Promo, Brand & Marketing News


Why is Brand Consistency Important to Business?

Carving out your brand is important, essential even, but do you know what brand really means? Is it the products you create? A business logo? Business name? Many would easily answer “yes”, but a brand is much more than a visual representation.

Why is brand CONSISTENCY important to businessA Brand is the perception of your business and/or products. It’s what makes you stand apart from the competition and how customers identify your business in the crowded, ever-growing market. It’s also how you gain loyal customers, who are said to spend some 67% more than a new customer. With numbers like that, it’s no wonder business are focused on cultivating their brand in a bid to win over customer love and loyalty.

The importance of brand has led to brand-focused marketing, rather than product-first. The difference? A brand-focused marketing strategy is ever-cultivating the distinct identify that makes up your brand. Product-first marketing, on the other hand, focuses on pushing out a new product without the detail paid to the brand voice. Ergo, get the product to market in a bid to get money flowing in. While not inherently a bad goal by any means, it is somewhat short sighted. Think of it this way: “brand is strategy, marketing is tactical.” While you need those smaller tactical wins to build a business, it’s your overall strategy that will allow your business to survive the long haul.

Brand consistency, or the art of communicating to the public in a consistent voice that clearly mirrors your business’ core values and identity, is everything. Not convinced? Keep reading for 5 reasons why brand consistency is so important across all channels—digital marketing, social media, billboards, commercials, and more.

5 Reasons Why Brand Consistency is Important

1. Increase Brand Trust

Trust is key to any good relationship, including that of business and customer. Once you establish your brand identify, customers will come to expect certain messages and actions from you in your marketing—keeping brand consistency is vital to not only avoid customer confusion, but also vital to avoid losing customer trust. Always remember, customers have an emotional connection to your business, which is established through trust. Gain their trust and gain a lifelong customer.

2. Increase Awareness and Recognition of Brand

Brand consistency helps customers (both potential and existing) pick out your brand amid the crowd. This should include consistency with the use of a logo, colors used in designs, and slogans. While these tangible items are a cinch to reproduce across marketing products, it can be more difficult to get the same level of consistency in voice. It’s the character of your brand, if you will—and you will likely need to spend the most time honing it for consistency. That said, it’s well worth the effort, as customers will come to recognize these details over time.

3. Standing Out Among the Competition

Customers are bombarded by options, especially when one considers the un-ending options that are churned out from a simple browse on retail giants like Amazon. The market is more global than ever, and purchases are made with a simple digital button push. Capturing customers isn’t easy among so many choices and frankly, the market is noisy. It’s all too easy to get lost in the rumble. By focusing on your brand identify, and keeping it consistent, customers will be able to easily recognize your voice in the crowd.

4. Building Upon Existing Success

Businesses are ever-evolving, just like the rest of the world. Being able to stay nimble and dynamic when changes come, all the while keeping a consistent branding is what sets apart a business in it for the long-haul. For instance, brands like Apple and Coco-Cola have been around for decades, yet they’ve shown flexibility in adapting to ever-changing times while staying true to their core values. That said, they’ve remained true to their core values and identity, making it easier for customers to adapt and change with them.

5. Controlling the Perception of Your Brand

Staying consistent is key to controlling the public perception of your brand. Things are bound to go astray at times, whether from internal or external sources. While it may cause customer upset, sticking with the consistent, trusted messaging customers know (and love) you for will go a long way in weathering the storm.
Hopefully we’re on the same page—brand consistency is king, which the above five items have helped drive home. Now, let’s explore four strategies to increase brand consistency.

4 Strategies to Increase Brand Consistency

1. Visual Consistency for Logo and Design

Your logo and design MUST (!) be consistent. Otherwise, you’re sure to cause all sorts of confusion for customers (and lost revenue for yourself). The power of the logo shouldn’t be underestimated. Look at Apple for example. A simple, bitten apple. Considered for what it is, this simple logo doesn’t seem all that significant, but trust it is instantly recognized a good portion of the world over—even when displayed apart from an actual product (like on the back of a laptop or phone). That little logo bears tremendous weight. With it come all the expectations of the company, the brand that’s been gaining steam since the early 90’s.

