Tritan bottles against usual plastic bottle background

What is Tritan? And how does it compare to other plastics?

Tritan bottles against usual plastic bottle background

Plastics are hard to get away from. The truth of it is that plastic is an inexpensive product that is often more durable than the ‘environmentally friendly’ counterparts. Plastic makes your life easier, and when it’s reused and recycled, it’s even better.

There are many kinds of plastic, fit for different purposes. One of the most celebrated, is Tritan. You might have seen the name about but have not realised that it is actually a type of plastic.

The Eastman Group intorduce Tritan as an alternative to BPA plastics in 2008. Since then, it has grown to be a popular plastic for drink bottles and other kitchenware. It boasts many great qualities. How does Tritan compare to other plastics available, though? Is a Tritan drink bottle really better than any other? We’ve done the research to make sure you have all the information you need to decide if Tritan is the plastic for you.

This is what we’ve found.

What is Tritan?

Tritan is a copolyester. That means that a combination of diacids and diols (acids and chemicals) have been added to the base plastic. These additions lend their own properties to make the new material strong, clear and resistant to heat and chemical degradation.

Thanks to its strength and clarity, and other attributes listed below, Tritan is a favourite material for food and beverage containers. It is available globally and, in the world of promotional products, we see it most in the form of drink bottles.

According to Eastman, “while it has the looks and clarity of glass, [Tritan] won’t break when you drop it or toss it in the bottom of your backpack. It can take all the bumps and drops of daily life and even survive some of the not-so-typical stresses.” They say it will survive hiking trips and “even a few really long falls.”

Third-party and laboratory testing back these claims. Therefore, you can be confident that whatever your activity, a Tritan drink bottle will take whatever you throw at it.

What are Tritan’s Competitors?

Polycarbonate (PC) and Styrene Acrylonitrile (SAN) are Tritan’s main competitors. Popular in tableware, both PC and SAN are see-through, rigid plastics. They are glass alternatives that are cheaper, lighter and more heat resistant – better suited to the frequent and hard use of restaurants as re-usable drinkware.

PC is known for its tough but clear structure. It is commonly used for glasses lenses, machinery guards and LED light pipes. Manufacturers favour PC for its versatility and especially, its flexibility. It is easily shaped, even at room temperature, without cracking or breaking. Testing has proven that Polycarbonate is eight times stronger that PET and four times stronger than acrylic. It can be made to be literally bullet proof!

SAN was developed in the 1950s. You may have seen some of its early forms in the back of your grandmother’s kitchen cupboards in the form of food containers. It has impressive heat and solvent resistance, perfect for leftovers and washing up. Today, it is used in just about anything – from printer casings and cosmetics packaging to pens and insulated cups and bottles. In the promotional product industry, SAN takes colour exceptionally well and produces a crisp, durable print.

 

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) and Polypropylene (PP) are other common plastics. They are inexpensive and lightweight, great for bottles and consumer goods. PET is a preferred plastic because of its food safety and recyclability. As a polyester, PET is easily recycled into clothes and headwear. You can enquire about Impact’s recycled PET apparel here.

PP is also recyclable, though not through curbside pickup. Its primary benefits are based in its impact and moisture resistance. PP is also used to make film for confectionery wrapping and clothing (known as polybags).

 

So, what makes Tritan stand out from these other types of plastic?

Tritan is BPA Free

What does that mean? What is BPA?

Bisphenol A (or BPA) is chemical used in plastics and resins to protect surfaces from deterioration. The issue with BPA starts when it seeps into food and drinks stored in BPA-coated containers. Rigorous testing has found that BPA can affect the brain and prostate health of fetuses, infants and children.

However, global health authorities report that there is no significant danger at the level to which we are commonly exposed. Still, the Australian government has been phasing out the use of BPA in baby products since 2010.

Polycarbonate is not BPA free.

Tritan is Strong

Tritan is impact, heat and chemical resistant. As such, it has exceptional dishwasher durability. That’s important for your employees or clients who will be using your branded Tritan products regularly.

According to the Plastics Technology Magazine:

“Testing revealed that under a 1% strain, PC often breaks after two to three dishwashing cycles in a residential dishwasher using a common household detergent. Under the same conditions, Tritan endures more than 250 cycles with no sign of crazing or breakage.”

Recent improvements to Tritan have increased that number to over one thousand cycles.

SAN matches Tritan in the dishwasher durability test, lasting for over one thousand cycles, as well. However, SAN (and PC) is prone to scratches and is not impact resistant. It is known to crack when dropped on a hard surface. While this is fine for tableware that is handled carefully, drink bottles are prone to knocking and dropping during activity.

