PPB January 2022

What To Wear In The Great Outdoors P. 22 Boost Your Company’s SEO, Even If You’re A Rookie P. 32 Scale Your Business For Growth In The New Year P. 44 Eco-Friendly Products That Meet The Rising Demand P. 46 Here’s How To Recruit The People You Want To Hire P. 64 Celebrating The Industry’s Iconic Leaders PPAI honors the extraordinary careers of Sherri Lennarson, MAS, and Cliff Quicksell, MAS+, with induction into the Hall of Fame. P. 12

3 days. 3 chances. Drop by the OtterBox booth to enter to win the daily customizable giveaway pack: + Venture 45 cooler + Elevation 20 tumbler + Backpack cooler Find us at PPAI Expo booth 1019 otterbox.com

Join us for two days of leading-edge industry education covering everything from emerging marketing trends to modernizing your business practices. For more information visit www.sageworld.com/conference for the latest updates March 23–24, 2022 The promo industry's largest online conference

4 Perspectives New Year, New Resolve 8 Feedback 11 INNOVATE 22 Eye On Apparel Outdoor Gear 30 Question Poor Customer Service Caused Me To Cancel A Large Order. Should I Tell The Sales Manager? 32 Marketing How ‘Google My Business’ Can Boost Your Promo Business SEO 35 GROW 44 Sales Scaling Your Swag Business 46 Editor's Picks Hot, Green Commodity 53 THINK 54 Viewpoint Three Important Trends For 2022 56 Fast Forward As YouTube Users Increase, So Does Marketing Potential 64 Management Five Steps To Hiring And Retaining Talent In 2022 67 CONNECT 68 Close Up Steve Flaughers 73 Inside PPAI 80 PPPC Communiqué 83 New Members 87 Datebook 92 The Creative Calendar 12 CELEBRATING THE INDUSTRY'S ICONIC LEADERS During The PPAI Expo this month, PPAI honors the extraordinary careers and contributions of its 2022 Hall of Fame inductees, Sherri Lennarson, MAS, and Cliff Quicksell, MAS+. jessica.kirsh / mavo / Ton Anurak / Gino Santa Maria / kurhan / Shutterstock.com 36MOVING AHEAD: WHAT’S IN STORE FOR REAL ESTATE Many experts are betting the house on a more balanced real estate environment in 2022. Here’s what to know about this very busy market. Photography by Sean Badger. contents Promotional Products Business The Official Business Monthly of Promotional Products Association International JANUARY 2022 | JANUARY 2022 | 3

Whether you use New Year’s resolutions or the “double down/ do it less” strategy, it is critical to set goals both professionally and personally. Without a goal or destination in mind, your efforts will lack organization and likely motivation, too. Imagine shooting an arrow with no target, for example. Where do you aim? What’s the point? perspectives Dawn Olds, MAS+ Chair-Elect Of The Board New Year, New Resolve As one year winds down and a fresh, new year blooms, it is traditional to create a set of New Year’s resolutions. It is also traditional to work very hard on those resolutions for a few weeks or months, then let those things go by the wayside. If you Google “how often do people keep New Year’s resolutions?” you will find several studies showing only about eight percent of people who set a New Year’s resolution actually accomplish those goals. A couple of years ago, I read a news article about people who were ditching resolutions and instead listing things they were either going to double-down on (keep doing, but more often) or give less attention to (stop doing as much as possible). I was skeptical at first, not wanting to be someone who was looking for a way to feel better about not having the resolve to follow through on their New Year’s resolutions. After many debates with my friends and attempts on my own, I became convinced that this approach was a brilliant way of achieving long-term goals and moving more iteratively toward the loftier resolutions I had set and failed to meet in the past. “Live healthier each day” has replaced “Lose 10 pounds” in my personal goals. This approach creates goals that are more flexible as conditions evolve, instead of being forced to restart the goal-setting process when something major changes (pandemic, anyone?). Whether you use New Year’s resolutions or the “double down/ do it less” strategy, it is critical to set goals both professionally and personally. Without a goal or destination in mind, your efforts will lack organization and likely motivation, too. Imagine shooting an arrow with no target, for example. Where do you aim? What’s the point? Creating an achievable goal requires one to evaluate the current state before envisioning the future in order to move forward with both intent and ambition. I could not set a weight goal, for example, without standing on a scale to see where I am starting from. The same thing applies to setting business goals— you need to know exactly where you are before you can go anywhere. Before you set your new goals, first take a thorough inventory of where you are now. When setting business or professional goals, consider multiple angles. A sales/profit goal is a great start but will not address the qualitative aspects of the business that must be in place to assure sustained results. If you are a business owner or manager, consider goals around customer retention, response time and employee productivity. If you are in sales, consider including goals related to prospecting and where you invest your valuable time. As an industry association, we have the same need to set realistic, multi-faceted goals as a means of moving toward a more ideal future. Like most businesses and individuals, the PPAI board and staff were very financially focused during the first several months of the pandemic. Considering new products or services was not part of the goal-setting for many organizations during that time, including your Association. In the past several months, the PPAI board and staff have turned the corner and have been working hard on a new strategy plan that is both ambitious and practical. We’ll have more to report on this plan in the coming months, as details are finalized. Stay tuned for more. I’m looking forward to serving all of you over the next 12 months as PPAI chair of the board. This industry has the brightest of futures and a terrific Association staff to support us along the way. Let’s resolve in this fresh, new year to be the best colleagues, business partners and sources for inspiration that we can be, so we can achieve that bright future together. Dawn Olds, MAS, begins her one-year term as PPAI chair following The PPAI Expo, January 10-13. 4 | JANUARY 2022 |

