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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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


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Is Your Marketing Smelly? 5 Tips To Infuse Scent Into Your Campaigns.


scent

Smell sells. Have you ever sniffed the subtle aroma of coffee or buttery popcorn, and suddenly wanted some? Smell makes people want to buy. It’s just how our brains are wired. That’s why smelly marketing works.

While all the other senses have to be processed first, smells go directly to the brain’s emotional control center. You sniff something, and bam – it triggers an emotion or memory. You’re hooked.

In his book, How Customers Think, Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman notes that: “Olfactory and other sensory cues are hardwired into the brain’s limbic system, and stimulate vivid recollections. Once a scent is embedded in an individual’s brain, even visual cues can cause it to be resurrected and even experienced.”

Your customers shop with their eyes, yes, but it’s their noses you should be targeting.

Using Scents Makes Sense

Scent marketing allows you to tap into people’s subconscious. Just think of Cinnabon. As soon as you’re within scent distance of a store, the tempting aroma of gooey cinnamon rolls is dancing around in your nose, and the next thing you know, you’re elbow deep in a Caramel Pecanbon.

Cinnabon is among the best of literal scent advertisers. It uses the scent of its actual products to lure customers in and ratchet up sales.

It’s certainly not the only one, though.

KFC has wafted the aroma of its world-famous fried chicken to hungry lunch crowds. Hershey’s has added chocolate fragrances to vending machines. Exxon On The Run stores have added coffee scents to their brewing systems, helping to increase sales by 55%.

But what about brands that don’t have a literal smell like cinnamon rolls or fried chicken? And what about the brands that don’t have a pleasant smell in general? Can scent marketing work for them?

Yes. The best examples are casinos.

All the glitzy megaresorts on the Las Vegas Strip don’t reek of cigarette smoke and liquor. Instead, unique scents are pumped through the casinos’ air ventilation systems, creating pleasant-smelling environments that have a huge impact on brand recognition.

The Venetian’s proprietary scent, Seduction, is described by the company that created the scent as “strong, soothing and sensuous.” The MGM Grand smells of jasmine and rose, the Mirage has the scent of Polynesia, and the Bellagio smells of Northern Italy. If you were blindfolded and led into the lobby of each resort, your nose could tell you where you were. The aromas aren’t just appealing – they aid in brand recall.

Scent also impacts the amount of time gamblers are willing to spend on the casino floor. Research shows that spending increased 44% at Vegas slot machines scented with a fruity, floral aroma over those without a sweet scent.

Smells Become Tangible With Promotional Products

Scent marketing comes in another form, too: promotional products. Promotional air fresheners are tried-and-true marketing tools, but there are all sorts of ways to put your logo (and your scent) into the world: highlighters, pencils, candles, lotions, stress balls.

Swag that smells is swag that gets your brand remembered.

Stress balls create an aromatherapy experience when they diffuse the fragrance of lavender or vanilla. Pencils are suddenly sniff-worthy and different when they smell of strawberries or bubble gum. Scent adds another layer to your promotion. You’re touching on the most powerful sense – smell – which helps embed your brand into customers’ minds.

Want to infuse scent into your promotional campaigns? Read on for five real-world tips from marketers with experience targeting customers’ noses.

Smell impacts purchasing behavior

1. Have a strategy.

Using scent isn’t as simple as spritzing some air freshener or lighting a candle – you must have a plan in place when approaching scent marketing. Adam Leary, President of Encite Marketing, says too few marketers have a well-thought-out approach.

“When a smell keys in on an emotion, it can considerably impact purchasing behavior as a happy memory can impact consumers’ state of mind, which leads to a more positive outlook,” he says. “A simple strategy put in place in a retail environment could really change an experience for a consumer for the better.”

2. Select the right scent.

Brands must consider what scents are appropriate for the demographics that make up its customer base. Different people find different scents appealing, and you have to think about what smells appeal to your customers the most.

“You have to be careful – if you don’t match the scent to the demographic, you might get hurt,” warns Collin Payne, PhD, an Associate Professor of Marketing at New Mexico State University. “Some stores that cater to women have tested smells to make customers linger in the store so they’re more willing to purchase. When you ask people if they’re influenced by these things, they say absolutely not, but studies show that they are.”

