Promo, Brand & Marketing News


BRANDSTORMING: A Virtual Client Showcase

This year has been one for the books. So many things have changed—the way we work, how we educate our kids, and how we vacation—just to name a few. One thing that has not changed is the value of a true connection.

Less facetime means it is more important than ever to connect with your clients, through more creative ways. Luckily for brands, connections need not happen in person. We’ve found that quality, unique or trendy products sent to clients during this time have been extremely well-received and appreciated, with clients sharing more and more photos on social than ever before.

With that being said, while ePromos is no stranger to hosting in-person events, on August 4th, we hosted our first-ever, interactive and exclusively virtual showcase aptly called… Brandstorming.

ePromos Brandstorming Virtual Showcase

This was an epic opportunity for our clients to gain insights, intel and info on the latest trends and must-tries dominating the branding universe. Registered participants had a chance to see front and center our innovative products and brandable essentials while sneaking a peek at what’s new and notable – and, of course, to score some amazing prizes from the ePromos team.

So, what did we cover? Here are just a few of the themes you missed: 

#1. Staying Fit AND Enjoying Nature

We all know the benefits of regular exercise on our physical and mental health. Now that people are working from home more, they can and should engage in exercise when possible. The experts at Penn Medicine recommend scheduling your exercise and using what you have at home to support your workout. For most people, that’s not typically much. Why not incorporate fitness gear into your programs this year? Here are just a few of the many items mentioned:

Our Square Foldable Yoga Mat. Unlike regular mats, this one can be folded to fit perfectly into your go-to tote or purse. Same product, different shape means you’ll get people talking. We’re also loving our Core Slider set (so much fun), which comes in a set of two that can be used either on a carpet or a hard floor:

For your mid-day swim: Our Dripz Waterproof (yes, waterproof!) earbuds – so you can jam out while you get your Michael Phelps on:

#2. Keep The Pen

Most people learned that sharing is caring when they were in pre-school, but we are now having to unlearn that lesson when it comes to germs. One of the easiest ways to do that is to tell customers to #KeepThePen to decrease the risk of spreading COVID-19. This presents a great branding opportunity in addition to a safer option for clients and employees. ePromos has a large selection of pens that write beautifully, and show off your brand name, logo, or colors in a way that’s memorable and safe. Here are a few options we didn’t want you to miss:

The Illuminated Javelin, Our Ombre Soft Touch and the Max Glide

#3: Working from Home Until Further Notice

Seems as if for too many of us non-essential workers, this is our new normal. Establishing the proper workspace is key here, not only for productivity but also for privacy.

We’re loving this privacy webcam combopack, which comes with a microphone jack to prevent people from listening to your conversations, in addition to a slide webcam cover. Available in black or white.

For the ultimate noise-canceling headphones, which for many are essential to drown out kids, pets (even spouses!) while you are trying to knock out a project are these Wrapsody™ Wireless Headphones. Beautiful in full color, and on-trend in our tone-on-tone option, with additional name personalization available as well.

Another notable and unique must-have: The Moniclip™ Phone Holder. Named the ultimate multi-tasker, it clips to the side of either a monitor or a laptop, so that your phone can stay eye level, even while charging. It allows for a beautiful full-color imprint on a dome, so recipients will be sure to have your brand front and center.

And, our personal favorite (since lunch is often taken at our desks and we find ourselves snacking all day long): The Crumbee™. This teeny little vacuum can sit on your client’s desk, stay in their car, or be taken anywhere. It’s a complete buzz-worthy game changer that we’re selling off the shelves!

#4: Bringing Your Brand into the Kitchen

With so many restaurants closed, and families being home now more than ever, people have begun to unlock and explore their hidden culinary talents.

We love recommending kitchen items for clients since they are so useful and well-received. Here are two of our favorites that are off the beaten path:

The Jarby, which is used to get the very last spoonful of your favorite condiments out of a jar, and oven mitts. Oven mitts are such a simple and everyday staple in one’s home, yet such an under-rated opportunity for year-after-year exposure. We’re digging this frosted silicone one (which is great for both righties and lefties) and for opening jars!

#5: Always Loved: Made in the USA

All companies feel good about purchasing products made in the USA. It fuels our economy (especially during a pandemic) and gives us a sense of camaraderie for our beautiful country.

The first item worth highlighting in this category: Coolies for everything.

Join the slim can revolution (because White Claw is “it” these days and you’ll want to keep them cold):

They’re even available for ice pops. Yes, you heard that right.

