Marketing Ideas

How to keep your work life organized (9 simple tips)

How to keep your work life organized (9 simple tips)

For many, trying to figure out how to get organized at work can be a real struggle. Sticky notes multiply and pile up on your desk and your email inbox is flooded with unread messages faster than you can answer them. When we are only focusing our energy on the most important tasks at hand then other areas can become less tidy.

Organization is often directly related to productivity. When things are cluttered, attention and performance at work can suffer. But when your thoughts, time, and workspace are organized, your day-to-day tasks become easier to accomplish and more streamlined.

Ready to increase productivity at work? Here are 9 helpful tips to get your work life organized.

Organize your thoughts

1. Get enough Zzz’s

Everyone knows that the amount of sleep you get at night goes hand-in-hand with productivity during the day. Sleep deprivation can cause diminished mental sharpness, a sluggish demeanor, and a bad attitude. Obviously, these characteristics are not good to bring into the workplace. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults between the age of 26 – 64 need 7 – 9 hours of sleep. Most of our brain functions related to focusing or productivity are fueled by energy that we get from sleeping so instead of avoiding bedtime, make sleep a priority.

2. Focus on the task at hand

We are constantly overloaded with multiple tasks to accomplish each day but going from one task to the other is not an efficient way to get work completed. Jumping from task to task can cloud our thoughts and slow down the brain process. I know everyone feels like a superhero when they are doing three things at once and still somehow manage to do everything correctly. In fact, though, it can release a stress hormone in the brain, which can impact the decisions being made. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, "Every time you multitask you aren't just harming your performance in the moment; you may very well be damaging an area of your brain that's critical to your future success at work." Yikes.

3. Take Breaks

Yes, that’s right! Taking breaks actually helps to boost your work performance. These breaks allow your mind to rest and daydream, which can lead to creativity! According to Psychology Today – below are a list of breaks that can be effective during the workday:

  • Meditation helps you detach from work thoughts by clearing your mind and focusing on relaxation.
  • Physical activity helps you increase blood flow to areas in the brain that are necessary for focus and attention.
  • Learning something new or playing a game will help you feel confident and boost motivation.
  • Helping out a colleague will help you feel a sense of social connectedness, which should feel comforting and positive.
  • Setting a new goal and thinking about the future will help you see the bigger picture and re-evaluate life in a positive way.

Organize your time

4. Short-term goals vs. long-term goals

Goals are set to determine what we should focus our energy on. Short-term goals can be defined as goals that you want to achieve in the near future — which can mean today, this week, this month or even this year. Long-term goals are generally set for more than a year away. When setting your goals, choose what is most important right now. Focus mainly on that goal and add additional goals as you become comfortable with your efforts. By setting goals, you create a long-term vision of what you want accomplished and short-term steps to keep you motivated to get there. This can be applied to any aspect of your life — career goals, family goals, exercise goals, etc. Remember, being flexible is important as changes to your life can affect your overall goals.

5. Prioritize

Once the goals are identified then the list of priorities will become obvious. Prioritization is an important step in getting organized – it sets the most important tasks and gives that particular task proper attention, time and energy. This can help you plan your day and is a good way to ensure that you meet deadlines and minimize stress.

6. Schedule your time

Another early morning start to the day and late night at work but you still don’t feel like you have accomplished anything. That is probably because when you get to work you realize you have back-to-back meetings, urgent last-minute requests, and the inevitable distractions. Scheduling your time effectively can been seen as the art of planning activities so that you can achieve your tasks in the time you have available. And an important part of this art is the planning itself.

Set a regular time to do your scheduling – at the start of every week, for example. There are a number of different tools to choose from. A simple and easy way to keep a schedule is to use a pen and paper, organizing your time using a weekly planner, or you can use software such as Google Calendar. From there, square away time for every task you want to complete. This creates deadlines and puts time limits to tasks, making it an automatic time organizer.

Organize your workspace

7. Organize your emails

For many jobs, the computer screen is its own workspace. You want to organize emails like you would paper by create a filing system that makes sense to you. For example, label action emails as TO DO and keep them in your inbox, or you can flag the email to mark that it is a priority or time sensitive. Additionally, you want to keep your email folder organized so you are able to locate past emails easily. This may seem like overkill, but it's often helpful to mark time on the calendar to check your e-mail so you are not constantly bombarded with emails that might not be relevant to your tasks for the day.

