Brand-ecdotes: Mark Graham


Welcome to our awesome blog post series for Hasseman Marketing called: 



Each week we will talk to a branding all star about what makes the Promotional Product advertising media so special!  


This week we talk with Mark Graham.  Mark is the Chief Platform Officer at Commonsku and the founder of Right Sleeve.  Both are amazing companies in the Promotional Products space.  


1.  What is your all time favorite Promotional Product and why?The Tshirt. Hands down. I love how this piece is both fashionable and functional. The Tshirt is also a great expression of a brand’s personality and people wear their favourite brands proudly. Think of your favourite shirt for a second. I bet you there is a logo on it, and you have worn it hundreds, if not thousands of times. That’s hugely powerful. 2.  Can you name a Promo Product that you have that STILL reminds you fondly of an event, person, organization?  If so, can you tell us that story?A Yupoong Trucker Cap with the motionball logo on it. Motionball is a charity that raises awareness and funds for Special Olympics Canada. They have a series of events that bring together athletes of all abilities. I love this hat, it’s lasted me for years and it’s my go to hat. Not only am I proud to wear it because the event raises money for a great cause, but it’s also a really fun event. And I’ve had the hat for 10 years. 3.  What is the current product you use all the time?My skucamp journal, made by Chameleon Like. It’s where all of my crazy ideas go. 4.  What is an idea/product that you think organizations UNDER use?Oh geez, good question! I’ll have to think about that! Ok, I know this is an unusual way to answer this but I don’t know that I think of a product being underused as much as I think companies fail to think strategically about how they use promotional products. What you see is a lot of junky items produced because a marketer “has some leftover budget” and they engage their distributor in the wrong way. This results in a poorly executed product which hits the landfill and contributes to the public’s negative perception of our industry. So, what’s underused is a creative way of thinking about how promo can be used in the marketing mix. 5.  What do you think is the best thing about Promotional Products as an advertising media?It’s the most effective advertising media when it comes to creating an emotional connection with the user. Hands down (when it’s done right)! 

And…that’s another awesome edition of Brand-ecdotes!  Thanks to Mark Graham for taking the time to jump in on this brand new project!  


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Written by: Kirby Hasseman

Kirby Hasseman is the CEO of Hasseman Marketing & Communications. Kirby hosts a weekly Web show called Delivering Marketing Joy where he interviews business leaders from around the country. Kirby has published four books. His most recent is “Fan of Happy.” His book, called "Delivering Marketing Joy" is about doing “promo right” and is perfect for people in the industry and customers. He also wrote “Think Big For Small Business” and “Give Your Way to Success. All are available on Amazon.