And of course, we can’t go even a few hours without talking masks. This USA-Made one is a great option for any brand since it’s completely customizable for a fantastic design to sport your logo. Love the idea of promoting The US of A? Here’s an American flag stock design, which is always a hit.

Like we said, this is just a snapshot of what was covered in our virtual showcase, and we sure wouldn’t want to spoil it for you! Interested in seeing more — and getting to meet some of our team? Here it is:

We’re always available to help put together any of your promotional marketing products that keep your clients safe, healthy, happy, while keeping your brand top of mind.

Contact us, the Promo Know-How People to talk through your next promotion or idea! Interested in reading more tips to engage virtually? Here are four creative ways to do it..

Looking for an insider’s perspective on unique trends in the promo world? Follow us here.

Interested in keeping up to date on all things ePromos?  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest!


Take Branding Even Further With Personalization

Now that people are starting to head back to offices and other workplaces, we’re seeing new trends develop in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Call it “the new normal.” It’s an expansion of a longstanding practice of personalization, but this time it’s driven by a new sense of purpose.

In addition to taking these 5 actions to ready their workplaces, companies are getting creative about ways to encourage social distancing. Customer-oriented “#KeepThePen” initiatives are the new trend at doctors offices, banks and retail. Organizations are also finding ways to promote a healthier, safer workplace by ordering promotional products personalized with the names of their employees.

Give Them the Tools to Protect Themselves
This laser-engraved triple insulated bottle includes both an event logo and the recipients name.

Promotional products personalized with the names of each of your employees (in a addition to your company logo or a special message) reinforces the fact that that you value them as members of your team. Re-opening your business? Encourage them not to share by equipping them with personalized gifts to help reduce contact and minimize the spread of disease-causing viruses, bacteria, and other contaminants.

Although the value of sharing has been drummed into most of us since childhood, it’s time to shift that approach. Sharing isn’t caring anymore if it’s a way to potentially pass disease-causing particles from our pens or tumblers!

Personalized Products with Names and Logos

The new personalization trend goes far beyond writing implements, but a pen is a great starting point. Choose from a wide variety of pens that can be printed with your logo, an employee’s name, or both. Select ones with twist or click action, or molded rubber grips for added ergonomic comfort.

Our Leeman NYC Tuscany Custom Journal w/ Magnetic Closure
Our Leeman NYC
Tuscany Custom Journal
w/ Magnetic Closure

Consider ordering a blank notebook for a fresh start, too. Choose a classic, high-quality journal with cream pages and an attractive faux leather cover that can be embossed with each employee’s name. It’s a thoughtful touch that lets your valued workforce know how much you appreciate them and their contributions. Or consider a tumbler. Perfect for that mid-morning coffee or tea break, it adds a special touch of recognition and thoughtfulness when it’s also personalized for your workers. No matter what kind of personalization you add, it says to others “Hands off, please! This one’s mine.”

Our Leeman NYC
Gift Set

For a truly thoughtful “welcome back” statement, consider ordering a full personalized set of desktop supplies for each worker, including a cell phone case, coffee mug, or thermos. You can also add safety and protective items such as sanitizing wipes, face masks, or face shields, as well as items to keep your team connected and engaged at times when it’s safer to work from home. We’ll be happy to help you assemble your own gift collection that’s customized to your specific needs.

Prefer to purchase a set rather than a one-off item? Here’s one of our favorites. It’s perfect for the executive who frequently travels for work, this set includes items such as a water-resistant sleeve for a tablet, a soft-cover journal, a stainless steel and faux leather ballpoint executive pen, and a power bank charger.

Personalization Around the Office

You can also consider personalizing keepsake items for employees or clients.

Our Leeman NYC
Drinkware & Journal Ghirardelli Gift Set

For example, here’s a set that includes Ghirardelli® hot chocolate, a double-walled tumbler with plastic liner, a thermos, and a journal—all in their own portable faux leather bin which can be kept and used again and again, for even longer brand exposure.

Why It’s Important to Discourage Sharing

Public health officials have indicated that while direct or face-to-face infection seems to be the most prevalent way the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is spread, it’s definitely also possible to catch it through fomites.

Fomites are simply objects, or items likely to become a source of infection. Pens, doorknobs, furniture, and even clothing can play this role. Essentially, any time an infection agent (like a viral particle) lands on a surface and doesn’t immediately die or become ineffective, it can potentially be a source of further infection. Then when someone else touches that doorknob or pen, the viral particles can transfer to that person’s hands. If that person touches their face, they risk becoming infected with the virus or other contaminant. This is why one of the best practices for slowing the spread of sickness is to wash our hands often, or, when we can’t, to sanitize.

