Branded apparel and accessories for all occasions

On your sleeve – Branded Apparel and Accessories

Branded apparel and accessories for all occasions

Branded apparel is a popular choice for those wanting high-visibility promotional products. It was the number one promotional product category sold in 2017 for a reason. The opportunity to employ your own customers and potential clients as advertisers is well worth the price of the merchandise. Even though some clients are preferring branded apparel with minimal branding to avoid feeling like a billboard, you just need attractive items that carry a relevant or well-designed message to make yours a favourite. There are many other benefits in adding wearable promotional products to your stock.

Read on to see how branded apparel can work for your business.

Stats for branded apparel and accessories

In 2017, 35% of promotional products sold were wearables. That includes promotional t-shirts, hats, sunglasses, scarves, jackets and uniforms.

Did you know 58% of US consumers own a promotional t-shirt? It’s not too surprising that even more than that, 69%, own a promotional hat. That hat is even worn weekly by one third of men in the US. As we know, the more use a promotional product gets, the greater the number of impressions and the better it is for business, and the environment. In terms of your economic output, branded shirts will cost you two tenths of a cent per impression and hats, three tenths.

Brand recall is high among those who have received branded clothing – 85% of consumers remembered advertisers who gave them a shirt or hat. They can also remember the message of the product.

Special Events

Promotional wearables, particularly shirts and hats, are popular for events. One of the reasons being that people love something they can take home as a memento. Every time they put it on, they’re reminded of the time they had. Event apparel is also a way for people to advertise their participation in the event in the future – a sort of ‘I was there’ statement.

Remember to include the event slogan and social media tags so that anyone seeing the apparel can access more of your brand’s content and see what all the commotion was about. They may want to be a part of your next event if they like what they see.

Event apparel is often a t-shirt or hat given to an attendee for the very reasons above. Not to be forgotten, however, is what your team wears at the event. Even if it’s a trade show, having something out of the ordinary (not their usual uniform or business attire) for your staff to wear will help to build a sense of unity in your team and portray that to the people who see them. It also helps them stand out.

For things like sponsored fun runs and community events, limited edition branded apparel for your team is a simple way to thank them for their time in attending it. As we discussed in our post about employee engagement (link), we found that 90% of employees are happy to wear their company’s logo in public. Along with this, 57% of staff would stay with a company that provided them with promotional products.

Just some of the benefits of promotional apparel for events.

Uniforms

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In 2018, 50% of the Australian workforce wore uniforms. Included in these numbers were corporate apparel, polos, aprons and hats. Aussie employees don’t mind wearing uniforms, mostly because it takes the decision-making out of their morning routines. Customers also like it – 94% of them prefer staff in uniform because they can recognise them easily.

If your business has a uniform policy, adding your brand to it is an easy promotional opportunity. You’re not promoting your brand to your employees, but everyone with whom they come in contact. The presentation of your staff reflects your brand – be it casual or corporate – and adding the visual of your logo can help to make this correlation clearer. Wearing your brand is also a reminder to your employees that they are an example of your business and that can empower them to perform.

Branded merchandise can help promote your brand even if your employees don’t wear uniforms. Accessories like aprons, name badges and even PPE allow your team to continue to rep without interrupting their own outfits.

Promotional Socks!

We’re just adding this one in because we love doing branded socks. They’re a quirky way to add your brand to your potential customers’ everyday apparel. They’re not in your face but they’re seen whenever you put on, take off or tie your shoes. Why not add them to your social media marketing campaign like Mexican takeaway, Guzman y Gomez (link)?

Socks have a wide appeal. Unisex and easily hidden beneath trousers or flaunted with a pair of sandals (not our favourite way, but a common one). Fresh socks are also the epitome of comfort, so no one would turn them down. With the right design they could be fighting for a pair.

Branded apparel is a common and effective way of marketing your brand. There are a lot of options for any occasion – be it everyday work attire, event memorabilia, trade show uniform or social media promotion. Take your pick and run with it, because promotional wearables will get your message out and about.

Promotional pens for small business

Pens, pens, pens. They’ve been a top seller in the promotional products business since 1993 and in the top 5 products of 2018. Everyone uses them and everyone loses them and so they need more. They’re light-weight and carried easily in a pocket, purse and sometimes tucked behind an ear. It makes sense that they’re the most commonly owned promotional product by all consumers. So, whether you’re buying them for your workspace, for an event or as a corporate gift to your employees and clients – promotional pens are a cost-effective, useful and high-impression product, perfect for small business.

By the numbers

Promotional pens are so common that it can be easy to write them off as just a cheap, easily-brandable thing. However, we all genuinely appreciate a well-made writing implement with a smooth ink flow and ergonomic design. That’s why we get a little upset when our favourite goes missing – more on that later. Whether it’s for jotting notes at work, taking down a new contact’s details or doodling while on a long business call, a pen is the conduit through which our thoughts are noted down.

