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Top 10 Winter Promotional Gifts

Halloween is in the books, and that means we are heading directly into the festive winter season. Holiday decorations are already going up here in New York! As the season revs up, you may be wondering how to decide what promotional gifts to pick for your staff, clients, and business partners. As we often say, promotional products are especially popular when they are useful—and gifts that are perfectly suited to winter are more likely to be appreciated for seasons to come. With that in mind, here are the top ten winter promotional gifts that we recommend for the blustery months ahead!
Top 10 Winter Promotional Gifts: 
#1. Blankets. Ask a busy professional to picture their dream winter vacation and chances are it involves a fireplace and a cozy blanket? Blankets are a crowd-pleaser. Cozy, snuggly, and comforting, they make a thoughtful winter gift for your valued employees and treasured customers.
mug#2. Mugs. As the temperatures drop, your customers will probably reach for a mug of hot tea or cocoa to keep warm. A high quality mug with your branding on it is a thoughtful gift they’ll appreciate for years to come, whether they’re enjoying a cuppa at home at breakfast time or sipping some green tea at the office.  
candle#3. Candles. If your customers and employees could add one item to that cozy winter scene, it would probably be a candle. They’re relaxing, lovely, often fragrant, and create a perfect atmosphere for the holidays.
ice-scraper#4. Ice scrapers. If you like in a cold climate like we do here in the Northeast, then you know anybody who drives needs a trusty ice scraper to get them up and running after a snow or ice storm. Business partners and customers will appreciate having one of these on hand, compliments of your company, as winter approaches.
gloves#5. Gloves. If your clients are going outside to scrape the ice off their windshield, chances are they’re going to need a nice pair of gloves too! They’re essential for protecting our hands from the elements in the dead of winter.
#6. Lip Balm. As the weather gets colder and drier, your clients, staff, and business partners may find the delicate skin on their lips is prone to chapping or even cracking. Lip balm comes in very handy on freezing, blustering days and is particularly useful for travel.
#7. Hand sanitizer. Cold and flu season is already well underway. Hand sanitizers are handy for guarding 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.
#8. Beanie caps. When it’s frigid outside, beanie caps keep your clients’ ears and heads warm. Whether they’re out running errands or catching a football game, a tasteful logo will on the cap will be a positive reminder of your business. 
fleece-jacket#9. Fleece Jackets. These are very convenient to have when winter rolls around, as they keep the wearer toasty and comfortable even in cold weather. Fleece jackets are a great choice for both men and women, and they come in a range of styles and colors—even co-branded fleece jackets from the popular outdoors brand Columbia are available.
scarf#10. Scarves. As soon as the season changes, you’ll see people donning scarves before heading outside. Scarves are a practical means of staying warm as well as an elegant fashion statement. As a corporate gift, they can also be an elegant reminder of your business.

Wondering if there are other promotional products that might be a good fit for a winter campaign or holiday event you have in mind? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for advice. If you could benefit from some creative and collaborative 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.

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.

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.

It’s Promotional Products Work! Week!

Promotional Products Work!Did you know it’s Promotional Products Work! Week? It is, and we’ve been celebrating with the industry. Promotional Products Work! is an annual event dedicated to showing how powerful and effective promotional products are in promoting your business. Last week we shared 6 ways promotional products can benefit your business right here on the blog, and this week we are running special social media posts on our Twitter and Facebook profiles to highlight the many ways in which promotional products can make an impact.

So what’s Promotional Products Work! Week all about?

This yearly event is a chance to showcase how well promotional products get the word out about your business, generate customer interest, and create increased opportunities for sales. The promotional products market is booming, too: promotional products advertising is the fourth-fastest growing advertising medium, ranked right after mobile and digital. Here are a few stats that illustrate its popularity and effectiveness:

