Tag: promotional

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One Surprising Perk Of Using Promotional Caps


How many promotional caps do you own? If you’re like me, you can never have too many. Let me explain.

I was sitting in a Paul Mitchell Hair Salon with my 3-year-old, trying to get his hair cut. He hates the clippers so we can never get his hair trimmed. After spending $20 on a haircut that didn’t quite get the job done, I took the boy home and gave it a shot myself.

I was doing so well … until the guard came off the clippers.

bad haircut

So here are the positives on this home hair cut:

1)      There are no family pictures anytime soon.

2)      He’s three, so he won’t remember mommy giving him a bad haircut.

3)      All things being considered, it didn’t look that bad.

4)      It will grow back quickly.

5)      There is always a cap! (It makes him look cute anyway.)

hope's son wearing hat

Oh, how I wish I had been allowed to wear a cap back in the late 1980s.

hope in the 80s

Check out our infographic that explains just how important caps can be to your marketing campaign … or your bad haircuts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

promotional headwear

 

 


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Great Moscow Mule Recipe (And Where To Buy Those Copper Mugs!)


Moscow mule copper mug

It’s been said that the mug makes the mule. If you’re mixing up Moscow mules, there’s nothing like promotional copper mugs to keep the drink ice cold – and your logo front and center.

If you haven’t noticed, the Moscow mule is the cocktail du jour. It’s a snappy blend of vodka, ginger beer, and lime, and it’s always served in a copper mug. In fact, it’s that telltale mug that makes the drink so easy to spot.

Dale DeGroff, a master mixologist and one of the most revered cocktail historians around, has said that the drink was first served in a copper mug engraved with two mules kicking up their heels.

But why copper? The general consensus is that a copper mug keeps the cocktail much colder than a normal glass. If you’ve ever had a Moscow mule in anything other than a copper mug, you can likely confirm this.

A Look Back

The story behind the Moscow mule is an interesting one. In the 1940s, two distributors – one selling ginger beer and the other selling Smirnoff vodka – found themselves in a pinch. No one was buying their products. At the time, people much preferred gin and whiskey.

So the distributors, in what turned out to be a genius move, experimented with combining the vodka and ginger beer. They added some lime, and voila – the first Moscow mule was created.

While this is the classic version, there are many ways to mix up a Moscow mule. Some people like to add crushed mint first; others like to top it off with freshly grated ginger. And still others like to add a few drops of Angostura bitters to give the cocktail some color and aroma while not altering the flavor.

And then there’s the vodka. Smirnoff is the brand behind the drink, but Moscow mules can be enjoyed with any kind of vodka: Russian Standard, Grey Goose, Svedka, Square One, or Stoli are some great options to try.

You can also swap out the ginger beer for ginger ale (just spice it up with a little cardamom), or even rum for a totally different twist on the cocktail – it’s called a Dark and Stormy. If you like your drinks sweet, this is the way to go.

If you substitute the vodka for bourbon, it’s called a Kentucky mule. Opt for gin instead of vodka, and you have a Gin mule. It just depends what spirit you’re in the mood for.

Moscow mule printed copper mug

The Role Of The Mug

Back to the history behind the buzz. The tale goes that a third partner joined in. Needing to offload a surplus of copper mugs that wouldn’t sell, the trio brought their concoction and mugs to bartenders far and wide.

The cocktail and mugs were a hit, and the rest is history. The Moscow mule is credited with reviving the vodka industry in the U.S., tripling the sales of vodka in the 1950s.

Fast forward a few decades, and the simple, sweet cocktail has once again gone mainstream – and real connoisseurs know that it has to be served in a copper mug. A Collins glass (or any other glass) just won’t do. The mug, does, in fact, make the mule. The copper keeps it perfectly chilled, making it a must for this particular drink.

Clamoring For Copper

As the drink continues to surge in popularity once again, copper mugs have become a hot commodity at bars and restaurants. People can’t get enough of the copper mugs, and they’re starting to swipe them from right under bartenders’ noses.

