4 Reasons to Choose Bamboo Promo Products

Guest Blog Article by:
Marissa Sutter, Motto Inc.
Digital Marketing Coordinator Intern

 

On almost a daily basis, we are reminded of the harmful effects our actions are causing the environment. As the world becomes more environmentally conscious, many people are turning to bamboo for personal and household products.

There are numerous reasons why so many people are going green with bamboo products; here’s a small list of what is motivating people to buy bamboo products.

  1. Cost Effective & Sustainable: Usually thought to be a tree, bamboo actually belongs to the grass family and holds the title of the fastest growing plant in the world, growing up to 24 inches in a single day. Bamboo is a renewable resource, providing 20 times more material in a single harvest than a typical harvest from hardwood trees. Bamboo keeps costs low as single stand can yield over 200 poles in 5 years.
  2. A Breath of Fresh Air: A bamboo grove releases up to 35 percent more oxygen into the air than similar-sized groups of trees. By producing more oxygen and absorbing more carbon dioxide than trees, bamboo helps to combat global warming.
  3. Tough: Bamboo is strong and if you need the facts to back it up, the tensile strength of steel measures at 24,000 PSI while mighty bamboo measures at 28,000 PSI. The durability of bamboo makes it great for engraving and personalizing products. You can find bottle openers, BBQ kits, coasters, cutting boards, cork screws and wine bottle cases that are now being made from bamboo. The ability to engrave has made bamboo a front-runner in custom products.
  4. Versatile: Bamboo can not only grow in various climates and soil densities; it is being used to make even more personal and household items than you could imagine, like cheese boards and cribbage sets. Bamboo has also broken into the fashion industry; it is now being made into clothing and accessories, especially sunglasses. The durable material makes for long-lasting shades, plus, the lightweight nature allows sunglasses to float in water. Bamboo’s ability to float has made it a popular choice for key chains, too.

Clearly, bamboo is gaining popularity for personal and household items as this super-grass can be turned into almost anything. Go green and make sure the next product you buy is made of bamboo; it’s something we can all feel good about.

Check out these Bamboo Products from Motto Inc.
Website: activelifepromo.com

3 Ways to Use Technology to Create Collaboration

Technology is something that can inspire creativity as easily as it can provoke fear. Even as we acknowledge that it has made some aspects of life easier, it is also true that technology can drive a wedge in human interactions. For example, is it easier to get the attention of your children by calling their name or by sending them a picture on snapchat?

Whether it’s the permeation of social media, the introduction of augmented reality in games like Pokemon Go, or the simple fact that 68% of Americans walk around with a smart phone, technology – and the way it’s integrated into the client experience – will continue be a key driver of customer loyalty. Therefore, it’s up to distributors in the promotional products industry to find ways to leverage technology to not only create, but enhance a collaborative selling environment.

Here are 3 ways to easily utilize technology to build that collaborative bridge with your clients:

1. Interactive Web Design – In the digital age, the first place prospective clients will judge whether you are worthy of their business is your website. Having an interactive website – one where visitors are able to navigate easily while allowing user interactions that are simple and straightforward – is critical to telling your story, your way. It’s simply not enough to have a static product catalog and expect people to engage on a meaningful level. You have to allow visitors to interact with the information and services you offer. Things like photos, videos, blogs (with a comment section), and clickable case histories will go a long way to digitally creating a sense of collaboration.

2. Communication
Tools – It’s time the folks from Generation X (admission: I am part of Gen X) to stop expecting millennials to ignore decades of technology by expecting them to communicate the way we did 20 years ago. While it may feel unprofessional to communicate through text messages, Google forms, Skype, or Instant Messaging, the fact is that the way clients communicate and collaborate have evolved. Just as Baby Boomers had to adjust to the preference of Gen Xers communicating through email, Gen Xers need to shift to using more real-time communication if they truly wish to collaborate.

