Branding, Business Ideas, Marketing Tips, Uncategorized

Top 5 things I learned while running a Marketing & Promotions Business

5-things-chalkboardAvoid business potholes before they even show up

Over the past 40 years in marketing and promotional products, my partners and I have learned much about running a business – most of which we wish we had known before we began. So, if you’re just starting out or just need encouragement along the way, feel free to benefit from the top five lessons we have learned along the way!

5.) Choose your business name wisely. Your company name will become synonymous with your brand. When we chose the name On Target Promotions, we realized we would a lot to live up to:

  • On Target customer service
  • On Target quality
  • On Target branding
  • On Target delivery
  • On Target value
  • Absolutely everything we do needs to be On Target.

Before selecting your brand name, consider what you want your business to stand for. To arrive at the answer, ask yourself some questions:

Who is my target audience?

What is my market?

What are my business goals?

What will make my company stand out?

 

 

Entrepreneur Magazine offers these suggestions for developing a business name:

“Naming a business is a lot like laying the cornerstone of a building. Once it’s in place, the entire foundation and structure is aligned to that original stone. If it’s off, even just a bit, the rest of the building is off, and the misalignment becomes amplified.”

The decision about what to name a company is so crucial, many entrepreneurs hire pricey naming agencies to conduct research and come up with a creative title for their startups. A lower cost option for this are crowdsourcing platforms such as SquadHelp, InkandKey, and NamingForce, which enable business owners to host competitions for business names, tag lines, logos and other marketing projects.

Thousands of freelancers across the globe compete by suggesting creative ideas. At the end of contest, the business owner selects the winning entry. The winner gets paid and the client benefits from the collective wisdom of creatives across the globe.

community4.) Get involved in your community. Wherever you are based, take time to develop partnerships on both sides of your business.

Corresponding Industry Associates: No one gets you like other professionals in your industry. Connect with each other in meaningful ways – digitally as well as in 3D. These relationships provide much needed support, advice, and potential opportunities for collaboration.

Supplier Partners: In business as well as life, nothing beats a win/win scenario. Work hard to develop good relationships with supply partners who will have your back, grant favors when you need them, and value you as a person who will act in kind.

Community and Target Market Associations: Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are too busy to take time to build relationships in your region and in target market associations. You might be surprised at the valuable reciprocity of referring clients, making timely payments, and volunteering along with people who would be just as happy and likely to take you to lunch as you would them.family

3.) Put God and family first. Make sure you follow a worthy moral compass. When you face tough decisions about making more money or doing what is right for your clients or employees, this is where the rubber meets the road. Customers prefer working with companies that have a moral compass. So, while everyone may not understand the basis for some of your decisions, they will value your integrity and service-minded attitude. Employees prefer working for organizations that demonstrate high principles.

According to an article in World Economic Forum, “Over recent years there has been a steady rise in the number of companies embracing purpose-led values to help them navigate this increasingly tricky business environment. Both traditional luxury brands and emerging newcomers are rethinking how they measure value and are, in-turn, achieving success by standing up for – and sticking to – principles.”

2.) Market, Brand and Advertise! (This is especially important when business and/or the economy are slow.) In 2008, when the U.S. seemed poised to head into the next depression, this piece in Forbes warned against the reflex of cutting marketing campaigns when business budgets are tight.

“The first reaction is to cut, cut, cut, and advertising is one of the first things to go,” says Wharton marketing professor Peter Fader, adding that as companies slash advertising in a downturn, they leave empty space in consumers’ minds for aggressive marketers to make strong inroads. Today’s economy ‘provides an unusual opportunity to differentiate yourself and stand out from the crowd, but it takes a lot of courage and convincing to get senior management on board with that.”

In 2008, we changed the marketing strategy for On Target Promotions to focus efforts on advertising and promoting to a core group of clients. This was while our competitors were closing their doors or doing was necessary to keep the lights on. We utilized the same or slightly lower ad budget to secure a core group of clients who have since accounted for 80% of our annual revenue.

1.) Enjoy what you do!

enjoyBecause you spend so much time on the job, make sure it isn’t just a source of income. If you don’t enjoy what you do, you’ll end up missing out on the stuff of life. Studies show that people who love their jobs lead more fulfilling lives than their frustrated peers.

 

As Mark Twain so aptly explained, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Running your own business is not a 9-to-5 job. So, make sure feel a sense of purpose and a strong mission. This can come across even if you are selling promo products or “swag,” as some people refer to it, like On Target Promotions. We are on a mission. And that goal isn’t just to sell the cheapest widget or “make a sale” at any cost. Instead, what drives us is the desire to clients happy so happy they want to come back again.

About the Author

Co-owner of On Target Promotions, Debbie Johnson has more than 40 years of experience in the field of marketing and promotional products. She was granted Lifetime Certification of the highest industry promotional products designation of MAS, was recognized by PPAI with the leadership award for service as awards committee chair, served as president of the American Marketing Association (AMA) Inland Empire, and currently serves as VP of East Hills Business Council of the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce.

