Post image for To Give is to Achieve: Corporate Gift Guidelines

A corporate gift does not have to be serious or stuffy in nature. Instead, it should be reflective of a company’s brand and philosophy, and meaningful to the recipient so that it resonates and deepens the relationship–whether the recipient is a customer, vendor, or employee. And, corporate gifting need not be complicated or expensive. Here are some key corporate gift guidelines that can help a business select the most appropriate items to give at holidays, as ‘thank you’ gifts, or in recognition of a job well done.

  • Be creative: There is nothing wrong with stepping outside of the traditional corporate gift box and opt for an item that will surprise and delight the recipient on a personal level, including sports-related items like golf accessories, a personalized wine bottle, a game, or even some type of fitness product.
  • Consider demographics: It is important to consider a person’s gender and age group to get the most bang for your promotional product buck. You do not want to give a younger client some type of house wares item when they would likely prefer a cell phone accessory or electronic device. Corporate gifts are meant to provide you with intangible ROI such as appreciation and allegiance as much as they benefit the recipient.
  • Represent the company’s values: Select items that reflect what the company believes in. For example, if the company is environmentally aware, be sure to select an item that has been manufactured from recycled materials and is produced in a way that’s safe for the environment.
  • Stick to a budget: Always be aware of how much the items cost, including any customization, to ensure that the budget is not overshot and increase the likelihood you can continue to offer the gift program each year or quarter. There are plenty of high quality, utility and perceived value items, including jewelry, barware, clothing and electronics, which will illustrate the level of appreciation you feel for the recipient.
  • Make it relevant: It is important to select those items that are relevant and of interest to the recipients rather than picking up a bunch of pens or diaries because they were specially priced. Take the time to select the types of items that illustrate you know what the recipient likes and is interested in. This small amount of effort will make a significant impact and go a long way toward building loyalty.
  • Go electronic: With so much of our collective professional and personal lives becoming digitized, electronic promotional products and gadget accessories are downright revered–from music and entertainment to travel and productivity, there is a myriad of digital options perfectly suited for corporate gifting.
  • Plan ahead: The best thing you can do with any corporate gift giving initiative is to plan ahead to ensure you can procure the right gift at the right price. This will save you from making rushed purchases that often reveal themselves as just that, which, in turn, may make the recipient not feel as special as intended. Take the time to get it right and you will be rewarded in turn.

In Review

Here is a quick wrap-up on the guidelines for corporate gifts:

  • Think beyond the traditional type of company gifts and go with something fun, practical, or memorable.
  • Make sure the gifts fit the individual based on their demographics, what you know about them, and what is relevant for today’s recipients.
  • Keep the gift in line with your brand, philosophy, and messaging.
  • Plan ahead and you will be able to pick the right item at the right price, staying on budget and delivering something special to the recipient.

References

Source: Premium Incentive Products, July/Aug 2012, p. 18

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employee incentives 150x150 Premium Incentive Products Enhance Employee PerformanceIn tandem with fostering customer loyalty, a company must also cultivate employee loyalty through a culture that motivates and rewards staffers for superior performance. Such rewards and incentives can be in the form of promotional incentive products to deepen an employee’s commitment to the organization.

While some might prefer to allocate promotional products budget toward prospects, customers and business partners, investing in employee incentive products can have an equitable impact on your bottom line. Satisfied staffers have more longevity with a company, and they’ll also go the extra mile and perform at an optimum level, thus delivering a compelling return. This might be in the form of enhanced productivity and higher caliber customer service that translates to boosted revenues and sustained profitability.

Incentive products can vary greatly, and today’s promotional merchandise marketplace has no shortage of options. Here are some ideas of premium items sure to elicit the desired level of appreciation—and that will serve as a motivator in kind:

Leather Briefcases, Backpacks, and Computer Bags are a luxurious way to treat your staff. There is a wide range of high-quality carriers that can assist your talent, including soft and supple leather duffle bags, carry-all bags, laptop bags, computer backpacks, totes and portfolios in various sizes, styles, and colors.

