Marketing Ideas

Tips for creating long-term loyal clients

Tips for creating long-term loyal clients

No matter what industry you work in, developing strong, lasting connections with your clients and customers is vital to a successful business. When you’re just getting started, retaining your first few clients is even more important to establish a base. Word of mouth is one of the most beneficial forms of advertising, and making your existing customers happy often leads to excellent reviews, which in turn begets more customers.

Why long-term clients are so important

It’s much cheaper for a business to retain customers than bring on new ones. The Harvard Business Review actually estimates that it is five to 25 times more expensive to bring on new customers than to retain your current business. Without lasting relationships, you’ll be constantly seeking out new leads which can be costly. Oftentimes, businesses place more importance on customer acquisition than retention, but this is not best practice when it comes to building a durable business model.

The Harvard Business Review also found that when customer retention was increased by five percent, businesses experienced a boost in revenue by anywhere from 25 to 95 percent. To help retain clients, you'll need to develop a clear strategy for communication and interaction with them to increase your chance that they will want to maintain a professional relationship with your company.

Avoiding customer churn

Customer churn is a term used to describe the rate at which customers do business with a company and then never return. Successful businesses pay close attention to their customer churn rates and attempt to keep them as low as possible.

What is customer churn?

You have likely spent a lot of time guiding a potential client through the sales funnel before landing them as a customer. The time, effort and resources put into this process are wasted when that customer decides to cease your business relationship, and your sales team will have to restart this entire process with another client to regain that business. Instead, take these steps to avoid losing customers and start building a stronger business model.

Focus on customer experience

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Imagine how you would want to be treated and what kind of service you would expect to receive if you were doing business with your company. No matter the industry, every client wants a friendly, knowledgeable and quick experience. You should design your company around making the customer experience as simple and rewarding as possible. This extends to your web design too. Your site should be informative and easy to navigate—make it simple for people to contact you and be clear about your company’s purpose and vision.

Strong communication

In any type of relationship, communication is key. When it comes to business, you want to clearly communicate with your clients in whatever form your business might require. For retail companies, this might mean accurately displaying item prices, shipping costs and return policies to ensure there is no misunderstanding between the merchant and consumer. In a marketing agency, you should have a team of people dedicated to maintaining client relationships. Sending out monthly reports and providing customers with regular updates is another recommended method for good communication.

strong communication image

You should also be clear on when your company is available to help clients. If your business hours are Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm, inform your customers that you can only be reached during these hours and try to be available as much as possible during that time. Of course, you can’t be sitting by the phone or computer waiting for a client to contact you. If they reach out while you’re busy, make it a priority to get back in touch with them as soon as possible.

Set expectations and always meet them

When you first begin a business relationship with a new client, provide them with clear guidelines on what to expect from your company. If you tell them that they’ll be receiving a report each month on the 5th, you need to consistently meet that deadline. Of course, sometimes issues arise that may cause delays. If this happens, use your open communication policy to explain to your client what is going on and accurately inform them of when they can expect what they need.

set expecations

If your clients know what to expect from you, they are much less likely to get frustrated or upset. Keep them in the loop about all deadlines, meetings and other vital information. If you run a retail business, setting expectations for customers can look a bit different. In this case, you can satisfy consumers by providing them with accurate pricing and shipping time estimates.

Think of your relationship as a partnership

When you think of your clients as equal partners, it’s much easier to give them the high-quality service they expect and deserve. Partnerships are all about give and take. If you’re thinking of your client relations as one-sided, then you’re likely not providing the best service possible. Consider what your customers need and require from your business. Then contemplate what it is you need from them. Business? Publicity? Good feedback? Keep this idea of partnership in mind during all interactions with customers and you’ll foster much stronger connections while also meeting your company’s goals.

Hand out promotional materials

Everyone loves free swag. It’s an attention-grabbing type of marketing that people can actually use. Design your company’s logo and select matching colors to display on a variety of promotional products. Custom water bottles are always an excellent choice because they provide plenty of space for creative designs, can be stored easily and make for a useful item your customers will love. Each time you sign a new client, create a welcome bag or basket filled with promotional materials like custom water bottles.

Promo water bottles

Create a brand that resonates with people

Much like the idea of creating a personal connection with your clients, creating a brand that people identify with is essential when working on customer retention. No matter what type of business your company does, you need to show people how your brand connects with them and why they should choose you over the competition. The best way to elicit an emotional response from potential customers and clients is by creating a strong brand.

A company’s brand is its personality—it adds depth and encompasses the business's overall purpose. Developing a strong brand gives your target market something to identify you by and, oftentimes, this greater sense of what a company represents is what attracts new business. Your brand should be more than simply a logo and a mission statement. Brands encompass a lifestyle. To create a connection with clients, try to expand your brand influence and help them to realize that you are the right company for them.

Be a knowledgeable resource and demonstrate your value

Attracting clients through branding and promotional materials can help establish your customer base, but you need to continually meet your clients’ expectations if you want to create lasting relationships.

Position yourself as an expert in your industry so that clients come to you for advice rather than searching the web. Even if your client asks a question you don’t know the answer to, use all your available resources to find the best answer for them and provide as much information as possible. The more helpful you are to customers, the more value they will see in your partnership–and they’ll want to continue maintaining a strong professional relationship.

Staff Training

Thoroughly train staff members

Your employees are a direct extension of you and your business. They should be prepared to take the same steps that you or your CEO would to benefit the company. All employees, even those who do not directly interact with clients or customers, should be thinking of your customers. How can each member of the team do their job better in order to foster good client connections? During training, make it a point to explain to new team members why customer retention is important and set goals for how everyone can help maintain these numbers.

Reward clients for their loyalty

Show your customers how important they are to your business. Rewards can come in many different ways. Offering discounts and promotions to retail clients is always a great strategy for customer retention. Promotional materials like custom water bottles are another common way to satisfy clients and show them how much the company cares about their business relationship. If your business offers a service to clients, you can consider offering additional free perks after they’ve maintained a connection with you for a certain period of time. Loyalty rewards are yet another method for making clients feel special and important while also demonstrating that your brand is more than just a business.

