The Bizz by AnyPromo.com

Business & marketing advice, news and features, design inspiration, and the art of gifting.

Yahoo! Logo Generator Transforms Text to Match Company’s New Logo

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By Fausto Mendez

    The Yahoo! Logo Generator has arrived, and it’s ready to transform your company name - or any text phrase - into a logo that matches the style of the company’s brand new, redesigned logo. 

    You may have heard over the weekend that Yahoo! just updated its logo, and whether or not you think the change makes sense or is worth the time/money, the entire Web is talking about it. So it definitely achieved at least one of its purposes: get everyone to focus on Yahoo! This week, the company’s making sure that the spotlight remains on itself by unveiling the Yahoo! Logo Generator, a single-serving website (a toy, really) that matches text to Yahoo!’s logo style.

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    The five-minute time waster was developed by Flickr employee Bertrand Fan, not Yahoo!, so it’s not an official Yahoo! project. Flickr being a property of Yahoo!, it’s likely that the Logo Generator is not only sanctioned by the company itself, but it was probably encouraged by the company’s marketing team too.

    However, the story getting passed around the Web certainly makes it feel like a quirky, on-the-fly idea, which is great for marketing, and in any case, it’s an effective marketing strategy that has ensured the continuation of the conversation for at least another week. 


    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice and insightful copywriting tips - plus, free fonts, easy lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Recipes to Boost Focus in Meetings: Strawberries & Cream Dessert Cups #RBFM

By Fausto Mendez

    Pitching to a hungry audience is shooting yourself in the foot, so bring along some tasty treats - preferably sugary stuff - to boost client focus and mood. It WILL make a significant difference in the success or productivity of your meeting. This week’s #RBFM sugar spell: Strawberries & Cream Dessert Cups!

    This is certainly an interesting recipe. As always with our RBFM series, we search for outstanding and unique recipes that shock & awe with flavors, textures and visual appeal. The goal is to wow clients, partners and/or co-workers at your next meeting with a dessert that is so amazing (and sugary) that it actually improves their moods and nudges their opinions in your favor. Hunger is your enemy in the meeting room, so come prepared!

Step 1: The Grocery List

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+ Heavy whipping cream, (non-GMO) Chunks ‘O Fruit bars (available at Sam’s Club), strawberries, mini phyllo cups, vanilla, sugar, love. 

Step 2: Beat that Cream

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+ Beat the whipping cream, sugar, vanilla until you get some soft peaks. Mix in a melted Strawberry fruit bar for extra flavor.

Step 3: Fill ‘Em Up

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+ Fill the mini phyllo cups with the cream mix.

+ Cut some strawberries into little squares.

+ Cut some fruit bars into little squares. If you’re serving these at work (or away from where you’re preparing the dessert), you should dice the fruit bar at your destination. Obviously, ice cream melts, so you should refreeze the fruit bar at the destination, and then, cut the bar and add it to the cups. 

+ Next, add the squares of fruit bars, and finally top it all off with the strawberries. Serve ‘em quick; I imagine these would lose their visual appeal as they warm up to room temperature. 

+ Finally, thank The Gunny Sack for the original recipe and the gorgeous photos. 

    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Finished Work: “We Love the UK” Pins for Bloomingdale’s

By Fausto Mendez

    AnyPromo's design and production teams love to show off their #finished work  This is just another design of the many, many designs they finalize on a daily basis. 

    You may have heard about a small clothing store called Bloomingdale’s out of New York. No? Well, if you find yourself at a Bloomingdale’s over the next couple months, you may notice store employees wearing or giving out customized safety pins, featuring a gorgeous design that merges both American and British flags. We’re more than honored to provide the retail legend with these fabulous pins. 

    The design is extremely similar to the flag-heart graphics currently on the Bloomingdale’s homepage, which we screenshotted above.

    These promotional giveaways sell for a buck per piece, which includes custom graphics and artwork assistance. If you increase your order to 500+, the price drops to less than $0.50 each. At 1,000+, the price drops down to $0.37 per piece. Not a bad deal at all. 

