The Petrie Dish

Every week there are articles published that are of interest to promotional products industry professionals across the land. To save you time, I have culled the internet for the ones you should read and the ones you should skip.

 AIA Announces Woods Retirement – “Must Read” Article of the Week

When the retirement of an industry titan is announced – and, make no mistake, David Woods is a titan – it most certainly is the “must read article of the week.” I had the honor of working for David briefly in my formative years at HALO/Lee Wayne. His passion for excellence combined with compassion for people was indelibly impressed on me. David will most certainly be missed.

Alibaba’s Jack Ma Says Fakes Are Better Than Originals

With half of the promotional products industry scared to death of Alibaba and the other half sticking their collective heads in the sand pretending the company doesn’t have the ability to dramatically changing the supply chain, this article – and its premise – is very interesting. Essentially, The chairman of Ailbaba, Jack Ma, suggests that Chinese manufacturers are growing impatient with the growing division of labor in which they produce exceedingly high quality goods only to see the vast majority of the profits taken by the owner of each brand. Ma states that, “They are produced in exactly the same factories, using exactly the same raw materials, but they do not use the names.”

Flags, Foam Chickens, and Cufflinks Among Items Bought to Promote Canada

I LOVE these types of lists when they come out as it shows a keen insight to how promotional products are used by large governments. This request – through an order paper question in the House of Commons – details a few interesting products, chief among them foam stress ball “chickens, pigs and cows.” From eye glass wipes to temporary tattoos, it seems that workers in the Canadian government love promotional products. 

Donald Trump Spent $207,868 on Hats and $102,174 on Ads Last Month

In what is becoming a monthly report on how the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is spending money on his campaign, this article shares that Trump spent a combined $900,000 on hats, t-shirts, mugs and stickers in June. Like him or not, Mr. Trump is certainly showing the power of promotional products – and the absurdity of the high-crowned hat. If you don’t think promotional products work, just ask “The Donald.”

How to Rebrand with Customer Perceptions in Mind

Most in the promotional products industry have either worked with clients on their rebranding projects or rebranding their own business. This is a really good article on how to do this while keeping the perceptions of the client at the forefront. From conducting customer interviews (and pressing them for candid feedback) to establishing strict guidelines for branding, this article does a great job offering suggestions as how to navigate something so critical to success.

Drug Companies Offer Physicians Promotional Items to Increase Prescription of Their Drugs – “Don’t Waste Your Time Reading” Article of the Week

Leaning heavily on a new study posted in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), this article offers evidence that drug companies used promotional products to influence the doctor’s choice of drug prescriptions. That is, until 2008 when the complaints were so vocal that the pharmaceutical industry was forced to discontinue the practice. This was HUGE news in the promotional products industry…..8 years ago. The title of this article suggests this type of persuasion is still in practice when the article itself acknowledges it is not. Reading this article was a colossal waste of time.