  1. 8 in 10 people own a promotional product.
    1. Consumers especially like promotional products that are useful, attractive, informative, desirable, and fun.
  2. 88% of people who receive a promotional product remember the advertiser.
    1. That’s incredibly powerful brand recall and a very cost-effective investment.
  3. Promotional products create a favorable view of your company and lead to sales.
    1. 59% of people who received a promotional product had a more favorable view of the company.
    2. 85% of people who received a promotional product did business with the company after receiving the product.
  4. They’re especially popular in the kitchen and workspace.
    1. 91% of people keep promotional products in the kitchen.
    2. 74% keep them in their work area.
    3. 55% hold on to promotional products in their bedroom.
  5. People hold on to promotional products for a long time.
    1. 47% of consumers hold onto the promotional products they’ve received for a year or more.
  6. Wearables and writing instruments are hot.
    1. Wearables and apparel, including t-shirts and hats, get a 41% brand recall.
    2. Writing instruments draw a 35% brand recall.
    3. Drinkware is also quite popular, at 19% brand recall.
    4. Sporting goods (15%) and pocket/purse items (13%) also do well.
Promotional Products Work

Infographic: Promotional Products Work!

Promotional products can really make a difference for your company, creating increased grand recognition, a favorable view of your company, and new business opportunities. If you want to learn more about how promotional products can have an impact, check out this handy infographic or the Promotional Products Work! Week website for more information.

Looking for some expert guidance on which promotional products might be a good fit 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.

6 Ways Promotional Products Can Benefit Your Business

Promotional Products Work!If you’re like most business owners, you’re wondering what smart, cost-effective investments can get the word out about your company and attract new customers. There are a lot of ways to do that today, of course, and promotional products are among the most powerful options you can choose. In fact, according to recent research from Promotional Products Association International, promotional products advertising is the fourth-fastest growing advertising medium, ranked right after mobile and digital.

Why are promotional products so popular, and why are so many companies including them in their strategy? Here’s a look at five ways promotional products benefit businesses.

  1. People remember your company from a promotional product and think about it positively.
    1. 83% of consumers in a recent survey they enjoy receiving a promotional product with an advertising message.
    2. 2% of people recalled the product, advertiser, and the message.
    3. That’s powerful brand recall that companies only have to pay once for, as opposed to digital advertising that charges per exposure.
  1. Promotional Products Work

    Infographic: Promotional Products Work!

    Promotional products increase the likelihood of purchases and referrals. According to a study from Georgia Southern University, not only do promotional products contribute to a more positive brand image and perception, but people are also more likely to recommend a business or even patronize it themselves upon receiving a promotional product from them.

  2. People keep promotional products for a long time.
    1. 80% of people own 1-10 promo items
    2. 6 in 10 keep them for up to 2 years
  3. If you give out items for the kitchen or work area, people keep them around and remember your business.
    1. 91% of consumers have at least 1 branded item in their kitchen.
    2. Of those who did, nearly 82% could identify the promotional product and 42% could also name the advertiser
    3. 74% of consumers have at least 1 branded item in their work area
    4. Of those who did, 90.3% could identify the promotional product and 49.4% could also name the advertiser
    5. 55% of consumers have at least one branded item in their bedroom.
  4. Businesses get better trade show booth traffic with promotional products. Businesses that included promotional products with a pre-show mailing or offer saw more traffic to their booths at trade shows according to a study by Georgia Southern University. 76.3% of attendees who received a promotional product at trade shows had a favorable attitude toward the company that gave them the product.
  1. Promotional products offer budget flexibility. There are often solutions to fit any budget while still offering the benefits of lasting brand recall and positive brand association. Promotional products can be used as a stand-alone advertising medium or as part of an integrated marketing mix. Perhaps most importantly, they contribute to consumer intent to buy.

Promotional products can make a big difference for your company, creating lasting awareness, increased goodwill, more referrals, and new business. If you’re curious to learn more about how promotional products can help your business achieve its goals, stay tuned for next week’s post in which we will be covering Promotional Products Work! Week and how businesses get powerful results with promotional products.

Looking for some expert guidance on promotional products might be a good fit 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.

What Are My Printing and Decorating Options for Promotional Products?

There are lots of different ways to brand, decorate, or embellish a product with your logo—so many, in fact, that it might seem a bit overwhelming at first when you’re trying to figure out which method is right for your needs. Choices could range anywhere from printing a logo or inking it directly on a garment such as a t-shirt or a notebook or notepad on to laser engraving, which is often used to create tasteful designs on pens.

Whatever your requirements, we have a way to make sure that your branding stands out and looks great on the product you select. Here are a few of the most popular printing processes for promotional products and how they are used to best showcase a company’s logo.

