Give and you shall receive. Although this adage borders on the banal, it's a marketing truism nonetheless. That's why so many corporate promotional items--everything from soaps, bottled water and candy jars to clock radios, Post-it notes and even teddy bears--are on the market for entrepreneurs who want to give their customers something to remember them by.
Not that all logo-emblazoned tokens are created equal, of course. Donovan Knights, for one, thinks his company's customized computer mousepads stand out among the clutter--and not just because they're reproduced using striking four-color printing. "Subliminally, it's almost illegal," jokes Knights of the marketing impact of this most omnipresent of computer accessories, which cost between $1.50 and $5 per pad. "Everybody uses a mousepad. It's the only part of the [desk] surface that doesn't get covered up. It doesn't get broken, and it's always there."
Since 1993, Knights' Winnipeg, Manitoba, Rat Patrol Computer Accessories has catered to a diverse range of businesses seeking to make a strong impression. "The mousepad transcends so many industries," says Knights, 32. "We figure our target market is anybody who uses public relations tools." So does that mean the, er, rat race is on?
Rat Patrol Computer Accessories, (800) 707-PADS, http://www.ratpatrol.com