|Vol 0256, November 26, 2008|
NEWS : PromoGram
PRIME BACK UP AND RUNNING
On February 5, Prime Resources Corp. (asi/79530) had to temporarily close its Bridgeport, CT, facility for what turned out to be a simple problem with a heating duct that enabled airborne fiberglass particles to enter a confined section of the building. The situation has been corrected, and officials from the Department of Environmental Protection have determined the area safe - in fact, surpassing clean-air guidelines. The factory was back up and running by approximately 4pm, and Prime is now open for business as usual. Company president Bob Lederer notes, “In this day and age, you just can’t take any chances with this sort of thing. We hope it caused as few inconveniences to our distributors and their clients as possible. It was a crazy day, but the main thing is that our employees are safe and we’re back to business as usual. Our thanks to everyone for your patience, understanding and concern.”
As of February 1, Concept Corner (asi/46189) has left the promotional products industry. Company officials say all outstanding orders and co-op programs will be filled. Future orders/production will be handled by Allsop Inc., Concept Corner’s parent firm. However, all new orders must be a minimum of 2,500 pieces. “Our core business has always been consumer retail,” says sales manager Bruce Tipton. “We entered the promotional products field due to several sales we made with large distributors, but we were essentially out of our element. Our long-term strategy simply won’t let us focus on what isn’t our core business.”
Do you know an up-and-coming distributor or supplier who has impressed you with his/her creativity, business savvy, drive, innovativeness and performance? In the April issue of The Counselor, we’ll be profiling 20 promotional products professionals who are shaking things up and making their mark in this industry. If you have someone you’d like to nominate (other than yourself), send an email to Counselor editor Richard Kern at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After successful test-marketing, McDonald’s will begin offering “happy meals for adults” later this year. The so-called Go Active meals will use Bob Greene (Oprah Winfrey’s personal trainer) as a spokesperson, and will include (in addition to a healthy meal) an exercise booklet and pedometer. If this tactic works, you know the other fast-food chains will roll out similar programs. Now’s the time to approach them about imprinted inclusions.
Counselor Top 40 supplier A.T. Cross Co. (asi/47520) has once again placed its pens in a couple of high-profile goodie bags. Its Ion pen was included in the gift bags given out to presenters at the 30th Annual People’s Choice Awards last month. And its folding Vice pen was also included in the guest gift packet for the “Best Damn Swimsuit Party” put on by Sports Illustrated in Houston Jan. 31.
In an attempt to assist employees who were affected by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit bus strike last year, American Apparel (asi/35297) created a company-wide bike lending program. It offered bikes, locks, helmets and lights at no charge, along with free mechanical repairs and monthly checkups. Employee response was so positive that the program has been continued. The bikes promoted exercise among workers, and some found the bikes were actually quicker than using the bus. American Apparel hopes to inspire other firms to try the program and plans on increasing its fleet of bikes in the coming months.
Distributors: have you ever attempted to import products directly from overseas, only to have things go wrong in a big way? Or maybe it wasn’t a fiasco; maybe everything went off without a hitch. For an upcoming feature, we’d like to hear about any pluses or pitfalls you encountered in your importing adventures. Just drop a note to Arn Bernstein at email@example.com, or fax him at (215) 953-3107.
Effective immediately, Custom Impressions (asi/47935) has changed its name to Express Pens (asi/53411).
Promotional Dreams (asi/300755) has entered into an alliance with Global Icons, a licensing/brand merchandising firm to create Global Promotions, a full-service promotional branding company.
LogoVision (asi/255309) has been awarded a licensing agreement with General Motors Corp. to help North American dealers do their own marketing programs.
Corporate Express, parent firm of Corporate Express Promotional Marketing (asi/168781) has named Medio Waldt vp of marketing and Peter Herbert mid-market VP of sales.
Tehama (asi/41560) has been named the exclusive golf uniform provider for Walt Disney World.
Imperial Marketing (asi/230430) has obtained ISO 9001:2001 certification.
Timenetusa.com (asi/91336) has named four multi-line reps: Stephen Almeida, MAS, Northeast; Todd Turquand, West; Steven Selfert, Southeast; and Dave Dobbelmann, Midwest.
In last week’s PromoGram, we accidentally spelled the name of the new president of Senator USA as Jeff Wernes instead of Werner. Previously, Werner served as VP/marketing for all of Sanford Corp., not only the promotional products division.
Attention ASI-member distributors! The ASI Show Las Vegas is the last show of the year where you can take advantage of a FREE hotel room as part of The Counselor magazine’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. Check details at www.asishow.com/counselor50. The deadline for the free room offer is this Friday, February 13, so register and make your hotel reservations today via GRI (the official housing company of The ASI Show).
February 13 is also the deadline for ASI distributor members who attend the Vegas Show to receive:
More suppliers are signing up every day, with over 50 booths added just last week! Come experience the most exciting show of the year with Celine Dion, Steve Wynn, Michael Gerber and nearly 900 suppliers who will be showcasing their newest products. ASI Vegas is the most fun, positive and productive show you can imagine!
Loyal customers make your job so much easier and more pleasant. And just as friends overlook each others’ flaws, customers who feel they have a close relationship with their reps and consultants will be more apt to stay calm and cut you some slack when there’s a misstep. Try these approaches to building stronger relationships with your current clients and get off on the right foot with prospects:
1. Explain every customer benefit so they see the value of doing business with you. Whether you’re talking about price or delivery date, explain to clients how you’ll be helping them every step of the way. When telling clients what you’ll be doing for them, also explain benefits (such as creative consultation) that can help them now.
2. Encourage questions and constructive criticism. Friends often say, “You know you can ask - and tell - me anything.” You want customers to rely on you in the same way, which makes it harder for them to break ties. The best way is to make it incredibly easy for clients to contact you. Check all company correspondence and make sure the direct phone number stands out so they don’t have to search for it. Also, at the end of each conversation remind clients of your cell phone number.
3. Personalize your approach in calls, meetings, emails, etc. so clients feel like you know them well and are treating them as individuals, as opposed to just another sale. You might also divide customers into categories based on their needs rather than territory or company size. One group may be those that need constant help, another group may be more autonomous and self-sufficient. You get the idea.
The MPI Foundation/GPJ Events Trend Report found that 47% of companies expect events to increase in importance this year. ROI was cited as having a significant impact on event expenditures, with 51% of respondents who had experienced successful ROI saying they plan to increase event budgets (vs. 33% of respondents overall). What imprinted products and tools could you offer clients to help them measure their event sponsorship return on investment? Also consider what industries are event-leaders. For example, the same study found the automotive and healthcare industries both planned sharp increases in the number of events they’ll be hosting in 2004.
These attractive and useful coasters from Weinstock/Conestoga Inc. (asi/96250) are available in various shapes, including custom shapes that can fit within a 3 7/8" square. Sample requests come at no extra charge.
To view these coasters 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=477
Apple’s portable MP3 player, the iPod, just seems to keep growing in popularity. More than 1.3 million units were shipped worldwide during this past Christmas season alone. And as more and more people hook into the fad, iPod owners are beginning to look for ways to make their players stand out with stylish covers and cases, reports TrendUpdate. The trend has already caught on in Europe, where boutiques sell designer covers, such the Emilio Pucci ones carried by Paris’ Colette (an earlier leather version by Goyard has already sold out). They’re something you might want to consider when targeting young or tech-savvy clients, and they’re already available from at least one industry supplier.
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