PRESIDENT/CEO Dale Denham, MAS+ 888-I-AM-PPAI Executive Vice President Robert I. McLean, Jr., CPA, CAE, CEM 972-258-3085 BobM@ppai.org VICE PRESIDENT, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Alan Peterson 972-258-3048 AlanP@ppai.org DIRECTOR OF FINANCE Brigitte Rousseau, CPA, MBA BrigitteR@ppai.org 972-258-3083 DIRECTOR OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Paul Elfstrom 972-258-3071 PaulE@ppai.org DIRECTOR OF ADVOCACY, EDUCATION AND MEMBER ENGAGEMENT Anne Stone, CAE 972-258-3041 AnneS@ppai.org DIRECTOR OF MARKETING Keith Vincent 972-258-3040 KeithV@ppai.org DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP SERVICES Natalie Clark 972-258-3032 NatalieC@ppai.org DIRECTOR OF PUBLICATIONS/EDITOR Tina Berres Filipski 972-258-3084 TinaF@ppai.org PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Josh Ellis 972-258-3028 JoshE@ppai.org NEWS EDITOR James Khattak 972-258-3052 JamesK@ppai.org ASSOCIATE EDITORS Danielle Renda DanielleR@ppai.org Kristina Valdez 972-258-3094 KristinaV@ppai.org ART DIRECTION SPARK Publications SPARKpublications.com 704-844-6080 ADVERTISING MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND EXPOSITIONS Ellen Tucker, CAE 972-258-3095 EllenT@ppai.org SALES MANAGER AND NATIONAL ACCOUNTS Melissa Massey 972-258-3029 MelissaM@ppai.org MAJOR ACCOUNT MANAGER Brandon Dunaway 972-258-3090 BrandonD@ppai.org ACCOUNT MANAGER Connie Brazil 972-258-3064 ConnieB@ppai.org ACCOUNT MANAGER Hollady Farison 972-258-3020 HalladyF@ppai.org ADVERTISING CONTACT Mimi Duong 972-258-3025 MimiD@ppai.org BOARD OFFICERS CHAIR OF THE BOARD Todd Pottebaum, MAS+ Quality Resource Group, Inc. IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR Ira Neaman, MAS Vantage Apparel CHAIR-ELECT OF THE BOARD Dawn Olds, MAS HALO VICE CHAIR OF FINANCE Kevin Walsh, CAS Showdown Displays BOARD MEMBERS TERMS EXPIRING 2022 Norm Hullinger, CAS BELLA+CANVAS Todd Pottebaum, MAS+ Quality Resource Group, Inc. TERMS EXPIRING 2023 R. Renée Jones, MAS+ A Creative Touch David Nicholson Polyconcept NA TERMS EXPIRING 2024 Dawn Olds, MAS HALO Kevin Walsh, CAS Showdown Displays TERMS EXPIRING 2025 Noah Lapine Lapine Associates, Inc. Andrew Spellman Therabody AT-LARGE DIRECTOR TERM EXPIRING 2022 Vera Muzzillo, CAS Proforma REGIONAL ASSOCIATION COUNCIL DELEGATE TERM EXPIRING 2023 Lindsey Davis, MAS Raining Rose, Inc. PPAI HEADQUARTERS 3125 Skyway Circle North, Irving, Texas 75038-3526 Phone: 888-IAM-PPAI (426-7724) www.ppai.org, pubs.ppai.org READER RESOURCES SUBSCRIBE TO PPB: Subscribe online at pubs.ppai.org or send your name, title, company name and mailing address, along with phone and fax, to PPB Subscriptions, 3125 Skyway Circle North, Irving, Texas 75038. Or phone in your subscription to 972-258-3019. Include payment with your order. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted, along with checks. Additional member subscriptions are $58 for PPAI member companies (U.S.), $70 (Canada and Mexico) and $75 (international). Nonmember subscriptions are $72 (U.S.), $82 (Canada and Mexico) and $92 (international). Please allow four to six weeks for start of subscription. ADVERTISE IN PPB: Download a media kit with rates and specs for all PPAI print and digital publications at pubs.ppai.org, or call 972-258-3019 or e-mail mediasales@ppai.org. WRITE FOR PPB: The magazine regularly accepts articles from both professional writers and industry experts—like yourself. Find out everything you need to know about submitting an article or an idea by reading PPB’s Writer’s Guidelines available at pubs.ppai.org/submit-content. 6 | JANUARY 2022 |

feedback Send feedback on articles in PPB or opinions on industry issues to JamesK@ppai.org. Celebrating ChariTEES’ Charity Work The September issue of PPB profiled Jeffrey Firestone, president of distributor The Firestone Group, Inc., in Boca Raton, Florida, and founder of ChariTEES, the company’s philanthropic arm, which supports nonprofits with access to promotional products and marketing materials, and matches suppliers’ apparel overruns and misprints with charities in need. I personally know Jeff and what he does for our community is “service above self.” I compliment his company for making a difference in our community and giving back to those who are in need. I see Jeff volunteering at many charities and know him to be of amazing character. GARY HILDEBRAND Boca Raton, Florida Health, Safety A Priority At The PPAI Expo 2022 In November, PPB Newslink highlighted a video featuring Chuck Bowling, president and chief operating officer of Mandalay Bay Convention Center, and Ernest Stovall, vice president of sales, speaking on PPAI’s long relationship with the convention center and welcoming attendees back for The PPAI Expo 2022. The article also outlined some of the many changes the facility has undergone since The PPAI Expo 2020 to improve attendees’ safety, health and comfort, and the show experience. I just attended the IMEX show, which was also at Mandalay Bay. IMEX enforced that all exhibitors and attendees had to be vaccinated and proof had to be uploaded on the Clear app. From there, everyone received a green bracelet that allowed entry into the show along with your badge. Once in the show, masks were optional due to everyone in the showroom [being] vaccinated. This relieved a lot of anxiety and stress. Will PPAI implement a similar policy? HEATHER CHEVREAU Citizen Watch America Account Manager New York, New York PPAI 410292, S1 Ellen Tucker, CAE, director, business development and expositions at PPAI, responds: Heather, thank you for sharing your experience at IMEX with us. At this time, PPAI is not planning to implement a vaccine mandate for The PPAI Expo. PPAI believes the safety measures that make sense to the greatest number of people are the measures which the CDC recommends and the Nevada health authorities have in place through local regulations as they apply to general indoor settings. Please see the most up-to-date event status regarding The PPAI Expo’s Healthpitality safeguards at expo.ppai.org/healthpitality. 8 | JANUARY 2022 | INNOVATE


