We wanted to take a moment and talk about product safety and how it impacts the industry of branded merchandise. For years there has been a focus on retail products where the local and national governments have helped create regulations on what is safe and what is not. But did you know that this also applies to the promotional products we hand out every day?
There are no industries excluded when it comes to product safety, which means that brands need supply partners that are going to help keep them protected. There have been dozens of recalls over the last three years where branded merchandise (promotional products) were outside of the required safety regulations. This ends up turning an opportunity to promote yourself into a Public Relations nightmare as the brand distributing the products often finds their name in the news as part of recall efforts.
Turnkey Promotions cares, and is dedicated to providing safe products that adhere to all applicable regulations. We’ve outlined a couple of the regulations below connected to the majority of recalls in recent years.
Mandatory Safety Standards for Button Batteries was passed in December 2020 to help protect Australian Children. Changes in safety regulations need to be kept in mind when producing products from overseas.
The Product Safety Awareness Program is part of a larger Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) initiative to create confidence in promotional products as an advertising medium at every level. In conjunction with Promotional Products Work! Week and PPAI’s End Buyer/User Research, the Product Safety Awareness Program helps position the medium as a powerful and safe marketing strategy. The Product Safety Awareness Program is currently focused on education. Turnkey Promotions is proud to be PPAI certified and we are committed to ongoing education in the product safety sector.
Hand Sanitisers can fall into a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) regulated product as well, and it’s important to keep an eye on what the product is claiming, as this defines if TGA approval is required.
For instance, since COVID-19 hand sanitisers that are regulated as therapeutic goods must be approved by the TGA before they are supplied, while hand sanitisers that are excluded from TGA regulation (either because they meet the specified requirements or because they are cosmetics) do not require TGA approval before they are supplied. If the hand sanitiser makes a claim that it’s effective against viruses’ or ‘helps to reduce the transmission of COVID-19’ are all therapeutic use claims and will require TGA approval.
TGA APPROVAL – SUNSCREEN & HAND SANITISER Therapeutic goods are broadly defined as products for use in humans in connection with:
preventing, diagnosing, curing or alleviating a disease, ailment, defect or injury
influencing, inhibiting or modifying a physiological process
testing the susceptibility of persons to a disease or ailment
influencing, controlling or preventing conception
testing for pregnancy.
Promotional products that require TGA approval can change over time, so at TurnKey Promotions, we aim to stay up to date with this regulation.
Keeping up with all of the regulations can seem daunting at times, so we always recommend having supply partners you trust and can count on to stay up-to-date. Staying informed, learning and adhering to product safety regulations has always been (and will continue to be) part of the service we provide to our clients.
We also recommend adopting product safety into your procurement education policies, because anyone who is purchasing product with an intent to sell or distribute becomes part of the supply chain and liable for the safety of the products they procure.
Have you ever asked a promotional company, “I am looking for a lower-cost alternative to fit my budget?”
You may not realise the true implication of this question, as exploited sweatshop labourers are what make cheap clothes possible. Modern slavery is real, it’s happening across the globe … Australia included.
Modern slavery is the exploitation of people for personal or commercial gain. Often, this presents itself as regular employment, but what we might not see on the outside is that the “employment” is actually a form of control. Modern slavery has many forms, and here are the most common as reported by antislavery.org
Human trafficking. The use of violence, threats or coercion to transport, recruit or harbour people in order to exploit them for purposes such as forced prostitution, labour, criminality, marriage or organ removal.
Forced labour. Any work or services people are forced to do against their will under threat of punishment.
Debt bondage/bonded labour. The world’s most widespread form of slavery. People trapped in poverty borrow money and are forced to work to pay off the debt, losing control over both their employment conditions and the debt.
Descent–based slavery. Most traditional form, where people are treated as property, and their “slave” status was passed down the maternal line.
Slavery of children. When a child is exploited for someone else’s gain. This can include child trafficking, child soldiers, child marriage and child domestic slavery.
Forced and early marriage. When someone is married against their will and cannot leave. Most child marriages can be considered slavery.
