But, Is It Good Enough?

I started this blog post two years ago and it’s just been sitting there.  The title stares at me every time I log in.  And I keep passing it by.  Since it is just about the 2 year anniversary of “the incident” I think it’s time we explore this topic.

The back story:

Two years ago we decided to sell our home in Ohio and move to North Carolina.  What we thought would take a while turned out to be a really fast process.  And stressful. So, so stressful.  Anyway, there was  huge crack in our front brick walkway that had caused part of the walk to drop over an 1″ and created a trip hazard, not to mention looking really horrible.  It had to dug up, the brick salvaged (so it would match), dirt & gravel added then the brick re-laid.  Here is where the problem arose. There was a pattern to the sidewalk.  A zigzag down the middle with half bricks outlining each side.  Now, there is another 15 feet of sidewalk clearly visible to match this pattern to.  At this point you have probably already guessed what happened.  The pattern didn’t match correctly.  Not only didn’t it match, but there were bricks left over.  Common sense would dictate that if you take out 50 bricks, 50 bricks should go back in, right? Nope.  I didn’t totally lose my cool, however our house was being listed in 2 days with an open house in 4 days so I wasn’t happy.  I made a call to the owner of the company (which wasn’t the person doing the work) and explained the situation.  His only response “But, is it good enough?”

Now, that was two years ago, the house sold in 10 days and I’m now happily on a mountain in North Carolina.  So technically, I guess it was good enough (maybe because I don’t have to look at it every day).  But that response still shocks me as much today as it did the day I heard it.

Mistakes happen, sometimes we can fix them, sometimes we can work around them, sometimes we have to start all over.  What is important, and what others remember about you, your service or your product, is how you react to those mistakes.

First, if you screwed up, take responsibility. Own your mistakes. Don’t try to blame someone else.  People see through that quickly and lose all confidence and trust in you.  None of us like to mess up, but you will be respected more for taking responsibility and hopefully salvage the relationship.  Maybe the mistake is actually that of your vendor (this happens to us on occasion).  To your client,  that is still YOUR mistake.  They don’t buy from your vendor, they buy from you. I’ve had to explain mistakes from vendors before and I try to do it as “this is what happened and this is how we are going to fix it.”  It is still my responsibility to get it corrected and make the client happy, therefore I have to own the mistake.

Second, don’t get defensive.  This is a hard one, especially if the other person is angry an d it truly is not  your fault.  Try to calm them down by offering to look into the details, exploring any possible solutions, etc.  If you automatically turn the blame back on an angry customer (even if they are wrong) you may never get them to look at the situation reasonably.  They may lash out on social media, which makes you look bad.  You may never win them back as a customer AND you now have (undeserved) negative feedback about you on social media.  Ask questions, have them state the facts of what they wanted/expected vs. what they received.  Asking questions in a attempt to clarify what happened can sometimes make the customer realize that the mistake is actually theirs without you having to point it out.  They might not admit it, but it this realization is usually enough to calm then down so you can work out a resolution.

Third, try to find a solution to remedy the mistake.  Even when it’s not your fault. Especially when it is not your fault.  We have had it happen more than once.  Sometimes mistakes are our fault and we will do everything possible to fix it (yes, even if it means losing money on the order).  But we have had instances where the client made a mistake and we help them find a solution that will work if at all possible. That might mean calling in favors, it might mean working late to make sure they will get their order. If there is any way possible we make it happen.   I can’t even image having a client call and say they received their order but part of the imprint was left off and responding with “but, is it good enough?”

Sometimes how you react to mistakes makes more of an impression that anything else you do in your business.

http://www.barefootswag.com   866-247-4320

sales@barefootswag.com

OSC (Oh So Cool) Floating Sunglass Lanyard & Key Tag

Those that love the water, whether it be boating, fishing or surfing, know that “oh crap” moment when your glasses (or heaven forbid, your keys) hits the water.  Save everyone from that heart stopping moment while promoting your business or brand with these brand new floating eyewear retainers and key chains.  Not only are they functional, but they are super cool- making you super cool when you add your logo.

The designers took a “less is more” approach to the lanyard design, creating a retainer that is functional, durable, lightweight and comfortable.  Being coast dwellers, they understand the importance of all these features and designed a product they wanted to wear.

Korkz eye wear retainer

The corks used are #9 natural corks (not pressed) that are purchased domestically.  The assembly and decoration are completed right here in the US- in North Carolina.  Your logo is laser engraved on 1 or 2 sides of the cork, creating a beautiful piece you will be proud to to show off. The laser imprint will not wear off and the cork is UV resistant, keeping your brand looking good for a long time.  We can also add custom packaging with hanger bags for a convenient point of sale item.  These can make a great add-on sale item- they aren’t just for giveaways!

cork sunglass floating lanyard

The cork floating eyewear retainer is perfect for marinas, boat manufacturers, fly shops, fishing guide services, resorts, company retreats, cruise lines, travel agents and so much more.  Anywhere there are people and water these sunglass lanyards will save a lot of grief.  Of course, sunglasses aren’t the only use- these are perfect for “cheater glasses” as well.  I wear my sunglasses when fishing to help cut the glare on the water, but then I can’t see to tie a fly on my line.  So the cheater glasses AND the sunglasses are on a Korkz lanyard.  They are so lightweight that having 2 is not a problem.

