Backpacks Give Your Back A Break

backpackAccording 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!

Earth Day, Arbor Day And Promoting Brand Awareness

treeAfter the madness of March ends, you will have two good reasons to start working on an eco-friendly giveaway that will increase your brand visibility with your audience in the month of April.  Earth Day is April 22 and Arbor Day is April 27 – both are annual celebrations that promote planet friendly practices.  Any company that supports the movement to protect our planet can drive more sales with customers who care about the environment and are seeking like-minded businesses.

In 2018, the Earth Day campaign is focusing on ending plastic pollution.  From poisoning marine life to littering our landscapes and clogging our landfills, the growth of plastics has become a threat to our planet.  This year’s campaign gives you easy and inexpensive ways to make a statement in support of that cause that will resonate with your audience.  A reusable grocery tote designed with creative logo graphics or constructed with custom colors will be appreciated and used.  A refillable water bottle with a carabiner clip will give your customers a reason to travel with their favorite beverage, and give up that disposable bottle.  With both options your logo will be seen in the grocery store, at the gym, on the streets and in the airport.  That’s ROI with every pair of eyes that sees it!

The everyday mission for the Arbor Day Foundation is to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.  Replanting forests, promoting urban community improvement through adding trees, and supporting healing after natural disasters by delivering new trees are major programs for the Foundation.  Many promotional products are well-suited to supporting these themes while increasing your brand awareness.  Live evergreen seedlings in a burlap sack; seeded paper in a variety of shapes that are planted to grow flowers; rain catchers for the back yard; or bamboo cutting boards for the kitchen are only a few examples.  And every item will remain a daily reminder of the products and services you offer.

You can choose products that are made of recyclable and natural materials, or items that promote a greener lifestyle.  Either way, by promoting and encouraging more eco-conscious habits, you appeal to the growing number of people who recognize the need for change, and support the companies that advocate for that change in the everyday ways they conduct business.

 

On-Trend Promo Products – Metallics!

round power bankOne of the biggest 2018 trends in fashion and other industries is metallics.  As consumers are exposed to this trend in the retail environment in new and innovative products, the corporate customer will expect to receive promotional products that reflect that style direction.  Functionality and design are being paired together to elevate the expectations of product recipients, and organizations are poised to respond.

From fashion to tech accessories, bringing trendy shine to your next promotion is easy with metallic promotional products from several categories to choose from.  Let’s explore a few of the options.

  • Round Metallic Power Bank:  Disc shape and tech- friendly color palette make this a great choice for a tech giveaway.
  • Metallic Lip Balm Ball:  Made from natural beeswax and available in 3 colors – perfect for a unique gift that will be used in all seasons.
  • Metallic Non-Woven Shopper Tote:  Recyclable, reusable and great for any low-cost promotion with style in mind.
  • Metallic Neoprene Tech Taco:  A cord & cable organizer that’s easy to use – fold it around your cords like a taco, snap it shut and away you go!
  • Journal Notebook With Metallic Cover:  Metallic polyurethane cover gives this notebook a rich, high-quality look for a budget-conscious price.
  • Metallic Can Insulator:   Collapsible metallic neoprene keeps cans cold with style.

In 2018, you can select promotional items that will appeal to this generation of Millennials.  Products that are creative, unique, useful and on-trend – like metallics – will attract new customers and increase brand awareness.

 

 

Be A Brand Fan

brandWith few exceptions, every company has many competitors for the product or service they want to sell.   Each one feels their product is different, better.  Unlike all the others.  But with  so many other companies saying the same thing, no one is paying attention.

How do you cut through all the noise?  The answer is branding.  But having a successful brand is easier said than done.  One good place to start is by studying the six essential traits shared by the world’s top brands.

  1. PASSIONATE:  64% of consumers who said they had a strong brand relationship with a company cited “shared values” as the primary reason. (Corporate Executive Board)
  2. DEPENDABLE:  Marketing consistency pays off; 87% of consumers who interact with a company daily feel loyal to that company (Strativity)
  3. RECOGNIZED:  89% of B2B marketers say brand awareness is their most important goal, followed by sales and lead generation. (Content Marketing Institute)
  4. CONSISTENT:  45% of a brand’s image can be attributed to what it says, and how it says it. (Landor Associates)
  5. AUTHENTIC:  80% of consumers said “authenticity of content” is the most influential factor in their decision to become a follower of a brand.  (Pardot)
  6. CUSTOMER-CENTRIC:  48% of Americans expect brands to know them and help them discover new products or services that fit their needs.  (Microsoft) 

Other valuable branding habits include audience engagement, company storytelling and pinpointing a target audience.  But using the above six traits as a springboard for your corporate branding policy will enable you to start 2018 with a renewed focus on increased brand visibility and improved customer loyalty.

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.

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.