Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Power-Up Your Promotion Products with QR Codes

I’m sure you have seen the square symbols made up of geometric designs. These are QR codes and are available to power-up your promotion products, online, at no cost. Phone apps to scan the codes are also available online for everyone to download at no cost. When a QR code is captured by a smart phone, the user is taken to a designated website. The web page can offer any information that you wish. I was on the beach in Florida, recently, where I saw a plane pulling a banner that included a QR code. People on the beach could capture the code with their smart phones and go to the crab shack, or whatever, website where they saw happy hour and dinner specials. Directions and contact information was included. What great use of that banner! Use this new technology in your marketing promotions. Your logo and online messages can be carried into public gatherings such as sporting events, picnics, festivals, etc. You can get even more mileage out of public events and promotional products. One beverage company added QR codes to their logo that were put on t-shirts and distributed at college campuses. Students captured the QR code on their smart phone and were taken to the company’s website where a special offer was presented. Results were tremendous. Here is a how to get started using QR codes: 1. Have your website url, email address, phone number, Plain text message, Business card or vcard info, iTunes, or YouTube link. 2. Set up an account and enter your information at and receive a 300 DPI QR code for artwork. web has amazing tutorials and how-tos if you have questions about QR codes. 3. Email us your QR code as artwork. Keep in mind you want to make this QR code as big and visible as possible. Perhaps even a 2nd imprint location might be considered. 4. Once the artwork is submitted to us, we can have your QR code printed on any of our products. Click here for product ideas. 5. You now have a promotional product that can connect the public to your business website and special message or offer. Voila, a new way to capture business. There are now more web searches made on smart phones than by computers. QR app enabled phones are on the rise. Whether your customers are local or national, QR codes can grab new customers and new business. Visit us on Facebook or at

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Need for a Unique Selling Proposition | Be a Green Penguin

In the course of my embroidered custom apparel and promotion products business, I conduct occasional seminars. For a chamber of commerce seminar, I used a green penguin theme. As a business, you want to be a green penguin and not just another black and white penguin in the flock. It is important to communicate, in simple terms, how you are different from your competitors in filling your customer's needs. If you can't explain your Unique Selling Proposition, in simple terms, of
why someone should buy from you, you shouldn't expect their business. Your Unique Selling Proposition is a precise statement of why your company is different and unique. It must differentiate you from your competitors. Your USP should state at least one UNIQUE benefit that a customer will receive by doing business with your company. It must have value, be concise and specific. Your Unique Selling Proposition must answer the question: "Why should someone do business with you? One example of how important an USP can be is Domino's Pizza. You may not be aware of this but Domino's was started by two brothers who wanted to start a business. When they first started the business, one worked during days and went to school at night. The other worked at night and went to school during days. Both had their ideas about how the business should be run. There was not a cohesive strategy or purpose. Things didn’t work out with the business as they had hoped. They were losing money. So, one brother decided to get out of the partnership. He received a used car from his brother for his portion of the struggling business. Shortly, thereafter, the remaining brother developed a Unique Selling Proposition. It was; fresh, hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less. ..Guaranteed. That simple, specific USP ended creating a multi-billion dollar company. This is a great illustration of the tremendous power of a USP. Part of the power is in the simplicity. It is short, specific, and easy to understand and addresses a specific need. The market was pretty specific because they operated near the University of Michigan with a large number of students who wanted their pizza hot and now! Look for an opportunity void in your market. If you are the one to fill that void, you can dominate the niche. Talk with others in your industry or those who are familiar with your business. Figure out what is unique about you and your business and how you can fill needs differently than your competition. Consider what others think and like about your business, and why they would select you. Again, ask yourself the question “Why should someone buy from me instead of someone else?” If you can’t answer that question you have no Once you've created a one to three sentence USP, include it in all your marketing materials. Keep it on the top of your mind. It is a cornerstone of your business. Whenever someone asks you what you do, you should be able to quote your USP. It should be so descriptive, short, and concise that it, in itself, is a good, accurate explanation. *Excerpt from article published by Gary Youngberg on Hubpages Visit us at

Thursday, February 2, 2012

New Laser Etching – Custom Apparel Decoration Flexibility at a Lower Cost

I have attached a picture that I took of a custom apparel fleece jacket from one of our client’s recent orders.  Notice the full back design in a subtle tone on tone visual.  Tone on tone is popular with many people who want to wear imprinted apparel without feeling like screaming billboards.  Embroidery alone,  without the jacket, for such a full back area, could cost $50.00 with the thousands of stitches required.  The new laser etching process can produce full back designs on many fabrics for just a few dollars.  The fleece jacket pictured, including decoration, costs less than $30 each, including the full back design.  Laser etching, in addition to a full back design, can be done as full front crossing over the zipper or as traditional left chest design.  Moisture wicking shirts can be laser etched as well as jackets.  Consider laser etching as an option then next time you need custom logo apparel.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Basic Tips For Ordering Embroidered Apparel - Shirts and Jackets

Embroidery helps make lasting impression when added to shirts or jackets. It defines a brand as well leaving a top-of mind awareness for a company, group or organization.  Today, polo shirts are cut and styled for women and children as well as men.  Embroidery adds style and interest as well as communicating a silent message.

