Archive for the Trivia Category

Time To Re-programme My ‘Word Chip’?

Posted in Opinions & Comments, Trivia on August 7, 2013 by Richard

Have you noticed how folk’s communication skills have dropped? Ooooh – BIG BOLD sweeping statement there!!!

My business, RT Promotions, deals with high levels of incoming email traffic from random folk, who may or may not be genuine, who may or may not be in a position to proceed, and who are sometimes even competitors checking out our pricing policies – and you know what? We NEVER know who’s for real and who isn’t. Of course, there’s little tell tale signs (no, I’m not disclosing them in this post – maybe another?), but the truth is, you simply can’t tell. We call it ‘kissing frogs’ – we simply put on a smiley face, and go kiss them, warts and all, and hope they might turn into a prince/princess.

One of the things I’ve noticed though, is a trend for folk to be ‘curt’ in their email compositions – quite often, a whole sentence, properly constructed, is a woop woop moment – and I simply didn’t understand it. Why are folk so short?

And then, the penny dropped, and I reassessed the incoming traffic, and realised they’re almost all coming from hand held devices. People on the move, things to do, trains/planes to catch, and who are sending enquiries/replies, as best they can, in the short amount of time available to them. So NOT ‘rude’ then – just busy!!!

And there I was thinking I needed to re-programme my built-in ‘word chip’.

Have you seen the same trend?


Ten Unusual Ideas For A Promotional Gift

Posted in ECO Friendly, Opinions & Comments, Promotional Gifts, ROI - Return on Investment, Trivia with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2013 by Richard

Even though I keep telling my clients to ALWAYS go with ‘effective’ and not fall into the trap of going for something gimmicky – there are occasions when ‘unusual’ may well be the right route. So with that in mind, I thought I’d share with you the ten most unusual ideas for a promotional gift that we have on our website. They’re in no particular order, so for your entertainment, the top ten promotional gift ideas are:

The Hammer Bottle Opener
Crazy isn’t it? Shaped to look just like a real DIY hammer!!

Hammer Shaped Bottle Opener

Hammer Shaped Bottle Opener

The Twig Pen
We love this ECO friendly pen. Every pen’s unique – the wood is, after all, a naturally grown item.

The Twig Pen

The Twig Pen

The Umbrella Hat
Yes, we know it’s not practical, but it does get a lot of attention and makes folk smile – maybe that’s the point?

The Umbrella Hat

The Umbrella Hat

Bride and Groom LogoBugs
We tend to get a ‘marmite’ reaction to these bugs – you either love them or hate them, but they’re certainly memorable. Perfect for use as ‘wedding favours’ or maybe to tell your guests to put the big day in their diary

Bride and Groom LogoBugs

Bride and Groom LogoBugs

USB Characters
These little characters always get a positive reaction. With articulated arms and legs, they look great even when you pull their heads off – that’s how you get access to the USB part to plug into your computer.

Character USB's

Character USB’s

Cow Bells
If you want your event to make a load of NOISE – this could be a good place to start.

Cow Bells

Cow Bells

Fold-Away Flower Vase
These look great when branded, and would be perfect for anyone working in the Hotel and catering industry. Your customers liked the flowers so much, they took the flower pot home with them!!

Fold-Away flower pot

Fold-Away flower pot

Giant Pencil
At 325 mm in length, it’s bigger than your average ruler, and is a genuine working pencil. Perfect for making a BIG impression – but seriously, it would be difficult to put away wouldn’t it?

Giant Pencil

Giant Pencil

Logo Projector Keyring Torch
Don’t you just love it? Projecting your logo in full colour is a little bit special isn’t it?

Logo Projector Keyring Torch

Logo Projector Keyring Torch

Condom Keyring
Well, this is a list of the Ten Most Unusual Ideas for a Promotional Gift!!

