February 2018

Promotional Products

3 Simple Steps To Avoiding Disaster When Buying Corporate Golf Umbrellas

Man With Golf Umbrella

If your clientele are golf players, then you are in the right business – generally, golfers from a good socio-demographic have a generous amount of disposable income, and are very keen to “Keep up with Jones’.”

But… they have high standards and are not easily impressed…

Branded golf umbrellas are a great way encourage golfers to consider your brand or organisation, but you need to get it right.

Follow these 3 steps, and you are onto a sure thing:

 1. Don’t Be a Man of Steel

Avoid umbrellas made of steel at all costs!

This includes the shaft and the ribs.

Steel is weaker, more sensitive to the elements, bends and breaks easily, and tends to warp permanently once they are blown inside-out.

Fibreglass is perfect – it’s cheap(ish) and good quality.

If you have money to burn, you can go for something even better, such as graphite or carbon fibre – but it’s really not necessary. You clients are pushing a golf buggy, not riding the Tour De France.

Fortunately, rain is lightweight and not very strong (in most cases – except for the occasions when you’re on the back nine during a hurricane, if you’re into that sort of thing). This means that the job needing to be performed by the umbrella is realistic.

T20 Custom Printed Golf Umbrella
The T20 ‘Wedge’ golf umbrellas is full fibreglass and starts at under $10.00 per unit including your logo print.

Don’t go overboard, investing in umbrellas that are far beyond the requirements customers will ever need.

The idea is to provide a convenience – something they will remember you for and appreciate in a subtle way when the time comes.

Opt for a low-cost, strong and reliable material. Fibreglass does the trick.

See some additional examples of corporate golf umbrellas that are the correct balance of price and construction quality: click here.

As a pretty good rule, take into account the general quality of the umbrellas your customers are likely to be using and select your promotional golf umbrellas accordingly.

Match, but don’t overshoot or undershoot (emphasis on the latter, as poor-quality promotional materials, can wreak havoc on your branding efforts, as we’ll get into in the next step.)

2. The Answer My Friend, Is Blowing In The Wind

Let’s be sure it’s only the answer that is blowing in the wind, and not your golf umbrella or the person holding it.

Golf courses are generally pretty windy places, so you want a decent wind ventilation system.

Picture your custom printed golf umbrellas tumbling recklessly down the course… players laughing, your customer/prospect embarrassed – a symbolic visual of your chances of being a meaningful connection flying off into the horizon.

Yes, that’s your logo on the side of that projectile, and it’s all because it lacked a proper wind ventilation system to embrace the breezy conditions.

Hurrican Umbrella With Advanced Wind Protection
The WG006 ‘Hurrican’ Umbrella has the most advanced wind protection system and reinforced ribs.

Take that in for a moment.

Wouldn’t it be better, much better, to be prepared with a little bit of knowledge beforehand? Of course. Speak with your current supplier about the importance of not only the construction material of the promotional golf umbrellas but design features such as these that increase their usability.

This is something we factor into our branded golf umbrellas with logos at Payless Promotions – making sure the item serves its intended purpose (comparable to a non-branded equivalent), without maxing out your budget.

It is doable – you just need to know what to include. This goes for promotional hats, pens, cups, clothes, or anything else. Understanding the item and what it needs is key.

So, before you jump the gun, contact us.

We know what works and what doesn’t with these branded items, and we might be able to share some unique perspectives and ideas with you.

In terms of uniqueness, it brings us to the third step…

3. Bring Sexy Back

Keep in mind that the people you are giving these to are golfers.

Spoiler alert: There is a fair chance your golfing clients already have a golf umbrella.

Therefore, they will be forced to choose between the one they already have… and yours.

Choose a sexy design and branding.

If your brand or logo is not cool (sometimes this happens), then come up with a slogan that is.

Something golf-related is best.

As we’ve mentioned in other how-to articles, your logo should not take centre-stage here. Draw the attention of the people your customer/prospect is on the course with to a clever (and memorable) catchphrase or slogan.

