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10 Years Goes Quickly
Pictured above, Purchasing Manager Tim Berroth and Partner Darren Golden show off their new 10 year watches. The two represent the 23rd and 24th recipients of the Omega Seamaster Professional watches that are given to all employees once they are with us for 10 years. The watches have been given to members of all departments including the design team, sales, warehouse, embroidery, customer service and screenprintng. The amazing thing is that while we have been in business for only 23 years, over 25% of our staff has already received the watch. Good job and Congratulations to Tim and Darren!
The Year in Review
We just came across this menu summarizing 2011 that we thought you would enjoy.
Salesperson of the Year
There Are No Shortcuts
We couldn't agree more with the thoughts in this week's featured article on being linked out and overdone with continual connectedness. As we have written before, unfortunately today's youth is so distracted with all the technology and associated b.s. that they quite often miss opportunities right in front of them. While most of us would certainly welcome discovering the next big thing and the resulting riches, the reality is that success is most often realized by following basic business principles and building businesses from the ground up. Sounds pretty simple, but we believe Thomas Edison had it right, "there is no substitute for hard work."
Original article can be found here.
I have been thinking about the explosion of startups, not only in San Diego, but in a dozen cities from Seattle to Boston to Ann Arbor. At times, I cannot tell the difference between one social media application and the next one. The onslaught of ideas masquerading as “companies” seems to have a feel of “me too-ism” along with an easily transparent, hungry look for a quick flip, for the easy road, for a hope that someone will buy it.
And so as we enter the new year, allow me to offer Rule No. 381:1 - It is as hard to build a small company as it is to build a big one. There are no shortcuts. Or said another way, I would like to challenge the young entrepreneur in 2012 to reach for the bigger idea, to try to solve the more difficult problem, to address the complexity of a puzzle, and not just look for an angry bird.
Every entrepreneurial adventure has a myriad of bumps and bruises, and you will be consumed by the effort required. What I am suggesting is to pause for a moment and make sure that the project has some gravitas, some heft, some reason for being, beyond just trying to make money. Rule No. 112 - You better enjoy the journey, because the only thing left to do when you get to the hotel is to check out.
Admitting that I can be a bit of a curmudgeon at times, nonetheless, have we reached a point of continual connectedness where we are becoming disconnected from reality? I do not want to know what you ate for breakfast, where you are standing at this very moment, whether you liked the burger or didn’t. I don’t want to see any more out-of-focus pictures of your dog or your child who looks like a dog. Less sharing, less linking. I’m linked out.
We have become a nation so consumed with sharing and tweeting and “Facebooking” that soon there will be no one left to download your offering because we will all be too busy uploading our own. And in that case, who is left to do the feeling?
So what I ask this new generation of innovators is that they take on the hard problems, take the AP class, be willing to fail in a bigger cause. And to find that cause, you need to allow for a bit of silence, a moment of disconnectedness.
People are now paying $2,000 a week to go to a Benedictine monastery where they are forced to disconnect and experience six days without the Internet. Imagine the withdrawal, the shaking, the palpitations, the dry heaves, the dripping sweat. Disconnected. And paying to do it. The addicts are running the asylum.
I hear the junkie down the hall, “Jam the needle into my USB port and turn the drip on, baby. I need it baby, I need it badly.”
In searching for the next big thing, the game changer, the “world will be better because of this,” I offer the words of Mother Teresa, who was definitely not a geek, but she certainly understood a higher calling. She said, “We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness.”
The Wall of Strength
Back in 2004 Custom Logos celebrated our 15th year in business with a complete remodel of our facility. Included during the construction was the introduction of a large conference room with comfortable seating for up to 18 people. When contemplating artwork for the room we were advised that the decor should remain simple in that it should not distract from the meetings going on day to day. But after 8 years of staring at blank walls we'd had enough and recently contracted local artist Ann Golumbuk to spruce things up. While our sales staff was off in Vegas for our annual industry trade show we closed and locked off the room for a week and the transformation took place.Following our company's theme of supporting our clients, vendors and of course our staff, we are proud to introduce the Wall of Strength.
We Work Fast
Being used to constant deadlines as we are in our business sometimes pays off in other ways. A scant couple months ago we purchased the building adjacent to ours (see 10/25 blog post) in anticipation of our upcoming merger with Oxford Print Management. Within a week of closing on the property we finalized our terms with Oxford and began preparation of the building, giving notices and relocating existing tenants. In December we gutted 5600 square feet for ourselves and within one week went from empty space to a full warehouse. The building now houses all of our fulfillment programs as well as Oxford Print Management. Phew, that was a little tiring.
Basic Life Skills
Overindulged in whatever is the latest technology, both parents and businesses are doing a terrible job of teaching our youth some of the most basic rules of day to day living, etiquette and conducting business. Does that sound familiar? If so, maybe you read our blog dated October 7, 2011 which started out the same way. Are we on our soapbox? Absolutely, because it's so important! The fact is today's youth represents tomorrow's future, and the better job we do educating them, the better future we will all enjoy.
Original article can be found here.
CHICAGO -- I was curled up in an armchair at my local coffee shop when a teenage boy took a seat at the table next to me.
He was like any of a thousand boys, my two sons included, in my community: dressed in sagging jeans that come pre-manufactured with worn spots and wrinkles, an oversized hoodie and skateboarding shoes.
Things got interesting when the manager pulled up a chair and commenced a formal job interview.
Slumped in his seat, the young interviewee answered a series of standard interview prompts with incomplete sentences. He stared at his hands and chewed gum. The manager had several concerns related to his written application, which the young man apparently had not filled out correctly, and it turned out he also hadn't brought any legal form of identification.
This was as bad a job interview as I've ever witnessed. Though it's not a unique occurrence -- anyone who hires people knows that some candidates are more prepared than others -- it made me very sad for this young person and alarmed for the future of our country.
Here was a seemingly nice kid searching for a job in the worst employment environment for teens in at least half a century. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 48.8 percent of people 16 to 24 were employed in July 2011, the typical peak month for youth employment, the lowest rate on record since 1948 when the bureau started keeping track. And he clearly didn't have a clue how to go about it.
The tips and tricks that adults who've been in the workforce for at least a few years should know by heart -- dress professionally, be prepared to answer open-ended questions with complete thoughts, make eye contact, shake hands firmly, say "thank you" -- were completely outside this young man's understanding.
With the exception of our everyday mode of dress, these are the behaviors that are essential for just getting through life -- the very bare minimum for successfully interacting and communicating with others.
So who is at fault for this young man's lack of ability to manage himself outside his circle of friends and family? Can we blame his parents for not teaching him how to talk to adults, the schools for not training students in basic job-interviewing skills or society for not reinforcing effective communication behavior?
It's really all of the above.
Though we'd like to imagine family, teachers or community mentors passing on basic professional skills to our young people, it's probably a stretch to think they can.
"Even students approaching college graduation have not been taught these fine points. Academics, especially at the postsecondary level, seem to feel that teaching basic job-search skills is beneath them," Katharine Hansen, a Ph.D. in organizational behavior and the editor of the Quintessential Careers newsletter for jobseekers, told me in an email.
"Many parents themselves are not well-versed in job search. Because of the need to truly reinforce information about job search with young people -- so they really learn it -- I am convinced that a combination of parents, teachers and community leaders would be ideal. But some of those entities will need to learn job-search (and) interview basics themselves."
Tariq Saqqaf, youth programs director at Common Wealth Development, a nonprofit in Madison, Wis., that trains low-income students to obtain and succeed in their first jobs, echoed Hansen's assessment and added that this issue goes far beyond just funding and offering job-interview training.
"We have an erosion -- globally, societally -- in our ability to interact with other people in a really direct and personal way," Saqqaf told me. "It's startling to me how we are losing very simple things like saying 'please' and 'thank you,' and though we tend to see that more in the younger generation, there are plenty of 30-, 40- and 50-year-olds doing the same thing.
"We are really focused on 'me' -- and the notion of being polite, of working to put something out in the world for others, is not necessarily a consciousness we have."
The lesson is that if we want to help our young people succeed in life, we're going to have to spend as much energy teaching them how to be engaged and courteous toward others as we do pushing them to excel academically.
A supporter of San Diego State University athletics for many years, Custom Logos was welcomed at a recent game as seen above. We are proud to have the opportunity to work with many departments within SDSU and work closely with the athletics department in particular in providing assistance with their uniform needs. Go Aztecs!
Serving the Community
Here at Custom Logos we have a very active community outreach program and are involved with numerous charities and philanthropic organizations. Pictured below account executive Jennifer Casey and friends are with retired SD Charger Junior Seau at his 17th Annual Shop with a Jock event.
Junior Seau Foundation 17th Annual Shop with a Jock
Holiday Gift Ideas
They Did it Again
This is almost hard to believe but a month after their last t-shirt blunder Old Navy once again messed up their facts on several t-shirt designs. Check it out...
Original article can be found here.
Less than two weeks after Victoria's Secret became the object of ridicule over its Michigan State motto misprint, Old Navy is joining the party with a series of women's collegiate T's that have the wrong founding years for three institutions.
T-shirts representing Iowa, Colorado and Arizona show that the founding years for each of those universities is 1820, 1878 and 1881 respectively. However, the real founding years for those schools are 1847, 1876 and 1885. Not sure what think tank came up with the random years, but this is just bad. A quick Internet search could have rectified this and saved Old Navy from this T-shirt blunder. The Iowa shirt is off 27 years. It's like someone didn't even try. At least the others are in the right decade.
Amazingly, Old Navy managed to get the founding years correct on the other 26 available universities.
Although these shirts aren't nearly as cool as getting your hands on a Michigan State shirt with the Michigan fight song/motto on it, there's always something unique about a misprint. Besides, how many people actually know the date their alma mater was founded?
Speaking of Making Money from T-shirts
While lots of people have made money selling t-shirts over the years this guy has a pretty original concept. Customers pay his company to wear t-shirts bearing their message. They can buy a single day or multiple days of advertising and the cost goes up as the year goes on. In addition to his staff wearing the shirts, the company posts YouTube videos and supplies mentions in live video shows as well as exposure on their homepage and calendar. Simple and straightforward, while not for everyone this clever concept is catching on.
