From the December 2004 issue of Entrepreneur

Fresh Ideas

Anthony Shurman, president of Yosha! Enterprises in Westfield, New Jersey, could have hawked his Momints breath mints as yet another stocking stuffer. But inspired by the movie Bad Santa, and a childhood experience with a stinky St. Nick, Shurman (our December 2003 "Almost Famous" entrepreneur), decided to offer free Momints to department store and mall Santas nationwide.

As word got out, radio stations started looking for hometown Santa halitosis, publicizing Momints with every breath test. The result, says Shurman, 33, was "a spike in sales in CVS and 7-Eleven stores-plus long-term awareness."

"Promotions like this have potential to deliver more impact for the dollar than the typical [seasonal] promotion," says Allan Meyerson, a partner in New York City promotional marketing agency CCM Marketing Communications. He recommends looking around to see how you can tie in appropriately with what's top of mind for customers. The edgier the promotion, the more risk, so be aware of your brand. Above all, Meyerson recommends having a plan to keep momentum going: "Opportunistic promotions are not substitutes for a well-integrated marketing initiative."

Quick Pick

Next time you're at Sam's Club, Wal-Mart's discount cousin, don't forget to grab copier paper, a year's supply of paper towels-and your new website. The big-box retailer has introduced web hosting and design services for its business customers, starting at just $5 per month or $50 per year for bare-bones service.

Members can also add advanced features, including reservations bookings, e-commerce and e-mail marketing campaigns. Sites with e-commerce capabilities are $10 per month or $100 per year. These fees include the domain registration and setup. Free phone and online technical support are available 24/7.

Members can find out more details and get started today by visiting www.samsclub.com or calling (877) SAMS-WEB.


About
64%
of consumers regularly or occasionally watch TV while online.
Statistic Source: BIGresearch

Within the past year,
40%
of businesses have increased their advertising and marketing.
Statistic Source: Intuit Accountants Central

Gwen Moran is a consultant and writer specializing in marketing.