Partnership Profile – Mach I

When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Lemonade

Making lemons out of lemonade was the mindset for many people during 2020, but one business owner aspired for more. He did some thinking outside the box—or in this case, “within the box”—to commemorate a special day.

July 2020 marked Mach I owner Bernie Kosowski’s 80th trip around the sun (a.k.a. his 80th birthday). He looked forward to celebrating at his annual birthday bash, but the pandemic had a different plan. Upset because a party couldn’t happen, Bernie turned to friend and marketing consultant George Callanan of Creative Marketing Group to help brainstorm an alternative.

George suggested, “If we can’t invite people to the party, then let’s bring the party to them.”

Bernie loved the idea, and “Birthday in a Box” was created.

While Bernie thought of birthday moments to include in the box, George worked with Brenneman Printing to source premiums, print materials, assemble the swag, and distribute the party packages. Each virtual guest received their package of fun, which included a cookie, a birthday card, colorful balloons to inflate, and two engraved shot glasses to make a virtual toast.

“The result was fantastic. Bernie received so many comments, including messages like, ‘This is fantastic,’ ‘What a great substitute,’ and ‘Really appreciated the Birthday in a Box’” George shared.

The response was so heartwarming that they took the same idea and created something special for Mach I’s 35th anniversary in October. Bernie wanted to celebrate his customers and remind them how much they mean to him and his business. Customers and friends of Mach I received a box that included a baseball cap, a customized calendar with beautiful pictures of U.S. state birds, and a peony bulb.

“Bernie wanted the gift to say, ‘We appreciate all the work you give us. If it weren’t for you, we would not be here today,’” explained George.

The anniversary surprise got accolades from its recipients. In fact, two customers asked Bernie if they could borrow the idea.

George said, “This is what it is all about, being creative, staying in front of the customer, and reminding people they are important.”

He explained that while COVID-19 may have changed how we interact with people, it hasn’t changed the need to let people know they matter.

Bernie and Mach I accomplished that by doing something unexpected, tangible, and meaningful.

“I’ve always felt that we receive too many emails. While there are some issues with regular mail delivery because of COVID, I still believe there’s something special when you personalize pieces and send them to someone. Whether it’s a handwritten note, an item, or a package, it means something to the recipient and is memorable,” said George.

Would you like to celebrate a special something or someone? Let Brenneman help bring your idea to life!