Brand-ecdotes with Charity Gibson




Welcome to a super awesome blog post series for Hasseman Marketing called:




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


This week we talk to Charity Gibson!  Charity wears quite a few hats in the Promo industry.  She has been on both the distributor and supplier side of the business (and is now with Peerless Umbrella).  She is a social media rock star!  And she is on the PromoKitchen board as well!  Take it away Charity!


1. What is your all-time favorite Promotional Product and why? For a long time, my favorite promotional product was the old-school viewmaster. The nostalgia factor played a big part inthat one because I know a large demographic of people had one as a child, have a positive feeling about it, and can relate to the product. My sales pitch was that a company could have these made with their logo and it would stay on the recipient’s desk because of novelty, but then each month they could send out new reels that would have a special for that month, new product info, and any other message they wanted to send, but these sales could only be viewed by putting the reel into the toy. In my mind, it was the perfect way to get people excited about seeing sales flyers. Since then, however, my mind has been focused on more practical products. There is one product I use and subsequently see every single day, and that is my PhoneLoop from EMT. My phone, or phones I should say – I carry three, are with me 24 hoursa day. My PhoneLoop has saved my phone from so many drops I can’t even count, and keeps it clean because I can hang it on hooks in bathrooms when I’m out and not carrying a purse.    My good friend Brian Stidham gave me a random sample at a tradeshowand I had that first PhoneLoop for over a year. I only recently changed it out because I ended up getting some done as a self-promo for Peerless. People carry umbrellas when they will be in the sun for an extended period of time, or when it’s raining. Umbrellas really do make amazing billboards and our Peerless branded, EMT made PhoneLoops share this story every time people pick up their phone, which is on average, 62 times a day or something ridiculous like that.  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 promotional product has to be really freakin’ cool for me to keep it. Consequently, I don’t actually have very many around my house. One that I not only love, but paid retail for, is a photo keepsake from Lego Land. My fiance and my daughter haven’t always gotten along, especially while we are on vacations. On this particular occasion a few years back, we were at Lego Land and, just to be defiant, my daughter claimed she was scared to go on most of the rides. It made for a very long day. Finally toward the end of the day, however, she loosened up and went on a few of the smaller roller coasters.On one ride she said she would be more comfortable with Damon sitting in the coaster car with her so that he could make sure she didn’t fall out. I was both surprised and delighted by this turn of events.  When we exited the ride, they of course had the photos lined up. Not only was the photo they snapped totally hilarious because I look like I’m praying – maybe for them to start getting along – but they handed me a photo frame and showed me a virtual sample on the screen of what our photo would look like on this neat lego creation. The stand is made of lego bricks and then the photo itself is printed on a wall of lego bricks so you could, if you wanted, take it apart and rebuild it. $40 some odd dollars later, that frame is one of the few pictures I’ve got displayed on my office bookcase. It is super cute and seriously clever.  Bravo to whoever thought that one up! Bonus: Damon and K are getting along MUCH better now. I feel like maybe it’s time to take that trip again so we can actually enjoy ourselves and I can get another frame with a new lego figure on it to add to the collection. Ha!   3.  What is the current product you use all the time?  See question one. 🙂  4.  What is an idea/product that you think organizations UNDER use? In general, all promotional products are under used. Even within our own industry, both distributors and suppliers fail to use our medium to attract and retain clients. We cold call, email blast, and use social media when really, we should be using the products at our disposal to be our own best case study. Sure you can use social media and email to enhance your promo efforts and amplify your message by sharing photos,  etc., but as promo people we should really work to always think promo first. Second to that, I don’t think there is any one product that is underused as much as the imprint and/or imprint area is mis or under utilized.We often forget that we can print anything on these products. We can print a marketing message, statement, QR code, or a picture. It doesn’t have to be a logo. Also, the number one thing I see missing frompromo product projects is a call to action. We have an incredible opportunity to use this space to give people a directive. Incentivize them to engage with your brand. Encourage them to visit a website or connect and/or engage with social your social media accounts.Nine times out of ten, if you ask people to do something and give them a good enough reason to do it, they will. Whatever product you choose, use the imprint area to make that product really work overtime. It will be more effective, make a bigger impact, showa lower cost per impression, and turn a bigger ROI. 5.  What do you think is the best thing about Promotional Products as an advertising media? I love that promotional products are the tangible realization of someone’s dream coming true. That might just be the best thing about them. It can be something as simple as a business card or pen, but when you dream of opening a company, take the steps to make it happen, create the logo and lay the foundation, put in the hard work of getting ready to do business, and then you open that first box of promo and see your logoon whatever it is, that’s a very special moment. In that moment, you realize you did it, and you have the pen in your hand with your logo on it to prove it. Promotional products have the power to stir emotion, drive people to action, and be kept or passed on for years to come. Can your billboard ad or tv commercial do that? Didn’t think so ?  

And…that’s the another edition of Brand-ecdotes!  Thanks to Charity Gibson 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.