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Hidden Gems: Meet Bryan Goltzman of Liquid Screen Design

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bryan Goltzman.

Hi Bryan, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
In 2010, I started Liquid Screen Design because I was ordering a lot of swag from various vendors and it felt like something was missing. Physical marketing (promotional products) is a $27 billion a year industry. Look at your desk right now and it is almost guaranteed that you have something branded on it. For many, it is about the cheapest giveaway to get their brand out there. What was missing was someone guiding even small businesses through the process of finding what is the right swag for their goals and then how to implement those goals and finally track them to see if that promotion was a success. Coming from a non-profit background, I wanted to change the game and elevate the way businesses and organizations used swag.

That model was successful. What started out as a side-hustle in 2010 grew every year. In 2017, I left my fantastic full-time job as the Director of Public Affairs for a local non-profit (working on poverty issues in MN) to start full-time at Liquid Screen Design and my long-time friend, Benji Bearman, also left his full-time job running a summer camp to join me. What started as the two of us has grown to 12 full-time employees and several part-time staff as well.

Since 2010, we have been the creative force behind the success of a multitude of brands. The company is known for its innovative ideas, unique products, custom swag solutions, and unbeatable service. Whether it is large brands like Lyft or the St. Paul Saints or if it is just a small business or organization our team brings a wealth of experience to every project and is tapped into leading trends among a broad scope of audiences, enabling them to help each client get the most out of every campaign.

Our cutting-edge designs, depth of knowledge around trends, and focus on deliverables always hits the mark and sets them apart from the competition. Additionally, with four full-time graphic designers on staff, clients receive complimentary artwork that turns something ordinary into something magical to share with their audiences.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Yes and no! Our growth was fast and furious once we started full-time in 2017. Every year we grew and grew fast. Then March of 2020 hit as it hit most businesses. The three main areas we work in are education, recreation, and non-profits. As the world shut down our orders stopped or were halted. We had over half a million dollars in orders that had been approved and were in production canceled and stopped in a six-day period. Events, school, and camps were all canceled. Our orders quickly dried up and we started to plan for what was next. By the end of April, we were already back up and running again. We launched a save small business store on our website where businesses could sell t-shirts with their logo on it at no cost to them and they received the profits. We helped raise close to $50,000 dollars for those businesses and helped them get through those first few months.

We were talking to one of our clients and he mentioned that they were moving their event virtual and wanted to discuss what he could do for the attendees, and we mentioned doing a completely custom swag box. What was traditionally a few thousand-dollar swag order for their event turned into a near $60,000 order. That box went out to hundreds of people, and we got two additional box orders from recipients of that first box. Then swag box after swag box kept coming in. We quickly had to ramp up our staff and our structure to accommodate the new virtual event box orders. As the pandemic winds down, custom swag boxes have not. We are still sending out between 2500-5000 boxes per week from our fulfillment center in IL.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Liquid Screen Design enables brands to tap into the power of creative swag, providing an innovative and unique way to further that brand’s purpose, tell its story, earn a loyal fanbase, and inspire action.

We are most known for our creative side. We are not a vendor but an extension of your organizations marketing team. Because of that our artwork is always complimentary and we offer a service called Strategic Swagging where we sit down and plan together how to get the best return on investment. We have not done our job if you order swag and it sits in the office closet because there was no plan to use it or track its effectiveness as a marketing or promotional tool.

Initially, many customers find us because they are looking for custom swag boxes. There are other companies out there doing boxes but for the most part, it is a select from column a, b, c, and very standard offerings. We believe that create the impact the box needs to tell a story. What goes into the box, how each item is branded, what the box looks like, how to make a social experience, all tie together to make the largest impact. Because of these differences we get a lot of referrals and actually rank really high on Google when people search for custom boxes.

Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs or other resources you think our readers should check out?
We are a 100% remote team and were named by our industry as one of the Best Places to Work in promotional marketing. Being remote we utilize a variety of applications to communicate, work, and still build our team culture.

While many have struggled to adapt to hybrid or completely remote work, Liquid Screen Design has been at the forefront of that change. The Liquid Screen Design team has always been remote but LSD took the working environment to the next step in late 2021 with a Sims-inspired virtual office: Gather simulates an office environment in order to foster more impromptu conversations and ideation. It has created an atmosphere of casual drop-ins. We still use Slack, but this has replaced Zoom because we wanted more casual brainstorming. This platform is the future for everyone, even hybrid offices. We also use Trello, a project management application, for our art team. Every design goes on our artboard and each artist takes and works on projects and can see what/how the other artists are working on.

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