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  • January 20, 2022 3:26 PM | Deleted user

    Interview With A Marketer
    A chat with a recent Marketing Graduate1/20/2022 | Jessica Onions, Designer Patch

    Listen To Article

    I sat down with Halle Moore, Marketing Assistant at PromoCorner and a recent graduate from Umass Boston to discuss some principles of Marketing. Graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Management and a concentration in Marketing, Halle studied the dynamics of various marketing types, how to interpret and utilize marketing data, and how to determine which type of marketing is best for assorted demographics.

    With the variations of marketing you studied, which one(s) would you say our industry can benefit from the most?

    For our industry, I think all things digital is a huge benefit. People are on their phones and computer all day long and having access to market to people directly on those things is huge.

    Analytics are huge, but a lot of people don't know what to focus in on. Once upon a time what we looked at is now classified as vanity metrics. What do you consider to be the most important piece of data that should be collected and analyzed from a marketing campaign?

    The most important thing to consider when running a marketing campaign is why are you doing it. You should have a goal in mind and implement things that will help you achieve that goal.

    As we all know, content is king and social media is leading the way. What are the top 3 tips you can share to help people best position their brand in an oversaturated world of content?

    1. Put out content that you would want to watch or learn more about. If you aren’t interested in what you're doing neither will your audience. 

    2. Don’t be afraid to try a different approach, not all pieces of content will work out or be a hit but you can learn from where they went wrong. 

    3. Be unique and relevant with your content. Just because everyone is doing something doesn’t mean you need to but if you believe you can do it in a fresh way, go for it.

    What is the top mistake you’ve seen made time and again in Marketing and how do you suggest it be fixed?

    Not having clear goals in place. You really want to know why and what you're marketing. Sitting down with your team and coming up with a clear game plan will not only help any current marketing campaigns but also future ones.

    I started in the Promotional Products Industry in 2010, right when the usage of Social Media for business began - at least in our industry. I lucked out to be working with Dana Zezzo at the time because he saw the tremendous value of this new way of marketing (#GetSocial) and how it acted as an extra touchpoint with customers and a way to stay top of mind. Fast forward 12 years later and marketing on social media has become the norm. What are some best practices you were taught to leverage social media for brand marketing?

    Finding the perfect balance of how much you should be posting. You don't want to overwhelm your follower's feed, but you want to make sure you're posting enough to keep high engagement and not let people forget about you.

    How do you think the digital marketing landscape will change in the next few years?

    I believe we will see a pretty big change in digital marketing in the next few years. Technology is changing faster than ever and with that, new marketing approaches will be created to fill this new technology. 


    Before you dive headfirst into your 2022 marketing make sure you set up clear goals, create relevant content, and take advantage of the numerous opportunities with digital marketing.


    Jessica is the Art Director at PromoCorner and has been in the promotional products industry since 2010. With a degree in Graphic Design, she has been working in Marketing since 2006 creating advertising of all sizes; from social posts to billboards. Jessica shares her passion for design in her monthly blog, Designer Patch. She can be reached at jessica@promocorner.com.

    Used with permission from PromoCorner

  • January 20, 2022 2:48 PM | Deleted user


    No matter the field, talent and natural ability are only responsible for so much of our outcomes. What separates a repeat champion like Tom Brady from 31 other starting quarterbacks in the NFL? It’s not his arm strength or quickness, but his mindset, focus and mental strength.

    In that spirit, refining the mental game was the subject of this week’s Distributors Helping Distributors webcast, hosted by co-founders of TheSwagCoach.com Michael Mahoney and Josh Frey, the sales columnist for PPB.

    Frey and Mahoney, who coach and consult promotional products distributors to help them reach their sales goals, began the discussion with a simple thesis: If you want to reach key revenue milestones in 2022, you need to be in the right headspace, with the right mindset, which starts by silencing your inner critic and elevating your mental and emotional well-being.

    “If you’re like me, there are some days when you don’t have your mojo, and some days that you do, and that’s just human,” Mahoney said. “I personally have found that consciously working to put my mind in the right place can make a difference in my attitude and how I’m able to perform at work…. As I’m talking to distributors around the country, I hear that maybe they feel stress or overwhelmed with constant work demands, they’re overbooked, there’s anxiety, fear, not having time for themselves.

    “We’re all small-businesspeople, we’re entrepreneurs…. It’s hard to separate the personal from the business, so it’s really important to get our heads in the right place.”

    The duo were joined for the webcast by well-being strategist and mindfulness speaker Oksana Esberard, author of the book Next Level You: How I Transformed My Life With Mindfulness and Meditation. Much of the discussion centered around a classic topic and personal and professional development: positive thinking.

    “If something didn’t happen, let’s say a sale didn’t go through, I just say that it doesn’t mean for me that something better is not coming,” Esberard said. “Self-worth: I think we get associated so much with all of the losing in sales, in us losing something…. It’s work to stay in the zone, or balance, to not take it personally.”

    Aside from rebounding from negative experiences in sales, Frey also pointed out that remaining sharp after wins is important to continued business growth.

