Customer Stories

TOP

This Promotional Product Is Just The Thing For Your Next Tradeshow


custom pens

If you’re exhibiting at a tradeshow, there’s no denying which promotional product is a must for your event: custom pens. They’re one of the most popular tradeshow giveaways, and people expect them at your booth.

But why pens?

A lot of reasons, actually.

  • Pens appeal to the masses.

    Fifty percent of U.S. consumers own writing instruments, according to the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI). 

  • Pens are one of the most affordable promotional tools.

    Logo pens and pencils tie bags for the lowest cost-per-impression in the U.S., according to ASI. 

  • Pens get your brand remembered.

    Two-thirds of people can recall the name of the advertiser who gave them a pen within the last 12 months, according to Promotional Products Association International (PPAI). 

  • People find pens functional and relevant.

    PPAI reports that 73% of people carry a pen with them at all times. 

  • People use pens – often multiple times a day.

    Thirty-nine percent of people use a pen approximately 10 times a day, according to PPAI, and 21% use pens about five times a day. 

  • People love pens.

    Seventy-six percent of people consider the pen an important, very important or extremely important part of their daily activities, according to PPAI.

A pen is a promotional product that puts your logo right where you want it – directly into the hands of your customers.

An Example Of Promo Pens In Play

Our client, Kayla Melbye with PureCare, a mattress protection and accessories supplier, turned to ePromos for custom pens. She wanted a useful, functional promotional product to hand out at the 2014 Las Vegas Market, the leading furniture, home décor and gift tradeshow.

But here’s the thing – the pens weren’t just for attendees to pick up as they passed by. The pens served a purpose on the spot.

Here’s how.

PureCare launched a new pillow line, PureCare One, at the show, and the company wanted to get attendees’ feedback on the new pillows.

“We created a handout where people could rate each pillow as they tried them to find which was their favorite ‘One,’” Melbye says. “Our PureCare pens were given out by our team so guests could fill out their score cards when testing the pillows.”

The pens served two purposes: They helped PureCare collect immediate insight about its new line of pillows, and they were a useful takeaway for attendees who stopped by.

custom logo pens

The custom pens were also set out in bowls around the showroom. (You have to look closely at the photo, but you can see the pens displayed in a white bowl.)

That brings us to a great promo lesson: Any time you’re handing out pens – at a tradeshow or otherwise – always pay attention to the presentation. How they’re offered to customers makes a big impact on the perception of your brand.

If they’re corralled neatly in a bowl or jar, it makes your brand appear smart and organized. But if the pens are strewn all over the countertop, or if there are boxes of pens scattered around your booth, it doesn’t reflect well on your company. Pen presentation matters.

Melbye ordered 1,000 custom pens and gave them all away. It’s not surprising considering that 50% of people always pick up a promotional pen being given away, according to PPAI research. People love free stuff, and people love pens.

If you’re looking for that one must-have promotional product for your next tradeshow, pens are the perfect pick.

Photo credit: DenisGiles via photopin cc


TOP

See How DC Thrifty Mom Promotes With Custom Bags (And Learn How You Can, Too!)


elevate your event with custom tote bags from ePromos

Custom bags: You see them everywhere. They’re one of those perpetually useful promotional items that can spread the word about any brand.

And at an average of nearly 6,000 impressions (more than any other promotional product, according to the Advertising Specialty Institute), promo bags get marketers some seriously impressive exposure.

For our client, Nicole, aka DC Thrifty Mom, the extraordinary brand exposure at an affordable price point made custom logo bags an ideal giveaway to promote her blog, DCThriftyMom.com.

Blog Promotion In The Bag

Nicole created the blog, which is geared toward families in the DC Metro area, last year. “I started the blog to offer a free resource to my community by highlighting free, cheap and discount happenings,” she says.

Nicole aka DC Thrifty Mom

Meet Nicole, the creator and owner of DCThriftyMom.com.

The blog attracted about 1,200 frugal-minded followers within the first six months, and today generates an average of 20,000 views per month.

Did Nicole ever dream the blog would take off the way it did?

“No,” she says, “but my Thrifty Friends (my blog followers), always tell me: ‘Who doesn’t love free and cheap?’”

As the first anniversary of DCThriftyMom.com approached, Nicole wanted to give her audience something she knew they’d appreciate: a family-friendly event and useful freebies.

“I noticed it was customary for bloggers to celebrate their blog’s anniversary,” she says. “I wanted to acknowledge the occasion by offering the type of event I highlight [on my blog].”

 

And so the 1st Blogiversary Celebration was born.

The family-friendly bash, held at the National Children’s Museum (NCM), an interactive children’s museum in the DC area, featured local businesses, organizations, performances, interactive exhibits, and, perhaps most appealing to the 1,000+ attendees, promo bags filled with free stuff.