Check it out: http://www.iwearyourshirt.com/
T-shirts Now on Sale
The longevity of t-shirts never ceases to amaze us. Our company started out as a small screenprinting shop back in 1989. Today we still print almost $2 million worth of t-shirts every year and we know a little about screenprinting. In the beginning we had a four color manual press and bought white t-shirts for about $2.50 and sold them imprinted for about $4-$6. Though the costs of shirts have varied over the years they are generally down considerably today. You do the math. Someone is making a lot of money selling $85 T-shirts.
Original article can be found here.
Starbucks is celebrating their 40th birthday, and to commemorate they've asked Alexander Wang, Sophie Theallet, and Billy Reid, the recipients of the past three annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund awards, to design limited edition t-shirts for the brand. The tees are currently available at StarbucksStore.com and select Nordstrom locations for a very pricey $85. Do they not realize it's a recession? We can't even spend $85 on our close friends for their birthdays, so why would we give it to Starbucks for theirs?
All of the tees incorporate the company logos and Alexander Wang decided to do so with a coffee stain design that bleeds into the Starbucks Siren. Funny? Slightly. But we think the joke is on you if you spend $85 to wear a designer coffee stain that promotes Starbucks.
The other thing that makes us sad is that Starbucks tries to act like they did some great thing by selecting Vogue Fashion Fund award winners to make these t-shirts. The Vogue Fashion Fund gives annual grants to support emerging designers. But Alexander Wang is now a well established, successful designer and NONE of the proceeds of these expensive t-shirts go to anything other than Starbucks.
Well, Happy birthday, Starbucks, but consider our skim latte your birthday gift. Maybe we'll even spill it on ourselves for free.
Drinking The Punch
In what has become a common occurrence over the years, our management team recently spent some time brainstorming for one of our newest clients, 5 Hour Energy. In the process many staff members drank the punch so to speak and the results were pretty entertaining. Pictured is account executive Steve Horowitz who did his best to disprove the notion that white men can't jump. Just another day in the life...
The Details Count
I wouldn't call them complaints, but we get very regular comments regarding the proofing process we have in place. Our process has been called everything from redundant to exhausting, but it works. We are in a custom business and in every single order lies multiple opportunities to make mistakes. Our proofing process limits those mistakes to a miniscule percentage. Maybe Old Navy should review their process?
Original article can be found here.
The person who writes copy for Old Navy t-shirts has a pretty easy job. No puns, no of-the-moment cultural references, just a word about sports or summer, followed by a couple of exclamation points. It's hard to screw it up. But screw it up, someone did indeed.
Hundreds of thousands of shirts from the retailer's new college football line have been shipped to stores with the phrase "Let's Go", sans apostrophe. Major grammar fail.
Related: Obnoxious t-shirts for boys
I can't say I don't relate. Apostrophes and commas are my left and right Achilles' heels. If only shirts were as easy to fix as blog posts.
The mistake is particularly glaring considering the concept of the tee: it's a partnership between Old Navy and 70 esteemed institutes of higher learning. Duke, Syracuse, University of Texas and Notre Dame, to name a few, all signed on to be represented on the Old Navy tee. Now they might be regretting that decision. According to Fashion ETC, Syracuse University officials are leading an investigation into who approved the copy. Maybe it's the same person who signed off on this Wet Seal t-shirt.
Stupid oversight, yes. But shouldn't we give the guy a break? It's just a misplaced smudge between two letters. Isn't this public flogging punishment enough? How about the night after the shirts had gone to the printer and that t-shirt writer was finally able to get some sleep, but just as he was drifting off into a dream state, his eyes popped open, his palms burst into a cold sweat and he sprung up in bed, shouting: I FORGOT THE APOSTROPHE! That probably had to suck.
Here We Grow Again
After working out of 7889 Clairemont Mesa Blvd for the past 22 years we have finally maxed out every inch of our current building. Due mainly to the growing demand for our custom fulfillment programs, Custom Logos recently acquired the building directly to our east. The purchase of this property will just about double our square footage and accommodate our growth for the next few years. The space also allows us to consolidate our current warehouse space into one location which will be much more efficient and better serve our customers. Look for a makeover of the building soon.
We Are Everywhere
Another Happy Customer
Our business is one of rush orders and multiple deadlines and our success for the past 22 years is a direct result of our ability to always hit those deadlines. Of course, due to the nature of the business there are at times some stress involved in the process. So nothing makes us happier than to receive an email like the one above. from our friends at Dr. Pepper as we wrap up the week on a Friday afternoon. Thanks for the email Leslie, and thanks for the business as well.
Face Your Money
Overindulged in whatever is the latest technology, both parents and businesses are doing a terrible job of teaching our youth some of the most basic rules of day to day living, etiquette and conducting business. For example, I'm a cash guy and always have been. While I use credit cards and electronic bill pay the vast majority of the time, I always have a sufficient amount of cash in my wallet should the need arise. Because as my dad taught me, there are times when nothing works better than cash.
Anyone who's ever worked in a business where cash is accepted should be schooled in the correct methods of counting back change and facing bills properly. So imagine my astonishment when leaving the teller's window with my monthly cash supply that the teller counted bills back that were not faced properly. Its blasphemous and a telling indicator of today's banking climate. No wonder the banks are going under as they struggle to recover from making bad loans, they can't even master the simple task of counting out cash correctly, never mind handle the challenges of a dire economy and questionable past lending practices. Granted we are immersed in the world of electronic payments, but as long as cash is still used daily as a of means of payment, let's at least use it correctly.
Our Latest Addition
After an extensive search process we are happy to announce the addition of our twelfth account executive. Freshly graduated from training we welcome Jennifer Casey as the newest addition to our sales team. An east coast native, Jennifer has extensive experience in business to business sales and new businesses development. Most recently with Cintas Corporation, we are excited to have Jenn on board and look forward to her continued success here at Custom Logos.
Feeding the People of San Diego
This past week the staff at Custom Logos once again volunteered at the San Diego Food Bank. The food bank delivers 10,000 boxes of non perishables every month to families in need, particularly the elderly. In our effort to help, we spent the evening working along a conveyer roller system, packing up 7 pallets with 420 boxes of food. One of the most rewarding of our community outreach events, we look forward to participating again in the near future.
The Great Blackout of 2011
Faced with impending disaster company president Ernie Foutch rallied the troops within minutes of last week's blackout and presented his emergency backup plan. With the generators running and the computer system safely operational and fully backed up, Ernie led our staff down the street to a local watering hole, the Bullpen, where we contributed to our neighbors by helping to consume mass amounts of beverages before they went warm and spoiled. This plan helped our staff avoid the tangle of traffic and be fresh and ready when business resumed the next day.
Stimulating Our Economy
Tailgating Custom Logos Style
Our mantra "Have Fun, Make Money" is personified in everything we do but is especially prevalent during football season. You see, our company is full of football fans who enjoy tailgating at every Charger game. While the vast majority of us are diehard Chargers supporters, we have our share of visiting team fans ranging from the Packers and 49r's to the Jets and the Giants. We're out there for every home game, parked on the west side of the RV parking area, flying the flags of the U.S., Australia, and of course the Chargers. We always have an interesting cast of characters present and welcome you to join us any time. Go Chargers!
A Tax Plan That Makes Sense
While the state of our economy is a complex issue, there are some simple solutions that would go a long way in correcting the situation. Below is one such solution that is outlined in an editorial by Warren Buffett which makes a lot of sense to us. See what you think.
Stop Coddling the Super-Rich
By WARREN E. BUFFETT
Published: August 14, 2011
Editorial: The Truth About Taxes (August 7, 2011)
OUR leaders have asked for "shared sacrifice." But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.
While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as "carried interest," thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they'd been long-term investors.
These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It's nice to have friends in high places.
Last year my federal tax bill - the income tax I paid, as well as payroll taxes paid by me and on my behalf - was $6,938,744. That sounds like a lot of money. But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income - and that's actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent.
If you make money with money, as some of my super-rich friends do, your percentage may be a bit lower than mine. But if you earn money from a job, your percentage will surely exceed mine - most likely by a lot.
To understand why, you need to examine the sources of government revenue. Last year about 80 percent of these revenues came from personal income taxes and payroll taxes. The mega-rich pay income taxes at a rate of 15 percent on most of their earnings but pay practically nothing in payroll taxes. It's a different story for the middle class: typically, they fall into the 15 percent and 25 percent income tax brackets, and then are hit with heavy payroll taxes to boot.
Back in the 1980s and 1990s, tax rates for the rich were far higher, and my percentage rate was in the middle of the pack. According to a theory I sometimes hear, I should have thrown a fit and refused to invest because of the elevated tax rates on capital gains and dividends.
I didn't refuse, nor did others. I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone - not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 - shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off. And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. You know what's happened since then: lower tax rates and far lower job creation.
Since 1992, the I.R.S. has compiled data from the returns of the 400 Americans reporting the largest income. In 1992, the top 400 had aggregate taxable income of $16.9 billion and paid federal taxes of 29.2 percent on that sum. In 2008, the aggregate income of the highest 400 had soared to $90.9 billion - a staggering $227.4 million on average - but the rate paid had fallen to 21.5 percent.
The taxes I refer to here include only federal income tax, but you can be sure that any payroll tax for the 400 was inconsequential compared to income. In fact, 88 of the 400 in 2008 reported no wages at all, though every one of them reported capital gains. Some of my brethren may shun work but they all like to invest. (I can relate to that.)
I know well many of the mega-rich and, by and large, they are very decent people. They love America and appreciate the opportunity this country has given them. Many have joined the Giving Pledge, promising to give most of their wealth to philanthropy. Most wouldn't mind being told to pay more in taxes as well, particularly when so many of their fellow citizens are truly suffering.
Twelve members of Congress will soon take on the crucial job of rearranging our country's finances. They've been instructed to devise a plan that reduces the 10-year deficit by at least $1.5 trillion. It's vital, however, that they achieve far more than that. Americans are rapidly losing faith in the ability of Congress to deal with our country's fiscal problems. Only action that is immediate, real and very substantial will prevent that doubt from morphing into hopelessness. That feeling can create its own reality.