There’s some uncertainty about how long the novel coronavirus can last on specific materials and surfaces—some, like plastic, have been shown in studies to retain virus particles for up to 3-7 days. While the risk of transmission via surfaces is certainly lower, it makes sense to take precautions and institute new practices that continue to promote health.

Thinking of the ways you can help ease the transition for your employees who are returning to a physical or hybrid workspace this season? Get in touch with our team of Promo Know-How People to discuss personalized products and personal-protective safety items for your organization.


The Benefits of a Local Networking Group

If there’s one lesson we’ve learned over these last three months, it’s that social connection plays a fundamental role in many people’s happiness and success—both personally and professionally. Because of wide-spread shelter-in-place orders, many social outlets and activities have been suspended, and for many, that means isolation from their professional communities as well.

From loss of communication with colleagues, to missing opportunities to grow and connect with a customer base, to missing out on professional development seminars and beyond, the effects of social distancing extend to every corner of the business world and are leaving many professionals feeling defeated and uninspired.

How to Grow Professionally and Stay Connected

Luckily, technology provides a means of connection when we can’t be physically together—and that plays a key part in continuing professional development during these times.

Greta, a wonderful member of our sales team, recently shared how she’s staying connected and honing her skills by meeting virtually with her local Business Network International (BNI) group.

Using BNI Groups to Grow Professionally

Every Thursday, Greta meets with her group (now via Zoom), which is made up of professionals from various industries including mortgage companies, financial institutions, car maintenance, heating and air conditioning, and more.

During each meeting, all members get a chance to pitch new products and services their company is offering, ask for referrals, and potentially sell to other professionals within the BNI group, all in hopes of making new connections and bringing in new business.

Making Connections and Getting New Business
Greta Presenting at BNI

When asked if these meetings open new doors, Greta said, “I didn’t get business at first—people need to gain your trust and get to know you because they’ll be referring their friends to you. But over time, I’ve definitely gained business. I have people ordering from the group, and they’ve referred me to their friends. It’s been a wonderful experience.”

Aside from honing her public speaking skills and perfecting her elevator pitch, Greta mentioned that meeting with her BNI group has also helped her deal more frankly with her customers and provide more valuable service to them.

Providing More Value to Customers

When reflecting on how she’s grown as a salesperson since joining her BNI group, Greta said, “Things happen with orders—we have to get on the phone and help our regular online customers. But with my BNI group, if something goes wrong or they have questions, I’m going to actually see them face-to-face.”

Sometimes, technology creates a barrier that subconsciously minimizes the positive effects of customer service interactions—but Greta says that connecting with her BNI group customers in person helps her see her customers, especially her digital ones, in a new light.

She notes that she’s learned to approach service situations from a more human, empathic standpoint—whether virtual or in person. Not only does this make her a more skillful salesperson, but it increases customer retention too.

Identifying Market Needs

BNI groups are made up of professionals from industries across the board, and Greta noted that consistently communicating with people in different industries is incredibly valuable for her as a salesperson.

These interactions have trained her to identify the common needs and interests that ePromos can fulfill for other companies and professionals. And perhaps most importantly, Greta notes that she’s more confident in her abilities as a salesperson—she uses the insight she’s gained from these industry connections to create razor-sharp sales pitches that are more targeted and effective. In other words, her professional growth is benefitting everybody in the business.

Looking for creative ways to benefit your business? Consider a brand ambassador.

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How to Keep Restaurant Patrons Engaged as You Reopen

Before the current COVID-19 pandemic, 20% of U.S. consumers reported eating out at least once a week. In 2019, over one million U.S. restaurants employed approximately 15.3 million workers.

The national lockdown severely impacted the restaurant industry and has threatened the survival of even the biggest and most popular chains. For those that have made it through, the process of reopening safely brings even more challenges.

Of course, the virus that causes COVID-19 hasn’t gone away, and any restaurant or bar that wants to reopen will need to do so responsibly. But while it may seem like distancing and isolating measures hamper the very level of social engagement that makes dining out a pleasurable activity for many people, there are ways to engage your clientele while still adhering to safety recommendations and making dining out a fun, enjoyable experience.

Reopening Phases for Restaurants and Bars

As the country and the world begin the process of resuming business as usual, government and healthcare officials are stressing the importance of proceeding slowly, step by step, instead of rushing to resume full-service dining as it existed before the lockdown began. It’s important to remember the risk of infection still exists, and it’s incumbent on every business to moderate that risk for itself, its employees, and its clientele.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control have released new, more detailed guidelines for the phased reopening of dining establishments and bars. These guidelines establish existing levels of risk for the resumption of various levels of food and drink service. For example, curbside pickup and delivery still remain relatively low risk, while outdoor dining carries an additional level of risk but less so than indoor seating options.

