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Posts Tagged ‘branding’

Not Just Another… Beach Umbrella

It isn’t a bad problem to have, fending off the sun rather than the rain. But as December comes and falls away and we all stumble forward, probably more than a little tipsily, into the blinding sun of 2019, more than a few of us will be feeling the heat.

It’s easy to spend Christmas week cooped up inside, nursing a nice port and eating yourself into a food coma, but then it’s time to get out and let the fun of the sea and surf wash away the accumulated kgs. Or at least move the eat fest to the beach.

Either way you’re going to need a spot of shade, and with the holiday season being a time of friendship and family, you’re probably going to need a lot of the stuff. Beach umbrellas are a mainstay in the arsenal of any sun lover. The stars of postcards and boardwalks, you can’t have a beach without a beach umbrella. Easily stored, carried and large enough to keep everyone cool and relaxed.

Large but also lightweight, the Bahama Beach Umbrellas eight panel design fits all the necessary specs for safe fun in the sun. Boasting a reflective silver lining with a UPF 50+ protection, short setup time and a nifty carry case, it’s a product that’s going to get around.

With options for screen printing and digital transfer, branding is exceptionally easy. Beaches are wide open, easily accessible spaces that provide a lot of visibility and footfall. With a striking design and logo on the showerproof polyester canopy, it’ll be easy to stand out, come rain or shine.

The Principles of Design

There is logic in creative thinking and expression. Despite whether the creative or the audience is aware of it. Unconsciously we are drawn to design that follows at least one or more of the key principles of design. On the other hand, we repel, and feel like something isn’t right or is missing if none of the principles are adhered to… which may be what the designer is trying to achieve. Hence the importance of firstly knowing what your desired outcome is of any design piece.

WHAT ARE THE KEY PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN

There are six basic principles, however, some theories state there are up to 20 principles, but from research it is a further dissection/layering of one of the key principles below.  The basic principles will suffice in creating ‘good design’. The theory is that at least one of the design principles should be incorporated to achieve good design, however, all the six principles can be incorporated into the one piece.

Alignment

This helps us to create order and an invisible connection between elements. In today’s world, the number of messages that we engage in / cross our path each day, makes it essential for us to make it easy to understand quickly what it is that we want to the audience to think or do. It is a simple but effective way to creating sharp design. Interestingly, the word alignment, infers a feeling of balance and peace.

Repetition

Something that is used when you have multiple pages or pieces typically, but we can also see this principle used in one-offs. In this case, it would be for the purpose of making a very strong statement that leaves an imprint. Repetition, generally, is about creating consistency. Consistency makes people feel safe, provide clarity and helps build trust. Unless your brand is very established, playing around with the treatment of your logo for example, will only confuse your audience, whilst forgoing the opportunity of building familiarity with your brand.

Contrast

Contrast is all about emphasis. You can achieve contrast with type, colour, images, shapes, lines, etc. It’s a great tool to help guide the viewer, also playing a role in the principle of hierarchy (below). Creating strong contrast definitely helps with grabbing attention. So if you have a big message you want to get across, use contrast. You will see this principle adopted in many political movement communications.

Hierarchy

Is a means of prioritising the message order, so the design doesn’t create chaos and lose the viewer, as they are not sure what path to follow to take in the information. Our eyes, when looking at something, are looking for order of where to start and where to end. When it comes to a marketing message what is the order from the most important to least important in the eyes of the viewer: is it your logo, the message, your website, the visual, the contact details, etc? It’s crucial that we think from the viewer’s perspective. This has created many interesting conversations between creatives and clients on the percentage of space given to a logo!! Currently the trend of minimisation is impacting how and where and if we position various components… and leaving us to ask the question… do we actually need them at all?

Balance

It is what it says. You can achieve this in two ways: symmetrical, when the weight is evenly distributed (ie, two equal halves) and asymmetrical, through using contrast (eg, dark and light). Keep in mind what you are trying to achieve and whether this design principle is applicable.

Colour  – Is not a key principle, per se, but we think it’s worth including.

A game changing principle to any design piece. The key is to know how far you can take colour and when to pull it back. In most design courses, colour is the last thing you get to play with so you can focus on learning to leverage the effectiveness of all other principles. A good discipline to establish. Work on the order first and then play with colour. There are millions of colours, each every one tells a story. So think about the story you are creating with the colours you are using. If you are looking for inspiration, look to nature. There is a magic in natural that achieves colour combinations that we might not ordinarily be able to achieve.

WHAT ROLE DOES THIS PLAY WHEN IT COMES TO PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS?

In 1919, founder of Bauhaus (An art school in Germany), Walter Gropius had the idea that design should meet the needs of society. 

