Go for Gold: Olympic Fashions!

Every 4 years, the world gathers around one special city to support and cheer on their beloved athletes and countries.

This year that city is Rio de Janeiro. All eyes will be on the Maracanã Stadium as athletes from over two hundred countries parade together in celebration of the start of the 2016 summer Olympics.

Go USA!

Go USA!

While this year’s festivities have been muddied by negative headlines surrounding the overall preparedness of Rio and the Olympic facilities, one aspect never fails at gaining the most attention: what will the athletes and their loyal fans be wearing?

Dawning face paint, crazy hats and of course, flag capes, the promotional items touted over the course of these 2 weeks never ceases to amaze viewers. Here are some of our favorites!

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind who this guy in the hate is cheering on. I mean, where can you even find a hat like that do you ask? Look no further than of course, Amazon!

Why stop at the faux fur? Add a statue to your hat!

Why stop at the faux fur? Add a statue to your hat!

I can only hope that this Brazil fan on the left is going to this year’s Olympics in his beloved country. I mean, if he went all out for the London games in 2012 like this, can you just imagine what he has in store for us this year?!

Norway has had a long standing tradition of dawning some pretty over the top uniforms. The Norway uniforms from the 2014 Olympics in Sochi inspired a whole new fashion trend: PRINTS. ALL OVER. So much so, that their fans began showing up to events in the same chevron-patterned pant suit in support of their curlers and skiers. Work it, Norway!

Olympics

Team Norway!

One of my favorite promo items that has been spotted on Shark Tank and all over are the peel away face masks. The Game Face company has everything from Olympic masks to jewel masks that all can be easily peeled off after cheering on one’s perspective team, instead of dealing with all of the messy paint. Dawn your country’s flag or favorite college team without the mess! Sure to be a big hit at this year’s Olympics!

Tell us who you will be rooting for and what are some of your favorite Olympic events below! Go USA!

Branching Out: Innovative Promo Items!

2016 is promising to bring more innovation in promo items thus far!

We are starting to see more origination and creativity, apart from the traditional embroidered cap or duffel bag. Don’t get me wrong, a pen still proves to be one of the most highly effective promo items, as we like to call them “traveling billboards”. They go everywhere with you. However, promotional items have evolved into being more useful. Our client’s want their clients to receive a promotional item that they will use every day effectively.

2,600 "Kissable" Power Bank from Orig Audio, a must-have!

2,600 “Kissable” Power Bank from Orig Audio, a must-have!

Wireless technology has taken over promotional items with the rise in power banks, Bluetooth headphones and wireless speakers. But the items that stand out are the ones that catch the client’s eye and they will want to carry with them everywhere they go, for the simple “wow” factor. One of my favorites is this lipstick tube power bank from origaudio.com, perfect for any woman on the go! A perfect example of a popular promo item, but with a twist of innovation and creativity to it. A great way to stand out from the crowd and leave others wanting to know, “where did you get that?!”

Speaking of women on the go, really any on the go can benefit from the next innovative promo item. The desire for RFID protection incorporated into our traveling promo items has risen dramatically (and we really need it here, down in Miami). From passport holders and travel wallets to luggage tags and journals, RFID technology takes the next step in what would be just an ordinary travel accessory. Protecting your personal information with these great items provides you the peace of mind you need while staying stylish and organized.

So cozy with SoHoodie!

So cozy with SoHoodie!

And while on the go, we need to keep our heads warm right?! One of the most innovative promotional items that I have seen introduced in the past year is from SoHoodie.com. It is a standalone hoodie that can be worn anywhere with anything! I mean, who doesn’t like the cozy feeling of a comfy sweatshirt hoodie? Customize it with your brand or logo and you are certainly going to be turning heads while keeping yours toasty!

These items above all have one thing in common: they took a rather simple, common promotional item and put their own whimsical twist on it. You want the promotional items you choose to not only stand out from the rest, but also to make your audience want to use them every day and for their most important functions.

 

Happy Halloween!

I have to admit that Halloween is my favorite holiday. Everyone is in a festive mood. But I really like Halloween the most because it’s my birthday! Yep, I was born on October 31. A great day too because as a child I used to pretend that everyone was celebrating my birthday! Now I’m just happy that everyone is in a good mood on my birthday.

Pumpkin Bag

Pumpkin Bag

Halloween is also a time of year that many companies are participating in many community events. And of course they want to

give something to children and of course it should have the company logo on it. We work with many large companies that celebrate the holiday every year with bags or candy or other scary items. Of course, we all want the kids to have a safe time out there playing a ghost or gobblin.

So, there are many option that can help you light up the night, literally, for instance; glow in the dark bags, reflector stickers

Reflector BOO Zipper Pull

Reflector BOO Zipper Pull

orzipper pulls, light up sticks, flashlights and even light up ice cubes (in orange of course!). I particularly like these for the adults attending those night time trick or treating community events. Think about all the glowing cups!

Of course there are also many different types of bags for all the candy collected: paper, plastic, pumpkin shaped, even Jack-o-Lantern cinch bags!

