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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The Top 10 Zaniest MLB Promos For 2014


the coolest promos of the 2014 MLB season

It’s Opening Day, y’all, and the return of America’s national pastime brings with it the promise of some awesome promos.

Yes, there will be t-shirts and bobbleheads (lots of them). But there’s also a wide range of cool and quirky giveaways on teams’ promotional lineups this year.

MLB teams have been giving out promotional items since the 1960s to lure fans to games, and it’s a strategy that’s still effective more than 50 years later.

When he was the Mets’ Vice President in 1968, James K. Thornton told the New York Times: “People like something for nothing. Everybody comes to the fair.”

It’s true. Free stuff is a powerful motivator to get fans to the ballpark. Here’s a look at our roundup of the season’s 10 most buzz-worthy MLB promos.

1. Arizona Diamondbacks: Promotional slippers

Here’s a cool promo from the Snake Pit – and it’s especially for moms. The first 10,000 D-back moms get a cozy pair of slippers when they head to Chase Field on May 18. It’s definitely not an expected gift in the hottest state in the U.S., but still, we like it. We’re all for pampering moms with a great promo a week after Mother’s Day (May 11).

 

promotional etch-a-sketch
2. Chicago Cubs: Custom Etch-A-Sketch toys

The Cubs are ringing in 10 decades of Wrigley Field history, and they’re celebrating with a colorful assortment of throwback promotional giveaways: custom die-cast train engines, yo-yo’s, and Rubik’s Cubes just to name a few. Our favorite, though, is a nostalgic joy: custom Etch-A-Sketch toys. They’ll be handed out to the first 5,000 kids on July 13. Photo via chicago.cubs.mlb.com.

 

3. Cincinnati Reds: Mr. Redlegs mustache

Reds fans aren’t waiting for Movember to rock their ’staches – 20,000 of them will be sporting a groomed handlebar mustache a la Mr. Redlegs at the July 26 game. It’s a fun giveaway that captures the spirit of the Reds game experience, and will likely draw hordes of people to Great American Ball Park.

 

custom mug
4. Houston Astros: Custom cowboy boot mug

Texans are in for some sweet cowboy swag at the August 8 showdown between the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers – the first 10,000 fans will receive a custom mug shaped like a cowboy boot. It’s perhaps more fitting for the rodeo, but this is Texas, and anything cowboy goes. There’s even a cowboy hat giveaway the next day to bring the theme full circle. Yeehaw, y’all! Photo via www.crawfishboxes.com.

 

 

 

 

 

cowboy rally monkey
5. Los Angeles Angels: Cowboy rally monkey

Angels fans will be getting some cowboy promos all their own – a plush version of their beloved mascot: the Rally Monkey. He’ll be all gussied up in a Western shirt, cowboy hat and Angels bandana for fans to grab at the July 8 game. He’s so cute we can’t imagine this giveaway lasting long. Photo via www.stadiumgiveawayexchange.com.

 

6. Minnesota Twins: Custom barbecue tongs

It doesn’t get more all-American than baseball and barbecue. The first 10,000 Twins fans at the May 26 game will score a great promo – custom barbecue tongs – they can use all summer long to show off their Twins pride. And grill up some mean burgers.

 

custom sunglasses
7. Philadelphia Phillies: Custom sunglasses

Okay, so they’re not technically sunglasses – they’re more silly-nose-and-mustache glasses – but the “Phillie Phanatic Phun Glasses” are so different and fun, they had to make our list.  Fans age 14 and under will snag a pair at the May 18 game, which incidentally, is the Phanatic’s birthday. Happy birthday to the green, furry creature that’s undeniably one of the best sports mascots around. Photo via www.stadiumgiveawayexchange.com.

