Does your company recognize Valentine’s Day? Amsterdam Printing does by having a “Food Day.” It’s a day where everyone brings in a dish to share with their co-workers. It’s a nice opportunity to mingle with people and more importantly sample some delicious food.
I’ve seen everything from bacon and eggs to penne ala vodka and macaroni and cheese. Oh, and how could I forget about the amazing spread of sweet treats… I’m getting hungry just writing about it.
All the deliciousness aside, Food Day is a day that the people at Amsterdam look forward to and feel good about. It boosts morale and builds relationships amongst co-workers.
Does your company have a “Food Day?” We would love to hear how ours compares to others out there!
Every year Amsterdam Printing participates in a 3.5 mile road race in Albany, NY. The run consists of grueling hills, hot temperatures, and thousands of people. It’s a great opportunity to meet local professionals, gain local exposure, and support the Boys & Girls Club of Albany.
Being the Amsterdam Printing Team Captain, I am tasked with encouraging as many people from our company to participate as possible. Race day is May 20, 2010. Today my quest begins to enlist people for the event. There will be no excuses – there is no better time to start training than the present! 3.5 miles – here we come!
With the economy slowly awakening from its year-long slumber most small businesses are struggling to make smart advertising decisions. Money is still tight but a savvy entrepreneur knows that if you don’t stay aggressive your competitors most likely will. Promotional products are a good bet right now to keep your business top-of-mind while holding down expenses.
As Director of Sales and Public Relations for Amsterdam Printing, I’ve been speaking with customers of late who are now starting to re-think their “Zero Spending” posture. The economy seems to be on the upswing and some companies are second guessing the complete elimination of their traditional customer holiday gifts. Their decisions now seem to revolve around what promotional products will get them the most bang for the buck. That’s a great sign. Some of our customers in the past may have settled for ordering the “same old, same old” for each event or promotion. I am hearing a refreshing call recently for unique, memorable and personalized products of all types in addition to the more traditional selection of promotional pens and wall calendars.
I believe I know why. Years ago, when I was a sales rep on the road, buyers would sometimes only grant me a very quick appointment to show my wares. I learned the hard way that when you don’t have an abundance of time you at least have to be memorable. Today, small business owners are adopting a similar philosophy. With limited budgets they are exploring new products to break through and get noticed.
What decisions have you made regarding your promotional product investment? I hope that you make a splash when it’s your time to jump back into the pool.
It’s a hard truth to realize that there are no more secrets. Your customers can find out more about your company than your own employees will hear from internal communications. If a certain new product or service is not meeting your customer’s standards the entire world will know about it within hours and there’s nothing you can do to stop the discussion. And worse yet, you can’t control what your customers will say to your employees on a social media site and you can’t control what your employee will say in response.
Like it or not, once you decide to put your company on a social media site everyone in your organization now becomes your direct ambassador in the marketplace. Their personal connections with people on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the endless internet based options will and should impact your business decisions. Companies like ours and probably yours now have two clear paths—establish and enforce strict controls OR embrace it and hang on. Neither one seems too appealing to be quite honest.
But here is some good news to consider…
Customers are drawn to businesses that are real, not perfect and have a sense of humor about themselves. “Perfect” makes people uneasy and they don’t buy it anyway.
Customers not only want good products but a good “experience” for their money. Emotional connections don’t cost a lot but customers will go out of their way for them.
Once in a while your employees will do or say something embarrassing on a social site while representing your company. As long as it wasn’t offensive, don’t sweat it. Customers will understand and that employee may turn into your new internet rock star.
As you’ve probably guessed, we’ve decided to embrace it and hang on. How about you?
Dostoyevsky once wrote that taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most. This is also true for businesses large and small and it’s an accurate quote for this, my first blog as Director of Sales and Public Relations at Amsterdam Printing.
As we now all know, the social media revolution is allowing customers to communicate with companies in ways that are not tested and, in most cases, not controllable or measurable. Like it or not, once you decide to put your company on a social media site everyone in your organization now becomes your direct ambassador in the marketplace. These new connections with people on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the endless internet based options will and should impact your business decisions.
This unprecedented interaction is both exciting and frightening at the same time. But how ever things play out, we want to give our customers, employees and colleagues every opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings. The majority of our customers are small businesses or organizations and we will be providing help, guidance and support in this new venue. Our intent is for this blog to be a free-flowing forum for all to participate—hence we are christening our blog “Promo Wall”. My Facebook account has a wall and its purpose is to be a central landing area for the daily conversation amongst my friends and family. Hopefully, our wall will evolve to become that spot for our industry.
I invite you to join me—and Amsterdam Printing—in this new venture. I’m looking forward to your thoughts, ideas and stories.