Tag Archives: Promotional Wearables

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.

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!

27Sep/18

8 Fun School Spirit Promotional Products to Show Your School Pride!

Get in the School Spirit with Promotional Products!

We all love to root for our favorite home team, represent our alma mater with pride, or show off our school colors!  Being a part of a school community is fun but the fun can be further enhanced with school spirit promotional items.  Whether you are preparing for ‘back-to-school,’ have a school spirit shop, a big homecoming game, athletic events, academic events, or just want to represent your school with pride every day, there are a wide array of promotional products that will excellently represent your school spirit.

Give Consumers What They Want & Foster School Loyalty with Promotional Products

School spirit promotional products never go out of style.  And, even if there are extras you can always give them away as a gesture of goodwill or reward for an achievement, or you could sell them in your school spirit shop! PPAI points out that smart young consumers (high school and college students, for example) are eager to be on trend while representing their school spirit during their school years and as alumni as well, “With more than 20 million students roaming U.S. college campuses this fall, building brand loyalty among them seems as easy as a course in underwater basketweaving. But the tastes and opinions of these savvy young consumers are as diverse as their backgrounds, so campaigns need to be thoughtful, targeted and on trend…Tote bags and backpacks, including inexpensive drawstring bags, are popular as well, she says. “Totes are used to carry stuff at events; backpacks are given out at orientation to carry books and laptops; drawstring bags are used to advertise events.” Rounding out the top three for Larick’s clients are portable drinkware options. “Disposable water bottles are being banned on many campuses we work with,” she says. “Students often carry water bottles and thermal coffee mugs around campus.” School spirit continues to live on for many alumni, particularly those who participated in campus organizations such as sports teams, fraternities and sororities.”  Custom school spirit promotional products will show off your school pride in style, provide traveling marketing opportunities for more people to learn about your school, serve many helpful purposes, and ultimately – they are a lot of fun!  

8 Fun School Spirit Promotional Products
  1. Drawstring Bag
      • Every kid can use a drawstring bag to tote their gym clothes, shoes, books, or other items!
  1. Cups or Tumblers
      • Everyone in the family will love having a custom school spirit cup or tumbler!
  1. Sports Ball
      • Whether you opt to customize a football, basketball, soccer ball, baseball or volleyball – custom school balls are great gifts! Give them to school athletic team members, students or families!
  1. Pens & Pencils
      • Pens and pencils are necessary school writing tools. They are also some of the most inexpensive promotional products! These budget-friendly school spirit promotional products are a great choice!
  1. Notebooks
      • Jot down class notes in style or just have a handy notebook at the ready with a custom logo notebook.
  1. Lanyards
      • Most schools today require student ID cards or badge.  A custom logo lanyard is not only spreading school spirit but a helpful accessory to promote school security!
  1. Hats
      • Hats are a staple in the promotional product industry, and for good reason – everybody loves a great hat!  It is the easiest and most convenient way to represent your favorite school while also keeping the sun out of your eyes!
  1. Stadium Seats or Cushions
      • Cheering on your school team can sometimes last hours but that doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable!  Sit on a customized school spirit stadium seat or cushion!

Connect the Dots Can Customize Your School Spirit Promotional Products!

At Connect the Dots Promotions, we recently had the opportunity to work with Scottsdale Christian Academy on their school spirit promotional products and we can’t wait to see them in action at their 2018 Homecoming football game! Go team go!

06Aug/18

The 4th Quarter Is Coming- Time To Start Planning for Holiday Employee & Client Gifts

It’s Never Too Early to Plan Your 4th Quarter Employee & Client Promotional Product Gifts

4th Quarter MarketingIt may only be August but the 4th Quarter is almost here and that means it is time to start planning ahead!  Any companies give out gifts to their employees and clients during the 4th Quarter, often for the holidays, but as year-end gifts as well.  You might be thinking that it is way too early to be thinking about holiday and end-of-year gifts but if you start planning now it will make your marketing more effective and be more cost efficient as well.

Plan Ahead Maximizes Your Marketing Efforts

Planning ahead will not only give you peace of mind (though this should not be underestimated!), it will maximize your marketing efforts.  First, every single business will be ordering holiday and end-of-year promotional products during the 4th Quarter and that means it will take longer to fulfill those orders. Don’t get stuck at the last minute paying more for a promotional product that is not ideal for your business or marketing goals just because you are in a rush.  Plan and order your holiday promotional products in advance and you will have the exact promotional products you want when you need them.

Planning Ahead Maximizes Your Marketing Budget

4th Quarter MarketingAdditionally, by anticipating the type of promotional product(s) you would like to customize for employees or clients, you will have the ability to budget accordingly.  By planning ahead you do not have to worry about paying rush order fees or a supplier being unable to fulfill your order.  By the time the 4th Quarter rolls around, your annual budget may have shifted and you may either have more or less in your budget than you anticipated at the beginning of the year.  With enough advance, you can adjust and plan ahead to maximize any marketing budget.

Planning Ahead Let’s You Get Creative with Marketing

Also, planning a marketing calendar months in advance can feel like work but it makes it much easier to get creative with marketing.  Why not try giving your 4th Quarter promotional products to clients and employees at Halloween or Thanksgiving, rather than at the end of the year?  Sometimes an unexpected and creative promotional product can make all the difference in terms of impact and brand recognition.  And, you will stand out more from your competitors if you get more creative with your marketing efforts. There are so many ways to use promotional products creatively around fun holidays, as thank you’s, or for any other 4th Quarter event your business has planned.  If you need help planning your 4th Quarter promotional products or are looking for some unique and creative ways to market your brand, Connect the Dots Promotions can help you turn your 4th Quarter marketing into a success!