Promotional Product Marketing Blog

Learn the best ways to market your brand with the use of promotional marketing products. Our blog gives you the best tips on ordering the right marketing merchandise to increase brand awareness within your target market. From creative marketing ideas to case studies of how others have used promotional items to promote their brand, we give you clear direction in aligning your promotional product campaign with your overall business goals.


4 Creative Ways to Keep Employees Engaged During Virtual Meetings

Let’s face it, work looks A LOT different than it did a few months ago. Between the remote offices and the social distancing and the endless virtual meetings and Zoom conferences, “going to work” isn’t the same—and, likely, won’t be for a very long time.

Now more than ever that sacred work-life balance is out the window—for better or for worse. While many enjoy the comfort, convenience and, yes, elevated productivity levels that come from working at home, there’s still a serious stress factor. Think about it—your employees and clients are likely teaching fifth-grade math, whipping up lunches, and working non-stop from a makeshift office in the middle of their living room. Convenient? Sure. One-way path to Burnout Central? Also, YES.

This can certainly be a challenge, especially when you’ve got a mission-critical virtual meeting on the books. So, what to do? Keep employees, clients, vendors, and partners engaged and upbeat with these creative solutions.

#1. Send a “Swag Box” Ahead of Time

Employers are hyping up their employees for meetings by sending “Swag Boxes” ahead of time. These goodie boxes are packed full of items employees can use during and after the meeting—anything from notebooks to drink tumblers to phone chargers, and beyond.

Try assembling your own version of a “Swag Box” and sending them off to your employees to get them excited about virtual meetings. Not only will it boost their spirits, but it will encourage interaction and conversation between everyone as they share what’s in their box (but be sure to allocate a specific amount of time for this in your agenda—more on that later).

Chelsea, sporting her North-Face branded jacket in a virtual meeting

Need some ideas? Try tossing in a customizable tumbler cup for your employees to enjoy their favorite beverage poolside at the end of a long workday, or a stylish baseball hat they can bring along on their weekend trips to the lake. Apparel is always a hit and can be worn during the meeting (just be sure to get the sizing right)!

Notebooks are also a wonderful option—they’ll encourage employees to take notes during the meeting and write down any questions they have. . If the virtual meeting is scheduled during morning hours, your employees would definitely appreciate a coffee mug to wake up with.

Don’t forget to customize each of these items with your company’s logo—it’ll give your employees a sense of camaraderie and shed a positive light around attending the virtual meetings. Because who doesn’t like gifts? Especially when it’s not yet the holiday season!

Browse our Top 100 list to discover more products you can add to your “Swag Boxes!”

#2. Turn it into a Happy Hour

If there’s one tried-and-true way to get your employees excited about a virtual meeting, it’s by turning it into a happy hour. What’s better than throwing together an ice-cold cocktail and enjoying it with your colleagues (while ALSO getting some work done)? Talk about encouraging a work/life balance…

Encourage your employees to mix up their favorite drink and tune-in—it’ll make the obligation feel less like work and encourage them to have some fun if they’ve had a stressful day.

If you’re sending out goodie boxes, include some happy-hour essentials such as wine tumblers, drink Koozies®, beverage cubes, reusable straws, and more. You could also get super fancy and send them a drinkware gift set, too.

#3. Create an Agenda Beforehand

When planning a virtual meeting (especially if it’s a happy hour meeting), be sure to organize and publish a meeting agenda beforehand—it’ll help you stay on-track and be productive in case you start having too much fun and drift off-topic.

Share the agenda at least two days beforehand so all participants have ample time to prepare for the discussion and write down their questions and concerns. Giving employees time to prepare will contribute greatly to the fluidity and effectiveness of the meeting.

When creating the agenda, be sure to include these key aspects for each topic you’ll touch on:

  • How much time you’ll spend on this topic (allocate about 20% more time than you think is necessary for each topic—this will ensure you aren’t rushed through the agenda)
  • Why this topic needs to be discussed
  • What will be accomplished when discussing this topic
  • What you need from participants for each section (suggestions, possible solutions, etc.)

#4. Encourage Participants to Stay off Their Phones

Perhaps the hardest—and most awkward—part of staying on task during virtual meetings is reminding your employees to stay focused and off their phones.