3. Seamless Virtuals
– In the world of promotional products, clients want the ability to see a virtual sample of what they are ordering, and they want it now. By using technology like Technologo – something that is available on all DistributorCentral websites – you allow your clients the ability to upload their artwork and create their own virtuals seamlessly. This greatly reduces the amount of friction because the technology creates the virtuals without any lapse in time which increases the likelihood of continued collaboration.

Here’s the best part: you don’t have to understand how to write code to create a technology laden environment that is collaborate. The tools already exist, are user-friendly, and easily accessible. Don’t let the fear of technology, learning something new, or discomfort stop you from building a collaborative bridge that will allow you to deliver value to your clients.

Bill Petrie
engage@brandivatemarketing.com
brandivatemarketing.com
 
 brandivatemarketing
 @brandivatemktg
 

About brandivate

Bill has over 15 years working in executive leadership positions at leading promotional products distributorships. In 2014, he launched brandivate – the first executive outsourcing company solely focused on helping small and medium sized promotional products enterprises responsibly grow their business.

A featured speaker at numerous industry events, a serial creator of content marketing, Vice President for the Promotional Products Association of the Mid-South (PPAMS), and PromoKitchen chef, Bill has extensive experience coaching sales teams, creating successful marketing campaigns, developing operational policies and procedures, creating and developing winning RFP responses, and presenting winning promotional products solutions to Fortune 500 clients.

Quinn Flags’ Annual July 4th Picnic

Hanover, PA- Quinn Flags staff celebrated Independence Day on Friday, July 1st with our Annual Company BBQ.   The red, white, and blue themed party was catered by local favorite Boneyard Barbeque and featured a variety of fun outdoor games. Although our tagline is, “Not Just Flags!”, the event included plenty of flags, food and fun celebrating the contributions of all Quinn Flags staff and the Birthday of the USA!

The Freedom To Control Your Own Data


Every month, DistributorCentral receives the most online product data traffic of any service provider in the industry. There is a reason we’re #1, we generate more than 6 million product views for our suppliers every 30 days from the DC research tool, 8,000 e-commerce distributor websites, and our live product data feed used by other providers such as commonsku, PromoCorner, and Web Jaguar.

 

Our mission at DistributorCentral is to be the most accurate solution in the industry; for an end user to accurately order products from a distributor’s website, and for the distributor to create accurate orders to the supplier.

Accurate orders all start with accurate and complete product information from the supplier. Suppliers using DC agree to honor their products and prices listed so distributors are assured of having accurate data without having to verify during the selling process.

“The Suppliers that I work with find DistributorCentral to be the easiest system to update, export, and import data for shopping cart functionality and accuracy. Our Distributors and Suppliers work as a team to ensure accuracy and report inaccuracies when they are noticed. When a Distributor finds a discrepancy, they have a tool to quickly make a comment and send that over to DistributorCentral. Once received, the Supplier is made aware and is able to correct the item via their Supplier representative,” said Aubrey Weaver, Senior Account Manager.

DistributorCentral allows suppliers total access to their products and pricing. The Product Editor has been designed for ease of use to make real-time updates. Suppliers can also export product, option and choice data into an excel format to update and upload. “From the time the updates are received and started, we are able to complete the import in just a matter of minutes,” said Heather Windler, Support Specialist. Most suppliers only need to export their product data though for annual pricing update purposes.

Besides hosting product data and pricing, we have also been working with suppliers to help them be able to share inventory data electronically. This is another way how we are committed to providing enhanced technology and integration solutions that in turn, support our mission.

Entrepreneurial Freedom

This month, Americans will celebrate the 240th anniversary of independence which, at its core, is really a celebration of freedom. As Americans, freedom is something we read about, write about, dream about, teach, advocate, protect, and hope for.  To most reasonable people, freedom means more than just ‘free to do whatever I want’ – it means freedom to dictate our own lives and the freedom to choose thoughts that can liberate us from our own self-made limitations.

