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GSATi Finds Perfect Eco-friendly Expo Gift by Asking Recipients Directly


Challenge: Finding a truly “green,” truly desired promotion in tune with core values.

The team at Global Solutions and Technology, Inc. (GSATi) took this year’s tradeshow marketing strategy to a new level, implementing a step traditionally used by few firms: they questioned their audience pre-show to learn which promotional products would truly resonate most.

Smart move, considering the venue’s forum and audience: members of the Direct Selling Association (DSA) at the industry’s premier, three-day DSA Annual Meeting. More than 2,500 DSA members and 150 supplier members gather and share at this yearly gala, complete with receptions, seminars, an awards banquet and what has been touted as “the most comprehensive exhibition of goods and services to support direct-selling companies found anywhere.”

GSATi, a 100-percent women-owned business, helps businesses of all shapes and sizes design and implement Green IT initiatives from server virtualization and consolidation to telecommuting and IT equipment recycling. Naturally then, “green” was strong on the team’s mind when they began their research; they had initially considered recycled tote bags but discovered that roughly 25 other vendors would be doing the same. The team, thoroughly green, realized that if they gave the same product as other firms, then their product—or those used by other companies—would likely be thrown away instead of used, an unsatisfying prospect that clashed with the firm’s core values.

Solution: Bypass tote bags for GSATi-branded recycled junior notebooks & pens instead.

The team also discovered—by asking staff, sales people and clients which products they’d prefer, keep and use most often—that paper for jotting notes was very often at the top of “most wanted” lists. A recycled notebook then quickly came to mind; a simple Google search quickly led the team to ePromos.

Not just any notebook would do though: the team wanted a notebook constructed of no less than 50 percent recycled materials, ideally 100 percent or as close to it as possible. They also required a quality notebook that DSA members would want to keep and use—and one that would fit within their budget. The Recycled Junior Notebook & Pen fit the bill, with 60 sheets of recycled, lined paper, making it a truly green product rather than one with but a token percent of recycled material.

Result: Branded, recycled notebooks prove successful, will be used at future events as well.

The team’s strategy of passing over popular “green” products in lieu of a product more aligned with their core values and audiences desires worked well. They tell us that the GSATi-branded notebooks helped to extend and achieve brand awareness among existing and potential new clients; they have also ordered more to use at future events as well.


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