  • Jewelry and Watches are time-honored incentive gifts. Designs available include stainless steel and two-tone watches, bracelets and necklaces for both men and women. It’s a great way to be reminded that you support their efforts every day.
  • Mantle and Table Top clocks are beautiful décor items for a home or office in both gold and glass/crystal to rich wood mantle clocks that are an elegant way to incentivize your talent.
  • Golf Clubs and Accessories will be coveted by the golf-crazed employee, including golf clubs like putters and drivers, golf bags, golf stands, tour bags and golf shoes.
  • High Tech Gadgets are a popular item that employees will fall in love with, especially if it’s something that they might not have sprung for themselves. Great gadgets include GPS Navigation devices, iPods, headphones, portable DVD players and Blu-Ray players. Other great ideas include shelf systems that are compatible with your iPhone or iPod, an HD camcorder, digital frames and flat screen TVs.
  • Cashmere Items like beautiful throws and scarves make a gift of comfort and luxury that anyone is sure to enjoy as they wrap themselves in softness and warmth during those cold months.

In Summary

Here are some key points to remember when it comes to enhancing employee performance and incentive products:

  • Luxury products are a way to show that you truly treasure your talent and want to give them something as special as they are, including items like cashmere throws and scarves, elegant watches, and stunning jewelry.
  • Special décor items are always appreciated like mantle and table top clocks.
  • High-tech items are always a hit, especially when so much of our personal and professional lives revolve such items as iPods, DVD players, camcorders, TVs and navigation devices.
  • With so many gadgets to transport, a beautiful leather briefcase, computer case, or all-in-one bag makes for a beautiful and durable way to keep all those electronic toys at our beck and call.

 

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Urban Line Apparel Trends

by Joey Klinger on January 2, 2018

Post image for Urban Line Apparel Trends

Source: Urban Line Apparel Trends.

Urban clothing lines are trending throughout the apparel industry. Every major brand now has a line that is featuring items influenced by the fashion world outside of the workplace. People’s lives are becoming more transient, travel has become easier and more efficient, and technology has made everything and everyone more accessible. We are also seeing a cultural movement within our professional relationships where people are connecting on a casual and personal level more often. We no longer have a separation of work and life, and with that, people are dressing in such a way that adheres to this new lifestyle. Professionals want to be comfortable yet well-dressed and these new lines of apparel are making that easier. We need our clothing to perform in all aspects of our lives. Active wear and specific fabrics are making this possible. These apparel trends started to pop up about six years ago in the apparel industry and with each season continue to evolve and become more refined.

Major brands are responding. We are striving to have less “stuff” and consumers are expecting the items we purchase to last longer and fit better. Fabric in these lines are more comfortable, well-made and customers are willing to pay the price for these luxuries. You’ll also notice patterns such as camouflage and regional trends such as pigment dyed are making a major statement. It is a very exciting time in the apparel industry as technology is making it possible for today’s clothing to wear better, look better and be more functional than ever before.

In the words of Nike, There’s Always Better!

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Branded Merchandise: An Effective Medium to Create Awareness & Influence Behavior

Marketing professionals are given many choices to increase brand awareness and responsiveness including print advertising, digital advertising, TV, radio, social media content and event sponsorships. This essay explores the effectiveness of promotional products and branded merchandise as an alternative advertising medium. Consider the following1:

  • 76.2% of recipients of logoed giveaways recall the product, advertiser and message from items received within the past two year period.
  • Of the recipients of promotional products who were surveyed 91% had at least one item in their kitchen, 74% in their work area and 55% in their bedroom closet or storage area.
  • 55% of those surveyed kept their logoed items for one year or longer.
  • Brand impressions are considerably higher for logoed merchandise than conventional advertising.