Now, it is Halloween so the kids are really looking for candy. We want it to be safe too so you can have just about any type individually wrapped with your logo (think chocolate bar) or in a cellophane baggy (think candy corn), even popcorn in your company colors!

All are a great way to keep your company name in front of the community and show that you are a good neighbor.

So, let us know if we can help now before the date is upon us. Boo!

Think Pink!

Yes, I do mean let’s think Pink in July. As fast as the year is going by the upcoming Breast Cancer Awareness month promotions for October will be here before we know it. Last year we had a number of clients call us at the end of September looking for pink items for programs they were initiating during October. Unfortunately all the manufacturers were sold out. Yes, sold out. It happens more often than you can imagine.

I know how difficult it is for many to think ahead, especially in this day and age of instant gratification but the reality is that there are limits to what is available. Most of the items are made overseas and shipped to the United States and decorated locally. Our manufacturer partners try to judge the level of need and order accordingly. Some items are more popular than others obviously so if you don’t plan ahead you may not get what you really want and need for your promotion.

Travel Tumblers Are Always on the Go

Travel Tumblers Are Always on the Go

Pink Accents Work Too!

Pink Accents Work Too!

So, what’s hot (pink!) this year? Of course for walks shirts and caps are always a hit, but don’t forget shoelaces and lanyards too. Also drinkware is a great long term reminder with the various tumblers, cups and travel mugs available. And let’s not forget bags. Pens are always useful and bags are one of the longest kept and seen promotional items available (behind a shirt of course). That’s why last year every pink bag that I searched for in early October was SOLD OUT! And given the fall is also football season you may want to try one of the clear NFL approved bags that has pink trim!

So during the summer slowdown, maybe you can carve out some time to think about the best say to remind everyone how important Breast Cancer Awareness is this October. And of course, let us know how we can help!

When Promo Products Get Weird

photo from www.tampabay.com

photo from www.tampabay.com

Professional and collegiate athletic teams give away a ton of promotional products. It’s an easy way for them to market themselves: they promote the giveaway that they are going to, well, give away, to get people excited about attending games, then once spectators leave the venue, they take their imprinted items home with them and use or display them. Therefore, they continue to see the team’s logo well after the game, and ideally that will inspire them to buy another round of tickets. Makes sense!

Teams give a variety of different promotional items. Some are pretty standard-issue marketing pieces: stress relievers, bobble heads, t-shirts, and coolers all come to mind. But some teams get pretty creative. Take, for instance, the Tampa Bay Rays, who give their fans…well…why don’t you read an article in Promo Marketing Magazine to see what one of my home state’s baseball teams hands out to its fans. Click here to read, and trust me, it’s worth it!

3 Networking Articles Worth a Read

photo from www.hercampus.com

photo from www.hercampus.com

We are busy bees over here at Gossett Marketing – promotional items are in high demand after the holidays! Because our networking has been paying off lately in the form of orders, I don’t have too much time to write a new post on the subject. Therefore, I’m going to link you to three articles that are worth taking the time to read. We can all brush up on our networking skills now and again and these well-written pieces are sure to help you to do just that.

The first piece, via Inc.com and written by Christina Desmarais, covers networking for everyone from introverts, extroverts, and the socially awkward. Read it for great tips like setting a time limit to take pressure off of yourself at events.  Click here to check it out.

Whether you always hate it or just occasionally loathe the thought of immersing yourself in a room full of strangers, the tips in this post from Careerealism.com can get you through it.  Read it here.

Lastly, Careerbuilder.com has excellent suggestions for young professionals who are just beginning their networking journey. In my opinion they saved the best piece of advice for last – “recalibrate now and again.”  Decide which tidbit you enjoy the most when you hit this link.

Read these, absorb their wisdom, and go out there and network!

Promo Products Production Times

alarm clock
If you work with a promotional marketing products distributor, then you will learn that he or she can provide you with completely customized items. He or she can also probably deliver some imprinted items to you very quickly – maybe even on the day of your order! However, your distributor most likely cannot get you totally customized items at breakneck speed.

Here’s the thing. If you order a custom promotional item it takes time to create. A supplier will need to create a mold, dye fabric, tweak machinery, have quality control tests run, or take any number of other steps to start producing your customized product. Doing so could take months! And most of this is done in China or other far-flung parts of the world, so delivery adds additional time to the process.

Promotional products that can be delivered super quickly are a bit less involved than their custom counterparts. They arrive at our suppliers’ warehouses completed and when an order comes in, they’re pulled, printed, boxed, and shipped. It’s a fairly straightforward process and you can still get awesome marketing items by going this route.

If the timelines for ordering custom versus stock promotional items seems logical, it is. Clearly starting from scratch and creating something totally unique will be a lengthier process than picking out a t-shirt and silkscreening it with a 1-color logo. However, we quite often get last-minute requests for highly customized items, and I always feel bad telling my customers that we can’t do it. So if you want something really special, be sure to plan ahead and order your promotional materials early!

