Since 2016

February 2006

Church Lures Attendees With Promo Products

Advertising specialties help church to build membershipLife Pointe Christian Church, in Charlotte, NC, was nearing completion of its new church and needed to make its presence known because this wasn't just a new building, it was the opening of a new church to the area. Fortunately, the church had a well-planned marketing campaign that established its brand identity through the use of promotional products.

From the beginning, Life Pointe used promotional products, specifically imprinted flying discs and water bottles, to achieve its two main objectives: To build attendance and to create awareness in the community. The items we used were bought with the sole intent of getting the word out about our opening day, says Life Pointe Minister Matt McGue.

The campaign began several months before the opening with a summer event for pet owners held at a local park. The day included several area vendors representing pet-related businesses and was hosted by Life Pointe, which distributed the flying discs to everyone in attendance, especially dog owners, who were able to use them to play fetch with their pets.

The next effort was a weekend-long drive-by flying-disc throw; church members loaded up vans with the discs and drove through neighborhoods tossing them on peoples driveways, so they would notice them as they got in and out of their cars. One woman, McGue notes, thought it had been blown into her yard by a storm and that perhaps God was trying to tell her something. She came out, and is still with us, says McGue.

Life Pointe also handled the creation of a co-branding promotion with the local YMCA. It's the Young Men's Christian Association, so they really have the same heart and philosophy that we do on promoting our faith, says McGue. I got permission to put the Y's logo on one side of a water bottle, and placed ours on the other. This, he explains, allowed the church to hand out the bottles to Y members at every event the organization held.

In all, the church gave out 3,000 bottles and 5,000 discs. The results were pretty impressive. All new visitors to the church were asked to fill out a card explaining how they initially heard about the church. More than 10% cited the imprinted gifts.

“I think the marketing pieces were very valuable in getting our name and identity out in the community,” says McGue. It created an association with our name and logo, who we are and, most importantly, got people to check out our church.

Casual Dress Forever? Not so fast. . .

Casual clothes can be in fashionThe era brought with it a lot of change, including over-priced stocks, get-rich-quick schemes and the end of the corporate tie culture. Remember those first images out of Silicon Valley ­ college-students-turned-millionaires wearing shorts and flip-flops to work? Because of them, big business felt pressure to change its dress code to reflect a new generation of businesspeople. But it took some time to settle on what was appropriate. Finally, after several years of confusion, a look dominated by Docker-style pants and golf shirts emerged. And, it looked like it would rule forever but don't untuck that shirt just yet. A recent study by the Society for Human Resources Management says that only 55% of companies allow casual dress, down from 60% in 2001. And a recent BizRate Research study claimed only 26% of businesses with office environments allow casual attire. Here's a brief primer on the latest styles seen in today's businesses.

Baseline Casual

This is a term that is used for some of the most casually-dressed companies. It is also appropriate for casual days in businesses that require a stricter dress code the majority of the time. Apparel choices for men include denim, cotton, or corduroy pants paired with casual sweaters or button-down plaid shirts, and accompanied with casual leather shoes. Apparel choices for women include denim, cotton, or corduroy pants or skirts paired with knit shirts or cotton blouses, accompanied by open or closed toe shoes.

Mainstream Casual

This is a term that is considered to be the “standard business-casual” attire. You'll find that most department stores and customer-focused places of business will make this their dress code. Appropriate styles for men include high quality khakis or casual dress slacks paired with solid or subtly patterned cotton shirts, polos, or pullover sweaters, and accompanied with dress shoes. Appropriate styles for women include wool blend or manufactured fabric skirts or slacks paired with blouses, dressy tops, or dressy sweaters, and accompanied by closed toe shoes.

Executive Casual (OK. . . most won't call this casual)

This term is used for some of the more professional offices. This style will typically be worn by business owners, senior management, lawyers, and politicians. Typical attire for men includes high-quality dress pants or lightweight wool slacks paired with long-sleeve dress shirts, fine-gauge sweaters or coordinated sports coats, and accompanied with complimenting dress shoes. Typical attire for women includes high-quality suits paired with silk or cotton blouses, fine-gauge sweaters, and accompanied with low-heeled closed toe shoes and classy accessories.

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