Retailers can’t keep up with demand. At places like Crate & Barrel and Sur La Table, copper mugs are flying off shelves, and the stores have to scramble to keep them in stock.

So, what does this mean for marketers? Now’s the time to customize copper mugs for your brand.

There’s no better drinkware of the moment than promotional copper mugs. They’re trendy, people want them, and they’re a fantastic opportunity to put your logo in the limelight. Here are a few ways your company can use them:

Commemorative items

Copper mugs aren’t just incredibly popular this summer – they’re also incredibly versatile. They make great take-home items to memorialize any event, whether you’re hosting an awards night or a company picnic. Every time recipients reach for the mug at home, they’ll be reminded of the fun times they enjoyed at your event.

Corporate meetings and incentive trips

Are you getting the staff together for a big meeting this summer? What about treating team members to an incentive trip? Use copper mugs to celebrate the occasion. They’ll help employees bond (booze brings everyone together!), and when staffers are back home, the mugs serve as a fun souvenir of the trip.

Gift-with-purchase promotions

If you own a restaurant or bar, copper mugs are a golden gift-with-purchase opportunity. Free stuff makes people want to buy. Offer customers a free Moscow mule when they buy the mug. RaceTrac convenience stores are running a similar promotion this summer (only with soft drinks and frozen beverages, not alcohol.)

Customer service

You might be wondering how copper mugs can help you kick up your customer service, but they can. We recently came across a great customer service story on Hotwire. A reviewer mentioned that he tried to purchase copper mugs at the Four Seasons Las Vegas PRESS bar, and “all of a sudden,” they appeared in his room. Kudos to the Four Seasons for using these mugs to make the guest’s stay unforgettable.

No matter how you use them, coveted, on-trend products are great ingredients for an effective promotion to build your brand. If you want more ideas on developing a promotion using copper Moscow mule mugs, one of our Brand Consultants would be happy to help.

Click here for the best printed copper mug, and check out the recipe below to concoct your own Moscow mule.

Recipe: Moscow Mule Cocktail

3 oz. ginger beer
1 ½ oz. vodka
Fresh lime juice from half a lime

Fill your copper mug with crushed ice and pour the vodka over top. Give it a good squeeze of lime juice. Top with ginger beer and stir. Garnish with lime slice or fresh mint.

Are you a fan of Moscow mules? What do you think – does the mug make the mule?


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The 14 Greatest Promotional Gifts For Grads (That They’ll Actually Want)


graduation

Have you ever considered giving promotional gifts to new grads? Some 1.8 million college grads are entering the workforce this spring – and promo gifts are just the way for your brand to get on their radar.

New grads might turn out to be potential customers, or who knows, they might even end up working for you. Make sure they know about your business – and that they feel positively about it.

The key is to give grads something useful.

They’re moving up from the college world to the working world, and the right promo items can help them transition (while getting your brand some nice exposure in the meantime).

Here’s a look at 14 of the best promotional gifts for grads in 2014:

 

1. A functional custom laptop bag.

custom laptop bag

However they were schlepping their stuff in college likely won’t cut it anymore. Help new grads appear polished and professional in the workplace with a great-looking laptop bag.

 

2. A handy promotional travel tumbler.

promotional tumbler

Now that grads are commuting to the office or job interviews, they’ll appreciate a sophisticated, attractive way to sip their morning coffee.

 

3. A stylish custom jacket.

custom jacket

As they pack up their university logo hoodies and sweats for more corporate-ready apparel, think about giving grads a promotional jacket they’ll be proud to wear around the office and to client lunches or after-work drinks. Consider a tone-on-tone logo so the branding is subtle.

 

 

4. A promotional lunch bag with some flair.

promotional lunch bags

They’re not eating in the dorm cafeteria anymore. New grads will get a lot of use out of a fashionable, reusable lunch bag – and you’ll be helping them save money on lunches out, too.