    “It took me 20 years to enjoy the journey,” Frey said. “I had this moment where I had done more sales than I had ever done in a year, I had a sales team that was crushing it… and it was just such a grind to get there that I couldn’t even enjoy it.

    “That’s something I’m really focused on—finding the parts of the work that you enjoy so that the journey becomes so much more enjoyable, and freeing yourself up from the stuff that’s not.”

    Used with permission from PPAI Media

  • January 20, 2022 2:47 PM | Deleted user

    I recently shared a cab with the business owner of a print manufacturer who was headed to an industry conference where I was slated to be a presenter on workforce trends and solutions. He turned to me and said, “Ok, then tell me … where the heck did everyone go? Where are the workers and how do we get them to come work for us?”

    Where, indeed! Unfortunately, they have gone to a variety of places and for a variety of reasons. Some have quit their jobs because of continued COVID hesitancy, some because of ongoing childcare challenges, some have quit to take on new opportunities and the chance to earn more money and gain more workplace flexibility, and some have quit just to take a much-needed break, knowing that when the savings run low there will be ample job opportunities for them to jump back into the labor market.  

    What’s an employer to do? Well, it starts with a shift of mindset and these five steps:


    Who are you looking to hire? Is it someone with maturity and experience? Someone with less experience but lots of enthusiasm? Someone local or someone remote? We encourage our clients to visualize the talent they seek and work to understand what their desired employees are looking for. What do they want? Too often, business leaders fail to recognize the unique needs and wants of their talent and focus instead on what they want, as employers. Don’t know what your desired hires want in their lives or in their jobs? Just ask the ones who already work for you, who are in the same demographic, what they want and like about their jobs. What are their strengths and opportunities, and how can you maximize those assets while minimizing the weaknesses and threats that they may bring with them?  



    How much of your marketing budget are you spending to tell your story to attract talent? My guess is very little. I have spent endless hours exploring corporate career sites and company job boards and few of them show any effort to attract talent. Instead, the marketing is often re-constituted sales material that, from a potential employee’s perspective, is redundant and uninspiring. Revamp it! Show prospective employees you understand who they are and what they want. Use videos, social media and testimonials to tell the stories of employees who are just like them. Show community. Show opportunity. Show your culture. Maximize social media. Yes, create a TikTok video! If you don’t know how to do this, find someone who does and put your marketing resources behind it. 



    Try this: grab your smartphone and log on to your company website and look for your career site. Is it easy to find? Next, look at your job openings. Do they look cool? Would a Gen Z be inspired to apply? Remember, 90 percent of job seekers look for jobs from their mobile devices. Next, try applying using your mobile phone. Not easy? That’s a problem because the vast majority of employees in the first 10 years of their careers are applying for jobs using their mobile devices. Keep going—did you fill out the employment application? Hard, right? Having to search for the names, phone numbers and addresses of previous employers and educational institutions, and then having to populate the application fields using your smartphone is close to impossible. Simplify your application and keep revising it until it’s easy to complete. Don’t forget to capture candidates who start job applications. If they bailed before completion, it’s likely not because they are uninterested but because your application was too hard to complete. They still may be interested in the position. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––


    Wages are going up—fast. To remain competitive, many employers are paying more for talent than they budgeted and then they are facing internal inequities with their existing talent pool. Yes, pay is important, but so are other things. Young workers want to do well, but they also want to do good. How can you help them do that? Most young workers would take less pay for more time off. They want to travel—how can you help them do that? Who wouldn’t want a leased car or a holiday vacation rental as a perk? Stop thinking only about pay and look for innovative and creative perks and benefits that can attract and inspire the talent you want.



    It’s no surprise that, after more than a year of working from home, employees want to maintain some form of flexibility. Those who cannot work from home want that flexibility, too. Survey after survey show that employees will be more loyal, more engaged and will even accept less pay in exchange for more workplace flexibility. Not sure how to do that? Ask your employees for ideas on how you can create and maintain a flexible workplace, regardless of job role.

    Yes, 2022 looks like it’s going to be challenging from a hiring and retaining standpoint. With empathy, creativity and imagination, you can make it the best year yet.   


    Claudia St. John, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is president of Affinity HR Group, PPAI’s affiliated human resources partner, which specializes in providing human resources assistance to associations, including PPAI and its member companies. www.affinityHRgroup.com. 

    Used with permission from PPAI Media

  • December 07, 2021 11:19 AM | Deleted user

    No matter what side of the political arena you are on, the current presidential administration’s mantra of “Build Back Better” is timely for new year’s resolutions – who doesn’t want to make a better year for themselves, their loved ones, and their workplaces in 2022? After such an unstable year, we all want to build ourselves a better new year.

    Each year, millions of people across the globe review their personal and professional situations to identify areas of desired improvements and goals to achieve. New Years’ Resolutions are critical for self-empowerment.

    Most people are New Year’s Resolvers – but unlike past years, 2022, which really began building off of 2020, showcases the health of the whole self as critical.

