Promo, Brand & Marketing News


3 Ideas For Using The Pantone Color Of The Year 2014

Pantone, the global authority on color, has announced Pantone 18-3224 Radiant Orchid as its Color of the Year for 2014, replacing the 2013 color, Emerald.

The purply-pinkish hue, a “captivating, magical, enigmatic purple” according to Pantone, is set to pop up everywhere from consumer products to fashion runways.

pantone's color of the year

“It’s a little different, it’s a little off the beaten path, and it’s not a primary color,” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said in a news release. “It’s an invitation to innovation. The purple family offers an opportunity to do creative things.”

So how did Pantone arrive at this hue, anyway? The forecasting process begins in the spring, when Pantone’s color experts begin tracking trends.

“To arrive at the selection, Pantone quite literally combs the world looking for color influences,” the company said in a statement. “This can include the entertainment industry and films that are in production, traveling art collections, hot new artists, popular travel destinations and other socio-economic conditions.”

While last year’s Emerald was symbolic of prosperity, growth and renewal, Radiant Orchid is on the other end of the color wheel, inspiring imagination and captivating the eye.

For marketers, Pantone’s Color of the Year is an opportunity to freshen up their brands. Even if your logo and branding don’t have a hint of purple, you can still incorporate Radiant Orchid into your marketing. Here are a few ways how:

1. Give it.

One of the best ways to show that your brand is in line with the latest trends is to give promotional products in shades of purple. Pens, tote bags, mugs – there’s a world of options for every marketing campaign and every budget.

2. Wear it.

You don’t need to overhaul your corporate apparel program, but consider weaving purple into employee uniforms or your company’s apparel giveaways. When it comes to fashion, Pantone recommends pairing Radiant Orchid with turquoise, light yellow or olive green to make a bold statement.

3. Infuse it.

Add pops of purple to your store, waiting rooms, conference rooms, or website. It could be incorporating purple décor elements such as vases or artwork, or refreshing the look of your website with purple banners or buttons. The key is to subtly add touches of purple so your brand feels relevant and fresh.

What do you think of Pantone’s color selection for 2014? Will you incorporate it into your marketing?


Custom Products Allow Domino’s Old Logo To Live On

What’s old is new again – at least for Domino’s Pizza. The pizza giant has launched a program that turns its old-logo materials into custom products.

promotional apparelRather than all those old pizza boxes and employee uniforms winding up in the trash, they’re being upcycled into some pretty cool promotional items: notebooks, scarves, quilts and more.

It’s all part of the Domino’s “Second Hand Logos” program. Ten artists were selected to repurpose Domino’s old memorabilia into keepsakes for the brand’s die-hard devotees. Their masterpieces are displayed on Domino’s Pinterest page.

custom notebooksRussell Weiner, Domino’s Chief Marketing Officer, said in an article: “We are truly giving our fans and customers the chance to own a piece of Domino’s history. It’s incredible how quickly our old logo has become cherished as a throwback, which is a credit to both our new branding direction as well as the nostalgia of the old logo.”

As if the idea isn’t cool enough, Domino’s isn’t requesting a slice of artists’ sales of the promo items. The group of artists gets to sell their handmade goods to a national audience and keep the dough. From logo t-shirts to custom notebooks, they are not holding back when it comes to awesome ecological office products.

What a smart move by Domino’s. Not only is it creating positive press by upcycling its old products, it’s ensuring that its former look lives on in the form of custom products.

Nostalgia is a powerful thing, and fans are eating it up. Domino’s had global sales of more than $7.4 billion last year, and the brand has more than eight million Facebook likes.

Does your brand have a loyal following of fans? Give them what they want: custom products.


Five Mistakes You Might Be Making At SES NYC

SES NYC 2013It’s always an exciting week when the SES Conference & Expo comes to New York. The search and social marketing event is the place to learn about all things digital marketing.

From networking events and cocktail hours to topnotch education and a packed expo hall, SES NYC has it all.

But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to work to glean great pieces of knowledge at the conference.

If you want to get the most out of SES, you have to take the right approach. Here are five mistakes to avoid if you’re attending this week:

1. Not knowing your goals.

What do you want to accomplish during SES? It helps to jot down specific goals about topics you want to learn more about and questions you want to ask. The conference runs through Thursday, so try to set two to four goals a day. Then, get your conference on and hold yourself accountable for your goals.

2. Skipping out on networking events.

SES is a prime opportunity to chat with like-minded professionals, get your name out there and get to know others. Don’t stay holed up in your hotel room—make plans to attend those dinners, parties and breakfasts. Try to connect with people you don’t know, and remember: Networking is about listening and exchanging. Genuinely listen and then add something useful to the conversation.

3. Trying to commit it all to memory.

SES is chockfull of colorful experiences and ideas. It’s impossible to recount it all when you’re back in the office, so take a moment to write down the lessons. It could be a useful nugget learned after an education session. Or perhaps it was a tidbit mentioned by a colleague at lunch. The goal is to learn from each experience at SES NYC.

4. Checking in on work.

It’s a four-day conference—you don’t need to constantly be on e-mail and calling into meetings. If that was the case, you could have stayed at the office to work. Delegate what you can and tackle the rest when you get back. To maximize your SES experience, forget work while you’re here and focus on the digital marketing lessons at hand.

