Tag: promotional

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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


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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