    Data analyst Katharina Buchholz at Statista explained how 2020 shaped up for Americans in their resolution priorities, based on a survey by Ipsos for Urban Plates: “For 2020, Americans are making the resolution to adopt healthy habits – concerning their finances as well as their bodies.  Out of all participants who said they were making one or several new year’s resolutions, 51 percent wanted to manage their finances better and an equal amount wanted to adopt healthier eating habits. More popular resolutions for the upcoming year also circled around improving one’s health, with a more active lifestyle and weight loss being favorite answers.”

    Specifically, respondents resolved to be more active (50%), lose weight (42%), improve mental well-being (38%), improve social connections (30%), learn a new skill (22%), and become more eco-friendly (22%).

    This year, according to a November 16, 2021 analysis by Shutterstock AI, 2022 new year’s resolutions appear to weigh heavy on the side of self-care (beyond losing weight). Based on analyzing click-through imagery, photos and videos of people peacefully at sleep in bed have skyrocketed 29%, while images showing napping (such as on the couch) have zoomed 108% in a year. Another related area of triple-digit growth is people relaxing in hot tubs (111%). Self-care is the key theme that Shutterstock believes harbingers a newly prioritized resolution for the upcoming new year.

    This is followed by the desire to eat a more plant-based diet, following consistent news reports of the health and wellness benefits plus the bevy of new plant-based food options launched in the past two years.

    How Promotional Products Can Help

    Knowing that self-care beyond simply getting into shape will be top of mind for most New Year Resolvers, you can help guide your clientele to deliver the most appropriate and appreciated logoed products for a new year’s campaign.

    Part of the new self-care is largely about mental, spiritual, and emotional wellness, along with the idea of clean living and eating. Forget about “quitting smoking,” as a new year’s resolution, “quitting negative thinking” for many has become very important.

    And there’s a promotional product tool for that. The Book Company’s A Year of Gratitude for 2022 page-a-day calendar infuses the recipient with daily reminders of how to be positive and to sustain a healthy level of gratitude. This is a great new year’s promotional product for mental healthcare, spas, rehab centers, and also for corporate team-building and onboarding activities.

    Great corporate gifts for the new year include self-pampering products such as HHPLift’s Spa Day collection, Logomark’s Feel-Good 7-piece Spa Kit and Getaway 4-Piece Spa Kit in Box; WOWLine’s Sleep Mask, Promosky Gifts’ Adjustable Spa Headband, Via Kit Company’s Spa Set and Earth Spa Kit, Hirsch Gift’s Serene House Spa Kit, and more. These spa products are also suitable for physicians’ offices and travel/hospitality clients or clients that will emphasize the concept of “rejuvenation” for 2022.

    Clients that want to help end-users achieve their 2022 fitness goals can choose a wide variety of yoga mats (WOV-IN) or Turkish Signature Workout Towels from Towel Specialties, Rush Service’s Yoga Circle Hip Resistance Band, and Journalbooks/Timeplanner’s Health & Fitness Journals.

    Planners and journals are much-desired gifts – blank pages and new days represent opportunities for renewal, for achievement, and for growth. There is a wide variety of upscale journals, notebooks, and planners (daily, weekly, monthly) from Castelli/The Magnet Group, and Journalbooks/Timeplanner.

    Perfect for your healthcare clients, Coloring Book Solutions provides Slide Charts, for cholesterol monitoring, for blood pressure monitoring, for nutrition, for physical fitness, and for calorie/carbohydrate/fat monitoring.

    There are many more ways to help your clients take advantage of the new opportunities and freshly forged willpower that this upcoming new year provides. The message of supporting goals and growth will be appreciated all year long.

    Used with permission from PromoCorner

  • December 07, 2021 11:17 AM | Deleted user

    So, it’s like this: just like everyone else, I’m going through some “stuff”. As I’ve long said, I’m not a fan of real life. File this under “Is what it is”. Subheading: “Oh yeah? You think you’ve got it bad? Let me tell you about my problems”.

    As a result of this “stuff”, it’s got me thinking a lot about planning. Planning ahead. Worst case scenarios. You know…what happens when I get hit by the proverbial bus.

    Note that I wrote “when”, and not “if”. Now that’s planning. At any rate…

    I realized that, as cheery a topic as it is, this would make for an interesting column to share. As I started to formulate it (if you ever want to know about the creative process I use, look up “wait until the last minute and then panic”), the concept and points were coming to me quite easily. And then I remembered why.

    I wrote about this already. Back in 2017. Same concept: what happens to what we’ve built, or are in the process of building, should we get hit by that bus?

    It’s nice to know that someone reads and remembers my columns. I just wish it wasn’t always me.

    That column had been primarily about protecting your business. This time…let’s get personal.

    I think this is an important subject which should be revisited regularly. If you followed my advice four years ago it’s time to update the plan. The tech items and services I recommended then are probably obsolete anyway. Just as with estate planning, this is a fluid thing which needs to be revisited and updated regularly.

    In researching this, I just learned that the odds of actually getting hit by a bus is 495,000 to 1. I thought that was something you might want to know.

