Tag: promotion


How To Run A March Madness Promotion In Four Simple Steps

Hey, HR managers: Are you planning a March Madness promotion? More than 50 million Americans participate in March Madness office pools, according to MSN.

This year might just draw more participation than ever – there’s $1 billion on the line if you have a perfect bracket.

Warren Buffet, who ranks 4th on Forbes’ list of top billionaires, is kicking in $1 billion to anybody that correctly picks the winners of all 63 games in this year’s NCAA men’s college basketball tournament.

How’s that for some March Madness?

Instead of staffers having to slink around to stream games and check scores (which they’re going to do anyway), why not organize a March Madness promotion for your basketball-enthused employees?

OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service, says it’s smarter for managers to acknowledge the appeal of March Madness than to ignore it.

Robert Hosking, Executive Director for OfficeTeam, said in a Forbes article: “When enjoyed in moderation, there are potential benefits to March Madness activities at work. They can be a morale-booster and bring out team spirit in the office. It provides an opportunity for employees to bond as they talk about scores and root for their favorite schools.”

custom basketball hoop set

You can even eliminate the gambling aspect of traditional office pools by allowing people to participate for free – no buy-in required. Instead, winners score some awesome promo items as prizes – gifts such as custom Beats-style headphones or Bluetooth speakers.

Want to put a March Madness promotion into play at your office? Follow these four steps:

1. Get people pumped up about the promotion.

There are dozens of basketball-themed promotional products – from mini basketball hoops to notepads and stress balls – to introduce the promotion. Staffers already have basketball on the brain, and by handing out promo items, you’re building a buzz for the festivities.

2. Make a bracket.

Pass out copies of the bracket (here’s where you can print out the brackets) to employees who want to participate, and then gather them up before the tournament begins. You’ll also need a big bracket to hang up in a common area such as a break room or kitchen. It’s as simple as grabbing a ruler and sketching out the bracket on a poster.

3. Keep track.

After each game’s final buzzer, write it up on the big bracket. Everyone’s likely already keeping track on their own, but it fosters a sense of community when employees can gather in a central place to celebrate victories or lament defeats together.

4. Bestow the prizes.

Reward those with the most basketball prowess with some worthy prizes. Some of the biggest trends in custom logo merchandise now are custom audio gear and technology items. It’s important to select promotional products that participants actually want to receive. For help choosing the right prizes for your March Madness promotion, just call or chat with one of ePromos’ expert Brand Consultants.

Running a March Madness promotion can be a win in your workplace – and it can be done in just four moves. Don’t balk at your company’s basketball fans this time of year – give them a way to celebrate the season together.

You’ll be promoting camaraderie (and a fun company culture), and you’ll help boost employee morale. You know what that means – increased employee retention, lower turnover, more productivity in the long run, and most importantly, a jump in sales and profits.


Are You Ready For Small Business Saturday?

If you’re a small-business owner, Small Business Saturday should be on your radar. It’s November 30 – the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Last year Americans spent $5.5 billion on the day dedicated to supporting small businesses around the country, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

Though Small Business Saturday doesn’t draw the same crowds as Black Friday – 100 million shoppers compared to 247 million, respectively – it’s a shopping day that continues to grow in popularity.

small business saturday

The first-ever Small Business Saturday was held in 2010. In 2011, 44% of consumers were aware of the new holiday. By 2012, that number jumped to 67%.

For customers, it’s a day to shop local merchants while scoring some great deals. For businesses, it’s the perfect way to get in on the Thanksgiving weekend shopping frenzy and ramp up for the holiday selling season.

Small-business owners: Are you ready? Here are six tips to make the most of Small Business Saturday:

1. Consider your audience.

Do you want to reward current customers or appeal to new customers seeking a great deal? Know who you want to sell to for Small Business Saturday. This allows you to tailor your offer to your intended audience and get the best results.

2. Let your customers know.

Now’s the time to alert customers about Small Business Saturday and what kind of special offers you have in store for them. Remind them it’s the Saturday to shop local and why they should visit your business. Talk to customers in store, use social media and send e-mails. You can also hand out promotional products to hype your business and make it stick in their minds.

3. Create a sense of urgency.

Let customers know how long your promotion will last. Is it Saturday only? All weekend long? When something is in limited supply or on sale for a short time, it makes it all the more appealing to shoppers. Just look at how retailers use the logic of supply and demand for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You can make it work for Small Business Saturday, too.

4. Get your branding right.

Every interaction with your customers is an opportunity to promote your brand. Everything from your store signage to your employees’ apparel should reflect your business’ brand. How do you want your business to be perceived? Kid-friendly? Elegant? Unique? Your branding should be consistent across the board. Also, instead of using plain shopping bags, make the switch to custom shopping bags. It’s an effective way to promote your brand while customers tote their purchases home.