Be creative, be silly if you have to – just make it unique.

Designed-Promotional-Golf-Umbrella
A Printed Designer Umbrella To Keep You Up With The Recent Trend

No one is going to be as crazy about your logo as you are – even if it’s a nice one.

Choose a conversation-starter instead. Make the design and branding of the corporate golf umbrellas something that doesn’t seem out of place on the greens.

Does your logo have a lot of colours? A quick glance at some golf gear and apparel websites will reveal the most common (and safest) colour schemes you might want to consider when designing these.

As you might have guessed, grey, white and black are the most frequent (with the occasional deep blue), and these will be easy to match to the rest of your customer’s gear.

That doesn’t mean you can’t experiment, however. But, if your logo is colour-centric, tone it down by reducing its visual impact on the rest of the umbrella.

To recap, your custom printed golf umbrellas need to blend:

  • Affordable material (such as fibreglass) with a durable construction
  • Expected and useful features such as a proper wind ventilation system
  • An attractive design that will make them want to take it out on the course

The Winner Is…

T30 Logo Wind Vented Golf Umbrella
T30 ‘Thunderstorm’ umbrella has the perfect mix of quality, price and sexy!

I think the Thunderstorm umbrella stacks up better than the rest. It has sturdy fibreglass shaft and ribs, and a great wind-venting system. Throw in auto-opening and a comfortable, EVA handle, and you are onto a winner.

But is it sexy…? 

Hell yeah! The offset 2-colour design looks very cool.

What’s possibly best of all is that is only a few dollars more expensive than a basic steel umbrella.

The down-side?  This particular umbrella is only available in red and blue.

If this doesn’t match your corporate colour scheme, then for a few bucks more, you can get this Typhoon design. It’s a whole step-up in quality, and comes in a great range of colours.

2 Tone Custom Typhoon Wind Vented Umbrella
2 Tone Custom Typhoon Wind Vented Umbrella

Happy golfing!

 

Promotional Products

5-Step Blueprint to Make Custom-Printed Mugs the Best Promotional Dollars You Will Spend….. Ever.

Mugs

Mugs have a large branding area, last for years, and are emotionally connected to something we all love…. coffee. So, why shouldn’t they be the best promo product of all time? They should! Follow this blueprint to ensure that yours are.

Cherished gifts come in all shapes and sizes, but the coffee mug is a true hero of the trade because they empower the recipient (through coffee) to achieve new heights in their personal and professional lives.

That’s right… branded mugs are typically well-received and much appreciated promotional gifts because we all crave a motivating cup of java.

1. Unless You Are Coca-Cola, no one recognises (or cares about) your logo – accept it:

Don’t make your logo the key feature of your mug. It does not demand attention, create humour, or evoke emotion. Include it, but become comfortable with it taking a back point.

Basic Coloured Custom Can Coffee Mug With Basic Logo
A Basic Mug With a Basic Logo Print Can Be A Little Un-Inspiring

This is a rule you should follow for all of your branding. In most ads, your logo will have just as much impact in the bottom corner as it will front and centre, so don’t waste the most valuable real-estate.
Instead, opt for a catchy and memorable message on the main face area of promotional coffee mugs.

This is the area of the mug that will garner the most attention, so it’s important to use the space wisely.

Keep in mind that you want your custom coffee mugs to serve subtle a branding purpose without being too pushy. Placing too many details (especially in small print) such as website addresses or lengthy commentary, can make the custom mugs feel gimmicky.

When the logo is large and obnoxious, this compounds the problem of smaller details surrounding it, making for an unattractive promotional item that will find its way into an office drawer.

Design the mug as if it were something sitting on a store shelf, worthy of being purchased by your prospects. Talk with your current supplier of promotional items, or reach out to our specialists for assistance with achieving the right balance.

