With the Chelsea Flower Show just underway, now is the time to add a splash of colour to your promotions! Running from May 20th -25th, the world famous flower show is completely sold out – a definite indication of the popularity of horticulture!
Embracing trends as part of an advertising campaign is a quick and easy way to show your brand as being relevant – and what better theme than a summery filled spectacle?
Starting with the newest addition to our range, our top pick for ‘green fingered’ promotions is the promotional plant pouch. This compact size plant kit is filled with compost made from recycled household waste and comes with a choice of seeds. Choose basil for a healthy edible treat, or for a floral touch, choose from busy lizzies or forget-me-nots. Ideal for any eco-friendly or outdoor promotion, full colour branding can be added to the front label.
For a more study-looking kit, our eco plant pot is made from ‘green’ materials, again available with a choice of plants and herbs. The outer can be personalised with a full wraparound print and includes the name of your seed variety so you don’t forget! Filled with recycled compost, this flowery advertiser is a great idea for a promotion with longevity and especially suited to garden centres, community programmes or schools.
If rustic style is more your thing then this tiny terracotta pot is a thoughtful and fitting gesture. Comprising of a mini plant pot, seeds and a soil block, this kit has everything you need for horticultural goodness – just add water and sunlight! Choose from flowers (such as forget me not), herbs (chives), or for a tasty treat – tomatoes or strawberry plants. The card outer wrapper features a full colour image of the plant and offers a good sized print area on the front.
Finally, for recipients without green fingers, why not brand a funky flower highlighter? Each petal hides a different colour highlighter, and the central panel can be digitally printed. Not only does this mean a wonderfully vibrant finish, it also allows a faster turnaround – ideal if you’re working with a deadline. Small enough to be sent out as a mailer, highlighters are suited to a whole range of recipients – schools and colleges, offices, and anyone that appreciates a useful novelty.
Summer is approaching fast, and things are finally starting to hot up! We are also seeing an influx of orders from well-prepared marketers, thinking ahead to summer campaigns. If you haven’t already started, here is a little help in the form of our top 5 sunny advertisers.
6 Can Cooler Bag
A great giveaway, this 6 can cooler bag is also the perfect size for an individual picnic lunch. The reflective lining keeps the contents satisfyingly cool, whilst the wipe-clean outer can be branded with your logo. Highly portable, and used for both work and pleasure, the cooler bag ensures that your branding is seen out and about for maximum exposure value.
Your customers will effortlessly carry your logo when you hand out these stylish shades. They also provide UV400 protection – associating a safe and healthy message with your brand. Ideal for shows and trade fairs, as part of travel and leisure campaigns, or simply as a gift for existing clients, sunglasses are inherently practical – and therefore welcomed. Complete with a storage pouch.
Promotional Lip Balm
Often associated with winter, lip balm is ideal for keeping lips luscious during the summer months. The casing is available in a wide range of bright and summery colours, and the balm provides a UV15 protection for lips. A lip smackin’ idea that will always come in useful.
Who can resist a bit of fun in the sun?! Our bat and ball game set is sure to be a big hit on the beach, and ideal for travel or holiday promotions. Even if given to kids, it’s guaranteed that mums and dads will want to join in – perhaps even extending to fellow beach neighbours! Add your logo to the bats for a fun and lively advertiser that has the potential to be kept and used year after year.
The sky’s the limit with this top seller! Great value, this plastic flying disc has wide appeal and a superb print area for promoting your logo. Being light enough to fly also means it is light enough to post out without breaking the bank! Perfect for schools, clubs, and health groups, the flyer is available in a choice of vibrant colours to highlight your company branding.
With the light and airy mornings this week, I’ve spotted a proliferation of dedicated golfers on the course as early as 7.30am. For many, this is a chance to unwind, but for others it is a chance to ‘talk shop’ without office distractions. It is also a great opportunity for you to promote your logo.