Job one for the 12 is to pare down some future promises that even a rich America can't fulfill. Big money must be saved here. The 12 should then turn to the issue of revenues. I would leave rates for 99.7 percent of taxpayers unchanged and continue the current 2-percentage-point reduction in the employee contribution to the payroll tax. This cut helps the poor and the middle class, who need every break they can get.
But for those making more than $1 million - there were 236,883 such households in 2009 - I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more - there were 8,274 in 2009 - I would suggest an additional increase in rate.
My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It's time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.
Warren E. Buffett is the chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway.
Custom Packaging Solutions
Sponsoring our Partners
Custom Logos participates in many activities with our customers often including the sponsorship of their meetings and conferences. Pictured above is Account Executive Caroline Morgan who is shown with Johnny Rockets CEO John Fuller as well as making the rounds with various staff members at the company's recent annual conference celebrating their 25th anniversary. Johnny Rockets is one of Custom Logos' fulfillment customers who utilize our online purchasing capabilities to supply their franchises with a variety of imprinted sportswear and advertising specialty items.
Holding true to our motto of "Have Fun, Make Money," VP of Sales Darren Golden and Account Executive Mark Sawitzky recently conducted an all day meeting with a few of our friends from SDSU. In an effort to stimulate ideas and think out of the box, the meeting was held in the waters off Point Loma where business was discussed over the consumption of a few budweisers. The crew also managed to catch a few fish as well.
Teaching Kids to Work
Granted it was the early seventies, but I shoveled snow for $1-$2 per walk and cut lawns for about the same. Babysitting garnered me about $2-$5 for an entire evening. At the age of 13 I got my first real job; I was a pearl diver (my dad's vernacular for washing dishes) at a local creamery with a starting wage of $1.65 per hour. By the time I graduated high school I had held a variety of jobs including delivery driver, waiter, convenience store clerk and parade vendor. None of them paid a lot, but I got something way more valuable than money, I learned what it was like to work. The lesson has benefited me throughout my life and I'm extremely grateful for my parent's insistence on me working.
Pictured above is my son Grant. He worked part time in the warehouse at Custom Logos last summer at the tender age of 12. Now at 13 he is spending 3 days a week, 60% of his summer vacation, humping boxes in the warehouse and doing whatever other menial tasks his Uncle Tostie (family friend and our VP of Manufacturing) can find for him to do. Its hard work and he goes home sweaty and exhausted. Most work days he complains about having to go to work, but he certainly doesn't complain about having his own money to do whatever he wants with. He's saving half his earnings so he can buy a truck when he turns 16, since the rule in our house is we match whatever our kids come up with when its time to buy a car. Most important, he's developing a good work ethic.
I've been working now for 38 years and have owned Custom Logos for the past 22 years. We have probably employed a couple hundred people over the years and currently have a staff of 45 wonderful people who have been with our company for an average tenure of over 10 years. A good work ethic is a central theme of our culture and is the reason our staff is here. Quite frankly, and sadly, a good work ethic is hard to come by these days. In my experience it appears work ethic has not been taught well, if at all, to recent generations. You can help turn the tide. Teach your kids to work. Let them learn the value of a dollar firsthand. It is a lesson that will serve them for a lifetime. I'm living proof that it works, and my kids will be too.
A Night at the Movies
Always on the lookout for fun afterwork activities, some of the ladies of Custom Logos grabbed president Ernie Foutch and went off to see the movie Bridesmaids. While the movie only garnered a "B" review with the gang great fun and many cocktails were had by all.
Back to Serious Branding News
We just couldn't resist the Hellman's story we passed along last week but this week we're back on track to bring you news on our industry. As a leader in the brand enhancement business, we are proud to have worked with many of the top organizations nationally and abroad, including some mentioned in the article below.
Original article can be found here.
Apple Ends Google's Four-Year Run as Most Valuable Brand
The strength of the iPad has pushed Apple ahead of Google for the first time as the most valuable brand in the world, according to Millward Brown's 2011 BrandZ study of the most-valuable global brands.
Apple ended a four-year run by Google at the top of the brand ranking. But the study by the WPP research unit also showed a changing of the guard among top brands in other sectors and an influx of new entrants from the so-called BRIC countries -- Brazil, Russia, India and China -- which collectively accounted for seven of the 11 newcomers to top 100 brands. While the eight top global brands are still U.S. based, China now has 12 brands in the top 100, up from seven a year ago.
Remarkably, Amazon edged out Walmart as the most-valuable retail brand by Millward Brown's accounting, with its brand value rising 37% to $37.6 billion as Walmart's fell 5% to $37.3 billion. Walmart parent Wal-Mart Stores still has more than 10 times the sales and more than five times the market capitalization of Amazon. But BrandZ's calculation subtracts tangible assets from market value to help estimate brand value. Amazon, with no physical stores, fares well in that process. The Walmart brand value also doesn't include Sam's Club or other overseas affiliates with different brand names owned by Wal-Mart Stores.
Even so, Amazon's rise, combined with declines in brand value not only for Walmart but also for other top global retailers Tesco and Carrefour last year, marks the shift toward e-commerce.
"Amazon benefits incredibly by having user reviews integrated into its site," said Eileen Campbell, global CEO of Millward Brown. "Everybody does that now, but Amazon was the first, so it's done an incredibly good job of building trust."
Rebounding from a tough year battling widespread recalls and reports of quality problems, Toyota's brand value rose 11% to $24.1 billion last year, putting it back atop automotive brands.
But BP, hit hard by its Gulf of Mexico oil spill, took a 27% hit to brand value. And it may not bounce back as quickly as Toyota, Ms. Campbell said. Toyota's quick rebound reflects the underlying strength of the brand. But BP faces substantial doubts in surveys among decision makers on drilling leases and contracts, she said.
According to Ms. Campbell, growth of tablets and smartphones led to big gains in brand value for a lot of tech and telecom brands, which occupied the top three spots and six of the top 10. All but one of those, No. 2 Google, gained brand value year over year. Google slipped 2% despite the success of its Droid operating system.
In an email, Ms. Campbell said Google's drop is mainly attributable to a 4% decrease in market capitalization from the year before and investments in such mobile platforms and the Chrome browser that she described as "heavy and ahead of return." Google's exit from China only affects about 2% of its revenues, she said, but did help boost Baidu's value.
"Google is still pretty hot," she said. "It remains one of the most-desirable and trusted brands we track."
Down the list, BlackBerry's brand value also slipped 20% last year, which Ms. Campbell attributed to the once-dominant smartphone brand not having as much new-product news as competitors.
The fastest growth in brand value came for Facebook, up 246% to $19.1 billion and No. 35 on the list. Chinese search engine Baidu was the second-fastest grower, leapfrogging dozens of older brands with a 141% increase to land at No. 29 on the list at $22.6 billion.
Wells Fargo led a number of financial players whose fortunes rebounded from the financial crisis and recession of 2008 and 2009. Its brand value nearly doubled, up 97% to $36.9 billion, or No. 16. Overall financial players gained 9% in brand value on average, as 15 of the top 20 financial brands on the list gained in value, nine of them by double-digit percentages.
The insurance sector also gained substantially on the list, thanks heavily to new entrants on the list -- China Life and Ping An-both from China and now ranking first and second in their industry.
Fast-food brands also fared well, up 22% collectively, led by McDonalds, up 23% to $81 billion and No. 4 overall among global brands. Ms. Campbell attributed the strength of fast food to continued frugality among consumers turning away from pricier options.
Not a single packaged-food brand appeared on the list, however, largely because most don't have global reach. Wrigley fell off the list not from any problem with its marketing but because it was acquired by privately held Mars, so its data could no longer be analyzed. Some privately held brands, such as Facebook, however, still made the cut because of publicly available valuations, in its case from Goldman Sachs.
Coke led beverage brands, up 8% to $73.8 billion, beating Budweiser, flat at $15.9 billion and Pepsi, up 1% to $12.9 billion.
Personal-care brands were also fairly flat, up 3%, with growth led by L'Oreal, up 11%, and its sibling Lancome, up 17%. While high-margin, market-dominant Gillette has long been the most-valuable brand in personal care, it slipped 4% last year to $19.7 billion, nearly overtaken by Procter & Gamble Co. sibling Pampers, up 11% in brand value to $19.4 billion.
BrandZ valuations are similar in some ways to how an investment bank would value brands, Ms. Campbell said. They're based in part on brand-equity tracking surveys and financial data from Bloomberg and analyst reports. Millward Brown uses these data to calculate the earnings attributable to a brand, how much of the earnings can be attributed to a close bond with its customers and growth potential for the brand-driven earnings.
Hellmann's Mayonnaise - a bit of history
Most people don't know that back in 1912, Hellmann's mayonnaise was manufactured in England . In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico , which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York . This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico . But as we know, the great ship did not make it to New York . The ship hit an iceberg and sank, and the cargo was forever lost. The people of Mexico , who were crazy about mayonnaise, and were eagerly awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss. Their anguish was so great, that they declared a National Day of Mourning, which they still observe to this day. The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th and is known, of course, as...
Sinko De Mayo
Forget About the Neckties...Please!
Last week my daughter Morgan gave us her perspective on our company which most of us found very entertaining. This week it's my turn. Since I write and post our blog every week it's really always my turn, but what the heck? I am the boss. I'm also a dad, and every year I beg my family not to buy me anything for father's day. They will tell you it's because I'm cheap, which is true to some extent. However, its more that I am overly done with the commercialism of holidays and events in general. Unfortunately in our society the real meaning of life's events and relationships are often lost in the cards, gifts and especially neckties. Besides, who in the world came up with the idea that a printed piece of fabric gathered in the fashion of a noose around a man's neck, constricting said man's breathing, constituted a "gift"?
Please, forget about the neckties. Instead, take some inspiration from the following two articles which really hone in on the real meaning of father's day. On behalf of all the dads in the world, I thank you.
-Jeff Golumbuk, CEO, Dad
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Sunday is Father’s Day, and we dads will be overwhelmed with neckties and wrench sets. We will feign ecstasy, and our loved ones will pretend to believe our protestations of pleasure.