Not-for-profit case study: Heartland, a national parenting ministry mails a $3-$5 item every year 2 months ahead of the December 31st year end giving deadline. It’s a coordinated and strategic activity which has proven to be a very effective part of their development campaign accomplishing several things:

  • Provides a tangible and useful reminder of the brand and business or ministry that will be seen throughout the year
  • Demonstrates a willingness to ‘invest’ in donors
  • Differentiates the brand from those competitors who only solicit using email or US Mail.
  • Communicates dedication and commitment to the mission or enterprise.
  • Uses a touchpoint to move a candidate from prospective donor to committed donor.

Promotional products are an effective marketing tool.  They compliment more traditional forms of advertising by creating awareness for your brand and engendering good will with your donor base.

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Having a concerted strategy and well-honed process for selecting branded merchandise is important for any Best Practices 150x150 Emerging Branded Merchandise Best Practices organization that wants to maximize results from their promotional efforts. Rather than guessing what logo products and related marketing mechanisms might prove effective, discern in advance what has been successful for other companies in the same, or comparable, industries.  With this effort you’re sure to uncover some best practices worth emulating…and be sure to document and continue improving upon best practices of your own.  [click to continue reading…]

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food gifts1 Promotional Food Products Cook Up Tasty SalesPromotional food products offer something for every taste, season and occasion, making them a nearly perfect marketing tool.   In the realm of edibles, there is something for everyone – from salty to savory to sweet. So, next time you’re considering a promotional item strategy, consider offering sustenance to boost sales.

 

Top Performing Promotional Food Products

Hungry for some ideas to put on the marketing menu? Try adding these logo-friendly food products to your promotions plate and see how many bite:

 

  • Custom Candy and Chocolate: From individual packages of mints and hard candies to chocolate selection trays and imprinted chocolate bars and wrappers, this promotion will satisfy every sweet tooth and have them craving more.
  • Snacks and Popcorn: Help satisfy the munchies by providing your clientele with an afternoon delight of popcorn in various flavors like salty, caramel, or cheese. Or, tempt them with a wide array of nuts, raisins, cookies, dried fruit, peanut brittle and brownies. Much of the packaging here may be customized with brand messages and logos.
  • Gift Baskets and Tins: When you can’t decide on any one promotional food product, then consider a gift basket, gift tin, or gift tower full of goodies. This is also an effective way to thank a group of people like a small company or department. Food gifts can include a wide assortment or they can be themed – such as specialty basket categories like healthy, coffee and treats, and chocolate – to suit the recipient’s individual tastes.
  • Seasonings and Condiments: There’s nothing wrong with spicing up a relationship or even getting a little saucy with your branded food product selections. Gourmet ideas include salsa, steak sauce, rubs and seasonings, a selection of spices, hot sauce and even some tasty marinades. All the labels may be customized with your brand message and logo to keep you visible in the kitchen.

 

In Review

There is a bountiful selection when it comes to using promotional food products in your marketing mix:

  • A long favorite of fundraisers, branded candy and chocolates will also win fans among potential and existing customers.  These sweet delights are also effective at tempting and motivating employees.
  • Snacks are an easy and low-cost way to promote via the palate. Packages can be labeled with brands and logos, and offer a wide assortment of non-perishable products to place in them like popcorn, nuts, dried fruit and baked goods.
  • Promotions sizzle with sauces and condiments, which regularly remind customers and employees about the brand every time they cook or barbecue.
  • Gift baskets, tins, and towers are a great way to include many people with one grand gift sure to make a statement.

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 dollar squeeze 150x150 Penny Productivity: Effective Branded Products under $1

 

Budgets are tighter than ever during this tough economy, but it doesn’t mean you have to compromise your promotional efforts with ineffective promotional items you can procure on the cheap. It simply means you have to search for a company that can help you strategize lower cost methods that will help you achieve your goal – optimally one that offers a wide range of effective branded products under $1.