This doesn’t mean, however, that dining out can’t still be fun and enjoyable for your customers and your staff. One way to increase engagement during the current pandemic is with promotional products that can help your restaurant or bar create the atmosphere your patrons miss, even if dining out today is a little different than it used to be.

Fun Floor Decals
Social Distance Floor Decals

Help encourage safe distancing (and help your employees enforce those guidelines) with fun floor decals that guide patrons to stay six feet apart while waiting in lines for service. Printed directions should be clear and succinct but can also include a little humor or human interest to help entertain your customers in a way that’s friendly and relatable while they wait.

For dining establishments that anticipate longer lines and directional control issues, try road-sign-shaped decals such as this “one way” diamond with a directional arrow or this rectangular one-way arrow decal to help your customers find their way safely through the ordering and pickup process.

Outdoor Signs and Flags

Promote your restaurant or bar with attractive, festive outdoor flags and signs. For example, these large feather flags can be customized with a full-color imprint to proudly display your own branding and are perfect for both indoor and outdoor use.

Or use this classic standing A-frame sign to announce your specials, unique events, or themes along with your branding. With a molded handle for easier handling and water ballast to keep it secure outside, this frame holds two signs with full-color digital graphics, printed with UV-resistant inks.

Games and Other Printed Materials
Disposable coasters with field goal cut out makes for great entertainment

To keep your customers engaged while dining outside with more distance, add a mix of promotional products that help announce your brand and entertain your diners at the same time. For instance, use these disposable printed coasters to promote your brand, specials, or events. Add simple tabletop games, like a pocket sudoku game or this mini-cornhole game (sanitized, of course) so your customers will have something to do while waiting for orders or delivery of their meals. The addition of germ-free tools for diners can help add an extra level of safety, too.

And don’t forget your employees. Give them germ-free disposable branded pens for order taking, then they can tell their customers “keep the pen!” when they pay the bill. Finally, consider having a supply of hand sanitizer in small bottles on hand to give out to customers. It’s a great way to show you care about them and their well-being as they return to patronize your business.

Looking for even more ideas about keeping customers safe and engaged as businesses reopen? Get in touch with one of Account Executives today.


Fuel the Economy by Purchasing USA-Made Products

The COVID-19 pandemic began as a public health crisis—but now, it’s quickly transforming into an economic crisis for many Americans as well. Between employers cutting hours or being forced to let their workers go, the detrimental economic effects of COVID-19 are touching millions of households in the United States.  

Although we’ve seen record unemployment benefits being applied for as the pandemic spreads, we’ve also seen the economic damage extending to businesses as well. Across the world, shut downs and social distance measures are disrupting supply chains and leaving businesses with no means to manufacture their products.  

Looking on the upside, there are a handful of ways we can help and do our part! Purchasing USA-made products not only keeps American factories and businesses afloat, but it also keeps workers employed so they can support their families. We have compiled a list of our favorite USA-made products you can purchase to help stimulate and support our economy. 

Patriotic Products that can Help Stop the Spread 

As our economy has seen better days, it is important to be reminded of how we can do our part and help be the fuel. The pace at which the economy grows is based on how fast our currency changes hands from producer to consumer within the US. Fortunately, we’ve got a few items in stock that may help keep you properly equipped and safe for the everyday endeavors.  

Face masks are part of nearly everyone’s everyday uniform now, and stores can’t keep them on their shelves—consider stocking up on these 100% USA-made cotton face masks while supplies last.  

Another great option for personal protection with some USA spirit? This American Flag Adjustable Face Mask. The World Health Organization warns that touching your face is one of the main ways you can contract COVID-19, so these masks are perfect for curbing that habit and increasing your chances of staying healthy.  

A Few Work-from-Home Essentials 

If COVID-19 has initiated you into the work-from-home club, you might be lacking a few of the essential office supplies needed to stay productive. Stock up on the following for yourself or send out to your employees to support them as they work remotely. Check out this collection of Products made in the USA to help complete your new home office. 

Working from home has so many possible distractions and interruptions, it can be tough to stay on task and remember every single detail as you did when you were in your former work space, in work mode. But with the help of these Full-Color BiC® Sticky Notes, you won’t forget a thing. Their 3″w x 3″h size is perfect for jotting down small reminders and tasks and sticking them on easy-to-see spots like your desk and computer. Plus, you can imprint them with your company’s logo, and even send them to your employees in a care package. 