In case you’re yet unconvinced, here are the real-world numbers

  • 73% of people carry a pen with them at all times. Furthermore, 89% of consumers own a promotional pen. About 20% of them actually own 10 promotional pens!
  • Promotional pens are kept for about nine months, mostly because of their quality, but also for their practicality and a little because of the way they look.
  • Each of the 3000 impressions received over that nine months costs you less than a tenth of a cent. Talk about cost-effective!
  • In a study conducted in Belgium last year, researchers found that participants using an unfamiliar brand’s promotional pen subconsciously looked more favourably on that brand when they next encountered it. They only discovered notable numbers when the brand was unfamiliar. From this we can surmise that as a first point of contact, a branded pen is great for brand awareness and getting a foot in a new client’s door.

They’re proven to work, then, but which ones are best pens for small business? Here are the most common types.

Plastic

Plastic pens are the most simple and cost-effective of all pen types. They’re made, bought and shipped in bulk. They’ll have blue or black ink with a one or two-colour print on the side or clip. For you, they’d be great for intra-office use. Stock your workspace with these bad boys and you won’t need to worry for a while.

A survey taken by PaperMate gave some great insight into workplace pens. More specifically, why they go missing!

While we have all accidently stolen a pen from work, one in five employees surveyed admitted to stealing a pen on purpose. Half of these workplace thefts occurred because they could not resist the way the pen wrote – smooth and effortless, are the words used in the study. The next 36% of pilferings were blamed on how the pen looked. The remaining percentage of thefts were attributed to the outside colour of the pen. It seems a good office pen is very in demand. All the more reason to have your brand on it when it goes walkies.

Plastic pens are also great for expos, trade shows or any type of event where you’re giving something practical to people walking by. You don’t feel bad about giving them away because you know they’re great at building brand awareness, and you’ve hopefully still got boxes of them back at the office.

Metal

Metal pens are also good for expos. Their extra weight and ‘shininess’ give your brand a boost. They feel expensive and so feel like they’re worth more to the person you’re giving them to. While their dollar value is a little bit more than plastic, basic metal pens are still very reasonably priced.

For the more discerning small-business owner, you may like to explore the moderately priced pens. With a bit more heft and possibly a well-known manufacturer, you could have an effective corporate gift or ‘accidental’ giveaway.

We now know that a lot of pretty pens are pilfered on purpose. Promotional or plain, they are perpetually parted from their purchaser. However, pens are also often left behind by accident. Whether on a counter after signing out or under a clipboard clip somewhere. If a giveaway is too much or looks too desperate for you – try intentionally, accidentally leaving a pen. No one will mind, they’ve all done it too…by accident.

For those who would like to stand on ceremony and present a pen as a corporate or employee gift, there are designer, pen-maker-brand pens available for customisation. Fountain, Cross, Waterman, Parker, Balmain and Balenciaga – any you like. The name alone carries weight, then put your company name next to it and it definitely says something. In fewer volumes, these types of staff awards and corporate gifts are well within your reach. The practicality of such a gift combined with the power of the pen as a promotional product is an effective marketing move.

Other materials

We live in a day when plastic and metal are not our only options when it comes to writing implement. Evolved from quills and reeds in the olden days – to pens made from recycled cardboard, cork, wood, bamboo and wheat today. Ethically and responsibly sourced materials like these are fantastic, environmentally friendly alternatives. Their natural and sustainable source means that they have a smaller impact on the environment when they’re manufactured. They will also leave less of a footprint when they are no longer in use as they break down in landfill.

Manufacturers around the world are innovating production methods to include practices that are better for the environment. One in Turkey has developed a bioplastic that dissolves in landfill within three years. They also use recycled waste plastics in their pens. This increases the plastic’s lifespan and lessens its impact. Furthermore, this manufacturer donates a portion of profits from their recycled plastic pens to marine and habitat conservation foundations.

There is so much variety in the promotional pen game. Like bottles and bags (add blog links) each are suited for the many purposes you put them to. They’re more than just something to write with. A promotional pen can help you make a sale or widen your marketing reach. At the very least, it’s an attractive, smooth-writing implement that a co-worker envies enough to pinch while you’re not looking.

A successful event can be attributed to many different factors.

WHAT MAKES A SUCCESSFUL EVENT? – 6 tips to boost your expo experience

A successful event can be attributed to many different factors.

Trade shows and expos are an investment. All elements of being an exhibitor will cost you; the booth space, man hours, booth display and swag. You put all this time and money into being there and standing out so that you can walk away at the end of the day with a bucket-load of new leads, opportunities and sales. Is that all there is to a successful event?

Maybe it’s a little more involved than ticking all the boxes and waiting for all the right people to give you their business. The amount of planning and preparation that goes into exhibiting at a trade show will determine your success. Below are six tips to give your tradeshow experience a boost.

1.Manage your calendar

Expo dates can be known months and even years in advance. There’s no reason for an event to sneak up on you. When you know your events calendar you can plan ahead and get everything you need ready. You can get a well trafficked spot, the right staff available and the exact promotional products you want without the stress of a tight deadline.

Also, when you know what you’re doing when, you can plan your product launches, rebrands and special promotions to coincide with your attendance at a trade show. The excitement you feel for something new happening in your business will affect the people around you. They’ll get excited too!