It can be hard to believe that these nightmarish scenarios exist inside supply chains, but they do. To make matters worse, some factories/suppliers are unaware or choose not to investigate the sourcing of the raw materials used to produce their products. They become fixated on keeping costs down and don’t address the most basic questions like “What makes the cost of these materials lower than others?” Or the more important questions like “Are my raw materials being produced through forced labour, human trafficking, or other types of slavery?”
Let’s take a quick look at two massive industries around the world, chocolate and cotton. I know we have all purchased products made from chocolate or cotton, and it doesn’t matter if the purchase was within the promotional sector or retail because the supply chains are identical.
The Ivory Coast in West Africa produces around two-fifths of the world’s cocoa, with 60% of its revenue coming from exports of that crop. Child workers on Ivorian plantations work from early in the morning until nightfall. They use dangerous tools such as machetes and chainsaws and are beaten if they work too slowly or try to escape. They are either sold into enslavement by their families, trafficked from relatively poorer countries like neighbouring Burkina Faso or Mali, or kidnapped. Two-fifths of the world’s cocoa means there is a very high likelihood that we have all purchased cocoa-based products originating from the Ivory Coast. You can read more about the Ivory Coast here.
At age seven, a young girl was forced to pick cotton in the hot sun along with thousands of other children under a state-controlled system of forced, unpaid labour in Uzbekistan, Central Asia. She recalls her memories by saying, “It was something we accepted as normal because other families were forced to do that.” “All the schools and colleges would close because the kids would stop studying so they could go to the fields and pick cotton.” Fortunately, Nazira Zuptarova escaped her nightmare and now lives as a young adult in Sydney studying for Master of Human Rights Law. She is passionate about ending forced labour, and you can read more of her story here. But what about all of the children that never got away?
There was an incredible social experiment run in Europe connected to public awareness connected to the t-shirt industry. You can view the video here.
Stories of survivors.
There are incredible stories of the survivors, which you can read by visiting freetheslaves.net, but it’s the stories of those who did not escape that keep me up at night. This is why we at TurnKey Promotions are taking an active role in diving deep into our supply chain. Holding our suppliers accountable and only working with supply chains that have 100% transparency.
What we are doing to stop the cycle.
TurnKey Promotions recognises that we operate in a potentially high-risk industry sector. Our risk classification results from complex and diverse supply chains that encompass risks of modern slavery, ethical sourcing, environmental and product quality concerns.
The promotional products industry in Australia and New Zealand is diverse. It is comprised of several providers such as decorators, suppliers, distributors, and other service providers with unique risks in their supply chains. We recognise that our role in complex and diverse supply chains does not preclude us from instilling a culture of transparency and working with suppliers and customers to address risks of ethical sourcing and modern slavery.
While we are not a reporting entity under the Australian Modern Slavery Act 2018 (or any other current or proposed legislation), we are committed to assessing and addressing the risks of modern slavery in our supply chain by empowering and educating our staff and suppliers.
We have a five-tiered program in place:
1. Demonstrating genuine commitment to managing risk and protecting vulnerable workers to send a message that we are an ethically responsible business and enable stakeholders’ meaningful engagement.
2. Understanding the sources of actual and potential modern slavery risk in our operations and supply chains is central to managing those risks. Remembering that our direct suppliers won’t always represent the highest risk.
3. Engaging with suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders to build meaningful relationships which enhance our risk management program.
4. Taking prompt action to address issues identified within our supply chain to protect vulnerable people, our company’s reputation (and yours), and our business relationships.
5. Modern slavery is a dynamic issue that requires a flexible and effective risk management response, ongoing monitoring, continuous improvement, and education. We maintain an ongoing dialogue with suppliers and other key stakeholders to identify potential issues as they arise and ensure corrective actions are implemented. We review our systems to ensure we are managing risks and improve them as required.
A copy of our Ethical Sourcing and Modern Slavery Policy can be viewed here. TurnKey Promotions has also enrolled in a series of educational courses for continued learning, completing the first on 30 July 2021 titled “Know Slavery” – Certificate can be viewed here.
Modern Slavery Act 2018
Under the Act, the Australian Government must maintain an online publicly accessible register of modern slavery statements submitted by reporting entities (the Register).
