The Dish

Every week there are articles published that are of interest to promotional products industry professionals across the land. To save you time, a rotating group of PromoKitchen chefs have culled the internet for the ones you should read and the ones you should skip. This week’s Dish was authored by Chef Robert Fiveash.

The brutal Amazon – Walmart online price war and how it relates to OUR industry – “Must Read” Article of the Week

Amazon and Walmart are in an epic, brutal battle for long-term online supremacy, and they’ve started to squeeze their suppliers of commodity-type items in a very big way.  Not so different than your largest customers squeezing you, or the largest distributors squeezing suppliers.  If you’re mostly selling commodity items, it would be smart to broaden your offerings and areas of expertise.  If all you’re competing on is price, it would be smart to find something else to compete on.  Concentrating on both – bye bye.  This one is REALLY worth a read, and a share, if for nothing more than the fancy new acronym: CRaP products – Can’t Realize a Profit.

How to NOT sell anti-Duke t-shirts

C’mon guys!  If you’re going to do an anti-Duke t-shirt, at least consult the original, Danny Rosin, for advice!  How to NOT win at the unsanctioned team sports apparel business.  Parody?  You decide.  But at least know the rules – which these guys don’t seem to know.

The Honest Company - woops!

Rule #1.  If you say you are X, you better be X.  And if X is boastful or difficult to achieve, anticipate that others will try to expose you and prove you wrong.  Jessica Alba called her household goods company The Honest Company.  URL is, for goodness sakes.  And then it turned out the ingredients in some products were not what they said they were.  And then their flat-footed and insincere response to the news made things worse.  I’m sure they tried hard to be an honest company – but, um, if your brand promises the moon, you better be sure to have some NASA astronauts on staff!

Shiny Object Syndrome

You jump from one thing to the other.  You promote with the latest (“pre-latest”) buzzwords.  You try to be all things to all customers.  You have a hard time finishing projects before you start the next (and next and next….) one.  You know who you are.  There’s some of you in all of us.  Today’s business environment (social media, the drip-drip of email, etc.) makes us all highly-susceptible to SOS, but if you can get in the habit of pausing, reflecting, communicating, and abandoning, you’re well on your way to kicking the disease. 

United and the Leggings kerfuffle “Don’t Waste Your Time Reading” Article of the Week

This one really irritated me.  Solely for the click-bait aspect of it.  People, United did not ban leggings!  They enforced an employee rule that impacts 0.000000087821% of the population.  Amazing how many news sites picked this up and ran with it – only to reveal the true story after the click.  Argh!