With golfing giveaways starting from just 5p, there are a range of golf products to suit all budgets. Tees, for example, are perfect for personalising with a phone number or web address, and have a great ROI. They are also ideal for getting your details noticed, and allowing them to be kept to hand.
Golf balls are, of course, the classic golfing gift and well received as a giveaway. Your logo or text can be added to a range of popular and respected brands including Titleist, Callaway Warbird and the Wilson range. Golf balls will be appreciated by any golf enthusiast, but this is the one area where cutting corners on budget is ill-advised. Golfers are a discerning target audience and poor quality balls simply aren’t as usable! To play it safe, our best selling Titleist Pro V1 is always a good option.
At the other end of the scale, branding can be applied to high quality gifts such as a golf umbrella – a welcome gift for use both on and off the course. And because golf brollies come in a wide range of colourways, it is easy to find a look to complement your company branding.
Away from the course, golfing giveaways are great for shows and exhibitions, and for inclusion in direct mailers. Forks and tees are very thin, fitting perfectly into the latest postal pricing restructure. Equally, a golfing goody bag or towel is suitable for mailing and ideal as a summer brand reminder.
For a more executive led promotion, personalised golfing apparel works well as a business reminder and can be embroidered for added luxury. This offers a greater longevity than a printed logo and is recommended for clothing personalisation.
So, whether your client base comprises a good proportion of golfers, or whether this demographic remains an untapped source of custom so far, it is definitely worth considering branded golfing goods as part of your next advertiser.
We are firmly into April, and finally the bad weather seems to have abated! However, we still have ‘April Showers’ to plan for. Whilst this may not be welcome news for sun worshippers, it is good news for your logo. Branded products, such as umbrellas, can save your customers from a downpour, and are always welcomed and valued.
Umbrellas are a classic April promotional gift – suitable as a practical giveaway or executive gift. Used by virtually any target audience, both in daily life and at organised outdoor events, umbrellas are a high-profile way to get your logo noticed. They are portable, bold, and stand head and shoulders above a crowd.
Golf umbrellas remain the most popular style, largely due to the excellent size branding they offer. As with most umbrellas, the budget can be controlled by the number of panels that you want to personalise. For a budget advertiser, opt for a single colour print to one panel; for high visibility branding, consider a multiple coloured print, applied to alternate or every panel.
If golf umbrellas are too big for your requirements, telescopic umbrellas are a space saving alternative – practical and easily stored. Or for a high tech offering, why not impress your customers with a storm proof design? Able to withstand the strongest winds, this is a practical giveaway for the blustery British weather.
Umbrellas are ideal as an advertiser, not least due to the large number of available colourways. With up to 15 panel colour options per umbrella, it’s easy to find one to complement your corporate colours. Many umbrellas also offer dye sub printing, so you can create full colour designs for vibrant designs. Think big, bold advertising!
Away from umbrellas, wet weather ponchos are proving a very popular alternative. For an innovative design, our Wet Weather Poncho Ball is a great way to promote your brand – not to mention excellent value. Conveniently sized, the poncho is contained within a handy plastic ball and can be personalised with a message or logo. The compact design also allows for easy storage, meaning it can be easily distributed – perhaps even as a mail out.
Hopefully, summer will arrive soon enough, but until then – embrace the rain!
The satchel bag has made a big comeback over the past few years, championed by fashion brands Zatchels and The Cambridge Satchel Company. Quintessentially British and steeped in heritage, this trend is now starting to make its way into the world of promotional products. Whilst some trends come and go, this one looks set to stay: it’s bold, practical and appeals to a wide demographic.
The satchel influence can already be seen across a range of promotional bags, from the classic meeting briefcase to our latest satchel style shoulder bag. Ideal for school and office promotions, this recent addition is practical and handy, and available in a vibrant range of colours options.
Bright neons were also big on the catwalks for spring/summer 13, so incorporating this theme into your campaigns is a great way to showcase your brand as current.
Another colour trend that has caught our eye is monochrome. Stylish and chic, with enduring appeal, the classic combination of black and white can be found across many of our tote, shopper and sports bags. The hugely popular Rainham Tote captures the theme well, and offers a super size print area for any logo or message.
Eco concerns are always high on the agenda and ‘sustainable fashion’ is now being touted as, well, the latest trend. Designers and fashion houses have been quick to embrace this concept, and increasingly eco focused ranges have started to appear at all the major shows.
Away from the catwalk (and the eye watering price tags) eco promotional bags have become somewhat of a fashion mainstay. Our personal favourites include the best selling printed cotton shopper, along with new additions – the Jute Portrait Shopper and the Compact Jute.
Lastly, technology holders have been popping up as a key accessory this season, featured by many of the leading designers. For gents, brands such as Armani, Kenneth Cole and Reiss showcased textured styling and soft grain leathers; whilst for the ladies, pastels and neons took centre stage. Chic with a twist, seems to be the underlying theme and this concept can be found in our new additions: the Senator Skuba Case and the PU iPad Sleeve.
Fun, yet practical, we expect gadget holders to continue as a growing trend well into 2013 – watch this space…
Today, I received a parcel containing handicraft items I had ordered from a small online retailer. Despite being a ‘cottage industry’, the owner had included a fridge magnet with her contact details and a reminder of items she supplies.
The magnet went straight onto my fridge, because it was handy, it supplied exactly the information I wanted to remember, and it will certainly serve as a memory aid next time I need to buy more of the same products. For a small business, this type of reminder is absolutely vital.
For many start-ups, promotional products are a cost effective and successful method of marketing. With a constant eye on budget constraints, printed gifts typically cost much less than other forms of advertising and are unique in the tactile interaction they provide.
Firstly, they promote brand awareness. When growing a small business, the aim is to maximise brand exposure and become more recognised. Any opportunity to display or circulate branding should be seized, especially where competition is fierce. Even a one man band can afford to advertise with promotional products; the key is to target appropriately. For example, a tradesman could fasten receipts and paperwork together with a branded jumbo paper clip, or leave a fridge magnet on pipe work or a boiler which has been fixed. This will help to serve as a reminder for any future work, and provide a handy reference should these details need to be passed on.
Secondly, branded gifts can be used to grow a marketing database. A branded product can be offered as a reciprocal gift, in return for contact details and other marketing data. It is a fact of human nature that when something free is given, we feel obliged to reciprocate, even if only with contact details. Any data obtained can then be used to support email shots, direct mail and other marketing campaigns. Factoring this back into the cost of the original promotional product also means that ROI starts to look very favourable.
Thirdly, promotional products can be used as a reward for loyal custom. Customers see temptation everywhere, so offering something tangible, in return for a repeat order, can be very effective. For this to work well, the gift has to be sufficiently attractive and reflective of the purchase spend – a cheap giveaway will not suffice if the order value is over a certain threshold. However, don’t think that you need to spend vast sums of money on a custom loyalty programme. There are plenty of affordable, high quality gifts that are suitable for this purpose. Examples include a personalised teddy for a kid’s meal giveaway, or a branded jute bag for a boutique retailer.
And lastly, don’t forget the ‘personal nature’ of promotional products. Unlike other forms of advertising, a gift is physical, tangible and memorable – factors that transcend the daily bombardment from other mediums.
Although the view from our office window is hail and snow flurries, our customers are full steam ahead for Easter! Easter is a great opportunity to send a ‘Thank You’ gift to clients, showing your appreciation, whilst reinforcing the existing business relationship.
When we think of Easter, traditional images spring to mind – chicks, flowers, eggs, bunnies…. and an abundance of chocolate! Most people appreciate a choccie treat, so why not apply your branding and a ‘Happy Easter’ message to our popular egg pouch? Filled with mini choc eggs, these are perfect to share with colleagues, reward staff or to keep to yourself.
Along the same lines and growing ever popular is the trend of sending customers a treat-filled mug. Fillings can include mini eggs, chocolate bars or even a smaller cuddly toy – just be sure to check that the dimensions will fit before ordering!
Suitable for virtually all age ranges, this is a great option for maximising the Easter theme – ensuring that your message is retained after the eggs have been eaten!
As an alternative to the Easter Bunny, another idea is to give an Easter teddy. Personalised with branding on a sash or a t-shirt, a bear is a cute and cuddly, as well as being a healthier alternative to chocolates. Bears also have a high retention value; never under estimate the number of cuddly toys living in desk in-trays, or taken home for the kids!
Whilst chocolates and sweets are an obvious choice for Easter, how about giving a gift that represents the ‘new life’ theme to the season? These handy terracotta pots come complete with soil tablet and seeds to be planted, whilst offering a good sized branding area on the card outerwrap.
Finally, with Easter comes the bright and sunny weather. Reflecting this in your promotional merchandise will brighten up your message – especially if this is achieved using digital printing. Digital print allows vibrant full colour prints to be applied to a wide range of products, which is a great chance to draw attention to your branding. For more inspiration, check out our latest digital print section.
It’s March! And that signals two things: the start of spring and time to start planning those warmer weather promotions.
No more excuses about the cold weather – the new season is a great time to introduce a ‘Health and Fitness’ campaign. Whether you’re planning a ‘keep fit’ incentive at work or sourcing giveaways for your next conference, a sporting twist will help to tone and flex your brand credentials.
Choosing a promotional sports bottle is a great way to do this and will ensure that your logo is seen on a daily basis. Our most popular item is the Promosafe Water Bottle - great value and available in a huge range of 13 colours (including many bright and airy spring hues). Alternatively, a recent addition to our sports bottle range is the health bottle – hygienic, eco-friendly, and very practical for daily use in the gym, school, office, or on the move.
Pedometers are still the mainstay of spring marketing and our budget pedometer offers fantastic value as a giveaway or a sales incentive. A quirky yet sensible gimmick, however, might be to combine the pedometer giveaway with a wet weather poncho ball, since no one can predict the British weather!
Along the same theme, a branded umbrella will always come in handy, and is perhaps a bit more flattering than the wet weather poncho
We all have the very best of practical intentions in spring – from cleaning out old clutter to completing ‘odd jobs’ we’ve put off since winter. With this in mind, practical gifts such as a branded tape measure or a promotional torch can come in very useful, as well offering a high retention value.
For office-based recipients, a spring clean of their workspace can be helped with the gift of a brandable desk set. Or, for those meticulous about keeping their mobile phones clean, this handy 2 in 1 Phone Holder and Cleaner is a perfect, no nonsense giveaway.
Finally, spring also signals the start of the UK golfing season. Always popular as a giveaway, promotional golf items can help to cement new business relations or generate new interest on the golf course. Win win for your branding, on and off the course!
Do terms like ‘dye sub’ and ‘tampo’ draw blank expressions? Fear not. With a huge array of personalisation options, new customers to the promotional gifts industry can be easily forgiven for getting a little confused!
Different printing methods are best suited to different products so here is our simple at-a-glance guide to branding to get you started.
A screen print is best described as a stencil. A unique screen is created for your design, and the ink is applied and pushed through this screen during the printing process. This is a very traditional printing method, but is still fairly commonplace today. As a separate screen is required for each colour, this method is best suited to artwork with a single or few colours in order to keep costs to a minimum. It also works best on a flat/regular surface – to enable the screen to be laid out and used successfully. Plastic items such as pens and Frisbees, or fabrics such as t-shirts and hoodies work best.
For curvy or irregularly shaped promotional products, a tampo print can be applied. Through this method, ink is applied to a rubber stamp-pad, in order to transfer the design to the product.
For clothing or other fabric items, embroidery is often the best method of personalisation. With a greater longevity than ink prints, embroidered logos are created based on a stitch count. Embroidery also adds an air of quality to the garments. An average count (if there is any such thing!) tends to be around 8000 stitches; the cost will be proportional to the number of stitches needed to reproduce your design.
The rise in popularity of digitally printed goods has been prolific in recent years, and printers are constantly being upgraded and improved to produce ever increasing results. The tailor-made digital printing equipment can print a full colour high resolution image onto a range of promotional gifts. The most striking advantage of this method is the clarity of the artwork. But, it has unique cost benefits too – small print runs are possible, and design alterations can be made to each run if necessary. From pens and coasters to mobile phone cases and air fresheners, there is a vast array of products that can be digitally printed.
This is a specialised form of digital printing, which works via heat. The solid inks are heated at a high temperature until they turn directly into a gas; this process is called sublimation. As a gas, they permeate the surface of the product to which the design is being applied, then cool down and revert to solid form (deposition). A great benefit of this branding method is the durability of the finished product – the design is literally part of the product, as it combines with the surface whilst hot. The quality of images used is also very high, as the pixels are less ‘dotty’ than inkjet-type printers. However, dye sub can only be used on certain products – those with a polyester or polymer surface, and those which can also tolerate the extreme temperatures required by the process. In short – great for mugs, not at all good for cotton t shirts!
This method is most commonly recognised on the covers of leather bound diaries and notebooks. A block is created, which is stamped onto the product surface under great pressure. This leaves an impression, either the same colour as the leather (blind embossing), or filled in with foil (usually silver or gold).
Similar to blocking, die stamping uses the same process, to apply personalisation to a metal object. The stamp can be used to apply branding to a range of metalware, for example stainless steel hipflasks or trolley coin key rings. As with blocking, the impression can be left plain, or can be in filled with colour.
A very traditional art, engraving has evolved from bespoke hand engraving, to a machine-led mass production, and now to laser engraving. This latter process allows great precision, so very complex designs can be reproduced on metals, stone, crystalware, and glass. Large areas of infill should be avoided, as the nature of the process on glass cannot guarantee a uniform clarity of engraving over a plain wide area. But for detailing, laser engraving is an ideal option.
With everyone eagerly awaiting the Brit Awards on 20th February, we thought we’d honour home grown UK talent within the promotional gifts industry! So here are our very own Brit nominations for the top 5 products made in the UK.
These hard top mousemats are produced in the UK to exacting standards – the full colour process provides an unrivalled clarity for your artwork, and is sure to catch the eye of anyone in the office or home. Available in standard or bespoke shapes, the britemat is the most popular promotional mousemat within our range.
Often perceived as a cheaply produced giveaway, air fresheners are manufactured in the UK to a high quality at a great price! These fresheners are composed of wood pulp from sustainable forests, and scented with natural oils. Highly versatile to fit in with any promotion, they can be created to bespoke shapes, printed full colour on one or both sides, and have a choice of hanger (plastic or elastic cord).
Stress balls are a popular and well known promotional novelty item, far more cost effective and time efficient to source in the UK. From the classic ball, to the quirky house, these stress shapes are recycled and biodegradable… and fun! Add your printed logo for a long lasting and memorable giveaway, ideal for all ages.
Badges are a classic giveaway or fundraiser, providing extensive brand exposure when worn on clothing or the bags of recipients. They can also become highly sought after and collectable – a great ROI from such a low budget product. Choose from a range of sizes and a choice of pin fittings, and display your company details with pride.
Finally, who can resist the offer of chocolate? Whilst the origins of this sweet treat lie in South America, the UK boasts some undeniably superb chocolate makers. Chocolate releases endorphins in the brain – hormones that make you happy. What better feeling to link with your branding?! Chocolate, and other sweet treats, can be branded in a variety of quirky or subtle packaging. One of our top picks is the Cadburys miniatures, presented in a neat plastic gift box. Cadburys represents quality, whilst also being a fairtrade product; a very positive representation with which to link your business. A box of a dozen is a great gesture, which can be shared amongst friends and colleagues – or not!