Debossing and EmbossingDebossing / Embossing

Debossing is an elegant and attractive way to make an impression directly into the surface of an object. Embossing also impresses an image into the surface, but in relief—creating a raised image within the material. Both processes work well on leather or simulated leather, although you may also see them on other materials often associated with fine stationery and notepads and vinyl patches. Like embroidery, debossing and embossing add a high perceived value to the item and are long-lasting decoration techniques.


A decal is a design that is printed on special paper, then transferred to a promotional product made from material such as ceramic, porcelain, or metal. It’s one of the most effective ways to get a full color imprint on these types of surfaces, which are otherwise tricky to print on or decorate.

Die-Striking (also known as die-stamping)

Die-striking, also known as die-stamping, is often used to create emblems and other flat promotional products. A hard metal die is used to press or stamp an image into a softer metal such as brass or gold. It can be used to create lettering and simple designs, but is not ideal for detailed or complex artwork. Die-striking is commonly used on medals, coins and belt buckles.

Digital PrintingDigital Printing
Digital printing is a four color, CMYK process that can create photo-quality images in full color with a single pass through the printing machine as opposed to screen printing, which requires a separate pass for each color. It’s a particularly good choice for artwork with lots of colors, shading or gradients.


Embroidery involves using needlework and machine stitching to create an attractive logo using vibrant, colored threads to match your branding. Commonly used on apparel such as t-shirts and hats, embroidery is a fine choice for adding high perceived value to the item and making it desirable.


In the etching process, an image is first covered with an acid-resistant protective coating. Portions of the image are left exposed, leaving bare metal and protected metal, and then the entire image is exposed to acid. The acid attacks only the exposed metal, leaving the image etched onto the surface. It can be used to create very fine lines and detailed designs.

Foil StampingFoil Stamping

Foil stamping involves applying pigment or metallic foil to the surface of a product such as a leather padfolio or a gift box. It can be performed as a standalone decoration technique or as a follow-up step to the embossing process, creating an attractive 3D image of a logo or custom design.

Hot Stamping

Hot stamping involves transferring pre-dried inks or foils to a product at a high temperature. It is especially effective on plastic products, but wood, leather, and paper products are also commonly decorated using this technique as well.

Laser engravingLaser Engraving

Engraving, or laser engraving, is a sophisticated way to custom brand promotional items with an image, your organization name, or your logo. It involves using a laser to apply a logo directly to a product, removing the top coat and revealing the color beneath it. Laser engraving is especially effective on metal items such as pens, and plaques wood items, like cutting boards, and glass or crystal corporate awards.

Pad Printing

Pad printing is similar to screen printing, but it’s often used for small objects with an irregular shape, such as a stress ball or a key chain. In pad printing, a recessed surface is covered with ink. When the plate is wiped clean, the ink remains in those recessed areas. A pad then is pressed directly against the product to create a design. Pad printing is great for printing or decorating small, oddly shaped objects that can’t be run through the screen printing process. Plastics, paper, ceramics, glassware, wearables, leather, and vinyl are some popular materials used with this process.

Patches (embroidered, appliqué rubber/pvc)

A patch is a standalone patch featuring a company logo that can be embroidered, woven or dye sublimated, and even made of rubber. Patches can be used on wearables or a wide range of items—whether it’s a bag, a hat, a t-shirt, or a jacket. Patches can be in custom sizes and shapes and in a variety of colors that can match your unique branding.


As the name suggests, personalization is a technique for personalizing an object with someone’s name or initials. It’s a fine choice for occasions when you want to recognize someone’s exceptional achievements or their ongoing contributions to the company. This technique can be applied to a wide range of products and can be combined with other decoration methods to include a company logo.

Screen PrintingScreen Printing

Screen printing, sometimes also called silk screening, is a technique in which an image or design is transferred to the surface of a product with ink that has been squeezed by a squeegee through a stenciled screen stretched over a frame. The screen or screens are then coated with a light-sensitive emulsion, then exposed to a strong light. The light hardens the areas that have been coated with the emulsion, leaving a permeable area on the screen where the squeegee can successfully apply ink. Screen printing is an effective printing or decorating method for objects with an irregular shape—particularly items that are made from glass, plastic, fabric, or wood.