Provide excellent customer service

Customer service is the key to strong relationships. To create an excellent customer service experience, you should rope your team in on marketing strategy meetings and memos to ensure that everyone in the company understands the business’s goals. If your support team is knowledgeable about other aspects of the business, they can more accurately address concerns and resolve customer issues. When a client contacts customer service, they should receive friendly and helpful support without becoming frustrated. Long wait times and outsourced customer support can hinder client relationships and make your customers feel unappreciated. Be sure that your team is large enough to handle inquiries without leaving clients waiting for long.

Utilize the best quality promotional materials

Because promotional materials are so versatile and can be used to show customers how much your business cares, it’s vital that you order quality products that will last. Our promotional product experts at Pinnacle Promotions understand how important your clients are to your business and want to be an extension of your brand.

We’ll work together with you to create an attractive promotional item that reflects the goals of your business. With a nearly endless collection of great promotional materials, our company has the perfect item for every business. Looking for something specific? Search the site by product, industry and brand to locate your next promo product. If you need your items quickly, you can even take advantage of our rush orders on specific products, which can be prepared and ready to ship in 24 hours.

If you have additional questions on pricing, imprinting or anything else, feel free to contact us by phone at 800-351-4226 or through our site’s contact us form.

Posted by Lee in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
Get cozy with our custom sweatshirts

Get cozy with our custom sweatshirts

When the weather turns cold, people reach for their jackets and long sleeve shirts. This creates the unique opportunity for you and your brand to use a promotional product that hits two birds with one hot stone: giving people something warm to wear while promoting the business.

Enter custom sweatshirts. A thick, soft sweatshirt with your logo on the front makes a great gift or promotional item for existing and potential customers. It's also a great way to reward employees while boosting the company spirit and culture. Here are a few things you need to know about these great promotional items.

Why custom sweatshirts?

First and foremost, sweatshirts are warm! Compared to heavier jackets, sweatshirts keep a body warm in cooler temps without the extra bulk of true winter gear. At the same time, they are more effective than lighter jackets and long sleeve shirts. Put simply, they are the type of clothing people wear when they want the right combination of comfort, warmth and convenience.

Custom Sweatshirt

More than that, custom sweatshirts are great products for branding. Whether giving them away or selling them, sweatshirts are easy to brand with your company’s logo.  Since you can fold them up and tie a bow on them, sweatshirts are also easy to package for promotional giveaways and events.

Finally, sweatshirts can be cost-effective when bought in bulk. For larger promotional campaigns, you can save money and create better advertising at the same time. Sweatshirts have a distinct advantage over traditional ads: you simply can't wear a commercial or digital ad.

The trick is knowing how to make the most of a sweatshirt as a promotional product.

Get the design right

An effective promotional product is all about effective branding. You do not want to go overboard to the point where the sweatshirt looks like a NASCAR paint job (unless, of course, you work for NASCAR). On the other hand, you can't neglect branding altogether. Striking the right balance starts with the logo.

Beyond the basic logo, think about other elements that feel unique about your brand. Sometimes, the simple things are the most effective. Choose sweatshirt colors that match your logo and add a tagline or company motto to the back.

Be careful to keep things clear and simple. You can always separate the main logo from additional graphics and text by placing extra content on the back or sleeves. More space between printed elements will give each image and word its own place to breathe. Smart design goes a long way to making a great promotional sweatshirt.

Sweatshirts for everyone

If you spend all this time planning and designing the perfect sweatshirt, make sure you have enough to sell or give away.

Don't forget about the proper sizing of the sweatshirt. Include the entire spectrum: extra small to 4XL sweatshirts should all be in your inventory to cover your needs.

Discover the effect of a good custom sweatshirt

Custom Hoodie

Custom apparel is a great way to make your brand stand out. It is also a great reward for employees you want to celebrate for special achievements and milestones, loyalty and good work in general.

If you want to brand products that are extremely useful, sweatshirts fit the bill. Compared to other promotional apparel, sweatshirts are great gifts any time of the year. Keep a few on location in the company gift shop or online store to treat guests and visitors as well.

All it takes is a little planning and creativity to come up with the best custom sweatshirt. We can help you out with that. We know all of the ins and outs of promotional products. We can help you choose the right sweatshirt brands, graphic designs, sizes to have the impact you want from your promotional products and gifts.

 

Posted by Lee in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
Save the planet with custom reusable straws

Save the planet with custom reusable straws

It’s not just a straw, it’s a movement.

You may not have heard of California Assembly Bill 1884 by name but chances are you’ve heard of the plastic straw ban that’s taking the country by storm. According to the bill, when you dine at a full-service restaurant in California, you are getting your beverage without a straw – unless you ask for one, or it is a to-go drink.

While California may be leading the charge on the ban, plenty of restaurants in other states have followed suit. And while restaurants in violation will be fined $25, it’s perfectly legal to hand out reusable straws. Better yet, you can even brand them with your logo.

Reusable straws are designed to last for many years, are easy to clean with a straw brush, are generally dishwasher safe, and they are made from high-quality, plastic-free recyclable materials. Also, they can be used with hot and cold beverages, which is perfect if you prefer to sip your hot coffee or tea in the morning and want an iced beverage for the afternoon.

So, if not plastic, then what are they made from?

Environmentally-friendly straws are generally made from metal or silicone, and often come with their own carrying case or pouch – this stainless steel straw also includes a cleaning brush! Since straws themselves don’t have very large imprint areas for your logo, the branding is done on the pouch or the case. This reusable silicone straw comes rolled up in a convenient travel case.

If the idea of having to clean a straw after every use is not appealing, you can give out paper straws. Restaurants and bars nationwide have started to implement this change with great results  – paper straws are biodegradable (and marine degradable), and this doesn’t require a change in behavior, just a change in materials. This five-pack of paper straws comes in its own brandable pouch – a simple and effective eco-friendly giveaway.

Similar to disposable plastic bags, straws are only used for a few minutes but remain in the environment forever. They end up on our beaches and in the oceans – up to 80% of our trash is plastic of some form or another. So while straws may not be the one contributing problem, many companies including Starbucks, Hyatt and Hilton have pledged to do their part in cutting back.

Over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used in the U.S. every day, enough to wrap around the Earth 2.5 times. Now is the time to switch from the one-time-use plastic straw to the reusable straw. Fortunately, the switch is easy.