 

 

5. A promotional picture frame.

promotional picture frame

Help new grads spruce up their workspace or new digs with a custom photo frame. It’s best to go neutral – think silver or black – so it meshes in any corporate environment.

 

 

6. A custom business card holder.

promotional business card holder

When grads land a job after college, it’s exciting getting that first batch of business cards. A stylish business card holder lets them display their professional chops while keeping your logo always visible.

 

 

7. A gourmet food gift.

gourmet food gift

After years of Ramen and mac and cheese, grads will welcome a more sophisticated snack. You could opt for an elaborate gift basket or keep it simple with individual packages of treats. Even better if the food gift includes another promotional item like a mug, box, picture frame, or cutting board.

 

 

8. A cool promotional speaker.

custom speaker

Gone are the days of blasting music from their roommate’s computer. Give grads a sleek, portable way to listen in their cubicle or at home.

 

 

9. A sophisticated custom coaster set.

custom coasters

As grads upgrade from the hand-me-down furniture of their college years, give them a way to keep their new stuff looking spiffy. Custom coasters are a creative way to give your logo a permanent home on grads’ coffee tables.

 

 

10. An engraved promotional pen.

promotional pen

Whether it’s a job interview or an important meeting, new grads exude professionalism when they pull out a sleek-looking writing instrument. And, hey, they don’t have to be expensive to be expensive-looking.

 

 

11. An interesting custom desk accessory.

custom desk accessory

Give grads a unique promo item for the desktop and your brand becomes a topic of conversation in the office. Just make sure it’s functional or it’ll never get used (or seen).

 

 

12. A custom cell phone charger.

custom power bank

Nobody wants to stay tethered to the wall while their phones charge. And nobody likes packing a gazillion power cords while traveling. Grads will get a ton of mileage out of a promotional cell phone charger or power bank.

 

 

13. A professional-looking custom padfolio.

custom padfolio

Grads can use a promotional padfolio to transport resumes and cover letters to job interviews, and when they do score that first gig, it comes in handy in the workplace, too.

 

 

14. A nice promotional corkscrew.

promotional corkscrew

Cheers to new grads! Since dollar beer nights are in their past, they can make the shift toward more refined imbibing with a custom corkscrew.

 

So, there you have it: 14 great promotional gifts for grads that’ll be useful to them in their new endeavors and provide excellent exposure for your business.

What would you add to the list?

Photo credit: Thompson Rivers via photopin cc


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Custom Apparel: What To Know About Laser Etching And Debossing


debossed promotional apparel

The newest trend in custom apparel isn’t a fit or a fabric – it’s a decoration method. Two in fact: laser etching and debossing.

laser custom apparel

Laser etching is a process in which a laser burns away a portion of the fabric, giving it a subtle tone-on-tone appearance. What’s great about laser etching is that it works with big or small logos.

The process of debossing starts with a metal die plate of the artwork, which is pushed into the fabric using heat and pressure – kind of like a heat press. The result is a subtle look with exceptional detail.

Both processes add a pop of retail flair to branded apparel, helping to accentuate your logo or brand message in a creative, standout way.

When you give custom apparel – whether it’s a gift or part of a uniform – you want it to be attractive, and you want it to make an impression on the wearer and all who see it.

The idea with any apparel gift is for people to want to wear it. They should feel proud every time they slip into a garment customized with your logo.

So, how do you get people excited to wear your custom apparel?

Take a look at laser etching and debossing. These decoration options give your apparel pieces a modern look, making your brand right on-trend. Here’s where to shop for laser etched and debossed apparel.

ePromos' Hope Binegar

ePromos’ Hope Binegar answers top questions on laser etching and debossing apparel

Want to know more?

ePromos’ Senior Supplier Relations Manager, Hope Binegar, shares answers to some of the most common questions about laser etching and debossing apparel.

