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.


Promo Trends Mid-Year Review

Back at the start of 2019 we had some big ideas about what to expect in the coming year for the promotional products industry. Diving headfirst into the new year, we got a good “first look” at some of the hottest trends. Now that we’ve made it halfway through 2019 (can you even believe it?) let’s take a look back and see how our predictions have fared with this mid-year review.

Fresh off the Floor of the ASI Show® Chicago

It’s been an exciting few days as we scouted out the most sought-after items of the year. Which of the trends from January are still going strong this summer and which should you set aside? You’re about to find out. Let’s review.

The “Glam” Trend

At the start of the year we saw a lot of shiny and brilliant surfaces – a lot of iridescent and metallic materials in everything from lip balm to apparel to drinkware. Now we’re finding that these eye-popping finishes are not quite as prevalent though not completely gone either. A new item in this category showing that all is not lost is the iridescent PopSockets®. We’re also finding a lot more in the realm of sequins and glitter.

The Safety Trend

Safety is always at the top of everyone’s list of priorities. Though we’ve called it out as a trend, it’s really more of a constant. Choosing safety items will never go out of style. A new fav we just couldn’t wait to share…this collapsible solar lantern, which makes a great companion for any travel.

The Wireless Charging Trend

Wireless charging is here to stay! And with good cause. Who doesn’t love eliminating wires for the devices we use daily? Technology is always on trend, and with wireless charging you definitely have a reliable choice to show your clients how up-to-date your business is.

The Give-Back Trend

People love to support a cause. Earlier this year we observed a trend for giving back to the community or environment. In Chicago we’re seeing this passion for social and environmental sustainability has not dwindled. In fact, we expect the second half of the year to continue to climb in reusable and eco-friendly products as well as those with an effective give-back program.

The Retail-Inspired Trend

If anything, we’ve seen an increase in retail-inspired items as the year progresses. The most recent jump in color-changing, mood products lends itself to this very trend thanks to Starbucks’® reusable mood cups. The promo industry is also picking up speed in retail-inspired fanny packs!

The “Spending More Time Outdoors” TrendLime Squeezer

Now that summer is in full swing, we seem to be seeing a lot of items in this category. And it makes sense, of course. From corn hole games and lime squeezers to beach towel bands, sunglasses and patchwork on blankets and caps, the industry is practically screaming “go outside,” as well it should!

The Modern Trend

The sophisticated look of wood tones and marbles were prevalent in promotional drinkware, bags and journals early in the year. Now we’re finding these modern-looking styles in the technology category as well – another trend that doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. New to the scene with their minimalistic design are these 8 oz. skinny bottles – leak proof and BPA free, these cuties are perfect for more feminine brands looking to make their mark.Perka 8oz Bottles

NEW Trends for the Second Half of 2019

The most notable trend worth focusing on in the second half of 2019 is smart home technology. This is a big one! Up until recently smart home technology was reserved for the elite, made unaffordable and unattainable for the average consumer. Thankfully that’s no longer the case.

And with the promotional products industry, smart home devices have become even more accessible. They are, without a doubt, some of the most useful and sought-after gifts you can use to market your business and get people talking. Like this app-enabled smart-button, for example. Program up to three tasks at once and stick it under your desk. Knock once? Start the coffee. Knock twice? Turn off the lights. Think of the possibilities! OrigAudio App Enabled Smart Button

Another trend continuing to make waves – hydration. We couldn’t get enough of this smart hydration reminder, helping to calculate how much water you’ve consumed each day. Genius!

hydration reminder

So, there you have it – a look back and a look forward. Let’s make the second half of 2019 even better than the first with trending promos to put your business on top. Stay tuned throughout the year for updates, and stay on top of what’s trending by following us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest!


The Iridescent Trend for Promotional Gifts (Plus Picks You Won’t Want to...

Call it the “Unicorn Effect” – iridescent clothing, accessories and gifts continue to be a sweeping trend this year, with a touch that’s reaching from the runway to our own distribution channels. This feel-good style is a natural extension of already popular metallic and foil finishes, and it’s adding extra shine and a gorgeous, prismatic look to items we love.

At first blush, the rainbow glimmer of holographic items may seem like it holds the most appeal for a younger audience, but former kid-favorites like unicorns, mermaids and Lisa Frank® stationary are making a huge resurgence among adult audiences, too. Millennials may be driving this latest unicorn craze, but iridescent merchandise has an aesthetic appeal that just about anyone can find pretty, no matter their demographic.

