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Great Additions for Your Corporate Apparel Program

Earlier this week we told you about everything we learned when Peerless Umbrella stopped by, and yesterday we switched gears to learn about new apparel options from Cutter & Buck. You may have heard of Cutter & Buck before, as they are a high-end retail brand offered in stores such as Nordstroms and many golf pro shops.

With their 2017 line having just been released last week, we saw some great new pieces that would be perfect additions to your next corporate apparel program. Check out some of our favorites from Cutter and Buck and their partner line, Clique, below:

Fine Twill Easy Care Dress Shirts

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Choose easy care for a crisp, professional look. This wrinkle-resistant 60% cotton, 40% polyester twill provides the powerful style you desire. The button-down collar, coordinating logo buttons, double-back pleat, barrel cuffs with tonal C&B pennant embroidery, and chest patch pocket offer a strong appearance for men. The tailored-fit styles are cut closer to the body with higher armholes resulting in a trimmer silhouette. Ladies enjoy pin-tuck detailing on the collar and cuffs, coordinated logo buttons, piping on the inside back neck, eye-catching princess seams, and a tonal C&B embroidery pennant.

The Shaw

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Incredible design goes hand-in-hand with sporty performance in the Shaw Hybrid Half-Zip. The mock neck protects against wind and sun while the ultra soft, 92% polyester and 8% spandex fabrication wicks moisture to keep you comfortable. The contrast piecing, C&B heat transfer at the back neck add a modern touch. Ladies’ include zip pocket at the sleeve for added storage.

Hamden Jacquard Polo/Half-Zip

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Light as a feather with an elegant tonal texture, the Men’s CB DryTec Hamden Jacquared is built to perform. The moisture-wicking 100% polyester jacquard fabrication with tonal stripes and side vents ensure all day comfort, while the silver piping at the neck, and C&B pennant embroidery at the back provide modern style elements. Look your best while you perform in comfort with the moisture-wicking Ladies’ CB DryTec Hamden Half-Zip. The 100% polyester and jacquard jersey fabrication with tonal stripes, and thumb holes on the cuff provide for a cozy start to those cool mornings.

The Telemark

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Outsmart the wind, rain, and cold with this lightweight, high-performance softshell. Fashioned from duable 96% polyester, 4% spandex plain weave softshell fabric, the Telemark fabric is waterproof to 1,000mm, keeping you dry. The mock neck, microfleece lining, and elasticized cuffs keep you cozy, dry, and protected from adverse weather.

The Moss

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Neither wind nor tight budgets stand a chance against this stylish 100% polyester windbreaker. Styled with elastic cuffs, convenient stow-away hood, and covered front pockets, the Moss is the perfect option for lightweight weather protection. it also includes an internal locker loop for easy storage when the elements are less inclement.

For More Information

Do any of these items seem like the perfect fit for your next round of corporate apparel? Just let us know and one of our Account Managers would be happy to share more information about these and other great Cutter & Buck items!

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring… and We’ve Got the Solution!

An umbrella makes a great promotional gift because everyone needs one, but who really wants to go out and buy one? You can also never have too many umbrellas – keep one in the car, one at the house, one at the office, and more!

A few weeks ago Peerless Umbrella, our go-to production partner for umbrellas, stopped by our office to tell us about what’s new and trending in umbrellas.

Read on to learn more about our favorite umbrellas!

 

The Rebel

The Rebel

What’s New – The Rebel

The newest addition to Peerless’ line is the most unique umbrella we’ve ever seen – the Rebel.

We’ve all been in the situation where it’s pouring rain as you’re running to your car, and you have to make a quick decision. Do I try to get my umbrella closed as I’m in the car and risk getting my car wet, or do I just get soaked and close it before I get in? The Rebel is the solution to your problem.

With an inverted design the Rebel closes away from you, keeping you dry as you get into your car or walk into a building.

Click the image to the right to see exactly how it works!

 

The Mojo

The Mojo

What’s Trending – Unique Use of Color

We all have seen the basic black umbrella or the standard two-tone umbrella, but are you looking for something that can make you stand out from the crowd?

We can help you do that! From a new twist on the two-tone umbrella to a black umbrella with full-color clouds on the interior, we have just what you need to make a unique statement for your brand.

Check out our favorite to the left – the Mojo comes in black or navy blue with accented internal hardware in a variety of colors.

 

A Custom Full Color Umbrella

A Custom Full Color Umbrella

What’s Trending – Full Color

Do you have a logo that’s too unique for a standard single-color print? How about a picture of a new building or location that you want to show off? We’ve got the solution – a full color umbrella!

