My Best Promotion
Self-promotion is often an afterthought for promotional distributors. You are so busy running around promoting your clients' brands that you forget about promoting your own. Grandee Ann Ray, president/CEO of Grand Ideas Inc., Charleston, S.C., shared a self-promotion she did to promote her promotional business and support a local eco-friendly nonprofit.
Promo Marketing: Could you briefly describe a promotion that you consider one of your best?
Grandee Ann Ray: Grand Ideas is a supporter of several local charities and nonprofits. We believe in paying it forward as often as we can. Self-promotions are a way to do this cost effectively, generate goodwill and meet the needs of the requesting nonprofit. This spring, we were asked to sponsor the "drinking vessels" for the Annual Chef's Potluck Supper as hosted by Lowcountry Local First. The event highlighted local chefs partnering with local farmers for fresh, locally sourced dishes on the grounds of the historic Middleton Place Gardens on the banks of the Ashley River, Charleston, S.C.
PM: What items did you use for the promotion, and why?
GAR: We provided co-branded 16 oz. frost-flex tumblers with a slight revision of the Grand Ideas logo. Grand Ideas is known for its brand of the "circled g" but we added "Recycle! Just Sayin'!" to promote recycling, sustainability and Charleston's active community's ramped-up commitment to recycling [everything] possible for a better environment and future.
PM: What did you like about the promotion, and why?
GAR: The event is one of the most fun events in Charleston. The setting, the food prepared by James Beard Foundation nominees, the variety of local restaurants and catering services represented offering their farm-to-table dishes, and the venue (Middleton Place) offer nothing but top-drawer experiences for all in attendance.
From a professional standpoint, it is a win-win. The cost was nominal for co-branded reusable cups and more than 700 people saw, drank from, or took home the co-branded cups as a souvenir. The production of a useful self-promotional item is always the goal at Grand Ideas.
PM: What was the best decision you made with the promotion? What made it so important?
GAR: The best decision I made was to ask for team input in the promotion. The team took the initiative to amend the Grand Ideas logo for the event to promote the event's sustainability mission while also being "hip" in the use of the oft-used phrase of "just sayin'."
PM: Do you have any other advice you'd like to give to distributors running a similar promotion? If so, what would it be, and why?
GAR: I would always recommend to any distributor to choose two to three charities or nonprofits to "give back" and pay it forward. We, as distributors, must spend money to make money and self-promotions are so easy. Lastly, I recommend the production of useful self-promotional items. In the 13.5 years I have owned Grand Ideas, I have never produced a self-promo that did not produce a new order making the investment worth the expense.
Want to be considered for a future edition of My Best Promotion? Contact senior editor Michael Cornnell at (215) 238-5449 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a list of questions and other details.