We first talked about the growth of this trend in early 2019 here, and it’s only continued to gain momentum since then. To see this style in action, peep the popular iridescent Keepall bag from Louis Vuitton®, runway fashion from New York to London to Milan or favorite looks from Instagram’s most popular makeup artists.
Holographic material made an appearance in the late 1970s and early 1980s as part of disco glam fashion, and it enjoyed a feature in the 90s as well. This time around, the trend is widespread and far-reaching – these days, you can find everything from holographic furniture to full car wraps to pet beds.

Holographic materials and finishes offer a fresh, bold way to dress up familiar classics with a more contemporary flare. We’re seeing iridescent gifts enjoy the most success when they’re offered as a spin on already beloved and well-known items. That Louis Vuitton travel bag, for example, first debuted in LV’s collection in the 1930s, and it’s widely recognized in its more subdued brown-and-gold palette.

Since the irresistible shimmer and shine of a holographic finish is no longer limited to jackets, dresses and designer handbags pulled straight from the runway, you might want to consider it for your next promotional gift. This trend is an easy way to add a fun pop of color and whimsy to your next event or giveaway.

Iridescent Promotional Gifts

If you’re looking for a promotional gift that’s truly on-trend, wow recipients with shimmery, unicorn-inspired items that are both eye-catching and day-brightening.

Aiming for a bolder statement? Consider a promotional bag with flair, such as an iridescent drawstring bag or an iridescent tote bag – both of which offer a unique rainbow glimmer that’s guaranteed to turn heads.

If you’re looking for a holographic touch but don’t want to opt for a large bag, consider one of our iridescent travel pouches, found here or here. These versatile pouches work as cosmetic bags, pencil cases or catchall bags inside of a larger purse or backpack, so they’re a great choice for a range of occasions.

If you prefer to enter the world of rainbow iridescence on a slightly smaller scale, there are plenty of other on-trend and inspired promotional items to choose from as well. Help recipients start their day with a smile as they take their first sip of morning coffee from an iridescent ceramic mug. Or, go ahead and add some rainbow energy to someone’s mid-week meeting with an iridescent metal-twist promotional pen.

For hydration that’s extra happy, opt for a copper vacuum bottle or an iridescent tumbler. Complete the gift with an environmentally friendly iridescent stainless-steel straw.

Remember, promotional gifts that are small in size can still demand plenty of visibility for your brand too. Consider items with an iridescent finish that are sure to get lots of daily use, such as a customizable PopSockets®.

Stay on-trend and spread a little extra joy with your next gift by choosing something holographic and unicorn-inspired. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Take a look at all of our iridescent promotional items here. Have questions or need help? We’re here for anything you need.

Interested in learning more about the #ePromosCulture and what else we have to offer? Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitterLinked In and Pinterest


Triangular Promotional Pens Give The Ultimate Exposure

If you’ve counted promotional pens out of your marketing mix, we’ve got two words for you: think again. While these classics seem to be everywhere — at trade shows and events, ATM machines, realty offices, fundraisers — there’s a reason.

Because they work.

And promotional pens don’t just work in that, “sign on the line” way. A recent ASI Global Ad Impressions study found that more than half of respondents were more likely to do business with a company who gave them a promo pen. Think about that for a minute.

The right promotional pen is the ultimate impression-maker and the perfect premium to drive engagement and action. Nine in 10 people have at least one promotional pen or other branded writing gear, and 20 percent have collections of 10 or more in rotation.

In short, pens are small but mighty, packing a serious punch — and, despite their high value, even super-durable promotional pens often come in at under $1 per piece.

Really, what could be better?

Before you answer that, consider July’s Product of the Month — we’d argue this is that “better” pen…a triangular pen with a triangular-shaped barrel that instantly helps it stand out from the classic pen crowd. And, given its three brandable sides, it’s easier than ever to get more of your message front-and-center.

Brand any and all sides in full-color — logos, contact information, brand statement, anything. Then pack up a pack-and-go — these pens are totally versatile, totally portable and totally ready to work as hard as you do.

Hand out a bunch at your next event, conference or retreat and you’ll see firsthand what we’ve seen for years — these triangle-shaped pens are actual conversation starters ideal for sparking an instant connection with clients, customers, vendors, employees and others.

Maybe it’s the shape, maybe it’s the finish or maybe it’s the fact that, again, everyone loves a promotional pen, but these tri-ad promotional pens just work. And that’s better for business.

Get in touch to learn more and to start customizing your tri-color ad pen series.


