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Wednesday
Jan282015

Tradition Takes a Hike 

The color selection of classic woven shirts is typically traditional – bright white, off-white, navy, red and black. Not this year. Suppliers are introducing collections of colors that are fashionable and soft. They fit perfectly in with Pantone’s Spring 2015 color picks, which Pantone Color Institute’s Executive Director Leatrice Eiseman describes as “a move toward the cooler, softer side of the spectrum.”

The colors introduced into newest line of wovens from Blue Generation are an apt example. They both feature a softer side of color as well as a textured appearance with the company’s Heathered Crossweave shirts. They’re available in five fashion colors. Ladies can select from Plum, Rose, Charcoal, Light Blue and French Blue; men’s shades coordinate with all colors except for Rose. Each is woven with subtle two-tone threads to create a sophisticated depth of color.

A decorative weave of the shirt itself is another way to showcase color and style. For example, the Glen Plaid from Devon & Jones Men’s Crown Collection comes woven with a combination of thread colors, such as white and graphite to create a soft look of a gray plaid. Alphabroder has developed seven unique fabrications in an expanded array of solids and classic shirting yarn-dyed patterns for nearly unlimited options for out- fitting and uniform programs. 

Wednesday
Jan212015

Promo Products Are Perfect Partners For IT Firm


Back Bay Networks, an IT consulting firm, regularly employs promotional products in its marketing efforts. “We have been sending fun toys or funny products – along with an info sheet – to companies just to have them pick it up, see our logo and remember us in the future if they have computer problems,” says Jake Lang, business development and marketing coordinator.

The giveaways serve as a conversation starter. “They have definitely received interest and helped us build our potential client list,” says Lang.

The price point varies depending on the type of client. Since Back Bay is an IT service company, it has a lower volume of clients but a high- and long-term profit margin, as the majority of its customers purchase yearly service contracts. “In our case, we believe the extra expense for customized marketing is worth the money to obtain a multi-year customer,” he says.

The company’s biggest success to date came from a local soccer club. “We had worked with them in the past, but when they realized our increased marketing initiatives, they reached out to us and offered us an incredible deal – to become their official IT partner,” Lang says. Back Bay got advertising rights throughout all of the soccer club’s facilities and events, including promotional ceiling banners, indoor soccer wall boards and an entire indoor soccer goal wrap in return for a discounted IT service rate.

“This new partnership put us in contact with a number of new clients and thousands of potential clients,” he says. “This one partnership will easily cover the expenses of running the promotional campaign.”

Some of Back Bay’s giveaways that have been particularly well received include a Rubix Cube with the company’s logo replacing the white squares, and a note that reads, “If your computer issues are tougher than this Rubix Cube, give us a call.” Back Bay also has sent out “Boogie Bots,” logoed dancing robots. “This usually gets some laughs and a phone call or email saying ‘thanks,’” Lang says.

Another popular giveaway was a Magic 8 Ball with the company logo and a note, “Ask the magic IT ball about your IT issues. And if that doesn’t work, give us a call because we have the answer.”

The company attends a lot of trade shows and local town events, and brings along promotional materials like pens, key chains, bottle openers, flash drives, water bottles and T-shirts to hand out to potential clients.

Make sure to partner with your ad specialty distributor for help procuring promotional items and great ideas for your next event or marketing campaign.

 

 

 

Thursday
Jan152015

Smooth Sailing 


Amid the hustle and bustle of modern travel, little comforts, conveniences and items that help with organization go a long way toward improving the experience. In this reality lies opportunity: You can play hero by delivering branded items that help alleviate road weariness for travelers logging miles for business or leisure. 

Given the reliance on mobile devices, charging tools are universally appreciated items that will power promotion for clients in practically every industry. For example, corporations and large nonprofits that have representatives frequently taking to the air or train for work can reward these faithful employees with quality power banks that keep their devices live and connected while they’re on the move. 

Meanwhile, travelers leery of the ever- present threat of identity theft will appreciate items like Leed’s passport wallet with RFID technology. The ingenious item prevents tech-savvy thieves from electronically stealing information from ID and credit cards inside the wallet. 

Travel, of course, is facilitated by more than just technology items. Red-eye road warriors will welcome the silken eye mask from FIEL, while Ariel’s useful travel kit is full of practical tidbits. Also, people who attend trade shows will be thankful for the lip-moisturizing relief they get with Snuzg soy lip balm

From tote bags to distinctive luggage tags, we offer abundant selections for traveling end-users in 2015. 

Thursday
Jan082015

BRAVE THE WINTER IN STYLE WITH Women’s Jackets

There are an impressive and imaginative variety of winter coats and jackets for women, from Chloé’s romantic draping, cape-like coats to wild plush numbers by Paul & Joe and Versace and even crocodile leather jackets courtesy of Moncler Gamme Rouge. From light to heavyweight, jackets are appropriate virtually any time of year.

Ben Menendez of Harvest Industrial & Trade Co. Ltd. cites hooded coats and jackets as a key trend. “They’re one of the season’s hottest,” he says. “Hoods provides the wearer with cozy warmth, and it’s a style that looks terrific at work as well as an evening on the town.” In addition to hooded styles, Menendez makes note of two additional women’s outerwear trends: “Semi-fitted coat and jacket styles are very much in vogue, as are 3/4-length cuts.”

While black is a can’t-fail choice and brights will always add visual pop, earth tones and neutrals are starting to gain traction. “These colors,” says Elson Yeung, product line manager and designer for Ash City USA, “usually draw from a color palette of browns, tans, warm grays and greens and offset bold or vibrant hues to give harmony to the overall look of a jacket or fleece garment.”

Thursday
Jan012015

Fashion Forecast 2015 

The fashion world impacts the tastes and expectations of work apparel. Know these trends that have crossed into the ad specialty arena so you can execute more successful company apparel programs. 

Blues Will Be Big: The color experts at Pantone have revealed that several shades of blue will be hot hues in 2015. They include aquamarine, scuba and classic blue. Also be on the lookout for soft lemon yellows, sharp mint greens and reddish-brick browns. 

Retro Jackets Rule: Nostalgia is in the airwhen it comes to outer- wear. Retailers are featuring 1950s-inspired biker/ greaser jackets for men and women, as well as retro baseball jackets that include snap fasteners and ribbed cuffs – the kind worn by ball coaches in the 1980s. Denim outerwear pieces are enjoying a renaissance, too. 

Gingham and Check Patterns Will Pervade: These patterns were prominent across runways during Fashion Week in the fall, suggesting the styles will emerge strongly in stores in 2015.