That said, Apple is a behemoth. Perhaps you’re a small-town boutique looking to carve a name out on Main St, Anytown, America. You can still find plenty of opportunities to get your logo out into the public, such as having customized shopping bags created with a logo front and center. The best part of this idea? Folks almost always save and reuse a quality shopping bag, allowing your logo to get even more circulation.

2. Internal Team Alignment

The bigger your organization, the more challenging this one can be—but it’s also more reason to focus on it. Ensuring that each company division such as sales, marketing, and design are on the same page is paramount in making sure your brand identity remains clear and on point. Remember, it’s how your customers recognize you in a crowd and trust your business. You can’t afford to deploy an array of mismatched branding simply due to internal confusion or lack of connecting teams altogether.

3. Choosing Brand-Appropriate Channels to Engage Customers

So much of honing your brand identity and voice is understanding your customer. That doesn’t mean your identify changes each time a new group strikes an interest in your product/business, but as discussed above, being amenable to changes in society can help ensure longevity. Social media is a great example of something new that has taken the world by storm—old and new brands alike. Nike is a great example. Officially launched in 1971, they’re credited with being one of the great social media brands of today, (despite starting way before the Internet was even a thing). But a large cohort of Nike customers are young—and they’re on social media. So naturally, Nike has met them there. Make sure to engage on social media channels that make the most sense for your brand or industry and use data to find which relevant demographics prefer specific networks.

4. Creating Brand-Appropriate Local Partnerships

Going into your customers’ communities is a great way to really connect with them where they’re at (literally). That said, you can’t team up with just anyone simply because you share/target a common location. What’s important is that they are an alley to your brand identity. For example, a local gym could be a potentially great partner for a nutritious snack food company. Bottom-line: your customers are buying other things, but there is a theme or a way to can connect them (kid-friendly, healthy, adventurous, beauty, etc.) to your business. Understanding your audience and demographic should naturally lead you to potential brand-appropriate local partners.

We hope this piece has allowed you to start thinking about how important brand consistency is, and the ways in which you can start honing yours to stand out in the crowd. Just remember, say what you mean, and stay authentic and reliable. Customers will notice, and they’ll prize you for it.

Interested in seeing how we keep our branding consistent? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In and Pinterest!


15 Marketing Failures and Mistakes to Avoid

The marketing industry has continued to grow through the years, with an increasing investment from companies on creating effective strategies. However, marketers and brands still make mistakes that can cost valuable time and energy.

ePromos reached out to marketing experts for tips, ideas and experience regarding marketing mistakes to watch out for. Read more for great information about how to sure your marketing campaigns of 2019 run smoothly.

1. Not Translating for a Global Audience

The biggest oversight that we often see, believe it or not, is a lack of oversight and proper staffing when it comes to marketing translations. Facebook, Google and other major worldwide platforms have made it quite simple for any size business to advertise worldwide, but there is a lack of safety nets when it comes to understanding the language and culture of target markets. 

Most recently we were called in when a client with a five figure social media campaign decided to forgo a translator in exchange for Google translate and call all their customers in Latin American severely overweight. This was a technology company that did not operate in the fitness space and so it didn’t go over terribly well.

-Zachary Weiner, CEO at Emerging Insider Communications

2. Spending Resources to Attract the Wrong Customers

I think one of the most common mistakes brands make is that they try to get as many people as they can to visit their website and become aware of who they are. While this sounds like a good idea because awareness will bring people, people become customers, and customers equal profits, I’ve found that often you can waste a lot of effort trying to get everyone to know who you are.
Instead of making this mistake, spend time understanding who your potential customer is and having a laser-like focus on marketing to them. Granted, you will likely have less people aware of your brand, but it’s better to have a small audience of very interested customers compared to a large audience with very few customers.

