Since July, tariffs have been imposed on nearly half of the Chinese goods imported to the US. Those tariffs – which is essentially a tax on an imported good – can either be absorbed by the importer or passed on to the buyer through price increases.
For the most part, the impact of these tariffs on the promotional products industry won’t be felt until 2019, but why wait? There are many high-quality options for USA-made promotional products, and none of them will be subject to tariffs.
- Drinkware: Cups, mugs, and tumblers are all available in various colors and shapes to help keep your customer hydrated.
- Tote Bags, Aprons, Tablecloths: Create a custom bag with one-of-a-kind features; trade show table covering with enhanced graphics; or colorful apron for staff or customer gift.
- Socks: Exploding in popularity and available with low minimums and endless customization options.
- Plastics: Bag tags, cell phone holders, ice scrapers and clipboards are a few of the many plastic promotional items that remain popular giveaways at an affordable price.
- Paper Products: Notepads, calendars, sticky notes and journals are all made in the USA and are among the most popular giveaways for home, travel and office.
- Leather Goods: From key tags to high-end luggage, every customer appreciates the quality of genuine leather and the appeal of American craftsmanship.
- Caps and Hats: Many US manufacturers offer ball caps and knit beanies, which are especially good for inventory programs that want a unique product but can’t afford long lead times.
- T-Shirts: Short sleeve and long sleeve tees have been made in the USA for many years, but with the increased attention on this category, there are more choices and better price points.
There are many reasons, other than avoiding tariffs, to consider buying USA-made goods for your next promotion. Those reasons include supporting American jobs, reducing carbon footprint, and endorsing the superior human rights environment of the American worker. When you add it all up, a USA-made product with your corporate logo sends the right message to your customer without blowing the department budget.
Some things never change. Corporate buyers will be asking what’s new and different for the holiday season, and corporate customers will want cool and useful products that make their lives easier. The easy answer for both is tech!
Tech gadgets remain high on the list of the most well-received gift for Millennials and Gen X customers. Both groups stand out for their use of technology, supported by research that reveals some 54 percent of Gen X and 56 percent of millennials consider themselves digitally savvy.
So what are the items these tech savvy customers want? Consider the following options:
- Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard: When you want to travel light and still have the ability to work efficiently.
- WiFi Home Smart Plug: Allows remote access for anything plugged into it; can schedule on/off for devices; and monitors energy used.
- Bluetooth Headphones: Smaller, better sound quality and no cords!
- Bluetooth Speaker With Amazon Alexa: Bluetooth speaker that integrates with Alexa – just tap the speaker to ask Alexa a question.
- Bluetooth Tracker: Find your bag, wallet, phone, keys and more with a small tracking device that attaches, sticks or drops into your personal items.
- Leather Tassel Phone Cable: Because tech accessories can still look cute!
The holidays are just around the corner, and the best tech gifts won’t last forever. Pick one of the many popular tech items that works for your budget; add your logo; and tech the halls in 2018!
Don’t expect your target customer audience to get excited about another shirt, hat or fleece that looks just like all the others in their closets. Appreciative, yes – excited, no. But with a little extra time and effort, your company can offer a clothing item that showcases your brand creativity and youthful attitude.
- Fully customized hooded sweatshirts are a perfect cold weather item for young and old, male or female, regardless of industry.
- Yoga leggings with custom waistband or all-over print are designed with relaxation in mind, and work well for women’s organizations, gyms or yoga studios.
- All-over print t-shirts and jackets make a bold statement for corporate conferences, team events and trade shows.
- Custom branded pockets on all types of t-shirts provides a single-location brand statement that pops off the garment.
- Add subtle creative flair with a custom logo inside collar on 1/4 zip, 1/2 zip or full zip fleece.
Be bold, or remain understated – in either case the difference is clear when a custom branded apparel item stands out from the crowded field of embroidered or screen printed corporate clothing. Showcase your brand attitude – it’s everything!
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) nearly 50% of U.S. adults do not have the resources or plans in place in the event of an emergency. 44% of Americans don’t have a first aid kit, and 48% don’t have standard emergency supplies like flashlights and basic tools.
