Saturday, October 6, 2007

Vote Early and Often!

It's getting to be that time of year again when the campaigning begins. Your industry organizations and suppliers need your support. Please let me know what trade shows you are planning to attend in 2008. We will use this information to plan our trade show schedule for 2008. You can see from the list of 20 trade shows it would be impossible for us to attend each one because some Shows overlap each other.

I am also interested in your comments and experiences at some of the Shows listed because I have not been to all of them and I need some encouragement to make some changes to our routine schedule of all the big ASI and PPAI shows.

After looking at all these trade shows and dates, I have one burning question.... Who enjoys going to trade shows on weekends? Maybe I'm selfish, but I get the sense from a lot of people that they would rather be home with their families on weekends. It appears like more trade shows are starting to be hosted over weekends. Does that bother any distributors out there? If you see the advantage of weekend shows please explain. Do you see any disadvantages of the weekend shows?

In recognition for voicing your comments on this blog, we will give you a free artwork set-up charge ($60 value) on your next order. Write promotion code "Blog1010"

Looking forward to seeing you soon.


P.S. Our reversible Donkey Elephant Reversible Puppet is the perfect campaign promotion for all the news organizations (i.e. TV, Radio, Newspapers) that claim non-partisan views.

If you have 3 customers you want to target with samples, just click Order Sample button by following the link to this product on our website.

Hot Seasonal Toy Picks

Last month's Blog Poll indicated that the majority of Distributors are interested in hearing more about year-end specials. Right now we are running specials on Fire Related Items and Breast Cancer Bears. Next week we will send out a flyer on Election related products for all the Donkeys and Elephants out there. We also have a flyer that is being distributed weekly in the SmartBlast virtual catalog that advertises our newest and biggest Kirby Bears along with an assortment of our most popular Holiday toys at great prices.

The bad news is we just sold out of our last 1200 pcs of our 8" Turkey for Thanksgiving and will not have any more before the Thanksgiving holiday. The good news is we are getting 12,000 pcs of our 4" Turkey (S1073) next week. Don't waste any time, we already have several thousand committed on back order. It is also important to recognize that we eliminated the Key Chain after popular demand to remove it on most of the orders last year.

I think our hottest product for this Holiday Season is the Giftcard Holder Santa Bear (S2026-HG).

This is a product we developed last year and now have perfected for the Advertising Speciality industry by finding a way to place the imprint permanently inside the giftcard holder so that when the giftcard or business card is removed, your customer's logo remains. Once this product gets into shopping malls, casinos, airports, and other retail venues it will be a great way to promote gift cards sales and increase registrations for players cards or frequent flyer memberships.

If you are excited about this product and think you can target 3 customers with it, please post a comment and order samples on our website from the link above and we will mock up samples with your customer's logo on them so you can present this product to them. Enter promotion code 1007BLOG.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Bear with US... Artistic Toy Moves to Allentown, PA

Our new facility is approximately three times larger than our previous facility. This expansion will enable us to better serve you by enhancing our Custom Toy Design area as well as providing more warehouse space to inventory larger quantities of our most popular catalog toys.

We promise the same level of customer service we have always provided including Custom Toy Prototypes in 24 – 48 hours and imprinted Stock Toy Delivery in 10 – 15 days; however, please “BEAR with US” as we settle into our new home. Through the end of October 2007, every order we receive that includes “BEAR with US” within it will receive a FREE 24” T-Shirt Kirby Bear with your logo on it as a friendly reminder to change our contact information in your system.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

How much is loyalty worth?

Thank you for the support and positive comments posted to the Blog last month. I really enjoyed reading each comment. This promotion far surpassed all of my expectations and currently is the most successful advertisement for our Company. Please enjoy the statistics….increased traffic to our website by 30,000 hits per day for 5 straight days, 106 comments, and generated 75 orders for the self promo toy pack which will put 1,875 of our toys into the hands of people who now have a reason to sell and buy Artistic Toys. I know there are some distributors that may have been frustrated with technology, but after it’s all said and done I know it will be time well spent. I hope this Blog will be the glue that keeps us connected as well as provides opportunities to help us grow and learn from each other.

We received 93 votes on the distributor poll that asked “What would you like to hear about in the next blog? It was a tight race with Distributor Incentives surpassing Industry Problems. The goal of this post is to deliver on what was promised; however, it would be irresponsible if I did not first mention the crisis that was unveiled this month in China with the recall of millions of toys by Mattel and Toys R US. Due to this global concern I have decided to incorporate product safety testing into Distributor Incentives. It is also important to mention that Artistic Toy has received written confirmation from its Chinese suppliers that they are not using hazardous materials, including lead based paints in the manufacturing process. At present there is no knowledge that warrants concern over the quality or safety of any toys manufactured with the Artistic Toy label; however, we have ordered independent testing on a sample of our most popular products to be 100% certain and calm the concerns of our buyers.