Promotional reusable straws: Saving the planet + a brand opportunity = a win-win.

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
Stay warm with our custom coffee mugs

Stay warm with our custom coffee mugs

Everyone loves free swag, and nothing beats free swag that's also useful. Custom coffee mugs and tumblers are some of the most popular promotional products that not only attract attention to your business but are also valued by those who receive them. How many times have you gotten a promotional product that you glanced at and left in a drawer somewhere only to be forgotten? Don’t let that happen to your company’s branded merchandise. Consider what type of items you would want to receive as a potential customer—valuable, creative and unique products tend to grab people’s attention the most.

As a marketing professional, it’s your job to determine the best way to spread your brand awareness and expand your market, and giving away branded swag consistently proves to be one of the most successful ways to capture people’s attention. Similarly, providing your employees with promotional products is a great way to have them represent the company and spread the message. Custom travel mugs make for the perfect employee welcome gift, and double as a useful promotional item during events and trade shows.

Selecting the right promotional product

When determining what type of product you’re going to offer to potential clients and new employees, there are many factors to consider. What is your budget? Where will you be handing out these items? How many products should you order for the year?

The key to selecting the ideal promotional product is determining your brand message and finding a product that represents that message. Present it in a creative manner and ensure that it will benefit the recipient and you've got a recipe for success.

custom coffee mugs | Pinnacle Promotions

Why mugs are the perfect free gift

Custom mugs and travel mugs are the perfect balance between low cost and high reward. Mugs are an item that people continually use time and time again, and each day while they’re enjoying their morning cup of coffee, they’ll be reminded of your brand.

Room for cream...and creativity

With a variety of custom mugs to choose from, Pinnacle Promotions allows marketing professionals to design their selected mug style in countless ways. The Aztec Mug can be customized with your brand logo and features different outer/inner color combos to match your company’s color scheme. For an item that stands out a bit more, browse our unique mugs page with options including mugs with an attachable spoon, campfire-style mugs and even an iridescent ceramic mug.

Aztec promotional mug | Pinnacle Promotions

Practical gift people will actually use

Whether your potential customers are coffee or tea lovers, everyone enjoys receiving a new, stylish mug, especially during the winter when the thought of a hot chocolate in the evening is lingering in the back of everyone’s mind. Custom coffee mugs are a great employee gift that they can keep in the office, while custom travel mugs make for an excellent corporate giveaway item. Travel mugs are not as fragile as coffee mugs, and can be easily distributed at any event.

Affordable yet valuable

When ordering promotional products, the prices can add up quickly–particularly if you’re planning to attend a lot of events in the coming year. Selecting an item that is affordable but doesn’t appear cheap is important. Though custom mugs may look pricey, when purchased in bulk they’re actually quite inexpensive. As you determine your budget for the year, factor in promotional products and consider custom mugs or custom travel mugs as an option to cut costs while still providing people with an interesting and beneficial item to remember your brand.

Choose the perfect custom coffee mug

Select a gift you know people will love. With a nearly endless number of options, our company is happy to personalize your custom mugs to ensure that your brand captures people’s attention and makes you unique in your industry. Our customizable items allow you to add logos, text and even adjust colors to match your company’s color scheme. If you’re looking for more ideas on promotional items, you can browse our site by industry products and select items that people within your field would appreciate. If you have any additional questions, our experts are always happy to help. Contact us by phone at (877) 300-2007 or through our contact us form.

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
Company Giveaway Favorites: Custom Calendars

Company Giveaway Favorites: Custom Calendars

There is nothing like a good promotional giveaway to generate buzz around your business. To make the most of it, you have to choose the right company promotional items to give away. Sure, everyone likes to receive free stuff. Not every gift, however, will have the same impact on potential customers. That is why we are fond of giving away custom calendars.

The simple calendar has a lot of uses for many people. Beyond keeping track of the day and month, it is a great way to make notes, pencil in appointments and keep everyday life organized. For your business, it is also the perfect way to insert some branded content into your customers’ and employees’ lives without being intrusive or too obvious. A central calendar is a great place to put company and team-building events as well.

Here is what we find so special about custom calendars:

Everyone can use one

Yes, computers, smartphones, tablets and other devices we use each day have a calendar. Most even do a better job by giving us quick reminders of upcoming events. Despite all of this great technology, many people still prefer the old-fashioned calendar.

custom calendar | Pinnacle PromotionsSometimes, the act of handwriting something into a calendar or notebook helps us to remember it better. Master calendars also make it easier to stay organized throughout the week to avoid missing deadlines.

Some people just like to see the individual pictures and messages that come with each month. Custom calendars tend to be more creative and engaging than their desktop versions.

A custom calendar as a promotional gift can be a powerful thing. You can offer something unique and useful to potential customers without spending a lot of time and money. It also gives you the most control over the final look of the gift itself.

Do you want to include your logo? That's easy. Want to share your company's special milestones and everyday experiences? With the combination of text and pictures above each month, you can do just that. The creative possibilities with custom calendars are limitless. This can, however, make it difficult to know what kind of calendar to make for the final giveaway. Here are a few tips to make sure you have the best calendar to hand out.

Pick the right calendar

All calendars have the same thing in common: They share the days and months of a given year. Despite this similarity, there are plenty of subtle differences between calendar types to consider. The most basic types are wall, desktop and notepad calendars. Each one offers a few advantages over the others.

custom calendar | Pinnacle PromotionsWall calendars are the most common in office settings. When you want a convenient and visible place to see the date, you choose the wall. The right calendar can also add to the space's decor without taking up too much room.

Desktop calendars, on the other hand, are the type that people interact with the most. Office workers who have busy schedules tend to prefer the desktop variety to write in events and appointments. Like the wall calendar, a desktop calendar can also add a sense of personalization into the mix.

Notepads, while less common, are the most versatile when keeping track of daily activities and events. You can rip pages away, tape them to a desk or wall, send them around to other people and more. They also tend to be smaller than other calendars, so you can save some money on packaging and printing costs by going this route.

Get the branding right

custom calendar | Pinnacle PromotionsMore than anything else, spend some time on what you want to put in the custom calendar. First and foremost, there should be some branding in the calendar. At the very least, include your logo on the cover or in the corner of each page.