About On Target Promotions

OnTarget Promotions is a national promotional products agency based in Riverside, California. We help clients use promotional products along with other media to design and secure quality promotional programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our customer in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us to start your project today.

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Branding, Business Ideas, Promotional Products Inland Empire, Uncategorized

Client retention. Have you left your first love?

Notepad with words  we love our customers on a wooden backgroundHave you left your first love?

Are you still pursuing your current clients as if they still mean something to you?

Remember how it felt to become the “new member” at your health club? Personal trainers walk you around; show you the equipment; shower you with gifts (remember the “new member” T-shirt and workout towel? They do whatever it takes to make you feel like royalty! Now, fast track to your daily visit to the club six months later. Are you warmly greeted? Do they still help you when you ask questions? Do they continue to extend thanks mid-year for your membership? Mind you, we’re not picking on health clubs. The phenomenon is not limited to fitness. Now, let’s bring the point back to your own business. Are you spending more dollars, cents and time pursuing new clients than romancing current customers?

Client Retention vs New Customer DevelopmentCustomer retention

After opening the doors as a new business owner, your first thoughts turn to customer development. You know your company won’t go far unless you land a prized client base. Fast forward to now. You’ve been in business for a while and eventually face a tipping point. How do you continue to develop new business relationships while simultaneously making sure your current clients feel “special?” (After all, they were the ones that made you!) How do you strike that balance? Where is your time better spent? Pursuing new clients or romancing the current ones?

how to keep the customerClient Development vs Client Retention: Which is more important?

According to the Harvard Business Review, it’s not even close. “Acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. It makes sense: you don’t have to spend time and resources going out and finding a new client — you just (need to) keep the ones you have happy. Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company research shows increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.”

Although many business owners are aware of these statistics, most (44%) choose to focus more on acquisition than retention (18%) to their peril. Forbes blogger Larry Myler explains the folly in this approach:

“If we can keep a larger percentage of (existing) customers for a longer life cycle, we build on a revenue foundation that is more profitable and predictable; two factors that have created tremendous wealth for entrepreneurs.”

Customer retention research reveals that, on average, the reasons 68% of customers change brands is due to “perceived indifference.” In other words, they end up leaving because they feel as though the company didn’t care about their business.have you left your first love - things I love about you2607434_960_720

Fortunately, there is an easy fix: “In today’s fast paced business environment there’s a disconnect, and it’s a big one. Business owners are consistently focused on acquiring new customers through ‘innovative’ marketing campaign, says Randy Garn, co-founder of a customer connection company. “They want a better go-to-market strategy, stronger billboards and catchier marketing phrases. But their customers have never felt more detached. With today’s technology, it is now possible to have a person-to-person relationship with every customer. The more personal and authentic the relationship, the more indispensable it becomes.”

How to Retain Clients

To make sure existing customers continue singing your praises, build a tight connection on the Internet and in person:

  • free-wifi-1563024_960_720Social Media – Develop a relationship with brand ambassadors by paying attention to reviews. Respond to people who leave reviews – even the ones that are negative. Replying and working to address their concerns demonstrates that you value their opinion. This type of attention could pay big dividends.
  • Old School – Don’t underestimate the value of staying in touch. Send a handwritten card or pick up the phone and talk to your clients instead of relying exclusively on electronic communication.thank you
  • Perks – Give special preference to current clients. Send birthday gifts, offer free Wi-Fi or offer sales tailored to them. We know you can think of something creative. But if you would like help, give us a call!
    gift for you
  • Gifts – The nice thing about client retention is that you can tailor-make gifts based on the relationships you have cultivated over time. Let us help you choose a personalized reward, gift, greeting card or direct mail piece that will WOW your current clients.gift

About On Target Promotions

OnTarget Promotions is a national promotional products agency based in Riverside, California. We help clients use promotional products along with other media to design and secure quality promotional programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our customer in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us to start your project today.

Branding, Marketing Tips, Marketing to Millennials, Uncategorized

How to Market to Millennials

Millenial-image---use-for-retail

Millennials are the generation of people born from 1980 to 2000, using digital technology and mass media, the children of Baby Boomers.

The largest generation in United States’ history, at some 80 million, millennials are reaching their prime working and spending years, where they are spending approximately $600 billion, and impacting virtually every industry. Since they have grown up during a time of great technological innovation, they routinely use handheld devices to meet most of their needs.Millenial-daily-life

Whether ordering chicken from the Amazon Marketplace or securing a ride on Lyft, their rabid reliance on tablets and smartphones is disrupting traditional purchasing patterns. Yesterday’s financially dependent teens are today’s young adults, with careers, kids and homes. In fact, researchers agree that millennials may be the most important consumer group to come along within the past 100 years. With millennial spending projected to grow to $1.4 trillion annually, the entrepreneurial imperative is to adapt traditional patterns to appeal to the burgeoning market.