SAN also loses out in the next category.

Tritan Has Crystal Clarity

As a substitute for glass, Tritan must be clear. While other plastics may discolour or turn murky after washes and use, Tritan boasts lasting clarity with ‘outstanding gloss.’ What makes Tritan so clear is the amount of light that can pass and reflect through it. This creates a crystal-like brilliance. Comparatively, both PC and SAN have been known to become cloudy over time and can stain.

Tritan is also odor and taste resistant, so your clients’ water won’t taste weird after a couple of weeks.

When you’re next looking for plastic drink bottles will Tritan be on your ‘must have’ list? Stronger than glass, better for your health and beautifully clear. Tritan makes a durable, attractive and easily branded product that will carry your brand well for years to come.

 

Contact our team and ask about what Tritan products we have available.

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Calico and canvas

What’s the Difference Between Calico and Canvas? and Other Common Cotton Questions.

Calico and canvas

Cotton is cotton. But it’s also brushed and twill, and denim and calico. When cotton fibre is woven into fabric it is used to make everything from clothes and accessories to bedding and towels. Such versatility means that there are many names for the cotton end product. In the world of promotional products, cotton is found in bags, apparel, uniforms, hats, face masks and a lot more. We hear words like herringbone, chambray, fleece and jersey. But what do they mean and what is the difference between calico and canvas? We’ve got the answers below.

Firstly, what is the difference between Calico and Canvas?

The confusion stems from the finish! Both calico and canvas are commonly produced undyed. Their natural look makes both calico and canvas popular, eco-friendly material for totes and shopping bags. But the difference between calico and canvas, though, is in the weight of the thread and the density of the weave.

Calico is light, loosely woven cotton fabric. It is used in fashion for making test garments before moving onto the more expensive material. Calico’s raw look and light weight make it a popular fabric for carry bags and homewares.

Canvas, on the other hand, is heavier than calico and more tightly woven. A thicker and tighter weave makes canvas more durable and structured. Canvas products include backpacks and tote bags, sneakers, aprons, workwear and upholstery. Outside, waterproofed canvas is seen in tents, sails and tarpaulins.

You can read about cotton bags in our article, here.

What’s the difference between Brushed Cotton and Twill?

Brushed cotton is just as its name describes. Once the cotton is woven it is brushed on one or both sides as a finishing touch. Brushing gives the fabric a soft and sometimes fluffy texture that works as an insulator. Brushed cotton is perfect, then, for bedding, pyjamas and soft tees. Flannel, for example, is a medium weight cotton brushed on both sides.

Twill refers to the way the cotton is woven rather than finished. Twill is a sturdy and durable weave, mostly seen in chinos and denim, but it can be used in many ways. Depending on the weight of the thread, a twill’s signature diagonal ribbing can be obvious or subtle.

Isn’t Chambray just a lighter Denim?

Cotton chambray is often paired with denim in fashion because they’re both most commonly blue. Chambray differs from denim, though, by its weight and weave. It is plain woven with thin white and blue yarn. This makes the multi-coloured fabric light and crisp.

Denim is made in a twill weave with medium to heavy weight yarn. Fashion denim is often woven with elastane to make it more wearable, but this also reduces its durability.

What are Herringbone and Poplin?

Herringbone and Poplin are common terms seen in cotton dress shirts and uniform apparel. Poplin is another plain weave fabric. What sets it apart is its ultrafine horizontal ribbing that gives the fabric a sheen. Suit trousers can be poplin when made from a medium weight yarn.

Herringbone is a pattern made by alternating the direction of a twill weave throughout the fabric. Herringbone fabric can vary from light to heavy. Light herringbone is found in dress shirts, while medium to heavy herringbone is used for items from jackets and heavy coats to upholstery.

What exactly is Jersey Cotton?

Jersey is made from cotton that has been knitted rather than woven. This makes it soft to touch and gives the fabric more stretch. Cotton hoodies and tracksuits are made from jersey cotton with a brushed fleece on one side.

What does Rib Knit mean?

A very descriptive name, rib knit cotton is a knitted fabric where the loops appear alternating on the front and back of the fabric, giving it a ribbed look. The ribs make the fabric super stretchy without the use of elastane or Lycra (though many still use them for stretch throughout the garment). Hoodies and jumpers will have rib knitted sleeve cuffs and waistbands. Fitted tops and dresses will be rib knitted throughout.

Cotton is a functional, versatile and improving resource. It is used around the world in fashion, furniture, homewares, camping gear, paper and agriculture industries. Australian cotton growers are evolving their tools and techniques to reduce the amount of water they use, and their carbon emissions. Their efforts are creating the same quality product with a smaller carbon footprint.

