Tag Archives: custom coffee mug

Why a custom coffee mug isn’t good enough

Marketing with a $1.30 custom coffee mug vs a $30 custom umbrella. Today I received an email from a very large promotional products company for custom coffee mugs. They touted how theirs was cheaper, 25% less in fact, than a well-known national company for a similar mug.

I admire this company for their web site wizardry and that’s why I subscribe to their email. I’ve found their prices to be way higher for anything I’ve looked at, but I digress.

The coffee mug is a plain vanilla mug. Add your logo. Total Cost $1.30. Thankfully they do tell us the mug is safe and lead-free because it is really cheap.

custom coffee mug

If I sent you the mug, you’d almost certainly open the package. But then, the mug would quickly find it’s way to the lunchroom or some other obscure place. But I can virtually guarantee, you’ll never look at it again after 5 minutes. Why? Because there is nothing to distinguish it. It’s not an image of your favorite vacation spot. It’s not from a loved one. You probably don’t need or want another coffee mug. And since you’re MY customer or prospect, I know you’re old enough to have a FAVORITE mug if you drink coffee.

What kind of gifts are you giving? Yesterday I told the story of the umbrella I was given as a gift 9 YEARS AGO, that’s still the FAVORITE of every member of my family. They call it by name. Nobody wants the ‘Cadillac’ private label umbrella, which was also a gift I received at a golf event.  They want the ‘Jr Achievement’ umbrella. The Cadillac umbrella is good, but even though they are both 62″ umbrella’s, have auto open, and double canopies, it’s not as good as the ‘Jr. Achievement’ Windbrella. (The Cadillac also now has a little broken piece.) It doesn’t open or close quite as easily. The JA one seems to keep you drier.  Does it really?

custom golf umbrella

One particularly stormy day as we prepared to exit the car, my daughter ASKED, “Please mom can I have the Jr Achievement umbrella? I have a friend so I really need it”.  Her friend looked at her like she was a bit crazy. After all, with two umbrella’s the same length to choose from, what’s the difference? My daughter stated, ” It’s just better. I really can’t explain it.” I don’t know whether one umbrella keeps you drier or not. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is the perception.

The Jr Achievement Umbrella is used ALL THE TIME on and off the golf course. I probably should have two. Oh, that’s right, I do- I finally bought my daughter her own, a smaller one for her backpack last year.  The Cadillac umbrella is used ‘only when we really need two’ because no one wants it.


$650 for 500 coffee mugs

$3 to package and ship (calculate your own costs for a trade show)

$2150 Total investment

2 minutes –  impression time of recipient

$2.15 per minute MARKETING COST


$15,000  ($30 X 500 umbrellas)

$5000 to package & ship

$20,000 total investment

1000 minutes – impressions to recipient over 10 years

100 minutes-  time recipients will talk about your gift over 10 years

200 minutes- impressions others see from using this item over 10 years

6,500,000 minutes exposed FOR 500 UMBRELLA’s

$.003 cost per minute MARKETING INVESTMENT

One of these promotions is an EXPENSE. The other one is an INVESTMENT. You can run the math with your own numbers. There are more than just the impressions though. After years of use, the recipient will come to love this umbrella. It lasts, it feels good, and it works. Your brand will be forever associated with those good feelings.  I know this from personal experience. I know this because years later when I started CEOgolfshop this was one of the first brands I wanted to make a deal with. Customers from years ago still call and TELL US how much they love this umbrella and they want to buy more FROM US because we recommended it in the first place.

What if you don’t have $20,000? I’d buy at least 144 units. Then I’d have them completely customized. There would be no brand name, just my own brand  everywhere on it like Cadillac created. I’d even insert a warranty card that had my brand on it. So if it ever did break, they’d call MY COMPANY. That would create another opportunity for my salesperson to meet with them, ask for referrals and show how much I care about them.

I’d hand them out to my best sales people and tell them to give half to their best customers. How’d you like to have your best customers advertising for you for the next 10 years? Then I’d have them give the other half to their best prospects.

You’re far more likely to get a new customer from someone who see’s your brand over and over again than from someone who looks at it for a few minutes. We’ve had customers call who already have one and want another for when their friends need one!

Are you spending money on marketing or are you investing in current and future customers?

The CEOgolfshop.com sales team specializes in executive gifts and can help you choose the right gift for your target audience. We offer custom umbrella’s and private label umbrella’s for both on and off the golf course. The 62″ golf umbrella is a best seller.