5. Forgetting to bring business cards.

You can’t expect people to remember you if you have nothing tangible to leave behind. Bring those business cards to SES every day. Even better if you bring small promotional products to hand out—think pens, magnets or USB drives.

As with all conferences, you get out of SES New York what you put into it. Don’t muck things up by committing these SES blunders.


What You Can Learn From 2013’s Best Retail Brands

Best Retail Brands 2013

It’s out: Interbrand’s Best Retail Brands report for 2013. The annual report ranks the top 50 U.S. retail brands by brand value. The usuals such as Wal-Mart and Target are there, but there are also some rising stars on the list: Cabela’s and Anthropologie, for example.

Are you watching how these brands have found success? There are lessons to be learned, no matter the size of your business.

Here are four strategies to borrow from some of the brands that made the list:

1. Make your branding rock-solid.

Almost 10 years ago, Macy’s wasn’t just Macy’s. It was also Bon Marche in Florida and Marshall Field’s in Chicago. Now, it’s just Macy’s, which is working out wonderfully for the department store’s branding. Macy’s has an unwavering brand strategy throughout the U.S., and its brand value is up 62% from last year.

2. Give customers what they want.

Amazon is a prime example of how it pays to know your customers well and consistently meet their needs. Everybody wants the best deal on their purchases, whether they’re buying diapers or electronics, and Amazon offers the goods quickly and for less than many retailers. As a result, the e-commerce brand’s value skyrocketed to the #4 position on this year’s list, up from #9 last year.

3. Serve up the best-ever customer experience.

Cabela’s, the “world’s foremost outfitter,” landed on this year’s list for the first time (it claimed spot #49) because of its steadfast commitment to the customer experience. Cabela’s has become a place for outdoorsmen to shop in their own habitat. There are majestic wildlife displays right alongside miles of aisles of outdoor gear. But it’s not just about the shopping—it’s about the experience. Shoppers can tell and hear stories, and connect with people who share the same outdoor passions.

4. Strive to be inimitable.

Anthropologie, the ever-inspiring spot to shop for women’s clothing, accessories and home décor, doesn’t want to be like any other retailer. It has carved out a gorgeously unique niche, and it constantly explores ways to bring its charm to a broader audience. Anthropologie only opened 15 new stores last year (and there are less than 200 total locations), but each has a refreshingly different feel.

Promo know-how tip:

Use promotional products to help shape your brand. They can educate, inspire and motivate your audience. Our Brand Consultants are a great creative resource—reach out to them for your next campaign.


ePromos Makes “Best Places to Work” List … Again!

It may be the day after a holiday, but here at ePromos, we’re actually happy to return to work. Really!

best place to work

For the third consecutive year, we made Counselor magazine’s “Best Places to Work” list. Out of all the businesses in the promo products field (over 27,000), we rank 18, rising from #33 in last year’s list. Advertising Specialty Institute, which publishes Counselor, selected 85 companies for its list.

We couldn’t be more thrilled! (Cue the marching band, streamers and balloons.)

Our CEO, Jason Robbins, knows that it takes more than a paycheck to keep staffers happy. Our team voted ePromos the best place to work for many reasons including incentive programs, employee recognition, team-building events, and frequent office parties and social outings.

“When our employees are happy, our customers are happy, and when our customers are happy, we are running a great business,” he says. “Purchasing promotional products, regardless of technology, involves real promo know-how people who can provide the best results for end users of promotional items, corporate apparel, gifts and awards.”

ePromos is the highest ranking distributor with headquarters in NYC to make the list, and we have employees working remotely in 11 states.

We love our jobs and it shows—let us put our promo know-how to work for you!


Four Tips For A Knockout Logo Design

A logo is a visual representation of a business—it’s the very foundation of a company’s branding.

Through logos, companies are instantly recognized. Just think of the McDonald’s golden arches or the Nike swoosh. These logos are classic. Iconic. Powerful.

So if a brand has established such a dynamic logo, why would it ever change it?

For Microsoft, which is changing its logo for the first time in 25 years, the answer is simple: a desire to show newness.

Microsoft is unveiling its new logo at a time when it’s launching new or significantly updated versions of almost all its products. A new logo makes sense.


The new products will feature a fresh look and feel—much like Microsoft’s revamped logo. And for the first time, the company’s logo is designed with a symbol: a square formed by four multi-colored tiles. The colors in the squares—blue, green, orange and yellow—are meant to convey diversity of product offerings and customers.

On account of Microsoft rolling out a fresh, new look, we want to talk logo design.

A well-designed, attractive logo can help you claim a prime piece of real estate in your customers’ minds. Here are four tips to design a knockout logo.

  1. Be original. You should never try to mirror the logo of another company. Be distinctive and unique with your logo design—it helps differentiate your business from the rest, and it helps represent your company’s personality. 
  2. Keep it simple. A clean logo is a logo that gets remembered. Simplicity in logo design allows people to understand the logo and what your company is all about. Complicated logos only confuse your audience.
  3. Massage it. Don’t rush your logo design, and never finalize it on the first attempt. Great logos require great care and attention. Prepare several sketches and then analyze them with your team.
  4. Drop the tagline. Taglines have their place—just not mushed into a logo. Logos are often printed in various sizes, and if you try to shimmy in your entire tagline, it won’t fit properly. The result won’t be so attractive, so it’s best to leave the tagline out.

Promo know-how tip: If you have a spiffed-up logo, show it off with promotional products.