Product of the Month

TOP

5 Things to Consider When You’re Buying Reusable Straws


5 Things to Consider When Buying Reusable StrawsWe admit it – when we first made the leap and started using reusable straws as an alternative to plastic it was a big transition. It sounds silly, but since our juice box days, we’ve always just taken and tossed out disposable straws. They’re easy (and we like easy) but something about seeing that poor turtle with one stuck up his nose, made us think – we need to contribute to a change.  Businesses need to contribute to change. People need to contribute to change. We dove in here at ePromos, and no doubt, it’s been a game-changer. You just FEEL better knowing that you’re making a difference.

That said, WE KNOW – you’ve heard the stats, you understand the reasons to ditch plastic and, maybe, you have been kicking around the idea of incorporating reusable straws into your business. So, let’s skip the “why-it-matters” diatribe and jump right in to the “2.0” of it all – specifically, what to consider if you want to go all-in on reducing plastic waste and going with reusable straws.

Consider This: Paper vs. Steel

Stainless steel has quickly become the ubiquitous reusable straw, and with good cause. These go-anywhere, do-anything straws are super sturdy and work well in both hot and cold drinks. And, because they’re made of stainless steel, they can be tossed into a reusable baggy and toted around all day long without risk of bending, chipping or tearing.

Of course, there’s something to be said for paper – it’s NOT plastic, specifically. While you’re still tossing paper straws after a single use, they do disintegrate and are considered “recyclable”. But, if your purpose is to go the extra mile, re-use and make more of a statement, stainless steel might be a better option.

Consider This: Silicone/Steel vs. Steel/Steel

Still not sold on stainless? We get it – we’ve heard everything from a fear of chipping teeth to the fear of too-hot drinks burning sipper’s gums and lips. So, in this side-by-side example, consider the alternative. You could opt for a “true” stainless steel straw which, again, has become the standard on the reusable front, or a silicon-tipped option which softens the experience – literally. Either way you’ll get the same benefits, all in a compact and environmentally-friendly package.

Consider This: Straight vs. Bent

The age-old debate: straight versus bent straws. If you’re a kid or a kid at heart, this one’s a no-brainer – bendy straws are where it’s at. But let’s consider the pros and cons to each – because, believe it or not, there are tangible benefits to sipping straight or on a slant.

First, the bent or “bendy” straw. They were designed in the 1930s, with the express purpose of helping people who couldn’t belly up to the bar and bend their heads enough to sip from a straight straw.

That’s still the perk of the bendy straw – it’s easy to drink from almost any angle. But before you rule out the classic straight straw, consider this – bendies can be a bit shorter than straight straws, making it tougher to get that very last sip. With a longer, straighter straw, sucking up that last bit of milkshake/cold brew/green juice is easier, cleaner and more efficient.

Consider This: Length

Most straws range from about seven to 10 inches. The consideration? See the bendy versus straight debate, above. If straws are on the longer side it’s easier to get your sip on all the way to the bottom of the glass, can, or bottle. But, at the same time, a longer straw can be tougher to maneuver, especially if you’re shorter or tend to sit lower at your desk or table. Like the other considerations here, there’s no right or wrong – just what you and your clients prefer sipping-wise.

Consider This: Packaging vs. Package-free

The final piece of the puzzle: how you’ll package (or not package) your branded straws. Think about it – if you’re doing your part to curb waste and save the environment, you may consider opting OUT of elaborate packaging. Or, opt for packaging that does double-duty – a reusable straw with a case of some sort. Our customers seem to love bank bags to use for this purpose.  It’s a win for you (don’t you look generous…?), a win for your client who scores a bonus gift and a win for the environment. Really, what could be better since the reusable straw trend is here to stay.

Check out October’s Product of the Month. Contact an ePromos expert to learn more and explore your options now.


TOP

5 Perks That Make Our SpinSocket A Must-Have For Your Brand


You’ve seen PopSockets® – and, no doubt, you’ve seen kids performing handheld magic with their fidget spinners.

Our Custom SpinSocketOur September Product of the Month, the Full-Color SpinSocket Ring Custom Cell Phone Holder & Stand, marries these two must-haves into a powerhouse promo piece. It’s fun, it’s functional and it’s #trending – it’s, basically, the cronut of the mobile world.

