Sunday, August 25, 2019

Super Decoration a Branding Power!

Our partners at Sanmar created a SUPER guide to top new ways to brand apparel. Rather than words, take a look at these compelling images. 

If you find yourself wanting to know more about a specific decoration process, ask us to send you this complete guide along with more information about how that process can work for your branding needs. Set up a time to see apparel samples in our showroom.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Why Drive 55?

It started happening 5 years ago, AARP cards started arriving at the house. This year the number 55 became more than a speed limit sign. I'll admit at times 55 has been more of suggestion that a limitation while driving, so at the age of 55 I refuse to allow being 55 a limitation in life. Look around, seniors are active and living long full lives! There is plenty of gas left in my tank, so slowing down is not part of my personal brand. Why all the references to 55?

Sept 21st was National Senior Citizen's Day and I was too busy to play bingo!

In fact, this past week I had the pleasure to network and share brand success strategies for the Apex Chamber of Commerce Women's Networking Series. Did you know In a 2016 study comprised of the Raleigh-Cary Metropolitan Statistical Area, including all of Wake County, part of Johnson and Franklin counties found there were 25,000 businesses in the area and 5,000 of those businesses were owned by women! -read more here.

Always a rule breaker, red shoes for a pop on black and white made sense as part of the presentation.

Lifestyle branding means not putting your brand " in the box" . Sure, for imprinting purposes your logo will need to fit within a defined area and a brand guide is important to overall brand management. However, there are reasons to have some fun with your branding without losing any of your identity.

For example October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month ( purple), it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month ( pink) and it's Red Ribbon Week (red).

  • Perhaps for your social media efforts your branding might change color for the month? 
  • Employees might wear ribbons and donate to your charity efforts. 
  • If your business is tied into a specific cause as a sponsor or a donor, color or temporary inclusion of an icon with your brand offer a way to educate consumers what's important to your company.  

September is the traditional spotlight on Back to School, locally companies are contributing to school supplies for students and nationally we are partnering with companies that give back to schools!


Our partner, Aakron Line, has an entire line of practical school products that have been purchased for awareness and spirit by many of our clients. By purchasing products that are part of the Give Back One For One program YOU are contributing to the over $7 million in products Aakron donated to non-profit partner, NAEIR, since 2002.

A simple outreach product like a ruler contribute to kids. SAFETY RULES! Increasing the reach of your campaigns is possible. Ask us about other ways to give back using branded products!

Why drive 55? Drive 55 for safety, but sing like Sammy Hagar when you approach life- there's plenty of road ahead at 55! 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Control The Elements

In our last post we featured several jackets that are trending; offering high impressions, low cost connection for your brand and longevity of wear. What will connect with our mobile, technology driven consumers? The answer is always products that solve solutions and make life more pleasurable.

While my boys are grown, I vividly recall being a numerous sporting events trying to stay warm. The wind, the rain, the chill in the air kept me cold to the bone. While none of us can control the weather, we can use modern technology to control some of the variables. Warmth at your fingertips? YES!

Creating brand connections with:

  • Incentives for employees
  • Fundraisers
  • Pro games at the stadium- I've got a son looking at Lion's- Cowboy's in Detroit in November- bet he'd like to stay warm! 
  • Gifts for great referral partners
Meet life where it happens.

Maybe you have employees or business connections that like to hunt, to fish or to attend their kids games. This new vest looks sharp and with a fully charged 5000mAp power bank, you can stay warm all day long. Today we previewed this new vest from our partners at Trimark. The Shefford looks sharp and will keep you warm.

Do you need the power bank? No problem. let us bundle this for you, just select one of these higher capacity chargers. We can even arrange for special packaging and drop shipments to your location! Gifting made simple!

Monday, August 19, 2019

Climate Change or Climate Control

Years ago I heard a comedian visiting the area say they'd experienced all 4 seasons in one week. It was in December, so you might have a warm sunny day, followed by cold temperatures and snow, but in August in the south- likely just hot and humid. While climate change is in the news, climate control meaning how hot or cold we are as individuals both inside and outside the office is important. We can't solve climate change, but our company can help with climate control!

