SPPA eNews
Feb. 21, 2014

What Sochi can teach us about trademarks
Entreprenuer via Reuters
On any list of politicians who have transformed themselves into a discernible brand, Vladimir Putin would be near the top. Putin himself traveled to Guatemala seven years ago to personally pitch Sochi as the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics. His pitch impressed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and brought the 2014 Games to Russia’s largest resort city. From NPR to Fox News, Putin has meticulously crafted an image that demonstrates he recognizes the power behind a strong brand. If there is any other institution that recognizes the value behind an effective brand, it is the IOC.More

Striving shirt printer morphs his business into a film industry supplier
The Times-Picayune
Tim Baudier says he believes in holding multiple jobs. It's apparent from his service as an elected official on the Harahan, La., City Council, his work managing a custom guitar-making shop and his movie stuntman appearances. Yet another role, however, is increasingly drawing his focus. Baudier has developed a T-shirt printing and uniform-embroidering company into a quintessential example of a local vendor capitalizing on recent years of brisk film production work in the New Orleans area.More

What you can expect to see in the future of retail
Small Business Trends
If your business is brick-and-mortar retail, you already know that more shoppers are going online. In fact, according to the Walker Sands 2014 Future of Retail study, just 1 percent of consumers never shop online, and nearly two-thirds (62 percent) shop online at least once a month. Free and fast shipping, free returns and exchanges, and the ability to return items purchased online in-store are among the top factors that are convincing consumers to buy online. In other words, online retailers are making shopping online more like shopping in-store, making consumers more comfortable with it.More

How to bulk up your B2B sales
Inc.
Acquiring new clients can be particularly challenging in competitive B2B industries. Larry Kim's company, WordStream, competes with other search engine marketing software and service vendors in an incredibly noisy space, filled with highly skilled Internet marketers. Even so, WordStream has managed to sign up a few thousand customers in just three years. Having a solid product is a must, but beyond that, how can businesses cut through all the noise to connect with clients at scale?More

What Sochi can teach us about trademarks
Entreprenuer via Reuters
On any list of politicians who have transformed themselves into a discernible brand, Vladimir Putin would be near the top. Putin himself traveled to Guatemala seven years ago to personally pitch Sochi as the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics.More

PPEF celebrates 25th anniversary, 2014 scholarship period now open
SPPA
Promotional Products Education Foundation is pleased to announce that the 2014 PPEF scholarship program is now taking applications for the 2014 - 2015 school year with $125,000 in scholarships to be awarded.More

American Apparel strikes marketing gold in Sochi
Mashable
Could Sochi turn into a sea of bright red hoodies, scarves, beanies and duffel bags? If so, American Apparel may have pulled off one of the greatest ambush marketing campaigns in Olympics history.More

Promotional USB drives used in identity theft scheme
KHOU-TV
From data breaches at Target to Neiman Marcus, identity thieves have set their sights on tens-of-millions of shoppers’ personal information. Now, there’s a warning about another threat to your identity—one you probably never thought of. But it’s already cost a Texas businesswoman thousands of dollars. It started when Leeanne Rambin, owner of Empire Creative Marketing, was contacted about an order. At first, nothing seemed unusual. “The type of work we do, everything’s different and it’s always changing,” Rambin explained. The new client wanted 1,000 USB drives printed with the company’s name and logo.More

2014 Oscar 'losers' to get $55,000 swag bags — here's what's inside
The Times-Picayune
Oh, to be a Hollywood star. Not only do they get fame and fortune, but they also get killer swag bags come Oscar time. This year will be no different. The Los Angeles-based marketing firm Distinctive Assets released the list of free stuff that will serve to console the "losers" in Oscar's acting and directing categories this year, and it's enough to make you want to enroll in acting classes. Valued at more than $55,000 each — "and growing every day" — this year's "Everyone Wins at the Oscars Nominee Gift Bags" will include everything from pepper spray to booze to a five-day Hawaii vacation.More

Track pants grace runways as activewear goes up
Bloomberg
The numbers show how consumer choices are transforming the industry. While overall U.S. apparel sales rose 2 percent last year, activewear sales surged 9 percent to $33 billion, according to NPD Group, which is based in Port Washington, New York. Jeans sales fell 1 percent. The trend has opened a chasm between chains that still sell a lot of denim and those positioned in the activewear sweet spot. More

Child safety report: Recalls ineffective
IndyStar
Just 10 percent of children's products are returned or fixed during safety recalls, according to a first-of-its-kind report from a children's safety advocacy group. Such a low number of successfully recalled products means many commonly used items that could injure or kill children likely remain in use, according to the new report from Chicago-based Kids in Danger. "The return rate of recalls is really abysmal," said Nancy Cowles, KID's executive director. "The government makes announcements, but people don't hear about them or don't respond."More