Beyond branding, get creative with the calendar. Ideally, choose images and textual content that are either unique or related to the brand. Create a theme or tone to drive the creativity: make it humorous or tied to a specific event/holiday. The more the calendar stands out to the customer, the better.

Print the final result

Once you have everything planned out, the only thing you need is the calendar itself. Ideally, you will have plenty of calendars to give away to anyone you want. That is where we come in. We can print off as many calendars as you need in the style and design you want. If you find yourself wanting a great gift for a company giveaway, contact us. We’ll give you all the help you need to have a killer giveaway people will love.

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
2019 Apparel Trends

2019 Apparel Trends

2019 is here and we have a lot to look forward to! Some of the trends from 2018 are sticking around for the new year and are expanding their influence into the apparel industry. The comfy/cozy trend – what the Danish call hygge (pronounced "hyoo-guh") – is one that isn’t going anywhere. Hygge is defined as a comfortable feeling that engenders contentment or well-being. It promotes one to enjoy cozy time; whether that's snuggling up in a soft sweatshirt, taking a candlelit bath, or enjoying sofa-side chat with a loved one, glass of wine in hand. Or maybe all three at once.

The hygge trend has inspired the apparel industry with luxe, rich and soft fabrics, muted, earth-tone color schemes, and unique silhouettes. Apparel brands in the promotional industry are no longer sitting back until these new retail trends come to life, but instead are right alongside the latest innovative styles.

Trend #1: Luxe, Rich and Soft Fabrics

Big apparel name brands such as Hanes and Gildan are incorporating new t-shirts made from 100% ring spun and combed cotton. These processes create garments that are softer and more luxurious than regular cotton. Combed cotton is softer than regular cotton "because it doesn't have any impurities or short protruding threads," according to sciencing.com , "and it is stronger than regular cotton because the combing process removes short fibers, which are prone to breakage.” Customers will benefit from ordering a ring spun or combed cotton t-shirt because the smooth, low textured fabric is more comfortable, will last longer, and is easier to print on. We will more than likely see brands start to incorporate these types of fabrics into their full lines as consumers move in the direction of comfort and style.

ComfortWash by Hanes Men's 5.5 oz., 100% Ringspun Cotton Garment-Dyed T-Shirt

Gildan Hammer Short Sleeve T-Shirt

J.America is another brand that is taking full advantage of the luxurious and soft fabric trend by marrying on-trend styles with athleisure comfort. They offer layered performance tops and hoodies which allow a person to go from a more casual office to lunch to the gym. Brand names like J.America are guiding distributors to suggest more edgy styles to consumers, particularly if it’s intended for a venue other than work.

Fleece options, such as the Teddy Fleece Crewneck Pullover, are transforming in the same way. The promotional industry is experiencing huge momentum with softer mid-weight fabrics with unique styles like the Pepper Fleece 1/4 Zip Pullover. Consumers are wanting better fabrics that are more comfortable and have a versatile appeal that can be worn in multiple settings.

Trend #2: Muted Earth-Tone Colors

Apparel brands have decided to hit the mute button when it comes to color palettes. Chocolate browns, reddish clays, sandy tans and forest greens are taking off in the apparel industry. Earthy neutrals are perfect for a monochromatic look and often emulate natural colors that derive from moss, dirt, trees and rock.

Bella+Canvas Unisex T-Shirt

The apparel brand Bella and Canvas is on the forefront of embracing this new trend. The ever-famous 3001 Unisex Short-Sleeve Jersey Tee is now offered in Solid Forest Triblend, Tan, Mauve Marble, and Storm to just name a few new colors.

Alternative Eco-Fleece™ Champ Crewneck Sweatshirt

Alternative Apparel is another well-known apparel brand in both retail and wholesale. The brand focuses on eco-friendly apparel with sustainable materials & processes, low-impact dyes & water conserving washes. Therefore, the colors they offer typically reflect its natural materials -- with colors such as Eco Rose Quartz, Eco True Currant, and Eco True Dusty Pine. The brand thrives on creating each fabric from the yarn up, innovating from fiber to finish.

Even if your company’s logo does not fit the muted color scheme, it is a great way to think outside the box and show customers that you are keeping with the times. For example, your company could do an internal eco-friendly campaign and provide shirts for the office to raise awareness as well as increase participation!

Trend #3: Unique Silhouettes / Styles

Apparel vendors are starting to realize that not everyone has the same same shape and size so they are revamping some of the “everyday” styles to incorporate new silhouettes. The apparel brand Anvil has been making wholesale clothing and apparel for over 130 years, and is branching out from the standard smaller fit women’s styles and offering looser fit t-shirts.

The Women’s Freedom Drop Shoulder Tee has a loose fit silhouette with side seam and tapered bottom. The loose fitting trend goes back to the athleisure comfort style which is taking the apparel industry full force. The larger silhouettes allow for more movement and air circulation, which means that, in many situations, they’re a lot more comfortable than their closely fitted styles. Aesthetically, they’re wonderfully unfussy and transmit an air of confidence. Since more fabric is used in a garment, it feels more substantial which makes it more appealing.

Anvil Women's Freedom Drop Shoulder Tee

American Apparel Flex Fleece Turtleneck

Fashion trends repeat over time as new “styles” are typically inspired from past eras. The promotional industry experienced the retro-revival trend this year with a number of products based on recycled, classic looks from the 70’s and 80’s that were reinvented with function for the modern world. The brand American Apparel offers basic, classic fits while also creating vintage-inspired styles. Some vintage, unique styles that this brand offers are the Flex Fleece Cropped Sweatshirt and Flex Fleece Turtleneck.

These styles pay homage to the 80’s but have been reinvented with the colors schemes and fit. The unique silhouettes that are premiering in the promotional world will provide customers a wider range of options for employees to wear to the office. According to Wellness Corporate Solutions, “casual clothing doesn’t necessary decrease productivity and t-shirts and hoodies have now become commonplace in many offices.” So remember, when you are placing an apparel order for the office or your team, think outside of the box and offer something new and innovative!

In conclusion...

