Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Schools always face a challenge when it comes to school spirit, they want the kids to be involved but they don't have the tools that will be considered “fun” by teens. Promotional Partners and Dr. Stuart Higgins DDS are active in the community working with programs &r sponsorships at Apex HS, so they were happy to help the student Cougar Crazy’s show some school spirit.

Dr. Higgins, a Gold Cougar Sponsor for Apex High School helped the students with … “rally hair”! It was a “win win” situation. The branding on the band of the hair created awareness for his business while giving the kids a fun way to show off their school spirit! As you can see, the kids had a blast with it!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tradeshow Ready? January starts a new year of tradeshows will you be ready?

Colorful displays, prize wheels, punko games, chairs, counters, display stands, flags , banners, digital backdrops and table covers, floor graphics, pop up and retractable signs, outdoor tents, balloons, full size mascots for interaction these are all areas we can help our clients. Often our clients only see us for the source for the promotional give away for attendees, but we can design tiered prizes for good prospects, branded raffle items and of course unique reasons for attendees to visit your booth. Perhaps your booth will have the hot bag, fun toy to take home to the kids, the latest techie item or some standard items such as pens and mints.

Here’s an item that was a hit with some of our clients this past year, custom fortune cookies! Available in many colors and flavors with 23 flavors, 12 colors and up to 5 custom inserts, your booth can create contests and fun with food.

Here are some examples of fortunes we have used for our own company:

The journey of 1,000 miles begins when you take your first step with Promotional Partners

Your lucky number for a successful promotion is 387-9223

Editable Profit that we make boring and stale fresh and exciting

Wiseman once side, Improve your results with unique brand exposure by Promotional Partners

Made’ya look are some of our favorites with results

Of course each fortune also includes our contact information. We’ve even given these out in a giant double handed size for administrative assistant’s week to our local administrative assistant’s! Reply if you want to know what flavors or colors you may select.

Shopping Local

Shopping local

A recent nationwide survey conducted by WebVisiable www.visable.com in conjunction with market research firm Synovate e Nation conducted a survey involving 1,000 consumers. The posed the question “What makes you choose to patronize a small local independent business over a large chain?” 4 out of 5 respondents sited small business over “big box” and provided consistent answers for their top three reason as being, supporting the community, more convenient and personal service. Promotional Partners is part of the Apex Downtown Business Association or the ADBA. You can find our website at www.apexdowntown.com to see our membership. Our ADBA in this past year was a Gold Level Sponsor of the Apex HS Cougar Club, many of our business donated prizes to local charities and school groups seeking auction items, we have businesses that have own retail and food awards, our membership regularly supports the local Apex Herald and The Salem Street Gazette with advertising and articles. Our businesses are sponsors of local church and civic activities in our community and our collective energy helps to sponsor our own activities such as Trick or Treat on Salem Street and Christmas On Salem Street as well as participating in town sponsored events such as Peakfest and July 4th. Check out some images from our photo gallery on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Apex-NC/Promotional-Partners/111851192160823)

Promotional Research

According to research conducted by PPAI 69% of attendees at tradeshows and events would keep and use a promotional item that was given to them; free. Only 2% don’t appreciate free products and 74% of the respondents to the survey reported having at least one promotional product in their work area while 59% had between 2-11 products. Last winter we challenged our clients for a fun blog contest for unofficial confirmation regarding the presence of promotional items in their immediate work space. The responses were overwhelmingly yes, full of free branded items with many respondents hosting at least 25-30 products within their desk chair!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Unique piece for families and scouts to commemorate the event, identify their group and show other scouts during Jamboree.

Taking sketches of ideas for what symbolizes Scouting and turn it into a real actual product rather than just a vision or concept.

The scouts and families involved loved the final cap, in fact, no one wanted to trade their cap for any other souvenirs, in fact their cap was the hit of the event! As the distributor working on this project, it's fun to see local families I know involved in scouting still wearing our cap designs months later at events I am attending in the community.

In Scouting, it's all about how cool the custom stuff is. Whether it be patches, hats or shirts, you know you've impressed people when you see them wearing the item long after the event. Thanks to the help of Promotional Partners, I was able to design a fully-custom, embroidered baseball hat for participants in a bus day trip to the National Scout Jamboree, and I still see it at Scout events months later. People are still asking me if I have any hats left, as they want one; even grown men are asking for the hat! Not only is it cool in design, but the materials and workmanship are exceptional. And no one can get over the price...an awesome value as well. Many thanks to Promotional Partners for taking my initial ideas and sketches and turning it in to the best souvenir out there!