korkz eyeglass lanyard

Sometimes we want to protect other items besides our sunglasses when around water (or just have a cool key chain).  That’s where the Keez comes in.  Made from the same natural cork, this light weight key tag can be added to items beyond just keys.  While these are also great for any water related businesses or activities, the key chain will work well for wine tastings, wineries or wine shops, eco promotions and more.

cork key tag

These items are so new they aren’t even on our website yet!  Just give us a call or email us for more information and pricing.

http://www.barefootswag.com

sales@barefootswag.com          866-247-4320

Taking Awards to the Next Level

When choosing awards or commemorative crystal gifts, taking a leap beyond the typical choices will set you apart and give the recipients a beautiful, unique piece they can display on a shelf, desk or in a case with pride.  The illumachrome technique allow a full color image (picture, design, art, logo, etc) to be applied to the crystal, giving it a multi dimensional appearance with added visual interest.

This process creates unique gifts and awards to commemorate any event, recognize achievements or product launches and more. A creative way to incorporate the location of your incentive trip or convention by using an image of the resort or a landscape picture of the area on the awards given out at your event.  Another creative use would be featuring a picture from a project or a volunteer event on a crystal paperweight for each person involved or that contributed.  Need a nice gift to commemorate a new building dedication or ground breaking- use the architect rendering as the background for an piece that will be treasured- a great ideas for colleges, universities and hospitals. Feature a new piece of equipment or a product and add the launch date and company logo to the front for an eye catching piece.  I can’t think of an industry that these would not have a use in.  This technique is especially popular with Colleges and Universities, the Technology Industry, Equipment Manufacturing, Medical Field and for sales and achievement awards. There are so many ways to use this decorating technique that the sky really is the limit.

If you love the look of these awards, but don’t have an image to use, don’t worry. This can also work with stock images or a full color design (some examples are in the video).  We have a vast library of full color photos to fit most industries and we can help you find the perfect one for your awards.

And if you are looking for a piece that will sit out on a desk or counter and you need a design on both sides, this techniqe is perfect.  A backer can be added then printed with an additional message making the piece a 2 sided “billboard” and increasing the visibility of your message.  Using this process is perfect for product launches and for the pharmaceutical industry.

Need more ideas?  We are happy to help, brainstorm or make suggestions!

This video explains the process and features beautiful awards and gift ideas to give you ideas and get those creative juices flowing.

Contact us today for more information and ideas on how we can help you with these unique awards and gifts.

www.barefootswag.com        sales@barefootswag.com

866-247-4320

A Brief Explanation of Vacuum Seal Technology and Why it’s Hot (or Cold).

Just looking at drinkware on a website makes is almost impossible to discern why one style is better than another, after all, they look almost identical. Here is a brief explanation of how vacuum seal technology works and why it helps keep your beverage at the correct temperature.

BIC Graphic Blog

46119_clear_styled_1cVacuum sealed tumblers like our Glacial Diamonds Tumbler and bubba(R) Envy Vacuum Tumbler use special technology to harness the natural insulating properties of air. These tumblers are super hot in the promotional products industry and we thought we’d share a little more about the technology. These products are on the higher-end of tumbler-style drinkware and often require a little more information in the selling process.

The key to keeping drinks cold (or hot) longer than traditional double wall drinkware is the46113_clear_styled_1c vacuum seal insulation. In the case of the Glacial Diamonds Tumbler for example, the stainless steal tumbler is constructed with a hole left in the bottom of the outer wall. The air is then sucked out of the space between the walls and as it is sucked out a glass bead is then wedged into the hole and heated to create an airtight seal.

Because there are no air molecules…

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Reason Why Promotional Products Should Be In Your Marketing Plan

Of course WE know promotional products (a.k.a. Swag) are great, but to really prove this point our industry association PPAI did some market research with top advertisers,  marketers, media buyers as well as consumers.  These facts show why promo items are consistently ranked in the top tier of all advertising media.

Advertisers LOVE using promotional products as part of their maketing campaigns:

75% of advertisers say promotional products contributed to a campaigns success

59% of consumers have a more favorable view of the brand

88% of consumers recall the advertiser

Promotional products help increase brand visibility:

66% recognition

58% awareness

55% corporate identity

51% goodwill

42% brand recall

Swag is a huge hit with consumers:

80% own at least 1 promotional product

91% keep promotional products in their kitchen

85% of recipients did business with the advertiser

83% like receiving promotional items

Promotional Products build communities with a shared sense of brand loyalty:

53% use their swag weekly

47% keep promotional items for a year or more

Want to learn more about how effectively promotional products can be incorporated into your advertising campaign, product launch, events, direct mail and more?  Contact us today:

www.barefootswag.com    sales@barefootswag.com

866-247-4320

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Why Top Advertisers and Media Buyers Love Promotional Products from PPAI on Vimeo.