Why Enter the Pyramid Program


Criticism that Drives Growth

The demanding work of the holidays is behind us. We’re taking time to reflect on how we’ve helped our clients make their employees, clients, and partners feel like they matter to deepen engagement and loyalty. While we’re proud of our track record, we hunger to improve our creativity, our work product, and the results they garner for our clients.

Over the past 12 months, we’ve consulted, planned, and implemented strategies and tactics to help them:

  • Celebrate a company anniversary with staged touch points for a fiscal year
  • Create and implement a new hire onboarding system (communication and touchpoints)
  • Devise and implement a plan for how to show up at a trade show where exhibiting and the follow-up touch points to create conversion from prospect to client
  • Develop and implement an ongoing employee recognition program for everything from service recognition to individual personal lifecycle events
  • Delivered experiential workshops to help companies provide tools to employees to protect their well-being and of course more…

Critical Self-Examination

During this period of reflection, I critically examine each engagement, asking:

  • Did we hit the mark for innovation and creativity?
  • Did we support our client’s brand as well as we could have through messaging, voice, and packaging?
  • What could we have done better?

The one thing I’ve learned over the years is what’s worked in the past won’t automatically work in the future. This contemplative review helps guide our thought process in assessing our clients’ successes and determining which of our projects to submit to the Pyramid Program.

Building Client Success with the Pyramid Program

The PPAI* Pyramid Program is a national award program that’s designed to recognize solution-based initiatives for the effective use of promotional products, packaging, and copywriting in integrated marketing communications programs with measurable results. This program means more to me than simply garnering awards. It’s a key element in our growth so we can gain insights to earn greater results for our clients. While I’ve submitted work we’re proud of and our clients have expressed appreciation for, I’m appreciative of the opinions of those professionals who are less biased—industry suppliers and marketing firms. Submitting our work through this program puts it through the rigors of an outsider’s perspective, people who have no personal or emotional attachment to the work, our company, or our clients.

In addition, entries are submitted blind; my name and company name are disassociated from all documentation to ensure evaluators are completely neutral. We submit work that we consider innovative for the environment it was used in, meaningful, with a purpose that creates engagement and enhances the stakeholder experience. Evaluators provide meaningful, constructive feedback that helps us inform future work with smarter thinking.

Feedback: Critiques to Compliments

The feedback we have received has ranged from:

“This was a well-thought-out campaign. The sentiment printed on the actual gifts was a great tie back to the client branding, when the end recipient uses them, they will think of your client.”

“The packaging was a bit bland compared to the thought process. Did you have budgeting constraints?”

“THE VERY BEST CAMPAIGN WE HAVE SEEN. THIS IS TRULY AMAZING. WOW. You simply knocked it out of the park. Simply an amazing execution on a very tough time for all. From the objectives to the timeline to all the details of the execution, simply the best.”

“The partnership you developed with the supplier to make this one-of-a-kind award is notable. You both had to “give” to make this work. Congratulations on the success for the end client, yourself, and the supplier.”

“Super relative (loved the sustainability aspect) and creative (so many detailed elements) program. Nice Job!”

“Your timeline was detailed and left no margin for error. You should consider pushing harder with your client to get greater lead time for a project of this nature. If something did not go as planned, you did not have a backdoor.”

Applying Lessons

Each submission is different, often different industries, different objectives, and different desired results. Using all that we learn from each engagement and then the Pyramid Program we have a built deeper library of information to draw upon for every opportunity that comes our way. The program is a meaningful way from an independent perspective to codify the work we are doing.

Each engagement requires teamwork, clear communication, collaboration, and time management—both internally among our team and externally with our client contact(s) and their entire team. We continue to analyze our skill set to determine where more power and education would help us leap taller buildings and deliver work we are proud of that meets our client’s objectives and expected ROI and ROE (return on emotion).

If you’re interested in result-driven initiatives to engage and retain employees and/or gain greater market share from clients, let’s start a conversation. Call 800-742-6800 or email today. For more information and tips for engaging stakeholders, sign up for our monthly newsletter. You can find our newsletter sign-up at Askhillarys.com at the bottom right corner of the page.

*PPAI is the world’s largest and oldest international not-for-profit promotional products association. The preeminent membership organization leading the evolving promotional products industry in growth, innovation, and success. Providing members unparalleled professional development and raising the bar for safety and compliance related to promotional products.