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5 Ways to Improve Client Retention

Filed under: Tip of the Day

Improve Client RetentionFact: Over two-thirds of customers who stop doing business with a company leave because of the treatment they receive from YOU.

With times as tough as they are these days, that’s a telling stat. Your competitors might be doing something better than you, but that’s not why some of your business is leaving you in the dust. This month’s Wearables “Business Toolkit” feature is loaded with tons of great advice on everything from creating effective and cheap content marketing to going retail. Check it out here, and in the meantime here are 5 ways you can improve your client retention:

  1. Distinguish between a bad client and a difficult client
  2. Listen to your customers
  3. Have organized systems in place
  4. Nurture the relationship
  5. Follow-up is paramount to success

5 Types of Bling for Promo Products

Filed under: Tip of the Day

BlingEver since hip-hop culture ushered in the term “bling-bling” back in the mid-90’s, it has been used so much to describe flashy or elaborate jewelry and accessories that it’s now permanently part of the mass culture. Heck, even my grandmother used the word once when she saw a shirt my five-year-old daughter was wearing that had sparkles on it. “She’s got some bling on today.” (Really, gram?)

So pervasive has “bling” become that it’s also firmly part of the promotional products industry, often accentuating logos and adding a little zest to the finished product. This month’s Advantages magazine “Advantages University” feature focuses exclusively on bling and how it’s used in this biz. Click here for the 4-1-1 on bling, and in the meantime here’s 5 types of bling used in the industry:

  1. Rhinestones are cut glass resembling the appearance of a diamond. They give off a reflective sparkle.
  2. Sequins are small round discs of metal or plastic that are slightly cupped, catching light for a glittering effect.
  3. Spangles are flat, shiny discs of plastic or metal that glisten with light and movement.
  4. Rhinestuds are octagon-shaped metal pieces that produce the shimmer and shine of rhinestones but at a lower price point.
  5. Nail heads are rounded, flat metal pieces that resemble the top of an actual nail.

Top 10 Apparel Exporters

Filed under: Tip of the Day

China flagIt’s no surprise that China has dominated the apparel manufacturing landscape, but could changing conditions like rising transportation costs cause a shift in power? Unlikely, but China’s loosened grip has certainly opened up more opportunity for other countries. This month’s Wearables magazine cover story “To Every Corner Of The World” examines how some countries are looking elsewhere to source garments. It’s a great read and answers a lot of questions, including: Which countries are apparel companies turning to now for production?

Read it now, and in the meantime here are the top 10 apparel exporters in the world. (Data from the World Trade Organization):

  1. China ($153B)
  2. Hong Kong ($24.5B)
  3. Italy ($23.2B)
  4. Bangladesh ($20B)
  5. Germany ($19.6B)
  6. India ($14.4B)
  7. Turkey ($14B)
  8. Vietnam ($13.1B)
  9. France ($11B)
  10. Spain ($9.3B)

5 Colors and What They Say About Your Brand

Filed under: Tip of the Day

Brand IdentityEverywhere you look it seems companies are altering something about themselves, whether it’s fine-tuning their logos, changing their names or slogans, or just shifting their business models. Take Apple for instance. In the late-90’s, Steve Jobs and Co. were nearly bankrupt until they shifted their focus to mobile technology. Now, thanks to products like the iPhone, iPod and iPad, they’re ruling the world as the most popular brand.

A strong brand identity is crucial to any business’s future, and the June issue of Advantages magazine has a great story on how to make your brand — and your client’s brand — a powerhouse. Check out this article now for great expert advice, and in the meantime, here are 5 colors and what they say about your brand’s logo:

  • BLUE: It’s arguably one of the most popular choices for a brand color, as it puts people at ease (think about the ocean and blue skies, ahhh). Blue also expresses authority, trust, intelligence and wisdom.
  • RED: It actually increases your heart rate, so it’s no surprise that red is a passionate and visceral color. Red expresses action, desire and power.
  • PURPLE: If you’re trying to be mysterious and rich, go for this popular hue. Purple also seems to exude royalty and elegance. This is a great color for showing creativity.
  • BLACK: Companies use this color if they want to appear prestigious, valuable and sophisticated. Like the dress, it’s a classic.
  • GREEN: You don’t have to be an environmental company to go green. This color says calmness, serenity, health and wealth.

Tell us … what is your color? Post in the comments!

    6 Tips For Hiring The Right First Employee

    Filed under: Tip of the Day

    Hire the Right EmployeeYou would think that with plenty of unemployed people looking for jobs there would be a huge pool of qualified people to choose from. That might be true, but according to a recent survey (read the Counselor PromoGram article here), more than a third of company’s struggle to find qualified employees. Hmmm … either there’s a serious lack of good talent out there, or company’s aren’t vetting well. Regardless, you have to be incredibly diligent in finding the right employee, especially if that employee will be your very first one.