-Ron Stefanski, Internet Marketing Consultant, Cat Kingpin 


3. Long and Confusing Brand Names


Stacy CaprioOne of the mistakes I’ve made when setting up a few of my first sites, including my marketing blog, is using too long company and domain names. It makes the site and company name awkward to say out loud, and less likely people will remember it. I recommend everyone use a shorter, more creative name over a long, semantic match name any day.

-Stacy Caprio, Founder of Growth Marketing


4. Relying on a Single Social Media Platform

Jacqueline BasultoThe biggest mistake I see companies make time and time again is relying on only one social media platform or marketing channel to grow their brand. Companies like Facebook and Google are constantly changing their algorithms, and no one can be sure of what to expect. That means if you are growing rapidly on Facebook, but the algorithm changes slightly to your disadvantage, it can cost you a lot of time, money, and maybe even your business! I advise businesses and individuals to market themselves on multiple platforms and collect e-mails so that they can always reach their audience and aren’t reliant on one medium of communication.

-Jacqueline Basulto, Owner of SeedX

5. Sticking to Tried-and-True Strategies

The marketing world can change in the blink of an eye, forcing marketing teams to predict emerging trends. In other words, it’s vital that marketers don’t invest too much time and money into the same marketing strategies. Diversity is often the best policy in marketing since it helps prevent the inevitable outcome of putting all your proverbial eggs in one basket.

Diversify your marketing budget by investing in on-ground marketing, social media, content development, SEO, and so on. By limiting yourself to one method that has worked in the past, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Different marketing strategies should cater to a specific demographic and give you the ability to outwork your competition by reaching more potential clients.

-Nate Masterson, CMO of Maple Holistics

6. Waiting to Utilize the Web

Earl WhiteTraditional forms of advertising for small businesses such as direct-mail and billboards still work for my company – but are expensive and produce less motivated prospects. Our lead generation switched to high gear once we invested in our website and online traffic. My company’s biggest mistake was waiting nearly two years to make the website the core of our business. Developing a great website from “Day 1” would have expanded the lead funnel nearly a year faster. This is particularly important because search engines may take months to discover and rank your site in organic search results.

-Earl White, Marketing Manager of House Heroes


7. Not Building an Effective Email List

Pulkit GeraThe biggest mistake I made was not focusing on building my email list right from the beginning.
Since most people who visit your business website won’t ever return, it’s in your best interest to try and get their email address the first time. Automated email sequences are a great way to build those initial touch-points so you can sell more.

So, build your email list right from the start and send out regular newsletters to keep your subscribers engaged with your brand.

-Pulkit Gera, Founder of Blogging Done Better


8. Cost-Cutting Professional Advice

Jennifer HoffmanAs the owner of a digital marketing agency, one of our clients was a hot tub retailer who grew from three stores to six stores in the time we worked with them. As they grew, so did their marketing expenses. Our strategy was working, but the business owner was concerned about cost and decided to hire an employee to do their marketing work instead of us.

The new employee started all new campaigns in Google Ads but forgot to set the locations, so their ads now run across the entire US. This local hot tub company has now paid thousands and thousands of dollars in ads to target people all over the US instead of within 10 miles of each their stores.

-Jennifer Hoffman, CEO of Plum Marketing Services

9. Misunderstanding the Needs of Your Customers

Ketan KapoorThe biggest mistake a marketing campaign can do is to focus on what they think is the problem of the audience which is not what the audience considers a problem. You should be solving a core problem and not any fringe or secondary problem. You don’t have to assume what the audience needs but instead prove your intuitions with the right business intelligence. Starting without the adequate research and knowledge of what the audience needs is the cardinal mistake that can be committed by a marketer while making the brand marketing campaigns. The more you focus on their immediate and prevalent need, the more you become successful.