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Latin Icon Sofia Vergara is Now the Best Paid Actress on TV

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By Fausto Mendez

    The 20 best-paid TV actresses made a combined $183 million during the last twelve months (from June 2012 to June 2013), but Modern Family’s uber popular Sofia Vergara leads the pack with a total of $30 million in income.

For most adults (that remember watching TV in the 70s, 80s and 90s), it may come as a surprise that the most popular and best-paid actress on TV is Latina, not white. Since the dawn of TV & film, white actors and actresses have always been the the preferred choice, and their paychecks naturally reflected that bias. 

     In fact, Vergara’s TV husband Ed O’Neill was one of the best-paid TV actors during his reign in the 90’s on the legendary sitcom Married with Children, but it’s incredible how times have changed since then. 

The World Was a Different Place Five Years Ago

    Back in college, I was an intern at a mainstream film studio in Santa Monica, CA. It was my job to read incoming screenplays that may or may not be turned into Hollywood movies. Then, I’d recommend the best ones for further consideration and in-depth reading. I fondly remember reading a touching screenplay with a male hispanic lead, and the producers at the film studio loved the script too.

    When it was time to finally make a decision about whether we should actually produce the movie, one issue remained on the table: American audiences just don’t respond to Hispanic leads. We were not the first nor the last studio to turn it down due to the same issue.

    It’s amazing how much has changed since then, and that was only back in the Spring of 2008! But that was well before Modern Family, and even President Obama was not yet elected as the first non-white President. Time moves fast these days.

How Does She Do It?

     Vergara’s enviable income is a result of a combination of lots of acting work and several advertising deals. If you keep up with TV ads, you’ve noticed her in commercials for Diet Pepsi, Cover Girl, Diet Mountain Dew and other brands, but she’s also a star in the Colombian version of Desperate Housewives. She’s made several guest appearances on other TV shows, including ABC’s Dirty Sexy Money and at least one Mexican telenovela, Fuego En La Sangre. You may have also noticed her in the Three Stooges big screen remake from last year.

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

#DIY Promotional Giveaway: Gorgeous Greeting Cards

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By Fausto Mendez

    If you’re a fan of #DIY crafts for personalized gifts, promotional giveaways and event supplies, you should consider adding a personal touch to your next gift, giveaway or event with gorgeous homemade greeting cards.

    Sometimes, the best (and most affordable) way to say thanks is with a homemade gift, and a #DIY greeting card is perhaps one of the more fun, easier ways to express your creativity in appreciation of a great client.

    This week’s #DIY post isn’t so much a tutorial as it is a source of inspiration. It’s pretty easy to figure out how each of the below cards are made. The key is layering and having plenty of gorgeous materials to work with, including colored paper, colored poster board, foam paper, buttons, cloth, ribbons, printed graphics, pens, plastic pearls, beads, colored pencils, lots of glue and whatever else you can think of. 

    We encourage you to use these designs as a starting point for your own original creations, and if you’re using these as promotional giveaways to thank your business’s clients, sneak in your logo in a tasteful and classy way. For example, a great spot is the inside cover because it allows you to dedicate the other page to your message, and the logo won’t disrupt or distract from the cover.

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    If you’re feeling extra thankful, you might even include some custom candies or custom lip balm, which feature your logo and artwork on the wrapper.

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    Thanks to Causeway Crafts for the images of the greeting cards and, of course, the creativity behind the card designs. Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Content Marketing Explained, Defined and Dissected

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By Fausto Mendez

    Content (marketing) is King! Let’s define and discuss the fundamentals of web-based content marketing because, frankly, too many business owners misunderstand the purpose and methodology of this marketing strategy. To start, let’s get one thing clear: content marketing is brand building. I know it’s hard to believe, but hear me out.

Hard Sell vs. Soft Sell

    Let’s start by defining the two basic schools of thought in marketing: the hard sell vs. the soft sell (AKA outbound marketing vs. inbound marketing).

    The “hard sell” refers to finding customers and directly offering your pitch, such as through a targeted ad or a marketing email. The “soft sell” refers to attracting customers by going to where they are and offering help or entertainment that is in some way related to your product, service or brand.

    The soft sell succeeds by making customers feel as if it was always their own idea to do business with you, which is not the effect achieved through the hard sell. 