That said, the cool factor isn’t the only reason we love this promo piece. The SpinSocket™ packs a serious punch powered by serious benefits:

#1. It’s an instant nerve-soother and anxiety reducer

Fidgeting can help combat moments of anxiety or nervousness. For many, there’s something about tapping, fiddling or even nail-biting that, in the moment soothes nerves – enter the fidget spinner.

By providing a fidget-focused outlet, pieces such as these encourage immediate relief with a tool designed solely to, well, fidget with. Beyond that, many like the built-in discretion. Instead of sitting around visibly picking or tapping, they’re simply playing with their fidget spinner – or, in this case, their SpinSocket.

#2. It stimulates focus

Research has shown fidget spinners’ movement can help people gain and maintain focus. Others have likened them to squeezing a stress ball which, for people with ADHD, can help steer attention back where it needs to be. Think about how many times you’ve sat in that team meeting, as it barrels into hour two. And, think about how great it would be to have something in the palm of your hands to get your head back in the game. Exactly.

#3. It adds a layer of functionality to your phone

Our smartphones aren’t just phones. They’re everything! PopSockets dig into that ubiquity, specifically on the entertainment front. Grab your phone, throw on a movie and pop out the stand so you, or even you and some friends, can watch, hands-free. Or, better yet, pop your stand out and let your kids watch without their little hands all over the screen – what parent wouldn’t be all over that?

#4. It’s like insurance – but cheaper

Ah, the dreaded screen smash. We all know it. We all hate it. And, when it happens, it costs us a fortune to deal with. And that insurance policy we should have bought when we got the upgrade? Yeah…we didn’t.

Enter the Spinsocket. While it won’t replace your cracked screen, it does make it harder to lose control of your device – and with that added control there’s a good chance you’ll avoid at least a few slips and spills.

#5. It’s an instant convo-starter

Yes, we said it wasn’t about the cool factor, and it’s not. That said, we’d be remiss not to include number five – this promo piece is an instant conversation starter. Expect to be stopped in the elevator, in the waiting room and in meetings as people will want to see cool PopSockets and fidget spinners, while wanting to share theirs. And, if your brand is all over that SpinSocket? Even better.

Ashley, our Account Executive, gives us an up-close look:

Call us today to get your hands (and your BRAND) on September’s Product of the Month, the SpinSocket Ring Custom Cell Phone Holder & Stand.

Missed our featured product from September? Click here.


TOP

4 Reasons Why Wireless Chargers are the Ultimate Promotional Must-Have


Wireless-chargerChances are you’ve heard at least some buzz surrounding the latest generation of wireless QI chargers. Not only are these go-to chargers increasingly portable and versatile, but given their sleek look and wireless charging capabilities, consumers are scooping up these must-haves for home, office and on-the-go use.

So, what does all of this mean for your business? It’s simple — by branding and distributing this summer’s “it” product , you’ll be able to close out the season with a bang. Because, from where we sit, these chargers pack a more powerful punch than virtually any other branded premium in the marketplace. Here’s why:

#1. You CAN’T have just one…

Consider these chargers the Pringles® of the marketing world — you can’t have just one. We’re seeing consumers pop wireless chargers into convenient and high-traffic spots from their own bedsides, desks and cars to conference rooms, waiting rooms and reception areas. By having a wireless charger within arm’s reach at all times, your customers never have to worry about a low battery or being phone-less when they’re out pounding the pavement. And, for your business, that means more opportunities to be front-and-center, delivering a high-value service when customers need it most.

#2. You’re constantly engaging

Science Alert recommends consumers “plug in your phone whenever you can,” since smart phone batteries “are much happier if you charge them occasionally throughout the day…” It’s good advice and another good reason for your business to brand these wireless chargers. Think about it: consumers charging their phones throughout the day means constant, ongoing exposure to your brand and your brand message. Every time she “plugs in” she’ll catch a glimpse of your branding, deepening the relationship and tying you back to serious value — you did get her phone back up to 100%, after all.

Taking this a step further… think about that consistent interaction versus traditional digital and mail pieces. The average consumer spends two seconds with an email — it’s no contest. Even with a direct mail piece which, on average, has a 17-day lifespan, pales in comparison.

