It’s natural to feel a little uneasy about the safety of your private information these days. Between Cambridge Analytica and 2017 being among the worst years in history for mass data breaches, the insecurities of the digital age are becoming vividly apparent. The walls around your digital footprint may seem paper thin, but there is something you can do to put something a bit more solid between you and those out for your data.
You may feel a fair amount of anxiety when using the internet; browsing social media and making purchases through online stores involves putting a lot of personal and financial information out there. This, however, is only one avenue that thieves use to get at your personal data. Not only in cyberspace but also here, in the physical world, thieves can use discreet and relatively simple technologies to make off with everything, from cars to credit card numbers, without the owner even knowing.
The way it works is that the thief utilises radio-frequency identification (RFID) or near-field communication (NFC). It sounds like complex jargon, but these features are present in pretty much everything you’ll be carrying around on a daily basis. Almost every modern smart phone features NFC, you’ll probably recognise the pointed ‘N’ logo from your handset’s pulldown menu, and RFID chips are featured in everything from contactless paywave cards to household pets and passports.
As this video shows, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZp24Twkykw, the process by which thieves can go about getting data is incredibly simple. Scooping up a plethora of card numbers and account numbers in an hour or so just by walking about an average urban neighbourhood.
It’s frightening yes, but the solution to this problem is also devilishly simple. By investing in an affordable travel sleeve for your passport or credit card, you can turn the tables on would-be thieves and hackers. For the frequent flyer and avid traveller, a passport is their life. So why risk it? And there’s no need to speak to the universal importance of keeping your hard earned cash secure. These products are cheap to produce, fairly quick to turnaround and can be customised to feature almost any colour, design or insignia. Subtle, smart and safe. A low-key investment that will not only save any savvy buyer a wealth of time and money, but give them a priceless peace of mind.
It seems like every other day is something-day. On the 10th of August, we had Duran Duran Appreciation Day and World Lion Day, Photography Day on the 19th, Be An Angel Day on the 22nd and Dog Day on the 26th.
Increasingly smaller holidays and events are being used to sell an array of products. An appropriate approach is vital. Done right, a holiday or celebration can be the perfect way to boost sales and create a strong brand association, but done poorly and the effort can appear transparent and tacky.
The most straightforward and most suitable instance of tying into any given x-day is when the product is inextricably tied to the day in question. National Donut Day, the 1st of June, is something of a no-brainer for Krispy Kreme, who mark the day by offering a free donut to every customer. It gets feet through the door and nets a tidy little profit to boot.
Greetings card companies stock their shelves with every kind of Birthday card imaginable, and deck their halls with the pinks of St. Valentine or the greens and reds of the festive season. There’s an undeniable and well-ingrained link in these industries and products. People may complain every year that they’re being inundated with Christmas-this and Halloween-that, but they buy it all the same. You’ll see dad rock albums climb the charts in the run up to fathers day and florists will beam when mothers day rolls around. It depends on the holiday, but when the link is clear and established marketing to a day or holiday can make sense.
In the bigger markets, Christmas in particular, where so many products and services are vying for consumer attention, the question actually becomes less of a ‘should we’ and more of a ‘how do we’. A common marketing ploy is to play on cultural associations. Coca-Cola’s Christmas campaigns have been wildly successful because they so effectively capture classic images of Christmas. Families around open fires, the mad dash for last minute presents … all of it wrapped up in a cosy, wholesome family image. They’ve even helped to define the modern day image of old St. Nick (though contrary to popular belief they weren’t responsible for turning his suit red http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7152054.stm). Coca-Cola though, especially in the cold December climates of the US and Europe, hasn’t got a whole lot of relevance to Christmas.
Whilst Coke have managed it, products being advertised and associated with events that they share no link with can also be a big misstep. Cynical and irrelevant marketing will only cause annoyance. Sticking with a festive theme, the UK-based supermarket Sainsbury’s tied into the hundredth anniversary of the First World War in their 2014 advertising campaign, to a fair amount of scorn from the press and public. Trying to sell groceries with images of one of humanity’s most horrific conflicts is a tenuous link at best and downright offensive at worst.
