Three Reasons Your Promotional Items Stink and What to Do About It

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on February 22, 2018

Three Reasons Your Promotional Items Stink

The Worst Ways to Handle Your Best Form of Advertising

I’ve heard a few less-than-flattering terms for promotional items throughout my career. And I only have one thing to say about that…they’re accurate, in many cases. You know I have great respect for what promotional items can accomplish; but when companies choose them in a thoughtless, halfhearted and haphazard way, they had might as well not bother.

It’s shocking to me, frankly. Owners and managers know that promotional items are supposed to represent and remind prospects of their companies. Yet they distribute promotional products that are thoughtless, of poor quality or garishly self-promotional. Are those qualities you’d like them to connect with your company?

Of course not. We’ve been a leader in providing effective, branded promotional products for decades. From that experience, we’ve learned what works and how to do it “right.” And we can quickly spot the problem for companies who are making the following mistakes:

  1. Poor Quality

This one seems like the proverbial “no-brainer.” But many companies prefer to go with just about the cheapest item they can find. They rationalize it with “hey, they’re getting it for nothing” or “it’s gonna wind up in the trash anyway.”

Well, it will with that approach. There is a big difference between “cheap” and “value.” A promotional product that is poorly made, or falls apart quickly earns no points from prospects and attaches a negative perception to your whole company. Make sure you work with verified vendors who deliver quality at a reasonable cost. Any item you order must leave a positive impression of your company. Quality matters.

  1. Generic Products Make No Connection

A promotional item that is chosen with little thought has little impact. “Same old, same old” is the reaction to promotional products chosen because they are typical, or have been handed out before. You don’t score many points with an item your prospect will find useless. And the only image you leave behind is that you are a company with very little imagination.

Ensure you make a connection with your audience by choosing promotional items thoughtfully in two ways. First, choose to work with a promotional product provider which has historical experience about what promotional items are most popular with recipients – and those results are tracked even by state. So you can make an informed choice, backed by research.

Secondly, work with a provider that works with a wide variety of approved vendors. This will ensure you the creativity to design a far more memorable promotional item than if you are limited. Think of a flash drive custom-made to fit your industry (like a guitar for a music industry event). Your cleverness and thoughtfulness will impress and delight your prospects even more, and help them remember your company at critical times down the road.

  1. “It’s Not You, It’s Me.”

That line may be popular in romantic comedies, but in business, the customer or prospect should always be the center of attention, not you. If your promotional item is garish, with your logo dominating everything, your prospects won’t be interested. It may work for Nike, but not for Larry’s Lugnut Emporium.

The point is that after you choose a product that your target audience will appreciate, don’t ruin it. Locate your logo in a discreet but visible spot that will remind them of your company’s generosity, rather than its clueless self-promotion.

Promotional Items with Impact

Superior Business Solutions helps companies maximize the impact of their promotional products. We’ll help you choose the ideal item and brand it tastefully. Then we’ll source it to a quality vendor who can deliver a quality product on time. We have a network of nearly 2000 vendors to help us do that and we can even source products worldwide if necessary. We have decades of experience saving our clients money and time with our promotional product management systems and technology.

Whether you want one item, or even better, a well-designed annual promotional products plan that will elevate your company marketing, contact Superior today. Or get in touch with one of our skilled sales reps. Studies have shown that promotional items are the most effective form of advertising for your business. It’s too big an opportunity to squander.

 

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How to Address Overproduction Waste Identified by LEAN Manufacturing

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on February 20, 2018

How to Address Overproduction Waste Identified by LEAN Manufacturing

Waste #7: Overproduction – Part 8 of 8: Addressing the Seven Wastes in LEAN Manufacturing with Corporate Kiosk

Today, let’s take on the final “waste” in our series about the seven areas of waste identified in LEAN manufacturing. For a couple weeks now, we’ve been revisiting and updating that original post. It was very popular then. And since LEAN manufacturing maximizes efficiency ─ people are more interested than ever. So today, let’s focus on “overproduction.”