Pick from folding, fashion or golf for the handle and frame, and an interior or exterior full color print. An added bonus? On some sizes and designs we’re able to print domestically, cutting almost two full months off of production time.

It is sure to make your stand out from the crowd on a rainy day!

 

For More Information

Would an umbrella be the perfect fit for a project you’re working on, or would you just like more information? Just let us know what you’re looking for, and we can present some options that will be the perfect accent for your next marketing campaign. We’re here to make your brand stand out from the crowd, rain or shine!

The Keyboard Sticker

Keyboard Sticker Blog Post

I bet many (if not all) of your incoming freshmen applied to your school through your website – most likely sitting at a computer. During the next four years of their lives, your students will spend countless hours on their computers – writing and researching papers, completing homework assignments and more. And that’s just the incoming class of 2020. Think about all the ways that your constituents use their computers – students writing papers, alumni making donations and faculty advising their students, just to name a few.

Since computers and technology are such an integral part of life today for your current and prospective students, alumni, faculty and more, what better way to keep your brand right in front of them than by using their own computers as a promotional item?

UW Keyboard Sticker

University of Wisconsin’s Keyboard Sticker

Our exclusively designed keyboard sticker is an inexpensive, engaging and unique way to do just that. You can customize any computer key with a ½” sticker, quickly making a keyboard the hard-to-miss advertisement for your institution.

These keyboard stickers have been a hit with many of our clients and they are the perfect way for you to reach out to current and perspective students, donors, alumni and more.

Many schools have used the same template, but do you want to switch it up? We can do that! Add more keys, make a bigger card, or even turn the keyboard sticker into a postcard. If you can design it, we can do it.

Email your Account Manager to discuss how the keyboard sticker could be the next great addition to your marketing platform.

Promotional Products as Ways to Say Thank You

Promotional products are frequently used as ways to say thank you to very important people.  They are used to recognize an employee achievement, participation in an event, or simply thank staff, volunteers, or even customers for their loyalty and support. We’ve created many promotional items over the years to serve as an appreciated “thank you” that has more staying power than a simple note. If you’re looking for unique ideas for your own organization, check out these case studies to learn how these companies thanked tennis tournament participants, employees, alumni and donors.

Higher Ed: A Useful Gift that Says Thank You

 

UWM Smartphone StandThanking important donors and alumni by providing a small gift is commonplace for alumni and development offices. The Alumni Relations Director and Development Officer from the School of Dentistry at the University of Minnesota was on the search for a unique and useful donor recognition gift. Her requirements were:

 – Convenient to use at Events

 – Easy to mail as a thank you

 – Useful, and unique item

  The Smartspot SmartPhone stand was the ideal promotional item for their needs.  Learn more about the product and its uses on the case study page.

Tennis Club: Unique Promotional Items for Athletic Events

Tritan Tervis Style Tumbler

Western Racquet Club wanted to find something unique and different that tournament participants would enjoy, while staying within their budget. This unique Tervis style tumbler fit the bill.

To read more about this project, including product details, click through to the case study page.

 

Hospital / Medical College: A Fun, New Employee Appreciation Gift

Pieladium Bluetooth Speaker

Each year the Medical College of Wisconsin Center for Patient Care and Outcomes Research hosts a year-end luncheon meeting for its faculty and staff. To demonstrate appreciation, each individual receives a gift. Our client was looking for something that was good quality, affordable, and something that would have a wide appeal to all of their faculty and staff.

Michael and the account manager discovered the Pieladium Bluetooth Speaker, a fun, technology related item, which is a very popular and fast growing category of promotional items.  Read more about product features, the easy buying process, and how recipients liked their gift in the case study.

 

 

 

Want MORE Ideas?

Each company needs to say thank you with a targeted, relevant promotional item, so contact us for additional recognition ideas.

You can also browse our Idea Gallery for a few other suggestions.

Creative Imprints Make a Statement

Are you looking for ways to make your logo standout on a coffee mug, water bottle, or glass? Check out these creative imprints to make a statement!

UCLA crest imprint on glass

Sample of a Mirror Imprint

Mirror Imprint

The interior portion of a glass or clear piece can be looked at through a reverse view, as shown in the UCLA glass above. We take the logo and provide a reflective image. Both logos are on one side of the piece, so you aren’t having to cancel out logos in two different locations. The UCLA blue logo is viewed across the opposite side of the glass in the left most part of the image.

