Bill Petrie

Bill Petrie

Bill has over 20 years working in executive leadership positions at leading promotional products companies, always working collaboratively to achieve the “wow” desired by the target audience.

A Managing Partner at brandivate, a full-service marketing services and advertising agency, Bill is featured speaker at numerous national and international events, a serial creator of content marketing, and co-host of the industry-leading podcast, Promo UPFront. Bill has extensive experience defining brand strategy, creating successful marketing campaigns, creating and developing winning RFP responses, and presenting winning promotional products solutions to Fortune 500 clients.

A fierce advocate for the Promotional Products Industry, he is the Immediate Past President of the Regional Association Council (RAC) board, has worked closely with senior leadership at Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) on many committees and work groups. In appreciation of his years of service to the promotional products industry, Bill was named as an inaugural PPAI Fellow—a program designed to recognize influential individuals who have actively supported the industry through personal involvement.

Bill lives in Franklin, TN with his wife of 26 years, Sandy, and their 17-year-old twin boys, Drew and Mitch.

The Problem With Jim Beam (a Lesson for Promo Businesses)

In the world of promotional products, many make the mistake of trying to be like Jim Beam, thinking that simply because “everyone” buys branded merchandise, everyone is a potential client. But trying to be everything to everyone is a precarious position that undermines your brand...

Lines on a Grass Field: What Is Your Marketing Maintenance Schedule?

By carefully studying how your audience engages (or doesn’t) during a campaign, you can proactively make the efforts to brighten, enhance and, to stick with the analogy, repaint your marketing grass. This is the only way to keep your field of play looking fresh for your prospects and clients...

Good Enough Isn't Good Enough: 3 Ways to Immediately Move Away From Mediocre

If your clients describe you as being “good enough,” you can rest assured they will find a partner who consistently strives for greatness. Simply stated, good enough is mediocre, and mediocrity is the enemy of excellence. Here are three things that you can do immediately to move away from good enough...

Defending Leadership

While I’m not sure I’m any more or less qualified than anyone else to write on the topic of leadership, I felt compelled to after seeing a post on social media last week. In short, the post shared an experience someone had with an ineffective leader, and in all of the comments, there wasn’t a single one supporting leadership of any kind...

Don’t Fall Into the Hard Seltzer Trap: How Chasing Trends Can Hurt Your Business

Reliance on a trend may yield some results in the short term, but the long-term damage of blending in with the crowd will be difficult to repair. In any creative industry, when organizations rapidly move in the same direction as their competition, it tells me that a new approach is a far better, perhaps only, approach...

Solving the Six Sides of the Client Loyalty Puzzle

Creating and delivering “work that matters” consistently is like solving a Rubik’s Cube. When it comes to solving marketing challenges for your clients, you must solve each side of the client’s cube to create work that matters. Here's what that means...

The Myth of Overnight Business Success

Showing up means pushing forward, arriving early and leaving late, pushing away the lure of laziness to pursue growth, and being willing to keep a stiff upper lip in the face of failure. Life will hurl all manner of curveballs at you—that’s just the way it is. The real test is how you react when those disappointments happen: You can either give up or show up...

The Self-Proclaimed Creative

When I think of promotional products distributors, many of them are trying to convince their audience they are creative by telling them that they are. For example, if you have a “creative” idea to use a specific phone charger for Prospect X’s internal sales contest, how creative are you when your competition showed them the same product last week?...

Business Confidential: Lessons From Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain was complex, prolific, entertaining and unapologetic. It's been a little over a year since he left this world, but he left behind a legacy of fabulous entrepreneurial, leadership and business lessons that I do my best to apply daily. Here are a few of them, and how you can apply them to your own business...

This Zoom Call Could’ve Been an Email

Just because we have the technology to pop into everyone’s home workspace via Zoom doesn’t mean that privilege needs to be abused. So, as your friendly guide, here are a few tips and thoughts as you think about asking your coworkers or clients to have a video meeting instead of using the phone (or an email)...

Your Brand May Not Mean What You Think

The single biggest challenge for distributors is differentiation. In a climate where budgets are slashed and marketing without pandering to your audience is a struggle, how can your brand and message stand out? The fact remains that over 25,000 distributors are selling the same merchandise, from the same supply chain, to the same target audience...

Protecting Company Culture in a Crisis

In the remote workplace, organizations have struggled to maintain connectivity with their employees. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a "moment of truth" for corporate culture as leaders correctly ask themselves: Are the actions we take and choices we make right now reflecting our culture and the values that define who we are?...