Hot Products

TOP

The Iridescent Trend for Promotional Gifts (Plus Picks You Won’t Want to...


Call it the “Unicorn Effect” – iridescent clothing, accessories and gifts continue to be a sweeping trend this year, with a touch that’s reaching from the runway to our own distribution channels. This feel-good style is a natural extension of already popular metallic and foil finishes, and it’s adding extra shine and a gorgeous, prismatic look to items we love.

At first blush, the rainbow glimmer of holographic items may seem like it holds the most appeal for a younger audience, but former kid-favorites like unicorns, mermaids and Lisa Frank® stationary are making a huge resurgence among adult audiences, too. Millennials may be driving this latest unicorn craze, but iridescent merchandise has an aesthetic appeal that just about anyone can find pretty, no matter their demographic.

We first talked about the growth of this trend in early 2019 here, and it’s only continued to gain momentum since then. To see this style in action, peep the popular iridescent Keepall bag from Louis Vuitton®, runway fashion from New York to London to Milan or favorite looks from Instagram’s most popular makeup artists.
Holographic material made an appearance in the late 1970s and early 1980s as part of disco glam fashion, and it enjoyed a feature in the 90s as well. This time around, the trend is widespread and far-reaching – these days, you can find everything from holographic furniture to full car wraps to pet beds.

Holographic materials and finishes offer a fresh, bold way to dress up familiar classics with a more contemporary flare. We’re seeing iridescent gifts enjoy the most success when they’re offered as a spin on already beloved and well-known items. That Louis Vuitton travel bag, for example, first debuted in LV’s collection in the 1930s, and it’s widely recognized in its more subdued brown-and-gold palette.

Since the irresistible shimmer and shine of a holographic finish is no longer limited to jackets, dresses and designer handbags pulled straight from the runway, you might want to consider it for your next promotional gift. This trend is an easy way to add a fun pop of color and whimsy to your next event or giveaway.

Iridescent Promotional Gifts

If you’re looking for a promotional gift that’s truly on-trend, wow recipients with shimmery, unicorn-inspired items that are both eye-catching and day-brightening.

Aiming for a bolder statement? Consider a promotional bag with flair, such as an iridescent drawstring bag or an iridescent tote bag – both of which offer a unique rainbow glimmer that’s guaranteed to turn heads.

If you’re looking for a holographic touch but don’t want to opt for a large bag, consider one of our iridescent travel pouches, found here or here. These versatile pouches work as cosmetic bags, pencil cases or catchall bags inside of a larger purse or backpack, so they’re a great choice for a range of occasions.

If you prefer to enter the world of rainbow iridescence on a slightly smaller scale, there are plenty of other on-trend and inspired promotional items to choose from as well. Help recipients start their day with a smile as they take their first sip of morning coffee from an iridescent ceramic mug. Or, go ahead and add some rainbow energy to someone’s mid-week meeting with an iridescent metal-twist promotional pen.

For hydration that’s extra happy, opt for a copper vacuum bottle or an iridescent tumbler. Complete the gift with an environmentally friendly iridescent stainless-steel straw.

Remember, promotional gifts that are small in size can still demand plenty of visibility for your brand too. Consider items with an iridescent finish that are sure to get lots of daily use, such as a customizable PopSockets®.

Stay on-trend and spread a little extra joy with your next gift by choosing something holographic and unicorn-inspired. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Take a look at all of our iridescent promotional items here. Have questions or need help? We’re here for anything you need.

Interested in learning more about the #ePromosCulture and what else we have to offer? Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitterLinked In and Pinterest


TOP

The PhoneBrella is the Ultimate Promotional Bluetooth Item. Here’s Why&...


The PhoneBrella is the Bluetooth® accessory you never knew you always needed. Forget fumbling to find your phone while holding an umbrella. With the PhoneBrella you have a hands-free solution to getting caught in the rain.

Bluetooth technology is an unstoppable force that is fueling both the retail and promotional worlds. Stay connected without being physically connected. Wireless is where it’s at. What better way to show your customers that you are keeping up with the latest trends?Our PhoneBrella

What is a PhoneBrella?