3. Don’t go overboard.

When it comes to smell, subtle is best. You don’t want to bombard customers with an overpowering scent or, worse yet, introduce scents that compete against each other.

“Avoid the urge to employ too many scents in different departments – keep them to a minimum,” advises Carly Fauth, Head of Marketing at Money Crashers. “If you don’t, you may end up confusing your customers or the marketing of the scent gets diluted.”

4. Try a scratch-and-sniff approach.

If flavors and scents are natural to your business – maybe you sell cupcakes or a line of organic lotions – giving customers a whiff of your products entices them to buy. This is especially true with food items.

“The power of smell is important to seasoning products, and we always encourage retailers to have sample bottles available for customers to smell and taste,” says Terri Toner, co-owner of Pirate Jonny’s. “Smelling, tasting and sampling makes a huge difference for people to experience [the product].”

smells give businesses a psychological advantage

5. Aim to surprise.

If you’re in the food business, olfactory marketing is easy – and expected. But it’s not the only sector that can benefit by appealing to customers’ noses.

“Businesses where the customer is not expecting a good smell – an auto repair shop, for example – can stake out a huge psychological advantage if they smell good,” notes Shel Horowitz, a consultant, copywriter and author. “It might be as simple as having really good coffee brewed a few times a day.”

Scent is a powerful yet often overlooked way to appeal to your customers. Smells motivate them to buy while firmly planting your brand into their minds. The key to scent marketing is finding the right aroma for your brand and using it in creative ways.

Take a whiff. Is your marketing smelly? Your brand shouldn’t just have a look and feel – it should have a smell, too. Appeal to your customers’ noses and breathe in the sweet smell of business success.

Photo credit: Bisayan lady via photopin cc


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10 Creative Promotional Ideas To Put Into Play This Earth Day


Earth Day

Earth Day is approaching (it’s April 22 every year), and you know what that means: It’s time to green up your marketing. For businesses, promotional ideas for Earth Day are plentiful. You can do something good for the planet and create some good will, all while promoting your company on the greenest day of the year.

By participating in Earth Day, you’ll be joining with more than a billion people in 190 countries that are taking action to make the world a better place. Whether your business is deeply rooted in the eco-friendly movement, or this is your first year to do any kind of Earth Day promotion, we have 10 clever ways your company can get involved this Earth Day. Let’s take a look.

1. Hold a contest.

Get your employees, customers and the local community fired up for your company’s Earth Day contest by announcing it with promotional products. It could be any kind of contest: art, photo, essay, logo design. Create a hashtag for your contest and promote it in social media. The winner scores some awesome eco-friendly swag with your company logo. And depending on the type of contest, you might score a cool new logo or piece of art for your office.

 

custom mug

2. Green-ify the office.

No, we don’t mean unloading a pallet of philodendrons in the break room (though that’s not a bad idea) – we’re talking about greening up the kitchen. Replace Styrofoam and paper cups with reusable custom mugs. You’ll slash expenses in the long run, and staffers will have an eco-friendly way to sip their morning java.

 

 

 

 

 3. Give out green freebies.

For your Earth Day promotion, think green – literally. Check out what kind of Earth Day festivities are happening in your community, and get involved in the action by handing out promotional items in the color du jour: green. Stay true to the theme of the day by having employees in green custom t-shirts doling out the promos.

 

custom notebooks

4. Help out a local school.

Would a team of your employees enjoy reading to a class of young students (bonus points if the book is about Earth Day!) or helping them plant saplings near the playground? Reach out to some schools to see where your help might be needed. Make sure to take some leave-behinds promoting your brand – think recycled pencils or eco-friendly custom notebooks.

 

 

 

5. Swoop in as a sponsor.

Look into the Earth Day marathons, walks and runs that are happening in your hometown. You’ll get some major exposure for your business on banners, t-shirts, and registration bags, and you might be able to set up a booth on-site to promote your brand and hand out promotional products.

 

custom lunch bags

6. Lend a hand at lunchtime.

Give employees custom lunch bags. You’ll be helping them reduce their eco-footprint (no more brown bags) and save money on lunches out, and you’re providing them with a useful gift that’s relevant not just on Earth Day, but every day.

