Category Archives: Marketing Tips

Why Custom Koozies are Perfect for Parties and Events

Handy Hugger KoozieThe classic koozie keeps drinks at the perfect temperature – and your hands comfortable

There are few promotional giveaway items that are as universally welcomed as the drink koozie. Now, you have the ability to order custom koozies from National Pen that will help your business increase market penetration and deliver better brand awareness – all at prices that are unbelievably low. And, parties or sporting events are perfect venues for these durable and useful items.

Imagine the conversations that will begin as you hand your guests a chilled beverage inside a customized koozie. As you work to build your sphere of influence and gain traction in your field, you’ll want to have as many opportunities as possible to get your brand name out in the open. Sporting events and parties are a terrific forum for this type of marketing as you’re introducing your brand during relaxing, social events. Your prospects, clients – and even friends, will subconsciously associate your brand with good times and this can contribute to a more favorable opinion of your business.

Custom koozies are also perfect for public sporting events, as the marketing power of advertising your brand in public is undeniable. You’ll be able to place your logo or brand name in the public eye – helping you gain exposure and showing the world that your company is open for business!

When you’re ready to order custom beverage holders for your next party or event, check out our selection online or contact us at 1-866-900-PENS (7367). We’ll help you design a custom koozie that will prominently display your logo and brand – all the better to promote your business and help you gain market share.

Top Marketing Fails [SlideShare]

Many companies find that their marketing message gets “lost in translation” during international ad campaigns

It can happen to anyone. You’re having a conversation with someone from another part of the country – or maybe even from another nation entirely, and you say something that really makes him or her gasp. What an odd reaction, you say; until you realize that what you were trying to say didn’t translate with the intended meaning. Major corporations around the world have also encountered these types of communication failures – the kind that cause marketing managers to shake their heads in disbelief and customers to question the motives of those in charge of the ads.

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Sometimes, marketing issues arise due to an incorrect translation between an English-speaking company and their international audience. Just ask Pepsi. Their international campaign targeted at the Republic of China touted that “Pepsi brings you back to life!” In China, this translated to “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the dead!” It is curious that a company as large and savvy as Pepsi wouldn’t ask for a consultation from a Chinese language or culture expert before launching a major ad campaign that promised to resurrect the dead.

Other companies have suffered similar marketing failures, especially those who have tried to jump all over the popularity of newsworthy world events. Kenneth Cole, the great, Brooklyn-based purveyor of trendy clothes and fashion accessories, decided to piggyback on the tumultuous events of the Arab Spring uprising in 2011 by tweeting “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online — KC.” With people dying in the streets and a nation facing severe political unrest, it was obviously considered in bad taste to make light of such a serious situation.

Several other companies, from Chevrolet to Gerber Baby Food, have committed catastrophic faux pas through a variety of marketing campaigns. Many marketing fails have resulted in absolutely hilarious situations – some of them providing lessons and insights into international customs and traditions that don’t end up aligning with Western marketing ploys. Others have emerged as truly insensitive or narrow-minded marketing activities that have tarnished the reputation of several well-known companies.

Whatever the result, there is a seemingly endless list of companies who have committed serious marketing fails over the past few decades. Here is a SlideShare of eight of the top marketing failures that demonstrate just how easy it is for an honest marketing message to get lost in translation – or for a company to offend millions via a simple Tweet.


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<iframe src="http://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/30588013" width="427" height="356" frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" style="border:1px solid #CCC; border-width:1px 1px 0; margin-bottom:5px; max-width: 100%;" allowfullscreen></iframe><div style="margin-bottom:5px"><strong><a href="http://www.pens.com/blog/top-marketing-fails-slideshare/?utm_source=contentmarketing&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=marketingfailsslideshare" target="_blank">Top Marketing Fails [Slide Share]</a> </strong> from <strong><a href="http://www.pens.com/" target="_blank">National Pen</a></strong></div>

Tis the Season! Get Promotional Holiday Gift Ideas

Customized Holiday Gift IdeaThe holidays are upon us – stock up now on effective holiday promotional items!

The holidays typically boil down to friends, family, and good times. This time of year is also an important one in which to show your business partners and prospects that you value their business and are looking to continue building upon your business relationship in the coming year. Holiday themed promotional gift items are a great way to demonstrate your commitment to your client base, as well as to help convert industry prospects to new customers.

But what are the most effective (as well as most economical) promotional gift ideas this season? There isn’t one “magic” solution – rather, being able to stock a variety of holiday items will allow you to more effectively target your customers, prospects, and even employees!

