Fast Forward - August 2016


Missing Out On Mobile Loyalty

Reward programs aren’t putting down what consumers want to pick up

Today’s consumers are ready to prove their brand loyalty through mobile means, but a recent study has found that many brands simply don’t have the infrastructure to support mobile-enabled loyalty programs.

Mobile marketing services provider 3Cinteractive conducted a survey that reveals 52 percent of consumers surveyed would be more inclined to purchase from brands that offer mobile loyalty and reward programs. It’s not surprising, considering that 48 percent of the consumers who responded also say they prefer loyalty communications via text message.

However, 65 percent of the brand marketers polled revealed they either lack IT support or don’t know how to create mobile loyalty options. And it’s not that brand marketers fail to see the benefits of mobile engagement: 71 percent of them believe having mobile-enabled integration drives growth and engagement for a brand’s overall loyalty program.

“The disconnect between what consumers want from mobile loyalty and what brands are committing to building is stunning because it represents millions of dollars of missed opportunity for these brands,” says Margie Kupfer, vice president of marketing for 3C. “The brands that can be first to deliver on these wants and needs will be positioned well to take market share from their competition.”

Crown Jewels

Five Minutes With Diane Katzman, Founder, Diane Katzman Design

diane katzman web

PPB  When did you begin offering custom jewelry and accessories to the promotional products market?

Katzman  We’ve been designing and manufacturing custom jewelry, accessories and gifts for the promotional products market for 10 years. Prior to that, I worked on Madison Avenue providing marketing counsel to national brands, and in 1999 I started producing custom jewelry and accessories for retailers including Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. When distributors began asking us to design for their brands, I combined my love of marketing and retail flair into a promo products business.

PPB  What sorts of challenges or misconceptions, if any, did you encounter with introducing the idea of custom jewelry as a promotional solution? 

Katzman  Jewelry and accessories look more expensive than they cost and scare away some distributors before they get started. Yet for less than $1,000 a brand can make a powerful statement with custom bracelets, scarves or ties that wow the end user and truly hit the mark. But the flipside is, because it’s all custom, we have no catalog. So we’re not always top of mind in the promo products world.

PPB  How do your products improve or enhance a client’s program, and what is some of the more memorable feedback you’ve received from clients?

Katzman  Nothing makes people feel better than believing you care enough to give them something beautiful and personal. And when you give a gift that truly resonates with your client and their customers, they will be loyal to you and your brand. Recently we worked with a distributor whose client was launching a new line of glass for interior designers. We incorporated their glass into adjustable bracelets so the sales force had the new samples only an “arm’s length away.” Needless to say, our promotional jewelry had a direct impact on real sales.

As another example, employees at a large brokerage firm are given our custom charms or cufflinks as they advance through the company’s ranks. Each new certification, birthday and award is visibly worn with pride. It lends itself to a great conversation starter with clients and camaraderie with peers. But most of all, it makes the employees feel that their company cares.

When Nissan brought their top performing dealers to Italy, our custom wine charms were waiting at every stop. At the end of the trip, a collectible set was shipped home with each guest. Every year, a new Diane Katzman “collectible” is part of the Nissan sales trip.

PPB  What are some important features of jewelry and finer accessories that should never be overlooked when sourcing items for clients? 

Katzman  Everyone has her own taste and his own size. So it’s essential that you choose something that will appeal to the most people. We recommend adjustable jewelry and stretch bracelets, and oblong scarves that can be worn a variety of different ways. We also suggest ties that will work well with a blue blazer or grey suit. We like to match Pantone colors, but sometimes that Kelly green needs to be used as an accent color.

PPB  What should distributors keep in mind if they want to incorporate custom jewelry into their offerings?

Katzman  Don’t feel you need to know what will work. Most of our clients come to us with a logo, event, audience and budget. We ask lots of questions and work with each distributor to design jewelry and accessories that will resonate with the customer. Jewelry is a very personal thing. Go classic to appeal to the masses. Know your client’s taste and their sweet spot. And remember, it should be beautiful. If it’s not something you or your dear one would wear, we won’t recommend producing it.


