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10 Must-Haves to Connect with the VSCO Buyer


These VSCO girl essentials will no doubt drive an added social boost for your brand.

If you’ve so much as scanned Instagram and YouTube recently, you’ve no doubt come face to face with these Croc-wearing, shell necklace-adorned, hydro flask-carrying teens and 20somethings. She can’t leave home without a scrunchie (or three) lining her wrist and her style is one part totally chill and one part totally manufactured—she’s the girl spending an hour to get her barely-there makeup and messy bun looking Insta-ready.

VSCO Promo Girl Starter Pack

What is a VSCO Girl?

If that’s still not ringing a bell, here’s the basic gist—a popular photo editing tool VSCO hit the scene hard recently. The app is packed with summer-inspired filters that emphasize natural light and have an that super free-spirited vibe—and Gen Z influencers were hooked.

While it may not sound all that significant, the trend has truly taken shape—and taken over. The app is valued at more than $550 million and, in 2018, more than 200 million photos had #vsco distinctions.

What does VSCO mean for my brand?

So, then, the big question: what does this all mean to you and your brand? That if this your core audience—or your audience engages this audience—you can harness the #vsco power with this VSCO promo girl starter pack. Brand them, get them out into the world and get ready for your #thanks from this influential audience.

1. Basecamp Tundra Custom Water Bottles

A true VSCO girl doesn’t leave the house without her favorite insulated water bottle in hand, which is likely decorated with loads of colorful stickers. This 20 oz water bottle will keep cold beverages chilled for 24 hours, and hot beverages for 12 hours, making it the perfect companion wherever she goes. Plus, a portion of proceeds from the bottles go to helping veterans – it’s a win/win.

2. Rainbow Knee High Custom Socks

VSCO girls are all about colorful scrunchies, stickers and graphic tees—snag a spot in their laid back but highly promoted wardrobe and you’ll gain tons of exposure for your brand.

Remember, for VSCO girls and their followers, if it’s not comfortable, it’s out. Given how soft these socks are, they’ll no doubt wind up in serious rotation. What’s more, these rainbow knee-high socks are the perfect companion for her comfy crocs or Birkenstocks—because, yes, she’s totally inclined to wear socks with her sandals…

3. Promotional Lip Gloss in Clear Logo Tube

VSCO girls are all about embracing their natural beauty rather than sporting heavy makeup. This light pink gloss is the perfect shade to add a little shine without attracting too much attention from the rest of the face. It also comes in a clear customizable tube that’s perfect to sport your company or school’s logo.

4. Iridescent Aluminum PopSockets Custom Cell Phone Stand and Grip

VSCO girls became a trending topic thank to their their their VSCO photo reels full of light- dripped pics. These iridescent Popsockets are on-trend and help the user fully-grip their phone while getting the perfect “selfie” from all angles. Even better, you can customize these pop sockets with your brand’s logo on the back.

5. Full Color Trendy Promotional Scrunchie Hair Tie

Scrunchies are a must-have for VSCOs, so this is one item that is bound to boost your visibility. Customize the design with your logo or graphic of choice, then layer in custom hang tags for even more exposure. These scrunchies are made with a stretchy, breathable polyester and spandex blend, so they’re easy on hair—or on her wrist, where she’ll likely layer these hot accessories.

6. Airpods Custom Silicone Pouch with Carabiner

Apple’s Airpods were the ultimate must-have this summer—and their popularity isn’t slowing down anytime soon. That’s why we’re loving this custom pouch. Why VSCO girls can get enough? Not only can they listen to their music anytime, anywhere but, with a convenient carabiner attached it’s easy to pop this pouch onto their Fjallraven backpacks before they hop into their Jeeps and go. And each time they do, they’ll think about #yourbrand.

7. Parkland Rio Mini Promotional Backpack

Sustainability and style are two critical pieces of the VSCO girl equation—two pieces this mini backpack nails.

Not only is this customizable backpack made from 100% recycled plastic water bottles, it’s the perfect size to tote all their daily necessities— sunglasses, iPhone, polaroid camera and a few extra scrunchies for good measure.

