Branding Ideas℠

The Power of Branded Apparel

CA72AD59-1FEF-416A-81CF-BAF9BE95C843Apparel items and wearables such as t-shirts, caps, and outerwear are among the most popular promotional products available to companies wanting to reach customers. Each of us has seen a nice t-shirt with a logo on it, and we probably have one at home ourselves (I know I do), but at the end of the day we might still wonder: how effective are they? Well, the research is in. People love promotional products in general and branded items of all types attract new customers to your business, but wearables have a special place in the heart of the American consumer. Here are some data points that show just how powerful t-shirts, caps, hats, and other wearable branded items can be in promoting your brand.

  1. Recall is highest for apparel items. According to a 2014 study, 88% of people recall the advertiser that gave them a t-shirt or hat. 57% of U.S. consumers feel more favorable about the advertiser who gave them a promotional shirt.
  2. Wearables are extremely popular. 48% of Americans own logoed t-shirts. They are the second most popular promotional product in America after writing instruments (56%). 25% of us own logoed caps and headwear as well.
  3. Attractiveness is important. 42% of people who keep promotional hats do so because they are considered attractive, and 54% of people who hold on to outerwear for the same reason.
  4. Outerwear has staying power. On average, U.S. consumers keep outerwear for a year and a half. When asked why they hold on to it, 75% say they do because it is useful while 52% say it’s because they find it attractive. 49% simply say that they enjoy having it.
  5. Certain demographics especially enjoy t-shirts. Interestingly, men (52%) are more likely to own promotional t-shirts than women (46%), while African-Americans (46%) are the most likely of all ethnic groups to keep their t-shirts, citing attractiveness of the t-shirt as a reason for holding onto it.
  6. Even certain regions have specific preferences for wearables. T-shirts are especially popular in the Southeast, where they generate nearly 4,000 impressions over their lifetime. Folks in Minneapolis enjoy logoed hats—they wear them as much as six times per month, creating impressions every time they go out. Outerwear is especially popular in the Midwest, where 15% of consumers report owning an item, likely due to the cold weather in winter.

Everybody loves a good t-shirt, as it turns out, especially if they think it’s attractive or useful. And in a sense, everybody wins: someone gets a new piece of apparel that they’ll enjoy and keep for a long time, and the business knows they’ll remember who gave it to them and look on them a little more favorably, perhaps even think of doing business with them. If you’re thinking of smart ways to get the word out about your company, wearables are a great choice.

We should also mention that there are a lot of different kinds of wearables you can pick from when thinking about a possible campaign or giveaway: t-shirts, sweatshirts, polo shirts, caps & hats, sweatbands, sunglasses, bandannas, flip flops, handkerchiefs, scarves, socks, gloves, jackets, earmuffs, and plenty beyond that. You can get creative with your choices and pick something appropriate for the season, a particular holiday, obviously your brand, or a special event like a trade show or a conference. Promotional products work best when they’re considered useful, attractive, and relevant (to a season or event, for example), so it’s a good idea to keep that in mind when planning your promotion.

Are you looking for branded apparel or other branded promotional items to help your company stand out from the competition? There are a lot of ways they can draw attention for your business. Get in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 and we’ll be glad to advise you on exceptional promotional products that can represent your brand with style and grace.

September Holidays, Events, and Awareness Dates to Keep on Your Radar

Here comes September, and with it, Labor Day and the start of the school year. Where did the summer go? We hope you enjoyed those beautiful sunny months. Now, as everyone returns to work and school with a sense of anticipation and renewed motivation, it’s time to look ahead at what holidays, events, and awareness dates are coming up on the calendar. Here’s a selection of them that will keep your business or organization top of mind with clients and business partners as we transition from summer to autumn. These events are well suited for promotional campaigns and giveaways, and they range from fun occasions to more serious, meaningful remembrances.

September!

Holidays, Events, and Awareness Days

September 5 – Labor Day

Celebrated yearly on the first Monday of September as a federal holiday in the United States, Labor Day honors the social and economic achievements of American workers. Communities often observe the occasion with parades, while families get together for barbeques and parties. Labor Day marks the unofficial transition between summer and fall.

September 11 – Patriot Day

Observed each year on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Patriot Day is dedicated to the memory of the nearly 3,000 people who perished on September 11, 2001. As an unofficial observance, it is an opportunity to quietly reflect on the events of that day as well as a National Day of Service and Remembrance in which Americans can pay tribute to those we lost with an act of service in their community.

