Why Giving a Pen Away Still Works: The Effectiveness of Promotional Products

It’s easy today to get carried away with the more fashionable marketing strategies. Content marketing and social marketing being some of the latest techniques that people are finding effective. But what happens of the more traditional ways of promoting your business?

You’d expect that offline promotions would have taken a hit in the face of the growing presence of online marketing. Surprisingly though, they are as popular as ever, and do you know why? Promotional products work. Here are some of the reasons why you should be investing in promotional products to raise the profile of your business…

They open the lines of communication

Promotional products are a great way of opening the lines of communication with potential clients. This is down to reciprocation. When you give a gift to someone, it naturally promotes a feeling in that person that they should reciprocate your kind gesture some way. The product breaks the ice effectively and they feel obliged (in a good way) to listen to you and engage you in conversation. All that from something as simple as a pen or a notepad that can cost just pence!


They draw attention you, your company and your brand

At a trade show, it can be difficult to be noticed with so many competitors vying for the attention of potential customers and clients. In marketing, there is nothing more powerful than the word ‘FREE’, so why not get people’s attention by offering them some branded promotional merchandise? Promotional products can also work in your favour another way, away from the trade show booth. If you’re giving some really interesting items away, people will actively use them, and anyone else who sees them will be intrigued by them and ask about them. This can drive even more people to your business or website.

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Increase brand recognition and brand exposure

Conventional advertising is usually limited by time. Whether TV, print or online, there is usually a set period of time that an advert will run for. However, promotional products are a unique form of promotion that potentially could go on advertising your business for an unlimited amount of time.tc (13)

Simple, inexpensive items such as pens, notepads, key rings and USB sticks are very, very useful and will be gladly used by potential clients and customers over and over again. This repetition of use is key, as the secret to increasing brand recognition is the repeated exposure of name, logo and slogan. This repeated use will imprint your company and its message on your potential customer’s minds.


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When you review your marketing activity, don’t forget the more traditional types of raising your business’s profile such as promotional products. In an age dominated by online and social marketing, using promotional products as part of a multidisciplinary approach to marketing can set your company apart from your competitors, and keep you one step ahead. Unbeatable in terms of cost-effectiveness, can you afford not to use them?

5 Marketing Trends of 2015

As 2015 creeps ever nearer, we thought it would be a good idea to identify what will be; in our opinion, the five main marketing trends of 2015…


Mobile will begin to dominate

With the vast majority of people having a smartphone or tablet, the way we use the internet is changing. People don’t surf the web on large monitor screens anymore, preferring to do so on their much smaller phones and tablets on the move. Therefore, in terms of online marketing, strategies that were effective on large monitor screens are no longer as effective as before, because they don’t translate well to the smaller screens of tablets and mobiles. Your marketing strategies should reflect this. Priorities should be ensuring that your online advertising is relevant and accessible on smaller screens, and that your website is fully mobile responsive.


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Whichever market your business operates in, chances are it is going to get more competitive in 2015. This is where companies don’t just have to work harder to survive and thrive, they have to work smarter. Micro targeting is a way of delving into your business’s marketing metrics at a very specific and detailed level and identifying the most profitable niches to target. Effectively, you will be developing buyer personas for these niches, enabling your marketing activity to talk to them much more effectively.

Video advertising

Video advertising has been growing significantly in the last few years. One of the major reasons is its reach. Youtube reaches more young adults below the age of 34 than any other comparable medium, such as TV, radio or the printed media. Social is key to effective video advertising, and quality video content that is not an overt ‘advert’ can be shared across the globe.




Native advertising

Native advertising is also known as ‘organic advertising’ or ‘sponsored content’. Essentially they are adverts that are presented in formats designed specifically for the platform being used, taking advantage of the way that its users engage with it. Examples can be Twitter’s promoted tweets, Facebook’s suggested posts or the ads that appear between Flipboard pages. Expect to see more and more companies using this form of advertising.

Back to basics

As digital marketing begins to dominate with an almost limitless number of opportunities to market your business, it has left some more traditional forms of marketing somewhat redundant. However, this should be used to your advantage. There are some great deals in terms of offline advertising and marketing, and if used carefully and consistently, they can be a highly effective method of marketing your company. Used in conjunction with your online activity, using such things as promotional items and more traditional forms of advertising can distinguish and differentiate your company, however competitive the market.