But don’t worry—while the bag carries a lot, its minimalistic design (perfect for your company logo and messaging) makes it feel totally on-brand for VSCOs who are all about less = more.Sustainability is where it’s at.

8. Port & Company Essential Window Tie-Dye Logo T-Shirt

Oversized t-shirts are a must for any VSCO out there. How else can she look effortlessly cool and casual? So why not steal a piece of the Insta-spotlight by branding her new favorite shift?

This 100% cotton shirt offers maximum comfort—another check for VSCOs. Opt to customize the colors and add your logo then watch their feeds fill up. #winning

9. Round Lennon Style Custom Sunglasses

Made of polycarbonate material and finished with 100% UVA and UVB protection, these glasses are a stylish, durable and practical accessory. Their unique round shape is sure to stand out in the crowd while still looking totally effortless. Add your branding and you’ll no doubt see these popping up in VSCO pics almost instantly.

10. Full Color Waterproof Vinyl Custom Stickers

There’s no such thing as a VSCO without a sticker-covered hydro flask in hand. Consider her hydro flask the modern mood board, filled with visuals of places she’s been, places she wants to go and brands she loves—including, now, yours.

Customize a sticker for your brand and encourage her to add it to the mix. These stickers are completely waterproof, so they’ll hold color and quality even in the harshest conditions. And, because your sticker can be up to 25 square inches, there’s ample space to get creative.

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Ways Businesses Use Promotional Magnets Effectively (With Examples)


Magnets are a go-to promotional premium – and with good cause. Universally useful, incredibly customizable and long-lasting, countless businesses are using these promotional products effectively and in new, unique ways.

That said, modern promotional magnets aren’t a one-size-fits-all – and neither are the businesses and industries using them. There are countless ways to use promotional magnets , including a variety of product types – think business card magnets, refrigerator magnets and more. And, for each custom style and finish, there’s a company utilizing these low-cost magnets to build consistent brand awareness and ensure their message is front-and-center. Some of our favorites?

#1. Local Vendors That Create a Useful Business Card

Business card magnets are some of the most popular promotional products for local businesses. These magnets are useful because they can include prominent contact information and be put on a local resident’s fridge or other highly visible magnetic surface.

20 MM Full Color Business Card Promotional MagnetAs portable as a business card, these 20 mm and 30 mm magnets pack a serious punch for businesses and recipients – unlike traditional business cards, your contact information is on-hand when your customers need it. That means, when their plumbing goes in the middle of the night, there’s no rummaging through wallets and bags, and no trying to remember recommendations. They’ll see your magnet and call you first.

Local businesses aren’t the only ones tapping into business card magnets. Travel companies with reservation lines, insurance brands with customer service hotlines, schools, universities or any business that deals with frequent consumer outreach can benefit from using these products. Include bold branding, a short message and a call-to-action and you’ve got a promotional piece that will always be visible to your core customers – and that’s powerful.

#2. Companies That Set Built-In Reminders

Calendars are a great way to keep customers in the know – and companies using promotional products are doing just that. For those who provide routine, ongoing services – think mechanics, exterminators, primary care physicians and dentists, for example – calendars can be an organic way to remind customers to schedule routine maintenance throughout the year. Often, these critical tasks are overlooked in the hustle and bustle of everyday life – and the chaos of customers’ smartphone calendars.Full Color BIC Promotional Calendar Magnet

Custom calendar magnets are always in a very visible location, be it on the fridge, a magnet door or other household hotspot. By populating your calendar with important reminders or dates – and including prominent contact information so customers can get in touch – you’ll be able to boost engagements, bookings and, overall, ensure your client base is in-the-know all year long. You can even customize the look and feel of your calendar magnets to ensure they stand out.

#3. Brands That Provide a Useful Giveaway

Sometimes it’s more than just a call-to-action and contact – other times just a logo will do the job. That’s where these fridge magnets come in. Designed to stick to a magnetic surface and clip onto photos, menus, coupons or other important information, the bold, colorful and fully customizable magnets do double duty – they announce your brand and can also include valuable info or offers which customers can choose to display or store away for future use.

