Blog: Trends & News from our Specialists

Let’s see your logo on stuff!

We want to see your logo on stuff.  If you’ve taken photos of the stuff we’ve worked on with you, we’d love to see it in action.  Please share your pics with us on Flickr.  You can do this in one of three ways.

Way 1:

Go to the “Promotional Products” page on our website

Scroll down and click on “See more on Flickr”

Join our group as a member and you can post up to 3 photos per day

Way 2:

Go to

Type “Your Logos on Stuff” in the search field

On the next page choose “Groups” (just above the search field)

Click on the M/Your Logos on Stuff group

Join our group as a member and you can post up to 3 photos per day

Way 3:

If you really want to share and don’t want to join Flickr, just email your photos to your Muldoon contact and we’ll post from our end!!

We can’t wait to see your smiling mugs (given our business you may choose to take this literally…or not) showing off your stuff!

Is men’s underwear a good promotional product?

Is men’s underwear a good promotional product? We’re not talking boxers here…loose fitting, wacky patterns.  No, we’re talking underwear that fits; underwear that cradles the package, “allowing absolute freedom and eliminating the need for shifting and adjusting”.  He, the supplier asking this question of me, wanted to know what I thought.  I was eighteen shades of RED, trying not to think!   Now, a safe distance from crimson I am pondering this question more globally…what makes a good promotional product?

Let’s see, good promotional products will:

  • Create a memorable link to your product/service.
  • Effectively deliver your message.
  • Build good will and positive associations.

So when you choose a promotional product, go back to your objectives.  Think about your message, your target audience and what fits your brand.  If your target audience is men…unique men’s underwear could definitely be a good “fit”, creating a memorable association with your brand and overall positive associations.  The answer is yes…under the right circumstances, yes.

Promotional Products Work – Part 2

Last time we talked about people liking and using promotional products.  In addition, they create a favourable impression of the advertiser and often generate purchases.  They’re memorable and rank high as a marketing tool by promotional products buyers.

We’re not making this stuff up.  Studies1 have shown that promotional products are an effective advertising medium and actually outperform some of the other media.

  • Promotional products generate more post-message purchases than print, TV or on-line ads (20.9% vs. 13.4%, 7.1% and 4.6%, respectively).
  • They illicit a more favourable impression than print, TV or on-line ads. 52.6% of consumers had a favourable impression of the advertiser after receiving a promotional product versus viewing a print ad (33.2%), a TV ad (27.7%) or an on-line ad (11.9%)
  • 14.7% contacted the advertiser after receiving a promotional product, a rate almost 3 times greater than print, TV or on-line ads.

Promo products are also memorable.  When respondents were asked to think of a promotional product they received in the past 2 years and to recall the specific product, the advertiser and the message, 76.2% recalled all three pieces of information.

End-Buyers, those who purchase promotional products for their companies, ranked promo products #1 in the following media attributes2:

  • Ability to achieve long-term memorability at the cost of paying for a single exposure;
  • Flexibility to fit cost of medium to whatever budget is available;
  • Ability to bond audience to advertiser so as to promote repeat business;
  • Audience friendly (i.e. not so likely to offend or be regarded as nuisance);
  • Ability to generate traffic (eg. Stores, tradeshows, events).

Call them whatever you like, promotional products are powerful communication tools; essential components of any marketing program.  Promotional Products Work!

1Promotional Products and Other Media: How the Media Compare on Reach, Recall and Reaction, PPAI Research fielded through MarketTools Inc., 2009

2Why End-Buyers Choose Promotional Products and Other Media, conducted by Researchers at Louisiana State University and Glenrich Business Studies for PPAI  Research, 2009

Promotional Products Work – Part 1

Promotional products have been subjected to various derogatory names over the years: trinkets & trash, chachkas (or tchotchkes), swag.  In spite of these names implying they have limited value, promotional products work!

