Post image for Urban Line Logo Golf 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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trade-show-giveaways

We’ve all been to trade shows where we’ve been given bagfuls of promotional products by exhibitors that are designed to create goodwill and positive brand imaging which hopefully leads to a business relationship. Some of these giveaways capture our attention because of their uniqueness, quality and usefulness. Others are ‘circular filed’ before they leave the building. Therefore the challenge for those of you who exhibit at shows is: How do you choose a promotional product that has a long shelf-life, will be a lightning rod for attendees at the show and will simultaneously give your brand and marketing message maximum exposure?trans Four Tips for Trade Show Swag Success

The answer? Show that you C.A.R.E.

  • Category? Pens, caps, bags, desk / computer items and drinkware represent over 40% of the promotional products industry. People use these products. The trick is to find an item within one of these categories that meets your standards for quality, creativity, usefulness and end user appropriateness. Avoid anything that’s perceived as ‘seen that done that’. Choose bright colors or unusual shapes and sizes to spark interest.  Remember the goal:  Select an item that your prospect will use and use often. Frequent use will lead to more impressions and greater brand awareness.
  • Appropriate? You also want to consider audience appropriateness when choosing a promotional item. You probably wouldn’t give a fridge magnet to a CEO, a mouse pad to fishermen or a $1 tape measure to a professional builder. Similarly you will help the prospect connect your brand with the service you provide when you tie the item to your industry. Financial services companies often give away calculators, pens, pads and clocks; technology companies mouse pads, usb’s, keyboard and monitor cleaners; travel companies luggage tags, bags and passport wallets.  If the item doesn’t have industry applications at least make sure it mirrors your image.  Are you promising above average service, value or quality? Choose an item that compliments and doesn’t detract from the image.
  • ROI? The key to developing an effective marketing and advertising strategy is to utilize best practices that maximize return on investment (ROI). To that end be aware that the average cost per impression of an ad specialty item is $.004 versus $.019 for newspapers, $.033 for a national magazine and $.019 for primetime TV1. In addition the recipient of a trade show give away has typically been prequalified by virtue of their show attendance making them a highly targeted prospect which will drive up the effectiveness of your campaign. If your giveaway accentuates your value proposition it will drive up your ROI further. If you claim to be a Mercedes or even a Toyota in your industry space don’t give out anything that reminds the recipient of a Pinto.
  • Entertainment? In order to increase brand awareness an effective trade show give away must be functional, attractive, have longevity and whenever possible contain a fun factor. The ultimate goal is to create buzz, visibility and for prospects to positively engage. It’s working if you see ‘em smile….and a smile is your best referral source. At the very least the item must be useful. Usefulness means your brand, contact information and marketing message are being seen over and over by your target audience which increases the likelihood of them calling you to place an order.

Show that you CARE and you will reap a harvest of goodwill with prospects and clients and propel your brand to higher and higher levels.

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20131 Promotional Product Picks Promote Productivity

With the New Year upon us, it is time to revisit those resolutions to get in shape and take better care of the body, mind, and spirit– and encourage your customers, employees and business partners in kind. To help those within your network achieve their wellness goals in the New Year while also increasing your company’s visibility, it’s wise to structure your upcoming branded merchandise campaigns around health, fitness, and beatify products.

Here we detail some of the top trends in health-related branded merchandise that’ll make the recipient feel good on the inside and out while concurrently achieving strategic promotional objectives:

  • Yoga mats are very popular as the practice has rapidly increased in popularity for its ability to trim and strengthen the body while calm the mind and alleviate stress. As a branded product that you can give your clients and staff, there is considerable room to advertise your company thanks to the various mat styles and print customization options now available. Even better is when you can supply your clients and employees with a yoga mat that can be rolled into a convenient carrying bag with a handle, which provides a second place to get your company mark and message noticed with an imprint.
  • Sports armbands for electronics have become more important as runners, walkers, and exercise enthusiasts rely on music or audio books to motivate them through their routine.  Your clients and staff will love this convenient accessory where they can safely store their iPod or MP3 player while they exercise, keeping it clear of harsh weather elements as well as ensuring it doesn’t drop or get damaged.
  • Fitness journals are being used more often to track progress, especially as more walkers and runners and weight lifters want to keep on top of what they have accomplished and set new goals to go farther or faster. Tracking your fitness accomplishments is certainly a great motivator to stay on track with those resolutions.
  • Calorie/Fat/Carb counter guides are also a good way to stay on top of health goals in the New Year. It’s become so popular that even restaurants in some states must now publish their calorie and nutrition information, which makes it easier to track this information and manage dietary intake as a key factor for losing weight.
  • Hand sanitizer continues to grow in popularity as more people seek to avoid germs in order to stay healthy. These branded merchandise bottles now come in all sizes, including those that go on a key chain or clip up to larger bottles for the desk or counter.