#3. There’s an expanded audience built in

Traditional phone chargers are one-notes — you can charge your phone but, likely, nothing else. Not so with our wireless QI chargers which can fuel iPhone® 8, iPhone X and most Samsung® cell phones, plus virtually any device with a compatible adapter. This instantly makes these chargers the perfect addition to any office or high-traffic setting — again, think waiting rooms, break rooms and reception areas. In other words, places lots of other people frequent — and places lots of other people will see your brand messaging.

With this added versatility, then, it’s easy to expand your reach with no added investment or engagement. It’s a win/win — your brand gets massive exposure without a massive incremental investment. And who knows? That client-of-a-client juicing up their phone on your wireless charger could drive a lucrative partnership in the not-too-distant future.

#4. They’re the hottest item on the market…

When Apple® rolled out QI charging for its iPhone 8 and iPhone X, the demand spiked and countless consumers were introduced to these powerhouse chargers for the very first time. The end result: you couldn’t miss the wireless QI chargers at CES this year, with consumers, media and tech influencers vying to get their hands on the latest and greatest. In short, everyone wants one of these chargers, and, with our custom branding opportunities, you’ll have the opportunity to be the business that delivers.

So, there you have it! Check out our Qi Wireless Custom Phone Charging Pad and call us to start planning your next campaign now!

 

 


TOP

7 Ways to Boost Your Brand’s Perception Using Webcam Covers


It’s hard to find a device nowadays that doesn’t come equipped with a webcam. It’s pretty much the equivalent of stepping into a car that doesn’t have a CD player in it (not that the CD players are even used as much anymore) . In the business world, webcams are used daily for videoconferencing; in one’s personal life they’re used for nanny-cams, chatting with friends, connecting with family and checking in on one’s home. So, it’s scary to think about the hackers who can quite easily invade your computer and log right in to view life through your webcam.

Our Toddy Gear® SpySafe™ Webcam cover allows you to customize the packaging for an even bigger impactThe good news is that gone are the days of using post-it notes to protect yourself. Webcam covers have been selling off the shelves like hotcakes this season.

Why? Because when you gift a webcam in any capacity – to a friend, to your team at work, as a thank you gift or as a referral gift – you’re showing the recipient you care about their safety. Webcam covers for home computers, laptops, mobile devices and tablets offer peace of mind. And, when your logo is imprinted on one of these useful devices, the name of your business will literally be viewed hundreds of times per day by all those individuals and companies who value privacy. It really is a win-win!

Here are 7 ways you can use webcam covers to boost the perception of your brand:

1. Send via direct mail

Direct mail isn’t dead! We don’t have to convince you about the effectiveness of direct mail… it has a proven track record. In fact, mailings are one of the most highly-targeted forms of marketing. Did you know, when using promo products as an incentive to respond, you are generating four times as many responses as a sales letter alone? The beauty of webcam covers for this purpose is they’re so lightweight they can fit easily and inexpensively into a letter. Or, consider affixing them to a postcard and creating a campaign around that! One stamp will get your promotion delivered.

2. Delight your customers

Go the extra mile to stand out from your competition. Surprise your customers with a useful gift such as a webcam cover to remind them of how much you value their business. It’s really that simple and will go a long way.

3. Thank your employees

Your employees are the number one asset of your company, and in many jobs, they’re at their computers all day. Thank them (and protect them) by giving them a tech-savvy gift. Even better – gift them with two – one to use at their work station, and one to use at home, showing you care about their safety both in and away from work.

4. Give them away at trade shows

Mining for new prospects is what trade shows are all about . . . exhibiting gets you face-to-face conversations with buyers. However, before those conversations can take place, you need a great giveaway to draw attendees to your booth. In today’s digital age, people are demanding technology-related items because they are so useful. So, giving away webcam covers (either prior to the event to entice people to your booth, or during the event to stand out from the crowd) makes a ton of sense. The best part – they’re travel-friendly! You can supply an entire tradeshow floor with gifts that were shipped in a small box!

