4112 E. Parham Road, Richmond, VA 23228


Out-of-sight … out-of-mind.  I’ll never forget old whazzer name.

Top of Mind Communications
Those are the words marketers dread … whether you are a solopreneur, small business owner or wearing the hat of the go-to marketing person for your company. Face it … we are all exceedingly busy and it’s easy to forget or misplace contact info from a potential vendor resource.

The Solution: Deliver creative, tangible leave-behinds to keep your business top-of-mind when a buying decision or referral opportunity surfaces. That way, when the need arises for the products or services you provide, they know exactly who to call.

Leave-behinds can range from brochures and business cards to promotional items and calendars. They’re effective because, when properly designed, leave-behinds are physical reminders of who you are, what you do and how to reach out to you when needed. An added dimension in today’s digital world, they are memory-prompters that can be seen and touched.

Top of Mind Communications in Richmond, VA“Wait”, you say. “Isn’t 21st Century marketing driven by social media and other digital engines?” Digital is certainly a key element in the present and future of marketing. However, it’s no longer new or novel or powerful enough to be your sole vehicle to raise your brand above the noise-level of your competition … all screaming “look at me!”

Leave-behinds are marketing differentiators that demonstrate how you’ve taken the extra stride to invest in a free, useful gift that extends your presence and reinforces your brand. And by the way, digital marketing and leave-behinds are not mutually exclusive. It’s not an either-or strategy … each should reinforce the other to create a multiplier effect in the minds of your customers, key prospects and referral partners.

Key Design Basics

So you’re sold on the value of leave-behinds … now let’s take a look at some of the must-haves as you consider alternative choices … whether you plan a DIY effort or enlist the expertise of a promotional provider. Your objective is to invest in items that are useful, unique and appeal as keepsakes … plus are in synch with your brand image and promises.

You can get almost any item branded with your logo and company name. But be sure it makes sense for your company. While a frisbee or coffee mug might be a fun giveaway, does it convey an image and memory of your unique value proposition?

Finally, remember that your objective is to delivery a leave-behind to keep your business top-of-mind when a buying decision or referral opportunity surfaces … and the contact info for a prospect to follow-through on that need … name, logo, website, email and phone are mandatory. Make it easy to contact you!

Key Design Basics of Leave Behind Materials6 Examples of Leave-Behinds

  • Business cards are effective, simple, low-cost and essential for one-on-one as well as group networking events.
  • Brochures are effective, low-cost and compress your offerings features and benefits in an attractive package that often is shared with others by the person you give it to.
  • Notepads, To-Do Lists and Sticky-notes remind the recipients every time they make a written note … perhaps for months if not years.
  • Printed calendars are visible on a daily basis with reminders of you and your unique value propositions.
  • Mouse Pads are excellent minute-to-minute visual reminders. Consider having them include a twelve month calendar for added usefulness as a desktop tool.
  • Promotional Items are visually attractive, sometimes decorative or utilitarian, prompts to recall you and your offerings. The possibilities for this option are as endless as your imagination.

Of course, your choices are inevitably dictated by your budget. Here are a few items at varying price points to get you thinking about different types of leave behind items:

  • Inexpensive: Business cards, pens, stickers
  • Midrange: Glossy portfolio or brochure, stylus pens, notepads, USB drive, t-shirt, umbrella, calendar, shopping bag
  • Premium: Leather portfolio, game or toy, pullover or jacket, high-end mug or tumbler


Your competitors are championing how they are better. Your job is to distinguish your company as being qualitatively different. Leave-behinds are typically viewed as “old school” with no place in modern marketing. Differentiate yourself in the marketplace by pairing what’s old with your digital marketing and enjoy seeing your results multiply significantly.

Andy Fulghum is our friend and CEO of Atlantic LogoWear. In his many years of designing and producing leave-behinds, he offers these thoughts regarding their acceptance and use by recipients as well as quantified proof of marketing effectiveness.

Atlantic LogoWear

  1. A Branded Marketing Product ( Promotional Item ) must be one of two things.  Utilitarian, meaning it must do something valuable; something that would be used often, thus giving the brand EXPOSURE.

    Leave Behinds
  2. Or it must be of a certain perceived value; meaning that the new product owner feels that he/she must hang on to it because it’s valuable.  The key word here is “Perceived”.  There are many great Branded Marketing Products that most would consider inexpensive, but they have or project a feeling of high value.
    Perceived Value.
  3. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE:  Who are the intended recipients?  What do THEY value?  By choosing products that speak to THEIR lifestyles/workstyles, you’ve increased the probability that the recipients will respond favorably and reciprocate.  (Give you time to speak, educate, or ultimately become your client!)
    Know Your Audience
  4. Branded Marketing Products “Compete” with each other.  What coffee mug do you reach for most often?  The largest one, perhaps?  Or maybe it’s that more unique style?  When choosing the more traditional marketing products, think if YOU would use it most often.
  5. 92% of all American Households have at least ONE Branded Marketing Product in their home.
  6. Branded Marketing Products are the only Advertising Medium that produces a feeling of GRATITUDE.  Think about it.  Have you ever watched a television commercial that that gave you that feeling?  But when someone personally hands you a nice “X” … it’s only human nature to feel thankful and at minimum express it verbally.