September 15 – October 15 – Hispanic Heritage Month

Celebrated each year from September 15 to October 15, Hispanic Heritage Month honors the many contributions that Hispanic and Latin Americans have made to the United States. It’s also a moment to celebrate the diverse heritages and cultures that make up those communities.

September 21 – International Day of Peace

Established in 1981 by the United Nations, the International Day of Peace is devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples. There will be a ceremony at the UN as well as a wide variety of community, athletic, spiritual, and cultural events held throughout the world.

September 21 – World Alzheimer’s Day

On World Alzheimer’s Day, Alzheimer’s organizations around the world engage in special events to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s and dementia. 5.8 million Americans are currently living with the disease, and that number is expected to quadruple to about 16 million by 2050. It’s a good occasion to learn more about the disease and how it impacts families while supporting research that could lead to a cure.

September 27 – National Voter Registration Day

If you haven’t heard about the U.S. Presidential election by now, you’ve probably been living under a rock. As Americans nationwide know, Election Day is coming up soon. National Voter Registration Day, observed on September 27, is an event in which volunteers, celebrities, and organizations from all over the country will engage in outreach to ensure that as many people who are eligible to vote register by the deadline so that they can exercise their franchise.

September 29 – World Heart Day

Heart disease is a leading cause of death among men and women in the United States. Each year, World Heart Day aims to create awareness about heart health in an effort to reduce the impact of heart disease in this country and all over the world. Simply eating more healthily, cutting down on alcohol, and stopping smoking can make a big difference in preventing cardiovascular disease.

Awareness Months September 2016

– College Savings Month

The cost of a college education continues to rise, and it’s even become a campaign issue in this year’s Presidential election. College Savings Month aims to spread awareness about the importance of saving for college as well as tips for doing so from a financial planning perspective. According to Sallie Mae, only 4 in 10 parents have begun saving for their children’s higher education. Now is as good a time as any to get started.

– National Preparedness Month

Are you prepared for an emergency? Do you have a go bag or a disaster kit prepped and ready to go in case of a disaster? National Preparedness Month aims to help Americans prepare for disasters with helpful advice on how to create a communications plan, ensuring the safety of relatives and pets, protecting your business and its employees, and more.

– Intergeneration Month

Created in 2000, Intergeneration Month is designed to promote closer relationships among family members of all generations. This event is observed worldwide each September. Loved ones of all generations, from Boomers to Gen Y and Z, can take advantage of the occasion to bond more closely through better communication, family celebrations, and educational activities.

Wondering if there are promotional products that might be a good fit for late summer or fall, or do you have a particular project or campaign on your radar we can help with? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for advice. If you have an idea in mind that might benefit from some creative brainstorming, we’d be happy to share some recommendations. Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 and we’ll be glad to advise you on custom branded promotional products that can represent your brand with style and grace.

At the Rio Olympics, It’s All About That Swag

Team USA gear created by Ralph Lauren for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Team USA gear created by Ralph Lauren for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Have you been watching the Olympic Games in Rio this week, cheering on the U.S. women’s gymnastics team and chuckling at #PhelpsFace memes? If so, you’ve no doubt noticed some of the interesting branding stories coming out of Rio too. The Olympics are an incredibly high-profile sporting competition, playing out on just about the biggest stage there is, and the IOC is guarding its branding very carefully. It’s been notoriously strict about use of official Rio 2016 logos and even GIFs (yes, believe it or not, you’re officially not allowed to share animated GIFs of the Olympic Games on social media… though that didn’t stop clips of #PhelpsFace from going viral). Not surprisingly, the IOC has also taken a dim view of unauthorized swag being peddled during the two-week athletic event.

Still, there have been some really interesting and even surprising branding stories coming out of Rio, along with some pretty covetable swag we can all appreciate whether we’re into sports or not. Here are some of the most intriguing types of Olympic branded products—or stories about Olympic swag—that have gotten our attention as the Games have gotten underway:

  • Custom Nike swag for Olympic athletes. Preparing for the Games takes many years, as Olympic observers know. Tokyo 2020 organizers are already deep into planning for their turn in the Olympic spotlight. Brands are no different. Nike spent three years preparing custom swag for Team USA and Team Brazil, designing individualized gifts tailored to each athlete’s specific schedule and needs. That incredible attention to detail no doubt left a strong impression on the athletes, and it’s smart Olympic branding. When giving promotional branded gifts, it’s always a pro move to make sure that your gifts are useful, helpful, and relevant to the people receiving them.
  • The IOC is making its own knockoffs. This is fascinating! While actively going after unauthorized vendors for churning out counterfeit merchandise, the IOC itself is getting in on the act, selling cheaper versions of its official Olympic branded goods in downtown Rio. One good aspect of this development is that it makes Olympic gear accessible to Brazilians who might not otherwise be able to afford it, but it’s also an impressive display of chutzpah and branding control at the same time.
  • Fashion-forward team gear. Swag and high fashion have been converging in an interesting way lately—Justin Bieber’s new line of tour-inspired merchandise is just one example. Not to be outdone, the Olympics are featuring some attention-getting team gear created by famous fashion brands such as Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, and Christian Louboutin. If there’s a particular look you like or a team you want to support, you can buy the same swag online and rock a cool Olympic pose yourself.

We’ve got just over a week to go, with more intriguing examples of Olympic swag and interesting branding stories sure to come out of Rio as the Games continue. They’ll be worth keeping an eye on as you cheer your favorite athletes to victory!

Are you looking for branded promotional items to help your company stand out from the competition? There are a lot of ways branded goods can draw attention for your business. Get in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 and we’ll be glad to advise you on exceptional promotional products that can represent your brand with style and grace.

Are You Ready for Back to School?

It seems like summer only just started, but back to school is right around the corner. Before you know it, kids will be sharpening their pencils, loading up their backpacks with supplies, and heading back to school for another year of education and learning. Even those of us who have long since finished school see the arrival of September as an opportunity to refresh our mindset, get a motivational boost, and get organized—whether it’s to prepare to kick off exciting new projects at work or to revisit long term projects and put some extra effort into them. Although it may seem a little early to begin seriously thinking about preparations for the fall since it’s high summer, it’s wise to get a head start now. Back to school’s a lot closer than it looks!

As kids get ready for another academic year, here are some great back to school-themed promotional items that students, parents, teachers, and schools alike will appreciate:

  • Backpacks. Every kid needs a backpack to stay organized at school, and there are plenty of different kinds available in a range of colors and materials including laptop backpacks, messenger bags, drawstring backpacks, and iPod backpacks. Athletic students might appreciate sports backpacks that are a little extra durable and come with water bottle holders.
  • Pens, pencils, markers, and highlighters. As students get started taking notes in class and taking tests, they’re going to need a lot of pens, pencils (along with pencil sharpeners and erasers), markers, and highlighters with which to write and highlight key points they’re learning at school.
  • Notebooks. A good notebook can make all the difference when organizing your thoughts, and they come in particularly handy throughout the school year. A weekly planner can help a student organize the week’s classes and extracurricular activities, while a journal will help them keep track of their personal thoughts and goals or engage in some creative writing.
  • Desk accessories and school supplies. If you’re like us, it’s hard to think when your desk and environment are cluttered. Handy accessories like a desk organizer, ruler, and binder will help bring order to chaos, as will paper clips and memo clips.
  • Tech accessories. A lot of kids learn with tablets in the classroom these days, so tablet bags and tablet sleeves are great accessories for them. Kids who love Legos will also get a kick out of colorful Lego USB drives that hold plenty of data while still looking cool and creative.

Curious to discover more ideas for back to school? Check out our Back to School board on Pinterest for more inspiration. We’ll keep adding to it throughout the month as everybody gets ready for the return of the school year.

Are you looking for branded promotional items to help your company stand out from the competition? There are a lot of ways branded goods can draw attention for your business. Get in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 and we’ll be glad to advise you on exceptional promotional products that can represent your brand with style and grace.

August Holidays, Events, and Awareness Dates to Keep on Your Radar

August is almost here, and with it, the height of summer. A lot of folks are enjoying well-deserved vacations, and many of us are also beginning planning for back to school. The much-anticipated Rio Olympics are also about to kick off as well, sure to thrill sports and athletics observers alike. As we enjoy the remaining weeks of these long, lazy summer days before Labor Day and the beginning of fall, here are some great opportunities to keep your business or organization top of mind with clients and business partners all month long. These are some upcoming holidays, events, and awareness dates coming up that you might want to have on your radar for promotional campaigns and giveaways—from quirky, fun occasions to more serious, meaningful remembrances.

August!