Australian cotton is valuable to so many industries, including promotional products – where one 227kg bale of cotton can produce 1,200 tees, or 4,300 pairs of socks. With so much to be made from cotton, we hope you now have the vocabulary to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Promotional Products in 2021

New Year Trends: Promotional Products in 2021

 

Promotional Products in 2021

2021 is an opportunity to strengthen the relationship your brand has built with customers and clients over the year that shall not be named. Last year was about meeting your stakeholders where they were. Because they couldn’t come to you. Promotional Products in 2021 are about looking after your people and their environments. Whether it is by helping them establish a new work-life balance or reducing the use of plastic in their day-to-day. Your brand can make a difference outside of your usual service or product offering. Here are the things that will set your brand apart in 2021.

Notebooks

Work from home (WFH) was a necessity in 2020. And we saw burnout increase due to the blurred lines between work and home. Without the commute to separate the timeframes and physical spaces, people are working harder for longer and ignoring their breaks. We’ve got more screens in front of us for more hours of the day and that fatigues our eyes and brains.

Your clients may be looking for a product to solve this problem for their stakeholders and a notebook is just what they need. A notebook offers the eyes a break from the screen, while keeping up the productivity. Also, the physical action of writing notes means greater information retention and a more organised WFH day.

Read our blog to find out more about why notebooks are a great tool for marketing and in general.

Plastic alternatives

Environmentally friendly promotional products have been one of the top trends for the last five years. It’s time to narrow it down for the big changes that are happening this year. In March 2021 South Australia is banning single use plastic. Straws, cutlery and drink stirrers will be the first to go. Thankfully, plastic alternatives are not difficult to find and branded plastic alternatives are widely available.

You can read more about reusable straws here and enquire about our range of reusable cutlery.

Not only are these reusable bits and pieces better for our environment, but they are also better for our health! We are responsible for their cleaning and carrying and so we are motivated to keep them in good working order. We know what cleaner we use and where the products have been. By looking after our reusable products, we are creating healthy habits and staying away from harmful bacteria.

Apparel

The business traffic slow-down that hit mid-year last year was an invaluable opportunity for many brands and businesses to refresh their look. From Adobe and Ampol to Kmart Tyre and Auto (now MyCar), redefining who you are and what you do is a valuable strategy when so much is changing around you.

Uniforms updates are an exciting part of rebrands, mergers and refreshes. There is an opportunity for your people to look even better, be more comfortable and represent your brand in a more meaningful way. Impact has a wide range of corporate and trade apparel including brands such as Gloweave, Stormtech, Van Heusen and Calvin Klein. View some of our collection on our online catalogue.

Brands have been reaching their customers in their homes with the help of social media. And their promotional product of choice? Apparel. Limited edition socks and hoodies carried brands through COVID, maintaining brand interest and building relationships. We love a giveaway, even more when its something we can curl up in. We predict this trend to continue in 2021 as businesses rebuild their brands and test out their new digital prowess.

Home and Leisure

Working from home since March last year, employees, clients and customers have become comfortable with the new way of doing things. While state guidelines are allowing workers to return to offices slowly, the WFH situation may be hard to give up. The ideal would be a happy medium where work and home are balanced to offer the best of both worlds. For that reason, we know that brands are embracing the home as an important space for their marketing.

Most notably they are looking to products that offer positive experiences in and around the home. Association between the brand and a good time is powerful. It will serve these businesses well into the future. If you’re thinking of doing the same, consider these wholesome, home-centred products.

The world is looking forward to a better year in 2021. Businesses especially are exploring new and better ways to reach customers and serve clients. Promotional products in 2021 are still an effective way to build brand awareness outside of the screen in a world that is increasingly digitally dependent. Put your brand in their hands and watch it grow.

Contact us today for more product ideas and marketing must-haves.

Products trending in 2020

The Wrap Up: Products Trending in 2020

Products trending in 2020

The year is ending and many of us are happy to see it go. On the eve of the new year, let’s review the promotional product trends that were must-haves for many of you in 2020.

Socks

They may seem unusual for a promotional product, but socks were trending massively in 2020. Perhaps it was the no-shoes policy many took up during their months working from home that led to their popularity. Or maybe it’s because they’re a fun, quirky promotion featuring an epitome of comfort.  Whatever it was, promotional socks have slipped onto our feet and into our hearts this year. One of our favourites were these, created for Mexican eatery Guzman Y Gomez.