Studies1 have shown that people like to receive promotional products; they frequently hang on to them and use them.

  • 83% of respondents like receiving promotional products with advertising messages.
  • 69% generally keep the item if they have a use for it.
  • 39% generally give it to others if they have no personal use for it, which generates additional exposure.
  • 91% of consumers surveyed reported having at least one promo product in their kitchen.
  • 74% reported having at least one promo product in their work space.
  • 55% had at least one promo product in their bedroom closet/storage space.
  • More than half (58%) of respondents keep promo products anywhere from one year to more than four years.

Promotional products are useful tools for marketers and recipients alike!

1Effectiveness of Promotional Products as an Advertising Medium, PPAI Research, fielded through MarketTools Inc., 2009

The Risk versus The Reward

Nearly everyone has faced budget pressures, both professionally and personally, over the past few years.  Purchasers of promotional products are no exception as this portion of the marketing budget is often one of the first to be reduced.  These budget pressures have led some individuals to attempt to get closer to the source in an effort to eliminate the markups along the supply chain.  But is eliminating companies along the supply chain always worth the potential risks?  As the old adage goes, “buyer beware”.

When you buy direct, you are often not given all of the information up front. If you don’t know the questions to ask, you may be surprised to know that the price quoted is “ex-factory” which is the price at the factory and doesn’t include any subsequent shipping, brokerage, and duty or tax charges.  It’s also possible to save money when buying directly from a manufacturer but it may be because they are not testing their products and maintaining compliance with industry regulations; they cut these corners but it’s not actually in the best interest of the end user.

The supplier is often focused on making the sale, not on developing a future relationship.  If something goes bad, for example a botched logo or a virus on each and every digital frame you just bought (a real $20,000 error we heard about from a supplier recently, yikes!), they are not inclined to care, particularly when they already have your money.  Already having your money is often the case since deposits are required for overseas purchases!  When purchasing locally you are getting local support for any potential issues that may arise.

Earlier this year Ltd., an on-line B2B marketplace based in China, disclosed that about 100 of its salespeople had assisted fraudulent businesses to set up on-line storefronts on its site to intentionally defraud global buyers.  While not linked to the fraud allegations, the CEO and COO resigned after this disclosure to “take responsibility for the systemic breakdown in our company’s culture of integrity”.

Contemplate this, is price the most important factor to consider when purchasing promotional products?  We don’t think so.  We’re sharing these scenarios because they actually happen.  Working with an industry professional who is knowledgeable about quality and safety and compliance can actually prevent mistakes that would otherwise prove costly.

When you deal with a distributor with whom you have a relationship, who knows and cares about the success of your business, they can take on issues or challenges and resolve them, often without you even knowing there was an issue.  With the internet and Google search, it’s easy to feel like the world is at your fingertips and you can source everything yourself.  On the other hand, sometimes it is better to leave things to the experts.

Colourful, WEARABLE Corporate Colouring Books

Kids love to colour.  They love to colour where they’re supposed to and, possibly even more, where they’re not.  We’ve recently come across a really neat product that not only meets kids need to colour where they’re not normally supposed to, but let’s them do it again and again.  It’s even a PTPA (Parent Tested Parent Approved) Media award winner. 

What is it?  It’s a colouring book that kids can wear and it comes in a kit from “kids luv 2 color”.  The kit includes a t-shirt with a black and white design to colour using the included 6 washable markers.  You colour it, wear it, wash it, colour it again!  Fun!

You might be thinking why’s Muldoon talking about this?  This caught our attention because it’s available for corporate promotions.  Companies can have their custom design printed on a t-shirt and packaged in one of these kits.  It’s a unique, family-oriented giveaway.  Kicks a regular t-shirt giveaway up a notch or two, doesn’t it!