-Ketan Kapoor, CEO & Co-Founder of Mettl

10. Not Preparing for Failure

Shane BarkerYou prepare your marketing strategy and give it your best and hope for good results. But what if it doesn’t work? Everyone who is trying to build a new brand needs to understand that there will be challenges along the way. You cannot be perfect and win every single time. So, you need to have a plan B. I learned this early in my career, after making a few mistakes. Now, I always keep 2-3 options and strategies handy to meet any marketing objectives. For example, when building an email list, don’t depend entirely on a promotion or offer to get sign-ups. Instead, do multiple things simultaneously so that even if 1-2 plans fail, the overall objective will still be met.

-Shane Barker, Digital Strategist at

11. Not Sticking with Loyal Customers

Andrew RudisterIt is very important that you don’t lose sight of the customers who are loyal to you. This means don’t try to change your image or purpose to help benefit your business while hurting your customers. An example of this is a campaign that was done by Netflix. Before Netflix was huge digitally, they were more of a mail-order rental. They had almost a 16-million-dollar market value with many loyal customers. In order to make more money easily, Netflix decided to join forces with an online streaming company called Qwikster. This resulted in more complications and a 60% price increase, which lead Netflix to lose 800,000 subscribers. This only wound up hurting both Netflix and its customers in the long run.

-Andrew Ruditser, Lead Technology Coordinator for MAXBURST

12. Broad Targeting for Advertising

Our product is an online tool, with a free trial for people to see if they like it before buying. Like many others, we were running ads via AdWords and Facebook Ads, to get new trials and ultimately, sales.

Everything was going smoothly. We had a lot of traffic that converted into trials for a pretty cheap price, so we were convinced that our marketing campaigns were doing great! However, after digging a little more into this, we realized that all those new trials never converted into clients. The problem? We did not target efficiently. Our product is sold worldwide, however certain countries and segmentations offer a better conversion rate than others. Some offer a lot of traffic who then never convert into clients, while others usually lead to more expensive trials, but with a higher conversion rate.

So, by having very broad campaigns, including all countries, we were getting a lot of new cheap trials that simply never converted into clients. And paying ads for traffic that will never convert into clients, that’s an incredible waste of money.

-Marie Lamonde, Content Marketing Specialist at DashThis

13. Relying on a Brand Ambassador Without Help

One very expensive mistake that I’ve seen inexperienced brands make is hiring a spokesperson, influencer or celebrity representative without the help of a marketing or PR pro.

Diana KozakChoosing the right influential partner can quickly elevate a brand, product, or campaign to unprecedented heights but when the person or team responsible for selecting a representative is inexperienced, the result can be disastrous. I have worked with clients that signed long-term contracts with an influencer prior to bringing on PR and often saw it lead to legal battles, low return on investment, destroyed brand reputation and so many headaches. The celebrity or influencer will sometimes refuse to do media interviews, forget to use the name of the brand they are the face of during an interview or will accept a press interview and mispronounce the name of the brand

-Diana Kozak, Partner at AD2 Public Relations

14. Prioritizing Design Over Message

Stan TanWe’ve seen it time and time again where companies pay thousands of dollars to ad agencies to design campaigns that look good but forget about nailing the message. We’ve seen ads that make us go “That’s a terrible ad” and 99% of the time it was because of the message, not because of the design.

For example, the “Red Bull Gives You Wings” feature a cartoonish design but get the message across extremely well. Ads with the right message and terrible design always beat ads with the wrong message and world-class design.

-Stan Tan, Digital Marketing Manager at Selby’s

15. Forgetting to Double-Check for Errors

Matthew RossMy business partner and I made a huge marketing blunder in early 2018. In short, we created a promotional video to help drive traffic to our website. Within the video, we mentioned a few of our competitors and why we offered a better service. Well, somehow when our social media manager was finalizing the campaign within the Facebook ad platform, our competitor’s website link was used instead of our own. I’m still not sure to this day what exactly happened but somehow directions got lost in translation.

