Posts Tagged ‘promotional product trends’

The changing shape of beverage promotion & POS

April 19th, 2013

Coca-Cola has long been known for its iconic contour bottle shape. The current trend in beverage marketing is to try to mimic that success. The creation of a unique bottle or can that increases recognition is becoming more important in today’s ever-crowded marketplace. Research shows that packaging as art is a lever that definitely drives consumer consideration. Ultimately the consumer will make a decision based on the experiential – the way a product sits on the shelf or how it feels in the hand.

Budweiser’s new center-crimped can (designed to reinforce their iconic bowtie image) is a great example of this trend. Craft brewing giant, Boston Beer Company, has rolled out a new flared lip, purported to better capture aroma and enhance the beer drinking experience. The standard beer/soda can has not seen such profound change since the pop top was invented in 1959.

Pepsi is rolling out a new swirl-handled bottle shape for its core product lines this April. Dainty, limited edition 7.5 ounce designer decorated cans will also grace store shelves.

With all this attention to detail, to put these functional masterpieces in mundane POS displays just seems – criminal. The opportunity to take in-store displays and develop something truly exceptional could be the only way for brands to stand out in a sea of iconic eye-candy.

Whiskey, women and the changing face of distilled spirit promotion

April 4th, 2013

The promotion of whisky to women is not new, it is just making a comeback.

Women are drinking it, blogging about it, and cooking with it. Bars and restaurants are promoting events specifically for women who have a passion for this caramel-colored spirit, infused with notes of peat and spice. Clubs for female whisky aficionados are becoming popular. Heck, they have even their very own typeface.

Marketers who once viewed whisky as a manly man’s drink are seeing this spirit from a different perspective – a female perspective. How to win the women who love whisky? Be as bold as the women who drink it.

Customer engagement is key to stimulating trial. Below is a unique twist on sampling that’s a novel take on the age old practice of getting a target market to sip your spirit:

Taste & Peel
Tasting strips are well suited for spirits. Wafer-thin film, packaged in a branded foil packet is a unique way to deliver the flavor without the alcohol. They are very similar to mouthwash strips – but way better tasting! Technology allows you to emulate the flavor of a spirit or mixed drink. Perfect for dry tastings, on/in pack promotion, or direct mail campaigns.

 

 

 

Promotional needs for craft brew are changing with the return of THE CAN

March 12th, 2013

Promoting craft brew used to be as simple as a new release and a bunch of brand evangelists. No so much anymore.

According to a Mintel research report, sales of craft beer have more than doubled from 5.7 billion in 2007 to 12 billion in 2012. Expectations are that market for craft beer will be an 18 billion dollar market by 2017.

Why such growth? Perhaps it is the authenticity of the product tapping into the consumer search for “real” product. Could it be that craft has become synonymous with the consumer search for products perceived to be more organic and less highly produced? Regardless, craft brew has become a beer industry powerhouse.

Along with this growth, craft brewers have begun to adopt marketing tactics more in step with their macro brewing cousins.

All hail the return of The Can.  Marketer’s beware of cookie cutter complacency. This is not beer can as usual. Specialty shapes and sizes are showing up on shelves. Four packs versus six packs, slim versus wide – craftbrewers are seeking to differentiate themselves from the ordinary. Industry standard displays will have to be tweaked or fundamentally redesigned to serve the needs of this growing segment. Research shows that a brew’s personality is a major selling feature for target markets.

Our thoughts … Time to crack open a can of your favorite brew and hit the drawing board. Craft brew promotion needs a new flavor.

How promotional products can help you tap into growing consumer optimism

February 26th, 2013

How Americans perceive their financial situations is a fairly accurate predictor of consumer spending habits. According to a preliminary reading from the Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan (TR/UM) index of current conditions, Americans are feeling more positive. The index just jumped from 66.6 to 68.7 for February.