    Further research shows that the average person has about 130 different online accounts, such as multiple email addresses, bank accounts, credit cards, games to which you subscribe, shopping, and so forth. If you’re as smart as I want to believe you are (after all, you read my columns), you’re not using the same password for each. You’re also not using “password” as your password. And please don’t think you’re being clever by using “passw0rd”.

    I’m reminded of the scene from the lesser-classic “Space Balls”, where the King has to provide a secret combination. It turns out that combination is 1-2-3-4-5, about which the character Dark Helmet says “That’s the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage”. Don’t be that idiot…mix up your passwords.

    How are you supposed to remember 130+ different passwords? You’re not expected to. Save them in some sort of document. You think that writing them down on a piece of paper is a bad idea? It’s not great…but it’s better than thinking “ah…I’ll remember it”. Keep a digital document. As it turns out, the worst possible method for saving passwords is also the most popular. Irony, you’re a cruel bus-driver.

    Why are you doing this? For one thing, as we get older, we get more forgetful. For another thing, we get more forgetful. Having a list…somewhere…saves many frustrating minutes trying to (a) remember what the password is, and (2) going through the tedious, time-sucking steps of having to reset your password.

    Another reason for doing this? That aforementioned bus. More importantly, you’ve got to have someone who has access to this list. Think about it: who do you trust with the keys to the kingdom? You’re gonna have to take a leap of faith here.

    Look at it this way: you’re doing someone else a favor by having all your information readily available for when that time comes. It’s literally the last nice thing you are doing for that person.

    I know…it’s easier said than done. I may have to follow my own advice. Because that’s worked out for me up until now.

    Mike Schenker, MAS, is “all that” at Mike Schenker, Consulting, where he assists businesses entering the promotional products industry, mentors professionals, and offers association management. He is a promotional industry veteran and member of the Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York (SAAGNY) Hall of Fame. He can be reached at mike@mikeschenker.com.

    Used with permission from PromoCorner

  • December 07, 2021 11:13 AM | Deleted user

    Consumers have an unquenchable thirst for drinkware. Between mugs, bottles and tumblers, they can’t get enough. And with ever-growing environmental and health concerns, reusable drinkware is a solution that makes a statement.

    From marathon runners to corporate suits, consumers are constantly looking for the perfect cup. According to industry research, as many as 78 percent of U.S. consumers own branded drinkware, and half of those people use their logoed mugs and cups between two and three times per week. When people find a favorite bottle or mug, they use it faithfully, which is why branded drinkware leads in impressions—more than 1,400 for the average item in its lifecycle. Along with this heavy usage, people tend to keep branded drinkware longer than other categories of promo items. PPAI research shows that recipients keep their promotional kitchenware, including mugs and other drinkware, for roughly four years on average. So, it’s not a question of whether end users are using branded drinkware, but if they’re using drinkware that’s customized with your client’s branding.

    Drinkware is more than an everyday essential; it’s a testament to one’s lifestyle. Consumers have found an identity in the types of beverages they drink and drinkware they use. The Atlantic says coffee lovers have created a prospering coffee-connoisseur culture. According to a survey of 2,000 coffee drinkers by OnePoll, almost half (49 percent) of respondents say they have become at-home baristas during quarantine, developing their coffee-making skills during their time inside. Since the pandemic began, more Americans (42 percent) now consider themselves coffee connoisseurs.

    Today, drinkware can even be a defining characteristic of a subgroup. For example, the “VSCO girl” or “VSCO kids” are always sipping from and carrying around a Hydro Flask water bottle. In 2019, the VSCO girl, named after the photo-editing app VSCO, became popular on social media and has since emerged into a youth subculture of people who post trendy photos of a similar aesthetic. This cool, carefree VSCO girl lives (and posts) a surfer-like lifestyle, wearing puka shell necklaces and hair scrunchies. While the beach aesthetic is fundamental to the VSCO girl, consistently using products, like the Hydro Flask, is also vital to her identity.

    Today, drinkware is a part of self-expression. The Atlantic says that fancy water bottles have become a status symbol. Carrying a water bottle not only implies that you make hydration a priority, but also that you care about the environment. Essential to a well-functioning body, drinking water is obviously not new, but the trend of constant consumption has continued to rise in popularity over the past decade. Like other uber-popular consumer goods, major celebrity endorsements have helped to fuel this hydration fixation. The 2000s led to a rise of water brands like Évian and FIJI. In a 2005 Washington Post report, publicist Jonathan Cheban describes how he made Évian into a luxury water brand, which he achieved by strategically placing Évian onto tables at an Oscars after-party, resulting in a myriad of photographs being taken of celebrities sipping their Évian water bottles.

    In 2007, Glaceau’s Smartwater joined the high-end water wars with actress Jennifer Aniston as its new spokesperson. While Aniston showcased the brand in ads, she also spoke of water as her beauty secret whenever she could. According to Paper magazine, in interviews she’d boast to drinking 100 ounces of water per day. Soon other celebrities touted the benefits of water as being similar to all-purpose beauty elixir. Beyonce told Vogue in 2012 that she drinks a gallon of water a day and Gabrielle Union told The New York Times that she does the same to maintain her “hair, skin and nails.” Suddenly, drinking water became so “cool” that it was constantly being endorsed by top entertainers and other celebrities.

