Bruce Fox Blog

Dave Miller

Recent Posts

Bad News

Posted by Dave Miller on Feb 20, 2020 2:03:00 PM

Estimated Read Time: 2.5 Minutes

Like most baseball fans, I’m pretty pissed off at the sign-stealing saga that has unfolded over the last 30 or so days. I won’t delve into the abyss of what’s going on and won’t interject my own views on the matter, but suffice it to say there are a lot of people to be angry with—the players, the team, the ownership, the union, the commissioner. Essentially anyone involved in the scheme and its aftermath.

I’m keeping score here at home, and I’m designating it an “E-Everybody.”

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Tags: Bruce Fox

Sino the Times

Posted by Dave Miller on Feb 6, 2020 9:18:10 AM

Estimated Read Time: 4.5 Minutes

Online sellers. Low-margin competitors. Global headlines that deeply impact our efforts. Suppliers selling direct. Distributors sourcing direct. Consolidation. Let’s face it, the state of the industry has given us all plenty to think about as we lie awake at night.

While there are many causes and reasons (and excuses) behind these circumstances, there is one common denominator: Our industry’s utter reliance on Chinese goods.

Our relationship with China has been nothing short of codependent. And it is proving to be an unsustainable condition over the long term. Now we are suffering the consequences of that unhealthy relationship.

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Tags: Sales tools for distributors, Challenges faced by distributors

‘Twas The Night Of The Banquet

Posted by Dave Miller on Dec 24, 2018 4:13:00 PM

Read Time - 3 Minutes

(This blog was originally published on Dec. 14, 2016)

‘Twas the night of the banquet, when all through the room
Not a soul could be found, but they’d be on hand soon.
The tables were dressed in fine linens with care,
In hopes that everyone soon would be there.

The recipients descended all dressed to the nines,
While visions of grandeur danced in their minds.
As the host for the evening, I went over my notes,
Complete with some wit, and a few pithy quotes.

When out in the lobby there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.
Away to the foyer I flew like a flash,
To see what was troubling this well thought-out bash. 

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Tags: Challenges faced by distributors


Posted by Dave Miller on Nov 6, 2018 1:08:00 PM

Estimated Read Time: 3 Minutes 

Halloween is in the rear-view mirror, but the real spooky stuff is still in full view in the windshield ahead of us.

Anyone reading this (or taking in oxygen) understands the tariff issue and the impact it bears on the promotional products marketplace. If this harbinger has somehow passed you by, then this article from Counselor will bring you up to speed:

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Tags: Challenges faced by distributors, Objections posed by distributors

Shirt Happens

Posted by Dave Miller on Oct 23, 2018 12:11:00 PM

Estimated Read Time: 8 Minutes

Like my new shirt?

Never mind the goofy pseudo-modeling pose. The shirt is your basic garden-variety light blue polo shirt. A dad uniform staple. It might be like the forty-seven-eleventh one I’ve owned that looks pretty much like this one. But this particular shirt is quite special to me for a reason no shirt has ever been. I wanted to give it a try for what I think is an interesting reason. You might find it interesting too…

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Tags: Challenges faced by distributors

21 Insider Tips

Posted by Dave Miller on Oct 2, 2018 12:11:00 PM

Estimated Read Time: 11.5 Minutes

We can all use some insider tips, right? So I’ve compiled a list that my 30 years here has taught me.

Take my advice. You can thank me later.

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Tags: Benefits for the distributor, Challenges faced by distributors, Benefits for the end clients, Challenges faced by companies

Once Upon a Time…

Posted by Dave Miller on Sep 4, 2018 12:05:00 PM

Estimated Read Time: 7 Minutes

…we were a species of storytellers.

 Prior to the development of written language, telling stories was the only way to reflect and pass knowledge and history from generation to generation. Stories were used to explain events and natural occurrences like fire, storms, and thunder. They related myths, legends, and gods in a way that bound people to common beliefs and cultures. Stories, in essence, were much of what made us human.

 And until not so long ago, we were pretty good at telling stories. Bedtime stories, ghost stories, war stories, jokes—all served a purpose to share and connect with other human beings.

 Heck, an endless parade of theme songs from TV shows are introductory stories—The Jeffersons, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Flintstones, Cheers, The Addams Family. In fact, think about the first lines in the lyrics for The Brady Bunch, The Beverly Hillbillies, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.


“Here's a story, of a lovely lady…”

“Come and listen to my story about a man named Jed…”

“Now this is a story all about how…”


 Yep…stories—literally.  I’ll give you a minute to finish singing.

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Tags: Sales tools for distributors, Benefits for the distributor, Benefits for the end clients, Challenges faced by companies

Breaking News:  Dog Pants To Stay Cool!

Posted by Dave Miller on Jul 24, 2018 1:10:00 PM

Estimated Read Time: 4 Minutes

These are undoubtedly the Dog Days of Summer, so called because they occur around the time of the heliacal rising of Sirius (the Dog Star, a.k.a. “Kyon Seirios,” which is Greek for “burning dog”)—usually from July 3 to August 11. So the Dog Days correlate to that not-so-fresh, jalepeno-armpit, Gold Bond-shortage time of the year.  Hmm, and I always thought it was because a dog pants to stay cool. Get it?  Dog pants…

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Chili + Walmart = Your Perceived Value

Posted by Dave Miller on Apr 24, 2018 7:51:00 AM

Estimated Read Time: 3.5 Minutes

Okay, so here’s the deal. I won. But then I lost.

A paradoxical twist of fate that somehow conjoined two personal attributes I happen to possess: My chili-cooking prowess, and my steadfast aversion to all things Walmart. (We’ll get into that another time.)

Unlikely association, say you? Pyrrhic victory, say I.

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Tags: Challenges faced by distributors

2D Or Not 2D: That is a Questionable Award Design

Posted by Dave Miller on May 23, 2017 1:00:00 PM

 Read Time - 7 minutes

Whether ' tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous graphic design, or to take arms against a sea of troubled product concepts, and by opposing end them: to be erased, to be deleted.

Okay, it’s not quite that dramatic, but as a manufacturer of custom awards, our company is faced with a growing challenge:  customer-submitted award designs.  The internet has granted everyone access to all the world’s ideas—good and bad.  And technology has put graphic design within reach of everyone over the age of 4.

Unfortunately, a vast majority of the designs we see are cringe-worthy-concepts that look good on a two-dimensional screen, but defy physics in three-dimensional, tangible space.  Check out the figures above for examples of where cool-looking graphics can lead us astray.

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Tags: Challenges faced by distributors