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New Changes for Wearablesmag.com

Filed under: site updates, Wearables

CJ MitticaGuest blog from Wearables’ Editor C.J. Mittica:

Have you noticed the new changes at Wearablesmag.com? No? Good, that’s sort of the point. Our ASICentral team, under the guidance of team leader and France’s very own Yann Perrin, have instituted a number of subtle changes that have seamlessly improved the browsing experience. Here’s a rundown:

  • Custom Site Search: The pages from Wearablesmag.com were already searchable through Google, but now our website has a search function that allows you to cull through several years of Wearables content. Powered by Google, the search will allow you to sort by most recent date or relevance.
  • Archive Reorganization: Perusing our magazine archives has been made much easier. Issues are sorted by year and month, and pre-digital edition content is broken down by article, all for quick and easy reading.
  • Improved User Experience: I won’t bore you with all the technical details, but we cleaned up the site structure, moved the site to a new server and updated the navigation options. Basically, browsing the site will be faster and easier.

We still love the print medium (call me old fashioned, but that’s how I still read my magazines), but there are plenty of digital options available to our readers. Wearablesmag.com in particular has online exclusives and our latest videos and newsletters. And if you haven’t tried it yet, you should check out the digital edition of the magazine, which can be read on the iPad. (You can find it by searching “Wearables magazine” or “Advertising Specialty Institute” on the Apple App store.) Admittedly, it’s pretty swank.

Poll Results: Has Trust Between Suppliers and Distributors Improved?

Filed under: Poll Results

Is trust between suppliers and distributors Better, Worse or the Same today than five years ago?

That’s the question we posed to our users last month, and according to our results, the answer is bleak.

By a margin of 42% (93 votes) to 34% (76 votes), our users voted for “Worse” over “Better” with the remaining 24% (52 votes) saying “Same”. (Don’t miss Counselor magazine’s 3-part look at trust issues in the industry.)

Here’s the complete breakdown to this poll: (TOTAL VOTES: 221)

Trust between Suppliers and Distributors

6 Tips for Negotiating with Suppliers

Filed under: Tip of the Day

Negotiate with SuppliersNegotiating … yeah, it can be daunting, especially if you’re a small distributor just starting out. But when dealing with suppliers, remember: You have the right to negotiate.

In an April management article, Counselor magazine offers some great tips and advice on how get your haggle on. Want to improve your negotiation skills? Then this article is a must-read. In the meantime, here are 6 tips for negotiating with suppliers:

  • Vet Potential Partners
  • Gather Information
  • Narrow the Field
  • Weigh Other Costs
  • Put It All Out There
  • Build a Symbiotic Relationship

5 Advantages of Face-to-Face Relationship Building

Filed under: Tip of the Day

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer has recently come under fire for requiring remote employees to actually come into the office to work. So great was the backlash against her that my colleague Michele Bell felt compelled to awaken from her three-month blog slumber and post in support of Mayer. Crazy how far things have come in the workplace, huh? (I still remember scratching my head and asking “What’s email?”)

This month’s Advantages magazine has a great little Strategy article about this very situation and how you should consider the benefits of face-to-face relationship building. Sure, it’s a great perk to be able to work from home now and then, but being in the office and forging relationships still has value, and this article stresses that. If you’ve got five minutes, read it now, and here are 5 advantages of in-person face time:

  • It shows you care
  • Personal attention
  • Increased effectiveness
  • No ambiguous tone
  • You’re more vulnerable … and more believable!

Exclusive Team Blog Interview with Grumpy Cat

Filed under: Fun, General

Grumpy Cat, the new Internet sensation that’s sweeping the globe faster than the Harlem Shake, is currently killing it as the star attraction at the annual South by Southwest Conference and Festival (SXSW) in Austin, TX. Interviews with His Grumpiness are hard to come by these days, but I recently had a chance to sit down with the legend — also known by his real name “Tard”, short for “Tardar Sauce” — to ask him a few questions. The following is the transcript of our conversation.

Team Blog: So Grumpy Cat, let’s start with an obvious question: Why are you so grumpy?