INNOVATE Celebrating Extraordinary Success PPAI honors Sherri Lennarson, MAS, and Cliff Quicksell, MAS+, with induction into its Hall of Fame during The PPAI Expo 2022 this month in Las Vegas. page 12 ‘Gearing Up’ For The Outdoors Consumers are discovering a renewed appreciation for and interest in outdoor activities—whether that’s partaking in action-packed sports or taking longer walks around the neighborhood— and presenting brands with a new opportunity to enhance the enduser experience. page 22 30QUESTION: POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE CAUSED ME TO CANCEL A LARGE ORDER. SHOULD I TELL THE SALES MANAGER? 32MARKETING: HOW ‘GOOGLE MY BUSINESS’ CAN BOOST YOUR PROMO BUSINESS SEO Photography by Sean Badger. | JANUARY 2022 | 11

Photography by Sean Badger. FEATURE | PPAI Hall Of Fame/Sherri C. Lennarson, MAS 12 | JANUARY 2022 |

‘Having FunAnd GettingThingsDone’ Thismonth, at The PPAI Expo 2022, PPAI will induct Sherri C. Lennarson, MAS, into its Hall of Fame. During her long and impressive career in the promo industry, Lennarson went fromexecutive assistant to the president of Iowa-based distributor Bankers Advertising Company, becoming the first woman and non-familymember to lead the now125-year-old business from2003 to 2008. Lennarson’s 40 year-career is a testament to the power of mentorship, advocacy and unwavering optimism. By Kristina Valdez If Sherri Lennarson, MAS, met herself 40 years ago, she says she’d be awestruck. “I would have been two years into my career at Bankers. I think I’d tell myself, ‘You go, girl,’” says Lennarson. From countless awards and accolades to unrelenting advocacy and volunteerism, Lennarson’s contributions to the promotional products industry are immeasurable. “I think I would have been pleased with the path that I had taken, not only in my career, but also in life,” she says. “I would say to myself: you’ve met a lot of people, cared deeply and worked really hard. I think I would be happy.” Lennarson’s entrance into the promotional products industry started with a serendipitous encounter with her seatmate during a business flight in the 1980s. “One chance meeting resulted in a long and satisfying career where I have had the opportunity to pay it forward and encourage others. Perhaps, it wasn’t chance at all,” she says. On a flight from Iowa City, Iowa, to Lincoln, Nebraska, Lennarson made a lasting first impression on Bill Bywater, then-president and CEO of Bankers Advertising Company and a future PPAI Hall of Famer himself. “One year later, he called to offer me a position as his executive assistant, and the rest, as they say, is history,” she says. “Bill had an incredible impact on me as a mentor and advocate. When Bill asked if I, someday, wanted to be president of our firm, I had a goal to reach for. He coached me every step of the way. Seeing the example he set as a leader, I wanted to serve our company, community and Association, too.” In 2003, Lennarson became president of the company, breaking “the glass ceiling” as the first woman and non-family member Sherri Lennarson and her husband, John, have been married more than 30 years and currently reside in Tucson, Arizona. PPAI Hall Of Fame/Sherri C. Lennarson, MAS | FEATURE | JANUARY 2022 | 13

to lead the company. Today, she is retired and lives in Tucson, Arizona, with her husband John. While Lennarson has accomplished many of her goals, she doesn’t measure success by what she has done. “I think you’re successful when you get up every day with a smile on your face, ready to face the world,” she says, adding that everyone has their own “measuring stick” for success. “Looking back, my measuring stick would be seeing someone else succeed and knowing that I had, somehow, nurtured, encouraged or educated them,” she says. “I think it’s through other people that I would measure my own success.” To Lennarson, her most meaningful contribution to the industry is teaching the importance of advocacy and engagement with elected officials. “It was a focal point of my service as board chair. I played an instrumental role in the development of GRAC, the Government Relations Action Council,” she says, adding that advocacy is one of PPAI’s fundamental pillars. Lennarson was also elected to the PPAI Board of Directors and served as PPAI’s board chair in 2009-2010. “My passion and repetitive, consistent and clear messaging led to the mobilization of hundreds of members. It also resulted in the development of easy‐to‐follow, easy‐to‐understand tools to help others become advocates for our industry,” she says. “These tools are still being used to this day, and they guarantee PPAI’s calls to action can be answered in timely and effective ways.” Lennarson often quotes humanitarian theologian Albert Schweitzer in saying, “Example is not the main thing in influencing others; it is the only thing.” She says it’s important for everybody in the industry to use their voice. “We’ve been able to change language in a bill so that it’s more favorable to our industry. It’s so simple to send an email or make a call, and by doing so, have an impact. You’ve made a difference and made your voice count. Your voice doesn’t count if you don’t use it.” Lennarson also credits her visualization skills as fundamental to her success. “I really believe in visioning and thinking through anything you are trying to accomplish,” she says. “Keep the end result in mind. Know what you want and then figure out how you are going to get there.” But she notes that it’s perfectly okay if your vision As PPAI's Board chair, Sherri Lennarson interviews political consultant and keynote speaker James Carville onstage during The PPAI Expo 2010. FEATURE | PPAI Hall Of Fame/Sherri C. Lennarson, MAS 14 | JANUARY 2022 |