But for a really nifty Father’s Day gift, how about sponsoring a rat? Specifically, an African giant pouched rat, about 30 inches long including tail. These are he-man rats, the kind that send cats fleeing. What’s more, we’re not talking about just any giant rat, but an educated one with the rodent equivalent of a Ph.D.
A Dutch company, Apopo, has trained these giant rats, which have poor sight but excellent noses, to detect landmines in Africa. The rats are too light to set off the mines, but they can explore a suspected minefield and point with their noses to buried mines. After many months of training, a rat can clear as much land in 20 minutes as a human can in two days.
In addition to earning their stripes as mine detectors, the giant rats are also trained in health work: detecting cases of tuberculosis. Possible TB sufferers provide samples of sputum, which are then handed over to the rats to sniff out. This detection process turns out to be much faster than your typical microscope examination. A technician with a microscope in Tanzania can screen about 40 samples a day, while one giant rat can screen the same amount in seven minutes.
What man wouldn’t pass up a necktie for the chance to be associated with an educated, supermacho giant rat? For just $36, you can buy a year’s supply of bananas to feed one of these rats. Or, for a gift more on the risque side, $100 will buy a “love nest” for a breeding pair of rats.
Both options are at www.globalgiving.com, a site that allows donors to browse aid projects around the world and make a donation on the spot.
Father’s Day tends to be less a celebration of fatherhood than a triumph of commercialism. The National Retail Federation projects that Americans will spend $9.8 billion on Father’s Day this year. To put that in perspective, that’s more than enough to assure a primary education for every child on the planet who is not getting one right now.
In fact, we could send every child to primary school and have enough left over to get each dad a (cheap) necktie. And if we skipped store-bought cards (almost $750 million annually) and offered handmade versions, the savings alone could make a vast difference to great programs that help young American men escape poverty.
Think of the National Fatherhood Initiative, www.fatherhood.org, which works to support dads and keep them engaged in their children’s lives. There’s some evidence that absent fathers create a vicious cycle: boys grow up without positive male role models, get into trouble and then become absentee fathers themselves.
Another group is the Black Star Project, www.blackstarproject.org, which seeks to get families in low-income communities more involved in the educational lives of kids. Or there’s World of Money, www.worldofmoney.org, which coaches kids in poor communities on financial literacy and business skills.
For gadget lovers, how about a donation in dad’s name to the National Urban Technology Center, www.urbantech.org, which helps low-income youths gain computer skills?
Or for those into automotive accessories or tools and appliances (almost $1 billion a year, by the way), why not rev up instead a motorcycle used to bring medical care to people in remote areas? An aid group called Riders for Health, www.riders.org, provides motorcycles and cars to health workers in Africa, along with rigorous training on maintenance and repair. Health workers end up reaching roughly five times as many patients as they would on foot.
And if you give dad a stake in a motorcycle at a clinic in Zambia, you can be pretty sure he won’t crash it.
Wouldn’t most dads feel more honored by a donation to any of these organizations than by a donation to commercialism?
I think so. My hunch is that family members, manipulated by commercial messages, think that they aren’t showing dad enough love if they don’t buy him something expensive. But give us some credit! The friend who suggested this column, Sam Howe Verhovek, noted the huge sums spent on cuff links and Best Buy gift cards and said: “I don’t know about you, but I don’t really need any of the above. A handwritten, ‘Thanks, Dad!’ note from my kids would mean more than anything Hallmark’s poets could come up with.”
That’s the truth. But if you must pull out the credit card, this is my sincere advice: It’s a rare dad who would choose a store-bought card over a homemade card; or for that matter, a necktie over a gigantic, bomb-sniffing rat.
Guest Blogger of the Week
I'm nineteen. I'm perpetually tired and overtly social with night owl tendencies and a mouth befitting a sailor. I'm a fiend for Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and texting and I renounce with great chutzpah any activity wherein cute boys are not involved. As you may have guessed, I'm not really cut out for office life.
It's a good thing Custom Logos isn't anything like a traditional office.
My name is Morgan Golumbuk and I'm the oldest (and most beloved) daughter of Custom Logos CEO Jeff Golumbuk. When my dad called me with the job offer, I was curled up in my tiny dorm bed at the University of Miami, bemoaning the fact that he'd called me before noon. Needless to say, I was less than enthusiastic about returning to my former position (I got paid under the table when I was 14…shh!) as a customer service lackey answering phones, mailing invoices and basically doing anything that no one else wanted to do. Despite my sluggish ways, however, the dollar signs in my eyes had me running back to Clairemont Mesa Boulevard as fast as my chicken legs would take me.
Little did I know that I would be running right back into the arms of my family. I've grown up around Custom Logos my entire life and working here as a grown adult finally made me realize that these people, despite our differences, are my family.
Former CFO Alan Mittleman and Vice President of Operations David Tostado have never been anything but "Uncle Mitt" and "Uncle Tostie". Sales representative Mark Sawitzky is that pain-in-the-butt older brother whose wild antics and threats of noogies both make you shudder in fear. Sales representatives Caroline Morgan and Colleen Asdell are the cool older sisters with the hot boyfriends (now husbands) whom I always wanted to be when I was that dorky little 14-year-old working at my first job ever.
Even though I've come a long way from my braces-wearing middle school days, the overwhelming sense of community that I feel upon walking into this building will always remain the same. My coworkers in customer service have been nothing but welcoming to me since the moment I began working here a month ago and I couldn't have asked for better people to share an office with. I'll actually be a sad to leave my little desk in the corner because I know that, no matter where I go, no other job in the world will be quite as entertaining as this one.
For instance, do your coworkers throw "Cinco De Logos" parties replete with margaritas? Or turn all of your possessions upside down just for fun? Or post embarrassing, life-size photos of you in the hallway? Or crank call you angrily so that you can prove how well you can handle disaster? Or shower you in sweets, gifts and streamers on your birthday that cover your entire desk? No, I bet they don't.
That's okay, though. I'm sure we can make room for you here as long as you're capable of tossing all inhibitions out the window and having some good old-fashioned F-U-N. After all, "Have Fun, Make Money" would be just a motto on letterhead if the people of Custom Logos didn't live up to it every single day.
Thank you all for everything and I'm sorry that you have to go back to writing your own thank you cards (don't worry, after the 500th one, you can't feel your hand anyways).
Custom Logos Race Crew
Imagine a creative collision between a military style training course and a wild and crazy game show with inspired obstacles spread throughout a 5K course at the historic Del Mar Fairgrounds located on the Pacific coast. The common theme is ridiculous and challenging fun. Custom Logos fielded a race team for the Ridiculous Obstacle Course Race a few weeks back that included account executive Caroline Morgan, warehouse personnel Luke Harnal and Jeff Darnell, and team organizer and leader Rob Merritt, our Art Director. All team members completed the race and big fun was had by all.
Romance Blooms at Custom Logos
On May 1st of this year Emily Baumann and Aaron (Flea) Miller were married at The Dana Inn on Mission Bay. Numerous Custom Logos employees were present and most are pictured above. All weddings are of course special, but this wedding had particular significance as it was the first wedding of two Custom Logos employees who met here at the office. Emily had worked in our customer service for about a year and a half when Flea arrived at Custom Logos. The brother in law of partner Sean Abbs, Flea was helping us temporarily in the warehouse for the summer when the sparks began to fly. It started out with innocent flirting which lead to kisses in the breakroom and culminated in their wedding last month. While there have been other couples who worked together here, Emily and Flea will always hold a special place in our hearts as the first office romance that resulted in marriage. We wish them the best!
Our Business is Fun
The majority of our staff has worked in various industries over the years before settling in here Custom Logos, a member of the Advertising Specialty Industry. Compared to 99% percent of the occupations we have all held, I can tell you without question that the reason the average tenure of our employees is over 10 years is because what we do is fun. Sure there is stress and deadlines and dumb questions to deal with everyday, but in the end, we have a lot of fun. Our motto is "Have Fun, Make Money" and the emphasis around here is equal measures of both. Finally, it's always fun for us to see the work we've done highlighted as is the case in the following article. You see, as part of the work we did for the Angels this year we produced the masks pictured overseas and delivered them for their event. Fun stuff, check it out...
Original article can be found here.
Masked Angels fans set world record
“Can you drink beer with it on?” asked the Angels fan ask he came through the turnstile before Tuesday night’s game and was handed the biggest, baddest, reddest promotional giveaway of the baseball -- or is it wrestling? - season.
Everyone in the Angel Stadium crowd of 40,128 for the 6-2 Angels’ victory over the White Sox received a glittery, red, Lucha-Libre-inspired wrestling mask bearing a white haloed ‘A’ logo to have an opportunity to participate in smackdown history.
On the heels of last year’s Guinness World Record-setting gathering of the most people shrouded in Snuggies, the Angels went for the book again in the top of the fifth inning by asking fans to become part of “the largest gathering of people wearing costume mask” by donning the masks for 10 consecutive minutes.
It took about 10 seconds for most fans to tear open the plastic bag stamped “Made in China” and remove the giveaway mask. I couldn’t resist trying mine on and going under cover.
After a brief contact high and chemically-loaded whiff of the synthetic fabric, I pulled and tugged the one-size-fits-all mask into place. Sort of.
Eyes in eye holes. Mouth in mouth hole. Nose in… no hole. There are two tiny slits where the grappler’s nostrils are supposed to be and mine weren’t.
My vision got a little foggy. My face started to itch. I felt a headache coming on. This is what happens when you put your head in strange places.
I felt ready to pull off a bank heist - or challenge Lesley Ross, the psychiatrist sitting next to me, to a table match. But I feared being put in a straitjacket. On either count.
“You’re right. It smells funny,” said my Section 406 neighbor Maura Alarcon, of Anaheim, looking at me through her mask and twitching at the nose. “Pretty strange feeling.”
Pretty strange night, actually. I had already seen two quartets of wrestlers in full costume, including one red-caped man – definitely a man – in leopard-print tights. A hairy chested Dave “Dave-O” Vasquez in a black singlet, flexed muscles and machismo in the concourse with his brood, Angel Alvarado and Mickey Alvarado and Oliver Gomez.
