Branding Ideas℠

Umbrella Facts from Pres. Lincoln to Tiki

You may already know that umbrellas have been around for thousands of years in one form or another, but did you know these interesting umbrella facts?

  • John Wilkes Booth asked President Lincoln for a few bucks to buy an umbrella in 1864
  • The history of cocktail or tiki umbrellas is unclear, but started in the early 20th century
  • It took thousands of years of making umbrellas before the folding umbrella was created in 1928
  • There’s an umbrella cover museum on an island off the Maine coast
  • The market for umbrellas in the U.S. is around $350 million/year

Want more facts? Well, there’s more over at The Atlantic in their article 11 Interesting things about the umbrella.

I wonder if there are any facts on how many umbrellas get left-behind on the subway or in restaurants and stores?  Anyway, if you’re in search of custom promotional umbrellas give us a shout.

May is National Bike Safety Month

Ever wanted to share your passion for biking with your customers and staff? Or promote your organization or products at the same time as you encourage healthy, eco-friendly habits? May is National Bike Month and the perfect opportunity to encourage your staff and customers to start pedaling! And better yet, start pedaling safely and comfortably with our wide-selection custom branded bike products.

And for a view into the future (maybe) check out this lightweight flexible bike lock by TiGR. It’s not on the market yet so we haven’t tried it, but in form and function the “Titanium Lock as Cool as your Bike” looks very promising. Even if your bike isn’t that cool.

And for a charming view into the past check Cyclist’s Special produced by the British Rail film board in 1955.

Inspired? Want to participate in a Bike Month special event in your zip code? Find Bike Month Events from the League of American Bicyclists.

Where Tweet Meets Seat

We stumbled across Chris McNicholl’s TweetingSeat at modern design site Design Milk. TweetingSeat is “an interactive park bench which is designed to explore the potential for connecting digital and physical communities.” The bench takes photos of its environment and users and uploads them to a live Twitter feed. McNicholl’s interactive installation encourages users to interact with other users and communities in a cool and novel way. It makes us wonder what other ways we can fuse digital and physical to promote brands and ideas.

Happy Earth Day!

Kermit was wrong… it’s easy bein’ green!  If you’re looking for ways to get green with your branding and promotional campaigns look no further. We have a range of eco-friendly promotional items from sustainable and biodegradable to organic and everything in between. Get in touch with us and we’ll help you find items that work with your message or brand.

For ideas on how you can get involved in the solutions to the problems facing our planet, head over to US EPA’s- Earth Day site, or Wiki How’s Celebrate Earthday page.

But don’t let it end there: Earth Day should be every day.

Happy Earth Day from Branding Ideas℠!

Calendar of Events: May

May is chockfull of holidays and observances you can tie-in to promote your business, organization, product or brand. Special occasions give you the chance to connect with your community, attract new and prospective customers, and build stronger relationships and a stronger brand.  May is Heal the Children Month, Clean Air Month, and Family Wellness Month. And here are more daily and weekly observances that might trigger some ideas:

May 3 – 9: Goodwill Industries Week
May 4 – 10: Public Service Recognition Week
May 6-12:  National Nurses Week
May 8: World Red Cross Day
May 9 – 17: National Tourism Week
May 10: Mothers Day
May 11 – 17: National Tran

Need help coming up with some ideas? Let us know!

History Channel Goes Underground

We’ve all heard the urban myth about alligators in the New York City sewer system. Well, the History Channel got in on the action recently with a creative campaign designed to boost interest in its new primetime show Swamp People. The cable network staged a marketing effort that resembled something like an art installation, with a miniature alligator crawling out of a manhole and pedestrian barriers adorned with the History Channel logo and the airtime of the new program. We thought this was a novel way to reach New Yorkers, who are constantly bombarded with marketing everywhere they go. It’s unique, attention-grabbing and consistent with the network’s education-meets-entertainment philosophy and brand.

Calendar of Events: April

April is rife with religious holidays, but since we live in such a culturally diverse world, those aren’t always the easiest to exploit to promote your business or product. Of course, there are creative ways to celebrate these holidays in a secular way, but there are also other unique opportunities to get your brand noticed. This month, for example, isn’t just home to Easter and Passover, it’s also Keep America Month and Stress Awareness Month. If that’s not a good fit for your business, there are plenty of other holidays and observances in the month of April at your disposal. Here are some other notable dates:

April 19: Passover
April 22: Earth Day
April 24: Easter
April 27: Administrative Professionals Day

Need help coming up with ideas? Branding Ideas is here to help!

QR Codes: Scavenger Hunts

By now you probably already know that Quick Response codes are two-dimensional codes similar to traditional bar codes that, when scanned by your mobile phone’s camera, can be decoded using downloadable software. We’ve talked about some basic ways you can use QR codes to promote your product or business – or even yourself – and there are potentially countless other creatives ways to use this new technology. Spring is officially here, and who doesn’t love a fun scavenger hunt? In an eggshell, hunters can search for printed QR codes throughout a building, city or other location and redeem digital prizes for finding them. This is a fun way for a small business to boost its brand exposure locally.

Need some ideas for how you can use QR codes to boost your online presence, or got some ideas we haven’t thought of that you’d like to share? Let us know!

Swag Goes Digital?

South by Southwest, one of the country’s biggest film and music festivals, wraps up this week in Austin, Texas, and for their 25th year, festival producers have ditched traditional gift bags filled with swag from companies looking to promote their products and brands in favor of “digital gift bags” accessible via an exclusive online social network. The move is an effort to be more eco-conscious and to meet the demand for their ever-growing guest list. We wonder if recipients would prefer “tangible goodies” they can open and hold in their hands, but it certainly reduces physical and financial waste, and we’re all for that!

Read more about SXSW’s digital gift bags here.

QR Codes: Advertising

If you live in a metropolitan area, you’ve no doubt seen Quick Response codes on billboards, subway banners, and other highly visible advertising. You may have also seen them in those old fashioned things called print ads. QR codes are a fantastic way to translate your offline presence with your online branding plan. And like online advertising, QR codes are a great way to track the visibility and success of your print ads, though you should note that some users may have privacy concerns. Either way, not only are you communicating with present and prospective consumers, you’re gathering data to determine the most cost-effective way to reach them. Whether you’re a local business or have a more national presence, using QR codes are a great way to expand your reach!

Read about more way to use QR codes here.