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Gifts Worth Giving

Gifts Worth Giving

As we head into gift-giving season, there are distinctive trends that can guide your item selection to make a positive impression with recipients. Here are our top trends to make sure you do gift-giving right this season.

High Perceived Value

Items that feel elevated, with high perceived value are universally appealing as gifts. Giving exclusive designs in high-quality materials with innovative features increases impact. Additionally, gift items backed by a retain brand increases perceived value while ensuring product quality and safety. 

Fun and Unique

Taking time to find gifts that are thoughtful and unique can help you brand be memorable. Another way to be unforgettable is to give items related to having fun! Gift-giving season is a time of joy and celebration so gifts that reflect the cheer of the season can carry a brand’s impact into the New Year and beyond.

 Useful Tech

Technology items are always popular, but thinking about how recipients will use the gift can make them even more special. For travelers, a power bank, laptop bag or ear buds can prove useful while on the road. Functional and practical wireless tech is also popular and ensures a brand will be remembered every time the recipient powers up.


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Umbrellas: Your Friends on the Field

Umbrellas: Your Friends on the Field

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While at a tradeshow recently, I had a conversation with someone about umbrellas.   She said, “Where we are, we really don’t have a need for umbrellas seeing as though we don’t get much rain.”   Immediately, I replied that umbrellas are not only great for rainy day, but on sunny days too!  She shrugged and said, “Yeah. I suppose.”  That response wasn’t what I was hoping for! So, I took it one step further:

Me:  “Do you have kids?”

Client: “Yes.”

Me: “Do your kids play sports?”

Client: “Yes.”

Me: “I have a son. He plays football. Practice starts in July when it’s really hot outside. It’s borderline miserable! I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, right? How many times have you sat at practices, scrimages, or games,  in a chair or on the bleachers, wishing you had some shade?”

Client: “Oh yes! Those days are the worst!”

Me:  “Think about those days. How many people have umbrellas or pop-up tents? Not very many. Maybe one or two? Even though we look at those people wishing we had the same shade, we come back game after game without anything to keep us shaded or a little bit cooler.”

I continued,

“Maybe, if they are anything like me, they think about it but after loading the car and collecting kids, they just forget after they leave the field?  As one of the people that does not have a tent or umbrella does it stand to reason that even though you didn’t think to bring something on your own, that you would probably be grateful to have one if it was provided for you?”

Client: “Well. When you put it that way, yes.”

Me: “OK. So, riddle me this.  If you are a parent sitting in the sun at your child’s game or practice shielding your eyes from the sun, are hot, and most likely sweating,  and company X showed up to the field and starting handing out reusable water bottles and umbrellas to people that didn’t have them, how would you feel about that company and that brand?  That brand has now solved a problem you didn’t realize you really had, and created a positive experience for you, right?  If you were part of this brand’s target market, and their product or service was something you would be inclined to use, what type of influence would this experience have on your decision on whether or not to use this companies products or services?”

Client: “Oh that would be really neat! And yes, I’d definitely consider using their services, and I’d probably leave the umbrella in the car so I’d have it for next time!”

Me: “EXACTLY!  When you take a minute to think a little differently about the situation, you’ve can come up with a solution to help your client stand out from their competition in a huge way.  Plus, people will be seeing your client’s branding for weeks, months, and maybe years to come. If you’re lucky, people will tell their friends about this “really cool thing that happened at the ball field!’ and they might even take a photo and post it to social media.”

The moral of this story is this: sometimes people doing things one way is the very reason you should branch out and do it yourself. Unmarketing says, “Your logo isn’t your brand. What someone thinks and feels when they see your logo, that’s your brand.”  Don’t just sell a product with a logo on it. Create an experience and then use the power of branded products, and the messages on those products, as a means by which people will remember the experience you created for them when they see them today, tomorrow, and beyond.

Flashlights Are an Every Day Essential!

Flashlights Are an Every Day Essential!

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You would bring an umbrella for a 50% chance of rain, so why wouldn't you bring a flashlight for 100% chance of darkness every night? Why should one bother weighing themselves down with something that seems so unnecessary?

The short answer is: power will fail you.

It doesn’t matter how many carrots you eat; you will never have natural night vision. And since you probably aren’t going to wear an infrared rig every time the sun goes down or you enter a dark room, having something to light your way can be indispensable. From getting through power outages, to looking under couches, to navigating a dimly lit path, having a light source in your pocket will come in handy. Some might be content with using their phone’s screen or camera flash for light. Modern lights, with multiple modes and a dedicated battery, perform far better in daily tasks to emergency situations without draining your phone’s battery even more, making them a must-have in many carries.

Flashlights and lanterns are a convenient, practical, fun and lightweight tool that you can keep in your briefcase, carry to the park, put on your keychain and even in your pocket. Flashlights can allow you to be in control of everyday situations. Getting caught in the dark is inevitable. Always be prepared, and even better, be equipped for the unexpected.

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Back to School

Back to School

Look beyond the usual and check out these fresh new ideas for schools and universities. 

Technology and competition have had a profound impact on the ways that schools and universities approach marketing. Business-as-usual is no longer a viable approach to reach and attract students. As a result, the promotional product needs in education are rapidly changing. Here are the latest trends you need to know as the back to school season heats up.

1. Tech-Equipped Backpacks

Here's the latest evolution in backpacks. These next-generation bags have built-in device charging capabilities—ideal for students who spend all day running around campus. With a built-in USB port and cable you are able to simply hook up a power bank and charge your devices inside your bag while sitting in class. Similarly, another backpack tech upgrade lets you enjoy the outdoors while charging your phone. These backpacks are equipped with a 5W solar panel so you can simply plug your device into the USB port and charge it—no outlet or power bank needed.

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2. Custom Labels

This is a big opportunity to add a special touch to your branded apparel. You can add your logo to create a custom collection for a school to recognize special occasions and commemorate milestones such as graduations and awards.

3. Drinkware

Walk across any campus and you'll see nearly every student carrying some type of reusable drinkware. Tumblers and sports bottles are the hottest accessories in education right now. Students (and staff) are looking for new and unique styles that let them express their personality.

In retail, high-performance copper vacuum insulated drinkware is king. From campus to the boardroom—it’s everywhere. What makes them so universally loved? First, they perform—keeping beverages hot for up to 12 hours and cold up to 48 hours. Second, they're practical and can be used every day.

Another campus drinkware trend is the incorporation of mixed materials. By adding cork, bamboo and silicone elements to tumblers and sports bottles, you will be creating pieces that demand attention and create excitement. It's the little unexpected details that create something special.

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The Bottom Line

Everyone wants the latest and greatest—the education market is no exception.

 

Content compliments of PCNA. Check out their products for your next promotion by clicking here.