Brand Building is Soft Selling

    Soft selling can feel synonymous with brand building because that’s essentially what you’re doing. You make your brand obvious, entertaining and/or useful in the places where your customers spend much of their time, whether it’s a live event at the Staples Center, Facebook on a smartphone, or the checkout page on your website. But you should always do it in a way that improves the audience’s perception and awareness of your brand.

    By building up your brand within your target audience, you ensure future success because those potential customers will eventually need your actual product or service - either from you or a competitor - so it really helps to close the deal if your brand is the first brand that they think about when they’re suddenly ready to buy.

    It’s a very convenient form of marketing for both the customer and the brand because customers feel as if they aren’t being pushed to buy, and once a brand is aware of where the target spends time, 50% of the work is just being there while the audience is there. 

Content Marketing is Brand Building

    Content marketing is a strategy that marketers use to raise brand awareness by engaging the interests and needs of the target audience through the distribution of free tutorials, free entertainment, free advice, free downloadables, and other free media. The goal is to convince your audience that your brand is THE authority in your industry, so your brand naturally comes to mind when the customer thinks of your industry or related topics. If you do this correctly, when the customer is finally ready to buy, he naturally turns to your brand, not the competitors.

    But if you’re giving away all your secrets, advice and tutorials for free, why would any customer ever want to pay you?

    You may find that you offer a lot of free advice, free tools, free documents and much more than the customer could ever use in a lifetime, but he probably doesn’t have the time to do it all himself, much less understand it all. That’s why he’s always looking for help on your blog - after all, you’ve been his indirect mentor for weeks, months or years! And now that he’s ready to commit, he wants to do it the right way, your way. That’s when the customer will hire you.

The Difference Between a Battle and a War

    Every blog post is a miniscule battle (one of thousands of battles) that could eventually turn into a small victory in a never-ending war, so don’t expect any single post to be “the one that goes viral and makes you millions”. It almost never happens that way, and when it does, it’s almost never intentional. Content marketing is about building up your brand by gaining the audience’s trust and respect in a memorable way.

In Summary…

1. Soft selling is a type of marketing that makes the customer feel as if it was always his idea to do business with you.

2. Brand building is a type of soft sell.

3. Content marketing is a type of brand building.

4. Content marketing works by distributing free media that is clearly related to your brand and labeled with your brand.

5. The goal, of course, is to make the customer think of your brand whenever they think of your field of expertise, so when they are ready to buy, they start with your brand.


    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Finished Work: Custom Rally Towels for Achievers Realty Group

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By Fausto Mendez

    AnyPromo’s design and production teams love to show off their #finished work. This is just another design of the many, many designs they finalize on a daily basis.

    We proudly salute the Achievers Realty Group with a sizable box of promotional rally towels, screenprinted with an unbeatable red paint that will last as long as the towel itself. We’re happy to serve another fantastic customer, actually a fellow Californian neighbor out of Burlingame.

    We customized these ourselves in Southern California, thanks to our experienced and growing production team. We just updated our warehouse with a variety of new machinery, including “The Spider”, an extra-large screen printing machine that automates for big orders. We just shipped in this bad boy - along with a couple of amazing embroidery machines - to help us meet the increased demand for custom apparel. 

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    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, free fonts, easy lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Bring-Your-Own-Lunch Recipe: Creamy Artichoke Lasagna #BYOL

By Fausto Mendez

    Every week, we suggest a fascinating, unique and delicious dish that is easy to reheat at your office lunchroom. This week’s #BYOL recipe: Creamy Artichoke Lasagna.

    #BYOL (bring-your-own lunch) recipes are more often healthier (and, of course, tastier) alternatives to eating out for lunch at work, but naturally being human, we can’t always stick to what’s better for us. Every so often, we need a heartier, fattier dish to get us through the day, and this creamy artichoke lasagna is sure to hit the spot.

    Most Italian food is perfect for a #BYOL day at the office, so this delish entrée is certainly worth an hour or so if lasagna dishes tickle your fancy. So what’s in it?