Hoodies

Hoodies are another product that has gained popularity with more people housebound. They’ve always been on our radar, but in 2020, hoodies have really taken a front seat. The comfort, practicality, decoration potential and endless designs made them a favourite giveaway or apparel line for businesses – catering to their customers and clients.

Face Masks

An obvious trend emerged in April and continued through the back end of 2020. Face masks were not universally mandatory but were a justified precaution in a lot of places. Many companies saw the branding potential of face masks and purchased them for customer-facing staff. Keeping their teams safe and on-brand through the upheaval of COVID.

Sanitiser

Another product to trend in 2020 thanks to the pandemic was sanitiser. A clear necessity for every workplace and individual, pump bottles and tubes of sanitiser with custom labels began trending in February and skyrocketed in May.

Caps

The cap, a promotional staple, continued its popularity in 2020. Usually an easy casual product to add to any kind of giveaway, this year caps have been a favourite for staff in all industries. Caps offer effortless branding and are available in so many styles that it’s impossible not to find one that represents your brand. It could be a trucker, flat cap or classic six-panel curved-peak snap back. Whichever you go with, branding is effortless.

Drink Bottles

Drink bottles, especially metal drink bottles had time in the Australian sun in 2020. For our clients, branded drink bottles were distributed to clients and customers as merchandise and giveaways. The greater perceived value of metal drink bottles improves how marketing messages are received and gives the bottle longevity – so extending the promotion and increasing your brand impressions. If you need more convincing about how drink bottles work as promo, take a look here.

Our clients stand apart from competitors with superior products to promote their brands. They trust us to know what is going to help them make an impact in a crowded and sometimes uncertain market. 2020 has been a challenging year but we’re bringing everything we’ve learned into 2021 so look out for our product predictions coming in January.

Eco-friendly straws

Straws that don’t suck! A marketer’s guide to eco-friendly straws

Eco-friendly straws

As a marketer looking for promotional merchandise you want a cheap, easily-customised product that is used often by everyone. A few things match this description – pens, drink bottles and tote bags come to mind. Straws are another that fit the bill. While their troubled, plastic past may cause you to shy away, eco-friendly straws are the way of the future.

Below are the most common plastic-free straws that are perfect for your summer promotion. We’ve included details from recyclability to mouthfeel so that you can find the ultimate eco-friendly straws for your customers and clients.

Stainless steel straws are reusable, durable and long lasting. Their size and shape mean that they’re very difficult to dent, bend and almost impossible to break. They’re also resistant to rust and corrosion. Stainless steel is food safe and dishwasher safe. While it does use more energy than plastic to produce, a stainless steel straw only needs to be used 150 times to counteract the energy used to produce it. That is well within its life span because they are so durable.

On the downside, it is reported that stainless steel can give drinks a metallic taste. And they can be “jabby.” While they can have smoothed and rounded tops and bottoms, their rigidity makes stainless steel straws prone to poking mouths. This can be fixed, however, with a silicone mouthpiece.

Stainless steel straws often come in their own canvas bag with a straight straw, bent straw and straw cleaner. The bag is printed and the straws themselves can be both printed and engraved with your logo or message. They travel easily within their pouches, with no risk of being bent or broken in a handbag or pocket. They are great eco-friendly straws for everyday use.

Glass

A straw made of glass may be your clients’ favourite straw ever. Primarily because of its satisfying weight and smooth mouthfeel. Being see-through, glass straws are easy and fun to clean. You can watch as you brush away any juice bits or smoothie residue. They’re also endlessly reusable and 100% recyclable.

These straws are commonly made from borosilicate glass, which is shatter, bacteria and temperature resistant. That means your sparkling soda and creamy coffee can slide up that tube without sizzling or freezing your fingers. It’s also tasteless – which, in this case, is a big plus!

However, while they are shatter resistant, glass straws are not unbreakable. Any sharp impact, a fall on to tiles for example, may break your glass straw. Luckily, the pieces will be big so clean up is a breeze. The breakage factor does put people off glass straws because it makes them tricky for travelling and not the easiest for children.

Printing is simple on a glass straw. The most common way would be a pad print. For longer lasting branding, you could also go with etching. A clean and classy option.

Bamboo

Bamboo is a popular product for branded merchandise. It’s a barely-processed, natural material that can be made into many things. With its fine grain and soft colour, bamboo is perfect for brands looking to make a statement with an eco-friendly product.

As a straw, bamboo is a great reusable, sustainable and biodegradable resource. They are sturdy, not temperature sensitive and gentle in your mouth. However, they have been known to have a woody taste. Bamboo straws are hand wash only and have a limited life span, because of their internal texture. Their porosity means that over time bacteria will build up inside the straw despite regular washes. The final downside to bamboo straws is that there are no bendy or bent options. This might impact those needing straws for accessibility.