8. Organize your paperwork and notes

Sticky notes and scratch paper are almost irrelevant these days due to the different types of technology we have at our fingertips. Notes can be now be typed out on your phone, computer, iPad, etc. Whether you prefer the classic pen and paper or the technology-driven way, make sure you have a filing system. Make different files for each project or client, and when a document comes across your desk either act on it, trash it or file it away. Once the project is complete go back through the file and get rid of anything that isn’t essential.

9. Have essentials within reach

You want to set up your desk in a way that items you use on a regular basis are nearby. Keeping the items at your desk or on your computer will maximize productivity and make organization easier. This can be anything from important documents bookmarked on software you use daily or even a notepad and favorite pen. Once you have a good feeling about your personal setup then you will see how much efficiently you are able to work.

Keeping your work life organized is not only helpful to you but it also beneficial to your customers, co-workers and boss. An organized work space implies competence and dedication which promotes strong work ethic. Following these key organization tips will reduce stress, save you time, and communicate professionalism.

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
Introducing Sarah Selects

Introducing Sarah Selects

Our Merchandising Manager Sarah is one of the first in the office to see pretty much all the products we have on our website. With so many people asking what her new favorites are, we decided to share them in a video series called Sarah Selects.

Check out her first selection below. We think you’ll like it.

 

Find the Adult Color Book Desk Pad Calendar here!

Posted by Lee in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
People’s Choice: the best trade show giveaways for beginners

People’s Choice: the best trade show giveaways for beginners

If you’re preparing to make your trade show debut, one of the first things you’ll need to do is to make a plan for your trade show giveaways It’s a given—attendees expect swag, but with thousands of promotional products out there, how do you know which ones to choose?

The key is to pick the most popular, affordable, and easy-to-order giveaways. Use this guide as a great reference if you want to go into your first trade show with a big splash!

Quick tips for first-time promotional swag items

Not sure where to begin? Here are a few quick tips to get you started when ordering your handouts:

  • According to Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), the top three reasons people keep promotional products are because they’re fun, functional, and trendy. Keep this in mind when ordering your promotional giveaways.
  • First-timers should avoid branded apparel for big events. The ordering process can be complex since you have to have multiple sizes and fits, and it can be difficult to predict how many of what size to buy.
  • Try to order a few months early, especially if you are particular about the items and colors you want, but know that Pinnacle Promotions can help you if you’re in a last-minute bind with our .

Bearing in mind that show-goers want goods that are fun, functional, and trendy, let’s break down the best trade show products into categories that hit all of those marks.

For Fun:

  • Branded Toys – Who doesn’t love a giveaway that also entertains? We love the idea of handing out promotional toys, like branded fidget spinners, promotional plushes, and yo-yos featuring your company’s name or logo. You can even have some of your favorite name brand toys personalized with your logo, like Silly Putty and Rubik’s Cubes. Don’t reserve the promo toys just for kids—grown-ups love them, too!

For Function:

  • Charging Essentials – If there’s one thing most of us don’t have enough of, it’s power for our phones and other devices. Promotional chargers and power banks are some of our most popular trade show giveaways for a simple reason: people use them! And when people are constantly reaching for items that just so happen to promote your product or service, then you know your swag is doing its job.
  • Earbuds or Headphones – Add headphones to the list of Things that Constantly Get Lost alongside your charging cables, adapters, and that other sock. Branded headphones and earbuds are some of our most popular tech giveaways; again, because they tend to get a lot more use than say, a T-shirt, a tote bag or even a promotional pen. Many of our customers are surprised to find that promo headphones can be relatively affordable, too.

For Trend:

  • PopSockets – Offering promotional PopSockets is one surefire way to get all the convention-goers talking about your booth. If you’re not familiar with the PopSocket craze, they're round, rubbery plastic things that stick to the back of your smartphone, acting as a device grip (for the picture-perfect selfie and streaming scenario), a car mount, and a phone stand all in one.
  • Fidget Spinners – Trendy? Still. Fun? Yup. Useful? Sure. Fidget spinners are the trendiest way to help you focus, relieve nervous energy and simply enjoy the sensation of spinning stimulation! We always recommend custom fidget spinners and cubes for companies who want to stay on the cutting edge without taking themselves too seriously. These babies are guaranteed convention hits.

Give ’em something to talk about

The last thing you want to do when entering the trade show circuit is to make a drip rather than a splash, and these fantastic promotional giveaways will ensure that everyone's talking about your exhibit, leading to more stop-bys, sign-ups, sales leads, and personal connections. Taking the time to think about your trade show swag is an important aspect of the planning process and one that will help ensure success for first-time exhibitors and convention pros alike.