Step 0 - The Grocery List

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+ Herbs & Veggies: 15 baby artichokes, four minced garlic cloves, one cup basil

+ Cheeses: 15 ounces of ricotta cheese, one cup parmesan cheese, one cup mozzarella cheese

+ Oils & Liquids: three cups water, one-fourth cup lemon juice, three tablespoons olive oil, one cup vegetable or chicken broth, two cups of half and half

+ Everything Else: nine dried (uncooked) lasagna noodles, half cup pine nuts, one egg, three-fourths teaspoon of salt, one-fourth cup flour

Step 1 - Prep the Artichokes & Noodles

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+ Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

+ Slice off the base of each artichoke, and snap off the outer leaves until you only have the yellow leaves left. Then, slice off about a third of the top of each artichoke. Place the artichokes in a bowl, and add the lemon and water. Slightly stir, and leave it for now. 

+ Heat up the lasagna noodles. Drain them, and rinse with cold water. Drain the artichokes too. 

+ Drop a pan on the oven. Drop two tablespoons of the olive oil on the pan. Set the flame at about medium. Add the artichokes, pine nuts, and half of the garlic clove. Cook for about 8 minutes or until the artichokes feel rather tender. Don’t forget to continuously stir. Drop the contents of the pan into a separate bowl, and stir in the ricotta cheese, half cup of the parmesan cheese, half cup of the basil, the egg and the salt. 

Step 2 - Prep the Sauce

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+ In a bowl, mix the broth and flour together. In your shiniest saucepan, heat up the remaining olive oil. Mix in the rest of the garlic, and cook until tender (but don’t brown it). Throw in the flour mix and half and half. Heat until it’s all thick, bubbly and delicious. Turn off the heat. Quickly add the rest of the basil. 

+ In a separate bowl mix the mozzarella cheese and the rest of the parmesan cheese.

Step 3 - The Bake

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+ You’ll need an ungreased 3-quart baking dish that is shallow, not deep. 

Spread about a cup of the sauce into this dish. Layer three noodles in the dish, and spread the artichoke mix over the noodles. Add the rest of the sauce. Sprinkle about a half cup of the cheese mix over all of it.

+ Repeat this process until you run out of ingredient.

+ Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, uncovered. You’ll know it’s done when the edges should bubble up and the top lightly browns.  

+ Thank Midwest Living for the recipe, and eat it up!

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

When Social-Media Marketing Goes Bad: Newcastle vs. Budweiser - #MarketingMonday

By Fausto Mendez

    Newcastle steps into the social-media ring with Budweiser, but the outcome of the fight may surprise you. In the social space, it turns out the fans are in control, not the brands. 

    Towards the end of July, Newcastle had a seemingly brilliant idea: poke fun at Budweiser’s latest marketing ploy, a bow-tie-shaped can. This fight is about a month old, but that’s just enough time for the dust to settle in order to clearly examine the results.

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    Budweiser’s new can takes the shape of the bow tie in the Budweiser logo, a silly change that clearly has no effect on the beer inside the can.

    In an attempt to differentiate itself from beer brands that focus countless dollars on pointless changes to the can instead of the actual beer, Newcastle posted the below image on its social media channels with the the following message.

"Introducing the new, #Newcastle bow-tie can. It’s our regular can with the sides pushed in. Innovation! #NoBollocks".

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    The intent is to get “real” beer fans to pay attention to Newcastle - the kind of fans that don’t care for color-changing paint, bigger mouth holes, and bow-tie cans. However, the social-media battle sparked up some backlash from those “real” beer fans, the same ones Newcastle was trying to attract. Soon after Newcastle’s joke, a Facebook user posted the following comment to the photo. 

"Is that to hide that fact Newcastle is not using Toasted barley to get its golden or deep brown color; however, in this case, Newcastle is colored artificially with caramel color?

This caramel coloring is manufactured by heating ammonia and sulfites under high pressure, which creates carcinogenic compounds. If beer companies were required by law to list the ingredients, Newcastle would likely have to have a cancer warning label under California law because it is a carcinogen proven to cause liver tumors, lung tumors, and thyroid tumors in rats and mice.”

    It turns out that calling attention to Budweiser’s “fakeness” caused fans to shine a super-bright spotlight on Newcastle’s “fakeness”. The comment was just one of the first in a massive social-media backlash over a simple joke. Newcastle later responded with an official statement that suggests that the company will look into alternative ingredients that achieve the caramel color, but it’s so far unknown if Newcastle is just calming the crowd with empty promises.

