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 Jessica Hutwelker.

Catnip-infused Direct Mail Is Real and It Works – “Must Read” Article of the Week

A friend of mine sent me this article (she just happens to be a cat lover herself). The article is short and sweet and the video for the marketing campaign is even sweeter. I do wish they had shared the ROI of the campaign, but for thinking outside of the (kitty litter) box…it was really great. Considering advertising’s never ending quest to connect with audiences in ways that are unique and different, (including our own industry’s scented products we offer) this is an intriguing concept. Could other industry verticals benefit from a scented version of direct mail? How about “new car scent” for car dealerships, “new money” scent for banks, apple scents for universities, beer and wine scents for breweries and wineries, ooh! pepperoni scents for pizzerias…I’m in!

The Timberwolves’ Tyus Jones builds his personal brand

In the current evolution of the personal brand, this is an interesting story and take on how professional athletes are honing in and marketing their own. Tyus Jones is just 20 years old, in his 2nd season of professional basketball with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and is using his mantra “Write Your Own Story” to be the foundation of his brand. He partnered up with Minneapolis marketing firm Morsekode to develop a website and give a voice to what that brand means. He is using their expertise to help him ensure whatever he puts out into the media and to his audience is in alignment with his message and brand.

What I enjoyed most about this article was Jones’ clear vision and understanding the importance of developing his personal brand and capitalizing it with his audience. For him, it’s about building a connection that will last beyond his career on the court. For Morsekode, he is their first personal brand sports account, and I have a feeling there will be many more to come.

Chatbots: A Guide for Brands

Here’s a three-fer for ya! I stumbled upon this initially…said “what’s a chatbot?” Came across this article…still didn’t answer it for me but it was interesting. Dug a little more and found this.

So chatbots…are sounding like a big deal. I remember briefly the Microsoft Tay controversy but wasn’t sure how it was all connected…now I do. Kinda. Tech is not my strength, I’ll be honest, but it was neat to get a glimpse of where we’re going.

Keeping the Holiday Spirit in January and Beyond

I am a big believer in doing thoughtful things throughout the year, and this article is a great reminder of the ways we can show our clients, partners, and employee/team members that they matter and that we care. The value and impact of the unexpected surprise and delight is worth so much more, in my opinion, than bringing things in during those expected holiday times and getting lost in the shuffle.

Savvy Millennials and the Way to Better Branding

This is a brand spanking new article out about key lessons millennials have helped teach us about online presence and the reflection of who you are as a brand. The closing paragraph sums up the article: “Be sure to audit your social media exposure. Google yourself. Revise any unprofessional elements of your online presence. Make sure your photos, videos and LinkedIn profile reflect your professional brand. So what are savvy millennials teaching us? People need to view themselves as an online product and stop viewing social media as an emotional outlet. Start viewing it as a professional networking tool regardless of the platform. From Gen X-ers to boomers and beyond, it's time to learn what the savvy millennials have sacrificed to show us the way to better branding.”

Five global packaging trends for 2017“Don’t Waste Your Time Reading” Article of the Week

I mean…you can if you want. There are some snippets of decent things in there. The most merit comes from the end of the article. I was hoping there would be some applicable points that could be used in the promotional products industry, and maybe there is for some very innovative folks. Here was my favorite point, which is the last one of the article so I’ll save you some time reading it:

5. Extend My Brand: While price is a big factor in consumers’ packaging decisions, the report relates that brand trust also plays a pivotal role. Because of this, brands can leverage that familiarity to create loyalty and extend a product portfolio well beyond traditional categories. Take the example of Carlsberg Beers’ Beer’d Beauty grooming set for men. Understanding that men were in serious need of masculine grooming products, Carlsberg leveraged the “beautifying properties” of their beer’s main ingredients, along with a packaging lineup that tiered directly to their famous green beer bottle and logo. While the product began as a limited-edition extension, it was so successful, Carlsberg expanded its brand into premium hair care.

This has definitely been a year to remember in numerous ways. Here is hoping that each of you are able to take the memories from the best of what it was, the lessons from the worst, optimism for what is possible, and appreciation to realize at the end of the day…we’re all in this together.  None of us could have gotten through this year (or any other for that matter) alone—thank you for being a part of the journey! Happy New Year!