In Review

To summarize some of the popular trends in health, fitness, and beauty branded merchandise, here are some products to consider to help staff, clients and others achieve their New Year self-improvement goals:

  • Yoga is hot for helping both the body and mind, so yoga mats and yoga mat bags are a well-loved promotional item.
  • Sports armbands help exercise enthusiasts protect their electronics while they run, walk, and workout so they can remain motivated while they sweat it out.
  • Fitness journals and food counter guides help to track progress on goals and stay on target with specific health and fitness goals or resolutions plus serve as motivators when it’s easy to see just how far a person has come!

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thank you 150x150 Promotional Products Express Thanks, Appreciation

When devising a promotional products strategy for your business, beyond trade show and event giveaways it’s also important to plan for products that convey just how much you appreciate your customers and/or employees while also achieving the intended external or internal marketing objective. Appreciation-based merchandise inherently says “thanks for doing business with us,” “thanks for your continued support” or “thanks for working hard” among similar sentiments.  Of course, the higher dollar value of appreciate-oriented promotional products, the higher perceived value—and emotional impact—it will have on the recipient.

Here are some popular promotional products that duly show gratitude while also providing enough room for you to include a personalized message that illustrates you are truly thankful for the recipient:

  • Gift Baskets: A perennial favorite, gift baskets are a bountiful way to extend a wholehearted thanks to a group of people or even just one special person. These can be tailor-made to fit a certain budget and to accommodate specific tastes, lifestyles and interests. That way, you can not only personalize the message but the items as well, which shows you pay attention and know what they like. Popular choices include premium fruit, gourmet foods, chocolates, savory items and even wine. Beyond victuals, common thank you gift baskets can also feature pampering spa products or even be centered on golf or another favorite pastime that a client or employee is known to love.
  • Plaques: Plaques are a time-honored way to recognize the recipient and can be customized to send certain messages of thanks and appreciation in a thoughtful manner. The recipient can proudly display such placards on their wall with much pride, creating a lasting memory and helping to foster the relationship.
  • Chocolates:  A way to almost anyone’s heart is to send them a gift of chocolates. It’s hard to resist, especially in the form of a large novelty chocolate bar that has been imprinted with a special edible message of thanks for the recipient. Of course, you can also opt for a classic chocolate box with individual treats accompanied by a special handwritten message—always a nice touch.
  • Luxury Items:  Any time your promotional products are regarded as a high ticket item, the recipient will revere it that much more. Leather goods such as briefcases and computer bags, watches, jewelry, golf clubs, and high technology gadgets and gear, are examples of thank you promotional gifts that will make a huge statement, also maximizing your chance for ROI. Have the luxury item personalized with the recipient’s name or monogram and send their gratitude through the roof!

In Review

Here are some things to remember when selecting promotional products that transmit your appreciation and thanks:

  • Select items that can send thanks to a crowd with a gift basket.
  • Plaques are a way for your message of thanks to last a lifetime.
  • Chocolate flavored thanks shows just how sweet your thanks can be.
  • Luxury items illustrate just how much you care and make the recipient feel extraordinarily special as well.

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businessmans hands writing in the dairy  150x150 Power and Popularity of Branded Pens

One of the most popular and enduring promotional products has been the pen. And with good reason as pens are a ubiquitous front-line, high-use, readily visible tool in the business world and beyond.  For these and other reasons, including their affordable price point, pens are one of the most practical promotional products on the market and remain a highly effective strategy for getting a company’s name and brand seen in the marketplace.

Here we’ll cover a few current trends in the promotional pen marketplace.

 Pen Trends

Recent surveys illustrate just how much consumers appreciate promotional pens with 46% of all U.S. consumers noting they have at least one in a drawer or bag, according to ASI Ad Specialties Impressions Survey. These often come from hotel rooms, offices, beauty salons and service-based businesses.