  • More than 90 million millennials reside in North America.
  • By 2018, millennials will have more spending power than any other generation.
  • 83% of new moms are millennials.
  • Millennials spend an average of 18 hours per week on their Smartphones.Emotional-response-to-Promo-Products

Forbes reports that millennials are fiercely brand-loyal. Since, by 2020, nearly half of the U.S. workforce will be millennials, it is critical for brands to leverage brand identity, which is a sound investment strategy, since customer retention is far more affordable than new client acquisition. Thankfully, the most cost effective way to reach millennials is electronically. So, even those marketing efforts done in 3D, such ordering as promotional giveaways or sponsoring an event, can be shared over social media networks to exponentially multiply the impact. Social media is the new distribution of word-of-mouth marketing. Brands that go viral on social media generate customer reactions, engagements and referrals.

Generational-snapshotBusiness

Millennial preferences extend to the office-warehouse market. Working either at home or in shared office space, they prefer working close to the urban core, rather than in the suburbs. They look for cool space with features like exposed concrete floors, open ceilings and common areas for collaboration. What’s more, working digitally nearly 24/7, they shun traditional 9-5 hours in favor of greater flexibility. To market to millennials on the job, consider texts, promotional product gifts they can use at work and signage in urban areas.

Millenials-serving-othersRetail

  • By the year 2020, millennial purchases will represent 30% of total retail sales.
  • More than half (55 percent) say that (when shopping) they seek out “the cheapest return option.”
  • Thirty-six percent said they will go online to buy from a retailer’s website if they want a product when the company’s stores are closed.
  • On average, 89 percent said having access to real-time product availability information would influence their shopping choices in terms of which stores they would frequent.

Changing-consumer-perspectiveTo capture millennial retail sales:

  • Is your point-of-sale advertising visually appealing, clear and concise, thought-provoking and personally relatable? Millennials value these qualities in advertising.
  • Evaluate your return policy to make sure it’s competitive. Make changes if it is not.
  • Assess your website’s effectiveness. Is it user-friendly? Are products easy to find and order? Is your website responsive to mobile use? Consider investing in app development.
  • Is product information readily available on your website? Are you taking advantage of review apps to maximize your reach?

Travel

While their parents considered travel a luxury, millennials tend to view it as a necessity, possibly because their digital connections make even far corners of the world well within reach. In fact, according to Huffington Post, Millennials are 23 percent more likely to travel abroad than their older counterparts. They are also willing to budget more for trips, (and are) on track to spend $1.4 trillion on travel each year by 2020.” With these figures, it is little wonder the travel industry values this generation.OT Leeds LR

Target millennials in their daily lives outside work via texts; social media – Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and promotional products they can use in daily life.

How to Target Millennials in Promotional Marketing

While other advertising channels communicate a single advertising message or serve to reinforce branding, promo products play a functional role in the consumer’s lifestyle. Research shows that eight out of ten millennials keep promotional products longer than a year. What’s more, they are more likely than other generations to walk around with those products in hand, sharing the brand with everyone they meet. Also, millennial men are more likely to store promotional products in their vehicle or bedroom, while women keep such items in the kitchen or bathroom.

Millenials-on-the-jobAre you targeting millennials? Just give us a call. We will be happy to find you the perfect product. OnTarget Promotions is a national promotional products agency based in Riverside, California. We help clients use promotional products along with other media to design and secure quality promotional programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our customer in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us to start your project today.

Branding, Promotional Products Inland Empire, Uncategorized

Trade Show Giveaways: A necessary evil?

match-your-brandingBefore heading to a trade show, do you order giveaways out of obligation, since they are “expected?”

Even as you place the order, do you bristle at the realization that “scoopers” and “bag-ladies” will descend like vultures at your booth, snatching up promotional items so they can drop them into a junk drawer, never again to see the light of day?

If you feel this way, you are not alone. Clients often come to us complaining about the scenario.  Let us put your mind at ease by explaining that there is a science to the art of trade show giveaways.

The Science Behind Trade Show Giveaways

First, answer this question: what is your objective?

Brand Awareness?

Lead Generation? 

Wining and dining prospective clients? 

Each objective requires a slightly different scientific approach: trade-show-image