First off, let’s talk about the power of a customized holiday greeting card. Holiday cards show you clients that you care about them, and think highly enough to send out a beautiful card during this time of year. Sometimes, the littlest differences make the biggest impact, and sending a holiday card can sway a prospect into doing business with you – versus a competitor who doesn’t even take the time to mail a card. Your choice of card is also important as it hints at the level of commitment you have to your base. Foil-lined envelopes and custom designs not only look great – they are representative of your business. With a complete line of holiday envelopes, National Pen has you covered!

The holiday season is also a time in which people indulge in sweet treats and decadent desserts. Simple gift ideas like custom lollipops, wrapped candy, chocolate gift sets, and mints can add a fun and festive atmosphere to the workplace. These sweet treats will leave a lasting impression and will remind your customers of you each time a piece is unwrapped. The power of custom candy or chocolate cannot be underestimated.

This holiday season also provides a terrific time to promote your business on customized mugs and drinkware. With colder temperatures brings hotter drinks – and a set of customized mugs can go a long way to showing your business associates that you care about them. Let these mugs be a constant reminder of your commitment to your clients and prospects.

Promotional holiday gift ideas don’t need to be lavish. They simply need to be usable, tailored to your target audience, affordable relative to your marketing budget, and of a quality that represents your company in the best light. At National Pen, we offer an incredible assortment of holiday marketing gifts, as well as promotional items for any time of year.

 

Holiday Season Marketing Tips To Maximize Exposure For Your Business

Holiday Season Marketing Tips for BusinessMarketing early and often is the key to a great holiday sales season

The holidays are right around the corner. Thanksgiving signals the unofficial beginning to the holiday season, and that means holiday meals, family visits, wrapping presents, and the inevitable shopping trip (or trips!). Those who rely on the purchasing power of consumers or businesses must capitalize on this timeframe that normally spans the month and a half between Thanksgiving and New Year Day. Some of the most powerful ways to market your business during this lucrative time are as follows:

  • Market early and often – you’ll want your clients thinking about you and your business before they are ready to make a purchasing decision.
  • Communicate to your target audience through a variety of mediums – Facebook promotions, direct mail campaigns, gift baskets, and holiday themed coupons will help increase awareness around your business or organization.
  • Most people or businesses purchase due to repetitious and effective advertising. Send something that is holiday themed or provides timely value to your prospects and current customer base often. For example – custom, holiday-themed pens could be sent in multiple waves so the client is reminded of your business during this festive time.
  • Create limited time offers that tie in the holiday season. A Thanksgiving special, Christmas deal, or New Year’s promo can drive in business while establishing a specific time-frame and sense of urgency in the client.
  • Send custom holiday cards to all of your prospects and current customers. Many cards are available with “seasonal” greetings versus religious messages, so you’ll be able to connect with just about anyone.
  • Send promotional giveaway items to your base that are just one step above the normal items you deliver. This is the time to show your customers and prospects that you care enough about them to send a thoughtful gift.

The holiday season is a time of year that provides you with an opportunity to market to your target audience and show your customers that you value their business. It is crucial to market early, to communicate often, and to give your audience a reminder of why your relationship is so important. With a variety of holiday-themed promotional giveaway items and seasonal gifts, National Pen offers thoughtful and effective marketing products to help you secure more business. With the holiday season upon us, it is more important than ever to show your clients that you value their business.

Promote your business name on a Halloween bag

Halloween is a big deal for us, so capitalize on the fun and excitement!

Halloween Promotional BagAccording to the National Retail Federation, 43% of all Americans will put on a costume and hit the streets during the night of October 31st. Halloween night – one festive, fun, and sometimes creepy evening, motivates Americans to spend on average of $7 billion on costumes, candy, decorations, and party supplies. In fact, the average adult spends almost $30 on a costume and $20 on a child’s costume. The average candy budget per household is over $21, and nearly $20 is spent in each household on Halloween decorations. This is a significant amount of money per household (especially considering it is for one evening), and indicates that Halloween is a marketing opportunity that must be capitalized for any business.

The real trick? Provide a Halloween bag as a treat and you’ll boost your results!

One of the most useful Halloween promotional items your business can distribute is candy bag sporting your company name or logo. Kids (and some enterprising adults) need these bags to tote the massive amounts of candy they will end up collecting over the course of a Halloween evening. Halloween bags come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and configurations.

The traditional Halloween color is orange – most likely a representation of the bright orange pumpkins that dot the doorsteps of suburban neighborhoods, but a variety of hues are available in Halloween bags. You might want to consider white, or a bright colored bag to enhance nighttime safety and visibility, or play it safe and stick with Halloween orange. You can also tailor the bag color and design to your company’s logo or insignia.

