|Vol 0249, November 26, 2008|
NEWS : PromoGram
ASI ADDS "SERVICE PROVIDER" MEMBER CATEGORY
As part of an ongoing objective to providing the best-balanced array of member services, ASI has designated a new membership category, "Service Providers." Initially, it will consist of decorators for distributors who outsource blank products for imprinting.
"We were hesitant, for many years, to establish this category," says Marvin Spike, ASI vice chairman, "because of our strong belief in the finished product/imprinting-included concept that made our industry tick since its inception. But the incredible growth of wearables in the industry and the fact that most distributors need to do imprinting or farm it out to be competitive, encouraged us to begin examining the need a couple years ago. We believe the availability of service providers who understand our marketplace will help keep most distributors who sell apparel competitive without having to make significant investments in in-house equipment. It enables them to focus their time and dollars on marketing and sales rather than back-office production." Service providers will be recognizable by their six-digit ASI number beginning in the 700,000 series. At present, ASI lists approximately 60 such firms.
The so-called HALO "estate" – the assets remaining after HALO Branded Solutions (asi/218450) was sold to a private firm – has released its Chapter 11 emergence plan. The estate is offering small payments to creditors who want to settle their claims. By creating a so-called "convenience class," the estate will pay up to $1,000 to creditors who will settle for 10% or less of what HALO owes them since before the July 2001 bankruptcy.
Since there are many small claims against HALO, some may want to take the offer. But as it will end the chance to get any more old bills paid, some companies may want to consider their options or wait to see what HALO will offer. Those with over $10,000 in bills, for example would get less than 10%. There are over $200 million in claims against HALO, though legal action could strip out many; e.g., that the holders of preferred stock from the Starbelly deal might not get any of it until creditors are paid. HALO CEO Marc Simon previously told creditors he thought the bankruptcy judge might allow between $70 million and $100 million. If accurate, it would increase the likelihood suppliers would get more than 10 cents on the dollar.
Despite an economy that can hardly be described as wonderful, it seems many businesses are again splurging on deluxe holiday parties for employees, complete with all the trimmings – hired limos, sumptuous food, private entertainment, Christmas bonuses, etc. Fully two-thirds of firms surveyed by BiZBash, an events-planners magazine, said they were having bigger more expensive parties this year. For example, one Manhattan law firm hired a private room at "21" for its employee bash, spending five figures on wine alone. As a distributor, this should get some gears clicking; a small but impressive (read: high perceived value) gift with the company's logo and name/date of the event makes a great holiday keepsake. But since the holidays are already here, no reason you can't start planning for next year, or, even better, remind clients that many companies hold after-holiday parties to give employees a break after the general holiday madness.
Cheaper wearables could be the result if the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) ever gets passed, but it won't be pretty. The U.S. signed trade agreements with El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua December 17, but couldn't get a signature from Costa Rica, a relatively rich country. And the bill is already stirring up opposition among Democrats and labor leaders, who bitterly opposed NAFTA a decade ago. (Congress must approve such sweeping trade rules.) Among other things, CAFTA would allow Central American apparel-makers duty-free export of products assembled without U.S.-made fabric.
Is there a supplier out there who's been kicking butt to save yours? Now you have a chance to say thank you with the newly created Spirit Award for Customer Service Team of the Year. Go to www.asicentral.com/spiritawards to find 32 nominated suppliers and a place for write-in votes. The nominated suppliers were chosen based on the ASI Supplier Performance Rating system. Those nominated had a Communications Rating of at least 80 and had at least 200 distributors rating their performance.
Noticing headhunters or competitors lurking on your street corner, near your mailbox or strolling convention floors – to try to lure your best sales reps away? Are you a lurker or lurkee? Why might your salespeople succumb? Why are so many who are too easily attracted fail? Plan to attend The Counselor's ASI SHOW RoundTable Debate: PIRATING SALESPEOPLE: TRICK or TREAT? at the Orange County Convention Center at The ASI Show in Orlando, Saturday January 3 from 10-11:30 AM. As seating is limited, it's best to advise us if you or anyone else from your firm's attending. Email: email@example.com
Travel Chair Co. (asi/91916) has launched a new division, Build-A-Chair, which allows distributors to develop custom products.
PremiumWear Inc. (asi/79393) has named Thomas Byrd VP of operations and finance and Keith Meyer VP of finance.