These three apparel trends — luxe, rich and soft fabrics, muted, earth-tone color schemes, and unique silhouettes — will not only be highlighted in the retail world but also in the promotional world as lag  times between retail and promotional apparel have nearly evaporated. Promotional apparel suppliers and distributors have their fingers on the pulse of the most relevant fabrics, cuts and colors. By following these trends, your company will have a competitive edge by staying one step ahead.

Posted by Benjy Rose, 1 comment
Creating the ultimate client care package

Creating the ultimate client care package

You like landing new clients... who doesn't? The more new clients you acquire, the more your business grows. That is why so many businesses spend a lot of time reaching and converting new customers to grow their consumer base. Marketing budgets explode trying to acquire new target audiences and potential clients each year.

Getting new clients is important, sure. But what about the ones you already have? Where is the love for the loyal customer? If you don't have an answer to this question, it's time to start thinking about giving a little more attention to the clients who support your business.

Creating the Ultimate Client Care Package | Pinnacle Promotions

Having good client relationships is paramount to running a successful business, but it's easy to overlook if the focus is all on new clients.Converting a client is just the first step, however. If you want to keep them around, you need to show them that you care.

That is why we love client care packages. A little bit of time and effort, mixed with a few well-thought-out promotional products, can go a long way towards making your clients feel special. When done right, sending a package will give you the edge with your clients that other businesses fail to nurture: a strong relationship.

What's so special about a care package?

We know, the first things that come to mind when hearing about a care package may be hospitals, illnesses and "get well soon" cards. Even though we love to help people get healthy and happy again, your clients don't need to be sick to enjoy a care package. This idea takes the "care" part to the next level.

Good for any occasion or time of the year, client care packages are part promotion, part gift and part reward for customers. Best of all, you don't need an excuse to send a care package. New clients and loyal customers alike can enjoy a small package from your business.

Compared to other client retention techniques, care packages have some additional benefits you can enjoy. First and foremost, they are physical gifts. Even though some businesses reward customers with deals and coupons, some people just like getting tangible things they can touch and feel. It's also easy to bundle together several products together to create a unique care package.

Make it special | Creating the Ultimate Client Care Package | Pinnacle Promotions

Another advantage with care packages is the sheer number of possibilities you will have when putting one together. Promotions and deals are more limited in this respect. Yes, you can choose which products to include in the promotion, but it’s harder to personalize which deals each particular client receives. If you want to connect with your existing clients, you need to make the products in the package special. In doing so, they will be more likely to enjoy the gesture and continue to come to your business in the future.

Custom product care packages make personalization easy and affordable. As long as you know some things about your clients–their tastes, needs, wants–making the package unique is straightforward.

Beyond personalization, care packages can be drastically different from each other. You can be thematic, bring in different holidays or special occasions, include other friends and family members, etc. With so many possibilities, it's hard to go wrong.

Gift basket | Creating the Ultimate Client Care Package | Pinnacle Promotions

That isn't to say that a great care package is easy to make. If you want to do it right, we believe in planning ahead. A client care package requires some thought and attention to the details to maximize the success.

Spend some time planning the package

Client care packages are, simply, a bundle of gifts for the client. The process to put one together is the same as buying a gift: it’s important to take some time to think about what is unique to them to get the best results.

This is easier to do with individual clients–actual people you know. In this case, a simple conversation or brief email exchange can provide details about their interests, likes, dislikes, etc. You may discover ideas for products to include as you discuss things.

Make it useful | Creating the Ultimate Client Care Package | Pinnacle Promotions

B2B client relations can be trickier. When your client is a whole business, you need to think in broader terms. Look at products that may be more useful or relatable to the company as a whole. Consider their industry, products and services and brand to get a good idea of their overall "personality."

Balance the branding

Client care packages can get a little tricky when it comes to the branding. Since most standard gifts don't come with your business's logo plastered all over them, it can be difficult to know how much or too little branding to include. It's important to realize that using custom promotional products in a care package is more than acceptable. In many cases, using them is a great way to increase and strengthen bonds with particular clients.

The trick is straddling the fine line between a branded experience and being too pushy. Don't hesitate to have your logo or company name displayed on each item, but often, more subtle is better. This is a great way to tie everything together with the same image and color palette. You can even include a few extra branded items or promotional materials like brochures, business cards, etc.

Make the care package

If you know that a client care package is something you want to try out, the next step is to put one together. Check out different custom promotional items to see what might work for you. Sometimes, certain products just jump right off the page as if they were meant for your particular package. If the care package doesn't practically make itself, however, don't worry. Here are several package ideas you can try out yourself to find the best bundle for the job.

Choose products that stand out

Clients can easily ignore the significance of a good care package if it is too generic. A care package that seems like all the rest won’t create the relationship-strengthening effects you want in the first place. To avoid this issue, take the time to add things that are unique to the client.

For example, products that represent the experiences you have with a client are perfect. If possible, include something meaningful. A simple message included in the package offers a personal touch. You might find with older clients, for example, that you can remind them of the good times with a few carefully chosen words or images. Stick with the most meaningful or useful things for the package.

basket of gift bags | Creating the Ultimate Client Care Package | Pinnacle Promotions

For any client, novelty products add some spice to the care package. Non-business items, gag gifts and food all have a way of sticking out compared to the average coffee mug. Keep in mind that less is more with this kind of product. Adding too many items that aren’t related to the client or your business will make the care package seem random and decrease the impact you may want from your package. Instead, select one or two novelty products to feature.

Don’t want to get too crazy with the products? Even common products can stand out with some personalization. Check out everyday items like coffee mugs, notebooks, binders or branded custom pens that are easy to bundle together without spending a lot of money. Many times, seemingly boring office items just need a little bit of personalization or branding to make it into a care package

Go with a theme

For new clients who lack a long history with your business, it may be difficult to personalize the care package. If this is the case, stick with general items that most people may enjoy or find useful.

Themed care packages are a great way to do just this. You can choose more common, universal custom products and still tie everything together. The important part is having a good theme in the first place. Thankfully, a theme can be almost anything.

Want to celebrate a specific holiday? Make it the theme. Does your client have a unique business? Make it the theme.

wrapped packages | Creating the Ultimate Client Care Package | Pinnacle Promotions

Decide on the theme before looking for what to include in the package. When you have a good central idea that can tie everything together, it will be much easier to find the products that fit the bill for the package.