The PhoneBrella is a revolutionary product that features Bluetooth technology built into the handle of an umbrella. What does that mean exactly? Well, quite simply, it means your customers can sync their phones to answer calls or listen to music without struggling to hold both their umbrella and their phone.

How Does it Work?

On the sleek and comfortable handle of the umbrella you will find a large circle button that allows you to pick up and end phone calls. To get started, hold down the circle button until you hear it respond. Next, enable the Bluetooth settings on your phone to pair with the PhoneBrella. When the pairing is successful you will hear the umbrella speaker say “Bluetooth connected.”

The speaker and microphone are built right into the handle of the umbrella. Just like a Bluetooth device for your car, you’ll hear your phone ring from the speaker. To answer the phone call, press the circle button. When the call is over, press the circle button again to end the conversation.

The PhoneBrella also allows you to listen to music through the speaker on the handle. With the two triangular buttons (above and below the circle button) you can easily skip and repeat songs without going back into your phone.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

Aside from its awesome Bluetooth capabilities, the PhoneBrella also features an auto-open and auto-close feauture so you never have to struggle with a stubborn spring again. The large button with up/down arrows toward the top of the handle will release and expand the umbrella, and when you’re done it will also retract and collapse it quickly and efficiently.

When closed, the entire length measures 13.5″ making it easy to fit in a briefcase, purse or backpack. The PhoneBrella currently comes in three colors: black, grey and navy. The nylon canopy offers a 46″ arc for excellent coverage. And the sophisticated retail packaging brings it all together.

Screen print your logo on any panel or add additional imprint areas for maximum visibility.

Why is the PhoneBrella a Must-Have Bluetooth Accessory?

This unique product allows your customers to stay dry and use their phones while keeping one hand free. It’s so unique, in fact, the novelty in and of itself will have people talking about your brand.

The PhoneBrella appeals to a wide range of customers. Golf-related businesses can hand these out at tournaments, as they are sure to come in handy if there should be rain. City commuters using public transportation to get to the office often walk in the rain from subway platforms and train stations. Imagine how freeing it would be to give these customers a hand – literally – with the PhoneBrella. College students who have to walk across campus can also see the value in having this innovative Bluetooth accessory.

To top it all off, the PhoneBrella can actually send a reminder to your customers to take the umbrella whenever there is a high chance of rain! For an additional charge, your PhoneBrella can feature a hangtag for the Rain Alertz app attached to the handle. The hangtag provides instructions for how to download the Rain Alertz app for free using iTunes®, Google Play® or the Windows® Store.

Once downloaded, the customer is prompted to enter a unique code, which can be found on the hangtag. The code is tied to your customized alert message and branded five-day forecast, which will display on their smartphones when the chance of rain is 60% or higher. The alert works off the GPS in the phone so no matter where your customers travel, they will see your logo for a subtle reminder of your brand anytime there is a high chance of rain.

Make the PhoneBrella your newest promotional Bluetooth accessory today! Call us, the Promo Know-How People to incorporate this item into your marketing plan.

Love reading up on our Product of the Month?  Here’s our January issue in case you missed it.

Want to see and experience more promotional product trends for 2019? Check out our album on Facebook, and while you’re at it, follow us on TwitterInstagramLinked In and Pinterest to stay up-to-date with what we’re promoting.


TOP

6 Promotional Product Trends Spotted at the 2019 PPAI Expo


In a word, WOW! We just spent the week pounding the proverbial pavement at the PPAI Expo in Las Vegas. This show is, hands down, one of the premier events for the promotional product industry, where thousands of marketers, entrepreneurs, vendors and innovative industry insiders mix, mingle and unpack what’s new and next on the premium front. And this year was truly jaw-dropping, even by PPAI standards.

So the BIG question? “What’s about to burst onto the scene in 2019 and beyond?” In addition to the promotional product trends we identified at our first show in Orlando, there were a ton of truly unique, truly innovative products, each building on 2018’s most high tech, high touch, customer-first must-haves. So, regardless of your budget, your business or the message you want to share with the world, there was something at PPAI for you. Read on, then get in touch.