2.Organise your people

You want your best people with you when you’re exhibiting. The sales personnel who draw people to them, who build rapport easily and aren’t afraid to ask for the sale will get the most out of your expo attendance. You’re a team, work together and play to each other’s strengths. If you have a specialist with you, pass the specialist questions to them and get your ‘crowd-pleaser’ to draw in the leads, while your executive takes pre-booked appointments.

You can keep your team on the same page by briefing before the show opens and debriefing at the end of each day. It’s good to discuss the team’s expectations and strategy to keep efforts in sync. Then talk about your wins and losses so you can gauge your success later on.

3.Look the part

We’re not talking about the sales team here, although appropriate apparel and uniforms are important. Booth design is big business now. Gone are the days when a picnic table and a marquee was all you needed to draw a crowd. Today’s booths can be a mix of a coffee shop, office space and shop-front.

The consensus among the experts is that your expo space should encourage your visitors to linger. Keep them comfortable and engaged while they’re waiting to speak to one of the team. It could be treats and a comfy couch or a product demo and multi-media. Having an inviting and engaging booth will absolutely contribute to a successful event.

4.Get creative merchandise

The swag is a big draw for those attending trade shows. Samples and catalogues are great, but so are the things they can use right away. Things like notepads, pens and shirts are a sensible start. However, there are so many options out there that can be tailored to your business or the specific event to extend your reach and help you stand out from the other exhibitors.

Think about the people you want to remember you. What do they need? What do they use every day that could have your information on it? Do they share a common problem that you could solve with one piece of branded merchandise? It’s possible, just get creative.

5.Take the right details

In order to capture the great leads, you need to get the right information. Not just contact details – anyone can give or take a business card. You want to know the problem your leads are tackling, the best time to call them, their current solution/your competition. These details will help you to follow up effectively, with answers ready for their further questions.

Take notes. After a day or two, or three, of talking to prospective customers, all day, it will be difficult to remember who said what. If you make a physical or digital note, you’ll be able to put the conversation to the name.

6.Follow up

Contact your leads within 48 hours of the end of the show. If you can’t get to all the names yourself, that’s great! But delegate. Follow up your leads using your detailed notes. You may remember them, but they may not remember you and vice versa. Mention a key point you discussed to help remind them. People like to be remembered too. Knowing you paid attention during the conversation you shared will help build that rapport and endear yourself to your new client.

You and your company invest time, effort and budget into attending trade shows and expos. It’s easy to feel lost in the crowds once you get there, however you can make it incredibly rewarding. By incorporating the six points mentioned above to your expo preparations, you’ll guarantee a successful event.

Power banks often use lithium batteries as a power source.

Don’t be shocked – Regulations for lithium ion batteries

Power banks often use lithium batteries as a power source.

Power banks and wireless phone chargers are a fantastic promotional product. They’re versatile, easily customised and so useful to your clients and potential customers. Mostly they are powered by a lithium ion (Li on) battery, between 1,000mA and 10,000mA. To help make sure that we receive quality products, the compliance standard for lithium ion batteries is high.  There are a lot of rules and regulations regarding their transport as well, because they are classified as dangerous goods when in transit.

Below is all you need to know regarding the labelling and transport regulations governing lithium ion batteries.

Why are they so regulated?

The compliance rules surrounding promotional battery packs are outlined in the Radiocommunications Labelling (Electromagnetic Compatibility) Notice 2017. We’ll call it the EMC LN.

The point of the EMC LN is to keep interference from poorly-shielded and low quality electrical devices to a minimum. These devices create ‘noise’ or static as they send and receive signals. It’s the fuzzy radio interruption or buzzing and beeping that occurs as our electronics speak to and around each other on various frequencies.

Compliance and Risk Levels

There are three levels of risk and compliance that EMC LN regulated products fall into. Each level dictates what documentation, testing and standards the supplier has to meet to be able to supply their product in Australia.

Compliance Level 1 includes low-risk devices where the battery is housed internally and must be removed for charging. Think products like battery powered toys and pocket calculators. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), where the regulations are found, gives some specific guidance regarding lithium ion battery packs. They state that if the power pack used to re-charge devices has only the battery and ‘no other electronic circuitry’ it is classified as level 1 and low-risk.

Compliance level 2, or medium-risk devices, include laptops, TVs, printers, game consoles and phone chargers, among others. Lithium ion batteries that include electronic circuitry (to control charging, for example) are considered medium-risk devices.

Compliance level 3 products are high-risk and designed to ‘intentionally generate radio-frequency (RF) energy and/or use electromagnetic radiation to treat material’. These are high-risk products and so require stricter compliance rules.

Documentation and Labelling

Lithium ion batteries, along with the other devices covered by the EMC LN must be labelled with the Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM) unless they are low-risk. To receive the mark, the supplier has to be registered as a ‘responsible supplier’ and hold the following for each product: a report of mandatory testing, a Declaration of Conformity and an EMC label. The RCM is essential for a product to be supplied in Australia. Overseas compliance marks are not automatically valid.

