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What is Your Definition of Green Promotional Products?

January 23rd, 2015 1 comment

Expanding the Reach of Green Promotional Products and Marketing

defining green promotional productsAustin, Texas: How narrowly do you define the term: “green promotional products”?

For some, it means only promotional products made from organic materials.

For some it may mean only recycled promotional products.

Still, others take into account that green promotional products must be reusable or that it reduces waste–such as reusable tote bags and imprinted water bottles.

Many are adding into the scope of green promotional products such tech items as rechargeable phone power chargers (both solar powered power chargers and plug in power chargers) –as they help to prolong the need for throw-away external batteries.

The key is to define what you consider to be green promotional products–or eco-friendly promotional products and to re-evaluate your parameters from time to time.

I had a Fortune 500 client call me this week for what she considered “green promotional products” – and her only parameter was that the items  “not be from a third world sweatshop”.

I would argue that that definition of “green promotional products” is a bit too broad (and I did help her narrow down her new guidelines).

I would also make the case to embrace other promotional items that might not strike you immediately as green friendly.

Keeping in mind the 3R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle– I would suggest that any promotional product that fits at least one of those criteria should be considered a green promotional product.

What is your definition of “green promotional products”?

I’d love to hear it.

Let’s all do our part to increase our green marketing and promote a cleaner environment.

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Robert Piller, President of Eco Marketing Solutions, has over 35 years of experience in running and implementing promotional marketing campaigns and is a leader in the recycled promotional products industry, including offering one of the largest selections of recycled imprinted bags,  recycled promotional water bottles, imprinted live tree seedlings and recycled logo journals and jotters and  recycled imprinted USB flash drives in the country.

In addition to being a noted writer on issues of social and safety compliance, Robert Piller has completed his CAS degree and BASI degree — one of the highest honors in the promotional products industry for his years of continuous education and certification.

His company’s website, EcoMarketingSolutions.com, features over 750,000 eco-friendly promotional items in all price ranges, for any business or organization interested in going green and promoting environmental stewardship. The site’s handy search tool helps you easily find organic and recycled imprinted promotional items in your price range and time frame.

Eco Marketing Solutions has a strong Code of Conduct as they carefully vet and qualify all their suppliers.

You can also reach him by email (robert (at) ecomarketingsolutions.com) or comment on his blog postings at GreenSpotBlog.com or below at his Twitter link.

Facebook.com/ecomarketingsolutionsAsk us Your Green Marketing Questions Anytime at  Facebook.com/ecomarketingsolutions and join the conversation.

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What Makes a Promotional Product Eco-Friendly?

August 14th, 2014 No comments

eco-friendly promotional productsHow to Determine if a Promotional Product is Eco-Friendly or Not

Austin, Texas: One of the main questions we hear is : “How do we determine if an item is considered an eco-friendly promotional product or not?”

We sell over 25,000 different eco-friendly promotional products at EcoMarketingSolutions.com and we like to break down our parameters into the 3 R’s.

Start with the 3R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

A) REDUCE: Does the use of the promotional product reduce waste.

For example most of us would consider a reusable water bottle as an eco-friendly promotional product because it reduces the number of paper cups or plastic empty water bottles in the waste stream.  Same holds true for a reusable tote bag –as it reduces the number of plastic or paper bags that end up in landfill.

Another popular item–recycled USB drives can also help reduce paper waste.

B) REUSE: Can the promotional item be reused — over and over again?

In addition to reusable water bottles and tote bags–think even of cell phone power chargers that can be used again and again – or even higher-quality organic clothing that can be worn for years.

C) RECYCLE: Is the promotional product made of recycled materials?

I like to start with post-consumer recycled and a minimum of 50% recycled materials–but everyone has their own guidelines.

Look for recycled promotional products–which are especially prevalent in plastic products–everything from flying discs to tumblers and bottles to recycled pens and more.

Don’t over-think your eco-friendly promotional products selection.

If you can find an item that meets at least one of these 3 criteria, then you’ve found an eco-friendly promotional product.

If you can combine two or more of the Big 3R’s in one promotional product–even better.

Yes– to define your eco-friendly promotional product, you can then go into smaller groups–such as hemp or organic-only fabrics,or energy-reducing or efficient products and even solar powered promotional items–but that is much more specific and case by case.