And, with the fact that pens are such a low-cost promotional item, averaging a tenth of one cent per impression, it makes good business sense to select this as an investment that pays a significant return.

While pens certainly serve a function, there are some notable ways to make your promotional pen a standout amongst the competition’s promotional products:

  • Expensive-looking pens that cost less than they look is one of the biggest trends. Indeed, manufacturers are re-designing what had been mid-range pens but using lower cost materials in order to lower the price point for customers. These include sleek brass and stylish aluminum pens that can cost as little as those basic plastic stick pens that didn’t exude style per se. Even the ink in these modern pens has been upgraded as technology has improved, also allowing these promotional items to come down in price.
  • Savvy marketers will look to pop culture for inspiration to design appealing and eye-catching pens. These include everything from pens with neon colors or pearlescent shades to a wide range of cool and hot ink colors that reflect trends in clothing, automobiles, and interior design.
  • It’s always wise to add more, and today’s pens can offer multiple functions that serve this purpose. This includes features like a light on the pen, a stylus tip, or even a key chain. Provide consumers with more functionality, and they will be more likely to hang onto that pen rather than misplace it, providing a longer period of visibility for the brand detail imprinted on the instrument.
  • More people are looking to buy products made in America to support growth in the national economy rather, and are even willing to pay a higher price per unit for domestic manufactured goods over those produced in other countries.
  • There is an ongoing trend toward customization of products where customers have more options and versatility in the type of personalized information that can be imprinted on pen barrels, which can readily set their promotional endeavors apart from the competition. This could include photos, graphics, textures, grips, and more colors or specialized logos that stand out.

 In Summary

Here is a summary of the pen trends and their value as one of today’s most popular promotional products:

  • Pens are one of the cheapest promotional items but also one of the most popular ones for their practicality.
  • Everyone is looking for pen manufacturers to raise the bar on quality, performance, and functionality but maintain the same low price.
  • Pen designs recently have been inspired by consumer markets like clothes and interior design.
  • Customization remains an important trend in pen design to help businesses differentiate themselves among the competition that often uses the same type of promotional products.

 References

http://counselor-digital.com/publication/?i=127096&p=92

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made in usa 150x150 Made in the USA Branded Merchandise Where branded merchandise is concerned, businesses and consumers have become accustomed to seeing a non-U.S. country on the label relative to where the item was manufactured. Producers of such branded merchandise have chosen to develop their goods outside of the USA due, in large part, to the economies of scale and cost controls of manufacturing outside of American borders.

However, in recent years there has been a surge in demand for American-made products, promotional and otherwise. Here we’ll spotlight a few product categories where more “Made in the USA” goods can now be found.

Go American!

Despite the labor cost challenges and other operational issues, the tide is turning as more consumers are taking a nationalist stand with their pocketbooks and selecting products made in the USA—even if they cost more.

According to a survey conducted by Perception Research Services International, 80% of U.S. consumers recognize the “Made in the USA” label and 76% say that this label positively influences their purchase decisions because they equate it with quality, patriotism, and the need to boost what has been a sagging economy. More consumers are moving away from the “consumption society” mentality, preferring a more traditional and environmentally sensitive view of the world. That is, if products are made better, then they last longer and do not have to be thrown away as often.

Branded Merchandise from America

Certain product categories are offering more American manufactured items amid growing demand for domestic goods:

  • Markers and pens are making their mark as a domestic product, including more unique, customized, and functional types of pens and markers in a wide range of colors with a range of pen features and functions.
  • Paper products like calendars, coloring books, diaries and decals are also growing in domestic production as printing technology has advanced to the point where manufacturers are able to lower their costs and become more price-competitive as well as provide a greater range, variety and value for customers.
  • Domestically manufactured hats, clothing, and bags are also on the rise as consumers associate an enhanced level of quality with such apparel items. The rise in using recycled materials for bags and clothing has enabled American manufacturers to save money on materials and fabrics, thereby passing on a lower cost price that is palpable to customers.

 In Summary

Here is a summary of the main points about branded merchandise and buying American:

  • Surveys show that more Americans now want to buy American regardless of whether it costs more or not because domestic merchandise represents quality, patriotism, and a boost to the economy.
  • Consumers would prefer better made merchandise so they do not create as much waste and overly consume, which puts stress on the environment.
  • More industries are increasing their domestic production of certain products, including markers, pens, paper and promotional goods, clothing, hats and bags.