The Register was launched on 30 July 2020, and the first tranche of modern slavery statements was published on 27 November 2020.
For the first complete reporting cycle under the Act, which ended on 30 June 2021, there were close to 2,500 statements submitted to the Register, representing nearly 4,500 entities.
Statements are due quarterly and apply to Australian entities, or entities carrying on business in Australia, with consolidated revenue of at least AUD $100 million for the reporting period.
NSW employers should, however, be aware that similar legislation was introduced in the state on 27 June 2018. The Modern Slavery Act 2018 (NSW) (Act) applies to commercial entities with at least one employee in NSW who supply goods and services for profit and has an annual turnover of at least $50 million, a much lower threshold than the Bill. In further contrast to the Bill, the NSW Act provides penalties in circumstances where an entity fails to comply with its reporting obligations with fines of up to 10,000 penalty points (currently $1.1 million).
The Modern Slavery reporting period of 1 July 2020 – 30 June 2021 deadline of 31 December is fast approaching and we are well placed to help if you need vendor information completed to complete the next phase of the reporting cycle.
Turnkey Promotions will never sacrifice its Ethical Sourcing and Modern Slavery Policy for concessions in pricing and we believe everyone should hold their supply chains accountable. When the price of ignorance is young lives, there is only one choice. Modern slavery must end.
TurnKey Promotions is committed to giving back, to the environment or those in need.
We support the United National Sustainable Development Goals established to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. 17 goals address the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all UN member states in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
For every order sold, TurnKey Promotions donates a portion to StreetWork, not less than 1% of all sales revenue, so that they can continue to support vulnerable youth in our community and help turn their lives around. Our contribution helps StreetWork to work directly with local youth who are at risk of disengaging early from school through their one-on-one mentoring program called KickStart.
For the financial year ended 30th June 2021, TurnKey Promotions donated nearly $2,500, which represents over $40,000 in community benefit (based on StreetWork’s Social Return on Investment (SROI), with every $1 invested being a $16 return to the community).
Without the support of our clients, we couldn’t have helped StreetWork to deliver on its purpose. Our donation delivered more KickStart Mentoring sessions; meals to young people who needed them; assistance to deliver StreetWork’s DJ, graffiti art and music workshops; sending vulnerable young people to a the Waves of Wellness (mental health surfing) program; and support young people to re-engage with school through the Ready for School program.
By supporting StreetWork we are working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals – #3 Good Health and Wellbeing, #4 Quality Education, #5 Gender Equality, #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth and #10 Reduced Inequalities.
In FY21 TurnKey Promotions partnered with Carbon Neutral and is committed to retaining the partnership in FY22 by planting 200 native trees and shrubs, which would not be possible without the ongoing support from our clients
From 1st July 2021, for every order of 50 notebooks we will plant 1 tree. An order of 500 notebooks for instance, will plant 10 trees.
By supporting Carbon Neutral’s Plant-A-Tree Program, we are working toward the UN Sustainable Development Goal #15 Life on Land. Nature is critical to our survival: nature provides us with our oxygen, regulates our weather patterns, pollinates our crops, produces our food, feed and fibre. But it is under increasing stress. Human activity has altered almost 75 per cent of the earth’s surface, squeezing wildlife and nature into an ever-smaller corner of the planet.
TurnKey Promotions has partnered with Good360, who is essentially a matchmaker, helping repurpose items of value by directing them to Australians who need them the most. Their goal is for nothing useful to lie unused.
By supporting Good360, we are working toward the UN Sustainable Development Goal # 12 Responsible Consumption and Production by ensuring samples and promotional products are used by those in need instead of ending up being discarded. Sustainable consumption and production is about doing more and better with less. It is also about decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation, increasing resource efficiency and promoting sustainable lifestyles.
Good360 has helped transform the lives of those in need by distributing more than $9 billion in goods to their diverse membership of 60,000 non profit organisations who use those goods to serve their local communities.
As we step into the new year we are redefining the standard adage. Remember the expression “New Year, New Me?” We’ve decided to change that for 2021 and announce, New Year, New Materials! Starting the year off on a green foot by looking at all of the beautiful alternative materials that are either natural and/or recycled and are quickly becoming widely available in the world of branded merchandise. We’ve included a few of our favourites, along with some information on the materials that are now available.