Working from home doubles the possibility of personal life interruptions and being in their own homes might make employees feel more comfortable breaking the rules.

A creative way to encourage participants to keep their phones out of sight is by supplying them with their own wireless charger—it’ll encourage them to use the time to re-charge their phone, rather than use it, for the duration of the meeting. Looking to really wow them? Combine the charger with a phone sanitizer (these are hot in 2020) – it’s a win-win.

You could even allocate a specific time for this in your agenda—send them the charger a few days before, and when it’s time to tune-in, tell participants to fire-up those chargers and set their phones aside.

We’re full of ideas over here at ePromos, so give us a call to strategize about your next virtual meeting together.


How to Keep Restaurant Patrons Engaged as You Reopen

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

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

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

Reopening Phases for Restaurants and Bars

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

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

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

Fun Floor Decals

Social Distance Floor Decals

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

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

Outdoor Signs and Flags

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

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

Games and Other Printed Materials

Disposable coasters with field goal cut out makes for great entertainment

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

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

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


The New “It” Accessory: Germ-Free Tools

Predicting the next hot gift or accessory trend is part art form, part data-science, and part luck, too. However, the current global health crisis and existing buying trends suggest one thing we’re fairly certain of: antimicrobial products are in demand right now, and they will be for some time to come.

Keep these products on your radar both now and in the future for your promotional marketing campaigns. Not only will you be seen as safety minded, but you’ll also be boosting your brand, which makes them great gifts for clients, customers and employees.

What Are Antimicrobials?

An antimicrobial is a substance, material or compound that helps inhibit the growth of any microorganism, such as bacterium, viruses, molds and mildew. By reducing or removing these disease-causing substances, antimicrobials help prevent illnesses and keep us healthy.

Some antimicrobials are manmade, while others are naturally occurring. When it comes to gifts and products, you’ll often find a mixture of the two.

Antimicrobial UV Light Tools

Do you know what the dirtiest item in your home is likely to be? If you said your toilet seat, guess again. The average cell phone has up to ten times more bacteria than most toilet seats, according to 2017 research from the University of Arizona.

Enter the UV Phone Sanitizer Box. A small durable box with a UV lamp inside, this tool is approximately 3.5″ x 6.7”. It can sanitize your cell phone, keys, or any other small gadgets. It also comes with a wireless charger. This tool makes the perfect gift for top-performing employees and special clients.

Germ-Free Utility Tools

One of the most creative product designs to result from our current global health crisis is a key-shaped utility tool to help reduce the spread of germs. Available in a number of colors, designs and style configurations, the basic concept is a multipurpose gadget with no moving parts (and thus nothing to get jammed or broken) which acts as an extension of the human hand. You can use these tools to press elevator buttons, operate card reader number pads and even open doors. They’ll even work as a stylus on touchpads at the ATM or on a cell phone screen.

With a variety of materials to choose from, including wood, acrylic and brass-coated zinc, you can select a design that resonates with your brand’s image and style. You can also select a long-lasting plastic design with a slim, compact profile that includes a full-color imprint of your logo.

Antimicrobial Office Supplies

Whether your team or clients are working from home or headed back into an office setting, antimicrobial office supplies will be a welcome gift to help keep them safe and well.

For example, antimicrobial mouse pads can be customized with a four-color logo. Pair it with one of these Clic® Stic® Antimicrobial imprinted pens in one of five color choices with blue, black or red ink. Whether you’re sharing writing utensils or telling customers to #keepthepen, these high-touch items make an ideal gift. Additionally, the antimicrobial lanyard will be a welcome addition to anyone who must display their identification or maintain easy access to security cards.

Antimicrobial Clothing

Coming soon to our site (but available now via phone) is an anti-microbial-T-shirt. Through the application of a long-lasting spray substance, the T-shirt fabric becomes germ-resistant and helps prevent bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms from attaching to the surface. Each application of the antimicrobial spray on the t-shirt fabric will last up to 25 washes, giving wearers an added layer of protection, especially during travel or at events where they may come in contact with a higher-than-average number of people.