Common products to check out include custom branded shirts and hats that can fit with nearly any theme. Not only are these easy to brand, they can be tied together with other products to create a cohesive package. Quite often, basic items are the glue that holds everything together. Once you have found a few special products to include, these extra items fill up the rest of the package to make it complete.

Embrace the season

If you struggle with finding a good theme or can’t find a good way to tie the whole package together, one safe bet is to go seasonal. You can coordinate a care package based on the time of the year.

Think about the season itself. Unique summer items like outdoor toys and margarita glasses will naturally differ from winter mugs and sweaters. If the season is appropriate for your client or business, it can rule out promotional products you can ignore if they don’t fit.

Special occasions and events throughout the year are also helpful package coordinators. While holidays are the most obvious for tying the package together, you can use any special event you want. Is your business celebrating an anniversary or big event? Pick items that convey the celebration.

Finally, a color palette is another great way to keep everything in the care package coordination. Consider the most common colors of a particular season or holiday. You can mix the colors up as long as they don’t clash. For example, stick with warmer colors like orange and red if you are creating a care package for the fall. White, red and green fit well with winter holiday packages. When in doubt, use the colors of your business (often found in the logo) to coordinate everything with minimal effort.

Welcome first-time clients

Crafting effective care packages for first-time clients can be hard since you may lack an extensive relationship, personal information or other details. One safe way to get around this challenge is with a welcome package.

You can use promotional products to communicate any details new clients need to know about your business. A good package can also specify the value and benefits the client has to look forward to in the future.

Once again, more common products are easier to include in a welcome kit. Look at apparel and office products that show off the brand and may come in handy in the client's life.

Sending this type of package will let your client know your business cares right from the very start. It's also a great way to give them important information on your business's brand, history, service, and other specific details. A good welcome kit is useful, educational and possibly entertaining all at the same time.

Get the details right

It's important to remember that creating a care package is a skill you can develop. Expect a little bit of trial and error to get it right. Some motivation and persistence will go a long way to making a care package that positively affects your clients.

If you take the time to consider product options and plan out the theme, you’ll be on your way to a successful client care package. Or just get some help from the pros. All it takes is some planning and expertise to find the right items to create the perfect kit.

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
The benefits of BPA-free water bottles

The benefits of BPA-free water bottles

When exploring our selection of custom water bottles, you may have noticed that we have several styles labeled as BPA-free. You’ve probably heard this phrase before—BPA-free—but have you ever stopped to give it much thought? Choosing products that don’t contain this potentially harmful chemical is good for the health and well-being of the people and the planet. Let’s take a deep dive into why you should make all of your corporate giveaways BPA-free.

What is BPA?

BPA (bisphenol A) is an industrial chemical that is employed in the manufacture of some plastics and epoxy resins. It is generally used to coat the inside of plastics, including in your food storage containers, measuring cups, drinkware, and water bottles, in order to help the plastic last longer and not wear away over time. Unfortunately, the downfall of this coating is that the BPA can seep into whatever the container is holding, including food and water. Though the FDA and the U.S. Department of Health say they don’t yet know how risky BPA is when consumed regularly, some studies do indicate that it could be harmful to our bodies.

Why choose BPA-free?

Whether you’re looking for great ways to boost your employee wellness program or are setting up at a trade show and want to hand out health-focused giveaways, there are a few reasons why custom BPA-free water bottles should earn your attention over lesser quality ones.

  • They’re better for your body—The primary reason to keep your giveaways BPA-free is because the stuff is not good for us, plain and simple. Though the full spectrum of health risks aren’t yet entirely known, BPA has been shown to play a role in hormone-dependent tumors, including breast and prostate cancer, as well as infertility. Studies have also linked the chemical to heart disease, diabetes, asthma, fetal brain development, and body weight. BPA is considered an “endocrine disrupter” and may disrupt hormone levels.
  • They’re better for your brain—Interestingly, consuming large amounts of BPA may be especially bad for your most vital organ. Researchers found that BPA may suppress certain genes and predispose people to certain neurodevelopmental disorders. Some studies also link BPA to memory loss and a lowered capacity to learn, while others suggest that it may have an effect on the brain and behavior of young children.
  • They’re not afraid of heat—One of the primary issues with BPA-laden containers is that the chemical can seep into their contents, especially when they are microwaved. According to the Harvard Medical School, migration of BPA and phthalates may be greater when microwaving fatty foods, including meats and cheeses. While it probably isn’t a good idea to microwave BPA-free plastic—the effects of microwaving plastic in general is not yet widely known—it is an absolute no-no to microwave BPA products.
  • They’re better for the environment—BPA affects the environment in the same way that it affects the human body: by disrupting hormones. Studies show that BPA can mimic animal hormones and cause defects and reproduction issues in some aquatic animals. Of course, when BPA is disposed and enters the landfill, the chemicals then seep into the local environment and pollute the soil and waterways.
  • They’re higher quality—Usually, when you’re buying products labeled as BPA-free, you’re probably dealing with manufacturers and designers who care about quality and aren’t simply trying to produce the largest amount of goods for the lowest possible price. When you opt for BPA-free water bottles, for example, you’ll find that they tend to last longer and do a better job of regulating temperature.
RTIC 25 oz. Bottle
Thermos® 18 oz. Double Wall Hydration Bottle - 18 oz.

Spotting BPA-free products

Anytime you need freebies and giveaways for trade shows, employee onboarding kits, and corporate giveaways, make sure that you only hand out items that don’t contain this pesky chemical. So how can you tell if a product is BPA-free? Your best bet is to shop with a company like us that offers top-quality, branded BPA-free drinkware. To be sure you’re not accidentally consuming BPA, make sure that all your plastic items are labeled with a 1, 2, or 5 surrounding the recycling symbol on the bottom.

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
Holiday Party Goodies: four promotional gifts employees will love

Holiday Party Goodies: four promotional gifts employees will love

The Holidays are the perfect time to let those close to you know that you care – including your employees. A simple holiday goody is a great way to let them know you appreciate their work. Better still, giving well-made promotional gifts is an excellent way to accent holiday parties and give party-goers something unique and useful for the holiday season.

