The Bizz by

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

Bring-Your-Own-Lunch Recipes: Mini Cheeseburger Pies #BYOL #WTF


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: Mini Cheeseburger Pies. 

    This is perhaps one of the most convenient and unique #BYOL recipes that we’ve ever posted, and if you love hamburgers, you have to try it out for your next in-office meal. It’s basically all the ingredients that you’d put into a burger but in the shape of a pie… or a muffin.

    It’s a pie that small looks more like a muffin, actually, but that’s enough small talk. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and throw on an apron.

Step 1 - The Grocery List


+ Burger mix: one pound ground beef, one chopped onion, one tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, one teaspoon garlic salt, one cup shredded cheese.

+ Baking mix: half cup milk, half cup Original Bisquick mix, two eggs.

+ Optional garnishes: twelve mini dill pickles, one chopped tomato, ketchup, mustard. 

Step 2 - The Prep


+ In a skillet, preheat the beef and onion over a medium-high flame for five to seven minutes. Frequently and thoroughly stir. 

+ Let the beef chill for three to five minutes, and add the Worcestershire sauce, cheese and garlic salt. Thoroughly mix. 

+ In a separate bowl, drop in the baking ingredients, and stir, mix and poke until thoroughly blended.  

Step 3 - The Bake


+ Cover a 12-muffin pan with cooking spray or your favorite cooking grease.

+ Spoon a small tablespoon of your baking mixture and a one-fourth cup of burger mixture into each of the twelve muffin cups. Spoon another tablespoon of baking mixture into each muffin cup in order to “sandwich” the burger mixture in between baking mixture.

+ Bake for about 30 minutes. A sign that it’s done is if you can insert and pull out a clean toothpick and there’s a nice golden-brown shade to the tops of the mini hamburger pies. 

+ Allow the mini hamburger pies to cool for ten minutes outside of the pan. Add garnish, thank My Kitchen Magazine for the recipe, and eat!

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

#MarketingMonday - Pretty Soon, You’ll Be Embedding Facebook Posts into Your Blog or Web Page


    Facebook is about to unleash a new feature on the masses, which enables a user to embed a facebook post into any blog post or web page. The feature is long overdue, especially for bloggers and social-media fans.

   About 72% of Facebook users block the public from their Facebook posts and profiles, says Consumer Reports, so the company has been searching for and developing ways to increase the exposure of its public posts, profiles and pages. Embeddable posts is certainly one of the easiest and most effective ways of doing that, and since the Web is already accustomed to embedding all types of media, including Tweets and YouTube videos, it only seems natural. 

    Right now, the disadvantage with Facebook posts is that users have to visit in order to comment, like and share posts, which sometimes makes blogs, Twitter and YouTube more attractive platforms for announcements and big, open discussions. But embeddable posts solve that problem by allowing the discussions to occur outside of Facebook, wherever the audience is currently located.

    In 2013, Facebook hasn’t underperformed, but it is losing (or sharing more and more of) its younger audience to other niche social platforms, such as Tumblr. Post embedding can be an effective way to keep Facebook in the loop on these other platforms, but it may not be enough to re-capture the youngest Web users. Some of the Web’s youngest users see Facebook the same way that the rest of us see AOL, a walled-off garden that dumbs down the Web into a boring, predictable and forgettable experience.

    Facebook is slowly rolling out post embedding, so it’s not yet available to everyone. For now, only a few mainstream media companies, including CNN, can use the feature. 

    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

#DIY Gifts & Giveaways: Candy Cone Envelopes


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 Candy Cone Envelopes. 

    Sometimes, saying “thanks” or “hello” just isn’t enough, especially in the business world, but it’s not always prudent to spend a load of cash on promotional gifts for every client and partner in your contact list. And you definitely don’t want to miss out on enhancing the relationship by not delivering a memorable gift, so next time, try dropping off one of these DIY candy cone envelopes. They’re cheap and easy to build, so you can assemble them as you need them.

    All you need is some gourmet candy, sheets of fancy colored paper, a roll of ribbon, a bottle of decent craft glue, and perhaps a printer (with paper) to attach a note that features your company’s logo. 

Making the Envelope


+ The envelope itself is super simple to build, and even origami newbies should find it rather easy. Start with a square sheet of paper in a diamond layout (as seen above). 

+ Roll the sheet of paper into a cone, similar to the way waffle ice cream cones are formed. Glue it down. 