5. Get to know other small businesses.

Don’t ignore the other shops down your street – you’ll miss out on valuable networking and relationship-building opportunities. You can also explore co-marketing for Small Business Saturday. By partnering up on your promotions, your marketing efforts are doubled while your expenses are slashed in half. For example, you could hand out promotional items featuring both logos. You’re able to reach a brand new audience while connecting with your own – all for half the cost when you split the promotional order with another small biz.

6. Put your best foot forward.

If there was ever a day for your store to be immaculate and your staff to bring their A game, this is it. Motivate your team to keep your shop looking its best. That means clean windows, a tidy, inviting sales floor, and all your best products on display. Remember: This will be many shoppers’ first glimpse of your business. Make it a memorable one so they’ll want to come back.

Small Business Saturday can be a big hit for your business. Take the time now to get your strategy and promotions in line. You’ll be setting yourself up to get a nice piece of the holiday sales pie, while cementing your brand in the minds of customers in your own neighborhood.


Promo Lesson: Business Cards And Cheese Don’t Mix

business cardWe love it when business cards bust a creative move, but we’re baffled by a recent promotion for a cheese shop in Brazil.

The Bon Vivant Cheese Emporium (cool name; un-cool marketing) boldly decided to go where no promo should: It turned its business cards into cheese graters.

The goal was to give customers a handy little gift to reinforce the Bon Vivant brand. If they ever have an urgent need for freshly grated cheese, they can whip out a block of parmesan, reach into their wallets and grate away.

We can’t ever imagine this scenario.

Encouraging customers to keep a kitchen promotional product in their wallets? Next to their grimy credit cards and cash? Yes, that’s totally logical.

This promo was a flop. Bon Vivant wanted a unique business card that doubled as a useful gift for customers. Instead, it gave people something they’ll never use. At least we hope not.

We give it credit for using a promo item that’s relevant to its business, but it’s better to keep the cheese graters where they belong: in the kitchen.

Promo know-how tip:

Think about your audience and where they’ll likely use your promotional giveaways. The more you can fine-tune your promo gifts, the more useful and appreciated they’ll be.


Jell-O Promotion Makes Super Bowl Defeat Sweet

To the victor go the spoils; to the loser go … Jell-O chocolate pudding cups. Starting tomorrow, 49ers fans will be consoled by truckloads of freebies from Jell-O Pudding. Surprise! Your spirits won’t be down for long, San Francisco.

Cups of the sweet stuff will be handed out at various spots around the city for the pudding drop promotion. Local 49ers fans can check the promotion’s site (FunThingsUp.com) to see the locations and times of the giveaways. Far-flung fans can download a coupon for a freebie.

To make it even sweeter, former 49ers star defensive back and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Ronnie Lott, will be handing out pudding cups.

“It’s a fine line and we don’t want to ever come across as rubbing it in,” Greg Gallagher, senior brand manager for Jell-O, told ESPN. “But it was a big accomplishment to get to this game and we want to give these fans a little something to look forward to.”

Clever marketing play, Jell-O. We like the lighthearted approach to losing the Super Bowl, and it’s a fun way to make the most of being the runner-up. When you lose some, you win some. Got your spoons San Francisco?



Promotional Coasters Help Beer Company Make Eco-Friendly Push

custom coaster

Beer and gardening: While they typically don’t go together, they mesh perfectly in Molson Canadian’s new promotion. The beer company is using plantable custom coasters to generate buzz for its Red Leaf Project, an effort to help beautify Canada.

Consumers can pick up specially marked boxes of the brew to snag a promotional coaster, which, when planted and nurtured, will grow into a stately Black Spruce.

This promotional product is a perfect fit for Molson, which is striving for a more sustainable image. The custom coasters along with logo imprinted glasses boast the company’s signature shades of red, white and blue, and they clearly state the mission of the promotion: To make Canada better, one beer at a time.

Cheers to that.

Promo know-how tip: Many promotional coasters, because of their slim design, are excellent for direct-mail campaigns.


Scented Promotion Draws Crowds To State Fair


For the past two weeks, the sweet scent of cotton candy has been wafting through the air in New York and New Jersey. It’s all part of a scent-centric promotion to attract people to State Fair Meadowlands, Jersey’s biggest family fair.

Trucks mounted with billboards bearing the scent of cotton candy have been cruising to malls and shopping centers to advertise the fair. The billboard’s fabric was saturated with the sweet smell, evoking happy memories from state fairs past.

Scent marketing is a clever strategy that can work for your company, too. When you use scented promotional items, they can influence a decision or trigger a memory with your customers. Scented promotional products can also remind your customers of happy times, helping forge an emotional connection with your brand.

State fair organizers were spot-on with this promotion because it struck a chord with fair-goers. The smell of cotton candy no doubt conjures images of ferris wheels and carnival games. It makes people want to attend, which was exactly the goal of this promotion.

The state fair ended last weekend, so the saccharine aroma is gone. Newark is back to smelling like it usually does.

Promo know-how tip: Scent is the most powerful of all the senses, so when you want customers and prospects to sniff out your company, turn to scented promotional products.