Tone on Tone Wrap Print with LinkedIn Logo

Tone on Tone Wrap Print with LinkedIn Logo

Matte / Glossy Tone on Tone Wrap Print Example

Matte / Glossy Tone on Tone Wrap Print Example

Tone on Tone Wrap Print

The wrap goes around the piece almost completely with a retail branding of a glossy finish on a matte piece. There will be a small gap, instead of it being a full 360 degree wrap. The gap allows you to place your logo vertically. In this form of design you can take an emblem/crest/part of the logo for the wrap as you can see in the LinkedIn sample. If there is something unique to the company, such as a tire tread, an arch, or just wording of what a company offers, it can be wrapped around the bottle for emphasis, as in the Yokohoma picture.

Glitz Print Decoration Method

Glitz Print Decoration Method

Glitz Print

This decoration allows a shiny contrast in a two color design or highlights a logo beautifully. If you want to add a sheen to a logo for vibrancy, then glitz print will be the perfect choice. The sample above has a beautiful, glittery effect!

One of our Projects

One design client of ours loves the matte black finish on their coffee mugs. Here’s an image of one mug that we recently created:

Tone on tone glossy imprint on matte black

Tone on tone glossy imprint on matte black

They sell these mugs on their online store with a choice of the tone on tone imprint or white & red imprint on matte black. Now if that doesn’t make a statement, then I don’t know what does! What is your favorite imprint method?

For More Information

There are multiple water bottles, travel mugs, ceramic mugs in a variety of finish types.  A few that we like include:

Need a specific idea? Just let us know what you’re looking for, and we’ll present options for you to review.

Related Links

Promotional Version of the S’well Bottle

New Promo Products of 2015 Photo Highlights, including Drinkware

Case Study: Western Racquet Club

 

 

A “Key” Way to Show School Spirit

We LOVE discovering new and creative ideas for our clients. In some cases, we even create a custom item to fit client’s needs.

This was the case for one recent project for the College of Engineering Alumni Office at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  This definitely was a unique application for a tiny, keyboard key sized sticker.  It is an affordable, fun, and one “key” way to promote school spirit and overall love for your alma mater at a workplace or home office.

keyboard sticker for your college

Jazz up your W key with this Wisconsin crest sticker!

We think this item will really catch on and have since created another one for the University of Minnesota Law School.

Minnesota Law School keyboard decal

Another keyboard sticker we recently created.

Suggested uses: handout at alumni events, direct mail, admitted student mailings

What do you think of the custom keyboard sticker?  Let us know in the comments below or contact us for more information!

View product details and pricing HERE.

For more sticker options, check out the posts below:

Ideas for Digital Viewbooks

In an increasingly digital world, many traditional brochures and multi-page books are being adapted for an online format. Many colleges are following this trend and taking their viewbooks online. There are many benefits to digital viewbooks, including:

  1. Reduce overall print costs
  2. Cost savings on postage for both domestic and international students
  3. Easier to correct online publications with updates

Cost reduction and ease of updates are certainly appealing to many schools.  However, one question often remains before schools make the transition to digital viewbooks:

How will students find the online viewbook?

Beyond simple links throughout the website, many schools are looking for a tangible item that can replace a hard copy viewbook or large printed catalog. One promotional product solution that is ideal for driving web traffic to a specific URL is an item called the webkey.

Webkey in your school colors

Find a webkey in your school color to direct students to an online viewbook.

Similar to the look of a USB drive, a webkey is pre-programmed with a URL that automatically takes users to your viewbook (or whatever site you specify) when plugged into a USB port. While a USB drive could also store many e-publications, a webkey is a more affordable solution with a longer shelf-life than a USB port because the programmed URL can simply be updated with the latest viewbook. To make it easier to handout or mail, a webkey can come pre-attached to a full color postcard, which can provide instructions on how to use it.

More Tracking Options

Want to track opens, and add in survey questions? There’s an upgraded webkey called the iCue that can do that. Since it’s often difficult to track the effectiveness of a printed viewbook, a webkey powered viewbook can provide detailed tracking through an administrators page.

Here are a few highlights of the iCue:

  • Better Tracking – when the webkey is plugged into a computer, data will be sent to the administrator’s page.  This will provide data on the number of impressions or view rate as a result of your webkey.
  • Optional one-time registration allows for collecting additional data about your target audience. From the admin page, you can easily add and customize the desired questions. The collected data will show up in the admin page, giving information on which recipients used the product, making it very easy to schedule follow-up calls or emails with these contacts.
  • Easy Contest Administration – using the admin panel, you can track who opened and registered on your site, which makes it easy to hold a drawing for a prize incentive. Promote the drawing on an included 5×7 postcard to encourage visits. Incentives for students include: coupon to your university book store, waive or reduce the application fee, voucher for athletic events, or branded promotional items.
Green Power paper iCue

Sample webkey with 5×7 full color postcard – promote an incentive on this card to help drive traffic to your school’s website. Ideal for direct mail or handing out at events.