Lunch box of nature line. Lid and cutlery made of bamboo, with main compartment in stainless steel of 600 ml capacity. Includes safety belt with fork + knife and hermetic cover with rubber band. Presented in an attractive individual box with nature design.
Bluetooth speaker in combination of natural cut bamboo pieces and limestone cement, a conglomerate formed by the combination of natural materials, mainly ground limestone and water, obtaining a material of great consistency and durability.
Nature line cup, made of natural cork. 350 ml capacity, with secure flip lid in PP material. BPA free. Cork is a beautiful natural material that is soft to the touch and easy to grip.
Nature line ball pen with body and bevelled edge pusher in bamboo wood. Clip and tip in wheat straw, to encourage the use of natural raw materials and reducing contaminant emissions.
Folding bag in soft polyester RPET. Obtained from recycled plastic materials. Stitched finish, with small size folding for easy carrying. Button closure and hook.
Business backpack in resistant 600D RPET material, obtained from recycled plastic materials, to encourage the reusing of plastic residues and contribute to the Earth’s sustainability.
Natural jute multi purpose beauty bag with zipper closure. These jute zips also make great pencil and office supply cases for executives on the move.
Bread bag in 100% natural cotton material with matching colour drawstring closure. Stitched finishing. A great addition to your reusable grocery totes.
Learn more about how we adapt to new times with new materials for people and planet protection – new materials.
StreetWork is a youth
organisation. Their mission is to support vulnerable young people in the
community to turn their lives around. Every part of what they do is a means of
seeking an opportunity to give ‘at risk’ young people the same opportunities as
their peers. The youth engagement in this particular campaign, right from the
beginning, is demonstrative of this.
The goal of this particular
campaign was to increase their Instagram page followers – specific to the youth
audience that are currently part of their community. The Instagram platform
provided StreetWork a new way to engage youth.
Instagram was chosen based on the
current high and frequent usage behaviour amongst the youth community along
with its appeal of having a low barrier to participate – that is, to follow the
‘StreetWork’ page and to receive updates via the Instagram feed, without having
to actively look for the information.
This goal is part of the wider
organisation objectives – to increase event awareness and participation,
provide education and create opportunities specific for the ‘youth audience’,
so they can both individually and collectively, prosper from.
In conjunction with growing
StreetWork’s Instagram page followers, the brief consisted of strict budgetary,
branding and product (useability, sustainability, and print specification)
At the time of developing the brief, StreetWork did not foresee how instrumental this promotional campaign was in facilitating ‘youth engagement’. The brief that was provided to TurnKey Promotions was developed by the ‘youth community’. It was a campaign developed by them for them. This input upfront in the campaign helped drive ownership and performance through this group of people.
The promotional product, which was recommended by the ‘youth’ that they engaged in developing this campaign, was a water bottle. The water bottle was also chosen as it provided a good size physical object that was perceived to be more valuable and therefore less likely to be thrown out, in comparison with flyers and business cards – which was how they were connecting and encouraging the youth to sign-up to their social media pages.
TurnKey Promotions, having received the brief, presented a range of water bottle options in regard to the end-user (the youth) lifestyle / use-ability and the clients budget requirements.
Through this campaign StreetWork
were able to grow their Instagram page followers by 30%. In actual numbers this
is 300 people or there abouts. Although these numbers may not seem so high,
they are very significant for StreetWork.
Firstly, the percentage increase
demonstrates the opportunity the Instagram platform can provide to the
StreetWork organisation. A low cost and reliable method of communication. A
communication channel that the audience has demonstrated they are willing to
connect with StreetWork on. The sensitivity (of publicly joining this group)
and access, in regard to the Instagram platform was unknown. This campaign has
confirmed that this is a favourable platform in comparison to Facebook
campaigns that have been previously run.
Secondly connecting with 300 of
the youth community is a very big accomplishment. Taking one Youth through the
StreetWork program transforms their lives and the people around them forever.