2019 Promotional Product Trend Takeaways

Trend #1: Branding That Goes BIG on Apparel

Branding was BIG at PPAI. While that may not sound like a surprise, this year’s vendors took branding and messaging to new heights. Whether it was a clever and unexpected placement, high impact technique or simple creative imprinting and embroidery, we saw (and applauded) it all.

One of our favorites was the Elevate Karmine Softshell jacket. This clean classic offers seemingly endless branding options, all while retaining its sleek appearance.

Check out this example, which shows how a client utilized many different branding opportunities, including:

● Their anniversary logo “HXD” in metallic and on the bicep of jackets

● Their company name laser-printed with zebra print behind the embroidery of their transfer

● Embroidery on the back of jackets to identify staff

●A private label on the back of the jacket

● Custom interior branding utilized to show the company’s core values – this company took full advantage of the available branding space

Our Elevate Karmine Jacket Shown with Various Multi-Media Imprints.

Speaking of jackets, did you know 70% of consumers keep their promo outerwear for a year or longer and that 42% of women wear their outerwear on a weekly basis? Long gone are the days of boxy, hard t-shirts as the only option for your brand. Performance and high-tech is hot right now, and the trend is here to stay. Interested in more stats? Click here.

Trend #2: Tech Swag

No question, all things tech are big again in 2019. The difference? This year we’re seeing tech pop up in some very unexpected places. For example, Threadfast gives you the opportunity to add RFID to their shirts (wow!) A small chip is placed at the bottom and, unless you were looking, is more or less undetectable. What to do with it? Consider activating promotions as wearers pass by your store or trade show booth, go number free at an upcoming race, or simply better control your inventory. The possibilities are endless.
Threadfast shirts offer RFID capability
Bluetooth® has also been front-and-center this week. Looking for something fun and different? These UV 400 Bluetooth speaker sunglasses allow you to listen to music or take a hands-free call with a quick click. Great for fitness and outdoor brands, the top of the case has a beautiful large imprint area.

Our Bluetooth Sunglasses

Trend #3: Retail Meets Promotional

Modern. Sustainable. Efficient. Recognizable. These are some of the words to describe just some of the themes we saw across the board. One of our faves for corporate gift-giving? These compression packing cubes. You just can’t go wrong with useful items.

Our Custom Compression Packing Cubes

Another brand we’re digging? Parkland. Owned by the retail brand, Herschel, these bags use fabrics created from 12 plastic bottles (per bag).  A fantastic choice to show your support for the environment and stay on-trend.

Parkland Bags are made from 12 plastic bottles

Food treats, like this Rice Krispies® jar and topping kit are also making heads turn this year. We’ve seen similar food gifts offered at Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales. They’re simple and frill-free, but the packaging makes a bold statement.

Our Rice Crispy Treat Jar and Toppings Mix

 

Trend #4: Active Lifestyle Items to Get Out and About

We’ve been seeing a lot of the wilderness and “spending time outdoors” trends pop up lately. While this was certainly present at the PPAI Expo, we also saw other alternatives to “get out” – namely, some very cool, very clever promotional items ideal for an active lifestyle.

For starters, these chargers with suction cups are perfect for everything from tailgating to camping to hitting the beach – suction your charger and, ideally, your device, away from dirt, sand, BBQ sauce and anything that could be a hazard. It’s simple but totally brilliant.

Our Wireless Charger with Suction

Same goes for these speakers with removable tees. If you’re hitting the greens, you can bring along your beats and your tees, all in compact packaging that easily pops into your golf cart cup holder. Every time your clients hop in their cart, they’ll think of – and thank – YOU.

Speaker with Golf Tees

Also ideal for a beach day: custom surfboards. Sure, these are very “big ticket” items, but for the right brand and the right customers, distributing these – even to just one or two relevant recipients – will drive tons of impressions, word-of-mouth and that all-important cool factor. Don’t have the budget? Consider these beach cup holders, which stick right into the sand, keeping your drink nice and clean. So simple, yet so practical and genius that everyone will wish they came up with the idea themselves.

