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2015 New Promotional Products for Businesses

As we mentioned in a previous post, Michael Wolaver and Pat Conley from our sales team attended the PPAI Expo in January. There they visited with promotional product suppliers to learn about what’s new and trending for 2015. After sharing their long list of products and reviewing pictures, we came up with ten awesome new products that any business could incorporate into marketing plans.

2015 New Promotional Products

It’s probably no surprise that more than half of the ten top new items are related to technology. Year after year the number of tech promotional products continues to grow and innovate. Heading up our list are the tech items.

1. Cell Mate Phone Wallet and Stand

This Phone Wallet was one of our favorite products of 2014. Available March 2015, the Cell Mate Phone Wallet is a multi-tasker because it can open up to be used as a phone stand.

Leather phone wallet and stand

Leather phone wallet and stand

It’s bi-fold design also means more security than the phone wallet we saw in 2014.  Cards and cash are safely stowed with less risk of falling out. Leather material also provides a higher-end look and feel.

2. Mobile Device Cleaning Kit

While we LOVE the DigiClean smartphone cleaning pad, we really liked the look and convenience of this device cleaning kit.

Mobile device cleaning kit

Cleaning kit includes microfiber cloth, cleaning spray and pouch.

Neatly packaged inside a pouch comes a lint free, microfiber cloth and a 6.75 mL spray cleaner. The cleaner is safe for electronics, alcohol free and non-toxic. It cleans and sanitizes at the same time, keep your device smudge-free,
and safe from bacteria that causes illness.

3. Solar Power Banks

We’ve seen more and more interest in on the go chargers. One of the newest iterations is a solar powered charger.

solar powered charger

This power bank’s battery runs on solar power.

These power banks use Monocrystal silicon solar panels, which efficiently convert sunlight to energy. The compact battery can charge any mobile device from smart phones to iPads and tablets. The Solar Power Bank comes individually boxed with a USB cable, so it’s easy to handout.

4. Leather Swivel & Stand Tablet Holder

Do you ever wish a tablet holder could accommodate both vertical and horizontal orientations? The Eclipse Swivel & Stand Tablet Holder can do just that!

Eclispe Leather Tablet Swivel and Stand

Easily rotate a tablet in this stand.

Here’s a quick video demonstration of the product:

5. Lynktec Stylus Pen

Here’s a high quality stylus pen with a very fine point for more accurate contact with a smartphone or device.

Lynktec TruGlide Combo Stylus with Retractable Pen

Smooth writing and easy typing on devices with this stylus pen.

6. DigiGrip

The DigiClean Screen Cleaner is one of our most popular promotional items.  When a new product in this same line was introduced, we decided to take a closer look.  The DigiGrip Plus Anti-Slip Wipes is a screen cleaner AND a phone grip that sticks to your phone, including most cases, even if rubberized or heavily textured.

DigiGrips Grip and Screen Cleaner

DigiGrips is a mobile phone grip and screen cleaner in one.

Similar to the DigiClean Plus, it includes full color, two sided imprint, including the sticky side that adheres to your device.  Photos, QR codes, phone numbers, and locations can easily be imprinted on the DigiGrips Wipe itself or on the included custom 3.5″ x 6″ Marketing Card or 2″ x 3.5″ Business Card!

7. Cooling Towel

This promotional product is something you have to physically touch to believe! Michael demonstrated the Chilly iCool Towel in the office, and we were all impressed!

Chilly iCool Towel

Keep your cool with this innovative towel.

The towel can absorb eight times its weight in water and keeps cool as the water evaporates. It can continue cooling for hours as long as the towel is kept damp. The chemical-free design is biodegradable and machine washable. Store the clean, moist towel in its original package to get years of reliable use. Pretty cool, huh?!

8. Tritan Tumbler

This is a classic style, higher end tumbler that keeps drinks colder since it is lined with a double wall. This means your hand does not warm up the glass when holding on to it.

Tritain 16 oz tumbler

Tervis-style tumblers are available in many colors, can feature an insert, embroidered patch, or dome imprint.

We recently created a tumbler for Western Racquet Club, using their logo on an embroidered patch. Learn more about that project in our case study.

Western Racquet Club Tumbler

Final products – WRC gave out these tumblers at a tennis event.

9. Hustle Duffel Bag

We like this affordable duffel bag as an alternative to an event tote bag.

Hustle Sports Bag

Roomy sports bag with shoulder strap and large imprint area.

This sports bag has a roomy main compartment and a mesh outer pocket. Available in six colors.

10. Puffy Vest

This lightweight, packable vest caught our eye. The shell of the vest is made from recycled PET bottles.