An Incalculably Useful Gift

ResQMe.  Who has “Rescue Me” (original by Fontella Bass or any number of later versions…Aretha Franklin…Diana Ross) running through their heads?  I know I do (and you’ll be cursing me all day when you can’t get it out of your mind), but this is about a tool and a way more serious type of rescue than the love song indicates.  This little tool, just a couple of inches long, puts a potentially life-saving device at your fingertips.  Rescue me?  How about rescuing yourself?!

Check out this YouTube video to see the tool in action (being tested, not in an actual rescue!):

This is a very cool tool; made even cooler in my eyes by the fact that it’s available as a promotional product.  What a great way for a company to promote a safety message or simply give an incalculably useful gift that hopefully never actually gets used, but is with the recipient every single day!

Global Repercussions

Sitting in Canada (standing, walking…whatever we’re doing), wrapped up in our day-to-day lives, it’s easy to disregard how global issues affect us.  The news tells us that oil prices are increasing because of the Libyan crisis.  We know that increasing radiation levels in Japan’s waters may eventually affect produce exports.  What never makes headlines is how world events are affecting promotional products.

Here are a few global things that are happening and affecting the products we, as promotional products distributors, buy every day:

  • Worldwide cotton shortages are creating material shortages in the production of a promotional product mainstay…the cotton t-shirt!  The shortage means cotton prices are at an all-time high globally which will translate into higher t-shirt prices.  The cotton shortage will also adversely affect t-shirt stock availability.
  • Japan produces more than 40 percent of the world’s USB flash drive supply; memory prices jumped by 50 to 60 percent overnight following the recent earthquake and tsunami.  While the prices have since started to stabilize, the long-term effects on USB flash drives and many other products remain unclear.  
  • Shipping vessel capacity has increasingly been a challenge for our suppliers.  When the recession hit many shipping companies decreased their capacity or went out of business.  Capacities haven’t come back to pre-recession levels and now with the situation in Japan it is expected that space on container ships will be even harder to come by as emergency supplies are needed to be sent to Japan.  Lack of cargo ship capacity has been a factor in many out-of-stock situations over the past year and is expected to be an issue for the foreseeable future.

So here we sit, with world events pointing to potential price increases and product shortages. This means that now, more than ever before, it is important to plan ahead. We will do all that we can to meet budgets and deadlines but some things are out of all of our hands.

QR Codes

Have you ever seen one of these?

If not, now that you have, you’ll start to notice them everywhere; in newspapers and magazines, on shampoo and wine bottles, and pretty soon on many promotional products. They are QR codes.

Though they’ve been around for many years (yes, years!), they are just now starting to enter the mainstream.  Why?  Because marketers are realizing that they are an effective tool to drive offline-to-online interactions.

Let’s back up just a bit.

QR stands for Quick Response.  A QR code is a two dimensional barcode that can be scanned by a QR code reader, that’s available for any smartphone.  A QR code contains a URL that, when scanned, takes you to the mobile web presence for that company.

How do you get a QR code?  There are several free QR code generating services, for example:

It’s best to use a QR code generator that can be read by many QR code readers, rather than one that requires a particular scanning app to work.  With your newly generated QR code, you can direct customers to a website, video, pre-recorded text message or email, a Google map location, Facebook or Twitter page-the possibilities are nearly endless.  What’s very cool is the content can change, which makes repeat scans possible if you are delivering value.

So, if you’re planning an event, where should you put your QR code?  Easy… on almost every single piece of promotional material you have!  This will be possible on more and more promotional products as our manufacturers and suppliers work to perfect adding your codes to their products.

Start thinking about what QR codes can do for your business!

The New Muldoon Marketing Blog

Welcome to the first of many blog posts to come! It’s part of our new and improved website that we hope reflects how we can help you—with fresh ideas that deliver lasting impact!

…Here’s the plan, we’ll give you the inside scoop on everything that is new, unique, or unusual in the promo world—everything from cool new promo items to how you can make them work for you. Like the QR Code—did you know you can print your QR Code on many promo products?

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