Why Promotional Bags?

Go to almost any event – tradeshow, conference, festival – and there will likely be swag bags filled with goodies. The 1st Blogiversary Celebration was no different.

Nicole contacted ePromos to order promotional tote bags to distribute during the event. In classic black with a white imprint, the bags were bold, eye-catching promotional giveaways that helped spread the word about DCThriftyMom.com and the blog’s sponsors.

Nicole selected these particular bags for a number of reasons: they’re reusable with a large, double-sided imprint space, they have reinforced handles with a sturdy bottom, and they were priced to fit her budget (many totes are priced under a buck a piece).

promotional bag

Promotional bags were perfect for attendees to sling over their shoulder and enjoy the event.

There’s another reason Nicole chose to hand out custom bags: Plastic bags are taxed in the DC area.

“If you go to the grocery store and don’t have your own bag, you get taxed five cents per plastic bag,” she says. “Reusable bags are the thing here, and I knew they’d be useful for moms in our area.” (Here’s a list of all the cities with plastic bag bans in the U.S.)

Of course the custom bags weren’t handed out empty. Inside were all kinds of freebies geared toward budget-minded families: discount sporting tickets from the Washington Nationals, free foreign language classes for kids, information from various mom support groups, and other giveaways.

Nicole says there’s no doubt the 400 custom bags distributed at the event were well-received by attendees. “Everyone was excited to receive a bag,” she says. “The quality and attractiveness made them sought-after items.”

Like anyone promoting with bags, Nicole is always thrilled when she sees her custom bags out in the community. “I definitely feel like they’re accomplishing their purpose,” she says, “especially when I see them being used at the grocery store.”

How Bags Can Work For Your Brand

The great thing about custom bags is that they’re effective for bloggers and mega-brands alike. It doesn’t matter the size of your business or what you’re promoting – bags keep your logo visible and get your brand exposure time and time again. In fact, studies show bags get used an average of nine times per month.

Here’s a quick tip list on how to use custom logo bags in a promotion:

Consider your audience.

What type of bag is most appealing to your target market? Are they, like DCThriftyMom.com’s readers, busy moms who need a way to transport groceries? Are they college students who could use a great backpack? Business travelers who could benefit from a checkpoint-friendly laptop bag? The most important factor when deciding on promotional bags is determining who will be receiving them.

promote your brand with custom bags from ePromos
Define your purpose for handing out bags.

Why are you giving bags in the first place? Are they swag bags on which you want your logo to be bold and noticeable? Are they client gifts where perhaps a more subtle logo is a better choice? Think about your objective when using the bags. Do you want to get your name out to the masses? Provide a luxe gift for loyal customers? Clarifying your purpose is another key element when using bags.

Know what’s going inside the bags.

Custom bags are designed to tote stuff around, and it’s important to consider the size and weight of what may be placed inside. If you’re using custom bags in place of single-use bags at your business, for instance, you’d want to opt for a bag sturdy enough and sized right to carry contents. Here are a couple examples: See how bags were used in a retail setting, and see why tote bags are great for takeout.

The key to using custom bags is selecting the right bag for your audience and purpose. You want recipients to appreciate receiving the bag and actually get to use it. In the case of our client, DCThriftyMom.com, tote bags turned into swag bags fit perfectly with the blog, the event, and the audience.

Want more on how to use bags in a promotion? Check out our Slideshare on what you need to know about custom tote bags.

Let’s hear from you: Have you promoted your business with custom bags? Tell us about the promotion in the comments!

Photo credit: Bright Life Photography


TOP

See How VeraMeat Uses Custom Lollipops To Sweeten The Shopping Experience


custom lollipops

Custom lollipops aren’t just for kids. No, these tasty little gems are perfect for companies that want to enhance the shopping experience for customers.

Nothing invites people to take their time perusing a place like having the sweet surprise of a sucker to enjoy. It’s unexpected in a retail setting, and it’s something people pay attention to. Shoppers now have a sweet treat as they contentedly check out your offerings.

Our client, VeraMeat, a jewelry company that began in the East Village and has since expanded to Brooklyn and Los Angeles, offers lollipops in custom-printed wrappers to anyone who stops in to browse its handmade pieces.

The suckers are deliciously on-brand, featuring a graphic designed for the company by illustrator Anja Slibar. Displayed in cool bowls (hand-picked by the designer Vera herself) that look like gold hunks of coral reef, the red custom lollipops immediately stand out.

“We decided to use these lollipops because we were able to customize the graphics, and they come in our store color: red,” says Lauren Wong, Art Director for VeraMeat.

