Many times decisions on promotional products are made on the spur of the moment and with little forethought. Grab a thousand pens with our names on it and possibly a few yard signs (which really do not even fall into the category of promotional products).

Well my hat is off to Pentair and AquaFlow Inc. They have selected what to me may be the best promo product I have received in recent years. Drillers looking to promote their business might be wise to study what the big guys are doing. Attending trade shows and conventions can be very helpful in determining a strategy to increase the name recognition of your business. Shirts, of course, are popular. Pens are still widely used, though I would add that I think pens are near useless. When was the last time you read a pen?

I have a nice little backpack from Goulds. It won’t fit on my shoulders, but I carry around for a change of clothes and toothbrush. But pictured at right is my favorite of many years, which I just received from a new sales guy at AquaFlow. This “12 gauge” thermos is well made and extremely popular wherever I go — even in the “socialist” Northeast part of our country. I am interested to see how it goes over on my return trip to Florida.

So what has this product accomplished? I called Ed King at AquaFlow and thanked him for his generosity. We had a nice chat that allowed him to pitch some product and his company in general. I will definitely thank Pentair, which is listed on the other side of this thermos, and I know this has in some way subtly influenced my purchasing decisions, so well done guys.

Now, before anyone runs out and buys 500 thermoses, a note of caution on using you promo dollars wisely. This is, I am sure, a relatively high end (in the water well drilling business) product. Spend your money wisely. Who will receive this generous gift? What class of customer (i.e., builder, homeowner engineers, etc.)? What appeals to the market segment you are targeting? These are just a few of the considerations that need to be addressed. Marketing is not a simple task. Planning, brainstorming and collaboration can go a long way toward a successful campaign.

Doug Walker, MGWC, is known as “The Happy Well Driller.” His business, M&R Soil Investigations Inc., is based in New Jersey. Contact him at