 

 

custom beanie
8. San Francisco Giants: R2-D2 custom beanie

Lots of teams – MLB and minor leagues – have a “Star Wars Day,” and the Giants are taking things to the next level this season with custom R2-D2 beanies. The first 20,000 fans through the gate on August 16 will score an R2-D2 beanie with a Giants logo for Stars Wars Day. If you’re a baseball-loving Star Wars fan, this is the day to go. Photo via www.nextimpulsesports.com.

 

 

 

 

9. Seattle Mariners: Custom beard hat

Yes, that infamous custom hat is back in the Mariners’ promotional lineup this year. Be one of the first 20,000 fans on April 25, and you’ll score the hat that’s part ski cap, part faux facial hair. An update on this year’s hat – it’s blond!

 

DJ Kitty plush hat
10. Tampa Bay Rays: DJ Kitty plush hat

The hip-hop kitty that Rays fans love to love is going down in history as one of the coolest (and quirkiest) promo giveaways. The first 20,000 fans at Tropicana Field on May 10 can adorn their heads with the very cute DJ Kitty plush hat. It just makes sense to turn the most swagtastic feline around into a wearable promotional product. Photo via www.tbo.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, there you have it: Our rundown of the top 10 wackiest MLB promos of 2014. We love a great bobblehead as much as the next baseball fan, but these giveaways would definitely get us out to the ballgame.

What promotional giveaways are you most excited about?

Photo credit: bryce_edwards via photopin cc


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We Love How California Pizza Kitchen Is Using Custom Tote Bags


We’ve shared some great uses for custom tote bags, and here’s another one: use them as fundraising tools.

That’s exactly what California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) is doing. The famed pizza restaurant with more than 250 locations in more than 30 states and 11 countries is selling tote bags imprinted with its logo – and it’s all in the name of charity. Customers can purchase one for a buck, and CPK will donate 50 cents to Make-A-Wish Foundation, the premier wish-granting organization for children.

use promotional tote bags as fundraising tools

The fundraiser lasts all year, and CPK has committed to donating up to $100,000.

This isn’t the company’s first philanthropic endeavor – it has donated more than $1 million through its CPK Foundation, FUNdraisers, and in-kind donations.

CPK’s CEO, G.J. Hart says: “We are committed to giving back to the communities we service. Promoting positive change has inspired California Pizza Kitchen from the beginning. It is our hope that we can promote acts of kindness and inspire others to pay it forward by continuing to do good in the communities they live in, always striving to make it a little better.”

Promos For A Good Cause

Feeling inspired for your business to give back in some way? Put promotional products to work for a charitable purpose. Custom tote bags are great for CPK because they fill an immediate need for customers – they’re the perfect size for shimmying in some takeout pizza boxes.

And because they’re priced at $1 a piece, it’s easy for customers to grab one to go, and maybe a couple more to take home or give to friends.

With an increasing number of plastic bag bans going into effect around the country, people have a need for reusable tote bags now more than ever.

Think about imprinting your logo on tote bags and turning them into fundraisers for a charity that’s important to your business. CPK’s fundraiser is a great example of how a simple promotional product can do some serious good for a brand and a charitable organization. CPK gains exposure and goodwill, and Make-A-Wish benefits from the funds.

Has your business ever used promotional items to raise money for an organization or cause?


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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


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Borrow This Super-Smart Interactive Marketing Idea


When we think about the coolest examples of interactive marketing, billboards don’t typically come to mind. People glance at them as they walk or drive by, and then they’re forgotten.

But not the billboards from Lemon & Paeroa (L&P). The New Zealand soft drink maker put an interactive spin on basic billboards by attaching promotional products. People could walk right up and grab a custom beach towel or a pair of foam flip flops – right off the ad itself.

As summer winds down on the other side of the globe, L&P wanted to remind people to “hold on to summer.” We have to agree – few promos say summer more than colorful beach towels and easy-wear flip flops.

And there’s something about detachable promos on billboards that’s so unique. Free stuff always draws people over – especially when it’s presented in a creative way. Like, oh we don’t know, affixed to billboards.