Hundreds of people were taking photos on their smartphones and posting new Facebook photos. Early arrivals put on the mask and then their sunglasses to take in the sunset. Those staying late into the game buddled up in last year’s Angels Snuggie and threw on the Angels ski bonnet giveaway from earlier this season.
It was strange to see what people could do while under cover on the night the ballpark had to lift its ban on masks. (There was also extra security.)
Masked men stood to cheer Torii Hunter’s line drive single in the first inning, then clumsily fell back into their seats. No peripheral vision.
A masked woman threw on her reading glasses and kept score. A masked person -- man? woman? giraffe? I can't tell -- made a cell phone call. A masked family ate hot dogs and sipped soda while I wiped crumbs of my Halos ice cream sandwich from the apparent storage space between the mask and my jawline.
Behind me in Row H, Juan Serna of Fullerton had tightened the back laces of his mask was raising grappling hands at his son, Ivan, 12, also masked and equally menacing. Looking on was Salvador Salinas, 20, of Fullerton, his wrestling mask rested on top of his head like a hat.
“What?” he said, staring back at a masked me. “It’s hot with it on.”
But Salinas and most of the crowd who had resisted putting on the mask threw on the throw-down apparel when the giant videoboard over right field featured a clip from “Nacho Libre” and the instructions, “Put on your masks!”
The crowd roared and it wore. Corners of the board devoted to ads and extra statistics became home to the Guinness World Record 10 minute countdown clock.
“Put it on!,” masked strangers yelled at a stone-faced White Sox fan who didn’t want to be a part of anything Angels.
“Keep it on!,” masked neighbored yelled at a watermelon-headed guy who complained about the mask being too small. Failing to keep the mask on for 10 consecutive minutes disqualified him from counting toward the record.
“Go rob a 7-Eleven!,” the red-faced, un-red-masked man yelled back. Fortunately these weren’t fighting or wrestling words.
Ushers moved through their sections counting the few fans who abstained from looking like an extra from “Nacho Libre.”
As the countdown clock reached its final 10 seconds, fans stood and joined in, “10, nine...” Just as the clock hit “0:00” and masked fans cheered, masked fans cheered doubly because the Angels’ Howie Kendrick drilled a double into left field, scoring Hunter for the Angels’ 6-1 lead.
Guinness World Record Adjudicator Amanda Mochan, who had been flown in by the Angels from New York, was present to make the record official and give a plaque to a masked Angels chairman Dennis Kuhl in a quick ceremony in the Diamond Club.
“This was one of the more entertaining records, and yes, I did laugh,” said Mochan, who had just come the largest gathering of people doing Zumba and is now headed to a salon attempting to perform the most haircuts at one time.
Hmmmm, what record might the Angels want to set next? As I considered the possibilities, I discovered, yes, you can drink beer with the mask on.
-- Reporting from Anaheim
Logos De Mayo
Never one to miss out on a party, or an opportunity for a party, we recently celebrated Cinco de Mayo with our own version of the holiday. The ladies in the Sales Support Department set up a blender in our breakroom and sponsored multi flavored frozen margaritas for our staff at lunchtime on Thursday the 5th of May. Don't worry, no machine operators were allowed to partake until after work, but as you can tell by the picture, the afternoon was a little fuzzy after lunch.
Nothing Says it Like a T-Shirt
When Custom Logos began in 1989 the business was comprised of one manual screenprinting machine and a homemade dryer. In fact, screenprinting accounted for over 90% of our revenues for the first 10 years we were in business. Being new to the business back in the early years we always were amazed at the volume of t-shirts printed and often wondered where they all went. As the years went on we automated and today screenprinting, with annual revenues of over $2 million still represents 20% of our business. We still sometimes wonder where all the t-shirts go and applaud the ingenuity of people such as the young man cited in the article below for their continued contribution to the industry.
Original article can be found here.
The rush for merchandise celebrating the killing of Osama Bin Laden has seen one young entrepreneur make $120,000 in less than two days.
Maurice Harary, 23, set up his T-shirt website Osamadeadtees.com as soon as he heard that the former Al Qaeda leader had been shot by U.S. Navy Seals on Sunday night.
The New Yorker raced home to his apartment to work on building the website on Sunday night and it was ready to go live at 3.30am on Monday morning.
By Tuesday evening he had already sold more than 10,000 items at $12 a time.
T-shirts bearing slogans including 'Obama killed Osama', 'Osama's back - not!' and 'Just dead it' have been flying off his virtual shelves.
Given the haste with which it was set-up, the website has a basic design.
But Mr Harary has already expanded to selling stickers and posters revelling in Bin Laden's death.
'Celebrate the death of Osama Bin Laden,' Mr Harary wrote on his website.
Buy an official Osama's Dead T-shirt here. Now you can show your American pride by supporting our cause.'
The celebration of the killing has sparked a market for memorabilia marking the death of the world's most wanted man.
The website Zazzle, which lets customers submit designs for items such as t-shirts and buttons, said it has handled thousands of orders this week for merchandise related to Osama Bin Laden's death.
Marketing Director Mike Karns said Zazzle has fielded tens of thousands of submissions for designs, including one that was submitted Sunday almost an hour before President Obama's officially announcement.
'It's been boiling up for 10 years and this is the moment where people can finally express this sentiment,' Mr Karns said.
Popular items include a keychain saying 'Osama Bin Killed' with crosshairs over a caricature of Bin Laden and T-shirts thanking the U.S. Navy Seals unit that killed him.
Street vendors from New York to Chicago and Washington have also been selling Osama merchandise.
Online auction site eBay has seen a spike in Bin Laden items. Hundreds of Monday's newspapers were offered with headlines declaring the Al Qaeda leader's death.
But the moves to cash in on the killing have been criticised by some.
Reverend Chloe Breyer, executive director of the Interfaith Center of New York, said Bin Laden's death shouldn't be something that's celebrated or commercialised.
'It's one thing to give thanks after somebody who caused so much harm in the world will no longer be able to. It's another thing to celebrate it,' she said. 'I don't think that's appropriate.'
The Custom Logos Family Expands Again
When Custom Logos was founded almost 22 years ago the staff consisted of 4 guys, aged 21-29, none of which had families. Today with a staff of 45 we are blessed with an abundance of children and a staff evenly comprised of men and women. It seems like someone is always pregnant and the kids are all growing like weeds. Pictured above is Mark Sawitzky with his family that now includes the newest addition, baby son Kyle who was born on 4/22/11 weighing 8 lbs, 2 ounces and measuring 21 inches in length. Representing Custom Logos in the other picture is two year old, Tyler Ellis, son of CFO Shawn Ellis, who appears to be enjoying a lovely day at the SD Zoo.
Staff Appreciation Day
Last week we combined our quarterly company meeting with Staff Appreciation Day and it was once again a raging success. As a show of appreciation for everyone in sales support (in our company that's everyone not in direct sales) our sales staff prepared and served up their own personal culinary specialties ranging from little smokies to chorizo macaroni and cheese. There was a wide variety of sumptuous dishes and no one walked away hungry. The highlight of the meeting was when Colleen Asdell was presented with her 10 year anniversary watch, making her the 20th recipient of the company watch in the 22 year history of Custom Logos.
New Era Caps
Most of you will recognize the brand New Era as being the official cap of most major league sports. One of the last remaining American manufacturers of hats, we embroider and sell New Era caps every day and thought you would enjoy a little background on the company as we did in the following article.
Original Article Can be found Here.
I'M the fourth generation of my family to run our 90-year-old company, which makes official caps and apparel for major sports leagues.
CHRISTOPHER H. KOCH, Chief executive, New Era Cap Company, Buffalo
After high school, I began working for the company, first in manufacturing, where I learned the 22 steps it takes to produce a cap. Later, I worked in every department from research to distribution to sales, until I became president in 1993.
FAVORITE SPORTS FIGURE Ty Wigginton, Colorado Rockies
LOVES TO Golf, snowboard and collect wines
I was following in the footsteps of my father and grandfather who inherited the business, which was started in 1920 by my great-grandfather, Ehrhardt Koch, an immigrant from Germany. After learning to make men's hats, he decided to borrow $5,000 from his aunt to start a business producing men's fitted caps, known as Gatsby or Ivy League caps, made to match men's suits.
The company has always been the main focus of our family. Even in the 1940s, my grandmother, Marion, would dye white wool at home, in a hand-cranked washing machine, to make caps in colors like Kelly green and scarlet.
My father, David, worked for the company for two decades, and became chief executive in 1972. From the time I was little, I remember talking about the company, whether at dinner or on vacation. That helped form the bond with my father. My mother, Valerie, was also involved in the business. She was raising four children and at the same time working in cap design and embroidery.
I graduated from high school in 1978, and was going to college at night and working at the manufacturing facility during the day. In the 1980s, a big new market opened for our company when sports fans wanted to buy the official caps worn by their favorite teams, and not just replicas. It was a turning point for our business, which had been selling our 59Fifty, or Brooklyn-style cap, to Major League Baseball players to wear as part of their uniforms.
In 1990, I was promoted to vice president for sales, shortly before New Era became one of the two official suppliers of caps worn on the playing field. We worked with Major League Baseball to add the M.L.B. logo on the back of every cap - along with the New Era logo.
Then, we were catapulted into the fashion world after Spike Lee called in 1996 and asked for a red Yankees cap instead of the traditional navy blue. After he wore it to that year's World Series, everyone wanted one, including hip-hop and rock stars. Fred Durst of the band Limp Bizkit wore his so often that in 2002 we collaborated to produce a series of caps for retail sales.
When my father died that same year, I took over as C.E.O. I began expanding both nationally and globally, in Europe and in Canada. About 25 percent of our business now is in international sales.
This year was our 90th anniversary, so we invited 90 influential fans to create one-of-a-kind caps to be auctioned for charity. The idea stemmed from our "Fly Your Own Flag" ad campaign, which promotes New Era caps as a means of self-expression.
This year, we will make more than 40 million caps, with some $500 million in revenue. We still make caps in this country, but during the recent recession, we lost a lot of small accounts so we had to close some of our factories in the South. We still employ 600 people in the Buffalo area and some 1,500 employees around the world.
I was given a great foundation to build the company, and, with four children, I hope to see it run by a fifth generation.