doesn’t turn out exactly how you imagined it. “Sometimes, it’s really exciting, going down a path that you didn’t expect, because you end up with unintended consequences or results you couldn’t have imagined—and they’re often better than what you could have predicted.” Nominator Paul Kiewiet, MAS+, says the honor of Hall of Fame is reserved for people, like Lennarson, who have put a “dent in the universe.” He says, “Starting as an Association volunteer, she quickly assumed committee chairmanships, was elected to the board of directors and became the chair of the board. As board chair, she steered the Association to higher levels of advocacy with state and federal government. She saw a need and created a solution; a solution that has proven valuable and an important aspect of PPAI.” For Lennarson, volunteering has always been something that came naturally. “I grew up with parents who were involved in the community, the church and the neighborhood,” she says. “Volunteering was a way to share my time and talents. It was and seemed like the right thing to do. My personal motto is: having fun and getting things done. Volunteering is the perfect way to do both.” Lennarson was recipient of the PPAI Distinguished Service Award in 2013 and was honored with the PPAI Woman of Achievement Award in 2015. “One opportunity to volunteer almost always leads to another,” she says. “Whether it was the Chamber of Commerce, the rehab center, the men’s homeless shelter, the HIV/ AIDS network, my church or PPAI, I was always stretched, stimulated, humbled and gratified by volunteering. It brings richness to life that cannot be achieved in any other way.” Lennarson wears her giving heart on her sleeve for all to see. Kiewiet says, “All of these accomplishments have been achieved with a level of kindness and caring that inspires. Many in our industry have received cards of appreciation and encouragement from this serial card-writer and blessing-giver.” For Lennarson, the proverbial glass is not merely half full, it’s overflowing. “There may be difficult circumstances and things we have to endure, but the one thing that I can control is my attitude. If you are concentrating on the positive, you can turn any situation around or at least, the worst of the situation can be made better.” She says hard times don’t last forever. “I envision that things will change. Patience is not a soft skill. It takes a lot of courage to patiently wait. You learn about gratitude during tough times and about the abundance that you have. You have to look at the bigger picture. If you look beyond your struggles, there’s so much more.” In 1996, Lennarson’s internal “Believe Attitude Counts” campaign won a PPAI Gold Pyramid Award. To someone just getting started in this industry, Lennarson says to go all in. “Be prepared to work hard. Never, ever lose your thirst for knowledge. Find a mentor and reach out to your regional association,” she says. “One thing about our industry is that people are so generous with sharing their experiences. I don’t know if there’s another industry where a competitor will share a lot of their secrets. So, if you can’t get involved with your regional association for whatever reason, call a competitor. More likely than not, they’ll share some tips. The industry is stronger when all of us strive to improve what we aredoing.” And while working hard, Lennarson says it’s important to never stop visualizing. In fact, it’s crucial to true success in the industry. “Plan your work, then work your plan. Those are the people who I find are successful. Commitment is really important. We can all have a dream, but it doesn’t come into fruition if we don’t take steps toward it.” If there’s one thing she wants people to take from her, Lennarson says, it is that one must “believe attitude counts.” Kristina Valdez is associate editor of PPB. Sherri Lennarson with her four younger brothers, (from left) Scott Cress, Russ Cress, John Cress and Daniel Cress, during a University of Iowa Hawkeyes football game tailgate in 2011. PPAI Hall Of Fame/Sherri C. Lennarson, MAS | FEATURE | JANUARY 2022 | 15

Photography by Sean Badger. FEATURE | PPAI Hall Of Fame/Cliff Quicksell, MAS+ 16 | JANUARY 2022 |

Giving In ToGoodness Cliff Quicksell, third from left, with Pyramid Award winners, from left, Darrell and Greta McChesney of Team Iowa, Paul and Stephanie Zafarana of PICA Marketing Group, and Drew Pulliam of Pinnacle Branding. Cliff Quicksell, MAS+, is a longtime industry speaker, consultant and marketing professional, and with nearly 40 years of experience, he’s always working to educate his colleagues and peers, all the while remaining teachable. By Danielle Renda Cliff Quicksell, MAS+, is a known marketing enthusiast. With nearly four decades of experience in promo on both the supplier and distributor sides, and three decades as a professional speaker and consultant, Quicksell has a portfolio of feats as expansive as the range of promo products, including his induction into PPAI’s Hall of Fame during The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas this month. It’s an honor that grants permanent recognition to individuals who have made significant contributions to the industry and/or their communities. But if you were to ask Quicksell how he’s achieved success over the years, he’ll turn the focus away from himself, giving credit instead to the many people who have helped him. “I didn’t get here alone,” he says. “Everybody contributed at some level, and I just hope that other people see the value in being able to give back and how important it is.” As president of his Walkersville, Maryland, speaking and consultancy firm Cliff Quicksell Associates, Quicksell has helped hundreds of clients to achieve their marketing goals, but he’s also given back to the industry time and again— and done so tirelessly. Over the years, Quicksell has given nearly 4,700 speaking presentations at industry shows with signature topics including, “Maximizing Your Time Management by Evaluating and Segmenting Your Clients,” “Selling Apparel A to Z” and “The Promotional Apprentice – Transitioning to a Sales & Marketing Consultant,” in addition to writing more than 1,200 articles for global publications including PPB magazine, Counselor, AdVantages and PromoCorner. He’s also created more than 75 webinars for regional associations, self-published three books—his latest is 30 Seconds To Greatness—created two industry blogs, “Jumpstart Monday” and “30 Seconds to Greatness,” and served in numerous volunteer roles for both PPAI and his regional association, Chesapeake Promotional Products Association (CPPA). For the past year, Quicksell has also been working as a content generator for DASH, a subsidiary of 8 Legged Media Group, where he produces written content, creates webinars and PPAI Hall Of Fame/Cliff Quicksell, MAS+ | FEATURE | JANUARY 2022 | 17

