Promo, Brand & Marketing News


The Telecommuting Kit: Consider It a Must-Have for Brands

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing uproars all around the world. Between businesses shutting down, new “shelter in place” orders being released every day, and employees being either out of work or instructed to work from home, daily life is turning upside down.

Many of us are learning quickly that working remotely can be a tough adjustment. Our April Product of the Month kit was created to help recipients settle into their new home office in no time.

A COVID-19 Shutdown Essential: The Telecommuting Kit

For those who are suddenly members of the work-from-home club, which means they’re either a) thoroughly enjoying it and planning to NEVER go back or b) going crazy because home is a distraction and productivity is suffering. Either way, this Telecommuting Kit helps to stay on task (and hopefully prevent mental breakdowns).

Time to Stock Your At-Home Workstation

This kit includes everything needed to keep an at-home workstation fit for productivity during the COVID-19 shutdown, including a mouse pad, stylus pen, a stationery kit, and more. Each item can be customized with your company’s name and logo, so if you’re the manager or boss, these items are the perfect care package as your employees prepare to work remotely.

Packed inside, you’ll find a stationery kit with paper clips, sticky notes, rubber bands, tape, and even a mini stapler to help you knock out that unwelcome stack of paperwork piling up on your dining room table.

It’s also fitted with a “trilogy” stylus, which is a pen, tablet stylus, and highlighter all in one. Talk about the perfect do-it-all tool to keep your at-home workspace neat and tidy—because who wants a million pens rolling around their work surface all day? The barking dogs and your upstairs neighbor’s bass is distracting enough.

Also, it’s time to toss out the make-shift mouse pad you invented out of a magazine or the placemat from your dinner table, because this kit includes a sturdy, professional-looking mouse pad that will keep you on task and distraction-free (no more reading those magazine headlines every time your hand lands back on your mouse).

For those who have children, working from home is even more of a challenge because these new “co-workers” probably don’t understand the concept of personal space. If your clients or employees are suddenly sharing an office with their little ones, they’ll appreciate the microfiber cloth included inside this Telecommute Kit—because fruit roll-up fingerprints aren’t exactly easy to remove from a computer screen. 

Topped off with a four-port USB hub and a braided charging cable, this kit is the ultimate work-from-home-essential to stay plugged in and productive. Also, shopping for office supplies isn’t possible for everyone right now due to the mass shutdowns, so your employees and co-workers would greatly appreciate this compact kit. It’s easy to get overwhelmed as we all adjust to our new “normal,” so treat yourself and your employees to this all-in-one kit to help make the transition to working remotely a bit more seamless.

Interested in getting more ideas with work from home in mind? Click here.

Dealing with a cancelled trade show or event? Here’s how to stay connected this season.


How to Keep Yourself and Your Team Productive While Working at Home

The novel coronavirus outbreak has upended life as we know it for the time being, impacting everything from schools to sporting teams to where and how we work.

With so many businesses shifting to a remote working policy to help employees, customers, and the public engage in social distancing, many companies are learning how to navigate this new work environment on the fly.

Anyone can set up a laptop at the kitchen table and call it a workspace. However, to stay truly productive and keep your team focused, connected, and motivated while staying healthy, you’ll need a slightly more strategic approach.

Create a Dedicated Work Area and Routine

Have you ever found yourself behind the wheel of your car, pulling into your office or workplace parking lot with no memory of actually getting there? That’s the power of habit, and human beings are especially susceptible to it.

Driving in automatic or habitual mode can be risky, but you can also harness the power of habit for good. One way to take advantage of the innate need for routine is to create a new normal for your work-from-home reality.

Start by designating a work area—an exclusive one, if possible. Arrange furniture, supplies, and your computer and related equipment with a logical workflow in mind. Think about minimizing repeated movements, improving ergonomics, and creating a natural flow for your day-to-day tasks. Add lighting that reduces glare and illuminates your workspace to avoid eye strain, and consider grabbing a pair of Blue Light Blocking Custom Glasses while you’re at it.