Radius Puffy Vest

Puffy vests were trending at the PPAI Expo.

Premium insulation provides warmth without the bulk of other puffy vests.

From tech items to drinkware, our top ten new promotional products for 2015 spanned across a lot of categories and price points. Which promo product would you want to include in your branding and marketing? Comment below and let us know your favorite!

Please contact us with product related questions or to request a custom quote. For more product information, visit our 2015  New Products for Businesses Showroom.

Need more SWAG ideas? Call our Idea Explorers at 414-831-0184.

How to Find the Right Promotional Item

One of first questions that comes to mind when selecting promotional items is:

What are we going to give our target audience?

With over 24,000+ items available, this can be a daunting question.

As promotional Idea Explorers, we love to investigate options to help you answer this question.  With a little background information on the your audience and desired distribution, we go to work discovering the best promotional products for you.

There are MANY Right Answers

We discover and present several options for you to review, selecting items that can effectively target the lifestyle, needs, values, and aspirations of your audience.  The better you know your audience, the more tailored the promotional item can be. While still being brand-related, promotional items should be relevant and useful.  In almost every case, promotional products are appreciated, as a tangible “gift” from your organization. Nevertheless, the right idea and quality does impact usage and effectiveness, so it’s important to select and invest wisely.

Consider these two statistics from PPAI industry research:

  • 53% of consumers use promotional items ONCE a WEEK or more!
  • 47% of consumers KEEP promotional items for ONE YEAR or longer!

Promotional items have a high potential frequency and longevity! The right item can be used again and again, exposing your brand to your prospects or customers on a regular basis.  Compared to other media, promotional products have a relatively low cost and provide repeated exposure to a message, since items are kept for so long – that’s effective advertising!

Case Study: Finding a Prized Tech Item

To illustrate how well-selected promotional ideas help promote your brand, we share a case study from the University of Minnesota’s Student Unions & Activities. They needed an item to increase awareness of their brand and encourage involvement from college students, faculty, and staff. Learn how Magellan Promotions account manager shared a top tech product idea that became the perfect prize for the Student Unions & Activities contest. Read Case Study.

 

 

Easy to Love – New Promotional Products

Account Managers Paige and Elise recently attended a new product showcase, where they discovered some new and fun promotional items. Here’s what caught their eye:

Color Engraved Titanium Items

These are beautifully designed, durable promotional items. A laser printing process delivers brilliant, shimmering colors on either stock or custom shapes.  Personalization is also available, making this an ideal gift item. All products are USA Made.

Suggested Uses:

  • Handout at events
  • Recognize volunteers
color-titanium-gifts-sample-guitar-and-car

Sample Guitar and Car Titanium Promotional Items

Check out the wide range of items and options!

Color Titanium gifts design samples

More sample Color Titanium Items

Shimmering colors on Titanium Promo Item

Look at the cool, reflective imprint

Full Color Imprint Phone Stand

Although it has a restaurant theme imprint, the options are endless for this full color phone stand.  It is made of a rigid styrene material with a securely attached plastic kickstand that folds flat. Custom shapes are available, so you could really get creative with this item!

Suggested uses:

  •  Students or Alumni
    • Imprint an athletic schedule
    • Imprint a campus mascot or scene from campus
    • Fold down the kickstand to include in a mailing
  • High School Counselors / Referral Sources
    • Imprint important dates, contact information
full color imprint phone stand

Ideal for any desk or table top surface

Collegiate Mascot on Phone Stand

The Cal Mascot looks sharp on this phone stand sample.

Silly Band Type Bracelets

Silly Bands, or Squiggles are perfect for any event that includes children and families.  Six rubber bands come packaged in a poly-bag with a full color marketing card. Kids love collecting and trading these bands!

Choose from six themes or ask about creating your own custom shape.

  • Dinosaurs
  • Music
  • Sports
  • Sea Creatures
  • Transportation
  • Insects
  • Dental
  • Fruit
  • Animals

Suggested uses:

  • State Fair or expo booth promotional item
  • Family-friendly company picnic
  • Customer appreciation event
Silly Bands

Kids will love these silly band shapes.

Cold Weather Ideas

As summer turns to fall, we are all starting to bundle up more. This new Microboa Sherpa Blanket would be an appreciated gift for staying warm and cozy! It includes a carrying bag.  Decorate with your logo to promote your brand.

