Blog

We try very hard to give back to the Owatonna community.  Owatonna is our hometown, and the community support is the reason we have had a successful 20 years in business.  We have been “Bigs,” or mentors for Owatonna’s Big Brothers Big Sisters program for four years.  This weekend we attended the BBBS Picnic with our “Little,” AJ.  As you can tell in the picture, he’s not very little anymore!  AJ is fourteen now.  His favorite activities mostly involve the outdoors.  His favorite is fishing.  Ryan has been showing AJ the importance of hard work by teaching him how to landscape, and general maintenance and repairs.  Ryan and AJ’s grandmother have been encouraging him to start considering college.  We’re excited to see where life takes this young man!

*Ryan and Pam Kubat – Owners of Corporate Recognition and AJ, their Little.

Here is our Operations Manager, Kate Harthan, giving examples for some new promotional items.  Many times we put items in a presentation.  A presentation is a link we send to our customers that shows a list of items we think would work for their event, marketing campaign, or recognition program.  The customer can only read the description of the products, colors in which they come, and imprint size and location.  Posting and using video to demonstrate our products adds value to our suggestions.  We are going to send links to product demonstrations with our presentations from now on.  These brief videos will also list ideas for which markets they would work best.

How do you determine what your company stands for in just a couple words?  As a promotional product distributor, we put our customers’ logos on everything.  I really mean EVERYTHING!  We have been trying to determine, or redefine, our tagline or slogan lately.  Currently it is “We have the vision and solutions to promote YOU!”  This is true and encompasses the purpose of our business.  But, WHAT is the vision?  WHAT are the solutions we offer?  HOW do we promote you (the customer)?  At our last meeting, we were discussing how we can better educate our customers on the products and services we offer.  Pam has a spiel where she says, “…if it has a printable space (everything), we can put your logo on it!”  After telling people that, or presenting the information, she is undoubtedly asked, “Can you do this (random item with printable space) too?”  Her response is usually, “Yes, we can do that.  And everything else.”

I came across a slogan for a large contracting business in our area:  WE CAN DO THAT.  It simply states what they do best.  There is so much written between the lines in those four short words.  If I were a customer researching this company, I would assume they have excellent customer service, flexibility, creativity, vision, they’re a one-stop-shop, I’m in good hands, they can be trusted… and so on.  You get my point.  It got me thinking about us.  WE CAN DO THAT, TOO!  (Not trying to steal their slogan by any means!)  But, we really can!  When there are hundreds of thousands of items and things we can put your logo on, it’s hard to explain what EVERYTHING means.  Around here, we get it.  If you’re not from this industry, it might take a minute to understand.  If you’re a customer, it might be overwhelming.  We ask a lot of qualifying questions to determine what your needs and priorities are to start.  We help you with a few projects, and with each project offer suggestions for new, creative solutions.  Eventually, you’ll be ordering almost everything from us, and placing your lovely logo on all of it.  We can’t sell you the farm without showing you the pigs, then the cows, then the land…   It’s a slow process, but once our customers figure out that promotional marketing is their best form of advertising, they stick around and value our creative suggestions.  The moral to my story is deciding on a slogan/tag line can be difficult.  It needs to pack a punch.  WE CAN DO THAT, encompasses a lot more than just four little words.  I visited the company website and read their mission statement.  Their slogan neatly packages every word in their mission statement into a powerful declaration.

Tell us what your slogan is and how you came up with it.  We’re excited to hear your story!

Have you started considering what you might need to promote your brand this summer?  Fun Spinners are a HIT right now!  Check out this 3D version.  Your customers will be mesmerized and busy for hours.  If you’re sponsoring a marathon, summer event, golf tournament… ANYTHING that has to do with the outdoors, check out this collapsible 20 oz water bottle.  It collapses to an inch tall and is dishwasher safe.  Contact Corporate Recognition for more info, quantities and prices.

A couple months ago I sent out an email blast to ALL of our customers.  I asked for them to respond with their birth month and day, name, email, and company for which they work.  I compiled this information into a spreadsheet.  The past couple months I have sent out a short and sweet e-card thanking them for their years of business and wishing them well.  This month, I wanted to do something more engaging.  I decided to create a Facebook post wishing our June birthday boys and girls a happy birthday.  If they liked and shared our June Birthday post on their personal or business pages, they are entered to win a birthday prize.  However, they have to encourage their Facebook friends to write HAPPY BIRTHDAY SO-AND-SO (or business name) on the post to qualify.  The birthday boy or girl with the most birthday shout outs WINS!  We will tally the shout outs and post the winner at the end of the month.  I wrote the instructions for this competition in the happy birthday email I sent to our customers.  I said, the most effective way to achieve the most shout outs is to share our June Birthday post ON THEIR ACTUAL BIRTHDAY.  There are not too many birthdays each month, so I am able to remind the individual via email on their actual birthday to share the post.

