The Petrie Dish | Bill Petrie

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.

PromoStandards Announces Industry Data Communications Standard – “Must Read” Article of the Week

In what should be a sign of great things to come, PromoStandards, a group seeking to increase efficiencies through standards for the promotional products industry, has announced the development of data communication standards for configurable product data, pricing, and decoration. The orders standard will be introduced at the PPAI Technology Summit in August and, on behalf of the industry, I say both thank you and it’s about time. Next up for this group which includes Bic, Essent, Facilis, Geiger, HALO, Hit, PCNA, SanMar, Staples, and Starline is invoicing specification that is fully integrated with the purchase order standard to be introduced at the Technology Summit. Bravo!

Radiohead Have Released Some Pretty Bizarre New Merchandise

Few things make my promo heart happier than when good music meets good merchandise. Despite the author’s slap at Van Halen (which I am struggling to overlook), this article shares some of the decidedly original products on their online store. The decidedly delightful and whimsical products include a moon shaped pool scarf, some very aggressively decorated youth t-shirts, and, my favorite, a crying Minotaur plush. A band that creates/approves such different merchandise understands the impact it has on the overall experience. Bravo Radiohead. Bravo.

Why WWE Should Not Have Pulled New John Cena Shirt Despite Pabst Blue Ribbon’s Threat

Before I get into why you should read this article, let me bring you up to date: the WWE produced a shirt for John Cena that has a slight resemblance to the PBR brand. Predictably, the hipster-loving brewer took to twitter to voice their displeasure and the shirt was subsequently pulled by the WWE. However, as this article eloquently states, the wrestling company likely did not need to capitulate to PBR’s social media rantings as the shirt did not violate the trademark as defined by the United States Patent and Trademark office. Even so, it’s a cautionary tale for those of us in the promotional products industry to take a bit of care when creating/producing merchandise that is inspired by a famous brand.

Consistency Is King, Queen, and All the Aces in the Game of Branding

Anyone who is familiar with my approach to building a brand via content marketing knows that I embrace consistency above all else. This article succinctly articulates the belief that if you don’t have consistency, you don’t have a brand. The following sentence states it best: “The quality has to be consistently high, and the communications have to be consistently on target each and every time.” When it comes to building a brand, truer words have rarely been spoken.

Promotional Products: Making Them Effective Branding Tools for Your Business

This article comes to us all the way from the United Kingdom and lays out three keys for making promotional gifts part of an effective branding strategy. With a ton of research – courtesy of the British Promotional Merchandise Association – to support the points made in the story, this is a fantastic article to share among end-user clients who are on the fence about the value of promotional products. In fact, now may be the best time to share it coming hot off the heels of Promotional Products Work Week.

13 Ways Your Business Can Attract More Social Media Followers – “Don’t Waste Your Time Reading” Article of the Week

While this article isn’t necessarily bad or worthless, it does regurgitate many social media “tips” that have been heard many times before. From “engage with followers” to “time your posts,” there’s just not a ton of new value here that would actually result in the reader garnering new followers. If you want social media followers, follow the rule of the “must read” article this week and be consistent. When you do that, people will gravitate towards you.  

Have you seen something interesting that I may have missed or do you have a comment on the above? Share your thoughts!