Golf promotional items are making a huge comeback these past few weeks, because the season is teeing off. We’ve been receiving tons of orders for everything from balls to golf pocket tools to towels. That’s expected, really, considering the statistics.
Just how big is golf? About 50 people million worldwide play it, and 23 million of them come from the United States alone (where there are also more than 11,000 professional golf players). In fact, studies show that some 83 percent of business deals are closed on a golf course.
Anybody who is anybody in the business world plays golf – from the top honchos to the middle managers. Get their attention –and loyalty – by giving them golf promotional products carrying your logo.
I don’t know of you remember my previous entry about why I prefer padfolios to PDAs. I said that they are much simpler, less redundant, and easier on the eye that their electronic counterparts. Well, guess what – I found more reasons.
A shipment of these padfolios came in today, and I of course had to ‘test drive’ one of them myself. The verdict: They are far more functional than PDAs, at least for someone who carries around bills and receipts (like me). It has very useful nooks and pockets that enable users to organize and carry important personal and office documents. It’s also sturdier – the pad is made from strong nylon, and the case is waterproof leather. You won’t lose your data even if you carry it in the rain or accidentally drop it in a pool – and you can’t say that about PDAs.
This padfolio also comes in a zippered version that features stretchable exterior pockets for carrying magazines and bigger documents, plus interior pockets for business cards, electronics, and media storage (such as USB ports).
In the United States alone, more than two billion pens are manufactured every year. Pens are still among the most widely-used writing instruments – whether ballpoint, fountain, soft-tip, or roller-ball.
Unfortunately, not all pens are kept or used by recipients. In fact, some 1.6 billion pens are thrown away annually. How do you make sure that the pens with your logo on them are not tossed out into the trash can? Choose wisely – choose utilitarian. Promotional pens are being reinvented to stand out, anyway, so it selecting one should not be too hard.
We at rushIMPRINT recommend ‘Liqui-Light Pens,’ which do not only look great, but are also multifunctional.
The sleek silver casing and the little futuristic-liquid aquarium (complete with a floating globe) make it too nifty not to use. Best of all, the pen features a matching blue light so the user can work even in low-light conditions, and the stylus tip can be used to input data into a personal digital assistant. Add in the gift box and you have a promo pen that will surely be used for years and years.
Manufacturers of similarly-designed writing instruments say that investing in high-quality pens make a sound marketing decision, especially because people of all walks of life think that (multifunctional) pens are designed for them. Everyone – form outdoorsy people to traveling salesmen to nurses – appreciate the versatility, usefulness and good looks of a quality writing instrument.
I thought of writing another entry related to tools as promo items because I came across a rather interesting idea from Theodore Levitt (Harvard Professor Emeritus). He said that over 250 million quarter-inch drill bits are sold every year, but that nobody wants a quarter-inch drill bit. What people really want are quarter-inch holes.
True – especially in promotional tools. When you give someone a Tool N’ Torch, for example, you are not really giving them a Halogen flashlight and a device tote. You are giving him convenience – the ease of doing tool work even in low-light conditions (such as in campfires and during car trouble). This ability to associate with ‘experience’ is what separates promotional tools from other traditional forms of advertising. A buyer is more likely to remember the brand imprinted on a tool he repeatedly uses to make his life easier than the brand mentioned in a 20-second television ad he sees only twice a week (or less).
Tools are also very ‘multipliable,’ because they are likely to be borrowed by or lent to someone other than your original recipient. Give Tom a six-function wrench, for example, and his neighbor Ben will probably use it, too, and so will his friend Anthony. For as low as $6, you have already reached – and have been remembered by – at least three people. If your tool’s lifespan is 5 years, you will reach hundreds of potential customers. Now that is cost-effective advertising.
Probably one of the most hardworking promotional items is multi-piece toolkits, which enable people to work on basic projects even when they are miles away from their toolboxes. You can give basic multi-head screwdrivers, pliers, or knob drivers (among many other basics). Move up the promotional tools range and you can give advanced 25-piece toolkits, survival tools, and even ultra-handy pocket tools like this one from Shelton or this 4-in-1 tool keychain.
Promo tools are the little well-oiled promotional gears that have the power to increase your business’ revenues substantially. Many managers are now dropping big ideas like ‘revolutionary’ business models or mega-mergers in favor of simpler, cumulatively effective tactics such as this. If promo items were not effective, why do you think the multinationals spend over $15 billion a year on them?
The bottom line: useful promo items such as tools work, and work wonders. Focus your energy on finding the right item for your market. Tools work best for male-oriented industries, but you would be surprised how many women appreciate receiving tools, too. In fact, a good number of them use screwdrivers as levers to open cans
Credit it to the hip-ness of caffeine or plain old usefulness. Whatever the reason, mugs are still one of the top-selling promotional products. Here at rushIMPRINT alone, we sold a record number of mugs in the last 3 months!
The trend is not exclusive to our industry. Even gourmet retailers are experiencing the same drift. Sales of mugs have been increasing by at least 1.9 percent every year since 2003, followed closely by sales of espresso and cappuccino makers, which grow at about 1.8 percent yearly.