While many businesses are adeptly using these products, some of the most common uses are for restaurants offering a magnet and menu – then customers don’t even need to open the fridge – the magnet offers up a quick, delicious solution. Other high impact uses include offering a series of coupons or monthly offer mailings that can be popped into the magnet – customers can grab and use anytime, without ever worrying about misplacing their latest deal.

Making Your Creative and Distribution Count

All of this said, creative layouts and use cases are just the beginning – it’s important to get the most bang for your magnetic buck by creating magnets people will want to pick up and use.

As we’ve seen over and over again, one of the best ways to do this is by aligning magnet content and creative with customers’ lifestyles, preferences and causes that matter. The following brands are perfect examples – each maximizes their magnet campaign with clever, compelling lifestyle-first content customers can latch on to and which, through their visible support, drives greater awareness and engagement…all from a single magnet.

The National Alliance of Mental Issues (NAMI) drummed up attention for mental health and, specifically, to eliminate the stigma surrounding these common conditions. Their clever creative called out for drivers to “Put the Brakes on Stigma” with a call out to #MentalHealthMatters, making it ideal to affix to a car. If it’s a cause you believe in, you’d likely be willing to grab a magnet and proudly declare your support to the world.

NAMI Bumper Sticker Promotional Magnet

Likewise, juice bar Raw Juce makes using their magnets a lifestyle choice. By adding one to your car, you’re telling everyone you’re health conscious and you sip local. It’s a smart way to drive added usage – and because Raw Juce leaves magnets next to the register, they’re easy for loyal customers to grab as they go.

Raw Juce Promotional Magnets Left at Checkout Counter

Orange Theory Fitness and Green Monkey Yoga have a similar approach, utilizing magnets to enable customers to tout their wellness-first lifestyle.

Orange Theory Fitness Cooper City Promotional Bumper Sticker Magnet

Similarly, Salt Life – a popular beach and surf brand – gives magnets and bumper stickers so followers and customers can proudly declare they’re living the Salt Life. Affix these magnets and you’re telling the public you’re an avid waterman, who lives and breathes all things ocean.

Salt Life Bumper Sticker

Pet Vet Animal Hospital in Deerfield Beach, FL, also encourages magnet users to proudly declare their affinity – in this case, for dogs. Magnets, which can double as bumper stickers, proudly declare “I Love My Dog” with a call out to the hospital’s phone number.

Pet Vet Animal Hospital Bumper Sticker Magnet

These lifestyle-driven creative executions and clever formats are just the beginning. There are countless uses for these in-demand promotional magnets and countless ways to integrate these low-cost, high-impact premiums into your marketing strategy. Get in touch to learn more and to start customizing your magnets now.


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


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

Reasons to consider branded apparel for YOUR business:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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ASI Orlando 2018: Trade Show Floor Trends


We’re back from ASI Orlando, the first show of the new year. It was fun walking this show, as there’s always a high-level of energy in the crowd. Marketers are eager to identify new trends and talk 2017 success stories with their partners. That’s probably the case with many trade shows, but being since this one took place January 2-5, 2018, everyone had resolutions fresh in their minds.

For me, in particular, this meant getting a feel for what trends would be big this season, and making that trend come to life for our avid readers. We’ll briefly explore some of the findings from the show today, and follow up in greater detail when we summarize our findings from the PPAI Expo show in Las Vegas, later this month.

Most-Seen Color on the floor:

Pantone’s color of the year, ultra violet, which was featured in the New York Times, as a color which “communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking”. Duly noted.

Custom Packaging:

Whether you’re a new company trying to break through the clutter, or an established business thanking your customers, presentation is everything.

Upscale Design:

Two decorating methods, which can be combined, stood out to me as game changers. The Spectrum printing, shown in the stars below as a tone-on-tone, and the Chisel method, where the imprint is cut out, revealing the actual color of the bottle. Full Color Basecamp Tundra Custom Water Bottles - 20 oz. SKU:10006973

Cell Phone Accessories:

Still hot! In 2015 we talked a lot about this, with the focus being on selfie sticks. One of our partners did great with these selfie lights as a giveaway to promote a concert. It was a huge hit. Even more the craze? PopSockets®Cell Phone Custom Selfie Ring Light SKU:10008332

Chip on Board (COB) Lighting:

in lanterns, flashlights and key rings. Significantly brighter, less expensive and lasts longer, this technology is slowly replacing traditional LED.