In the sublimation process, toner or ink is thermally converted to a gas that hardens on the special substrate used by the printer. Printers that use this process are able to create smooth, even tones using soft-edged dye spots. This technique is somewhat new and can be used on many different types of materials.

Heat TransferTransfers (also known as heat transfers)

Transfers involve printing an image onto fabric that is usually synthetic fabrics. An image or logo is first printed on paper with special dyes, then transferred to the fabric with heat. After that, the fabric absorbs the dye from the paper. Printed heat transfers are a great alternative to screen printing for small-order program runs and multi-color logos, and they are particularly good at printing clear text at small sizes.

Of course, there are even more options for branding promotional items with your artwork or logo! Stay tuned for future blog posts in which we take a deeper dive into related topics, such as what printing processes are most ideal for apparel and other types of products.

If you have a project in mind that might benefit from some expert consultation, drop us a line! We’d be happy to share advice and suggestions on what printing or decoration process might work best for you. Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 and we’ll advise you on solutions that can represent your company with style and grace.

Co-Branding: What It Is and Why Brands Do It

Kung Pu Panda and Wix team up on a co-branded advertisement

Kung Pu Panda and Wix team up on a co-branded advertisement

Did you tune into the Super Bowl earlier this month? If so, you probably noticed a couple of ads that were a bit different from the others. One was an ad for Wix featuring personalities from Kung Fu Panda 3; the other was a commercial for Airbnb featuring characters from The Jungle Book. In both instances, popular characters from films that are currently playing in theaters were used to showcase the benefits of a service. What’s going on here, and why might these brands have chosen to team up in this way?

Co-branding, in which two different brands join forces for an advertising campaign or a special product release, has been around for quite some time. Very popular with the auto industry, it spans several verticals, right on up to consumer retail. Also referred to as a strategic partnership, co-branding allows brands to reach audiences they might not other be able to access, leading to increased awareness and sales. Co-branding also implies a subtle endorsement that can deliver positive benefits by dint of association: if one of the brands is highly esteemed and has a stellar reputation, simply appearing alongside it can have lend positive associations to the other brand as well. If the two brands have similar target audiences and brand identities, engaging in co-branding can help reinforce and strengthen their respective brands.

Sometimes co-branding ideas come naturally through the course of doing business: for example, Pottery Barn got lots of questions about the paint colors used in its catalogs, so it teamed up with Benjamin Moore to create a special color palette to better serve customers. In the beauty world, MAC recently teamed up with Lady Gaga and Cyndi Lauper to promote new, bold product lines of cosmetics. Household products have also gotten in on the act: Tide offers a version of its detergent that includes Febreze, a popular freshener.

Brands also occasionally partner up to promote humanitarian causes, such as when Bono’s Global Fund (Red) formed a sort of brand supergroup, collaborating with American Express, Apple, Converse, Dell, Emporio Armani, Gap, Hallmark, and Starbucks on a major initiative to fight AIDS in Africa. The campaign is still going strong, having recently welcomed Snapchat for a special social media campaign on World AIDS Day last fall.

Co-branding is also a popular and growing trend where promotional products are concerned, spanning a wide array of sectors and brand levels. Selecting a branded promotional product that people already recognize, appreciate and trust can be an effective way to draw their attention and get them to positively associate you with a brand they know and admire. We offer top national and international brand name product lines ready to be co-branded with your logo or design, from elegant corporate gifts designed by MoMA to a generous selection of Moleskine notebooks and weekly planners, Brookstone products, and many more items from every day brands like Thermos, Carhartt, BuiltBobble, Cutter & Buck and Swiss Army / Victorinox!

If you’re curious to know more about the name brand promotional products we offer, including select executive and corporate gifts from brands that are not listed on our website, such as Tumi and Mont Blanc, feel free to reach out to us! We’d be happy to share advice and suggestions on what types of branded promotional products might best fit your needs. Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 and we’ll advise you on branding ideas that can represent your company with style and grace.

People Love Promotional Products: Here’s the Research

Promotional Products Work

Infographic: Promotional Products Work!

Have you ever wondered how well promotional products work—that is, whether they’re popular with potential customers and how well they contribute to lasting brand recognition and recall? Promotional products are considered very desirable and are often well received, perhaps more than you might expect. Here are some research findings that illustrate just how powerfully promotional products can represent your brand.