All of these conditions help keep our radio-communication frequencies clear of ‘noise’. Devices free of interruption and crossed signals function properly and save us frustration. These conditions also weed out the sub-par products from ‘irresponsible’ suppliers that may malfunction, which as you’ll read below, is a big deal.

Lithium Ion Batteries in Transit

Lithium ion batteries are considered dangerous goods in transit because they have the potential to overheat, catch fire or explode. Battery fires are hard to extinguish and the fumes are toxic. This is bad in and of itself, but if you’re transporting a whole shipment of batteries, the damage done can be enormous.

There are a few different catalysts that could cause battery ignition, including:

  • Puncture
  • Short circuit
  • Overheating
  • Overcharging
  • Cell malfunction
  • Faulty manufacturing

To best control the risk of a shipment of lithium ion batteries going up in flames, and taking with them anything in their vicinity, the Australian government have labelled them Class 9 Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods. With this label comes strict rules about the way they are transported.

To be shipped throughout the country, lithium ion batteries have to be protected to prevent any of the applicable catalysts above. Firstly, they cannot be packed with conductive materials. Then, unless installed in their own equipment, packaging must completely enclose each individual battery. It must have ‘strong outer packaging’ that meets the requirements of the Australian Dangerous Goods Code of Practice (ADG). And finally, lithium ion batteries must be packed in cartons weighing less than 30kg. These must be able to withstand falls of 1.2m without damage to the product or contents spillage.

Recalls

Responsible suppliers should manufacture their lithium ion batteries in clean rooms. This stops tiny metallic particles from coming into contact with the battery cells. These particles can cause short circuits, resulting in overheating and subsequent battery fires. As with other products, sub-standard internal parts will also cause malfunctions- only with batteries, the parts can be microscopic.

When a supplier becomes aware that a product is faulty or unsafe, they can issue a voluntary recall of that product. If they do not, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will recommend that the relevant Commonwealth Minister issues the recall to protect people who have bought the product.

A recall involves; stopping the supply of the product, notifying the appropriate authority, warning the public of the issues with the product and then offering a fix, replacement or refund.

It’s a lot of big words and acronyms, but these regulations help to ensure that we receive quality products that are safe for use. Even though they’re promotional products, our power banks and wireless phone chargers are bound by the same regulations as those supplied in stores. Our strong relationships with local and international suppliers ensures that quality and workmanship are of the highest standard. Impact are passionate about providing high-quality products that set your brand apart.

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There is a strong link between employee gifts and staff engagement. Useful and tech items are great employee gift ideas.

Employee Gifts and Staff Engagement – The statistics to back up corporate gifting

There is a strong link between employee gifts and staff engagement. Useful and tech items are great employee gift ideas.

You know that promotional products aren’t only for external marketing. A recent study by the PPAI (Promotional Product Association International) has reported that US brands are spending $4.3 billion on employee relations and gift-type products. They recognise the link between employee gifts and staff engagement. They’re betting big money on it. If you want your workforce to work harder for you, one thing you can do is show appreciation through corporate gifting!

Promotional products and the younger workforce

According to the 2019 Deloitte Millennial Survey, those born between 1980 and 2000 make up 40% of Australia’s current workforce. So either you are one or you’ve got one on your team. This generation has developed great flexibility when it comes to education, technology and employment. Therefore they are accustomed to fast-paced developments and great leaps in accepted knowledge and understanding.

The millennial age group is more aware of global issues as a result of being constantly connected to media. The never-ending stream of biased messaging and advertisement has fostered distrust towards government and business motives. Of the most commonly used advertising channels, print, is the least effective when trying to capture the millennial consumer. Promotional products are the most effective. The statistic for this is impressive – 88% of surveyed millennials would be more likely to do business with a company from whom they received a promotional product.

Studies have shown that almost every single millennial has received a promotional product in their life – approximately 30% have received between one and five promotional products in the last six months.

So why does promotional product marketing do so well with this demographic?

Effective branded merchandise will fit seamlessly into the life of the one who receives it. We’ve all gotten busier in recent years, so nothing should need to stop for an effective advertisement to be seen. The PPAI’s consumer study reported that 86% of millennials will keep a product they deem practical. Furthermore, 48% will hold onto a product that suits their personal style or personality and 31% will keep it if it carries a personally relevant message.

Standing out in an ever increasing and connected population is difficult. So if an individual is gifted something that speaks to their personality and helps them express their individuality, they’re sure to incorporate it into their lives.

Promotional products and employee engagement

Referencing the overall workforce, promotional products are also extremely effective for internal branding. If you’ve read our article about successful internal marketing, you’ll know that consistent messaging is vital. So vital, in fact, that 98% of employees have greater confidence in their employers when external and internal marketing are in sync.

In our first paragraph we stated that $4.3 billion is spent on employee relations and gift-type products. In 2017, the largest percentage of promotional products sold were used for employee relations at 18.5%. Business gifts were third, at 12.7%. That sum and consistent investment in internal promotions must indicate some correlation between employee gifts and staff engagement.