This thinking is still relevant today. Before we step into designing any promotional piece, we must try to understand how it will meet the needs of the user/audience. The more aligned we are with this, the more value the audience will place on the item. So staying close to what’s trending is important to ensuring your brand/business stays relevant. A well thought through promotional product clearly denotes your relevance in the market … an image speaks a thousand words. Doing something for the sake of doing it, without the thinking, will come through and may devalue your brand in its market.  

What we are seeing now is how, what were once considered promotional products, have become a merchandise range, for companies like VB and Tiffany’s. It has become a means of leveraging their engagement across new channels and new audiences. In itself, it is/has become a marketing medium that the consumer is paying for. For the reason that the brand value has been well established. VB has engaged fashion designers to create their new range of apparel line – which is a big step forward.

Before you go straight to the ‘promotional product’ consider the following:

  1. Start with your customer
  2. Research what is trending in the industry and consumer market
  3. Be clear about what you are trying to achieve
  4. Consider some concepts
  5. Think about the message and the relevance.
  6. When you go into design, apply two or more of the design principles listed above.

GREAT DESIGN ADDS VALUE

At first you may not being able to assign a monetary value to great design, however if it’s having an impact on perception, then this is the beginning of a new era for your brand, business and you. You, is in reference to how you think and feel about your brand. That it is worthy of the investment, that the customers are also worthy, that the alignment with your desired brand positioning (if your current one doesn’t cut it) is crucial to continuing to build ‘perceived value’. And perceived value, at the end of the day, is a ‘real value’. Sometimes our biggest challenge is knowing our true value!!!

Your Brand & Christmas – Let’s Create Some Magic!

There is a lot of talk about seasonal and event specific marketing tie ins. With Christmas now rapidly approaching, it’s time to hone in on what is undeniably the biggest seasonal market of the year. Looking at how to latch onto this opportunity and make it work for your brands.

Unlike some other seasonal events and holidays (birthdays, easter, halloween), Christmas is unique in that pretty much any and all brands can play at utilising the period in their advertising. Part of that comes from the ubiquity of the holiday, and its ties to gift giving and money spending. From NRMA to Australia Post, brands and services of all shapes and sizes find ways to tap into the festive cheer.

The key at Christmas then, is standing out from the crowd. With so much of Christmas focusing on buying and gift giving, so many advertisements focus on deals and cost cutting. Pounding consumers with images of big yellow labels and low prices and sales. It’s nauseating and only really works for large scale retailers and companies dealing in a wide variety of products. The types of companies that will see a large footfall regardless and are really only trying to syphon consumers away from very similar, competing stores.

When working with a more concise brand, you’ve got to get creative. Being unique is always important in advertising, and particularly around Christmas being memorable can be more important than actually advertising the product in any meaningful way. Looking at NRMA and Australia Post advertisements, the ties between the service on offer and Christmas itself are loose. The main focus is on tying specific festive imagery and aesthetics and playing on the associated emotions, to the brand itself. These advertisements come across more like a Christmas card from the company, rather than a sales pitch. Christmas is about closeness, familiarity and comfort. The most successful brands tap into these emotions by being approachable and marketing with humility. As mentioned in the article a few weeks back, Coke perfected this. Despite having a product that has almost nothing to do with Christmas, their advertising absolutely nailed the sensibilities and cultural hallmarks of the holiday.

Another effective theme of Christmas advertising is one of summary. Christmas marks the end of the year, a holiday that gives you time to look back on the last 12 months. It’s why so many brands focus on a timeless aesthetic, or one that calls back to the most distinctive events of the year, as well as tapping into the current cultural and social climate. At the end of the year people take stock of what’s happened to them, of what’s important and where they’re going. People are more aware than ever to the current state of things and if you can make that work for your brand, you’ll be reaching people on a whole other level.

Recently, Australian advertisers have moved further towards embracing what makes Christmas so different down under. Embracing the distinctly Australian. The humour, the geography, the cultural. The inherent silliness in celebrating a very winter-centric European holiday at the height of summer. So much of Christmas’ cultural short hand is wrapped up in our European roots. It’s time to change that.

Christmas is the time of giving, sharing and coming together. Branding is effective when it strays away from the obviously cynical and commercial, and looks at what makes Christmas…well…Christmas. Find what it means to your audience, to you and your brand and make a holy trinity of the three.

Brand Experience

Experiences over Products – What does this mean for your brand?

Brand Experience

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):

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Promotional T-Shirt

Not Just Another… Promotional T-Shirt

Promotional T-Shirt

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:

  1. Easy entry level – to design, manufacture.
  2. In Australia – we are in t-shirts 9 months of the year – so usage is high.
  3. It crosses all demographics and socio-economic groups.
  4. It provides high-end brands to produce less expensive products to reach a wider audience, though still charge a premium.
  5. The versatility of the t-shirt – can be dressed up or dressed down.
  6. 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.

Why Promotional Products Work?

Australian marketers spend more than $1.34billion on promotional products each year …. despite the growth in digital marketing spend.