We like to make sure the holiday season is done right. If you want to treat your hardworking employees to something special for this time of year, we have a few great custom promotional products in mind.

The quick and simple care package

Kong Golf KitThe good news is you don’t need to spend a lot of money to pamper your employees for the holidays. If you are in a pinch or need to keep costs down, think about promotional gifts you’d normally reserve for expos or client care packages. Simple, inexpensive gifts are easy to bundle to give employees a small care package of their own.

The trick is to mix things up with the package. Water bottles, T-shirts, hats, notepads, pens and other small things grouped together can make the perfect care package with the right pairings. If you have many employees, make one or two bundles themed around the holidays or your business. For smaller businesses or holiday parties, personalize the gift package with items you know each employee will enjoy. A little bit of time and thought will produce a care package that lets your employees know you are thinking of them.

Gifts for warmth

Field & Co.® Sherpa BlanketGet into the spirit of the season more with promotional gifts that keep the cold at bay. The fall and winter months are the perfect time to give employees something they can use to warm up and get cozy at work or home.

Branded custom blankets and sweatshirts, for example, offer plenty of warmth and make great individualized gifts. In addition to the company logo, you can add some personalized details without spending too much extra.

Spice it up with little things that deliver a lot of warmth. Leather-wrapped candles are great for adding some mood lighting and accent design into a space. The leather sleeve also is a great place for custom branding or additional content to make the employee's gift unique and personal to them. Drinkware is an especially popular choice during the colder months when people reach for their favorite blends of tea, coffee, cider or hot chocolate to warm up.

Gifts you can eat

Promotional Party StarterDo you want to appeal to your employees’ taste buds? Food is always a great way to celebrate the holidays and to offer something people can enjoy right in the moment. For holiday parties, edible gifts also add to the festivities when people are in a sharing mood.

Like care packages, approach food as a bundled or assorted gift. A little bit of variety goes a long way, especially if you don't know the personal tastes of your employees. Assortment boxes full of snacks or desserts, for example, give employees a little taste of many things that may tickle their taste buds. Keep allergies and dietary choices in mind if you decide to go the edible route.

Go high tech

Boom Bluetooth EarbudsTo really jazz up your employees’ holiday experience, add a little electricity into the mix. Employees often find high tech promotional gifts to be more useful and appreciated more than a traditional gift. It's not as expensive as you think - you don't have to get everyone a new smartphone or tablet to give some great tech gifts.

Tech accessories are perfect as gifts for the holidays. Since all fancy devices need power, consider something like a custom wireless charger or power bank binder that's small enough to be used on the go. Bluetooth headphones and USB devices are also perfect to show off your logo and expand the functionality of a laptop or computer.

Want to keep costs low on tech gifts? Computer cases and travel bags are less expensive than smart devices but offer a lot of value to your employees. A good laptop case, for example, adds some personalized style and protection to the device during travel or everyday use.

Making gifts count

It doesn't take a lot to spread the caring mood of the holiday season to your employees. Whether you keep it simple or go all out, custom promotional gifts are great for office parties and events during this season. Put a little thought and effort into finding the perfect gifts so everyone will enjoy the experience.

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
Employee Wellness: tips to keep the flu at bay

Employee Wellness: tips to keep the flu at bay

Stock the medicine cabinet, be prepared to use a few sick days, and get your flu shot because flu season is officially upon us.

If you’re a business owner, manager, or human resources professional, you know this isn’t all you need to do to prepare for sick season. You need to think not only about yourself, but also about your employees, because if the virus becomes an epidemic in your office, you could be stuck in productivity purgatory until St. Patrick’s Day. But how? Implementing a smart employee wellness strategy is the very first step to a healthy, safe workforce.

How does the flu affect businesses?

So we all know the flu is unpleasant, especially when it affects us directly. But have you ever stopped to think about how a particularly bad flu season can alter the economic success of your business? 2017 was one of the worst flu seasons in years, and, unsurprisingly, it took a serious toll on the economy and the population at large. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the annual impact of seasonal influenza is broad, costly, and damaging—it equals 1 million hospitalized days, 31.4 million outpatient visits, and about $6.2 billion per year in lost wages.

With sick, unproductive, and unhappy employees comes fewer business gains, of course. When teams across the U.S. are knocked out with the flu—taking an average of four to six days off per employee during flu season—businesses suffer. Studies show that employers could lose out on more than $9.4 billion in productivity when flu season gets bad. But here’s the thing: your workers are humans, and there’s nothing anyone can do to 100 percent safeguard against the virus, especially when the flu shot varies in effectiveness from year to year. But the flu shot does work and it should be a fundamental part of your flu season protocol.

With these things in mind, you have to do everything you can to ensure that if an employee does get the flu, it doesn’t spread around to the rest of the office. A nasty flu strain has a detrimental domino effect—if one worker goes down, it’s likely to knock down many more in its wake. The key is to implement an effective employee wellness program and to come up with new ways to prevent the flu from infecting your workspace in the first place.

Implementing an employee wellness program

If you don’t already have an employee wellness strategy in place, now’s the time to do it. These programs may offer health screenings, education, and goal-setting options to employees, usually with some sort of incentive system in place. Whether you hand out promotional water bottles for signing up for a gym membership or encouraging weight loss competitions incentivized by free days off, any way you can get your employees excited about their health is a major bonus.

powerpost 201811 waterbottle | Pinnacle Promotions

Not only do healthy employees equal fewer sick days (and more economic gains for your business), but they also save you money because they help to curb insurance costs. Employees who are healthy and prioritize their well-being cost you less in insurance claims and premiums. And, according to the Gallup State of the American Workplace Study, employees with a high well-being have lower healthcare costs.

But keeping your employees healthy doesn’t only come down to physical health. The Gallup study showed that engaged, incentivized workers lead healthier lives. Engaged workers—defined as those who are enthusiastic, committed, and involved in their workplace—tend to have fewer chronic health problems, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, obesity, and heart attacks. Thus, putting a well-thought-out employee wellness program into place requires components that focus on employee happiness and physical well-being.

