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Promotional Products: The Ultimate Brand Ambassadors

Retro Small Hatchback SetOne popular marketing practice is the practice of hiring “brand ambassadors.” Brand ambassadors are people paid to represent a brand in a positive way.  Like a spokesperson, a brand ambassador (celebrity or not) is tasked with spreading the message of a company by interacting with customers, sales prospects, business partners, and the media.  As The Queen of Promotional Products, I believe in strongly in brand diplomacy, if it’s done well.  And, I happen to know the best brand ambassadors our there.  Read on….

When done right, a brand ambassador program can be very effective. One of my favorite examples of a successful ambassador campaign is the one Google launched way back in 2005. They hired college students as “Pizza Ambassadors” to wander the study halls of the country’s top engineering universities, handing out free pizza on behalf of Google. It showed the students that Google was cool, and served as an excellent—and delicious!—recruitment tool while reinforcing the company’s product and its brand.

On the other hand, brand ambassadorships can also lead to disastrous results. In the 1990s, actress Helena Bonham Carter was a brand ambassador for the cosmetics company, Yardley—until she admitted in an interview that she never, ever wore makeup. Oops. In 2008, Jenny Craig reportedly cut ties with actress Kirstie Alley after she gained back all the weight she’d lost on the program. And in 2010, after news of his many infidelities hit the newsstands, golfer Tiger Woods lost many of his brand ambassadorships, including Gatorade, Gillette, and Rolex. You might say these kind of scandals are “par for the course” when you hire people to represent your brand.

If you’re suddenly thinking that the risks of having a brand ambassador outweigh the benefits, never fear. Promotional products are the ultimate brand ambassadors, for many reasons. Here are just a few:

Canada_flag_bulletThey don’t require training.  Promotional products were created to do one thing and one thing only: promote. They don’t need a meeting with human resources, or a few weeks of on-the-job training. In a world where time is money, the ability to do your job immediately is incredibly valuable.

Italy_flag_bulletYou don’t have to pay them a salary.  Promotional products are happy to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They don’t take vacations, ask for lunch breaks, or clock out at 4:59PM. When working with promotional products, you pay a one-time cost, and then sit back and let them do the heavy lifting.

UK_flag_bulletThey are consistent in their message.  Promotional products don’t run the risk of doing or saying the wrong thing! You decide which product best advertises your company and exactly what to print on it, so the message is set in stone by the people who know best.

Brazil_flag_bulletThey are equal-opportunity influencers.  Promotional products appeal to people who like free things. In other words: everyone! And if your giveaway is something that can be carried or worn outdoors, such as jackets, tote bags, umbrellas, or hats, your message gets spread to everyone who encounters it.

Australia_flag_bulletThey won’t become embroiled in scandal.  Promotional products won’t get caught cheating on their spouse, stealing from a charity, or driving while intoxicated. When you use promotional products to represent your business, the focus stays on the message, rather than the person spreading it.

US_flag_bulletThey won’t quit or find a new job.  Promotional products are happy to work long hours, and keep doing their job for years after they leave your hands and enter the homes of your target audience. In fact, a recent study found that 27% of people keep a promotional product for 1-2 years, while 21% keep it for more than four years.  Now that’s job security!

As you can see, promotional products are the most effective, and low-risk way to spread your message and endorse your business or company.  To find your next brand ambassador, contact A Creative Touch today!

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The 7 Deadly Sins When Ordering Promotional Products

Seven Deadly Sins of Promotional ProductsMost of us are familiar with the seven deadly sins, a handy list of deeds that are pretty much unforgivable. Wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony—those are the extracurricular activities that will get you in big trouble, whether we’re talking religion, law, or every day family life.

You might think the world of promotional products is safe from such evils, but it’s not. There’s a dark side to even the brightest things, and those seven deadly sins can also be committed through promotional products. With Halloween right around the corner, the time to be vigilant is now. Good thing A Creative Touch is here to keep you on the straight and narrow!

1.  Wrath:  If you invested time and money into a promotional product that no one wants, it’s easy to get angry and plot your revenge, but there’s a better way to deal with this kind of set back. Calm down, take a deep breath, and figure out what went wrong. Maybe you ordered a promotional product that didn’t fit your target market. For example, buying t-shirts in a standard men’s cut if you’re promoting a new line of make-up probably isn’t the best choice.  To avoid wrath, the best strategy is to start with a promotional products expert like Renée, at A Creative Touch, who has the knowledge to steer you in the right direction.   Renée has obtained the highest professional designations of Certified Advertising Specialist (CAS),  MAS (Master Advertising Specialist), MASI (Master of Advertising Specialty Information), and ​MAS+ (Master Advertising Specialist Plus). Less than 3% of people in the promotional products industry have just one of these certifications, and she has them all!

2.  Greed:  It can be tempting to cut corners in order to keep prices down. While shopping smart is a good idea, don’t let your love for savings get the best of you. Purchasing cheap promotional products is a surefire way to send the wrong message about your business or organization. Potential clients should associate you with quality service and merchandise, and that starts with quality promotional products. Spend a little extra now and the payoff will be worth it.  At A Creative Touch, we take quality very seriously.  If a product doesn’t pass our stringent quality control standards, we won’t recommend it!

3.  Sloth:  You place a large order for a promotional product, only to realize when the items arrive that your website is misspelled, your phone number is wrong, and your logo’s color is three shades too dark. All these mistakes are easy to avoid if your promotional products specialist and you work closely together as a team.  Communication is paramount.  So is double-checking and triple-checking final proofs–it pays to take the time to proofread. Don’t let sloth get the best of you—triple check everything, and your life will be much easier.

4.  Pride:  If you resist innovation and creativity, preferring to keep things as they are, you may be a victim of pride.  If you’ve been giving away the same promotional product for the last twenty years, we’ve got news for you: it’s time to change things up. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, and don’t fall into the trap of assuming your products are perfect as is. You can always improve, and A Creative Touch can show you how.

5.  Lust:  When you first get a new promotional product, you might be so excited that you end up handing it out freely to every single person you meet. While this is generous, it’s not the most effective use of your promotional products. Instead of trying to woo the whole world, focus on two groups of people—current customers you hope will come again, and non-customers who may do business with you in the future. By targeting a selective group instead of lusting after every single prospect, your goods will be more appreciated and your promotional product advertising dollars will go further.

6.  Envy:  While we encourage people to get creative with the types of promotional products they purchase, there is a limit to how many trends you can chase. While you might see another company using a promotional product and feel a flash of jealousy, don’t view it as a sign that you should rush out and buy that exact same thing. Remember: just because it works for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for you. Resist turning green with envy, and stay true to your vision.

7.  Gluttony:  Some people fall into the trap of believing that more is better. They want to order in bulk every single time, and end up with more promotional products than they need. Sound familiar? If so, try focusing on quality rather than quantity. You may find that in some cases, a small number of high-end promotional products offer better value, in more ways than one!

To avoid these and other unspeakable sins, embrace the forces of good promotional products service and call A Creative Touch today.

 

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