Branding Ideas℠

Top 10 Fall Promotional Gifts

0bc1fb62-9657-4cdd-8225-03a186319a70Fall is in full swing as of last week, and we’re beginning to notice a change in the air. Are you ready for the season? As autumn gears up, you may be wondering what promotional gifts are best for this time of year. As we’ve mentioned before on this blog, promotional products are especially popular when they are useful—and gifts that are perfectly suited to fall are more likely to be appreciated for seasons to come. With that in mind, here are the top ten fall promotional gifts that we recommend for the chilly months ahead!

Top 10 Fall Promotional Gifts:

  1. Gloves. As the weather gets colder, your clients, staff, and business partners will soon need gloves to keep their hands toasty. A pair of smart touch gloves (for using smartphones) is a perfect fit for the approaching cold season and will no doubt be appreciated by customers or employees who are always tapping away on their mobile devices.
  2. Beanie caps. Just like gloves, beanie caps are great to have on hand—not to mention stylish—when the temperatures drop and the wind whips up. They’ll keep your clients’ ears and head warm whether they’re out running errands in the neighborhood or enjoying a nice fall run in the park, and a tasteful logo will on the cap will be a positive reminder of your business.
  3. Lip balm. This is a must-have in the fall. Lip balm soothes lips, prevents chapping, and often comes with SPF protection as well. It’s great for a giveaway, a trade show or conference held in a cold location, or a staff gift. It’s available in classic stick form, as part of a convenient combo with sunscreen, or in a small tin. Organic lip balm is also an option. There’s even glow-in-the-dark lip balm, which is perfect for Halloween!
  4. Thermos® Drinkware: Mugs, Tumblers, & Bottles. As the air outside gets brisk, your customers will find themselves yearning for a sip of hot tea or cocoa to keep themselves warm. Thermos® drinkware is a classic choice for keeping a beverage hot and portable while on the go. There’s a wide variety to suit any need or lifestyle including travel mugs, tumblers, and bottles, and it makes a perfect gift to warm up for the holiday season.
  5. Blankets. Who doesn’t love snuggling up under a warm blanket on a crisp fall night? Blankets are an ideal gift for anyone since they’re ideal for the season, useful, cozy, warm, and comforting. They might make a nice reward for your staff or a thoughtful gift for your treasured customers. Stadium blankets are perfect for the avid sports fan, fleece blankets are great for any situation, and there are even travel versions available for staying bundled up while on the road.
  6. Flashlights. A flashlight always comes in handy and makes a great promotional gift. These days there are as many flashlights as you can think of—from heavy duty durable flashlights to petite LED keylight flashlights, USB flashlights, mobile power banks that double as flashlights, lantern flashlights, hanging flashlights, camping flashlights, and more.
  7. Hot chocolate. Although fall is renowned for the pumpkin spice latté craze, hot chocolate isn’t far behind! This soothing, comforting drink is perfect for the cold weather ahead, and it’s great for a trade show or holiday gift. It comes as an individual bag of instant hot chocolate, in K-cup form, or as an eight-ounce bag.
  8. Vests. Apparel is one of the most popular types of promotional products today, and with good cause—everyone needs attractive, well-made clothing. As fall approaches, vests are an especially good pick for both men and women. They’re great for an outdoor staff retreat in cold weather, for example, and they make a thoughtful gift for valued clients. Vests come in both fleece, knit, and down versions.
  9. Stadium cups. Stadium cups come in handy for all kinds of scenarios, including holiday or staff parties and trade shows. They’re sturdy, attractive, and a great choice for branding your logo in a prominent way. People tend to hold on to drinkware that they find useful, and stadium cups will be a handy reminder of your brand every time your clients reach for them.
  10. Hand sanitizers. As the temperatures drop, you can be sure that people are going to start getting colds. Hand sanitizers are a smart way to guard against seasonal bugs, especially since they’re so convenient and portable. They make a great promotional gift since they show care and concern for your clients’ and employees’ well-being. There are a few different varieties available, too: credit card sized hand sanitizer, hand sanitizer spray, and hand sanitizer gel.

7950_60-7950_60rd_d_3Wondering if there are other promotional products that might be a good fit for a fall campaign or event you have in mind? 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.