Employee wellness and the flu

So now that we know how these kinds of programs can be beneficial to our workers and our company’s bottom line, let’s see how they can be put into practice. With the flu, it’s all about restricting exposure and making sure that your employees have a good reason to prevent contracting and spreading the virus. Here are some ideas:

Incentivize Getting the Flu Shot

powerpost 201811 shot | pinnacle PromotionsOne thing you can do to safeguard your most valued employees from getting sick during flu season is to provide incentives to employees who get a flu shot. You can either have your employees get flu shots on their own and provide you with the receipt or implement a mobile flu shot clinic onsite where employees can go and get vaccinated during the workday. These onsite programs are offered specifically for businesses by many of the major healthcare systems and pharmacies.

Most insurance policies cover the flu shot so there is no extra cost to the employee, but if you have part-time or contract employees not insured through your business, make it your job to ensure that they have access to free flu shots. Be sure that you pay for all employees to be vaccinated at your onsite flu shot clinic or provide every single worker with a free flu shot voucher, whether they work two hours per week or 50. Pay for the time employees take to get vaccinated.

Here are a few more ways you can get your team to take the flu shot seriously.

powerpost 201811 incentive ideas | Pinnacle Promotions

Fun flu shot incentive ideas:

Load up on wellness giveaways—Free gifts, especially corporate giveaways, are always smart incentivizers, whether you’re encouraging your workers to hit sales milestones or improve their health and well-being. Handing out wellness-centric freebies is a budget-friendly way to get your team to participate in the flu shot party—who doesn’t love free headphones, water bottles, and pedometers?

Give the people what they want—What two things do employees love more than anything? Free food and time off. Hosting a free team lunch or offering a shortened Friday workday for participants are popular ways to get your workers vaccinated for the greater good of the office. Set goals so that employees have incentive to encourage each other, like a whole day off if every single employee gets the shot.

Make it into a competition—A little bit of healthy competition is a great way to improve employee morale. At the beginning of flu season, create teams (or segment your workers by department) and encourage each group to get vaccinated. The team that gets the most vaccinations wins a special company gift or award!

Make the flu shot a requirement

If you work in a healthcare environment, there’s a good chance that your employees are already required to get a flu shot based on company policy. Many of the country’s leading healthcare authorities now mandate flu shots to their own employees, including Johns Hopkins and The Cleveland Clinic. Usually, this is because healthcare workers interact with particularly vulnerable populations, including the elderly, babies, and sick people with compromised immune systems who cannot risk contracting the virus.

Though required flu shots are somewhat controversial, you may be able to require them in your workplace. Workplace laws and standards vary by state, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does condone mandatory flu shots and encourages flu-related education at work. However, there is still some murkiness about the issue, so unless your workers regularly come into contact with vulnerable populations, it’s probably best to choose incentive programs over mandatory ones and focus on educating anti-vaccine employees.

Loosen your remote work policy

powerpost 201811 laptop | pinnacle promotionsOne of the greatest benefits of technology is that it allows many of us to work from wherever we are, whether that be our cubicle, our home office, or our bed. Allowing your employees to work from home when they’re sick is an effective way to lessen the germ pool in your office. Though the flu can be miserable and debilitating, there are days when team members might feel perfectly fine but are still contagious, so working at home makes more sense.

Simply avoiding shaking hands with or hugging your co-workers isn’t enough to avoid picking up the flu. In fact, the CDC says that people with the flu can spread it to others about 6 feet away, so your employees can still spread it to other workers even if they’re quarantined to their desk. The CDC reports that most healthy adults are able to infect others with the flu about one day before symptoms develop and as many as seven days after becoming sick. Your best bet? If your employee feels a sickness coming on, let them log in from home.

Modify employee sick time

powerpost 201811 calendar | pinnacle promotionsThere are many jobs where remote work is simply not an option, including manual labor positions, factory jobs, sales jobs, and any profession that requires lots of face time. If you can’t curb lower productivity levels through loosened remote work policies, then consider being a bit less strict with sick days during flu season. Your policy should be clear—if you are contagious, don’t come in to work even if you feel totally fine.

Being stingy with employee sick leave can wind up damaging you much more than it can benefit you. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) warns that companies who hire those with no paid sick leave—including part-time and nonexempt workers—can experience a significant increase in employees reporting to work sick and spreading viruses. The solution? The SHRM encourages companies to modify their paid sick leave and offer it to all workers if an influenza breakout occurs in your business or region.

Don’t forget clients and customers

If your business is inherently customer-facing or if you have an open-door policy and regularly invite in clients, prospects, friends, and employees’ kids, you’ll have more to think about than just employees when it comes to warding off seasonal sickness. Sadly, you can’t screen all customers and clients before they come through the door to make sure they’ve been vaccinated and are not a threat to your workforce. But you can provide incentives.

Hand out free vouchers, coupons, and discounts on your products to get clients and customers to join the flu shot bandwagon. On the same note, you can’t simply close the doors to the outside world until spring rolls around so that no employee is compromised. But you can be a little bit more strict about who you invite into the office. If your company tends to be lax about visitors, ask that the rules be tightened only during flu season to lower the risk of employee exposure.

Prevent germs at every turn

powerpost 201811 handwash | Pinnacle PromotionsEven if you have the healthiest team in the entire world, you won’t maintain those high well-being levels if your work environment is germ-laden. As obvious as it is, make sure that your employees are educated about safe handwashing and germ protection strategies. The CDC calls handwashing the DIY vaccine, and for good reason—you can kill 99.99 percent of the bacteria on your hands with proper handwashing.

The CDC recommends that homes and businesses offer easily accessible soap and water as well as hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol at all times. Note that hand sanitizers are not as effective on greasy or dirty hands, so you should always wash your hands as well. Other things you can do to prevent the spread of viruses in your workplace include avoiding close contact with other employees, routinely cleaning surfaces and supplies with disinfectants, and allowing employees to go home as soon as they begin feeling ill.

Create a comprehensive flu plan

As you’re implementing great ways to keep your workplace flu-free, remember that education is a major component of a good employee wellness strategy. Make sure that all of your employees know that there are many misconceptions surrounding this resilient virus, and that getting the flu vaccine will not give you the flu or make you feel sick. When you arm your employees with everything they need to beat the flu and provide a few standout bonuses, you’ll be well on your way to a healthy and safe workplace this flu season.

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments