More great news: some 73 percent of recipients of promotional products use the product at least once a week, and a whopping 45 percent use it at least once a day. This is especially true for technology promo items that take over almost every office desk in America (and some coffee shop tables, too).
Some 90 million people in the United States own and use computers, and a good 45 million of them rely on computers for work. Of this, more than 28 million people telecommute one to three days a week – that’s 42 percent higher than the 19.6 million figure only five years ago. So it’s without a doubt wise to invest in ultra-portable techie gift sets like this:
Your recipients can literally bring all their computer accessories in one very small soft case. The set includes a wireless mouse, USB light, a 4-foot retractable phone cord and 2-foot retractable USB cable.
I also personally like this multitasking High Sierra USB Tahoe Pen:
It’s real pen that writes, but it also has a USB flash drive in the crown. Talk about hardworking. Just like all our other memory stick promo items, this is the ideal giveaway to urban professionals and students.
Over 22 million people own iPods or MP3 player in the United States alone. So it certainly makes sense to give iPod-related promo items like these:
The Sound Pod Travel Speaker (left) is perfect for travelers who use either MP3 or CD players. Who knew that high-quality speakers could come in a size smaller than a hair dryer? Put your logo on the back left or right speaker and music lovers everywhere will surely remember you.
The Smart Pod Media Case (right) is another go-getter’s dream come true. People always on the move can keep their MP3 players secure and easy-to-access. It’s tailor-fit for every lifestyle – corporate people can use the belt attachment or swiveling clip, while more rugged individuals can use the arm band.
It may as well be Christmas here at Rushimprint, because tons of new shipments are coming in. Just yesterday I saw Nine West Bags, and this morning I saw iCubes that feature universal docks for iPods.
I’m not very tech-savvy myself (I can’t even use a fax machine), but this iCube is so simple to use that I now find it indispensable. I just pop in my iPod and instantly hear my songs in a stereo speaker with frequency range of 20Hz-20KHz.
I read that high-technology promo items like this are in the top rungs of the ‘predicted popular promo products for 2006.’ That certainly seems to be accurate, because why else did the Consumer Electronics Show last January have 2,500 exhibitors eager to show their new products, and need 28 football fields to accommodate onlookers?
The electronics industry is now becoming a major player in the promo world, coming up with cheap but very useful products for giveaways. It’s confident that it can boost its market share to $122 billion this year. For us the promotional products industry, that means ‘change’ – we need to focus more on high-tech items to cater to the tech-savvy clientele. We’re quick to spot the trend here in Rushimprint, so we are stocking up on everything high-tech. I’ll show them to you in the coming days.
I am a total ‘bag hag.’ A sizeable portion of my annual earnings goes into paying off purses. In fact, I am so obsessed with bags that I build my outfits around it. I even have a formula that beats the Euclidian code:
blue bag = blue shoes = blue cardigan
Can you blame me? Ask any woman you know – she will probably say that yes, a bag makes an outfit. You can wear a ratty old sweater but carry a beautiful handbag and get champagne when you drop by any store in Rodeo Drive.
But more than a fashion statement, a bag is really a woman’s ‘sanctuary’ – a private space where men fear to go. It carries all our essentials – wallet, keys, checkbook, maybe a laptop, a good book, sunglasses, a half-eaten sandwich, 30 pounds of pennies, and even a flashlight for ‘emergencies’ that never really come.
They come in basic colors and styles for every working woman. All of them feature very helpful pockets that organize pens and keys, a KitKat bar, even a bottle of water, so that you never have to rummage through all your stuff just to get what you need. And best of all, it’s from Nine West – the Mecca of bags
Put your company logo on it and you’ll probably increase your female client base by more than half. Trust me. I know.
The Olympic Stores in Torino are carrying great promo items for athletes and spectators alike, ranging from indoor items such as mouse pads and balls, to outdoor wear such as backpacks, caps, shirts, and of course, the all-time favorite drinkware.
(Photo from The Online Olympic Store)
Many companies are jumping in on the Olympic promo item bandwagon, such as Budweiser, now taking over sales outlets with its Olympic logo-ed promotional items. It’s not surprising why. The promotional products industry is finally taking the marketing center stage. US marketers alone are spending almost three times as much in promotional products – about $17 billion a year, in fact. Why? Because it works.
A recent survey shows that some 76 percent of consumers remember the brand name of a company that gave them a promotional item in the past year – that’s 23 percent higher than consumers remember a TV or print ad from the past month, and a whopping 49 percent higher than the percentage of consumers who recall online ads.
A thermos really goes a longer way than a TV ad. When someone who goes to an office uses it to carry his coffee everyday, for example, the logo is repeatedly seen by all of his co-workers, clients, and even by people on the streets he walks in and the passengers in the train or the bus he rides. Now that is constant exposure for as low as $9.
A study shows that new customers of dry cleaning shops who received promotional products spent 27 percent more than customers who just received coupons, and a whopping 139 percent more than those who just received plain vanilla ‘welcome letters.’
I guess the tides are changing even for the ‘repression-proof’ dry cleaning industry. It has become very competitive, and even though most of these business already have a captive customer base (because dry cleaning is a staple), this base is becoming pickier and less loyal.
So I wasn’t surprised when a new client – a dry cleaning business operator – called us yesterday to ask for help on what promo items to use. I recommended this lint removal brush. It’s a clever little contraption that dry cleaning customers can keep in their coat pockets and use to remove linty from suits, jackets and virtually any clothing material.
I don’t know about you, but I can very easily switch from one dry cleaner to the next (especially if the next one gives me free stuff). Somehow, free deliveries and a friendly staff just isn’t enough anymore – I would like to receive useful free items too, if only to feel like a valued client.
When a company gave out cowbells as promo products for a cycling event in Europe last year, some people laughed and found the idea ridiculous. But weeks later when the same company increased its client base exponentially, nobody found it funny. It turns out that the company’s decision to give away cowbells was well-researched –cowbells are popular as ‘noisemakers’ along bike and ski routes in Europe.
This just proves that crazy ideas still work, especially in the promotional products industry. That’s why we advise our clients to dare go where no one has gone before. Why stick to an ordinary mouse pad when you can give away something quirkier, for example? It doesn’t even have to be expensive – just out of the ordinary. Like this cute little fella:
For just a little more than a dollar, a company’s corporate logo can ‘sit’ atop its clients’ computer monitors. This functional computer cleaner brush is not only charming – it’s very functional as well.
We also innovate our own fresh line regularly to give our clients some ideas. Our rule is simple: we don’t let our clients’ promo items get lost in a sea of common giveaways. We know that while most successful promos are usually built on time-tested formulas, the best of the best usually run on sheer creativity.
February was declared the ‘National Heart Month’ not just because Valentine’s Day falls within the month, but more importantly, to remind us about the importance of a healthy heart. You see, heart disease is the number one cause of death among both men and women in the United States. More than 2,000 Americans die of heart disease everyday. That’s about two people every minute.
Heart attacks are caused by high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, and many other factors. But experts also point to mental stress as a big contributor to ‘unmasking’ an otherwise latent heart disease. Negative emotions like frustration, anger, and even intense boredom can actually trigger heart attacks in someone who is at risk.
Luckily, there are many things we can do to significantly lower our risk of getting heart disease. We can swear off smoking, start eating right, and actually find time to exercise, but I prefer to start with the simplest technique – using an anti-stress ball. I have several of them in all shapes and colors lined up on my desk, all perky and just instantly comforting. I slip one in my pocket so that I could easily squeeze it every time I feel stress kicking in.
Anti-stress balls are designed to soften your hand wrist muscles, increase blood circulation and therefore help the heart. But aside from that they’re just cute, like this one from our ‘stress relievers’ section:
Sometimes, the simplest solutions really work best.
February 14 is fast approaching and we expect more orders for Valentine’s Day-related items, such as our best-seller, the Valentine Heart Stress Reliever.
It’s a nifty little gift item that I personally like because it looks great and is very functional. You squeeze it to relieve stress and therefore promote your heart’s health. And if that’s not cute enough, there is also this:
These adorable teddy bears wear shirts customizable with your message or logo. Customers of every age will surely love them.
But why limit your giveaways to just the usual Valentine’s day items? There are a lot of other ‘less common’ choices out there, if you know where to look. I recommend candy bags, chocolate pouches, mints, and even fancy cheese.
And if you really want something quirkier (but just as Valentine-y), try our ‘Chocolate Computer Floppy Disk’ that comes in an attractive gift box – perfect for the sweet tooth techie. Your company’s message can be imprinted on the floppy disk-shaped chocolate itself!
I’m a geek, and when we geeks get our hands on the internet, we go to eBay to surf for the most, well, geeky things. So it’s no accident that I spotted this set of collectible Star Wars drinking glasses – the same ones Burger King gave out when the first Star Wars movie came out.
Picture from eBay
See, this is what’s great about promotional products – they last a lifetime and more. Any promotional item remains valuable for as long as it can still be used, or in this case, collected.
And this is why promotional items are considered to be one of the cheapest forms of advertising. By the time your recipients throws it away or stashes it in the attic, it would have already long justified its original manufacturing cost. If you’re lucky, your promo item may even become a collectible – and sell for more than its production price. This is NOT the case with more expensive TV or radio ads, which expire the moment it finishes. That’s money down the drain, instantly. Your intended audience may never even hear or see your ad, much less remember your name and product.
Now back to the Burger King drinkware. I have to be aggressive. There’s only a few days left before someone buys this from right under my nose. This means only one thing: I will have to do what only what a true Star Wars – and promotional products fan – will do in a situation like this. I will bid. May the force be with me.