Monday 26 November 2018

The Power of Power Banks as Promotional Gifts

Promotional gifting can be a great tool to increase brand exposure whilst also showing appreciation to both clients and potential leads. In order to achieve this however, the promotional gift needs to be distinctive, valued and offer a lasting impression of your brand. The quality ranked most important by buyers of promotional merchandise is “usefulness” according to research by the British Promotional Merchandise Association. A promotional gift that is useful will likely have a longer lifespan, being kept and incorporated into the daily life of the recipient and guaranteeing regular brand exposure. It’s a brilliant way to keep a brand at the forefront of a client’s mind.

So, when our client Ballymore Property Developers contacted us wishing to promote their latest London development, we knew their metropolitan clientele would value a long lasting and useful piece of promotional merchandise that was in keeping with the developments high-end nature and aesthetic.

We therefore suggested using branded power banks with a customised design as their promotional gift. Being highly useful and with a long lifespan they agreed that branded power banks would make for a valued promotional gift, helping to keep their clients charged and connected when on the go, possibly even used on a daily basis.

In keeping with the high-end aesthetic of Ballymore’s London Wardian development we designed these unique wooden branded power banks that are engraved with the developments logo and also feature an iconic bronze backing. The bespoke design and classy finish gives the power bank a high perceived value, making it even more likely to be kept by the recipient. Most important to us, our client Ballymore loved their branded power banks!

With a staggering 2.5 billion people owning a smartphone, a number that is set to further increase, and their battery lives being notoriously poor, branded power banks make for great promotional gifts that provide value for both companies and clients alike.

Author Bio: Chris Love is the Managing Director of Brandelity,  a promotional product specialist that focuses on products that are sustainable, impactful and affordable.

With over 20 years experience in the industry, Chris has established and led multiple businesses ranging from USB technology, corporate merchandise and digital analytics.

Friday 23 November 2018

The Ten Greatest Promotional Products of All Time

It’s been almost 150 years since the modern era of promotional marketing took hold and in that time almost every class of product has been custom branded. But some products have endured longer than others. Here we list the ten all time greatest promotional merchandise ideas based on their continuing popularity and cost-effectiveness. Even though the last 20 years has seen more changes to the way people communicate and conduct business than was seen in the previous 130 these promotional classics enjoy continuing popularity to this day and still make up the majority of orders produced by promotional distributors the world over. The list of ten product categories below is not in any particular order but is based on distributor sales volumes reported in the USA and Australia. These ten classics continue to deliver for promotional marketers the world over.

 1. Pens 

Even in this day with a move towards the paperless office, the simple ballpoint pen is something most people use daily. Even with ubiquitous mobile phones and electronic messaging systems the first option, most people reach for when looking to take a quick note or write down contact details for an associate is a ballpoint pen. One of the main reasons for their universal popularity is the vast range of styles and price points available. Pens can be a cheap give away which costs less than 20 cents through to engraved gift options produced by famous fashion houses. It’s rare that people will dispose of a working pen so your offering will potentially hold its place for years, keeping your branding visible and your message relevant. 

 2. Drink Bottles 

We all need to drink, a lot more often than we need to eat so simple practicality of promotional bottles means they have broad appeal. Combining large-scale custom branding with a low unit price the range of bottle styles available ranges from simple plastic sports bottles through to the latest vacuum insulated bottles which have quickly become one of the most popular lines available with year-round appeal. For schools, sports teams and as gifts to staff promotional bottles can be refilled avoiding the need to buy bottled water. These eco-friendly credentials along with high-level branding and practicality ensure that branded bottles will continue to be popular as long as humans need hydration. 

3. Notepads 

Combined with a pen there is no simpler or more widely used office item than a custom notepad. Sometimes, despite being surrounded by electronic equipment with the combined memory capacity or a public library the simple expedient of writing a quick note and leaving it in a prominent place is something no electronic device can replace. Custom printed notepads occupy a prime space on a desk and with a logo print on each page, they move around the workplace with the messages they carry. There are few people in business who don’t reach for a notepad some time in each business day to scribble down a phone number or a reminder of some task that needs their attention when the time becomes available. 

4. Bags 

Promotional bags combine basic utility with high-level branding and the bag you give away today at a conference filled with discussion papers and catalogues can be used tomorrow for shopping or to carry sports gear for a workout at the gym. It’s no surprise that retails hand out custom printed bags to their customers. Next time you’re in any shopping precinct have a look around at the carry bags people use to transport their purchases. The branding is unmissable and often these bags have a life after their primary use. And of course there are many styles of bags, from simple printed paper bags through to high-end promotional luggage, backpacks and briefcases all of which have a specific use and share the traditional advantages of utility and high branding visibility common to all products in the category. 

