Promotional Product Marketing Blog

Learn the best ways to market your brand with the use of promotional marketing products. Our blog gives you the best tips on ordering the right marketing merchandise to increase brand awareness within your target market. From creative marketing ideas to case studies of how others have used promotional items to promote their brand, we give you clear direction in aligning your promotional product campaign with your overall business goals.

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3 Must-Read Tips For Corporate Holiday Gifts


tips for corporate holiday gifts

You know the adage: It’s better to give than to receive. For businesses, this couldn’t be truer. More businesses are expected to give corporate holiday gifts this year than in the last six years thanks to a steadily improving economy.

Corporate holiday gifts aren’t just a nice gesture – they’re a smart way to strengthen business relationships and get things started on the right foot in the New Year.

Just look at the people on your gift list – your employees, customers, business partners. These are your company’s VIPs. These are the people who impact your revenue stream. It pays to show them some love during the holidays by giving them carefully selected corporate holiday gifts.

If scary visions of bags of money flying out the window are dancing in your head, don’t worry – you don’t have to spend a lot to show your appreciation. In fact, there’s really no hard-and-fast rule at all on how much you should spend on corporate gifts.

The most important thing, nearly all experienced gift-giving business owners would agree, is to give useful items that people actually want to receive.

The holiday season is in full swing, and your employees and customers likely expect a little something from your business. Here are three tips to keep in mind when giving corporate holiday gifts:

 1. Give an experience.

Sometimes the best gifts don’t come wrapped up with a bow – they’re ones that can be experienced. Show your employees and clients your appreciation by treating them to a special experience. Maybe it’s a dinner out or a visit to the spa. The idea is to give them something thoughtful that they can kick back and enjoy.

Ian Aronovich, president and co-founder of GovernmentAuctions.org, gives his employees movie passes for three free movies plus discounts on snacks.

“Seeing a movie in theaters nowadays is an expensive ordeal, so they make a nice treat,” he says. “It’s a great gift to get for your employees to thank them for their hard work and let them know that you appreciate them.”

Aronovich doesn’t give out generic movie passes, though. He gets his company logo stamped on the actual tickets themselves.

“By stamping the tickets,” he says, “it’s a friendly reminder that we’re looking out for them and their interests.”

It turns out many people actually keep their ticket stubs as mementos.So they get to enjoy the experience and have a lasting reminder of your business.

That’s the downside to gifting an experience – once it’s over, it’s over. There’s nothing tangible remaining. Your employees have watched the movie. Your clients have enjoyed that fancy dinner out. They don’t have a physical product to keep afterwards.

An experience is just that – an experience. But you can elevate it into something more permanent by doing what Aronovich has done.

Add your logo to those theater tickets and turn them into mementos of a great night out. Slip a restaurant gift card into a wine glass imprinted with your company logo. When you do this, your business is part of the immediate experience, and your logo sticks around long after the final credits and dessert wine.

 2. Useful gifts simply get more use.

Everybody loves receiving a gift that fills a need. If they find it helpful, they’ll keep it and use it. And, if your company logo is on the item, they will see your name each time they use it.

That’s Katya Constantine’s gift-giving philosophy. For holiday gifts, her company, DigiShopGirl Media, gives external phone batteries customized with the company logo.

“Our clients love these,” she says. “I always want to offer something that our clients will find useful.”

When you take the time and make the investment to give corporate holiday gifts, you want to make sure the items are well-received.

Cell phone-related gifts are ideal since they are used constantly throughout the day. Ninety-one percent of adults have cell phones, according to Pew Research, which means that external phone batteries – also called powerbanks – make incredibly useful gifts. As a result, Constantine’s clients are more likely to hang on to the gift and use it throughout the year.

Of course, there’s always the chance that your customers and employees already have that really great gift you’re excited to give. Some of Constantine’s clients may have phone batteries already. That’s okay.

Think of your corporate gift like a shiny, new toy. If it’s attractive, functional, and the recipient finds it useful, it has a good shot at replacing the original item. It doesn’t matter if it’s a coffee mug or a phone accessory. People are fascinated with what’s new. It’s just human nature.