Artistic Toy has developed a 3 tier program for its loyal distributors. A loyal distributor calls Artistic Toy first when a customer needs a plush toy. The loyal distributor understands payment terms and all the details needed to process an order. Objectively, this Distributor evidences loyalty through sales order volume. Subjectively, this Distributor is on a first name basis with our office staff and has probably shared at least one story about their dog, grandchild, or last doctor’s visit. The best distributor relationships usually started with a flying toy to the back of the head at a tradeshow.

Since Artistic Toy strives to be on the cutting edge of innovation, there will be objective, subjective, and technical requirements to be eligible for loyal distributor incentives. The objective measure will be your sales volume. The subjective measure will be the story you post to the Blog telling other distributors about your experience working with Artistic Toy. The technical requirement will be measured by checking to see you are subscribed to this Blog, enrolled to our catalog mailing and email list, as well as registered on our website. We promise to be selective in our communications and we will not burden you with undue information.

The loyal distributor incentives are designed to make doing business with Artistic Toy seamless and easy. The benefits will include things like free shipping on requested stock toy samples; free custom toy prototypes, flexible payment term programs, special advertised prices held for the full fiscal year, and free toy safety testing. I also encourage you post a comment and let me know about things you like about working with us or your other best suppliers. We will do our best to incorporate those things into our procedures or programs. The 3 program levels will be called Silver, Platinum, and Gold and the qualifying sales amount will be set annually for each distributor company. This year, distributors who sold over $5,000 will qualify for Silver incentives, $20,000 will qualify for Platinum incentives, and $50,000 will qualify for Gold incentives.

If you want to confirm your 2007 sales volume with us, please post a comment with your Company name and first and last name. All distributors who meet the objective requirements will be sent a letter asking them to meet the subjective and technical requirements with a detailed description of all the benefits ready for them to enjoy.

Please use this example as a template for your Blog to be eligible for incentives:

ABC Promo Co – Jim Socci, DOB Sep. 7. Thanks for the Birthday card. Your Company is really thoughtful and takes time to know its Distributors. At first I wasn’t impressed with your Company because you hit me in the back of the head with a toy at PPAI Vegas, but since we recently worked together on a 10,000 pc parrot order, the initial pain and embarrassment was comforted with your customer service and delivery. Please send me a confirmation letter that includes my Artistic Toy annual sales volume and the Loyal Distributor Incentives that I am eligible to receive.

If you are reading this Blog and saying, “How does this help the distributor who is not doing big business right now and needs help getting to that next level?” Easy…log onto our website, locate the Best Selling Toys Pack - S2138 select button that says order sample, complete form, include “SEP BLOG” in promotion code field and you will receive a pack of our best selling toys for free.



Thursday, July 26, 2007

Why Blog???

There are many reasons to Blog once you understand the benefits it can provide. Fortunately for me, my younger brother is a technology guru and gave me a 10 minute run down on how this free service works. It occurred to me that the Blog may potentially fix a problem with e-mail blasts, podcasts, and virtual web trade shows. While these mediums provide effective chances of meeting a target audience, they are missing the personal touch.

So, now there is this new/old technology called the "Blog" that presents a unique way to reach the masses in a personal way without jamming it down their throat. A good Blog needs to provide you something of value in order to encourage you to use this service. Likewise, a good business will also need to provide you value to earn your business. Therefore, this Blog is designed to present ideas and facts that will drive value in your busines and mine.

I am excited that you have logged on to my Blog and look forward to getting your comments and suggestions for future topics. I have created a poll on some topics of interest to see what you would like to hear about. My plan is to use your responses to create one blog per month based on comments and poll results.

Please remember to subscribe to my blog by clicking
here to keep you updated on future blog posts (Use Firefox if using a mac instead of Safari). We also need you to leave a comment with your full name and ASI# if you would like to receive a free SELF PROMO DISTRIBUTOR PACK valued at $200. Please read the instructions below on how to receive your Free Distributor Self Promo Pack.

EDIT 8/6/07:
To receive your Free Distributor Self Promo Pack:
1. You need to read Jim’s Blog and leave a comment by clicking “Comments” at the bottom of his post under his signature. (Be sure to leave your Full Name and Company Name OR ASI# for us to identify you. Once you leave a comment, Jim must approve it before it will be displayed. Please give up to an hour for it to be displayed.)
2. If you aren’t registered, you must register on our website by clicking login or
3. After we verify your account, you must request a sample by clicking Distributor Sample Packs on the left of the site of our website, then click the Self Promo Toy Pack - S2142 image or click
4. Then click the red Sample button to the left of the self promo pack image.
5. Fill out the order form, under Products, be sure the Item says S2142 – Self Promo Toy Pack.
6. Input Quantity of 1.
7. Choose your Shipping Company of choice.
8. Input your shipping number.
9. Then click Submit.
10. You will receive a confirmation e-mail when completed and we will call to setup the details of your toys with a free full color imprint and one free accessory (white t-shirt, scarf, or tie).