Kids of all ages will use a Halloween bag on the night of October 31st, but you’ll want to pay attention to your target audience and determine which bag size is most appropriate. Smaller children can’t haul around a gigantic bag full of candy, so you may want to order a variety of sizes to accommodate all trick or treaters. Also, these bags are generally designed to be used for just one night, but you’ll want to invest in a quality bag so you don’t disappoint a child with a torn candy bag that deposits hard-earned sweets all over the street. Halloween bags are a perfect promotional giveaway item that provide utility, incredible brand awareness potential, and are inexpensive to distribute. Imagine the positive correlation that will be drawn between your organization and the sweet stash of candy that lies inside your promotional Halloween bag.

Why Pens Make Good Promotional Items

Promote Your Business With a Highly Usable Pen!

Promotional PensFor the marketing manager who is seeking a promotional item that is affordable, desirable, and will actually find utility in the hands of the target audience, a pen makes a lot of sense. Tote bags, magnets, mugs, cards, and calendars are all fantastic promotional giveaway items, but a pen is in a class by itself. No matter how many pens an individual has, there seems to be a desire for more. Even if the pen isn’t needed immediately, it will frequently find a home in an automotive glove box, desk drawer, or office organizer. A pen is a great promotional item because it is a required daily tool for any professional worker.

Pens Come In A Variety Of Styles and Grades

Giving a pen away as a promotional item means more than simply stuffing something into a tote bag at a convention. Pens are personal items – with some users becoming quite enamored with a certain style of pen. These pens become personal choices, and are frequently used to sign contracts, complete important documents, and travel in a briefcase of laptop bag with the client. The perfect part? Your company’s logo is emblazoned on these often-used items, creating a continual reminder of your business. Investing in higher-quality customized pens means a better impression on the end user. After all, when is the last time anyone kept a pen that can’t write smoothly, leaves ink stains on hands, and feels flimsy?

Tailor Your Promotional Pen To Your Target Audience

Promotional pens are available in a seemingly endless array of styles and variations. Is your company offbeat, lighthearted, or a little risqué? Custom novelty pens may create that edginess you need to build a connection with a prospective client. Is your enterprise involved in environmental causes? Bamboo and pens built of natural materials may create that sense of down to earth responsibility that will truly be your calling card. No matter which pen your organization chooses, rest assured that the return on investment from a promotional pen is fantastic. What better way to remind a prospect to sign up with your services than by signing a new contract with one of your promotional pens?

How to Pick a Color For Your Promotional Product

Promotional Products Are Designed To Elicit a Response From Your Client

Custom USB DrivesWhether you’ve selected a high-quality pen, a keychain flashlight, a travel mug, or a desk calendar as your promo item, the goal is to elicit a lasting and positive response from your client. One of the key considerations to make when strategizing around your promotional item purchase is to think about the impact that various colors will have on your target audience. Colors have been linked to physiological reactions in humans, so it pays to delve a little deeper into the impact that color selection will have on the effectiveness of your promotional item.

What Colors Should You Select For Your Promotional Items?

Considering the main color selections for promotional items is important as it can build the emotional link to your company or product. Red is a bold choice for any marketing team, as it can induce feelings of anger, uneasiness, and stress. That said, just as red can range from lighter, pink-tinged shades, to darker, sophisticated variants, the emotion that is tied to this powerful color is undeniable. Red should be restricted to those items that scream out – “look at me!” Darker reds tend to evoke feelings of elegance, while lighter shades are fun and involving. Mid-hue reds tend to demand attention – think fire trucks, emergency vehicles, open flames, etc.

Blue is generally considered a calming color, and can be used quite effectively in promotional items that represent tranquility, peace, and harmony. Blue colors generally evoke an opposite reaction to reds, and are useful for the marketer who wants to convey a sense of trust, calm, and serenity.

Green is a terrific color for the company who wants to be associated with fresh ideas, environmental conservation, and the beginning of something important. Green is fresh and rejuvenating. Shades that are too dark (think – hunter green) can come across too studious and stodgy, but just about any shade of green elicits a positive response among clients.

Yellow is a fun and uplifting color that always manages to put a smile on the face of the client. Yellow is associated with sunshine, spring and summer, and outdoors activities. Yellow is a color often associated with happiness. That said, it isn’t normally the color of choice when attempting to convey a serious message.

The color black screams formal, regal, and professional, but it can be a little depressing if overused. Black, when combined with the steely professionalism of silver or platinum, can deliver a powerful statement of elegance and achievement. Limousines and luxury cars are frequently seen in either black or silver as these two colors certainly evoke a feeling of achievement.

