Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Promotional products vital to marketing - BPMA Reports


 BPMA REPORTS the following

Keeping brands front of mind

New research shows that customers buy from businesses that give them promotional gifts

Key findings
-    94 per cent of us, when given an item of promotional merchandise, do not forget the advertiser or product advertised even after having the product for over six months
-    Two-thirds of us keep promotional products for over six months and 44 per cent  keep them for over one year
-    Half of us would like to receive promotional products more often
-    Nearly half of us like receiving free promotional products that have an advertising message
-    Nearly 98 per cent of us think that promotional merchandise is not a waste of money.
-    Usefulness is a key driver with over half of us saying we would go and get a useful item if it was being handed out
-    Over half of us have three or more promotional products on our desk or in our office

Business people across the UK have been questioned about what they do with and what they like about different promotional gifts as part of a major survey.

One of the most significant results of this second comprehensive national survey carried out by an independent research company was that, as a way to remind us about a company, promotional merchandise works. 

94 per cent of us remember the advertiser who gave it to us or the product advertised after we have had the item for six months and nearly two-fifths (39 per cent) of us are more likely to use a business that has given us a promotional product, when the need for the advertised product or service arises, rather than a similar business that has not given us anything. 

Nearly half (46 per cent) of people questioned said that they like receiving free products that have an advertising message, and 98 per cent think that promotional products are not a waste of money.  Half (50 per cent) said that they would like to receive such items more often.

Neal Beagles, Chairman of the BPMA comments: “Promotional gifts clearly are a powerful marketing tool. Indeed, two thirds of us said we like to hang on to our gifts for more than six months and 44 per cent for over one year. And, of course, one important element that promotional merchandise has in its favour is that we like a free gift!” 

Neal Beagles continues: “These results show that promotional gifts are liked by people in business, but also that they keeping a brand or message front of mind.  By exposing customers and prospects to a company logo or message time after time, brand recognition is reinforced and that leads to sales. So promotional merchandise has a direct and unequivocal influence on our decision-making process when we are ready to buy and so has impact on the bottom line.”

The survey findings show clearly that UK business people don’t like just any product,  ‘usefulness’ is the key factor in people taking and retaining promotional merchandise.  Over half of us (54 per cent) said we would go and get a promotional product that was being handed out if the item is useful.  This is backed up by a look at the list of what we prefer to receive. Useful items like USB sticks (31 per cent), clock and watches (26 per cent), luggage (22 per cent), umbrella (20 per cent) and coffee mug (18 per cent).are among those most likely to motivate us to take action or to lead to a more favourable impression of the advertiser or company.  

Another key factor that must be taken into account when selecting a product is ‘likability’ with 61 per cent of people saying they would take a free gift being given out if they liked it.

Usefulness is again apparent as the key reason why people keep products, with those being kept for at least a year including USB sticks (63 per cent), coffee mugs (60 per cent), umbrellas (51 per cent), clock and watches (48 per cent) and pens (43 per cent).

This follows on from findings of national independent research in 2011 when 18 per cent of respondents said that they had kept a mug for the longest period of time, 15 per cent a USB stick and 12 per cent a pen, with around one-third (33 per cent) indicating they had kept an item for between one and two years and 30 per cent between three and four years, highlighting that around 87 per cent of recipients had kept a promotional item for longer than 12 months.

That we are a nation that likes, keeps and uses promotional gifts is again highlighted by the fact that over half of us (53 per cent) have three or more products on our desk or in our office, and nearly a third (30 per cent) have four or more products.  The most commonly kept items are pens, mugs and cups, calendars, mousepads and USB sticks, with the biggest reason for people keeping products they have received being because the item is useful (80 per cent).

Neal Beagles continues: “Any company, organisation or brand using promotional merchandise is hoping that it will be kept by the recipient and act as an ongoing reminder of them.  In order to achieve this it is clear that the most important questions to ask when choosing a product are ‘is it useful to my target recipients and will they like it?’ If it ticks those boxes then it is far more likely to be retained.”

Neal Beagles concludes: “This survey has again confirmed how effective promotional merchandise can be.  Not only is it welcomed by recipients, but it demonstrably affects their purchasing behaviour by acting as a reminder of any given company or brand and making them more likely to be chosen over a competitor.  Customers that already know about your business are far easier to sell to and so keeping in touch is important.  Promotional merchandise enables companies to do this at relatively low-cost in comparison to other forms of advertising.”

Friday, 22 February 2013

Flip Catalogues - Bullet, Avenue & Label

We are pleased to say that we have just launched three new ranges with some great new merchandise ideas.

The ranges are called Bullet, Avenue and Label. 