 

Popular Promotional Items for Less than $1

 

You might be surprised to learn how many items are available in this particular budget range – and how effective they can be at keeping your brand highly visible, transportable and top-of-mind with prospects, customers and employees. Consider this assortment of low-cost picks proven to pull:

 

  • Pens: Whether for business or personal use, pens are always in demand. After all, they are always being borrowed and passed around, so why not make sure that the pens you share are those that have your company name, logo, and contact info? These baseline branded products under $1 come in a seemingly infinite variety of styles, sizes, and ink colors so you can find one that matches your style, business philosophy, and desired messaging. There are also all types of pens available, including ballpoint, highlighter, marker and stick pens.
  • Magnetic Business Cards: Make sure your business sticks in the minds of clients by giving them all the information they need to stick in a place where they will be sure to see it—like the refrigerator—rather than the traditional business card that is easily misplaced.
  • Tote Bags: With society going “green” and the phasing out of the plastic shopping bag, it’s great to have plenty of tote bags for groceries or other shopping trips, so your clients and employees will be sure to enjoy this practical, yet low-cost, promotional item.  These also serve as a rather large and visible billboard for your brand.
  • Calendars: Whether for the office or the home, a calendar is an ideal way to keep your business on the mind of customers throughout the year. These branded products under $1 come in various styles, including the traditional hanging calendar, the peel and stick calendar, vinyl calendar and the magnetic business card calendar.
  • Notepads: From lined to plain to sticky, notepads are practical promotional items that help everyone stay organized or enjoy great doodle space. But, branded note pads do offer a way to keep your company name and logo in front of your target.
  • Accessories: There are a range of other great low-cost life accessories that are less than $1 a piece and offer a great way to promote what you do. These include everything from lip balm, key chains, soft kickballs and pins to mints, tokens, golf tees and hand fans. For such items, there is a plethora of colors, sizes, and styles to suit your business personality and fit into your overall promotional budget.

 

In Summary

Promoting your business doesn’t have to be an expensive proposition. Here is a summary of the great ideas found in this blog post:

  • There is a wide range of promotional items to suit every kind of business niche and need.
  • Traditional promotional products, including pens, note pads, magnetic business cards and calendars are available in a variety of styles and sizes.
  • Tote bags are one way to stay on the “environmental” track without spending a lot to be “green.”
  • Accessories offer fun and variety at a low price, including key chains, lip balm, mints, golf tees and more, helping you stand out with more unique, personalized promotional items.

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messy desk 150x150 Organization Essentials: Branded Products That Cut the ClutterIt’s a new year – the quintessential time to simplify and de-clutter our spaces for greater productivity and less stress. Helping clients and employees achieve these goals is easy given the wide array of organization promotional products available for the home or office that can not only help them cut the clutter but also keep your brand and message top-of-mind.

 

Top Organization Promotional Products

To help keep YOU productive and organized in your promotional efforts, here we’ve compiled a quick list of some of the top organization promotional products now available that will help you help others while also achieving strategic marketing communications objectives:

 

  • Wall Calendars and Monthly Planners:  Having a large reminder of what you have to do with plenty of room to write appointments, deadlines, and important events is an excellent way to stay on top of everything you have to do in your personal and professional life. It also helps you mentally track how it will all get done and allow you to look ahead for what is to come for more effective time management. Plus, it’s great to cross things off and see how much has been accomplished.
  • Storage Totes and Bins: These portable organizers take organization with you from office to home or on the road and back again. They work great for folders and paperwork or if you have to carry product samples. The large space on all sides for a brand also makes it a great marketing vehicle for travel. These totes and bins are also just as much at home in an office as they are on-the-go, helping to keep papers from engulfing your desk.
  • Storage Cases and Bags: Don’t lose all the little things that are large on importance to you. These handy organizers will keep track of things like memory sticks and flash drives (you know, the ones that have all those important documents and pictures), keys, tools, and electronic devices or cords. These cases and bags can be kept in drawers or travel in suitcases, briefcases, and handbags to keep all that you need, organized and within reach.
  • Binders and Padfolios: When you need to track important projects and documents, binders are a great way to keep everyone on a team or in a family organized and up-to-date with all the information they need. Padfolios take it a step further and offer a way to take notes on the go while also keeping vital paperwork in a place you can find quickly.
  • Trunk Organizers: These organization promotional products are great for the person who may need to get that junk in their trunk in better order. From the mom-on-the-go who is shuttling kids to various sports to the salesman on the road who lives out of their vehicle, a trunk organizer keeps items in the trunk from shifting into one big pile and offers a way to spot and grab what’s needed.

