Post by: Eden Spodek
Mark Graham – an entrepreneur with a passion for technology, launched Right Sleeve in 2000, a non-traditional promotional products company. He joined AIMS in May 2006.
What have you done to make Right Sleeve stand out in the crowd?
The traditional promotional products industry has never had a great reputation. As barriers to entry are low in this field, many distributors lack the sophistication seen in other industries. As a result, buying promotional merchandise is not typically ranked as being an enjoyable experience for most marketing buyers.
It was this consumer experience that I focused on from the beginning. I wanted consumers to view us as the knowledgeable, fun people who sell interesting promotional items that people will actually use. This is why we use the tag line “friends don’t let friends buy bad promo.” From the start, we have focused on establishing a strong emotional connection with our client base.
We promote these values online:
· We have created an informative, yet fun and irreverent website that make people think “hey, this isn’t like any other promotional site I have seen before”.
· We have used technology extensively to distance ourselves from the competition. All web content has been built in house so we control the look and feel.
· We are very open and honest. Our blog offers a look into the philosophies of the company.
· In June, we are launching a Web 2.0 application that will allow consumers to see view pricing, order online, rate products, share products on Facebook, and see what others in the B-to-B community are ordering for their events.
What inspired you to take the company in this direction?
I love how technology connects consumers. I am fascinated by web commerce and how the consumer of today wants to be in charge vs. having someone else tell them what to do. We have always wanted to create a transparent site that gives consumers control.
Is there a direct correlation between embracing technology and sales?
Absolutely. Nearly 90% of our sales can be related to our website in one form or another. Our orders are managed through the backend of our website.