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.

 

 

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China Bans Foreign Waste – Time To Get Serious About Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

bottle wasteThe U.S. exports about one-third of its recycling, and nearly half goes to China.  For decades, China has used recyclables from around the world to supply its manufacturing boom.  But it has recently declared that the waste coming from other countries includes too many other non-recyclable materials that are “dirty”, even “hazardous”.  Therefore, in an effort to  develop their country more like a world power rather than the world’s dumping ground, China has instituted strict restrictions on the amount and type of recyclable waste it will accept.

What does that have to do with corporate branding efforts?  In a world that has dwindling  options for all the trash that is created, corporations trying to increase brand awareness while supporting a cleaner planet can win on both fronts.  Distributing logo products that promote less trash, like refillable beverage cups and bottles; reusable acrylic or stainless steel straws; and non-woven grocery totes is both responsible stewardship of our earth and savvy marketing foresight.

Many popular promotional products are available in biodegradable materials that are easy to recycle – balloons, pens, bags, and coffee cups to name a few.  Other products like lunch coolers, drink coasters and reusable sandwich bags promote reducing and reusing rather than relying on throw-away packaging.  These items are an example of how the world of branded merchandise is responding to the need, and the market demand, for more eco-friendly options.

Keeping and using an item with a corporate logo increases brand awareness and improves customer loyalty – the ROI is clear.  Distributing environmentally conscious products helps to reduce waste – the benefit to the planet is clear.  It’s time to get serious – ask about products that protect your brand and the earth at the same time.

 

 

 

 

Bespoke Promotional Merchandise

Original-Stamp-PNGWhen one thinks of the word bespoke, it’s a sure bet there are few who would associate promotional merchandise with that very-British term.  According to the Merriam-Webster definition, bespoke means “custom-made”.  And, although we generally associate that term with tailor-made suits for affluent gentlemen, it is also commonly used when referring to anything that is made-to-order … from furniture to a traveler’s hotel design experience.

In that light, for companies that want to create an unforgettable product giveaway that will be completely unique and built to represent their exclusive brand, a custom-made promotional product is the perfect solution.  The John Deere toy tractors, Aflac plush duck and the many different original-design Starbucks coffee cups are prime examples of companies growing and extending their brand visibility with original products that are used every day.

A few examples of common items that can be custom-designed:

  • Flash Drives:  Custom cases designed to duplicate a logo shape or company mascot
  • Sunglasses:  Frames using custom corporate PMS colors and/or custom graphics
  • Packing Cubes:  Custom color fabric and zipper; custom shape and size
  • Toys:  Small-scaled vehicles that duplicate the company truck, van or car
  • Socks, Hats, Headbands:  Full color, all-over print designs using custom colors and graphics

Higher minimum order quantities and longer overseas lead times are common – although there are a growing number of USA manufacturers that offer custom product production and shorter lead times.  On the positive side, the pricing is generally more attractive and the custom options are endless.

In many cases, promotional products ordered for a new product launch or the multiple trade shows during that busy time of year are purchased in quantities that meet those order minimums, and at prices that are at, or above, the cost of a custom-made item.  So the only remaining potential roadblock between you and a completely custom promotional product is timing.

With the new year approaching, it’s time to look ahead three to four months, and decide to incorporate at least one bespoke promotional product into your stash of brand swag.  It’s a proven way to showcase your company creativity and engage your target audience.

 

 

Not Just For Gamers – VR And Brand Engagement

virtualTake a college tour.  Test drive a car.  Attend an art gallery display.  Or give a prospective employee a view of the workspace before they arrive for an interview.  Virtual reality gives sellers the opportunity to reinvent the way they market and sell their products.

Beginning with the basics of VR, there are two types:  360-degree VR is a video that allows the viewer to see all around them while remaining stationary.  Immersive VR is virtual space that can be moved around in.

As a practical matter, 360-degree VR is more affordable for corporate marketing purposes since the content can be created using apps for Android and iOS, and will also take videos captured with smartphone cameras.  Full immersion VR requires a specialized development team to create content, which can run into thousands of dollars.

Branded headsets for 360-degree viewing can be purchased for as low as $15.00.  With cutting edge marketing techniques offered at a budget-conscious price, it is no wonder that the promotional products industry has seen a sales surge in this product over the last two years.  Multiple headset styles at varying price points allows nearly every company to turn a future consideration of this compelling medium into a real-world decision for today’s customer or prospect.

Try offering booth visitors at your next trade show the opportunity to submit a creative 3D video for the chance to win a prize.  It will drive engagement and increase brand awareness – which, of course, is the only reason your team is at that show to begin with!

Image courtesy of NY Times

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.

 

Embracing And Improving Brand Equity

5864p_groupIn order to embrace brand equity, we should have a good handle on what it means.  Simply stated, brand equity refers to the value of a brand.
That value and its power are derived from the goodwill and name recognition that it has earned over time – which in turn translates into higher profits.  According to an overview of brand equity in Investopedia, “Companies can create brand equity for their products by making them memorable, easily recognizable, and superior in quality and reliability. Mass marketing campaigns also help to create brand equity.”
It is within the framework of these mass marketing campaigns that promotional products can be most effective.  Rather than just giving away more stuff with logos on it, products and packaging that reinforce brand equity can contribute to the long-term goal of increasing brand awareness and improving customer loyalty.  Custom packaging, in particular, adds a higher level of strategic awareness to the brand, elevating it beyond just the value of the promotional product inside.  It becomes part of a strategy to boost the integrity of a brand, rather than being just another giveaway that goes into the trade show bag.
First impressions are important.  What consumers take in during those few seconds before choosing a product helps shape subsequent judgements about the brand.  Companies that sell their products in retail environments have always known this, and have been designing better packaging solutions for years.   They fight for shelf space and are consistently changing and improving their packaging in an effort to catch the consumers’ eye in a crowded market.
Although it takes a little more time to design – and adds a little more cost to the product – custom packaging for promotional products will catch the eye, and attention, of your audience.  Try it the next time you have a high profile marketing campaign with a customer you want to impress – it works!