Quality Leather Goods for 166 years and counting...

How will inflation affect your business?

courtesy of http://www.futureofdollar.com

There is no doubt that inflation is knocking on our doorstep. Here are some recent headings from the business news reports 

“Silver at a 30 year high”   

“Gold headed for $ 2,500 an ounce”

“Wheat prices surge!”   

“Cotton prices at an all time high having doubled in the last year”

Without fail every significant commodity is on the rise and with consumer buying growing in both India and China combined with a decline of the U.S dollar, we in North America better get used to it.

So what does this mean for the promotions industry?

Generally inflation causes a flight to value. The higher the perceived value of a product the better it can hold or grow its position in the market place. Other products which have traditionally sold on a price basis will suffer. In general, end-user’s, (our mutual clients) will be looking for high perceived value more than ever.  Like all commodities leather prices are rising – to help combat projected pricing hikes- Beardmore is offering have some excellent specials just ahead of the impending rise which will happen this year so check out our current offers. 

T-Shirt & Trinket Prices are also on the rise- when comparing dollar to dollar a leather product will  last longer, look better and speak to value better than almost any other product.

Perceived Value & the longevity of an item are important factors to consider in a rising commodities market. 

Looking for Great Ideas while Keeping the Budget down?

Items Under $10 (r)

– a leather cardholders, bag tags, wallet.

Items Under $20 (r)

– leather coaster sets, Passport holders, Golf Gloves

Items Under $40(r)

– a leather gloves, toiletry kits, leather presentation boxes.

Items Under $100(r)

- leather document cases, & padfolios.

Items Under $200(r)

-Beardmore offers a wide range of Leather jackets & Bags to meet your budget.

Leather is prominent on the streets, in fashion houses & on the Stars for a reason – like our industry it is all about image. So as prices start to soar pick the product that suits the time and maximizes value – a leather product from Beardmore from $5(r)to $ 400 (r) offering the best value and highest perceived value in the market.

Contributed by - FD

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Team Building Awards that Pack the Punch - Leather Jackets from $195(r)

Team Building Awards that Pack the Punch - Leather Jackets from $195(r)

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Bar Tab(let) - The History of the Promotional Coaster

Image courtesy of Life Magazine 1948

Tegestology?

Is this a real term?  Any idea what it means? How is it relevant?  As a student of business   I recognize that as in most fields there is wisdom in visiting the past to find effective solutions for the present. My most recent visit to past practice flushed out the word ‘tegestology’ - a new word to me and probably to you but it is an actual practice that relates to the history of marketing and promotion. The expression derives from the Greek word “tegestos” meaning a small reed mat.

In Modern History, Tegestology is the practice of collecting beer mats more commonly known as “coasters”. The first commercial beer mat coasters were made of cardboard and produced in Weisenbach Germany around 1880 serving a variety of purposes from covering the beer stein in order to keep out flies to helping the Fraulein count drinks. By 1900 Brewery names appeared on the beer mats in single colours - one of the first examples of mass targeted advertising.

Image courtesy of www.musclecars.netIn the UK beer mat coasters appeared after 1918 and quickly became common in Public Houses. Over time more than 20,000 different styles, colours and designs have been produced with over 1000 of these coming from Guinness alone.

Serious “tegestologists” focus on historical and social changes reflected in the shapes and designs, collecting sets and understanding the productioimage courtesy of http://igorzi-mats.blogspot.comn process, as collectors are prone to do. 

Students of marketing should derive a different perspective from the history and effectiveness of beer mat coasters. The original intention was to promote branding right at the point of sale, just as the customer was picking his poison a coaster with the name of a brewery was placed in front of him - perfect timing. Point of sale advertising remains a very effective means to achieve sales today and the coaster remains very effective for that purpose as any good publican will tell you.  The fact that coasters became collectible was a windfall extending the life of the promotion and contributing effectively to the branding process. Perfect. Coasters have utility and a long life and within the promotional industry  its usefulness has extended well past the barstool. People enjoy collecting coasters making them a keepsake, a reminder of memorable events.  We have them in our homes, offices and boardrooms. 

The use of the promotional coaster now extends past liquor & beer industries.  It is a cost effective advertising vehicle for any industry with a clear

everyday use.  Coaster options have graduated from their ‘reed mat’ & cardboard origins.   And, in keeping the coaster enthusiast in mind - upgraded options such as debossed leather offer a quality image with all the makings of enduring promotional appeal with high perceived value.

There you have it – ties that bind us all – thanks to the ingenuity of those original German brewers in filling a need and recognizing the benefits of a long lasting effective promotion.

So, Cheers! Prosit! Skål! Bottoms up! And while you’re raising your glass, check out that coaster on the table.

Contributed by - FD

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The Importance of the Shaman - Marketing & Modern Storytelling

courtesy of http://www.shannonthunderbird.com

In our earlier post we were talking about the importance of Identity, the values & codes with which we align & aspire to live up to.  With all of the amazing feedback we have received from our first post,  I started to wonder if Identity is really enough – if there is more to it.  Who we are has to be more than just the values we identify with,  it is our Personality our individual tone and how we express those values that may be most important.

A client called last week to tell me “I really enjoyed reading your blog.  It gave me an entirely different viewpoint of your company”. - Quote in response to reading our first blog post on Jan 14th.