Many companies, especially in manufacturing, stockpile finished products as a source of comfort. They believe that with a quantity in reserve, they can meet unexpected demands or protect themselves from production interruptions or material shortfalls. But you can view those “buffer” products in other ways. They are:

  • Aging/unsold inventory
  • An investment with no current return
  • “Dead” money you could be using for other things

read more…

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How to Address Inventory Wastes Identified by LEAN Manufacturing

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on February 13, 2018

How to Address Inventory Wastes Identified by LEAN Manufacturing

Waste #6: Inventory – Part 7 of 8: Addressing the Seven Wastes in LEAN Manufacturing with Corporate Kiosk

This week, we’ll be wrapping up our series on the seven areas of waste identified in LEAN manufacturing. It’s a topic we’ve been revisiting since it generated plenty of interest when we first mentioned it a while back. Today’s post provides a little more depth on the wastes involved in maintaining inventory. Conventional wisdom regards inventory as a necessary evil. But LEAN manufacturing seems to view it as evil, period!

The word inventory covers a lot of territory. It is commonly called WIP (or Work in Progress). Businesses need things to make things, of course. But piling those things up can be counterproductive. Inventory can include:

  • Raw materials needed as part of the production process
  • Parts and sub-assemblies often stockpiled to “stay ahead” of production
  • Items in mid-production awaiting completion

Most managers justify this as logical “protection” against running short. But this line of thinking ignores other important considerations. read more…

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How to Address Wastes from Poor Quality Through LEAN Manufacturing

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on February 8, 2018

How to Address Wastes from Poor Quality Through LEAN Manufacturing

Waste #5: Poor Quality – Part 6 of 8: Addressing the Seven Wastes in LEAN Manufacturing with Corporate Kiosk

Next up on our waste “hit list”: quality problems. If you’ve been following along, you know we’ve been revisiting seven wastes identified in LEAN manufacturing, a very popular post when published a while back. Nothing can damage a business or frustrate its managers more than defects in products or mistakes made in the course of producing them.

Whether they occupy an office or manufacturing facility, companies design production systems to work efficiently and produce quality output. But problems occur. Something as simple as an inaccurate keystroke can create havoc. Other mistakes can lead to massive product recalls. LEAN manufacturing practices seek to eliminate the possibility of such occurrences. read more…

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How to Address “Motion” Wastes Through LEAN Manufacturing

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on February 6, 2018

How to Address "Motion" Wastes Through LEAN Manufacturing

Waste #3: Processing – Part 5 of 8: Addressing the Seven Wastes in LEAN Manufacturing with Corporate Kiosk

The seven wastes identified in LEAN manufacturing were the subject of an extremely popular post when first published. Therefore we’ve been revisiting the topic recently and discussing each of those seven wastes in more detail. In today’s post, I’d like to look at the wastes that could be impacting your business related to motion.

“Poetry” in motion. Perhaps you remember the old song with the same title. You’ve certainly heard it used as a cliché to describe some graceful figure skater or other gifted athlete. Ideally, a business and its systems strive to achieve a similar level of smooth, streamlined efficiency. However, LEAN manufacturing principles don’t find much poetry in motion. Furthermore, they point out the costly inefficiency in it. read more…

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How to Address Process Wastes Identified by LEAN Manufacturing

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on February 1, 2018

How to Address Process Wastes Identified by LEAN ManufacturingWaste #3: Processing – Part 4 of 8: Addressing the 7 Wastes in LEAN Manufacturing with Corporate Kiosk

In our current series, we’ve been talking about the seven wastes identified in LEAN manufacturing. The original post was one of our most popular ever. But with so many people starting businesses and changes in the way many businesses operate today, it’s certainly worth another look. Today, let’s look at production processes themselves. No matter what kind of business you operate, chances are, waste in those processes is costing you time and money.