Holidays, Events, and Awareness Days

August 5-21 – Rio Olympics 2016

The 2016 Summer Games are about to kick off in Rio, bringing thrilling athletic events to our Internet feeds and TVs. No doubt, sports fans will be excited to watch their favorite athletes compete on the world stage. Planning on following the Games? Get into the spirit with some Olympic style medals of your own or even a USOC Olympic car flag.

August 7 – Purple Heart Day

First created by General George Washington to recognize soldiers for exceptional military valor, and also considered the first military combat badge of the United States, the Purple Heart is still awarded to those who have served our country with great distinction and honor. If you know someone who has received a Purple Heart, it’s a fitting occasion to thank them for their service.

August 9 – National Book Lovers Day

Making progress on your summer reading list? Know someone who’s a bookworm? This annual observance day gives you carte blanche to find a cozy nook or a comfortable spot under a tree and while away the hours immersed in a good book. Treat the book lovers you know with some thoughtful book accessories including book lights, bookmarks, and bookends.

August 19 – World Humanitarian Day

First created by the United Nations in recognition of the 2003 bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq, World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity to recognize the bravery of those who put themselves at risk in order to help others. It’s also a fitting occasion to note the importance and transformative impact of humanitarian work across the globe.

August 21 – Senior Citizens Day

Each year on August 21, Senior Citizens Day creates awareness about the importance of supporting America’s senior citizens and recognizing their achievements. Created by President Ronald Reagan in 1988, it is also intended to raise awareness about the social, health, and economic issues affecting senior citizens.

August 26 – Women’s Equality Day

We’ve all heard of International Women’s Day, but Women’s Equality Day is likely less well-known. Created in 1971, it commemorates the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, enfranchising women with the right to vote. It’s a great opportunity to recognize the strides women have made in participating in public life.

Awareness Weeks August 2016

August 1-7: Simplify Your Life Week. Have you been getting into the KonMari method of reducing clutter, originally popularized by Marie Kondo? Well then you might be interested in Simplify Your Life Week. Not only is it about eliminating clutter from your life, but in removing the obstacles that keep you from fully enjoying each day.

August 25-31: Be Kind to Humankind Week. These days, we all could use a little kindness in our lives. Be Kind to Humankind Week is an annual global celebration of kindness during which we can take steps to create a kinder world together. Here are our tips on how you can practice kindness and make small contributions of your own.

Awareness Months August 2016

– Family Fun Month

As a lot of families get ready to go on vacation or just spend some quality time together, Family Fun Month is a great occasion to celebrate the fun of being with family and creating some lasting memories—whether that’s exploring the outdoors, hanging out at home, or taking a trip.

Wondering if there are promotional products that might be a good fit for the season or a particular project or campaign you might have on your radar? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for advice. If you have an idea in mind that might benefit from some creative brainstorming, we’d be happy to share some recommendations. Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 and we’ll be glad to advise you on custom branded promotional products that can represent your brand with style and grace.

Campaign Swag at the RNC and DNC

Bernie Sanders mouse padIt’s convention time! The Republicans have been gathering in Cleveland this week to formally nominate Donald Trump as their candidate for President, and next week the Democrats will officially give their nod to Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia. This has been an unusual campaign season to say the least, and as we’ve talked about before here on the blog, one of the most interesting and unique things about it has been the campaign swag. Promotional branded products are one of the most effective methods that candidates are using to advertise their campaigns, and supporters (or, in some cases, just really clever entrepreneurs with a good sense of humor) are getting in on the act too.

Of course Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” hat is the most iconic and readily recognizable piece of campaign swag out there, but there are others worth mentioning. Here are some of the most intriguing types of swag—or stories about swag—that have gotten our attention as the election has heated up this summer:

  • Make America Great Again spinoffs. One of the most effective things about Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan is that you can spin it off into many different versions. We’re seeing that this week, as the RNC presents a different theme each night (Make America Safe Again, Make America Work Again). Some merchandise sellers are putting an ironic twist on the famous catchphrase with tongue-in-cheek products such as the Make Coffee Great Again coffee mug.
  • Magical Bernie gear. Although Bernie Sanders may be out of the race, his supporters are still buying up plenty of swag—including really fun, kitschy items like a 80s portrait style mouse pad showing Bernie holding a cute cat and a Bernie Sanders Is Magical onesie depicting the Bern riding triumphant atop a unicorn graced by a rainbow. Not to be outdone, 90s girls saying #ImWithHer can make a statement with throwback Hillary scrunchies.
  • Unique, local swag from Philly artists. Conventions such as the RNC and DNC are big opportunities for cities to draw attention to their special attractions and what makes them unique, and Philadelphia is no exception. To welcome the DNC next week, Philly artists have designed a set of exclusive clothing, pins, magnets, and other souvenirs sure to attract visitors to the city of Brotherly Love. This is a nice change of pace from the same-old same-old, ubiquitous Liberty Bell goods you typically see throughout the city.

