same amount of time. Repeat until you feel calmer and make sure you breathe into your stomach and let the air fully fill you up. If you want to ramp up the benefits, find a park, or place with trees, and do this breathing exercise there. The extra oxygen and closeness to nature have a calming effect.
  2. Single task. Focus on one thing at a time, and make sure it gets finished. If you feel overwhelmed this is a great way of grounding yourself. When multitasking it’s easy for things to get done halfway, and this can be a major stress factor. Make a to-do list and cross off things one at a time, this also helps you get an overview of your tasks which may make things more manageable.
  3. Engage in physical activity. Studies have shown that physical activity can greatly reduce stress. When your body is tired this also affects your mind, and as such is a great way of calming down. Stressing out takes a lot of energy, and if you have less you feel calmer. Even If you can’t go to the gym, a 10-minute walk around the block can make wonders.


These are very simple ways of reducing stress and of course there are other ways, such as meditation or drinking tea, but the above tips can usually be done wherever you are.  So grab your stress balls and go for a walk!

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Thursday, February 11th, 2016

Show Your Gratitude with Promotional Pens

A gift to loyal customers is always appreciated because it shows that you’ve remembered them outside of the usual order of business. Regular points of contact throughout the year, such as a pushed newsletter or blog, help keep your company top of mind, and the occasional real-world gift demonstrates just how much thought you give to maintaining your relationships. Promotional pens are a gift that will get a lot of use, keeping your brand front and centre.

Our selection of rollerball pens offers many elegant ways to set your logo on high-quality items. The Da Vinci model is black with chrome trim and can accommodate single-colour printing for a clean and classic look. The Modulus is a higher-end option made from carbon fibre; it’s a good choice if you have a large year-end budget for gifts or are sending to a smaller select group of clients. At a lower price point but equally striking is the slender, silver Europa, which would make a lovely addition to a client’s desk, especially if sent in a presentation case.

For an ecologically minded gift, consider pens from our line of recycled and responsibly produced materials. Our ballpoint push-pens made from wood that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The FSC is an international membership organisation that audits forests for sustainable management. Another interesting option in this product group is the Re-Pen, which is made from recycled Tetra-Pak containers. The clips on these come in a wide variety of colours to work with your logo.

Plan ahead to celebrate the start of spring with a gift to your customers and order your personalised pens soon. We can guide you in selecting a product that will maximise your visibility.


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Monday, February 8th, 2016

Recycled Promotional Products Equal Sustainability for Your Brand

A common complaint about many workshops and conferences is that all those giveaway items seem wasteful. And yet, attendees do like receiving many of those items. A way to make sure that booth visitors leave feeling good is to offer useful products that are also made of recycled or sustainably sourced materials. Below we offer ideas on creating a set of eco-friendly promotional items that are perfect for attracting attention in the vendor hall at your next event.


USB drives have become a perennial favourite, and our recycled-paper memory sticks have a distinctive look. They are available in a range of storage capacities – more is always better, of course – and have a wide print area for your name and logo.


Create matching sets of pencils or pens and a case. For more of a sleek look, put our black pencils in a recycled-tyre case. Get a more rustic look with Sprout pencils in an organic cotton pouch; instead of an eraser, these pencils have a water-soluble cap filled with seeds – and to go with those pencils and cases, what more pleasing an accompaniment than a notebook?


Lastly, you’ll want a few light-hearted items in the bag. A yoyo made of sustainably harvested wood and a stress-relief ball made from recycled, biodegradable material would top it off nicely.


Try putting together products in an “organic” colour scheme in a branded kraft paper bag, for example. Let your logo provide the colour. If the event is small, you could spend a bit more and load the items into cotton or jute bags. For the biggest impact, avoid flat plastic bags, even recycled ones, or the items will look jumbled at the bottom, and in a crowded venue, attention to detail will help you get noticed.



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Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Marketing Technology and Personalisation

Staying on top of digital channels and understanding customer data has made the marketer’s job really tough over the past 18 months. What’s interesting is that, with all the technology available to track, guide, and analyse, the most important element of marketing still seems to be knowledge of your customers and their experience.

Jeremy Waite, head of digital strategy for Salesforce, has a surprisingly low-tech top three for building a trusted brand: 1) focus on developing customer loyalty; 2) understand the customer journey, not just individual transactions; and 3) invest in transparency. In the end, many successful companies use advanced technology to get back to the basics of building relationships, in which promotional products can play a welcome role.