Here in Australia many will be familiar with Meat and Livestock Australia’s controversial lamb advertising campaign, which utilises controversy around Australia Day to drum up interest. These sorts of controversial campaigns can be very hit and miss, and those that do succeed often do so by means of leaning into more out there and incongruous forms of advertising. Dick Smith Food’s own (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7y6iE0aB5s) Australia day advertising plays off of absurd notions of patriotism and the inherent irrelevance of the product to the day itself for comedic effect. However it does also feature some pretty obnoxious casual racism. If you’re planning to use a holiday to sell something that has very little business being associated with it, recognising this inconsistency and playing off it is the best way to go. Tenuous association and causing offense in a needless and tasteless fashion is not.
Tying your marketing to a specific day, season or holiday can be a great way to drum up interest. If your product or service has a very clear link it’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. Did you know the 1st of June was Donut Day? You probably didn’t until every cafe had a sign in the window informing you of it. Drawing attention to these fun little events is an easy and relatively risk-free form of marketing. When dealing with the bigger hitters, Christmas, Easter and the like, it comes down to the suitability of the product and its ability to stand out from the crowd.
It’s a problem we’ve all faced. Overpriced coffee. It’s as certain in life as death and taxes. Between waiting in line for a $4 flat white in the heart of Sydney or pouring lukewarm filtered coffee out of the office pot, you can feel somewhat short of a choice.
If that description brings you to shudders, don’t fear, there is hope yet. Whilst increased storage options and mammoth company fridges have allowed people to start bringing their home crafted lunches to their desk, the same hasn’t been afforded to hot drinks. It’s about time that changed.
With a range of vacuum sealed drink bottles, you can bring the taste of your favourite brew to the office and beyond. Able to store hot drinks for up to 12 hours, the vacuum sealed bottle is perfect for the modern working environment. Whether you’re a sedentary worker, or always on the go, with a range of varying sizes and simple, elegant styles, you’ll never be caught short of your favourite energy boost again. Gone are the days of pounding back an espresso at your desk, and having to head straight back out to find another when your craving gets the better of you.
Even if coffee or tea isn’t your thing, this product can keep cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours. Your first sip in the morning will be just as refreshing as your last on the way home.
All of the bottles are made with a durable stainless steel finish which allows for a clear laser engraved company logo, name or design. Not only are the bottles eco friendly, being made of 100% recyclable materials (no dreaded plastic liner either, ensuring the beverage remains chemical and odour free), but they also have an almost indefinite lifespan.
Combining function with form, this handy little tool will keep your brand clear and visible for as long as necessary, with a sleek, minimalist design that leaves room for creativity and longevity.
When brainstorming the Next Big Thing, some new product or idea that will change everything and add a few extra zeros to your bank balance, you don’t always need to reinvent the wheel. In fact sometimes the smallest changes to existing formulas can be the most important and profitable.
People tend to stray away from the small and mundane because it’s less glamorous. Chasing our big ideas is chasing our dreams. We want to shoot for the moon, not the next town over. Apollo 11 was number eleven for a reason though. If you have a big idea, work backwards from it. Innovation can be incremental. You have to build up, and you may well find something simpler and in fact, more valuable, along the way.
If you look at all the biggest products and services of the last few decades or so, many of them have been deliciously simple. A simple twist on a core idea, or perhaps just the streamlining of an existing one. Uber, and all its many diminutives, brought peer-to-peer services to transportation and completely revolutionised the taxi and food delivery markets in the process. ‘McDonalds doesn’t deliver? No problem, we’ll bring the delivery to them and then to you.’ It was an extension, an addition to a tried and tested industry that changed everything.
Some of the twentieth century’s most prominent entrepreneurs and ideas people made their name with relatively simple ideas. Elon Musk may be known now for outlandish ideas about space travel and colonisation of Mars, but his most profitable venture to date is also one of his first – PayPal – which as an idea is as simple as they come, a streamlined means to make online payments with just an email address and a password. Whilst Tesla and SpaceX hemorrhage money on a yearly basis, kept afloat by promise alone, PayPal endures and profits two decades after its inception.
It goes beyond big business. In some of the world’s poorest and resource-restricted countries and environments, small changes have made an enormous difference. The ‘Penguin’, a simple plastic suction bottle, is used in the third-world to remove airway obstructions with ease, reducing child mortality rates. In India, health organisations had difficulty getting parents to vaccinate their children. The solution? Give away a bag of lentils with each vaccination. Immunisation rates soared. By examining the problem, aid organisations found a basic, common incentive that made a measurable and significant difference. This same logic can be applied anywhere. Instead of focusing on creating a market or need, look at what already exists and isn’t being catered to, or isn’t being catered to well. Improvement and incrementation.