Whoever you support in this year’s campaign, there’s likely some swag out there with your name on it. Have you seen a piece of swag that has particularly caught your eye lately? Snap a photo of it and share it with us on social at Twitter, Facebook, or @branding_ideas on Instagram! We’re always on the lookout for examples of cool, funky, or interesting swag.

Are you looking for branded promotional items to help your company stand out? There are a lot of ways branded goods can draw attention for your business. Get in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 and we’ll be glad to advise you on exceptional promotional products that can represent your brand with style and grace.

4 Ways to Boost Your Social Wellness

photo credit: Help via photopin (license)

photo credit: Help via photopin (license)

What does wellness mean to you? Often, we think about it in terms of physical health—getting enough exercise, proper nutrition, and of course a good night’s sleep. But there’s a lot more to wellness and even happiness than just those key ingredients. July is Social Wellness Month: an opportunity to focus on social relationships and how they make a difference in the way we enjoy our lives. Our connectedness with others plays a huge role in our health and productivity, so it’s worth taking some steps to better promote that closeness.

In honor of Social Wellness Month, here are some ideas for enjoying better social wellbeing:

  • Really listen to your friends. One of the best ways to show a friend or loved one we care is to listen, really listen, to what they are saying—whether it’s something that they’re excited about or something that’s bothering them. It’s an act of kindness that draws people closer together.
  • Spend quality time with a pet. As avid pet parents know, pets can bring a lot of joy into our lives. In fact, pet parents typically experience less stress than folks who do not have pets in their home. If you have a dog, taking him or her for a walk is also a great way to meet some other people who share a common interest—fellow pet parents. Or, if you have a brick-and-mortar business, you can be more pet-friendly to the community by putting out a pet bowl full of water or give out pet goodies to the friendly dogs that wander by. Their humans will surely appreciate it and remember your thoughtfulness!
  • Join a local community group. If you’re feeling disconnected from others, one way to bridge the gap is by joining a local group where you can meet people who share your interests and values. This could be anything from a volunteer organization through which you tutor kids to a community historical association. People feel a sense of harmony when working together toward a common goal. If you pitch in, you’ll likely feel a sense of connectedness and accomplishment.
  • Join an exercise group. This one offers twice the usual wellness benefits: by joining a running group, for example, you can meet some great new friends (or even business networking contacts—that’s always a possibility as well) while taking care of your body and enjoying the thrill of a good run (don’t forget your sunscreen and exercise accessories!).

Are you thinking of offering a campaign or giveaway that focuses on wellness or social wellbeing? There are a lot of ways branded promotional items can play a strong supporting role. Get in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 and we’ll be glad to advise you on exceptional promotional products that can represent your brand with style and grace.

July Holidays, Events, and Awareness Dates to Keep on Your Radar

Can you believe we’re almost at July? This year is going by so quickly. If you’re here in the States like we are, we hope you have a wonderful 4th of July planned. As we get into the full swing of summer, here are some great opportunities to keep your business or organization top of mind with clients and business partners all month long. These are some upcoming holidays, events, and awareness dates coming up that you might want to have on your radar for promotional campaigns and giveaways—from quirky, fun occasions to more serious, meaningful remembrances.

July!

Holidays and Awareness Days

July 4 – Independence Day

Celebrated each year in the U.S. with fireworks and parades, Independence Day marks the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, proclaiming the thirteen colonies’ independence from England and establishing the United States as a sovereign country.

July 11 – World Population Day

Observed every year on July 11, World Population Day seeks to draw awareness to global population issues. Established by the United Nations Development Programme in 1989, back when the planet’s population was roughly 5 billion people, it has become a more widespread international observance since then.

July 14 – Bastille Day

This French national holiday, known in France as la fête nationale or le quatorze juillet, commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison in Paris on July 14, 1789. That event signaled the start of the French revolution. Celebrations and parades are held throughout the country on this day.