Many experts and experienced remote workers suggest treating your at-home workday as if you were going to the office. Shower, dress in work-appropriate clothing, and keep regular work hours. This helps your mind and body recognize the habitual work routine, even in an unfamiliar environment.

However, if you’re more comfortable in relaxed clothing, going this route might also help you stay on task. Decide what works best for you, especially at a time when it’s so important to manage stress.

Think About How You Work

Think of your typical day in the office. From morning coffee to lunch meetings to strategy sessions, most of what you do at work depends on that physical space. Your work computer, your desk layout, your chair, your printer, your phone, office supplies—it all resides in a specific space.

Working from home changes that context, sometimes dramatically. And in some cases, it’s hard to even know what needs to shift to accommodate remote work until you’re ready to complete a specific task. If you suddenly realize you don’t have what you need, it pulls away your time and focus as you find a solution.

That’s why it’s smart to take the time now to consider the actual tasks your remote work will need to accommodate. Think through your workflow and make a list of what you’ll need to get the job done. This may also include things like a WiFi booster to ensure you have a strong connection in your home office.

Keep Your Employees Connected and Motivated

Platforms for communication and project management are crucial for productive remote working. That’s true not just for you and your immediate team but for the employees you manage or interact with across your organization. Keeping everyone up to date on the company’s plans will help minimize fear and anxiety, which will help everyone stay focused on the tasks at hand.

Project and task management apps such as Asana and Trello can keep the team oriented toward objectives, which will then leave you free to manage and direct. A communication app like Slack can help everyone stay connected and feel like they’re still part of the team, even if they’re no longer seeing each other face-to-face.

Consider supplying home-office items to ease the work-from-home transition and make employees’ daily work flow a bit smoother. Bluetooth-enabled Headsets, for example, can be a lifesaver when you need to leave your hands free for taking notes or typing. Or supply your team with a wireless charging pad for their home desks.

Keep in Touch

If you’d like to send something out to your team to help everyone stay connected, get in touch. We have lots of useful branded items in our curated “work from home” collection that can make working from home easier for everyone to manage.

Dealing with a cancelled trade show or event? Here’s how to stay connected this season.

Looking for an insiders 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! 


Cancelled Trade Show or Event? Here’s How to Stay Connected this Season

The novel Coronavirus pandemic has caused seismic shifts across industries, closing schools, public events, and much of the spring conference and trade show circuit. As our clients stabilize their emergency operations and protocols, they have already begun to turn to us and ask questions. What happens when events are cancelled? What happens when we can’t visit our customers? What happens when stock runs out, and replacements from overseas are delayed for months? How do we continue to build culture and relationships with a remote workforce?

Here are just a few ideas for keeping up your marketing momentum, including what to do with all those promo products you ordered.

Repurpose Already Purchased Event Products

As events around the country continue to get cancelled, you may wonder what happens if you’ve already ordered branded products. One option: find a new delivery route. A thoughtful promo product that arrives at just the right time can be all you need to make an introduction or build a connection—even from many miles away.
We can help you package these goods with special messaging and ship them right to a recipient’s doorstep. Now a missed face-to-face interaction becomes an opportunity for a memorable connection.

Freshen Up a New Workspace

Working remotely can be a big adjustment. Help create a smooth transition for your customers by sending custom kits filled with a curated collection of branded items perfect for working from home. Here are some of our favorite products that can help your brand sit front and center as a fixture of someone’s home office:

Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Screened devices emit blue light that can result in blurry vision and painfully dry eyes. Blue light can even trigger insomnia, preventing you from getting that great night’s sleep that helps you stay healthy. These glasses are comfortable and durable, protecting your vision during long at-home work sessions.

Wireless Earphones

Working from home presents unique challenges when it comes to staying connected with coworkers and colleagues. With Bluetooth® technology, comfortable headphones free you up while plugging you in to music, meetings, or important calls.