Nobody knows exactly what will happen in terms of marketing in 2015, but by engaging with the trends above, it will ensure you are doing everything you can to stay ahead of the game and ahead of your competitors.


So Why Is Your Brand So Important? – 3 Rules To Live By

Having a good brand is crucial in modern business. It’s importance isn’t about getting your target customers to choose you over your competitors; branding is about getting your prospects to see your company as the only one that provides a solution to their problem or need. Branding is an immensely powerful business tool and if done well, will differentiate you from your competition and identify you as the clear and identifiable market leader.

Whether you are in the process of building a brand or you are managing an existing one, there are several fundamental rules you should always keep in mind to develop your brand and make it work for you.

1. Communicate Your Brand in Everything You Do

Your brand isn’t just a logo, a clever strap-line or wonderful new website design. Your brand is EVERYTHING. How you interact with your customers is your brand. How your employees dress at business functions is your brand. The state of the building your business is housed in is your brand. Branding is all encompassing and your company shouldn’t just have a brand, your company is a brand and it should live and breathe it. As well as being clever, clear and compelling, your brand should be consistent and applied to everything you and your company does.


2. Be Social and Engage

Branding is at its most effective when the brand actively engages with potential customers, and a good brand should have a strong and distinctive personality. This can be portrayed through active use of social media channels. Increase friends and followers by engaging with them and providing targeted, useful and interesting content.

Excellent offline engagement strategies include the clever use of promotional items. Instead of the usual pens or mugs, there are a variety of innovative and exciting items that can be used as part of your brand engagement strategy. Focus on items that sit with your brand’s message and have a unique and interesting quality. This can be a powerful way of communicating your brand to potential customers.

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3. Dare to be Different

Branding isn’t about being better than your competitors. Successful branding is about being different from them. Dare to be different! It’s amazing how in nearly every business sector, you will find scores of companies all citing the exact same reasons as to why they are different. In reality, all this is doing is reinforcing the customer’s image of them as all being the same, and making the  choice of who to use even more difficult. Dare to be different and get yourself noticed!

Never Forget How Powerful Your Brand Can Be

The power of branding and differentiation can be seen with the Stella Artois lager brand. Launched in the UK in 1976, it was a moderately successful brand with reasonable sales figures. Their 1982 rebrand however revolutionised their fortunes. More expensive than competitor’s drinks, Stella Artois embraced this with the slogan ‘Reassuringly Expensive’.


Differentiating their product at a stroke, they turned this negative into a positive. Customers bought the lager in their droves, as they now saw Stella Artois as a premium, quality product that was worth paying that little bit extra for. Three simple words saw Stella Artois become the UK’s most popular lager, a distinction it still holds to this day.

All the best,



It’s All About What You Look Like

When marketing your business, incorporating a visual approach is becoming more and more important. Sites such as Instagram and Pinterest have grown rapidly in recent years, with images on such sites being twice as likely to be shared as traditional text.

instagram and pinterstWhether you want to push a new range of products or use a visual approach to communicating your brand, here are our tips to help you do this.

Exploit Your Existing Visual Content

It’s not always necessary to create new visual content. Your company may have a number of photographs, images, infographics and videos that could be adapted for you to use in your new visual campaign. Take your time to go through these assets and it could give you some valuable and useful imagery as well as saving you money.

iconsSlides from previous presentations may be useful to include in explainer videos, and old reports can be revolutionised with the addition of imagery. This makes them both more social media friendly and it can also help drive traffic from Google Images.

Understand the Different Visual Communities

When using imagery to market your company, social media is vital and it is important to understand each different social channel. You will find that different sites will each have their own ‘feel’, and what works in one, may not be as effective in another. Posting visually striking in-depth reports may gain you popularity on sites such as Linkedin, but not on Twitter. However, a funny seven second video shared using Twitter’s Vine service could be very well received. Understanding the different social media cultures will enhance your content creation and strengthen your social media presence.


Give Memes a Try

If you’ve spent any amount of time on social media sites such as Facebook, Pinterest or Linkedin, you will be aware of the large number of memes that are shared. Memes are a striking image, which can be funny or beautiful, paired with a relevant quote, fact or joke. When tagged with your brand, these can be immensely effective and are easy to create with sites such as Canva.com. A good meme can go viral, and be shared around the world, so it is essential that the meme you create fits within your brands image. A funny meme may be very popular, but how does it portray your company? What does it say about you? Always keep this in mind.

Go Offline

In today’s digital age, it is all too easy to forget about more traditional types of advertising and promotion. Assess what is working for you online and see if you think it could be effective offline. Bold visual advertising could drive traffic to both your website and social media channels, as could the clever use of promotional items, especially when linked to your campaign. There are some very clever and effective promotional items in the market, and it is worth checking to see what could link-in with your campaign and enhance its effectiveness.


Wherever you start with using your visual imagery to portray your message, it is vital that it is consistent across all chosen channels. It may take you a little time to fine-tune your visual approach, but once up and running it will play a key role in your marketing activity.

All the best,


SAPD Launch Their New Branded Phone Charger Dead Mobiles Will Be A Thing Of The Past

SAPD the well known promotional items supplier based in Bovingdon is proud to announce its latest innovative, brandable product, the PowerBank. Set to become one of 2014′s most popular promotional items. The PowerBank both promotes your company’s brand and provides exceptional functionality to you potential customers.

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With companies looking to stand out and add value to their customers the hunt is always on for practical and useful branded items that can be used to engage customers; while at the same time creating a perfect reminder of a company’s brand. With communication being integral to all modern businesses large and small, it is vital that the modern businessman or women is contactable on the move. SAPD’s new pocket sized PowerBank helps ensure this, providing power to their mobile phone when there’s no power source available.

The PowerBank is an external battery in a sealed case. Charged by a wall charger or laptop, the PowerBank can be carried around to provide emergency power to a mobile phone (or even an mp3 or mp4 player) wherever and whenever it is needed.



Available three formats of varying size, the PowerTech, the PowerMax and the PowerMate, all three versions offer outstanding functionality as well as space for your branding. Up to five or six colours can be printed on the devices and each piece is packed in a beautiful silver gift box that adds a touch of class.

Mark Gilmour from SAPD said “We are expecting the PowerBanks to be hugely popular this year. The most effective items in promoting brands have always been those items that provide a useful function. Nearly everyone has a mobile phone, and most people have been unfortunate enough to run out of battery power at a crucial time. Now, thanks to the Power Bank, this will never be a problem. Imagine being front of your customers mind in a positive way because the power pack you gave them got them out of a sticky situation.”

SAPD is a forward thinking corporate branding specialist based in Bovingdon, Hertfordshire. The company’s goal is to turn great ideas into innovative products at the most cost-effective price possible. It is part of the same group as RePackme fulfilment and logistics and the popular leisure range Footypants, which has been worn by a number of Premier League and Football League stars.
For more information please visit http://www.sapd.co.uk contact Mark@sapd.co.uk or call 01442 831077.

About SAPD

SAPD are a leading producer and supplier of promotional gifts for the business to business global corporate market. They are different from most suppliers as they source high quality items from their global supplier network which enables delivery of items at speed and within budget.

Contact Information:

M.D. Mark Gilmour



58 High Street


Hemel Hempstead


Tel: ++44(0)1442 831 077

Imagine if you could persuade 30% of your competitor’s customers to try your product…

We live in a world where brand is everything. Whatever line of business you are in, your business is as strong as your brand; it’s what sets you apart from your competitors and what communicates your business message.

Developing your brand therefore is key; but it is difficult sometimes to focus just on how to do that, with so many different options available. Promotional items are one of the oldest ways of developing your brand, and according to a new survey from the BPMA (British Promotional Merchandise Association), it’s the most effective too. Here are some key findings from the report, along with some ideas as to how these can be utilised to build your brand.

Free gifts can persuade people to change their brand

People like to stick with what they know. Even if they know that another brand may be better/cheaper/more suitable, people tend to carry on purchasing what they always have done. This can be through a certain amount of loyalty to a brand, but is usually more to do with fear, fear of trying something new. This lethargy is one of the hardest obstacles marketers have to overcome.

Promotional advertising can be a key tool in fighting this lethargy. The survey found that 3 out of 10 people have decided to change the brand that they regularly buy in order that they can receive a free gift. This shows the power of promotional advertising.

The promotional items consumers want

There were some hugely useful findings in the part of the study that looked at the most popular types of promotional items and how likely that by receiving one of these would persuade them to change their brand. The top results were as follows:


48% would swap their current brand for cooking accessories

42% would swap their current brand for a coffee mug

39% would swap their current brand for a branded fizzy drinks glass

Again, these results show the power of promotional advertising, and it is a type of advertising that keeps on advertising, because all of those items above are useful and are used again and again.

What promotional products do people own?

Pen – 62%

Mug – 35%

Keyring – 33%

T-Shirt – 25%

Drinking Glass -25%


The results of this question show the longevity of different types of promotional advertising. No other form of advertising can compete with these sort of figures. 62% of people who received a promotional pen kept it for over a year, yet the cost of a pen is literally a few pence, emphasising how powerful and cost-effective promotional products can be.

In the modern world, we are bombarded as business with the message that potential customers have to ‘experience’ your brand and its message several times before a level of recognition and reaction is achieved. It can be seen from the results of the survey above, that promotional products provide and ongoing promotion of your brand, whilst also serving a useful function when the need arises.


Colour Psychology And How It Can Revolutionise Your Marketing Activity

Colour has enormous power. It can help sway our attitudes, our emotions, inspire us or even scare us. When we see colour, it sets off a chain reaction of events in our brain that ultimately results in the thyroid glands releasing hormones, causing fluctuations in emotions, mood and behaviour.

Various studies have shown that over 85% of all product assessments are largely to do with colour, with colour being over 80% of the reason people purchase a particular product over another. Colour, therefore, and the appreciation of its power should be at the core of you promotional and marketing strategy. Choose the right colour and you will get results.


The four core principles of using colour in marketing and promotions

Colour should be used:

  • The right way
  • At the right time
  • Targeting the right audience
  • For the right purpose

An example would be promotional items aimed at children that you find in cereal boxes or at fast food outlets. You will generally find that they will be bright, bold colours, such as reds, greens and oranges. You would not generally find promotional items aimed at children in brown or dark green.

Here are 3 tips involving colour that can revolutionise your marketing and promotional activity

Men and women like and dislike different colours

Women like:

  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Green

Men like:

  • Blue
  • Green
  • Black

Women dislike:

  • Orange
  • Grey
  • Brown

Men dislike:

  • Purple
  • Orange
  • Brown

It’s not surprising that men and women like and dislike different colours, but by choosing the right colour, you can immediately target a particular demographic. Choosing blue or green targets both men and women, whereas choosing purple for example will particularly appeal to women. Surprisingly, pink was not one of the most popular colours chosen by women.

Blue is the colour that cultivates trust


Blue is very popular, with good reason. Blue has demonstrable psychological effects. It promotes a subtle message of peace and serenity, as well as trustworthiness. This can be utilised in choosing colours for your promotional and marketing activity. Facebook’s main colour is blue. Their core values are trust and transparency. They didn’t choose the colour blue by accident!

Orange equals speed, haste and rapidity

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Orange is fun, but also creates a sense of haste and rapidity. Orange is loud, it’s active and it can also signify a feeling of togetherness. Several major brands use orange extensively, and it is easy to see why. TNT, the RAC and Easyjet all promote a sense of haste in their service. TNT will deliver your parcels faster, the RAC will get to you at the roadside quickly, and Easyjet will get you to your destination as quickly and as efficiently as possible. If your promoting a product or a service where speed is key, orange can be a great colour to choose.

Choosing the right colour is key in marketing and promotion. Choose the right colour, and it will do much of the work for you. Choose the wrong colour, and you can exclude whole sectors of society. Choose your colour carefully, and reap the rewards.



Stress Relievers as a promotional gift

Promotional gifts are a recognised way to promote your brand. Here is a great way to get started. Stress relievers! Totally versitile these great promotional items appeal across the board when it comes to something appropriate for your own clients.

Stress relievers literally come in all shapes and sizes from; football’s, love hearts,Globes, Funny faces, Dice and even lego bricks. Here at SAPD we can even create something specific just for you. Give us a call and lets have a chat.

All the best,


3 Reasons Why Branded Office Promotional Items Work

Corporate gifts are a great way of getting your brand out there and raising your company profile.

At SAPD we specialise in applying company branding to a wide range of top quality office products, from IT accessories to desk tidies and business card cases. Giving these items to clients as corporate gifts may seem like an unnecessary expense; yet here are three reasons why works when it comes to promoting your business and brand.

1. Excellent exposure for the brand logo

Most companies recognise the importance of a strong logo. It is a key visual representation of what the company stands for and is often the first thing that prospective clients will notice. A logo can make or break a business and a multi-billion pound industry has developed around the quest for that perfect visual tag which succinctly encapsulates brand identity.


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Once a company has put in the hard work developing the perfect logo, one of the most effective ways to achieve exposure for it is through office branding items. Whether you’re giving away mouse mats at a trade show, including free pens with application packs or adding complimentary post-it notes to a customer order, your branded corporate gifts will generally find their way on to a client’s desk. If you have carefully chosen a good quality product that will prove useful in their day-to-day work, you have guaranteed repeat brand exposure for the life of the corporate gift. Choosing a reputable promotional gift supplier to provide your branded office items ensures that your products last longer and consequently work harder for you.

2. An easy and affordable way to connect with your audience

Corporate branded desk items are a relatively inexpensive form of advertising that exposes your logo repeatedly throughout the working day and fosters familiarity with your branding. In most cases, corporate gifts are targeted at those who have expressed an interest in, or previously utilised, your product or service and are likely to require similar products or services in future.

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By offering a good quality branded gift at the point of enquiry or on completion of a deal, you are subtly ensuring your company’s continued presence in your client’s office. This means your company name will be, literally right under their nose the next time they consider a brand-relevant purchase.

3. Your most effective multi-taskers

Branded corporate gifts are the best multi-taskers in your client’s office. By serving a practical purpose in day-to-day work life they are working for your client. By being an ever-present instance of your logo they are subtly yet effectively working for you and raising your company profile.

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Investing time and money in great corporate gifts means that your brand can be continually promoted to your key clients in an unobtrusive manner, leaving you more time to focus on developing your offering and expanding your business.

Till next time,

Mark Gilmour


Salt & Pepper Designs Launch Facebook Page

Salt & Pepper Designs have just launched their new Facebook page, which aims to share posts on not only SAPD’s range of gifts, but also blog posts on the importance of branding within the workplace. SAPD is a corporate gift company, who offer a wide range of products from USB hubs to clothing.

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SAPD’s aims are simple; they want to give offices the opportunity to create the perfect image for themselves with their products. This does not simply happen with a company’s outward image, but also it’s internal image. SAPD know the importance of corporate branding, which is why they produce quality items for offices that can be used as office branding items for the purpose of giving each office its own unique touch.

SAPD are utilising social media to help get across the importance of corporate branding. Sharing blog posts, images of their products and other promotional items, so that consumers can easily see key products or can read posts such as “5 reasons why a strong visual brand increases sales”. Facebook is a powerful tool when it comes to reaching a wider audience which is why it is so important for SAPD to have a page.

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SAPD are one of the leading brands when it comes to corporate gifts, with years of experience under their belt. With 15 years industry experience, Mark Gilmour, SAPD’s M.D. understands this better than most, “SAPD work hard to ensure that offices understand the importance of branding” he says. Such a wealth of experience has given SAPD the edge when it comes to supplying corporate gifts. They know that having a website is simply not enough, therefore by having a Facebook page as well they understand their demographic of young professionals who may be looking to purchase corporate gifts, or looking to gain knowledge about how to strengthen their corporate brand.

SAPD don’t just offer gifts for inside the office, they also offer gifts for out of office leisure activities. Having downtime from the office is the best way to refresh and recharge, ready to take on another week. SAPD offer a range of sportswear, leisure and travel items, and golfing items. Items such as this have already been shared on the new Facebook page, showcasing to their consumers the wide range of products they offer. SAPD understand the importance of Facebook and are using theirs to its full potential.