  • Brand Awareness. To get the most bang for your buck, use a flashy trade show display and offer plenty of easily accessible branding gifts, such as bags for attendees to carry throughout the exhibition hall. Make sure the branding gifts you offer will be used at home or in the office.  All branding gifts should match your branding standards.
  • Pick-up Leads. Since you won’t be able to recognize buyers until they come up to your booth, the best strategy is to get as many people to stop as possible. Do that by branding your booth with a pull-up sign or on the front of your table cover. And, instead of slapping a logo on the front, print: “Free water here” or “Free Wine-tasting here,” both of which are sure to generate buzz and draw large crowds. You’re there to attract as many people as you can, so draw them any way you can. Then, when they arrive at your booth, plan your approach. Come up with a few short questions to determine if they are promising prospects. Finally, give them a branded gift for stopping by, in addition to the water or wine. Make sure it’s a something your ideal prospect would value. For example, if you’re in the home improvement business, consider branding levels, tape measures or hammers, etc.
    trade show display
  • Advance Pick-up leads. Knowing who will attend the trade show in advance is valuable information. Since your booth will be competing with everyone else at the show, stand out by sending an invitation to your booth. The postcard should incentivize them to seek you out at the trade show, so they can redeem their invite for a gift that any key prospect would enjoy. When they arrive, don’t make the mistake of handing them the gift or hiring someone else to distribute the items and send visitors on their way. Instead, plan to ask a few open-ended questions, which you can pose even as you are reaching for their gift. This will initiate a conversation and provide you with valuable information.
  • Wine and Dine your clients. This strategy is different than the rest, as it assumes you will reserve a special room for VIPs. If you want to dress to impress, don’t forget to outfit the room. Represent your brand on items such as logo’d napkins, wine glasses, and trays. Use pull-up, or other temporary wall or floor graphic branded signs. And instead of giving gifts to attendees as they enter, give them as they leave, so you can thank them for coming and offer a wrapped gift.trade-show-stuff-in-hand
  • After the show. Once you’ve picked up leads, made contacts, and connected with everyone on your list, follow up. Do this by calling, sending a personal thank you note, or with your business card and a pen that features their name.trade-show-options-again

Does it all work?  YES!

  • 8 out of 10 consumers revealed that their impression of a brand positively changed directly as a result of receiving a promotional product from the featured brand.*
  • 83% said they are more likely to do business with brands they’ve received promotional products from than brands from whom they have not received promotional products. *

OnTarget Promotions is a national promotional products agency based in Riverside, California. We help clients use promotional products along with other media to design and secure quality promotional programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our customer in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us to start your project today

*Resource:  Mapping Out the Modern Consumer – 2017 PPAI Consumer Study

FREE: Everything you Need Guide for Tradeshows, Meetings and Conference guide. 

Branding, Business Ideas, Uncategorized

Five Product Trends for 2017

Trends 2017 written at notepad on table workplace near cup of morning coffee. New year business and fashion trendings, innovationAdmit it; you can’t review your Twitter feed or Netflix account without noticing “what’s trending.” As a culture, we have become obsessed with anything and everything on trend. And why not? If you can figure out what’s popular right off the bat, you might save yourself a lot of time and money you may have otherwise spent on lethal losers. In many cases, the court of public opinion rules fairly. When it comes to fashion, for example, think tartan, white trainers and shredded jeans winning out over color blocking, furry footwear and pajamas-in-public.

On Target Promotions relies on the same forecasting techniques big retailers use to predict trends. What’s more, as trend-setters ourselves, we don’t just follow lock-step. Instead, we help our clients discover fresh, exciting products that will wow their own clientele. We invite you to benefit from our experience. Check out these five categories which promise to capture the imagination of every shopper in 2017, whether he or she shops on Main Street or exclusively online:

Categories:

1. Simplify– As handheld technologies keep us wired 24/7, 2017 calls for a return to a simpler, quieter time. Offer your customers an escape, with products that feature subtle details, clean lines, monochromatic colors and natural materials.

Sample products:

pcna-trend-guide-2017
pcna-trend-guide-2017pcna-trend-guide-2017pcna-trend-guide-2017pcna-trend-guide-2017


2. Seek & Explore– Maybe it started with reality television shows filmed on location in exotic locales. Or it could have been the introduction of group travel coupons to the masses. Whatever the cause, the effect is that Americans love to explore. Whether it’s by bike, automobile, train, plane, or on foot, people are trading couch-potato-idleness with an itch to get-up-and-go. And they want to travel lightly. Reach for products that are travel-ready without sacrificing form for function.

Sample products:

pcna-trend-guide-2017pcna-trend-guide-2017pcna-trend-guide-2017pcna-trend-guide-2017seek-4



3. Techtronic– As much as we long for quieter days, few of us are prepared to completely turn our backs on the conveniences and connectivity associated with tech. With each innovation – from virtual reality goggles to drones – what matters most is being the first to acquire whatever the intuitive new “it” item is, be it shiny electronic gadgets that feature ultra-modern translucent materials or everyday items that sport funky geometric shapes and eye-catching iridescent finishes.

Sample products:

pcna-trend-guide-2017pcna-trend-guide-2017pcna-trend-guide-2017pcna-trend-guide-2017tech-5tech-6tech-7


4. Discarded– This dark trend is likely a reaction to the disposable world demonstrated by television, social media and celebrity. Despite being part of virtual communities, people in 2017 have resigned themselves to a condition of abject loneliness. Their mood is reflected in monochromatic colors, distressed fabrics and grungy textures, all of which have shown up in film for years and have just recently begun appearing off screen.

