Fuller Brush Man Letter Opener circa 1950
Every brand likes to give away a little something to customers to help them remember them. You may call them premiums, giveaways or tchotchke which is Slavic for the word toy. 

Sometime companies give away a calendar or a small desk reminder. I often wonder how valuable these marketing promotional items are and if they have any enduring value. It’s not the easiest thing to measure but what happens to these tchotzkes? During a recent visit to see my Mom, I noticed many branded premiums around the house in her desk drawer, at her bar and even at my Dad’s old desk.

Fuller Brush
Having just read an account of the last Fuller Brush man in Daniel Pink’s book (To Sell is Human), I found this letter opener depicting the Fuller Brush man. This novelty item is at least 50 years old and has always been in my Mom’s pencil holder on her desk. This little pink man (the Fuller Brush guy- not Daniel Pink) was a constant reminder of the door to door salesman who would sell hair or cleaning brushes.. My mom used to buy from the Fuller brush man and remembered that even her mother, Grandma Fannie bought from them in the late 30’s in West Philadelphia.

Match this

Strike a match
Then I stumbled upon her collection of matches and drink stirrers from years of visiting restaurants. I love the Old Bookbinders stirrer from Philadelphia where I went to college as well as matches from Frog, one of Steve Poses' restaurants also from the city of brotherly love from my college days. Mom even even had shot glasses from The Mets, Betty Boop and Calvert's booze.  

There is a stirrer from The Astrodome in Houston where my dad went to see a baseball game against his beloved Mets. He had an out of this world experience on the plane ride home (Pan Am). Dad said hello to his seat mate and and told him about the amazing site of seeing the Astrodome. My father went on and on about how it was truly something out of this world. 

Turns out my Dad was sitting next to John Glenn who had a few amazing sites he had seen too from the great beyond. 

A stirring reminder
Old Original Bookbinder's 125 Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA swizzle stick

I noticed the Wharton School letter opener and even a stirrer from Pan Am Airlines, an airline that no longer exists. Measuring cups from a bank called First National City and a range of books given away by liquor companies to promote drinks, wines and other spirits. Interesting no one mentions the corks. 

Take a shot at remembering these brands 
Politicians Rule
I found an old ruler from my home town that promoted a politician who ran from office. Wally Kleinman was our local pharmacist who employed both my sister and me when we were in high school. I don’t remember who Judy Mayer was but she must have been running for Democratic office too. Somehow, this giveaway carried some connection for my mom that she not only kept the ruler and used it- but kept an extra one in mint condition in case Wally became President of the U.S. someday.

Vote for Wally Kleinman & Judy Mayer
 Remember Me
The goal of these premiums is to keep your name, your brand and your image top of mind. The trick of course is to give something that connects to your brand in a deep and emotional way. It should be lasting and stand the test of time. How can you find something truly novel, really different and a great reminder of what your brand represents.

Spirit and Wine Brands Promoting Their Products
 So if you are thinking about a leave behind for a trade show, a customer visit or a way to promote your brand, find something that will stand the test of time and connect with your customers.

Tchotchke anyone? 

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