Category Archives: Logo (Logoed) Items

20May/19

Proposed China Tariff Will Have Major Impact on Promotional Products Industry (and Customers)

Forget Winter, the Tariff is Coming and it is Far More Ominous!

Proposed China TariffUsually, it is a hot new product making the buzz in the promotional products industry but right now the buzz is all about the proposed China tariff.  The proposed tariff will have a widespread impact on various industries, including a significant impact on the promotional products industry.  At Connect the Dots Promotions, we love to share our latest projects or interesting products with our clients and industry peers, but we also believe it is important to have a conversation about how important this proposed tariff is and examine just how wide-reaching the impact will be.

Trump Administration Proposed 25% Tariff Will Impact Everyone

If you have not yet heard the news, the Trump administration proposed 25% tariff on products imported from China.  Make no mistake, this is a HUGE tariff.  Not only is this tariff threatening businesses but, unfortunately, it is threatening widespread impact on our customers because it will lead to an increase in prices. 

USA Today explains what is at stake with the proposed China tariff increase, “The trade war with China could cause prices to rise on everything from toys to clothing, but it also could lead to ‘widespread store closures,’ according to a report by UBS.  The investment bank’s analysis said tariffs on Chinese imports could put $40 billion of sales and 12,000 stores at risk…’We think potential 25% tariffs on Chinese imports could accelerate pressure on these company’s profit margins to the point where major store closures become a real possibility.” Earlier this month, the Trump administration increased U.S. tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports from 10% to 25%. The president has also threatened to add a 25% tariff on almost all the remaining $325 billion in goods shipped in from China… ‘We’re going to continue to do everything we can to keep prices low,’ said Brett Biggs, Walmart’s chief financial officer and executive vice president, during a call with reporters Thursday. ‘However, increased tariffs will lead to increased prices we believe for our customers.’”

Proposed China Tariff Will Have a Big Impact on All Businesses & Their Clients

Proposed China TariffThe proposed increase will certainly impact large retailers like Walmart, but it will be an even larger strain on small businesses.  While we still have not seen exactly how this proposed China tariff will play out exactly, if it does go into effect as planned, it will most likely lead to increased prices. 

Because of this, and because we love our clients so much and don’t want to see their marketing impacted by this, we highly encourage our customers to consider looking ahead at the next 6 months – 1 year and consider what they have planned for marketing and promotional products.  If you have not yet, start planning your marketing calendar out and considering if now is a good time to order for fall, back-to-school, holidays, end-of-year, or other occasions for which you might want promotional products.  By ordering sooner rather than later (before a new tariff is implemented), you will take advantage of lower prices that will no longer be around if the tariff goes into effect.

Plan Ahead to Avoid Paying Higher Prices If Higher Tariff is Enacted

At Connect the Dots Promotions, you can always count on our dedication to you, our client.  We have been well aware of the proposed tariff for some time and are anticipating the potential increase by researching American made products and other sources to keep costs low but, unfortunately, if the tariff does go into place, it will likely mean increased pricing.  If you are interested in discussing your marketing plan, alternative marketing strategies, or investing in promotional products now to avoid

07May/19

3 Hot Promotional Products for Summer!

Summer is the season of BBQs, picnics, travel, and time spent at the pool, lake, or beach.  Summer is such a great time of reset for everyone because everyone is ready to leave behind their usual routines and switch things up for a while.  This is great for companies because when someone is ready to make a switch or try new things they are far more likely to actually use a new promotional product they receive.  While there are certain promotional products that are popular and useful to receive any time of year (did someone say ‘Bluetooth speaker’?), there are other things that are particularly useful in certain seasons.  Fortunately, all of the items below serve both purposes.  They are both perennially useful and very useful during the summer months.  And, if a product is useful, it will get used – and that means your branding will be promoted and you will foster goodwill.  Snag one or all of these promotional products for summer for your next company BBQ, picnic, or event or just to give away to customers that you want to impress!