I was lucky to have my father as a mentor. I still think about him every day; he's the one guy I have to answer to.
As told to Elizabeth Olson.
Greetings From Israel
Pictured above with his family, Custom Logos CEO Jeff Golumbuk recently celebrated the bar mitzvah of his son Grant at The Western Wall in Jerusalem. The Golumbuks toured the state of Israel for 10 days, hitting all of the highlights including The Dead Sea, Masada, and the Western Wall. The once in a lifetime trip was fabulous and beyond everyone's expectations. The state of Israel is absolutely beautiful and the locals were extremely accommodating and passionate in their beliefs. Jeff came back with numerous stories including the following one which we would like to share.
A female CNN journalist heard about a very old Jewish man who had been going to the Western Wall to pray, twice a day, every day, for a long, long time. So she went to check it out. She went to the Western Wall and there he was, walking slowly up to the holy site. She watched him pray and after about 45 minutes, when he turned to leave, using a cane and moving very slowly, she approached him for an interview.
"Pardon me, sir, I'm Rebecca Smith from CNN. What's your name?
"Morris Feinberg," he replied.
"Sir, how long have you been coming to the Western Wall and praying?"
"For about 60 years."
"60 years! That's amazing! What do you pray for?"
"I pray for peace between the Christians, Jews and the Muslims."
"I pray for all the wars and all the hatred to stop."
"I pray for all our children to grow up safely as responsible adults, and to love their fellow man."
"How do you feel after doing this for 60 years?"
"Like I'm talking to a fucking wall."
Salesperson of the Year
Laughter in the Workplace
For the past 21 years our company has lived by the motto "Have Fun, Make Money." In our quest to do both in equal measure we have had more than our share of laughs. Pranks and comedy in general are deeply woven into the fabric of our culture and we wouldn't have it any other way. While we know we are quite different from most organizations, we also know that we are not the only ones to make work fun. As such, we found the following article very entertaining and think you will as well.
Original article can be found
TEMPE, Ariz. - The boss hands out assignments during an early morning meeting. Players come back with the Harlem Globetrotters, more toys than Santa Claus and, in one instance, an 8-feet-tall ostrich and a palpitating pitcher.
It’s been this way with the Los Angeles Angels going on 12 seasons, ever since Mike Scioscia became manager. Links-loving pitcher Jered Weaver(notes) was told to report back on every golf course within 50 miles of the team’s spring training complex with a map pasted on poster board. Math-hating pitcher John Lackey(notes) had to re-take a college algebra final he’d failed nine years earlier, the exam hand-delivered to the clubhouse by two Arizona State professors. Two heavy metal-loving rookies were dispatched to Medieval Times to find the link between the music and the Middle Ages.
Mike Scioscia has a .550 winning percentage and six playoff appearances in 11 seasons as the Angels' manager.
Of all the mind games played by managers to increase clubhouse cohesion, none are as outlandish - or against type - as Scioscia’s. He tries to generate engagement among new teammates, to foster unity in a diverse clubhouse, to lay groundwork for friendship and trust that can withstand the rigors of an eight-month journey. And even if it doesn’t always work, it does make for a tapestry of great stories.
A few days ago, pitchers Matt Meyer and Ryan Chaffee were told to construct a fielder’s glove and a catcher’s mitt from scratch. They began with a visit to a leather shop.
“I never realized what went into making a glove,” Meyer said. “What Scioscia has guys doing is crazy.”
Scioscia sent shy rookies to interview Phoenix Suns cheerleaders.
“Crazy” and “Scioscia” are used in the same sentence only by the players who see him behind closed doors. To the public, he is no-nonsense, giving signs and yelling at umpires from the dugout with the countenance of a drill sergeant. But at 9:30 a.m. meetings each day during spring training, Scioscia is imaginative and hilarious. He is the prankster manager. The assignments he gives players in the name of camaraderie and team unity are legendary, and they are ongoing.
“It’s a show every morning,” outfielder Torii Hunter(notes) said. “Guys are falling on the floor laughing. Not everybody can take over a room. You can tell Mike Scioscia has it in him. He has the character of a comedian.”
Ron Roenicke, a key member of Scioscia’s coaching staff for 11 years before becoming manager of the Milwaukee Brewers this season, says his former boss is “the funniest man in baseball.”
Scioscia downplays his impact, suggesting that harmony develops among the disparate personalities and ethnic backgrounds when players clear their own throats and report back on their assignments. “The best meetings happen when my voice is minimal,” he said.
Shy rookies were told to interview Phoenix Suns cheerleaders and write about their personal histories. Veteran outfielder Vernon Wells(notes), new to the Angels and under contract for $86 million the next four years, was told to pick out less well-heeled fellow newcomers and buy them dinner. A few years ago the bilingual Scioscia sent English-speaking rookie Brandon Wood(notes) to dinner with Spanish-speaking youngsters Erick Aybar(notes), Kendry Morales(notes) and Alberto Callaspo(notes). Wood was told to speak only Spanish; the others only English. They all gave a gu-busting report the next morning.
“We use the meeting time to humanize the game,” Scioscia said. “The clubhouse is veterans’ turf. We understand that [19-year-old prospect] Mike Trout(notes) seeing Torii Hunter or [top pitching prospect] Garrett Richards seeing Jered Weaver can be intimidating. Everybody has fun together and young guys are forced to come out of their shell.”
Scioscia recalls Dodger team meetings more than 30 years ago run by manager Tommy Lasorda, a motivational genius with a theatrical bent.
The Harlem Globetrotters paid a visit to Angels spring training in 2010.
“I was 19 years old in the clubhouse with old-school guys like Reggie Smith, Davey Lopes and Dusty Baker,” he said. “Tommy had me step up and talk about myself in front of everyone. You had to present yourself and say something.”
Roenicke, Joe Maddon of the Tampa Bay Rays and Bud Black of the San Diego Padres are Scioscia’s disciples. All four were on the Angels’ staff from 2000 through 2005, which included the team’s lone World Series title in 2002. Maddon and Black, like Scioscia, have been managers of the year. All are highly respected. And all utilize a hybrid of their mentor’s morning meetings.
Maddon, like Scioscia, uses visual aids to communicate. Pitcher David Price hopped into a drill with catchers a few days ago, so Maddon put a set of catcher’s gear in his locker the next day and made him wear it while going through drills. The Rays will hold a talent show March 15, and entries range from the serious to spoofs.
Black and Roenicke also draw on their experiences with Scioscia without being blatantly derivative.
“I picked up a lot of tricks from Mike,” Black said. “Mike is so extremely witty, quick to the punch, a great thinker on his feet in those meetings. A lot of team-building goes on. We talk baseball and what we’re going to do, but also we have a lighter side to our morning.”
An ostrich in the Angels' clubhouse was the result of one of Scioscia's assignments.
Black doles out a few assignments himself. Once he had third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff(notes), an ardent outdoorsman, start a fire in the clubhouse without using matches or a lighter. Avid fishermen Jake Peavy(notes) and Scott Linebrink(notes) had a casting competition. And a Padres camp wouldn’t be complete without half-court basketball games, which have included the likes of Chris Young, Will Venable(notes) and Tony Clark(notes) – guys who played hoops in college.
“Spring training can get tedious,” Black said. “This way, guys like coming to the ballpark. But I also learned from Mike that when the team leaves those clubhouse doors, it’s all business.”
The meetings accomplish more than shared laughter. Everyone learns the day’s agenda and reviews signs and signals. Scioscia, though, even turns that into fun and games, pitting players in sign-learning competition with a “Jeopardy!” format.
A surprise usually follows. Outfielder Bobby Abreu(notes) is constantly chattering about the basketball team he owns in Venezuela, and last spring he mentioned that he needed a skilled ball-handler. Outfielder Hunter is friendly with the Harlem Globetrotters, so Scioscia had him convince the legendary basketball troupe to visit the clubhouse and put on a show for Abreu.
Some assignments are more serious. Shortstop David Eckstein(notes) was asked to research restraining gear in stock cars the day after Dale Earnhardt died in 2001. Outfielder Reggie Willits(notes) has transformed his rookie assignment six years ago into an annual tradition, taking a few newcomers with him to Toys ‘R Us to buy thousands of dollars of toys. They wrap and distribute them to players with newborns or whose children will visit during the spring. The sizable surplus goes to a battered women’s shelter.
Rookies and non-roster invitees are on equal footing with veterans for 30 minutes each morning. Some of the bonding won’t pay off for months, even years. But eventually a player will be promoted from the minors at midseason or in the heat of a pennant race, and he won’t feel like a stranger.
“If I get called up, it won’t be the first day of school,” said Meyer, the minor league pitcher spending his spare time lacing up the mitts Scioscia had him make from scratch.
Scioscia says he feels no pressure to outdo himself, to keep coming up with more imaginative assignments. And truth be told, he’ll always have a difficult time eclipsing the one he gave pitcher Jarrod Washburn(notes) in 2000, the manager’s first year with the Angels.
“I noticed in the paper that there was an ostrich festival nearby and told Jarrod and a couple other guys to report back on what it was all about,” Scioscia said.
Washburn gave an ostrich owner cash and autographed baseballs to bring the big bird to the clubhouse and let it loose. Players scattered and pitcher Ramon Ortiz(notes) jumped up and cowered in his locker, screaming, “Mire el pollo grande! Mire el pollo grande!”
“He thought it was a big chicken,” Scioscia said.
The current Angels players have heard all about that one. No wonder they look forward to the daily meeting that helps them through the drudgery of camp and imparts a lesson every ballplayer needs to bring to the field: Expect the unexpected.
“No farm animals this year,” Weaver said. “But who knows? Spring isn’t over yet.”
We Can Save You Money
Garment Pricing Increasing Rapidly
Cotton - Cotton prices reached new record highs in the last month in New York, mostly reflecting speculative buying. Chinese demand also remains strong, due to surging clothing retail sales at home and further expanding textile and apparel exports. Huge intra-session volatility during the past week reflects a growing panic over the futures market.
Reflecting the level in Chinese immediate needs, US upland sales surged 37% in the week to January 20th with China ordering more than 100,000 running bales. The US cotton crop is now fully ginned and availability of the fiber will progressively decline as a result, boosting prices to higher levels on the international market. In India, there is no sign yet that cotton exports may be allowed beyond the current annual limit.