Consumers seem to be giving the signal that they are open to explore the possibility of spending again. The timing seems ripe for marketers to amp up efforts to capture mindshare. It takes multiple impressions to get a consumer to take an action. In a fast-paced world that lives on short-term content, you might want to consider adding a longer term delivery mechanism like promotional products to your campaign. Here a few good reasons why:

  1. Promotional products deliver more impressions for a longer period of time than other media. According to a recent industry study, advertising specialties are kept for an average of 5.8 months.
  2. 87% of recipients could identify the advertiser associated with the item and
  3. 31% reported a high likelihood of doing
    business with the advertiser after receiving a promotional product. With a strong ROI,
    promotional products are a great addition to a multi-faceted marketing approach.

 

If you are a fact geek like me, check out the ASI study below for more detailed information.

*ASI Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study V. 3

Mardi Gras Mayhem: Super Bowl 2013 meets the humble throw bead

October 16th, 2012

Spectacular double-header this year with the Super Bowl in New Orleans during Mardi Gras! Let the good times roll indeed with two events that are institutions in their own right. Promotion in and around the events will be at a fever pitch. What better time to adopt long-established, well-loved, and sought-after Mardi Gras beads as your promotional product of choice.

This long-standing tradition began in the 1920’s when the Rex parade threw inexpensive glass strands into the crowd. Krewes continue to distribute thousands of bead necklaces from parade floats along the route. What started out in the traditional Mardi Gras colors, Purple (representing Justice,) Green (representing Faith,)and Gold (representing Power) are now limited only by the imagination of the advertiser.

Throw beads are a hallmark of the season and are an affordable way to get noticed. People will be collecting these souvenir items and taking them home. They are the perfect way to create brand awareness with a tried and true promotional track record. Bead Necklaces come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Look for football-shaped beads, football-shaped medallions, custom-built bead strands, and quick-turn decal medallions for those last minute promotional opportunities.

“Laissez les bons temps rouler!” Let the good times roll.

Leveraging the “TEXT” for Promotional Marketing & Engagement

September 24th, 2012

According to the Gallup Management Journal, brands that deliver functionally and emotionally for customers result in indexed loyalty scores three times higher.

A bold statement for bold marketers. Promotional marketing is all about engagement. It is the technique of triggering an emotional connection between the customer and brand through relevant function.

Texting has evolved into a mainstream behavior. Ease of use combined with instant gratification has made it more popular than ever. Mobile-based promotion has evolved as well. Enter mobile decoder marketing.

Mobile decoder marketing is basically short code on steroids. It delivers on both the functional and emotional levels by combining popular technology, advertising, and the thrill of a “chance to win”.

The other side of engagement for marketers is data capture. Most promotional products have the ability to engage but do not have the capacity to collect feedback from customers, much less measure the level of engagement. Use of modern communications technology can deliver for marketers too. Optional feedback mechanisms along with measurable statistics make mobile decoder marketing a texting win-win for everyone.

Interactive Direct Mail: Tapping our inner human through Decoder Technology

August 20th, 2012

Human beings are social by nature. We crave interaction, looking for ways to stimulate our natural sense of curiosity. We also love being entertained. Advertising has seen a progression from the simple hand-printed sign to interactive advertising using the full power of today’s technology.  

The goal of advertising has always been to alter behavior and to create a forum for interaction with a brand or product. Direct mail has been a stalwart and proven tactic for marketers for decades. With all the emphasis on sexier social outreach, direct mail has been relegated by some as an outmoded technique for promoting products and securing customer engagement.

 Enter Decoder Marketing. It is the use of a proprietary print technology to deliver a hidden message that can be decoded using on-site verifiers. How effective is this at changing consumer behavior? As it turns out…very effective .

IMC recently sent out a campaign to important clients we wanted to connect with at an event. The direct mail piece was imprinted with a hidden message that could be revealed at our booth location. Clients simply had to bring the card with them to the show. The results speak for themselves. Traditional direct mail has an industry standard response rate of around 1%. The addition of Decoder Marketing technology resulted in a response rate of 38%. Yes, you read that correctly – 38%. Results vary but decoder technology response rates hover around 30%.