Paula GardnerOcconeechee Council Jamboree Day Trip

How to effectively honor years of service

How would you like to be honored after years of service to on organization or company. Both of these unique pieces were created by renowned artisan Adam Jablonski a certified glass technologist who has been pursuing the art of glass making since 1952. Jablonski's art is prominently displayed in over 30 countries globally and has been presented to such dignitaries are kings, presidents and prime ministers. Imagine how you'd feel to be the recipient of one of his masterpieces for your home.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Need Money?

It’s no secret that educational institutions and organizations suffer when the economy has dips, funding is often short of needs. Given our owners background in teaching, leadership roles on PTA and serving on many types of boards as an active committee member our company is able to create unique ideas that work for fundraising using our access to the over 900,000 types of ad specialty products available to you. By tailoring a low cost product to the needs of your organization we can show you how we have been successful for walks, runs, charity auctions and creating funding for operational money needed to jump start programs at the beginning of your calendar year. A perfect example is when an educational group wants to reward its employees with a branded yet functional gift. Sticky pads can provide a low cost item that could be viewed as an operational expense rather than an advertising expense. We can even create programs to collect data from your website with reward programs geared towards your target audience or create custom calendars or photo books that serve your organization with images that promote your organization while raising you much needed funds. Ask our team to share some case studies with results!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Boardwalk Property for your Branding

What’s one of the hottest products we’ve seen at a low price point with the opportunity for a holding advertising space on “boardwalk”? Screen Wipes! Little Micro fiber cleaning cloths that remove dirt and particle from your electronic devices, they will not damage the surface! Think about it, most everyone today carries some type of mobile device; why not put your branding right in front of them? It’s simple and it’s economical and will be long lasting advertising for cell phone companies, awareness or charity groups, schools for fundraising, recruitment or alumni, on line retailers, gasoline companies and salons.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Silly Bands

Retail designs are in demand within the promotional products industry because they offer businesses and organizations the opportunity to brand with items that are requested by consumers. Imagine if your organization could sell silly band with shapes related to your organization or as your mascot. What if they glowed? Maybe you need a unique fundraiser with a tote that expresses a shape recognized by group or offers a product your target audience can use such as a cute pumpkin treat or treat bag? Ask our team how to make this type of promotion work for you.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

How Do Calendars Compare to Other Media?

Newspaper ads have a life cycle for that issue and those readers; they compete for attention and may miss the target audience completely. Often we hear that businesses do them for brand identity rather than acquisition, choosing to advertise with projects and events we'd like to be associated within the community. Other forms of advertising that are common include magazines, radio, calendars, television, internet, and direct mail. Before considering an avenue for advertising, consider the following 5 components:

  • Will the ad be directly aimed at the prospect?

  • What is your message? It should be clear.

  • Is the advertising affordable to you? Calculate your initial investment, the prospective number of views, and the frequency. Keep a log of how you acquire new clients to know if it was the pens distributed or the ad on the radio that brought in the customer as this will help you measure the performace of your advertising dollars when you track your ROI and CPI.

  • Does the advertising method you choose offer a flexibility of options?

  • Will your ad be competing with others in the same space or time for attention to your target audience?

Why Do Calendars Work?

  1. Visual appeal for your brand

  2. Presence; on wall or desk

  3. Targeted distribution

  4. Cost effective for Cost Per Impression, frequency of views

  5. Use a design that reflects your business, even go custom. There are plenty of options including color, design, and format

  6. High visibility, 12 months. Consider making it interactive with specials or tips.

  7. High perceived value for a gift because it's useful.

  8. Look at your workspace right now; most people have an average of 2.5 calendars in their workspace. How do you rank?

Helping Our Community

Our community in the RDU area is filled with personal stories for how organizations and non profits are funded every day by businesses that care. Volunteer hours are logged and numerous individuals benefit from the local endeavors of our business community. Every business should plan to be vested in the community for one of the many areas that can benefit from their talents, their knowledge or their funding. At Promotional Partners we work closely with schools in the area supporting learning opportunities at the school, creating internships at our location, and donating to local schools in a variety of programs to help generate the funding students need to be successful. Serving on the education committee of the Apex Chamber of Commerce, it provided me a great sense of community to see that 31 business or individuals gave money to help raise over $10,000 to help our local Apex schools. Please become a fan of the Apex Chamber of Commerce Facebook page and visit their chamber website to learn more about who is helping in our community.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bookbag Bonanza