I have included all the links below to their on-line ranges where you can scroll through and choose some items that you think may be useful. All the items have a guide price there (including provision for your one colour logo). I have provided a description about the ranges too. Please just click on the title and scroll through the range.

When you need to act fast, think Bullet. Bullet helps you hit the mark with hundreds of fresh affordable give-away's that can be branded quickly with your message.

We can offer the fastest turnaround as standard in the industry, on over 1,400 lines. We guarantee to get your order out of the door within two days from artwork approval at no additional charge. To ensure that you get what you want, when you need it, we have the deepest inventory available.

Bullet lets you brand your gift of choice in multiple colours and multiple positions (subject to product flexibility) to get the look you desire. After approval by e-proof, we will decorate and ship your order from the facility within two days.

Promotions with Accuracy:

·         The best products at the right price.
·         Industry leading level of inventory.
·         An Industry leading decoration facility based near Poznan, Poland.
·         Decorated and delivered when you need it, anywhere within the EU.

For gifts that make a memorable impact, Avenue offers a treasure trove of high-quality items that show you mean business and care about your customers. With over 800 exciting options, including over 100 new introductions for 2013, Avenue take personalisation to a new level through branded products that let you align your name with desirable reputations.

From established household names to fresh new innovations, Avenue presents gifts to suit every recipient’s personality and budget.

We’re proud to introduce Elevate, a go-getting collection of active lifestyle apparel, bags and accessories, along with new top of the range writing instruments from Parker, Waterman and Rotring.

With superior service and an extensive choice of decoration options, Avenue is the gift collection that’s tailored for you to leave a lasting impression.

Promotion and fashion united.

Get everybody looking the part with a great selection of apparel. Our branded casual-wear collections let you express your image through a choice of every day basics, timeless sportswear or trendy active lifestyle apparel including caps.

With three distinct ranges to choose from, it’s easy to get started by defining the look that reflects the spirit of your promotion.

US Basic offers unbeatable value on a re-focussed collection of core everyday basics.

Slazenger’s timeless sportswear, including five new models for 2013, oozes vintage style while meeting modern demands for quality construction.

The new lifestyle brand Elevate uses proven construction methods and modern fabrics engineered for superior comfort and durability. Its effortless collection balances a fashionable combination of outdoor and urban trends.

Friday, 15 February 2013

BPMA Research 2013 Marketing Mix & Merchandise

What is the most annoying advertising medium?
What marketing channel is best at motivating action?

- New research reveals fascinating insights into consumers’ reactions to advertising media  
- Only 28 per cent of us watch television commercials, the rest ignore, mute or change channels
- Banner adverts are the most annoying advertising medium according to 73 per cent of us, promotional products the least annoying 
- Nearly two-fifths (39 per cent) of respondents indicated they are more likely to remember TV advertising because they see it more often, just ahead of promotional products at 35 per cent.
- 94 per cent of us remember the advertiser who gave us a promotional item or the product advertised after we have had it for six months
- Two thirds of us like to hang on to such gifts for more than six months and 44 per cent keep them for over one year

What is the most annoying advertising medium? How do people react to commercials on TV, radio, online? What marketing channel is best at incentivising people to take action? The responses of people across the UK to different marketing communication channels have been under scrutiny as part of a major survey. 

Conducted by independent research company Relevant Insights LLC, the survey looked at the major channels through which brands and companies advertise their products and services, including TV, radio, online, direct mail, newspapers, magazines and promotional merchandise.  The results provide great insight and may impact on marketing spend in the future.

The strikingly different reactions to various media are among the most eye-opening findings.  For example, 28 per cent of respondents indicated that they generally watch all television commercials, whereas 41 per cent generally read an advert in a magazine or newspaper, yet only 13 per cent will click on an online advert.  What’s more, just under half (46 per cent) stayed tuned to the channel but do not pay any attention to commercials, only 16 per cent watch commercials if they are on a recorded TV programme, and 69 per cent fast forward them.

Despite well-documented increases in online advertising spend, 73 per cent of respondents stated that they felt annoyed when exposed to banner adverts, with 54 per cent indicating similar feelings in response to direct mail, 44 per cent to radio and 32 per cent to television.  Magazine advertising was deemed annoying by 13 per cent of respondents and promotional merchandise at only 5 per cent is the least annoying medium. 

Because they see it more often, nearly two-fifths (39 per cent) of respondents indicated they are more likely to remember TV advertising, just ahead of promotional products at 35 per cent, just 10 per cent remembering print or online advertisements and 5 per cent for direct mail.  However, when asked which advertising medium provides an incentive to take action, the results show that 50 per cent are incentivised to take action after receiving a promotional product, whereas just 19 per cent said they react to TV advertising, 11 per cent to online adverts, 10 per cent to print and 9 per cent to direct mail. 