+ The top of your diamond will form the closing flap of the envelope. Don’t glue it down yet.

Making the Note


+ Next, print your company’s logo onto paper with a “thank you” message. The above photos feature a personal note with a “secret wishes” message, but in the business world, you should make sure your logo is clearly associated with the gift in order to clearly associate the gift’s positive emotional impact with your brand. A simple, “thank you” below your logo should suffice. 

+ Make sure the logo is small enough to not over-cover the envelope. It should barely peek over the edges of the envelope (after the envelope has been flattened in the next step). 

+ Flatten the envelope down. Then, stuff it with gourmet candies, and glue the top flap down.

+ Decorate it with a simple ribbon over the flap, and glue your note/logo over the ribbon.

+ Finally, thank Martha Stewart for the original concept!

    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

#MarketingMonday - How a Coffee Brand Attracts Big Crowds at Airports by Trading Yawns for Free Giveaways

By Fausto Mendez

    Coffee is a fact of life in America. You can’t approach a crowd without eventually getting hit in the face with that odd but attractive aroma, and it’s virtually impossible to go anywhere without seeing the ever-present Starbucks cup. In the same spirit, coffee brand Douwe Egberts is making a name for itself at a local airport by making sure everyone in the building is holding a Douwe Egberts cup. 

    Exactly how is this up and coming coffee shop achieving this effect? It’s handing out free coffee, but it’s not as simple as that. As you know, a promotional giveaway, such as free coffee, is a very effective marketing tactic. It can introduce the brand to new customers and revive it to old customers, boosting positive feelings about the brand and catalyzing an emotional effect that makes the brand even more memorable.

    The emotional effect in such a campaign is critical since emotionally-charged experiences are almost impossible to forget, so Douwe Egberts maximizes the emotional effect of its promotional giveaways by setting up coffee machines that are activated by simple yawns. 

    Yup, that’s right. In order to get your free cup of coffee, you have to yawn at the machine, which will dispense a free cup of coffee in return. Trading a yawn for some coffee can easily bring a surprised smile to a weary traveler’s face - an emotional effect that should make the experience a hundred times more memorable. The campaign is called “Bye Bye Red Eye”, says Mashable, and it’s cleverly spreading the Douwe Egberts brand with one of the oldest forms of marketing, the promotional giveaway.

    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

Activision’s Brilliant Marketing Strategy on YouTube: Target the Content Creators and Curators


By Fausto Mendez

    Social-media marketing is often perceived as a mysterious and powerful beast, but video game maker Activision doesn’t see it that way. Activision has tamed YouTube for its national and international marketing campaigns, and this is how the company is doing it.

    Though it may seem like YouTube is all about funny animal videos and poorly produced cover songs, the video-centric social network has been a staple in video game culture for about as long as the site’s been around. Passionate gamers know the site for its healthy library of game trailers, homemade walkthroughs (guides), news, commentary, parodies and more. Activision understands this, and the company develops content exclusively for YouTube in order to rouse up passion for new and upcoming games.

    You may be surprised to learn that YouTube viewers watched over double the hours of gaming videos than other types of videos in 2012. In other words, YouTube is one of the industry’s cultural hubs, where gamers of all types and ages unite to enjoy gaming beyond games. As usual, the old saying applies, “go to where your audience is.”

    Ad Age does a great job of breaking down Activision’s entire strategy for YouTube, so I suggest you check out the full article. However, one tactic really stands out. 

Harnessing the Content Creators and Curators

    Prior to major gaming expos, trade shows and premieres, Activision invites some of YouTube’s most popular content creators and curators to real-world presentations, which include the distribution of exclusive information and video assets, such as clips and trailers. Promotional giveaways also play an important role at these events. The YouTube stars are sent home with brag-worthy bags of promotional swag, such as custom shirts, cups, accessories and keychains, which the YouTube stars sometimes give out to their own audiences. As a result, the promotional items are a low-cost and effective way to catalyze buzz about the brand between fans, not just the YouTube stars.

    The exclusive events make it easy for Activision to spread information, hype, trailers and clips on YouTube because the company doesn’t need to directly develop and hold an audience. The content creators and curators have already taken care of that. All Activision has to do is get the right content to the right people, and those “right” people will repackage the content into a form that best suits their audiences. From there, the information will naturally spread throughout Activision’s fan base. Easy, right?