Happy celebrating!

According to www.usatoday.com, “The nation’s capital was closely followed by Minneapolis-St. Paul and Denver as the second- and third-fittest of the 50 metro areas, according to the American Fitness Index. The ninth annual ranking came out today from the American College of Sports Medicine and the Anthem Foundation.”

What do you do to stay active in the summer?  How do you promote physical activity in your work place?  We have up-down desks that keep us productive.  I typically spend 2-4 hours a day standing at my desk (depending on which shoes I wear).  It keeps me productive, I fidget less, and I stay warmer.  A few of us have dogs, so we go to dog parks and walk our pooches regularly.  Between the seven employees that work here, there are 3 gardens.  Many weekends and evenings are spent on yard work and gardening.

These are popular items businesses give to employees.  The reflective/blinking bands can also be used on pets.  Helps keep you safe and visible when there is less sunlight.  The pedometers stimulate competition among coworkers.  Hold office competitions weekly or monthly to see who moves around the most.

Sometimes we really “hit the nail on the head” with our drinkware.  We could hardly keep our Yeti mugs in supply when they first became popular.

The popularity of our version of Swell bottles soon followed.

The most current trend is  our 12 oz vacuum 3-in-1 insulator.  It is a coffee mug, tumbler and insulated can coozie.  It fits PERFECT under a Keurig!

              

 

These vacuum water bottles really caught my attention at our last product show.  They can suit a variety of styles and hold 20 oz.  Check out the vibrant detail of those full color designs.  Imagine YOUR brand’s logo on these and in the hands of YOUR customers.  Be the first to start a new trend in drinkware.  Be bold. Be new. Be YOU.

 

    

Last week we had an inspiring presentation by Raining Rose, the Lip Balm Company.  They truly have an excellent marketing team and deliver some awesome ideas for growing your business.  Have you been struggling to increase your social media following?  Try a raffle!

If you run a bank, give customers a complimentary hand sanitizer, or sell them.  Place your logo and information on the item along with a raffle number.  Or, get creative and make it look like your bank’s debit card with the raffle number being the card number.  Tell your customers to go to your Facebook page and post their raffle number in the comments on a specific post you create.  At the end of the week (or month or whenever) draw a number and post the winner.

You run a grocery store.  Many people are starting to use grocery totes instead of plastic bags.  Give away, or sell totes for a raffle.  The totes can be printed with your logo and a raffle number.  Do the same thing as the bank example.  Except, every time your customers use their tote bags, they get 10% (or whatever discount you’re comfortable with) off on their entire order.

You run a salon.  We have these adorable rectangle shaped nail files!  They can be given out like a business card, and you can write appointment reminders on them too.  Place a raffle number on them, and hold a drawing at the end of the week.  Document the process on Facebook with a Facebook Live post!

Give us a call and we can develop a marketing solution for you!  More business for you, means happy customers for us!

If you’re from Minnesota or the collective Midwestern part of the United States, this picture will speak for itself.  Poor little Elin started out her day wearing a cute summer dress on a nice high 60’s kind of day.  By 7pm, she had to put pants on.  A little while later she put on her coat, hat, and mittens, but kept playing in the pool!

Happy Tuesday :)

How are you trying to reach your target market?  On what are you spending your advertising and marketing budget?  Personally, I believe you want a well-rounded marketing plan that includes a combination of several different media for advertisement like print, radio, billboard, and/or Google ads (or online ads in general).  However, if it were my business, I would put more of my advertising budget in promo products.  The generation with the most purchasing power and the WANT to spend are Millennials.  According to a recent study done by PPAI (Promotional Products Association International), Millennials comprise about 89.2 million people in the workforce.  Millennials are driven to purchase through engaging experiences.  Are your marketing campaigns engaging or passive?  Millennials pay for subscriptions to music streaming apps, they subscribe to video streaming, they are disengaging from Facebook, all to avoid commercials and advertisements.  Ads and commercials are interruptions to what you’re currently enjoying.  These advertisements may appeal to some consumers, but Millennials will openly avoid them.  I recently went to a multimedia presentation by Mike Blinder and he said something along the lines of, “If your target market isn’t driving past the tree you posted your “For Sale” sign on, figure out where they’re driving!  If you’re looking for Millennials (ages 18 to 35), you need to promote the experience your services offer by GIVING them an engaging experience.  Promotional products can do just that.  Give them something they will use again and again.  Millennials are also environmentally conscious.  Meaning they have a good understanding of where their garbage goes.  When you give them a promotional product like a tote bag, screen cleaner cloth, or t-shirt you can expect they will keep it for up to a year (according to PPAI research – 2017).  If they don’t want it, they will re-gift the item or donate it.  Prolonging the life and advertisement of your business.  You also need to consider practicality because of their environmental awareness.  Make sure your promotional product WILL be used.  There has been a huge shift in living a minimalist lifestyle, and Millennials are on board!  There are shows, documentaries, and blogs dedicated to this lifestyle movement.  When most Millennials shop, they consider the practicality of their purchases.  Choose a promotional product that supports the image and purpose of your brand.  Make sure it is of good quality, so your target market (Millennials) will hold on to it longer.  Right down to the pens with your business name, logo, and contact info on it.  Cheap is cheap, and if you’re handing out a pen that doesn’t write well, or runs out of ink in a month, you’re killing the longevity of your advertisement, and losing out on potential customers.  Personally, I am a Millennial.  Here is my example.  I have been going to the same salon for almost ten years.  I have a personal friendship with my stylist, but it was developed through the experiences I have had since I started going there.  The salon keeps a fishbowl of the BEST lip balm on their front desk.  When I pay at the counter, I always take one.  I probably get four sticks of lip balm a year.  It all boils down to the experience I associate with the salon.  Good quality service, affordable, and relaxing atmosphere.  I consider the lip balm my “free gift with purchase.”  At Corporate Recognition, we pride ourselves on being YOUR marketing solutions experts.  Schedule a meeting with us and we will put together a marketing campaign meant to keep your customers coming back for your services.