Cliff Quicksell leads a 2014 session for British Promotional Merchandise Association's Professional Development Program. provides consulting services, and he currently serves on PPAI’s Marketing Research Committee and as president of CPPA. “One of my many passions is my desire to give back, share and contribute in a meaningful way. It is how I am wired,” Quicksell says. In reflecting on his passion for giving back to others, he shares an anecdote that describes the impact that helping can have. “Have you ever heard the story about the little boy and the starfish on the beach?” Quicksell asks. “A little boy is on a beach that’s just littered with starfish, and an older man, who’s watching him, asks, ‘What are you doing?’ The little boy says, ‘I’m throwing the starfish back into the water so it can live.’ The older man replies, ‘Look how many there are! You’ll never make a difference,’ to which the boy replies, as he throws a starfish in the water, ‘Well, I made a difference for that one.’” Quicksell also keenly gives of his time to industry mentoring and educational programs, which has included assisting in the development and creation of and participating in PPAI’s Certified Speaker Ambassador program, where he spoke at a grassroots level to students on college campuses about the power of promotional products. In 2002, Quicksell embarked on a mission to mentor as many professionals in the industry as he could, to increase involvement in the PPAI Pyramid Awards. Over the years, he’s been directly involved in coaching more than 120 top distributors, many of whom received PPAI Pyramid Awards. He’s also been a major proponent for certification in the industry, and has helped to encourage many additional distributors to pursue their professional designations of TAS, CAS, MAS and MAS+. Quicksell leads by example, having received his MAS+ certification in 2014, the highest designation given to eligible promotional products applicants. “Over the years, I have had the pleasure of seeing Cliff speak and of seeing him educate. I have seen how the people in the industry have truly flocked to him, relying on his knowledge, experience and friendship to further their careers and businesses,” says Andy Griffin, managing partner of Carlstadt, New Jersey, supplier Keepsake Box USA, and one of Quicksell’s nominators. “It is truly a sight FEATURE | PPAI Hall Of Fame/Cliff Quicksell, MAS+ 18 | JANUARY 2022 |

to behold to see him interact with these people. Whether they sell $50,000 or $5 million, it’s as if he is the co-owner of each company he works with. He doesn’t just tell a person what they want to hear; he educates them in the process so they have a better understanding of what he is teaching them.” He adds, “Whether it is one-on-one on a simple phone call or in a convention hall with 100 people watching, his conversations motivate you, captivate you and give everyone listening the feeling of ‘Yes! Yes, I can do this.’” Quicksell positions himself as a lifelong learner, and even though he attends many events as a speaker, he makes it a point to remain openminded and teachable. “I remember when my son and daughter went to college,” he recalls. “They were both tremendous athletes. When my son asked me, ‘How do I be the very best?’ I told him you have to do two things: you have to be eligible and you have to be coachable. That simple principle holds true in life. You have to be coachable, then you have to do all the hard work to be eligible to get paid the money that you need.” And certainly, knowing how to remain open and teachable comes from experience, and Quicksell has seen both ups and downs in the industry. A few years after joining his first industry company, Quicksell’s position was terminated abruptly. “I was blindsided,” he says, though it was a situation that motivated him to form his own company, Promotivations Advertising, which he operated for 11 years. After encountering a business deal that went sour, he was considering leaving the industry altogether, when another professional he met at a regional association meeting offered him an opportunity that proliferated into many more, and kept him in the industry. As a smallbusiness owner, he’s experienced everything from nearly going bankrupt five times to building multi-million-dollar equity positions and winning more than 30 PPAI Pyramid Awards for creative campaigns. “I have had both the opportunity to work with Cliff in a professional manner as well as a personal relationship,” says Paul Zafarana, MAS, MASI, founder of Dearborn, Michigan, distributor Pica Marketing Group, and one of Quicksell’s nominators. “I can tell you that he is dedicated to the education of both distributors and clients. He really is concerned about the future of the industry. He has been a strong advocate for getting the necessary industry training and education that helped him excel in his own business. Cliff goes above and beyond in looking to make you feel comfortable, and at the same time feel energetic about learning more about promotional products. On a personal note, I can tell you he exemplifies his concern for our wellbeing. Cliff is the first one to tell you like it is and share with you the knowledge he has gained, and make you feel like a million bucks.” With so many responsibilities to manage at once, Quicksell shares that the way he’s learned to achieve balance is by learning how to put his well-being first. “My habits are really simple. I take care of me first,” he says. “The reason I say that is because I know, if you look at it like a pyramid, I’m at the top of the pyramid. If I’m whole physically, mentally and spiritually—and I have to do the things that make me whole first—[everyone] benefits. If I’m off, if I’m sick, if I’m not right, then I’m not a contribution to [the people around me] at all.” He adds, “I’m always looking at how to improve. There’s a Japanese term known as ‘kaizen,’ and it’s the constant state of re-purposing and making change for better improvement. What I encourage people to do is not to wait until there’s a problem to adapt and change. Look at your surroundings and make those adaptations now.” Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB. Cliff Quicksell, with his wife Maria Quicksell (left), daughter Caitlin Quicksell-DeNilo and son Lt. Alexander Quicksell. PPAI Hall Of Fame/Cliff Quicksell, MAS+ | FEATURE | JANUARY 2022 | 19

Ou t doo r Gea r by Danielle Renda ‘Gearing Up’ For The Outdoors For eons, people have regarded the great outdoors as a source of peace, inspiration, tranquility and retreat. From the colors of the changing seasons and the ethereal landscapes of places both near and far, to coexisting with wildlife and listening to the dulcet sounds of crashing waves or snowflakes gently collecting on the ground, there’s a lot to take in and appreciate out-of-doors. And nowadays, in the midst of a pandemic, consumers are spending more time outside, whether that’s embarking on an adventurous hike, planning a camping trip or walking the dog around the neighborhood. Despite the many detriments stirred by the coronavirus, one of the inadvertent benefits was swaying more Americans to spend time outside. Outdoor activities peaked in popularity in the ’80s and early ’90s, but participation has been dwindling ever since, writes Scientific American; something propelled by the advent Consumers are discovering a renewed appreciation for and interest in outdoor activities—whether that’s partaking in actionpacked sports or taking longer walks around the neighborhood—and presenting brands with a new opportunity to enhance the end-user experience. 22 | JANUARY 2022 | INNOVATE