Another USA-made product that can help you stay organized while working at home is our Monthly Academic Planner. Each month has a two-page spread and provides plenty of room for writing down meetings, phone calls, and project reminders. The planner comes in fifteen different colors, and you can also imprint your company’s logo on the front and send it out to your employees and clients. 

If you’re looking for an environmentally-friendly way to fuel up our economy, our high-tech Rocketbook Everlast Smart Notebook provides an eco-friendly, innovative way to jot down all your ideas without paper. It comes with thirty-six reusable pages that can be wiped clean with the included cloth. Once you take your notes, download the Rocketbook App, scan your notes, and send them to be stored safely in the cloud on Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, and more. Welcome to the future of taking notes. 

If you’re looking for more products to purchase to support the American economy, browse our full inventory of USA-made products here. We have nearly 1,300 products you can purchase for yourself, your employees, or your clients that will not only be incredibly useful on a day-to-day basis but will also serve a bigger purpose during this pandemic.  

For Patriotic products, not necessarily made in the USA, click here.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. Our team is standing by to ensure you have the products and information you need to keep your business running forward. 


Keeping Kids Entertained At Home: Promo Gifts Worth Sending

While we’re all adjusting to the many changes in lifestyle that have come with Covid-19, we know families with young children are facing unique challenges. With kids home from school, it can be especially difficult to strike a balance between parenting, supporting distance learning efforts, and working from home.

Kid-friendly gifts are appreciated right now to help families create a work/life balance while quarantined at home. Here are a few ideas that can help keep kids stuck at home occupied.

Crayons and Art Supplies

Drawing and coloring are activities that children of all ages (and many adults, too!) love. We’ve created these coloring sheets for you to enjoy with any of these options. Pair them with a box of crayons for classic fun.

For younger kids, the Crayo-Craze® Six-Color Crayon Wheel offers the advantage of a box of six crayons in one easy-grip wheel! Crayo-Craze is non-toxic and perfect for creative little hands at home, at school, or on the go.

If you prefer to send an entire kit, consider this Spiral Bound Notebook Coloring Book, which includes 25 coloring pages, 25 blank pages for doodles, and 12 colored pencils in their own PVC pouch.

Planting Kits for Hands-on Learning

Parents are looking for hands-on activities more than ever. With spring gearing up in much of the world, what could be more fun and engaging than growing a few plants?

Our Full-Color Grow Your Own Herb Garden comes in three varieties, is packed attractively inside a recycled 6-count egg carton, and features your full-color logo. It’s a great and practical giveaway that will be received well by kids of many ages, and grownups, too!

If you’d rather grow trees than herbs, we also offer a Pine Tree Planter. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the satisfaction of growing their very own pine tree in a biodegradable pot made from spruce wood, until it can be transplanted outside. Choose from four stock label designs.

Puzzles and Fidget Toys

Nothing keeps kids busy indoors quite like creative puzzles! Fortunately, we offer a wide variety of ways you can help fill this need.

This Wooden Poseable Robot Puzzle is a fun fidget toy (and a great conversation piece). Imprint your logo on the chest or face. Constructed of wood and held together with strong elastic bands, it keeps little hands busy and helps stretch young minds while everyone stays safe indoors.

Or how about a Full-Color Jigsaw Puzzle? Ours has 35 pieces and is completely customizable to your brand.

If you want to really think outside the box, consider the Ball of Whacks Creativity Tool This item is more versatile than a puzzle and more fun than a brain teaser. There’s no wrong way to play with it! It consists of 30 magnetic design blocks that can be rearranged into a wide variety of shapes, and it comes with a 96-page illustrated guidebook.

Other Creative Ideas

Consider these other ideas for helping to keep kids entertained and engaged.

This Full-Color Sticker Bookmark is two items in one, and it promotes reading. And who doesn’t love stickers?

Or you might go for our Full-Color Assorted Foam Putty, a simple but popular children’s toy that offers creative entertainment and features your full-color imprint on the label.

If you want something classic, a Domino Set in Wooden Box is another great option. A travel set of the classic domino game, it’s neatly packaged in an imprintable wooden box with a sleek sliding cover.

You can deliver any of these items right to the doorstep of your clients, prospects, or employees as a reminder your brand is here during this complex time. Looking for more ideas about staying in touch with consumers during our “new normal”? Let’s talk soon. Call us, the Promo Know-How people.