Sample products:

discarded-1discarded-2discarded-3


5. Re-evolve– For those who shun convention, the hunt is on for products that boast authenticity, many of which hearken to a time when handmade items, crafted with care were more common than mass produced pre-fabrication. This classic look is achieved with muted colors such as olive, grey and red – as well as materials such as brick, wood, cotton, metal and glass.

Sample products:

revolve-1revolve-2revolve-3revolve-4revolve-5


OnTarget Promotions is a national promotional products agency based in Riverside, California. We help clients use promotional products along with other media to design and secure quality promotional programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our customer in mind. Your Goals. Our Focus. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us to start your project today.

Branding, Holiday Promotions, Promotional Products Inland Empire, SWAG, Uncategorized

Swag on Target

swagTheories abound as to the exact meaning and origin of the word “swag:”

  • Some say it originally referred to goods stolen by a burglar.
  • Others believe it to be an acronym standing for phrases such as:
    • Souvenirs, Wearables, And Gifts
    • Stuff We All Get
    • Stuff We Are Given
    • Stuff We Ain’t Got
    • Sealed With A Gift
  • Merriam Webster defines it as, “a noun used to describe promotional items since the 1960’s” — referring to everything from promotional records sent to radio stations to free slippers for airline passengers.olive-oil-setWhatever its origin, the term caught on when Hollywood actors and actresses started receiving bags of valuables at award shows. This practice broadened the meaning and eventually came to encompass anything given to an attendee of an event (such as a conference) as a promotional gift.

At On Target Promotions, we use the term “swag” to refer to fun, free branding items placed in bags of exited award winners and party-goers as well as trade show attendees. And it is our pleasure to offer the best available swag for our customers, clients, vendors and friends.

Although people tend to think of swag in terms of common items such as T-shirts, mugs and pens, your options for branded gifting are virtually endless. And the great thing about swag is that it has staying power. When you give a prospect or client a unique item that they can use time and again, your brand will be reinforced each time the logo-d item is used.

tech-swagHere are some of our favorite ideas for your Company’s Swag:

  • Backpacks
  • Blankets
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Bluetooth headphones
  • Cord winders
  • Cosmetic cases
  • Crystal paperweights
  • Desk caddies
  • Drones
  • Fine chocolates
  • Fitness trackerstechleader
  • Flannel shirts
  • Flashlights
  • Golf and workout towels
  • Jackets
  • Mugs
  • Power banks
  • Reusable bags
  • Screen cleaners
  • Selfie sticks
  • Sport bottles
  • Stemless wine glasses
  • Tablet and smartphone cradles
  • Tech cases
  • Tool Kits
  • Throwsholidayboxbanner
  • Totes
  • Tumblers
  • Umbrellas
  • USB chargers
  • Virtual reality viewers
  • Wine
  • Yummy Food Gifts

OnTarget Promotions helps hundreds of clients across Southern California use swag to great effect. Here is what one such customer has to say:

“On Target Promotions has been supporting Sysco Riverside since its founding in 2013. The service we have received has been exemplary. The entire team at On Target Promotions has a great ability to help us find the items we need to brand our company and satisfy our customers.

The crew there does more than source logo items for us. They help us to come up with the right items in sometimes very unrealistic timelines and still manage to come through. We have worked with over 25 brands and purchased hundreds of individual line items through On Target Promotions. Their communication and shipment tracking is always extremely thorough.”

~Dan Meeker, Director of Business Resources & Marketing, Sysco Riverside

OnTarget Promotions is a national promotional products agency based in Riverside, California. We help clients use promotional products along with other media to design and secure quality promotional programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our customer in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us to start your project today.

Branding, Uncategorized

Holiday Traditions On Target

img_0371The Great American Melting Pot contains a wealth of holiday traditions which can be traced to countries across the globe:

Christmas

  • Christmas trees were first used in Germany. Long before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year had a special meaning for people in the winter. Just as people today decorate their homes during the festive season with pine, spruce, and fir trees, ancient peoples hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows. In many countries it was believed that evergreens would keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness. Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as we now know it in the 16th century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes.
  • Santa Claus (aka St. Nick) is said to have first shown up bearing gifts in Scandinavian homes. Most kids learn that Santa Claus comes from the North Pole, but children in Scandinavia are taught he lives a bit farther south. Where exactly is a matter of much debate, with businesses in Finland, Sweden and Norway competing to cash in on the cachet that comes with claiming Santa’s hometown.
  • Letters to Santa. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the earliest Santa letters are similarly didactic, usually coming from St. Nicholas, rather than written to him. When postal workers began hand-delivering mail to urban centers during the Civil War, the shift made Americans view the mail as a pleasant surprise rather than a burdensome errand. As the postal system became more formalized and efficient, the cost of postage began dropping in the mid-1860s. The price drop made parents more comfortable with paying for stamps, and children began to view the postman as an actual conduit to the Jolly Old St. Nick.img_0372
  • St. Nicklaus’ arrival down chimneys to fill stockings hails from the Netherlands. In 1823, this tradition went mainstream with publication of what has now become a children’s classic, The Night Before Christmas.
  • The idea of Santa’s sleigh being drawn by reindeer was first made popular in Switzerland.
  • The first documented Christmas parade was reportedly held in Peoria, Illinois in 1888. Decorated with garland and red ribbons and pulled by a team of horses, a covered wagon rolls along Main Street in Peoria, Ill each November heralding Santa Claus’ arrival. For nearly 125 years, the parade has kicked off the start of the Christmas season, persevering through the 1929 stock market crash, blizzards and rainstorms. Even during World War II, when New York City’s famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was sidelined for three years, Peoria’s Thanksgiving weekend spectacle continued to bring holiday cheer.
  • img_0369Elf on a Shelf began as a book penned by a mother/daughter team over a cup of tea. The pair decided to write a book about their personal tradition of writing notes to an elf sent by Santa, who came to watch over them at Christmas time. A companion toy was created in 2005 and has already found his way into 17 percent of all American homes over the past 10 Christmas seasons.