Bottom line, we poured $15K into the campaign and one of our competitors received all the traffic from it. In hindsight, I wish my business partner and I would have been more hands-on while finalizing the campaign specifics.

-Matt Ross, COO of The Slumber Yard

Creating a fruitful marketing strategy does not have to be rocket science. Remember that marketers are only human, and mistakes provide a valuable learning opportunity. By being aware of the possible and past failures of others in the industry, you can have a leg up on the competition by knowing exactly what to avoid in your campaigns.

Love to keep up on tips from experts? Enjoy 20 Small Business Marketing Ideas.


College Reps Say These are the Top Giveaways Students Want

Giveaways College Students Actually WantColleges are a haven for marketing giveaways. College students are tech-savvy, impressionable, and generally resigned to cafeteria food or dollar ramen packets thanks to the exuberant cost of a college education these days—which is precisely why you should target them with promotional gear. Unlike older generations, they’ve grown up using technology. Hence, they’ll have great use and appreciate for your tech-related branded giveaways, such as power cords and USB keys. Their youth allows them to be open-minded, as they form interests and loyalties outside of the family home—an opportune time for a company to make a lasting impression and potentially earn a brand loyalist. Gifting them items they can actually use in their daily at a time when funds are limited means your item has a greater chance of sticking around for a while.

With that said, don’t assume anything you throw at them will stick. College students may typically have limited resources, but they’re not desperate. Gifting them something completely unrelated to their daily lives and interests is a surefire way to ensure it ends up in the trash—a waste of your time, efforts, and money. Instead, consider these ideas below for items that college students will use, keep, and enjoy.

Giveaway #1: Drawstring Bags 

Lightweight, compact, and able to hold a decent amount of stuff, drawstring bags are a must for college kids moving around campus.

While they’re great for everyday use when running between classes, work, and social activities, they especially shine in the gym and at other athletic spaces, such as the basketball or tennis court. They offer a perfect solution for stashing sneakers, gym clothes, and other items that may be needed for a work-out or casual game with friends.

To make sure yours stands out, ideally you could use the college colors, mascot, or another way that links your bag to the school (with their permission, of course).

Giveaway #2: Messenger/Laptop Bags

College Student with Backpack

This style of bag tends to be more heavyweight, sturdy, and stronger, which allows it to hold heavier stuff items like textbooks and laptops. Laptop bags specifically provide compartments and cushioning to allow for extra protection of electronics that aren’t typically found in the average backpack. This makes a messenger/laptop bag a standout item, as nearly every college student considers a laptop as a daily necessity. A nice addition to this bag style is one that has a compartment to hold a drink, like a bottle of water or soda—something many college kids carry on them as they move throughout their busy days.

Giveaway #3: Lighters

A zippo brand lighter will last for ages—well past college in fact. As such, it’s a treasured item, especially when compared to the cheap plastic lighters that are forever going lost. Lighters can be branded with beautiful engraving. Consider doing something school oriented, the name and date of a significant event, or a picture that illustrates something memorable about the school, location, event, etc. This could include a type of tree or flower that grows across the campus, a mountain seen in the distance, a favorite campus food, or anything else that triggers a generally recognized memory of the school.

Giveaway #4: Water Bottles

A reusable water bottle is a great promotional giveaway for college students for multiple reasons, but none so much as they’re simply incredibly useful. Whether filling up at the water fountain between classes or carrying it to a gym session, there are plenty of opportunities for college folks to get good use out of it, which your brand will be along for the ride thanks to a perfectly positioned logo/company name/etc. Bonus: keep the design young and quirky to stand out and catch their attention.

Giveaway #5: T-shirts

The old trusty t-shirt is an enviably easy way to capture attention, as well as something that will get plenty of use. The college crowd is especially keen to throw on a t-shirt for an early morning class (paired with sweatpants after a late-night studying…or partying…). Liven the shirt up with a funky picture or catchy phrase to elevate it to the top of the t-shirt pile in any given dorm.