    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

Recipes to Boost Focus in Meetings: “Ooey-Gooey” Butter Cookies #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 or pitch. This week’s #RBFM sugar spell: “Ooey-Gooey” Butter Cookies. 

    Our favorite and most popular #RBFM recipes often mash up two different deserts into one delicious concoction that most people don’t even realize is possible, and this week’s treat follows that tradition closely by combining cake and cookies. You can thank Lil Luna for the original “Ooey-Gooey” recipe, which we summarize down to the short-and-sweet version below. Let’s start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 0 - Gather Your Ingredients


+ One box of Yellow Cake Mix

+ Half cup butter

+ Half teaspoon vanilla

+ One 8 oz. cream cheese bar

+ 1 Egg

+ Powdered Sugar

Step 1 - Beat the vanilla, egg and cream cheese until fluffy.


Step 2 - Add the cake mix.


Step 3 - Let it chill for 30 min. Roll into balls. Dip in sugar. Eat leftovers.


Step 4 - Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350. Drizzle sugar.


    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

The 80 Rules of Social Media Every Social Specialist Must Know



1. Obey the rules
2. Social media is ALL about your audience, be they consumers, viewers, fans, followers or users. It has nothing to do with you, or what you think.
3. Followers lead from the middle of the pack – usually by example.
4. 1 active user is a BIG deal. They have 140 friends.

3 Smarter Promotional Giveaways for Trade Shows, Expos


By Fausto Mendez

    At massive trade shows, like CES in Las Vegas, promotional giveaways have morphed into an art form as companies from around the world aim to outdo each other with more effective giveaways, and it’s become clear that the best promotional campaigns are more creative, utilizing a strategic combination of products, messaging and distribution.

    Below, I list three (smarter, more effective) promotional giveaway ideas that can apply to most trade shows. We haven’t seen these ideas out in the real world - not exactly as we present them here - so they might give you the winning edge over the guys at the next both. 

Flash-Drive Bracelet as a Contest Entry


    We’ve seen wearable flash drives at CES and other press-heavy shows, but they are almost always used to distribute basic information, like brochures and links. These are especially popular with companies that target reporters because they make it easy to deliver press shots, link lists and other important details while allowing the reporter’s attention to stick to whatever’s more important. This is a pretty smart tactic, but you’re limiting the bang per buck if you stop here. 

    Remember that the main goal of most giveaways at any trade show is to act as a billboard for your brand, so you should design your campaign in a way that keeps these bracelets on your targets’ wrists. One way to do that  is to launch a contest around the bracelets.

    As you hand out the bracelets, tell your targets that one of your employees randomly delivers prizes to people that wear the bracelets on the show floor, but you won’t know who or where he is because he’ll be dressed like everyone else.

    Make sure that you have the prize on display at your booth to tempt your audience. Of course, the more valuable the prize, the more likely that people will wear it, so it’s probably better to hand out a few big prizes than many low-quality ones. Still, there may be situations in which your target audience might prefer an inexpensive prize. For example, condoms might be a very popular prize at SXSW.

 Promotional T-Shirts, Tote Bags or Backpacks as Coupons


     This idea can work for any trade show where you aim to sell to attendees, and all you need to do is print a coupon on your promotional shirts, tote bags or backpacks, preferably next to a very large version of your logo and slogan.

    The key is to hand out shirts away from your booth and to require the customer to wear the promotional item during purchase in order to redeem the coupon. As a result, attendees will put it on and later walk to your booth to make the purchase. The result is crowds of people wearing your logo and buying your stuff; of course, that’s assuming you have a product that people want. 

 Mugs, Tumblers or Cups for Access to Free Coffee, Alcohol or Water


    Promotional mugs, tumblers and cups are some of AnyPromo’s hottest sellers, but if you hand someone a free cup, you’re not pushing your campaign to the max if he hides it in his tote bag right away. As a result, your best bet is to offer free drinks to attendees that have your mug, tumbler or cup in hand. 

    Whether you offer caffeinated drinks, alcohol or water depends on your specific situation, but the goal is to create a buzz of “that brand that is giving everyone free drinks if you just use their cups.” Furthermore, you can use the opportunity the catalyze important conversations with individuals that may be interested in your product, brand or cause, and the cup will serve as a friendly, non-intrusive ad after the show. 