It is significant, not only for them, but the wider community. To have access
to 300 more people during their ‘youth’ life-stage, when their brain is still
developing at a faster rate, is a large scale opportunity.
When you look at a return on
investment, in relation to the cost per instagram follower – each water bottle
cost $5.50 to produce and 250 bottles were ordered. That is an investment of
$1,375. If you then consider the 300 instagram new followers, the acquisition
cost per person is $4.58.
The most compelling part of the
project was continuing the social return on investment StreetWork produces. For
every $1 invested, SteetWork has a $16 community return. (the average for
non-for-profit is $4). This project investment of $1,375 in effect has resulted
in a $22,000 community return which equates to 440 youth mentoring sessions (@
$50 per session).
With the shorter days and cooler nights it can be hard to
stay motivated about our fitness. Warm blankets, hot chocolate and our
favourite slippers create a “cuddle up” mentality – we snack more and our
activity levels drop. Our spirit animal becomes the bear and it is easy to
gravitate toward a state of hibernation. Here are seven reasons to get our
blood pumping this winter and shift that spirit animal over to a Cheetah.
To have an efficient circulatory system we need to build it up through endurance activities. This can be achieved simply by staying active every day. Regular physical routines like taking a walk to the park each morning have massive benefits to our health.
Healthy Immune System:
Regular exercise strengthens our immune system and in the winter months this can help prevent us from getting sick or catching the flu. When our blood is pumping white blood cells (that are part of our immune system) circulate more rapidly. This can help them detect illnesses earlier than they might have been able to before. It can also increase the speed at which our bodies flush out bacteria from lungs and airways.
Energy is Increased:
Exercise helps deliver oxygen and nutrients throughout our bodies which can help increase our energy levels. When muscles are not being used simple tasks like carrying grocery bags can become exhausting. Keeping active means that our muscles stay “switched on” and feelings of being tired or worn out are less likely to occur during the day.
Endorphins are Released:
It might sound strange but when we start exercising our brains interpret this as stress on our bodies. Our heart beats faster and the brain thinks we are in fight or flight mode. As a protection mechanism the brain releases a protein called BDNF which helps protect and repair our memory neurons. Our brain also releases endorphins, which is another chemical to fight stress. The main purpose of endorphins is to minimise discomfort or pain and improve our mood.
Top Up on Sleep:
Daily physical activity can help us sleep better at night. As a bonus, studies have shown that those who exercise everyday sleep “deeper” feeling more rested and reset when they wake. Getting more sleep will help us wake up motivated and ready to take on the day.
Avoid Weight Gain:
One of the main reasons we exercise is to burn those calories. The best part about exercising is that we do not have to be spending hours each day in the gym. Keeping a consistent daily physical routine is all it takes. Consider a walk outdoors – make it a daily routine and remember the more time we spend being active the more calories we burn.
Keeping those calories in line, feeling healthy and the constant release of endorphins will have a noticeable impact on how happy we feel. Our confidence increases, self-esteem improves and with extra energy our moods follow suit and increase how happy we feel.
Ready to get active? Ready to help others get active? We have curated some popular fitness products to help promote great health and fitness this winter. Take a look here
O’Cobhthaigh, a branded merchandise professional and owner of TurnKey Promotions operating out of Hunters Hill NSW, was formally certified with her MAS on 27th May 2020. Reflecting on the experience she said, “This is a massive milestone in my career and for the industry in Australia.” Upon graduation only two professionals in Australia hold this designation, so it is indeed a massive achievement. A sentiment shared by Wesley Fawaz, CEO of the local association APPA, Australasian Promotional Products Association, stating “It is truly incredible to have another professional in our industry receive this certification. I hope this encourages others to follow and we congratulate Diana for all of her dedication and hard work.”
It is this level of dedication that has awarded O’Cobhthaigh
a place among an elite few in the promotional industry. Individuals with MAS
certification are regarded as industry leaders, and rightfully so as they have
attained a higher standard of professionalism, knowledge and experience. The
certification is acquired through a combination of active employment in the
industry, education, industry contributions and the successful demonstration of
expertise. It is more than education; it’s about understanding and implementing
a higher level of doing business.