Charles River Apparel (asi/44620) has named Joane Lavendar embroidery/screenprint manager.
Halls & Co. (asi/59080) has named Richard Napurski, CAS, trade show manager.
Broadway Marketing (asi/146280) has named Mark Fitzgerald national sales manager.
ASI (asi/33020) has named Andy Hornstein project manager for software implementation.
Get a head start on 2004 sales – Give clients a first look at the new year's hottest products with Preview. Featuring items from next spring's Media File, the 2004 Preview catalog features hundreds of products, easy-to-use indexes and full-size, full-color presentations.
To order at special discount prices, or learn more about the benefits
of Preview, click on the link below.
Many special discounts apply for event tickets, seminars, speakers and many distributors even qualify for free hotel rooms. For details, contact Elayne Larussa at (800)546-6413 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
While show management has just about nearly sold out of all Celine Dion tickets and has nearly reached seating capacity for Bill Cosby, a limited number of additional tickets for both events has been added. So if you haven't reserved your tickets, now's the time to do it!
For "A New Day" featuring Celine Dion (Counselor 50th Anniversary Special Event), we were just able to reserve 250 more seats. The specially discounted price is just $169 each for rear orchestra tickets, and includes a pre-show dinner reception. Join your colleagues at "A New Day" Featuring Celine Dion 8 p.m., Sunday, March 14 at the ASI Show Las Vegas. Tickets available to ASI members only.
For Your ticket purchase also includes a light pre-show dinner reception
from 6:15 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. We will not have the actual tickets until
we arrive in Las Vegas, so you will receive a voucher with your badge
that must be redeemed on-site for your actual ticket(s) no later than
2:00 p.m. on March 14.
Bill Cosby LIVE (Counselor 50th Anniversary Special Event)
For both events, if you haven't already ordered tickets and would like to take advantage of these special opportunities, please call us at (800)546-3300 or (215)953-4800. If you haven't already registered, you can do so online at http://www.asishow.com/register/register.htm.
Shelve the flowery prose when talking or writing to clients. A recent Stanford University study shows that the KISS rule (Keep It Simple, Stupid) is the best way to communicate with prospects and customers. Why? People who use simple language were judged smarter in the study; large, multi-syllabic words and too-technical terms made customers feel ignorant and uncomfortable. So when you want to convey expertise, stick to easily said and understood terms. You want to educate, not alienate...
An exclusive "Wearables Watch" survey shows that more than a third of distributors report that over half of all their promotional product sales are apparel. For 25%, these sales are over $250,000 a year. So which garment styles sell the most? What are the top markets and purposes for promotional apparel sales? Read the special "Wearables Watch" issue of The Counselor, coming this January.
Enhance efficiency by keeping track of time with the sleek design of the Helix clock. The clock face rests inside a spinning, magnified globe with a logo or message on the opposite side and customizable panoramic space under the acrylic base. Available from Selco Custom Time Corp. (asi/86230).
To view this clock and other new and creative products, visit the Product
Central section on ASICentral.com. Or, learn more about this product
now by clicking on the link below: http://www.asicentral.com/asp/protected/apps/newProducts/newproduct_show.asp?ID=443
President Bush recently signed the much-discussed spam bill into law. Starting January 1, all commercial emails must include a valid postal address and opt-out information, or senders could face prosecution. In addition, the use of false identities or misleading subject lines in bulk commercial email will also be illegal. Make sure your clients know about these new rules and the risks involved in email marketing. It's also a good time to remind them of other affordable, effective promotional options, such as sending logoed products via direct mail.
The NEW ASICentral is waiting for you! It's the electronic meeting place
for promotional products professionals. Scan breaking industry news.
Tour the vast array of ASI products and services. Check out member benefits.
Pull up a roster of industry education and events. Contact customer service.
Read ASI publications online. Participate in this week's Quick Poll on
a hot industry issue. Join online discussions at ASIGroups. Research
this year's State of the Industry issue. It's all happening at ASICentral.
Go to www.asicentral.com. Make it your default page today!
PromoGram is a trademark of the Advertising Specialty Institute. You were sent this newsletter as a benefit of your ASI membership. If you'd like us to send PromoGram FREE to anyone else at your company (or to your off-site sales reps), just send us a list of email addresses and we'll take care of the rest.