3. It’s okay to mix things up.

Many companies think they need to have a one-size-fits-all strategy with their gift-giving, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

If you want to delight your customers and employees, have some fun with your corporate holiday gifts. You don’t have to give the same items every year – and you don’t have to give everybody the same gift, either.

Kassy Perry, president and CEO of Perry Communications Group, gets creative with her holiday gifts by picking out a new theme each year and giving items around that theme. She’s given gifts such as portable grills, car emergency kits, stadium seats, beach towels, and blankets.

Her staff gets in on the action, too. Employees get their photo snapped participating in a holiday activity, and the photos go onto the company holiday card.

Perry has been doing this for 10 years and says: “It’s a blast! Our branded holiday gifts are a big deal to our clients and employees. It’s our major marketing tool each year, and we love doing it as much as our clients love receiving it.”

On deck for this year? Cell phone chargers customized with the company logo and website.

“Depending on the year, we’ll do a larger, more expensive gift for clients, and a smaller gift for our ‘friends and family.’ These are the people who might not be clients, but help contribute to our success,” she says.

You Give, You Get

When you give corporate holiday gifts, you get more out of it than you might think. You spread some holiday cheer, yes, but you also inspire the loyalty of the people who are most important to your business.

The holiday season is a time to show appreciation and to really wow your clients and employees. Give them something special now, and you’re setting the stage for a profitable, successful business relationship in the upcoming year. Here’s where to get the best custom holiday gifts of 2014.

And here are some closing words of wisdom for giving corporate holiday gifts:

tips for corporate holiday gifts

tips for corporate holiday gifts

advice for corporate holiday gifts

Tell us about your strategy for corporate holiday gifts. Leave a comment below this post!

Photo credit: Flickr

 


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4 Things To Learn From Petco’s Brilliant Promotion


holiday promotion tips

Petco has us officially excited for the holidays. We love it’s latest promotion – and not just because we’re pet people at ePromos. Petco’s Paw Prints event is an excellent way to draw customers into stores, give them a fun experience with their pets, and send them home with a tangible keepsake.

Here’s what Petco, the pet-specialty retailer with more than 1,300 locations, is doing: It’s creating some festive fun by offering shoppers the chance to make free paw print art in its stores.

People bring in their pets, paws get pressed into clay, fun gets had, and boom – Petco just created an epic brand experience. It’s suddenly way more enticing to stop into Petco than some other pet supply store.

Pet owners leave with a great promotional product – a logo tin containing their dog’s paw print smooshed into clay – and happy feelings about Petco. People love free stuff, and they naturally feel more positively about companies that give them this free stuff.

Let’s examine what makes this promotion so great. Here’s a look at the e-mail that Petco sent to customers.

Petco promotional event

It’s timely.

The holidays are on everybody’s mind, and Petco knows it. There are snowflakes on the promotional tin, snowflakes in the e-mail blast, and an overall festive feel to the whole promotion. Petco isn’t just handing out promotional products – it’s creating a holiday event at which people get to make cherished keepsakes.

What your business can do: Play into the holiday theme with something relevant to your brand. For example, bakeries might host a cookie-decorating party and give custom cookie cutters with its holiday treats. Think about something exciting that would draw your customers in. Don’t just hand out logo products – create an experience.

It’s tailored perfectly to the audience.

Petco markets to pet owners. So naturally, a paw print keepsake is something appealing to its target audience. Petco thought about who would be receiving its promotional products, and it gave items that recipients would actually want.

What your business can do: Always think about who will be on the receiving end of your promotional giveaways. What would they like to receive? And what makes sense for your brand to give away? These are two key questions to ask any time you’re planning a promotion.

It’s fun!

Petco isn’t afraid to get any hands (or paws) dirty with this promo. This isn’t some tired, ho-hum giveaway – it has all the makings of a lively, memorable in-store event. Petco is aiming to deliver an unforgettable experience for pet owners just in time for the holidays.

What your business can do: Kick up the fun factor of your promotion by getting your audience involved. Let your customers get hands-on in some way. Lowe’s does a great job of this with its Build and Grow workshops. If you want people to participate, make it fun.

It’s smart.