    Hydration is a top wellness priority for many consumers. Now marketed as a cure for many of life’s woes, water on-the-go is a must. Since 2017, bottled water has been the most popular beverage in the United States by volume, surpassing soft drinks with sales up seven percent over the previous year, according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, a beverage consulting firm. This love for water isn’t just based on brand name, either. According to Statistica, generic brands outsell prestigious ones. While consumers may curb their intake of caffeinated or sugary beverages, pop culture says to drink more water. So, people are drinking water all day and even carrying it around with them, bringing water on the go. Giant, even cumbersome water jugs are a new fashion accessory, according to MEL magazine.

    The New York Times says that everyone’s 2020 resolution was to drink more water. As a result, this need for easy-to-use and convenient drinkware for everyday hydration and a growing focus on fitness is driving market growth. The drinkware market is following suite with sales expected to exceed $35 billion by 2025, according to MarketWatch. Global shifts toward the use of more sustainable materials are also leading to market gains. When it comes to mugs and cups, metal and silicon are leading the industry. Metal drinkware, in particular, is more durable than other materials, making it much more economically and environmentally viable, according to MarketWatch. Consumers also gravitate to design-forward drinkware that represents their lifestyles.

    Drinkware gifts say, “I care about you. Please stay hydrated.” Whether it’s a water, tea or tequila, every end user could use a drink.


    Styrofoam is one of the most environmentally unfriendly types of waste that exists today. According to the Green Dining Alliance, it takes over 500 years for Styrofoam to break down. Around the world, 25 to 30 percent of landfill space is filled with Styrofoam. While many types of packaging can be recycled, Styrofoam containers that held food or beverages are not recyclable due to contamination, even at recycling centers where Styrofoam is accepted. One distributor saw not just a problem, but an opportunity waiting for a solution. Chris Stumpf, MAS, CEO of Stumpies Marketing Group, also saw a marketing opportunity for one of his clients, a scout camp for kids, and stepped in with promotional drinkware to replace the Stryofoam cups being used. Stumpf explains, “Gulf Stream Council operates a scout camp called Tanah Keeta Scout Reservation in Florida. During their weeklong summer camp, they serve 17 meals to scouts. They also feed the scouts involved in day activities. There are water coolers spread around the camp for people to get water. On average, a scout might get water three times a day from the coolers and eat three meals meaning a scout would use a minimum of six Styrofoam cups per day. Just for the weeklong scout camp program, the camp would use around 26,000 Styrofoam cups.”

    To save money and the environment, Stumpies Marketing Group imprinted the camp logo on a plastic stein mug from supplier CPS Keystone along with the camp’s name on the carabiner. Stumpf says, “When the scouts check in, they are given a mug with the carabiner clipped to the handle so they can clip the mug to their belt loop or backpack. When they go to meals, the only way to get a drink is to use their mug. When they are around camp and want water out of the coolers, they have to use their mug.” Not only did the mug solve a significant problem, but it also highlighted the camp’s values. “This saves about 26,000 to 30,000 Styrofoam cups from being put into the landfill. It teaches responsibility, sustainability and is environmentally friendly. It saves the camp money because they spend less on the mugs and carabiners than the cost of the Styrofoam cups. This also supports one of the 12 scout laws which is ‘A Scout is Thrifty.’ The scouts can continue to use the mug after camp is over. They can take it on other camping trips, so they don’t have to buy a cup in the future. The carabiner can also be used in other ways as well.”


    Make this three-in-one tool a part of your client’s next promotion. The magnetic bottle opener coaster has a strong magnetic back that holds to any metal surface and a strong metal jaw to easily open bottles. The large imprint area gives your client maximum ad exposure.

    Beacon Promotions, Inc.   /   PPAI 113702, S10   /   www.beaconpromotions.com


    Make the perfect cup of tea with the Aviana™ Cambridge Tea For One Set. Available in black or speckle, this clever set fits right in at homes or offices. Designed as a space‐saver, the silicone ring helps to keep the set neatly stacked away when not in use. With a stainless-steel infuser for brewing loose tea, this 12-ounce mug and 17-ounce teapot are top-rack dishwasher safe. Remove the silicone ring and the metal infuser before microwaving or dishwashing.

    Gemline  /  PPAI 113948, S11  /  www.gemline.com


    Ideal for an office desk or a walk across campus, this 18-ounce Thermos® tumbler has vacuum insulation technology for maximum temperature retention, keeping drinks cold for hours. Its double wall, stainless-steel construction with a removable straw keeps iced coffee, smoothies and juices flowing for max enjoyment and easy cleaning. A unique exterior resists fingerprints and is sweat-proof. The cup and straw are both dishwasher-safe.