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

Welcome to fall! With the official start of autumn, it’s time to begin thinking about fall events that might not yet be on your radar. As the air gets crisper and days get shorter, we’re not far from the holiday season. Here’s a full selection of October holidays, events, and awareness dates that will keep your business or organization top of mind with clients and business partners as the season changes. They’re well suited for promotional campaigns and giveaways, and they range from fun occasions to more serious, meaningful remembrances.

October!

Daily Awareness Observances & Holidays

October 2-4 – Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah, which means, “Head of the Year” in Hebrew, is the Jewish New Year. It is the first of the High Holy Days, also known as the Days of Awe, which typically take place in early autumn.

October 11-12 – Yom Kippur

Considered the holiest day in Judaism, Yom Kippur is also known as the Day of Atonement. Jewish people observe this important holy day with fasting and prayer, often spending much of the day at synagogue services.

October 16 – World Food Day

World Food Day, celebrated each year on October 16, is a day of action against hunger worldwide and an opportunity to promote the belief that access to food is a human right. Observance events include hunger walks, World Food Day dinners, meal packaging events, and food drives.

October 17 – International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Begun by the United Nations in 1993, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty promotes awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries. Poverty eradication is one of the core Millennium Development Goals as well as the developing Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the UN.

October 17 – National Boss Day

Begun by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 1958, National Boss Day is an opportunity for employees to thank their bosses for being fair and kind and throughout the year, with the goal being to strengthen intra-office relationships between managers and their employees.

October 24 – United Nations Day

United Nations Day marks the creation of the United Nations with the adoption of the UN Charter in 1945. It is celebrated with a special UN Day Concert at the United Nations General Assembly Hall. Public monuments worldwide are often lit up in blue to promote the message of peace, development, and human rights.

October 31 – Halloween

Celebrated each year on October 31, Halloween is a children’s holiday in which kids dress up in costumes and go trick or treating in their neighborhoods. Homes and businesses often get into the spirit with pumpkin decorations and toys as well as other Halloween accessories.

Weekly Awareness Observances & Holidays

October 3-7: Customer Service Week

Begun by the International Customer Service Association in 1984, National Customer Service Week is a great opportunity for businesses to promote quality customer service and recognize the talent and dedication of their customer service reps.

October 9-15: Fire Prevention Week

Established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that killed more than 250 people, Fire Prevention Week promotes education on fire safety. This year’s theme is “Don’t Wait—Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every Ten Years.” It’s always a good idea to check your smoke alarm and refresh fire safety best practices.

October 12-18: World Rainforest Week

As tropical forests around the world are threatened by unsustainable logging practices, World Rainforest Week seeks to promote awareness of the situation and encourages people to take action. Communities around the world mark the occasion with documentary screenings, petitions for change, classroom presentations, and other special events.

Monthly Awareness Observances & Holidays

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer affects many women, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month aims to increased awareness of the disease and how it can be detected in its early stages. Communities organize fundraisers, share educational resources, and offer support to women so they can learn how to protect themselves from breast cancer.

Cyber Security Awareness Month

Cyber security is a major issue for us all. As of this writing it looks like Yahoo may have suffered a massive data breach affecting several hundred millions users. National Cyber Security Awareness Month encourages us to learn how to stay safe online, protect our personal information, and identify hoaxes or exploits we may come across. To learn more, visit Stop Think Connect.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Observed each year in October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month aims to raise awareness about domestic violence and how it impacts our relationships, our families, and our communities. Many people volunteer or donate to domestic violence prevention organizations, and advocates wear purple on October 20th, which is known as #PurpleThursday.

Employee Ownership Month

Employee Ownership Month is an occasion for businesses to recognize the many ways in which employee ownership, and having a stake in the company’s success, can help everyone within the organization align toward a common goal over the short and long term.

LGBT History Month

Celebrated each year in October since its inception in 1994, LGBT History Month is a month-long observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history—including the gay rights and civil rights movements. It includes National Coming Out Day, which is celebrated on October 11. It also marks the anniversary of the first march on Washington by LGBT people in 1979. Since then, it has become a national coordinated effort to highlight exemplary role models from the LGBT community.