“69% of advertisers said promotional products increased brand interest and 84% it created more favourable impressions of the brand itself.” Australasian Promotional Products Association.

Why promotional products still work for the marketer?

  • A way to position your brand, more serious, more fun, adventurous, innovation, etc.
  • It helps to grow your brands perceived value, through association, partners, etc.
  • If delivered correctly, you have a captive audience.
  • It can be an inexpensive way of engaging and connecting
  • It demonstrates brand creativity and effort.
  • You go beyond tapping into one of the senses and therefore have a greater opportunity of engaging and creating memory.
  • A lot of promotional products a kept and used by the receiver for years – creating engagement and personal memories with your brand.
  • The creativity used to get a response is the key to increasing profits and promoting your brand.

Why promotional products work for the customer

  • It’s physical. It tactical. People like to hold onto something. Evidence of this is all around us – people with their phones!
  • They provide customers with an added benefit – not just you advertising your brand.
  • If the synergy between customer, brand and promotional product is right, the customer will enjoy the association.
  • Customers feel special when they receive a gift. The acknowledgement of being a valued customer feels good.
  • Their impression of a company is more positive after receiving a promotional product.
  • They are more likely to do business with a company after receiving a proposal product

Not Just Another… USB

You can never have too many USB Flash Drives. It’s the one office product that never gets re-gifted, because you know how valuable it is to your working day.

USB has made our lives so much easier. Particularly given that a big part of life revolves around storage and convenient transferability of information.

They come in a huge range of shapes, sizes, colours, capacity and can be fully customised to your specifications.

The latest flash drives are super cool … you don’t have to stick to the stock standard anymore.

The latest trend is the OTG or On The Go flash drives that provide expanded storage for smartphones and tablets.  An OTG flash drive can be plugged directly into your Android or iOS smart phone to backup files, photos, videos and more without needing to be in front of a computer.  This way you don’t have to miss out on any experiences whilst out and about if you happen to run out of memory on your device.

However, not all USB Flash Drive chips are the same.  At TurnKey Promotions, we have staked our reputation on providing high quality products and only use a reputable technology factory providing A-grade chips sourced out of Japan.  We have had clients come to us after sourcing cheap ones with real issues such as viruses being spread, the memory not being as stated, slow read-write speeds and general dissatisfaction.

USB Flash Drives are a useful branded product that will still be in demand for years to come by your customers, staff and suppliers … providing your brand with continued impressions well into the future.

Not Just Another… Notepad

Every man and his dog is doing or has done notepads. A long standing promotional product, that continues to grow. Year on year the notepad holds a top 10 position in the most popular promotional products. People still love stationery; despite being constantly tied to our phones. The great thing about the notepad is that you can make it work for your brand and your customer. It comes down to the type of notepad, the accessories you team it up with (e.g. pen or pencil), and the design. How and where you position your logo. What message do you want to convey to the audience? Is it a message that inspires and motivations? A message that people want to Instagram?  The target market is wide, so it’s just about finding the right style.

Some considerations:

  • Spiral, Stitched, Stapled
  • Hard Cover, Hard Backing
  • Lines, Blank, Grid
  • With Pen or Pencil
  • Material placeholder
  • Full Colour Print
  • Landscape or Portrait
  • A4, A5, A6, every and any size
  • Leather, Woven, Board

Not Just Another… Beach Towel

Who knew we could change the way we relax at a beach? The rectangle beach towel seems only made for one person use. And then here comes the Round Beach Towel. What’s so good about a beach towel being round? Why has it become a envied beach accessory?

  • More beach coverage – which is good when you find yourself at a packed beach.
  • One towel can suffice two people
  • Enough space to manage fish and chips, computer, bag, beach ball
  • Visibility – for your brand.

It’s the ideal promotional product of the season especially when the Australian Summer means that we have plenty of opportunity to soak up some rays in this heat. On top of that, it is highly Instagrammable when the design aesthetic is captivating and therefore more likely to be included in that beach photo where others can see and will want one for themselves.

A nice alignment with a brand that speaks summer time – fresh, summer, beach, family & friends, enjoyment, carefree.

The Top 15 Most Popular Promotional Products in 2017

Interestingly, the list doesn’t change much from year to year. The innovation comes through on the application…. adding a twist on an old idea works well!

  1. A5 Notebooks
  2. Sports Bottles – Plastic, Tritan, Stainless Steel, Aluminium and A5 Size
  3. Pencils & Pens – Ballpoint Pens always popular
  4. Takeaway Coffee Cups
  5. Fidget Spinners
  6. Drawstring Backpack
  7. Picnic Blankets
  8. Cooler Bags
  9. Powerbanks
  10. Umbrellas
  11. Tote Bags – Cotton always a winner
  12. Coffee Mugs
  13. Jellybeans
  14. Swivel USB Flash Drives
  15. Bluetooth Speakers

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