Socks have become kind of a low-key way to inject a splash of colour and personality into business dress. They’re easy to cover up and easy to unveil. Take a seat at a boardroom table, and with a flick of your leg you can unveil a polka-dot print amidst your otherwise standard formal attire. Socks, as mundane as they once seemed, are now something of a statement.
Where there’s a statement to be made there is power. So ask yourself, what do your socks say about you? That’s the ethos behind companies like Swanky Socks, (https://www.swankysocks.com/about-swanky-socks/) who have sought to bring a variety of striking designs to your tootsies. They’ve done so rather successfully, with their brand now featured in over 250 retail stores. The key to their success might be the sliding range of their products, from the loud and colourful to the more subdued and sedate. With each design though, they still retain a consistently eye-catching style, so you can choose the volume of your statement.
There’s an untapped potential in branding socks. Many see it as just one part of a great whole. Nike socks are just there to compliment a set of Nike training trousers and a crew neck. Socks though have the unique ability to infiltrate any and all settings. Sports socks, business socks, lounge socks, it doesn’t matter. There’s always socks.
By producing branded socks you can make introduce your image to a vast array of settings and markets. What’s more, people often forget they’re wearing them. Wearing an emblazoned t-shirt or decorated jacket is something that you’re always aware of. If say you intend to produce some as promotional materials to give away, you’ll potentially see a much higher adoption rate than with a big and bold company t-shirt.
Socks aren’t always in the forefront of the mind but they’re always present. They wear out quickly but they’re quick and easy to produce, and always in demand. Everybody needs socks, and they need them often. Make your brand part of that need.
Here in Australia we’ve got a special need for sunglasses. Long summers characterised by surf, beaches and barbies are staples of the Australian way of life. We have some of the highest and most consistent temperatures on earth and we’ve also got a great big hole in the ozone layer above us. Sunglasses have become a very stylish necessity.
Designs and products are very often referred to as ‘classic and timeless’, in the case of sunglasses this is actually closer to the truth than most. The earliest recorded examples of sunglasses date back to the classical period. Everybody’s favourite matricidal pyromaniac, Nero, watched the gladiatorial battles of ancient Rome through a pair of polished lenses. Whilst across in China, judges used smoky quartz glasses to hide their expressions in court. These early adopters were certainly innovators, but this eyewear of old did little to protect against anything other than glare.
Sunglasses have cropped up in the centuries since. Yellow tinted lenses were prescribed in the 18th and 19th centuries to treat syphilis, due to the disease causing light sensitivity. The modern form and usage of sunglasses however, didn’t really hit its stride until movie stars started framing their faces in the early 20th century and they didn’t go truly mainstream until Sam Foster found a market for cheap, mass-produced lenses in the 1920s. Ray-Ban hit the scene in the early 30s, and once a Life magazine piece sang this new fashions praises in 1938, people began scooping them up in droves.
Styles and shapes have drifted in and out of fashion over the course of the 20th century, but a great many of the first forms have stood the test of time. The Wayfarer remains an immensely popular style and is virtually unchanged since its 1956 debut. Ray-ban has remained a front runner in the field, and many of their original designs have endured. The eyewear of JFK and Buddy Holly can be seen today on Beckham and Pitt.
With time has come affordability, and today you can scoop up a pair of sturdy and effective shades for an astoundingly low price. Design patents on these timeless styles have long since expired and the market for competitively priced sunglasses has never been stronger. What’s more, it’s still a great area for experimentation and putting a twist on an old classic, as our partners are doing today. When it comes to sunnies, you can’t really go wrong.
What value do you place on trust? And can you place a value on trust?
Well if you are AMP the value is very clear. Since the Royal Commission came about, the share price has dropped more than 70% – from $14 to $3.50.
In a recent survey on Australia’s most trusted brands, Aldi and Bunnings won the race. A bit of surprise for Australians to trust a non-Australian brand like Aldi, more than they trust their own.
This may well be a reflection of how the brands are positioning themselves through their communication. Both Aldi and Bunnings tell the story of low pricing, of which they have been consistent with for years on years. As we know, consistency is a strong indicator of trust. Which for the other supermarkets has been a bit of a downfall in recent times, in respect to the ‘should we or shouldn’t we’ provide plastic bags!
How are you building trust with your customers? Is your message clear, consistent and visible?
If a message is continually repeated for long enough, people believe. It’s called the ‘illusory truth effect’. Which means the tendency to believe information to be correct after repeated exposure. So the more familiar we are with someone or something (business, brand, product), the more likely we are to trust what they are telling us, if the message is consistent.
Trust is a core value to masses.
If you work on building trust, then customers for example, deal with you because they see a value beyond the tangibles of the service and product you are providing.
When you cannot physically be there, you have to rely on marketing to do the job. You want to make sure that the marketing is reflective of a direct experience. Hence the importance of being clear about who your business / brand is.
Building Trust with Promotional Products
When we are clear about who we are as a business / brand, through the marketing process we can start to think about branded merchandise. This will help us not only be selective in respect to aligning the promotion with who we are, but also aligning it with our customer, and how we can, through promotional products, continue to provide value.
Promotional products create an experience that lives on longer than 5 minutes and if carried out correctly the total customer experience builds value, consistency, familiarity, trust and subsequently loyalty.
