Is our multi-talented dancer who has completed grades in ballet, gymnastics, tap and modern dance. Whilst studying Accounting and Finance at Leeds Met University, Ashleigh completed a placement year in London living the busy life of sales and customer service. She’s worked in retail, admin and banking at Next and is now Production Co-ordinator for the online team processing and managing incoming orders. When she’s not liaising with artwork, production and suppliers on a daily basis, Ashleigh enjoys socialising with friends and dining out.
Notebooks…there are so many to choose from, different shapes, sizes & colours and they all have the same function. Everyone uses them and there is nothing better than getting a brand new, fresh notebook to simply make your notes for the day or to start writing your life story!! One part of my job I love to do is to take an ordinary, bog standard product that everyone uses and find a unique twist on them to make people stop and say WOW! The Lanybook does exactly this, you can have so many colour combinations and add small touches to make it into a product, which looks bespoke made, for a standard notebook price!!! It is an amazing way to incorporate not only your clients logo but also their colourways to create a product which people really take notice of.
I want my clients to love the products their brand is displayed on and want to use them again and again. The products which I use have to be the best quality and ensure the longevity you would want your brand to represent. Promotional merchandise is so important as it creates an emotional bond between the audience and the brand – without this the message would be lost. If the correct merchandise if used then the client will be reminded subliminally of the brand without even realising it.
I love working in the promotional merchandise industry as it allows me to really get involved in all aspects of branding and use promotional merchandise to present my client’s brands creatively.
This week, we’re on a mission as we join together in celebration of Promotional Products Week. Running from the 15-19th September, #PPWeek aims to raise the profile of promotional products and encourage their use amongst marketing folk to ensure they play a key role not just in the marketing mix; but as a key consideration in strategy development.
For those about to rock…we salute you!
Many marketing gurus will tell you that a good marketing campaign will use multiple channels to interact and communicate with its audience. But what you don’t often hear is that a great campaign that uses promotional merchandise can create amazing buzz and brand awareness – kicking some serious you-know-what when it comes to brand impact!
There’s an old saying that “the best things in life are free” (in fact, I’m pretty sure there was a song about it too!), and when it comes to promotional products, this saying could be no truer; as very few things can challenge the appeal of a “freebie”.
In fact, according to our friends at the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA), their research tells us that promotional merchandise is being used now by marketers more than ever before, because in today’s tough economic climate, promotional products act as great incentives to target customers and create a longer lasting brand message. Promotional products also have the longest life span around the desk, with 88% of office workers having at least one promotional product on their desks at any one time.
The ‘S’ Factor
Well thought-out, targeted promotional campaigns are part of the marketing mix at the earliest stage when you’re developing your marketing plans and strategy: “In our experience, the best campaigns happen through collaboration between our client’s team and our experienced account managers, marketing, creative and production experts. Together, we’ll do our research; share our creative ideas and work together to ensure the proposed products are a strategic fit with our client’s brand; as well as being aesthetic, useful and cost effective”, says our Marketing Manager Hannah.
Give your brand a boost: benefits and top tips
Our MD Darren, knows a thing or two about promo products – after all, he’s been around a while (in the industry we mean!) Here are Darren’s top tips:
- Darren’s top tip #1: “Promotional Merchandise is an effective brand awareness tool as it can bring relevance and longevity to promotional campaigns, by keeping your name in front of customers and prospects – but first you need to match the right products to your brand, and allow sufficient time to implement the campaign”.
- Darren’s top tip #2: Set realistic timescales for developing your brand and generating awareness in your marketplace: “By understanding your brand and what it stands for, you can plan promotional activity that reflects your core values and targets the right audience, in a practical and relevant way”.
Promotional products in the digital age
You might wonder how tangible items such as promotional products can be used with “virtual” digital marketing campaigns. “The answer is simple”, says our marketing manager and digital pro, Hannah. “Brand your promotional items with your website address, Twitter handle, hashtag or even utilise augmented reality/image recognition apps linking to some dynamic content online such as a video or product demo – this is a great way to get people to interact with your brand online and strike up a conversation which may convert a prospect/lead into a viable customer.”
Hopefully you’ll see that promotional merchandise needn’t be an after-thought, you can make it an essential part of your marketing mix from the start of planning your marketing campaign.
During #PPWeek you can expect some exciting blog/social media content from us, to show you how to make promotional products a valuable part of your marketing campaigns and create memorable brand experiences for your customers.
Enjoy, and feel free to ask us a question on Twitter @creativeempo using the hashtag #PPWeek
I recently completed the Great North Run which involved not only the day itself (13.2 miles!) but lots of training beforehand. When running, there is nothing worse than having wires flapping around from your headphones! This cap has a bluetooth chip in it to connect to your mobile phone or iPod with headphones built into the cap itself making it perfect for runners like me!
Working in the promotional merchandise industry always makes me smile and I love seeing smiles on my customers faces too! I work for the apparel side of the business now and every day is a new challenge helping organisations implement and maintain the best clothing solutions. I spent my first year as an Account Executive working with some of the biggest clients in our business, sourcing the most unique products from giant cakes to a huge wheel of fortune; its always a great feeling seeing products come to life especially when you see them on the TV!
To celebrate Promotional Products Week, we will be featuring a post each day from one of the CE team discussing their favourite promotional product! Today’s contribution comes from one of our Account Manager’s, Richard…
We live in a fast paced world where “I don’t have time” is the answer to most things. Even to those which are essential to a happy and healthy life. Some very basic things – a healthy diet and frequent exercise are passed over by saying “I’ll do those later!” and we rush off to work and try and function without preparing our bodies or putting the correct fuel in our engine. How effective are we really going to be??!!