References

http://counselor-digital.com/publication/?i=131646&p=32

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suit gift 150x150 Maximizing Employee Satisfaction with Corporate GiftsCorporate gifts can be a highly effective means of strengthening the employer/employee relationship.  Indeed, such business gift programs can prove integral in increasing employee satisfaction, thereby enhancing staff productivity, retention, loyalty and goodwill toward the organization in kind. [click to continue reading…]

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Branded Items for Fall

The fall season is here and, with it, comes crisp mornings and chillier evenings—maybe even a rain drop or two. Yet, there are days where amid the cooler temperatures the sun is shining brightly. This distinctive climate calls for special fashions, and branded clothing ideas for fall abound.

Top Branded Clothing for Fall

When putting together promotional items for the fall season, consider some of these top branded clothing ideas sure to appeal to your prospects, customers or employees:

  • Fleece-Lined and Micro-Fleece Jackets: These jackets offer warmth while still being lightweight, making them ideal for fluctuating temperatures and windy conditions. These jackets can be screen printed or embroidered with your corporate logo or other brand imagery.
  • Cotton Mock Turtlenecks: The fall season is all about layering, and a mock turtleneck looks nice alone or paired with a shirt or sweater, so that there is added warmth and comfort.
  • Long Sleeve Wicking Tee: Fitness enthusiasts will really appreciate branded merchandise of this nature because of its ability to keep moisture away from the body. This shirt goes the distance by providing added comfort and warmth – especially on those chilly morning runs.
  • Soft Shell Vest: This branded clothing item is both water and wind-resistant, making it an ideal addition to any fall wardrobe. It’s warm without overheating, and it offers a convenient zippered side pocket to keep keys and other valuables.
  • Full-Zip Hoodie: A long-favored look for men, women, and children, these hoodies work well with casual clothes or as part of a sporty look. They are a great way to keep the chill and wind at bay. These fashion favorites are available in a wide range of colors to suit all types of branded options and come in cozy micro-fiber and cotton blends, adding greater warmth and comfort.
  • Fleece Scarf: These cold-weather accessories look great on men and women, keeping necks warm and adding a fashionable flair. There are a wide range of colors, lengths and ways to incorporate a brand to customize for every occasion and image, including patches and embroidery.
  • Custom Suede Boots: Men and women can enjoy this comfortable and warm footwear, which look great paired with jeans or other casual attire. The interior provides more warmth with faux sheepskin while the outside offers many places to embroider a brand and logo.
  • Wool Driver’s Hat: This cap makes a fashion statement plus helps with additional warmth as the weather changes. With colors like navy, black, camel and charcoal, this practical fashion accessory adds style and coordinates with everything from business attire to casual weekend wear.
  • Leather Shopping Bag: These extra large totes work well as an eco-friendly shopping bag, but they also make for a stylish handbag. Made of high-quality leather, these large  totes have long straps and interior and exterior pockets that provide ample storage space.
  • Shawl Collared Robe: What man or woman wouldn’t want a cozy robe to slip into after a long day?  Featuring luxurious cotton velour, these robes can be embroidered with a company, product or other brand name and offer the same comfort and luxury as robes found at the spa or a hotel.
  • Slippers: Comfy, cozy slippers are perfect for those cooler evenings and mornings. Having them embroidered with a brand name and logo is one way to keep the company at the top of a customer’s mind even if they are wearing it on their feet. From terry and velour to extra fuzzy, slippers are a perfect fall indulgence.

In Summary

When it comes to fall fashions, there are a lot of possibilities for adding a brand name and logo to practical and comfortable seasonal outerwear. Keep these ideas in mind:

  • Select items that work well with layered fall looks, such as turtlenecks, long-sleeve shirts, hoodies and vests.
  • Fleece jackets, vests and scarves work well for wide-ranging temperatures and inclement weather like rain and wind.
  • Fitness enthusiasts need practical, breathable, and comfortable athletic wear to keep them comfortable on cold fall mornings. Clothing made for wicking helps to fulfill all those needs.
  • Who says fall fashion is all about going out? Everyone loves to have a plush, great-looking robe and cozy slippers to come home to!

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