5. Stock up for your travelling sales team

Whether your sales staff travels locally, nationally or globally, they are your frontline marketers. They will love the opportunity to provide gifts for the people they are meeting with on every trip. However, fitting gifts inside carry-on luggage is always an issue. These hardworking professionals deserve an “easy button” every now and then. Introduce them to a webcam cover giveaway that’s lightweight and small enough to bring on every trip. Clients will love the trendsetting gift they will truly find beneficial.

6. Tie your core values into a gift

Core values can help convert prospects in to customers, if conveyed clearly across all marketing touchpoints. A great way to start getting your customers and potential customers familiar with your core values is by demonstrating those values with promotional products. Webcam covers will give customers peace of mind – one of the most powerful things any company can offer. You’ll be keeping your clients safe with a personalized camera cover that will make a big impact.

7. Add the power of packaging

Custom packaging gives you the opportunity to tell your whole story while making a great first impression. Use the space to tie in the “why” and “how” people can benefit when working with you. Custom packaging, which is available on our featured webcam cover, increases the perceived value of a gift, and the likelihood they’ll remember who you are and what you’re about.

Are you looking for more ideas on how to use webcam covers to your advantage? Call us, the promo know-how people, for expert tips and tricks.

More about our featured webcam cover and why we love it:

A webcam cover is the simplest and most effective tool to prevent webcam hackers from spying. SpySafe™ webcam covers are unique because they are made of soft microfiber. The soft material allows your laptop to close seamlessly. It will stick to virtually any flat surface including plastic, glass and metal. They cover any camera lens on tablets, cell phones, laptops and computer monitors. They stay in place with a unique adhesive that ensures multi-use and no residue on the screen surface when you remove the webcam cover.

ePromos has two types of Toddy Gear® SpySafe™ Webcam Covers. The first is a customizable webcam cover on a backer card with SpySafe product information already on the presentation card. Or, if you want to customize your packaging for more impact (we love this option!), we suggest the webcam cover with personalized packaging. You can create your own packaging by fully customizing the card with a design created by you!

Ashley, our amazing Account Executive, gives you an up-close look at this item:

Call us, the Promo Know-How People, to talk through how we can fit in webcam covers into your next promotion.


TOP

THE MOPTOPPER COLLECTION: Bring On The Fun


I’ve been working in the promotional products industry for almost a decade now. It’s such a fun industry to be in; so many great people, so many great ideas and so many fun products to choose from! Our featured collection this month is called MopToppers™ and it’s one of my absolute favorites!

These products are among my favorite for many reasons. First, they make people smile and people are instantly intrigued when they see them. Second, they look (sorry for using this word) A-DORABLE!. And third, they have universal appeal. Everyone from doctors to lawyers to schools to Tradeshow-attendees of all types just love them!

When designing each MopToppers product, the creators put such an emphasis on their attention to detail.  Their famous pen not only has a human body shape and a smiley face, but it also has a necktie-shaped clip. The doctor version  has a stethoscope, and the Breast Cancer Awareness version has a light-pink ribbon. They even have a super-hero version!

So much of successful marketing is choosing a product that ties in properly to your brand and your purpose – and of course is memorable. Consider lightening the mood with these cuties before an intense, stuffy and uncomfortable meeting. Or give them to employees with a message that says something along the lines of “When work feels overwhelming, take a minute to smile”. MopToppers are appropriate at any type of event, really — school functions, trade shows, nonprofit events, bookstores, workplace orientations and community show cases to name a few.

For me though, the main benefit of these face-shaped products is the microfiber screen cleaner, or “hair”. You NEED to try the hair!

Benfits of Cleaning with Microfiber:
  •  Microfibers increase cleaning ability because the net-like structure traps considerably more dirt than other materials and keeps them in the mop top. In addition, the unique surface gets down into the nooks and crannies of your devices efficiently pulling out debris.
  • Microfiber cleaning cloths are hypoallergenic, so they are nice for anyone suffering from allergies.
  • Microfiber cloths are eco-friendly because they don’t require any soap or chemicals to do a great job.
  • Microfibers are reusable and can be used again and again by simply rinsing with warm water to keep them fresh.
  • Microfibers last longer than other cleaning materials because they contain more than 200,000 fibers per square inch of product. That’s tough stuff!
  • Microfibers pick up dust, dirt, pet hair, microparticles and 98 percent of anything else your screens and monitors encounter.
  • Rub a little harder and a MopToppers will remove sticky stuff, accidental spills, scuffs and more.

