The first 2 questions are easy to answer, but the last 2 can leave you scratching your head. Any form of advertising has to address these questions:
Will it be cost effective?
How will I know the advertising campaign worked?
Will the campaign have long-lasting rewards?
Will the campaign show my company in the image that I want it to show?
Is the success of the advertising campaign “measurable”?
A $50 pocket stainless steel pocket knife with your corporate logo laser engraved will be a good investment. But only if it is cost effective. If that knife brings you an order worth $5,000 or $1,000,000, it is well worth its cost. So quality company logo knives aren’t for a business that gets a lot of small orders.
How will you know it worked? How does Procter and Gamble know that their 30 second commercial last Tuesday worked? You can only guess that all advertising has a cumulative effect on your customer base. There are ways to track effectiveness. We can explore these methods in another post.
Will a gift knife have long-lasting rewards? You bet! So do it now, and not just before you retire.
Image: Choose the style of knife that reflects your company’s image.
Measurable results of this type of advertising: A great topic for next time.
How do you choose the best pocket knife? Some of the new tactical knives have really cool designs. But, since they don’t have a history of popularity, they can’t be considered in this contest. They may be popular now, but that might be short-lived.
The winner must have a history of popularity for many years. How about 1964? If a knife style was invented in that year, like the Buck 110 Folding Hunter, would that be a long enough history? What about the 1600’s? That time frame would certainly be a long enough history. That’s 400 years, or 4 centuries. If a pocket knife style is still as popular now, as it was 400 years ago, that would make it the winner. So that’s how I came up with the winning knife. If you don’t agree, please post your comments here.
I believe the Best Pocket Knife of All Time is the Barlow Knife. Once used by George Washington, and Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer.
In 2017 so far, the United States has struggled through 2 major hurricanes. Harvey hit Houston Texas the end of August, and flooded many square miles of land. Then hurricane Irma devastated most of Florida on September 10 and 11. How do you prepare your home and your family from these disasters? Does your survival kit contain a survival knife? Do you have a survival kit in your house, and another one in your car?
Here are my favorite engraved pocket knives for survival and rescue. Engraved, because they were laser engraved with a company logo. It’s the logos of companies who generously gave them to their customers and employees. What is a greater advertising gift, than one that can save your life?
Why are Buck Knives so popular and successful? Why do corporate managers choose to give engraved Buck knives with their company logo to the employees as business gifts? Whey are Buck knives a favorite business gift to customers and clients? Here are 5 secrets to Buck’s popularity.
Leatherman tools have been around since 1983. This isn’t a very long time, compared to barlow knives, which started in the 1600’s. 34 years is a relatively short history, but it seems that Leatherman tools have been around forever. Companies have advertised their logo on Engraved Leatherman Tools because they last forever. What other type of advertising lasts forever?
These tools have been designed around a pair of pliers, with some other handy tools attached. But in the last couple of years, 2 new designs have emerged.
The Leatherman Raptor was introduced in 2014. It is basically a rugged pair of folding scissors with many other emergency medical tools. It is considered an absolute necessity for today’s EMT’s and safety force personnel.
Tim Leatherman came up with another innovative product in 2015. The Tread. It is a multi-tool that can be worn as a bracelet. Now screwdrivers and nut drivers, and a box cutter can always be in easy reach.
According to the Walmart website, they already sell Kershaw Knives. According to “Promogram”, an ASI newsletter, Walmart announced in mid August 2017 its Walmart PromoShop, an online way to sell imprinted items such as T shirts for family reunions. They also reported to have pens, mugs, and bags.
Will they be proficient in handling the detailed art problems in engraving business gifts? Screen printing T shirts is easy. Every town has 3 or 4 screen printers that do T shirts. Laser engraving expensive stainless steel items is an art and science. The imprinters that do those items, specialize in them. They don’t do shirts and pencils.
Will they be able to assist customers in designing a layout that is easy to read, and attractive? The current Kershaw Knives distributors are experienced in these details.
The famous Barlow Knives are well-known by people who appreciate a well-made, quality business gift. They were originally made in the USA by Barlow, a company that was based in Los Angeles CA from 1930 to 2005. Barlow made pocket knives, key chains, and money clips and imprinted the customer’s logo on them. This was very popular for businesses to promote themselves to their customers. Barlow products had a lifetime Warranty. If the if the items broke, or failed, the end user could just mail it to Barlow for a repacement. The shipping both ways was paid for by the end user. After 12 years, we still get inquiries about this warranty, which is no longer available.
In 2005 the promotional product industry giant, Norwood bought them. Production was kept in China, where Barlow transferred it in 2003, just 2 years before the sale.
Then in June 2009, the Great Recession forced Norwood Promotional Products Holdings, Inc. to declare bankruptcy. So the Barlow Knives brand was once again sold. This time, BIC Graphic North America, another giant, bought Norwood at auction for $162.5 Million. BIC kept the Norwood brand and the little Barlow brand.
Probably the inability to make enough profit forced BIC to sell in June 2017. HIG Capital bought BIC Graphic North America and its Asian sourcing Division for a mere $80 Million. The sales at the time were over $300 Million, according to Bizjournals.com. So this is the third time that the Barlow brand was sold. HIG Capital of Miami FL is a huge company with $21 Billion in equity capital under management. Promotional products are not new to them. They bought Halo, a promotional product distributor, in 2003, and sold it in 2007. The selling price was $62.5 Million. So the $80 Million price it paid for BIC was a real bargain.
It is expected that HIG will continue the same service and products, and do well in this market. Hopefully, the Barlow brand will continue.
A fruit knife can do more than sample fruit and vegetables. It can do more than carry your company logo to all your customers. Here are some fun samples of tricks that people have done with fruit knives. This makes fruit knives great promotional items. They are useful, long-lasting, and appreciated. What other type of advertising can be described like that?