Made For The Outdoors of new consumer technologies. However, a year spent at home, indoors and, for some, isolated, has given way to a renewed interest in outdoor activities, and even in light of the pandemic, it’s still a major market. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, outdoor recreation was a $374.3 billiondollar industry last year. The 2021 Outdoor Participation Trends Report, a survey of 18,000 U.S. consumers published by Outdoor Foundation, found that 7.1 million more Americans (a total of 160.7 million people) ages six and over participated in at least one outdoor activity last year, reflecting the largest one-year jump on record. The survey also found that, in total, Americans participated in 11.4 billion outdoor outings in 2020, a five-percent increase from 2019, and one-fourth (25 percent) of respondents said their outdoor activity increased in the last year. The most popular activities shared by respondents were running, jogging and trail-running (21 percent); hiking (19 percent); freshwater, saltwater and fly fishing (18 percent); road biking, mountain biking and bicycle motocross (BMX) (17.3 percent); and car, backyard, backpacking and RV camping (15.8 percent). Accommodating all ages, needs and interests, participating in outdoor recreation doesn’t necessarily entail a high level of high physical activity, but some hobbies are more about the experience. A survey of nearly 5,550 U.S. adults by The Nature of Americans—a collaborative led by DJ Case & Associates and built on the research of the late Dr. Stephen R. Kellert on the relationship between well-being and human contact with nature—found that Americans were very interested in activities such as taking a walk outdoors (59 percent), exploring the outdoors (51 percent), Do you have a top client with a known passion for off-the-grid adventuring? The Quench Hydration Pack is the perfect gift for explorers. Made from polyester/ripstop, it’s equipped with a large main compartment and a separate rear compartment that holds a two-liter water reservoir. The 20-by-nineinch pack also features a front mesh pocket and two side zippered pockets for added storage, along with a padded back panel, waist belt and adjustable straps. The Magnet Group / PPAI 3338534, S12 / www.themagnetgroup.com When heading out to walk the dog or go for a run, a less bulky, more form-fitting glove can make the experience more enjoyable. These High Performance Running Gloves are made from a stretchy knit, which conforms to fit wearers’ hands and maintains a secure fit throughout. They're also moisture-wicking and machinewashable, and on cooler days, they can be layered underneath another glove for added warmth. Available in gray or white with yellow or blue trim, in men’s small and large. Illinois Glove Company / PPAI 358312, S3 / www.honestabegloves.com LightField Studios / EloPaint / Shutterstock.com. | JANUARY 2022 | 23 INNOVATE

visiting a zoo, aquarium, nature center, historical museum or botanical garden (46 percent), and feeding or watching birds or wildlife (37 percent). When people step foot into nature, The Nature of Americans reports that they are often looking to create memorable experiences, whether solo or in the company of others, and thus nature itself serves as an opportunity for connection at all levels. But no matter howmemorable of an experience that one is looking to create, the potential everlasting spark of that moment will be dampened if they aren’t equipped with the proper gear to suit the occasion. “Appropriately designed wearables are very important when choosing the right garment for your customers,” says John Hein, sales and marketing manager for Landway International Corp., a Hayward, California, supplier of outdoor and lifestyle apparel. “If they’re working outdoors in cold weather, you’ll want something that will be sufficiently insulated and waterproof to keep them comfortable all day. If they are valet drivers running around all night, they’ll want something light and breathable. And if they’re working indoors, they’ll want something light and cozy, but easy to layer. We think long and hard about all the situations our garments may be in and make sure to offer appropriately designed garments that fit every situation, frommoisture-wicking polos to fully-insulated, waterproof jackets.” Offering recipients a high-quality wearable that’s designed to withstand the elements— whether that’s an insulated winter coat with a removable hood to wear while hiking in the snow, or a form-fitting thermal that’s equipped for layering and ideal for winter runs—having your client’s brand at the forefront of these experiences and serving as a reliable ally in their outdoor excursions can translate into a long-lasting relationship with that client. And if the wearers themselves are fans of the product, they’ll recommend your client’s brand to other outdoor lovers and seekers as well as their go-to source of high-quality gear. Ou t doo r Gea r Depending on what recipients have planned for the day, they may only need something that can hold a few personal items, and this is when the North Vista Trail Waist Pack will certainly come in handy. Made from waterresistant 210D nylon ripstop, this nine-by-seven-inch fanny pack features water-resistant zippers, a padded mesh back with an adjustable waist band, and an interior slip pocket. Available in charcoal and orange (shown). Crown/IMAGEN Brands / PPAI 113430, S10 / www.imagenbrands.com The Radiance thermal dry performance fleece pullover is a garment recipients will grab and go when running (or walking) out the door. Made from 100-percent textured polyester Thermal Dry® performance knit, the 8.5-ounce fleece offers an athletic fit and features a grid-textured polyester interior pattern and moisture-evaporating pockets, which both work to keep wearers dry. Available in black, titanium, lagoon green and burnt orange (shown), in sizes S-4XL. Wash separately in cold water before wearing. Landway International Corp. PPAI 243349, S1 www.landway.com 24 | JANUARY 2022 | INNOVATE