Deloitte found that as trust in business leaders diminishes, trust in employees grows. Employers are therefore trying to strengthen employee engagement and brand advocacy. Their aim is to let the genuine enthusiasm of their workforce do the talking. The PPAI’s study into the role of promotional products in the US workforce reported that companies with engaged employees out perform those without. The margin is 200%, saving $550 billion in lost productivity. Employee engagement can stem from staff knowing they are appreciated.

Demonstrating to your staff that they matter and that the work they do is valuable will be reflected in their future efforts. It will also show in the way they represent your company out-of-hours. The majority of employees (90%) are proud to represent their company publicly, so there’s no need to be shy about the merchandise you provide them with. However, the products with which you gift your employees should be thoughtful. As stated earlier, the more practical and relevant they are to your staff, the more use they will get and the more integrated your brand will become in their lives. Logically, the more staff are instinctively on-brand, the better they represent company values and are able to build your clients’ trust.

Showing you value their work and contributions to your business through corporate gifting is an effective way to retain great staff. PPAI found that 57% of the US workforce would stay with a company that provide promotional products to their employees. This figure is even more significant when considering the 1980 – 2000 age group. Millennials, who make up a significant portion of the workforce, are shown to only stay with a company for two to five years before moving on to a different opportunity. Staff retention and engagement then, is shown to be improved with corporate gifting.

There’s no need to be stuck for ideas. Below are some of the best employee gifts for staff engagement. All are able to be branded and personalized using the various decoration methods available. Contacts us for more ‘out-of-the-box’ ideas.

Employee Gift Ideas

  • Glass drink bottle
  • Desk puzzle
  • Lap top or conference bag
  • Waterman pen in presentation box
  • Smart drink bottle
  • Moleskine notebook
  • Stainless steel vacuum coffee cup
  • Phone grip and dash clip
  • Custom shape power bank
  • Wireless charging phone dock with Bluetooth speaker

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delivery guys carry our products across the country and the world

Which couriers do you use? Impact’s go-to delivery guys

delivery guys carry our products across the country and the world

Over the years, we’ve gotten to know our couriers pretty well. We know who to pick to get your products to you on time and in good shape. We’ve got a few go-to delivery guys and we want to share why we pick them to carry your precious cargo to your door.

In our industry, we’re always organizing boxes to be carried across the country and around the world. They are inbound and outbound from our warehouse as well as direct from our factories to our clients. Often, our delivery guys will carry samples across the country for you to see and feel before you make a decision about a product.

Which of our favourites takes what delivery is mostly determined by the destination. Though the value of the product also comes into play. We know which carrier will take a large shipment across the country, or who will best handle a quick trip across town. We also can assess whether the cost of the courier is justified by the reliability and speed we require for a particular job.

This is what we’ve found from our thousands of interactions with couriers.

Booking and Tracking

Ease of tracking and booking is as important for you as it is for us. We appreciate an easily navigable booking screen and a simple link to click for tracking our shipment. What we’ve found is that Jet Couriers is very simple to book, as it does not require the level of detail others may ask for.

TNT has some very useful tracking capabilities, such as shareable links specific to your booking, and subscriptions to tracking alerts sent right to your phone through TNT SMS tracking.

Australia Post’s Star Track also makes it easy to follow the progress of a delivery with their Track and Trace tool.

We also have great relationships with numerous local and small operators who go the extra mile to help us out. These contacts excel in their customer service and satisfaction and they’re invaluable in a pinch.

Reliability

Our delivery guys have to be reliable. We have to be able to depend on them to have your products to you in time for that big event or marketing deadline. Throughout our experience with them, TNT have proven their reliability. It makes sense too. They’re a big company with tight and efficient systems, and a reputation to maintain.

A late delivery is not always the carrier’s fault. Issues all along the production process can cause delays. However, our favourite couriers will smooth out those deadline stresses instead of adding to them by offering accurate and frequent tracking updates.

Speed

Based on the fact that we’re often asked ‘when will my products arrive?’ we know that swiftness of delivery is important to our clients. And of course we know who will get your products to you the quickest. Whether it’s across town, through the centre of the city or from one end of the country to the other, speed is frequently a deciding factor when we choose a courier.

TNT is quick service for longer haul deliveries, state to state. However, across the city or from one town to the next, Jet Couriers is a favourite. They can pick up at short notice and whizz across in a flash.

All this is great but there are things that can trip our guys up. For example, delivery directly to an event can cause an issue as the driver will require special access passes. Delivery to inner city offices can sometime be a hiccup as getting 20 cartons up 20 stories might be more than one driver can handle. Still, we trust our couriers to deliver the goods, your goods; quickly and reliably. Couriers are an essential part of our business and we appreciate the many kilometres they put in for us.

Which couriers do you prefer and why? Let us know in the comments.