3 Hot Promotional Products for Summer!

  1. Branded Reusable Straws
      • summer promotional products Many people are making an effort to reduce waste and be more eco-friendly and they have turned to something as simple as a reusable straw as a practical way to make this change. Further, more and more restaurants are converting to using paper straws in an effort to reduce their plastic waste that doesn’t decompose the same way that paper does.  Paper straws are a great alternative but if you have ever used one, you know – the longer it sits in your drink, the more ‘mushy’ it gets and that just makes it an unpleasant experience every time you take a sip.  The ideal solution to this is a reusable straw.  There are many different options including aluminum, glass, and silicone.  All of these can be branded and will ensure that your brand is seen on a very regular basis as many people use their reusable straws every single day.
  1. Branded Charging Cords
      • summer promotional productsWho doesn’t need a little extra power from time to time?  A charging cord is similar to other power banks or charging keychains you may have seen.  The user simply charges them in advance and then the cord retains that power so that, should you need a little extra power, it is right at your fingertips and you don’t have to scramble to save that last 4% of battery.  This is always useful to keep in your backpack or purse but it can be very helpful when traveling since there is often less convenient access to the ability to charge your device.  Just imagine being on-the-go in Disneyland – it won’t feel like the happiest place on earth if your phone is dead and you can’t take any photos to remember the experience.  But, if you keep your branded charging cord in your bag, you can have access to power whenever you need it.  Make your brand seem indispensable with a branded charging cord this summer.
  1. Branded Waterproof Container 
      • summer promotional productsThe summer months can be hot and what better way to cool off is there than jumping in the pool, lake, or ocean?  There is something about swimming in water that is so closely connected with summer joy.  That joy will quickly disappear if you leave your phone, other devices, wallet, keys, or other items out and they get wet or sandy.  Some even include a built-in waterproof audio jack so you can still plug your device in to listen to your favorite summer song or podcast.  There is a multitude of different waterproof container sizes and styles so you can easily find the ideal product to place your branding on and present to employees and customers as a generous gift to use this summer.
06Apr/19

Diversify Your Brand’s Marketing Experiences

At Connect the Dots, we constantly strive to find creative ways to help you market your brand and promote your events.  Our love for things like promotional products is well-known and we love connecting clients with the perfect promotional tools to set them apart from the competition.  As we all know, differentiating your brand in a saturated market can be challenging. It is exactly that reason that we added new services for our clients that want to creatively approach marketing their brand.  Now, not only can Connect the Dots help you design unique and interesting promotional products but we can elevate your next marketing campaign with what we are calling ‘Experiences.

CONNECT THE DOTS: MARKETING EXPERIENCES

FLASH MOBS

Marketing ExperiencesBy now, most people have seen a flash mob either on video or in person.  And, if you have, you know just how fun and memorable they are!  This form of viral marketing is a great way to show your brand’s personality, make a memorable impact on your target audience, promote your brand, sale, or product, and just show that you can have some fun!  While flash mobs are great fun, they do require a good amount of coordination, practice and strategic planning to be executed properly – and trust us, you want to execute them properly.  What could be sadder than a bad flash mob?!  Not much! The last thing you want to be remembered for is a flash mob fail! At Connect the Dots, we have access to the talent, all you need to provide is the time and place! Get creative with viral marketing and let us help you create the memorable marketing experiences you want!

WORLD RECORD ATTEMPTS

Marketing ExperiencesThere are few bragging rights as cool as being able to say you hold a world record in some category!  Really, how many people or brands can say that?  Not many!  And, that is exactly why you should not only pursue a world record if possible, but you should coordinate marketing experiences and media around it because it is something definitely worth sharing with your clients and employees!  Our team can help give your existing or new event the fun twist you need to help increase attendance, bring in more fundraising dollars, or and/or build invaluable brand awareness!

MISSION STATEMENT BUILDING

Marketing ExperiencesWhether you are a charitable organization, non-profit, school, small business, or major corporation, a mission statement is simply a must.  Every organization should have a mission statement because it fosters a team mentality amongst your employees, facilities an organized effort in pursuit of goals, and shows a cohesive effort to your clients.  At Connect the Dots Promotions, our consultants will work with you to understand what you prioritize and what your ultimate goals are to help you craft a unique mission statement.  Once completed, we will provide a custom metal fabricated mission statement for you to display in your office with pride!