1. Why are laser etching and debossing big trends this year?

It is more of branding a garment vs. just putting a logo on it. It mirrors more of a retail look rather than a promotional apparel piece and creates a garment that someone wants to wear.

2. What types of fabric can be laser etched or debossed?

Actually, only synthetic fabrics may be lasered or debossed. Anything with a cotton content will burn through and does not work. These processes are great for any waterproof and technical garments.

3. Do certain colors work best with these processes?

You would usually want to stick with bright-colored fabrics, however you would typically not laser on black or white and sometimes navy as there is not enough contrast under the first layer to really provide that tonal look. With that said, while lasering isn’t the best option on those colors, you can opt for debossing. This gives a three-dimensional view, and with the secondary coating we add, is seen very well.

4. Does it cost more for these decoration options?

Nope! Customers can opt for laser etching or debossing at no additional cost.

As long as you are within standard imprint locations and sizing, there is no additional cost for this decoration. Standard setups still apply.

5. What are the pros and cons of laser etching?

Pros are that it works well in virtually any location and provides a unique tone-on-tone look while still making an impact. It can be done over seams and zippers.

Cons are that it does not work well on darker colors or if a client is looking for color. Embroidery is still available, however if you want a retail look, transfer is the way to go.

6. What are the pros and cons of debossing?

Pros are that it also works well in almost any location, creates a unique 3D appearance with a subtle tone-on-tone look. It also works on all colors because of its 3D appearance.

Cons are that it cannot be done over seams and zippers. Also, very small copy does not work well with deboss.

7. What are some popular applications for laser etching or debossing?

There really is no specific industry for laser etching or deboss. They really work for any clients that are looking for a unique way to market their brand on apparel. With that said, these processes are great for tradeshows and any marketer that wants a retail look.

8. What’s the biggest benefit to laser etching or debossing an apparel item?

It’s visually appealing and different! Why go with a standard left-chest logo when you can do something more interesting? Laser etching and debossing are ideal for unusual decoration locations – think vertical text that aligns with a jacket’s zipper, or a logo on a shirt hem or cuff. You are branding apparel instead of just putting a logo on apparel. Even at a left-chest placement, these decoration methods create a wow factor.

9. Anything else I should know?

If you are looking for the next thing in apparel, it is coming by way of great decoration methods. These techniques will give you the “wow” your brand needs.


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3 Compelling Reasons To Use QR Codes In Your Marketing


QR codes

It seems QR codes have popped up everywhere over the past few years – on coffee cups, t-shirts, sides of buildings, and one of our favorites: QR codes on cookies. These jumbled-looking squares have gone totally mainstream when it comes to marketing.

It’s not surprising why.

QR codes are scannable by smartphones – which more than half of all Americans own. For the first time in history, people use smartphones more than landlines or any other mobile devices.

There’s Big Opportunity With QR Codes

So, what does this mean for marketers?

It means that by using QR codes, you can reach customers wherever they are, and you can take them exactly where you want them to be online.

Think about your online presence right now. Your business has a website, blog, newsletter, social media accounts.

Wouldn’t it be great to drive people to those sites and get them to take action on the spot? Maybe it’s participating in a contest, registering for an event, or leaving a product review.

QR codes help your business do this. They’re free to make (here’s where to create custom QR codes), and they can be used in all sorts of creative ways.

Let’s do a quick review on QR codes. You’ve seen them, but what exactly are they?

Well, in short, they’re computer-generated, two-dimensional images that resemble barcodes. The big difference is that QR codes can store huge amounts of data, and when scanned with a smartphone, they take people directly to an intended online location.

Still not sure if they’re right for your business? Read on for three good reasons QR codes belong in your marketing.

1. QR codes can be printed on all sorts of promotional products.

If you’re handing out promo items already, consider adding QR codes to punch up your promotion. As long as the items have a surface that’s large and flat enough for a QR code to be readable, they’re game.