Outerwear continues to be a top rated gift for employees, referral partners and clients for it's low cost per impression, longevity of wear and high impressions. It has staying power!  However your geographic region plays a significant part in choices for weather that's the norm for your area of the country. What are some top picks as we wish for a little fall breeze today? 

The Northeast- this Bergamo softshell is perfect! The textured stripe and retail look are very popular, plus it keeps you extra dry on those rainy days.

The Karmine is perfect for the South- offering protection in wet weather but can be worn year round. It's also one of those pieces we can add a hidden message, with a custom label print to increase value to your team or special recipient.

In the Northwest - the Index is the perfect jacket for unpredictable weather here on the rainy west coast. The fabric of this piece is the ideal weight for warmth and is both breathable and seam-sealed, which means regardless of the weather conditions, you will be dry, comfortable and good looking.

Would you like to see more new styles?Jackets, vests- we have solutions!



Sunday, August 18, 2019

Passion Equals Expertise

Where do you spend your leisure hours and professional hours? 

Spending time repeating the same experiences whether at work, leisure or as a volunteer tends creates expertise; insights only you understand from being in that world.

Our clients generally know that my background is a former WCPSS parent, art teacher and PTA leader. What did almost 20 years of investment in schools provide me? Insights into how to stretch a dollar while providing an engaging activity, raising awareness and accomplishing goals without breaking the bank. 

Recently a school asked me for a strategy to engage and welcome new families to the school. The goal was to provide families with a welcome gift pack at orientation that would be relevant to both the student and the parent. What did we suggest?

A pencil or pen- offering some school spirit in an affordable, but practical way for new students.

A webcam cover with personality-keep your eyes on what's new at school by following the school website, PTA news and electronic updates from your teacher's classroom page .

A microfiber cleaning cloth-  offering a full color surface for spirit, photos, maps or even a QR code to a video link outlining the key locations within the footprint of the school. This type of product will work for elementary through higher education. Take a look at a cleaning cloth showing just how close access to higher education can be in Wake County via the Wake Tech Community College system; a large footprint!

Additional idea for impact we've suggested included double side imprint lanyards, pouches for book bags, zipper clips for jacket, backpacks and purses. Double sided bookmark rulers with information on the second side. These Olive Chapel Elementary items were part of a Walk to School program grant- encouraging students to walk to their local school.

 Education and engagement for spirit and programming can be fun and economical in expert hands! Follow our testimonial page for stories and review our photo gallery for successful campaigns.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

6 Tips For Creating Memorable Event Recognition

You have management buy-in, you’ve created your strategy and you’ve built your program. Now it’s time for your big recognition event! 
Where should you start? 

Click here to download a sample event planning checklist. 
A recognition event needs to be memorable. How do you elevate the event? Creating a theme for the event has a natural memory hook but there are also some key tips for the individuals involved such as:
  1. The right person needs to make the presentation. This doesn’t need to be the highest-level executive. The presenter should be the highest-ranking person who can personally attest to the accomplishments of the employee. The presenter needs to be able to tell stories that evoke an emotion in the recipient as well as all employees.
  2. Managers must be trained to make a great presentation. They need to know who is being recognized and why they are being recognized. They need to be able to talk about the accomplishments and focus on the positives of the employee. Consider a video story to include remote team members or to focus on specific accomplishments.
  3. Tie in the corporate symbolism. If an award is symbolic to the organization, the manager must be able to explain the symbolism and how it relates to the organization.
  4. Ask others to make comments. Colleagues who know the award recipient can add comments to make the presentation even more memorable. Inviting colleagues to the event also lets them see behaviors of the winner that they can emulate.
  5. Ask the recipient to make comments. If your recipient is willing, let them say something! This allows them to thank people who have helped them as well as the people involved in the event.
  6. Close with a sincere thank you. Thank the recipient and all who attended.

