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Marketing 101: What's In a Remembered Name?

January 2005
By: Jerry Thacker
I needed you. I looked for you. I couldn't find you. I couldn't wait for you. I couldn't find your ad. I couldn't remember your phone number. I went another direction. I don't need you anymore.

While this adage of business emphasizes the need to be well known and always in the prospective client's mind, it also underlines the need to over-communicate your basic information, i.e., your name, your telephone number, your address, and perhaps your web site.

Three items that can help you keep your basic information before prospects for a low cost are pens, key fobs, and refrigerator magnets. Let's look at the good points of each.

Pens are something we use everyday. We put them in our pockets and purses, store them in cups in the kitchen, and keep them next to the telephone and near the bed. There's no substitute for a writing instrument when you need one. All the hotels I've ever stayed in have one or two pens in each guest room. They know that the potential is good for you to pick one up, take it with you, and call the 800 number on it when you need another reservation. Costing about 20 cents each, imprinted pens are an inexpensive way to keep your basic data literally in the hands of prospects. And remember, neon colors make the pens more visible.

Everyone has keys—for the house, apartment, car, gym, etc. Many girls and women collect key fobs and put multiple fobs on their key rings. Why? Key fobs make it easier for them to locate their keys. Imprinted key fobs are available for less than 25 cents each and can also be made in neon colors.

Refrigerator magnets serve both a utilitarian task as well as providing a nearly permanent reference when services are needed. I recently removed the magnet of a lawn tractor service from our refrigerator when I remembered that the company had gone out of business. It had been on our refrigerator at least 15 years! For some of our clients, we have created magnetic picture frames to display the latest grandbaby picture. The pricing is directly proportional to the size of the magnet, but business-card-sized magnets start around 22 cents. A tip: getting magnets placed on the refrigerators in residence halls of local colleges may open up a new clientele to you!

Remember, you need to be remembered! And don't forget to let clients take more than one of these specialty items with them when they visit so they can pass them out to friends who may need your services.

Below are some sources of the specialty items mentioned. You can also go to and do a search for any item to bring up hundreds of possible sources for just about any kind of specialty item you can think of.,,,,,

Jerry Thacker is president of Right Ideas, Inc., and publisher of At the Center. He can be reached at

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