Tag: covid 19

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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.


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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 adjustable Face Mask
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. Not sure which one’s right for you? We’ve created a side-by-side comparison of the KN95 vs. the 3-Ply for your reference.

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.


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The KN95 Mask vs. The 3-PLY Mask


We’re often asked by clients, “What’s the difference between the KN95 mask and the 3-Ply mask”? “How should I know which mask best fits my purpose?” “How can I be sure your masks meet FDA requirements?”

Below you will find a comparison of the two masks, both are produced in a Certified Medical Device Facility and meet all required regulations. We are in constant communication with our factories, and are grateful to have continuous stock replenishment of these masks. If you need the documentation, just ask! Whether you are looking to purchase masks for your employees or clients or solely to make a donation to the frontline, rest assured you made a good decision in trusting us.

For more on face masks, including guidelines from the CDC and recommendations on how to make a mask using a bandana, click here.

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

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How to Brand Your Business in Our New Normal


As we adapt to our new normal (being home) and prepare for the recovery period that will follow in the coming weeks or months, we need to consider what does this mean for the way we’re using certain promo products? What does the future hold in the aftermath of a global pandemic from a business perspective? As you tweak your marketing calendar for the remainder of the year, think about the problems that frustrate or concern your demographic the most, and seek out branded products that can help solve, or at least mitigate, some of those issues. As always, we want to help you reach your target market in a way that’s valuable and thoughtful, yet effective.

Sanitizing and Disinfecting Products

Right now keeping ourselves, our homes, and our immediate environment disinfected is crucial. In the coming months, we know we’ll continue to see sanitizing products and other health-related items at the top of everyone’s lists. Fortunately, as suppliers continue to adjust to increased demand, we’ll see more of these products readily available for purchase.

Sanitizing products certainly aren’t new, but they are getting a renewed spotlight in our daily lives. While proper handwashing is our best line of defense against the spread of illness, there are plenty of times when we have to rely on sanitizers instead.

Portable sanitizer for personal use can be critical for travelers on subways, Ubers, and planes, but it’s also helpful to have on hand for more everyday activities, like at the gym, the doctor’s office, the dog park, or when picking up kids after school. We’ll also continue to see a growing installation of hand sanitizer stations around healthcare offices or business.

There are other evolving ways to incorporate high-demand sanitizing products into gifts and giveaways too, including:

  • Hand sanitizer included in virtual event packages (for now), and conference or event welcome packages (once they resume)
  • Packages of disinfecting wipes for phones, computers, tablets, and other work items as a part of remote-working kits
  • Travel soap or other personal care items

Something else you can get started on now? Delivering these high-value promo items through direct mail—straight to the doorstop of your prospects, customers, or employees. And don’t forget to double check that you’re sending products that meet FDA guidelines for safety and efficacy, especially at a time when there are a lot of efforts to capitalize on high-demand items. For example, take note that in order to be effective, hand sanitizer needs to contain at least 60% alcohol.

Health Products and Convenience Items

Other health-related products such as thermometers and personal health items will also continue to increase in use and popularity. Products that help consumers feel safe and prepared, like those in a health and wellness care kit, are also timely.

Additionally, you can take a “back to basics” approach by choosing branded products that feel reliable and trustworthy. Consider items such as a throw blanket to encourage relaxation, self-care, and comfort at a time when many consumers are feeling a little more anxious. 

You might also think of ways you can add convenience and ease to essential workers or business travelers returning to work as social distancing restrictions begin to ease. Functional products like a bag or carry-all tote for keeping necessary sanitizing, health, and travel items organized and easily accessible.

Our new, changed reality presents smart and compassionate businesses with an invaluable opportunity. You can authentically and ethically market your brand by being of genuine service to your customers and prospects.

Modern Marketing in a Global Pandemic

As we adjust to changes in the ways we live and work, our methods for reaching our target markets will change too. The best way to adapt is with a slight shift in perspective. This may require getting creative not only about what products we use to reach people, but how we deliver them, too. Focusing on branded promo items that genuinely meet the biggest needs is a way for your company to do its part for public health, while also maintaining good relationships with the people you want to connect with most.

Interested in discussing ideas about branded promo items that are a good fit for our current climate and for the future? Let us help you think outside the box about the best ways to reach your audience. We’d love to hear from you.

Still managing a team from home? Here are tips on how to stay productive.

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


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


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

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

A COVID-19 Shutdown Essential: The Telecommuting Kit

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

Time to Stock Your At-Home Workstation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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