The industry standard is logo placement on the left chest and personalization on the right chest.   Designs should be small enough to fit, with visual appeal, in the available space.   The normal left-chest location for sizes medium, large and extra large shirts is 8 inches below shoulder seam and 4 inches to the side from the center.  A logo on a woman’s shirt may need to be reduced around 15% in size to display appropriately on the left chest.  The maximum width recommended for left chest designs on a polo is no more than 4”.  You should be aware that when reducing the design, the text sizes will also become smaller, perhaps too small.  Text should be no less than 3/16” in height and some fabrics may require ¼”.  Adding a design to the left sleeve adds interest as well as providing additional name recognition.  The back-side of the collar offers another location to add a unique design or message.  The area just below the collar also provides variance to logo placement.

Each fabric type has its own characteristics and may be digitized differently for the best result.  Make sure you choose an experienced company to have digitizing (computerized stitch placement design) done for you. The old term for stitch placement was “making a tape” because an actual punched tape was produced.  Today design stitch placement is digitizing.  There are many different types of fabric and thread.  When an embroidered fabric pulls and puckers, the density of the stitching is probably too much.  If fabric, unintentionally, is showing through the stitches, the stitch density is too low.  The representative you are working with should know the type of fabric in the shirt or jacket and the type of thread to be used in order to create an appealing embroidered design that sews well.

Letter and numeral size is important when creating an embroidered design.  Use capitalized letters in a sans serif font such as Arial for text under ½”, for the best results. The minimum letter height for sans serif, block letters, is 3/16” for twill and most fabrics. Pique, terry cloth and fleece require ¼” minimum height for fonts and letters.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Goal Setting for Successful Business | Successful Promotions

We All Need Written Goals

In a successful business, goal setting is critical. It is proven that successful people have one thing in common. They set goals. In his book “What they Don’t Teach you in the Harvard Business School,” Mark McCormack covers a study that was conducted at the Harvard Business School in 1979. The students were asked, “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” Only 3% of the graduates had written goals and plans. 13% had goals, but they were not in writing, and 84% had no specific goals
10 years afterward, the class members were interviewed a second time. The results were amazing. The 13% who had goals earned, on average, two times as much as the 84% who had no goals at all. The 3% who had written their goals down earned, on average, ten times as much as the other 97% combined. This exhibits the power of the written goal! But even though this proof of success exists, most do not have clear and concise goals toward which they work.

I have read that you can make excuses or you can make money, but you can’t make them both. There is truth to that. Make a change in your life. Do it today. Determine your goals. Write them down. You can’t arrive at your destination if you don’t know where you are going. Know where you want to go. 
Starting with your goal setting can be simple. You know that you want to be somewhere else in your business than where you are right now. Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. You also know what you have done in the past to get to the place you are now. Where do you want to go in the future? Do you have any entrepreneur ideas?   It is up to you.
If you were planning a trip to Boise, Idaho, you would take out a map and start to plan the various roads you would take to get there. You would plan your overnight stops, make a list of all the clothes and belonging you want to take with you. You would determine how much money it will take to get there and how much money you will want to spend once you are there. You would budget gas, food and other items that came to mind.
The goals you set need to be realistic but they also should make you stretch beyond your comfort zone. These goals will give meaning to your short and long term activities.
One of the humorous but poignant quotes from Yogi Berra is, “If you don’t know where you are going you’ll end up someplace else.”

Goals Need to be Long Term

You need t realize that achieving your goals will not be without some discouragement.  You may feel at times that you took two steps forward and three steps back.  You will need to make some course corrections on your trip to your destination.  This is normal, however.  No battle plan survives the first few skirmishes.  The marketplace will change, competition will change and you will need to make changes as well.
Please realize that everything in your life will never be organized suitably for you to make a perfect start.  As the tagline with Nike Logo says, “Just Do It
You may be familiar with one of the greatest motivational speakers, Zig Ziglar.  In one of his books he says, “Go as far as you can see and when you get there you will always be able to see farther.

Goals Need to be Specific

Being profitable is not a goal.  Achieving $100,000 per month in revenues is not even specific enough.   You need to describe, in detail, the desired goal.
If you were building a new home and were talking to a general contractor,  just think of the detail you would go into concerning the layout and number of rooms, the finishes and colors, the type of windows, the deck and on and on.
Be as specific with your personal and business goals as you would be with building a new house.  Anyone who reads your goal should be able to visualize exactly what you want.   You also, by the way, need to visualize them.  You need to mentally see yourself and the achievement results.

You Must be Committed

You need dedication to achieve your goals. No one else can achieve them for you. And you can’t count on anyone else to motivate you to achieve them. It’s all up to you. With the proper commitment you can make the necessary changes in course along the way to end up at your destination, achieving your goal. Going back to our trip to Boise, base on weather conditions we may need to take another route, we may have to drive slower for part of the trip, we might even have a flat tire. But, all the while, we keep in mind that we will end up in Boise.
Commit your goals to writing. Segment them by time periods such as daily, monthly, quarterly, yearly and even 3 or 5 years. In your planning, anticipate obstacles that you may encounter and think about how you will overcome them, if encountered. When things seem too overwhelming at any point in time just think of the old question, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer is “One bit at a time.” It is usual to sometimes have to move toward your goal, one bite at a time. Do so and you will arrive at your destination of a successful online business.

Gary Youngberg

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thank you for stopping by Gary Youngberg's Promoplans blog. 
Advertising and Promotion have evolved exponentially in recent times.  The intent of this blog is to discuss effective promotional products and programs; also the most recent technologies available for high-impact promotions.  Marketing, manufacture, distribution and implementation are also areas of interest for this blog as are embroidered and screen printed apparel.