    SnugZ USA  /  PPAI 112982, S10  /  www.snugzusa.com


    The Anchor™ is a universal non-tipping cup holder designed to secure your favorite cup or drinkware container and anchor it to any smooth surface. This portable cup holder will keep your drink from getting knocked over in almost any situation. To use, simply set the Anchor down and insert your favorite cup. The Anchor securely fits all popular 16-ounce to 32-ounce tumbler cup brands and most insulated water canteens.

    TD Fischer  /  PPAI 798125, S3  /  www.tdfischer.com


    Leave the juggling act behind with the Hitch Bottle and Cup. This full size, dishwasher-safe water bottle has a removable, barista-approved cup hidden inside. With three ways to carry this bottle, recipients will always have a free hand. This two-in-one product with lock-in technology offers a solution for carrying hot coffee and cold water together.

    The Allen Company  /  PPAI 113879, S5  /  www.allenmugs.com


    Delight recipients with the practical and visually appealing Epare Double-Wall Champagne Glass. This set of two, five-ounce double-wall champagne flutes are durable and heat-resistant. The double-wall design creates a dramatic optical illusion, prevents condensation and offers a rounded rim for comfortable drinking of chilled and hot beverages. These glasses will keep drinks cold or hot for longer periods of time, while the outer glass remains at room temperature. 

    Visions  /  PPAI 110751, S8  /  www.visionsawards.com


    Help clients stand out with bottle and can labels. The label is essential to the can or bottle, expressing the brand’s image and the content’s information and flavor. For those who love drinking straight from the bottle or can, a unique label will be memorable. Unique labels create a visual reference that will be instantly recognizable for repeat purchases. Businesses like breweries and wineries can personalize their seasonal drinks with can and bottle labels.

    Label Works  /  PPAI 111141  /  www.labelworks.com


    This 20-ounce Viking® Nova Tumbler comes in a variety of colors and keeps beverages at just the right temperature for hours. This item features full-color digital personalization for a one-of-a-kind item that recipients can keep and appreciate for years to come. Or choose to laser-etch a design directly onto the tumbler instead. With the double-wall vacuum construction and copper lining, recipients can enjoy their beverage just the way they like it.

    Crown/IMAGEN Brands  /  PPAI 113430, S10  /  www.IMAGENBrands.com


    With precision laser-engraving, this extra-large 17-ounce double-wall stainless steel Glamping Tall mug will stand out in a crowd. This mug has a durable powder-coated exterior for a soft grip and matte finish and features a clear plastic sip-top lid. Vacuum-insulated, the Glamping mug can be used for hot and cold beverages, keeping drinks hot for up to eight hours and cold for up to 16 hours. This product is Prop 65-compliant and BPA-free.

    Goldstar  /  PPAI 114031, S10  /  www.goldstarpens.com


    With a sleek and classic design, the Perka® Dashing is a 20-ounce, double-wall stainless steel bottle. The powder-coated finished botted is vacuum-sealed with a copper lining that’s comfortable to hold while keeping cold drinks cold for 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 12 hours. This bottle has a screw-top lid with a form-fitting, hinged steel handle. Fitting in most car cup holders, recipients can take the bottle to work or the beach, easily fitting it into a bag, purse or backpack.

    Logomark  /  PPAI 110898, S12  /  www.logomark.com


    With a stylish and functional design, this cork bottom travel tumbler is made with durable stainless steel. This tumbler has a double wall construction, preserving the temperature of cold and hot drinks longer, and comes with a clear acrylic screw-on lid with a colored slide closure to keep the contents safely inside. This travel tumbler is available in black, gray, blue and white, with a powder coat finish for a sleek matte look. Print or engrave your client’s design to create a valued gift.

    Gordon Sinclair  /  PPAI 111537, S4  /  www.gordonsinclair.com


    Kristina Valdez is associate editor of PPB. 

    Used with permission from PPAI Media

  • December 07, 2021 11:12 AM | Deleted user

    As 2021 draws to a close, Congress still has a multitude of important issues to wrap up prior to year-end. The continuing resolution for fiscal year 2022 federal funding expires on December 3, the National Defense Authorization Act must be renewed, the Senate Majority Leader has expressed his intent to finalize the House-passed Build Back Better Act via reconciliation before the end of December, and the Treasury Secretary has predicted the federal debt ceiling will be breached around December 15. In the midst of this legislative pile-up, there are two pieces of legislation that directly impact the promotional products industry.

    The Country Of Origin Labeling (COOL) Online Act requires online sellers to disclose the country of origin for any product sold over the internet. The bill, which passed the Senate as part of the larger Innovation and Competition Act (S. 1260), creates new liability for companies to not only post the product’s country of origin information but also to certify the accuracy of the information provided by product vendors. This could be highly problematic for importers, especially regarding apparel and other products that are popular in the promotional products industry, because sourcing countries are constantly changing and cannot always be identified at the time a consumer makes an online purchase.

    PPAI has been collaborating with its trade coalition partners to explain how infeasible complying with this proposed requirement would be for small businesses that do not always have immediate access to sourcing information from their suppliers. Considering the COOL Online requirement was included in the bipartisan Senate-passed Innovation and Competition Act, the possibility is high it will pass the House and be signed into law soon. This means promotional products companies will be required to devote tremendous resources to upgrading and maintaining their databases in compliance with the new regulations.

