Why Promotional Products Are Important To Higher Education Part III: Tangible & Appreciated

Envelope Character with Thank You Note

Typically, the words Thank You and Advertising do not mix.

You do not thank advertisers when your favorite television program is interrupted by numerous commercials or when all you want to do is listen to music, but all you hear is commercial after commercial.  And when someone hands you a paper flyer as you approach a crosswalk or when you thumb through tons of ads in a magazine, you do not appreciate being inturrupted by this form of traditional advertising.

However, unlike visual and audio advertising (which can often times be received unfavorably), promotional products are tangible and appreciated marketing tools. They provide a unique approach to this traditional trade.

Promotional products are also long lasting. Fact: 1/3 of all promotional products (otherwise referred to as ‘ad specialties’) are still being used one year later!  Why?  Because they are tangible and useful products that people can actually use.

Because promotional products are tangible and useful, people will generally say thank you, when they receive them — they are actually appreciative for your marketing approach!  When else does this happen?

Recruitment & Guests

One area where the use of promotional products as marketing vehicles for your school works best is recruitment.  When you go out to various different collegiate fairs, events, or meetings, giving students something to remember your school by is an important part of brand recognition — it also acts as a meaningful intermediary between your school and that student.

Likewise, when students visit college campuses they love to walk away holding tangible objects to remember their visit by.  Students appreciate a school’s willingness to go above and beyond typical conventions.  And when they are trying to decide between two alike schools, that pennant sitting on their desk, or the tech accessory they enjoy can help distinguish your school from the rest and keep you top of mind.

Example ProductMicrofiber cleaning cloth — We’re living in a technological world and students can be messy.  They need something to clean off the fingerprints on their computer, iPad, iPod, etc. screens.

Any time a guest speaker, lecturer, or group visit your campus, make sure to give them a small promotional item to say thanks.  In turn, they will appreciate this gesture and your product will continual source of advertising.

Example Product: A ceramic mug (or travel tumbler) with an individual packet of coffee inside — Your logo will be carried with this person whenever they use drink their morning coffee.


Promotional products can also work as a marketing medium for alumni groups.  These tangible items market membership, events, etc., while also developing awareness and generating support for the group.

By using promotional products, people appreciate the sentiment while the items continue to market the school for years to come.

Custom Stoles & Sashes Helping Differentiate Your Grads!

Graduates Tossing Hats in Air

College graduation: One of the most pivitol times in a young person’s life up to that point.  After four (plus) years of studying, partying, cram sessions, sleep depravation, and countless packs of ramen later, you finally get to put on that traditional cap and gown walk with your peers into the next chapter of your life.  And while traditionally, being part of that large homologus graduate group is an honor, more and more schools, departments, and groups are starting to differentiate themselves from the standard cap and gown attire.

The conventional honors cord, a staple piece used by most schools today, is given to those students who show exemplary academic achievement.  Some schools even use different colored cords to denote the different between honors or high honors for their students.  It is a simple yet effective way to acknowledge those high achieving students amongst their peers.

Gold Graduate Tassel Cord White Graduate Tassel Cord
(More colors available)
Recently, a popular trend sweeping the promotional products market is the use of custom stoles/sashes for undergraduate ceremonies. Traditionally, graduate students and distinquished faculty will wear stoles, however, now more schools are using stoles for their undergrads as well. Custom stoles (long pieces of fabric made out of bridal satin material) can be drapped around a graduate’s neck either in place of or along with an honors cord.  Stoles are used to differentiate students in a multitude of different ways and similar to tassles, they become a special keepsake for students after graduation.

Johns Hopkins Sample Wet Dyed Stole
(custom dyed)

Carlington College Custom Embroidered Stole

Custom Silkscreen Stole

Fully Custom Stoles

Embroidered and silk-screen are the most common types of stoles — they have a quick turn around and are easy to design. The drawback though is you only have a handful of colors to choose from and images/words/school logos often come across flat.

With fully custom stoles, you can produced an exact match of your school’s colors. You are also able to have fun with the stoles by utilizing accent marks and depth portayal.  These features really make your logo/image pop and convey a sense of school pride.

The minimum order for custom stoles is 100 and the lead time is around 6 weeks — But with the proper planning, the end result with definitely be worth it!  You will have fully custom stoles that uniquely represent your school.

Custom Stole Uses

*In place of the traditional honor cord
*To differentiate departments or schools within a university
*To show students who are part of different school associations
*For professors, guest lecturers, special speakers, or faculty
*One color for men and one color for women – used in place of different color gowns

Custom stoles are available at a standard 60″ in length or as extra longs at 72″.  Silkscreen printing, embroidery, and fully customized dyed options are available as well as plain blank stole pieces.  Traditional cords are also available and all pieces come in 12 different stock colors: black, gold, hunter green, light gray, maroon, navy, purple, red, royal, and white.
For more information about any of these products, or to order, contact us via email or at 414-831-0184.