Thinking big is good; the heart of innovation is daring to dream. It doesn’t mean, however, that you should be missing the forest for the trees. Getting caught up in either the minute or grand can leave you blind to the simple and sublime.
In an increasingly diverse and ever-expanding marketplace the temptation to go big, better and more in-your-face, can be overwhelming. There’s a time and a place for more restrained and exact branding, and it’s here and now.
When the average person thinks logos, advertising and everything brand-related, they probably picture seas of logos, flashing lights and electronic technicolour. Think Times Square, Piccadilly Circus, Shibuya Crossing. It’s a trend that persists and exists across cultures and continents. From Tokyo to the Big Apple, bigger is seen as better.
It’s an approach to branding that attempts a sort of omnipresence. Being here, there and everywhere as a constant reminder and reinforcement. The Trump approach to advertising, who focuses on a relentless self-aggrandisement. Slapping a name, big and gaudy, on every product and property. Steaks, planes and towers, all under one almighty title. It’s worked to mix success for Trump, and in it’s modern context, this sort of very personal branding will divide audiences. Because it’s so tied up in perceptions around his character and what he represents. Success depends on how he, or his name, is perceived. Regardless of what’s being sold. Trump steaks aren’t sold on meat quality, the brand brings images of wealth and excess from its bombasity. That’s the selling point.
Relentless branding, and its relative effectiveness, comes down to the extent to which the brand is tied up in the success and essence of what’s being sold. Hello Kitty, whilst very different to the Trump brand, operates with a similar ethos, albeit one that is arguably more effective. The image of Hello Kitty herself is inexplicably tied to the brand and target audience. She is visual shorthand, aesthetic and selling point all in one. Overbearing and ever-present but also highly targeted in terms of audience.
It’s about knowing the product and the brand, the extent to which they exist synonymously, and what one says about the other. Targeted digital advertising allows any brand an omnipresence if done correctly. But that doesn’t necessarily make it the right approach. More subtle approaches to branding are becoming more numerous, and more importantly, are reaping the rewards.
Recent years have seen even the biggest brands; Coke, Durex, McDonald’s. Move towards a more minimalist design aesthetic with a focus on simplicity and stark design. There’s also been the rise of brands such as fjallraven and Paperchase, which tend to focus on simple elegant design acting as branding.
This trend is also present in larger scale retail and businesses with wide product ranges. General Motors shrunk its brands from eight to four, and saw a 16% increase in sales within the year. Head and Shoulders reduced it’s product line from twenty-five to sixteen and saw a 10% bump in sales. You can get even more mundane. Aldi, which has a far lower number of brands (and very little focus on brand recognition for individual own-brand products), less intrusive imaging and choices on offer, has seen a surge in popularity for exactly this reason.
Take a long hard look at your product(s), and how you want to brand them. It’s all a balancing act, and your approach to branding should reflect the core design ethos. In being too brash and boisterous a brand can drown out its own appeal. Any recognition becoming lost in its own noise.
Wellbeing products are somewhat ubiquitous these days. You’ll see them lining the walls of a pharmacy, perhaps stuffed in next to the Cadbury’s or even right at the checkout to prompt a last minute ‘Oh gosh I forgot about X’s birthday’. The ever-presence is for a good reason though. They’re an excellent gift idea, having a universal appeal and a price range that lets consumers pay a little or a lot whilst still getting a presentable, quality product.
Everyone likes to be pampered. Everyone likes to smell nice and feel detoxified. Consumer engagement is very high with wellness products and it’s only getting higher. With the recent surge in popularity of wellness and spirituality, more natural products such as diffusers are seeing a high adoption rate and their place in the gift market gives them an even broader reach.
Smelling great and getting comfy can be done on a budget with wellness products, and the potential for customisation and creativity is strong. Diffusers in particular can be tailored to a variety of tastes, or perhaps more accurately smells. As Promotherapy, a producer of sensory promotional products, puts it:
‘Marketing isn’t meant to be bland and boring, it should engage all the senses.’
The results are scientifically proven too. Our senses are tied to our memories, and positive stimuli that engages some or all of our senses can invoke a strong emotional reaction, as shown in a recent study carried out by the National Institute of Neuroscience in Turin, Italy.