Giveaway #6: Notebooks

We may be living in a tech age, but paper hasn’t gone away. A notebook is still a highly useful tool for college students, who are juggling lectures, projects, and papers. A notebook is a classic school tool, which means it will be used extensively (until it’s completely filled up).

Giveaway #7: Pens


What pairs better with a notebook than a pen? A pen is an inexpensive but effective promotional giveaway. It’s something every college kid needs to keep on-hand. Offering them one free? Even better.



Giveaway #8: Phone Chargers

Dealing with the ever-important phone charger can be annoying. They have a way of walking off seemingly on their own; imaging trying to keep hold of one in a dorm housing hundreds of students? Frankly, no sane person would throw out a free phone charger, lest of all a college student. Instead, opt to stand out with a portable power bank, especially if you’re gifting them at a school with a large commuting student population.

We hope this list has helped you brainstorm some ideas for your next college promotional giveaway. For even more ideas, check out our running list of college promotional items, tailored specifically for students.

Some parting advice? Once you settle on an item, remember to include an eye-catching logo/slogan/etc.—this is how you’ll not only get used, but noticed around campus by other students. Channeling the ups and downs, heartthrobs and heartbreaks of being a college student is a great way to connect with this giant audience. If all else fails, be funny. Between exams and mounting student debt, what college student couldn’t use a good laugh?


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.


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.


7 Unique Giveaway Ideas for Your Next Trade Show or Conference

Trade shows and conferences are rife with competing businesses clamoring to grab attendees’ attention with promotional items and gimmicks. How does one stand out above the crowd? Sure, pens and the like are useful, but they can be a dime a dozen at a big event.

When in doubt, we recommend choosing gifts that are unique. Think about how to you’ll breathe new life into your marketing efforts with an original giveaway idea that far exceeds expectations!

A unique promo item can be:

• Unexpected
• Creative
• Original
• Limited
• Luxurious
• Funny
• Experiential
• Personal

The benefit to this approach is that you have a better chance of being remembered, and hopefully, gaining new and engaged customers. In this piece, we suggest seven unique giveaway ideas to draw visitors to your table, and make sure they remember you when they walk away.

1. Experiential: The Gift of Relaxation

Trade shows and conferences are a blast… but they’re also exhausting. Hours on your feet and continuous stimulation (talking, music, mingling!), not to mention the travel to get there, are all a recipe for burnout. Earn attention by providing a promotional gift that guests will need: Items geared towards R&R.

This is a unique idea because it provides a reprieve to the high energy buzzing around the event – a perfect juxtaposition.

Give these items out in style by creating a dream-like relaxation station for guests to pop into during breaks. Diffusers misting out relaxing scents like lavender, an overhead canopy to allow you to filter out harsh conference lighting, herbal teas, and Zen-like music playing softly in the background. Ahhh. Kick it up a notch by having masseuses on-hand for free 5- or 10-minute chair massages.

When guests are ready to depart your relaxation station? Send them off with a branded swag to remind them of the oasis you offered (and your business!), with ideas such as:

Back massagers
Fragrant candles
Essential oils and incense
Bath and body products

2. Creative: Promotional Favorites with a Twist

Anyone who’s been to a trade show has received a pen, t-shirt or candy bar on numerous occasions – and for good reason. They’re practical items that guests like and use, which allow for easy customization.

But if you’re heading out into a big crowd and want to stand out, consider getting creative with your promo staples. For example, these classics use uncommon materials to make them more memorable and valuable:

• Wooden shades – Sunglasses are a great giveaway, especially if the conference is in a sunny locale. The wood tone style is a nice change from plastic and metal, which are the more traditional options.Our Woodtone Custom Sunglasses
Glass water bottles – Ditch the plastic and go green with a beautifully made glass bottle. Or, if you want to stay with plastic (it’s more lightweight, for example), consider a unique shape, like a foldable/reusable or flask style water bottle, which is a great way to add some humor into a busy day.
Novelty calendars – Wall calendars are the norm, and magnetic calendars are a dime a dozen. There are more unique options out there, including pop-up, wallet-sized and other novelty calendar designs. Best of all, they guarantee visibility of your logo the whole year long!
Special magnets – Speaking of magnets, not all designs must be made with vinyl! For a cost-effective gift that’s a unique departure from your competitors’, consider a magnet made of stone, chalkboard, metal, cardboard, or even a full color memo board.
Glass candy jar (with candy!) – Every conference goer can use a pick-me up between meals, which is why snacks and candy are great promotional giveaways. But rather than gifting an item that’s eaten and then forgotten, gift attendees a small glass candy jar they can refill and reuse. There’s a good chance an item like this will make its way onto their desk, where you’ll get some serious shelf-life and continued advertising.

3. Unexpected: Something Living

While puppies would be cute, we’re thinking something more along the line of plants. Adding greenery into an office space is a great way to make it feel comfier. Gifting attendees with plants, outfitted in customized planters, is a unique way to get your brand name on something valuable with staying power.

You can build an entire theme around the gift, too. Imagine: a green, plant-filled oasis in the middle of an otherwise beige conference. Your floor space will definitely stand out! A few plant and gardening giveaways to consider are:Our Seed Paper Logo Matchbook with Wildflower Seeds

Herb Garden
Plant Kit
Flower Pot Pen
Seed Paper Matchbook

4. Funny: Socks

It sounds simple, but of course we’re not talking about boring old white ones. Branded socks are a fun and unique way to make your brand known. Especially for 2+ day events, guests will be able to put your gift to good use at the hotel or on the plane ride home!Our Custom Rainbow Knee Highs

Some of our favorites:
Tube style
Rainbow knee highs
Crew style

5. Luxurious: Hip Tech Accessories

Considering how plugged-in we all are, tech accessories are always a hit at trade shows. Instead of the usual USB key or screen cleaner, why not opt for something more unique? Choose an item that can add great value through convenience (not to mention, price point), and you’ll have a memorable gift that recipients reach for again and again.

Check out these gifts to get your creative juices flowing:
Bluetooth speakers
Wireless charging pads
Webcam covers
Well-designed iPad/tablet cases

6. Original: Not Directly Related to Industry

If attending a tech or internet marketing conference, you likely wouldn’t get much attention with the gifts mentioned above. Effective giveaways are not just unique products; they are often unique to the industry in which your company and recipients work.Our Custom Apron with 2 Pockets

Consider this:
• At automotive events, gift desk and office toys
• At sports and fitness conferences, give novelty kitchen products
• At trade shows for entrepreneurs, offer health and wellness giveaways
• At conferences for creatives, supply thoughtful office supplies

You get the idea! Find the perfect gift that is tangentially related to your target audience, and unique enough that they won’t have seen it before on the trade show floor.

7. Personal: Individual Care Packages

Especially for the budget-conscious marketer, traditional giveaways are sometimes still the best option. But that doesn’t mean you can’t put a unique spin on them!

Consider creating small swag bags or care packages that bundle useful items together. Offering them in a paper or plastic bag makes them feel more special and speaks volumes about the kind of care and attentiveness you put towards your customers.

To add a personal touch, fill your care packages so that no two are exactly alike – by mixing and matching inexpensive items, and including various color or design options. Here are a few items to consider stowing inside:

Notepads or sticky notes
Snack foods
Small travel accessories
Stress balls or other toys

A unique promotional giveaway is a great way to grab attentions in a space that is buzzing with people, conversation, and loads of other tables and booths. Throwing some pens on a table is not going to have the same effect as a giveaway idea that is funny or unexpected.

The more you design your booth space to create a unique and inviting atmosphere, the more attention and traffic you’ll earn. When it comes to trade shows and conferences, we say don’t be afraid to get creative!

For support in designing a custom promo item, logo or other marketing artwork for your next event, get in touch with the professionals at ePromos!