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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.

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.

Calendar of Events: November

The holidays are just around the corner, which means there are plenty of ways to promote your brand this season. November is a month of thanks: In addition to Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving Day, it’s also Military Family Appreciation Month, National Family Caregivers Month and National Scholarship Month. These and other occasions provide the perfect opportunity to honor those who serve your community and the country while at the same time promoting anew or existing product or business. Here are some other excuses to get your promo on:

November 9th – 15th National Young Reader’s Week
November 9th – 16th World Kindness Week
November 11th – Veteran’s Day
November 15th – 21st American Education Week
November 26th – Thanksgiving Day

Having a Mental Block?

Trying to come up with a unique idea to promote your business or project? That’s what Branding Ideas is here for. The Mental Block, which can be twisted into all sorts of different shapes, is a great way to keep your brand on your client’s brains. You get six imprints for the price of one! It’s a fun, useful item that people will keep on their desks and grab while talking on the phone, discussing new business opportunities, or just to relieve stress. And they’ll be looking at your logo (six of them) each and every time. The Mental Block, which has been the #1 tradeshow item for four years in a row, is a puzzling solution to finding the perfect promotional product!


Repetition is key to imparting a good message, and promotional items that are usable, ones that your clients and customers will keep returning to, are the ones that carry the most bang for their buck. Economic indicators suggest that the recession is turning around, but most of us aren’t feeling it yet, which means being economical is still essential. Low-cost promotional items like pens, key chains, mouse pads and the like are safe, reliable and simple go-to options when you’re hard-pressed for ideas, but Branding Ideas is committed to coming up with new ways to promote your business or product in creative, useful and inexpensive ways. Our new favorite toy is the BMI (Body Mass Index) calculator wheel. At the risk of seeming like you’re telling your clients that they need to lose weight, it’s a great promotional item because it’s not the kind of item that will get tossed in a drawer or trash immediately.

Need some more ideas for useful, affordable ways to promote your business? Let us know!

USB 101: Packaging & Accessories

Once you’ve decided on what kind of USB flash drive to use for your promotional campaign and what content, if anything, you’re going to pre-load the drives with, it’s time to decide on packaging and accessories. Depending on the company and manufacturer with which you’re working, there are a variety of custom shapes and sizes to choose from and/or even create from scratch. You may opt to include an insert card, which could include information about the flash drive, your company, or product or announce a special promotion, new contact information or website. Keyrings and lanyards are also optional accessories you can add, often for free or at low cost. The final step, of course, is to decide how you’re going to package your flash drives. There is limitless number of options, including pouches, boxes, tin cans, wallets, and more!

Need some ideas or want to explore all of the available options for packaging and accessorizing your USB flash drives? Have a general question about USB flash drives? Contact us!

USB 101: Auto-Run

If you’re planning to pre-load custom-branded promotional USB flash drives with specially tailored content for your clients or customers, you might want to opt for flash drives that support a function called “Auto-Run.” Not all standard drives offer Auto-Run, but it’s especially useful and effective in getting your message and content across: When the user plugs in your flash drive into their computer, your presentation or other informational content will launch automatically. Many companies pre-load your data for you as well as set up the Auto-Run function. Auto-Run makes flash drives an even more useful and valuable marketing tool for your business. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that not all Auto-Run files will work on both PCs and Macs.

Have questions about the Auto-Run function or any other USB issue or promotional item? Branding Ideas is here to help!

ECO-friendly Idea of the Day: Recycled Leather

For the past few weeks Branding IdeasTM has been brainstorming ideas to help improve the health of your brand and the planet at the same time. With Earth Day fast approaching (this Wednesday!), we’ve decided to check in with some of our most popular suppliers of promotional items to see what they’re contributing to the cause. One of our favorite lines is Leed’s, who’ve come up with their own list of environmentally responsible gift ideas. From growables to recycled cardboard, they’re one of many inventive partners who have helped us help you gift green. One of their product lines in particular caught our attention: Recycled Leather. Made from all natural material and using notepaper made from 70% post-consumer product, it’s a unique product line we want to bring to your attention. From small, affordable items like a recycled leather pivot pad, to more high-end gifts for your long-time clients and customers like a Day-Timer Eco Zippered Desk Planner, these recycled leather items prove that new eco-friendly promotional ideas are just a click or call away.

Ask and You Shall Go Green

There’s an old adage that goes back to Biblical times: “Ask, and Ye Shall Receive.” There are lots of ways to go green when it comes to promotional items for your business, event or product. We’ve been talking quite a bit about bamboo because it’s a renewable source; it’s also considered good luck in Chinese culture and symbolizes endurance, durability and health, so it’s a great thank-you gift for a new business or venture. But we’ve also mentioned that you don’t have to literally go green to make your business eco-friendly. Ask your promo consultant to find companies that follow sustainable practices or offer environmentally friendly items. Even if the actual product isn’t as eco-friendly as it could be, supporting companies that operate in a responsible way is a big step. And promoting the fact that you work exclusively with said companies can boost your image with clients and customers, and make them feel that when they’re supporting your business they’re part of the solution. But don’t simply pay lip service: Incorporate promotional items that are practical but also play a role in making the world a better, greener place. Need some ideas? Ask us, and ye shall go green!

Smart Is the New Green

One of the simplest ways to go green won’t cost you anything but brain power. Back in November, we talked about ways to brand your product, project or business on a budget. Our very first tip was to brand smart, not cheap. Just because your resources are limited, that doesn’t mean you can’t be smart when gift-giving, and it certainly doesn’t mean you can’t be smart while at the same time trying to go green. Extend your brand by making a long-term investment: A single shoot bamboo potted plant with your brand on it, which we mentioned in our last post, will keep you on your clients’ and colleagues’ radars for months, if not years. And the cost is the same or less than many high-end, not-so-eco-friendly promotional items. And your idea doesn’t even need to be literally green either. Strategically designed promotional ideas that are specific and targeted to your audience or marketing goals, as opposed to things your clients might toss in the trash, are eco-friendlier by sheer virtue of their usefulness. Browse through the Branding Ideas Blog for some fresh ideas or drop us a line to talk about ways your business can go green!