Match The Color Of Your Promotional Item To Your Company Logo

Sometimes, conducting a thorough, psychological analysis of color schemes and tonal variations is digging way too deep. Simply match the colors of your company logo and call it a day! With your brand as the focal point on the promotional item, you’ll be able to build the brand identity you’re seeking – simply by selecting the colors you already use. Color is an important consideration to make when selecting promotional items for your organization. After all, you don’t want to end up seeing red, feeling blue, or finding yourself green with envy!

Shop new, lower prices on EVERYTHING!

Lower PricingPromotional items can help your company drive bottom line results by putting your logo, corporate image, or brand into the hands of customers and prospects. These items are designed to deliver a clear message that you WANT to continually earn your customer’s loyalty. From pens and stationery, to travel mugs and sports bottles, promotional items can help businesses both new and established earn more market share and increase customer satisfaction.

Most marketing managers understand the benefits of customized promotional giveaway items, but they’re constantly working against a spending budget that limits the amount of promo items they can buy. At National Pen, we’ve just made the job of the marketing manager that much easier – with new, lower prices on EVERYTHING!

Customized pens are a terrific product to give to just about anyone, due to their low price and real-world usefulness. The utility of a pen is undeniable – evidenced by the fact that few people will turn away a custom pen, no matter how many pens they already have in their drawer. And now, with our new, lower pricing on a variety of custom pens, you’ll be able to either distribute a larger number of these enticing giveaway items, or invest in a higher quality of pen – for less money than you’d ever thought possible.

Sports bottles and travel mugs are phenomenal promotional items, as most consumers use either of these on a daily basis. Put your logo or brand name in front of a client or prospect every day, and you’ll see returns on your marketing investment. Now you have the ability to increase your market penetration by being able to purchase more promotional product – with no increase in total, delivered cost!

No matter which cheap promotional item you feel will help drive your business, National Pen has the pricing and product assortment to help support your marketing needs. With a massive inventory of pens, keychain flashlights, stationary items, bags and coolers, office items, and home and auto goods, you’ll find the promo items you need – at a price that can’t be beat! With our new, lower prices on EVERYTHING we sell, your customers will thank you for investing in these high-quality marketing products.

Brand-in-a-Bag! Why Custom Bags are a Great Giveaway

Personalized Tote BagsAre you tired of taking home the same kinds of promotional items from tradeshows and conferences? Your clients probably feel the same way! If customized pens, pencils, and notepads just aren’t cutting it for you anymore, crank up your marketing game and feature something different at your next company event: custom bags. After all, the best promotional items are ones that look good and can be used time and again (and publicize your brand in the process), and what could be better than a personalized tote bag, travel bag, or backpack?

If you’re looking for a new way to promote your business and impress your clients and competitors, you’ve found the right place. You’ll love our selection of customizable bags that are perfect for any brand. From personalized duffle bags to briefcases, you’re sure to find a style that suits the identity of your company, and, in a time when disposable plastic shopping bags are losing popularity, our reusable tote and plastic bags are ideal for demonstrating your business’s sustainable mindset while getting your name out there in the produce aisle!

Give the crowd something they can use. Consider custom bags for your next promotional takeaway item!

Tradeshow 101: Everything You Need to Know to Prepare for a Tradeshow

TSLAC Staff Connects with Texas Library Association at Annual Conference 4.24-27.13If you’ve never tabled a tradeshow event, preparing for your first one can be a daunting task. You’re not sure what to expect, or what’s expected of you…and National Pen is here to help! Participating in a tradeshow is a great way to directly address your business’s target demographic, network with other organizations on your business’s behalf, and stand out of the crowd in a sea of competition. Take our advice and prepare in advance to “wow” the crowd! Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. An eye-catching table set-up. The truth about judging a book by its cover is that, well, most people do take advantage of every opportunity to step your table up a notch; bring your own branded table cover; if backdrops are allowed, have something appropriate prepared; if outlets are available, consider incorporating a looping digital presentation. Think creative…think professional…and your table will do half of the work necessary to engage your audience.
  2. A well-rehearsed elevator spiel. Once you’ve attracted interest, it’s time to talk to people. Be ready with a concise, interesting, 30-second or less description about your business. Think of it as a commercial or pitch that tells your audience everything they want to know and what you can offer them. A well-executed elevator spiel will help encourage further questions, interest, and interaction between you and the people you meet (which is your goal!).
  3. Promotional materials. Guests expect to take something away from your table (and not just your business card), so come prepared with memorable, useful collateral to hand out! Custom USB flash drives, pens and lanyards are great takeaways that can be reused again and again in the workplace as reminders of your business. Or, go all out with larger personalized items like travel mugs, apparel, or tote bags, and leave a lasting impression on those you meet with a promotional product that’s functional in and out of the office. Check out our list of selections for all of these tradeshow giveaways today!

With our help, you’ll look like a pro at your first tradeshow.