Keep Them Safe and Show You Care

Showing your customers, clients, prospects and employees that your company sincerely cares about their welfare is an ideal way to express your core business values, advance brand awareness and keep your important stakeholders safe at the same time. Along with high-demand items like hand sanitizers and face masks, plan to incorporate these germ-free tools into your upcoming promo campaigns, events and holiday gift-giving plans.

Interested in learning more? Get in touch with questions or ideas as you make plans for your next promo campaign.


10 Places You Don’t Want to be Without Hand Sanitizer

As public places start to reopen, we all know how important it is to keep our hands clean—and since sinks and handwashing stations aren’t always accessible, alcohol-based hand sanitizers have fast become a must-have, and a recommendation by the CDC .

Our 16 oz. Hand Sanitizer is a Must-Have for All Desks

While we love how most businesses have stepped up cleanliness levels, we still wouldn’t go without our trusty hand sanitizer – and chances are, neither would your clients and customers. By providing branded hand sanitizer, you can help your audience protect themselves from the virus and promote your company every time they scrub up. The new normal should have every desk/home office equipped with an 8 oz. or 16 oz. bottle, whether it be at a bank, a law firm, a nail salon or the like.

Aside from stationary bottles, smaller more portable containers will be found in every purse, glove compartment and backpack. For added exposure, consider a carabiner option which can be clipped on to almost anything.

Here are 10 places your clients won’t be seen without it:

1. The ATM

ATMs are a fact of life—and, luckily, these handy machines are everywhere. But, think about how many people use those machines on a daily basis. In a word – gross! Enter branded hand sanitizer for the win.

2. Public Transportation

Ticket machines, handrails, doors and subway seats are crawling with who knows what. Public transportation isn’t the cleanest way to get around but often it’s the most practical. As more people start using public transportation again, it’s going to be crucial to have a bottle (or two…or 200) of hand sanitizer in their bags.

3. Grocery Stores

Most grocery stores are going above and beyond to ensure a sanitary shopping experience. But just think about all the opportunities for germs to be spread in a store. Shopping carts and boxes of cereal are all touched by a few different people before they reach your hands. Another customer might pick up multiple cartons of milk to check the expiration date before adding one to their cart. For peace of mind, hand sanitizer is a crucial grocery shopping companion in 2020.

4. Gyms

Unfortunately, people don’t always wipe down exercise equipment after they finish a workout. In other words, the treadmill touch screen and those 12-pound dumbbells might be crawling with germs…not to mention the doors, sinks, and restrooms your clients will probably use while at the gym. With hand sanitizer in your gym bag, you’re good to go.

5. The Office

There are so many places for germs to spread at the office. Elevator buttons, doorknobs, coffee machines, copiers…the list goes on and on and on. Leave a basket of custom-branded hand sanitizers in the reception area, pop a few in the bathrooms, break rooms and kitchens and leave them in employee hotspots and everyone will “thank you”.

6. The Car

While your car may be spotless—you may be the only person who uses it, even—between Starbucks pitstops, gas station visits and the constant in-and-out throughout the day, you’re likely bringing germs and bacteria into your car, onto your steering wheel and, from there, into your home or office. With some hand sanitizer in your glove compartment (or an 8 oz one in your cupholder), you’re good to go—and good to stay sanitized and safe.

7. Public Playground

Kids don’t have germs at the top of their minds. But their parents do.

Kids are total germ factories who seem to touch everything in their path—especially at a park. With a quick squirt or two of hand sanitizer pre- and post-slide, it’s easy to keep germs at bay.

8. Shopping Malls

Malls are another prime place for germs to spread. Door handles, food court tables and cash registers all come in contact with many different people. Your clients will gladly throw your branded hand sanitizer in their bags so they can keep their hands clean while they shop.

9. Restaurants

As we start dining in restaurants again, it’s important to stay safe and healthy. While we used to pick up menus without thinking twice, we’ll want to wash our hands after doing that now. And that’s not the only thing the whole world is touching. Ketchup bottles? Salt and pepper shakers? Napkin holders? Those surfaces can easily transmit germs between users. It’s going to be key to have hand sanitizer readily available to make eating out a safe experience.

10. Doctors’ Office Waiting Rooms

The last thing we want is to catch (or spread) something while going to see the doctor. But there are so many opportunities to do just that. You often have to use a pen to sign in and there are magazines to flip through as you wait. And your kids can’t NOT touch the toys—no matter how many times you grimace in horror. Hand sanitizer gives everyone an added level of protection while you’re waiting for a check up.