Go big with custom surfboards or budget friendly with beach cup holders

Trend #5: Upscale Wine Accessories

We just couldn’t resist these upscale wine accessories, which seem to be getting more high-tech and more sophisticated by the year. To compliment our top selling insulated wine tumbler, consider this Aviana™ Chateau Double Wall Stainless Wine Bottle Cooler or perhaps this temperature sensor, which tells you the current temperature of the wine.

Luxury Wine Accessories

Trend #6: Classic Creativity Gets a Nod

And, of course, there’s the classic trend: amazing creativity. This year, “thumbs up” goes to these blood bags – yes, blood bags. Each proudly announces the “color” that a recipient bleeds – open the bag and pull out a matching t-shirt for their favorite sports team.

Bleed Bags with Custom T-shirt Inside

Whether it’s Dodgers® blue or Rockies™ purple or Cincinnati’s big, bold red, the choice is yours – or your customer’s. But either way, this one is going to turn a lot of heads and generate a lot of buzz. #WhatColorDoYouBleed, anyone?

 

Want to see and experience more promotional product trends from the PPAI Expo? Check out our album on Facebook, and while you’re at it, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Linked In and Pinterest to stay up-to-date with what we’re promoting.

Looking for more trends? Don’t miss our First Look at the Top Promotional Trends of 2019.

  1. Source: Advertising Specialty Institute, 2019 Global Ad Impressions Study.

TOP

4 Reasons it’s all About Laser Engraving This Year


No doubt you’ve seen the latest and greatest stainless steel water bottles and sports bottles etched with a big, bold company name or logo. Whether it’s a lux fitness boutique, high end wellness brand or, even, a major fashion label, these engraved bottles have become the ultimate status symbol – they’re chic, versatile, good for the environment and, with this added etching, have an even sleeker and more upscale look that brands and consumers can’t get enough of.

Us included. So, we’re getting in on the action, just in time for the New Year gifting season.

 

Here are four reasons why we’re loving these bottles:

#1. They’re cool.

Everyone wants one – and the top brands out there know it. Laser engraved bottles and tumblers have fast emerged as one of the hottest promotional items in the market, and in-the-know brands are snatching them up. We’re seeing them everywhere from luxury real estate offices to posh fitness studios to small businesses and startups, media brands, retailers and more. They’re cool, they’re in-demand and they’re super versatile – it’s a winning combination.

Laser Engraved Bottle with Personalization#2. They’re super personal.

We innately crave personalized experiences – gifts included. When you hand your client an engraved bottle or tumbler that’s custom to them, they feel like they’re getting something special that no one else has.

While that jolt of happiness is a plus, it’s just the beginning. When someone feels they’re getting a custom gift, they instantly feel more in control and more engaged. That’s powerful – and that can drive the recipient to be more successful as a result. Think about it for a minute – you’re giving your client an engraved bottle and setting them up for more success in the year ahead. Talk about a serious bonus…

#3. They’re the ultimate “kick start the New Year” gift.

Put it all together and it’s no surprise this engraved drinkware collection is already a top seller for us – and we’ve only offered it on these bottles for just under a month. Consider gifting these as a “fresh start” to the New Year. Promote staying healthy and hydrated in the office while, at the same time, encouraging an eco-friendly workplace. Did you know we now consume over one million plastic bottles per minute? These water bottles offer a great opportunity to counteract that.

#4. They’re a great way to get the word out.

And, of course, there’s the benefit to your business. Because these bottles are so sought-after and so portable, yours will no doubt pop up everywhere from boardrooms to conferences to carpools. With more customer usage – and more people asking, “hey, where’d you get that bottle?” – you’ll get more exposure for your brand and your messaging. That’s always a plus.

And for a Bonus #5. We’re offering SPECIAL Beginning of the Year pricing…

Need another reason to start engraving? We’ve got it: for a limited time, we’re now offering a low-cost, high-value engraving option on five popular pieces from our drinkware collection. For a $1.50 run charge and $60 set up fee, add custom engraving (your customers name, for example):

It’s the ultimate gift at the ultimate price – get in touch to learn more, to request a sample and to get your orders in now.