2. You Are The Favourite, or Nothing:

Branded Manhattan Coffee Mug With Logo
This Manhattan Mug Is Cool Enough To Stand Out In A Crowded Cup-Cupboard

Most people have a favourite coffee cup they drink from most of the time. Make it your goal to become the favourite. This leads us to the next two steps in our blueprint.

Think about the immense brand loyalty you have the opportunity to create by becoming the name on the cup that kick starts your prospect’s day each morning.

We’ll say that again: you can get your prospects and customers to voluntarily (and happily) hold your brand imagery in their hands, every day.

It doesn’t get any better than that.

When planning the design of your corporate mugs, envision your ideal customer, and fashion the cup for them – only them, as if you were ordering just one custom mug.

From years in this business, we’ve learned that you can sometimes get the best results if you think in terms of one recipient, rather than hundreds or thousands.

Make it personal, make it cool, and add some style to the mix.

After you’ve designed it – then, and only then – remind yourself that this will be in the hands of many people, giving it a second critique before finalising your order.

3. Choose Quality or Novelty:

You increase your mugs’ odds of becoming the favourite if you start with a decent mug.  

If everything else is equal, we will always choose to drink from the mug that looks better, is of higher quality, cooler, or a least a bit different than the 14 other can mugs sitting on the shelf!

What do I mean by this? Spend a little more to reap the benefits of usefulness.

Why invest the time and resources into branding promotional coffee mugs if they’re going to be set aside and rarely (if ever) used?

Take a look at our latest selection for inspiration and ideas that might make the difference between ordinary and amazing.

Our promotional products are always of the highest quality because we understand how much that matters when sticking your logo on something.

Heat Sensitive Mugs
These Heat Sensitive Mugs Are Great Attention-Getters

A customer will almost immediately notice the following things about your custom mugs:

  • It’s weight and sturdiness
  • Clarity of the imagery or text that’s been branded
  • Colour quality
  • Shape and ergonomic features
  • Consistency and material

In a matter of seconds, a person will form an impression of your promotional item – make it count.

Quality is important, but what about rarity?

Depending on your industry and target customers, a novelty item might go a long way in terms of capturing interest. Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice quality to also have promotional mugs that are unique.

Novelty items are great as promo gifts because they:

  • Spark conversations
  • Form stronger (and quicker) emotional connections with the recipient
  • Are more likely to be forwarded as a gift to others in their social circle
  • Are memorable and remarkable
  • Reduce the “marketing and advertising” feel of the gift
  • Easier to accept and incorporate into daily life

4. Get Emotional:

I guess I should be honest – this is the hard part. Now, you need to evoke emotion in your clients when they first read your mug, and ideally, every time from then forward…

There are a lot of emotions, but some we want to avoid – fear and anger are two that come to mind. Some great emotions to aim for are joy, humour, gratitude, and pride.

Photo Mugs
Photos Are A Great Way To Add Emotion To Your Mug

Remember, you’re probably not in the business of selling coffee mugs retail or wholesale (if you are, disregard), so you want your branded mugs to initiate feelings of at least one of the following related to your actual brand:

  • Association – the customer has a fond memory of engaging with your brand, such as at a trade show or other experience
  • Cleverness – a play on words or industry related “inside joke” humor can forge a bond with recipients. This also creates a feeling of exclusivity
  • Motivation – branding your coffee mugs with something the customer is passionate about can give them that extra boost at the beginning of their workday
  • Exclusivity – circling back to this one, everyone wants to be part of a limited industry, club or group, and this is the best way to evoke emotions of pride and achievement

Here are some examples from successful promotional campaigns we’ve helped clients with, touching on four, high-impact emotions:

  • Joy – ʺFind Joy in the Journeyʺ could be used for a financial planning firm
  • Humour – ʺDON’T READ THE NEXT SENTENCE – you little rebel, I like youʺ could be used for a university
  • Gratitude – ʺEnjoy Your Coffee – Comfortable in the fact you are saving children’s lives every dayʺ – could be used for a poverty support organisation
  • Pride – ʺPlatinum Graduate – Elite Flying Schoolʺ could be used for any type of skill or education provider

5. Call To Action:

Always, always, always include a call to action. This is a step that is almost always forgotten.

