This One Time... at Brand Camp

Come for creative product campaign ideas and branding advice. Stick around for obscure movie references.

Profile Pictures

Last Friday night circa 8:00pm you would have found me hopelessly absorbed in old photos, paging through High School scrapbooks and Facebook albums from college. After an hour and a half, my right index finger was one “next photo” click away from carpal tunnel.

Though it can be a huge time suck, I love looking at old photos. Hairstyles and fashion choices from years past provide easy laughs, and I find it motivating to reflect on where I once was, compared to where I am now.

Coming into work Monday morning, I passed by a framed photo of the Sonic Promos team taken at an expo several years ago. It made me curious. Sonic Promos was founded in 1997, and I joined the team in February 2010. Needless to say, I missed out on a few years, many of which were pre-Facebook era. Without the convenience of a “Profile Pictures” album on Facebook for reference, I went digging for photos the old-fashioned way. Here is what I found:Edited to add: You can find these photos in our Facebook album "Old School Sonic Promos".

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Employee Recognition: During the Holidays and Year-Round

October and November, the months leading up to the winter holidays, are typically our busiest time at Sonic Promos.  Our corporate customers begin planning for client gifts, and our phone rings with requests for creative ideas.  

This begs the question… what do your employees mean to you?

It seems ironic that most business owners spend significant time, money and effort every day to impress their clients, all the while neglecting their single biggest asset- their employees.  Without a reliable staff of hard-working and talented individuals, you can bet there would be no business and certainly no clients of which to speak.

So often we forget to thank those closest to us.  A gift or bonus during the holidays offers a kind and generous gesture, but in truth your employees should remain foremost in mind all year long.  A positive and supportive work environment is critical to employee satisfaction, loyalty and retention.

The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) recently included Sonic Promos on their 2010 list of the 75 Best Places to Work in the ad specialty industry.  While we would never dare call ourselves the perfect office (hello dirty dishes, moldy mini-fridge treasures, habitual F-bombs and 80’s music), we do know a thing or two about staying happy and having fun at work.

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What Does “Green” Really Mean?

As the green movement gains popularity, more companies continue to step up to do their part.  For many of our clients at Sonic Promos, this means a heightened interest in environmentally-friendly goods.

One of the best parts about working in our product-related field: we get to see the latest and greatest “green” goods on the market.  Grocery totes made of recycled water bottles, bill folds created from old paper currency, biodegradable Frisbees, bamboo lanyards… our ability to reuse and recycle seems almost limitless these days!

Still, there remains no single international standard for “green,” and many terms get thrown around loosely.  Concerned buyers must watch out for meaningless product claims or confusing rhetoric.

Let’s decode some of the more common buzz words seen today…

Biodegradable (bahy-oh-di-grey-duh-buhl): When disposed, goods made of biodegradable materials will decompose into the earth with no negative environmental effect.

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Non-Profit Marketing Code Name: Fundraising

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October, my favorite month, is rapidly approaching.  Not only are there beautiful leaves, pumpkin-flavored treats and kitschy Halloween decorations to enjoy, but it’s also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  In its honor, I thought it would be appropriate to dedicate a post to fundraising.

Fundraising is, after all, marketing.

Non-profit organizations and charities face the same main challenge as corporations and businesses: getting the message to the masses and competing for precious consumer dollars.  As an added hurdle, non-profits tend to have significantly smaller budgets and often lack tangible goods to offer as a return on investment.

People only have so much they can give.  In order to differentiate your organization from the rest of the worthwhile charities and admirable missions in the marketplace, you need to think outside the box.

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