 

 

 

 

7. Seek out co-branding opportunities.

Earth Day is a great time to connect with like-minded local businesses to promote green initiatives. By collaborating with another business (or two or three) on promo items for Earth Day, you’ll be maximizing your marketing budget while reaching new audiences with your marketing message. Here’s an example of a co-branding campaign done right.

 

personalized bookmark

8. Make an impact with a mailing.

Inspire your customers on Earth Day by sending them a mailer with a promotional seed kit or seeded bookmark. Get creative – use the mailers to announce a new product or promotion, a green initiative your company is putting into play, or include tips for living a greener lifestyle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Host a donation drive.

Become a rockstar in the community by turning your business into a drop-off location for items people wish to donate or recycle. On Earth Day, nearly everyone wants to chip in and do something for the planet, so be prepared to handle the scope of the project. Recruit volunteers and get employees involved in organizing recyclable goods and donations. Make it fun – hand out a cool promo item to everyone who drops off a donation, or hold a raffle with bigger promotional prizes.

 

custom golf tees

10. Go green on the green.

Marketing to golfers? Hosting a tournament? Make the switch to eco-friendly golf tees. It’s a simple way to position your brand as environmentally responsible. You have lots of options, too, such as handing out golf tees individually, or tucked inside an imprinted pouch or box.

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t just sit on the sidelines this Earth Day – plan a promotion to get your business involved. Participating in Earth Day – even if you just pick one of the ideas we listed above – demonstrates that your company cares about more than just the bottom line. You’re showing that your business is an active member in the world community, in tune with what’s going on, and intent on making a difference.

 


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Swing In To Spring: 2014’s Golf Trend Alert


As spring rolls around and you start planning a corporate outing or charity event, you often find yourself scoping out the nearby golf courses. With an estimated 27 million adults who play the sport, 36% are managers and professionals. What better way to promote your brand or cause than some golf-themed swag? With golf being such a popular sport among both men and women of many ages, promotional golf products are a no-brainer. The merchandise is useful and functional, and as a result, it stays in the hands or bags of your recipients.

 

Puma custom polo shirt

So what’s on trend in the golf world this spring? In apparel, it’s all about comfort, function and style. The Pantone fashion color report predicts soft pastels paired with vivid brights for spring 2014. Expect to see lots of color on the course this year. Patterns to look for include color block and stripes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travis Mathew spring styles

Travis Mathew is a key brand to keep on your radar. After the launch of its golf line in 2008, this progressive apparel company has become a fashion must-have for golfers. This year the Travis Mathew team will be represented by PGA golfers James Hahn, John Mallinger, Chris Kirk and Max Homa. Check out the new Solana No.1 Spring Collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIOFUSION golf shoe

The new BIOFUSION golf shoe by PUMA, designed to give golfers both function and fashion, provides lightweight comfort, performance and style. Pros Rickie Fowler and Jonas Blixt will be sporting these shoes on the fairway this year.

 

 

Jamie Sadock golf collection

Let’s not forget about the ladies. With an increase in woman golfers, apparel has been tailored with form-fitting silhouettes and fashionable colors. For a unique style, check out Jamie Sadock’s golf collection, which infuses interesting patterns and bold colors. LPGA champ Beatriz Recari will be seen wearing Oakley apparel & Taylor Made headwear this spring.

 

 

Putterwheel

Some new gear that was buzzing at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show were PutterWheel practice balls. This item is essentially a golf ball with the sides sliced off, designed with a red wheel liner. Set up your shot, and if you see red, you are not lined up correctly. The challenge is to stroke the PutterWheel squarely; a mis-hit will knock the ball onto its side. A great training tool that is sure to improve your short game, this item can be imprinted with any logo.

 

 

Ping gloves

Ping’s new Sensor Sport golf gloves made of cabretta leather and moisture-wicking material are one of the three in the new Sensor Cool line. These particular gloves help keep the hands dry and are durable enough to withstand varying weather conditions. They were recently seen on the hands of golf pro Bubba Watson.

 

 

For golf promo ideas, visit ePromos.com and shop our Top 10 Golf Promos.


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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.