Looking for a wow factor? Ask us about adding color!

Everything's better with color-it's like adding sprinkles to life!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Clean Water Solves Global Issues- be part of change

Did you know that viruses spread through contaminated water? Rotarian's around the globe have are committed to ending polio  for over 30 years!

Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a paralyzing and potentially deadly infectious disease that most commonly affects children under the age of 5. The virus spreads from person to person, typically through contaminated water. It can then attack the nervous system.

Clean water, sanitation, and hygiene education are basic necessities for a healthy environment and a productive life. When people have access to clean water and sanitation, waterborne diseases decrease, children stay healthier and attend school more regularly, and mothers can spend less time carrying water and more time helping their families.

How Rotary makes help happen

Through water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs, Rotary’s people of action mobilize resources, form partnerships, and invest in infrastructure and training that yield long-term change.
As a Rotarian, part of the Apex Rotary Club since 2008, it's exciting to see our industry bringing a product to market that ties into efforts to support clean water solutions to communities worldwide.

Big news! Leed's and drinkware company Welly recently established an exclusive partnership to bring environmentally-friendly, insulated bamboo drinkware to the promotional products industry. Leed's began carrying Welly bottles in August 2019.

"I created Welly to help the environment and give clean water to people in need," said Ben Kander, Welly Founder and CEO.  "I'm thrilled to partner with a company like Leed's, who understands the critical role of environmentally-friendly products in the promotional products channel."

Welly's mission is to reduce reliance on single-use plastic by providing a reusable alternative, as well as bring reliable access to clean water to communities in need. Welly donates 3 percent of sales to charity: water, a nonprofit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries. With its first contribution, Welly helped bring clean water to Mai Welay, a rural village in northern Ethiopia.    

"Welly has such unique, compelling products, plus their work with charity: water is inspiring," said Heather Smartt, Global Category Director at PCNA. "There's a strong demand for earth-friendly, sustainable products in this industry and this partnership allows us to continue providing our distributors with the innovative and socially responsible brands their customers are looking for."

At Promotional Partners we are excited to share this product with you as a way to shape the future of our global community. 3 percent of sales of Welly support efforts to bring clean water solutions to communities world-wide. Would you like to do more now? Support our district's Global Water Run on November 10. Sign up now!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Creating A Hole In One

FORE- a long ball, headed straight for the tee is headed down the fairway. Who doesn't love a hole in one; ultimate satisfaction for less work! It's National Golf Month and we've got some ideas that will make you see green!

What's new? What's hot? Those are the two questions we get asked everyday. From charity tournament giveaways to executive gifts, golf-related products are really effective for marketing brands.

These great new products will make your brand look great on or off the course:
1. Give your golf outing guests the most exciting new golf umbrella on the market.
58" Inversion Auto Close Golf Umbrella

This amazing golf umbrella closes so the outside of the canopy is pulled inward, trapping rain inside. Designed to keep you dry as you get in and out of your car. Auto close makes it a breeze to use.

2. Load up this new cooler with beverages and snacks for your outing guests before they hit the links. Check out this video link about the product
Slazenger™ Competition 24-Can Golf Event Cooler 

The Slazenger Golf Event cooler is perfect for an afternoon outing. Made with graphite material and including a neoprene side pocket this cooler can hold up to 24 cans or enough snacks for a day on the links. Side pocket with Slazenger logo gives this cooler a great look and feel.
3. Outfit your staff with new apparel to make the best impression at your golf event.
Antero Short Sleeve Polo

This shirt, winner of the Wearables 2018 Apparel Design Award for polos, has standout style and impressive performance - a true double threat. Moisture-wicking properties channel away sweat and keep you comfortable. It's constructed with body cooling fabric and offers UPF 40 sun protection.
The stylish women's version has a mandarin collar, no-button placket, shirttail hem and tapered waist.

Ready for more inspiration? Visit our branded golf store located on our company's website.

Check out the Slazenger Golf Idea Guide - it's a great resource that you can easily share.