So far, shoppers are eating up the promos.

“We are quickly working our way through an order of 1,000 lollipops – they are very popular,” Wong says. “People are always excited when they see lollipops.”

Lollipops Make Your Brand Pop

With any promotional product, you want the item to get picked up. You want your logo to get seen. Custom lollipops have all the charm and appeal to draw people over. They’re nostalgic in a way, reminding people of their childhood.

You might expect to find a jar of lollipops at the bank or doctor’s office, but when they’re placed in an indie jewelry store in the East Village, they give a certain edge to the place. They’re unexpected amid the eccentric and unusual pieces. Bright red lollipops next to necklaces with vampire teeth and daggers definitely catch you off guard – but it works.

VeraMeat wanted to give customers a little something sweet while they shopped, and people love the idea.

There are lots of ways your company can use promotional lollipops – tradeshow giveaways, mailers, party favors – but there’s something special about placing a bowl or dish of lollipops in a retail setting.

Lollipops are an edible version of rolling out the red carpet for customers. It’s like you’re saying: “Come on in and stay awhile!” They make your customers feel welcome, and they entice them to linger a bit longer. A sweet taste in your customers’ mouths creates an even sweeter taste for your bottom line.


TOP

How Promo Pens Can Do Wonders For Building Your Brand


We can’t say enough great things about promo pens. They’re perpetually useful, and they fit as easily into a marketing campaign as they do into a portfolio or purse.

When it comes to promoting your brand, custom pens get it done each time they get picked up. Even in a digital age, people will always have a need for pens. Whether you hand them out at tradeshows, put them up for grabs in conference rooms or reception areas, or present them as gifts, pens are well-received marketing tools that put your logo right at your audience’s fingertips.

Plus, people appreciate pens and take note of the companies that give them out. A study released by Promotional Products Association International reveals that 73% of people carry a pen with them at all times, and two-thirds can recall the name of the advertiser that gave them a promotional pen within the last year.

Pens may be slim and small, but they’re powerful when it comes to promoting your brand.

Want an example of how companies are putting pens to work for their brand? Check out this Q&A with our client, Craig Bates, Marketing Manager for VERICOM Global Solutions, a global manufacturer of cables and communications solutions.

custom pen

What was your objective with the promo pens?

VERICOM was a sponsor of a luncheon for a particular industry, and as the sponsor, we wanted to go above and beyond the normal types of items that were given out. I worked with my outstanding representatives at ePromos (Nikki Villarreal and Ashley Bruemmer) to create a memorable item that the attendees would like to keep for a long time.

Who was your target audience?

Representatives of this industry who were invited to the event. These were people in senior management level positions who likely have seen a wide variety of promotional items, so it was important for us to offer a unique, interesting item.

Approximately how many were given?

Roughly 75 pens were given.

How were they distributed to recipients?

They were left on the table at each place setting for the individual recipients, with the boxes that were offered giving an additional touch of elegance to the items.

Why did you ultimately decide on these pens?

As the head of marketing for our company, I was looking for an item that would not be too over the top, while also offering functionality and a great design that could be used over and over by those who received them. With the unique look, weight of the pen and ability to customize the pen with a laser engraved logo, it was the perfect item for us.

What were the results?

Feedback was outstanding. The individuals who received the pen remarked how they had never really seen an item quite like it, complimenting the writing ability, the weight and feel of the pen, and that they were impressed with the overall design and quality. The person who did the introductions of the sponsors and speakers at the event made sure to thank our company directly for the pen, bringing additional recognition to our sponsorship and remarking that VERICOM was a company that did things very well.

Overall, why were you pleased?

I was pleased with the overall quality of the pen, the quality of the workmanship and attention to detail, as well as our contacts at ePromos – Nikki and Ashley – who go out of their way to deliver outstanding customer service, regardless of the size and cost of our order. The biggest challenge at an event like this is to be able to offer something unique and different as a sponsor and with these pens, we were able to do exactly what I wanted to do – deliver a product that was remembered, appreciated and will be used by the people who received it.

How are promotional items helping to build your brand?

As a marketing person, I am always leveraging our brand to tell people the story of VERICOM. I have used products from ePromos.com to promote our brand, be it through small promotional items to headphones with our logo that I wear on business trips to even having a company logo on my vehicle. I have been using one of these pens everywhere I go, and I am often asked about the pen, which gives me an opportunity to talk about our brand, what we do and the products that we bring to market. It is a great conversation starter and I often let people try the pen to see what it is like and to use it as a way to start a dialogue about VERICOM.


TOP

How Hexigo Used Custom Magic 8 Balls To Shake Up The Tradeshow Experience


You don’t typically see custom Magic 8 balls at tradeshows. Pens, mints, sticky notes – these are the promos that most often prevail on the show floor.