2011 contracts as of today:
March: $1.70 ($1.45 on 1/18)
July: $1.56 ($1.34 on 1/18)
October: $1.29 ($1.13 on 1/18)
December: $1.15 ($1.03 on 1/18)
Polyester - Raw material costs of polyester fiber producers continued rising in the last week in Asia, albeit at far less steep levels than cotton with further increases expected after the CNY. Demand is expected to further increase as brands switch to polyester or blended fabrics due to continued increases in cotton prices.
Oil remained unchanged this week at $91 up 20% in the past 12 months.
Import Volumes from China Slowing - US imports from China began seriously slowing down in the fourth quarter last year, in volume terms, according to preliminary data which were just released by the US Department of Commerce. Bangladesh apparently took advantage of a sharp rebound in US demand in a series of categories, while Vietnam's results were mixed. Indonesia, India and Central America clearly kept some strong competitiveness in certain specific categories.
In 338/339 (cotton knit shirts) for instance, Chinese shipments only rose 9% from the fourth quarter in 2009, after surging 40% in the first three quarters of the year. By contrast, Honduran shipments rose 31% in fourth quarter after only rising 17% over the first nine months.
Imports from El Salvador gained 34% in the October-December period, after being up 19% in the January-September period. In 347/348 (cotton trousers), Chinese shipments only rose 4.7% in volume terms in fourth quarter, compared with a 22% rise in imports from Bangladesh.
Custom Logos Center Court
Account Executive Sarah Hare and V.P. of Sales Darren Golden appeared at center court at the recent Mavericks/Cavaliers NBA game. In town working with the Mavericks, the pair jumped at the chance to get on the court at the conclusion of the game. We also believe that our work with the Dallas Mavericks and their recent winning ways are no coincidence.
Branding Through Differentiation
Original article can be found here.
Man's Best Friend
We are sad to report that this past week marked the passing of Custom Logos' office dog. While he was only at the office now and again, Trevor enjoyed roaming the halls of Custom Logos, visiting the staff members he had come to know over the past 10 years. He spent a good deal of time in customer service where the girls fawned all over him and he enjoyed the constant visits of various staff members as they conducted their business within the department. At break time he could always be found in the breakroom, in anticipation of someone dropping a morsel on the ground for him to nibble on, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. In any case, he will be sorely missed and we wish him the best in his next adventure in doggie heaven.
Clean living will only get you so far
Genes, money and luck also play major roles in longevity
By Mario Garrett, from signonsandiego.com
Nutrition gurus often assume that living healthy extends life span. Eat well and you can live forever, or at least up to 120 years. It seems that wherever you turn there is a new fad for eating "right" and a new savior to tell us how to do it. But what are the actual nutritional needs of older adults?
In California, as with the rest of the country, we see two polarizing realities. We have an obesity epidemic on one hand, with half of older Californians, predominantly men, being overweight or obese.
On the other side of the coin, more than 20 percent of the older adult population experiences food insecurity, and about 4 percent experience hunger in a given year. With recent reductions in federal funding for welfare programs, and local news reports of increasing demand by food programs, this unmet need for food assistance is probably underestimated.
In the middle of these two realities are older adults trying to eat healthy while being bombarded with ever-changing advice on what to eat in order to reduce disease and increase their life span. But science shows that apart from reducing the risk of ill health, good nutrition is, like air, necessary but not proportional in its positive effect on aging.
Gurus who claimed to hold the nutritional secret share one common characteristic - they are all dead. Some notables include Adelle Davis (1904-74) who often said she never saw anyone get cancer who drank a quart of milk a day, as she did. She died of bone cancer at age 70. Nathan Pritikin (1915-85), after being diagnosed with heart disease, advocated regular exercise and a low-fat, high-fiber diet. He committed suicide at age 69 while suffering from leukemia. Robert Atkins (1930-2003), the proponent of a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet, died of a brain injury. Roy Walford (1924-2004), a proponent of caloric restriction as a means to extending life, died of Lou Gehrig's disease at 79. Jim Fixx (1932-84), who championed the health benefits of running and claimed that regular running offered virtual immunity to heart disease, died of a heart attack while jogging at 52. Alan Mintz (1938-2007), a controversial proponent of using human growth hormone - an anabolic steroid - died at 69 from complications of a brain biopsy. Brain cancer seems to be a particular risk of anabolic steroid use.
The real secret truth is that scientists know very little about aging. Caloric restriction is the only known intervention shown to prolong life in multiple species, but is not yet proven with humans.
The oldest person that has ever lived, Jeanne Louise Calment, might have some secrets herself. When she died in 1977, Calment was 122 years and 164 days. She started smoking when she was 21 and did not stop until the age of 117. She ate nearly two pounds of chocolate every week, and drank port wine. She ascribed her longevity to olive oil, which she said she poured on all her food and rubbed onto her skin. Despite the luxury of her daily habits, it is likely that marrying into money probably had a significant influence on her longevity. Circumstances made it possible for her to never have to work and to live a leisured lifestyle, pursuing hobbies such as tennis, cycling, swimming, roller skating, piano and opera. Rich, educated people live longer. So, in the end longevity comes down to genetics, money and luck.
You cannot go wrong by trying to live a healthy life, but it does not mean that you will cheat death.
Making Lasting First Impressions
Pictured above is partner and President of Custom Logos, Ernie Foutch. In the spirit of differentiating our company from anyone else Ernie and account executive Steve Horowitz (picture unavailable) took full advantage of a recent situation. Ernie and Steve were in Orlando recently for a presentation to 9 SeaWorld executives that involved about a $2 million piece of annual business. After arriving late at night it was apparent that Steve's bag was lost and would not arrive in time for the next day's meeting. Thinking on their feet, and sans Steve's clothes, the two ended up sharing Ernie's clothes and made an entertaining first impression with the customer. As it turns out, the customer was fully impressed with their presentation and we are in fact in contention for the business.
We are now midway through the month and the results are mixed to say the least. Out of the 16 guys who showed up clean shaven on the first of the month a couple have already shaved and thus dropped out, and the majority of the rest of us are struggling thru the month, anxiously awaiting the day we get to shave. Meanwhile, pictured above is VP of Manufacturing David Tostado who as opposed to "struggling," seems to be working the stache to his advantage.
An Insight into Overseas Production
The following is an email that came from one of our brokers who is based here in the states but takes several trips overseas each year on our behalf. It's an interesting glimpse into the culture and daily life in China that we thought we'd share.
"Back south in Goungdong and Ghuanzhou it was about 74 to 78 F, here in Shanghai it is about 70 F, gets to about 60 at night. This is Autumn, probably the best time to visit China, as summer is too hot and humid.
If you think SD has polution issues, come here - constant grey fog haze from polutiuon of thousands and thousands of factories. Have gone hundreds of miles all around here - 2 hours on 350kph bullet trains, followed by 1-2 hours driving to get to some factories, and everywhere I've been, more industry, more factories, more people. The economic growth rate is about 9% annually, down from 11% pre-recession. They need the growth to meet raising standards of living, and more people. They love American business - any and all business - European, India, Africa, Peru, Brazil, - the world is their market.
The factories can be small dingy holes in the wall with antiquated machinery, or large 5-10K worker plants where they live on site in dormatories. But if what they lack is technology, then they simply make up for it in hand labor. These workers ALL work 12 hour days, 7 days per week (even in our own offices here..). They all smile, are all happy, and they eat excellent food, big appetites, they live for eating with freinds. That is the highlight of their day, to eat lunch and dinner."
Movember at Custom Logos
The NBA Starts Today
Today is opening day for professional basketball and once again this year many teams have turned to Custom Logos to help promote their brand. We work with several teams in developing everything ranging from game day giveaways to gifts for the players. Pictured above is a neat custom bottleopener keychain which we recently delivered to the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs were looking for an item to giveaway that was fun and easy to hand out and loved our solution.
Has it been 10 years already?
Pictured above, partners Sean Abbs and Ryan Kaback celebrate receiving their 10 year watches. You see, Custom Logos rewards employees with 10 years of service with the Omega Seamaster Professional watch. The watches have been given to members of all departments including the design team, sales, warehouse, embroidery, customer service and screenprintng. The amazing thing is that while we have been in business for only 21 years, a full 25% of our staff have the watches and 14 total watches have been issued over the years. With 4 current staff members approaching 20 years of service we're now trying to figure out how to commemorate that milestone. Stay tuned...
Custom Logos Goes Rollerskating
For the past 21 years Custom Logos has worked very hard to live by our internal motto of "Have Fun, Make Money". Part of this "work" has been the regular quarterly parties and events that we hold. We've climbed Cowles Mountain on many occasions, had a day at the races in Del Mar, had bowling parties, beach parties and dance parties as well as numerous other events. A few weeks ago we closed at 3:00pm on a Friday afternoon (closed for inventory is our usual cover) and the gang sauntered down to SkateWorld in Linda Vista for an afternoon of rollerskating and lots of laughs. While no alcohol was served (generally not the way we tend to do things) everyone had a blast and the event was pure comedy. Above are just a few pictures of some of the participants/victims.
Custom's NEW Logo
Doing Whatever It Takes!
Due to an order in house for over 7000 embroidered polo shirts we have expanded our production hours to run 3 shifts around the clock to accommodate all of the work we have on the schedule. By now most of our staff is probably seeing black polos in their dreams. And speaking of dreams, pictured above embroidery team member Martina Hernandez snuggles into a pile of shirts in an attempt to take a little break and catch a few zzz's.
Truly a Family Business
Custom Logos welcomes our newest member of customer service to the family, Erika Golden. Pictured above, Erika is the sister of our VP of Sales Darren Golden.
How is it working with your brother or sister? Well, you could also ask that question of partner Scott Johnson and Account Executive Kristen Johnson. You see, Custom Logos has always has been a family run operation. Started in 1989 by two best childhood friends, our company consists of many family members including husbands and wives, brothers in law, fathers and sons, and currently two sets of siblings just to name a few. Of the 40 or so staff members we employ, literally 90% of them came to us via referral. After 21 years we are proudly still a family business.