Travel Mugs Without the Travel

With so many options to choose from, we opt for travel mugs to keep that delicious coffee or tea in the mug and safely away from your home keyboard.

One of our personal favorites? This cork-bottom stainless-steel custom tumbler. Comes in black, blue, titanium, silver and white and can be produced in just 5 days!

Our Cork bottom tumblers
Qi Wireless Charging Mouse Pad

This mouse pad is also a Qi charging pad and a phone stand, which results in less clutter and more productivity—not to mention a full charge on your smartphone.

Refillable Phone Sanitizer Spray

Speaking of your smartphone, it’s important to keep it cleaned and disinfected. These refillable spray packs come in a variety of colors but, most importantly, the spray kills germs and bacteria on contact. Looking for other preventive healthcare items? Click here.

Surprise and Delight with Personalization

This is also a perfect time to capture a consumer’s attention with a personalized gift. Consider adding to the excitement of your promo box collection by including an item that features the recipient’s name alongside your branding. Best sellers for personalization include drinkware and calendars.

Prepare for Price Increases

As popular promo items repeatedly go out of stock due to aggressive buying (looking at you, travel hand sanitizer), it’s likely that later this year we’ll see the price of those items increase due to larger demand. Keep this possibility in mind as you make decisions about any promo items you’re planning to order in upcoming seasons.

Continue to Think Long-Term

Disruptions make it easy to lose sight of our long-term strategies. Instead, think about what you can do in the meantime to stay proactive. For example, if you’re struggling to capture clients’ home addresses for product delivery, try going back to the basics with a direct mail or continuity campaign. Or maybe you have your own list of high-value promo items you’d like to stock up on now in order to take advantage of lower prices.

Strengthen Existing Relationships

Consider other ways you can nurture a customer relationship without an in-person exchange this season. Replace phone calls with video chat meetings or touch-based videos when you can. Or show you care by taking a few extra minutes to send a handwritten birthday card to clients. These small, thoughtful actions can go a long way in cultivating loyal brand advocates who will stick around through unexpected challenges.

Ready to get creative about marketing this year and think outside the box? Call us, the Promo Know-How People, to ensure your products make an impact—no matter where they’re going. Stay safe, everyone, and know that we are here for you when you need us.


Flu Season: Tips on Staying Healthy and Keeping Your Brand Top-of-Mind

This flu season has been no joke. At home, we’re in the midst of what experts are calling one of the worst flu seasons in decades, with 19 million Americans impacted so far. Those warnings paired with the arrival of the coronavirus state-side, and it’s no surprise people are scrambling to get late-season flu shots and figure out how to stay protected from whatever virus is lurking.

The good news? Despite the in-your-face headlines, staying healthy this winter doesn’t mean putting yourself on cold-weather lockdown. By integrating some basic precautions, you can curb your risk—and your customers and employees’ risk—of getting sick this season.

#1. Meet Your New BFF: Travel-Sized Soap Sheets

Aside from washing your hands and getting vaccinated, there are other measures you can take to keep germs under control and reduce your risk of getting sick. If you work in a shared environment or go out in public, it’s especially important to frequently disinfect your hands after touching items in common-use areas such as breakrooms, bathrooms, retail stores, elevators, cafeterias and more.

Finding hand-sanitizer (branded or not-branded) is nearly impossible at the moment if you need it shipped ASAP. Our favorite alternative? These Carry-On Compliant Soap Sheets which can be carried in your purse or briefcase for germ-protection all day long.

image of our soap sheets in their case

Choose blue or clear and brand these hand sheets with your logo —you can hand them out around the office to encourage others to maintain a healthy work environment. Or, send your clients a care package with them tucked inside. No doubt you’ll get a “thank you” call, especially in this climate!