DIGITAL MARKETING EXPERIENCES: BLOGGING & SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

Marketing ExperiencesToday’s marketing expands far beyond print, radio and television media campaigns.  Create a unified brand presence that is cohesive across all platforms, including your website and social media platforms.  Consistent, well-written, SEO-optimized content such as blogs will reinforce your brand as an authority in your industry, share helpful or useful information with your employees and customers, and increase your search engine ranking to make your brand more discoverable.  Further, social media marketing is a great way to show off more of your brand’s personality and reach your employees and customers directly.  At Connect the Dots Promotions, we have a variety of digital marketing tools and management options to help you facilitate the digital presence you want for your brand!

20Mar/19

Client Spotlight: Corporate Air Mechanical Services

Connect the Dots Client Spotlight: Corporate Air Mechanical Services

promotional productsBuilding connections, fostering relationships, and supporting businesses in which we believe are some of the most fundamental priorities at Connect the Dots Promotions.  From time to time, we enjoy shining the light on some of our most recent projects and customers.  We recently had the opportunity to work with Cherri Marrese, President of Corporate Air Mechanical Services on a spring marketing campaign including some unique promotional products!  

Choosing a Perfect Promotional Product

Because Corporate Air Mechanical Services is in the industrial/commercial cooling industry, they presented the idea of a desk fan to give as a thank you to customers.  They knew they wanted one that could have a message on it to remind customers of the upcoming Arizona summer heat.

How Connect the Dots Helped Select the Perfect Promotional Product!
promotional products

Desk Fan with LED Customizable Display

We just happened to be speaking to Cherri about this project right before we attended the 2019 PPAI Expo in Las Vegas. The timing could not have been more perfect because we were able to take their directives and go to the PPAI Expo where we could look at products from over 3,000 supplier booths.  It was like they were all just waiting for us to find the perfect item for our customers!  Because the PPAI Expo is so large, we combed through aisle after aisle looking for the perfect fan.  Despite there being such a selection, it seemed to be like finding a needle in a haystack and we were starting to worry the perfect fan was not out there.  But, we never lost hope and continued the dedicated hunt for our customer.  

The last day of the PPAI Expo is always the best when looking for a specific promotional product because many attendees have already begun to leave.  This means it is less crowded and suppliers have additional time to talk to you.  As we were walking on the last day, Karie spotted someone she knew personally operating a vendor’s booth.  While we were standing there, low and behold, Kim looked up and it was like you could hear angels singing!  There it was!  The perfect fan with an LED lighted programmable message capability sitting right in front of us!  Kim shouted, “OMG, there it is I’ve been here for 4 days and now I find it!.”  The supplier/vendor thought Kim lost her marbles!

Dedication to Creative Promotional Products & Unique Marketing Campaigns

We returned home the next day from PPAI Expo and ordered a sample for Cherri to view.  We then met to discuss Corporate Air Mechanical Services’ 2019 marketing campaign and share the sample fan with Cherri and her sale’s executive, Tanner.  Needless to say, it was a big hit!  They started programming it with their phones (an option we love!) and then immediately placed an order.  We have already begun to work on several other items in which they are interested. Also, we always execute a ‘nudge plan’ to help our customers stay organized and ahead of their marketing plans for the holidays, corporate events corporate wearables, and other items. At Connect the Dots, we couldn’t be more happy to have connected our client with the perfect promotional products and we look forward to working more with Corporate Air Mechanical Services!

31Jan/19

Why the 2019 PPAI Expo in Las Vegas Was a Must-Attend Event!

2019 PPAI Expo Recap

2019 PPAI Expo2019 PPAI ExpoWe are home from the PPAI Expo and wow – we saw so much, learned even more, and had a great time connecting with old and new friends!  It was great to attend the 2019 PPAI Expo with our whole team because there is so much to take in and we were able to have three sets of eyes.  Also, having three people let us be very organized about what we saw, learned, and visited!  Every year at the PPAI Expo is a great experience and 2019 certainly did not disappoint.

 

 

Preparing for Year Ahead with the 2019 PPAI Expo

2019 PPAI ExpoWe love that the PPAI Expo is at the beginning of the year because it allows us to see the latest and greatest products while our clients are preparing marketing strategies for the year ahead.  We have projects on the horizon for clients and, knowing that, we were able to connect the right products with the coming projects.  