National Animal Safety and Protection Month

National Animal Safety and Protection Month is an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of caring for both domestic and wild animals. People may mark the occasion by learning about how to microchip their pet so they can be reunited if they should be separated, create a pet disaster plan that includes their pet’s safety needs, volunteer at a local animal shelter, or foster a pet in need of a loving home.

National Book Month

Love reading? Then National Book Month is for you. Schools and libraries offer special events on reading and literacy around this time, but it’s also a great chance to pick a book off the shelf (or download one onto your tablet or e-reader) and get lost in a fascinating novel or biography. It’s also a nice prelude to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which takes place in November.

 

Wondering if there are promotional products that might be a good fit for fall or the upcoming holiday season, 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.

Swag: Dorky and Uncool? Think Again!

hrc-branded-swagOk, let’s be honest. When you think of promotional items, does the word “cool” come to mind? If the answer is no, you’re probably not alone. Promotional products were not historically seen as hip, trendy, or fashionable, but a lot has changed in recent years. Now swag, once looked at with more than a whiff of disdain, is cool. Even the meaning of the word ‘swag’ has been updated to mean something cool, a unique personal style, or something you approve of.

Not convinced that swag is in style? Here are a few recent developments in the world of branded merch that may change your mind:

  1. Designers and fashionistas are embracing swag. Maybe it’s nostalgia or maybe it’s just a yearning for a return to the graphic design of old, but when it comes to what’s in style, everything old is new again. Designers are embracing old school graphic t-shirts, and major fashion houses are even elevating the humble embroidered patch to haute status.
  2. Campaign swag has gone from dorky to desirable. Those of us who remember the 70s, 80s, and 90s can immediately call to mind the old school, blocky, and decidedly lame graphic design of political campaigns. You didn’t see Carter-Mondale or Reagan-Bush printed on a great fashion t-shirt, much less see the fashion elite wearing them. But now swag has gone upscale: major fashion designers have released gorgeous branded t-shirts promoting Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid. They’re so chic you almost forget they’re campaign merchandise.
  3. Major brands offer items through promotional products sellers. Yes, swag can be covetable—especially when you have major brands like Victorinox, Lacoste, Nike, Kenneth Cole, Isaac Mizrahi, Moleskine Brookstone, MoMA, Umbra, and Alessi offering their own specially branded items through promotional products sellers. This type of co-branding is big right now, and it means your business can offer premier goods that might not have been available in the past.

6f124d9c-8f60-4e17-9bd2-462d2082a67aThe most important take-away to keep in mind is that there are more choices than ever before. Back in the day you might have just been able to offer your customers a not so hip foam can cooler (which, let’s admit it, is ironically cool these days). Now you have a wealth of options to pick from—each with its own unique style and sensibility. At the end of the day, one thing is certain: when it comes to branded and promotional items, this is not your grandparents’ swag!

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.

It’s National Preparedness Month!

dont-wait-communicateAs peak hurricane season nears, with Hermine having just passed by the NYC metro area over Labor Day weekend, we think it’s a good moment to take stock of your emergency preparedness. Should an unforeseen situation arise, it’s wise to have a plan you can easily put into action to keep you and your loved ones safe. Fortunately, it’s National Preparedness Month! Here are 5 timely tips you can put into action now to prepare for an emergency.

5 emergency preparedness tips*:

  1. Sign up for local alerts. During an emergency, local alerts can provide critical information that will help you and your family stay safe. If your area provides local alerts (here in NYC we have a system called Notify NYC), sign up for them now. You’ll also want to monitor local news and weather. You may want to download the FEMA app too—it includes National Weather service alerts, safety tips and reminders, a shelter finder, and resources for contacting FEMA in the event of an emergency.
  2. Create an emergency plan. It’s essential to create an emergency plan so you don’t have to improvise one on the fly under stressful conditions if a disaster happens. Don’t forget to factor in the special needs and requirements of your relatives and loved ones with disabilities. If your family includes pets, be sure to create a pet emergency plan as well. If your school or workplace has an emergency plan, you’ll want to review it. Test your emergency plan at least once a year and update it regularly too.
  3. Create an emergency communication plan. If a disaster strikes, it may be difficult to communicate with your loved ones. Part of a good emergency plan involves having an emergency communications plan that can help you plan how to stay in touch before and after a disaster as well as how to coordinate a safe location where you can meet up.
  4. Get your emergency kit ready. If an emergency hits your area, you might need to have supplies on hand that can last you several days. Make sure you have an emergency kit that includes food, water, and medicine for your family and pets. We have several custom branded emergency disaster kits available that include US Coast Guard approved food and water, a thermal rescue blanket, a flashlight, guide, gloves, and other important tools you would need in the event of a disaster. Our disaster kits can even be customized to your specific needs.
  5. Learn about your community’s preparedness. Should a disaster strike your community, you will need to know what preparedness plans are in place and what kind of local assistance you can expect. Get in touch with local officials to learn about their community disaster plan and review a copy, if possible, to make sure you are informed. NYC residents, for example, can access a wealth of information at the NYC Office of Emergency Management’s National Preparedness Month site.

505b40dd-af28-40a9-afa6-483fb535d6a3If you are looking for branded emergency preparedness products or need guidance on an emergency preparedness campaign you may have in mind, we can assist. 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 the right products that can help you and your community get prepared.

 

* These tips were sourced from Ready.gov. They do not constitute professional emergency preparedness advice. For guidance specific to your own situation, be sure to consult your local authorities.

Embroidered Patches: The Next Hot Fashion Trend

riri-cad2aae9-1f6a-44b5-8e0c-00cced36c202Remember embroidered patches? They’re having a moment in the fashion world, as celebs from Margot Robbie to Rihanna to Gigi Hadid are rocking them on everything from jeans to jackets to bags. This hot DIY trend is taking off among style-conscious fashionistas who want to express their creativity in a personalized way. This look is very easy to achieve with the clothes you already have—just place an embroidered patch on the garment of your choice, put a thin towel on top of it, and press down on it for 30 seconds with a hot iron. Voilà.

As the fall fashion season heats up, you can expect to see embroidered patches crop up on more celebrities and their fashion-forward followers. So what’s the story here? Why are they so popular now, and what’s up with the sudden popularity of patches? Here are some details we’ve noticed about the trend and why it’s a big deal right now:

  1. Embroidery has its origins in ancient China. As with many major cultural phenomena we take for granted today, China is where embroidery and a variety of other sewing and patching techniques were pioneered long ago. Embroidered decorations were originally used to identify royalty, and as the practice spread throughout the world, each culture developed its own unique and innovative patterns.
  2. Embroidered patches have roots in the military. Military clothing has long been a source of fashion inspiration. The bomber jacket and the pea coat are just two examples, but those cargo shorts we had such a controversy about a few weeks back also hail from our armed forces. Patches also have a long history of military use, often being used to identify one’s unit, division, or branch. And they have been a key element of American counterculture and individualistic expression too.
  3. Independent designers are creating some of the most popular designs. Individual designers are coming up with some of the most sought-after embroidered patches, selling out their entire stock in a matter of days thanks to pictures of their designs going viral on social media channels such as Instagram. Some of them are even finding, to their chagrin, that major retailers are releasing uncannily similar versions of their work in an attempt to capitalize on the trend.
  4. Even high-end designers are using embroidered patches. Not long ago, major fashion houses would undoubtedly have turned up their noses at the humble patch. But they have taken notice now—Gucci, Raf Simons, and OFF-WHITE c/o Virgil Abloh have all made use of it in their fashion lines. Their haute swag has been noticed on such celebrities as A$AP Rocky and 2 Chainz.

margot-b8d0ec5a-7032-4597-9cc7-bbee90e3de54It makes sense that embroidered patches have taken off now—they’re versatile, affordable, perfectly suited to the DIY culture of the moment, and they give each person an opportunity to express themselves in an entirely individualized way. They can be used to personalize any type of garment or accessory you can think of: caps, hats, t-shirts, jackets, tote bags, you name it. If you’re looking to tap into this trend, check out our selection of embroidered patches or, better yet, get in touch with us and we’d be happy to help you find exactly the right patch for your promotional needs.

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.

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.