Why even *I* buy logoed merch…

I was recently on a fun little road trip to Fredricksburg, Texas with my husband, sister and brother-in-law and nephew.  On the way home we discovered just 9 miles off the main highway was a little town you might have heard of: Luckenbach, Texas.  If you don’t know the song [I personally haven’t been able to get it out of my head since visiting] well you better go download it right now – it’s a classic.  And if you do know the song, you know ain’t nobody feelin’ no pain there… so why the heck wouldn’t you go?

We turned the car down the dusty highway, drove a few miles, missed the turn and flipped a u-turn to go back – it’s that small.  No stop light, just a little sign pointing you to the dance hall.  We spent about 20 minutes there snapping pictures, goofing around, had an impromptu arm wrestling contest [I won!] and then meandered in to the post office/gift shop to browse.

Amongst old Willie and Waylan CDs you can find koozies and key fobs, shot glasses and bottle openers – and of course the souvenir Tshirt.  I baulked at the $27 CD price tag, but happily laid down $20 each for my husband and I to have our shirts.  I sell Tshirts for a living, and of course I know the markup in any souvenir shop is high, but I didn’t wince at all at this cost. See, it’s not really a Tshirt I was buying at all.  If I want a Tshirt I’ll go to Target, or pull one from my sample bin.  What I wanted was a memento.  A touchstone.  A badge to say “I’ve been there!”   Every time I wear it I’ll think of that day – and when someone asks me about it, I’ll be able to tell them all the fun we had, how to get there, and to download the song before you get there to avoid that expensive CD.

These types of items, whether a souvenir shirt or a stress ball you got at a tradeshow, are all triggers to memories.  Memories of when you got it, who gave it to you; what that person or business means to you.  Luckenbach, Texas isn’t in the Tshirt business, and they’re not even in the music business, but they definitely are in the memory making business.  Don’t tell them, but I would have paid a lot more than $20 bucks for it.

Willie’s not working on your brand theme song?  Give me a jingle and we can brainstorm on how to make your brand a touchstone for your clients, too.

Happy 2016!


The Coolie Capital of the World

Here in the Heart of Texas, we know a few things about can coolers. I know Austin is the Live Music Capital of the world, but it just might be the Coolie Capital as well. We like our salsa hot and our drinks ice cold. So, it’s no surprise that the next generation of coolies was invented right here in Austin. Introducing the Hooler Cooler [it’s just fun to say] which incorporates a little ice, a little water, and a lot of engineering to keep your hands dry and your drink icy. Check out this fun demo video for more info – and with standard full color process imprint this piece provides ample branding flexibility.

The Power of the T-Shirt

It’s true I have a love affair with promotional products.  But so does the rest of the world – and for good reason.  I was reminded recently about the power of the t-shirt.  You might have read my post “Why even *I* buy logoed merch…” a while back about my trip to Luckenbach, Texas where I discuss the meaning of a souvenir t-shirt.  But, the power I’m talking about today goes beyond even that.  A t-shirt with a logo on it is one of the best team building items I can think of it.  At just a glance you know the wearer is part of something bigger.  And you better believe the person wearing it feels that too.


Let me tell you about a few examples of my experience, both professional and personal:

ice cream
Support for a cause.  Of course we all know political t-shirts are popular – but I love this fun example of a shirt we did in support of one of our client’s customers.  Recently a teenager took on the Scottsdale, AZ City Council’s 20 year ban on ice cream trucks.  She won!  Could it be because of the sea of green shirts in the audience showing support?  Probably not entirely, but I bet it helped!


ShoreTel Race ImageTeam front.  I love these fun running shirts we did for a recent ShoreTel Sky event.  Not only do they feature cool art treatments [check out the wrap on the hip and fun angled logo on the shoulder!] but they are eye catching and fun!  Team shirts at a race, field day or service day show solidarity  – they say “we are all in this together!”  And, if anything, if you get lost in the crowd you are easy to find.






Moral Support.  Recently one of my best friend’s little boy underwent a Bone Marrow Transplant.  While she and her family are far way in Minneapolis, she still knew we were all thinking about her and her son because of our tshirts.  One of her friends had the genius idea [not me!] to make t-shirts.  On Bone Marrow Transplant day we all wore our shirts around the country.  We tweeted, emailed, Facebooked and texted pictures of all the people supporting near and far.  Even though I was in Texas, I felt closer wearing my shirt on July 24. Separated by miles – but united by a t-shirt.  Oh, and lots of love. [Learn more about life-saving marrow donation at bethematch.org]


Other than with t-shirts – how do you recognize and involve people – make them feel included?  Let me know!


Best of Vegas 2013 recap!

Here is a quick and fun video of all my favorite picks from the show! Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy a little 4 minute break. Let me know which products you find intriguing!

… creative promotional campaign

Doctor, heal thyself.

My passion and work is all about promoting my clients. But, in order to build a thriving business, I also need to promote the Ideas by Andi brand!

The Challenge:

As a professional promotional products practitioner, it takes a lot to impress me.  I can create a custom inflatable walking mascot for you.  I’ve got factories that build molds to manufacture your widget from scratch.  Blinky, glowy, noisy items?  Got ’em.  USB anything? C’mon.  I’ve been there, done that.