Friday, August 9, 2019

How To Make A Smart Start!

Increasingly we have clients asking us about Eco-conscious solutions for products and inquiring about which of our partner give back to causes that benefit us all.

We enjoy partnering with suppliers that want to be part of change. Our partners at PCNA have introduced their  EcoSmart® progra. What is this program all about, how did it start and how has it evolved? 

The seeds for the EcoSmart® program were planted over 10 years ago, when Leed's became the first promotional products supplier to offer Eco-friendly products. Today, it's about more than products; it's about building on our legacy as an Eco-friendly leader, identifying new opportunities and creating products that are both good for the planet and good for business.

Eco-Friendly Products
Interest in Eco-friendly products has never been greater. This demand comes from a changing culture where plastic waste reduction is celebrated and laws banning single-use plastics are popping up all over the U.S. and Canada. As a result, PCNA is fully committed to providing the industry's best selection of products made from recycled materials, as well as products that are reusable alternatives to items normally thrown away after one use.

To make that happen, they have partnered will some amazing retail brands that are out there making a real difference. Our Parkland bags are all made from recycled water bottles, while FinalStraw makes super-cool reusable straws. Beyond a large product assortment, they are dedicated to being your go-to source for browsing and buying Eco-friendly products.

Taking Action: 1% For The Planet and More
EcoSmart® is about more than products. It's about taking a hard look at their business practices and finding small ways to reduce our environmental impact. They have taken some positive steps and have a list of initiatives taking shape in the near future.

Currently, PCNA donates 1 percent of sales from all EcoSmart® products to 1% For The Planet, an organization that enables businesses to directly support environmental nonprofits through financial contributions.  They are honored to join visionary companies like Patagonia and New Belgium Brewing in supporting environmental organizations that are on the ground making a real difference.  
They are also making small changes to our normal business operations. What types of changes? Their catalogs and other marketing materials are now printed on FSC-certified paper from responsibly managed forests. It's a small step towards a bigger movement.

The Bottom Line

We're fortunate to be in a position to make a difference. Through the EcoSmart® line we hope to inspire our customers, colleagues and friends to join us in making better choices for the planet.

Shop EcoSmart®

Thursday, August 8, 2019

They Say It's Your Birthday.....

Can't you hear the Beetle's's my birthday to yeah! Regardless of your preferences in brands or styles, gifts are always appreciated; even if it's not your birthday. As we move into August our suppliers roll out the best new products to layer into your gift programs. There is never a wrong time to gift. After-all, who does not appreciate a quality item that makes their day easier or more fun?

What are some of our favorite new employee perks? 

This insulated food storage container means when they are ready for a meal- the temp is right! 

Gift packaging? But of course.....

As a teacher, there were specific times of the year when I'd start putting a number in the corner of the black board; showing my age- it was not a white board. What was the number? A countdown days to holiday break or the end of school. Savvy students picked up on the fact that the number changed daily and joined the fun to countdown the days. It's a popular trend for companies to celebrate milestones, fun quirky dates, birthdays and major holidays. Make the experience fun for your team with this product.

The festive count down blocks are perfect to display the days, weeks, or months until the next holiday, vacation and birthdays.Use this for brand or product launch, a re-brand party or upcoming conference reminder. What holiday are included? Halloween, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Labor Day, Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Passover, Mother's Day, Father's Day, New Year, Valentine's Day, Birthday, Earth Day, St. Patrick's Day, Vacation, Anniversary and Thanksgiving.

One of the most requested items- a tumbler that keeps things both hot and cold as well as allowing a can to slide as a can cooler.  Name brands are appreciated by recipients. 

The Walton Wireless Charging Refillable JournalBook ( NC product- #shoplocal) allows you to charge your smartphone without the cables. Front wireless charging pad must be connected to a power source via micro to usb cable. How cool is technology integrated into our daily routine? 

What's else is new? Keep checking the blog posts. Can't wait?
Here is a link to an e-catalog  featuring new trends for your brand.