Petco is offering customers a coupon – $10 off $50 – when they participate in the Paw Prints event. Shoppers appreciate the savings, and Petco has just given them an incentive to spend $50. They’re already in the store for the event, and the coupon makes it enticing to browse for pet holiday gifts.

What your business can do: Round out your promotion with an appealing special offer. It doesn’t have to be a dollar-off discount, either. Coffee shops, for example, could give out coupons for free peppermint hot chocolate during the holidays. Always consider what would motivate your customers to come back.

Petco gets a lot of things right with its Paw Prints event. It’s an engaging, on-brand promotion just in time for the holidays. Your business can get in on the holiday fun, too. Just think about your audience and their interests, mix in a little fun, and you have the foundation of a smart holiday promotion.

Is your business planning a promotion or event for the holidays? Tell us about it!

Photo credit: Flickr 


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5 Simple Ways To Make The Most Of Small Business Saturday


tips for small business saturday

It’s coming … Small Business Saturday. That one glorious day of the year where small businesses around the country have their day in the spotlight.

Small Business Saturday is always sandwiched in between the two other biggest shopping days of the year: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The holiday, which falls on November 29 this year, was founded in 2010 by American Express as a day to celebrate local businesses and all they do to make their neighborhoods so great.

Last year, shoppers spent $5.7 billion with independent merchants on Small Business Saturday, according to research from American Express and the National Federation of Independent Business.

It’s not just small businesses that have embraced the day.

Forty-one governors issued proclamations supporting the campaign, and more than 3.3 million Facebook users have liked the Small Business Saturday page.

Check out these educational tidbits about shopping small:

  • 80% of every dollar spent at an independent retailer goes back to the local community
  • Money spent at a local business generates 3.5 times more wealth for the local economy
  • $1 spent at a local retailer is usually spent six to 15 times before it leaves the community

Retail sales in November and December could hit nearly $617 billion this year, according to projections from the National Retail Federation. This would be a 4.1% increase over 2013, which only saw a 3.1% increase over the same season in 2012.

Thousands of small businesses around the country are hoping to boost these numbers, and Small Business Saturday is their chance to ramp things up for the holiday season.

If you’re a small-business owner, here are some simple, smart ways to get all you can out of Small Business Saturday:

1. Educate your customers.

The shop-small movement has really picked up steam since 2010 – almost half (44%) of consumers were aware of the holiday last year – but there are things you can do on a local level to get your customers excited.

Share interesting factoids and research about the impact of small business in your social media channels and on your website and blog. The Small Business Saturday website is chockfull of information. You could also send an e-mail blast to your database of customers, letting them know about the holiday and inviting them to your store.

2. Don’t compete on cost.

You likely can’t afford to drop your prices as low as the big-box retailers in your neck of the woods, so don’t. Instead, compete on something other than price – think atmosphere or experience.

If you own a pizza joint, you could host a dough-flipping contest. Coffee shops could have sipping stations with different flavors of coffee or hot cocoa. Bookstores could aim to draw in families by holding a story time with costumed characters.

You don’t have to offer deep discounts to win over new customers – you just have to do something memorable and unique.

3. Pick a partner.

Small Business Saturday is an excellent time to co-market because you’re already part of a group of like-minded businesses.

How do you choose a co-marketing partner? Look for a business that naturally overlaps with yours.

If you own a flower shop, for example, it makes sense to partner with a local wedding business. You could collaborate on everything from social media to promotional products. You get your brand in front of new audiences and save money at the same time. Check out this article for a great example of a co-branding partnership.

4. Make it a celebration.

Small Business Saturday is a big deal. It’s a nationally recognized day with a whole country of supporters rallying around it. Dive into the day and make it fun for shoppers. Create an in-store countdown calendar leading up to November 29. When the celebrated day arrives, kick it off with some exciting incentives. Make people want to shop at your business.

Think about decorating your store with balloons, signage, and banners. Hand out products imprinted with your logo. Get on social media and use the official hashtag, #smallbizsat, to share special offers. The idea is to let the community know you’re proud to participate in Small Business Saturday.

5. Express your gratitude.

When customers take the time to choose your business over a mega retailer, show them how much you appreciate them. It doesn’t take much to say thanks. You could post a message on Facebook thanking shoppers for their patronage. Or you could hand out small promotional products – think seeded paper bookmarks for bookstores or individually wrapped cookies for bistros – as a token of appreciation.

