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Promotional Products Firm Joins Shift to Engagement

Management consulting, incentive, recognition and now even promotional products companies have begun to make the shift to providing engagement strategies and services. Check out the new website of Your Brand Marketing, formerly CYMK Solutions in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Ben Baker, the company’s Founder and President, has decided to apply his nearly 20 years of experience in print, direct marketing, events and promotional products to help mid-size firms and government organizations engage customers and employees to become better brand ambassadors both inside and outside the organization.
After about eight years in the printing business, Baker founded CYMK in 2007 to focus on the promotional products business. He says his approach was to provide strategic assistance to clients whenever possible to ensure the programs achieved clear results, rather than simply provide sourcing services. 
Baker says that, going forward, “We are positioning ourselves as a part-time CMO for our clients, providing strategic communications based on their needs,” adding “We work on an ongoing or project basis.” While he notes that Your Brand Marketing is bringing its new services to current clients for promotional products and still offers those services, the focus is to “transition to a more strategic relationship that involves high-level management decision-makers, and that’s not always easy to do when your company is known as a promotional products supplier. This is why I changed the company’s name, website and the story that we’re bringing to market.”
Baker thinks the opportunity is ripe because companies have begun to realize that engaging external customers also requires engaging internal customers. When looked at this way, he says, “You have to go back and take an entirely fresh look at your brand and who you’re actually trying to engage to do what, and how you’re doing that.” 
He says his new company provides a wide variety of services, including strategy design, social media, mobile marketing, direct mail, trade show development, brand development/management, internal culture strategies and more, and that he has developed his first customer under the new branding in the seven or so months since making the change. 
RNN asked Baker why he’s focusing on engagement when all of the education in the promotional products space is focused on incentives and recognition. He explains: “I believe in marketing as a whole and not just promotional marketing. Promotional products or incentive programs need to be part of an overall marketing program that meets clients’ unique objectives and helps them drive engagement. ‘Things’ alone can’t do that. However, when promotional products or incentives are used to move people as part of an overall engagement strategy, they’re a powerful tool. Engagement marketing is a holistic approach.” 
Baker believes it’s essential to focus on solutions rather than products, because the product business has become completely commoditized, whereas it’s difficult to commoditize expertise and business experience. “I think 90% of promotional products distributors fail or lose interest in the incentive and recognition space because they get frustrated with what’s involved to create effective programs,” he says.

For more information, contact: 
Ben Baker
Tel. 604-512-7174
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