Monday, July 15, 2019

Underwood Jewelers’ Rob Gatta Is Reliable Source For Corporate Gifts

Recently I had a client make a unique request. They wanted to take the logo my firm designed for them and make it into a charm for their female employees. So I called my Rotary buddy Rob Gatta, manager of Underwood Jewelers’ San Marco store. He gets all kind of requests from businesses, from the creation of original jewelry to the need for corporate incentives, for example, gifts such as Rolex watches. People don’t realize that Rob was highly recruited by Underwood from Ithaca, New York. He started in retail as a teenager with the A&P Grocery chain and was later recruited by Kay’s Jewelers. Then he was recruited to join Perrywinkle’s Fine Jewelry stores. Underwood heard about him and brought him to Jacksonville. There is a reason why Rob is in high demand in the retail business and why he has been so successful (he helped increase sales in the San Marco store by 43% in just 1 ½ years). He is honest, very likeable, and, most important, he has patience. If you need ideas or help with corporate gifts or incentives, you can call Rob at 904-398-9741 or go to Rob is on the right in this “Lunch with Les” photo. 

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Redd Leads Funding Effort For Jacksonville University’s New Multi-Use Health Sciences Building

When it comes to supporting Jacksonville’s medical industry, it’s hard to beat the behind-the-scenes work and dedication of Leslie Redd, Associate Vice President of Development at Jacksonville University. The former University of Maryland, John Hopkins, Mayo Clinic and Baptist Hospital development professional is now focused on finishing the funding for Jacksonville University’s new multi-use health sciences building. The center will house all of the medical related schools including nursing and applied sciences; a simulation center for academic and community involvement; an orthodontic clinic; a healthcare center for students; and space for community healthcare providers. The project’s philanthropic goal is $30M. The facility is expected to be completed in 2020 on the north side of the JU campus. In addition to the health center, Leslie is involved with funding scholarships, PhD programs and medical research. Leslie, an active Rotarian, has a deep passion for medical excellence in Jacksonville. She can be reached at Leslie is on the left in this “Lunch with Les” photo.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Dwyer Brings Corporate Leadership Training To Northeast Florida

The success of businesses and their longevity is based on leadership. That doesn’t just mean today’s leaders but the identification and development of future leaders in the company. That’s where Ed Dwyer, president and managing partner of VIGEO Alliance, a St. Augustine leadership and talent management firm, comes in. Ed and his business partner, Cassi Chandler, conduct leadership training throughout the U.S. With over 32 years in the banking industry, serving in almost every capacity, while being director of a national banking school for over 20 years, Ed knows the issues facing leadership from top U.S. financial institutions to small community banks. And with the recent turnover in U.S. House of Representatives committee chairs, his current focus has been helping banks with regulatory changes involving diversity and inclusion. But his services are not limited to banking. His firm can assist all types and sizes of businesses, such as law firms, insurance companies and retailers. The difference in Ed’s firm is that he is not just a coach; he is a leadership trainer and strategist, based on knowledge and real-life experiences. Visit Ed Dwyer is on the left in this “Lunch with Les” photo. 

Friday, July 12, 2019

University of North Florida Opens Center For Entrepreneurship

Something happened at the beginning of the year that could have a big impact on the creation and growth of innovative new businesses in Jacksonville. With a generous donation by Luther and Blanche Coggin and the foresight of University of North Florida Business Dean Mark Dawkins, the university created the Center for Entrepreneurship. And in another smart move, Karen Bowling was hired as its Director, to start up and run the Center at its downtown location on the 4thand 5thfloors of the former Barnett Bank Building. Karen explained the Center will be a hub for entrepreneurship in Northeast Florida, offering an incubator, education guidance and resources, marketing and management resources, investors and assistance from interns from UNF. Local businesses benefit 1) as investors in new business ideas; 2) as a way to connect with potential business partners and networking through the mentoring program; and 3) to help create an entrepreneurship ecosystem, not only for UNF, but also for the community. For more information, go to Karen Bowling is on the left in this “Lunch with Les” photo.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Far East Brokers Introduces GrillPerks(TM) - The First Cross-Category, Consumer Loyalty Program For Grilling Products In The Grocery Industry

