“We put your logo on stuff.”

For a company with such a minimalist and straightforward tagline, you might think that Monkey Joe Speak is just another business that, well, puts your logo on stuff. In reality, this wildly successful personalized merchandise company is carving out its niche by prioritizing employee and customer engagement.

When you envision customized items like pens, water bottles, and accessories, it’s most likely in the context of trade shows, career fairs, or symposiums. But in a post-COVID world, these in-person events have been dramatically reduced. This poses a challenge for organizations that rely on this direct interaction for brand awareness.

Monkey Joe Speak has instead embraced it as an opportunity to adapt and navigate the ever-changing world of connecting with people. They’ve formulated a solution to this challenge by doubling down on their business approach, allowing their customers to still reap the benefits of direct merchandise.

“It’s more important than ever to show clients and employees you’re there for them,” says CEO Lesley Sattin. “While we’re busy covering our hands in hand sanitizer, you can put a tangible reminder of your business in their hands as well.”

Taking the initiative to send personalized items to your clients shows that you care. This not only increases client satisfaction and brand awareness, but customer trust as well. Establishing a direct relationship allows clients to get to know you as more than a business, but a business partner.

The same concept goes for remote employees.

The lack of in-office engagement has become a challenge for organizations with employees working from home. Remote work is here to stay, so employee engagement is experiencing a huge shift.

Companies are strapped with new limitations, making springtime picnics, group outings, and holiday celebrations a thing of the past. Businesses around the country are establishing new, creative ways to engage and appreciate their employees. Personalized merchandise is one of the most effective ways to do so.

The 2020 pandemic had a significant impact on many working Americans as they juggled economic uncertainty, health anxieties, and work-life balance. This took a significant toll on not only mental and emotional health but employee satisfaction as well.

By embracing the power of tangible reminders, companies can increase employee satisfaction and even motivate staff. Sending a care package filled with a soft T-shirt with your company’s logo on it, a reusable coffee mug for rough mornings, and mousepads to use each day is a pleasant surprise that’ll inspire employee loyalty.

The same applies to both current employees and new hires. With more and more remote employees being hired, it can be challenging to feel as though they’re part of the team. There are no welcome lunches or employee meet-and-greets. Sure, HR can send over an email with some clip art, but what about a welcome package filled with items to represent their new place of employment?

“Having a customized item in your hands can make you feel more connected to a brand than any email,” says Sattin. “That’s why we’ve seen an increase in our clients sending fully customized boxes filled with all kinds of useful and fun items.”

One of the ways Monkey Joe Speaks is following their own advice is through their “Monkey Joe Jammin” initiative. The company put together its own Spotify playlist filled with songs related to their dear mascot, Monkey Joe. The playlist embraces the theme by including songs like “Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson and “Banana Boat” by Harry Belafonte. The Spotify code is printed on a bright blue box, containing a fun emoji speaker, which is then mailed out to clients. This creative promotion involves direct interaction between the brand and customers, creating a memorable experience.

The huge selection of promotional products that Monkey Joe Speak offers isn’t just about exciting, free swag. It’s about creating connections with clients and engaging employees. Customized items help businesses of all sizes stay top-of-mind, strengthen their team, and grow their business. A physical reminder of your brand brings us back to what business is all about: relationships.