As a promotional products distributor – one who chooses the path of entrepreneurship – freedom can take on a slightly different meaning. When building a business such as a distributorship, there are many choices about operating systems, product search engines (such as DistributorCentral’s), order processing software, computer hardware, and even clients. It’s the last one, clients, that many distributors feel they have little to no freedom of choice. While the distributor/client relationship will always be fraught with a fair amount of friction as each side attempts to maximize value in the sales transaction, there is freedom in this partnership as well.

If you have operated your distributorship for any length of time, you have had at least a few bad clients. A bad client can cripple the growth of your company faster than just about anything else outside of internal culture. As such, it’s important to exercise your freedom to choose NOT to work with clients who become a drain on your time and your business. There are many different types of bad clients, each with specific undesirable traits – here are four of them:

  1. Time Vampires – Time is the single most precious asset of any business owner and the financial success of your enterprise depends on using your time efficiently. Clients who change their minds time and time again after you’ve provided exactly what they asked for waste your time and make you less productive. No matter who you are, there are only 24 hours in a day – don’t squander them on clients who continually disrupt your workflow.
  2. Idea Shoppers – Any “client” that takes your ideas and shops them around for a better price should be fired immediately. No matter how eloquently you share the value you provide, they will never buy from you without giving your competition to undercut you. Your time, ideas, and creativity have value. If you are trying to sell to someone who can’t see that, it’s time to move on.
  3. Angry Abusers – Uncommunicative, uncooperative, or just plain obnoxious clients will drain your energy faster than watching video on your iPhone. Whether their behavior manifests itself as passive-aggressiveness or outright verbal abuse, their negativity is contagious. Regardless of how much they may spend with you, this type of client will never be happy and is rarely worth the trouble.
  4. Invoice Procrastinators – You have a business to run which requires a steady cash-flow. Clients who are habitually tardy when it comes to paying invoices disrupt your fiscal viability. More importantly, these types of clients don’t sufficiently appreciate the value you bring to their business. When clients fail to pay invoices on time, stand your ground – if you’ve delivered on your obligations, they need to meet theirs. Repeat offenders are clients you don’t want.

Each of us is fortunate to have the freedom to decide what we do with information, how we dictate our future, change our minds, make decisions, and, yes, even the clients we choose to work with. Summer is a great time to review your current client list and trim the troublemakers who are negatively impacting your bottom line. Doing so now will save you time, energy, and even money down the road.

Bill Petrie
engage@brandivatemarketing.com
brandivatemarketing.com
 
 brandivatemarketing
 @brandivatemktg
 

About brandivate

Bill has over 15 years working in executive leadership positions at leading promotional products distributorships. In 2014, he launched brandivate – the first executive outsourcing company solely focused on helping small and medium sized promotional products enterprises responsibly grow their business.

A featured speaker at numerous industry events, a serial creator of content marketing, Vice President for the Promotional Products Association of the Mid-South (PPAMS), and PromoKitchen chef, Bill has extensive experience coaching sales teams, creating successful marketing campaigns, developing operational policies and procedures, creating and developing winning RFP responses, and presenting winning promotional products solutions to Fortune 500 clients.

PWS announces New Production Lead Times

June 20, 2016 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Shorter lead times on our most popular decoration methods.

PWS is thrilled to announce the expansion of its Print Department which has enabled PWS to shorten production lead times. “Competitive production times are important to the success of our distributor partners. We understand this and remain firmly committed to their success. Expanding our Print Department was vital to our ability to make a permanent change in our production lead time policy,” says VP of Sales, Andrea Pennington.

As of June 20, 2016 the following production lead time changes will be in effect:

Silkscreen and Flexo Ink Decoration:
New Orders: 4 business days after final artwork approval.
Repeat Orders: 3 business days after final artwork approval.
(Previously 5 day production on both new and repeat orders)

Foil Hot Stamp Decoration:
New and Repeat Orders: 5 business days after final artwork approval.
(Previously 7 day production on both new and repeat orders)

For more information:
Araceli Salinas
PWS
Director of Marketing
Tel: 714-572-6730 ext. 211
araceli@gopwsproducts.com

 

 

UMAPP Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Melinda Marr

Seattle, WA – iClick is proud to announce that Melinda Marr, Regional Sales Manager for iClick, Midwest, is the recipient for this years UMAPP (Upper Midwest Association of Promotional Professionals) Lifetime Achievement Award.