Certain types of diffuser have even been shown to increase house prices! Driving up asking prices by as much as $100,000! Now that’s a strong smell.
So don’t underestimate the power of these seemingly simple products. By effectively utilising wellness products (smells in particular!) you’ll see your brand retention and engagement improve spectacularly!
Through the years on-screen visual capabilities and resolution has improved. We are seeing funky full colour 3D logos, animated apps and website designs as well as high quality video production.
Evolution in one industry has a roll-on effect to other industries. This is always going to be the case. Despite, in theory being two industries, in reality, the digital technology and printing industry are both in the advertising and communications space.
So as a result of digital technology lifting it’s quality, printing has also had to raise the bar. One colour printing, whilst still relevant, doesn’t cut it as much as it did in the past. Now we have full colour direct digital, sublimation and direct to garment printing becoming the status quo. To someone not in the industry, this sounds like a lot of fancy words. In essence, you can now print photo quality designs on physical products:
- direct digital print on a flat surface (like notebooks and compendiums)
- direct digital printing on a slightly curved surface (like pens)
- rotary digital prints on a curved surface (like sports bottles)
- 100% cotton apparel and bags with direct to garment printing, which is a completely different look to heat applied transfers
- Polyester apparel and bags with full colour dye sublimation
There is also an increased demand for personalisation, which is also available via digital printing. This is also known as variable-data (VDP) or variable-information printing (VIP or VI), in which elements such as text, graphics and images may be changed from one printed piece to the next, without stopping or slowing down the printing process and using information from a database or external file.
The exciting thing about products being printed digitally, is that as the technology continues to improve, then the costs will become even more cost effective. Something that will not just impact promotional products, but printing across all material types.
The fashion industry is a good example of how digital printing has created opportunities: “It currently takes anywhere from two to three months for traditional screen-printing. Digital printing by comparison can happen immediately. Digital printing ensures higher quality, more unique designs at scale, greater variety of rich colors and more. It’s literally possible to take a picture on your iPhone today and print it onto a textile at photo-realistic quality straight away.
The cost performance for small production runs also means looks can be created on a scale of one – rather than thousands.” (Source: How Digital Printing Technology Is Taking Us Closer To Fully Customizable Clothing, by Rachel Arthur, forbes.com, February 2017).
If you are looking for a promotional product that will stand out; that the recipient won’t want to part with; that others will envy, then it’s definitely time to think about going all the way – and letting your brand shine – through a beautifully designed and printed product.
Find out why promotional products work
Winter is on the doorstep. Head protection from extreme weather is a necessity… for how many weeks of the year, all depends on where you live and how often you travel to cold climates.
From another perspective, head attire can have nothing to do with protection, but more to do with a personal identity, statement or association. Celebrities known for wearing a beanie in the summertime include: Robert Pattinson, Ashton Kutcher, Justin Bieber, David Beckham and Liam Hemsworth.
Here are some different ways you can wear a beanie, thanks to instyle.com.au:
- Take a casual approach – team up with a pair or sneakers
- Patterned beanie – Wear with block colour outfit
- Work the tones – Compile your outfit on different tones of the one colour
- Dress up your beanie – Wear with a tailored coat and Knee high boots
- Off-duty model – Match with leather jacket, skinny pants, and sneakers.
- Play with Texture – A fluffy beanie with a fluffy jacket.
- Stripes – Beanies with stripes.
What are some other interesting facts about beanies:
- There is a world record for the most beanies worn at once. One hundred beanies, by a man in New York, in 2016.
- It’s believed that the first beanie dated back to the 12th and 13th centuries.
- 1990s, the beanie increased in its attractiveness, becoming a favorite accessory for skaters and snowboarders
So we get that beanies have been around for a long time and are super popular, both in winter and summer. So how can you make a branded beanie work? There are lots of fun and cool things you can do with beanies: animal designs; full colour images, branding or messaging; ear warmers; visors; or even a pompom on top. It also comes down to your brand personality, message and the theme/event you are tapping into.
Lots of brands do caps and visors, so why not try something a little different. Beanies are a great way to tap into the millennial market; if you want to go for the grungy / anti-social movement; and also the adventure tourism market (involves exploration or travel to remote exotic areas) – a market which is expected to grow by 20% in the next 5 years.