WOW - In all of the marketing efforts I have contributed to over the past 12 years, from designing eblasts, writing and creating catalogue content to overhauling our website-  this may be the best direct feedback and compliment I have ever received.

This comment came from a new client, and although she has received our email blasts weekly for approximately the past 2 years  (so roughly 104 product advertisements) for some reason the release of our blog  prompted her to not only finish reading the post, she also visited our website and read our entire Company history.  She then proceeded to present our current leather cardholder promotion to her clients and called me with 1 firm order and for information & samples for 2 future projects she is working on.

In our conversation we started to talk about what it really means to be a Promotional Products Distributor or Supplier today and, how we should be reaching our collective clientele. In conversations like these the question of social media inevitably comes up.  As the Generation that has grown up on reality television, facebook, blogging, texting and twittering graduate from universities and start to become our end-user decision makers, we are all (albeit somewhat uncomfortably) aware that the power switch from printed catalogues, on the road sales reps and face-to-face trade shows to full force tweets, diggs & photo diaries is pretty much going to happen in about a millisecond.

The teams and the playing fields are changing fast.  And in a world where, for Suppliers, even the best of Ad Campaigns can be overlooked due to immediate need & where the Searchable Product Component (for most Distributors’ websites) is drawn from the same master database (i.e. ESP or Sage) - How do we ensure our companies’ stand out & stay on our clients’ Must-have-Marketing Short Lists?

In the struggle to find the right place to send the right message.  My conversation with this client really hit home when we got to the subject of Storytelling.  Regardless of the platform, the value of History & Storytelling is undeniable. Shaman. Bards. Oraotors. Narrators. Journalists. Authors. Bloggers.  Storytellers have shaped the way we think about history, the way we think about today.  They are major players in the way we view our world.  The history of storytelling is rich across the board in all cultures.  It is what binds us together as a community, it defines civilization.  Stories keep us connected, grounded & plugged in.   Stories and their analogies help us understand what it means to be human – to define ourselves & our truths and it is also within Storytelling we find the origins of Marketing.

The feedback we have received is very exciting to me.  It has opened my mind to the world of New Marketing (something that fellow bloggers have probably known for years).  From my experience to date electronic marketing can be so cold, so flat, & surprisingly this blog has given me a sense of home.  A place that Beardmore can share its stories & really offer a sense of who we are - our personality.

Thank you to everyone who responded in support of our first post and a special thank you to Catherine for a fantastic conversation!

Contributed by - JD

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Tegestology
Noun
1. the collecting of beer mats or coasters

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Identity…Getting back to Basics in 2011

Identity is something that is very personal, whether you are talking about an individual, a group of friends, a company or even a country.  As individuals it is how we want our community to perceive us, it is the values we teach our children and thecode of ethics we aspire to live up to.

As a business, identity is not just our trademark, company logo, mission statement, target market or even the products we specialize in.  It is our vision, principles and goals.  It is the environment we create, not only for clients, but for our valued team members.

In a tough market how we create and promote our Identity is key both internally & externally.  High impact items are essential - not only in developing, but also maintaining our market buzz, our clients’ loyalty &  our staffs’ dedication.  Cost-effective choices are a necessity in a competitive world. Quality items & gifts that last, speak to the permanence of our identity.

So What Works? -  "The Medium is the Message" - Marshall McLuhan

It is our goal in this blog to assist companies in building a better branding message.  Although I grew up in a leather family - 166 years in the tanning industry (and as Leather Experts we may be slightly biased) but we believe there is no medium that has more to say than leather. It represents strength, character and determination combined with quality, prestige and value. The very term “branding” comes from putting your very own distinctive mark on hides “to distinguish” your property from others.  Leather is an upgrade with a meaning that hits home, it is a luxury item, and a classic that has far more history & longevity than any new gadget or electronic device.

"Leather is out of my Budget" - As an Account Manager at a Promotional Products Manufacturer Specializing solely in Leather you can image I hear this all the time and I am here to say - the fact is it is simply not true. This misconception highlights both the impact that a leather item creates, as well as the high perceived value of a leather gift to its recipient. 

So where to start? - If you have never purchased a leather item and you are not sure where to begin - start with who you are purchasing from.  Buying your products from a company that specializes in leather is key when looking for quality leather goods.  A Leather Expert can explain the differences between grades and type of leathers and make recommendations on what leathers will work best for your specific project, promotion & budget.

A Fantastic Jumping Off Point - The Leather Cardholder:

This month Beardmore Leathers is featuring this budget friendly classic idea that will keep your Identity in check for 2011!

The Great news - Every client needs one. Even in the world of electronic devices I have yet to meet a client who does not carry one or more of the following items at all times:  business cards, personal ID,  an entry swipe key card or a credit card.  A Leather Cardholder offers High Impact Quality for under $5!! It is an item that is used regularly, if not daily keeping your promotion, brand or thank you message at you client’s finger tips.

(item# CC101NZL - Luxury New Zealand Lamb Leather Cardholder - holds up to 30 cards).

Remember…Identity is absolute or essential sameness, it speaks to our reliability, our dependability & our integrity.  A Promotional item is more than just an imprint, it is investment in your opportunity to establish your Lasting Impression!

Contributed by - JD

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