Data Guided, Not Ruled

With big data throwing its weight around, customers are getting wise to how their information is being used, and they’re not always happy about it. If you do any amount of business online, you have data about your customers. If you use it, be transparent about how and be aware that what you know might represent only a slice of their thinking. You might not know how many social media channels, white papers, or friends of friends your client or prospective client consulted before they chose, or didn’t choose, your product or service. So don’t make major decisions regarding marketing technology if you don’t have a complete picture of your customers.


Manageable Bites

Dunbar’s Number posits that humans are capable of sustaining only 150 relationships. Whether that rings true for you, many marketing directors note that as they build online customer relationships, followers, communities, and so on, knowing who their customers are becomes their biggest challenge. Adopting technology to manage communities with a personal touch can help, but if you are in a business that supplies, say, the construction trade – because actual things do still get built in the world – it might just be something that you purchase and don’t use effectively. Always ask yourself what the ultimate goal is and whom your efforts will benefit.


A personal touch is very much within reach with promotional products, from simple items like pens to customer-engagement products with near-field communication technology.

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Monday, February 1st, 2016

Promotional Products and the Small Business

Rare is the company that can effectively market its products or services without spending much. The debate between effective frequency and recency is alive and well, but for the small business it comes down to one thing – in traditional media, both will cost you. If you’re growing a business, however, you do need frequency. You also need to meet your potential customers where they are and squeeze the most out of that meeting.


Whether you’re planning sales calls, a street fair stand, or a high-end trade show booth, don’t neglect the touches that will help customers remember you after that first point of contact. Are you developing a craft beer and looking for distribution? Offer your samples with branded bar mats or coasters. Although coasters and other consumables get used and discarded, in sufficient numbers they’ll keep that impression frequency coming.


Trade shows are a significant investment for a small business, but they provide the obvious advantage of thousands of people in one place with a similar interest. They are often organized around a theme, which can give you further opportunities to customize a promotional item.


Keep your promotional items related to your business and relevant to your target market. Multiple surveys indicate that such products have staying power. People do actually love free stuff and they keep it around if it’s useful. But when you’re building brand awareness, you need to choose those products carefully. How many ballpoint pens have you seen with the name of a company or product and nothing else? Reserve pens and the like for customers who already know you. With prospective customers, you might not have a lot of time to make that first impression, so choose a marketing gift that calls to mind what your business does. Graphics, text, shape, and function can all be pressed into service for advertising your brand.

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Monday, January 25th, 2016

Marketing Your Business with NFC Promotional Gifts

Sorry, QR codes, but you’ve officially been swiped. Near-field communication, which allows for communication between devices when they touch each other, is now very much on the scene and offers marketing a whole new angle. What has really changed the possibilities for this technology has been the release of NFC-enabled Android devices. You don’t need to have a code reader or to fiddle with a Bluetooth connection – just tap and your phone will take action. So how can marketers and brand managers use NFC to best advantage? The answer is limited only by your imagination but we have a few ideas.


Retail customers are ready and willing to engage with in-store mobile marketing efforts. An early 2015 study by Strategy Analytics found that consumers are particularly enticed by deals and promotional merchandise but also want information regarding inventory, mobile shopping carts, and multimedia content. What about linking shoppers to a video showing great uses for a mixer or blender in your housewares department? Put the finishing touch on the display with a tag that lets them tap to get 15% off that purchase.


Ease or improve a customer’s experience and you could have a fan for life. For instance, why do so many hotels make it hard to connect to the wifi? Outfitting rooms with branded NFC tags that automatically connect would make for many a happy traveller. They’d be even happier if the hotel bar had coasters they could tap to redeem a drink special.


If you’re looking to break through the noise in a busy place, such as a shopping centre or trade show exhibition hall, make sure that your website is mobile friendly and that it instantly provides an engaging, non-glitchy experience. You don’t want those visitors to bounce off to the next thing.


Strategy Analytics’ survey also revealed that consumers far prefer NFC over other types of mobile marketing technology, which is good because there is no shortage of ways to use NFC in your engagement strategies.

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Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

Promotional Gifts: Spending Time Pays Dividends


How many promotional products do people receive nowadays? And how often do they find any value in them? Too often, the items feel as though a company suddenly realised on 15th December that it should really send something to its clients but that there was no budget or time to order something nice. Don’t let that be the case with your business. A little divergent thinking here could help you stand out.


Quality counts. Take the time and allot the budget to select an item that will be useful to the client you’re sending it to. If your gift ends up in the recycling bin, it’ll take your name and logo with it. But with a little extra thought you can create a small, themed gift packet with a few good products to help keep you in mind for months to come.


