Something old, something new

Something Old or Something New?

Over the years I have found there are several different types of customer needs. The first is the customer who needs to reorder the same products over and over again—the “same old thing.” The second is the customer that is looking for cutting edge technology and wants to stand out from the crowd—“something new.” So is the “same old thing” an outdated practice?  It depends …

Same old thing

This customer had the need to reorder large quantities of the same product on a regular basis.

They may be

  • Corporations that use printed materials for marketing.
  • Corporations that disseminate corporate information to the public on a regular basis.
  • A company that cares about their public image and therefore purchases customized apparel for their employees.
  • Restaurants also use uniforms for their staff. They want their workers to present a consistent image of their establishment.
  • An establishment with a product that sells well. Why change what works?

Something New

This is the customer that wants new and different products. Why would that be important? When going to large events if you have something interesting that relates to what you are doing, you will stand out from the crowd. Another thing to think about in this category is the appreciation gifts for customers and employees. You want those gifts to be unique and special.

Because these are not mutually exclusive, how do you know what is right for you and your company? Whether it is the same old thing or something new … consult with a professional.

Connections Promotional Products

“Your Branded Strategy”

Review us for a chance to win

Could I Have Your Honest Opinion?

We appreciate hearing from our customers about how their products have worked and how we are doing. Out of our appreciation came the thought that we want to give back to those who take the time to help us grow.

Sample of etched tumbler

20 oz Chimp Double Wall Stainless Vacuum Tumbler

From now through April 30, 2018, we would like to receive honest feedback from our existing customers about the services we have provided. If you are happy with the services and products we provide, please take a picture and write a brief testimony. Customers that have entered will have the chance to win 24 stainless steel tumblers in any one of 7 colors customized with a faux laser engraved imprint with their company logo.

It’s easy.  Here’s how it works:

  1. Take a picture of your product in use and send it to us along with a brief testimony.
  2. Email your entry to with “How you are doing” in the subject line.
  3. The winner (you must be an existing customer) will be drawn from the pool of entries on May 1, 2018.

If your company has policies that will prevent you from participating, no problem. Please keep us in mind.

Not an existing customer?  Give us a call at 423-364-7343 or email us at …there is still time.

Connections Promotional Products … Your Branded Strategy

6 statistics you might want consider

Trade Shows: Are They A Smart Use of Your Marketing Budget?

6 Statistics You Might Want Consider

At the beginning of each new year, companies, non-profits, and associations go into the year with marketing budgets set and event schedules planned. Many of those companies include a portion of their annual budget for attending trade shows, but are trade shows really worth the money?

Six statistics you might want to consider when making your decision:

  • The #1 reason for attending (not exhibiting) trade shows is to see new products. 92% of trade show attendees say they are looking for new products. [1]
  • 81% of trade show attendees have buying authority. [2]
  • The average attendee spends 8.3 hours viewing trade show exhibits at a show or exhibition. [3]
  • 83% of exhibitors agreed that “Building, expanding brand awareness” is a high-priority marketing-related objective for trade shows. [4]
  • The top 3 sales-related objectives at trade shows intend to manage and engagement relationships. Above all else, exhibitors want to meet with existing customers, key customers, and prospective customers. [4]
  • 67% of all attendees represent a new prospect and potential customer for exhibiting companies. This means trade shows are always rich in new business targets for you. [3]

What conclusions can you draw from these statistics? How important is extending your company image through branded products? Given the high percentage of decision makers that are present and the fact that 92% of attendees are there to see new products, do you really want to look like everyone else? Or would you prefer to stand out from the crowd with a smart branded strategy?

Connections Promotional Products … “Your Branded Strategy”


[1] CEIR: The Role and Value of Face to Face

[2] CEIR: The Spend Decision: Analyzing How Exhibits Fit into the Overall Marketing Budget

[3] Exhibit Surveys, Inc.

[4] CEIR: Changing Environment Study

Begin 2018 smart

5 Strategies to Make Your 2018 More Profitable

As business owners, we continually look for strategies to make our year more profitable.  This can take the form of reviewing budgets, evaluating revenue streams, forming strategic partnerships and presenting your brand and company image in a consistent, strategic manner.  When looking at your 2018 strategic plan, think about these 5 different brand strategies.

  1. Review your 2017 strategies for what has worked and what has fallen short. It is important to evaluate last year’s plan and how it performed to better move forward.
  2. Clearly define your company and the company mission. Whether you are planning personal or company strategies, it is virtually impossible to stay on track and reach goals when there is no clear direction.
  3. Clearly define who your market is and how you propose to reach that audience. You have to know who is buying your product or service so that you can build your marketing strategy.
  4. Make sure that your company is clearly and consistently using their brand across all marketing platforms. This concept can easily be seen in well-known product marketing such as Nike and Coca Cola. Because they have used their brand consistently through all mediums, the public easily recognizes the logo when seen and often associates a certain image with that logo.
  5. Form strong partnerships with suppliers and vendors. Working with a small pool of suppliers will insure better service and more buying power.

The start of a new year is the perfect time to review the previous year and plan new brand strategies to increase your profitability in 2018.


Happy New Year


Connections Promotional Products/Branded Strategies

Success starts here

Thank you for 2017

Thank You . . . Sneak Peek for 2018

I would like to personally thank you, our loyal customers, for supporting us in 2017.

Through the partnerships that we have formed, we have been able to expand our product lines, offer more competitive pricing, and improve our customer service.  To show our appreciation, we would like to offer our existing customers a one-time discount of 15% on any order placed on or before January 15th, 2018. Order before December 28th and receive not only a 15% discount, but 2017 pricing!