What’s the secret? Microfiber is made up of nylon and polyester fibers that are considerably smaller than most other fabrics used for creating mops. Each strand is minute, and when they are woven together, they create a fabric packed with tiny pockets that trap dirt and water. When looked at closely, this dense material resembles a net, and the net-like structure is the key to its efficiency.

Did you know that a whopping 89 percent of consumers remember the company who gave them the promotional product? With this in mind, it is easy to see why it’s so important to make great choices when deciding which promo product will represent your company best. Check out our MopTopper Collection and see for your yourself how much fun you’ll have with these!

SideBar: How To Clean MicroFiber

Your MopToppers product is small, but it will do some big cleanup. So, go ahead and clean your “hair” if it gets soiled. Simply rinse in warm (not hot water because the nylon component in microfiber will break down the fibers and ruin their effectiveness). If it’s really dirty, most cleaning detergents can be used, but adding bleach and fabric softener is not recommended. Air dry.

Call us today, your Promo Know-How People and let us work together to find the right products for you.


TOP

PUMA Polo Shirts: Why You’ll Love ‘Em & Why Your Brand Needs...


Company apparel – and the desire to wear it – has come such a long way. Long gone are the days of boxy, thick, white t-shirts and bunchy button-downs. Many businesses have scaled down their dress codes significantly, especially when comparing the way women dressed in the twentieth century. Now, so much a part of company culture is the desire – and the interest – to wear corporate branded apparel not just to support and promote the business, but also because it fits well. It’s moisture-wicking and cut just right. Teams get together to take selfies and voluntarily share them on social media. Companies offer apparel to their employees to purchase at a discount, and they gladly do. The change from then to now is remarkable and gives us an opportunity to hone in on how we can use this exposure to build up a brand.

Reasons to consider branded apparel for YOUR business:

1) Promote a sense of unity. Branded apparel – worn at every level – sends a message that everyone’s contribution is valuable.

2) Distinguish your brand. Uniforms assist with the brand experience after all, and customers notice the difference. Consider these statistics published by J.D. Power and Associates:

• 75% of consumers prefer employees in uniform
• 97% of the public believes uniforms make employees easier to recognize
• 70% of customers think uniforms make employees look neater and more professional
• 60% of prospects feel that uniforms make workers look better trained

3) Help guide the tone for the dress code: Dress codes can be complicated. As an employer, when you provide a “uniform,” you have just simplified your company’s dress code – that’s one less detail to worry about on how your business can succeed.

4) Logoed teamwear is cost effective. The benefits of branded apparel find their roots in the benefits of promotional products in general. More exposure! The number of impressions you get from each shirt makes apparel the best form of advertising that you can purchase.

5) Create some brand buzz. Have you ever heard the business expression, “word of mouth is like gold?” It is! There is no better way to sell your business than by your employees’ recommendation. It shows they have pride in their company. When team members take pride in their employers, they often share it with others. By wearing logoed shirts, hats or other items, employees will carry your brand out of the office and into their communities without saying a word.

With this in mind, we teamed up with our apparel experts to find a buzz-worthy shirt to feature this month. Being that polo shirts are timeless, in comes our PUMA Essential Polo Shirt. PUMA® is one of the world’s leading brands and grounded in four values: brave, confident, determined and joyful… to motivate people beyond their potential. Wrinkle-resistant and not too tight, not too loose, this polo shirt is great for work or play. It is made from 3.8-ounce, 100% polyester pique knit with a moisture wicking finish. It has UV protection and dryCELL moisture-wicking properties, drawing away sweat and keeping you dry and comfortable. The PUMA Essential Polo has all the right components: two-button placket with contrasting buttons, shaped seams and tapered waist for a flattering fit. In addition to its essentials, the polo is available in six stunning colors.

See more about the look and feel of this item on Nikki, our amazing Account Executive:

PUMA® promotional apparel offers a wide range of options to accurately reflect your business and make people take notice. Its usefulness makes it a popular and effective choice for building your brand. Remember, if you can wear it, you can brand it and advertise with style. Call us, your Promo Know-How People, to talk through how to incorporate these great polo shirts into your marketing plan.