Tag Archives: Headphones

20Aug/19

If You Don’t Have a Company Online Store Yet – You Need One!

Should You Be Using a Company Online Store?

If you do not yet have a company online store, you probably should get one! Company online stores have become a popular, efficient, and effective way to offer employees (and even customers) a place to buy unique branded items.  Whether you just want to provide your employees with some fun items to show their pride in their workplace or you want to provide your managers and employees a one-stop-shop for employees to choose your branded promotional products and apparel as a requirement of their job, a company online store is an ideal solution.  

Curate a Strategic Company Online Store

One significant advantage of creating your own company online store is that you get control over controlling your brand’s identity and style.  You can control things like style, color, finish, etc.  Additionally, you can further a message about your brand.  For example, if you are a gym, you can offer promotional gym bags, towels, yoga mats, and hoodies that uniquely exemplify your brand’s style.  This is important because people are bombarded with marketing messages thousands of times a day so you want to create a unified, cohesive branding strategy and an online store will provide the ideal platform on which to do so.  

Let Employees (and Customers!) Show Their Company Pride

What is better than using custom apparel and swag to proudly represent something that you are a part of or support?  There are so many ways, large and small, to show others you are proud to be an employee of a great company, or that you love a great company with branded promotional products and apparel.  Every time someone wears or uses a promotional item in front of someone else at work, in a store, in a restaurant, or anywhere else – they see your branding and it reinforces your brand identity.  

Start a Company Online Store with Connect the Dots Promotions

At Connect the Dots Promotions, we are continually looking for unique and diverse ways to assist you with strategic marketing solutions.  We can help you choose items for your company store, design the style, and help you offer your employees and clients a modern and convenient way to source branded promotional products.  Once complete, your company online store can live on its own website or you can embed it into your website for enhanced functionality.  Starting other forms of online stores can be expensive, complicated, and frustrating which is why we love how effective, efficient, and convenient it is to establish your own company online store.

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

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.

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!
25Jun/18

High ROI on Promotional Products

What Type of ROI Can Promotional Products Offer?

When choosing marketing and promotional products, it is common to wonder what the ROI (return on investment) will be.  While this is understandable, there is no set formula for what works best in marketing.  It is impossible to predict what a promotional product’s “ROI” will be, particularly because in marketing there are different types of promotional product ROI.  To label a return on investment as only monetary would be significantly simplifying the impact that promotional products can have for your business.

What Exactly Constitutes ‘ROI’?

First, it is important to establish what ROI can mean for your business.  There is obviously monetary ROI – when a promotional product converts to a sale.  But, promotional products can also foster goodwill and enhance and extend your branding efforts.  Think about the marketing real estate of someone’s desk.  If someone sits at their desk every day then that is tremendous opportunity to market your brand if you can take up even a small portion of that real estate.  Calendars, notepads, mousepads, mugs, Bluetooth speakers, pens, and more that sit on everyone’s desks can be custom branded. Each time that person sits down at their desk they will see your logo.  This creates brand recognition/recall, fosters goodwill because they remember that you gave a gift, and may just be the reminder they need when they need your product or service to give you a call.  That is tremendous and diverse ROI!

Diversify Your Definition of ROI to See the True Potential of Promotional Products!

In addition to utilizing someone’s desk real estate, you can strategically use promotional products as creative marketing tools that create brand recognition and help you grow your social media presence.  Branded wearable promotional products are great to hand out at events.  You can encourage people to snap a pic and tag you so that they can win a prize.  Another fun way to increase social media engagement is to encourage people to snap a picture with your logo any time they see it.  For example, if they are out at the bank or a local restaurant and see your branded pen on the counter, they can take a picture of it and tag your social media profile to win a prize.  This enhances the ROI on a relatively small investment in a promotional pen and creates a grassroots marketing movement for your brand.  When discussing branded promotional product ROI, it is important to look at all the different ROI types and potential with any given item so that you can maximize your marketing budget!

11Jan/18

Connect the Dots Is Attending the 2018 PPAI Expo

2018 PPAI Expo: January 15-18, 2018

2018 PPAI ExpoThe PPAI Expo 2018 is this weekend and Karie, Marcie, and Kim could not be more excited to attend this year’s event.  We always love attending this event because it is a great time to learn about the latest and most exciting promotional products, receive industry education, and enjoy a time connecting with other industry professionals.

This year, the PPAI Expo is going all out, “In 2018 The PPAI Expo brought more than 12,000 distributors from more than 4,500 companies together under one roof for the five-day event.The PPAI Expo features more than 1,200 exhibiting companies showcasing more than a quarter million products over 1,000,000 square feet of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, the fifth largest convention center in the U.S.”

2018 Promotional Products

We will be on the 2018 PPAI Expo floor on Tuesday and Wednesday. If you have heard of a product or marketing tool or are just looking for something in particular, let us know!  We will go “shopping” at the show just for you!

Attending the PPAI Expo 2018 is going to be a great time to see the newest promotional products and marketing tools.  Thousands of suppliers attend the event and bring products they want to highlight or that are a current trend.  There is over one million square feet of trade show exhibit hall and hundreds of products being showcased at the event including new promotional products, green promotional products, incentive promotional products. There is literally every promotional product you could want or need, for every industry! Additionally, there are also a wide array of promotional product price points for any marketing budget.

 

2018 PPAI Expo Education

In addition to looking at thousands of new 2018 promotional products, we will also be receiving education.  Monday will be a day filled with education for Connect the Dots.  There are many opportunities to gain industry knowledge and keynote luncheons with outstanding speakers.  It is always nice to gain additional industry insight from fellow marketing industry professionals.