 

Pocket Aluminum COB Promo Flashlight w/ StrapSKU:10007737

 

Growlers:

They were everywhere! The Craft Beer industry has been increasing, as are visits and experiences around microbreweries. I loved this bottle in particular because it had a drink-easy access cap on the top. Great not only for retail, but also as a giveaway for trips to the beach, tailgating and company events. The 64 oz. holds a six-pack.

Stainless Steel Custom Vacuum Growler - 64 oz.SKU:10008329

 

Augmented Reality:

(technology that superimposes a CGI on a user’s view of the real world): You’d be surprised how many of our partners are dabbling in this. Think of what this means for the future of sales pitches for ad agencies!

Don’t forget, we’re the Promo Know-How People. Connect with us to bring your ideas to life.


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Promo Products: What Every Great Social Media Campaign Needs


Before you kick off your next social media campaign, make sure you have promo products. People love free stuff, and they’ll gladly like, share, retweet, repost, comment – you name it – for a chance to win cool swag.

Here’s a great example of how promo products can generate enthusiasm and hype in social media.

Manny the Frenchie, the two-year-old French bulldog with more than half a million fans around the world, took to Instagram with some Wellness Pet Food promos.

promotional products

For fans to win a “Wellness Package,” a kit filled with goodies from the all-natural pet food brand, they had to repost a photo of the swag plus the message “I want a #WellnessPackage.” They also had to tag a friend in the comments.

Each package contained a promotional dog bowl, custom tumbler, a dog-food sample and a $10 coupon. Considering that Manny’s fans are likely fellow dog owners, these promos are spot on. They’re items that are relevant to the audience – goodies for dogs and a little something for their owners, too.

The promo products hit the sweet spot for the target audience, and there were a lot of other things done right with this promotion:

It’s simple.

Manny gets right to the point with how to win the free stuff – repost with the designated hashtag and tag a friend. Successful social media campaigns are ones that don’t require too much effort. You don’t want to bog down fans with lengthy participation requirements or confusing details.

It’s social.

Wellness is using a hashtag in its campaign – #WellnessPackage – making it easy to monitor and promote the campaign. It’s specific to this particular promotion, and it’s easy to remember and use. Unique hashtags like this are perfect for short-term promos. When people use them, your promotion gets extended reach – no matter the social channel.

It encourages sharing.

The goal with any social media campaign is to get it to go viral. The only way that can happen is when it gets shared. Manny is doing it right by making it a requirement to repost the photo and tag a friend. This skyrockets the exposure of the campaign by getting it in front of new audiences. Don’t be afraid to ask your fans and followers to share your post – but make sure it’s worthwhile for them to do so.

Social media campaigns – especially ones that incorporate promo products – can spread your brand like wildfire. As of this blog post, Manny’s Instagram promotion generated 717 likes and 42 comments. It’s fun engagement for Manny’s fans, and it’s excellent exposure for Wellness Pet Food.

Let’s hear from you: Have you ever used promo products in a social media giveaway? What was the response?


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The Secret To Great-Looking Custom Hoodies


custom hoodie

We’ve been seeing custom hoodies everywhere now that the weather has cooled off. They’re easily one of the best apparel items for the winter season – when they’re done right.

Here’s a promo know-how tip when it comes to imprinting hoodies: Start the imprint from the bottom so the hood doesn’t get in the way.

The last thing you want is for the top half of your logo to be hidden by the hood. The best way to keep your logo in full view – whether the wearer has the hood pulled up or not – is to keep your imprint low by starting from the bottom and working your way up.

Here’s a great example. We spotted this custom hoodie commemorating a Bar Mitzvah. Check out the date and the initials (probably the initials of the Bar Mitzvah boy himself). Now notice the placement of the imprint. See how low it is? And see how the hoodie isn’t covering up any of it?

This is the secret to custom hoodies: Keep the imprint low to get the whole thing seen.