  • If you are giving to existing clients, then use a subtle
  • If you are giving to potential clients, then an offer or at least a statement of the key benefit of your product or service should be used. This is also where you include your logo and/or website and/or phone number. It is often a good idea to print this very small around the bottom of the mug, or vertically near the handle. Making it small and discreet intensifies interest and makes it more likely to be read.
Plastic Camping Mugs
Consider Plastic Mugs If Your Target Market Drink Coffee Outdoors Rather Than In An Office

Why are these two approaches so different?

Well, consider that an existing client already knows your brand, and has already opted to do business with you.

A call to action on corporate mugs directed at that audience should be very friendly, non-aggressive and indicate an appreciation for the business they’ve granted you previously.

Potential clients require a little more push (still respectful, of course), and need information about your brand (such as contact details and services offered) that existing clients would already be aware of.

You’re Ready to Get Started

Use these five steps as your blueprint to start reaping the enormous benefits of this form of branding. Custom coffee mugs are always successful when done right, and Payless Promotions can offer some excellent choices to enhance the options available to you from your current suppliers.

Hi Vis WorkwearUniformsWork WearWorkwear

The 6-Point Roadmap To Choosing The Best Work Uniform For Your Staff

Business Shirts

If you have face-to-face contact with the majority of your clients, I firmly believe that your uniform is the most valuable form of advertising you will ever use. 

Consciously and/or subconsciously, your clients will get a first, and on-going notion of what type of person you are and what type of business you have from the appearance of your company’s uniforms.

Think of your uniforms as yet another form of marketing and advertising, where your brand persona is being communicated to prospects and customers alike.

 Each engagement with your business draws attention to the overall scope of your operations. This can have more impact than outbound marketing materials, as the visitors to your establishment are gaining real-life insights about your brand.

Follow this roadmap to ensure you make the correct decisions when dressing your staff:

1. Select Your Desired Level of “Professional”

On an imaginary spectrum – with professional at one end, and casual at the other – where do you want your business to lie compared to others in your industry?

 

Polo ShirtsAs a general rule, non-professional businesses go to casual, and professional organisations go to formal. If you are a tradie, for example, I highly recommend being the best dressed tradie in your area.

If you are a lawyer, however, consider losing the stuffy suit in favour of a tucked-in polo shirt.

These small changes lead to big differences in first impression. They also pave the way for consistency – it will be easier to maintain the look over time, adding more credibility to your brand image.

  • Do you want your customers to feel the need to dress a certain way when visiting your location?
  • Should you (or your staff) ever be dressed better (or worse) than your clients?

Both of these questions are ever-evolving notions that will need to be asked many times during the growth of your business. Knowing when to keep it casual with work uniforms, or when to step it up and “dress to impress,” gives you a unique advantage over your competitors.

You can gain a lot of perspective by analysing the way most of your customers and prospects dress when coming to your place of business.

Use the observations to answer these questions:

  • Has their appearance changed over time (from their first visit)?
  • Do they make an effort to match the level of professionalism of your staff’s work uniforms?
  • Are they able to easily identify senior staff and management?
  • Does your average client/prospect feel comfortable presenting their needs to any of the staff they encounter, or are they hesitant? (This can be a sign of under-dressed staff who appear to lack the knowledge or professionalism required.)

2. How uniform do you want your uniform?

 Do you want all staff wearing the same garments, or just the same colour/style? Are your uniforms top-to-bottom or top (shirt/polo) only?

A great recommendation is to pick 2-3 styles of garment that look great together, and then let your staff choose which garment suits them best from there.

Consistency is always a good idea when it comes to corporate uniforms, but it doesn’t need to mean a lack of options. Giving your staff the ability to express themselves – within the theme of the company’s brand/style – can do wonders for morale and productivity.