Tote bags and t-shirts make it easy for QR codes to be scanned, for example, but smaller items such as pens or license plate frames won’t work quite as well. A good rule of thumb is that you don’t want your QR codes to be smaller than one inch square. You want them to be readable, and you also want them to be printed where they will be noticed.

2. Social media ties in perfectly with QR codes.

Want more Facebook fans? Twitter followers? Want customers to know you have a Pinterest or Instagram account? Take customers and prospects directly to your social media sites with QR codes.

People are already using their smartphones to check their social sites. QR codes make it easy for them to find your company’s social presence. They can scan the codes and go directly to your social sites instead of having to look up your company or key in a URL. People aren’t interested in spending a lot of time tracking down your company’s various sites. QR codes make it simple and fast.

3. QR codes generate huge exposure for your marketing content.

Add QR codes to your business cards, marketing materials, promotional products – whatever you’re distributing to your customers – and take them directly to your marketing content.

If your company is producing any kind of content, you want to get as many eyes on it as possible. People may forget to look up your blog or access your white paper later, and that’s where the magic of QR codes comes in. They’re instantaneous. They immediately take customers to your blog, e-book, podcast, presentation, video – whatever content you’ve created for your audience.

QR Codes Give Your Business An Edge

The technology is there for you to kick your marketing up a notch. QR codes are free, easy to use, and best of all, they’re immediate. There’s no keying in a URL or remembering to take action later.

QR codes allow you to link customers to specific online destinations right there on the spot. They can scan a QR code while they’re waiting in line, browsing your shop, or enjoying lunch.

And it comes so naturally, too. Fifty-eight percent of Americans own smartphones, according to Pew Research, and use them continually throughout the day.

The key is to use QR codes smartly. Make it worthwhile for people to scan them, and make sure they link to quality content. Don’t use QR codes just to use them – find a creative way that engages your target audience and brings value.

Have you ever used QR codes in a promotion? Tell us about it!

Photo credit: add.me via photopin cc


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A Promotional Product That Takes The Cake


Here’s a promotional product that’s perfectly on-brand – The Ritz-Carlton’s new signature cake. Just like the brand itself, The Cake (as it’s so aptly called), is decadent and rich. Laced with hints of sweet citrus, if The Ritz-Carlton had a flavor, this would be it.

We’ve talked about why your brand should have a smell, but what about a taste?

For The Ritz-Carlton, taste is a natural brand extension. Guests’ senses are stimulated on every level – design, scent, lighting, music. When guests step foot in a Ritz-Carlton, it’s a distinct experience. People know what to expect from the Ritz-Carlton brand.

That’s why we love its newest promotional product. The Cake is right in line with the brand. It’s not a quick snack – it’s a flavorful dessert that’s meant to be savored and that was created to celebrate the brand’s heritage. It’s even topped with the iconic Ritz-Carlton lion logo.

So, how does a brand go about developing a signature dessert – or any kind of signature flavor? By looking to those who know the brand best: staff members.

The Ritz-Carlton’s Corporate Chef, Rainer Zinngrebe, called upon his pastry chefs from around the world to develop a recipe that’s undeniably true to the Ritz-Carlton brand. What he got was a chocolate-orange cake that has become the signature confection for the brand.

It doesn’t stop at The Cake itself – the packaging is so impressive that it won a design award. “I wanted something representative of the brand, as recognizable as a Tiffany box, so people would say, ‘I know that box,’” Zinngrebe said in a Conde Nast Traveler article.

The sleek, dark box opens completely so guests can serve the dessert right in its case and close it up if there are any leftovers. A satin ribbon handle is an elegant finishing touch – so Ritz-Carlton.

Promotional food gifts are always smart when you want to appeal to your customers’ senses in new ways. We love how Ritz-Carlton has taken it to the next level by developing a unique confection that’s beautifully and delectably on-brand.

If you could create a flavor for your brand or develop a signature food gift, what would it be?

promotional  box

custom food gift

promo food gift

custom box