Promote your green marketing campaign and create greater awareness of green causes with eco-friendly promotional products.

Anything less would not be doing justice to your campaign or mission.

Here’s to a greener tomorrow, today.

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Robert Piller, President of Eco Marketing Solutions, has over 35 years of experience in running and implementing promotional marketing campaigns and is a leader in the recycled promotional products industry, including offering one of the largest selections of recycled imprinted bags,  recycled promotional water bottles, imprinted live tree seedlings and recycled logo journals and jotters and  recycled imprinted USB flash drives in the country.

In addition to being a noted writer on issues of social and safety compliance, Robert Piller has completed his CAS degree and BASI degree — one of the highest honors in the promotional products industry for his years of continuous education and certification.

His company’s website, EcoMarketingSolutions.com, features over 750,000 eco-friendly promotional items in all price ranges, for any business or organization interested in going green and promoting environmental stewardship. The site’s handy search tool helps you easily find organic and recycled imprinted promotional items in your price range and time frame.

Eco Marketing Solutions has a strong Code of Conduct as they carefully vet and qualify all their suppliers.

You can also reach him by email (robert (at) ecomarketingsolutions.com) or comment on his blog postings at GreenSpotBlog.com or below at his Twitter link.

Facebook.com/ecomarketingsolutionsAsk us Your Green Marketing Questions Anytime at  Facebook.com/ecomarketingsolutions and join the conversation.

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Green Marketing: Forget About the Masses. Find the Influencers

July 29th, 2014 No comments

Is Your Green Marketing Campaign Trying to Be Too Broad?

green-marketing

Austin, Texas: When it comes to green marketing, sometimes trying to be all things to all people serves your target audience wrong.

Your target audience is not EVERYONE.

It is a nice goal–but 100% unrealistic.

What audience can you have the most impact trying to woo or persuade?

That is where you should spend the bulk of your green marketing efforts.  Then as that reach expands through your efforts and grass roots marketing, you can try to broaden that audience.

For cities and utilities looking to reduce energy or water usage, find the influencers–and work backwards.

Those influencers can be teachers and ministers.

It can be manufacturers and local club or civic leaders.

Reach out to them to help you spread your message.

If you are a business providing a green product or service, then who are your influencers?

Mothers of young children or babies?

Dual income adults with no kids?

Know who your specific target audience is and work backwards.

As a business to business provider of eco-friendly promotional items, I get calls all the time from organizations asking me to advertise in magazines or go to trade shows that do not fit my target audience.  Sure, it would  be nice to go to consumer trade shows and talk to moms and kids about the environment.  But that just is not my target audience and my advertising and marketing budget would soon be wasted and used up.

I prefer business to business marketing forums where I can speak to my potential clients — then I try to pare it down more specifically.

You should do the same.

Not all marketing events are for you — no matter how good it feels.

Learn who your target audience is and then find those influencers that you can specifically target to maximize your campaign’s efficiency and improve your return on investment.

Happy Green Marketing!

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Robert Piller, President of Eco Marketing Solutions, has over 33 years of experience in running and implementing promotional marketing campaigns and is a leader in the recycled promotional products industry, including offering one of the largest selections of organic promotional products,   imprinted bamboo promotional items, imprinted live tree seedlings and plant giftsseeded paper promotional items and  recycled imprinted pens and pencils in the country.

In addition to being a noted writer on issues of social and safety compliance, Robert Piller has recently completed his CAS degree and BASI degree — one of the highest honors in the promotional products industry for his years of continuous education and certification.

His company’s website, EcoMarketingSolutions.com, features over 250,000 eco-friendly promotional items in all price ranges, for any business or organization interested in going green and promoting environmental stewardship. The site’s handy search tool helps you easily find organic and recycled imprinted promotional items in your price range and time frame.

Eco Marketing Solutions has a strong Code of Conduct as they carefully vet and qualify all their suppliers.

You can also reach him by email (robert (at) ecomarketingsolutions.com) or comment on his blog postings at GreenSpotBlog.com or below at his Twitter link.

Facebook.com/ecomarketingsolutionsAsk us Your Green Marketing Questions Anytime at  Facebook.com/ecomarketingsolutions and join the conversation.

Follow ecomarketing on Twitter Follow Me on Pinterest

Follow Eco Marketing Solutions on Google+

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Business Success 101: Keeping Business Simple – And Thriving

June 20th, 2014 No comments

Key to Business Success: Keep It Simple

ideas for business success

Austin, Texas: This is the 6 year anniversary of my company Eco Marketing Solutions and my 32nd year overall in this industry –and as I reflect on these 3+ decades, I attribute most of my success to keeping things simple.

Selling eco-friendly promotional products is not brain surgery.

I focus on three areas and everything else just falls into place:

1) Quick Followups: All emails and phone calls are returned within 90 minutes–usually within 10 minutes.

Why?  Because it’s the right way to handle messages.  I like my emails and calls returned quickly — and obviously, so do my clients.

2) Attention to Detail: In the promotional products business, there are many variables-such as product colors, ink colors, location of imprint, quality of artwork, deadlines, correct shipping addresses, etc. that need o be handled.  And deadlines seem to keep getting shorter and shorter.

We choose the old adage: Measure Twice, Cut Once. Careful attention to detail at the beginning of the order saves countless hours of last minute panic.

We do many orders within 24 and 48 hours.  We just make sure we are ready to go when we get those rush orders.

3) Referrals: Referrals are not the thing that I actively ask for.

I think that is a bit tacky.

We get so many referrals because customers are happy to tell their friends and colleagues about our company.

Referrals are our lifeblood.

How about your company?

Are you keeping things simple?

Do you always seem to be behind in production?

Are you getting plenty of referrals?

Keep your business simple.

Focus only on what gets optimum results.

Nothing else matters.

Simplicity keeps a business manageable.

I hope to be doing this for another 32+ years.

How about you?

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Robert Piller, President of Eco Marketing Solutions, has over 33 years of experience in running and implementing promotional marketing campaigns and is a leader in the recycled promotional products industry, including offering one of the largest selections of organic promotional products,   imprinted bamboo promotional items, imprinted live tree seedlings and plant giftsseeded paper promotional items and  recycled imprinted pens and pencils in the country.

In addition to being a noted writer on issues of social and safety compliance, Robert Piller has recently completed his CAS degree and BASI degree — one of the highest honors in the promotional products industry for his years of continuous education and certification.

His company’s website, EcoMarketingSolutions.com, features over 250,000 eco-friendly promotional items in all price ranges, for any business or organization interested in going green and promoting environmental stewardship. The site’s handy search tool helps you easily find organic and recycled imprinted promotional items in your price range and time frame.

Eco Marketing Solutions has a strong Code of Conduct as they carefully vet and qualify all their suppliers.

You can also reach him by email (robert (at) ecomarketingsolutions.com) or comment on his blog postings at GreenSpotBlog.com or below at his Twitter link.

Facebook.com/ecomarketingsolutionsAsk us Your Green Marketing Questions Anytime at  Facebook.com/ecomarketingsolutions and join the conversation.

Follow ecomarketing on Twitter Follow Me on Pinterest

Follow Eco Marketing Solutions on Google+

Follow Me on Google +

Do Your Customers Understand The Benefits of Buying Eco-Friendly Products?

June 9th, 2014 No comments

How Aware Are Your Customers of the Value of Buying Eco-Friendly Products?

eco-friendly promotional productsAustin, Texas: For those of us selling eco-friendly products, we often make the mistake of thinking that everyone understands the benefits and virtues of “buying green”.

Nothing can be further from the truth.

I often have the need to explain why my customers should be buying eco-friendly promotional products from my company, EcoMarketingSolutions.com — even when they sell organic or eco-friendly products themselves.

Customers need to be constantly re-educated on why buying eco-friendly products is right for THEIR company.

They need to understand your production and procurement methods.

They need to understand more about your recyclability.

But more important, your customers need to be made more aware of why buying eco-friendly products is the right fit for their company.

It goes beyond corporate sustainability just for marketing purposes.

You must connect with their core values and belief systems.

You must remind them of why their customers prefer eco-friendly products and solutions.

And you must remind them often and consistently–as buyers (and their bosses0 turn over and will be questioning the value of a buying eco-friendly…especially around budget time.

Not every company wants to buy eco-friendly products…usually because they are not sold on the benefits.

We must understand that.

However, there are many others that would like to buy eco-friendly products–if they just understood the benefits a little bit more.

And it is our job, as purveyors, providers and producers of eco-friendly products, to do our part to hep educate both our customers, and their consumers, of the value and need to buy eco-friendly products.

Here’s to a greener tomorrow, today!

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Robert Piller, President of Eco Marketing Solutions, has over 35 years of experience in running and implementing promotional marketing campaigns and is a leader in the recycled promotional products industry, including offering one of the largest selections of recycled imprinted bags,  recycled promotional water bottles, imprinted live tree seedlings and recycled logo journals and jotters and  recycled imprinted USB flash drives in the country.

In addition to being a noted writer on issues of social and safety compliance, Robert Piller has completed his CAS degree and BASI degree — one of the highest honors in the promotional products industry for his years of continuous education and certification.

His company’s website, EcoMarketingSolutions.com, features over 750,000 eco-friendly promotional items in all price ranges, for any business or organization interested in going green and promoting environmental stewardship. The site’s handy search tool helps you easily find organic and recycled imprinted promotional items in your price range and time frame.

Eco Marketing Solutions has a strong Code of Conduct as they carefully vet and qualify all their suppliers.

You can also reach him by email (robert (at) ecomarketingsolutions.com) or comment on his blog postings at GreenSpotBlog.com or below at his Twitter link.

Facebook.com/ecomarketingsolutionsAsk us Your Green Marketing Questions Anytime at  Facebook.com/ecomarketingsolutions and join the conversation.

Follow ecomarketing on Twitter Follow Me on Pinterest

Follow Eco Marketing Solutions on Google+

Follow Me on Google +

How Committed Is Your Company to Earth Day Outreach Rather Than Just Earth Day Branding?

February 6th, 2012 No comments

How to get behind Earth Day celebrationsEarth Day Marketing and Education- Do They Have to Be Mutually Exclusive?

Austin, Texas: With Earth Day only a few months away (April 22), we are getting our yearly calls and online orders for eco-friendly promotional products–mostly used for outreach programs.

Many of my clients are participating in Earth Day celebrations as a way of promoting their brand. Nothing  wrong with that, as Earth Day helps businesses to reach a green-friendly audience.

However, many of my best clients view Earth Day as an opportunity to try to educate the public on improved recycling and conservation techniques and strategies.   This provides for a robust interchange of ideas that can improve both short-term and long-term reduction in one’s carbon footprint.

I like to think of Earth Day as a way to combine both aspects–outreach and branding for businesses of all sizes. If you show that your company is truly committed to green causes, then you will want to educate.

Make Earth Day a part of your brand  strategy–not an afterthought.

An educated customer is a life-long customer–so spend time educating your customers on why they should go green and how they can go green.

Don’t tout your company.  Promote the cause and your branding will follow.

Speak at schools and community events.

Leave the audience with action steps that they can take to reduce energy consumption immediately.

Explain the whys and hows of recycling.

Discuss the need for reusable tote bags instead of plastic single-use bags.

Be a valued resource on issues of the environment.

Here are some ideas of educating the public and branding that you might find helpful:

If you are trying to reach students, some of our most popular promotional out-reach items are imprinted coloring books that make it fun to learn about recycling or energy conservation. Another low-cost item are recycling temporary tattoos that promote recycling and other green causes. These can be stock or have your logo added to them.

If you are reaching a more mature population, than recycling information guides have been a very useful way of education consumers on ways to reduce energy consumption, improve recycling and cut their carbon footprint.

Another popular items for Earth Day include jar openers made from recycled car tires, each with tips on improving the planet.

You can also use flower seed packets with tips on them, live tree seedlings with tips, and recycled journal books–again with helpful Earth Day tips.

Don’t give away items that will end up in a landfill.  Make Earth Day a time for education and out-reach–and the branding will take care of itself.

Believe in Earth Day..and make it a daily cause–not a yearly event.

Here’s to a greener tomorrow, today.


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Robert Piller, President of Eco Marketing Solutions, has over 25 years of experience in running and implementing green marketing campaigns and is a leader in the recycled promotional products industry, including offering one of the largest selections of reusable and organic tote bags, recycled and biodegradable water bottles, recycled pens and pencils in the country.

His company’s website, EcoMarketingSolutions.com, features over 25,000 eco-friendly promotional items in all price ranges, for any business or organization interested in going green. The site’s handy search tool helps you easily find biodegradable, organic and recycled imprinted promotional items in your price range and time frame.

You can also reach him by email (robert (at) ecomarketingsolutions.com) or comment on his blog postings at GreenSpotBlog.com or below at his Twitter link.

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Green is the New Pink? Is Green Not Macho Enough?

April 22nd, 2011 No comments

Green efforts need to do better campaign to attract men to its cause

According to the 2011 study  by OgilvyEarth,  “Mainstream Green: Moving sustainability from niche to normal,” 82% of respondents said going green is “more feminine than masculine.”

Only 18% think going green is Masculine.  Why is this so?

Is it that men do not care about the future of their kids and grandchildren — or are they evil?   I don’t think so, especially since I am a married male with children –and I am green.

I think it is because “going green” is more prevalent at the retail level, where women are the primary target market.  For instance, most reusable shopping totes and water bottles have floral or less manly designs.  I know that for a fact, as I have worked on hundreds of custom reusable water bottles and tote bags last year for clients, and the majority had a feminine design features, including flowing script font, flowers and birds, etc.  The same can be said about most consumer products at the grocery store—designed to appeal to females.

Now is not the time to write off the “green male”.  Perhaps now is the time to get male athletic role models to become spokesmen for products.

Peyton Manning or Chuck Lidell seem like good fits.  How about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson or other more macho celebrities becoming green spokesmen.  He can kick the butts of George Clooney and Sean Penn, so by default, he is most macho. How about the motorcycle chop shop or woodworking reality show men becoming spokespeople for energy efficiency.

Imagine the impact on green if the NFL had a Green Awareness Day, like they have Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Day.  I know the NBA had Green Week, but it was during the end of the season when most people were looking toward the playoffs–and I did not hear much about it. I was also excited to see that Major League Baseball is celebrating Earth Day.

How about memorable environmental scenes in the movies and on TV?  Back in the 1930s and 1940s, I understand that the movie production companies were paid by the cigarette companies to show their stars smoking cigarettes–especially after romantic scenes.    Well, what could be sexier than a man recycling a beer can after a love scene?  Huh–hello Hollywood!

There is nothing feminine about the Three R’s.

1 ) Reduce: Sure–Surely every male can find one way to reduce their energy consumption.

Shutting off lights is always  a nice start.

Making fewer runs to the store while running errands.

Maybe buying larger portion sizes of mac and cheese, instead of smaller packages that have more packaging that ends up in the trash.

2 ) Reuse:  OK., most of us males have no problem wearing the same clothes that we find on the floor in the closet or on the sofa, but that may not be the best example of reusability.

However, I do think reusable water bottles, especially stainless steel bottles, can be the ultimate macho, green symbol.  I take mine with me to restaurants and feel very secure in my masculinity while using them.

3) Recycle: What can be more manly than recycling newspapers, old socks, beer cans, etc?

Heck, even NASCAR has jumped onto the recycling movement.

My Solution — an Eco Scorecard.  This should work for us…as men are notorious in keeping score and coming up with statistics–however meaningless they are.

  1. Pounds of Trash Recycled/Month
  2. Miles Not Driven/Week
  3. Reusable Bottle Ounces/ Week
  4. TV Hours Not Watched/Day  (Sports may or may not count–so perhaps a second category might need to be created: NON-Sports TV Hours Not Watched/Day can also be added?)

These stats can be bragged to among friends.  Most men love talking mundane and meaningless stats–who doesn’t?

Who knows, maybe there can eventually be a Fantasy League for the Sport of Greening.

It’s got a good ring to it.

Maybe it will eventually it will get its own 24-Hour Network.  Even Golf and Tennis have their own networks, so why not?

Let’s put the macho into green. After all, there is nothing feminine about pollution and global warming.

Let’s make Every Day Earth Day.

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Robert Piller, experienced in green marketing campaigns and recycled promotional products, has worked to help plant over 25 million trees through his live tree seedling gift program over the past dozen years. His company’s website, EcoMarketingSolutions.com, features over 25,000 eco-friendly promotional items in all price ranges, for any business or organization interested in going green. The site’s handy search tool helps you easily find biodegradable, organic and recycled imprinted promotional items in your price range and time frame.

You can also reach him by email (robert (at) ecomarketingsolutions.com) or comment on his blog postings at GreenSpotBlog.com or below at his Twitter link.


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