#2. Grab Some Tissues and Antibacterial Wipes

The coronavirus is usually spread through the air via coughs and sneezes, by personal contact, and by touching infected surfaces—so keeping tissues and antibacterial wipes handy is imperative to keep germs at bay. Be sure to have lots of tissues and antibacterial wipes laying around your workplace so employees and clients can easily access them.

Leave a few packs on the front desk, in the break room, in the hallways, on each desk, and in other high-traffic areas to encourage others to disinfect their hands and cover their cough. Our Tissue Packs are perfect for desks, tables, and bathroom counters, and they are customizable with your logo in full color—so you can show you care and stay on brand.

Another item perfect to hand out to everyone in your office, or to clients who pass through, are these adorable Mini Tissue Packets. Plus, these non-alcohol based Hand Sanitizer Wet Wipes should be lying around as well—they’re great at killing germs without drying out your hands, and they work well for surfaces such as counters, doorknobs, elevator buttons, and desks.

#3. Keep the Chill Away

If you or your customers live in a colder state, staying healthy means staying warm. Decrease your chance of getting a cold by properly protecting yourself from the snow and rain. Keeping your chest, head, and feet warm is the best way to shield yourself from sickness-inducing weather.

Bundle up with one of our warm scarves—each one comes in a variety of colors that will match any outfit for multiple occasions. Add your business’ logo and take advantage of campaigning your brand when the clouds and rain roll in!

This acrylic Two-Tone Pom Beanie is a fashionable and functional addition to your commute ensemble, and perfect for snowy weekend adventures. The leatherette patch is a great place to add your logo and a modern way to show off your brand. Our Embroidered Knit Beanie will also do the trick—choose from nine colors, and embroider your company’s name on the front for a perfect combination of promotion and function.

Even the smallest measures of prevention can be impactful when you want to steer clear of sickness. Make sure you cover all your bases with these essential healthcare products to help keep you, your clients, and your employees safe this season!

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

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10 Promotional Product Trends Defining the New Decade

Straight off the Floor of PPAI’s 2020 EXPO

Earlier this month at ASI Orlando, we got a glimpse of some buzz-worthy promotional products making their debut. This included everything from 100% recycled clothing to a sticker that tells you when it’s time to re-apply sunscreen. I mean, seriously—isn’t it so wonderful to live in the 21st century? That was the first trade show of the year, and we left Orlando pumped to see what PPAI’s 2020 show in Las Vegas had in store for us. Needless to say, it was one for the books.

2020 PPAI Expo Product Trends

We noticed a few parallels between 2019 and 2020 trends and we’re hoping this constancy may help steer brands towards the right promotional products–if it’s already making a splash in multiple spots, likely you’re onto a branded premium with serious staying power. Without further ado, here are the top ten:

1. Sustainability

Sustainability is the new wave, and vendors demonstrated incredible out-of-the-box thinking with their eco-friendly items at this year’s show.

RainAlertz Umbrella Now uses paper vs. Plastic sleeves which read "We Care"

Most notable in our minds was the change from using a plastic umbrella sleeve to a kraft paper gift sleeve on all RainAlertz ™ umbrellas. One side of the sleeve will read “We Care”. The change will be officially rolled out on all stock by February 1, 2020 and we’re thrilled to be sourcing a brand that shares our same values. #ePromosCares

Another trend everyone’s talking about? Wheat plastic. It’s made with the husk of wheat plants which is typically tossed after harvesting. People are all over this because the husk is now being recycled and refashioned into a form of plastic that is more biodegradable.

Useful items such as wheat utensil sets, are a great alternative to plastic flatware – and perfect to travel with or even leave in the office. Pair it with this 16 oz. travel mug and you’re golden.

Wheat Utensils Kit

Our 2018 and 2019 trends featured the Basecamp® brand specifically because of their efforts to give back a portion of proceeds to wounded veterans. This year, “Sustainability” and “Give-Back” seem to go hand-in-hand, as even more companies are putting an emphasis on social responsibility. One company in particular we’re digging: Miir. Mimimalistic in design, yet functional, sustainable (and gorgeous!), every Miir item comes with a unique Give Code ™ . Recipients are able to use the code to see which exact initiative – whether it be for clean-water, strong communities or healthy environments – the sale of that item helped to support.

