Brands Can Rise Above The Ordinary

mini droneUnmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, have been around for about a century.  Originally developed for the military, development of UAV technology has allowed commercial drones to become cheaper, lighter, and more sophisticated.   And with those advances, drones are now delivering your packages, taking photos, and helping brand marketers get their audience excited.

Drones combine fun, practicality and brand awareness in one product.  It’s not a big leap to envision the positive brand impact it would have on trade show attendees watching a flying mini drone demonstration at your booth while waiting to take a turn with their own mini UAV, and then providing their contact information for a chance to win a full-size recreational drone after the show.   Outdoor community events and employee team-building meetings would benefit from the same brand engagement exercises.  Think of it as taking experiential marketing to new heights!

According to one industry report,  consumer drone sales are set to surge in the next five years, with global annual unit sales increasing more than tenfold from 2015 to 2021.  Companies looking to rise above the ordinary by capitalizing on the popularity of this growing consumer trend should consider including branded drones in their 2018 marketing tool box.

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Comfort From The Cold With Branded Apparel

Winter portrait. Young, beautiful woman blowing snowThe business benefits that can be accrued from corporate gift-giving are many, from increased productivity to employee satisfaction to longevity in customer relationships.  The gifts you give represent your company, and should express the value you place in your relationship with the recipient.  And what better way to show your respect for your employees and customers than to give them the gift of warmth.

Name brand clothing lines with fashion-forward styles, better fabric options and more choices for women, in particular, offer the corporate world an opportunity to give a gift that will build loyalty and brand awareness with every recipient.  Rather than the standard polo or button-down shirt that is a necessary choice for trade shows and office attire, cold weather clothing essentials are items that will be worn at home, on the weekends, and on the job.

Consider the following apparel categories and the new ways to give the gift of warmth to your customers and employees in the coming winter months.

  • Hats:  Beanies with leather patch, bluetooth headphones, or LED light; fleece lined tassel hat; or polar fleece headband
  • Fleece Jackets:  Lightweight microfleece full zip jacket; super warm brushed fleece pullover; or sophisticated quarter zip rib knit fleece
  • Hoodies:  Vintage french terry hoodie; women’s poncho hoodie; or hooded hockey sweatshirt
  • Puffer Jacket:  Packable down vest or jacket; water resistant finish polyfill jacket; or ecologically sound lightweight layering jacket

There is a cold-weather clothing item that will work for nearly every recipient.  Take the time to consider the age and lifestyle of those people you want to thank, and give them something that will give them comfort from the cold in the coming months.  They’ll thank you!

Get Ready To Sweat

spritzEach January, roughly one in three Americans resolve to better themselves in some way, and many of those people will fall short.  Among the most popular resolutions is the promise to lose weight and get fit, which suggests just how difficult it is to commit to.

However, since most of us know that increasing physical activity is one of the most effective ways to improve physical fitness, corporations have an opportunity to help their customers reach their goals with promotional products that are useful in all levels of exercise.  Focusing on the need to move more and eat less provides these companies with many excellent product options.

  • Pedometers:  This doesn’t have to be an expensive activity tracker – to record daily movement, a simple step counter will do.
  • Cooling Towels:  Towels, bandanas and buffs, made from high tech fabrics, instantly cool with water or perspiration.
  • Misting sport bottles:  Quench a thirst, then spritz a cooling spray.
  • Sunglass Lanyards:  Perfect for a short walk or long distance run – no more searching for a place to put sunglasses when they aren’t being worn.
  • Cell Phone Armband Pouch:  Strap to the arm or leg for a hands-free way to listen to music or answer a call.

At this time of year, when nearly one third of Americans are getting ready to sweat off those extra holiday pounds, one of the best ways to increase brand awareness would be to put a branded fitness product in their gift bag.  Then, even if their motivation slips a bit, the brand will remain on that sunglass lanyard even when sitting by the pool.

 

Make A Blanket Statement

kanata fall winter 2015blanket statement is a generalization – something that covers everything, like a metaphorical blanket. There is an implication when using this term that it is an over-generalization.  Some might say it ignores diversity. However, a blanket statement is clearly not the same as a blanket that makes a statement!

A BLANKET HOLDS SIGNIFICANT MEANING:  By definition, a blanket is much more than a fabric you sleep under.  It is a symbol of warmth and friendship, and a form of craftsmanship, artistry, history and generosity.  To give a blanket is to demonstrate great respect, honor and admiration for an individual.  In Native American traditions a blanket is used to create and seal relationships. This action is transferred from generation to generation. Throughout history, the way blankets are draped on the body has indicated certain emotions.

BRANDS CAN MAKE A STATEMENT:  Going into the cold-weather season, giving a branded blanket (subtle logo decorations are a must!) provides companies with the perfect way to make a statement of appreciation for customers or employees.  A well-considered blanket style in a quality fabric is a symbol of the value you place on that relationship.  Whether it’s a soft throw for a cold night in front of a favorite TV show, or a water resistant roll-up blanket for outdoor activities, the recipient will remember the giver and the brand awareness will increase every time it’s used.

A high quality blanket has meaning, and companies that give them will be remembered warmly … and that, is a blanket statement that makes sense!

Conferences Are Not Old Fashioned

ConferenceIn our media-crazy world, sometimes we forget the importance of a face-to-face setting with others in our industry, or even in our same company.  But emails, the internet and the occasional video chat cannot entirely replace a well-run business conference where people can come together to discuss new trends and opportunities pertaining to the business.

Coming together doesn’t have to mean leaving your phones at the door.  In fact, today many conference attendees are sharing their experience in real-time on their favorite social media channel.  The event may even have a designated hashtag for sharing updates.  But regardless of the added bonus of today’s media sharing, the attendees are traveling from different cities, or even countries, for person-to-person educational opportunities, networking and (gasp!) a little bit of fun.  So, optimize your next business conference by planning well ahead.

Without going into the specifics of a complete checklist, there are certain important details that should be considered first  – namely, the location, the experience and the materials.  The venue should align with your brand, target market and event goals, while fitting within your budget demands.  The experience – speakers, product demonstrations, games, workshops, & dining – should be planned to address what the people will do, learn and take away from the event.  To enhance and expand on that experience, the marketing materials are designed and the promotional products are sourced.

Regarding promotional products, there are quite literally tens of thousands of product ideas for every event, and they range from the practical to zany.  Journals and pens for small indoor meetings are a must; tote bags, lanyards, badges and bottled water are perfect for larger trade shows and conferences; sport bottles, caps and tees work well with outdoor events; and any item that can be useful for travel events (beach towels in Florida or backpacks in Colorado) are always welcome.  Some items, like personalized robes or a laser engraved bottle of wine for the hotel room are just icing on the conference “cake”.

Conferences are not old fashioned – they are one of the best ways for like-minded professionals to stay in touch.  When planning your next conference, be creative.  In addition to the educational goals, add an element of fun, and take the time to consider which logo gift item will best keep the brand awareness alive after they return home.