This is a superior award reserved for those individuals who have made a lifetime contribution to the promotional products industry as whole, and also a direct or indirect contribution to UMAPP as a regional association.

Established in 2001, iClick is an award winning supplier in the promotional products and marketing specialties industry; including being named Counselor Magazine’s 2014 Supplier of the Year and 6-time award winner for Counselor Magazine’s Distributor Choice Award for Best Supplier in the USB/Computer Tech category, 2011 to 2016.

For more information, contact iClick

800-456-9177 / sales@iclick.com


Imagen Brands (Crown and Vitronic) Announce Seiter as Client Engagement Sale Coordinator

June 6, 2016-Imagen Brands (Crown and Vitronic) are pleased to announce GeoffGeoff Seiter - Imagen Brands Seiter as the new Imagen Brands Client Engagement Sale Coordinator.

His responsibilities include monitoring and engaging in all Social Media platforms for both Crown and Vitronic brands.  Geoff will provide selling ideas, case histories, offer product suggestions and support our brand message.    “Geoff really understands the direction Imagen Brands is going with our engagement strategy through social media platforms.  He is knowledgeable of the industry and our product line so it is a perfect fit!” says Dana Zezzo, Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

DC in DC at PPAI’s L.E.A.D.

Each year, industry professionals travel to Washington D.C. to educate their representatives about the effectiveness of promotional products and the strength of the industry in the United States. Vice President of Sales for DistributorCentral, Tiffany Tarr, CAS participated in her third PPAI Legislative Education and Action Day.

“LEAD is on opportunity for DistributorCentral to invest in our industry’s future. There are so many things happening in our nation’s capital that impact today as well as in the future as new legislative initiatives are passed. I want to make sure the people representing us know and understand our business,” said Tarr.

Along with fellow industry colleagues from Kansas, Tiffany met with Congress members: Kevin Yoder, Tim Huelskamp, Mike Pompeo and Lynn Jenkins. They also met with Kansas Senators Pat Roberts & Jerry Moran.

The issues discussed were:
The Department of Labor Overtime Rule changes
Protecting Independent Contractors by preserving Section 530 & the Safe Harbor Rule of the Revenue Act of 1978
Preserving the Deductibility of Advertising Expenditures
Product Responsibility – Toxic Substances Control Act

“As an industry it’s important that our legislators understand what we do, and why our industry is important. The opportunity to discuss this with them one-on-one allows our lawmakers to be better prepared to understand the impact on our industry as new legislative initiatives hit their desk. and they are able to see why we feel so strongly about lobbying on behalf of our industry and ensuring its protection in the future,” said Tarr.

PPAI has provided a full legislative positions summary that can be viewed here:
PPAI Legislative Agenda

Survey Says! Wearable Technology is #1 Fitness Trend

Summer is a time to be outdoors and on the move. Fitness becomes foremost in our minds and  translates to a wide range of activities.

The abundance of summer activities provides many options for improving one’s well-being, which means additional opportunities for client promotion while promoting a healthier lifestyle. One of these options is wearable technology. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) this will be the biggest health trend in 2016. This ever-increasing category includes items like pedometers and fitness trackers. These technology items will track your steps, heart rate, sleep and the number of calories you burn.

If you’re not into technology, you can always stick with the classics like water bottles, fitness shakers, headwear, and sunglasses. These items continue to provide ample promotional opportunities while promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Link to ACSM Article:
ANNUAL SURVEY REVEALS NEW #1 FITNESS TREND IN 2016


Guest Blog Article by: Jessica Onions
National Accounts Marketing Manager, Prime

 

 

 

PL-3330  B-Active Fitness Band from Prime