For the past 10 years the Apex Chamber of Commerce has held an event called the Bookbag Bonanza to help students at our local schools in Apex. Members of the chamber contribute time, supplies, and money to help put students on a positive start to school by providing the basic supplies they need to be successful. All of the money donated to the annual Bookbag Bonanza helps students at the elementary, middle, and high schools, while the staff at each school makes sure that the funds are used for those areas and students that need it the most. I've been an active member of our education committee for the past three years because it's an area our business focuses our contributions during the year to give back to the community. As a former teacher I can tell you that when a child struggles to have their basic needs met, it creates a gap that is hard to bridge. Helping to provide them with supplies will help to set them on the right course for the year. This year our company offered our partners the ability to donate $5.00 to the project and receive a credit for a $45.00 set up FREE for one of our suppliers that provides many low cost fundraiser items. I'm delighted to report that our partners and company were able to contribute a combined total of $150.00 to the annual cause.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Statistics and More

The newest statistic Market Tools for PPAI showed was that out of the 1,005 consumers on their panel, 90.4 reported that they owned or possessed a promotional product that was given to them in the last 24 months!

How did they feel?

83% liked getting products, 48% wanted more products given more often, 30% liked it when the products had their name on it, 25% refer to the product for the advertiser’s contact information, 38% said it was a constant reminder for advertising that company, 49% are not bothered by seeing a corporate logo on products they use and only 2% disliked receiving promotional products!

What did they think?
73% thought it promoted a message or service
63% think it represents brand awareness
56% see these as an acknowledgement of business; thank you
32% think it created good will
25% feel it acknowledges a person or event
3% consider promotional items a waste of money

Among those that were asked, logoed gifts with a higher perceived value where seen as both a form of advertising and an acknowledgment by the recipient of their relationship with the company, by the way that was 59% of the group.

Did you know that 91% of consumers surveyed said at least one promotional product was in their kitchen? 74% sited at least one in their work space.

What were the top items that made respondents more likely to want to do business with a company after a logo gift? Gift basket, MP3 Player, clocks and watches, digital photo frames, luggage, golf shirts and t-shirts, wallets and tote bags! Hopefully you realized we can provide all of those items to our clients. We also use statistics like these to help educate our clients about how to spend their budget effectively for a high return on their investment. For example, last Christmas one of our clients asked for help with an idea for referral partners; while not a “new idea” the travel tumbler for the car seemed to fit for their demographic of referral partners. Initially they asked for a budget model to save money. When I asked if they owned any travel tumblers they said, “Oh yeah, at least 6”. I then asked them which ones they use; they replied, “only one”. I asked them to describe that favorite tumbler. Instantly they realized that it was a nicer product, so they used it more and were then creating a stronger relationship with the referral partner and advertising their name more frequently. Market research suggests that most sales come from referrals. What’s that ole cliché? “You get what you pay for?”

Monday, June 7, 2010

Working with your Friends

Collateral Referrals is one of those buzz words used in networking frequently, but what does it really mean? We pitch to our clients constantly to fully utilize the relationships that they have with other business partners that refer within their network. For example, if you are in real estate and you are working with home repair services, mortgage brokers, appraisers, inspectors, decorators, or closing attorneys, then it only makes sense to work together in marketing your business. On May 1st each spring the town of Apex opens its doors to the community with Peakfest. This year award winning Anna's Pizzeria and your very own Promotional Partners teamed up with a promotional piece to advertise our location and services. We dished up pizza slices on red flying discs to hungry festival attendees. They loved the idea and came away with a fun summer toy. Did you know that promotional products are kept on average over 7 months or that 84% of recipients remember you name after receiving a product and 62% did business with companies after receiving the product? We knew and thanks to us so did our business client, Anna's Pizzeria! For only $0.89 for 250 units, flying discs provide a low cost per impression with a high rate of return for both of us! Post a question about how we can help you market with another company for an upcoming promotion. Create you post by June 25th for a chance to win a huge Promotional Partners duffel bag, perfect for summer trips!