Under $1 – Big Impact at Low Cost

While it may feel like you can’t get much for $1, reality says otherwise. Because, since day one, we’ve been focused on creating amazing custom promotional items for a fraction of the cost.

These are the must-haves that will help your business gain serious name recognition – and drive serious customer engagement at every meeting, every trade show and every get-together.

These are the products your clients, customers, vendors and employees will use daily – and, each time, be reminded of you and your brand messaging.

And these are the modern promotional classics your contacts will start to associate with you – premiums they’ll not just want and expect when you pop by, but that they’ll share with their peers, colleagues and friends…and maybe even on social media.

Best of all, many of them clock in at well under $1 each. That means you can make a serious impact with your customers without a serious impact to your budget. It’s the ultimate win/win, and it all starts with these high-impact, low-cost premiums.

#1. Colored Sunglasses, $0.76

These super-cool sunglasses hit on two powerhouse trends: they’re sleek, chic and 100% go-anywhere, do-anything shades and they’re made from recycled materials. Bonus.

Beyond the trend-worthiness, these sunglasses also offer UV400 lenses for UVA and UVB protection. Brand the wide temple band and you’ll be front-and-center every time someone slides them on – which, judging from the feedback on these, will be constantly. Choose from 11 colors or mix-and-match so people can pick their fave and you’re ready for any outdoor event – or, simply, to have a perfect premium for the sunnier months.

#2. Water-Resistant Tote, $0.99

The BYOB (bring your own bag) trend is growing by the second. In 2017, for example, just 5% of people brought their own bags to the grocery store. One year later, that number had climbed to 26% and it’s continuing to rise. And this portable, durable, water-resistant tote is perfect for your clients, customers and vendors who want to hop on the sustainability train.

That isn’t the only use for bags like this sub-$1 tote. We love it for the beach, the park, the playground, even the gym. With a flat bottom, it’s easier to fill and tote, and the 13” handle makes it comfortable to carry.

#3. Beach Ball, $0.82

There’s literally nothing that says “Summer” more than these classic beach balls. Made from durable vinyl designed to withstand the sun and sand, these 16” inflatable beach balls include a large printing area for you to tout your message and, even, key info such as your URL and hashtag. Best of all, these are super portable – while they inflate to be the perfect beach or pool go-to, they come deflated so they’re easy to toss in your tote and go.

#4. Color-Changing Cup, $0.91

Not only is this color-changing cup perfect for your next event or summertime get-together, but it’s the perfect promotional premium for customers and clients whether they’re bellied up to the bar with you or not. With a solid 22-ounce capacity, people will love these hold-everything cups – and, as soon as cold liquid hits them, they turn color, no doubt turning heads and driving even more attention to your business.


#5. Luggage Tag with ID Tag, $0.55

Already a Best Value product, these branded luggage tags are perfect, especially as your clients and customers head into the warm weather months – warm weather that’s synonymous with vacations, weekend getaways and other pack-it-up experiences. Now their luggage will never get lost in the shuffle and, with every adventure, your brand will stay top-of-mind.

Pick from eight colors or offer a few so clients can easily differentiate their luggage on those never-ending airport turnstiles…

#6. Webcam Cover, $0.43

When the FBI says it’s time to cover your webcam for “security reasons,”you listen – and, now, millions of Americans are getting in on this added privacy trend. Mark Zuckerberg covers his webcam. So does James Comey. And, with these branded webcam covers, your staff, clients, customers and partners will, too.

Not only do these slick-on covers offer a little pop of color (choose from 10 fun hues) but they’re super-functional. When you aren’t using your webcam, slide the cover across the camera. When it’s time to hop on a video call or take a quick pic, slide it open and your webcam is good to go. It’s privacy plus total usability – not to mention the fact that recipients will be looking right at your brand message every time they hop on their computer.

Get in touch to get your summer premiums in motion – for less than $1 per piece!

Interested in learning more about the #ePromosCulture and what else we have to offer? Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitterLinked In and Pinterest!


Custom Fanny Packs are Seriously In Fashion – Here’s Why…

Fanny packs are hot right now. Yes, kids of the 80s, you read that right. The packs you happily strapped around your waists decades ago are back in a very BIG way. So, dig up your classic cache pack and get with it, because, like other glam trends, neon, iridescent and acid wash, these old faves are hotter than ever. Don’t believe it? Check out #fannypack on Instagram and the nearly 600,000 posts with that tag.