July 18 – Nelson Mandela International Day

Observed each year on Nelson Mandela’s birthday, Nelson Mandela International Day honors the iconic South African leader’s dedication to the service of humanity in the fields of conflict resolution, race relations, and many other important issues facing communities around the world.

July 24 – Parents’ Day

Established in the U.S. in 1994, Parents’ Day promotes recognizing and supporting parents in rearing children and contributing to a better world. It’s commonly celebrated here each year on the fourth Sunday of July; in Korea, a similar holiday is observed on May 8.

Awareness Weeks July 2016

July 11-15: National Therapeutic Recreation Week. Established in 1984 by the National Therapeutic Recreation Society, National Therapeutic Recreation Week recognizes the importance of “therapeutic recreation”—the use of leisure activities as a way to aid in patient recovery. Benefits include an enhanced sense of well-being as well as teaching and reinforcing everyday behaviors necessary for a good quality of life.

July 20-24: Comic-Con International. Founded in 1970, Comic-Con International is a massively popular yearly entertainment and comic convention held each year in San Diego, California. Known simply as Comic-Con to aficionados, it lasts for four days and draws large crowds of sci-fi, comic book, and pop culture enthusiasts.

July 25-31: World Youth Day. Also known by the acronym WYD, World Youth Day is an international Catholic event centered on faith and how it impacts young people. Celebrated in a different location each year, it will be observed in Kraków, Poland this July.

Awareness Months July 2016

– National Grilling Month

National Grilling Month is pretty much what it sounds like: a month-long celebration of the pleasures of grilling outdoors in the summertime. It’s also a good opportunity for grilling enthusiasts to refresh their safety practices with some helpful grilling safety tips.

– National Cell Phone Courtesy Month

Ever been annoyed by someone treating the local Starbucks like their personal office, yelling loudly into their cell phone while everyone else is trying to enjoy their coffee in peace? Then this awareness month is for you. It’s a good opportunity to brush up on and promote proper cell phone etiquette.

UV Safety Month

As more of us spend quality time outdoors reveling in the warm summer sun, it’s important to protect our skin and eyes from the harmful impacts of UV rays. Load up on sunscreen, make sure you have a trusty pair of UV sunglasses at your side, and enjoy a cool breeze in the shade of a UV umbrella.

Social Wellness Month

In our always-on, frenetic world, it’s sometimes hard to pause and take stock of what wellness means to us. Social Wellness Month explores ways in which we can improve our wellness—as well as others’—by connecting better with the people around us.

National Culinary Arts Month

Anyone who loves food or dining will appreciate National Culinary Arts Month, which exists to celebrate the talents and skills of the chefs and cooks who prepare our food when we go out to enjoy a meal—whether that’s in a fancy restaurant or at the unassuming food truck down the street.

National Park and Recreation Month

What better way to enjoy the summer months than outdoors at one of our many beautiful local, state, and national parks? National Park and Recreation Month seeks to promote the enjoyment of our local parks and recreation centers and the many ways they contribute to our health and wellness both individually and as a community.

Wondering if there are promotional products that might be a good fit for the season or a particular project or campaign you might have on your radar? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for advice. If you have an idea in mind that might benefit from some creative brainstorming, we’d be happy to share some recommendations. Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 and we’ll be glad to advise you on custom branded promotional products that can represent your brand with style and grace.

Happy National Outdoors Month!

As we welcome the start of summer, it’s an ideal time to celebrate the joy of experiencing the great outdoors. And what better occasion to do so than during National Outdoors Month, which runs through June? Started as National Outdoors Week under President Clinton in 1998 and expanded under the Bush and Obama administrations since then, it’s a yearly event in we celebrate the great outdoors and particularly the enjoyment of our national and state parks.

In honor of National Outdoors Month, we’d like to share some ideas for enjoying everything the outdoors h

as to offer:

  • Go camping. Nothing says summer like camping. Have you taken your family and friends out to the park for a weekend of storytelling and making s’mores by the campfire? It’s one of the best ways you can disconnect from digital overload while reconnecting with nature and the people you love. Settle into your camp chair, enjoy the sounds of the forest, and wow everyone with a good ghost story.
  • Take a hike! Hitting the trails is excellent exercise and can afford you some gorgeous views of the natural wonder that surrounds you. With a trusty water bottle and a compass, you can scale new heights and chart new discoveries in the parks near where you live. Don’t forget the sunscreen and a good pair of sunglasses!
  • Enjoy boating, kayaking, or fishing. A lot of people feel rejuvenated in the presence of water, and boating or kayaking is a great way to get some light exercise while doing just that. For those who like a quiet, tranquil experience, fishing can be a lovely way to while away late afternoon hours at a nearby pond or river. A waterproof phone case can be handy to have on any of these expeditions, as can fishing bobbers and floating key chains.
  • Take a bike ride or a stroll at the park. If your park has biking or walking trails, that’s a lovely way to really take in the scenery on a warm summer day. That can be particularly enjoyable if you’re in a metro area. Here in New York, we sometimes like to bike to the park, getting in a little exercise and sunshine on the way as well. A cycling helmet will keep you safe as you bike the trails, while a pedometer will help you keep track of your steps if you’re walking.

