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As 2014 comes to a close, PPAMS would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of the PPAMS eNews a look at the most accessed articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume Friday, Jan. 9.
11. See the hidden meanings inside 17 tech company logos
From June 27: Everyone recognizes Amazon's famous logo. But did you know there are three different symbolic messages tucked within it? We picked 17 tech company logos that have hidden, subtle, or otherwise clever messages inside their famous brand marques. They include a Facebook logo that secretly indicates another company it hoped to kill, a message you won't get unless you understand Morse, and an actual cryptogram.
12. 6 words that sabotage sales
From April 4: One of the quickest ways to turn off your sales prospects is to use poison words. Poison words are words or phrases that trigger suspicion, mistrust and loss of respect. Ironically, several of these words are commonly used to build rapport with the customer. Promotional Consultant Today shares the vernacular you should avoid in sales.
13. 5 crazy apparel innovations you need to know about
From Feb. 7: For a long time, the only things “cutting edge” about the apparel industry were the blades on the garment-cutting machines. Sure, you had your moisture-wicking and antibacterial fabrics, your ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylenes and other assorted, unpronounceable materials, but that stuff’s only cool if you have a master’s degree in particle physics. Where was the apparel that could “wow” potential buyers on the first look, without having to get all science-y? Where were all the scratch-n-sniff jeans?
14. Taxable swag: If you got free goodies, the IRS wants to know
From April 4: Stuff We All Get, known to most as "swag", comes with no direct price tag to you. We all score a few promotional t-shirts or pens every now and then, and while you may think they're gifts - or, worse, utterly useless junk — they're not gifts for tax purposes since they weren't given to you out of sheer generosity. Instead, those so-called gifts are taxable income in the amount of their fair market value, and you need to report them to the IRS and pay the appropriate tax on it.
15. The new marketing landscape: Why hoarding information will cost you sales leads
Business 2 Community
From Nov. 14: Everything you once knew about marketing and sales prospecting is wrong. Or at the very least, social selling is quickly rendering it obsolete. Once upon a time, companies treated information about their product as sacred. After all, information is power. The traditionally held belief was that a company’s marketing efforts should force prospective customers to call and talk to a salesperson in order to gain almost any useful information. That systematic hoarding of information made sense once upon a time, but it’s totally obsolete in the search engine age, self-educating buyer age.
16. IHeartRadio's vending machine turns Instagram photos into swag
From Oct. 31: IHeartRadio is touring the country with a T-shirt vending machine that accepts Instagram photos as payment. The marketing effort has racked up 5.7 million impressions — likes, shares, views — in the first week on the photo-sharing app, according to iHeartRadio. The five-week campaign (which runs through Nov. 15) stops at 10 college campuses in the Midwest and South, including Arizona State University, the University of Texas and Florida State University.
17. Ingenious giftwrap transforms into a tote bag
Fast Company Design
From Nov. 14: During the holiday season, between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, people in the United States generate about 25 percent more waste than usual — about 1 million extra tons. And part of that waste is made up of mountains of wadded-up wrapping paper that get tossed out after gift-giving fests. For a more sustainable approach, Japanese design studio Nendo has invented the gift wrap that keeps on giving.
18. Awkward sports giveaways: Promotions that weren't home runs
From Oct. 31: It’s great that sports teams give free stuff away to fans, but sometimes free stuff makes for awkward situations. Some of these recent giveaways are both awkward and funny, like the Memphis Grizzlies giving away flip flops when the Los Angeles Clippers are in town. Some are awkward and awesome, like turning Jayson Werth into a garden gnome. Still others are just uncomfortably awkward. After all, what team misspells their own shortstop’s name on thousands of T-shirts?
19. 2014 trends: The face of retail is about to change
From Jan. 17: With consumers searching for shopping experiences and not merely driven by products and pricing, the face of retail is about to change drastically over the next few years. Here are just some of the trends we will start seeing from 2014.
20. The orange underpants logo and the value of testing
The New York Times
From May 16: A few months ago, Robert Moore's company, RJMetrics, proudly released a new logo: an orange dodecahedron. It had everything: a great back story, an alignment with company values and the potential to revolutionize the way customers perceived the brand. Unfortunately, it also had a problem: To some, the logo looked like a giant pair of orange underpants. The issue was resolved with a few tweaks to the design, but it could have been avoided entirely if RJMetrics had done a better job of testing the logo before it was introduced.
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