Start a new tradition for Guy Fawkes Day? December is a busy month for many businesses, and with a lot of items being sent to thank customers at that time of year, some are bound to get lost. Look at the calendar and find a different angle, like branded barware to celebrate a launch date, or finance-themed stress balls if you have clients preparing quarterly earnings reports.


Show your customers you know them. Nothing raises your visibility more than demonstrating a willingness to understand your customers – the focus of their business, their values, their particular challenges. For example, the building trades rely on the weather, so something to help them celebrate the start of summer would be appropriate. Tap into what you know about each client and tailor your gifts accordingly.


You work hard to exceed expectations all year, so take the extra step to grow your brand with a gift that shows that you applied the same attention to it as you do to customer care.


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Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

The True Power Of Your Advertising


Squeeze out the frustration of not being a millionaire today!

Squeeze out more revenue with effective Advertising


Let’s talk numbers for a while and the proper way you should be thinking about your advertising.

As far as your business is concerned, there are only three processes you should have your beady-eye on.


1. Customer Attraction (Your advertising)
2. Sales (Exchange of your products and services for money)
3. Delivering to the customer what you promised them cost effectively.


Processes 2 and 3 are beyond the scope of this article, however I will be touching on process 2 to explain to you why your advertising (Process 1) is crucial, and why this is the process where most of your business horse-power is.

Ok, did you notice I used the term ‘customer attraction’ to describe advertising? There is a good reason for this and most business owners fail to recognise it to their own detriment.

Let me make things clearer for you.

You have to start moving away from the frame of mind of having to ‘get customers’, and start thinking in terms of ‘attracting customers’ to your business. This may sound like just words, but the implication behind them is huge.

In the simplest terms getting customers for your business requires WORK. Attracting customers implies that the customers COME TO YOU, like a moth to the flame.

You want to get to the point with your marketing where most of the work from day-to-day is done in the process 3 section of your business. In other words concentrating on delivering quality products and valuable service.

Anyway lets talk numbers, and the power of attracting customer to your business.
Great, so now we know that every business has 3 main processes that affect its bottom line for overall profitability.

Let me take process 2 for a spell – Selling your customer your products and services

This process is essentially the process that results in your customer reaching in their pocket and giving you their hard-earned money in exchange of what your business has to offer them.

Move your attention to your business for a while and think about the steps involved in your business for this process.

A process 2 for a pub could be a simple as;


1. Person enters pub and sits down at the bar or at a table if they are with friends
2. Gets comfortable at the bar/ watches television while propped up at the bar
3. Bar person approaches them and asks them what they will have
4. Person requests what they want
5. After a drink, person either pays and leaves or orders another drink


Now I’ve simplified it here but the process is essentially the same in any establishment you go to, from the Local Watering Hole to the Exclusive Gentleman’s Club.

Still with me? Good. Let’s assume that you are the bar man of this establishment, and for a whole day you resisted the temptation to have a drink and you simply watched the comings and goings of this process in your bar for a full day.

Assuming there were 100 people that came in on this particular day, you noticed that not everyone who came into your pub actually bought a drink or spent money. These were either moochers that wanted a drink off their mates and were not lucky that day, or people who just did not fancy a tipple. Fair enough.

But these were the numbers you found


1. Of the people that came on for a drink the average sale was £10
2. Only 20 people out of the 100 did not get a drink or buy anything
3. Therefore 8 out of 10 people entering the pub spend about £10
4. On a typical day you will make approximately £10 x 80 customers = £800


Now come closer, here is the really important bit;

What if we could get a 20% increase in the number of people who buy drinks? Maybe by providing free peanuts with every second pint or something to that effect.

All other things being equal our takings for that day become £10 x 96 = £960. This is a 20% increase in takings.

This is the effect of improving process 2

Let’s see what happens if we improve process 1 – Customer Attraction

We already know that 100 customers come into the pub on a typical day. This means whatever advertising we already do…brings in 100 people a day who spend on average a tenner.

If we increase the effectiveness of our advertising by 20%, and remember, this does not require any more expense on our part, just an advert that has a better message.

We will bring in 120 customers out of which 8 in every 10 spend £10. Bringing in a total of; £960…but remember this has involved no extra effort for this increase in revenue, the advertising still costs the same and it still allows you to make more money. That is powerful! And that’s why you have to get the advertising right, because it makes everything else (process 2 and process 3) a lot more effective.