5. Badges & Pins 

As a simple and cost-effective way to display your membership and support for an organisation, or alternatively to provide a thank you gift to supporters, an sponsors custom lapel pins and badges are hard to beat. Considered jewellery items by some people and with usable lives which can surpass that of the people organising their production lapel pins are both cost-effective and highly sought after. there is even an active collector community of people who trade and collect lapel pins so your design could become a cherished possession which takes pride of place. 

6. Confectionery 

Everyone loves sweets and lollies or knows someone who does. A gift which appeals directly to the kid in all of us, promotional confectionery is the perfect low cost “thank you” gift. There are few better ways to leverage your investment in attending a convention or trade show than to hand out branded lollies at your stand. From salesmen hoping to get a foot in the door, through to a small inexpensive giveaway to include with invoices which encourage prompt payment, custom branded bags of jelly beans and mints have an impact far beyond their cost. 

7. Wristbands 

Since Lance Armstrong’s “Livestrong” initiative the humble silicone wristband has become a recognised symbol of emotional support and has since been adopted by a multitude of organisations looking to produce cost-effective giveaways and rewards for sponsors and supporters. For community organisations with a limited budget, wristbands have become popular and effective fundraising items. As their popularity has grown manufacturers have come to the party and the range of styles, sizes and shapes have grown to the point now that there are enough different wristband models available that every organisation can choose a style which will represent their message. 

8. Stress Balls 

While some marketers view stress balls with scepticism but the reality is they are compact, fun 3D models which bring out the kid in a recipient while actually delivering a therapeutic benefit. It’s also cost-effective to produce your own custom shaped stress balls and many manufacturers have found there are few better ways to make their clients aware of a new product offering than to produce a soft, 3D model of their new product offering. best of all people often keep a stress ball handy as an office mascot so your branding remains prominent 

9. Coffee Mugs 

Just about everyone starts the day with a cup of their favourite hot beverage and often their emotional stability is dependent on its effect. Placed on a desktop a branded coffee mug carries unmissable branding. The right mug will become a regular part of the recipient’s day. Again, like all the most popular categories above the range of mugs available includes something for every situation and promotional opportunity. Coffee consumption continues to grow across the world and as a result, promotional mugs are here to stay. 

10. Key Chains 

Keychains or “keyrings" as they are called in some regions of the Anglosphere are a practical item which has been utilised by promotional marketers for as long as promotional products have been produced. Not just a useful way to organise keys, a keychain is something people keep handy so your branding will always be kept close. In many ways the holy grail of promotional marketing is to provide people with a cost-effective gift idea which will become a part of their daily activity and keyrings are a proven way to get your message into peoples’ hands for the long term. There are hundreds of categories of promotional items. The ten listed above are in the opinion of the author then ten classics for which every marketer could potentially find a use. Tell us below what would make your list of all time favourite promo products.

Author Bio - Bill McGrath is the founder and Managing Director of Fresh Promotions, one of Australia’s leading promotions agencies with dozens of the nation's top 100 companies as long-term clients. With many years experience in retail and trade promotions clients have come to depend on Bill’s advice in sourcing promotional products in Australia which enhance the values of their brand.

Monday 19 November 2018

Corporate Gift Ideas For Your Employees

Corporate gift giving is part and parcel for almost all company culture. Corporate gifting is not limited to festivals and occasions anymore. Companies at every level, small, big and multinational, take an active part in the corporate gift trend to recognize their employees' hard work and efforts.

Corporate gifts help to convey the message of employee appreciation, encouragement, and inspiration within the company. It also helps you build a strong relationship with your employees and also gives them a sense of recognition.

Corporate gifting is not an easy task as it sounds. Knowing all your employees’ likes and dislikes is not practically possible. Therefore, the chance of going wrong is higher here than in personal gifting. Remember you are giving away gifts to your employees and they are the most important resources of your company. Therefore, you can’t afford to go wrong here and discord the work environment.

Here are the few thoughtful Corporate Gift ideas for your employees:


It always feels great when you receive a gift which has someone’s dedicated idea and thought behind it. It's just like a handwritten note as compared to a printed letter. The former always gets the preference since it has a human touch and feeling attached to it. The same goes for corporate gifts. Going a little extra mile for your employees would make them appreciate you more and would also give them a sense of motivation and recognition for the hard work they put for the company. Gift the music lover a Bluetooth speaker or headphones. A kindle for the one who loves reading books, Sports products for sports enthusiasts and so on.