What is it about mugs that have people hording them like crazy? The answer is versatility, more than anything. Homes and offices across America use mugs for almost every conceivable purpose – for coffee, for cold beer, for serving ice cream, for holding pens, and even as flower pots.
Do the math and you’ll find that mugs are among the most sensible promo items to give out to clients and potential customers:
1. They’re reusable, so your logo and message can be seen a hundred-fold.
2. They’re also affordable – for less than the price of a Happy Meal, you can already leave a long, lasting impression.
3. And best of all, they’re tough. Quality tempered mugs almost never break, so your logo stays intact for years (and are even passed on).
It’s no wonder that the last couple of months have been all about mugs. In fact I have to go now, because last week’s client reordered another shipment, deliverable by tomorrow. I’ll probably need my favorite. Pour the coffee – I’m pulling an all-nighter.
The shoe horn may be reclaiming its glory, and may quickly become as indispensable as a hairbrush or comb. That’s right – these little plastic scoops are making their way back into shoe cabinets, and quickly.
Shoe horns are not readily available in shoe stores these days, so people who receive them as promo items keep and cherish them almost as much as they cherish a nice sweater or a fleece blanket. People find it so much easier to ease a dress shoe on to their feet with a shoe horn. Many seniors, especially, say that these devices make putting on shoes easier.
How does it work? The handle lets a person put on footwear without bending. The blade of the shoe horn is pressed firmly against the inside back of the shoe. This enables the wearer to easily slide his or her feet into the shoe, toe first and then heel. The shoe horn is then slipped out from between the heel and the shoe. It is especially helpful for breaking in new shoes or getting into custom-made fitted pairs.
This probably explains why a lot of first-rate hotels and inns give them as complimentary gifts to customers, and why many of the companies we work with – especially those with a lot of clients within the 45 and up age group – are ordering them by bulk. Shoe horns make high impact because they are unexpected, unique, and very useful. Give them to your clients, and they will remember you every time they put on their shoes – which is, well, everyday.
When I started working at rushIMPRIMT some years ago, one of my first assignments was to help a radio station choose promotional items to give to its employees for its anniversary party. The station employed only about 40 people, and they were pretty close-knit. It was important for me to find a promotional product that they could use in their daily lives.
I had only one day to come up with my recommendation (because this is rushIMPRINT), so I talked to their representative and asked some questions – unusual questions – to help me make an informed suggestion. I found out that the majority of the employees are in their early thirties, took the train to the office, were heavy coffee drinkers, and spent about $50 a week on Starbucks. That was when I decided on the perfect promo item:
A 24-ounce thermos bottle with two mugs and a comfort grip molded handle to make it easy to carry. It’s perfect for coffee-drinking commuters, because it can keep coffee either hot or cold during long morning commutes. It’s also great for busy offices like a radio station, where employees keep going back to the kitchen for their morning cup of coffee.
My recommendation apparently worked, because just two days later, the radio station placed a reorder. Oh, and their employees cut spending on Starbucks, because they can now bring brewed coffee from home.
Every pocket, every handbag, every dresser, or every bathroom in the United States probably has a stash of lip balms. So popular are lip balms, in fact, that brands like ‘Lotta Luv’ has sold more than 30 million of these products during the past two years, and the brand ‘Leashables’ ships out about 1.5 million of them weekly.
I personally carry two kinds of lip balm in my purse – one orange-flavored, one cherry. I find myself buying packs of lip balm monthly. And I’m sure the rest of the world does, too. Lip balms have definitely become staples not only during winter, but throughout the year.
How do you take advantage of the trend? Put your logo on them! For less than $2, you will be putting your name on a product that is used by virtually all Americans every thirty minutes, or at least ten times a day.
The lip balms we carry are medicated with the right SPF formula to protect lips from dryness, cracking, and sun exposure. Best of all, they come in luscious flavors that taste so good, they may as well be candies.
I thought I was the most technologically-backward person this side of the country, until I read this: Most people still prefer traditional paper folios to personal digital assistants (PDAs). And it makes sense, really.
Many carry phone numbers in their cell phone, and therefore do not need electronic organizers to do that for them. Most professionals are always sitting at their computer and lugging around their laptops, anyway, so what use would they have for a digital assistant? Conclusion: Electronic organizers are often redundant. They’re also pretty scary – you have to religiously synchronize them with your main computer, or you risk losing data.
The best thing about paper folios is that they are very simple but still work well. I’ve already tried using a PDA, but I find that there is no better alternative to dark ink on bright pages. The glare on screen texts makes reading harder. Paper is still easier on the eye, tangible and portable.
That probably explains why the orders we get for paper folios still continue to grow. In fact, we get a lot of orders from IT companies! That just goes to show that no matter how tech-savvy or ultra-modern people are, their affinity for paper never goes away.
So, should you buy a digital organizer or renew your paper planner? That is a personal choice. I know I won’t trade in my paper folio for anything electronic this year. For me, the paper folios work, and work well.