The Benefits of Partnerships

Are you reading the newspaper? One of the New Neighbor Welcome greeters, Helanie Sharifipour, turned her 2,600 basket recently according to the article in the May 27th edition of the Apex Herald. What happens when businesses take a look at all their options for advertising? Some great teams are formed to create new prospective clients. Advertising is about effectively reaching your target audience with a call to action that inspires, well ACTION! Partnering with New Neighbor Welcome, Promotional Partners has grown a local accounting company's client base. Take a look at the link at this recent taping with NC17 to learn more about how The New Neighbor Welcome business is effective in targeting new residents to the are that needs your services. Enjoy this taping with President Joy Wilkes:
http://wake.mync.com/site/Wake/news/story/48897/new-neighbor-welcomes-residents-with-a-knock-on-the-door/ or visit her website at http://www.nnws.org/

Then visit our website http://www.promotionalpartnersofcary.com/ to read Joy's testimonial to fully appreciate how partnering with local businesses increases the value of each business to their community partners. Ask us for some case studies or referrals from our partnering clients!

Kill the Germs

Every week clients ask, what's new? Germs are not a new problem, nor are they likely to go away! However for all of you out there that love had sanitizers and other products designed to reduce the spread of germs you are going to love this one! A new pen, that is UV and scratch resistant created with anti bacterial agents in the molding and construction of the pen. This means for the life of the pen you will have the benefit that it kills 99.9% of bacteria within 24 hours. The protection lasts the life of the pen. Hold to prevent the growth and spread of bacteria, and its effective against viruses, fungi, and bacteria such as MRSA, Ecoli, Salmonella, and Staph! This is a great product for health care industries, senior citizens, and schools. As a former teacher I know how easy it is to come in contact with germs daily. Ask me how to get your sample. If you have received one, provide us some feedback!

Want Proof That Promotional Products Work?

Every client looks for a call to action or high rate of return on their promotional money! Check out this new video clip about promotional office products. Our company ran a contest via the Winter 2009 edition of our educational newsletter for clients by polling of our clients. The prompt was to look around ones desk in 30 seconds; without having to leave the desk area count how many branded items were within site or fingertips. Our volunteer contestants reported in their findings to cash in on one of our prizes. Guess what? All respondents had over 14 products, the majority about 20-25 and the tops OVER 30!! The second part follow up was how long have you had those products around your desk and most responded at least a year! What does this prove? Useful items are appreciated and used; daily. Ready for another contest? Here is your homework, post a comment here about your favorite office promotional item. Something you use and enjoy. Explain why you like it and remember to tell us whose name is branded on the product! All those that respond by June 18th will running for 4 FREE Chick-fil-a spicy chicken sandwiches! The new spicy chicken sandwich is great. Our company enjoyed a sneak preview in late May courtesy of the owner of the Apex location at Beaver Creek. Get typing because you're going to love the new taste at your local Chick-fil-a.

Heres the link to check out the video...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Planting while Promoting

MOO......says the cow! We know what noise a cow makes, but did you know that the ad specialty industry has cow shaped and patterned products? Cow aprons, banners, table covers, pencils, and of course cow bells just to name a few items related to cows. However, how do you brand a cow (excuse the pun) when your goal is to showcase education and sell ice cream? Maple View Farms is a local working farm, located around the Hillsbourgh area just minutes away from any destination in the RDU area!

Challenged with two large marketing events in April, Maple View Farms needed ideas to promote both their education center as well as their yummy ice cream. Among the items we suggested was a seeded paper ornament in their Maple View Blue, with a custom inserted seed card to explain what their education center has to offer guests. By producing the print media communications on seeded paper, the farm was able to explain their mission while giving their visitors an item that could be planted after the event to produce flowers! At only $0.62 per unit it was a perfect way to show how a farm makes use of our earth growing and planting seeds for future rewards!

Promoting Art

Ad Specialties creates an environment ripe for fun and innovation. Ideas to market your business don't have to be expensive; they only need to be true to your mission and objectives. Recently artist and motivational speaker DJ Svoboda visited our company looking for an economical way for him to promote his art and serve as a reminder of his speaking engagements after the event. Capitalizing on the ability to capture graphics in full color with digital imprinting, we teamed with Gemini Industries to use a full color key tag to reproduce DJ's art! Using the key tag at only $0.69 for as few as 125 units was the perfect way to showcase DJ's art, while providing him with a low cost item that is easy for him to carry to his speaking engagements. Here is the feedback we received form DJ after his first speaking engagement with the key tags in hand:

"The Conference in Abingdon, Virginia was a very amazing and incredible success! It went really well and lots of lives were touched greatly. The key chains did great. I sold some, I even had to sign one. We showed them to our friends and family and they really liked them a lot too. My Mom and I greatly appreciate all your wonderful and awesome help. Thank you greatly for everything and we wish you a very amazing and incredible day everyday!!"