Your arrow may not always hit the target. So providing your employees point-based rewarding system can be one your best moves. This would give your employees the choice of buying products/services from the wide pool of brands from categories like merchandise, travel, lifestyle and others.

We live in a tech-savvy world and our indulgement with technology is only going higher. So gifting electronics like a smartwatch, headphones, portable chargers, speakers, etc. is always one of the best gifting options.

Eco-friendly corporate gifts are quite a trend now. It not only gives a sense that we care about our employees but also the planet we live in. Anybody from the manufacturer to the consumer wants to adapt to sustainable living or at least have thought about it. So eco-friendly gift giving is always a good idea. Bamboo USB drive, bamboo mugs and water bottles, notepad made out of recycled paper and recycled tote bags etc.

Boring and plain office accessories are so old school. Gift quality desk accessories like a metal pen, personalised stress balls, personalised desk clock, notepads, sippers, diaries, cardholders and charging station etc and make your employees’ desks more trendy.

Travel accessories are another corporate gift option. Gift your employees who travel frequently for work and also travel enthusiasts the perfect travel accessories. Power bank, neck pillow, eye mask, sleeping bag, safety locks, shoe cover and camera are the best travel accessories you can gift.

These are not the only gift ideas you can choose from. You can always look for ideas which go well with your workplace culture and interests.

Author Bio:
Braja Deepon Roy is a Content Writer at 
Vantage Circle, an Employee Engagement, and Employee Benefits Platform. He has an inquisitive nature and is passionate about books and travelling.

Thursday 8 November 2018

Harriet Gatter of Accounting Support, LLC Interview

Harriet Gatter of Accounting Support, LLC Interview

What is the best accounting system for an Ad Specialty Distributor?
The Ad Specialty Distributor’s business is unique and complex.  We are different from other businesses, and the high level of detail with our customization of products makes tracking and accounting for orders a challenge.  Unfortunately, there is not a perfect system for our industry.  For the average distributor in our business, however, QuickBooks or QuickBooks integrating with SAGE Online provides a solution that is affordable and it works well.

Why do you prefer QuickBooks?
QuickBooks is the #1 accounting software for small to medium sized businesses, providing a comprehensive accounting solution that continues to evolve and improve.

Being the #1 software, it is simpler to find bookkeepers and accountants.  It is also more readily accepted by potential lenders or buyers because of its wide distribution.  You could argue that using it makes your business more valuable.

I do a large number of conversions from other systems into QB or QB with SAGE each year.  I hear from many distributors come tax time when their tax accountants refuse to work another year using an unfamiliar accounting software.  The workings of our industry are unfamiliar enough to those on the outside; adding an unfamiliar accounting software on top of that can be a recipe for disaster.

Which QuickBooks do you recommend?
I recommend QuickBooks Premier for the average Ad Specialty Distributor.  The very large distributor (over $2 million) might need to go up to QB Enterprise.  I always recommend starting with Premier. It is affordable and Intuit makes it easy to upgrade to the more expensive and powerful Enterprise.  The conversion downward in products (from Enterprise to Premier) is not so simple.

QB Premier is a desktop product, so you own it and it is housed on your computer or server.  The Manufacturing and Wholesale Edition of Premier (an option to be chosen when downloading Premier) is designed for Sales Orders, Supplier Purchase Orders, and Invoicing which are all critical steps in our business.  Because you own this software, as compared to having a subscription service, you will have your order history as long as you keep the software and company file on your computer.  You can always move to another system if you outgrow this one and still keep your order history; this is something you will not have with many other systems.

How does the QuickBooks system integrating with SAGE Online work?
As distributors, we need a product data base to search and produce presentations. Typically, that would be SAGE Online or ASI’s ESP system. SAGE Online also allows you to put a chosen item into a Sales Order and Purchase Order without reentering data and then export it into QuickBooks.  The data that is created in QB (if it doesn’t already exist) is Customer, Vendor (Supplier), Item, Sales Order and Purchase Order. This saves a great deal of time, eliminates duplication of effort, and reduces the chance for data entry errors. 

Are there any shortcomings or downsides to these QuickBooks solutions?
As I said before, there is not a perfect system for our industry.  Whenever you convert to a new system, you will gain features and lose others, regardless of which software packages you are considering.  The goals are to be accurate and save time in this back-office work.

