After the fanny pack fad of the ’80’s faded, those functional bags of yesteryear were deemed uncool and were only seen on clueless tourists in bright tropical shirts. But a lot has changed in the last few years, and the fanny pack is back in fashion and hotter than ever.
Rebranded as a “belt bag”, “hip bag” or “waist bag”, the modern fanny packs come in various shapes and sizes. The styles range from practical nylon or polyester, to high-end leather. They can be simple with a single zipper, or decorated with studs and creative stitching. Nike and Adidas offer options aimed at athletes and the casual day-tripper, while numerous high-end designers like Gucci and Calvin Klein bring runway-worthy styles to the fashion-conscious crowd.
The resurgence in demand for practical, versatile items fuels the growth in this category for women and men alike. The fanny pack is responsible for 25% of the growth in the accessories market, and is the fastest growing segment in the men’s market. Worn around the hips or across the chest, these bags are turning up everywhere.
The good news for corporate marketers is that the promotional suppliers have responded to this popular trend, and offer lots of fanny pack options that would be perfect for concerts, festivals, sporting events and trade shows. Considering the current excitement around the contemporary fanny pack, it should be on the top of your list for upcoming event giveaways.
The way that you dress can earn you, and your brand, respect. At corporate events like trade shows and industry conferences – or even in the office on a Friday afternoon – it’s important to dress professionally so others know you mean business.
Business casual attire is well-accepted but it can be tempting to take the idea of “casual” too far. It should be less formal than traditional business-wear, but still provide a professional appearance. Keeping that in mind, disheveled t-shirts, cargo shorts and flip-flops should be left at home for the weekend hang-time.
Depending on the industry and age of the employees, appropriate business attire can mean polos or button-downs, paired with pants for men, and pants or skirts for women. On occasion well-constructed jeans are acceptable, but not the ones with holes and fraying hems. Even though in today’s fashion world consumers pay a premium for a pair of designer ripped jeans, it’s still not the right image for someone representing most corporate brands.
Consistent brand identity, which in turn increases brand loyalty, relies on maintaining a dependable dress code for every corporate event. Consumers come to depend on a recognizable corporate image that commands their respect. That respect becomes trust – and trust grows into loyalty.
If you respect your brand with appropriate attire, so will your customers.
According to Merriam-Webster, athleisure is defined as “casual clothing designed to be worn both for exercising and for general use.” It represents the general dressing down across our culture, with high fashion brands turning sweats and tees into big ticket items, and retailers selling more performance apparel than ever before.
Now, at the intersection of athletic wear and luxury, we have athluxury – fabrics and styles that give a luxe feel while delivering a reliable performance piece of clothing. Jackets, shirts and footwear are all being offered in up-to-the minute colors and styles that are creating excitement for corporate brands that want to ignite their audience.
More of an evolution than a trend, athleisure – or, on the higher end, athluxury – apparel can be worn in most offices and social situations without anyone thinking twice. Many styles merge business casual with sportswear, which is a natural evolution of the trend towards health and fitness. As a bonus, this category of clothing is generally more durable, with properties like wrinkle and odor resistance incorporated into its tech-infused fibers.
Adding a corporate logo in a color and decoration method that compliments the item will bring attention and respect to the brand, and nearly ensure the continued use of the item at the office and at home. Sample some of the latest options in this popular clothing category for the next trade show or team-building outing at the ballpark. Your associates will happily accept, and your customers will notice.
Customers always ask ,”What’s the newest product trend in promotional merchandise?”. Today, one of the best answers to that question is custom printed canvas sneakers.
A growing desire for one-of-a-kind goods continues to drive the market for custom-designed footwear. This trend is spurred by millennials on one end and baby boomers on the other, making it a very appealing marketing tool for companies in any industry.
The fact that there are few promotional merchandise options that are truly unique, custom printed sneakers stands out as a way for companies to set themselves apart. It’s a gift that lends itself well to team recognition or as a creative way to drive traffic to a trade show booth. If you sponsor an in-booth drawing that awards 10 people each day with a pair of custom branded sneakers, you get their contact information at the same time you get their shoe size!
Custom printed sneakers may not be the answer for a large-scale giveaway, but it’s new, and it’s hot, and it definitely shows your company is kickin it up a notch when it comes to increasing brand awareness.
Corporate attire doesn’t have to be boring. It should be comfortable and reflect a style that today’s young professionals can relate to. The clothing should echo the image of your company, without making such a bold fashion statement that the reactions are more about the shirt than about the brand.
Many times shirts and jackets decorated with company logos are associated with firms that provide employee uniforms, as in the restaurant, airline or rental car industries. But just as important are the teams representing their companies at an industry trade show, community outreach event, or business conference. And those employees are more likely to wear the same clothes again at a later date when working at the office or attending an after-hours networking affair – which brings us back to the importance of choosing business separates that are both appropriate and fashionable.
Fortunately, many retail-brand clothing suppliers can be sourced through the advertising specialties industry and decorated with corporate logos. And those suppliers that specialize in private label merchandise – offering the same quality at a lower price – are experiencing enviable growth by providing style and color choices that mimic what most people see, and buy, at the stores in the mall.
The options are as varied as the employees themselves:
chambray shirt styles for men and women;
distressed fabric fleece and tees for the younger set on community clean-up;
custom printed ties and scarves for a more formal look;
polos that look as good with office trousers as they do with golf khakis;
cardigan sweaters for women, 1/4 zip sweaters for men, and v-neck sweaters for either – when the office gets cold, there’s a warm clothing option for all.
Today’s corporate clothing choices are anything but boring – ask for ideas and samples, and let your team decide. The brand impressions increase every time that item is worn … and isn’t that the whole idea?