To learn more about DJ's art and his mission with public speaking, please visit his website at: http://www.myimaginville.com/

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spend Less Achieve More

Use promotional products to reach out to your customers in this economic crisis.

What's Missing?

Put your company logo on any type of product.

Friday, March 26, 2010

People Love Promotional Products

The video link below provides a quick presentation about why…."People Love Promotional Products"!


Green Is Hot

Green is hot, wasting paper is not…so how about combining your need for visual communications in print with ecological products made from recycled seeded papers? Handmade papers are functional, attractive, economical and create an environmentally friendly gift with your marketing created right here in the USA!

Custom seeded mailer package shipped a DVD titled “An Inconvenient Truth” for Paramount Pictures. Instead of throwing away the packaging it was planted to grow basil. The response was incredible, even Al Gore featured them on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

WD-40 An American Icon!

We enjoy when clients ask questions like can you get Leatherman Tools, Mag-Lite Flashlights, Cutter and Buck Apparel and Corporate Gifts, Waterford Crystal or Godiva Chocolates because they are always surprised when we say YES! Our industry is full of suppliers with non name brand quality products as well as staple “American Icon’s” like WD-40! Next time you are considering a recognition or incentive piece, even a fundraiser with a “blank product” image the impact of your brand coupled with that promotion. Ask our professional team to help you design the right campaign for you.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Digital Photo Frames

The past time you were in the doctor’s office or your automotive repair shop, you might have seen a Digital Photo Frames. Use Digital Photo Frames to teach! The ease of use in a waiting environment makes a digital photo frame with a screen saying “Press Me”. A great way to go through an interactive educational module while waiting creates the opportunity to showcase your services with before and after images. You might also consider mounting units to keep them from “bumps” in the office. In addition to showing information about how your business is helpful to your prospective client, you might consider some soothing music to help them enjoy their wait time. Finally, the last application you might consider for these frames is a quiz about your information with a “prize” to redeem at the end. This way you can monitor who is watching your presentations!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Why is Olivia so happy?

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, human beings have five different types of needs:
· Biological and Physiological Needs such as water and food
· Safety Needs like shelter
· Love Needs such as belonging and acceptance
· Esteem Needs which include respect, rewards and recognition
· Self-Actualization Needs which include personal challenge and advancement
Each need must be met fully before the next need can be attained. For example, all Biological and Physiological Needs – food and water – must be met before an individual will seek out shelter. All Safety Needs like shelter must be met before an individual will seek out love from another person and so on.
The basic human needs exist at work. The Organizational Pyramid illustrates how basic human needs are expressed at work.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Promotional Partners Cool Tech Apparel

Promotional Partners Cool Tech Apparel is the way to go. We provide fast, professional service on our items that will keep you coming back. We offer shirts, hats, visors and more with just a 36 piece minimum up to any quantity. We have youth, womens and mens sizes up to 4XL and can provide any of the newest fashions that many can't. Our shirts are made of moisture management fabric that is soft and breathable as well as being anit-microbial, UV protected and stain resistant. To look at our full line, go to promotionalpartnersofcary.com and click on the Favorite Links button on the left and go to the Promotional Partners logo and click. Ask us how we can help with your apparel today!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cotton Prices Rising Sharply

Higher demand and recent poor weather in Asia have driven the price of cotton, an increase that will likely be passed to consumers within three to four months. Additionally, world cotton production is now expected to fall short of demand in the current crop year, which runs through July 31. "It's not something anyone can run from and there's no place to hide," says Rainer Friedrich, vice president of production at Charles River Apparel/ "There won't be a price change until there's a leveling off and the demand evens out. That could be six to eight months from now."

According to Friedrich, in just the last two months the price of cotton produced in Pakistan has jumped by 40%. Overall, the cost of cotton has increased roughly 15% globally. "In general, consumers will pay more at some point," says Friedrich. "By March or April, the effect will be there. Manufacturers will try to spread out the increase, so there may not be a large difference at first. Distributors will probably have to charge more."