At the minimum, the American Red Cross recommends the following basic supplies for emergency preparedness:
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Multi-purpose tool
- Cell phone with chargers
- Emergency blanket
- Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
- Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket
- Map(s) of the area
As we witness more natural disasters around the country, a first-aid kit, easy-to-carry emergency kit, or even a reliable flashlight are practical gifts that companies can give to any audience, at any time. It’s a gift that demonstrates your corporate commitment to client and employee safety. In the coming holiday season, consider the gift of safety!
The goal of branded giveaways is to drive brand recognition and customer interest, but the results are often not what we counted on. When the choice of gift does not match up with the demographic of the intended audience, the expected impression can fall flat.
When considering the fact that everyone from toddlers to seniors have embraced the digital age – whether intentionally or by necessity – it’s a logical choice to select a promotional product that appeals to our global digital transformation. And that digital transformation is not just about technology, it’s also about the products that make it easier for customers to access that technology.
- Activity Tracker: These staples of the health-conscious crowd are offered in varying price points, with a variety of features from simply counting steps to connecting with friends for friendly fitness challenges.
- Smart Watch: There are lots of less expensive alternatives to the Apple watch, and they offer many of the same features like bluetooth capability and cameras.
- Flash Drive: Store all of those digital files in one small, portable place without the fear of losing everything in a computer meltdown.
- Power Bank: Recharge mobile phones and tablets on the go!
- Backpack: Give a backpack with features like built-in power pack and headphone access.
Millennials and the Gen Z generation are always looking forward, spending an average of 10 hours day in front of screens, with a short attention span that responds to engaging digital content. For your next corporate giveaway, consider a gift that keeps these digitally inclined customers aware of your brand while communicating and working in a digital world.
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, as many as 75-85 percent of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain is caused by many different things, but one of the main culprits for adults is our habit of over-stuffing purses, briefcases and tote bags – and those bags are carried on one side, causing muscle imbalances and pain.
On the other hand, backpacks evenly distribute the weight of what we are carrying to work, the gym or through the airport. Granted, most of us carry far more than we need – and this is something everyone should address by being more selective about what goes into our bags. But for everything that we can’t leave behind, backpacks are by far the better choice for reducing back pain.
In regard to style, today’s backpacks are designed to look good while offering features that match your lifestyle. Lightweight drawstring backpacks are perfect for students and young adults looking for a stylish bag to carry a few essentials. Structured backpacks with padded interiors for computers and tech accessories; various organizing compartments for files, tickets and wallet; and side pockets for water bottles and smaller essentials are the best travel bags, second only to the rolling suitcase.
In regard to size, smaller is typically better since we are always tempted to fill whatever space we have available. But regardless of the size, a backpack that sits close to the body is best for reducing discomfort, and choosing a style with a smaller shoulder strap will help minimize the strain on the neck and shoulders.
And, of course, companies looking to increase brand awareness can’t go wrong with giving a bag that carries a logo on the backs of students, outdoor enthusiasts and travelers. Greater brand visibility and reduced back pain for the recipient – Win-Win!
Stay engaged with important clients or show appreciation to valued employees with the gift of warmth that they will cherish for years to come. Blankets are offered in a variety of fabric options and style choices that work well for women and men of every age group.
My favorites are always those styles that can go from home to car to picnic on the grass – but that’s just me! See below for some of the other styles customers are looking for.
- Sweatshirt Blanket: With or without a hood, stay warm at the game or at an outdoor concert.
- Cableknit Lambswool Throw: Knit like a favorite sweater on one side, soft faux lambswool on the other.
- Faux Leather Throw: For an elegant gift, combines faux leather with soft faux fur.
- Oversize Light Down Blanket: Water resistant nylon with faux down, micro fleece lining and removable carry pouch makes this perfect for outdoor activities.
- Heathered Fleece Sherpa Blanket: Combines classic look with the modern style of heathered velour with sherpa backing.
- Soft Wool Blanket: Brushed wool and polyester blend provides softness and durability.
Sweatshirt blankets or cashmere throws – blankets are a useful gift that will remind the recipient of your brand identity and corporate values. Add a retail-style box for the perfect presentation, and you can be certain the impression will last.