There are two needs yet to be met. First, neither SAGE nor QuickBooks has the means to calculate gross profit by sales to produce commission reports.  Secondly, there is not a comprehensive tracking system for our orders which require constant attention. 

But work is in process. I am working on an inexpensive app that will pull data out of QuickBooks to produce a Commission Report by Sales Rep based on Gross Profit and provide a detailed tracking of all open orders for all distributors using QB. 

I am also currently working with several distributors to have apps created to solve their particular problems to make these QuickBooks or QuickBooks with SAGE Online systems more customized for their particular businesses.

We are a unique industry full of creative people. It is little wonder our accounting and order management systems require some creativity, too.  

Harriet Gatter of Accounting Support, LLC:

Name:  Harriet Gatter
Title: Owner Operator
Location: Charlotte, NC (USA)
Company Website:
Contact Info:
P: 610-715-2852

Blogs:  Author of the “Ask the Accountant” Blog for Promo Marketing and Print + Promo Magazines

One Sentence Bio:
Harriet Gatter, a former Ad Specialty Distributor of 23 years and accounting professor, now works exclusively with Ad Specialty Distributors to simplify & streamline their Order Management and Accounting needs using QuickBooks, QuickBooks integrated with SAGE Online and any other idea or plug-in that might work, too.

Tuesday 6 November 2018

The Growing Popularity of Promotional Sports Products

As businesses and the marketing mix evolves, more and more men and women are discovering the undeniable benefits of promotional products. Backed up by data from the BPMA, they are proven to be more memorable, cheaper, and more effective than any other promotional methods of advertising, beating television and even internet ads.

Being in a business world, the most popular items in the past have always been the likes of pens and other desk items, hoping that they are going to be used much more on a daily basis. However, promotional products have evolved since then, and the market has been saturated with too many of the same items. Go to any business trade show or convention and it is almost guaranteed you will walk out with two or three pens or USB sticks, if not more.

In a time when you need to stand out from the competition and portray your brand as more innovative and creative, handing out the same items as everyone else does is not going to do the trick. Marketers are beginning to realise that in order to be remembered, more thought and effort needs to go into the promotional products.

People are grasping that in order for your brand to be memorable, you need to provide people with something awesome, something that they cannot possibly forget. It’ true that handing out fewer good quality products is far better and far more reaching than handing out way too many bad quality and cheap gifts. The aim of a promotional product is to capture people’s attention, and that cannot be done nowadays with a throwaway item.

As an idea, you want to promote a few basic key concepts about your own brand: Proactive, able to work well as a team, and ultimately, fun people to work alongside. More and more people are turning towards an entirely positive-looking idea: sport. There are more and more marketers that understand that nearly everyone has an interest in sport and some of the largest attended and watched events in the world are related to sport.

Therefore, more individuals are looking towards sporting promotional gifts, everything from mini rugby balls to golf balls to even branded American footballs. With sport being truly unlimited and always evolving, there are so many different products and tactics you can take, knowing that both businesses and consumers are going to enjoy the same products, be it bottles or footballs. Even with sales and business meetings happening at sporting hospitality events and on the golf course, the idea of a promotional sports product is bound to have a much larger effect than a regular desk item.

One of the most popular needs that marketers want from a promotional gift is that it is picked up and used. With a saturated market of pens, you cannot be certain they aren’t going to be left in a drawer with half a dozen other pens. With sporting products, you can place a very safe bet that they are going to be used. They are going to be looked at, they are going to be shown off, maybe even on the likes of social media. Even if your client doesn’t like the gift, he is most definitely going to pass it on – these are items you are not likely to just hide away. The more your brand is on show, the more your brand is remembered.

Of course, the goal with promotional products is not just to be remembered, but you need to convince people to come back to you. This needs to be reflected in your promotional products. Something ordinary is less likely to sway someone than something different, something with a “wow” factor. Sporting gifts are definitely one of the ways to achieve this.

From schools and charities to builders’ merchants and law firms, everyone is realising how the celebratory and unifying idea of sport can be brought into the business world. Any salesperson will tell you the key to landing those sales is not the price of the product, but the relationship you have with the customer. With a personal touch like promotional sports products, brands are becoming more popular and achieving more.

Author Bio:
Sam Platt is the Marketing Executive for Pavilion Promotional, the suppliers of premium quality promotional sports products. Being a keen sports fan as well as a marketer means that it has been an easy place to find a home and a team to feel an integral part of.

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