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The first part of this article was published in the July issue of Insights. It defined copyright, trademark, and licensing; explained why you have to get permission to use someone else’s trademark; which companies should seek licensing agreements; who oversees licensing; and how you apply to become a licensee.

It seems the longer we are in business, the more at ease we have gotten in our comfort zones, which have narrowed over the years. Have you found that you tend to gravitate to situations where you feel completely in control? Do you find yourself putting off tasks that make you the slightest bit uncomfortable? Can you rationalize why you do not do certain things that you know would help your business to grow?

Growing, successful awards and personalization businesses are devoting more time to content marketing: the publishing of articles, videos, images, and more to reinforce brand image. Suppliers and retailers are getting and keeping their customers’ attention by providing their customers with more than simple self-promotion. To get new visitors to come see this content and become customers, it’s more important than ever to ensure that content is search engine optimized.

We all know that networking with current and potential customers can add to your sales volume in a big way. We also know that a lot of networking takes place in organized groups at events held after business hours. And we know that networking should be a part of every retailer’s marketing plan. Problem is, if it were easy, we would all be doing it regularly.

The best way to gain and keep customers is to provide them with value. It’s really pretty simple: If the customer is happy with what they get in return for their money, they consider it value.

Whether you are attending the Awards and Personalization Association's International Awards & Personalization Expo in Las Vegas this month, sitting in the comfort of your store and browsing through industry suppliers' new catalogs, or enjoying a visit from an industry sales representative, one thing is certain–your excitement level is increasing as you view all of the new products available for 2017.

Clothes make the man, as the saying goes, but clothes can also help make the business, as some awards and personalization retailers have learned.

All the sublimation terms you need to know—and a few you may not even have known existed.

Just rain.” That’s what the local meteorologists said. No hurricane. No tropical storm. Not even a tropical depression in sight. When the forecast is “just rain” in south Louisiana, it means you might have to postpone mowing your lawn for a day. You can probably skip watering the flower beds. You take a rain poncho with you to the LSU football game. You wear old shoes to play golf. But you do not purchase extra canned food or bottled water. You do not rush to the station to fill your vehicle with gasoline. You do not take extra money out of the ATM in case power is lost for an extended period. You do not check the generators. And you certainly do not waste 1 minute worrying about rain in an area of the United States that gets more than 60 inches of rain in a typical year.

At Champion Awards & Apparel, “we do a lot of stuff to make a living,” summarizes President and CEO Mike Bowen. Champion comprises nine divisions in 40,000 sq ft in Memphis, TN, with $4.5 million in gross sales each year.
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Awards and Personalization Association

The Awards and Personalization Association is the organization for retailers and suppliers of personalized and customized items. By providing education, meetings, and access to a vibrant network of professionals, the Awards and Personalization Association is the one place to ensure the growth of your talent, your business, and your professional community.

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