 

 

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, Tradeshow Giveaways & Swag, 0 comments
Tips for creating custom tote bags

Tips for creating custom tote bags

In the world of promotional products, custom tote bags reign supreme. They’re up there with branded pens in terms of popularity, and it’s not hard to see why. As a marketing professional, you probably love handing out custom totes at trade shows and events because they’re great at advertising your brand – totes get over 7,000 impressions in their lifetimes. Tote bags leave the house, acting as walking billboards, so they provide a great return on investment.

Another selling point to branded totes is that there’s so much room to work with – literally. If you have a special logo, phrase or image that you want to clearly render front-and-center on some swag, the promo tote will do the job. Tote bags are beloved by recipients, too: they’re practical, versatile, and perfect for collecting swag at industry events. (Think about it – branded swag that holds other branded swag...nice!). Everyone has a use or three or twelve for another tote, so people tend to hang on to them for a long time.

At Pinnacle Promotions, we make designing your promotional products super simple, and we always have helpful customer service agents available for guidance, but it does help if you know a couple of simple tricks and tips before embarking on your first promotional tote endeavor. Use this guide before getting started, and make sure to check out some awesome branded tote bag ideas to ensure that your giveaways hit the mark.

As you probably know, promotional tote bags come in many shapes, sizes and styles that can be customized to suit your particular needs. We can help you choose the right promo totes based on your specific event. Often, we recommend affordable, quick-ship tote bags for events like trade shows, job fairs, and conventions. These are lower cost options that can be filled with literature and other swag items for a relatively low price.

We also offer custom grocery tote bags that are specifically designed for taking to the market. These totes are perfect for companies that focus on the environment (since they can be reused again and again) or food.

Picking the right tote bag

  1. Choose Your Material — We have custom totes made of cotton, jute, polypropylene, recyclable materials, and others. For businesses that really want to reinforce their eco-friendly values, we recommend choosing promotional totes made from natural materials, like cotton, canvas, and jute.
  2. Choose Your Size — We offer small 8-inch by 8-inch bags all the way up to larger 25-inch by 17-inch bags, with a wide variety of different strap lengths. Consider what you intend to carry in your tote when choosing a size.
  3. Choose Your Imprint Type — Consider the method of personalization. We have totes that are printed, stamped, embroidered, screen printed, and transferred with a four-color design process for a totally eye-catching look. While we can work with just about any vision, some artwork looks better in some personalization styles, so if you're unsure, please ask us for advice.
  4. Choose Your Price Point — Are you looking for an economic giveaway bag for a trade show or are you looking for a brand name bag to use for a client gift? Your end use will help guide you to a specific budget.
  5. Choose Your Extra Features — Do you want an outside pocket for a water bottle? An insulated bag to take to the grocery store? A bag with a pen loop? A zippered closure? A morphing bag that folds down so it can be carried in a purse? All of these options help you create a custom tote that’s tailored to your target audience.

Creating Your Tote Bag Artwork

First things first: Before you place your promo tote order, make sure to review our artwork requirements. We prefer print-ready vector artwork delivered in .ai, .eps or .pdf formats, but we can accept some other file types as well. Here are some more quick tips for designing your promotional totes.

  • File type is important. Proper print-ready vector artwork will ensure that you get a high-quality, vividly printed result that won’t be compromised when resized.
  • We will send you a digital proof to approve before creating your order. Make sure to triple-check your proof before approval to ensure there are no typos or other issues with spacing, colors, or printing.

Order Sample Tote Bags from Pinnacle

We know that sometimes it helps to see and feel promotional products in real life to make sure that it suits your company’s specific standards and branding efforts. For a sample of any of our promotional totes or other products, give us a call at 877-300-2007.

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
How to plan and implement a sales award incentive trip

How to plan and implement a sales award incentive trip

The President’s Club (or CEO Club, High Achievers Club, etc.) has become a common way for companies to honor and recognize their high performing employees.  Usually this exclusive “club” is targeted towards sales representatives as a way to motivate them throughout the year to hit their sales targets and to see all of their hard work pay off in a big way when the sales numbers are final.

Top performers are announced within the organization and then typically taken on a trip to celebrate their successes. Sounds great, right? Hit your sales goal, board a plane and enjoy a week in paradise – sign us up! But, someone has to plan this trip. Maybe that someone is you, and you’re not sure how to structure the parameters of the contest let alone plan a weeklong vacation at a resort. Don’t stress! Today we’re sharing ideas that should make the planning process easier.