Silicone straws are a family and marketing favourite. The plusses for whoever is using it are many, so we’ve listed them below.

  • Soft on your mouth (great for kids)
  • Dishwasher safe (great for adults)
  • Made from food safe silicone
  • Reusable
  • Easily transported
  • Can be cut to size
  • Can be straight or bent

For marketers, silicone straws come in any colour you can think of. They are easily printed. They can even be debossed for more subtle but impactful branding. Thanks to their malleable construction, silicone straws also come with a range of carry options. Such as hard square and circular, keyring and carabiner clip cases. These all have solid branding spaces themselves.

Unfortunately, silicone straws are not recyclable and will one day end up in landfill. They must be washed often and well, too, because bacteria love silicone’s texture as much as you do. Silicone deteriorates over time and while its life span is longer than bamboo, it does have an end date.

Paper straws are the first we look to when sourcing a plastic straw alternative. When we want something single use for an event. They can be a great pop of colour in a glass and even greater when that colour matches your brand and décor. However, while they are biodegradable, there are a few things about paper straws that make people look elsewhere.

Firstly, we know how they feel when they get soggy…ew. Paper straws are not particularly sturdy and can collapse mid-suck if your beverage is on the thick side. While they do degrade, paper straws are still single use. The energy used for production (more than plastic straws) is not counteracted by a long, practical life. And finally, paper straws cost around 2.5c to produce and contribute to deforestation.

If you are still looking for a single use, biodegradable option for your event, paper is a fine eco-friendly, plastic alternative. They come in easy to brand recycled and recyclable card boxes and won’t end up in the ocean, up a turtle’s nose.

Wheat/Hay

The modern straw’s namesake is a simple length of wheat or hay. And since the world’s been looking for more plastic-free options, wheat and hay growers have made the original straw available again. The straws we’re after are a biproduct of wheat and hay production and would otherwise be discarded. Putting it to use instead extends its life and minimises waste. The downsides are that their production cost is about the same as paper straws, and like bamboo straws, there are no bent options. That’s it.

So, what are its other virtues?

  • They are a single use option but can be composted and will break down in 1-2 months.
  • They are taste-free – so no grassy after tones.
  • They are gluten free because the gluten in wheat is found in the seed and not the stem.
  • They can be easily cut to size and come in a range of widths.
  • They are made in Australia.
  • They come in a recycled card box with your name on it.

If you’re interested in how they’re made, this is the process. The hay stems are hand selected for length and width. The outer layer is removed and the straw is sent for rinsing. Once foreign particles are washed away, the stems are soaked and rinsed again. They are then air dried and cut to a uniform length for packaging. They are sorted and inspected and then washed again. After they are dry, they are disinfected and finally packaged in that recycled, plastic-free packaging.

Straws are not always the first product you think of when you want to make an impression. There are a lot of options out there. But in a world where individuals are trying to make a change for the world, straws are great. One person using a reusable straw like those above stops 584 plastic straws per year, from ending up in the ocean. Eco-friendly straws are great for people, great for the planet and great for marketing. For more environmentally conscious products, go to our online product catalogue. And have a read of our enviro bags blog.

Stress balls and shapes

Do Stress Balls Actually Work? Super stress shapes for health and education

Stress balls and shapes

Wellness is a hot topic as we look for ways to cope with everything that is happening this year. Keeping well during the displacement and uncertainty of bushfires and then the uncertainty and frustration caused by COVID19 has been a bigger task than many expected. Therefore, it might be surprising to hear that certain promotional products can help reduce this stress and anxiety. Even more surprising that they can improve academic performance and reduce pain in post-procedure medical situations. These are pretty bold claims for the lowly stress ball, but it’s been studied and proven, so here’s why you should include them in your merchandise offering.

The History

The stress ball has a long history beginning in Baoding, China during the Ming Dynasty. Still used today, Baoding balls are two smooth stones or weighted metal balls that can be held and turned in one hand. The movement and weight of the balls promotes concentration and relieves anxiety.

The modern version of the stress ball came about after the invention and increased availability of polyurethane. As an alternative to rubber, PU was bouncy, pliable and was the perfect material for a child’s ball. That ball moved into corporate spaces in the 1980s as workers recognised that stress was an issue and experts discovered it could be relieved through tactile self-regulation (more on that below).

Here’s an interesting fact – the original stress ball included a ‘glass shatter’ sound chip that would activate when the ball was thrown. Just to provide the satisfaction of breaking something in frustration.