The perfect bottle for every event or promotion

The Greatest Gulp – How to choose the perfect bottle

The perfect bottle for every event or promotion

The drink bottle is a promotional product classic. It’s versatile, inexpensive, practical and offers a good-sized print area. There are literally thousands of drink bottle designs to choose from. Then you move away from plastic and there opens up another few thousand designs in glass, aluminium and stainless steel. So how do you choose the perfect bottle for your needs? Do you close your eyes and point? Do you scroll or flip through pages and pages of product catalogues? Or do you procrastinate in the hopes that inspiration will spring upon you at the last minute?

We hope this article will give you a better idea of what you’re looking for, by discovering more about what you really want. If we can narrow down your choices, you’ve a better chance of finding the perfect bottle for your next promotional product campaign.

Plastic Fantastic

Like we said, plastic promotional drink bottle types exist in their thousands. You’ve probably received numerous just by living your life. They could have come from your school, bank, utilities supplier. You’d like to add one to your own promotional products bank. So, which one is the one.

Well, what do you need it for?

A sports bottle is the perfect option if you’re sponsoring a fun run or know that your demographic are particularly active. Sports bottles are usually 600ml and have a wide twist lid with a pop top or flip spout. They’ve got the ideal diameter to slide into the side pocket of a backpack or sports bag and will fit easily in one hand.

For general promotional use, you want your bottle to appeal to a wide range of people. Consider Tritan bottles. This kind of plastic has glass-like transparency but is impact resistant, so won’t shatter if dropped. It is also BPA free and light-weight.

Alternatively, tap into the environmentally conscious mind with the first biodegradable, BPA free, plastic drink bottle made in Australia.

Sleek and Stylish

If you’re thinking of a corporate gift or business event memento rather than a general purpose giveaway, perhaps a more streamlined drink bottle is the right one for you.

Aluminium and stainless steel vacuum bottles are very ‘in’ at the moment. Their sleek silhouette makes for a modern and unobtrusive desk accessory. They’re most often shaped like a long teardrop with a small screw-on lid. They can be powder-coated in matte or gloss for bright, lasting colour and engraved for sophisticated, long-lasting branding.

Vacuum bottles are called such in reference to air being removed from the space between the inner and outer walls. This allows less heat to escape or penetrate the liquids inside, thus keeping it hot/cold for longer.

If you’re looking for something a little softer, why not go for glass? Contemporary glass drink bottles are made from borosilicate glass that will not crack or shatter in extreme temperatures. They look great etched. Top it with a screw-on bamboo lid engraved with your logo, it could be the drink bottle of your (or better still, your client’s) dreams.

Earth Friendly

The perfect bottle for those who are passionate about protecting the environment and resource sustainability? One that is reusable. Single use plastic is not limited to light-weight shopping bags.  In 2016, Clean Up Australia reported that volunteers removed 32,294 plastic bottles, bottle caps and lids were removed from the environment. One person with a reliable, reusable drink bottle saves approximately 170 single-use drink bottles from entering landfill and the environment every year.

Aluminium and stainless steel bottles are extremely durable. Well-used metal bottles can be seen from a long way away, their colour scratched and the sides dented. They are the choice of people who know they’ll be using that bottle for years. They’ll bring it along on any adventure because it can take a beating. No matter what kind it is though, reusing a drink bottle is a matter of habit. The longer it is reused, the better it is for the environment.

Though there are so many to choose from, the perfect bottle for your brand and your message exists. Now you have a better idea about what you may be looking for, go and explore the wonderful possibilities. We know you’ll find the one you’re looking for.

If you want to know how to pick the right product, what’s trending or what would work best for B2B, check out our other blogs.

Co-Branding is an effective Promotional Product Strategy. It says 'I'm with this guy!'

Co-Branding – The ‘I’m with them’ Promotional Product Strategy

Co-Branding is an effective Promotional Product Strategy. It says 'I'm with this guy!'

We love a good mash-up – when the great parts of our favourite things combine into something magical. When you nail a cross-over people will talk about it.  Co-branding is one strategy that works so well for starting conversation. So, when you’re thinking about your promotional product strategy, why not consider partnering up? Give your audience the best of both worlds.

‘I’m with them!’

Brand Awareness

Co-Branding is tapping into the best bits of a brand to strengthen your own. Aligning your company to another, more popular organisation can really elevate yours. Ideally, you’ll have similar target markets. This lifts your brand awareness among the people you should be doing business with. Or, if you are looking to break into a market that is slightly outside your usual, the endorsement of your co-brand can smooth the way.

Industry Credibility

An affiliation builds your credibility to match your partner’s as clients or potential customers see your companies as equals. Raising your profile within your industry can then result in further beneficial partnerships and collaborations. You will also set your brand apart from competitors, establishing yourself as an industry leader through the B2B relationships you build.

Company Values

Your brand will be saying ‘I’m with them’ in terms of company values. Aligning with a brand that is clear about what they value and their stance on social issues can change the way your company is viewed. A strategic affiliation can shift the opinions of an entirely different demographic in your favour.

The beauty of co-branding or strategic affiliation, is that your potential clients get a whole lot of information about you and your brand because they already know your affiliate. They can guess your values and priorities, your industry standing and your objectives by the fact that you’re working together with a brand that they know those things about. That being said, the partnership has to make some sense.