Condom Keyring

Condom Keyring

Five Things ANYONE Can Do On Twitter

Posted in Opinions & Comments, Trivia with tags , , on April 30, 2013 by Richard

I often get asked – “how do I get started on Twitter’?, or ‘how do you get people to connect with you on Twitter’? And you know, it’s not difficult at all to get started, and once you get going, if you follow these five simple tips, you’ll soon be making headway.


Tip 1: Make it personal. If it’s about ‘you’, why not let us see ‘you’ with a personal photo, but don’t whatever you do, leave that lazy boy ‘egg’ avatar in place. Most folk are deeply suspicious of bios that leave the egg in place – not an auspicious start to connecting with folk.

Tip 2: Spend some time editing and then re-editing your Twitter ‘bio’. Why are you on Twitter? Who do you want to connect with? Maybe put a link to your website here too. The go back, read it, and do yet another re-edit!!

Tip 3: Post as often or as little as you choose – post about whatever you choose, but please post something. It can’t be beyond you to post daily can it? Ask the world a question – or tell the world something – go on, open up a little bit.

Tip 4: Always check for comments under the ‘@’ button – this is where you’ll see what folk are saying to you, or about you, on Twitter. Read what’s been said, and reply, engage, show the world that you’re a human being. If you see someone’s re-tweeted you, say ‘thank you’ – you were always taught to do that weren’t you!!

Tip 5: Do a search on Twitter for folk that you want to connect with, or even folk simply discussing stuff that interests you – and, when you find them, engage with them. If they’re tweeting things that you consider to be good reading or reference material, why not re-tweet them? You’re sure to make connections, and it’s friendly!

Trade Secrets – Promotional Coffee Coasters

Posted in Opinions & Comments, Promotional Gifts, Trivia, UK with tags , , , , , , , on April 21, 2013 by Richard

I know what you’re thinking – ‘what on earth is there that’s a ‘secret’ about a simple coffee coaster’? Well, believe it or not, there’s a few things I can tell you, that could make a BIG difference to your buying experience when you find yourself considering the options available to you within this sector of the promotional gifts market.

Promotional Coffee Coasters

Promotional Coffee Coasters

My company, RT Promotions, has a fairly comprehensive range of coasters on offer on our website, in excess of fifty in fact. They range from cheap and cheerful paper coasters, to plastic, acrylic, PVC, metal, leather, vinyl, gnalvic and glass – and I’ve probably missed a few!!! They all have their particular features – some can be printed onto in full colour, whilst others can only be printed in ‘spot colours’, some can even be embossed or engraved. But, I can hear you ask – what about the secrets??

The secrets come into play, when I consider what the coasters WONT do….

I’ll give you an example. There’s a promotional coffee coaster on the market, that’s been a best seller for years. My company has sold tens of thousands of them – and we’ve not had one single complaint. The manufacturer claims the coasters to be ‘virtually indestructible under normal use’, but I always warn my customers not to get them too wet. A bit odd don’t you think? A coffee coaster is going to get wet, spillages are going to occur, after all, that’s partly what they’re designed for isn’t it, to keep the spillages away from your desk or table? So here’s the secret, this particular coaster will be destroyed if placed in the washing up bowl. It will probably be irreversibly damaged if liquids are allowed to get under the base – and yet, it’s claimed to be ‘virtually indestructible under normal use’….. I must emphasise, the coaster has a lot going for it. It offers great colour reproduction, and is available at a great price. When I have customers visit my showroom, they almost always select this particular coaster from amongst the many samples we show them, and even when the clients are made aware of the coaster’s weakness, they usually proceed to purchase it regardless – but I often wonder how many people buying this coasters from other promotional gift suppliers are made aware of these facts in advance?

My favourite secret regarding a promotional coaster though is about the coaster that distorts and bubbles when you place a hot drink onto it!!! Can you believe it, a coaster that’s readily available, but which breaks when used for it’s intended purpose!!! I’ve removed this particular coaster from sale, it’s no longer on my company website, BUT – it’s still available from other companies, and being sold in the thousands.