Cheers to a happy, healthy, hydrated New Year!


TOP

Statistics Show These Promotional Items Are Most Effective


We’ve always said it—and, more importantly, we’ve always known it: promotional products are central to your customer relationships. More than brand building tools, promos that “speak” your brand cut through the clutter, get noticed, and make a lasting impression. ASI’s Global Ad Impressions Study unpacks the impact, effectiveness and overarching value promotional products bring to the table.

Did you know that 85% of people who have received a branded piece of apparel can recall the advertiser’s name? This stat alone means you absolutely must make apparel a part of your marketing budget this year (and you may want to consider increasing it).  Your customers want these items, use these items and place a high value on these items—and, in turn, on you, your business and your relationship.

Not only that, but the cost – when looking at it on a per impression basis, is so minimal. Have you ever compared the CPI’s of promotional products by category? It’s pretty impressive:Comparing the CPI's of Promotional Products

 

Let’s explore a few more takeaways from this research:

#1. The Power of the PEN

Don’t dismiss something as simple and ubiquitous as a branded pen. Nearly nine in 10 consumers report have and use promotional pens or other writing instruments, and 20% say they have a least 10. Considering each generates about 3,000 impressions over its nine-month life—and the fact that more than half of people say they’re more likely to do business with brands who share promotional writing tools—the low out-of-pocket cost makes this one a simple, strategic slam dunk.Pen Stats Reported by ASI

#2. Bag it Up

Another must that’s equally simple—and equally loved? Bags. Seventy-three percent of consumers say they own a promotional bag, which they hang on to for close to a year. In that time, these bags generate 3,300 impressions—on a $5 bag, that’s a CPI (cost per impression) of less than $0.005. The icing on the cake? Studies show that 50% of consumers are more likely to do a business with a company that gave them the giveaway. We would imagine that this percentage increases if you find a bag that suites their style, taste and demographic. 50 Percent of Consumers Are More Likely To Do Business With A Company When They Are Given A Promotional Bag

#3. Fit to a “T” (shirt)

Not only do promotional shirts have the same CPI as bags, but they have a very long shelf life—nearly two-thirds of consumers keep branded shirts for more than a year, and close to half hang onto them for two-plus years. Considering 80% of the population owns at least one, that’s some serious bang for your proverbial buck.

One more major shirt perk? Their appeal with the all-important 18- to 34-year-olds. This is the way to go. Millennials in particular can’t get enough of this promotional item—the average 20/30 something owns five branded shirts. Need help determining the right size for a logo on custom t-shirts? Click here.

T-Shirts that cost $7 Have a CPI of 2/10 of a cent per impression!

#4. And if it’s men you’re after…

Consider branded hats and headwear the shirts of the male segment—69% own promotional hats and one in three say they wear theirs weekly, if not more. That’s serious—and that’s leading to more than 3,400 promotional impressions per hat.

Better still, each branded hat creates a meaningful connection with consumers—nearly two in three say they hang onto the ones they receive “because they are attractive.” That’s a powerful statement and an incredible jumping off point for lasting engagement and advocacy.

One-Third of Men Wear Their Promotional Hats Weekly

#5. Power it up!

One of the newest must-have premiums of 2018 was the power bank —and 2019 is already proving this trend is here to stay. That said, just one in three consumers owns a promotional power bank, meaning the market is ripe for yours.

Even if recipients have one already, there’s nothing wrong with having a second (or third…). More than two in five people say they use their promotional power bank at least weekly. That means your will no doubt have a welcome home in their bag, car, desk drawer or carry-on bag. And because the average customer hangs onto their for two years or more, you’re getting tons of engagement for a very low price—bonus.

41 percent of consumers use a power bank once a week or more often

That, though, is just the beginning—and judging from this study, 2019 will be the year of the promotional premium. Get in touch to learn more and see what’s popping to the top of consumers’ must-have list this year, and how you can get ahead of the curve with these cutting-edge essentials.