Find ways to provide flexibility to your staff for fantastic results.

Full WorkwearWhen garments need to be identical – Try using variations of colours that are similar to your logo or other marketing materials. Even if the work uniforms are the same (in design and build), slight variations of colour combinations can provide uniqueness. Also consider designating different colours to different roles, departments, or rank.

When garment designs can be flexible – If the focus is on style/colour/theme, this is where employers really have the opportunity to get creative. I feel that it’s best to select a few staff uniforms that are acceptable to you, leaving the decision-making to the individuals in your organisation. Keep the colour variations within 3-4, ensuring that at least 2 of the colours strongly match your company logo.

3. Meet the Standards

These days, there are often legal and/or functional requirements of uniforms.

Hi-Vis JacketsIf your garments need to meet Aus/NZ standards, let your supplier know at the beginning. Fire and flame retardant factors, as well as UV resistance, are other elements to also consider at this point.

  • Let your business represent a responsible, compliant culture by adhering to the requirements that apply to your industry.
  • Speak volumes to your customers and staff by paying attention to the necessities of the work to be performed, and the safety of those performing it.

Comfortable staff uniforms also lead to happy and productive workers.

Check with your supplier for additional information regarding functionality, legal implications, safety and more, or speak with one of our staff at Payless Promotions. I’m confident that we can address any questions or concerns you have.

4. Choosing the Most Appropriate Material

Choosing the most appropriate material is crucial. This is where you are best to seek advice from your uniform supplier.

  • What are the advantages over cotton vs polyester?TrueDry Polos
  • Can a shirt really be made of bamboo?
  • Do terms like ʺeasy careʺ and ʺmoisture wickingʺ mean anything?
  • What the heck is Nano-Tech, and would I want a shirt treated with it?

Uniform features have come a long way. Understand the differences and choose the material best for your requirements.

Material can be a sizable factor in reliability, usability and overall value.

Making wise and educated choices, the first time, can extend the life of your investment. Whether you have only a few employees, or a few hundred, picking the right features to include in your corporate uniforms can save you in the long run.

5. Branding vs Promotion

We recommend all uniforms at least have the company name or logo somewhere. But, do you need your mobile number or website plastered across the back? 

Consider the likelihood of a potential client actually using this information to contact you.  If there is a realistic possibility, then go for it. If not, then maybe something more subtle and stylish is best.

Business Shirt and PantsBy the time your prospects (or customers) are in a position to see your work uniforms, it’s unlikely that they will need (or benefit from) your contact information on a garment.

An exception to this rule, of course, is your logo or company name – these elements can always use additional branding and reinforcement. Phone numbers or other details, however, are less likely to be memorised.

In situations like these, it’s better to opt for other affordable promotional giveaways that your visitors can take with them when they leave – pens, magnets, business cards, etc.

Another consideration is that overdoing it – turning your staff into walking billboards – can be a first impression you don’t wish to set.

Keeping to the essentials (the information prospects expect to see on uniforms, such as business name, logo or motto) can give your business a professional appearance.

6. Stay Current

Buying a uniform is not a once-off or even a 3-year decision – keep your uniforms current, stylish and relevant, even if it means buying less garments or choosing something a little less expensive.

In my opinion, nothing is more off-putting than your staff interacting with clients in an out-of-date, faded shirt.

Nano Wrinkle Shirts

As it goes with any other symbol of your business, poor-quality elements easily taint your brand’s image. Stay top-notch with your client-facing business assets to maintain the right impression.

Subconsciously, customers will either be impressed or turned-off by the way your staff are presented.

Even the nicest, most knowledgeable employee can have their capabilities overshadowed by a shabby appearance – something that is out of their control when work uniforms aren’t fresh and modern.

Destination Reached

To sum things up, your branded corporate uniforms can be a game-changer, placing you leaps ahead of the competition. Following these 6 critical steps will help you reach your target.

For additional tips or suggestions, feel free to contact me or any of the specialists at Payless Promotions.