Personal, thoughtful gestures like these will help set your business apart from mass retailers. Customers will remember that you took a moment to show appreciation, and they’ll return the favor by vising your business again.

Small businesses: This is your day. Make the most of it. It can be a challenge attracting customers to your shop – especially in the wake of Black Friday. But by approaching the day with a plan and plenty of enthusiasm, Small Business Saturday can be an amazing kickoff to your best holiday season yet.

What is your business doing for Small Business Saturday? Share with us in the comments!

 


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10 Unique Promotional Gifts Under $1


With the holidays fast approaching, there are so many options of distributing promotional products to spread some holiday cheer and show appreciation to your customers and employees. These holiday hand-outs are the perfect way to say thank you.

And here’s the really great part – they won’t bust your budget. Seriously. You can select from all kinds of promotional products that are under a buck. How’s that for budget-friendly?

Check out these 10 unique promotional gifts under $1:

1. Individually Wrapped Chocolate Chip Promo Cookies

custom cookies

“If you give a customer a cookie …” they will definitely ask for another. They will also remember your company for being so sweet. People love receiving edible gifts, and they will feel more positively about your business because of the gesture.

2. Translucent Stress Ball Promo Pen

promotional pens

It can be a stressful time of year. Eliminate the stress for your customers while they make their shopping lists with this unique comfort grip pen.  A useful promo gift with a stress ball top will help keep them calm.

3. Wedge Custom Earbud Wrap

custom earbud wrap

Keep earbuds organized and tangle-free. Easily slips into pockets and bags. This earbud wrap eliminates the frustration of the cord getting tied up in other belongings. A great gift for the tech-savvy customer or employee.

4. Instant Promotional Hot Chocolate

promotional hot chocolate

Warm the heart and soul this holiday season with a cup of hot chocolate, the perfect pick me up! Your customers will be reminded of you as they reach for this tasty treat.  For extra promotion, add a bag of hot chocolate to a custom mug.

5. Well-Rounded Promotional Lip Balm

promotional lip balm

Keep lips protected during the harsh winter months. This well-rounded lip balm compares to the eos brand lip balm but at a fraction of the cost! A high-perceived value that recipients are sure to enjoy.

6. Season’s Greetings Promotional Crayons – Four Pack

promotional crayons

Add a pop of color to your promo this year.  A unique and fun item for child safety programs, family restaurants, and education programs.

7.  Star Acrylic Promotional Massager

promotional massagers

Treat your staff to a little rest and relaxation. They have worked hard all year, show them your appreciation with a gift that helps them unwind.

8. Promotional Coffee Sleeve

custom coffee sleeve

Keep warm this winter with hot tea, coffee and cocoa. This sleeve protects the hand from hot liquids by easily slipping over paper or plastic cups.  A coffee sleeve makes for a fun and useful gift for your employees. These can also be a great giveaway as a thank-you to customers. Let your brand be carried anywhere they go.

9. Slice ‘N Serve-It Dessert Promotional Server

custom dessert server

Gifts for the home are useful items that put your logo in front of many people.  Your customers will be able to serve up some sweet treats for their guests while displaying your company name.

10. Happy New Year Logo Greeting Card & Magnetic Calendar

logo greeting card magnet

Gear up for the new year with this two-in-one promo. Wish everyone a “Happy New Year” with this greeting card and custom calendar magnet for 2015.

Get creative with your holiday gifts this year without breaking the bank. Customers and employees will feel appreciated and have a reminder of your company at the same time.

Tell us: What are some unique gifts you’ve used to get your brand out there?

 


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3 Quick Tips For The Perfect Selfie (And How To Score A Free Selfie Stick!)


custom selfie stick

It can be a real struggle taking a great selfie. How do you get the angle just right? And how do you look great while stretching your arm out to snap that awesome pic?

Easy. You grab a selfie stick.

If you haven’t heard about selfie sticks, they’re extendable monopods that hold smartphones and lightweight cameras. Just attach your photo-taking device, jut it out in front of you (they extend from 11 inches to 3.5 feet in length), and press the button on the handle to snap the photo at the ideal moment.

