Sip Into Summer

yeti ramblerSummer is finally here, and your customers are headed outside.  Youth baseball games; pool and beach family outings; vacation road trips; and just hanging out on  the patio.  Nearly ever summer activity takes us out of the house and on the road.

While moving from one summer activity to the next, drinkware of all types helps us to stay hydrated.  This constant need for beverages to be close at hand makes sport bottles, travel mugs and coffee tumblers among the most popular corporate promotional giveaways.

Water bottles come in all shapes and sizes, including those that offer a separate compartment for fruit to create a refreshing fruit-infused drink.   Your favorite wake-me-up coffee in the morning can stay hot in travel mugs that fit any car holder, or in classic handle mugs that sit as well on an office desk as they do on the ground by the campfire.

In addition to being convenient, branded beverage containers promote a healthier planet by reducing the need for disposable cups and bottles.  Companies that want to reach the passionately eco-conscious Millenials and Gen-Xers are well-served by distributing drinkware that makes sense for their audience.

Summer is here.  Help your customers enjoy it a little more with a branded sports bottle or travel mug.  They won’t leave home without it!

Boost Brand Visibility At Outdoor Events

tentFrom festivals to trade shows, your summer marketing efforts take you to a variety of places with changing outdoor environments.  Hot summer sun and unexpected rain showers are always part of the summer exhibitor experience.  But while moving your company road show outdoors can be challenging for your team, the reason you attend these events in the first place is to gain brand exposure and increase customer loyalty.

The perfect solution for both maximizing brand visibility and protecting you from the elements is a custom pop-up tent.  Eye-catching graphics on the top and sides of an outdoor tent broadcasts your logo and showcases your corporate colors with canopy fabric to match every brand.  Cooling fans, beverage coolers, raffle displays and product sales are all easy to manage under the protection of a custom canopy.

A display tent over your table also gives your customers an easy-to-see way to find you, and your team an on-location home base.  Rather than renting a generic white or beige tent that blends in with all the others, custom tents will stand out and silently beckon the wandering show attendees.

Pop-up tents are easy to assemble and easy to tear down, with travel cases that make it simple to store.  Sizes and styles can be customized, and sides can be added for more protection and the ultimate in brand exposure.  You can order as few as one piece and switch out canopies to advertise distinctive marketing messages for different events.

Custom canopy tents are a cost-effective way to improve your summer display at the upcoming warm-weather events.  Now is the time to choose the perfect tent to put a spotlight on your company as you bring your show on the road.







Company Stores For Any Size Company

your-logo-here-teeSelling and distributing corporate branded merchandise to company employees and loyal fans was once an expensive and cumbersome process, reserved for large companies with big marketing budgets.  Product was selected once a year by a few people making their best guess about what their audience would want in the coming year.  Paper catalogs were designed, printed and distributed.  Product inventory was purchased, stored and shipped from a main warehouse.  And at the end of the year the corporate buyers and their promotional product partners worked hard to find a home for any leftover inventory so the process could start all over again.

Happily for everyone, technology came on the scene and offered e-commerce solutions for company stores that eliminated the need for print catalogs, deep inventories or even the staff tech specialists we all relied on to build and maintain the early on-line stores.  Suddenly, company stores became accessible to not only the largest corporate players, but also the smallest local merchants.   Offering everything from an embroidered fleece vest to a coffee mug with the company logo, on-line company stores can be customized to accommodate just-in-time inventory for 1-piece purchases that can ship out immediately – or on-demand merchandise options with no inventory exposure, but longer lead times and minimum quantity purchases.

A simple e-commerce store can offer a custom product selection and shopping cart, without the bells and whistles of more sophisticated sites.  And that is all the functionality most small companies would need or want.  More intricate sites with multiple payment options, multiple pricing levels, currency & language requirements, and/or site integration with a client’s internal tech platform are available for any company with the size and sales volume to support it.  But, point in fact, those companies have always been well-served by company store providers.