    In the June issue of Counselor magazine, Shane Dale interviews Lori Davila, author of How to Choose the Right Person for the Right Job Every Time, on the right approach to hiring the right first employee. Read the article here, and in the meantime here are 6 tips:

    1. Consider the Virtual Route
    2. Write a Detailed Job Description
    3. Look in the Right Places
    4. Put Candidates To the Test
    5. Browse Social Media Profiles
    6. Be Practical, Not Emotional

    4 Ways to Connect with Customers Through New Media

    Filed under: Tip of the Day

    Rules of EngagementDid you know: Customers who engage with companies over social media spend 20% to 40% more money with those businesses than other clients?

    Yes, it’s a brave new world, folks, and unless you’re out there working the interwebs you’re missing out big time. This month’s Counselor story titled “Rules of Engagement” focuses on how distrubutors can boost their sales by utilizing 4 innovative means to better market to clients. Click here to read the story … and in the meantime, here are the 4 basic tips: (Click the link for more explanation)

    1. Get Your Game On
    2. Video Makes a Marketing Star
    3. Survey Says …
    4. APP-ointment Buying

    3 Tips on How to Rebrand Your Company

    Filed under: Tip of the Day, Uncategorized

    Earlier this week I wrote a blog about the importance of brand management in times of crisis and used an example of an epic brand meltdown on a business Facebook page. That business — Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro — did incredible harm to its reputation simply because they had no brand management plan. (And, some might argue, common sense.)

    Of course, once the smoke clears and the dust settles, Amy’s might want to investigate on how they can rebrand their business. Because, well, they’re gonna need it. And that’s where ASI comes in! So, Amy’s, take note … here’s a great video by Counselor that provides 3 important tips for rebranding your company. Enjoy!

    1. Establish Goals
    2. Refresh Your Image
    3. Make It Public

    3 Tips for Managing Your Brand During Crisis

    Filed under: Tip of the Day

    Crisis Tips for your BrandCall it what you will — I prefer Social Media Train Wreck of the Year — but if you haven’t been paying attention to what’s happening with the Facebook business page of Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro, then you’re missing out on a valuable lesson on how not to manage your brand during crisis.

    Quick backstory: the restaurant was recently featured on an episode of Kitchen Nightmares but quickly dumped by Chef Gordon Ramsey because the owners were “too difficult” to work with. Ensuing backlash on the company’s Facebook page resulted in the owners taking to the keyboard to defend themselves in a, well, not-so genial manner. Nasty comments from users were met with even nastier responses from the owners until an all-out, ALL-CAPS war commenced, complete with F-bombs, physical threats and bad grammar — a trifecta of brand destruction.

    It’s u-g-l-y ugly, and if you want a great play-by-play of what happened, check out Buzzfeed’s coverage of it.

    Of course, now the owners are claiming they were hacked and weren’t responsible for the posts, which are now gone. Whether or not they were hacked, well, I guess we’ll have to wait until the “FBI computer crimes unit” is done with their investigation. But all this got me to thinking, how should one prepare for a possible PR disaster? I searched the ‘net this morning and found a good, succinct post by Startups FM that breaks it down to three main precautions:

    1. Make Reputation Management a Priority. In the case of Amy’s Baking Company, they never anticipated the kind of traffic their Facebook page would get from their fame (or infamy), and it shows.
    2. Pay Attention to the Messages You Are Sending. Once the Facebook chatter got too overwhelming, Amy’s should’ve just stopped allowing comments through Facebook settings. Instead, they (or the hackers?) chose not only to engage trolls, but to threaten them with physical violence, cusses and misspellings.
    3. Hire a Reputation Management Pro. In the case of Amy’s, anyone hired after this meltdown will surely earn their pay.

    8 Surefire Ways to Fail

    Filed under: Tip of the Day

    Advantages MagazineStaggering fact: In 2012, there were 442 billionaires in America. (That was billionaires with a B, just for the record.)

    Obviously, these 442 folks know how to succeed, but what about those of us who need a little guidance in our quest for success? This month’s Advantages Strategy column “8 Surefire Ways to Fail” provides not the paths to success, but the paths to failure. Avoid these and you’ll be on the right path!

    1. Shortsightedness
    2. Inaction
    3. Contentment
    4. Instability
    5. Doubt
    6. Going It Alone
    7. Dishonesty
    8. Arrogance

    Got any others to add to the list? Let us know by commenting on this post now.

    4 Tips on How To Increase Your Company’s Online Presence with Search Engine Marketing

    Filed under: Tip of the Day

    Search Engine MarketingWikipedia defines search engine marketing — or SEM — as: a form of internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) through optimization and advertising.

    Sound complicated? Well it’s not, and you might already be doing some without even knowing it! This month’s Stitches magazine State of the Industry 2013 is packed with tons of great information on everything from how to diversify your customer base and lead-generation strategies to posting good content and, yes, even how to optimize your website through SEM! Don’t miss this feature, and in the meantime, here are the 4 tips:

    • Add meta page titles once your site is functional
    • Take charge of your company’s website
    • Create and post videos
    • Learn how to manage your SEM strategy

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