We have a responsibility to look after ourselves. But sometimes we need a little help…Businesses can help their employees or customers by investing in products that serve a valuable purpose, encouraging a healthier, happier lifestyle. This benefits the individual, but also reinforces the brand, as it demonstrates their commitment to shaping the future of its loyal followers.
I recently discovered a range of resistance trainers, speed ropes and foam rollers that can be combined to make the perfect “workout where-ever, when-never” kit. These are gym quality products available as a promotional tool.
I believe these offer an amazing opportunity for companies to invest in the future of their target audience by helping them keep active and healthy in whatever situation they find themselves- whether going away on a business trip or on holiday.
There are many ways of using promotional material to communicate your brand and key messages. Especially if these are through a product which is in the right place at the right time and it evokes an emotional connection. When someone uses products that make them feel better about themselves and ready for the day – it will be you and your brand that is on the tip of their tongue!
To celebrate Promotional Products Week, we will be featuring a post each day from one of the CE team discussing their favourite promotional product! Today’s contribution comes from one of our Account Manager’s, Les…
Cake! Cake! We all love a bit of cake! It looks good, tastes good and makes everyone happy…until the scales start to go up! It can be produced in any shape, size or flavour and can be adapted to suit most dietary requirements. It’s a great promo product for so many different occasions – birthdays, anniversaries, special events where you really want to make an impact…or just as a treat. Having worked in the industry for many years, I have produced almost any promo product you can think of but I can honestly say that cakes get the most feedback from clients – maybe this is due to the bespoke nature of the cakes – letterboxes, mobile phone holders, 2 metre long trains…pretty much anything is possible and on an incredibly short lead time!
15 years says it all…I love working in the industry! No day is the same and I get excited at the prospect of coming to work and seeing what challenges are ahead of me! Nothing pleases me more than coming up with ideas and solutions for my clients and their positive response makes it all so worthwhile.
To celebrate Promotional Products Week, we will be featuring a post each day from one of the CE team discussing their favourite promotional product! Today’s contribution comes from our Group Business Development Director, Gav…
It was a summer’s day in August 1997, I was sat at my desk in a canal side mill in leafy Cheshire and little did I know my life was about to change, everything I knew, everything I believed in, everything I thought I wanted but didn’t need was about to change. I opened my consignment from a UK supplier and inside was a life changing piece of promotional material. I placed my hand inside the package and pulled out a cotton shopper, not just any cotton shopper but a 5oz long handled cotton shopper. “Did it have a gusset I hear you say?” It didn’t need a gusset, it was beautiful just as it was!
I can honestly say I am known as the cotton shopper man here, I would estimate to have sold in the region of 1 to 2 million of these beauties, long handled, short handled – you name it I have sold it. Its a phenomenal cost effective, promotional item and a very good way of getting your brand message across, not lost on your desk or kept in your drawer, but out there for all to see. My love for these bags has no boundaries. I even get to see them printed in-house here at our production facility in Leeds!
I have lived and breathed promotional products for 18 years – How can you get bored or uninspired working in this industry, I seriously would not get the same excitement from doing any other job. Great suppliers, even greater clients coupled with a superb team of industry professionals!
Have you ever thought about walking in your customer’s shoes and what their experience is like every time they interact with your business? “Customer Journey Mapping” has become a popular framework in marketing analysis, for documenting each stage or “touchpoint” in your customer’s experience with our brand; identifying gaps, and making recommendations for improvement. This is a great tool for auditing all existing processes and improving customer retention and loyalty.
Start by understanding the key “touchpoints”
A “touchpoint” is simply a point of contact between your company/brand and your customers; and there can be many potential touchpoints at any stage – before purchase, during purchase and after purchase. Therefore, you need to understand and “map” out your customer’s journey at each touchpoint of your organisation – and then consider, what are the gaps? Are there any issues that are preventing a good experience for your customers? How can we improve and eliminate the problem areas?
Make a diagram of your customer journey
This is a great way to visualise and make a record of all the potential touchpoints your customers have with your company. For example, if you are planning a marketing campaign; a good diagram of all your campaign touchpoints should not only take into account all the potential places someone could interface with your business/campaign, but also help you identify any places you’ve overlooked.
Outlining those touchpoints will also help you see how your campaign area can more fully integrate into your existing marketing plans. And that can make your campaign appear all the more relevant and valuable, and make that all important bottom line impact!
Things to consider in your diagram:
This is relevant whether you’re a B2B or B2C orientated organisation. Examples might include your website, word-of-mouth, sponsorship, public relations or any element of your advertising, direct marketing, field marketing or sales promotion activities, employee uniform and clothing, and promotional merchandise.
During the purchase
Examples include the buying experience from your sales or client services team, a car test-drive, or the buying experience in a retailer – plus of course, using the product/service itself. Don’t underestimate this stage – as it can affect the customer’s decisions to use your company in the future.
After the purchase
Examples include whether you have a loyalty programme, after sales servicing, rebates, guarantees, calling customer services, trying to acquire a new part, etc. Once a customer has made a purchase the relationship should continue to be nurtured and you should aim for a continuous positive experience for your customer.
Creative Emporium – Complete Branding Solution
We understand how each element of your business can have an effect on your customers. And when it comes to making your brand stand out with your customers, we’re here to help you! Reflecting a strong brand identity is a key part of the customer journey, ensuring its consistent at every touchpoint. From the uniform your employees wear, to the promotional clothing and products you use for your marketing campaigns and events, we can help to ensure that your brand identity is reflected at every touchpoint.
From the 15th-19th September, we’re celebrating Promotional Products Week to raise the profile of promotional products and encourage their use within the marketing mix, so you can expect some exciting blog/social media content from us, to show you how to make promotional products a valuable part of your customer journey and marketing campaigns!
Want to chat through your requirements or need some inspiration? Then give us a call on 08707 500057 or drop us a line by email.