The Solution:

In thinking about promoting my own business, I realized I need to showcase my creativity and sense of style – while keeping the focus on my clients. Working with my design team, we utilized my logo in fresh, funky and fun ways – utilizing some of my favorite, classic promotional items:

  • Drinkware.  I’m an avid coffee drinker [I’ve been known to call coffee “Creativity in a cup”] so this classic cup with dynamic logo treatment really spoke to me.  Cheers!
  • Journals.  I love journals – and really any other paper product.  They’re incredibly versatile, have full color capability, and afford us lots of real estate to communicate information. Don’t get me wrong.  I love my iPhone, I want a tablet, I can’t live without my computer.  However, my journal never crashes on me, it doesn’t run out of juice or memory.  And, I can use it even when the tray table is supposed to be up.
  • Pens.  Oh, how cliche!  How boring!  Oh really?  Don’t you have about 5 on your desk right now?  Isn’t it always something someone wants to borrow?  Do you have a favorite one that when you can’t find it, it makes you a little uneasy?  ’nuff said.

The Results:

I love bringing my kit of branded products to a client.  It’s so fun to watch their faces as they discover their gift from me!  But, after a moment of Ideas by Andi revelry, it’s back to them. We pour a cup of coffee, crack open those journals, fire up a pen — and focus on the best way to take their brand to market.

We named our latest project after you!

ideasbyandi.com is VERY excited to announce an amazing new partnership with the creative minds of Lori Mesiner Cleland and Theresa Roberts!

Here’s our little secret: we’re launching a new site just for you. Consider it an inspirational zone filled with Big Deals, Big Design, and Big Ideas.

Check out TheBigDealProject.com to see what we’re talking about – and keep an eye out for our Launch Party invitation in 2013!

Looking for a way to get noticed?

Andi helped MC Companies develop a comprehensive marketing campaign, including a new mascot, message and branded gifts.

The Challenge:

MC Companies reached out to for assistance in developing a creative marketing idea to welcome tenants to their new homes and thank them for choosing MC Companies. They wanted the gift to be both personal and memorable.

The Solution:

Together with their design firm, Visage Creative, Andi worked with MC Companies to come up with a comprehensive marketing campaign, including a new company mascot, a new marketing message and a package of branded gifts. Since the program was scheduled to start during February of a leap year, the new company mascot became Mac the Frog, a relevant and charming face for the company’s new campaign. The branded gift package included a lily pad-shaped mousepad, a tumbler, a pen and a notepad, all frog themed.

The Results:

MC Companies appreciated Boundless Network’s forward-thinking ideas, and Mac the Frog is now the star of the company’s marketing efforts.

Want to learn how I promote my business through promotional products?  Read about it here.


Toot, toot! [my own horn…]

Wow. I’m speechless. It’s always wonderful to get the occasional “good job!” or “kudos” email… but sometimes clients just go above and beyond. I got this endorsement from awesome client, Steve Glidden of PMB Helin Donovan today – and I just had to share…

“What can I say about Andi and ideasbyandi? Well, in my 25 years in the HR business I’ve ordered hundreds of promotional and advertising items. I have never however, put my complete trust in anyone like I have Andi. On the spur of the moment something comes up, I just send her an email and presto, next thing you know, I have the “best ideas” from the best idea person in the business, Andi. Give Andi a try and you’ll be hooked on her upbeat bubbly personality, her professionalism and her multitude of great suggestions and ideas. Stop wasting time and just let Andi handle it!”

It made me think about something. I’m in the promotions and recognition industry, but sometimes I don’t do a good job of promoting by business or recognizing those that do a great job [and make me look good to clients like PMBHD]. Steve’s email made my day, maybe my weekend. I think I’m going to pay it forward and take a moment to dash off some notes of praise, thanks and encouragement to a few people I owe it to. Is there anyone that you could say “Thank You” today to – and make their weekend as well?

Awww, shucks!

Often times after I complete a project, I’m left wondering “how did it go?”  More times than I’d like to admit, though, I’m working quickly, running to make a deadline, and then off to the next project.  There’s little time for reflection…

Recently, I did a quick turn job for new client Absolute Software. If you’re not familiar with their Lojack for Laptops service [yes, just like the stolen car program!] you should check them out – they get stolen laptops back!  This particular rush order was a 48 hour turn, but we were able to get these super cool new Buzz Brushes to their event — just in the nick of time.  And now, as I’m already off working on other projects, it was such a nice surprise to receive this glowing email from my client, Michelle Westling:

“The event went great, everyone went crazy over those brushes and were thanking me for them : )  This was the best giveaway item I have ever used!  It drew so much attention to our table, thank you for the quick work to make sure we got them.  And we will definitely order more of those.  I am so grateful for your services : )”

Wow, talk about making my day [okay my week…] Thank you, Michelle!


Learn more about Absolute and their Lojack for Laptops program at www.LojackForLaptops.com

Check out the new product Michelle and her team were raving about, pictured here.  It’s a screen cleaner and keyboard brush all in one.  Love!

Lojack for Laptops Buzz Brushes