Set the contest parameters

Prior to deciding what resort you’ll use, what gifts you will give away, or any of the “fun” stuff, you’ll need to determine how you want to structure this contest, and what goal the sales representatives will have to achieve to be considered for this coveted award.

First, have a number of attendees in mind. You’ll need to establish your budget early on in order to make the most of this trip, so knowing how many employees you’ll need to provide transportation and lodging for is extremely important. Once you have that number in mind – maybe it’s 5% of the sales force or more like 10% if you have a larger budget or a smaller group of employees – try to avoid having this contest pan out with winners from only one region.

Your reps will be more motivated if they know the playing field is even from the jump. For example, award the two top performing sales representatives from each regional territory and then the top two overall nationally performing reps. This way, you’ll get a great group of employees from diverse locations across your company’s territories.

Location, location, location

Now that your parameters are set, and your number of attendees is roughly mapped out you’ll need to pick the location for the trip. Some of the most popular destinations for President’s Club trips are tropical resorts or getaways outside of the United States. Interested in a pro tip? Don’t cut corners when you choose the resort. You want this trip to be highly desirable, and also serve as motivation for years to come.  If the President’s Club winners return from the trip and spread the news that the trip was hardly worth the effort they put in all year long, you’re in trouble. All-inclusive resorts are a budgets best friend, you won’t stress out about additional costs like food and beverage, which can fluctuate greatly and are hard to predict.  Don’t forget to account for transportation when you’re planning this getaway – your winners will need to get there somehow!

Announce the winners and send some swag

Once the sales contest has concluded, typically at the end of the year, you’ll need to determine your winners and announce them to the organization. Once your finance or accounting team has had a chance to review the numbers, now comes the fun part – letting the recipients know they’ve won! You can announce the winners of the competition in so many ways, but here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Schedule a conference call or webinar with the entire sales organization and executives
  • Include the announcement in your weekly Sales Newsletter if you have one

Personalized phone calls to the winning reps prior to the announcement to the rest of the organization would be a great way to personally acknowledge their hard work and prepare them. After the organization and recipients are aware that they are being rewarded, send out some customized swag.  We like to call these packages “hype gifts”.  The goal is to acknowledge the winner’s hard work, but also get them excited about the upcoming trip.

If you’re going somewhere tropical, which you most likely are, play up the location theme. Items like branded sunglasses and beach towels are great gifts to get your winners in vacation mode. You can customize these items with your brand logo or even come up with a logo and tagline specifically for the President’s Club trip – we love this option.  It provides a great keepsake and reminder of the hard work that the rep put in to earn the trip and the swag.

Some other great hype gifts are items that make traveling more enjoyable – think Bluetooth earbuds for the plane ride, or a portable phone charger to make sure that all of the devices are charged up and ready to take photos of the trip.  Another great option is to create a short video with footage from the resort so you can really drive home how amazing this trip will be that they are about to embark on.

It’s time for the trip

So it’s finally time for the President’s Club trip to actually take place.  All of your planning and all of the sales team hard work is finally over, and it’s time to enjoy the resort that you meticulously planned out.  You want to make sure that your team feels comfortable and welcomed to the resort when they arrive, and the best way to make sure this happens is with some welcome gifts, or as we like to call it “room drops”.  In a nutshell, room drop gifts are personalized products sent to the resort ahead of time and placed into the employee’s rooms for them to receive once they arrive. It’s always exciting to walk into your room and see that someone at your company has thought of you enough to send a gift to surprise you! The perfect way to choose a room drop gift is to think of what your employees will want to use while they’re enjoying their week in paradise.  Customized apparel – think tank tops, tee shirts or hats – is always a great choice; your employees can sport their branded apparel proudly throughout the week.  Vacuum insulated tumblers are thoughtful room drop gifts; they’ll keep your employees beverages nice and cold.  Backpacks and Bluetooth speakers are also guaranteed crowd pleasers – winners can stow their belongings and bring their favorite tunes to the pool.

Another way to welcome employees is to have a member of Sales Management or maybe even someone from the Executive team, depending on who is attending this trip, meet employees in the lobby of the resort with a smile and a glass of champagne.  Toast the hard work of the individuals who ushered your company towards success over the past year.