The imprint space is basically the size of your “ad space” on an object.  On a pen, this space is extremely small (1 3/4″ W x 1/2″ H).  A space this size can usually sustain text as large as 12 point font.  It will be as legible as if on a sheet of paper.  So, the imprint space is the space in which your artwork (decoration/logo/business information) will be printed.  Pens usually have the smallest imprint space with which we have to work.  Consider the information you want in that tiny space.  Anything below 7 point font will be illegible on a pen unless you put your eye an inch or so away from the logo.  Imprint space sizes come in ALL shapes.  Summer is coming and that means larger imprint spaces around here!  Cooling towels, bandannas, beach towels, big tote bags to hold all those beach towels, and t-shirts (plus so much more).  Think of these items as your marketing canvas.  Get creative!  You can have MORE than just your logo and contact info.  For example:  a lot of customers get creative with their bandannas.  Many places like to print their business info and maps on them.  Making them dual purpose!  Plumbers could give out beach towels to their customers with their business info and a safety checklist.  People keep towels forever.  They will see your advertisement EVERY time they dry off their kids after bath time, or when they have to soak up the water on the bathroom floor after the toilet overflows.  Think about what type of services you offer.  Use the extra space to tell your customers!  We use full color screen cleaner cloths that I mail out to customers and potential customers.  Our Graphic Designer makes them look sharp with our diamond logo, and adds a list of items on which we can imprint, different marketing ideas, and/or he’ll place pictures of some of our greatest imprinting accomplishments.  I hope this gives you a glimpse into the world of promotional products.  Imprint space is probably not something to cross your mind when you decide to get logo’d Yeti mugs for your sales team.  If you are considering developing a logo, this is great knowledge to have.  Understanding you need to be able to pack a punch in a small space is important.

The imprint space is basically the size of your “ad space” on an object.  On a pen, this space is extremely small (1 3/4″ W x 1/2″ H).  A space this size can usually sustain text as large as 12 point font.  It will be as legible as if on a sheet of paper.  So, the imprint space is the space in which your artwork (decoration/logo/business information) will be printed.  Pens usually have the smallest imprint space with which we have to work.  Consider the information you want in that tiny space.  Anything below 7 point font will be illegible on a pen unless you put your eye an inch or so away from the logo.  Imprint space sizes come in ALL shapes.  Summer is coming and that means larger imprint spaces around here!  Cooling towels, bandannas, beach towels, big tote bags to hold all those beach towels, and t-shirts (plus so much more).  Think of these items as your marketing canvas.  Get creative!  You can have MORE than just your logo and contact info.  For example:  a lot of customers get creative with their bandannas.  Many places like to print their business info and maps on them.  Making them dual purpose!  Plumbers could give out beach towels to their customers with their business info and a safety checklist.  Making them ironic!  People keep towels forever.  They will see your advertisement EVERY time they dry off their kids after bath time, or when they have to soak up the water on the bathroom floor after the toilet overflows.  Think about what type of services you offer.  Use the extra space to tell your customers!  We use full color screen cleaner cloths that I mail out to customers and potential customers.  Our Graphic Designer makes them look sharp with our diamond logo, and adds a list of items on which we can imprint, different marketing ideas, and/or he’ll place pictures of some of our greatest imprinting accomplishments.  I hope this gives you a glimpse into the world of promotional products.  Imprint space is probably not something to cross your mind when you decide to get logo’d Yeti mugs for your sales team.  If you are considering developing a logo, this is great knowledge to have.  Understanding you need to be able to pack a punch in a small space is important.