Miir products

As your clients catch on to this widespread idea of living a more sustainable lifestyle, they’ll be searching for ways to make the transition in their own lives—and with these branded promotional products, you’ll be able to deliver.

2. Wireless Tech Does Double-Duty

Wires are so 2019. Gone are the days of untangling our headphones and tripping over our phone chargers. It seems every item in the tech world is wireless and created to perform two functions at once—and we’re so on board.

Examples? Think water bottles with built-in speakers and chargers. Mouse pads that double as chargers, with a spot for your pen, of course. And this is just the beginning. Wireless tech is it.

3. AirPod® Everything

When was the last time you saw someone pass you on the street that didn’t have an AirPod in at least one ear? Now, brands are taking advantage of this trend and capitalizing on its popularity. Imprint your logo on one of these cases or phone holders (with a spot for the pods) and you’re sure to catch the eyes of the “tech-inspired”.

Custom Airpod holders

4. Inverted Umbrellas

Inverted umbrellas

Scratching your head? Don’t. They’re the newest innovation in the rain gear sphere, and they’re now available in a pocket size version. The inverted design is wind-resistant so you can finally stop worrying about broken umbrellas on particularly windy days. How you ask? Because inverted umbrellas close away from you (as opposed to down, which you are accustomed to) so they keep all the rain inside and prevent you from getting wet.

5. Wellness & Self-Care

The wellness and self-care trends have been emerging over the last few years and now they’re making their way into the promotional product space. Now, cosmetic, athletic and health food companies have more the opportunities to reach their customers than ever before.

At ASI Orlando, we discovered the “Sunburn Alert Sticker” which, when applied with sunscreen on the body, changes color to let you know it’s time to reapply. Crazy, right?

Some additional trends in the wellness space, which were a bit more “outside the box” than traditional wellness are Blue Light Reduction Eyeglasses, which help the wearer reduce eye fatigue and blurry vision caused by staring at computer screens for oh-so-long. Also popular are lip balm and sunscreen duos, rashguards and fitness bands. Yes, please.

6. Camo Makes a Comeback

camo sweatshirt

Another huge trend that’s trickling its way into diverse product design is Camo. We’ve seen it pop up in unexpected places, such as on water bottles, coasters, stress balls, pens, and more, and not just in traditional green and brown tones—think pink, jewel or muted tones. The trend is only getting bigger, and this is a wonderful opportunity for companies to promote their business while staying on-brand.

7. Total Transparency…

Got nothing to hide? Then you’re ready for the clear bag trend, which is yet again, huge. Last year we saw an explosion of trendy clear bags to cater to the many clear bag policies at stadiums and schools. New for this year? Mesh. Some schools are now allowing students to carry these mesh see-through bags in addition to clear, which poses as a wonderful promo opportunity for brands targeting student, millennial and Gen Z audiences.

mesh and clear bags

8. All Things Travel

As the shift from valuing “things” to valuing “experiences” increases, so do all things travel when it comes to promotional gifts. Everything from travel cocktail sets to packing cubes to updated garment bags are hot this year. One brand in particular that caught our eye? Osprey®. Known for their “All Mighty” Guarantee, “Osprey will repair any damage or defect for any reason free of charge—whether it was purchased in 1974 or yesterday.”

Founded in 1974 when owner Mike Pfotenhauer began hand-sewing made-to-order backpacks for the hikers and travelers that would pass by his home in Santa Cruz, Osprey continues to provide some of the most comfortable, best-fitting backpacks out there. And now, they’re brandable. Stay tuned for more on this trend…

9. Outdoor

Koozie cooler fanny pack

Everything from blankets and flannels to hammocks and packing sets are making waves this year. Something so simple, yet sparked our interest in this category? This Koozie® Can Cooler/Fanny Pack. Not only have fanny packs come back into style recently, but this particular one takes the trend to the next level: it has an attached cooler! Hunting, fishing, tailgating, you name it. This is a winner.