Not just another…. Cap
According to Euromonitor International, “There is a fundamental shift in consumer values towards experiences over things that bring happiness and wellbeing, with spending on experiences like travel, leisure and food service to rise to US$8.0 trillion by 2030.”
Millennials are driving this change:
- 91% of Australian Millennials (aged 18-34) attended a live event, ranging from entertainment-focused experiences like concerts and beer festivals, to more cause-related events like marches and rallies.
- 81% said they would choose to buy an experience rather than something desirable, ahead of their Gen X (35-45) peers at 72%.
So what’s shaping the experiential economy, they believe the growth is derived from (according to Eventbrite a Event Platform):
- People crave interactions off social media – Four out of five millennials say that attending live events makes them feel more connected to other people, the community, and the world.
- People are looking for a new perspective – In a world where the today’s headlines are yesterday’s old news, in-person events provide the opportunity to connect and gain perspective.
- Our cultural climate is shifting – A high percentage of people believe it’s essential for people to come together in person to promote positive change
- Millennials are starting families – Seven in 10 (69%) of both younger and older millennials attend live events to challenge themselves and escape everyday routines. Their interest in attending events doesn’t lessen once they start families.
- Livestreaming is making experiences more valuable – According to Facebook, people spend more than 3x more time watching a live video than a recorded video.
1. Knowing this what can we do about it when it comes to branding:
- Create experiences. Start small if you have to. Some ideas to get you thinking:
- Tasting testing before purchase. Mezzina do a great job of this.
- Offer classes. The Sydney Fishing School has done a great job of this. Now we are seeing cooking classes pop-up everywhere.
- Collaborate with a partners to hold an event – We are seeing this happen more and more. You split the costs whilst cross-leveraging your audience.
- Demonstrations. They have been around for a long time, and they continue to pull a crowd. But it’s not an ordinary demonstration… people want theatre. So give them theatre. This doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of money, it may just mean that the demonstrator is highly entertaining.
2. Crossing over to the virtual world. Real estate agents, particularly ones selling off the plan dwellings are using virtual technology to enhance the buyers experience. It completely changes what you can deliver to a customer – without being limited by your location.
3. Bring your product to where the people are. Race days do a great job of this. You can go and have your make-up and hair professionally touched up, and not have to the leave the race course.
4. Social Media… make it seamless, make it effortless, make the audience feel like they couldn’t possibly not share this experience with their online friends.
5. Branding – Every brand has not choice but to have a level of coolness. Even if it’s a daggy cool brand. Over emphasising your positioning, so your customers, get it and embrace it, because they want to create a ‘by-association’ run off-effect. If I am in this place, experiencing this, then this says something about me that I want others to also know.
We cannot go past the inclusion of promotional products to help you create a deeper more engaging experience for your customers. People love tactile things, they love to touch, and take something away with them. Whether it’s a hat at a sporting match, drink bottles at a running festival, showbags at a conference, T-Shirts at a music event, USB’s after a presentation. Consider how you stretch the experience and the memory to continue beyond the event… this is something promotional products can definitely help you achieve.
Running out of mobile battery has climbed ahead of death and public speaking as our biggest fear! How life has changed!!! This is a bit of a joke, but there is a thing called “low battery anxiety’. An LG Survey revealed (sourced by Daily Mail Uk):
- 90% of us panic about losing power on our phones
- 32% of us will drop everything to head home and charge phones
With the current battery capacity compared to the power required to run more complex apps at faster speeds, our batteries are running out a lot sooner than they ever did.
Phone charging Technology continues to improve. With wireless charging becoming the latest must have.
What’s so good about the inductive wireless charger, is the charger transfers power from a charging device to a receiver without a cable. On top of that, you can brand your own wireless inductive charger, as a means of reducing ‘low battery anxiety’ for your customers or staff.
Phones that have wireless charging:
- Apple iPhone: 8, 8 Plus, X
- Samsung Galaxy: S9, S9+, Note 8, S8, S8+, S7, S7 Edge, Note 5, S6, S6 Edge
- LG: V30, G6 (US version only), G4 (optional), G3 (optional)
- Microsoft Lumia: 1520, 1020, 930, 929, 928, 920
- Google Nexus: 4, 5, 6, 7 (2013)
Benefits of a wireless charger:
- Safe way to charge your phone
- Easy to charge by placing your phone on the charger
- Never have to find the right cable for your phone.
- Can listen to music and charge your phone at the same time
Not just another.. USB