Many of you know that I own a company, Gardner Promotional Solutions, but what do I really do? I’ve gotten phone calls from budding artists wanting me to promote them. I had a woman ask me one day what she should use on her lawn to kill the weeds. I’ve even heard someone say, “I want you to meet Cindy Gardner. She owns a company that sells pens.” I thought I would spend a few minutes this week teaching you about the world of promotional products.
Every day is different in the promotional product world. I offer over a million different products on my website and the needs of every client are different. My client base includes builders, bars, a nonprofit, Family Leisure who sells pools, patio furniture, hot tubs and pool tables (just to name a few items), an attorney, a mortuary and various other companies. I’ve done tee shirts, work apparel, items for golf outings, weddings, and a national conference. And, yes! I’ve sold thousands and thousands of pens.
“Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.” Wayne Dyer, Self-Help Author
One of the most common questions I am asked on a weekly basis is, “what is your number one product?” I usually stumble on that because I think a pen is probably number one for many reasons. The cost per pen and imprint is low. It has been said that during the lifetime of a pen, it usually has seven owners, so your message is shared over and over again. I will share a quick story with you about a pen I created for my company. My husband and I were traveling and stopped in Nashville, Tennessee for dinner. When the server brought our bill, the pen she gave us to sign our receipt was a pen from my company. Somehow it had traveled from Indianapolis to Nashville. What a fun experience! We were laughing when she returned to the table and asked if everything was ok. We simply explained that the pen she gave me to sign was from my company in Indianapolis. I don’t know if she was as excited as we were, but she seemed pretty amazed how far that pen had traveled.
For my company, I would say that bags are number two because of their versatility. I’ve seen the bags I’ve created at grocery stores, at the park, and brought to meetings. Once again, when you look at the cost per bag and imprint, you get a lot of bang for your buck.
Selling products is not the only thing I do. My clients know that I will go the extra mile to find them an item that is unique and one that will share their message to the masses. I’ve done products for the Home Show and the State Fair, where hundreds of people from every walk of life pick up the items. I’ve done shirts for a family whose father had cancer, so those were very personal in nature. I’ve done employee thank you gifts, client thank you gifts, wedding thank you gifts and each one of those were chosen with a specific target audience in mind.
So, how do I describe my company? A woman in one of my networking groups introduced me one week as “the woman who sells fun.” It perfectly described my company. I love to walk into an office with an order. Even the apparel I decorate creates excitement in the offices where I deliver them.
Everyone loves to receive promotional products, especially if they serve a purpose. Insulated coffee cups, tape measures, rain ponchos and notepads all are products that are regularly used. Personalized office supplies including folders and 3-ring notebooks are used over and over again. I also sell food including personalized chocolates, cookies, popcorn, gum, and candy. Even though this type of product is consumable, I like to use the quote from Mya Rudolph that says, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” No matter who you are, if someone gives you a gift of food, it will bring a smile to your face.
My husband was doing some cold-calling for me a couple of years ago. He stopped in several offices and gave them bags of individually wrapped jelly belly candies along with information about my company. A couple of weeks later when he walked back into those offices, they remembered him as the “jelly bean guy.” I regularly give away a 12 pack of sugarless gum in my marketing. I have had new clients reach out to me and call me the “gum lady.” Promotional products work!
What are the top 10 Promotional Products?
- Company Apparel – outerwear, hats, and shirts
- Pens – including pens, markers, and pencils.
- Bags – drawstring backpacks, grocery bags, insulated bags, briefcases and duffel bags.
- Drinkware – coffee mugs, travel mugs, water bottles, etc.
- Awards – trophies, plaques, watches, certificates
- Desk and office – How many imprinted desk accessories do you own?
- Computer accessories – Flash drives, cables, cords and mouse pads are just a few.
- Calendars – paper calendars still make up over ½ billion dollars in sales each year.
- Textiles – branded towels, stadium blankets, umbrellas, and flags
- Tools – home and workplace tools including tape measures and screwdrivers
“Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after an experience with you becomes your trademark.” Unknown
Have a blessed week!