Case of the Mondays? Nick Lateur of IMAGEN Brands Has the Promotional Products Cure
Ugh, Monday again. Where did the weekend even go? Traffic was brutal. So many unread emails. Yikes, that deadline is coming up fast. What an awful start to the week. Wait, what’s this video on LinkedIn—a review of IMAGEN Brands’ Desk in a Box in the style of a very famous “Saturday Night Live” digital short? Not sure who this Nick Lateur guy is, but that video was awesome! Wait, he does a video like this every Monday? This might not be such a bad week after all!
That’s the idea behind Lateur’s “Mondays with Nick” video series. Or, part of the idea, anyway. The other part is putting out useful information about various promotional products as a sales tool for both IMAGEN Brands and promo distributors looking to pitch the supplier’s products to clients. Lateur is national sales manager for IMAGEN Brands, and the series is his brainchild—a way to “connect with customers in a different and hopefully memorable way,” as he says. And, trust me, the videos are memorable. In addition to the spot-on Desk in a Box parody, there are jokes, visual gags (with and without the aid of green screen) and a ton of good info on each week’s product. At about a minute long each, they’re like a shot of espresso to kick off the week. That’s all by design.
“Ever since I entered the promotional products world, Monday has been an exciting day for me,” Lateur tells me. (I’ll note here that his personal Instagram bio reads “Mondays are the best.”) “I’m like the anti-Garfield, I guess. I really love my job, and when you love what you do, you just get excited about doing it. So about a year and a half ago, I began posting goofy, lighthearted social media pictures of myself on Monday mornings. The idea was to get the week started with positivity and humor. It soon turned into a passion project and my friends and customers seemed to dig it, too. So Mondays are really about giving my friends and customers a jump start for their week.”
So, each week, Lateur posts a video. He picks a product—something unique or quirky, maybe a top-seller—and looks for any funny twists that would translate to video. He sets up his studio, which is really just his home office with an inexpensive lighting kit, a tripod, his iPhone and, recently, the green screen. He reviews product notes, hits record, and riffs his way through 10 or 15 minutes of footage, tossing in a “bad impression or weird voice” (his words!) and mixing in photos or short videos of the product itself to highlight features or specs. Once he has all his footage, he pares down each video to about a minute in length, then releases it on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. The results, some of which may or may not involve Lateur wearing a superhero costume with shiny gold tights, are delightful.
“Keeping the videos fun has turned out to be crucial, but wasn’t necessarily a conscious decision,” he says. “In fact, the first cut of the first ‘Mondays’ video I ever did was pretty boring and kinda crappy. I immediately identified the issue—I wasn’t being natural or real. So for take two I loosened up and cracked a few jokes, and it turned out much better. I do take my job seriously, and I take promotional products very seriously. But I don’t take myself too seriously. What you see in the videos is my true personality. I think the best salespeople are real, flaws and all. Being real for me has always been about bringing humor and humility to my profession.”
Lateur’s only been doing the videos for a couple months now, but they’ve been a minor sensation. They’re racking up likes, comments and views—especially on LinkedIn, where most have topped 500 views. (Desk in a Box has more than 1,500.) Lateur says the feedback has been “extremely positive and encouraging,” and he plans to keep the videos going indefinitely, with some big ideas in store. Those are still a secret, he tells me, so for now, we’ll just have to wait patiently for each Monday to arrive. Huh. Never thought I’d say that.
“This was really the goal of ‘Mondays with Nick’—to create an approachable and fun way to touch customers,” Lateur says. “So fun, in fact, that several of my customers have shared the videos with their clients. I am, of course, careful to make them client safe, so distributors can share them freely. Doing these videos has reinforced my belief that people enjoy consuming information in a fun way. When dealing with our customers we should always be approachable and compassionate while also being highly knowledgeable. If we can make our customers smile while also educating them, they will always find a way to work with us.”