    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

3 Copywriting Tips Supported by Scientific Research


By Fausto Mendez

    Copywriting is very much an art, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t hard science behind some of the principles used by more successful writers. These scientifically-backed #copywriting tips should graduate your game to the next level, no matter your skill level.

    Teaching copywriting is difficult. You can only lay some ground rules that point people in the right direction, and most tips and advice are merely opinions based in anecdotal evidence, relentless practice and educated guesses. So it can be hard to know what works and what doesn’t. Thankfully, Gregory Ciotti put together a list of seven copywriting tips that are supported by some level of scientific research. We summarize three of his more useful tips below.

1. Leverage an Emotion That’s Already There.

+ Tip: Find an emotion that your target often feels, and make them feel that again. Don’t tell them what to feel. Like a novelist, the goal is to craft copy that leads them to that place on their own. Then, mix your message into that good emotion.

+ Science: Mirror neurons can make you feel what you see. It’s why men cringe when they see another man get hit in the balls. Make your target relive the emotion by showing them a scene that takes them back to it. The emotion makes your message more attractive and more memorable. 

2. Don’t Sell Money. Sell Time.

+ Tip: Even low-quality brands hardly advertise their low prices. It’s something stores do for brands, but you almost never see a brand thumping its chest about its absurdly low prices. That’s because it doesn’t really work. Time is a more precious resource, so sell good times, not good prices. Miller’s slogan (“It’s Miller Time”) is the perfect example. 

+ Science: Customers are willing to pay more for good service, which means they are generally more concerned about quality than price. That doesn’t mean lower prices can’t help you outsell your competitors, but it does mean that you’ll have to convince your target audience that your lower prices don’t mean a reduction in quality as well. Focus on the quality of the product. The low prices market themselves.

3. Don’t Avoid the Counter Argument

+ Tip: Your product, service or brand is not the answer to your target audience’s every problem. More importantly, there is usually a clear argument against it. Don’t ignore the opposing argument because it will be recalled by the target when you present yours. As a result, it’s best to tackle those opposing viewpoints head on. Think about it: Pepsi doesn’t ignore the existence of Coca Cola, not even in its own ads. Apple doesn’t ignore the existence of Windows, and I’m sure you’ve seen car commercials that feature the competitors’ products. 

+ Science: Psychologist Charlan Nemeth tested two styles of debating, one that acknowledged the opposing viewpoint and one that didn’t. Of course, the arguments that did better are those that didn’t pretend there is no opposing viewpoint. That’s because when you’re “real” with your target audience, they are more likely to trust you, and when you answer their questions, they don’t have the opportunity or the desire to find answers elsewhere.  

   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

Finished Work: Vinyl Slap Bracelets for iKon Lounge

By Fausto Mendez

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

    New Jersey’s iKon Lounge just put in an order for red vinyl slap bracelets, customized with the night club’s famous logo. Though they didn’t share with us how they’re going to use the bracelets, we can imagine several  possibilities, such as tickets to an event, an indicator of membership, a coupon, or a VIP marker.

     These promotional bracelets measure about 9.5” x 1”, and they are available in a variety of colors. They cost about $0.66, depending on the quantity ordered, and the print itself features one color. When you slap these bracelets onto your wrist, they automatically and securely close. They are often used as children’s toys for that reason, but as iKon Lounge illustrates, you are only limited by your creativity. 

    Promotional items like these take advertising to a whole new level because they convert customers to walking billboards for your brand, cause or organization, so take the opportunity to one up your competitors with an out-of-the-box promotional campaign. Need help finding the best promotional giveaway for your specific situation? Don’t worry, our experienced customer care reps are only a call away. 

    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

How SoBe® Used Promotional Giveaways to Go Mainstream


By Fausto Mendez

    John Bello used promotional giveaways to grow his beverage brand, SoBe®, from a niche set of bottled drinks to a mainstream phenomenon that PepsiCo eventually bought out. Today, he’s building up new brands with strikingly similar marketing strategies. 

    Promotional giveaway campaigns work. Need proof? Just ask John Bello, founder of SoBe, which he sold for $370 million, and the architect of SoBe’s wildly successful promotional campaigns. How’d he do it?

Promotional Products 

    Bello leveraged the power of promotional products and a fascinating and unforgettable logo. Combine the two, and you have a series of high-quality promotional products branded with SoBe’s iconic lizard. Here’s how it went down.