Are you interested in getting more active in the great outdoors? Check out our full line of camping equipment and accessories including camp chairs, coolers, beverage coolers, insect repellent, flashlights, and more.

Looking for some ideas for promotional products that might be a good fit for your business this summer? Check out our Fun Promotional Summer Gifts board on Pinterest! Or get in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 and we’ll be glad to advise you on exceptional promotional products that can represent your brand with style and grace.

6 Tips for Hosting a Company Gathering That’s Actually Fun

Is your company or organization planning a retreat or a picnic this summer? We’ve got some good news and some bad news for you. When the staff finds out that there’s an organization-wide event planned that they have to attend, you’re going to see a couple of people rolling their eyes and muttering about “mandatory fun” while looking for the exit. And it’s understandable—such gatherings can often be pretty boring and feel contrived.

But here’s the good news: they don’t have to be! If you feel like you’re fresh out of ideas for ways to actually make your summer get-together enjoyable for all involved, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Here are 6 tips for hosting a company gathering that’s actually fun!

6 tips for hosting a fun company gathering:

  1. Let employees have input into the day’s programming. Company-wide events aren’t usually met with much enthusiasm when they’re planned in a top-down or hierarchical manner. You may want to create a planning group to organize the event. That way the responsibility won’t fall solely on one person and you’ll get more creative suggestions for fun things to do that a range of people will actually like.
  2. Allow people to enjoy the event in their own way. Chances are, your company or organization has a mix of personality types in it. Some folks love to be a part of large groups; others are more likely to enjoy themselves in one-to-one conversations with less noise and bustle. Consider these dynamics when planning your event and avoid making it a one size fits all affair.
  3. Offer games and contests with fun prizes. Everybody loves a good contest, especially when they win! If you’ve got a picnic planned, that might be a great opportunity for a softball game or a relay race. Not all contests have to be sports-related, though–you could host a trivia challenge or a game show! Events that are relevant to your company culture and brand values are especially likely to be a success. Whatever you choose, offer meaningful prizes and gifts that your staff will enjoy—a battery pack for gadgets like smartphones is a crowd pleaser, while Bluetooth speakers are also a hit (and may get some great music going later that day!).
  4. Provide branded gifts that the staff will enjoy. Contests are great, but there’s also another opportunity to increase the excitement at your retreat or picnic. Many companies and organizations give out special branded items at these events as a thank you to the staff. Such giveaways include temporary tattoos, caps, sunscreen, sunglasses, water bottles, picnic blankets, duffel bags, tote bags, or coolers—all items that come handy during the summer months. As with contest prizes, it’s a good idea to make sure that your branded giveaways are consistent with your brand image and values.
  5. Have entertainment or an educational component. If you’re hosting a picnic, your focus should be on providing a relaxing, fun experience for everyone. Consider providing some entertainment such as live music or a magician. If you’re hosting a retreat, then you might want to have an educational offering. This could be an excellent, inspiring speaker or a presentation on something truly innovative that is happening in your industry. You could also take a moment to recognize staff that have been with the company for many years or that have made remarkable contributions with an award certificate or an award plaque.
  6. Provide good food and beverages. If someone’s been working hard on an important project all week, the last thing they want is to have another task added to their plate. This includes cooking or preparing a dish for a mandatory company get-together. If you’re requiring that everyone at the company or organization attend your event, lighten the load and the atmosphere by providing good food and beverages that they can responsibly enjoy.

Planning a summer gathering? We have protective branded items for summer corporate outings, summer camps, company retreats and picnics. Looking for some ideas for promotional products that might be a good fit for your business this summer? Check out our Fun Promotional Summer Gifts board on Pinterest! Or get in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 and we’ll be glad to advise you on exceptional promotional products that can represent your brand with style and grace.