And if you can’t find your cache fanny pack or you just want to share the love with your customers, clients and team – we’ve got you covered. Our modern collection of fanny packs borrows from the very best of old school bags with new features, collections and fabrication that makes them a great promotional gift for anyone.

Better still, bags start at $2.29 per piece. So, whether you want a custom fanny pack complete with a built-in Koozie® (cheers to that), a standard pouch in a fun color, something for the athletes among us or a traditional running belt fanny pack – available in big, bold colors just like your 80s go-to, we’ve got something for everyone.

Granted, these custom fanny packs aren’t just trendy, they’re super functional. Think about walking a trade show floor, making your way through a theme park or, simply, racing through the airport. Having to rummage through your bag, backpack or suitcase just isn’t in the cards. Instead, with a quick “zip” you can get your essentials from your fanny pack, all without missing a beat.

And, in that vein, when you are navigating those super-crowded spots, having your valuables literally attached at the hip is great from a safety and security perspective. While bags and backpacks are easy to leave behind, easy to spill and, even, easy for sticky fingers to access, fanny packs are a body-worn fort – no one is getting in and that bag isn’t leaving your side. In other words, no more worrying about your wallet/keys/iPhone®. They’re all in the pack.

As for us, while it’s impossible to pick our favorite fanny pack, we’re loving this Camouflage Fanny Pack, perfect for can’t-miss personalization. Camo is huge right now so this fanny pack, similar to the neon running belt fanny packs, is in serious demand among nostalgic Millennials and Gen X’ers, retro Gen Z’ers and everyone in between. Get in touch to get your custom fanny packs in motion.


Interested in learning more about the #ePromosCulture and what else we have to offer? Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitterLinked In and Pinterest


Custom Tees to Get Them Talking

Get creative with your t-shirts. These are not your average promotional t-shirts we’re talking about here. These are beautifully unique, eye-catching, bold billboards for your brand set in motion.

What are Some Unique T-Shirt Imprint Options?

Here are some examples of just a few of the unique t-shirt imprints we can do for you to help your brand stand out:

halftone imprint on tshirtHalftones: Using small dots blended together, halftone imprints give the appearance of smooth, multiple-color artwork without the cost of adding extra colors. Halftones are best used with simple designs as they will result in some loss of detail.

discharge imprint on tshirtDischarge: This type of screen printing process actually removes the shirt’s dye as opposed to putting color on top. It’s best used with darker shirts and results in a touchably soft and unique design.

eight spot color imprint on tshirtEight-Spot Color: Eight-spot color processing goes beyond the standard CMYK four-color process to include lighter shades of cyan and magenta (LC/LM) as well as a diluted yellow and black (LY/LK). This process results in a smoother gradient, less grainy, overall more photo-like image.

metallic ink imprint on tshirtMetallic Ink: Silver and gold metallic inks produce a reflective surface in your design. The liquid gold and silver inks are slightly thicker than standard inks, so they work best with designs without small details.

golf foil imprint on tshirtFoil: Bright and extremely shiny, foil transfers really pop on a shirt. The surface is adhered with clear ink for a unique-looking overlay of reflective gold or silver.

DTG: Direct-to-garment processing offers a rainbow of colors in the most cost-effective way for lower-quantity orders. It’s digital printing at its finest. Because it uses a machine akin to a large inkjet printer, you can take advantage of virtually any number of colors resulting in a beautifully crisp imprint.

What Else Should I Know About Unique T-Shirt Imprints?

When you use these types of unique and eye-catching imprints on your t-shirts, there are a few things you should expect. First and foremost is a huge and positive response from your target audience!

But these methods may not work for everyone. For example, we have found that they really work well with industries such as fashion, technology, gaming and racing. Cutting edge markets such as these often cater to millennials who respond incredibly well to these types of awe-inspiring, exclusive designs.

In addition to your target audience and your industry, consider the t-shirt material when you shop. For all of the imprint methods above, you will get the cleanest results with a shirt that is 100% pure cotton. If you choose a blend, the imprint will not be as crisp, and you will achieve a more vintage look. So it all depends on what style you’re going for.

The last consideration is timing. Often with special imprints we require a bit more time for processing than a standard screen print, for example. However, if you’re on a tight deadline we will do everything we can to work to complete your order within your timeframe – just let us know what you need and when! And of course, call us or get in touch with any other questions.

Give your company a competitive advantage with t-shirts that get people talking today!

PS: Not sure where to start with your logo? Check out tips on How To Determine The Right Size Logo For On Custom T-Shirts here!