Remember Rube Goldberg? He is that beloved engineer-turned-cartoonist who was famous for creating very complicated procedures to perform very simple tasks. Want to blow out a candle? In Rube’s world, you would step on a pedal which launches a dog biscuit across the room, causing a nearby dog to chase it. Of course, the dog was tied to a doorknob. Thus, the door would close quickly, causing a sudden gust of air. Which, naturally, extinguished the candle.

But back to business. Today most assembly and production lines are fairly efficient. (Rube would have been so disappointed.) But in most cases, there are still steps that can be eliminated or operations that can be combined to save time and money. LEAN manufacturing principles confirm it. read more…

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How to Address Transportation Wastes Identified by LEAN Manufacturing

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on January 30, 2018

How to Address Transportation Wastes Identified by LEAN Manufacturing

Waste #2: Transportation – Part 3 of 8: Addressing the Seven Wastes in LEAN Manufacturing with Corporate Kiosk

It’s time to continue our series based on the seven wastes identified in LEAN manufacturing. It was one of our most popular posts ever, and certainly deserves a fresh look. Today, I’d like to focus on the second area of waste identified in LEAN manufacturing: transportation.

Transportation is a “sneaky” expense for many operations. The word calls to mind trucks and shipping, and that’s certainly a part of it. (Distribution logistics for large concerns often function as a separate entity.) For most companies, “transportation” costs also include the mechanisms that get products, materials, and the necessary documents from one operation to the next.  That, almost inevitably, involves people. read more…

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How to Address the Waste of Waiting in LEAN Manufacturing with Corporate Kiosk

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on January 25, 2018

Addressing the Waste of Waiting in LEAN Manufacturing with Corporate Kios

Waste #1:  Waiting–Part 2 of 8 Addressing the 7 Wastes in LEAN Manufacturing with Corporate Kiosk

On Tuesday, I kicked off a series that builds upon one of our most popular posts of all time. It dealt with the seven wastes identified in LEAN manufacturing. I promised to discuss each one of the seven in more detail in future posts. Today I’d like to focus on the first commonly found area of waste: waiting.

When a business adopts LEAN manufacturing principles, it must challenge its existing ways of doing things. The business must look at the sequences and progressions in many of its procedures, including the manufacturing process itself. read more…

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Addressing the 7 Wastes in LEAN Manufacturing with Corporate Kiosk

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on January 23, 2018

Addressing the 7 Wastes in LEAN Manufacturing with Corporate Kiosk

LEAN Thinking is Profitable Thinking: Part 1 of 8

If yours is like many businesses, you’ve begun the new year with big plans to cut waste in your operation. Along with increasing sales, it’s the only way to craft a larger bottom line. And that’s perfectly aligned with the goals of LEAN manufacturing. So I think it’s time to revisit and freshen up a post on that subject that was one of our most popular posts of all time. For the next several weeks, I’m going to be providing a more in-depth look at the seven wastes identified in LEAN manufacturing.

You’re certainly familiar with LEAN manufacturing. But don’t think of it as something that applies only to large companies, or international entities headed by driven, trend-setting leaders. LEAN manufacturing is simply a concerted effort to maximize efficiency in any business and eliminate common sources of waste and lost opportunity. read more…

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10 Ways YOUR Business Can Save Time

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on January 18, 2018

10 Ways YOUR Business Can Save Time

Hours Are Assets – Spend Them Wisely

It’s a brand-new year. But unfortunately, one thing hasn’t changed. You (and your business) are still pressed for time. At last check, there are still only 24 hours in a day, seven days in a week, and, well, you get the idea. That’s going to make that New Year’s resolution about being more productive a lot tougher.

But I can help in at least one important area. There are ways your business can save time (and money, for that matter) on how your printing needs are handled. That goes for promotional products, too. Don’t underestimate how much time you spend on that. For both printing services and promotional items, you can save time and money and actually get better results in the process. Here are some suggestions. They might not all be appropriate for you and your company, but I’m betting many of them are! read more…

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