COFFEE: More Than Just a Drink

Whether it’s iced, black, light and sweet, an Americano or cold brew, coffee comes in many shapes and sizes. Some of us drink it to wake up in the morning, others do for its taste. What you may have not known is that it has a multitude of benefits for productivity and focus which can be quite helpful during the workday!
Cognitive Function

Caffeine enhances cognition by increasing the levels of dopamine and adrenaline in your brain which generates a feeling of bliss, increasing focus.
Attention Span

According to a study conducted by Microsoft, a goldfish has a longer attention span (9 seconds) than the average human (8 seconds). Sheesh! If you find your attention decreasing as the day goes on, or if you’d like to have a larger attention span than a gold fish, try a cup of coffee. Joseph M. Serra Grabulosa conducted a study which proved that caffeine improves cognitive performance in the areas of sustained attention, improved attention and memory.
Sleep Inertia

Sleep inertia is the lethargic and groggy feeling your body experiences after you hit snooze in the morning. A fresh cup of coffee aids in fighting this feeling. In addition, a cup of coffee is equivalent to a 30 minute nap, which some of us could definitely use (especially on a Monday)!
Collaboration and Teamwork

Believe it or not, consuming coffee increases the participation of individuals in team meetings or projects. According to a study done by the Journal of Psychopharmacology, team members have a more positive outlook on themselves and other co-workers after consuming coffee. This influence of positivity increases the productivity of tasks and collaboration.

If you’re anything like me, you spend way too much money on coffee. But, knowing that you’re reaping all these added benefits should make you feel a little better about your consistent purchase. Make coffee your new superhero drink and conquer every day with a cup of positivity and productivity.

Rogue Spending


Do you know how much your organization spends on branded merchandise? You’re not alone if you don’t. “Branded merchandise” includes anything from company uniforms, giveaways, writing instruments, awards and any other logoed items you may have or use, which help to build your corporate brand’s awareness! Regardless of your company, you have at least: marketing, sales, human resources and procurement folks that are all concerned with the promotional product category of spend. This being said, it can be tricky to manage with various departments making purchases and creating items while being disconnected. The result of this can lead to lack of visibility into orders, lack of control over what products your brand is printed on and how your logo appears, and an increase in spend.

Don’t let the various complications that come with branded merchandise spend programs scare you, when setup correctly and regularly monitored, your company will see benefits that far outweigh the costs. Master marketer, Seth Godin, once said, “It is impossible to market at people any more. The only choice is to market with them.” Advertising that creates resonance helps consumers identify with the brand on a personal level and drive what we call, brand touch moments which provide the foundation for an enduring brand relationship. Promotional products are a proven channel for brands to generate a more favorable impression across all consumer audiences. In addition, branded merchandise helps: Increase in brand loyalty, increase in customer satisfaction and acquisition and employee retention

This white paper will discuss what rogue spend is and why it’s an issue for your organization. Why does it matter where you purchase your goods as long as your employees are getting everything they need one way or another? We’ll also discuss how you can prevent rogue spend in the future by explaining what you should look for when partnering with a promotional product vendor.
The Problem

One of the most concerning pitfalls of an unorganized promotional spend program for procurement is rogue spend. Rogue spend (also called “maverick spend”) refers to when companies go outside of their vendor contracts for goods and purchase through other outlets. It’s common in the promotional product space because many organizations may not have the items they’re looking for available to them, their vendors may not provide products that they like, they’ve found an item cheaper elsewhere, and the item in their company inventory is out-of-stock, and so on. While there are various reasons why people go rogue, doing so has its downsides.
The Solution

So you want to put an end to rogue spend, how do you do that? You’ll want to find partners and vendors that offer all of the solutions you’re looking for. When it comes to branded merchandise, a vendor that just ships a new box of pens to your door whenever you’re out won’t cut it. Because branded merchandise is utilized in various departments, you’ll want to make sure your vendor realizes that and has a solution that will take the various departments’ spend and collectively manage and maintain your program. In addition to taking the various buyers into consideration, you’ll want to ensure you’re getting the most out of your promotional product spending. Instead of purchasing the same tote your company has purchased for your annual sales summit year after year, partner with a vendor that goes above and beyond to source products that will elevate your campaigns. By adding a value to these items, they’re less likely to feel like giveaways or tchotchkes to end-users. Anyone can put a logo on a product, but by taking the opportunity to think about which products are best fit for a certain campaign, looking for new and innovative products to increase perceived value, you can increase your brand’s awareness and create brand touch moments that will create a relationship.
The Approach