 

Webkey Case Study

msoe-web-key

Drive site traffic with a WebKey

One case study describes how Milwaukee School of Engineering used web keys to successfully promote and drive traffic to a new admissions website.  Web keys were the ideal solution for MSOE – seamlessly directing users their new Bridge site.  Read more about how MSOE Admissions used the webkey here.

If you’re interested in a trackable, engaging promotional item for directing your target audience to an online viewbook, a webkey is THE ideal solution. View the links below for more product information, or contact us to further discuss your online marketing strategies.

Links for More Information

Want more ideas on ways to engage prospective students?  Visit our ways to increase engagement page as part of our admissions resources.

Summer Event Ideas

Summertime is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the many community events!
Many colleges participate in state or county fairs to promote their schools to the greater community. We commonly support schools in such efforts. Here is a photo collage of summer event ideas that we’ve created for clients:

promotional ideas for events

A community event is an opportunity to connect with an audience in a fun and exciting way. Having staff wear branded apparel and handing out a promotional item is a way to make your school memorable both during AND after the event.

At events promotional item can:

  • Help drive people to your display and activities
  • Serve as a reminder of the experience with your school after the event ends
  • Promote word of mouth marketing, whenever anyone sees your swag
  • Increase brand recall and recognition to support your school
  • Tie-in with social media accounts to increase your brand’s reach beyond the event

For these reasons, we highly recommend using your brand colors and logo across multiple items. As in the photo collage above, a tote bag is a visible canvas for your logo throughout the event. While we created that bag for the Tosa Farmer’s Market, a similar idea could be applied to any school’s presence. Whenever you’re giving people handouts, a tote bag, drawstring bag, or plastic bag with your logo on it provides a convenient, useful take-away.

Another example of a school that we support for community events is the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. The sunglasses and paw print fans pictured in the collage above were used for the Wisconsin State Fair. Temporary tattoos, visors in school colors, and yellow t-shirts were also used for their presence.

Social Media Tie-In Ideas

One strategy to bring the event to a wider audience is imprinting a hashtag or Twitter handle onto promotional items, just as UWM did one their t-shirt imprint last year.

UWM State Fair shirt design

UWM State Fair t-shirt Imprint tied in with social media.

To create buzz and excitement on Twitter, The University of Wisconsin – Madison used the custom #FutureBadger frame at campus visit days and UW-Homecoming. Such frames, school mascots or fun backdrops create an eye-catching photo-opp for event attendees. Photos are then often shared on social media to increase your exposure. Photo-opp attractions are an excellent way to create an interactive display and draw a crowd!

More Event Ideas

For more inspiration and ideas, see UWM’s promotional items in use at the fair  the links below:

Since promotional items serve as a reminder of a brand experience, it’s important to select items that reflect your brand identity.  We recommend advance planning with an experienced promotional consultant, who can discover the right ideas and share examples from other colleges and universities.  We are here to support your summer event planning needs – simply contact us to get started. Happy event planning and have a great summer!

 

Clever Promotional Product Mailings Help Land Dream Client

Michael Wolaver shared an interesting excerpt related to promotional products from a book he was reading called The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus with 12 Key Strategies by Chet Holmes. In the chapter called “The Nitty Gritty of Getting the Best Buyers,” the author talks about specific tactics used to land dream clients.

Through a multi-pronged, targeted direct mail campaign to the biggest OEM manufacturers, the sales team was able to schedule appointments with half of their top 100 dream prospects. These appointments were extremely successful with 100% testing the product and ultimately making a purchase.

How did they achieve such a successful campaign? The answer is simple – great marketing helped them gain attention and stand out from competitors.

Details on the Direct Mail Campaign

First, they sent out an offer letter that promoted free education and research – something that was valued among their prospects.

Two weeks later, a similar offer letter was sent, but this letter included a promotional item. A Rubik’s Cube with the headline: “This Rubik’s Cube has more than four billion possible combinations. Fortunately, there are only five that you need to worry about when it comes to being a successful manufacturer in the new millennium. Don’t be puzzled by the dangers facing manufacturers! Get our free education today!”Promotional Products Work

Follow up phone calls and role play to fine tune their script further enhanced the effectiveness of the mailing with the Rubik’s Cube.

Over the next five months, mailings with promotional items were sent to their dream prospects. Catchy headlines tie in with the products, such as:

  • Flashlight: “Don’t be in the dark about the five biggest dangers facing manufacturers.”
  • Compass: “Most companies are losing direction when it comes to manufacturing in today’s environment. Don’t be one of them. Get our report on the five biggest dangers facing manufacturers today.”
  • Tape Measure: “If you want to measure up to the highest manufacturing standards, get our free report on the five most dangerous trends facing manufacturers.”