These billboards are exponentially better than the static ones we’re used to seeing. They successfully engaged crowds of people with useful promotional items while promoting the L&P brand in a fun, unexpected way.

With Spring Break upon us and summer right around the corner, now’s a great time to recreate this marketing idea for your own brand. It’s been a long, cold winter, and people are ready for some fun in the sun. Think about getting your brand out there in a creative way and engaging your customers with perfect-for-summer promos as L&P has done.

Have a look at this smart campaign:

interactive marketing

promotional flip flops

custom flip flops

promotional towel

custom towel

Photos via Design Taxi


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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


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3 Key Facts You Should Definitely Know About Custom Power Banks


get custom power banks from ePromos

Are you familiar with custom power banks – aka external battery packs? They’re the newest members to the electronic family of promotional gifts, and they’re surging in popularity this year.

It’s no surprise why. Check out these mobile technology stats reported by Pew Research:

As of January 2014:

  • 90% of American adults have a cell phone
  • 58% of American adults have a smartphone
  • 42% of American adults own a tablet computer
  • 32% of American adults own an e-reader

People no longer use just a phone – they use multiple tech devices throughout the day. And as your customers would likely agree, it’s a real problem when the batteries die – especially when it comes to phones.

Nearly 30% of cell-phone owners describe their phones as “something they can’t live without,” according to Pew Research. Sixty-seven percent of cell-phone owners check their phones for messages, alerts, or calls – even when they don’t notice it vibrating or ringing.

Phones – and all our favorite tech gadgets and devices – are embedded into our lifestyles. We need them charged up and ready to go when we’re ready to use them. Savvy marketers are finding ways to cater to their customers’ technology needs, and custom power banks are the promo gift du jour.

Here are three facts to get you up to speed on custom power banks:

1. They’re not just for phones.

Power banks are compatible with all kinds of phones – iPhones, Androids, Motorola, HTC, and others – but you can also use them to charge up GPS devices, iPads and other tablets. They’re equipped with a USB to micro USB connecting cable that can be used to recharge the battery backup or tech devices.

2. Power banks are fully customizable.

You can screenprint your company logo or message, turning a cool tech gift into a useful marketing tool. Every time recipients charge up their phone or tech device (which is probably daily), they’ll be reminded of your business. Plus, you can even get power banks in trendy neon shades such as pink and orange. You can design power banks to fit your brand and campaign perfectly.

3. Power banks pack some serious power.

They’re small, slim and sleek, but don’t let their size fool you – power banks can fully charge iPhones and other tech devices. It’s important to consider their capacity, which is measured in milli Ampere Hour (mAH). Typically, the higher the mAH, the greater the capacity. So, for example, a phone with a 1500 mAH battery can be fully charged once by a 1500 mAH power bank. A 5600 mAH battery gives 2-3.5 full charges to a phone and will charge an iPad about 40%. To recharge the power bank, just connect it to a power source such as a laptop.

Now let’s take a look at a few different options in promotional power banks.

promotional cell phone charger

Add a pop of color to your marketing with this Power Bank Custom Cell Phone Charger. It’s offered in four vibrant hues along with classic black and silver.

 

custom power bank with flashlight

The Powerbank Custom Charger With Flashlight allows users to power up anytime and anywhere – it’s designed with a built-in flashlight.

 

usb adapter custom cell phone charger

Slim enough to take anywhere, the Vibrant USB Adapter Custom Cell Phone Charger has a 2200 mAH internal battery to fully charge most devices. Pick from black and white, and a range of bold colors.

 

Custom power banks address one of your customers’ most critical needs when it comes to mobile technology: the need for power. They can get the charge they need anytime, anywhere – no need to scramble to find an outlet or pack multiple cords when traveling. And because your logo is front and center, your company gets some great brand exposure with every use.

Over to you: Have you ever used promotional power banks to promote your company? Why or why not?

Photo credit: Martin uit Utrecht via photopin cc