 

 

 

What We Saw at the 2019 PPAI Expo

2019 PPAI Expo 2019 PPAI ExpoTech promotional products have been popular for a while and this year was no exception.  Wireless chargers for phones are all the rage.  They are easy to brand and everyone needs a phone charger.  The upside of a promotional wireless phone charger is that it will likely be used often so your brand will constantly be in front of whoever receives your promotional product.  Additionally, we saw some cool octopus-style charging cords that can charge multiple devices, of different kinds (smartphone, laptop, tablet, etc.), at once.

 

 

Our Takeaways from the 2019 PPAI Expo

2019 PPAI ExpoThe best part about the 2019 PPAI Expo is not necessarily the event itself, but all that we learn and take home to our clients.  We are most excited about a movement in our industry called PromoCares.  With PromoCares, all of our clients have access to supplies in our industry that give back to others in some way.  If you’ve read our blog before, you know that we believe strongly in not just connecting the dots for our clients but serving the community in which we live and leveraging the power of our clients to support organizations that give back. 

We cannot wait to share all that we learned at the conference with our clients.  If you are planning your 2019 marketing calendar or are ready to plan your next promotional products campaign, we at Connect the Dots would love to meet with you. We would be happy to share with you about the latest and greatest products in our industry and how you can utilize promotional products to promote your business and encourage brand loyalty.

07Jan/19

2019 PPAI Expo

2019 PPAI Expo

2019 PPAI EXPOIt’s the beginning of a new year and that also means it is PPAI Expo time!  The entire Connect the Dots team – Karie, Marcie, & Kim – is headed to the 2019 PPAI Expo and we couldn’t be more excited to attend.  We have been attending this event for a long time for a good reason – its the biggest and best event in the promotional products industry.  PPAI describes what to expect at the 2019 PPAI Expo, “The PPAI Expo is the premier trade show for the promotional products industry. It’s the longest-running, best-attended, biggest event of the year. It takes place January 13-17, 2019 in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. If you’re in the promotional products industry, come experience extraordinary at The PPAI Expo…Serving as the yearly launch pad for both suppliers and distributors, The PPAI Expo brings more than 12,000 distributors from nearly 4,000 companies together under one roof for the five-day event. The PPAI Expo features more than 1,200 exhibiting companies showcasing tens of thousands of promotional products in nearly a million square feet of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, the fifth largest convention center in the U.S.”


What Connect the Dots Will Be Doing at the 2019 PPAI Expo

There is so much to see and learn at the PPAI Expo every year.  And, not only that, but we get to network with industry peers, catch up with old friends, and just have a great time!  We will also be taking classes because trends, regulations, products, product safety, and industry standards change every year.  We love to learn about the latest and greatest products or marketing tools so that we can bring those ideas back to our clients.

How the 2019 PPAI Expo Will Prepare Us for the Year Ahead

2019 PPAI ExpoAt the 2019 PPAI Expo we will be meeting with vendors and other industry peers.  It is a time of negotiating the best prices on the best products for our clients. But, another important topic we will be discussing this year is the potential new tariffs that may dramatically impact the promotional products industry.  The proposed increase would change the tariff rate from 20% to 25% – a huge change. If the tariff increase is enacted, it is highly likely that prices will go significantly for promotional products which will certainly impact our customers.  The deadline is in March so there will likely be a lot of strategy discussion for various potential scenarios.  We can’t wait to learn, discuss, and have fun at the 2019 PPAI Expo!  We will be sharing a recap of the experience once we return.  In the meantime, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

05Nov/18

Holiday Promotional Products & Branded Year-End Gifts

holiday promotional productsIt has come to the time of year known as the ‘holiday season’ and with that, as well as the end of the calendar year, comes a lot of celebration.  Everyone enjoys being appreciated and rewarded for a year of hard work and customer loyalty.  First up on the holiday agenda is Thanksgiving and that reminds us that we have a lot to be thankful for.  Within the business world, we are thankful for our business, thankful for our employees, thankful for our customers, thankful for our friends and partners in our industry.  And, it is exactly that thankful spirit that we want to channel when we order holiday promotional products or year-end promotional products to give as gifts.

