Squeeze Your Way to Success
There are reasons stress reducers have stuck around for so long (besides the fact that stress seems to be the one constant in our ever-changing world). Here are nine reasons to convert stress reducers from handfuls of polyurethane foam to squishy moneymakers.
1. They Work Anywhere and Everywhere
"All markets utilize stress relievers," said Erin Rouse, director of marketing for AAkron Line, Akron, Ohio. She listed the financial, education, legal and food/beverage industries as examples.
2. They're Timeless
Stress reducers' ability to fit into any type of promotion—either as a giveaway, a coupon or an advertising strategy—has helped these products pass the test of time. "Stress relievers have been an industry stronghold for the past 20 years," St. Louis-based Ariel Premium Supply's marketing administrator Amy Kitzman said.
3. They're Built for New Business
Unlike some other advertising techniques, such as TV or radio ads, stress reducers don't have to break the bank, making them a smart choice for new or small businesses. "Due to their unique qualities, stress relievers are great for a first-time promo buyer or a new business owner," Kitzman said.
4. They Aren't All Stress Balls
Stress reducers can be useful when put to their intended use as receptacles for the smoldering rage that often accompanies workplace frustrations, but don't be afraid to think outside of the proverbial polyurethane box and go with non-squishy toys.
"The most popular stress relievers are multi-function ones," said David Fiderer, director of marketing for Prime Line, Bridgeport, Conn. "The Rubik's Cube is extremely popular because it is a well-known cultural icon, has multiple sides for messaging, is colorful and fun to play with," he added.
5. They Come in Every Shape
Stress reducers are not merely foam balls with single imprints. They can come in any possible shape your clients want. When recommending one to a client, Kitzman suggested industry-specific shapes. "End-users love them because they immediately connect with the suggested promo," she said.
6. They Can Change Color
Rouse explained that the company's most popular stress reducers are the Mood Smiley Face Stress Ball, Stressed Out Mood Dude and Smilin' Mood Stress Dude, all of which change color with the heat of the user's hand. "The fact that our stress relievers change color from the heat of your hand makes them an easy sell," Rouse said. "It is easy to utilize clever slogans for these products such as 'Make healthy changes with XYZ Gym.'"
7. They Help Users Relax
It's hard to believe that a small squishy blob can have a practical purpose. Don't forget that they are called "stress reducers" for a reason. Fiderer recounted a case study in which a distributor needed stress reducers for an endodontist (a dentist specializing in gums and root canals). "One distributor told us that our Tooth Stress Reliever was given by a dentist to patients to help them relax while the dentist worked on them," Fiderer said. "This practical application of a stress reliever was never more appropriate. Other clients give them away and they sit on a desk, but this client has found a more therapeutic use for the item."
8. They Calm Sports Anxiety
Nothing is more stressful than waiting to see if that pop-up into left field will be a homerun or a fly-out. Your clients can be there for moral support by providing athletically themed stress reducers. "Stress relievers are popular giveaway items at sporting events, grand openings, trade shows and as souvenirs," Kitzman said. She offered an example of a sports promotion. "Perhaps the most memorable imprint was a six-color MLB World Series Champion imprint on 30,000 baseball stress relievers," she said.
Rouse agreed, adding three more markets fit for sports-themed stress reducers. "We have printed stress relievers for athletic events as well as fitness centers and shopping malls," she said.
9. They are Better (and Squishier) than the Average Coupon
Rouse mentioned one case study in which a fitness center gave out the color-changing Mood Smiley Face Stress Balls at its booth at a local summer festival. The balls were imprinted with the slogan "Healthy changes will put a smile on your face." "People were told they could bring the stress ball to the center's grand opening for a 10 percent discount off their membership," Rouse explained. "They signed 20 percent more members on the first day than their past grand-opening events. They plan to use Mood Smiley Face Stress Balls for their next location's grand opening next spring."