 Chanukah

  • Often called the Festival of Lights, the holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games and gifts. While most Jewish feasts and festivals can be traced to the New Testament, relatively new retail takes on Jewish holiday traditions are owed entirely to entrepreneurial ingenuity.
  • Mensch on a Bench was the brainchild of a rabbi who recently appeared on Shark Tank. During its first year in production in broad 2014, the product caught on with Jewish families, with $900,000 in sales.
  • Dreidels are traditional, but one company has is re-introduced them as spinning tops. Based on what they refer to as an “American vintage game,” the tops boast all new spinners made from “the finest quality aircraft grade stainless steel which is machined using state of the art CNC turning centers and precision balanced for a piece that will spin perfectly and last forever.”img_0370
  • Food Network has reinvented potato latkes to take them mainstream. Thanks to the popular network, people of all faiths and ethnicities are enjoying potato-pancake based recipes all year long.

Kwanzaa
A seven-day festival that celebrates African and African American culture and history, Kwanzaa is celebrated from 26 December to January 1.

  • Seven days of candles point to the principles of the holiday, which was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga.
  • At the first Kwanzaa Holiday Expo, held in 1993, ice cream magnates Ben and Jerry introduced sweet potato ice cream, while other exhibitors showcased dark-complexioned dolls, African art, Jamaican root tonic, Kente cloth neckties, handcrafted African roses and an odd contraption that gives a passable back massage.
  • Today, Kwanzaa is observed with African-centered books, cards and art objects and coloring contests for children.

Happy Kwanzaa Greeting Card Design TemplateMake the most of holiday traditions in 2016 by ordering promotional products for your clients, prospects, vendors and employees. Start your own Holiday Traditions with one of these suggestions for gift giving this Holiday Season:

OnTarget Promotions is a national promotional products agency based in Riverside, California. We help clients use promotional products along with other media to design and secure quality promotional programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our customer in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email  us @ Deb@OnTargetPromotions.com to start your project today.

Branding, Promotional Products Inland Empire, Promotional Products Riverside

Breast Cancer Awareness On Target

breast cancer awareness designThroughout October, most Americans are “in the pink” thanks to the annual month-long Breast Cancer Awareness campaign. Developed in 1985 to increase awareness about the disease and raise funds for treatment and research, the observance is one of the most successful of its kind…with pink products popping up on everything from pens and paper cups to perfume and Porsches.

Over the past 31 years, major breast cancer organizations have raised billions of dollars for the disease which will effect one in eight women in the United States. Further statistics shed light on the reason so much attention is given to the disease:

  • In 2016, an estimated 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 61,000 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
  • About 2,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2016.
  • A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.
  • For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.
  • Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women.
  • In 2016, there are more than 2.8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.
  • A woman’s risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • About 5-10% of breast cancers can be linked to gene mutations (abnormal changes) inherited from one’s mother or father.
  • The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman) and age (growing older).Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon Background. Vector illustration

Breast Cancer Advocacy

While efforts to increase awareness of breast cancer can be traced back to 1913, ongoing organized campaigns to increase breast cancer awareness did not exist until the mid-1970s, when advocacy groups began to disseminate information about treatment options and to provide counseling services. The announcement that Betty Ford, the wife of then U.S. President Gerald Ford, had undergone breast cancer surgery in September of 1974 is credited with increasing public awareness of breast cancer and comfort with public discussions about the disease.

History of the Pink Ribbon

breast cancer emblemIn the early 1990s, a 68-year-old named Charlotte Haley began making peach ribbons by hand in her home because her daughter, sister, and grandmother had breast cancer. She distributed thousands of ribbons at supermarkets with cards that read: “The National Cancer Institute annual budget is $1.8 billion, only 5 percent goes for cancer prevention. Help us wake up our legislators and America by wearing this ribbon.”