www . n e x t l e v e l a p p a r e l . c om READY TO INSPIRET M

www . n e x t l e v e l a p p a r e l . c om T M READY TO INSPIRE

Whether prepping for an afternoon hike or running errands, the Smooth Face Vest is warm, eco-friendly and multifunctional. Made from recycled materials—its outer shell is a blend of 60-percent polyester and 40-percent polyester fine denier woven, and its insulation is made of 65-percent and 35-percent recycled polyester—each garment recycles five to seven plastic bottles. The smooth shell vest features interior Thermolite quilted lining for warmth, and it’s also water-resistant and windproof. Additional details include a drawstring cord at the lower hem for weather control, zippered chest and front pockets, and matte black zippers. Available in men’s sizes S-4XL and women’s XS-3XL in black, stone grey, navy (shown, left) and olive green (shown, right). Storm Creek / PPAI 438091, S6 www.stormcreek.com The Matador® Freefly16 Packable Dayback will have recipients ready for whatever’s ahead. The 11-liter backpack, made from waterproof 30D Cordura® ripstop nylon, measures 11-by-17-inches and includes a water-resistant, zippered main compartment, a front organization pocket with a water-resistant zipper and a detachable, rolltop storage bag for fast packing. It also features adjustable, weight distributing, contoured shoulder straps for easy carrying. Hirsch Gift, Inc. / PPAI 221823, S10 / www.hirschgift.com Offering wearers all-day style and comfort, the Ultimate Trucker Cap is something they can wear for a walk or hike, or bring along to the beach. The structured, trucker-style cap features a slight pre-curve, chino twill front panels, mesh back panels, a woven loop label and a plastic snap. Available in 60 colorways, shown in slate/grey/navy. Customize with a oneof-a-kind, on-brand patch. Outdoor Cap Co., Inc. / PPAI 213485, S10 www.outdoorcap.com | JANUARY 2022 | 27 INNOVATE

Ou t doo r Gea r Made for the coldest weather, the Providence is a full-coverage, insulated parka with trendy and convenient features. Made from an abrasion-resistant, 100-percent oxford polyester shell with 100-percent polyester interior, this classic-fit coat features a two-way front zipper with a double storm flap, a microfleece-lined collar and chin guard, an adjustable waist pull cord and cord-lock and a detachable, insulated hood with detachable faux fur trim. For storage, the parka features zippered side pockets, vertical pouch pockets with Velcro® storm flaps, a left-chest embroidery access pocket and an interior media pocket. Available in sizes S-3XL in black. Landway International Corp PPAI 243349, S1 www.landway.com With all-day comfort and wearability benefits, the Women’s Base Thermal 1/4 Zip offers a base for layering. Made from a blend of 95-percent polyester and five-percent spandex drop-needle double-knit fleece, the 7.08-ounce thermal features H2X-DRY® moisture management technology that keeps wearers dry, while its grid-back fleece provides warmth and allows for breathability. The fabric is also snag-resistant, with details that include contour side panels, contrast cover stitching and a reverse, coil-front quarter-inch zipper. Available in women’s sizes XS-2XL in five earthy tones, shown in raspberry. Stormtech USA, Inc. / PPAI 260245, S4 www.stormtechperformance.com Made to suit a variety of weather conditions, the Women’s Matrix System Jacket offers the benefits of three jackets in one. Made from a 100-percent polyester mechanical stretch shell that’s bonded with 100-percent polyester single jersey, its H2XTREME® outer shell is both waterproof and breathable, with articulated elbows that allow for full range of movement. It also has a thermal shell liner that’s interchangeable, and can be zipped in and out as needed. Details include abrasion-resistant hand pockets, a detachable storm hood and ergonomic zipper pulls. Available in women’s sizes XS-2XL in six colors, shown in electric blue. Stormtech USA, Inc. / PPAI 260245, S4 / www.stormtechperformance.com Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB. 28 | JANUARY 2022 | INNOVATE

Black Salmon / Shutterstock.com compiled by Danielle Renda Poor Customer Service Caused Me To Cancel A Large Order. Should I Tell The Sales Manager? Q A Distributor Asks: I was recently working with a supplier on a $15,000 order, but poor customer service resulted in me canceling this order with the supplier and taking my business elsewhere. If you owned the company, or if you were the sales manager, would you want to know the reasons behind my decision? Yes. I would absolutely want to know so that we can correct the situation. Actually, if there is an issue, other than a minor one, I always tell my customer service folks to let me handle it. I amnuts for excellent customer service. MARIA LAFICHI Vice President of Sales and Marketing MAC Specialties Ltd. Oceanside, New York PPAI 112420, S6 If I were a supplier, I would want to know, and I would appreciate it if you toldme directly so I could decide how to deal with it. DAVID HOLDEN President, Ideas Plus Promotions Sales Partner, Geiger Clovis, California A not-so-successful experience with a supplier’s customer service caused me to cancel a $15,000 order. Do I have a responsibility to the supplier to explain what prompted this decision? If I had a problem that was so bad that a customer had to call me personally, I would take the information and ask to call him/ her back. On the second phone call, I would havemy entire order management team in my office on the call listening firsthand to the customer. This shows the customer how important they are to us, how important it was for our management team to hear the information from the customer, and then we were all together, so we could educate, train andmake systemchanges, so we can prevent this fromhappening in the future. The culture of caring starts at the top. All companies screw up. The good ones “wow” you with how they handle the problem. BOB BICKERT Owner and President Bickert Investments, LLC Mobile, Alabama As a supplier, I would want to knowwhy we didn’t live up to your expectations. We want to improve and ensure that our company expectations and company vision are what we execute to our customers. Sure, it may hurt to hear that, 30 | JANUARY 2022 | INNOVATE