Grumpy Cat:

Team Blog: OK … coulda fooled me. Anyway, onto the next question. I work in the promotional products industry, or ad specialties, you know, products with logos that promote a company, product or service. Like T-shirts, pens and mugs. Got any favorite promotional products?

Grumpy Cat:

Team Blog: Alrighty then, appreciate the honesty. Now that you’re a big Internet sensation, inspiring thousands of grumpy memes and rubbing elbows with celebrities, you must have some good stories, right?

Grumpy Cat:

Team Blog: I’ve been called worse. But anyway, there must be things you like, right? Got any favorite movies?

Grumpy Cat:

Team Blog: Awesome! Well, that’s a start. Whaddya think about the new Star Wars Episode 7 currently in pre-production. Are you psyched?

Grumpy Cat:

Team Blog: Well, that makes one of us.

Grumpy Cat:

Team Blog: OK, I guess we should end here before your claws start doing the talking and I end up with cat-scratch fever or something, ha ha!

Grumpy Cat:

Team Blog: That was a joke … a bad one … sorry. Please don’t hurt me.

5 Steps to Survive a Business Disaster

Filed under: Tip of the Day

Before Disaster StrikesThe past two years have seen significant hurricanes — Irene in 2011, and Sandy in 2012 — barrel up the Eastern seaboard, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake and causing major issues and headaches for industry companies.

These storms, though rare in their severity, beg the question: Just how prepared are you in case of a major business disruption?

That’s the topic Counselor magazine researched for this month’s “Before Disaster Strikes” feature. With examples of companies affected by disaster as well as expert advice on what to do, this is a must-read for any company. Read it now, and in the meantime, here are 5 steps that will help you survive a business disaster:

  • Assess Risk
  • Create An Action Plan
  • Don’t Forget About Data
  • Crisis Communications
  • Understanding Insurance Options

10 Books That Inspire Sales

Filed under: Fun, General, Tip of the Day

10 Books That Inspire SalesI’m not much of a book reader outside the occasional novel about serial killers (don’t judge). But when I found out Advantages magazine was reaching out to industry people for titles that not only motivated them, but inspired sales, I surely was curious.

From the popular (The Biography of Steve Jobs) to the unusual (Who Moved My Cheese?), this article titled “Book It! 10 Title to Inspire Your Sales” is loaded with great tips and advice on how to find motivation when you need it. Read this article now, and in the meantime, here are the 10 titles chosen:

  1. The Biography of Steve Jobs
  2. Who Moved My Cheese?
  3. The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work
  4. The Rules of Woo
  5. Delivering Happiness
  6. Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing
  7. The Power of Positive Thinking
  8. The Four Agreements
  9. Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way
  10. Guerrilla Selling: Unconventional Weapons & Tactics for Increasing Your Sales

5 Signs You Should Drop A Customer

Filed under: Tip of the Day

5 Signs You Should Drop A CustomerLet’s face it folks, as much as we want to believe the old adage “The customer’s always right,” we know darn well that isn’t true. So how do you effectively deal with repeat-problem customers? It’s not always easy, but this month’s “Solve Customer Conundrums” feature in Stitches magazine helps to steer you in the right direction.

Tired of clients always trying to get the lowest prices? Then this article is for you! And in the meantime here are 5 signs you need to cut the cord with your customer:

  1. Constantly beats you up on price.
  2. Neglects bills.
  3. Consistently requires too much time.
  4. Complains about each order despite your efforts to cooperate.
  5. Everyday emergencies.

Poll Results – Are Clients Asking for USA-Made Products? Yes!

Filed under: Poll Results

According to our poll results, looks like “Made in America” is back and thriving once again in the promo products industry!

In early February, we posted the following question to our users: Clients are asking for USA-made products: with the following answer options:

  • More
  • Less
  • About the same
  • They are indifferent

Of the 250 total votes, almost two-thirds (163 votes, 65%) said “more”, while less than 5% (12 votes) said “less”. Rounding out the remainder of the votes were “About the same” with 17% (43 votes), and “They are indifferent” with 13% (32 votes).

Here’s the complete breakdown, including chart, to this poll: (TOTAL VOTES: 250)

Poll: Made In The USA

Take the new poll on ASICentral.com now!


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