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and downloadable fonts for your marketing materials. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

(Source: beerpulse.com)

Email is no longer private. What that means for marketers and the businesses they serve. #MarketingMonday

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By Fausto Mendez

    Email was never an extremely secure medium, but today, it’s as insecure as your “private” Facebook page. In other words, it’s open to any hacker or government agency that wants to get inside. But what does that mean for business owners and the marketing guys that serve them?

    If you’re reading this article, you’re probably aware that the US government is currently spying on you and the rest of its citizens by accessing private and corporate email accounts in mass, and it may have a tremendous effect on American businesses and the marketers that serve them. 

Why Businesses Are Paranoid of Spying

    IT and security experts are paranoid, but it’s not because American businesses are often breaking laws. However, it is true that unlawful businesses have a lot to fear. The real problem is that this kind of spying occurs without warrants, which means a judge doesn’t have to determine if it’s actually necessary to access your email. And a judge won’t be there to make sure that government agents did not abuse their powers when accessing your data. Normally, judges keep tabs on law enforcers that spy on citizens, but today, nobody is monitoring the depth or breadth of information that is accessed.

    The National Security Agency and its partners may access your digital data without restraint, and this wouldn’t be such a big deal if governments always acted in ways that benefit their citizens. But like people, governments are open to corruption, so all it takes is one corrupt NSA agent to start auctioning off your data to the highest bidder. Then, your company secrets are out on the open web. 

How Businesses Will Respond to Digital Spying

    The way that companies and consumers react to this news can have a major impact on the way that marketers, like me, do business. It’s easy to imagine the following reactions.

+ As it was before the ’00s, face-to-face encounters, including video calls, may become the standard way of meeting with clients. Of course, traditional phone calls will continue to occur as often as they do now, but I imagine that anyone that wants to hide behind an email will come off as an amateur or uninformed. A marketer that understands the value of a client’s privacy will be more important than ever, so email will not be the standard way of discussing company secrets.

+ Email marketing may get harder, especially B2B email marketing. If companies and their customers stop relying on email so much, it will be harder to reach them via email because that’s not where they will be. Private forms of communication, such as custom IM software, may become rather common at big corporations. There are probably more practical ways of working around email, but that’s a topic for another article. 

+ If email marketing gets harder, social-media marketing may get easier. I know what you’re thinking, “doesn’t social media have the same vulnerabilities as email?” Yes, it does, but social media is not often used to discuss and share company secrets. From the most successful CEOs to the greenest interns, we will all continue our use of social media even if we all abandon email. And just like email, a marketer can easily message a list of Facebook fans and Twitter followers with special offers and sale flyers, so you can think of your social-media profiles as replacements to the holiness of your email list. 

+ If email is no longer secure and private, email service providers that offer a truly private experience will go out of business. That’s exactly what’s happening to companies like Silent Circle, which has officially closed its doors because the National Security Agency has made it impossible for the company to deliver on its promise to offer a truly secure and private email experience.

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Finished Work: Business Card Display for Time Warner Cable

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By Fausto Mendez

     AnyPromo’s graphic and production teams love to show off their #finished work. This is just another design of the many, many designs they finalize on a daily basis.

    The production team just finished these beautiful, sleek business-card holders for Time Warner Cable. They shipped out earlier this month to some very happy customers. 

    We engraved these promotional business-card displays in our warehouse in Southern California with extremely precise lasers that even our biggest competitors don’t have (it pays to have exclusive connections to laser manufacturers). In fact, our lasers are so advanced, we can actually engrave letters small enough that they’re unreadable to the naked eye. 

    As you can see, we etched an inspiring message and the customer’s art directly onto the product, and the final result is rather stunning.

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    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Finished Work: Embroidered Polos for the American Heart Association

By Fausto Mendez

    Our partner AnyPromo.com is a promotional products retailer/supplier, and the company’s graphic and production teams love to show off their #finished work. This is just another design of the many, many designs they finalize on a daily basis.

    The production team is running full steam this week. They’re working on a variety of embroidered polos, business card holders, and customized pens. Take a peep at what they’re up to below.

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

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