Practical Vs Eye-Catching

VX_8135_misty-mint_34591Why settle for just practical, when always-reliable items like tote bags, coffee mugs, water bottles and jackets are available in eye-catching styles and colors that will appeal to even the most fashion-forward audience.  While there is always a market for the understated and subtle, striking colors and unique product designs will generally appeal to a younger audience.

Today’s consumers want products that stand out – unique items that make the other guy stop and say “where did you get that?”.  And if that item has a corporate logo, all the better for the company that wants to improve brand visibility – which would include all companies that spend money on branded giveaways.

Some of my favorites:

  • Silicone Collapsible Water Bottle:  Safe for both cold and hot beverages, the bottle fully collapses from 8.4″ tall to 4.8″
  • Metallic Tote Bag:  Vinyl tote bag available in silver, gold or rose gold and features a large main opening with soft interior
  • Packable Insulated Jacket:  Trendy retail look with features like LED zipper pull, this jacket is warm and water repellent, and packs into a stuff sack for travel
  • Blue Jean or Bling Coffee Mug:  Ceramic mugs uniquely styled to make a statement without saying a word
  • Custom Socks:  Athletic, business, ankle or knee high – every sock style is available with completely customized designs and colors
  • Aluminum Pop Sockets:  The ultra popular mobile phone grip/stand is now available in bold, classy metallic colors like ruby red, sapphire blue and rose gold

It’s not difficult to create an eye-catching promotional product that will also serve as a practical reminder of your company’s brand.  Step out from your comfort zone, and ask about this year’s new colors or the most recent interpretation of a classic product.  Being noticed = increased brand awareness!




It’s Not Techy, And That Is The Point

moleskine-evernote-planner_243x284We use our smart phones for everything.  Talking, shopping, making dinner reservations, following navigation directions, getting stock updates – the list is endless. However, bouncing between apps, and trying to stay on top of everything through multiple functions can be time-consuming and unproductive.  The phone alerts that need to be silenced during meetings; the constant search for the perfect list-making app; and the need for many of us to still use sticky notes for the things that we absolutely, positively cannot forget has brought us full circle to the time-tested journal as the perfect tool for getting organized.

The journal works on the premise that nothing is forgotten if it’s written down.  An idea for the next blog, an appointment, sales goals, client information – it can all be recorded with a personally designed organizing system, or with the help of popular new systems like those employed by the designer of the Bullet Journal.

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, another popular journal brand, Moleskine, revived the popularity of journals in 1997 with a traditional leather-bound notebook and has seen revenues double over the last 5 years.  And many of those users are millennials who embrace the digital lifestyle. Why?  According to Moleskine co-founder Maria Sebregondi, “… even the most plugged in people find it comforting to create their own designs”.

Companies who recognize this trend take advantage of the branding opportunities and  apply their logo to journals in every style and price point.  The choices range from simple styles that offer chip board covers, 70 sheets of paper and wire binding – to the more sophisticated versions with features like die-cut covers, custom tip-in pages with graphics and event details,  business card pockets, and pen ports.  These journals are used every day at home and in the office by the scores of customers who welcome an opportunity to write it down instead of logging it in – what better way to keep your brand front-of-mind?

Consider the classic journal for your next promotional gift – it’s not techy, and for many of us, that’s the point.



Power Branding With Calendars

calendarSurprisingly or not, branded calendars are not obsolete!  Wall calendars with corporate product images that highlight each month; desk calendars with pre-printed corporate event dates;  or pocket calendars that a sales team can use for recording expenses are all part of the stable of popular calendar items that continue to sell out every year.

Of course, everyone still relies on their smartphones for keeping customer appointments and internal meetings front of mind.  Who doesn’t love those screen reminders and dinging notices when it’s time to go?  But for many people, there’s still nothing like a beautifully printed physical calendar that keeps the entire week and/or month front of mind.

And there is power in that front-of-mind branding opportunity.  Consider some of the benefits a branded calendar brings to your marketing efforts.

  • Visibility.  Your company brand is on display every day.  When your customer displays that calendar, that person, along with everyone else who sees it, thinks of your company.  Every day … all year.
  • Personality.  The images that are printed on that calendar reflect what your company represents.  Whether it’s cars for an auto dealership or creative building structures for an architectural firm, a calendar will become your year-long calling card.
  • Value.  Calendars offer a low cost way to reach and impress your customers.  With a product that is kept all year, your advertising dollars are maximized well beyond other items that may be discarded after a few weeks, or even a few days.  Cookie towers given to health-conscious recipients come to mind.

NOW is the time to think about branded calendars.  Let the first, and best, calendar your customers receive for 2017 be the one with your logo on it!


Back To Cool

zenThe word cool can have several different meanings.  It can refer to the temperature of water, the calm personality of an individual, or an indifference to an idea or encounter.  But for the purpose of this article, we are thinking of the definition that brings to mind a company that is aware of the latest trends and developments, and isn’t afraid to step away from the safe, traditional ways of doing things.  Safe may be comfortable, but knowing the direction of customer tastes, and responding quickly with appropriate branded products, will capture the attention of an ever-fluid audience.

So what products might be considered “cool”?  The answer depends on the budget, the recipient, and the campaign.  Virtually every product category  – from pens to parkas – offers trendy options for logo merchandise.  A few of my favorites are listed below.

  • Acid wash burnout fleece in a variety of fashionable colors, for men and women
  • Totally crushable, packable western/outdoor styled hat with shapeable brim
  • Fitness tracker that encourages better exercise habits
  • Liquid filled mouse pads with images beneath surface that offer a mesmerizing liquid motion to your message
  • Selfie stick – no description necessary!
  • LED running wristband improves visibility while running at night
  • Pantone matched winter wearables, like texting gloves and beanies
  • Sunglasses with logo graphics printed on the lenses
  • Copper moscow mule mugs for the next evening event
  • Waterproof pouch for phones – a must for beaches, sporting events and gyms
  • Charging stations for mobile phones and tablets

And, of course, it’s good to keep in mind that almost any promotional item can be cool with creative graphics and decoration methods.  Visually appealing items will grab attention every time.

Next time you’re planning a corporate giveaway and you want to get back to cool, think outside the box and consider products that reflect the trends your customers have already embraced.