But when you’re an exhibitor wanting to draw booth traffic and create a buzz, novelties such as Magic 8 balls are just the promo items to pique attendees’ interest.

Take it from our client, Hexigo, a collaborative decision management platform. The company was exhibiting at Dreamforce, Salesforce.com’s annual user and developer conference, and the year’s biggest cloud-computing event. It needed a way to make a creative splash and get noticed by attendees.

“They have about 130,000 attendees and some pretty big computing names speaking,” says Hexigo’s Rebecca Cattermole. “We wanted to get our brand out there to Salesforce customers.”

promotional Magic 8 balls

Considering the nature of the company, custom Magic 8 balls were spot on. Think about why people pick up Magic 8 balls in the first place. To help them make decisions – albeit in a whimsical, just-for-fun kind of way.

Decision management is what Hexigo is all about. The promos tied in with the brand perfectly.

“We used the Magic 8 balls as a leverage to ask how customers make decisions,” Cattermole says. “We actually jokingly called them our prototype.”

Have A Strategy For Your Giveaways

Anybody who’s ever been to a tradeshow knows that cool swag gets swiped quickly. Hexigo planned accordingly and reserved the Magic 8 balls for attendees who took the time to speak with a sales rep.

“We handed them out individually, and we also kept some in a bowl on our stand to try and avoid the people who were just there to collect freebies,” says Cattermole.

Sometimes at tradeshows, you just want simple promos to hand out to the masses. But Hexigo was looking to have some meaningful discussions with prospects. The Magic 8 balls allowed the company’s sales team to take a playful approach to decision making, getting people to stop by and engage in conversation.

custom Magic 8 balls

Booth signage was also spot-on, asking attendees: Does your business make good decisions? A bowlful of Magic 8 balls with Hexigo’s logo got the message across perfectly.

Show attendees were pumped up about the unique promos, and Cattermole says they were a big success overall.

“People loved them. In the mix of other giveaways, the Magic 8 balls really stood out,” she says. “And certainly they were one of the few, if only, items that had a direct link to the company and its message.”

Are Magic 8 Balls Right For Your Brand?

Magic 8 balls custom printed with your company logo are fun and memorable, no doubt, especially for corporate giveaways, fundraisers, and party favors. By customizing the answers inside, you have a totally unique giveaway for your brand.

But, you have to first determine the purpose for handing them out. What do you hope to accomplish with them? Hexigo wanted to generate brand awareness and also strike up conversations with serious prospects.

If whimsy and fun are part of your brand and marketing campaign, try shaking things up with Magic 8 balls. They’re certainly off the beaten path as far as promos go, and they leave a lasting impression about your company.


TOP

Two Great Uses For Custom Tote Bags


Custom tote bags are promotional items that get your message a ton of mileage. They have a huge imprint space, and they get thousands of impressions – almost 9,000 for the average bag.

Our client, Flute Pro Shop, a Delaware-based, full-service flute specialty shop, is successfully using custom tote bags in two ways:

  1. Tradeshow giveaways
  2. Shopping bags

The shop fills the bags with a custom pen and a CD featuring the owner of the boutique, flutist Joan Sparks, and hands them out at tradeshows throughout the year. More than 1,000 custom tote bags have been given to flutists from around the globe, getting Flute Pro Shop worldwide exposure.

custom bag

“The bags are a great way of promoting our business,” says Kristen Lober, Marketing Manager. “They are something that both we and our customers can get great use out of, and they look fabulous.”

The shop also uses the promo tote bags in place of disposable bags for customers. “We give them to customers who come into the shop to purchase a flute or get repairs done by our repair specialist,” she says. “Everyone loves them. They are particularly fond of the metallic gold that’s incorporated into our logo.”

Flute Pro Shop is smart to use the bags for what they’re designed to do – hold stuff. Rather than hand out empty tote bags at conventions, the shop includes some nice extras inside. Everybody can use a new pen, and the CD humanizes the Flute Pro Shop brand. Recipients can enjoy harmonies right from the shop’s owner.

We also love how the shop uses the bags as shopping bags. There’s a huge difference between receiving a brand-new or just-repaired flute in a custom tote bag instead of a disposable bag. It instantly elevates the experience. The bags have a substantial, elegant feel to them – they’re worthy of toting home a shiny, silver flute.

The biggest benefit, though, is that recipients now have a bag they can use over and over. Flutists can use them for any number of things, and because the website is imprinted along with the logo, people know exactly where to find the shop. The bags are a useful gift for recipients and an excellent marketing tool for Flute Pro Shop.

Want to know more about marketing with custom bags? Check out our Slideshare on promotional tote bags.