I just rediscovered this old blog post from 2007 and it was an amazing enough story that I thought it was worth resurrecting it since it’s no less amazing now then it was 12-13 years ago.

How did I spend my summer vacation in 2007?  Well, that’s me (right) and my son, Sam, at the foot of the Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska.  A wonderfully peaceful and pristine place.

What does this have to do with The Power of Promotion?  Well, an amazing thing happened during the trip that I want to share with you.

Several days earlier we were hiking a mountain trail in Juneau, the capitol of Alaska.  What we found on our hike was truly astounding, as you’ll see in a moment.

First, some quick background:

As some of you know, I had owned and operated an online pet superstore for 10 years (I sold the company in January of 2006) called Lucy The Wonder Dog , named after my now deceased Jack Russell Terrier, Lucy, who was a Wonder Dog in many ways.   As part of our effort to market our business we were heavy users of premium items.  Every order we filled received a free bag of pet treats in the box, or a refrigerator magnet or a customized pen, etc.

Many businesses use these techniques and it’s not always apparent if they’re really doing any good to grow your business.

Now back to our hike.  Remember, I’m based in New Jersey, which is pretty far from Alaska.  And here we are about 2,000 feet up this mountain hiking around.  We come upon a little picnic bench along the side of the trail and I see something on top of the table that catches my eye.  There’s absolutely no one around.

It’s a pen.

Nah, it couldn’t be.

I mean, I used a commercial pen company to print our website address on about 10,000 pens that we gave out each year.  The design was a template design of cats and dogs with our custom message on it.  So maybe it’s a similar pen from another company.

But lo and behold, it was a Lucy The Wonder Dog pen!  Near the top of a mountain in Juneau, Alaska.  Just sitting there all by itself!

My wife and son and I just couldn’t believe it.  I mean, what were the odds?!

At any rate, if I ever had any doubt about all the pens and other premium items we had given out over the years, they were gone now.

Assuming they add some value to your business, premium items, whether distributed at trade shows or given out with a purchase, can carry your company brand way beyond where you could reach otherwise.  At least it did in this case.  Lucy Lives!!