Each promotional item and message tied in with the company’s theme and overall strategy. With repetition and follow up phone calls, the company’s brand and offer resonated with their audience, leading to half of the recipients to schedule meetings.

Isn’t that Costly?

Yes, it DOES cost more when you invest in 3D mailings that include promotional items. However, such an investment to a TARGETED group of top prospects was a worthwhile expenditure because it helped open the door and ultimately make sales for the sales people who conducted follow up calls. A promotional item is much more memorable than receiving a letter alone. Who could forget receiving a Rubik’s cube after all?!

As with any marketing cost, the bottom lined must be considered. In this case, if the mailers helped secure just ONE new client, which were the biggest companies the company would target, it would pay for the mailers for twenty years.

Clever, Targeted Marketing Works

The targeted direct mail campaign, follow-up calls, and appointments helped turn this company around from losing money to making $2 million dollars the following year. Investing in promotional items and unique mailings truly helped gain top prospects’ attention, build a positive brand image, and generate sales.

One huge client even said in a follow-up call

“Oh, yes, I am so glad you called. I just HAVE to have you come here and meet with me… Because I’ve been getting all those little gifts of yours and I just think your marketing is super.”

Consistent, creative, and targeted marketing can help you gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. For some ideas on how to enhance your direct mail efforts, read our blog post or contact us for an Idea-Storm session.

Attention Grabbing 3D Direct Mail Ideas

For direct mail that really stands out in the mail pile and grabs attention consider adding dimension, eye-catching colors, and a promotional item. According to industry research, investing in direct mail will help deliver a bigger bang for your buck.  Consider the following stats:

  • 4.4% is the average response rate of standard mail (Direct Marketing Association).
  • 3D mailings receive a 250% better response rate than standard mail (Direct Marketing Association)
  • A direct mail piece that includes a promotional item can increase response rates by 50% (Silver Marketing Group Study).

While a color imprint, unique shape or bright sticker may help draw more eyeballs to standard flat mail, 3D packaging provides a larger canvas for imprinting artwork and messaging. Here are a few 3D direct mail ideas that can enhance your next mail campaign:

Imprinted Mailing Pack

One sample that exemplifies this is the Poly Pak.

Poly Pak imprinted packaging

Full color promotional mailing packet gives you more messaging space for your brand.

Imprint in full color on both sides of the packaging to showcase your company.  This would be one way to spruce up mailing envelopes used for sending literature.

The Greeting Cube

For smaller packages with more durability, the Greeting Cube is an ideal option. Saint Louis University used this packaging to mail USB drives to prospective students for the John Cook School of Business. Imagine what your school, business or organization could create for each of the panels by looking at the Saint Louis University images below:

Greeting Cube assembled

The Greeting Cube is 2 3/8″ – a very cute package!

Pricing includes the cube assembly, product insertion, and shrink-wrapping. Additional personalization is available through variable printing, so individual names could be imprinted for an additional charge.

Outer side of the Greeting Cube

Flat outside of the Greeting Cube includes assembly instructions and pre-affixed adhesive.

Inside of the Greeting Cube

Inside design of Saint Louis University’s Greeting Cube

BookWear

Another 3D packaging mailing option is BookWear, a shrink wrapped book-shaped package that contains a promotional item. As indicated in the recruiting college students information, BookWear has a high open rate and conversion rate due to its novel appeal. Here is one collegiate sample of a compressed t-shirt inside of BookWear:

 

Front cover of BookWear

Front cover of BookWear – shrink wrapped to enclose neatly folded, compressed t-shirt

BookWear Back cover

Artwork wraps around back cover and binding.

The standard print area for BookWear is 9 inches wide by 4.5 inches high, though custom sizes are available. See our BookWear Showroom for more details. You can also view this YouTube video to see other samples of BookWear items.

 

3D Direct Mail Case Study

Last but not least, we recently helped law firm DeWitt Ross & Stevens with a 3D mailing that included an imprinted phone stand promotional item and informational insert. This was a very creative and successful branding initiative for the firm. Learn more about how we helped recommend the right promotional item and more specific details of their prospecting mail campaign in our 3D Direct Mail Case Study.

3D direct mail case study images

Imprinted box, phone holder with card inserted

3D or lumpy mail is a worthwhile investment for helping increase response rates and overall effectiveness of your direct mail campaigns.  For more ideas, peruse our direct mail showroom, or contact us for more information.