TOP

First Look: Top Promotional Product Trends of 2019


Today was an exciting day in the Promo world – The first trade show of the year, hosted by ASI, in Orlando, FL. We walked the aisles to scout out the hottest and newest promotional product trends to bring back so you can be the first to deliver these gems to your clients. The early bird gets the worm, after all. Here’s a first look;  Trust us, you won’t want to miss this.

The “Glam” Trend

Colors like gold, silver, iridescent and rose-gold made a widespread appearance this year. These items, with their Hollywood-inspired brilliance, were seen on metallic trimmed totes, lip-balm, Koozies® and drinkware.

A group of Metallic Promos

Also notable within this category were upscale-looking pieces such as these sunglasses and quilted tumbler.

Chanel-Like Quilted Tumbler, Upscale Glasses

The Safety Trend

Safety has been, and should always be, a priority, but safety items are rarely top of mind when selecting a corporate gift. This flashlight is something that anyone who drives a car should have, therefore making it not only a useful gift, but one that will be remembered for years to come. Equipped with a flashlight, magnet, glass breaker and seat-belt cutter, this potential life-saving item can be stored in a dashboard for easy access in case of an emergency.

Safety Flashlight

Also topping the charts – reflective gear in all shapes and sizes. We love this backpack –  shown below is what it looks like in daytime (on the left) and night-time (on the right).

Reflective Backpack

The Wireless-Charging Trend

Introduced in 2018, the wireless charge trend is far from over. Our favorite must-have item? This 2-in-1 wireless charging portfolio, a fantastic choice for financial companies, lawyers and tech conferences, just to name a few. Why do we love it so much? Among other features, it comes with a built-in phone stand and a USB dock to cater to those recipients whose phones are not wireless charge compatible.

Our 2-in-1 Wireless Charging Portfolio

The Give-Back Trend

Also tied into “Cause Marketing” is the idea of people choosing to invest in products or businesses that give back in some way. Social responsibility matters to people, and we’re thrilled this phenomenon has extended to the promotional products world. Last year, we introduced you to Basecamp® , a leading outdoor brand supported by Dan Nevins. This year, we’re inspired by a company called Woodchuck® who offer USA-made items made of Cedar, Walnut or Mahogany. Woodchuck plants a tree each time an order is placed. Not impressed? Wait until you receive your order. A custom code will be included on a card which allows you to track your exact tree.

Woodchuck Items

The Retail-Inspired Trend

Still consider promotional products to be cheap swag? Think again. These beach resort-like bags have us swooning, and there’s ALOT more where this is coming from (at a fraction of the price of buying these beauties retail). The main takeaway? Don’t settle for the items you’ve ordered time and time again. 2019 is all about touting branded promos that look as if they came off the shelf of your favorite retailer.

Beach Resort Inspired Bags

The “Spending More Time Outdoors” Trend

Custom folding chairs, cooler bags, fleece blankets, and camping accessories are all the hype this year, many in deep rich colors and Tartan and Gingham patterns. Our top outside-the-box picks? The first, this 64 oz. Manna® Stack Growler, which comes with 4 stainless steel cups and keeps liquids cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours. It basically screams “Go plan a camping trip (and don’t forget the soup!)”.

Manna Stack Growler

The second item that caught our attention was this fold-able solar power charger. Any tech-lover or tech-addict (Nomophobia, anyone?) will appreciate this giveaway, as it uses the sun to charge your clients (many) devices. Encourage them to keep one in their car, another in their luggage, and one at home (just in case the power goes out!).

Our Solar Power Charger

The Modern Trend

Modern textures, colors, wood-tones and marbles are – literally – everywhere (and we’re loving it). Consider adding a product with a high-end look and feel to your marketing mix this year.

2019 Marble Look and Feel

 

There you have it, folks! A fresh look at some of the hottest promotional product trends for 2019. Love these items and can’t wait to have them? Get in touch. We’re proud to be your trusted partner for all things promo. Stay tuned for takeaways from our next big show, the PPAI Expo, in Las Vegas later this month.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest to get daily updates of all things trending!