Let’s face it—not only will your client appreciate having hand sanitizer to stay healthy and combat germs and bacteria, but your company will also benefit from this must-have promotion. It’s been hard enough to find hand sanitizer on store shelves, so getting some delivered to their home or office is a quick way to garner mega attention. Layer in your full-color logo and you’ve got a sought-after premium your audience will grab for again and again, every single day.

We’re always here to answer any questions or concerns.  Contact us, the Promo Know-How People at any time.

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Why Your Brand Needs Face Masks to Stay Relevant

For many people, it’s no longer just the phone-wallet-keys check before walking out the door—face masks are now a part of that lineup too. With COVID-19 cases reaching around 3.9 million worldwide, some states, such as New York and Hawaii, now require essential workers and some citizens to wear face coverings when they’re commuting and visiting essential businesses.

Needless to say, the demand for face masks has skyrocketed and it’s nearly impossible to find them in stores or online. As a result, people are putting their DIY skills to the test and fashioning masks out of anything they can find—and for some, wearing a mask has even become a way to express their personal style.

An Opportunity for Businesses

Lele Sadoughi masks with coordinating headbands
Designer Lele Sadoughi creates masks to coordinate well with her stylish headbands.

The rise in demand for face masks has created a lucrative business opportunity for many companies. Even non-medical companies like Disney and fashion brands such as Lele Sadoughi are rolling out limited-edition face masks. Harper’s Bazaar lists 16 Fashion Brands you can shop (retail) to support independent designers, and Forbes reports on brands that have pivoted to join the #millionmaskchallenge. These masks give their customers an opportunity to express their interests and fashion sense through these essential pieces of personal protective gear.

Since face masks are a part of of what we’ll get to know as our new normal, selling them to your customers is one of the best ways to increase revenue and stay relevant during these volatile times. That’s why we’ve rounded up a few of our reusable masks and mask accessories you can customize for your business.

Masks that Make a Statement

Our Colored Canvas Face Masks Shown In Peach, Cornflower and Mint-to-be

This Colored Canvas Face Mask is perfect for fashion and lifestyle brands to customize during the COVID-19 pandemic. It comes in 27 eye-catching colors, which will appeal to consumers looking for a more retro-feel alternative to the generic-looking medical face masks. These masks are made from canvas and only filter large particles, so they’re best for users who only need to wear masks during essential errands and in areas in which they can practice social distancing. You can also imprint these vividly-colored masks with your company’s logo or an uplifting message to make an even stronger brand statement.

Our Full Color Adjustable Face Mask
Our Full Color Adjustable Tripe-Layer Face Mask

Another wonderful option for fashion and lifestyle brands is the Adjustable Triple-Layer Face Mask – the entire surface area of this mask can be customized with full color, so you have the opportunity to get creative with the backdrop of your logo.

For those who have to wear masks for prolonged periods of time, comfort is critical. This mask is has three ear holes which allows this mask to fit nearly all face sizes comfortably. It’s constructed with two layers of polyester and one layer of filtering foam. Another option we’re loving? This full color mask with a step & repeat logo – you can’t go wrong!

Simple Yet Stylish Reusable Masks

If your business targets people who work in more professional environments, such as banks or corporate offices, your customers may be looking for masks that are stylish, but not flashy.

Our 100% Cotton Reusable Face Mask with Adjustable Straps

One of our more traditional-looking masks is the 100% Cotton Reusable Face Mask w/Adjustable Straps. These masks are washable, come in black and grey, and have toggle to adjust the ear loops for comfort and fit.

Another classic option is this USA made 100% cotton mask, which comes in black, navy and red. It’s sold in packages of 25 and can be purchased with or without a logo.

There are so many reusable mask options, some more fashion-forward than others. Still not sure what’s right for your brand? See the full-line here.

Mask Accessories

Our Ear Saver Mask Holder

If you wear a face mask on a daily basis, you know the straps can tug on your ears and make your head hurt after a while. Luckily, there are mask-wearing accessories popping up left and right that are designed to increase comfortability.

