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  • Peter Weinstein says:

    Utilizing unused company resources can be an exceptional marketing tool…although I never utilized my unused samples, misprints and the like for spectacular art pieces like Sandy Schimmel has, I did repurpose my excess merchandise for use by the homeless and under-served. I felt this was my corporate responsibility and yet it also generated a significant amount of marketing goodwill.

    Let me explain. I owned promotional merchandise firm for seven years and I was amazed at the number of samples we collected in a years time. Misprints, sales samples, odds and ends. Most of the merchandise couldn’t be returned to the vendors so we had to find a place for it every year. Most competitors just dropped it off at Goodwill, had sample sales or threw it away. I knew we could do better.

    Instead of treating samples as a burden (as well as a small tax right off) I decided to take it up on myself to make better use of these samples. As such I contacted all our customers, even prospects, and asked them for their unused orders, their samples, their left over trinkets and trash. I also contacted my vendors. I asked them for all their misprints and merchandise that could never be sold.

    I then found homes for all this merchandise. Schools for writing materials, briefcases and backpacks for people trying to find jobs, and clothing for homeless shelters.

    This was not a small donation…one year we collected over $500,000 worth of merchandise.

    We named the program”Samples for Seattle” and for all our traditional marketing efforts this program generated the most awareness of any of our activities.

    Some days I felt guilty about the amount of awareness and new business this program generated…but when all was said and done we were doing the right thing…the responsible thing.

  • Tony says:

    To be honest, I don’t agree with you, but you marked some good points here

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