In an effort to generate demand for grilling products year round, Far East Brokers and Consultants have developed the first cross-category, consumer loyalty program for manufacturers of grilling-related products through its new rewards program GrillPerks™.
This online program engages shoppers with helpful tips, recipes and promotions on a wide range of grilling products and rewards them with gift cards from participating retailers. It encourages retailer loyalty for all things grilling, while providing a turnkey vehicle to cross promote grilling brands and build baskets. GrillPerks™ inspires grilling occasions all year long, not just for the occasional cookout or major grilling holidays, such as Memorial Day and the 4thof July. 
GrillPerks ™ was created by Far East Brokers, who distributes the Mr. Bar-B-Q® brand of grills and grilling tools and accessories. Other brands participating in the program include Kingsford® and MatchLight® Charcoal, Hidden Valley®, KC Masterpiece®, Bubba Burger®, El Yucateco® Hot Sauce, Soy Vay®, Wonderbread® and Natures Own®.
“Shoppers are invited to participate in GrillPerks™ via on-package callouts on millions of grills and grilling accessories at grocery and drug stores throughout the county. A robust social media presence supporting the campaign will keep consumers interested in grilling throughout the year while rewarding loyalty for purchasing GrillPerks™ participating brands in the stores of our retail partners,” explained Mike Sims, executive vice president for Far East Brokers.
“We have enjoyed a great deal of success over the past several years co-promoting our Mr. Bar-B-Q® brand grills and grilling accessories with great brand partners like Bubba Burger® and Kingsford®. This year, we’ve elevated that partnership by creating the GrillPerks™ loyalty program and welcoming some additional national brand partners. Together, these brands create a powerful voice for grilling,” Sims added.
The way the program works is a customer goes online to or texts the word GRILLPERKS to 811811and registers. They have to check off their primary grocery store. When they buy products from the participating brands, they photograph the receipt and text, email or upload it directly to No app is needed. For each dollar spent, the member earns a point. For every 50 points, they earn a $10 retailer or Visa gift card. 
“We’ve been able to extend our brand outside of the frozen food and meat cases by linking to general merchandise through our partnership with Far East Brokers,” said Andy Stenson, vice president of marketing for BUBBA Foods, LLC. “The Bubba Burger® by Mr. Bar-B-Q® line of branded grills and grilling accessories has been a huge success on many fronts. Now the GrillPerks™ program allows us the ability to market with synergistic brands through an innovative digital platform, reaching new consumers that will help build brand loyalty for all of our Bubba Burger® family of products.”
The launch of the GrillPerks ™ program is both timely and on strategy. An online survey by Rockbridge Associates conducted for the Hearth Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) reported that 79% of respondents believe that cookouts are a great way to bond with the family. And according to the GrillWatch survey by Weber-Stephen Products, the number of female grillers went up by 20% last year. Even the millennial generation is buying into outdoor grilling, evidenced by their support of TV cooking shows like “BBQ Pitmasters,” according to grill social media influencer Richard Wachtel.
“This is an important new promotion for retailers as well,” Sims said. “Grocers who are winning today are the ones who recognize the importance of having a solid seasonal general merchandise strategy. Shoppers come to the grocery store already for most of their grilling occasion purchases and offering grills and grilling accessories is as important to completing the shopping trip as anything else on their list. Millennials want one-stop shopping and are willing to reward the retailer with their loyalty if you can provide that. Seasonal general merchandise is a smart way to attract and keep millennials coming back to the store.”
There are over 20 major retail grocers all over the U.S. participating in the GrillPerks™ promotion, such as Publix and Food Lion in the south; ShopRite and Big Y Stores in the northeast; Schnucks and Giant Eagle in the mid-west: and Brookshire’s Food and Pharmacy and Bartell Drugstores in the west.

About Far East Brokers and Consultants
Far East Brokers and Consultants is an importer of seasonal general merchandise. The 35-year-old company, headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, is the largest supplier of seasonal general merchandise to the U.S. supermarket and drug store channels.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Thanks To Next Gen TV, Local Broadcasting Stations Can Track You And Sell You Targeted Ads like Google And Facebook

A recent ruling by the FCC has cleared the way for Next Gen TV (technically called ATSC 3.0), a means for providing advertisers with a more precise targeting option on local broadcast TV stations, while allowing broadcasters to tap into a new revenue source that Google and Facebook now enjoy.