The moral of this story: Dust off your direct mail program, have faith in human nature, and give yourself a lift.

Mardi Gras Goes Green: The Transformation of a Popular Trend

August 2nd, 2012

Mardi Gras – the festival of indulgence that has intrigued and delighted us in the United States since around 1699. The hallmark of this famous festivity – beads.  Thrown from floats, these timeless give-a-way items have been used by marketers to build awareness and drive traffic for decades. Over time, they have evolved into a pop culture phenomenon and are one of the most popular, and sought-after pieces of promotional jewelry. Collectible beads can be highly customized or a quick-turn promotional solution. Either way they are a proven advertising specialties product.

One of the hallmarks of a lasting trend is the ability to change with the times and cultural values of our society. The emphasis on sustainability, recycling , and environmentally-friendly products is paramount today.  Enter Corn Beads – throw beads made from corn plastic.  New eco-friendly corn beads are biodegradeable and compostable. They are made from a sustainable resource – corn, and return to the bio-mass in the form of simple CO2 and water. 

So go ahead. Think greener promotions when you think beads and let the good times roll!

Top five ways to use promotional products as incentives

May 4th, 2012

The Advertising Specialties Institute (ASI) has published their most recent study analyzing channel belief versus customer needs. In a world of massive changes in communications technology and how brands go to market, the promotional product is still an effective way to motivate and influence behavior in end-users.

In a previous post (about a year ago), I centered on the number of products and how long people hold on to thier advertising specialties. I challenged you to look in your purse, desk, closets to underscore the point. Today, I am happy to report that promotional products are alive and doing well in the marketplace. People will take action to acquire them. People covet them. People steal them (yep, that data is included in the study too!) End-users still love them.

The following is a list of the top five ways promotional products can, and do, influence the way end-users behave:

1. 82% will take a survey to gain a promotional product.

2. 70.6% of end-users will go to a booth at a tradeshow

3. 41.8% will “LIKE” a company on Facebook or post a Tweet on Twitter

4. 33.2% will buy the “gift” with purchase

5. 27.7% will make a positive post about the company on a social networking site

As a marketer in a sea of new technologies for engagement, it is comforting to know that some things never change.

Five successful wine tactics for marketing your craft brew

April 3rd, 2012

Looking for a growing segment in the beverage category? Craft beer is gaining in popularity, and market share. Facing competion from macro brewers and the ever expanding craft selection, how will new brews break through growing competition in the cold case?

The growing assortment of craft brews at retail give consumers more choice than ever. Craft brewers are looking to new ways to get their product to stand out on-premise and on retail shelves. Tap handles, coastersbar mats, and tacker signs are great ways to expand awareness – but is it enough to stand out in today’s crowded market?

With an emphasis on food pairings, aromas, and how to cook with it, the craftbrew conversation seems to more akin to wine than its macro brewing cousins. Perhaps craftbrewers should take inspiration from promotional products developed for wines.

1. The Recipie Pen
A great way to pass on great recipies, food pairings, or tasting notes. The retractable banner is a unique spin on a popular promotional product.

2. The Bottle Necker
On-pack promotion can get you noticed in or out of the cold case. Insert literature or small items like lapel pins.

3. Chill Bags
Nothing is better than a perfectly chilled bottle of beer. Except maybe receiving a perfectly chilled bottle of beer. What better way to brand your product, stimulate trial, create buzz, and deliver a memorable impression.

4. Shelf Talkers
Communicate your passion! Move more off the shelf by sharing your vision, your experience, your tasting notes with this time honored promotional tradition.

5. Custom Gift Bags
Treat hand-crafted specialty brews like high-end champagne. Offering a gift bag with purchase treats special brews with the status they so richly deserve.

Go beyond traditional brewing for ideas to get your brand noticed. Translate successful promotional ideas used by the grandiose grape to the humble hop and see what happens.

Innovative Marketing Consultants is a proud member of the Brewers Association. CLICK to view the entire press Brewers Association release.