What can you expect in 2018?

We are gearing up for changes in 2018 that will take your brand recognition to a whole new level.  Stay tuned …


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Kay M. Huggins

Special Year-End Gift for Existing Customers

Place your order before or on January 15, 2018, and receive an 15% off any order.

Meeting with new tech tools

How Would Your Company’s Brand Look on New Technology?

Because branded products are a part of your overall marketing plan, there are certain items that perform better than others.  When looking at branded products to either give as a thank you gift or for employee appreciation, there are several things that you want to consider.

  1. Is that product something that will be used on a daily basis?
  2. How long will it be kept?
  3. Will the item you have chosen travel with your customer and be seen by others?

During this holiday season we want to share with you new technology that will meet all of the above criteria. With low minimum quantities and affordable pricing your company will stand out from the crowds this year!

Give us a call to match the latest technology to your marketing plan: 423-364-7343.

Success starts here

Holiday must-haves

wireless charger

Offer expires December 31, 2017.

landscaped home pool and yard

Business Spotlight: Southern Roots Landscaping

Branded apparel … more than just the clothes your employees wear.

Southern Roots Landscaping logoOur business spotlight this month focuses on Southern Roots Landscaping in Ooltewah, TN. A woman-owned company, they offer landscaping and hardscaping services for commercial and residential properties. All crew leaders with Southern Roots Landscaping are ICPI certified with years of industry experience.

From lawn maintenance to hardscape design and installation, they ensure the highest quality work, 100% satisfaction guaranteed! For their full range of services, give them a call at (423) 682-7336 or visit their services page.

What does Southern Roots Landscaping think of the apparel and car signs that they use? Here is what co-owner and CFO Tim Maddox has to say.

Southern Roots landscaping“Brand is important and should be developed both consistently and be visible. There are several reasons we use branded apparel and other branded items in our business.”

  1. Professional image: Customers comment on how professional they look which leads to customer confidence.
  1. Customer service: Potential new customers recognize their logo and call them with referrals. They equate the brand with customer service.
  1. Advertising/Brand recognition/t-shirts: People often approach them about new jobs because of their shirts and caps. The apparel makes it easy for people to know how to contact them.

Southern Roots Landscaping knows the value of using their logo wisely to enhance their brand. What about your business?  What image are you presenting to the public? Let us help. Give us a call at (423) 364-7343 or email us at to increase your brand recognition.

Success starts here …

Dawn on a forest road

Great Deal for Next Year’s Marketing

The year-end is upon us, and yours may be among the many businesses that have already spent their 2017 marketing budgets. You might be looking at your marketing budget again after the New Year dawns … but will that really be the best time to plan next year’s marketing? Maybe now is the time for the 2017 early bird to get his 2018 worm.

What if you could take advantage of 2017 pricing and still purchase quality products with your 2018 marketing budget? Contact us today for more details.

Success starts here…

Special Year-End Opportunity

Special pricing with up to 30% off of select products in order above $500. Order before December 30, 2017.


Mention promo code: SAVING IN 2017
This offer does not apply to currently discounted products.

Notes with who, what, when, where, why, and how

You Know Who and Why of Corporate Giving, Now What?


Ask the right questionsWe are changing our blog up a little this post. The focus of our October posts was all about exploring the who (corporate gifts, loyal customers, and employees) and why (to express appreciation and to stand out from the crowd) of gift giving. It seems only fitting that November focuses on the what.

Now that we have identified the who and why for corporate giving the question becomes what are those gifts going to look like for the different customers. You can’t go wrong if you match products to your customers, giving them something they would uniquely find useful or enjoyable. Here are some thoughts. The items I’ve listed here are new to the market, but more than just giving you a few suggestions, I’d love to talk with you about what gift would best express your intentions.

  • A twist action stylus pen with imprint that lights up! These are priced below $1.50 each
  • An executive stylus pen that has a soft matte finish?
  • A copper mug?
  • Or a Rosewood Wine Glass Set?

One popular item this season is this stainless vacuum bottle, a great tool for long commutes or active days. Let’s talk about WHAT you should give.

Regardless of the purpose or price, give us a call for the newest gift thoughts for 2017. You can call us at 423-364-7343 or email us at Make your 2017 on a year to be remembered.

Success starts here …









Gift wrapped in denum

How Can I Choose the Best Gift for a Loyal Client?

Corporate Gift Giving Level 2: Client Gifts

Woman with red gift box, business crowd behind her.Many businesses choose to offer a relatively inexpensive gift as an introduction to their services. (We talked about this before when we asked, “What is the value in corporate gift giving?”)

But what about loyal clients, those customers currently doing business with you? Somehow a hooded sweatshirt just doesn’t match their level of loyalty to your company.

What if you want to reward a favored client who has been working with you for some years? In this case, you may want to consider a more expensive form of gift that is tailored to their lifestyle. For those who entertain or who love a good bottle of wine, why not a corkscrew that will be used daily? Another thought for those who love music may be a Bluetooth speaker for their desk, helping them enjoy their music throughout the day.

It’s important that this shouldn’t be seen as favoritism or a form of bribery, but merely a way of saying thank you. Thinking through the thank-you gifts you might give customers can be one of the most valuable tools for building and maintaining relationships. It can also be difficult and time consuming. We can help.

Contact us for your gift-giving needs at or call us at 423-364-7343.

Success starts here …