As word spread, executives from Estée Lauder and Self magazine asked Haley for permission to use her ribbon. She refused, saying the companies were too commercial. But Self was determined to use the ribbon idea. So editors consulted with lawyers and were advised to choose another color. They opted for pink, because it is “soothing, comforting, and healing” — everything breast cancer is not. Soon Charlotte Haley’s grassroots peach ribbon was history, and the pink ribbon became the worldwide symbol for breast cancer.

Today, retailers, non-profit organizations and the general public use pink ribbons on products to promote events like concerts, wine tastings, bowling or golf tournaments, online sponsorships, marathons, triathlons and bike races…to name a few. Don’t pass up the opportunity to pick up some pink swag for your Breast Cancer Awareness event. There is still time to order if you act fast. If you can think it, we can pink it.

2nd-base-seed-bookPretty in Pink

  • Aprons
  • Bookmarks
  • Brushes and combs
  • Buttons
  • Calendars
  • Candles
  • Caps and Visors
  • Christmas ornaments
  • Compact mirrorsskpinkd
  • Coolers
  • Cosmetic bags
  • Dog tags
  • Drawstring backpacks
  • Fanny packs
  • Golf towels
  • Gum
  • Headbands
  • Keychains
  • Lanyards
  • Lip balm
  • Magnifiers
  • Manicure sets
  • Mints
  • Mugs
  • Nail files
  • Notebookscheck-you-bump
  • Pensbreast-cancer-pen
  • Robes
  • Rubber bracelets
  • Rubber gloves
  • Scarves
  • Socks
  • Styluses
  • Sunglasses
  • T-shirts
  • Teddy bears
  • Tool kits
  • Tote bags
  • Tumblers
  • Umbrellabreast-cancer-bracelet

Several On Target Promotion clients offer Breast Cancer-related merchandise, such as the Breast Cancer bracelet, which their employees can purchase. The proceeds raised go to their local Breast Cancer Awareness Charity. Other clients support local walks and fund raisers by donating logo-imprinted merchandise for participants. It’s a great way to raise awareness for the community and also to position their brand with a great cause.

On Target Promotions is a national promotional products agency based in Riverside, California. We help clients use promotional products along with other media to design and secure quality promotional programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our customer in mind. Your focus is our goal. For more ideas for your company  call (951) 682-8427 or email us to start your project today.

Branding, Business Ideas, Promotional Products Inland Empire, Promotional Products Riverside, Uncategorized

Golfing On Target

Golf Tournament StampIn the United States, golf means more than just a tiny white ball rolling across a massive green. The activity is routinely used to entertain business clients, incentivizes sales, and provide a comfortable, classic setting for company picnics, product launches and charitable events.

Since people of virtually every fitness level can participate, golf tournaments provide the perfect backdrop for everything from casual conversation to fierce competition. And with 24.1 million self-proclaimed “golfers” in the U.S. and some 800,000 tournaments held each year, the events appeal as much to small non-profit organizations as multi-national corporations.

Best Golf picture series

One of the reasons golf tournaments are so popular among players is because they appeal to golfers of all levels. Beginners have just as much chance at claiming victory as seasoned professionals, since foursomes are specifically assembled to evenly distribute talent.

Here are a few short golf tournament success stories:

  • Conceived to raise funds for teaching the deaf, The HEAR Center Annual Golf Tournament has been the mainstay of the center’s fundraising efforts for 33 years, raising $750,000 during that time.
  • The Southern California grief support group, New Hope, exceeded their goal with their first golf tournament, Fore Hope, collecting $30,000 through tournament registrations, a silent auction and sponsorships.
  • The Fidelco Fall Classic is an annual charity golf tournament that benefits a New England guide-dog school. The three-year-old event is a significant revenue generator for the foundation, having raised $12,000 its first year and $20,000 the second. The event is sponsored by Stanley Corp., makers of Stanley tools, a partnership that has connected the foundation to a host of other companies.

Flat lay golf groupageIn addition to team-building and fundraising, tournaments are a great way for non-profit directors and entrepreneurs to brand — not just with on-site signage but also through personalized prizes and participant swag. Whether you choose to distribute gifts on the golf course during registration, immediately following game play, inside the clubhouse following the tournament, or as the highlight of a follow-up banquet, there are lots of great ways to promote your brand:

On-Site Promotional Ideas

  • Banners
  • Cart sheets
  • Fliers
  • Hole assignmentsGolfball on green with red flag.
  • Pens and Notepads
  • Personalized Pop-up tents
  • Scorecards
  • Signs
  • Tournament rules
  • Wrist bands

Participant Gift Ideas

  • Backpacks and fanny packs
  • Ball markers
  • Bottle openers
  • Can holders
  • Carabiners
  • Club brushes and cleaners
  • Club covers
  • Colorful socks
  • Cooler caddygpftc-red
  • Ditty bags
  • Divet tools
  • Glassware
  • Golf bag tags
  • Golf ball cleaners
  • Golf ball shaped lip balm
  • Golf ball shaped treat containers
  • Golf balls
  • Golf gloves
  • Golf towels
  • Golf umbrellas
  • Hat clips
  • Hats and visorsghcht-group
  • Keychains
  • Mugs
  • Notepads
  • Pens and pencils
  • Personal fans
  • Picture frames
  • Putting cups
  • Shoe bags
  • Sun block
  • T-shirt, Polo or sweater
  • Tees
  • Tumblers