Almost immediately, the modern stress ball was employed in marketing, branded with logos, slogans and contact numbers. And so it continues today, in many shapes, colours and material. Have a look at some of our range here.

The Science

Humans are great adaptors and one of the coping strategies we have always used is self-regulation. We all do it. It could be tapping your foot, twirling your hair, or wringing your hands to ground and calm yourself. Or it could be controlling the noise level in your workspace through noise-cancelling headphones and instrumental music. Clicking a pen or bouncing on a gym ball are also common methods of self-regulation. Fidgeting is what it is called in school. What it is, though, is controlling sensory stimulation to optimise your focus and manage your emotions.

Did you know that handling a stress ball offers enough distraction to ease anxiety in medical settings? Less anxiety leads to reduced pain and better post-procedure outcomes for patients. For stress, the action of squeezing a PU ball requires enough physical exertion to release tension and frustrated energy. That physical release helps to divert your mind from stressors and refocus on tasks.

For continued concentration, the best items are ones that you can manipulate without having to watch. These include stress balls, fidget cubes and Baoding balls. Chain loops, mini bean bags and hand brushes are also great sensory toys for focus.

A 2006 study found that a class of grade six students had better concentration and learning outcomes when using stress balls during lessons. The result? A 10% increase in the class’s average writing assessment score.

Fidget spinners are not on the list of focus-promoting products because they need hand-eye coordination to use. Their movement also distracts others and so are not great for group-learning situations. They do have benefits, however. Fidget spinners increase fine motor skills through repetitive movement, vibration and muscle memory. So not all bad. For recreation and a fun promotion, it’s all good!

The Marketing Opportunity

As we said above, stress balls have been a promotional product since the 1980s. Small, lightweight and very affordable, they tick all the boxes of a classic promotional product. Stress balls and fidget items have the bonus of physical and mental health benefits. Being so, they are great for a wide range of industries. As well as health, sports, education they would be welcome in corporate and trade event spaces too.

A stress ball shows you care about your corporate clients and understand the pressure that people in your market feel. Stress balls and fidget items are useful, helpful and are great carriers of your brand and messaging as we’ll talk about next.

How to optimise branding

Stress balls have evolved over the last 30 years. While they still exist as a small rubber or foam ball, their shape is unlimited. This introduces so many new opportunities to represent your brand.

From anatomical hearts to shipping containers, lightning bolts to farm animals, stress shapes are fully customisable. Have you got a mascot? You can have mini stress versions for giveaways and displays. Custom shapes are a fun deviation from the classic ball and give you an invaluable opportunity to express what your brand is about.

You can appeal to your industry or show off your specialty. You could also empathise with your consumer – If your business is device repairs, perhaps a stress phone is a good alternative when your clients want to throw something across the room. The multitude of options allows you to get really creative with your branding. Shapes, colours and messaging can complement or contrast the product, your promotion or your overall brand.

Stress balls, stress shapes and fidget items are versatile and functional promotional products. Their branding opportunity is great. Their industry relevance is wide. For such small items they have big benefits to your clients and your business. Take a look through our catalogue or get in touch to see how we can add stress shapes to your promotional merchandise.

Promotional notebooks

Branded Notebooks – Why they’re so good

 

Promotional notebooks

As well as being handy for recording strokes of genius, notebooks are proven to increase concentration and memory. They are also a promotional product staple. The notepad’s big brother is a great product for the corporate space, leather-bound and embossed. Fit for jotting notes on the run as an A6 spiral-bound or on the bedside table ready for journaling. Notebooks are invaluable for students, helpful for the everyday and an unmissable opportunity for marketers.

It’s what they can do for us

There are so many proven benefits to owning, carrying and using a notebook. Those benefits include:

  • Improved handwriting and spelling.
  • Increased concentration, memory, and information processing.
  • Stress and anxiety relief.

Many of us may be out of the habit of taking notes. Some of us haven’t done it since school.  However, there is a lot we could be missing out on by not writing down the things we think of and observe. With a notebook we can keep a track of seemingly unimportant things that might actually be important. For example, where you had that one-of-a-kind salad that you’ll never find anywhere else. Our notes don’t have to be a fully detailed lexical masterpiece, just a word or two. There’s no need to forget, if it’s written down, it’s there for good.

Capture that crucial idea! If you’re carrying a notebook, you’ll be less likely to lose that fleeting thought, that spark of brilliance that leads to other great ideas. Notebooks are a great vehicle for thinking and processing our lives.

