Now that I have your attention, I must admit that we are not really going to talk about the rules of the popular party game. Most likely, you already know the general idea of the game: to fill red Solo cups with beer and throw Ping-Pong balls into your opponent’s cups while they are trying to do the same to yours.
One piece of advice I like to offer about sourcing safe products from suppliers in the promotional products industry is, “trust, but verify.” In the 1980’s, author Suzanne Massey once suggested to then president Ronald Reagan that he use Russian parables to better communicate with government officials of the Soviet Union. The author suggested "doveryai no proveryai"—trust, but verify—which became Reagan's signature line when discussing U.S. relations with the USSR.
When the weather in the United States turns cold, parents’ thoughts naturally turn to the weather and many wonder whether or not their kid’s sweatshirts and jackets still fit from last year.
I’ve been tempted on several occasions to rely on my colleagues to answer my questions, rather than simply search for the answer myself by using an online resource such as Google. When I lean on a colleague to find the answers for me, many times they respond with "LMGTFY." What does that mean? “Let Me Google That For You.” Responding that way may seem snarky, but sometimes it is necessary to simply tell the person he would be best served by looking up the answer himself.
I was fortunate to have been invited by Shumsky Promotional to a great end-user event. The QCA Distributor Advocacy Council invited folks from a broad array of industry categories. These included research software providers, insurance brokers, law firms, transportation and logistics companies, property management services, city government, and publishing houses. We met at the home of Dayton Dragons baseball team at Fifth Third Field in downtown Dayton, Ohio to check out new products and ideas.
One phrase you see frequently around airports, train stations and other public transport areas is: “If You See Something, Say Something.” This is a phrase designed to alert and protect. Law enforcement and security teams urge people to pay attention and assist them by reporting suspicious activity.
When you think about it, that’s what we all should be, really – brand protectors. If you're familiar with our work at Quality Certification Alliance, you’re likely expecting something in this space about safe and compliant promotional products. I’m looking forward to focusing here each month on the challenges of sourcing the right products for end-user clients who are becoming increasingly risk-aware, thanks to the many stories of product failure in the mainstream media.
One of the luxuries I have at Quality Certification Alliance is access to the principals of some of the industry's top suppliers and distributors. While working on my article, I reached out to 30 key executives and asked them, "If you had to pick just one, what factor would you say represents the promotional products industry's biggest challenge to long-term growth?" The industry certainly has shown some healthy indicators of late, but there are some major changes waiting in the wings.