Consumers like promotional products, especially if they find them useful

  • 83% of consumers say that they like getting promotional items with an advertising message
  • People especially value promotional products that are useful to them
  • 48% of them want to get promotional products more often
  • 79% of people use promotional pens

Curious whether or not your customers liked the promotional t-shirt that you recently offered as a giveaway? They likely did. The vast majority of people enjoy receiving promotional products, and many of them would like to get them more often. Consumers particularly like to get promotional products that they think are useful. While this may sound kind of a no-brainer, it has a proven effect: something that they need, like a kitchen tool or a desk accessory, is much more likely to be kept over a long period of time, increasing their awareness of your brand.

Taking care to select a promotional product that gives value to your customer can make a difference. For example, power banks do quite well at trade shows since attendees’ smartphones and gadgets are often running low on power. Office and desk products, including pen sets, desk diaries, and note pads, are another great choice since they can immediately be put to productive use at work. While some people might think pens are a bit unoriginal, they’re actually very effective: 79% of consumers use promotional pens.

Most people have promotional products, often more than one

  • Eight out of ten consumers own between one and ten promotional products

Related to our earlier point about how people enjoy receiving promotional products, it turns out that the majority of them have promotional products right now—and, in many cases, they have more than one. And once they have promotional products, they tend to keep them for a long time.

Customers keep the promotional products that they get, especially if they’re useful

  • 91% of that people surveyed said that they have at least one promotional product in their kitchen, while 74% have at least one in their work area and 55% have at least one in their bedroom
  • 53% of people surveyed use a promotional item at least once a week or more.

People tend to hold onto the promotional products they receive—particularly if they think they’re useful. If you give out promotional products, the likelihood is good that they will be kept and used for quite a while, increasing the length of exposure that potential clients have to your brand. 

People remember the promotional products they receive for a long time

  • When asked to think of a specific promotional product they had received in the past two years, 76.2% of those polled could recall what the product was, the advertiser whose brand was associated with it, and the message.
  • 88% of people were able to recall the advertiser alone.

You’d be surprised at how well people remember the promotional products that they have—88% of them remember the advertiser who gave the product to them, and 76.2% of them remember other specific information such as what the product was and what the message was. That recognition represents a powerful impression that is not easy to achieve using other advertising methods.

Certain products lead to better consumer recall than others

  • The types of promotional products that lead to the best consumer recall are wearables (41%), including shirts, caps, other headwear, and outerwear.
  • Writing instruments are a strong second (35%), while drinkware also does well (19%)

People remember certain types of promotional products better than others—wearables, writing instruments, and drinkware tend to do especially well. Even calendars rank highly on the list of products that perform well. If you’re contemplating a promotional giveaway in which you really want to generate lasting brand awareness, you may want to keep that information in mind.

People do business with the brands that give them promotional products

Most importantly, promotional products lead to sales. Promotional products not only give consumers a positive feeling about your brand; they make them more likely to want to purchase your products and services.

So now we’ve seen that promotional products clearly do work and that they have a strong and lasting impact for your brand—particularly if they happen to be items that the customer feels is useful and relevant to their life. Stay tuned for future blog posts in which we share more insight into promotional products: what types are most effective, trends in the industry, and how businesses can best use them to connect with their target audience.

Are you looking for custom branded promotional products that can make a difference for your brand? Interested to learn more on what types of products might be a fit for you? We’d be happy to share some recommendations and creative ideas with you. Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 and we’ll advise you on branding ideas that can represent your company with style and grace.

Much of the research in this post was sourced from the Promotional Products Industry International (PPAI). For more information, visit

Color Matching: Why Is It Important?

UNICEF LogoConsistency is one of the most important aspects of branding. It’s how people recognize your brand. If your company’s logo is inconsistent, it can throw consumers off and confuse them. The color used in a logo can also be very important. For example, take UNICEF’s iconic blue logo, which is referred to as UNICEF Blue in its brand book. No matter where you see it, it’s always recognizable and evokes a certain feeling.

In order to ensure this consistency, some companies issue strict corporate branding guidelines that dictate such things as the proper color to be used in the logo or the correct spacing for letters in the logo. They can also provide instructions how to use the branding for promotional items. This can be very helpful when it comes time to make decisions about what promotional products the company wants to select and how it wants the branding to appear on them.

