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 Gift of Death“Must Read” Article of the Week

So, apologies upfront, but I’m going to cheat a bit.  This thought-provoking article is just over 4 years old now, but I think it’s time to unleash it again.  Essentially, the author argues that we (not our industry specifically, but manufacturers in general) are trashing the planet by producing gimmicky products that have no useful life beyond making someone laugh.  And then that item gets tossed into the landfill.  My take on this is that we, those of us in our industry, have the ability to challenge our clients when they say they want/need that novelty that will be used once (if at all) and tossed.  With over 500,000 products from which to choose, show your client that you are a good steward of their budget and steer them towards something that’s both useful and memorable.  Yes, that’s harder to do than just taking the order for the banjo-shaped flyswatters, but ultimately your client - and the planet - will thank you.   (and I thank Danny Rosin for reminding me of this gem)

How One Word Is Turning Brand Briefs Away from Success

Love this one.  “Disrupt”  How many times have we heard the talking heads mention the restorative powers of disruption?  As if disruption is the end goal and is more important than what/how you’re going to create something meaningful once you’ve disrupted.  A disruptive brand is sure to get attention (the VC-Business Press Complex is alive and well), but we’re looking for long-term success, right?  The author states: “Disruptive? Erm…no. Do not disrupt my day. Complement it, aid it, help it – but with my permission.  It’s the collective power of adaptive, nuanced, and entertaining branding that can cheer, enhance, and amplify an audience’s emotions. ”  Trudat.

4 Smart Ways to Stretch Your Experiential Marketing Dollars

Lots of buzz around experiential branding and event marketing these days.  Get your clients (or potential clients) out of the office and into a fun, engaging environment and you have a good chance of creating a memorable experience around your brand.  While the article does spend more time focused on Fortune 500-sized companies and out-of-reach events like the Super Bowl, the ideas are interesting and the takeaways are universal: tell great stories, collaborate with partners, use star power if you have it, and – importantly – help fans be there, even if they’re not.  Time to brush up on Facebook and Snapchat Live and Instagram Live Stories.

13 Fun Facts That Will Make Your 'About Me' A Lot Less Boring“Don’t Waste Your Time Reading” Article of the Week

I had high hopes for this one, and it actually has a few things going for it: a bite-sized 1:08 automated slideshow, a catchy jingle, and few good/interesting ideas (“describe a hidden talent” and “strangest thing we might find in your desk drawer).  But many of the author’s suggestions are just a little too cutesy for my tastes: Share something endearing about your pet?  What’s your guilty pleasure?  Describe your first car?  I’m not sure how these really give the audience a better idea of who you are and why they should work with you – in the millisecond you have to impress them.  But if nothing else, the article does remind us that it IS important to think about our “About Me” – and to make sure it packs a memorable punch.