Today’s e-commerce solutions finally include solid, sophisticated options for small businesses.   Do you have a dozen logoed items that you want to make available to your customers and brand fans? do you want a temporary shopping site to offer employees a choice of end-of-year appreciation gifts that can be shipped directly to them? or do you simply want one place to go to view and order product from pre-selected vendors that reflect the quality standards you set for your company?  Then consider an on-line company store – it’s easier and less complicated than you may think.


Playing With Water


Spring is here, summer is around the corner and everyone is looking forward to moving outside for warm weather activities.  And those activities – boating, hiking, camping, or the dutiful baseball/softball parents standing on the sidelines of a chilly, wet field – bring us in contact with water.

To help keep our gear dry while we are enjoying our fresh air freedom, outdoor enthusiasts are turning to waterproof and water resistant bags of various sizes and shapes.  Because of the trend to more active, outdoor lifestyles, these bags have become one of the most popular branded gifts of the last few years.

Duffel bags, backpacks, pouches and dry bags are all available in fully-sealed waterproof material.  They are ideal to hold phones, watches, wet and dry clothes, cameras – even laptops – so you can take them on a trip to the beach, pool or on that standing paddle board ride you keep meaning to try.

These bags fold flat for easy storage, and the rolling top seals the contents securely.  The imprint area is large for maximum brand exposure and the various sizes available make it appropriate for any audience.  Ask for a sample and try it for yourself – you’ll become a believer!



Give The Gift Of Time

K-C1703Despite the attack of innovation from the technology industry on the sales of timepieces, a cleverly styled clock is still one of the best corporate recognition gifts for key clients or valued employees.  Styles like the Kikkerland Hourglass Desk Clock or the retro-inspired Shinola Runwell Desk Clock are just two examples of the success of creative design techniques that combine utilitarian gadgets like a clock with the delightful discovery of an imaginative form.

Although it’s true that everyone has a clock on their computer, their phone and almost every appliance in their kitchen – desk clocks, mantle clocks and/or wall clocks can be found in every home or office.   The ease of just “looking up” to see the time will never be replaced by the tapping, swiping and scrolling of our now-indispensable tech gadgets.  But just another boring clock that tells the time without giving any joy is an uninspired approach to a corporate gift choice.

Corporate gift-giving should be about giving the recipient an item that they may not think to purchase for themselves, but are thrilled to receive.  It should be something that reminds them of the giver, and is practical enough to be used in everyday life.  Just-for-display items like crystal bowls or glass vases are not what the current generation of Millenials and GenX’ers want.  Those are the things that are increasingly finding their way into the Goodwill stores and eBay sites.

A quick glance at an eye-catching clock – with a corporate logo, of course –  will always be a fun reminder of your company and its creative culture.  Those items that combine form, function and delight are available for your next recognition opportunity – you just have to remember that if the item doesn’t inspire you, it’s unlikely to excite anyone else.



Rumors Of The Death Of Golf Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

golf gloveIn recent years there has been a lot of press around the shrinking popularity of golf.  Many reasons have been given, but a few of the most common are the cost of equipment, the lack of time in a busy schedule, the difficulty of the sport and the well-publicized fall of the game’s most popular superstar, Tiger Woods.

However, according to the National Golf Foundation, golf’s participation base remains stable.  The number of people who played golf on a course in 2017 remained unchanged since the year before (23.8 million), and an additional 8.3 million played at off-course facilities like Topgolf, driving ranges or indoor simulators.  In addition, the number of U.S. non-golfers who said they are “very interested” in playing at a golf course hit a new measured high, and helped boost the number of golf newcomers for the fourth year in a row.

All of this is good news for companies that want to reach a wide variety of potential customers.  Golf isn’t limited to middle-age executives, as some may imagine.  Consider the statistics:

  • Juniors (6-17) and young adults (18-34) comprise more than 37% of all on-course golfers.  These groups make up 69% of the off-course only participant pool.
  •  There are 5.8 million women who played golf on a course in 2017. Women account for 24% of the on-course golfer base and 41% of off-course only play.
  • Newcomers to golf are increasingly diverse: 35% are female, 26% are non-Caucasian and 70% are under the age of 35.