Some companies use the Pantone Matching System (PMS) to make sure they get the right color every time. So if UNICEF were a new customer of ours and they were to place an order for promotional t-shirts printed with their logo, for example, we would ask them for the PMS code of their logo, along with a file for their vector format. Or, they might supply us with a brand kit or set a brand guide that provides details on proper use of the brand elements including their logo, colors, and other brand elements. This would allow us to get a full sense of how to match their colors on promotional products. This type of preparation helps ensure that we are using the correct color.

Pantone ColorsAlthough PMS color codes themselves are exact, there’s a wrinkle—the product on which the color is printed may affect the way it appears. The color may also look different depending on whether you’re looking at it outside in daylight as opposed to indoors under fluorescent or incandescent lighting. Many printers know that they must make an adjustment to control for this factor, but some do not. This is where we can help.

If you need your promotional items printed with a specific shade of blue, for example, it we’ll ask you for a specific Pantone® code. But if you don’t know it, we’re here to help. In some cases where our clients consider color very important and require an exact match, it may be best to order a pre-production physical sample for review prior to placing a full order. While a printed sample adds a little time to the process, it’s a great help if exact matching is a priority.

There are two types of these printed samples available. One is a pre-production sample, or pre-pro. We recommend this if you know you are definitely ordering 5,000 t-shirts, to give an example, and want to see how they look before going to final press. There’s usually a small cost to create this sample. The second type is a spec proof. This type of proof is ideal if you really like the idea of a certain product but, before making the commitment to order 5,000 of them, you want to see if your logo looks good on it. In that case, you would just order one spec. If you like it, you can go ahead and put in the order, if not, you don’t have to and only pay for the spec sample.

We’re here to help you get the color that’s best for you, whether it’s color matching or finding the right product color. If you have a designer on staff and already know the exact color you want, great. If you are brand new to the process, that’s fine too. We’ll work with you to find out exactly what you need to know. With deep experience and careful attention to detail, we can help you find the right solution.

Looking for custom branded promotional products that can make a difference for your brand? We’d be happy to share some recommendations and creative ideas with you. Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 and we’ll be glad to advise you on branding ideas that can represent your company with style and grace.

5 Terrific Trade Show Giveaways That Will Boost Your Brand

Bluetooth speakers are a popular trade show giveaway item

Bluetooth speakers are a popular trade show giveaway item

Exhibiting at a trade show can be an exciting opportunity for your business to connect with potential customers and clients. But how can you make sure you stay top of mind with them after they’ve left your booth? Promotional giveaways are often a great way to create lasting and effective brand awareness. Here are five ideas for great swag that will boost your brand at these events:

  • Tech gadgets – Particularly if you’re in the tech sector, tech gadgets are always a hot item. USB drives come in handy at conference time, as do power banks, earbuds, and styluses. You could also consider offering a raffle or a contest for a higher-value item, such as Bluetooth speakers.
  • Pens and notebooks – If you’re late for a breakout session but just ran into that potential client or business partner you don’t want to miss, you don’t want to be caught without a pen or a piece of paper for exchanging contact information or taking a quick note. We’ve all been there. That’s why pens and notebooks, while seemingly simple, can make thoughtful and effective gifts.
  • Branded care packages – Trade shows can be exhausting and physically draining. The people who come up to your booth may look like they’re doing fine, but they may be privately grappling with a headache, a rumbling stomach, or a blister from all that walking throughout the exhibitors’ hall. Branded care packages including a little TLC such as water, breath mints, aspirin, snacks, and even band-aids can make a lasting, positive impression.
  • Eco-friendly giveaways – As we all know, trade show attendees get lots of swag—so much so that they can begin to wonder about its impact on the environment. A lot of the most popular trade show swag, including tote bags, notebooks, and even eco-friendly USB drives, are among the many environmentally friendly promotional items you can give away.
  • T-shirts – Long the ubiquitous staple at trade shows, t-shirts are still an enormously popular item for giveaways. They double as free advertising for your company; they get worn on-site during the conference or event, spreading the word about your products and services.

Do you have a trade show on the horizon? We can help advise you on custom branded promotional products that can make a difference for your brand. Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 for creative and innovative branding ideas to help your company stand out and make a great impression.