A personal message from the founder Stephen R Taylor
Don’t just dream about it – work hard and create your vision!
I started the company over 25 years in 1993. I must say it doesn’t feel like 25 years ago, but as they say “doesn’t time fly when you are having fun!” I started selling sweets door to door with the sole aim of improving the hygiene for people eating unwrapped mints from opens bowls left on counter tops – sticking their often-filthy germ covered hands into the bowl.
I had no money but a huge desire to start my own company to make a difference in the business world, as I often believe that I can do things differently to the way the status quo presents. This means challenging conventional thinking and wisdoms, so in order to create new realities I believe you need to think a little differently. This thinking led me to invent and manufacture two new products that are globally patented – the Mint Twister and the Mini Mint It Cube that are now recognised promotional products. I was also the first to launch other new promotional products such as the credit card sized power banks with integrated charging cables as well as launching our Panoflex 3 in 1 fast charging data transfer cable that is also sold globally. Propaganda is today a market leader in the design, manufacture and supply of promotional business gifts.
How I started
I managed to persuade a salesman at a well-known (now defunct sweet company) to give me 30 days credit and somehow, he agreed. So, from my desk in my bedroom (well before the Internet) and with the Yellow Pages in hand I began to call restaurants and hotels begging them to take my new hygienically wrapped after dinner “Thank You” Mint.” As a 23-year-old salesman it was brutally hard work cold calling restaurants at busy service times and often getting thrown out of good establishments. However, looking back I wouldn’t have had it any other way, but back then had I been given a choice I suspect I would have taken it!
I recall standing in the rain on one typical rainy wet winter day having just left a Soho London restaurant during a busy lunch time serving thinking to myself “this is tough but I know if I just persevere something good will happen”. There is no substitute to perseverance and self-belief. I have always believed with total conviction that minor set backs were not going to stop me from achieving the success that I so desired.
As time went by, I saw an opportunity in the corporate sweet market and my first division Sweet Concepts was born www.sweetconcepts.com which led a little later on to Propaganda that supplies a full range of promotional goods www.propa.net. My first ever sweet product sold in 1993 to the corporate promotional gift market was a box of personalised fortune cookies. They still remain a good corporate promotional gift give away even in today’s technology driven world. There is simply no substitute for face to face people engagement and fortune cookies are a great fun promotional product.
I hear it loads today “It’s different today “It’s not the same today etc. etc. and I laugh. It has never ever been better for business with more opportunity and yes more competition, than ever before. Every day is different, every second of every day is different so change is part of our universe yet somehow people seem resistant to change and like to sit inside their own comfort zones. Change is what drives the world and innovation, as well as competition are key factors in business development. I believe that being different tomorrow is about thinking about doing things differently today.
I like to innovate, and I see opportunity in all circumstances, sometimes the opportunity is hidden so not always immediately visible, but after a little time and after the dust has settled often the opportunity or new realisation emerges. Then the learning and new ways of operating begin. In some ways it can be compared to winter, nature appears from the outside to die, but what is actually happening is that is rejuvenating only to appear months late even more beautiful.
Develop, learn, and earn – Apply to join our great team!
I believe in giving opportunity to those that show they are eager to work hard and demonstrate desire, passion and a willingness to really succeed. We have a phenomenal track record of creating wealth and careers for people with nothing but raw talent. I am not impressed simply by academic qualifications inside the business sales arena, I am impressed by strong character combined with a great work ethic. I am a big believer in looking at a person’s overall character, irrespective of anything else. It doesn’t matter where you are from, it matters a great deal the direction you are heading!
I have been massively and pleasantly surprised over the years and take great pride in watching people grow and develop their skills, in so many ways both in their personal and business life when they join our team.
More about Propaganda the business
Propaganda established in 1993 over 25 years ago is the UK’s leading specialist in manufacturing and supplying branded promotional business gifts. Propaganda offers a consultancy led approach working closely with you offering our best creative, innovative and cost effective business gift ideas to accommodate all promotional campaigns.
Our business is centred around our customers and we aim to excel in all aspects of our customer experience. From speedy answering of the phones to replying very quickly to emails, and our proactive approach ensure you always know what’s happening and when to except your goods. Our dedicated account manager who keep you updated and ensure you goods are delivered on time and often early as well as offer you the latest in promotional gifts keeping you ahead of your competitors. Our market knowledge is outstanding and we are often the first to market with the latest promotional products.
Creative solutions – As we are experts in supplying promotional gifts and have a long standing track record in manufacturing and suppling products many of the worlds’ leading brands. They trust us and work with us designing their latest and often highly challenging promotional goods. Simply put we find nothing in the promotional gifts arena too daunting from electronics to point of sale.
Professional operating standards – Propaganda works maintains exceptionally high corporate standards and holds the ISO 9001 and 14001 accreditations and is also a member of Sedex. Propaganda is also a trade member of the BPMA association.
Product safety – We test our products and have full supply chain management. We understand the importance of supplying safe, complaint products and our products are rigorously tested to ensure they are fully complaints. Propaganda operated strict codes of supplier conduct and has long standing global supplier relationships as well as supplier audits.
Propaganda is unusual as we design many of our goods and create our own brands.
Speed – we hold many products in stock so we offer super quick delivery and can even deliver same day if absolutely necessary!
Making a mint
A personal interview with Stephen Taylor
If it is edible, 30-year-old Stephen Taylor will wrap it, box it and put his client’s message on it, in it or through it. The founder of promotional confectionery company Sweet Concepts believes food can nurture corporate images. Chocolates, mints, sweets, space dust, lollipops, sticks of rock, fortune cookies, biscuits, flavoured popcorn, even cakes with pictures on the icing – his clients have used them all to boost brands.