    Another important bill likely to see progress in the near future entails a series of bipartisan provisions created to update federal shipping law. The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021 (OSRA 2021) essentially creates a shippers’ bill of rights by shifting the balance of power from ocean carriers to entities that are shipping products. The bill empowers the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to enhance its enforcement of U.S. laws that regulate shipping practices and implement new common-sense reforms to address long-standing issues in the maritime shipping industry.

    There are several components of OSRA that have not been updated since 1998, and the landscape has shifted significantly in the past 20-plus years.

    Some other provisions in the updated version of OSRA 2021 include:

    Curtailing price-gouging for containers, and detention and demurrage charges

    Requiring transport companies to ensure they have sufficient capacity when entering contracts

    Shifting the burden to service providers to prove why a specific charge is needed or reasonable by mandating itemization of the charge

    The OSRA 2021 update has 76 cosponsors in the House of Representatives, and it is important that all members of the House hear from their constituents about how critical the passage of this bill is to your businesses. Click here to contact your House representative and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 4996, the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021. PPAI’s advocacy platform will determine who the appropriate legislator is and give participants the option of sending an editable, pre-written form letter and calling their representative to voice their support of H.R. 4996.

    Other trade-related legislation that is on the schedule for Congress at the end of the year provides for renewing the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which are two important tariff exclusion programs that PPAI has long worked with coalition partners to support. PPAI is also on the record opposing the Section 301 and Section 232 tariffs, which are tantamount to taxes on American consumers. In the absence of full rescission of both tariff policies, PPAI supports legislation requiring the United States Trade Representative and Department of Commerce to implement a transparent exclusion process for products subject to tariff actions under Section 301 and Section 232.

    Used with permission from PPAI Media

  • December 07, 2021 11:10 AM | Deleted user

    Employee recognition is always important, but it takes the spotlight during the holidays. Your team members have worked hard all year long, and they may be working particularly diligently to stay on track with quotas and deadlines during the last few weeks of the year. If you’ve lost sight of employee recognition, now’s a great time to refocus on your efforts.

    Recent research shows that 91 percent of employees say a strong culture of recognition makes them want to work for a company. Fortunately, building a recognition culture doesn’t have to cost a lot or take a significant amount of time. Donna Coppock, a professional speaker and corporate trainer, has outlined six best practices that you can easily put in play at your organization. We share her tips in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

    Get leadership buy-in. Your company’s senior leaders need to be on board for a recognition culture to take root. According to Coppock, without leadership walking the talk, the culture won’t happen. Make sure managers across your organization support a recognition initiative—and then encourage leaders to recognize the work and achievements of their teams.

    Make recognition a regular thing. You don’t have to wait for the holidays to express gratitude, and you don’t have to create a formal recognition program. Coppock notes that in the most robust recognition cultures, employees experience recognition frequently. When someone on your team lends a hand or nails a client presentation, don’t let those situations go unnoticed.

    Make it easy. Coppock points out it should always be easy for people to express recognition and appreciation. You can do this through formal training or informal programs that give managers and employees ideas on how to recognize good work.

    Be specific. A generic “thanks for your work” isn’t meaningful to the recipient. Instead, aim to be specific with your recognition. Mention the project or account that the employee worked on and include measurable results. And remember that most people especially value recognition that memorialize their efforts—like a trophy or plaque they can display in their office or show to others.

    Tie appreciation to company goals. To create a recognition culture, it’s important to connect the dots. This means connecting recognition to company strategy and goals. Employees should understand how their work impacts the bottom line. When they get commended for certain outcomes, they know why it matters so much.

    Tell stories. Coppock notes that stories help evoke emotion and support memorable appreciation moments. By telling a story about how an employee went above and beyond for a coworker or how a team member solved a long-standing business problem, you help make the recognition more meaningful. This goes a long way at building a recognition culture.

    Recognition matters at work because it shows employees that they’re making valuable contributions. Being recognized can boost people’s spirits and lead to more happiness on the job. This, in turns, leads to a more engaged and productive team. Think about how you can work more recognition into your workplace—your whole team will benefit.

    Promotional Consultant Today is pausing for the Thanksgiving holiday. Watch for us back in your inbox on Monday, November 29.

    Compiled by Audrey Sellers

    Source: Donna Coppock is a professional speaker and corporate trainer for The Great Game Of Business.

    Used with permission from PPAI Media

  • December 07, 2021 11:07 AM | Deleted user

    Many sales professionals dislike sales prospecting. The process is often filled with rejection, and sales reps may not feel like it’s the best use of their time. Some sales professionals lack the motivation to prospect if their pipeline is full enough. Others may need training or support to prospect better. Whatever the case may be, sales prospecting can be tough. However, it is still essential to any sales team’s success.