 

Your clients and employees will love these handy organizers that are sure to be put to good use. And, you will be happy knowing that the items are clearly displaying your company logo, name, or message. Such values as productivity and efficiency may even be perceptually attributed to your brand – always a good thing.

 

In Review

Here are the main points from this blog post:

  • There is a wide array of organization promotion products, including items for the home, office, and vehicle. These include trunk organizers, storage cases and bags, storage totes and bins, binders and padfolios, and wall calendars and monthly planners.
  • Storage and organization products often have ample room to advertise and promote your brand.
  • Clients and employees will appreciate your desire to help them get organized and it will offer a way to promote that you are a productive and efficient company in the minds of those who see your organization promotion products.

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tradeshow 150x150 Event Essentials: 5 Promotional Products That PullFrom trade show “goody bags” to more informal takeaway items, promotional products are an essential ingredient for attracting booth and table traffic and establishing a corporate image while also ensuring your brand stays top-of-mind well after the event is over.  Events are a well-honed channel for branded merchandise for one simple reason: they work!  They key is offering promotional products that are high quality, memorable, and suited for the audience at hand. This is with respect to gender, industry, and interests.

Many companies prefer to think outside of the box, beyond standard offerings like candy, pens, and pins.  Here are examples of giveaway ideas that have been especially popular recent months and have proven to be successful as an event-based promotion tool:

  • Car Coasters: These innovative promotional products serve a practical purpose while also keeping your name in front of customers every day. These ingenious items keep vehicle cup holders dry from all those cups of coffee and other drinks that are kept at hand on commutes or around town. There is even a handy finger slot that makes it easy to lift out the cup holder for cleaning. Plus, it can be imprinted with a full color bleed to best showcase your imagery and company information.
  • Purse Hanger: Despite its name, this is a great item for either women or men. Offering both convenience and portability to trek with ease, this unique polished metal purse hanger features a sturdy hook, allowing a handbag, briefcase, computer bag or shopping bag to hang free from the floor. It’s a great idea to keep belongings safe, clean, and at hand. These promotional products include an emblem that accepts a four-color process printing and even come with a handsome gift box.
  • Ear Buds: With so many devices now offering portable audio capabilities, event attendees gravitate toward these ear accessories since they work with MP3 devices, iPhones and other cell phones, laptops and more. Ear buds have become truly indispensible, and one never has too many for use at home, the office, the gym and during leisure activities. These often come with a carrying case to help them avoid getting tangled.
  • Cell Phone Holder/Stress Reliever: Now here’s a cute item that does triple duty. In addition to clearly brandishing your brand, this promotional product also keeps your cell phone well at hand. When stressed, just give it a few squeezes to release some tension. Available in a range of shapes and sizes, some of which resembling sports equipment or comfy furniture, this is novel event merchandise that’ll have ‘em talking.
  • Pedometer: When working toward fitness goals, every step counts. Count them with promotional pedometers, which come equipped with a belt clip, a top-view LCD display, and an energy auto shut-off feature. Whether attendees are tracking their steps around the block or at the conference center, these dandy devices will keep your company close to their heart.

In Summary

Here are just a few of the many popular and inventive promotional products that are serving their purpose well at events and trade shows:

Effective promotional items provide convenience and solve problems like a car coaster that keeps vehicle cup holders clean and dry.

  • Popular promotional items also relate to top technology trends like ear buds and cell phone holders.
  • Everyone values gadgets, including those that help with personal goals like health and fitness. Clip-on pedometers score a win on all fronts.

 

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