Blinged-Out Promotional Products

photo from fancy.com

photo from fancy.com

I’m not sure how I missed this but last holiday season, Stella Artois teamed with Swarovski to create limited-edition crystal-encrusted beer chalices. That is precisely the kind of unique promotional marketing product that I like to blog about because it’s kind of off the wall! So this post is a little bit behind the times, but I am going to go ahead and discuss last year’s promo item just because I want to!

According to the Anheuser Busch website, “Stella Artois was first brewed as a holiday gift to the people of Leuven, Belgium. In time, its popularity prompted Stella Artois brewers to make the beer available year-round. However, every year the brand pauses to honor its holiday origins, and to honor the fans that have made Stella Artois the world’s best-selling Belgian beer.” Last year the brand paid tribute to its history with the aforementioned blinged-out chalice.

The limited-edition drinkware was available to the beer-drinking public via the website Fancy.com, and although they cost a whopping $500.00 each, they sold out. I guess they were a good gift for the Stella enthusiast who has everything?!

Regardless as to who may have purchased the holiday chalices, this kind of promotional item is always a smart way to do a little bit of extra marketing. They are unique, difficult to obtain, and because of that they made it into the news cycle. While most people who saw them probably didn’t run out and buy them, they might have forwarded the image along to friends, and I’m sure somewhere along the way they inspired someone to go out and buy a Stella Artois. If nothing else, then I’m still talking about it nearly a year later – that has to count for something!

Why your Promo Products Must be Good Enough

photo from pacepurge.wordpress.com

photo from pacepurge.wordpress.com

As you’ve read time and time again here on our blog, I work at Gossett Marketing which is a promotional marketing material distributorship. That means that I am surrounded by logoed merchandise whenever I’m at work. There are printed pens in a local bank’s mug on my desk. We have closets full of apparel – much of it embroidered for particular companies. There are shelves and shelves of bags, notepads, hand fans, technology… You name it, we’ve got it and it’s imprinted with a logo!

We have so many promotional materials hanging around that it is hard to keep track of what is new and fun and what has been discontinued, so when we have any downtime at the office we sort through and purge old samples. Those very often end up coming home with my coworkers and me, so at this point I’m also up to my eyeballs with promo items after work!

With all of that said, hopefully you can understand why I do not take other company’s promotional products when they are proffered. I have enough of them. I understand why they want to give me their t-shirt, I really do. But I just don’t have sufficient room for one more thing!

Well, my husband went to Comcast the other day because we needed a new cable box. He came back with our new electronics all in a huge, red bag emblemized with information about their Xfinity service. I hate to say it because I didn’t sell it to them, but it’s an awesome marketing piece. It’s roomy, it has big exterior pockets, and it has already been with me to Publix.

Basically the point of this post is that if you give away promotional materials that are good enough – useful, good looking, novel, whatever “good enough” may mean – then people will use them. That brings exposure to your logo and helps you to build your brand.

Field Trip to the Promo Item Factory!

Susan & Megan at the factory.

Susan & Megan at the factory.

I talk a lot about imprinting promotional marketing products. I discuss size restrictions, numbers of colors, embroidery stitches, laser engraving, pad printing, transfer prints, reversing logos, print tolerances, four color process, CMYK, die cutting, sand etching… Clearly I can go on and on. Part of my job is to ensure that my customer is getting his or her logo printed properly on an item, so I need to know about the different processes to ensure that we get it right. I’ve known a lot about various decoration methods for a while, but I had never seen the imprinting process in action until we recently visited one of our preferred supplier’s factories! It was a Gossett Marketing field trip!

There are not too many suppliers imprinting promotional marketing items within easy driving distance from Coconut Grove, but fortunately Bullet is. Bullet carries really quintessential promotional products – think pens, stress relievers, letter openers, flashlights, tote bags, water bottles, and the like – so visiting their facility gave our team a great overview of various decoration methods.

Our beloved former inside sales rep Mike Sasario gave us the tour. He started us out in the screen printing room where we were shown logos being converted to the actual screen stencils through which ink presses to create an image on a bag. From there we went to watch bags actually being decorated. It’s actually more hands-on than I thought it would be because someone has to sit at a machine, align a bag on its own specially-sized holder, press a pedal, and then the ink is squeegeed on. The bags are put onto a conveyor belt that carries them through a dryer after which they are hand packed into boxes. Considering this is a supplier who recently turned 5,000 backpacks around for us in less than 24 hours, that seems like a lot of manual labor.

After bags, we toured the drinkware area, pens, and then my favorite – laser engraving. I have items laser engraved quite regularly, but I never thought about how it actually happens. Well, just like it sounds, a laser beam physically carves a logo into an item. It was really fast and quite cool to watch: like mini lightsabers etching metal.

We made a few more stops to see how multicolored imprints are created. This can be very labor intensive in the case of printed transfer graphics (like a souped-up version of iron-on decals for a t-shirt). A little less so if something is pad printed. And fairly simple if a particular product is able to go through a printer that can mark it with a special UV ink.

Our last stop was to the sample room where we loaded up on the items that our customers will love in our supplier’s freshest colors.

Our field trip was a blast and we definitely learned a lot about the items that they sell. My only disappointment? That there was not a conveyor belt filled with chocolate like in the YouTube clip from I Love Lucy below!

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