Personalized Golf Tournament Prize Ideas

  • Golf-kit-sggkGift Certificates to the pro shop
  • Golf bag
  • Golf equipment, such as a bag or a driver
  • Set of Clubs
  • Trophies, plaques, crystal bowls or decanters bearing the name and logo of your organization and the date of the tournament
  • Watches

 

Collegiate Case Studies

gkgcp-mixedDivision I College

The Goal Line Football Club at a Division I college holds an annual golf tournament to raise money for non-school funded items. This year, with the funds raised, they were able to upgrade the equipment room and fund a new video-editing machine. Local companies sponsored the events and co-branded with the university on golf balls, golf bags and other golf related products.

Division III Collegegf100c-mixed

A Division III College holds an annual golf tournament and fundraiser to raise money for their general scholarship fund. In addition to co-branding with the university on golf products, local companies also donated premium gifts for tee prizes and a silent auction.

On Target Promotions is a national promotional products agency based in Riverside, California. We help clients use promotional products along with other media to design and secure quality promotional programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our customer in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us to order golf-related (or any other) promotional items.

Branding, Promotional Products Inland Empire, Promotional Products Riverside, Uncategorized

On Target with Food

young woman preparing food and looking at tabletAccording to Neilsen Ratings and U.S. Census figures, in 2013, Food Network claimed an estimated 99 million viewers (which represents a whopping 75% of Television Market Share).  Since that time, ratings have slipped by some 20 percent, leaving one Forbes writer to question whether the network remains relevant. We won’t leave you in suspense: it does!

Consider the following:

  • Food Network ranks first among all cable networks, with a demographic that is inclined to purchase what is being advertised on the network.
  • The network consistently ranks in the Top 15 in total viewership and is considered a Top 10 upscale cable network.
  • com is the number one food brand across all digital platforms.
  • 13 million people are connected to Food Network through social media.
  • 31% of the viewers of Food Network have graduated with at least a four-year degree from a university or college.
  • The average household income of a Food Network viewer is $80,331.
  • 17% of those who watch Food Network are employed in a white collar profession or hold a managerial position.
  • About five million people who watch Food Network will visit the network’s website at least once over the course of a month.

Fruit cake

While the debate about the network continues, suffice it to say that whether or not we watch the cable network devoted to it, Americans are obsessed with food. When we aren’t cooking or eating it, we are busy reading recipes, snapping and sharing pics of it, shopping for gadgets and gourmet ingredients so we can prepare it, or making reservations. So a great way to appeal to your customer base is to take make the most of the craze by ordering trendy food-related promotional products. Whether you decide to go with something edible or trendy tools of the trade, here are a few ideas to get you started:Hand drawn set of kitchen utensils on a chalkboard.

  • Bamboo or Wooden spoonsfood set
  • BBQ sets
  • Bottle bags
  • Bottle openers
  • Bottle stoppers
  • Canvas grocery totes
  • Coasters
  • Cookie cutters
  • Cutting boards
  • Egg slicers
  • Farmer’s Market mesh bags
  • Graters
  • Herb gardens
  • Ice cube trays
  • Jar openers
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Mugs
  • Oven mitts
  • bbq setPizza cutters
  • Pizza, Pasta and Pie servers
  • Plates
  • Portable lunch containers
  • Salt & Pepper shakers
  • Sandwich bags
  • Spatulas
  • Spice jars
  • Spoon rests
  • Storage containers
  • Tea infusers
  • Timers
  • Tongs
  • Trivets
  • Tumblers
  • Vegetable peelers

Case Study in Point

Personalized, flexible cutting boards worked well for a healthcare clinic.
Personalized, flexible cutting boards worked well for a healthcare clinic.

Objective:

A regional healthcare facility dedicated to increasing patients healthy lifestyles was looking for the perfect item to give all of their clients which would not only improve the clinics brand awareness but would also be used on a daily basis to assist in developing a healthy diet.

Strategy:
Price point was critical as there was a ‘high perceived value.’ In addition, compliance with federal regulations was a must. They were presented with several options but soon determined the Flexible Cutting Board was the perfect answer to their brand strategy.

Results:

The results of the promotion were greater than expected. Clients welcomed the Flexible Cutting Board and began using it in conjunction with the nutritional counseling they received from the clinic. While eating healthy soon became the ‘standard’ among their patients, a subsequent reduction in cholesterol, blood lipids and weight loss followed. The clinic was so pleased with the results, they routinely order other “houseware” items as complimentary marketing pieces.

On Target Promotions is a national promotional products agency based in Riverside, California. We help clients use promotional products along with other media to design and secure quality promotional programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our customer in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us to start your project today.