It’s also great for recording videos – just start the recording manually. You can extend the monopole and capture excellent video above the crowd. Click here to see how easy it is to use.

Check out ePromos’ selfie sticks. They fit all popular phones and connect to Bluetooth (Android 3.0 and iOS4 or later). Your logo gets seen with every snap of a selfie thanks to a full-color custom label.

Don’t want to use it with a smartphone?  Remove the smartphone holder and attach any lightweight point-and-shoot camera to its ¼-inch tripod screw.

You can get one of these selfie sticks for free. ePromos is including a free selfie stick in orders over $750. If you’re already thinking about ordering some promos, here’s your chance at a great freebie that’s everybody’s favorite new smartphone accessory.

It’s All About The Selfie

Selfie sticks are having a major moment right now. That’s because we’re living in the age of the selfie. Selfies have become such a cultural phenomenon that Oxford officially named “selfie” the word of the year in 2013.

The PEW Research Center reports that 91% of teenagers have taken a selfie. Among people age 18-24, selfies account for 30% of all the photos they take.

So, why all the selfies? Are we really that obsessed with ourselves?

Sort of.

The fact is that we’re hardwired to feel noticed and appreciated. We want to be recognized by others, and oftentimes, getting a few likes on the selfies we post on Instagram or Facebook is just the thing to fill this basic human need.

With so much riding on snapping the perfect selfie, it’s no wonder people love selfie sticks. They really do help users get the perfect shot.

Selfies simply turn out better when the camera is farther away from the body. Users can get more background in the shot and squeeze more friends into the photo.

And as long as the selfie stick isn’t a part of the picture, nobody has to know that it was a selfie at all. For all their Instagram followers know, a friend actually snapped that photo.

Even with the convenience of the selfie stick, taking the perfect selfie is an art. Here are three simple tips to make your next one as glorious as it can be:

1. Use Natural Light

When taking a selfie, don’t use your phone’s built-in flash. It’s too harsh. It’s also distracting. Instead, snap your selfies outside or near a window to make use of all that gorgeous natural light.

2. Know Your Good (And Bad) Angles

Say your bangs look amazing when you’re gazing off to the left. Or your smile is most dazzling when you tilt your head just so. When you’re your own photographer, it’s easy to play up on your good points. You can also follow A-listers’ rules for great photographs: stick your neck out a little to get rid of any double-chin issues, and tilt your face down a little to appear instantly slimmer.

3. Do Some Staging

People won’t just be looking at your face – they’ll also see what’s around you. Not every setting is ideal for snapping a selfie. Bathrooms, messy kitchens, boring parking lots. These aren’t the best locations for a selfie. Try to find an interesting background. This makes the photo instantly more appealing.

If you want to take your selfies to the next level, grab a selfie stick and follow the three tips we listed above. You’ll be on your way to more likes in no time.

And from a marketing standpoint, the selfie stick is the trendiest new way to promote your brand. It gets your logo in front of selfie snappers in an undeniably cool (and useful) way. Who knows if the monopod will be a long-term trend. But for now, ePromos is going to have some fun and take some selfies! Join the fun and get yours here.

selfie stick

Cheese! See how easy it is to use?

 

Show us your selfies! Post your selfie to our Facebook page and we’ll send you a special prize.


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U.S. Trade Shows: A Behind-The-Scenes Look [Infographic]


For marketers, U.S. trade shows bring some major opportunity. They’re among the most valued and used marketing strategies in the U.S., according to Statista, and they’re consistently ranked high in effectiveness.

When you want to get face-to-face with customers and prospects, and skyrocket your brand awareness, there’s nothing like jetting off to a trade show.

It’s where business happens.

Eighty-one percent of trade show attendees have purchasing authority, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), which means that four out of five attendees are potential customers.

And guess what? They want to see what your company is all about. The #1 reason for attending trade shows is to see new products. CEIR reports that this has been the top attendance draw for more than 25 years.

Let’s take a closer look at U.S. trade shows.

When are they held? What are the most popular industries for trade shows? Our infographic below details these answers. Be sure to check out our guide to custom tradeshow giveaways, too.

 

eye-opening stats about the u.s. tradeshow market