Trade secrets eh? But then again, that’s the point about talking to my company – talk to seasoned experts in promotional products, and you’ll be advised properly.

Is Your Glass Half Full?

Posted in Opinions & Comments, Trivia on April 20, 2013 by Richard

I don’t know about you, but I get just a little bit fed up with all the doom and gloom I keep hearing on the news…..

Glass Half Full

Glass Half Full

Maybe I’m just lucky to be working in an industry where the clients I speak to are nearly always ‘upbeat’, where new businesses want to talk to me about promotional gifts, and established businesses have made the decision to exhibit at a trade show and need some give-aways and corporate clothing for their staff to wear.

Or maybe I’m a ‘glass half-full’ kind of guy?

For sure, most of my clients tell me business is tough – but they also tell me business is good.

I wonder – is there’s a connection between all this, and the fact that these same customers  can see the benefits in continuing to promote their businesses during difficult times?

Makes you wonder….

How Do You Recognise Your Own Unique Skills?

Posted in Opinions & Comments, Trivia, UK with tags , , on April 8, 2013 by Richard

I’ve been pondering on this question for a while. Ever since I heard a presentation from a guy called Gary May. he runs a business called ‘Salesology‘, which is all about helping people and companies, realise their sales potential. Well, during his short presentation, he challenged the group to consider “Ten things You Should Consider When Purchasing (insert your product or services here)”.

The idea here is that you create a list of things, your customers should consider, when they’re about to make a purchase. The point of course, is that aside from being honest, it should focus on the ‘uniqueness’ of your products or service offering, something that your competitors probably don’t have, or at least if they do, they wont have all TEN of them. The challenge is this: every single one of the people in the the same group I was in, that heard the exact same presentation, ALL said – “what a brilliant idea, I’ll go away and work on those ten things right now” – and yet here we are, maybe five months later, and not a single one of them has done it yet.

I believe it’s mostly because they are struggling with understanding their ‘uniqueness’. What we’re really saying is, “why do people buy off of you, and not your competitors”? It’s really tough to blow your own trumpet isn’t it? So I say this, go talk to some close associates, people who truly understand your business, and ask them to tell you. After you’ve done that, why not ask your customers? You might be surprised at what you hear!!

Unusual Ideas For Promotional Gifts – Condoms

Posted in Promotional Gifts, Trivia, UK with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2012 by Richard

I can think of quite a few businesses that could give away a promotional condom to promote their business – but for the purposes of this blog post I don’t think I’ll venture down that particular avenue!!! The example I’m going to share with you is pretty extraordinary – believe it or not, this article is about a restaurant using a promotional condom as part of their marketing activity. But here’s the point – it worked!!! I got to hear about it after a customer told me all about it – he had kept hold of the promotional gift, and wanted to show it to me, tell me all about it – and in doing so – told me all about the fantastic restaurant he’d been to – effective or what?

The first thing he did was to put the keyring on the bar (yes, my meeting was in a bar, I do get out occasionally). my first view of the keyring is the one you can see in this photo.

Pretty straightforward stuff.

I sell loads of keyrings just like this to all manner of businesses – I couldn’t see what he was so excited about.

Then he turned the keyring over – and there it was, a promotional condom on the back of the keyring.

Now I didn’t quite understand what this was all about, until he filled me in on the ‘backstory’.
In the UK, up until the 60’s, the most popular method of buying a condom was at the barbers (hairdressers). I don’t know why that was, it just was….. but in Thailand, the most popular place to buy your condoms is at the greengrocer, with your fruit and veg – again, I’ve no idea why this should be the case, but this is what I’ve been told. So, the owners of this new Thai Restaurant in Oxfordshire, for reasons best known to themselves, decided to call their restaurant ‘Cabbages and Condoms’.

I’m puzzled and impressed in equal measures.

The business owners have gone and done something that people are talking about – they’re certainly going to be remembered – but is it all for the right reasons?