We remember a gift

94 per cent of us remember the advertiser who gave us a promotional item or the product advertised after we have had it for six months and nearly two-fifths (39 per cent) of us are more likely to use a business that has given us a promotional product when the need for the advertised product or service arises, rather than a similar business that has not given us anything. Two thirds of us like to hang on to such gifts for more than six months and 44 per cent keep them for over one year. More than half of respondents (54 per cent) said they would go and get a promotional product that was being handed out, provided it was useful to them. ‘Likability’ is also important in this decision.

Nearly half (46 per cent) of people questioned said that they like receiving free products that have an advertising message, and half (50 per cent) would like to receive such items more often. 98 per cent think that promotional products are not a waste of money.  

Advertising recall

The survey findings show clearly how many people skim over and disregard advertisements, however, those that do take note of them reported that the advert had made an impression on them, even if it did not lead directly to any further action. When asked how many newspaper or magazine adverts they had seen in the last two weeks around one-third (33 per cent) could not remember, while just over one-fifth of respondents (21 per cent) said they had not seen any, and 12 per cent said they has seen between three and five adverts.  When asked about the action taken following sight of a printed advert only 12 per cent purchased the product being advertised, yet 87 per cent said the advert did make an impression on them, although only 8 per cent made a note of the advertiser and the product to follow up in the future.

The figures were similar for online advertising, with 16 per cent stating that they had not seen any adverts, and 10 per cent that they had seen between three and five. A lower 5 per cent purchased the product being advertised, although 81 per cent said the advert made an impression on them, but just 9 per cent made a note of the advertiser and the product to follow up later.

Martin Alden of Wickes said: “It is good to see the definitive data presented this way, as one can safely conclude that blending your marketing mix in the right way will pay off and in the wrong way could well be catastrophic. It shows the importance of a 'Multi-channel' or 'Omni-channel' strategy in moving your marketing mix forward in a meaningful and holistic way towards better, more seamless customer experiences. The 54 per cent of respondents who would actively go and get a promotional product was significant – for all the neuroscientists amongst you… good old fashion “What’s in it for me” (WIIFM) in action!"

Product recognition

The ability of various advertising media to evoke instant recognition of the advertiser was interesting with 40 per cent of respondents stating that promotional products had this effect, closely followed by TV adverts (35 per cent).  Fewer respondents thought that print would prompt instant recognition (10 per cent), and even less online advertising and direct mail (9 per cent and 5 per cent respectively).

Michaela Mora of Relevant Insights LLC said: “The results provide plenty of insight into which communication channels generate the most favourable actions from consumers and will help brands when deciding on the most appropriate ways in which to communicate with their consumers.”

The Chairman of the BPMA, commented: “It is encouraging to see promotional products viewed so positively and holding their own as an important part of the marketing mix, being the most likely to incentivise them to take action.”

Additional Notes

• The research was carried out by Michaela Mora of Relevant Insights LLC, an independent research company 
• The survey was commissioned by the BPMA. 
• A UK wide study was conducted online among 1000 adults randomly selected from a database of 250,000 business people   who were found to have received promotional items at either work or home. Students and people under 18 were excluded. 
• Of the 1000 responses received there were 466 female respondents and 534 male respondents from across a range of sectors including manufacturing, retail, IT/ Communications, media, finance and education.  Job titles included Chairman/MD, manager, director, pa, administrator. 

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Top 5% out of 200 million members

So apparently I have one of the top 5% most viewed  profiles for 2012 out of 200 million members !?!

Who's been snooping, or is it just a marketing ploy to drive more people to LinkedIn, who knows...

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Light up your desk!

Desk items are the perfect product in terms of your logo. The desk is the Mecca in which decisions are made, who do I award that contract to? Who do I call for that quote? Who do I use for my next marketing event? Right now on my desk, I have a Google speaker set (always use Google as a search engine), a calendar from a supplier (always use that supplier), branded drink-ware - this stuff works! Now the biggest hurdle in terms of offering a desk item, is for it to useful enough for someone to warrant it precious space on their desk. If someone gives you a paper pen holder, when you already have a stainless steel one that does everything except make you a coffee, you know which one you are going to keep. So if you are going to spend budget on merchandise, make sure its counts. An old time classic as a simple desk product is a sterling silver photo frame, most people don’t already have one, or if they do wouldn't mind another one, and it is a great way to have their loved ones on display. But if you are looking for something a little edgier how about these?

Pokket Mouse

A stylish way to shine a light on your promotion...
Luxury, slim optical mouse with LED's that lights up your logo with a simple touch of the mouse. Ultra thin design for a true promotion with class! Supplied in handy travel pouch.