    His team would deliver a box of promotional giveaways, such as keychains, to as many SoBe dealers as possible, and the SoBe dealers would hand out the branded products to SoBe customers. The SoBe customers are already fans of the product, and the iconic lizard logo is beautiful and striking enough that it can be appreciated on its own. So the giveaway has two main effects.

Customers as Brand Ambassadors

    First, it makes the customer feel appreciated, and in the customer’s mind, it creates an association between those positive feelings and SoBe (and sometimes the store itself). That effect makes SoBe more memorable, so the customer is more likely purchase SoBe products in the future. The store owners tend to appreciate the free marketing as well. 

    Second, the customer would wear or use the promotional product in his or her day-to-day life, and the eye-catching lizard logo would attract others’ attention. As a result, the product becomes a conversation starter for the customer’s friends, family and acquaintances, and this introduces the brand to new fans.

Rinse & Repeat

    As Bello continued SoBe’s relentless promotional campaign, his effort slowly paid off as the brand grew to mainstream proportions, but he’s not one to take too many days off. After selling the company to PepsiCo, Bello launched a new beverage brand, and he’s using the same proven marketing strategies all over again. 

    In similar fashion, the new company’s logo is often sought for the mere fact that’s beautiful. “Part of the trick is having cool giveaways and a cooler logo,” says Marketing Officer Bruce Burke. The second half of the trick is getting those products into the hands of the target audience.

    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

Recipes to Boost Focus in Meetings: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread #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 everyone’s focus and mood. It WILL make a significant difference in the success or productivity of your meeting or pitch. This week’s #RBFM sugar spell: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread!

    Our favorite #RBFM recipes deliciously mash up two separate concepts, such as cinnamon rolls and cheesecake. That’s because, in a business setting, you definitely want to impress your meeting’s attendees. It makes your meeting that much more memorable. They will always remember that meeting as “the one where I tried a cinnamon-roll cheesecake for the first time.” If you’re making an important pitch, the incoming sugar high could be the difference between a success or a failure. 

   Anyway, let’s bake something. You can thank Recipes Quick’n Easy for original recipe. 

Step 0 - Gather your Ingredients


+ Filling: eight ounce pack of cream cheese, 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sugar, one tablespoon of flour,one egg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.

+ Bread: 1 2/3 cups flour, one teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, one cup pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup canola oil, two large eggs, 1 1/2 cups sugar, one cup chopped pecans or walnuts. 

+ Glaze: one cup powdered sugar, two tablespoons half & half, one teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts. 

Step 1 - Mix & Preheat


+ Preheat Oven to 325 degrees. 

+ Grease and flour two 8” x 4” x 3” loaf pans.

+ Start the filling. In a bowl, mix: cream cheese, sugar, flour, egg and vanilla. Mix until it feels pretty smooth, and aim for a “cream” texture. 

+ Start the bread. In a larger bowl, mix 1 2/3 cups flour, baking soda, salt cinnamon  cloves, ginger and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, mix: pumpkin puree, canola oil, eggs and sugar. Now, mix the contents of these two bowls together. Drop in your nuts for good measure. 

+ Step 2 - Prepare for the Bake


+ Empty half the pumpkin batter into the two loaf pans. Layer on the cream cheese, followed by the rest of the pumpkin batter.

+ Create a marble effect with the cream cheese by swirling a knife in the batter. The goal is not to mix the cream cheese into the batter; instead, the cheese should remain separate from the batter. 

+ Step 3 - Let’s Get Baked!


+ Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until you can stick a toothpick into your bread and pull it out clean. 

+ While we wait for that to finish, let’s make the cinnamon glaze. Take all the ingredients for the cinnamon glaze and mix them together. Add more cinnamon to darken the glaze. 

+ Pull out your bread. Let it cool for ten minutes or so. Now, drop some glaze on that B, and drop in your nuts for good measure.

Step 4 - Assimilate


+ First, I should warn you that fireworks may shoot out of your mouth during consumption, so keep a fire extinguisher on hand. 

+ Once you have your extinguisher, grab some bread, and put it in your mouth. I guess you can save some for a friend or whatever, but I wouldn’t blame you for being selfish. Oh yeah, don’t forget to save some for your next meeting, or… never mind, you’ll probably have to cook another batch.

    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, the Web’s low-price leader in promotional products. 

2 / 6

Tumblr theme by Theme Anorak