Aiden, my 7, 8 or 9-year old nephew, had to have a tooth pulled this week to make room for the real tooth trying to emerge. You may note that although I remember his birthday, it’s clearly too much to expect me to remember his age. I know I’m close. I like Aiden and I even like his name but I am looking forward to the day when he learns how he got his name. His parents will try and tell him it’s familial or that it means “Rock too Big to Move” in Irish but I know it’s just how far they got in the baby name book before they fell asleep. They couldn’t even get as far as Andrew. But let’s get back to the tooth. While I certainly wouldn’t wish this on anyone, I find myself not particularly sympathetic. Firstly, I’m not adverse to any number of my relations being in moderate pain occasionally and secondly, I seem to have adopted a “better him than me” attitude. I only mention this incident to discuss an alarming trend I see being foisted on America’s youth involving the Tooth Fairy. Though rarely lauded for my parenting skills, I feel comfortable commenting because this is most certainly a parenting issue. I suppose because of the pain and/or the courage he showed as they gassed him into unconsciousness to perform the extraction, the Tooth Fairy slipped 3 books under his pillow. I’ve been given to understand the rule was normally 1 book per tooth. This was just too new age for me and I was nearly knocked out of my Birkenstocks. I had to light a candle and get some incense going just to recover. BOOKS? Are you crazy? Even kids who love to read don’t want books as a gift. They want money. Having the Tooth Fairy bring books is like giving them clothes on their birthday or feeding them asparagus instead of bacon. Want proof? Go to any 3rd grade class in America and tell all the kids that they can have the Library of Congress or a $15 gift card to Target and I guarantee that as soon as school is out, all the carpools will be headed to the mall.
It’s not really that different in business. As a distributor, you need to know your audience and their event. You can be making a serious mistake if you have a non-golfer pick promotional products for a golf tournament tee prize or goody-bag. Golfers know what golfers will use and re-use and which items won’t make it past the next garbage day. A company VP might think that combination ball marker, divot repairer, back scratcher & fish scaler is all the rage but unless you’re inside my trash can, you’re not going to see the marketing message on it. You know your business and you probably wouldn’t pitch bottle openers or corkscrews to someone planning an AA convention, so make sure you educate your clients as well. If you know they’re looking at something that is inappropriate for their cause or event, you’ll make more friends and earn more business in the long run by saying “No” when you should. And whatever your cause, event, launch or celebration, you can count on IMC for ideas and advice that will promote and support your client’s event. With five IMC collections and twenty-eight retail brands, we have products for all occasions and events, so you can always find something that fulfills your client’s needs. And we’re always happy to offer ideas and provide case histories. What do you think? Let us know with a comment here or on Facebook or Twitter. IMC wants to hear from you if the Tooth Fairy has burned you lately.