Suggested uses:

  • Employee Appreciation
  • Gift for speakers at a conference or event
Warm Microboa Sherpa Blanket

Customer will gladly cozy up with this Microboa Sherpa Blanket

From this same partner comes these custom imprinted sweatshirt blankets.  We have run these for collegiate clients, and they were very well received.  The packaging and presentation is especially nice, rolled and wrapped up with a label that includes an image of the blanket’s design.  This means you won’t have recipients immediately unrolling the blanket to see what’s imprinted.  Available in 28 different colors.

sweatshirt blanket rolled and labeled

Attractive presentation means it’s easy to handout or mail these sweatshirt blankets right away!

Custom Shaped Post-it Notes

Last but not least, custom shaped Post-it Notes grabbed Elise’s attention.  Who wouldn’t love a state shaped or mascot shaped note pad?  They are fun and useful promotional items.

fun custom shaped post it notes

Make your own custom shaped Post-it!

Which new items do you love most? Let us know what you think in the comments below, or give us a call for more information at 414-831-0184.

Help Stop the Melt – 5 Ways to Integrate Promotional Products into Social Media

“Most schools will see a melt of 2-3% of their incoming class,” according to Bob Patterson, the Director of College Outreach for Zinch, a Chegg service, who discussed Summer Melt on edTech Digest.

Some of the strategies he outlined to prevent summer melt included creating a social network for deposited students and simply getting students excited about coming to campus.

Students Engaged Online = Less Likely to Melt

Encouraging accepted and deposited students to join and participate in a school’s social media sites is a common goal at EVERY higher education institution throughout the year, and most importantly during summer. To increase participation, it may take some incentive for students to actively post on an incoming class’ social media site.

To increase social media engagement, many colleges creatively use promotional products to promote and drive usage on incoming class sites.  A tangible item is a fun way of saying “thank-you for choosing our school” and an appreciated reminder of your school and its dedicated social media sites over summer. Here are a few promotional product ideas that collegiate clients frequently integrate with their social media campaigns:

Product Ideas for Social Media Integration

  1. Contests: Use promotional items as a prize on social media contests. Ripon College hosted a water bottle photo contest with the Class of 2017.  It was successful in creating engagement with the new class, leading to many new interactions and conversations in the social media space. Learn more in the Ripon College Case Study.
    Ripon College Water Bottles used in Facebook Contest

    Ripon College Water Bottles used in Facebook Contest

  2. Imprinting Twitter handles and social media accounts on a t-shirt.  Bloomfield College has been hosting a t-shirt promotion for three years.  Once students took a picture of themselves with their Accept Certificate and posted it online, they would be mailed a t-shirt.  According to Bloomfield College, each year the number of posts surpasses the previous year, making this promotion a big hit with students.  Learn more in the Bloomfield College T-shirt and Social Media Promotion Case Study.
    bloomfield-college-tshirt

    Bloomfield College T-Shirt and Social Media Promotion

  3. Stickers / Decals: These are a low-cost, direct-mail-friendly item that can easily be imprinted to direct students to social media sites for admitted / deposited students.  One college we worked with created bumper stickers to include in an admitted student mailing.  Students were encouraged to post pictures of themselves with the bumper sticker on the admitted student Facebook page.
    Midland Prep Two Sided Postcard Decal

    Postcard on one side and decals on the other. Available in white or clear with an adhesive or static cling

  4. Phone Screen Cleaner: The DigiClean phone screen cleaner is one of our most popular tech items with colleges.  It comes pre-attached to a postcard or business card, leaving an ample canvas for featuring a QR code, social media icons, and hashtags for incoming students. Read more in the DigiClean Case Study.
    DigClean Mobile Phone Screen Cleaner comes pre-affixed to a postcard, making it ideal for direct mail, not to mention extremely useful for students.

    DigClean Mobile Phone Screen Cleaner comes pre-affixed to a postcard, making it ideal for direct mail, not to mention extremely useful for students.

  5. Picture-worthy Promo Items:  a custom frame with the hashtag #FutureBadgers for the University of Wisconsin – Madison was used to integrate social media into campus tours, allowing prospective students show their excitement and actively endorse UW Madison to their own social networks.  This frame could also be created for Class of 2018 at admitted student days or orientation activities. Learn more about it in the Custom Frame Case Study.
    Future-Badgers-Frame-Campus-tour

    Custom Frame is a fun photo-opp for students with a specific hashtag for online sharing.

Social media plays a key role in building community and helping students find their place at your school.  It’s essential to effectively promote admitted / deposited student sites to minimize the melt.  Consider using promotional products to help engage and excite students throughout summer.

2014 Magellan Product Showcase

We recently held our seventh annual Magellan Product Showcase on Tuesday, April 8th at The Hamilton, located on Milwaukee’s east side.  A wonderful group of our customers had a chance to interact with the Magellan Promotions team and six industry leading suppliers to learn about the latest trends and new promotional products for 2014.  We shared ideas to help support promotional marketing projects over a fun and relaxing lunch time event.

