Archive for March, 2009

Ode to the Promotional Bag

March 18th, 2009

 

The modest bag.

Simple, utilitarian and, according to results from the latest ASI Advertising Specialties Impressions study, a promotional powerhouse.

“Among wearables, bags were reported to be used most frequently with respondents indicating that they used their bags an average of nine times per month. They also deliver the most impressions: Each bag averages 1,038 impressions per month.”

The survey of 465 business people,mainly between the ages of 21 and 44, was conducted in June and July of 2008. Respondents had all received promotional products within the past 12 months. 8 out of 10 could recall the advertisers of the products they had received.

Bags were seen 30% more of the time, beating out old standbys like shirts and caps in the wearables category. Bags were held onto longer, with a whopping 42% being kept over a year. Shirts at 10% and caps at 15%, lagged well behind.

Bags were also considered 14% more useful than thier shirt and cap counterparts.

In ability to identify the advertiser, bags again led the wearables category with a 94% brand retention rate. Respondents reported having a better impression and higher likelihood of doing business with the advertiser after receiving a promotional bag item.

It’s nice to see the modest bag coming into its own. Quietly and resourcefully it has taken on the competition and emerged victorious. Innovations making them more interesting and relevant are abounding. Try one for your next promotional project.

 

IMC Marketer – Promotional ProductsPromotional Product Consultingwww.imcsuccess.com

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo & Mexican Heritage

March 18th, 2009

 

History and Celebration in Mexico:  The Fifth of May commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely defeat of French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Cinco de Mayo has limited significance nationwide in Mexico and is celebrated primarily in the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico. Mexico not withstanding, the date is observed in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.

 

Celebration in the Rest of the World: Cinco de Mayo is observed by many Americans regardless of ethnic origin. Special events and celebrations highlight Mexican culture, foods, beverages, music and regional dancing. Similar to other ethnic heritage celebrations, outward expressions of the connection abound. Banners, beads, noisemakers, you name it. Cinco de Mayo is quickly making its way up to Mardi Gras or St. Patrick’s holiday advertising specialty status.

 

Although it is late for ordering overseas, many vendors offer quick-turn products that allow you to capitalize on this great promotional opportunity.

Bottle-shaped Lo2go Projector Keychain

 A Very Basic Tequila Primer:  Of all things associated with our southern neighbor, what is better known and less understood than one of Mexico’s most famous exports – tequila. Tequila continues to build popularity and if dedicated shelf space and variety of assortment is an indicator, Americans of all backgrounds are embracing it. Growing competition increases promotional opportunity as brand managers seek to stimulate trial.

Tequila is made either wholly or in part from the juice of the agave plant. Agave plants take 10 to 12 years to mature to the point of being harvested. A popular blending spirit is derived from sugarcane, which comes up every year, making a blended product less expensive. Whereas in single-malt whiskey, the expense is in the aging, barreling, and storage, for 100% blue agave tequila, the expense is in the plants, place and micro climate where the plants are grown.

 

In different tequilas the mouth-feel, aroma, taste, and color are varied. It has been suggested that like tasting fine aged whiskeys, you should never judge by the first sip. The second sip is the ticket.

 

Tequilas differ by hue, blend and time spent in the barrel. Premium tequilas are made from 100% blue agave juice. A “Mixto” is a blend greater than 50% un-aged blue agave spirit, with the rest made up of other spirit, most often sugarcane spirit.

 

The three hues of tequila are white, gold, and darker gold. Tequila can get its golden tone one of two ways – short or longer term aging in barrels or caramel coloring.

  • - White (Blanco or Silver) tequila spends no time in oak barrels.
  • - Reposado ( “rested”) is blanco tequila that has been rested in white oak barrels for between two months and a year.
  • - Añejo are “aged” tequilas.

Now that you have, at least in part, knowledge of this happy holiday and mysterious spirit, you are prepared to discuss promotion of agave-based products and raise your own Cinco de Mayo toast!

IMC Marketer – Promotional ProductsPromotional Product Consultingwww.imcsuccess.com

 

Overseas Manufacturing Partners Respond to Economic Downturn

March 4th, 2009

The recession opens up new opportunities for direct importing of products

If you have ever thought that taking your production overseas was not possible – look again. Overseas suppliers are taking measures to ensure that they remain an attractive alternative to domestic production. In order to boost lagging sales, some manufacturers are removing obstacles or improving service in the following areas:

  • - Reduced Minimum Order Quantities (MOQ)
  • - Shortening lead times by stocking popular models, ready for imprint
  • - Speeding up new product initiatives and release dates

Reduced MOQ
The dynamic of our highly inter-dependant global economy is moving into full gear across the supply chain. Lower MOQs mean more opportunity for moving certain production overseas. The cost efficiencies are attractive (on up to 30%+ in some cases) if your vendor has import experience and knows how to manage the process.

Go with someone who has a proven, long-term tracklist and good factory partnerships. This includes attention to communications, consistancy/quality, product testing, proper documentation and logistics.

Shorter Lead Times
With a new emphasis on speed to market, some overseas suppliers are beginning stocking programs similar to thier domestic counterparts. While this will most likely never replace a good domestic quick-turn program, it may enable you to save on longer term programs where you need cost-efficiency.

New Products
In order to capitalize on the power of difference, accelerated product releases will bring new innovations to the forefront in the battle for your business. Definitely geared toward longer lead times, but what a great reason to pick up the phone and have a conversation.

So go ahead! It may be well worth your while to revisit overseas manufacturing options and take advantage of a recession upside for a change.

IMC Marketer – Promotional Products - Overseas Sourcing - Direct Import Programs -  www.imcsuccess.com