Based on Internet Protocol (IP), Next Gen TV can go to devices such as smart phones and tablets over the air without using cellular data services. Much like current subscription cable and satellite TV, local broadcasters will be able to target and deliver specific ads to neighborhoods and individual households. The ads, like Google, can be directed at the viewer’s specific interest, unlike the current situation where broadcasters deliver the same ad to their total viewing area.

While there is always a privacy issue related to Next Gen TV, it isn’t much different from various advertising vehicles currently used on social media and cable. Even billboards are being developed to deliver specific ads based on reading the retinas’ of passing motorists.

In addition to this new protocol being a boon to advertisers, it is also expected to provide benefits to viewers with better picture quality, broadcast signals less resistant to interference, interactive features to viewers and providing localized emergency alerts.

Technology for providing Next Gen TV will have to develop over the next few years, allowing for inclusion in new TV sets and converter boxes, not to mention adjustments to broadcast towers.

With the more precise targeting and collection of viewer data, TV broadcasters will become more competitive with non-traditional advertising.  

The use of Next Gen TV, also known as “addressable TV advertising,” is heralded as the future of TV advertising.

Information for this article was collected from the National Association of Broadcasters, The Washington Post, Variety, and the Wall Street Journal.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Catalogs For Retailers And B2B Are Making A Comeback

With the advances in technology and e-commerce, most business people would think print catalogs would be a dying marketing strategy. But in reality, catalogs for both retailers and B2B are still as relevant as ever.

Research on multi-channel marketing confirms that acquiring customers through the use of printed catalogs statistically increases response rates and average order size and drives repeat purchases. According to a Multichannel Merchant’s Outlook survey, “most catalogers are still relying on their print catalog for 80% to 90% of their incrementally new customers.” More than three-quarters of merchant respondents said catalogs were the top choice for the method of prospecting they will use in the next 12 months. And shoppers who receive a direct mail piece, which then directs them to an online site, spend on average 13% more than those who do not receive a printed piece. Plus websites supported by catalogs yield 163% more revenue than those not supported by catalogs.

As far as the effectiveness of printed catalogs, according to Printing Industries of America, print catalogs carry an average cost per lead of $47.61, whereas the average cost per email lead is $53.85. In addition, print is considered to be the “most trustworthy” of media channels. And while 11% of marketing emails are opened, the opening rate is 91% for prospecting direct mail.

In addition to better customer response rates and lower lead acquisition costs, other benefits include…

1. Print catalogs are an impactful and tangible way to connect consumers with your brand.
Usually prospects will spend hours looking at a screen every day. Print catalogs offer an electronic alternative and a more memorable and lasting way to view products, offering a quick reference capability.
2. Sales Reps still like to walk into customers’ offices handing them a resource catalog.
Sales people like to sell from a printed sales tool and they like to have something to use as a leave-behind.
3. Print catalogs are not deleted or sent into spam folders.
They arrive at homes, offices, and in the hands of potential clients and targeted job positions.
4. They are convenient and easily navigable.
Catalogs are easy to browse and use anywhere, including in the field by on-site technicians. Plus products can be listed in easy to find categories, ranging from use to capacities.

Catalogs are designed to help marketing departments fulfill their objectives.  Marketers are increasingly challenged to produce a specific return on investment for their efforts.  The effect of a social media campaign on sales may be hard to pin down, but catalogs, with their definitive mail dates and customer and source codes, are easier to track.  

At Les Loggins Marketing, we produce a variety of printed catalog designed to help businesses increase the exposure of their product lines and to help enhance the sales process. We produce various publications, (writing, artwork, design and page preparation for printers) particularly manufacturing catalogs, in English as well as in other languages.

The photo shows current industrial catalogs produced by Les Loggins Marketing for J.C. Renfroe industrial lifting products.

Data for the article was collected from the Harvard Business Review, and