For more pictures, visit our photo album on Facebook.

From event counters, table throws, and small giveaways, to mason-jar inspired drinkware, tablet holders, and wireless speakers, we featured THOUSANDS of products at this event! Technology items: holders, chargers, USB drives, laptop sleeves and other electronics continue to generate a lot of interest, similar to last year.  Customers also enjoyed checking out options for tote bags, apparel, water bottles, mugs, pens, and natural products.

 

Each attendee received the following free samples:

  • Gemline Muse Convention Tote
  • The Player Cup
  • Ambassador Journal
  • Aqua Pearls Hot / Cold Pack
  • Stylus Pen
Goodie Bag - samples handed out at the 2014 Magellan Product Showcase

Goodie Bag – samples handed out at the 2014 Magellan Product Showcase

Most Popular Products 

The results are in! Our clients voted on their favorite products featured at the Showcase and the top five products were:

1. Bullet Vibration Speaker – Simply place mobile phone on the flat surface and listen as the sound from the internal speaker is amplified. Easy to use. No wireless settings or cables needed.

Best in Showcase Product - Bullet Vibration Speaker

Best in Showcase Product – Bullet Vibration Speaker

2. Aqua Pearls Hot / Cold Pack – Reusable pack is both microwave and freezer safe.  Available in six fun colors.

aqua pearls hot_cold_pearls

3. North End jacket / shirts – modern apparel available in men’s and women’s sizes

4. Isaac Mizrahi Tote / Gemline Tote Bags – trend conscious bags

5. Hat with integrated LED Lights – ideal for runners, the LED lights on the brim enhance visibility.

LED lights in hat brim, Isaac Mizrahi tote, North End Jacket

More Favorite Items: Hat with LED lights, Issac Mizrahi Tote Bag, North End Jacket

It was fun learning about what promotional products really stood out for attendees.  Please contact us if you have any questions about these items or if you are interested in receiving a sample.

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2014 Magellan Product Showcase! We look forward to seeing you at next year’s event!

Much More than Tchotchkes.

Tchotchkes. Trinkets. Trash. Swag. Promotional products go by so many names.  The power of promotional products is much greater than just the “stuff.”  Promotional products can motivate, recognize, brand, appreciate, communicate, and start a relationship. With over 83% of people saying that they like receiving promotional items, this is truly a marketing medium that is here to stay – whatever you decide to call it.

In terms of media sales, promotional items are an $18 billion industry that is growing. In 2012 sales were up 4.4%, reaching the highest level in five years and the third-best year ever. UPDATE – Last year sales reached the $19.8 Billion mark, making it the industry’s best year ever!!

While it’s smaller than other media types, as indicated in the chart below, promotional products are an effective part of any marketing mix.

Media Sales Comparison chart

Source: Promotional Products Business Magazine, May 2013
Sales shown in $ Billions

Promotional items can easily be integrated with other forms of media, such as product placement, event marketing, and direct mail – just to name a few.  Look at this brief list of examples:

Product placement

  • Coca Cola Cups used by American Idol Judges
  • Coffee mug used by local news anchor
  • Apparel  worn for TV / video appearance
  • Banners placed for best camera angles

Event Marketing

Direct Mail

Gain higher response rates when including a direct mail premium.  In a Silver Marketing Group Study, the direct mail piece that included a promotional item increased response rates by 50%.  In addition, the direct mail piece that featured an offer for a promotional item increased response rates by 400%, when compared to a letter only.  Some ideas to consider:

  • Three-dimensional mailing with a promotional item
  • Larger size or colorful direct mail piece with an offer of a promotional item
  • Encourage visiting your booth at event – for example send ½ of a pen and receive the other ½ at the booth

As with any successful marketing campaign, it’s essential to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time.  A relevant and useful promotional item can reinforce a marketing message to your audience.  Repeat exposure increases the likelihood of recall, which can ultimately lead to action.  PPAI research shows that more purchases are made after a consumer receives a promotional product than after viewing a TV, print, or online ad.  Promotional items stay in front of your target audience to help close the deal.

When planning to buy promotional items, be sure that it is tied into a plan.  Too often promotional items become an afterthought, which can limit its effectiveness of reinforcing a brand’s message.  Rely on an experience promotional consultant, who will understand overall objectives and the target audience to select a useful item that will be appreciated.  We at Magellan Collegiate Promotions are here to help make promotional marketing work in tandem with existing efforts to help rise above the stigma of “trinkets and trash.”  Contact us for ideas on more than just tchotchkes.

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