Finding a specialist in an industry is usually a bonus for
most consumers. Imagine walking into a bakery to pickup a birthday cake, only
to find out that the baker is a world renown cake creator. What seemed like a
typical purchase has now become an experience and you may never look at cakes
the same way again. The same rule applies in any industry and that is exactly
what O’Cobhthaigh has done and will continue to do in the future. Raising the bar,
showing her clients that they are not transactional but rather key partners in the
industry she has chosen.
A perfect example of where the bar sits can be found in one
of the integral parts of MAS certification. Recipients must go through a
rigorous curriculum on safety and compliance where they are not only educated
on regulations but challenged to adopt new procedures that incorporate them. This
includes identifying hazards and ensuring products are safe for children,
knowing what chemicals and metals are present in raw materials and the inks
used to brand them, understanding safety measures in electronic devices, how to
read test reports and the list goes on. MAS professionals don’t just react to
what a brand needs, they protect and enhance it. O’Cobhthaigh confirms this has
been her business model from day one stating, “I am in business for quality not
quantity. I have a book of loyal clients and my goal is to provide the best
level of service I can on every single project.”
O’Cobhthaigh is a leader in her industry and since receiving her certification has been actively recruiting peers into the MAS program. She is an incredible role model, helping to advance her industry, improve product safety and compliance, as well as promoting continued education.
Join us as we explore ways to spark warmth and joy this
winter, keep our minds and bodies active, and play with new ideas to
promote team spirit.
It’s true, Autumn is wrapping up and with daily time feeling
so slow the seasons seem to have come and gone in a blink of an eye. The
government is slowly allowing businesses to reopen, and while this is being
phased in I imagine most of us will be spending this winter working from home.
It’s time to wrap up in a comfy blanket, light a candle or two and enjoy warm
cups of coffee and tea. We have a lot to be thankful for and plenty of things
to look forward to.
Are you ready for the new business attire this winter? 2020
is going to be about classic fleece blazers, matching trackies and fashion
forward accessories like Sherpa lined wraps, also referred to as blankets. For
those of us who are integrators and familiar mixing our work and home spaces
this is a dream come true. For everyone else, I dare you to live a little
Keeping spirts high is the goal and we need to remember that
we are still incredibly connected to one another. Life may feel a little more
planned at the moment, but a healthy injection of some unexpected flair is all
it takes to mix things up.
When we look into day to day office life we can see
innovation and sparks of creativity that develop from impromptu social
interactions. Collaborations and ideas come to life quickly when a thought can
turn into a comment and lead into a chat during something as simple as a coffee
break. True fact, some of my best ideas have come from unscheduled meetings or
catch ups where there was no pressure to “have an idea”. It’s the camaraderie
of a team that creates this energy and it enters into the workplace outside of
standard lines. We don’t plan to have side chats and personal moments at work
but they happen and it creates our “work family”.
This can still happen! I know accountability is key and it
is important to make sure everyone stays productive, but I also think it’s
important to have fun, giggle, and share stories. Introduce a goofy idea,
something as silly as an emoji sign. Your team can hold these up during virtual
meetings to interact visually while being quietly ridiculous. After all,
emjoi’s were created to express emotions and ideas. What about branded pajamas,
embrace the jest of people working in pajamas and try doing it in branded wear!
Smiles are hard to resist and the more you generate the higher the team spirit.
You can also try taking a standard morning ritual like
pouring a cup of coffee and make it a team event. Create a care package with a
branded mug or tumbler everyone can use (this is also a great visual reference
during online meetings). Bring the team into the experience with a morning
minute where you talk about what you’re drinking. Encourage the team to hold up
their cups and discuss any new twists or tricks they’ve tried with their
coffee. We can help get the ball rolling! Included with coffee item orders is a
quick flip ebook for at home coffee hacks. It might sound funny, but that’s the
Another popular trend (which I say because it sounds better
than the truth) is at home fitness. Keeping up our health has never been more
important and staying active has become a new challenge in our day to day
At minimum our daily regime needs to include basic stretching to ensure we are balancing the activity changes with working from home. We’ve partnered with an incredible physiotherapy company, Healix Health, have put together an entire collection of at home physio guides to help keep up our bodies active. Healix works to create healthier, happier and safer workplaces working with transportation, aviation and government industries. They have given us exclusive access to a guide focused on simple stretches and at home exercises that anyone can perform to keep their neck and posture aligned. Their guide also includes exercises with resistance bands and we’ve included a few of our favourites that can be custom branded. We’ll include this guide (can be customised with your brand and message) with any fitness item ordered.