The variety of branded merchandise that is available for these groups is as diverse as the players themselves.  The classic golf staples are always good – branded golf balls, towels, hats and divot tools.  But for today’s eco conscious younger players, it’s good to consider more earth-friendly options.

  • Reusable water bottles for those that have eschewed disposable one-time-use plastic bottles
  • Dissolvable corn starch tees
  • Organic cotton polos and hats
  • Recycled golf balls
  • Recyclable golf pad & pen combo

Spring is around the corner, and the game of golf is going strong.  It’s time to start planning for your next golf giveaway.




Top Brands Transform Promotions

north faceWhile retail is going through difficult times – store closures, declining mall traffic, e-commerce competition – the promotional products industry is enjoying tremendous growth in the offerings of brand-name items for corporate branding.  Those retail brands are looking for different ways to market themselves, and co-branding through the promo channel is another way for them to advertise.

As for the corporate buyers, they have always wanted access to the quality and name recognition of the retail brands.  Even as recently as ten years ago, there were few options for companies that wanted to add their logo to a brand-name item.  But today there are retail brands offered in nearly every promotional product category.  Apparel brands like The North Face and Under Armour; drinkware brands like CamelBak, Contigo and YETI; and even tech brands like Bose and Beats have jumped on the promo bandwagon.

However, not every customer has the marketing budget for a brand-name giveaway. In that case, retail-inspired products are available at a lower price point and with the same quality.  The look and function are similar, and the stock is often more reliable.     After all, not every marketing initiative calls for upscale retail products – but if a customer can relate to the style of the product because it looks like something they have seen on social media or in the stores, then it’s unlikely it will end up in the back of their closet.

The interaction between the retail industry and the promotional products industry has changed.  The gap between them is closing, and the corporate customers are benefitting from the new opportunities created for creative, impactful promotions.

Brand Comfort

dri_duck_5020_model_shot_medWinter will be around for another few months, and outdoor enthusiasts – workers, hikers, campers, hunters – will be looking for both warmth and comfort in their outerwear.  Brands have an opportunity to shine with that demographic at this time of year.

Today’s consumer wants products that offer smart function, performance and style.  Not satisfied to only follow the latest Instagram clothing trend, younger generations  are less focused on quantity than quality. Single apparel pieces that can get them through multiple seasons in various life experience settings are the trend for today’s consumer.

Enter the corporate marketing initiatives.  Companies that invest in increasing brand awareness and improving customer loyalty have become increasingly aware of the the need to respond to not only the style choices of Millennials and GenX’ers, but also to their generation’s emphasis on not consuming more goods than needed.

A rugged, but comfortable work jacket; a stylishly classic quilted vest; or even a custom knit beanie in a subtle color are all excellent choices for adding your corporate brand to an item that will be worn for years to come.  Men and women.  The young and not-so-young.  By targeting your customer base with cleverly decorated, quality apparel items, your company will offer comfort to an audience that will repay you with brand loyalty.

The Lunchbox Renaissance

h_100137-001Bringing leftovers to work used to be a dull nod to a frugal lifestyle, with lunch options that generally left us with a choice of bologna sandwich or day-old wilted salad.  But fortunately for those office workers that are comfortable planning and preparing some of the extensive choices of robust meal options, the lunchbox gear has become much more cool.

A good example is the Japanese-styled bento box.  A far cry from the sweating Tupperware container or a cheap soft-side cooler, when the noon office meal is packed in one of these single-portion modern boxes, the packed lunch becomes reason for lunch envy from your office mates.

From its humble beginnings, appearing in the 16th century to feed people under military commander Oda Nobunaga, it has taken many forms today from the simple to the complex – sometimes even taking the shape of comic book characters or flowers, animals and plants.  But regardless of what design it takes, it never strays too far from its origins of ease and convenience.  In fact, “Bento” is derived from the Southern Song Dynasty term biàndāng, meaning convenient.

Corporate wellness programs can benefit from incorporating a branded bento box, or similar cleverly styled lunch container, into the mix.  Employees and customers will be inspired to cook a little extra the night before to eat better the next day, all while saving the time and money it takes to buy lunch from the nearby sandwich vendor.