With a larger number of apparel items, like polos, now commonly offered in synthetic fabrics, the greatest price volatility is likely to occur among suppliers that produce T-shirts. "In our industry, it probably affects the wholesalers more," said Chris Clark, vice president of sales at Ash City. "When we use cotton, our pricing stays fairly consistent since we buy on the futures market." Despite the surge in the cost of cotton, Friedrich believes there is a twist of good news to consider. "It means the economy is coming back," he says. "Demand for product is going up and you have to stock the shelves."

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pens Pencils and Highlighters Oh My!

We may find ourselves texting and e-mailing more and more today, but keys at any size are not replacing writing instruments. Pens, pencils, highlighters, multi function pen-highlighters, lanyard pens and even germ free pens are showing up daily with new looks for every promotion. Writing instruments top the list of most requested items each year in our industry as they are funcitonal, adaptable to multiple budgets from inexpensive click to high end products for the executive. A high return on your investment is also a deciding factor for many marketing campaigns as pens are used, passed, given and see frequently in the daily routine offering a low cost impression with high performance and longevity for your marketing dollars. Did you know any of the following facts? Pair some of these fun facts with your next promotion!

More than 14 billion pencils are produced in the world every year-enough to circle the globe 62 times.

Pencils didn't always have erasers. The first patent for attaching an eraser to a pencil was issued in 1858 to a man from Philadelphia named Hyman Lipman. In fact, today in Europe most pencils are still sold without erasers.

The first great success for the ballpoint pen came on an October morning in 1945 when a crowd of more than 5000 people jammed the entrance of New York City's Gimbels Department Store. The day before, Gimbels had taken out a full-page ad in the New York Times promoting the first sale of ballpoints in the United States. The ad described the new pen as a "fantastic...miraculous fountain pen...guaranteed to write for two years without refilling!" On that first day of the sale, Gimbels sold out its entire stock of 10000 pens-at $12.50 each.

100 billion crayons have been made since before World War I. That means your great, great, great, great grandparents colored with crayons.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Need Some Inspiration for 2010?

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Be always at war with your vices, at peace with tour neighbors and let each new year ding you a better man. “ Referencing this passage as an introduction for a motivational article, Editorial Director for Promo Marketing, Nicole Stella, recounted the relationship of the quote to a required reading by author Rabbi Harold S. Kushner. In the book Rabbi Kushner wrote that, “Nature is morally blind, without values. It churns along following its own laws not caring who or what gets in the way. But God is not morally blind; God stands for justice, for fairness for compassion; for me, the earthquake if not an ‘act of god’. The act of God is the courage of people to rebuild their lives after the earthquake and the rush of others to help them in whatever way they can”. Here is hoping that you work for your passions this year and make it a successful year.

Promotional Arm Tattoo Sleeves

Here is a new fad that we hope becomes a trend because the applications for sports, road races, sponsorships, spirit wear and uniform work wear are numerous! This is a US made product that can sport an instant tattoo or brand your company logo or sports theme quickly in full digital color. Best of all it is easy to remove or apply for comfort given the environment you are in without becoming as cumbersome as a sweater or coat when mobility is important.

How Apparel Savvy Are You?

What makes cotton organic?

You’ve probably heard the term organic cotton, but do you really know the difference between what if standard and organic cotton. Organic cotton means that the cotton is grown without pesticides or chemical additives. Additionally the soil that the plant is grown in must be chemical free for at least three years. Once harvested, the cotton must be processed differently than regular cotton to avoid contamination. Among organics there are different standards or certifications for the integrity of the cotton as pure. If your company requires certification papers, please ask us to provide those documents to you for review.

Performance fabrics:

Trademark Names may often hold similar properties. The idea with performance fabrics is to keep the body cooler and provide fewer odors. If sweat is odorless, why do we stink after physical activity? The bacteria on our skin cause the odor to form on the fabric. What will help to destroy the odor? Is the answer Moisture Wicking, UV resistance, Antimicrobial or anti pill? If you answered Antimicrobial, you are correct because the fabric has been treated with chemicals to inhibit the growth of bacteria. If you knew that, do you know what fabric has natural anti bacterial and fungal properties? Garments made from Bamboo! Our clients with bamboo apparel have provided feedback that the comfort and resilience of the fabric is makes it a great choice for mobile individuals.