10. Tie Dye and all Things Retro

The past few decades have brought on some very memorable trends, many of which are still very much alive in 2020. Tie Dye is everywhere. Scrunchies have made a comeback, as have cropped Champion® sweatshirts and the classic Puma® zip-up (an updated version is available as well!) Even old-school games like Jenga® and Corn Hole are back in trend, as 70% of millennials are reviving table top games. Fun!

Finding the right product is only half the battle. Contact us, the Promo Know-How People, to promote your brand in a meaningful way this year.

Want to see and experience more promotional product trends from the PPAI Expo? Check out our album on Facebook.

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


Pantone’s 2020 Color of the Year: Classic and Cozy for Promos

Each year, Pantone names a “color of the year,” which encapsulates the year’s trends, political state, emerging technology, and more – and this year was quite a year.

With an eye on new beginnings and an end to what, for many, was a crazy year, Pantone’s vice president, Laurie Pressman, said her team honed in on colors that provided a sense of familiarity, reassurance, and hope for the future. And where they landed? Pantone’s 2020 color of the year, 19-4052 Classic Blue.

As a serene, classic tone, this hue is super easy on the eyes and super familiar – the perfect shade to make us feel cozy and soothe any end-of-year uncertainties. And, with that goal in mind, we’ve rounded up some of our faves in this on-trend shade. Go peacefully into the new year with any one of them…

For Your Clients

Block-out any storms that 2020 may bring with this great pattern-changing umbrella. When the umbrella gets wet, blue raindrops appear on the top. Our customers love this item – and with an umbrella, you really can’t go wrong.

Another great option – promote the fact that you’re in the know by introducing Pantone’s 2020 color with a custom candy item (request all blue, to make your statement pop)

For the Earth

In 2019, we saw a huge emphasis on environmentally-friendly practices, sustainability, and the benefits of green living – trends that will surely trickle over into 2020 and hopefully into decades to come.

Reusable straws are perfect for reducing waste and keeping those plastic straws out of our oceans and landfills. Choose from six vibrant colors (our favorite is blue, of course), and tote them along to dinner or on a coffee date in their convenient carrying case.

If you want to take your eco-conscious practices even further, consider these Triple Insulated Wine Tumblers. Drinking wine and saving the world? Yes, PLEASE. Its triple-insulated design keeps any beverage hot for 12 hours and cold for 24, and its spill-resistant lid will ensure no beverage takes a tumble at your next party. Brand yours in the classic blue hue and sit back knowing recipients will be showcasing your company all season.

For the Office

Taking notes and writing task lists at work can be overwhelming – except when you’ve got a peaceful classic blue pen in hand. Give your employees, clients and friends the gift of tranquility this year with this a promotional pen. Extra points for one with a stylus or laser – double the function, double the fun (and increase the chances it will be their favorite).

Emphasize privacy with a webcam cover that fits most desktop computers, laptops, or TVs. Bonus: not only do they protect privacy, they also shield webcams from dust, dirt, and other damaging elements. Many available in a classic blue, they provide the ultimate peace of mind on every level.

On the Go

Let’s face it – if our phones die, we panic. Never run the risk of a dead battery with our powerbanks and chargers. Perfect for commuting, road trips, or even as a back-up during a power outage, this lithium-ion rechargeable power bank will always come to the rescue when your clients need a charge. Its space-conscious design also makes it convenient to take along in a purse, backpack, briefcase, or even your pocket!

So, as 2019 comes to a close and we go from Living Coral to Classic Blue, brand your business in Pantone’s color of the year knowing it will be a great one!

Looking for the perfect gift in the perfect color? Get in touch with our expert team to explore Classic Blue premiums – and more.

Looking for an insiders 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!