    So how can you get better at finding qualified leads? According to sales expert and author, Anthony Iannarino, you can begin by reassessing the fundamentals and putting in the effort to create new opportunities. We discuss his strategies in further detail in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

    1. Believe in the power of prospecting. Getting better at sales prospecting begins with improving your mindset. Remember that your prospects need your help, says Iannarino. Even if they don’t end up buying from you right now, you’re still getting your name out there. Iannarino adds that expert prospectors learn from every rejection. If prospects say no to a meeting, they accept it as feedback that they need to improve their pitch. Your mindset matters.

    2. Go back to basics. According to Iannarino, refocusing on the fundamentals can help you step up your sales prospecting. This means being consistent with prospecting. He says 90 minutes a day is a good place to start. You should give yourself distraction-free time by clearing your calendar, turning off your phone and shutting off your email. Remember to use the phone first, but also incorporate other mediums like email, LinkedIn and text messages. Iannarino adds that the best sales prospectors recognize that every client interaction can bring them closer or farther from a meeting. Use every opportunity to build trust and nurture relationships.

    3. Use a sales script. Don’t like the idea of using a sales script? Many sales professionals don’t like them because they make them sound robotic. However, Iannarino says few things are more important than good language and talk tracks that can position you as a consultative salesperson. He adds that there is a big difference between using a script and sounding like you are reading from one. When you know what to say, you can build your confidence and increase your chances of landing a meeting.

    Your sales prospecting efforts may include cold calling, cold emailing, reaching out to referrals or networking. When you get better at these efforts, you can turn more prospects into paying clients. Not every individual or business is a potential buyer. However, with effective sales prospecting, you can identify the leads that are most likely to purchase from you. While there’s no exact formula for prospecting, you can boost your chances of success by considering the strategies above.

    Compiled by Audrey Sellers

    Source: Anthony Iannarino is an author, speaker and sales expert. He’s the founder and CEO of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting firm.

    Used with permission from PPAI Media

  • December 06, 2021 2:26 PM | Deleted user

    The history of mobile applications is confusing – nobody can pin down the origin of the first app. Some argue that Steve Jobs was the first to speak about apps – he did so in 1983 in Aspen, Colorado. At the same time, some believe the first mobile app came to the market with handheld PDAs in the early 90s. And some think the first app on a cellular device was the game Snake that Nokia released with their phones in 1997.

    Whichever side you’re on, there’s no denying the world of mobile apps has exploded since the smartphone’s introduction over a decade ago. You can find an app for pretty much anything nowadays – from virtual Star Wars card trading to an app that you can upload photos of your plants and it will identify them and remind you when to water based on each plant’s specific needs. Some are incredibly detailed while others are very minimalistic, and some apps even use AR like the ones that can show you which constellations and planets are in the sky above you.

    Some of the most popular apps continue to be centered around productivity and workflow, especially around the beginning of a new year. And since we definitely love a good productivity app (shoot – we even made our own!) we’re sharing a few of our favorites that are trending right now!

    1. Forest

    Forest is a Pomodoro app that helps keep you focused! Whenever you need to put down your phone and focus on a task, open the app, plant a seed, and get things done! When you plant a seed on the app, a timer starts – as the timer begins to count down, your tree grows, so by the time you’re done, you’ve got a gorgeous tree you can plant in your virtual garden – if you don’t stay on task and instead pick up your phone, your tree withers and you have to start all over again. There are tons of trees to collect and grow while simultaneously training your brain to concentrate. Not to mention, you can help plant real live trees with the in-app currency you gain by completing your focus goals!

     2. Done

    Done is, well, simply a simple habit tracker! It can help you achieve any goal and is ultra customizable. You can either build or quit a habit, choose the length of your goal period (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly), set what days you want to track your goals, and more. Plus, with its reminders – it’s an excellent way to keep on top of those goals!

     3. Any.do

    Can’t decide between a to-do list and a calendar? Any.do combines both worlds! Once you sync your calendar, your meetings, reminders, and appointments will be added to your to-do list. From there, you can add things to your to-do list like pick up dog food or schedule that dentist appointment you’ve been putting off, cross off completed tasks, and more.

    4. Fabulous 

    We recently published a blog about mindfulness, especially in the workplace – and this is the app to help you achieve it! Not only does it provide guided meditations, but it also has sleep stories to help you snooze. You can join challenges that allow you to connect with others working towards the same goals, receive coaching, and it encourages setting small daily goals like celebrating yourself, drinking water, and building positive-thinking habits. It’s a great way to remind yourself to take a break during a busy day – because after all, to be productive, you have to be your very best self!

    5. SAGE Mobile

    I did say we love a good productivity app! If you’re a distributor that’s always on the go, you can get everything you need in SAGE Mobile right on your mobile device. Whether you’re at lunch with a client and want to show them this super cool product you just found, or picking up the kids after soccer practice and need to check on a project’s status – this app is for you, and it’s part of your SAGE Total Access subscription. You can search for products, create presentations or order forms, and more, all at the tips of your fingers.

    And with the tradeshow planner, you can plan out your whole day at any industry show – from deciding the best route to see all the booths that you want to hit, searching for exhibitors, adding notes, pictures of products, and more. If you’re always on the go, SAGE Mobile is right there with you.

    Used with permission from SAGE

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