USB Hub & CardReader Podium

Your logo on stage!
Stylish 3-port hub with multi functional cardreader (ie. MS/Pro Duo, M2, SD/MMC, Micro SD) for optimal branding that will stay on your clients desk. Your logo is illuminated when in use.

SolarSpeaker & MultiCharger

Eco music on the move!

Handy solar powered music speaker and charger for many of your gadget / devices. Great for outdoor activities. An ideal gift for an ECO style promotion!

So imagine the impact of your logo flashing on the decision maker’s desk every time they use the item? Or a fan who uses it daily to show their love for your brand?

Being around merchandise for over a decade, this was a range that stood out well and caught my eye. There are only so many different variations of mugs, so many pens, mouse mats etc, so when you see products that have constant impact on someone’s desk, that are useful and good looking, you light up! 

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Playing with the big boys now

In terms of positioning we are ranked as one of the top 1% of promotional companies in the UK doing what we do.
As a result of this reputation InnerWorkings Inc. acquired us during September 2012. InnerWorkings has a projected turnover of $860 million for this year and being part of the Group moves us to the top of the UK market place.

My role is "Head of Sourcing / Promotional Products" which suits me perfectly as I have been involved with buying trips through China regions sourcing promotional goods since I was 24 years old and I'm excited about doing this role for a NASDAQ listed company with such a huge global scope already and are on the way up with recent prestigious awards.

This now makes my offering to my UK and International clients very attractive as I now have an increased range of products and services, enhanced global leverage across the supply chain, access to more resources plus financial stability for future growth.

Further information regarding InnerWorkings:

Who We Are: We are a global marketing supply chain organisation. We help maximise our clients marketing initiatives by efficiently creating, procuring and delivering marketing materials and campaigns.

What We Do: Our team and our technology make certain that our clients brand message is delivered with accuracy and consistency, and in the most cost effective way possible.

What We Offer: Our suite of marketing supply chain capabilities includes: print management, POP/POS development, promotional products, packaging & labels, creative and studio services, data management, direct mail, brand and colour management, web services and warehousing and fulfilment.

We are the leading provider of global marketing supply chain solutions. We combine innovative technology, an extensive supplier network, and deep domain expertise to help companies strategically manage their print, promotional, and packaging solutions. We service customers across multiple industries, including financial services, retail, non-profits, healthcare, food and beverage, education, IT, transportation and utilities. With headquarters in Chicago and major operations in Chile and the United Kingdom, our group employs approximately 1,200 people and operates in more than 44 offices around the world.

What does this mean for you...

One stop shop offering

I can provide the ‘one stop shop’ service to my clients. Through the development of a bespoke website for the client, which either sits on their own intranet or public domain, I will recommend innovative and market-appropriate products to be selected. Products and quantities are agreed, products ordered and then stored in my warehouse awaiting call off by the client.
This tried and tested solution offers both cost and time efficiencies.

Warehousing and distribution 

I have the capabilities to ship worldwide and do so for many clients. All of these stores can ship worldwide and last year I shipped to over 141 countries.

One shot products

I am also very happy to look after a customer on their ‘one shot’ business, where they only require a certain number of a particular product(s) to be at a given place at a given time. 

I currently source from over 1 000 000 off the shelf products, and have the capabilities to obtain manufactured products of literally anything bespoke!  I welcome you to visit our grand showroom any time, to come and see the many examples of bespoke manufacturing for yourselves.

I work to a well established infrastructure to cater for different needs ranging from one-off requirements of promotional items to personalised corporate merchandise programmes.

Awards and accreditations

Being a multiple award-winner (including back-to-back BPMA Distributor Of The Year winner for 2011 and 2012) means that you can expect is the best ideas and the best solutions for your promotional needs!

Also proud to be doing it the right way - accredited with the worldwide ISO9001 quality assurance standard and the ISO14001 environmental standard, as well as CHAS accredited and SEDEX members.


With a sourcing capacity that spans the globe, I can give you access to millions of quality products, at competitive prices, on time & on brand. With the capacity and the facilities to work with your company throughout the process of merchandise procurement; from brainstorming and idea generation, to sourcing, purchasing, warehousing and logistics through to local and global distribution. All of this is done with on-time and accurate reporting and accountability.


I take great pride in our ability to provide you with unique IT solutions; your own portal from which to call off stock, detailed statistical analyses on the movements of your promotional merchandise as well as full tracking of your stock. I will work with you from the outset to tailor a promotional merchandise solution that caters to your specific requirements and is very easy to use.
These stores can be public facing retail stores or marketing call-off stores. Some stores average 20,000 visitors a day and all stores have a back-end dashboard where you can see live data and run a multitude of reports to show you all the relevant MI about how your merchandise is getting used.