Have you ever received an unexpected gift? I bet you have.
I did the other day, from my daughter. It was a lovely surprise.
She bought me a bar of chocolate and left it on my desk with a note. It was to say thank you for doing my job and being a mom, but she wanted to thank me for doing it anyway. It made me feel special and appreciated.
You see the most important thing to me was not the money that had been spent on the chocolate, or the chocolate in fact (whilst it was my favourite). It was about her wanting to thank me and going to the effort of doing it.
Lumpy mail comes in many shapes and sizes, but as the name would suggest, it is a letter with something bulky inside, often a promotional product. The unknown item creates interest and is difficult to ignore.
The whole point of it is to get your business noticed and remembered. Which is the point behind any marketing campaign and to encourage your target audience to explore further.
I am up early and off we go, back to the working week.
I always get a tinge of excitement, as we turn the corner and see the coffee shop in front of us. In we go, and I am out into the dazzling light, for all to see. I can see the kind barista who greets me every morning with a smile and all the regular customers.
We wait in the queue; the café is always busy and has a lively excitable hum to it, as the world slowly wakes from its weekend slumber.
Whether you are selling promotional products, holidays or your time businesses can be tiring. Whilst I love what they do, there is the odd day now and again, which feels like it is a hard slog. You probably get the same feeling every now and again? Sometimes the reason for this is clear, other time not so.
There can be so many things to do, some of which you probably didn’t even realise the need to be done when you started out.
There is a Saturday market in our local town. It has a great fruit and vegetable stall. It has been there for over 15 years. There is always a real bustle, people chatting and a guy shouting out their best deal of the day.
The only thing is you need to get there early. They will be sold out by 2 O’clock and on their way home. People patiently queue up to pay and it is always a squeeze to get around, as so many people are there. They are always the busiest stall on the market.
I went to an event about digital marketing this week. You may think, promotional products how do they fit in with digital marketing. Well, we like to use all of the marketing channels we can to get our message out to our ideal clients. I learned more about how to use social media, video, and PR to best help business. I like to go along to quite a lot of educational events as there is always more to learn and new people to meet.
We help our clients to use promotional products, so they do not have the tumbleweed blowing through.
Have you ever had a tumbleweed moment? I have had a few in the past, they are not great. It feels like the silence goes on forever, but that is probably just my imagination.
It can be easy to let this go on with customers. There is a lot of interaction when the customer is on their journey, through the sales funnel. There are calls, emails, voicemails and lots of messages back and forth. A flurry of activity.
I read a blog this from The Story of Telling. The blog - A Simple Way to Think About The Value You Create, explains another way to think about value and instead of thinking about the features and benefits of your product or service, to turn this thought on its head and think about what your customer's lives would look like if your product or service didn’t exist.
It's not really something I have given a lot of thought to. How about you? What would the world be like without your product or service?
There is a saying that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but I am not sure it is just men, I think it is women and children too. Many of us love treats, especially ones we can eat, from sweets and chocolates to popcorn and biscuits. They taste great and stimulate our senses from sight, smell, touch and taste which makes receiving them a memorable experience. They can be nostalgic and transport us back to our childhood or a special day from the past.
Direct mail and promotional products go together perfectly and can make a great impression. There have been many rumours that direct mail is dead, but we can confirm that from our point of view it is alive and kicking.
I was chatting with our postman the other day, he is a nice chap. But the office dog hates him with a passion. He is fine with every other visitor though, which is a bit odd.
Anyway, he was saying (the postman not the dog) that due to emails and messaging, the number of letters he has to deliver has dropped massively.
One of my most frequently asked questions is, what are your most popular products. Whilst every company is different, there are 6 products which are universally successful. They are especially good as they not only delight customers, but they also get you company brand in front of others.
They have many uses and as well as being used to engage existing customers and strengthen relationships, they can also be used to attract new prospects. This can be either from a direct mail campaign or a trade show.
Have you ever bought promotional products for your business? How did it go? Did you get the reaction you wanted or did you cheapen your brand? I hope they worked well as I know they can. Sadly this is not always the case.
It can be easy to dismiss the value of a promotional product and just think that something cheap and cheerful will do. It doesn't really matter. Well, they are only representing your business after all, so how important can it be. The logo you have deliberated over for many hours, a brand you have built over years. So maybe it is worth the risk?
Would you like olives, while you wait for your order?
This is heard by every customer at our local pub. You see, they have cross-selling off to a tee.
You may think adding few olives to a few people’s orders, will not make a huge difference. The owner who is a friend of mine, says about 40% of people will have olives. This adds about £120 to his taking each day, £840 per week!. All from one simple question.
The dishwasher had broken a few weeks earlier and could not be fixed. The novelty of washing up and flicking each other with tea towels had soon worn off. With 4 people living at home and one of whom loves cooking with every pan and utensil, we own. Dishes were frequently piling up.
I used to work with racehorses. It seems like a lifetime away now.
Now training racehorses look easy. They want to run fast and as long as they are fit and good enough. They should win.
You have to take in their individual personalities. Some worry, some are boisterous, some don't want to go and some don't want to stop. So it's no good just having a one size fits all training method. You need to either group them by ability and personality or, only buy the kind of horse which fits your training method.
You may have read the Chimp Paradox. I have just finished it and found it really interesting. One thing I learnt is that as humans, we are programmed to find the easiest and safest way of doing things.
Your brain wants to keep you as safe and as comfortable as it can.
Last week was National Bird Day on the 5th Jan. Which got me thinking about a program I saw recently about robins and how territorial they are. They use a lot of energy and time worrying about what other robins are up to. It leaves the robin exhausted.
Now you are probably thinking, how does this apply to business. Well stick with it, I am about to tell you.
Have you planned for 2018 yet or are you still finishing off the last of the turkey?
I have made plans for Gifts Two Give for 2018. but we still have a bit of turkey to see off. You see I had planned to have 14 for dinner on boxing day, due to illness, there was only 4 of us. So it does feel like we have been through the full repertoire of sandwiches, pie, curry and soup already!
Sometimes the best-laid plans are scuppered by things which are totally out of our control.
Well, 2017 has been a good year at Gifts Two Give. We have accomplished a lot, but still, have plenty to do. I sincerely hope it has been a good year for you.
We have learnt about our different strengths and weaknesses. I have found one of my weaknesses this week, as I have been struck down by the lurgy, for the last few days. Looking on the bright side, I have had time to sit and think about the approaching New Year, as I have not been able to do much else.
When you run your own business, it’s extremely easy to think that where marketing is concerned, it is like David and Goliath. Big businesses have huge budgets, like the 6 million, John Lewis spent on their Christmas ads and the small fortune Coca-Cola spend each year on branded trucks and teams with promotional clothing and products. Going around the country to visit huge crowds at Coca-Cola Christmas. They have large teams, many communication techniques, and a large audience.
Promotional products have been helping businesses of all sizes for many years, to expand the reach of their products or services. They are a simple and effective way to help people to understand and remember your brand and message.
Brands are all around us and have been from before the 17th Century. With Tate and Lyle’s golden syrup being recognised as the oldest British brand by the Guinness book of records.