Archive for March, 2010

Junk Drawer Search & Find

March 22, 2010

I was searching through my parent’s junk drawer this weekend, attempting to find a hair band (success!) when it occurred to me that my parents have a LOT of promotional products in this drawer. I thought it might be fun to start a little game I’ll call: Junk Drawer Search & Find.

I imagine that many people have a junk drawer full of promotional products.  Pens, pencils, chip clips – all sorts of stuff.  I know some people refer to our industry as “Trinkets & Trash”, and of course, we call it a “junk” drawer – but the fact of the matter is: we keep it! (My parents fully admitted that they have not actually purchased a pen in years.)

See how many promotional products you can find in my parents’ junk drawer. (Sorry about the quality of the photo.  I took it on my mom’s iPhone in the heat of the moment.) Then read the rest of the entry for the answers! (Link below image.)

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The 13th Nugget

March 11, 2010

Okay, I’ll admit it.  I have a bit of a love affair with New Orleans.

I have good reasons.  For one, my boyfriend grew up there, so I am literally in a relationship with a real New Orleanian. I also went to school down there for a while, which gave me ample opportunity to eat delicious Cajun/creole/southern/fried/soul food.  Just typing that sentence made me want to jump on a plane and get a Roast Beef Po’ Boy for dinner.

Heaven on a Plate

Dripping with extra tasty goodness.

Like any great relationship, my affair isn’t one-dimensional.  I could go on and on about the things I love about the crescent city.  (And if you’d like me to tell you, I’m sure my coworkers would appreciate the break.) But this is a blog about promotional products, so today I’d like to discuss one of my favorite promotionally related words/traditions from The Big Easy. (Promotionally = not a real word.)

Your new word for the day is: lagniappe. (Pronounced ‘lan-yap’)

When I moved to Louisiana in the fall of 2006, I had never heard of this word.  One day my boyfriend used it to describe an extra chicken nugget he’d received at the drive through.  He described it as “a little extra gift, like a thank you for your purchase.” I’m pretty sure they just counted wrong, but who doesn’t appreciate an extra chicken nugget?

I love this word; lagniappe.  One, it sounds nothing like how it is spelled. And that is because it is a Creole word – a melding of French and Spanish and any other language around back in the 1700s.  ( ♥history♥) Two, it is steeped in tradition.  I mean, it’s only been around for over 300 years, which is more than you can say for the word “texting”. (Okay also not a real word… Maybe in 300 years.)

Lagniappe is defined as “a small gift given with a purchase to a customer, by way of compliment or for good measure; bonus.” Examples?  How about that 13th donut the baker threw in, just as a thank you.  Or the time you purchased a souvenir on vacation, and the shop owner gave you a bookmark, just because.  Or that free dessert the waiter threw in for making him laugh?  All lagniappe.

So how does this relate to promotional products?  Because my guess is that much of the lagniappe you receive/give is a product right from our industry. There are thousands of inexpensive, but useful, items that would make great lagniappe, and (most importantly) keep you on the top of your client’s mind.  A pen is a great example.  Or a keychain.  Or how about these awesome cookies.

Logo Cookies

I just found these recently and am kind of obsessed.

So my question to you is, what is some of your favorite lagniappe?  Do you remember those businesses that threw in that ‘little something extra’?  Did it prompt you to choose one business over another with comparable services?  And what are some ideas that you could use in your business to give that extra, unexpected “thank you” to a customer? Share your comments and ideas in the comment section below!

(Because, as awesome as it would be, we just can’t ALL give away chicken nuggets.)

Here We Go(Go)

March 5, 2010

Three days ago I was riding… errr.. running… errr – whatever you call it when you are utilizing the elliptical machine at the gym (ellipting?) – and, along with all the other random nonsense that one thinks about while trying not to think about the minutes left until the agony is over, I thought about a cup.

Awesome Cup

This cup.

The cup is, specifically, a 16oz. Acrylic Double Wall Tumbler from one of my favorite drink-ware suppliers.  (Who also happens to supply free samples to their clients – a nice perk of working in the industry of free giveaways.)  Other than its neat design, durability and the fact that it is pink (the color of choice for sophisticated ladies… and 3-year-old girls), it does the same thing all cups do.  Hold drinks.

But for some reason, I just love this cup.  Maybe it’s the straw?  Maybe it’s the lid?  Maybe it’s the fact that it fits perfectly in the corner of my desk and I don’t have to worry about spilling water on my keyboard?  (May have happened before…more than once…) Whatever the reason, I love this cup!

My mental adoration of this cup spun quickly into a tornado of other thoughts.  Maybe other people would love this cup too?  If I love this cup, and remember instantly where it came from, maybe my clients would want to give it to their clients to remember them?  And come to think of it, there are a lot of creative things my clients have done with our products that would be fun to read about. What if I shared these stories with the world!?

Not that the idea of blogging about your business is new, but the thought that I might actually have something to talk about that would be worth reading was certainly a revelation.  And it all happened so fast that when I looked down to see that I still had about 25 minutes to spend ellipting I pretty much wanted to throw the cup across the gym.  Good thing it is “virtually” indestructible.

indestructable cup

Not a scratch.

In those five minutes I had made up my mind.  I’m starting a blog about the Print Resources Promotional Products department and all the cool stuff we try, see, and do.

So here it is. Promo A GoGo. A place to share new and unique product ideas, success stories, creative uses, and things we love.  But it’s not all about us.  Really, it’s about you. After all, our clients are the reason we have any stories to tell at all.  Come to think of it, I believe it was a client of mine who prompted me to order that awesome magical cup in the first place.

In which case, I’d like to raise my glass (or mystical acrylic cup) to you. And also to the elliptical machine, for burning calories without destroying my knees, and generating grand ideas.

Cheers!

-Robin

Shout Out: Thanks to my co-workers, Jessica, Erin, and George for allowing me to interrupt your busy work days to ask you for the 10th time what I should name this blog.  You guys rock.