Is Branded Merch the New Luxury?

I wanted to take a moment and explore the evolution of branded merchandise over the past three years. Seems like such a funny thing to consider with much of the time being spent in lockdown and having events restricted on a global level. But the way businesses and brands are seeking out merchandise has undergone some interesting changes. 

Did you know that the term “Promotional Products” and “SWAG” headed the search charts 10 years ago? These were the go to words and phrases businesses were using to find custom branded opportunities. With a focus on freebies, giveaways and tchokies that ultimately got the organisation’s name out there, at the lowest cost possible and more often than not ending up in landfill.  Stepping into 2022 and reviewing the same top trending search terms, we now see that “branded merchandise” or “branded merch” is taking the lead. At first glance the terms may seem interchangeable, but a promotional product may not hold the same perception of longevity as a piece of custom branded merchandise. A promotional product sounds temporary, where as branded merchandise sounds intentional, thought out and connected back to the business or brand releasing it … making the item coveted, sought after and ultimately more sustainable as it will be kept and used.

“A bag handed out with magazine subscriptions has become a favorite accessory for cultural elites” – The New Yorker. (Read Article Here)

This story caught my attention, and I wanted to share it with everyone. A canvas tote bag given out to new subscribers of The New Yorker has now become a piece of “Cultural Currency.” People are so dedicated to the symbol and brand of The New Yorker, that this tote bag, a beautiful piece of branded merchandise, has sky rocketed to one of New York’s “must have” tote bags, with over half a million units released to date.

So what did The New Yorker do differently? They made the merchandise an extension of their own brand. A way for advocates and readers to be part of their community. They could have created a low cost, centre logo printed bag, but chose to create something that meant more, and belonged uniquely to them. It’s an incredible example of how branded merchandise can become a luxury we didn’t know we needed.

This doesn’t mean the end to the giveaways and freebies handed out at events or trade shows. But I do believe that brands and businesses are starting to understand just how powerful, sought after, and impactful custom branded merchandise can be. It could very well be the new luxury our advocates and teams are searching for.

What do you think? Is there an opportunity for your business to create a luxury experience with branded merchandise?

Many retail brands have now lent their names to the beautiful world of branded merchandise. Did you know that you can co-brand with UA, Nike, Puma, Moleskine and many others? These highly regarded retail brands have released exclusive products for co-branding opportunities. In response the promotional sector and industry as a whole has also stepped up to the plate. We still have good value sustainable products available, but due to increased demand we also now have practical, retail quality items with advancements in decoration capabilities, perfect for creative branding opportunities. Businesses much like yours now have more control over how you can create coveted branded merchandise.

It’s easy to remember that sometimes the experience is in the details. As we see a shift in creating longer lasting, more memorable merchandise, decoration methods begin to play a larger role. The difference between a plastic cup with a single colour imprint or sticker has a much different impact than a glass with permanent laser etching. One item says “here take this with you” and the other says “here is a piece you can have forever.” It all depends on the message and experience you want to create, but decoration methods like embroidery, debossing, laser engraving and glass etching are built to last and to grab attention.

Product Safety

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. 

Button Batteries

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.

Read More Here


Sunscreens must be manufactured by a TGA approved manufacturing facility, and can only include TGA approved ingredients – each of which has been assessed for safety. 

Read More Here

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.

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.

Modern Slavery

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.

What is Modern Slavery?

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

  • 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.

Have you ever purchased chocolate?

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.

Have you ever purchased cotton?

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, 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.

Giving Back

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.

To learn more click here.

Carbon Neutral Plant-A-Tree Program

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.

Read more click here.


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.

To read more click here.

New Year, New Materials

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.

Bamboo Lunch Box, cutlery, thermos

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. 

Bamboo Limestone Bluetooth Speaker

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. 

Reusable Cork Cup

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. 

Bamboo Wheat Straw Pen

Folding bag in soft polyester RPET. Obtained from recycled plastic materials. Stitched finish, with small size folding for easy carrying. Button closure and hook.

RPET Folding Shopping Bag

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. 

RPET Backpack

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.

Jute Bag, Zippered Pouch

Bread bag in 100% natural cotton material with matching colour drawstring closure. Stitched finishing. A great addition to your reusable grocery totes.

Natural Bread Bag, Drawstring Bag

Learn more about how we adapt to new times with new materials for people and planet protection – new materials.

A Case History: StreetWork

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) requirements. 

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).

Seven Reasons to Keep Your Blood Pumping this Season

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.

Cardiovascular Endurance:

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

Diana O’Cobhthaigh Awarded MAS Certification.

Diana O'Cobhthaigh
Turnkey Promotions Diana O’Cobhthaigh awarded MAS Certification from PPAI.

Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), headquartered in the United States, has awarded their second Australian, Diana O’Cobhthaigh, with the industry coveted Master Advertising Specialist (MAS) certification.

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.

Staying Connected in an Online World

View Product Catalogue Here

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 #TryTheTrackies.

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 idea!

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 lives.

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.

View Product Catalogue Here

As always your team here at TurnKey Promotions is standing by and ready to help.

Connecting Your Brand to the Locals.

What’s new and whats different?

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.

Join our mailing list and be the first to know about new promotional products, creative ideas and resources from TurnKey Promotions.