One of the longest continuous co-branding partnerships that we’ve found is the Dr. Pepper/Bonne Belle Lip Smacker lip balm. The soft-drink brand lent the taste of their product to the cosmetic brand in 1973 to create a product that is still being sold today. While the two seem like quite different companies, their target markets are the same and their products are highly compatible. The result is a logical collaboration of the two brands into a single product that has been popular for almost 50 years.

A promotional product strategy

Most commonly, co-branding happens as a promotional product strategy for one-off sponsored events. Companies will collaborate on their promotional products to distribute them at sports games and community events. Brands may also come together on singular occasions to commemorate an industry event for their shared client base.

A more subtle, and possibly more powerful, way of co-branding is branding “big-brand” products. But what on earth does that mean?

It means putting your logo on a product that is made by a big-brand, rather than putting your logo on a product next to a big-brand. An example of this kind of co-branding would be your logo on a KeepCup. It is a perfect fit if you want to project your brand’s stance on environmental responsibility to clients or potential customers. Alternatively, if you were trying to raise your brand awareness and industry standing in the rural community, you may use Akubra products in your company’s apparel or as branded merchandise.

Leveraging a product that is well-known and respected in your target market will immediately raise the perceived value. Consumers will keep and interact with the product for longer, resulting in many more impressions. The chances of them considering your brand for their next purchase or service needs will also increase. You can read more about perceived value and impressions in our Cost vs Value post.

Keep it appropriate

The right “big-brand” product will give your own brand credibility within your target market in the same way that conventional co-branding does. Seeing your employees in Calvin Klein company shirts speaks volumes to clients when out on sales-calls.

As previously though, the partnership has to make sense. The product must reflect your brand or the message you are trying to portray. If the match is wrong, you could lose the message and the credibility you were trying to attain, and then some. A confused client is not too motivated to buy.

Even the daddy of all big-brands is not immune to a dud co-branded product. Coca-Cola teamed with OPI nail polish in 2014 to create a collection based on Coca-Cola brands and flavours. This collaboration could have made sense if the polish was scented. Or even intended only to cash in on the signature Coke-red colour. Instead, it featured, among others; a silver for Diet Coke, a deep green for Sprite and a baby pink that even they couldn’t explain on their website.

Due to Coca-Cola’s behemoth status, it didn’t lose out on this misadventure. However, it has left a lot of people thinking, ‘huh?’

If you’d like to give your brand a boost, consider adding co-branding to your promotional product strategy. Partner up with someone that will raise your profile and strengthen your stance on issues you feel passionate about. The key is to know your target market, have a clear message and choose a brand or product that makes sense.

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Which bag is better for our environment

Paper, Natural Fibre Or Non-Woven Bags – Which Is Better For Our Environment?


Which bag is better for our environment

Countries around the world have joined the effort to curb plastic use, especially single-use plastic bags. Most Australian states have implemented the plastic bag ban, which has resulted in billions of light-weight plastic bags being kept from landfill and polluting the environment. Upwards of 5000 tonnes of the problematic plastics have been saved by one grocery chain alone.

With these bags out of action, the humble tote bag has risen significantly in the promotional product space. Companies have recognised the need for durable and reusable bags, but have been torn between a traditional paper bag, a natural fibre bag made from cotton, jute or bamboo, or a hardy non-woven polypropylene bag.

So which is better?

Paper

Since the plastic bag ban, many have demanded we return to the way things were done in the past. The image springs to mind of a shopper coming home with their arms filled with paper grocery bags, a baguette sticking out of one and celery out of another.

Modern consumers have questioned the durability of these bags however, acknowledging how a blowout would send those groceries all across the floor. Luckily, paper bags aren’t all flimsy and handle-less. Today’s promotional paper bags are made of tough, 120gsm+ kraft paper with flat or twisted paper, or rope handles.

In terms of the environment, we all know how paper is made; from raw wood, pulped and pressed. Because of their natural source, paper bags are easily recycled and break down quickly in landfill. However, the production process requires water and energy, more water and energy than plastic. Paper bags are also weightier than plastic and so require more energy to transport.

The production of paper bags, even if the wood is sourced responsibly, has a greater environmental impact than plastic. However, paper bags do not threaten the environment when they are discarded.

Natural Fibre

Cotton, jute and bamboo bags are the next favourite plastic alternative for the same reason as paper bags. They’re made from natural, responsibly sourced fibre that is biodegradable. A natural fibre bag is easily washable and will hold just as much, if not more than the single-use plastic bags of the past. It has been said that they can hold upwards of 10kgs!

Between cotton, jute and bamboo, cotton is the least environmentally friendly because of the water and pesticides used in its production. Reports state that to neutralise its environmental footprint, a cotton tote bag would need to be used 7,100 times.

Jute is the unrefined version of hessian and is known as the ‘Golden Fibre.’ It requires very little water, pesticides and land for its production. Its long and strong fibres means a jute tote bag will outlast others, decreasing its footprint further with each use.