Are you looking for something unique? Full of character, personality and possibly a dash of charisma? Take a moment this month to invest 5 minutes into exploring what the local community is producing. Many of these businesses have defied the odds to keep their brands and product lines alive and they’ve found niches within their community worth our attention. As we unite to find the “new normal” it is important to remember that we are strongest together. Facing a global challenge we might feel like an itsy bitsy spider but let’s not forget the sun did eventually come out to dry up all the rain. Maybe we’ll start the next chapter with a better outlook and a deeper connection to the local communities we’re a part of. We believe so, and we’re keeping communication open. Whether you’re working on a project or need a moment of inspiration we’re here to help.
Points of difference define our experiences.
Many of the businesses producing Australian made products are small. Born from artists, dreamers and entrepreneurs who needed an avenue to express themselves. Sounding like a great place to find something different? Well you’re right. Big box companies live in a world of commodity, what’s trending now and how do I stock my shelves with it. Small businesses, and specifically those producing their own products don’t have this ability. “Go Big or Go Home” isn’t part of their business plan, and typically not why they got into business to begin with. Instead of thinking big, these businesses have to think differently, and this is truly the secret sauce to the beautiful products they produce. Points of difference are what define our experiences and the number one reason brands should be looking to connect with smaller locally produced product lines.
Enrich your brand’s story by connecting with the stories of the products you brand.
Guess how many plastic reusable cups are brought in and branded each year from overseas manufacturers? What happens when those products have reached their life span? If we’re lucky they are recycled, but often these products end up back in landfill because the manufacturing company that created the cup stopped caring the moment the boat sailed away. Now lets look at a local business producing the same type of product. Except this business is all about sustainability and accountability. Instead of writing off every product they create they have a presence in the community and take back any product, no questions asked, at any level of the life span and recycle the product right back into the next batch of cups. Pretty amazing right? We agree, and that’s why they’re in our new Made in Australia catalogue. Take a look at the Uppercups, some amazing products from a phenomenal source. The next time you need branded merchandise, take a moment and think about the story you’re connecting your brand to.
In the era of blogs, social media, and Stan, there isn’t
really a centralised place for students to congregate, except on campuses. This
creates a unique opportunity for advertisers and brands to target an audience
of students. Ad placement can be an attractive option and is typically a quick
and easy fix, but it can also be incredibly fragmented. While most students are
caught up in socialising and thinking about their next class, are the ads even
This is where branded merchandise holds an excellent vantage
point. Providing students with products they can use, both at home and at
school, is the best way to create brand exposure within this audience. Students
are operating on limited time and funding which makes them incredibly open to
free assistance and support. Where one student might walk blindly past a wall
banner for setting up a new bank account, that same student may stop to grab a
kit of free pencils with the same information included inside. Getting your
message into the hands of students isn’t’ hard, just make sure the message is
quite literally “in their hands.”
This month we are exploring a perfect approach to student marketing and have constructed a catalogue full of amazing ideas. Mix and match colour options allow you to stay within branding guidelines or play into the colours of a school while showcasing items like coffee cups, water bottles and tumblers. Or look at public transport, which is often discounted or free to students, and explore branded RFID blocking merchandise designed to hold transport cards and student ID’s. We have also included top supply staples like pencil/pen pouches and notebooks which all students are in constant need of.
Looking to tap into the sustainability trend being fuelled by Gen Z? In October we launched “Eco-Living” which was a catalogue dedicated to eco-friendly merchandise available with custom branding. This is an excellent way to interact with students in 2020 and if you haven’t had a chance, take a quick browse through this catalogue by clicking here.
In short, when you’re looking to create school spirit, or
highlight your brand amongst students, make sure you are putting that message
into their hands. Three simple steps, show your support, give back and get
noticed on campus.