It’s how they’re received

After padfolios, branded notebooks are the most-searched promotional desk item. According to APPA (Australasian Promotional Product Association), last year 74% of consumers had one promotional product on their desks and 59% had two. The approximate cost per impression of a branded notebook is half a cent. Less if you’re one of the few to be working at your office desk with people moving around it eight hours a day, five days a week.

As corporate and employee gifts, a personalised Moleskine notebook has a high perceived value. In addition to that perceived value, 72% of human resources managers confirm that promotional products are integral to employee retention and engagement. Notebooks are a useful product that can demonstrate a brand’s appreciation to their team. You can read more about promotional products and HR in our blog.

It’s what they’re made of

When it comes to what their made of, you may be thinking, “paper, duh.” But you would only be partly right. Promotional notebooks are made from a wide range of manufactured and recycled products. And recycled paper is just the beginning of the sustainable notebook’s story. Pages can now be made of recycled stone waste, making them waterproof. Other paper alternatives include plant waste, coffee waste, even elephant dung! Talk about sustainable.

It’s how they look

A branded notebook’s decoration opportunity is prime, with a large, flat space on the front and back covers. Embossing looks great in leather and PU (foil embossed, if you’re a little bit fancy). Engraving increases perceived value and is striking on fabric covers too! Pad, digital or screen printing will cover any other branding design you can imagine. Read about how products are printed here.

It’s the little extras

Branded notebooks are available in any colour and combination and with a range of accessories. Such as pen loop and pen; elastic, clip or magnet closure; bookmark ribbon; recycled paper belly band; document pocket and so much more. Did we mention built-in wireless chargers? Well, you can have that too. These little extras increase functionality as well as perceived and actual value.

No question, they’re for you

Well, not for you, for your clients, partners and employees. They’re promotional products after all, they need to be out there for prospects to see, use and appreciate.

So, if you can’t think of a use for branded notebooks in your promotional offering, give us a call and we’ll find one.

Products that are better for your business

Better for your business – Products to enhance your brand

Products that are better for your business

For marketing professionals, it can be easy to grab a bunch of promo and be done with it. Throw some hats, bags and bottles together and you’ve got yourself a great promotional starter pack. However, you can do more to get the full effect of promotional products enhancing your brand. With a simple switch of classic merchandise, you can have products that are better for your business. In this blog, we’ll give you more impactful alternatives to common promotional products, to set your brand apart.

Drink Bottles

Plastic bottles are great. Many are made locally. They are an easily accessible and functional promotional product. Most promotional bottles are BPA free and come in a range of sizes, catering well to schools, sports teams and community organisations.

Now, if that doesn’t perfectly describe your brand, perhaps plastic drink bottles aren’t for you. Consider double-walled or copper insulated stainless-steel bottles instead. The mirage bottle can easily be adapted with pop and flip lids for casual settings, or powder-coated and engraved for a more corporate feel.

Tote Bags

Non-woven tote bags are an economical favourite. They’re made from polypropylene fibres, bonded through heat, chemical or mechanical processes. The range of available colours, PMS included, and large decoration opportunities make non-woven bags even more attractive.

However, if you want to say more about your brand than ‘we needed bags’, opt for something different. Fabric totes are having a moment as businesses endeavour to declare their environmental stance. Cotton, jute and bamboo make great long-lasting and natural alternatives. They also fit the rustic aesthetic that is right on trend at the moment. You can read more about their individual environmental footprints in our blog.

If your look is more modern or minimalist, a clear PVC tote may better suit your brand. Still environmentally conscious; sturdy and highly reusable, this tote is essential for travelers and eventgoers.

Pens

Plastic pens are such a promo staple that it can be hard to think that anything will do the job better. Plastic pens are featured on front desks and given away en masse at events. They’re cheap, functional and easily branded, receiving 3000 impressions over their life.

Could anything be better for your business? Consider a metal promotional pen instead and see how your brand shines. The price isn’t so different to the plastic version, but people love the weighted feel of a metal pen in their grip. This little detail increases your product’s perceived value and sets your brand apart from competitors.

You can take a more in-depth look at promotional pens here.

Phone Accessories

Thanks to the proliferation of technology in the last 20 years, tech accessories have become a popular choice for promotional products. Well-priced and universally relevant gadgets show an understanding of the contemporary client’s pain points. Phone grips and phone wallets are affordable and useful, but not very exciting for the recipient.

A camera lens phone attachment, however, will have your customers and employees looking forward to the next opportunity to use it. They’ll have you to thank for the professional quality of their social media snaps. And each time they take it out, they’ll flash your brand.