This Ear Saver Face Mask Holder will take the weight off the wearer’s ears, and instead distribute it across a small plastic piece that sits on the back of the head. This piece can be customized with your company’s logo and is a great little treasure to send out to your employees and clients.

Mask Buddy Pro Headband with buttons
Our Mask Buddy Pro Headband with Buttons

Another useful option great for both men and women are these Mask Buddy Pro Non-Slip Headbands with buttons. Also made in the USA, the entire headband can be imprinted so branding can be as busy or as understand as you’d like. Too thin for your taste? Here’s a thicker headband option that’s available as well.

Looking to add disposable masks to the mix as well? It’s always a good idea to have them on-hand and they pair well with these accessories.

When your logo is front and center, make sure it's on brand.

All in all, the important thing to remember is that when your logo is front and center, make sure it’s on brand. We are here to help, so don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can walk you through the many options you have for healthcare and branding.


Why You Should Tell Your Customers to #KeepThePen

As many owners, executives, and managers prepare for various phases of reopening their businesses across the country, they want, above all, to do whatever they can to keep employees, families, and customers safe and protected.

Why You Should Initiate #KeepThePen At Your Business

In an effort to prioritize safety, you may be implementing safe social distancing practices into your facility, creating new plans for disinfecting high-contact touch points, recommending masks, or limiting hours of operation. These are good ideas. Another good idea as sweet and simple as a pen.

Continued Safety During a Global Pandemic

It’s currently believed that SARS-CoV-2 primarily gets transmitted on a person-to-person basis. This means it’s possible for a person to come into contact with the virus and be infected simply by touching a contaminated surface. This could be things we come in contact with all day long, such as door handles, a countertop, or a pen.


What does this mean for your business? As states begin to implement various timelines for reopening, we all need to think about how we do business and in what ways we can help prevent the spread of COVID-19—both among our employees and customers, as well as throughout the general public. We can start by examining the various touchpoints we share with customers and clients in the course of a day. Those touchpoints may be disease vectors, but the good news is that with a bit of creativity and flexibility, we can reduce the risk inherent in those touchpoints. One of the most common touchpoints, no matter what business you happen to be in, is the ubiquitous office pen. For many businesses, handing over a pen to a customer to sign a check, an invoice, a contract, or complete some other type of document is an action that takes place many times a day. If you could keep a customer from unwittingly transmitting a virus to someone else (whether an employee or a future customer or client) with just one simple change to your business practices, wouldn’t that be a worthwhile change to make? We know most people think so, and we do too. That’s why we’re so enthusiastic about promoting a #KeepThePen initiative. The action is simple, but the impact could be profound. All you have to do is tell each customer to, “Keep the pen!” They walk away with a new, unused pen that’s branded to your business, and one potentially high-germ point of contact is eliminated.

What’s in a Pen?

Any old pen can be pocketed on the way out the door, but to leave your mark (pun certainly intended), it helps to opt for a branded pen that writes beautifully, is ergonomically designed, and that shows off your brand name, logo, or colors in a way that’s memorable. By keeping a large volume of pens on hand, you can easily participate in the #KeepThePen initiative while helping to spread your brand’s message of community and compassion long after a customer exits your space.

Initiate #KeepThePen at Your Business

If you’d like to create your own #KeepThePen initiative, Motivators has hundreds of pens on sale to fit the needs of your brand. Many can be purchased for pennies per pen, and can easily be included in a direct mail campaign.

Our Ad Pen with Stylus

If you’re looking for an option with a bigger wow-factor, consider our popular ad pens. These triangular-shaped pens feature three sides for printing full-color logos and images with maximum visibility. They’re like a billboard for your company that your customers can carry in their pocket or bag and easily be reminded of your brand throughout the day. For example, this tri-ad pen is an excellent choice and features a comfortable grip to help ease physical hand tension during use. There’s enough space to easily include a logo, tagline, brand name and even a motivational message to help keep your customer’s spirits high during this complex time. Opt for the version with a stylus and they’ll find themselves thinking of you as they use it to assist at the ATM or grocery store. Looking for more on pens? Check out these Ten Benefits of Using Promotional Products for Your Business which includes stats on promos including the lifespan of writing instruments. Then call us and we’ll help you choose the right pen to fit your brands needs.