however, you are helping that company become stronger and better by allowing them to correct issues. Correct action leads to being better and becoming better. Who knows—as the company gets better, which hopefully it will, you may end up partnering with themon future opportunities/projects. DAN BALL, MAS Sales Manager Command Tooling Systems LLC St Paul, Minnesota One-hundred-percent absolutely! It may be the best learning experience of their career, or their worst. Either way, management needs to know. They can’t fix what they don’t know is broken. JANE RYAN Regional Business Development Manager BAG MAKERS, Inc. Sherrills Ford, North Carolina PPAI 111408, S10 I would tell the vendor/higher-up at the vendor about the problem and also identify what you think should have been done. I would also say something positive (why you chose themor that you hope to do business with them in the future), not to sugarcoat but because we are in this industry together as a teamof suppliers/ distributors. The supplier may be more likely to help you on a future order. If you do this verbally, please follow up in writing—even if it is to say thank you for all the things you identified, or to say how disappointed you are about what they didn’t do (and then include whatever the complaint is about). HOLLY WOLLINS SCHOTZ Brand Consultant All Wrapped Up Clarksville, Maryland Do You Have An Answer? A Distributor Asks: As a result of all the coronavirus-related changes, I recently lost my job, despite my department seeing a 200-percent increase in sales last year. I decided to just break out in the industry on my own. I have been in this business for almost 10 years. What is your top advice for me going on my own now? Email your response(s) to Question@ppai.org for the chance to be featured in a future issue of PPB. PPAI: 111248 | ASI: 35375 | SAGE: 50327 | UPIC: ACCENTS | DC:101273 www.americanaccents.com 888.287.7883 PERFECT FOR... Interior print optional ѭ 8FRUQJ PNYX ѭ 5WTIZHY UFHPFLNSL ѭ 8ZGXHWNUYNTS GT]JX ѭ <JQHTRJ PNYX ѭ FSI RTWJ We have over 60 sizes to choose from! Full color digital imprint No die cut fees Quick turnarounds Easy to assemble Self locking Need Mailing Boxes? 5 Piece minimums Made & printed in the USA Packing tissue paper available | JANUARY 2022 | 31 INNOVATE

Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock.com How ‘Google My Business’ Can Boost Your Promo Business SEO Why you need it, how to set it up and what to do to get the most value. by Gloria Lafont Google My Business is one of the most underutilized platforms by promotional products distributors. It’s easy to set up and manage, and can increase your online visibility and SEO. Every distributor should take advantage of this free tool. If you don’t have a Google My Business profile or are not quite sure what to do with it, read on. It will help you a great deal with building your online presence and, I promise, it’s very easy. Google My Business is a program that Google provides for businesses to create their own profile and it’s one of the most underutilized online tools by distributors. There are many advantages to having your own business profile on Google My Business. It’s important to note that it does provide many more advantages to local B2C businesses where proximity is a factor because it’s tied to Google Maps and it picks up the results based on the map location, but there are definitely worthwhile advantages for B2B distributors as well, where Google doesn’t factor in the location and distance in the same way, as buyers will want to visit your website and not go to the business. A Few Things To Know About Google My Business Some people confuse Google Maps with Google My Business. Appearing on the Maps doesn’t mean you have a Google My Business account. Because Google wants to have as much information as possible on every business for their maps, they will add your business to the maps based on information they collect through the internet. As crazy as it may sound, Google lets anybody create a profile for your business and even leave reviews, with you having no access to your own profile. That’s why you want to take control of the situation by creating your own profile or claiming it if there’s a profile already. Benefits Of A Google My Business Account It helps your SEO. When you create your profile, you are basically adding your business to Google’s directory of businesses. This validates your business and adds credibility in the eyes 32 | JANUARY 2022 | INNOVATE

of Google. They identify you as an active business, which is very important for Google, as it increases your chances of showing up on the search results. Also, all the information you include is indexed by Google, which is also important. There are other components to SEO, this is not the only one, but it’s important. The best part is, you can set it up on your own very easily. It ensures your business appears in name searches. More people than youmay think search for your business by name. Maybe they met you somewhere or you were referred to them. Also, if your own clients don’t remember the exact URL of your business but remember your name, they may search for your company through Google. You want tomake sure you show up in those searches and having a Google My Business profile will do the job. It’s a trusted place to collect reviews. Google reviews are highly trusted by the public because they are created directly by a real individual. When somebody is evaluating working with you, they’re going to go and check if you have reviews, just like you do in the same situation. Another advantage is that you can display those reviews on your website via apps that bring the review’s feed right to your website. This adds a lot of credibility and increases conversions on your website. Optimizing Your Account Creating an account is very easy, and once set up it’s very easy to keep updated. Here is how to maximize this valuable tool. • Fill out all the information. Once you’ve created or claimed your account, fill in all the boxes, including business hours, special holiday hours, whether you are woman-owned or Black-owned, and all your services as well as products. Basically, fill out every single field so Google has as much information as possible about your business. • Implement the appointment link. You can specify that you work by appointment if you like or encourage people tomake one if they prefer by activating the appointment link, which can be a link to the contact formon your website. • Add photos. Photos of your workplace are very important to Google. Don’t skip this part. Even if you don’t have a commercial location, you still have an office that is most likely set up very nicely andmay have shelves with samples, signs, banners, etc. Stage the place if necessary and take as many photos as possible to post on your Google My Business page. • Make sure your business info is consistent. It is important that your business information across the internet is consistent. What I mean by that is, your business name, your phone number and your address are the same as it appears on your website and in any other directories in which youmight be listed—for example, Yelp, the online Yellow Pages, etc. We recommend using the address that Google is showing on the maps, exactly as it is spelled out. It seems like a silly thing, but it is important that everything matches. • Post regularly. Posting fresh content a few times a week will signal to Google that you are active. This is very easy to do by integrating your account with the social media scheduling tool you currently use, and you can post the exact same content that you’re posting on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. • Track Performance. Google will send you an email summary with your page performance, usually once a month. You can also see it by going to the Insights section of your page. For example, you can look at how many times you have appeared on the search results and how many people have taken an action, whether they called you or visited your site. The Final Point In these digital times, it’s important to take advantage of as many tools you can to increase your online footprint. Google is always looking to validate pages to show in search results, to ensure that they’re relevant and that they’re solid businesses. Google also values their own properties a great deal so creating a Google My Business page will give Google what they want to help you boost your business. Gloria Lafont is president of Action Marketing Co., founded in 2007, a company specializing in implementing integrated marketing systems for distributors who want to generate qualified inbound leads and increase sales. Throughout her business career, she has started, bought and sold a dozen businesses in the branding and marketing field, including a distributor company. Reach her at gloria@actionmarketingco.com and ActionMarketingCo.com. See It For Yourself Gloria Lafont walks through the steps to set up a Google My Business page in this short YouTube video: www.youtube.com/ watch?v=VrmsUcwLRA&t=11s | JANUARY 2022 | 33 INNOVATE