Marketers in Australia, according to ‘Promotional Products Work’, spend $1.5-$2 billion dollars each year on promotional products for the following reasons:
1. 52% say their impression of a company is more positive after receiving a promotional product.
2. 76% recall the name advertised on a product.
3. 55% keep the item for more than one year.
4. Nearly 50% of recipients use them daily.
5. 52% of people do business with a company after receiving a promotional product.
The Importance of Quality
If it’s trust we are building then quality also plays an important role. Whichever style of marketing / customer experience you decide to go with, the quality of that experience paints a picture about what type of business you are and whether they return and/or tell their family and friends about you.
According to business.com, one of the reasons why product quality impacts your brand is because it builds trust. “Countless potential sales are lost because a brand fails to make a deeper connection with prospective buyers. The quality of your services and merchandise is one way to help you get consumers to appreciate and believe in what you have to offer.”
They also make a very good point about business success and trust working hand in hand. If a business cannot be trusted, business sustainability is virtually unattainable. Who wants to work with someone they don’t trust? And if you are working with a business and you feel this way, you are always on the lookout for a replacement.
How to use Promotional Products to build trust
If you are thinking about your next promotional product or looking for a way to build trust with your customers, suppliers, staff, shareholders, board members, colleagues, etc, ensure you consider the following:
1. Align the product with your Business / Brand Positioning, tying into the consistency of your message.
2. Make sure you add value to your customer. This isn’t limited to the product, but the total experience. How the product arrives, for example, do you present it or send it? What do you accompany the product with? How do you continue the story? How will they use the product? How long will they use it for? Will it help them in their daily life?
3. Provide quality products and a quality experience. Make it memorable and create lasting connections with your customers.
If you would like to talk promotional product ideas that build trust happy to have a chat.
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
The trusted t-shirt first debuted during the Spanish-American war between 1898 to 1913. They were worn under the Navy uniform and to the delight of all the t-shirt fans, undergarments they did not remain.
The prices people are willing to pay for t-shirts has blown out in a big way. This isn’t a new thing. A Run DMC Adidas t-shirt, produced on the back of the 80’s hip hop music movement had willing fans spending $13,000 on a DMC (in collaboration with Adidas) concert t-shirt. A 100% pure cotton t-shirt, round neck-line, short sleeves. Made for comfort… and made for value! T-shirts as an investment strategy, something to think about??!!
So what’s so appealing about the t-shirt:
- Easy entry level – to design, manufacture.
- In Australia – we are in t-shirts 9 months of the year – so usage is high.
- It crosses all demographics and socio-economic groups.
- It provides high-end brands to produce less expensive products to reach a wider audience, though still charge a premium.
- The versatility of the t-shirt – can be dressed up or dressed down.
- T-shirts are becoming increasingly ‘all occasions’ socially acceptable.
Promotional T-shirts to promote your business, brand, product, message:
Is a very good idea. If you put thought into who will be wearing it, the design, the quality and creating a tee that they want to keep wearing versus storing in the bottom of the drawer. The initial costs per person may be high if comparing to other communication mediums, but the engagement opportunity could far outweigh this. Not only is the person completely engaged with the t-shirt and consequently your brand, but the number of people they cross paths with whilst wearing your t-shirt can create many more impressions of your brand for years to come. Then you can go further to social media, if they are posting images wearing the t-shirt, this will further grow your reach.
The catch is – relevant message, good design, good quality.
Quality says just as much about your brand as does the design and message. So don’t surpass such an important component.
T-shirt fabrics details
- Combed cotton – Fine brushes are used to eliminate short strands and straighten fibers, making the fabric stronger, softer, smoother and perfect to screen print.
- Jersey – A stretchy knit typically made from cotton or a synthetic blend, it’s very flexible and comfy.
- Organic Cotton – Cotton grown with minimal fertilizers and pesticides. Usually softer and more expensive than treated cotton.
- Pigment dyed – A coloring process that coats the outside of the fibers, it can create a faded, worn-in look.
- Polyester – Maintains its shape well and resists shrinking and wrinkles. Traditionally polyester is non breathable unless moisture wicking / cool dry treated making the fabric pull heat and sweat away from the skin for rapid evaporatio out of the fabric.
- Polycotton – generally a polyester and cotton blend.
- Rayon – A breathable man-made fibre made out of trees, cotton, and woody plants. Has a silky hand, yet wrinkles. Also called viscose.
- Bamboo – tees made from bamboo fabric are beautifully soft, sustainable, easy to straighten, dye and the fabric has a splendid colour effect of pigmentation. Can also be known as rayon.
- Rib knit – A ridged pattern that creates a thick, structured garment with a lot of give – usually this fabric can be used around the neck and sleeve to provide more structure.
Some of the list of t-shirt fabrics was sourced from: https://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/clothing/sweaters-tops/t-shirt-fabric
Where is the t-shirt made?
Look for the WRAP accreditation label. Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) is an independent, objective, non-profit team of global social compliance experts dedicated to promoting safe, lawful, humane and ethical manufacturing around the world through certification and education.
Do your homework and/or work with someone who has a sounds knowledge of the ins and outs of global manufacturing, so you receive the right product for your business – particularly if your business/brand chooses to align with ethical and environmental compliant business.