While there are promotional products for any budget, this is the time of year to really impress employees and customers with your thankfulness for the previous year and get them excited for the year to come.  Regardless of what holidays you celebrate, there is always something to celebrate this time of year, so we have broken down holiday promotional products into 3 primary categories to help you choose your end-of-year gifts.  The possibilities are endless so if you need help choosing or ordering your business holiday promotional products, Connect the Dots Promotions has the experience and knowledge you need to help you narrow down your choice and get your products ordered in time for the holiday season!

Holiday Promotional Products

Holiday Apparel Promotional Products
Promotional Jacket or Pullover
  • Everyone wants to be warm and cozy during the cold winter months and what better way to stay warm than with a cozy, branded jacket or pullover.  A custom branded jacket or pullover is not only functional and very useful but a great marketing tool because it will share your brand wherever the wearer goes.
Promotional Hat
      • Everyone needs a great hat and with a stylish branded hat, your employee or customer will be happy to represent your brand on their head!
Promotional T-Shirt
      • You can never have too many t-shirts and a branded t-shirt can be a handy promotional product.  You can encourage employees to wear their company shirt to work or company events and you can encourage customers to wear your shirt to your events or as part of a loyalty program.
Holiday Food Promotional Products
Promotional Chocolate, Popcorn, Nuts, Oh My!
      • It is pretty hard to go wrong giving someone a yummy treat! Whether you want to give a promotional food item to employees or customers, there is a myriad of options at a wide array of price points to accommodate any budget.  Food is always a crowd pleaser and they will remember who was so generous while they happily snack the day away!
Holiday Gadget Promotional Products
Promotional Tech
      • Everyone loves technology.  Anyone can always use a (or another!) PopSocket or portable Bluetooth speaker. You can print your brand right on it, a special message, a name or anything else you can think of and give the gift of technology this holiday season.
Promotional Water Bottle/Mug/Tumbler
      • Reusable water bottles, mugs, and tumblers are not only useful but eco-friendly.  They reduce waste and save money so they are already great, but once they are branded with your company logo, they will be even better because they will be a mobile marketing tool!
24Oct/18

Fall & Winter Festival Promotional Products

Fall & Winter Promotional Products

Winter Promotional ProductsThe weather has begun to cool off and fall and winter holidays are upon us.  Whether you are hosting a company holiday event, school or church harvest festival, winter wonderland event, Trunk or Treat, or Snow Day event, or any other fall or winter event – you want to make it memorable.  The best way to give everyone that attends your event a great experience and a lasting memory of the time they had is with branded fall and winter promotional products. 

Warm Winter Wearables

Winter Promotional ProductsTry saying that three times fast! Warm winter wearables are always a popular promotional product to give away at fall and winter events because they are just so useful! While it may seem like there isn’t much exciting happening with things like gloves and hats, there’s new technology and there are great ways to brand these items.  For example, there are touchscreen gloves with special fingertips and a palm that helps you hold your tech and be able to swipe and use your touch screen on your tech without having to take your gloves off.  Great customizable branded wearables include mittens, beanies, hats, sweatshirts, jackets and more!

Maximize Winter Comfort and Convenience

Winter Promotional Products

Something like a tote bag or a blanket that has been custom branded makes an ideal gift for your fall or winter festival.  They can help guests carry things around while at the event, stay warm while at the event, and will continue to be useful long after the event! Talk about a marketing win!

Give Your Guests Something Fun to Do!

While you will certainly have some form of entertainment or activities at your fall or winter festival, it never hurts to have something fun for all ages to enjoy.  A branded frisbee, branded ball, branded kite, or other branded outdoor toy can make a fun gift that also helps maximize everyone’s fun at the event!

Let Your Winter & Fall Promotional Products Serve Double Duty

Winter Promotional ProductsOne great way to save on the cost of cups, be eco-friendly, and have a great gift all in one is to invest in branded water bottles, branded tumblers, or branded mugs.  You can serve your guests with customized water bottles, tumblers, or mugs and they can take them home to use them again!