Boost Your Brand This Summer

Winter's finally over; the birds are singing a lovely song, the sun is shining brightly and plants are sprouting. Make sure your logo is in full bloom this season by stocking up on summer giveaways. We offer all the best and brightest items to help you stand out this spring. Choose items from our selection to remind people how much they love your brand. As the weather warms and spring fever takes over, pass out these intoxicatingly cute giveaways and watch your brand exposure soar. While people switch out their wardrobes and start spending more time outside, you can make sure that they see your brand everywhere by imprinting it on any number of great summer promos.

Case Study: Fan Base

Every apparel designer dreams of a celebrity sporting their work in a high-profile setting. Joe Beausoleil, founder of and graphic designer at Flooded Studios in Midland, ON, is no different. A long-time fan of Dave Matthews Band, Beausoleil decided to design a custom jersey for drummer Carter Beauford, known for wearing the technical tops during concerts, and send it to the percussionist as a gift before a 2013 tour stop in Toronto. “I just wanted to get him to wear it once,” Beausoleil says. He took a chance and sent it. Before long, he noticed Beauford wearing the jersey at subsequent concerts. Then, about a year later, before another show in Toronto, Beausoleil was invited to take a backstage tour with Beauford’s drum tech as his guide and had the opportunity to meet the band. Of course, he remembered to bring several more custom jerseys as gifts. Three days later, the drum tech called with good news: Beauford wanted Beausoleil to continue making jerseys for the group. Since then, dozens of the dye-sublimated pieces from Flooded Studios have made an appearance on stages all over the world, and two designs have been available at the band’s e-commerce store since November 2015. One jersey even made it to primetime TV. When Dave Matthews Band performed on The Late Show during David Letterman’s last week before retirement, Beauford wore a jersey from Flooded Studios with the show’s logo on the front and presented Letterman with a matching one. Now, following the recent announcement of the band’s summer 2016 tour dates, Beausoleil is optimistic that there will soon be a restock order put in for the jerseys at the band’s online store. “Just hoping it’s going to happen won’t work,” he says. “But if you put it out there, if you follow your dreams and just get it out there, you never know what’ll happen.”

Animal Appeal

According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent $60.3 billion in 2015 on their pets and are estimated to spend $62.8 billion this year (an increase of more than 4 billion). With consumers spending so much on their animals ($1,641 per dog, for example) imagine how they’d feel if given a useful pet product for free. Anyone in the pet industry can give the “feel-goods” when they distribute pet promo products. Consider starting with a pet jersey like the 705-6500. Available in sizes XS-XL to fit all pooches, it’s made of 100% mesh and polyester interlock fabric. Aside from pet apparel, you’ve got a great opportunity to boost your brand awareness with animal-related items.

 

Today's Fitness and Active-wear

Fitness and active-wear has come a long way from boxy gym shorts, white T-shirts and baggy sweatpants. Today’s apparel is making its way from the boardroom to the golf course; from the cubicle to the rock-climbing wall; and from the manufacturing line to the restaurant. Style and function matter, so high-tech and performance properties are important too. Fersten’s Women’s FERST-DRY™ Polo with contrasting collar and shoulder panels, feature anti-snag and anti-bacterial polyester polymesh fabric, so the wearer can breathe and bend. Fitness and active-wear, as well as accessories, are appropriate for company stores, gyms and spas and golf pro shops. 

 

Women Get Their Kicks With Bucket Bags

More than a mere drop in the fashion bucket, the very popular bucket bags have become a go-to accessory for women. “The bucket bag has a universally appealing shape,” writes fashion and style website Refinery29.com. “It’s structured, but not too structured – fashionable, but not too out-there.” Both high-end designers and fast fashion retailers have thrown their considerable weight behind the bag. Its roughly square proportions, structured bottom and typically drawstring closure define it. Common fabrics include leather (real and faux), canvas, denim or a lightweight parachute fabric. “They are comfortable, stylish and extremely versatile,” says Jeffrey Mayer, president of LBU Inc. Easily foldable into a bag or carry-on, they are the ultimate stylish bags for travel.

Reusable Totes - More Popular Than Ever

More cities are banning plastic bags, meaning reusable totes are more popular than ever. Grocery stores, farmers markets, festivals, trade shows – anywhere people carry things. They also have appeal for youth markets, for day cares or as birthday party favors. Be strategic with design placement. You can imprint the whole bag, so try sublimating the front and the back. If you want to do an allover print, plan your graphics.

Consider your audience. When creating artwork, use larger lettering so it’s readable across an aisle. It’s not like a cell phone case that’s in your face. Use bigger text. If you use photos in the design, avoid squares. They’re hard to align; it’s easy to spot mistakes. Instead, soften the edges: Then, if the picture is skewed, it won’t stand out as starkly on a rectangular bag.  

Clothing Gets Smart

It looks like a sweater. It feels like a sweater. It does not, however, act like a sweater. The Fallline jacket from clothing manufacturer Voormi may feel like a fleece, but it functions like a soft-shell that wicks away snow and wind. “From the beginning, what we said we wanted to do was figure out how to basically work from a natural fiber platform and start developing these unique constructions,” says Timm Smith, the Colorado company’s marketing director. Voormi isn’t alone in its innovation. A handful of organizations are studying ways to blend technology and textiles to create apparel that can respond to outside weather conditions. At the University of California at San Diego, for instance, researchers are creating prototypes of clothing that would keep wearers’ body temperature at a comfortable 93°. “HVAC uses 40% of energy consumption in buildings,” says Renkun Chen, an associate professor in UC San Diego’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. “If we can extend the set point of our thermostats, we can save energy. To do that, we need to have a garment to keep the wearers comfortable.”

Hawaiian Punch

Tropical locales continue to top the lists of favored travel destinations. Their enduring popularity makes tropical prints on apparel and accessories a perennial favorite for consumers. “Tropical prints are functional, fun, festive and extremely popular", says Taraynn Lloyd, director of marketing at Edwards Garment Co. Edwards’ camp shirts are in high demand for uniforms at restaurants, resorts, theme parks, museums and even medical offices, because “the vibrant colors attract attention and quickly identify the employee to the guest,” says Lloyd. 

Promote Your Brand With Company Stores

Company stores provide businesses with an opportunity to promote their brand by selling a variety of wearable items as well as hard goods. Companies should showcase items – blazers, dress shirts and sweaters, for example – that will fit an office and business environment. But, you’ll also want to include clothing for times when employees are more relaxed. Tip: Hoodies and apparel for children are also often sought-after products within a company store. Finally, when setting up a company store, consider a variety of additional products that are perfect for the office (adult coloring books for stress relief) or a night on the town (a fine leather wine tote).

Life’s A Beach

Cool T-shirts are perfect for summer fun-in-the-sun promotions for beach resorts, surf shops or as part of a senior class trip to the tropics. The vintage acid washed T-shirt from Colortone is constructed of 100% heavyweight cotton and is perfect for the beach, skateboarding or just knocking around the house or pool. When putting programs together for clients, consider adding on a variety of products that go together swimmingly with this tee, like totes and coolers.