Because bamboo is a fast-growing plant, it is an easily sustainable resource, perfect for consumable products like bags. Like jute, bamboo is naturally bacteria resistant and does not require pesticides in its production. It also uses very little water to grow.

Non-Woven

A non-woven bag is made from polypropylene and, because it is not woven, has the same feel as a canvas bag. These are the green and red bags available at grocery stores for 99 cents. Non-woven bags can be made from recycled plastic, but need to be reused 11 times to nullify the emissions produced by their manufacture.

Non-woven bags are machine-washable and durable but almost all will take over 1,000 years to breakdown in landfill. The good news is, there is now an independently tested, biodegradable non-woven bag available that is chemically treated during the manufacturing process to become *biodegradable in microbe rich municipal landfills (*ASTMD5511). You can access the test and results here https://www.astm.org/Standards/D5511.htm.

So Which Is Better For The Environment?

This is a question that has been asked since well before the plastic bag bans. Concern for the Earth has turned consumer focus to the way they use plastic and its effects on the environment.

While natural products seem the logical choice for ‘most environmentally friendly’, they aren’t always. The resources used in growing and the manufacture of natural products can have more of an impact that those needed for the non-woven polypropylene. However, in terms of what we leave behind, natural products will degrade once discarded, while plastics can be recycled but will not breakdown in our lifetime.

To choose which bag is best, you have to decide what your priority is. Is it reducing your carbon footprint? Or is it protecting our ecosystems and wildlife?

If you have any reducing, reusing or recycling tips, please share by commenting below.

Promotional Products Prints

How Are Promotional Products Printed? The Top 5 Ways and Their Pros and Cons


Promotional Products Prints

If you’ve ever wondered how a logo is printed on a mug or a bag, look no further. Unsurprisingly, there are lots of ways to print a design. Each type gives your product a different look and feel. The availability of some printing methods are dependent on the shape or texture of the product. For others, the decision is made by the detail of the logo. Below, we discuss five ways your logo can be printed onto promotional products and the advantages and drawbacks of each one.

Pad Printing

In pad printing, a silicon pad is pressed onto an inked plate that has been etched with your design. The plate is called a cliché. The now inked pad is then pressed onto the product, transferring the image from the plate to the product like a stamp.

Pros: It’s a simple method, but gives quality, detailed results on textured and complex three-dimensional surfaces.

Cons: For multi-coloured prints, each colour must be applied separately, slowing the process. Pad printing is also messy and requires harsh chemicals to clean the pad between colours and jobs.

Screen Printing

Screen printing is often used for large, flat surfaces like fabric or signage. A stencil of your design is fastened to the screen and ink is forced through it with a blade or squeegee onto the product. Each colour is applied individually and uses a new screen for results like Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe prints.

Pros: Screen printing is useful for quick printing on large areas.

Cons: Set up and cleaning can be time-consuming. Also, ink can be transferred from product to product and a detailed design is difficult to achieve.

Sublimation Printing

Sublimation printing is a way of transferring a digitally printed image on to a product. Your design is printed onto special sublimation paper, it is aligned to your product and they are put through a heat press. Within the heat press the dye on the sublimation paper becomes a gas and embeds itself in the product.

Pros: A full spectrum of colour is possible with sublimation printing without the need to change screens, plates or pads. Because there is no need for screens, plates or pads, it’s also great for variable data printing. Prints are durable because the dye becomes a part of the fabric rather than sitting on top.

Cons: Sublimation dye is expensive and will only show well on white or light-coloured products. Only polyester or hard, poly-coated products can withstand the heat needed for sublimation printing, limiting your product choices.

Heat Transfer

Heat transfer printing is similar to sublimation in that it uses transfer paper, heat and pressure to print your design onto your product. However, unlike sublimation, a heat transferred design will only fuse to the external layer of your product.

Pros: In the digital age, heat transfer printing can be done at home with transfer paper and an iron. It is a very simple method. Your designs can be printed on light or dark-coloured materials (polyester, cotton or a blend) and it will not affect the final colours of the print.

Cons: The transfer paper must be trimmed before being pressed onto the product. This can be time-consuming but it prevents an unsightly border of transfer around your design. They can also crack and peel over time because they sit on top of the product.

Digital Printing

Digital printing on promotional products happens in much the same way as your printer at home, except bigger. The products are placed on a tray that carries them through the printer. Inkjets transfer the ink on to the products, they are dried and emerge printed with your design.

Pros: Allows full colour printing with gradients from a common image file like PDF or TIFF. Set up time is reduced and only one pass is needed to print the entire image.

Cons: The nature of digital printing means that PMS colours cannot always be matched. Metallic and fluorescent colours are also not possible. Compared to other forms of printing, digital prints can sometimes be less vibrant or precise.

In Conclusion

As well as those mentioned, there also a number of other specialised printing methods. Each one has its strengths and luckily, in our technologically advancing world, all of them are available for your promotional products. You can be assured that whatever your job is, the most suitable printing method will be chosen to make it the best it can possibly be.

We hope this article answered any questions you had about how branded merchandise is printed. If you have any other questions, comment below or send us an email.

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