Your corporate internal goal is to unite buyers, help you maintain control of your brand, reduce costs, save time, allowing you to monitor and track 100% of orders placed.
You promotional products’ partner is to create ease of process for your buyers and to gain visibility into spend and get reporting at your fingertips. You can gain access to all of your orders, review details and costs and use the data to help measure ROI to help make future orders more strategic. In addition, your vendor should also provide tracking; regular reports and reviews to make sure goals that were set are being met. As the program evolves over time it is important that you and your vendor evolve your solution to continue to achieve great results

Rewarding and Recognizing Employees

Posted by Rhonda Reedy/ October 11, 2018

A job well done, a goal accomplished, a milestone reached, sales record, years of service, volunteer appreciation, donor recognition… The reasons behind rewarding and recognizing people within your company or organization are as varied as the awards themselves. However, the reason behind the act of the recognition remains the same- to show the recipient they are appreciated and valued.

According to this Inc article, Employees consistently list appreciation and recognition of their hard work as one of their Top 5 desires. Gallup analysis found that employees who receive praise for doing good work perform better. It seems pretty common sense, but it is often overlooked or not considered a priority.

Customized awards are an effective way for companies to attract and keep talent as well as to encourage employees to continue putting their best efforts forward. According to the Gallup analysis referenced above, employees who do not feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to say they will quit in the next year.

When asked about what made recognition the most memorable, one of the top answers was public recognition or acknowledgement with an award, certificate or commendation. This shows us that people want to feel important and appreciated.

The same can be said about recognizing volunteers for your group or organization. Because volunteers give so freely of their time and are often key to an organizations function, acknowledging their contributions is vital. This can be as simple as “Volunteer of the Month” recognition, a plaque or volunteer wall.

Donor walls are popular and affordable ways to recognize those that contribute to your organization or cause. Small paperweight type awards are also popular to show appreciation for donations.

Let us help you design a recognition program or yearly awards that will align with your needs, company culture and budget that will also achieve your reward and recognition goals.

Awards can range from framed certificates, custom paperweights or wall plaques up to custom crystal awards, grandfather clocks (great for years of service awards), beautiful art glass awards or even awards where we embed your product or a reproduction of your equipment inside to make it truly unique.

Disconnect to Re-connect Posted by Tara Byrne/ September 25, 2018

Sometimes, I forget how powerful cell phones can be, and that’s probably because I’ve rarely been without mine. I recently read a New York Times article on how to not let your phone ruin your vacation and it reminded me how much we let our phones consume us. I will be the first to admit that I would most likely spend a bit of my vacation posting Instagram pictures of the beach and checking snapchat to see what my friends at home are up to. Most of the time, phones are extremely helpful tools…if I’m being honest, I laugh at the thought of using a road map to get from point A to point B. Phones allow us to stay connected to friends and family or check in on work when we’re not there, but they also have a tendency to take us away from what’s happening around us. They make it easier to pay attention to the GPS than the road that we’re driving on, or we focus our attention on emails from co-workers more than the ones we’re in a meeting with. Below are a few tips that help me disconnect from my phone and reconnect with what is happening around me.
Do Not Disturb

The first thing I do before walking into work or class is put my phone on do not disturb. This helps me focus my attention on the tasks I need to complete with no distractions from my phone buzzing.
Turn Off Notifications

If you can, turn off the notifications on the apps that consume the most of your attention. For me, it was turning off the notifications on my school email for the summer and getting back to them only when I took the time to check my email. This removed the sense of urgency I felt when I saw a notification pop up on my screen.
Leave it Behind

I find it refreshing to “forget” my phone sometimes. It can be as easy as leaving it in the car while you run into the grocery store or a different room while you’re at the dinner table. My favorite place to be phone-free is the gym. Just an hour without my phone in my hand helps me focus my energy on a good workout and re-focus after.

Next time you’re feeling distracted or overwhelmed, try removing your phone from the equation and shift your attention to who and what is most important!

Sell Today, Build Tomorrow

Imagination is a powerful thing. But sometimes, it’s not enough.

Take, for example, a real estate developer who’s trying to presell condos before they’re built. He can show prospective buyers the flat renderings and ask them to imagine themselves inside or to picture the view from the fifth story windows. But does it work? Not usually.


Five Keys to Effective Branding

Branding is one of the most critical aspects of any company, no matter its size. Your brand is your company’s promise – it lets your customers know what’s different about your company and what they can expect from you. With effective, consistent branding, you’ll add value to your products or services and turn customers into loyal brand advocates.