The popular saying, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” will not be true of our trip to the 2018 PPAI Expo in Vegas. We are excited to bring back everything we learn at the PPAI Expo so that we can continue to provide our clients with the best service and promotional products available in 2018!

12Jul/17

Promotional Products and Spiritwear for Schools and Universities

Create School Spirit with Custom School Promotional Products and Spiritwear!

It may feel like summer has just begun but it’s already time to start thinking about your “back to school”! And we don’t just mean school supplies, we mean school marketing.  Every type of school or any size needs promotional products to encourage school spirit.  There are many different kinds of school spiritwear and school promotional products.  These products pump students, parents, and school sports fans for the new school year!  Promotional products and spiritwear generate school spirit, goodwill, excitement, loyalty, and more!  Sell your school promotional products and spiritwear in the school shop. And, give your custom promotional products away for exciting promotions or to alumni and donors as a gift for donations!

school promotional products apparelThere are certain school promotional products and spiritwear that are great for any type of school.  For example, t-shirts are a great promotional item for any school. They can help entice parents to join an elementary school PTO or PTA which all schools need. And, promotional apparel is great for teenagers in high school or young adults in college.  Parents are always proud to represent their child’s school so a school cannot go wrong ordering school t-shirts.  Additionally, promotional pens are useful for any school because people always need pens!  And, as an added bonus, if the pens get left somewhere it will help promote the school to new people!  To continue, bookmarks make a great promotional product because they are inexpensive yet useful.

school promotional products stadium seatThere are many promotional products or spiritwear items that work well for high schools or colleges (though many would still be great for elementary schools as well!).  If your school has an athletic program, great spiritwear is a must!  Hats, t-shirts, and sweatshirts are some of the most popular.  But, don’t forget the fans and tailgating crowd!  Custom printed logo folding chairs, seat cushions, umbrellas, misting fans, water bottles, or coolers are sure to be crowd-pleasers.

Additionally, when ordering promotional products for high schools or universities it is a great idea to stock the school shop with many “school staples.”  These can include promotional notebooks, logo pens, calculators, rulers, tote bags, backpacks, highlighters, sticky notes, staplers, flash drives, coffee mugs, and more!  Every student needs many or all of these things so why not provide them an opportunity to purchase them with your school’s logo on them or give them out as gifts to students!

school promotional products earbudsFinally, promotional products and spiritwear do not have to be all serious or studious, have some fun!  Some fun promotional products for schools or universities include logo sunglasses, footballs, Frisbees, headphones/earbuds, stress ball, mascot plushes, or phone charger/power bank.  Seeing students wear spiritwear or use custom promotional products creates an atmosphere of loyalty, fun, and excitement.  Prospective students will want to be a part of that kind of community, donors will want to give donations, students will feel like they are part of something fun and exciting, and parents will want to participate.  Contact Connect the Dots to order your school or university promotional products now to be prepared for the new school year!

03May/17

Get Creative with Promotional Products for Company Picnics

Appreciate Employees with Company Picnis

Company Picnic Promotional Products - Beach BallIt is that time of year that temperatures start to warm up and companies begin hosting picnics.  It is important to show employee appreciation at various times during the year.  When you give an employee an “attaboy” and host a fun event, you foster goodwill and a positive company environment.  While food and games are certainly a huge part of any company picnic, don’t forget to order fun promotional products too!  There are many company picnic promotional products from which to choose. Now is the time to get creative and order products that really reach out and say “thanks”!

A company picnic is a fun chance to get outside the office and connect on a different level with co-workers.  Because the purpose is to appreciate employees in a different setting, promotional products should be themed accordingly.  Branded mouse pads and USB drives are great gifts but they scream “office”. Now is the chance to think outside the box and get creative for your company event.  Doing so will show that you have gone the extra mile for your employees.  Your employees will be thrilled to take home something so fun and useful.  And, that promotional product will continuously remind them of the fun, morale-boosting experience they had at the company picnic.

Company Picnic Promotional Products

Company Picnic Promotional Products - Picnic BlanketThere are many different promotional products that are a perfect gift for a company picnic.  First, you could give out customized picnic blankets.  Not only will they be able to use them the day of, but again and again.  Each time they need a picnic blanket they will see your logo and be reminded of your generous gift.  Also, another great gift is promotional sunglasses.  They are an inexpensive way to provide something useful and fun.  Choose fun colors or creative styles and get the added bonus of a great photo-op for employees.  Further, insulated cooler bags or totes coordinate perfectly with company picnics and are very useful as a lunch bag, grocery tote, or just an extended car trip when you want to keep things cool.

And, don’t forget the kids!  If children are invited to the Company Picnic Promotional Products - Footballcompany picnic it can be a fun thing to have some children’s items.  Order promotional Frisbees, beach balls, footballs, sun hats, beach bucket with sand toys, kites or other child-friendly items.  The kids will have fun and you will really impress the parents.

Company Picnic Promotional Products - Folding ChairIn addition to promotional products that everyone will get, consider ordering a few larger promotional products that can be given out as prizes for contests or games during the event.  Larger items like promotional backpacks, customized BBQ sets, headphones, PopSockets, folding chairs are always coveted prizes.  Those larger items will motivate people to participate in games and contests and enhance the fun of the event.  Company Picnic Promotional Products - BBQ SetCompany picnics are a great team-building experience for everyone and it allows employees to get to know each other on a different level.  Reward employees for their hard work and foster goodwill with creative and fun company picnic promotional products.