Caps

Caps and hats are an easy go-to for event giveaways and merch. Headwear is a popular product, especially in Australia where sun safety is a must. Branded hats are even collected. That being said, it can be hard to separate your products from those already out there. Slight differences in the style or decoration can help, but there’s only so much you can do.

Hats made from recycled PET will be better for your business. And the environment. And your clients. In manufacturing products made from recycled PET bottles, carbon emissions and energy are halved. That’s on top of the benefits of removing plastics from the environment.

As a hat, recycled PET fibres are lightweight and durable and woven to allow for moisture wicking. They’re perfect for sporting events and uniforms. Bring your company values to the forefront with a cap that makes a statement.

Some promotional products are classics for a reason. They are appropriate in a range of situations; they are affordable, and they’re used again and again. But each item you choose says something about your brand. Get that message spot on and those promotional products will be the best for your business. Don’t be afraid to step away from the conventional, that’s where creativity shines.

Personal Promotional Products

Personal Promotional Products – Essentials essential to your marketing

Personal Promotional Products

Health and beauty products were the second-most favourite promotional product received by consumers last year. They were second only to wearables. So, what’s the draw? Why do we like them as giveaways? Their number one appeal is usefulness. Personal promotional products are the things we all use, the little insignificant things that help us take care of ourselves. Sometimes, they’re things we wouldn’t necessarily buy for ourselves – but once we’ve got them, we use them ALL THE TIME!

Below we’ve listed the personal products that make fantastic giveaways!

Mini sunscreens

Likely to be used until you have to unscrew the cap to get the last little bit – sunscreen is a staple product in Australia. Having a mini tube in the car or the handbag is pretty much essential. It keeps your skin young and protects you from the damaging rays we’re blessed with in the land down under.

Mini sunscreens will give your brand a tonne of the good kind of exposure as they’re used to the last drop. They’re taken everywhere so the impressions will be high. The real appreciation, however, would come from giving a useful product – something your clients or prospects actually need.

Hand sanitiser

You mightn’t be in the market for surgical masks or stethoscopes, but we’ve definitely got the next best thing. Personal hand sanitiser can be a very important addition to a glovebox or purse, first aid kit or 72-hour pack. Brand it and you’ve got another very in-demand promotional product.

Tissue/wipe combo box

A very cool combo product that made us shout ‘why didn’t we think of that?’ when we saw it in Germany. Luckily we did and it’s available to you!

It’s a tissue pack – then you flip it over and it’s a pack of wipes. Mothers know the number one rule of parenting is ALWAYS carry wipes. Now, they can carry wipes and tissues at the same time. This personal promotional product will be used for sure. Messes are a nightmare but every time they pull out your tissue/wipes you’ll be the life-saver.

Australian made essential oil facial spritz

Okay, so spritzing isn’t something absolutely everyone does. They want to, they just don’t know it yet and you can be the one to show them the wonder of it. Calming sunburned skin and freshening your face throughout the day, a light facial spray is a very accessible luxury for your customers.

As a branded promotional product, the small spray bottle is filled with your choice of essential oils. Then it’s mixed with toning witch hazel and soothing aloe. It can even be colour-matched to your brand, setting you apart from competitors.

Recycled paper lip balm

Your favourite lip protection now comes in environmentally friendly packaging and is available for branding! Express your commitment to the environment and to your clients and give them something they’ve not seen before, will love and feel great about using.

Sustainable packaging is becoming more and more prevalent as we all lean into biodegradable and recyclable alternatives. Be at the front with your personal promotional products.

Bamboo toothbrush

Another product embracing plastic alternatives is something that you might not have thought of for promotions. You’d be surprised by how many people would love to get their hands on a bamboo toothbrush. Why not just give the people what they want? They’ll love you for it and if they follow dentists’ instructions, they’ll use it twice daily. Think of the impressions!

Vegetable-based soap with kraft paper band

It’s a mouthful but it’s a cracker of a personal promotional product. Given away in a hamper or on their own, these custom soaps are a unique and highly impactful product. Even better, they’re environment and animal friendly, and biodegradable with recyclable packaging.

Every time your clients use one of these products, which is often recommended by professionals, they’ll think of where it came from. They may even refer the product to their friends. Personal promotional products have great capacity for referral enquiries, as we’ve experienced for ourselves.

Next time you’re thinking of branded merchandise that gets consistent and frequent use, consider personal promotional products. The impressions are high, the cost is low, the quality is great and the functionality is very present.

What personal use products could your brand employ? Contact Impact today or leave us a comment below.

Sources:

2019 Promotional Product Association International. PPAI Research: https://ppai.org/media/5482/ppai2019consumerstudysummary.pdf

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.