Last test:

What is the difference between waterproof and water resistant or water repellent? Waterproof is seam sealed to withstand a specific amount of water pressure keeping the garment dry since it blocks water absorption. Water resistant is treated chemically to repel or resist water. While water repellent is when the fabric can resist the penetration of water with limited conditions, however once washed or dry cleaned those properties are usually altered.

How Can I Spot a Trend?

Experts at trendwatching.com encourage trackers to set goals. Understand how the hot products in our industry can apply to your target audience. Keep up with the 7 stages of a trend which are: Emerging, Incoming, Pre-Peak, Peak, Post-Peak, Outgoing and Decline.
Be aware that trends can cross industries. Need an example? What is your home thread count on your sheets? The push for luxury hotel pampering for spa items and high quality dense thread count lead to a desire to offer the average consumer high thread count sheets. The same application works in our industry when the average client wants to impress their end user and prospects with luxury based products geared to their client’s interest. For example custom crystal barware, personalize golf club or bag, electronic equipment even Godiva chocolates!

Are You Tracking Trends?

Effective Promotions use cultural and demographic trends that motivate your target audience. Did you ever wear leggings in the 80’s or a beehive hairdo in the 60’s? If so you were part of a trend. Currently apparel in our industry caters to both the traditional work apparel as well as contemporary style like burn out, tattoo inspired arm wraps, as well as hot fabric choices like bamboo, environmental conscious with recycled content.
Apparel suppliers offer new lines seasonally, with name brand product choices, popular requests for fabrics, knock offs to name brand looks and of course the “HOT” colors or styles for that season.

What is the difference between a fad and a trend? In short, trends are products that are showing a wave of change. In our industry the push towards green product in all categories such as sustainable, organic and recycled as risen steady the past three years. BY contrast fads are immediate impulses like “pet rocks” from the 70’s! Sometimes fads can continue to resurface across generations like tie dye. What was your worst fad?

When the Office Has the Flu!

Employee absenteeism affects sales, operations and morale across all industries. Many companies are fighting back by offering time away from the office for flu vaccines or large companies are coordinating efforts to have healthcare professionals on site. Options for smaller companies include having a health care professional visit at a staff meeting, posting literature about best health practices for disease prevention or short educational video pointed to ways to reduce passing along germs to other employees. For industries like healthcare professionals who will be exposure to more germs, products like pens, optical mice and keyboards that are treated with permanent antimicrobial properties represent a way to show you care about keeping there organization running with healthy employees.

Internally providing Wallet sized, cold and flu kits, anti bacterial wipes, hand sanitizers, vitamin C tablets in a pocket roll, lip balm, antimicrobial pen and stainless steel water bottles to keep germs contained to individuals are all ways to provide some assistance to company’s employees that do business with your company!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Generate More Traffic at Tradeshows

One of our industry suppliers, Target Graphics, created a unique T-shirt promotion to drive more traffic to their booth. The shirt featured their logo on the front of a black t-shirt highlighting one of their new leather ink processes. On the back they used a four color process to create a simulation of a $100.00 bill with text below it reading, “If we print on paper we’d be counterfeiters”. Pre-show mailings and publicity included teaser with the action call, come to Target’s booth and get a t-shirt to wear at during the show for a change to be entered to win a chance for $100.00. What was the result? They yielded enough traffic to post double their leads from the previous year!

Ask us to help you create a clever way to generate more traffic at your next convention booth or tradeshow event.

Boring Business Cards?

Take a look at your business cards; consider your cards a low cost way to beef up marketing for 2010!

Make your business card a more effective marketing tool by giving the recipient something they can use such as a calendar, tip calculator card, use a holographic/ lenticular image to get their attention or provide a discount for their first order on the card.

Turn your business card into a useful tool with a large imprint area, such as a nail fail, pocket mirror, pen, magnet, or a USB drive that looks like you! Instead of giving them the card give them something they can use each day!

Get Ready to Market Yourself in 2010!

Self Promotion is the key! Here are Five Quick Tips to get you started

5 quick tips:

1. Public Speaking Engagements give you a moment to share you expertise and gain credibility.
2. Publish articles in your trade journals or association newsletters. Link those back to your website or blog
3. Build up a social presence on one viral networking tools such as LinkedIn, face book, 919.
4. Create a blog to post tips, trends, new products and success stories. Make them entertaining and educational. Don’t be afraid to use video, even the youtube type to make your blog more interesting.
5. Apply for awards and recognition; look within your industries and associations for applications for awards.

Please share your best tip with other partners!