When Eight Hours Aren’t Enough

Rethink your routine for optimum workplace productivity

The eight-hour workday is a workplace staple, begun long ago by automaker Henry Ford to increase efficiency at his factories, but these days productivity is better measured by the amount of energy, not time, dedicated to work. In the tradition of working smarter (not harder), Tony Schwartz recommends we manage our energy to boost productivity.

Schwartz is CEO and founder of The Energy Project, a firm that helps companies boost sustainable performance through addressing and meeting employee needs. Schwartz defines four types of energy that require management: physical (our health); emotional (our happiness); mental (our ability to focus); and spiritual (our purpose for working).

Schwartz says an efficient work day requires approaching tasks in an ultradian rhythm; that is, a recurring cycle within one 24-hour period. The human brain can focus on any given task for 90 to 120 minutes. After that, a break of 20 to 30 minutes is required to recharge for the next task, he says.

If tasks can be split into 90-minute segments, they can be approached with an even more refined efficiency. The first step is to bring into focus the aspect that needs attention most or first. The second step is to avoid multitasking and eliminate distractions.

Schwartz offers these three additional tips to improve workplace productivity:

  1. Increase the relevance of a task, either by creating a deadline for yourself or pairing completion with a reward
  2. Plan your rest periods so that you actually rest, whether by reading, napping, meditating or taking a walk
  3. Turn off email and phone notifications during 90-minute periods



T-Shirts For Life

Custom Ink taps into t-shirt nostalgia with ad spot

No need to cover it up: we all have a favorite custom tee that’s probably well past its prime, showing signs of wear and not nearly as cool as it was when we first got it. But that t-shirt tells a story, and it’s part of your life story.

In its latest TV ad campaign, Fairfax, Virginia-based distributor Custom Ink (UPIC: C594384) shares nostalgic t-shirt stories that forever remind viewers of milestones, special moments and more, through three new ad spots. The campaign is designed to inspire “doers,” the people who love making t-shirts to mark occasions such as family reunions, weddings and business launches.

In addition to airing nationwide, the short clips—Beautiful Girl, Circle of Life and Entrepreneur—can be viewed on Custom Ink’s YouTube channel.



In Defense Of Fiber Technology

Textile innovation gets backing from the federal government

Government agencies and private-sector companies don’t often play nice, but when they do it’s in the name of strengthening the U.S. economy. One recent collaboration promises to increase the recent momentum experienced by the U.S. textile industry by funding innovative research and development in fiber science.

In 2014, the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation was established to increase U.S. manufacturing competitiveness through collaboration between industry, academic and federal partners. Through the NNMI, eight manufacturing institutes have been established and funded through competition awards—the ninth and most recent is the Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

With a $75 million award from the Department of Defense and nearly $250 million in investments pledged by private-sector entities, a consortium of 89 manufacturers, universities and nonprofit groups organized by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will seek ways to advance fiber science, producing technical textiles that can be used in myriad applications: think lightweight, high-heat flame-resistant fabrics for firefighters; sensor-embedded products that replicate the properties of fitness trackers, and antimicrobial fabrics that can be used to treat battlefield injuries onsite.


Build Your Personal Brand From The Inside Out

Building a company brand relies on knowing what the company does for its clients, and believing in that service wholeheartedly. But what about your personal brand? How can you build a brand that reflects who you are, to the core?

Begin by looking inward. What do you as a professional provide your clients? It could be a straightforward service such as excellent accounting abilities, or a soft skill such as communication or a spirit of collaboration.

Next, define your unique value. What can you offer that’s not only rare but also unique to you? Perhaps your professional expertise in the field comes from an unusual job or from a different, albeit still relevant, academic background.

Finally, create a salable package. The answers you develop can be fine-tuned into value statements that comprise the bulk of your selling statement, or a catchphrase that introduces your personal brand to others in a nutshell. These value statements will also help drive the look and feel of websites, social media pages and other forms of brand promotion.

filed under august-2016 | ppb
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