Today is National Dog Day

August 26th is National Dog Day. This year, more than ever, our furry friends should be revered as National Heroes as they’ve kept us sane during the boredom of working from home.

Their unconditional love and insatiable need for attention have been a much needed distraction from the daily grind of sitting in our makeshift home offices.

Your dog’s schedule has been thrown off as much as yours during this shift in our new normal. T-R-E-A-Ts are requested (or demanded) more frequently throughout the day.

W-A-L-Ks are more frequent in my home as we both battle the urge to walk into the kitchen.

It’s no surprise that the American Pet Products Association estimates that in 2020 we will spend $99B on our pets and dogs are, by far, the largest category in that estimate. We spend money on toys for them but, like Kids, they prefer other items from your closet (my dog loves my dirty socks) to play with.

Unlike 6 months ago, my home office now includes a dog bed where my dog can nap and occasionally look up as I tap on my keyboard. He was a little thrown off in March when I altered my working situation but now I think he’s loving his new normal.

Give your little fuzzy hero an extra squeeze today for all of his help in making your new normal just a little more tolerable. After all, it is his day.

Markit4Events/Dogs

Social Blue Bird Seeded in Promotional Products

 

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According to legend, eBay was started as a way to locate PEZ dispensers?

Another startup seeded in promotional products is Twitter. When this early bird was still in it’s nest, many other dot coms were closing their virtual doors.

When Twitter was beginning as a simple social texting platform in 2006, an employee named Noah Glass was at a party called “Valleyscwhag Hoedown” in San Francisco. With all the failed startups, there was plenty of unused swag, so the idea was to gather and gift their dead branded merchandise to the party-goers.

Odeo was one of the flailing startups represented at the party, and also happened to be the corporate parent to a little blue bird we’d all come to know as Twitter.

As the story goes, Glass shared Twitter with Om Malik, a popular tech blogger, who tweeted “looking 4 food,” and then blogged about Twitter the next day and that little bird took flight.

When done successfully, branded merchandise is the strongest marketing tool companies can use to connect with their customers. These days there’s hardly a website or storefront that doesn’t have a Twitter bird on it.

Twitter caught the attention of one person that night, and with a social stage the next day, the buzz about Twitter spread and the curious started trying out this new way to communicate.

To think none of this would have happened if it hadn’t been for some left over t-shirts and key chains. The bird was born because a bunch of people gathered to mark a milestone (or gravestone) of ideas that never took flight.

 

 

 

Learn more about PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS in our article archives.

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Why You Must Know the Four Personalities of Design

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Perception is reality. How your customer perceives and receives your message is just as important as the message you intend.

The telephone game shows us that what is heard is rarely what was said. We send and receive communications in many ways, depending on our personality types (Personas).

Marketing requires we make broad assumptions about our audience while targeting them enough to get them to act. The complication is that we are all a mix of 4 personas.

  • Get to know the 4 personas and how they buy.
  • Understand your customer’s personality.
  • Talk to them the way they want to hear it.

Here are the 4 Personas and how to engage them…

Director (Competitive)

This persona doesn’t have much time, wants to get down to business, and move on to the next challenge. These are the ‘Natural Leaders’ that are awesome at their best, and insensitive at their worst. This crowd has an eagle-eye view. You won’t find them in the weeds.

Who are they? CEO’s, Owners, Upper Management

What they want? Achievement, Control, Winning

Best ways to engage them?

  • Authenticity. Don’t pretend you’re not trying to sell them.
  • Clarity. Give it to them in bullet points.
  • Efficiency. Tell them on the cover of the brochure and above the fold on your website.
  • Challenge. Let them think it’s their idea.
  • Get out of the way. Allow them to act fast and decisively.

Socializer (Spontaneous)

This persona is great at brainstorming. They love coming up with ideas and discussing them. Similar to a Director, they don’t spend too much time on one idea. These are the 3rd shelf shoppers; they won’t be searching the bottom shelf at the grocery store for items they have to reach for.

Who are they? Public Relations, Salespeople, Entertainers

What they want? Attention, Peer Appreciation, Persuading others

Best ways to engage them?

  • Activity. Give them something fun to do.
  • Ask. Get their ideas.
  • Specials. “Free”, “Buy now”, “Save” work well. Starbursts on your site.
  • Shine. Be the shiny object that gets their attention.
  • Fast & Easy. Don’t make them jump through hoops to purchase.

Thinker (Methodical)

This persona does it correctly every time. These are spell checking, spreadsheet formula writing dynamos. Unlike Directors and Socializers, Thinkers take a long time to purchase while analyzing all of the information. The Director set the goal of getting man on the moon but the Thinkers got us there.

Who are they? CPA’s, Engineers, Scientists

What they want? Precision, Accuracy, Dependability

Best ways to engage them?

  • Proof. Graphs, Charts and Research.
  • Solutions. Exactly how does this solve their problem?
  • White Papers. They will scroll down on your site for details.
  • Information. Feelings have very little to do with their buying habits.
  • Time. Don’t rush them. They are a slow sale.

Relaters (Humanists)

This persona wants to know what others think. They frequent online forums and seek out groups for their opinions. Relaters look at your testimonials from other satisfied customers to support their decision. They will go out of their way to avoid buyer’s remorse before they purchase.

Who are they? Negotiators, Counselors, Customer Service

What they want? Stability, Consensus, Friendship

Best ways to engage them?

  • Predictability. Don’t surprise them with an up-sell.
  • Stories. Let others tell your story and listen to theirs.
  • Testimonials. Share feelings from other satisfied customers.
  • Modesty. Flashy, boasting messages are a turn off.
  • Time. Once again, don’t rush them. They’ll get back to you in a few weeks.

It’s likely that you see yourself in more than one of these personas. You may be a Director-Thinker, or a Socializer-Relater.

Analyzing the titles of your current customers can reveal a lot about their personality types and how to talk to them through the sales process.

DESIGN TIP:

Your designs should include bullet-points for your Directors and an easy to understand offer for your Spontaneous types on the cover or above the fold on your site. Then for your Thinkers and Relaters, place testimonials and statistics inside or below the fold on your site because they will do their research and find them.