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Posts Tagged ‘promotional products’

Are Your Promoting Your Mission With Your Promotional Products?

May 7th, 2015 No comments

Do Your Promotional Products and Advertising Campaigns Describe and Promote Your Social Mission?

Mission-Statement

Austin, Texas: Many of us have participated in Earth Day events to promote our brands with green promotional product.

Others use trade shows to promote their message.

If you are a green business, your target audience wants more information about your mission.

They need to be reassured about how you are green, your sourcing methods, your mission, etc.

Too many companies just assume that because they have the word “green” or “organic” or “eco” in their names, that their customers will understand and “get it”.

However, you are doing a disservice by not explaining your mission on every transaction.

In your signage.

In your ads.

In your promotional products.

Yes, a simple mission statement on the backs of your imprinted water bottles or a url that links to your mission statement on your website will be most beneficial in reinforcing or reminding your customers of why they buy from you (or should buy from you).

Present clients like to be reminded of why they buy from you. It makes them feel better and smarter about themselves.

But you need to keep reinforcing your green message over and over again so it sinks in.

Just handing out a recycled water bottle or recycled frisbee with your logo on it is not enough. Be sure your mission statement is prominent EVERYWHERE.

Reinforcement of your message is crucial.

People are busy.

They forget.

Remind them why your company is the smart green option for them.

Remind them of your vision. Your vision for the future probably is the same as your customers’ vision.

Make them feel good that they are supporting your business or organization.

Your green mission statement is probably what won them over in the first place.

Keep it fresh in their minds all the time.

Don’t assume they will remember your mission

Happy Promoting!

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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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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 +

How Are You Measuring the Effectiveness and ROI of Your Promotional Products?

March 12th, 2014 No comments

Three Simple Ideas to Help You  Measure the ROI of Your Promotional Products

measuring the ROI of promotional productsAustin, Texas: I’ve been in the promotional products industry for over 30 years.

I have seen many trends come and go– yet one thing remains constant: it is still rare for me to find a marketer that takes the time to measure the ROI of their promotional product expenditures.

If you are still calling your promotional products such names as “trinkets and trash” or “tchotchkes”- STOP USING THEM!

If you are looking to give away cheap promotional items without regard to who is getting them and how it will affect your ROI, then you are wasting money.

Would you spend money on a print ad, Google AdWords, a billboard, direct mail program–without measuring its ROI?  I would hope not.

If you think of promotional products as a way to market and promote your brand, then you will begin to take it more seriously as an advertising medium.

And you will begin to measure its ROI.

Promotional products, when used correctly, offer one of the lowest costs per impression of any advertising platform.

What are three simplest ways to measure and track the ROI of your promotional products?  Here are a few suggestions:

1) Establish a unique URL.  Get a unique URL or landing page and print it on your promotional products.  You can then track the hits/sales/leads that yo get and trace those back directly to your promotional products.

2) Print a Call-to-Action on your promotional products that you can measure–such as: ” Bring in this pen to get 10% off on your next purchase”. It is easy to measure how much activity this promotional product brings to you.

3) Print a special phone number on the promotional item. This is similar to idea  number 1 above–and with Google Voice, you can easily get a separate phone number for each of your marketing campaigns.

Will you take the time and effort to measure the ROI of your promotional products – or will continue to hope and pray that you get a return.

How will you ever know which forms of advertising and marketing work best for your specific needs unless you test, measure–then test again.

Happy Promoting!

——————-

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 +

Going Green Also Means Vetting Your Vendors More Carefully

November 13th, 2013 No comments

How Well Do You Vet Your Vendors?

how do you qualify your promotional products providerAustin, Texas: When was the last time you actually vetted any of your vendors?

Do you trust every ad or product claim that uses the word “green” or “eco-friendly”?

Even the word “natural” gets green washed these days. Just because something appears on the planet naturally does not mean I want to ingest it (take that natural elements Plutonium and Polonium!!)

I received an urgent call this morning from a former client that decided to order his annual shopping bags from another vendor this year in order to save 6 cents each on 20,000 bags.

After five years of producing their bags, they decided to “go in another direction”, according to the new sales manager.

Though a $1200 “savings” is nothing to sneeze at — it is not “cheapest”–but “best value” that wins the battle in the long run.

Bottom line, those 20,000 bags  that they had paid for and ordered have been randomly tested and found to contain lead content that far surpasses allowable levels–so they are all going to have to be destroyed.

My hope is that any reputable promotional products company would have strongly suggested getting a lead test from from certified third party source prior to production and using only a well-vetted factory that understands CPSIA and other consumer safety regulations.

We always do that on import bag orders..and yes a third party lead test can cost several hundred dollars. But it is worth every penny.

Now, the sales manager is scrambling to find an American-made tote bag that we can produce for him in time.

It will be a cotton bag as nobody produced laminated polypropylene in the US..so his costs will be 2-3 times the cost of the imported bag.

Add to that the wasted money on the first bags he had ordered through a different company– and these imprinted tote bags will cost him way over budget.

Promotional products all look similar.  In fact, many are very similar and often come from just a handful of factories.

The key is knowing which are the right factories to choose.

But the difference in your promotional product order is the experience that your distributor brings to the table–in terms of product selection and problem avoidance.

Yes–problem avoidance.  I was going to say problem resolution – but avoiding problems is much simpler if you know what you are doing from the start.

Spend some time and carefully vet your suppliers.

Be sure your vendors are up-to-speed on CPSIA, Green Guides and other consumer product safety laws and regulations.

Do they have a strict Code of Conduct?

The promotional products that you hand out are a reflection of your company.

Don’t cut costs by reducing quality or bending rules (or ignoring them altogether).

It is easy to be the cheapest guy on the block.

It is another thing to be in the promotional products business since 1981 and be up-to-speed on product quality and safety issues — and save the client from embarrassment, poor publicity and costly product recalls.

Which path do you prefer?

Are you willing to pay a few pennies more for peace of mind?

Happy Marketing.

Here’s to a greener tomorrow, today.

——————-

Robert Piller, President of Eco Marketing Solutions, has over 30 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 organic promotional products,   imprinted bamboo promotional items, imprinted live tree seedlings and plant giftsseeded paper promotional items,  recycled imprinted pens and pencils in the country.

In addition to being a noted writer on issues of social and safety compliance, Robert Piller 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 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 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 +

5 Steps to Avoiding Product Recalls on Your Promotional Products

November 8th, 2012 No comments

Be Sure Your Promotional Products are CPSIA Complaint to Avoid Recalls and Legal Issues

Tips to prevent product recall on promotional productsAustin, Texas: Although it seems like the  promotional products budgets seems to have increased for the majority of firms this past year as the economy picks up, the number of lawsuits have also increased.

Promotional products made overseas for large retail companies have been getting recalled at an alarming pace for lead content – either in the product or on the embellishments or imprint inks. This list includes shirts, water bottles, magnetic items –to name a few.

These companies should have known better as these recalls were easily avoidable with a little due diligence.

However, what is a smaller company to do to navigate the safety waters and to avoid product recalls and bad publicity for the promotional products.

Here are some tips to consider when ordering promotional products safely:

1) Learn the Law. Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) aimed at protecting children 12 years of age and under from all products containing lead and phthalates.

2) Try to determine if your promotional product is for children or for general use.  This is a judgment that a court might determine–not for you to decide for the court.     Some obvious things to consider:

  1. a- Is it a game or a toy?
  2. b-Is it brightly colored?
  3. c-Does it have a licensed character on it?  Even if it is an adult XXL men’s sweatshirt, if it has a cartoon character or licenced character on it – it might very well be construed as a child’s item.
  4. d- Does it appeal to a child 12 years or under?

3) Get proper testing and certification. If you will be importing your promotional products, it pays t spend a few hundred dollars getting third party certification.  The company that you purchase these items should know how to get this done.

If you are ordering off-the-shelf stock promotional items, ask for the certification certificate for that item.

4) Vet your Promotional Products Distributor. Work with a promotional products distributor that has experience in compliance and carefully vets his suppliers for product safety and social compliance.   We make sure everybody has taken classes on CPSIA compliance and has a firm knowledge in the law and its ramifications.

5) Err on the side of safety and caution. When in doubt, redesign the product so that it cannot be misconstrued as a child’s item — or get the certification that is required just to be on the safe side.

Promotional products can be a great way to market your brand and to reach a targeted audience.  It has one of the lowest cost per thousand impressions of any form of advertising out there.

Just cross your T’s and dot your I’s – and work only with a promotional products company that understands CPSIA to avoid any unplanned issues.

Here’s to a successful promotional event.
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Facebook.com/ecomarketingsolutionsAsk us Your Green Marketing Questions Anytime at  Facebook.com/ecomarketingsolutions and join the conversation.

————————————–——

Robert Piller, President of Eco Marketing Solutions, has over 28 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.

In addition to being a noted writer on issues of social and safety compliance, Robert Piller recently completed his CAS 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 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.

Follow ecomarketing on Twitter
Follow Me on Pinterest

Too Many Green Labeling Choices Means Greater Confusion for Consumers

September 8th, 2010 No comments

Simplify green certificationIt has been reported that ULC Standards has acquired TerraChoice, the managers of Canada’s EcoLogo program.  This consolidation might make it easier for consumers to differentiate between green claims—so as to compare apples to apples.

Currently, the EcoLogo program covers more than 7,000 products in 80 categories—with 70 different standards.

Simplicity is the key to any certification and for ease of understanding.  Until we get to just a handful of green certifications and labels, manufacturers will continue their greenwashing claims and obfuscate their actual compliance to green initiatives.

An educated consumer is the greatest weapon against false claims, but too many labels will make the entire process into a joke.  How about a grading system- A through F—like used in most schools.  You can add a plus or minus beside the grade to help draw more attention to detail, if so desired. But it would be a simple system that would work for most comparisons.

Here’s to simplicity.. and a greener tomorrow, today.

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Robert Piller, experienced in green marketing campaigns and environmentally-friendly promotional products. His web site includes a comprehensive eco-friendly advertising specialty search, featuring over 250,000 eco 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 recyclable, biodegradable, organic or recycled imprinted promotional items in your price range and time frame. View the Go Green website at EcoMarketingSolutions.com and comment on his blog postings at GreenSpotBlog.com.

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Journey through Climate History…and Beyond

August 24th, 2010 No comments

A look at 40 scenarios for the future of our planet's cliamateI just saw this website that had a fascinating presentation on the history of the planet’s climate changes ..and what the future may hold.

It is a interesting and interactive site based on 40 possible scenarios and based on as study by the IPCC, the non-profit Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The results can greatly effect world populations, in terms of famines, droughts, warfare, etc.  Global issue can be considered a security threat that needs to be addressed.

This study is an eye-opening look at what our planet can become if steps are not taken by leading countries and economies to address global warming in the immediate future.  It is time that people take a serious look at alternative energy sources, increased sustainability in manufacturing, transportation, farming, as well as other activities, before we pay an even steeper price.

Earth Day cannot be a yearly celebration.  It needs to become a way of life.

Let’s make Earth Day, Every Day.

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Robert Piller, experienced in green marketing campaigns and environmentally-friendly promotional products. His web site includes a comprehensive eco-friendly advertising specialty search, featuring over 250,000 eco 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 recyclable, biodegradable, organic or recycled imprinted promotional items in your price range and time frame. View the Go Green website at EcoMarketingSolutions.com and comment on his blog postings at GreenSpotBlog.com.

Starbucks’ Awards Winner of Contest for Reducing Paper Waste and Consumption

August 16th, 2010 No comments

EcoMarketingSolutions.com offers hundreds of custom printed biodegradable coffee cups The winner of a competition sponsored by Starbucks to gather ideas for reducing non-recyclable paper cup use isn’t even a cup at all, but a concept for encouraging customers to bring their own cups for possible free drinks.

The top four winners of their contest are all excellent ideas to reduce paper consumption, but only one was a reusable or biodegradable cup.

“We’re very interested in looking at the winning ideas and many of the other submitted ideas as we develop new solutions to reduce cup waste,” said Elise Chisholm, Starbucks spokesperson. “We haven’t yet had a chance to determine specific action plans. Increasing adoption of reusable cups – including travel tumblers and our own ceramic serveware – is definitely an important part of the equation for us.”

The Betacup competition offered a total of $20,000 for ideas that could eliminate paper cup consumption. Starbucks sponsored it as part of its efforts to only offer reusable or recyclable cups by 2015.

The winning idea was the Karma Cup, a simple concept for putting a chalkboard by the register at a coffee shop, having customers that use reusable cups make a mark on the board, and then giving a free coffee to every 10th customer that uses a reusable. This is a fun and creative idea – but be sure to move back toward the end of the line once you see the 10th person get their reward.

The three honorable mentions were: Read more…

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New Eco Index Developed by Outdoor Industry Association

August 9th, 2010 No comments

Eco Index will help establish new green metrics for manufacturersAs companies are becoming more green, the next phase is trying to quantify exactly how much energy is being used in the processing, manufacturing and distribution of their products.

A new tool developed by the outdoor gear industry hopes to simplify the comparisons of “eco-friendliness” and to help companies understand what goes into their products and then improve any stage, from sourcing raw materials to recycling clothing.

The Eco Index, a project of the Outdoor Industry Association’s (OIA) Eco Working Group, is being launched this week at the Outdoor Retailer trade show for beta testing is intended for a range of products, from clothes to backpacks to camp stoves.

“It helps you identify the holes in the sustainability of your product and the impact your product is having,” said Beth Jensen, OIA’s corporate responsibility manager.

According to GreenBiz.com, the version of the Eco Index being released isn’t complete, but the OIA wanted to get a version out and in use so it can gather feedback and tweak it if necessary as it finishes up the rest of the Eco Index.

From Guidelines to Facts and Figures

The Eco Index, a web-based tool, has three levels, Jensen said, which are guidelines, indicators and metrics. The guidelines are just what they sound like, guidelines for how companies can be more conscious and sustainable when making products. Read more…

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Proven Strategies for Gaining More Green Customers

July 27th, 2010 No comments

Tips for Attracting More Green BuyersAmerican citizens are becoming more worried with the environment. The growth in this number is evident in the 1.4 million members and supporters of the most popular and oldest non-profit green organization, Sierra Club. With greater number of people making their residences more energy efficient, driving cars which are consume less fuel, recycling waste materials and purchasing environment friendly products, this trend has led to a substantial increase in the number of self-sufficient companies on Main Street selling to green consumers.

Small businesses selling green products have become a growing business community. At the same time businesses dealing in general products are increasing the percentage of green products they are offering.

Robert Piller, President of Eco Marketing Solutions, says his company, which produces custom printed eco-friendly products for retail, has seen a record number of retailers increasing their product mix to include green products. He states, “Last year, we had many retailers, both small and independent accounts, as well as major national chains, begin to increase the number of recycled and biodegradable items in their product mix and planograms. From recycled tote bags to biodegradable and reusable drinkware—insulated tumblers, stainless steel bottles and ceramic mugs, we saw a 36% increase in same store sales to these accounts.”

The following information is designed to enable local companies to recognize green opportunities and to better market to the green consumer.

How to Identify the Green Consumer?

While the truth remains that all green consumers are not the same, knowledge of a few of traits they have in common will enable businesses to make a more careful study of the market for eco-friendly products and services.
Read more…

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