Ready for The Season
Custom Logos Vice President of Manufacturing David Tostado readies the RV for opening day.
With numerous season ticketholders in our employ Custom Logos is fired up once again to support the SD Chargers in this season's quest to get to Dallas. You may have noticed that an RV adorned with Chargers decals resides in our parking lot on the side of Custom Logos, except on Sundays of course. For each home game we entertain upwards of 50 people from about 9:30 am 'til game time as we prepare (sumptuous food and a variety of beverages) for the game. If you are ever looking for a great tailgate you can find us in the west end of the RV parking section flying the Chargers, United States and Australian flags. Feel free to stop by!
We're Number 12!
It's a tough job...
When Maxim magazine needed a promotional item to help people cool off at a recent event they turned to Custom Logos. Pictured above are a couple of the models with Account Executive and Partner Scott Johnson. Scott came up with the idea of hand fans for the contestants of Maxim's local Hometown Hotties contest finals. These were given out in conjunction with Maxim gift bags that each hotel guest received in their room. Always the consummate professional, Scott took time out of his weekend to insure that the fans were properly received and in working order.
Custom Logos: The Next Generation
With our average staff member having been at Custom Logos for almost 10 years we have always considered ourselves one big happy family. As cliché as it may sound, it really is the truth. Our staff spends the day together working and very often are together on the nights and weekends socializing and enjoying each other's families. As our business has grown over the past 21 years so have those families. Last week was a telling example of this. While VP of Sales Darren Golden and his wife Ladonna welcomed their second child to the world, CEO Jeff Golumbuk and his wife Ann watched as their oldest daughter Morgan departed the nest to attend the University of Miami. Congrats go out to all!
Custom Logos teams up with Zenyatta for a Big Day!
Amazing day, Amazing crowd, AMAZING HORSE! A crowd of 32000 flooded the grandstand of Del Mar to witness Zenyatta remain undefeated after 18 consecutive races. Some people wore Zenyatta jerseys, some had hats, some even held signs "as if the horse could read", but almost everyone walked away with a pair of commemorative Zenyatta pint glasses that were supplied by Custom Logos.
Most carried the pint glasses in the blue box they came in, but we did come across several people that couldn't wait to use them. After Zenyatta's amazing come from behind victory, a group broke the glasses out, poured their beers into them and cheered to the victory....funny thing is that it was nearly impossible to win a significant amount of money due to her 1-9 odds. Didn't matter though, everyone was still celebrating.
It was a memorable day, a historical day and one that I was excited to be a part of.
Go Zenyatta Go!
Custom Logos Account Executive
Did that just happen? - The story of "The Summer Intern"
Being one of the first interns in Custom Logos history, I should write about all the knowledge I gained over the summer and how my experience here will help with my future endeavors. However, that would be such a bore and unfitting for a company whose culture happens to be a far cry from a bore.
Being from Missouri I wanted to get away from the Midwest for a summer and San Diego seemed the perfect fit. But with my aspiration to come to the great state of California came some drawbacks. It was hard to get hooked up with a decent internship being so far away; so I had to resort to none other than- Craig's List. What kind of sketchy company posts and ad for an intern on Craig's List? Through phone interviews and countless e-mails the position became finalized; with a start date of June 1st 2010. Never meeting with anyone face to face I was a bit apprehensive of walking in to an unfamiliar place- did I mention the building is bright yellow and sits on stilts- not really the big time corporate office look I had been hoping for. But I walked in with high hopes for the best. Little did I know June 1st would be the start of an awesome adventure!
During the first few weeks I was trained on the different ins and outs of the company, logistical processes as well as my roles and responsibilities as "the summer intern." Overwhelmed at first with all that I was learning and what was asked of me, I soon became eager to learn more and grew more and more excited to come to work everyday. My sometimes over an hour drive from Oceanside to Custom Logos grew quickly from dread to excited anticipation for what the day would bring. I got to know the people in the halls of Custom Logos, and I treated the comments (which anyone else at another company may consider going to HR over) as part of the whole experience and excitement of being at work.
For the over 20 years Custom Logos has been in business, they have been able to create a company atmosphere that most businesses work decades on perfecting. You can see the exuberating energy and passion each individual has for their work, which became infectious in the halls of Custom Logos. They have created a family here- a home away from home if you will, and from the outside looking in, it's more than obvious that everyone loves coming to work, and putting in the strenuous hours that is asked of most sales people. With a fun outside of the office activity such as bowling, or a BBQ at someone's home- usually named "Happy Hour"- the employees of Custom Logos are able to relax and create that atmosphere that carries over to the "9-5 hours." Once you've witnessed this, their success is completely understandable.
I am honored to be one of the first interns in Custom Logos history. I'm proud to say I will be taking away so much more than I could have gained working at any other company. Of course, there was your everyday paper pushing, excel sheets and filing, But I know my first experience as an intern for any other corporation couldn't have been any better or compared to the experience I had. I know that wherever I end up after graduation I will be able to take the energy and passion for my work that has been transmitted to me from these people. Never would I have thought that what started as searching through ads on Craig's List could lead to such an awesome experience. And who knows, maybe I'll be back?
San Diego Ad Club Interactive Day
Custom Logos recent sponsorship of Interactive Day was a tremendous success. With over 400 attendees the conference featured discussions on a variety of topics as well as numerous vendor exhibits. As usual, the free t-shirts for everyone attending were a big hit. VP of Sales Darren Golden and partner Scott Johnson represented Custom Logos.
Supporting Our Clients
At Custom Logos we take great pride in becoming very involved with and supporting our clients. One recent example was last Friday at the ViaSat Wellness Expo where our VP of Sales, Darren Golden, and two of our summer interns, Megan and Jean-Claude, went out to shake hands and visit with some of our end users. It was a huge success and Jean-Claude ended up getting a free massage out of it.
Custom Logos Community Outreach
A number of Custom Logos employees and family members participated in our recent volunteer event at the SD Food Bank. Together we packaged literally over 2 tons of food that will be delivered to senior citizens in our community. The experience was fun and rewarding and we look forward to doing it again soon.
Great Deals for under $1
The Best Excuse Ever
In the course of doing business we are entertained daily by various stories from our clients and vendors. Often times people get busy and thus come up with some interesting stories/excuses for not doing things. The email trail below is one of our favorites. Turns out it is a true story.
San Diego Padres Pennants
As season ticket holders, a few guys from the office headed down The Padres game at Petco Park on Sunday. We went because we recently worked with The Padres on supplying them with their game day giveaway, a customized felt pennant.
The kids loved the pennants, it was a beautiful day for baseball, and the home team came away with the win.
Success all around!
Eight Ways to Kill an Idea
Every good marketing campaign starts with good ideas. One of our clients, Skyler Anderson is the Marketing Manager for Toro Micro Irrigation, recently sent Scott this comedic depiction called "Eight Ways to Kill an Idea":
We like it and hope you do too.
Click on the image to zoom in:
Talk about Brand Awareness…
Here is an example of how engrained advertising has become into our consciousness. This video at the link below has taken hundreds of very recognizable logos and created an animated story which earned an Academy Award. While it may be a little graphic, it's pretty funny, but more importantly it is clear evidence of how branding has affected our culture. Have you done your branding today?
Scott got hitched!
This past weekend, one of the new partners got married to his beautiful bride Angie. The music was loud, the champagne was flowing and the smiles came easy. Congratulations Scott!
Custom Logos Welcomes New Partners.
Think Promotional Products are Powerful? The Numbers Prove it.
For some, promotional products are just free stuff. Well, the way we look at it, they're a powerful tool to enhance your brand and touch your customer with a message.
Don't think promotional products are effective? Wrong. See the numbers on how they compare to other traditional media. You might be suprised.
A new study released today by the Advertising Specialty Institute found it's not TV, print or radio that gets consumers' attention, but good old promotional swag. This includes coffee mugs, pencils, retractable solar-powered flashlights or any other product bearing a company logo. Promotional products made up a $19.6 billion industry in 2007.
Through surveys conducted both online and in-person in major cities, such as New York and Los Angeles, the institute also found that promotional products generate a cost-per-impression average of $0.004, compared to $.033 for national magazine ads or $0.019 for prime time TV ads.The surveys asked 600 participants (who were mostly businesspeople over the age of 21) to recall promotional swag received over the last 12 months.
Key findings include:
- • 84 percent of consumers remembered an advertiser based on a product they received.
- • 42 percent had a more favorable impression of an advertiser after receiving a promotional product.
- • Nearly one quarter (24 percent) indicated they are more likely to do business with an advertiser based on items they receive.
- • The majority of respondents (62 percent) have done business with an advertiser after receiving a product.
- • Writing instruments are the most commonly owned tchotchkes, with 54 percent of respondents owning them, followed by shirts, caps and bags.
- • Most (81 percent) promotional products were kept because they were considered useful.
- • More than three-quarters of respondents have kept their items for about seven months.
- • Among wearables, bags were reported to be used most frequently, with respondents indicating that they use their bags on average nine times per month.
- • Bags deliver the most impressions, with 1,038 impressions per month on average.
ASI president and CEO Timothy Andrews said the findings indicate that promotional products yield a higher ROI, along with very low cost-per-impression, compared to other advertising media. Moreover, items received this year still generated a high recall rate among recipients, leading to greater purchase intent."
During a time when we're facing turbulent economic conditions, this research advises marketers and business owners to invest in advertising specialties (promotional products) now more than ever," Andrews said. "Advertising specialties provide measurable results for a very reasonable investment."
How Far Does Your Brand Reach?
As a San Diego based company, we often wonder about the reach of our brand.
Recently, a family member living in Hoboken, NJ, found our sizing stickers on the floor of the laundry room in his apartment building. That's 3500 miles away!
While the location of the stickers is suspect, the fact that our brand is making its way across America makes us smile.
Processes We Love - Wrap-around Imprints
We love The Express Line, our preferred drinkware vendor. Know for its innovative drinkware design, Express recently developed a process to imprint its products with a wrap-around imprint.
Check out the video below and view their entire product line at http://www.etsexpress.com/. The wrap-around printing process is available on drinkware with a cylindrical shape and will work with spot color or 4-color process artwork.
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