Monday 25 May 2020

Merchandising from Starting Point to Bulk

When you're running around, always busy, you may feel like you need eight arms like an octopus.

Octopus Energy certainly have been busy and that's in large part to their promotional toy Constantine, an Octopus.

During the early days of promoting Constantine as a giveaway to their customer base it was working well using an independent machinist making the plushies by hand.

And the early days worked well.

In fact the campaign took off, it went very well.

“Our octopus toys (also known as Constantine) were initially handmade by a lady in Wales... However, as we grew, the demand for our octopus toys also increased and understandably this quickly became way too much for one person to handle. With that in mind, we began searching for a new supplier and came across Custom Toys UK. One of the most important things to us when considering a new supplier was that we wanted to make sure we were working with a supplier who could ensure high ethical standards and meet all toy licensing rules and regulations. Thankfully, Custom Toys UK do just that”.

While Custom Toys UK can also do small batch runs of merchandise, it had become clear that their ability to adapt to popular campaigns would provide the level of scope and support that Octopus Energy required.

Christian at Custom Toys explained that this was a slightly unusual case as Octopus Energy had already got a character that they wanted supplied to them.

"Most people don't know where to start when trying to create a character so stop short of developing those ideas for a marketing campaign, Octopus Energy had already developed a solid brand idea"

It is more common that a customer would work with a designer at Custom Toy UK to come together and create a character.

The five strategic steps to consider to embark on your own custom toy are:

1. Who's it for? Which audience are you trying to attract?
2. What do you hope your toy will achieve?
3. Where will it be used?
4. Do you have branding guidelines that you would like followed?
5. Sketch out a few ideas with a designer and work with them for a while as you get to know your custom toy

Octopus Energy successfully developed Constantine from a set of illustrations so much of the design phase could be omitted, this saved a few days in the early stages of the process.

Constantine the Octopus made her debut appearance for a TV ad. Then, ever since the debut, Octopus Energy have been getting requests from viewers for their very own Constantine.

Demand has been strong.

Teaming up with Custom Toys UK meant that the demand can be met.

With a character that popular, the next area to get right was the quantities, ensuring stock levels for the twelve weeks that an order typically takes to fulfill. Balancing supply and demand is completely possible and a customer can order the exact amounts that they require.

It's gone well, As Jess Hunter, Marketing Executive at Octopus Energy says,

"The octopus family continues to grow with help of Custom Toys UK"

And the unexpected benefits of adding a character toy to the marketing campaign continues to this day?

"People absolutely love the toys and love to share images on Twitter and Instagram.... The amount of hype we get from them has done wonders for our brand"

Perhaps there’s more Constantine merchandise to come?

Following the five strategic steps to creating your own branded custom toy is certainly worth a look for anyone wishing to promote their offering. Perhaps you already have an idea? Or, maybe teaming up with the right supplier will help deliver similar results to Octopus Energy.

For more information visit or call 01304 806 960.

Thursday 21 May 2020

#PromoProducts - 500 Key People on Twitter

We followed the hash tag #promoproducts on Twitter to track all the tweets in our industry. As a Promo Gift blog, where we publish articles on promotional products case studies, successful marketing campaigns and interviews from thought leaders in the industry.

We are constantly reviewing and tracking what is going on the promotional products industry. Looking for new inspiration and trends of promotional products to keep ourselves as well as our readers as updated as possible.

Tracking the hashtag #PromoProducts

We gathered information from the tweets with the hashtag #promoproducts and formed the wordcloud below. Each word size is varied based on the frequency of mentions, the bigger it is, the higher the number of mentions. Do you see yourself in this wordcloud?  

Leave a comment or suggestion on what might be missing.  Given so many in our industry have pivoted recently, I am surprised no mention of PPE !!

Looking at the wordcloud, we can immediately tell "marketing" and "branding" stands out the most, apart from promoproducts. This is expected as the main purpose of promotional product is to market your brand to an audience.

We can also see a prominent appearance of "custom" this is due to the increased importance of customisation of a promotional product tailored to the needs and personality of your brand. The level of customisation not only gives customers what they want but also forms a closer bond between the customer and your brand.

This word cloud is a great way to find out what people in the industry are interested and tweeting about. As a fast moving and thriving promotional products industry, this enables us to see the growing trends and trends that stick.

Top Tweeters for #Promoproducts 

We also tracked the top users on Twitter over 5000 tweets on this topic and who used the hashtag #promoproducts. Hashtags not only categorise content on Twitter and makes your profile easier to discover by users. They are a highly effective way on social media platforms to boost followers, your brand visibility and engagement while expanding your reach on the platform.

Here are some of the top users on Twitter in the industry that used the hashtag #promoproducts to spread the word on promotional products on social media and the number of times they used the hashtag. It takes dedication of tweeting to spread the word!

Promotional products are an amazing way to shape the way you want your brand personality portrayed to your customers. Customisation takes promotional products up a notch, and these products come in many forms for choosing which suits your marketing campaign the best. Whether it is gift with purchase, POS displays, on-pack offers or corporate gifts, you are spoilt for choice! Using these tools effectively can boost revenue and drive sales for your brand.

Keep up to date in the Promotional Products Industry

Get a spark of inspiration from some of our top picks of promotional blogs in the last month of April. Find out what the leaders in the industry are up to and what they have to say of the upcoming trends of promotional products!

Top 7 Promotional Products for April 

As we are spending time at home take a look at a list of promotional case studies that we really enjoyed. Look at some of the insights and different perspective companies have towards promotional products. From Covid19 related products, information on print marketing and even promotional umbrellas.

If you are interested in promotional products. Don't hesitate to contact us for a guest blog or interview publishing on our page. The sole purpose of publishing guest blogs is to spread inspiration on case studies from leaders in the industry. It is a completely free service, where the blog will be credited to your company. contact us

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