Don’t forget that this trip also serves as a fantastic way for members of the organization to get to know each other and network in a no pressure, off site environment.  Don’t be afraid to plan some activities for downtime at the resort, but remember that mostly your employees will want to relax and kick off their shoes after a productive year of sales.

Gather feedback

After everyone has returned from the trip and had some time to get back into the swing of things, send out a survey to gather feedback.  An electronic survey allows employees to anonymously give their honest feedback about the President’s Club Trip.  Ask what they liked or didn’t like, what they wish would have been a part of the trip, or what the company might try to improve upon for next year.  This is a great way to improve upon the quality of the award year after year.

Posted by Lee, 0 comments
Georgia’s hands-free law in effect July 1st 2018

Georgia’s hands-free law in effect July 1st 2018

In our home state of Georgia, the way we use our mobile phones in our cars is about to change. On July 1st, 2018, Georgia residents will join those of 15 other states and Washington, DC, and will no longer be allowed to use hand-held cell phones while driving.

Though texting while driving has been illegal in Georgia for some time, House Bill 673 also prohibits holding or supporting your phone with any part of your body. What does this mean for drivers? Does it mean you can’t talk on your phone? Does it mean you can’t use an app like Google Maps or Waze? What about streaming Podcasts or Audiobooks? Can you still post your stuck traffic selfie on instagram? How can companies benefit from this law (besides having their employees arrive alive)?

Can I talk on the phone while I’m driving?

Though recent studies have advised against it, you can still use your phone for calls. But you must use the phone’s speaker, your car's bluetooth connection, or a hands-free device like a bluetooth headset while your car is in motion.

Sprinter Bluetooth Headset

Bandz Wireless Headset

You can also use the bluetooth headset to use the voice-to-text feature. But beware - no touching your phone to fix typos!

What about GPS? How do I know where I’m going?

While we can't definitively answer the second question, let's try the first. You may remember the days of going to MapQuest and printing out directions to your destination. Or even...and this may date you...using a paper map! (Fun trick for the parents reading this: give your kids an AAA map and have them try to fold it...hours of enjoyment!) But once smartphones became commonplace, those paper printouts were replaced by apps like Waze or Google Maps.

While these apps do speak directions out loud, we’ve all been there...driving along in the left lane when all of a sudden your phone tells you to make a right, RIGHT NOW. So for most people, having a sense of what the next turn will be is important.

According to the law, you can have your phone in the passenger seat or cup holder and look at it. However, that would take your eyes off the road momentarily, defeating the purpose of the law. What many opt to do instead is use a cell phone car mount.

There are several varieties to choose from - the most popular being ones that mount to your dashboard or windshield or ones that attach to your car’s air vent.

Windshield SmartPhone Holder

Auto Phone Mount

I’m in traffic for over an hour each way - can binge-listen to Serial?

This is perhaps one of the most confusing parts of HB 673. According to Heads UP Georgia, streaming apps like Spotify, Audible and Pandora can be used IF the driver starts them while they are parked. However, you *can* use your car's built-in audio controls. So if that Nickelback song comes on mid-drive, you're stuck with it unless you turn off the radio for the next three and a half minutes.

What about social media? I swear I only post selfies while I’m stopped at red lights.

That’s a big fat no. No, no, no.

No quick Facebook updates.

No Instagram humblebrags.

No adding to your Snapchat story.

No replying to an email and no Googling the nearest Starbucks. Also not allowed - Skyping or Facetiming (or any form of videochat), even if it’s done hands free. The law states that a driver cannot record or broadcast a video while driving.

How can I do my part to make sure my fellow drivers are following the law?

Stiff penalties should help deter drivers from breaking the law; up to a $150 fine and up to 3 points on your license. You can also get ahead of the law and help your employees by purchasing branded products that will help them to follow the law – like a branded car phone mount. If you’re in charge of giveaway products for your company, think about choosing a phone mount or promotional bluetooth headset. Associating your brand with safety while saving your customers and employees not only money but their lives...now that’s a win-win.

While these laws have been in effect for years in several states, they are new to Georgia (and presumably more states to come). Depending on your habits, complying with the Hands Free Law may be a piece of cake. Or if you’re guilty of busting out your phone while you’re in bumper-to-bumper traffic on 285, you’re going to have to rethink your ways...or pay. It may take some getting used to, but hands-free laws have shown to significantly decrease traffic accidents and fatalities.

And that’s worth sharing...just not while driving.

 

 

 

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
Top 5 retail inspired drinkware products

Top 5 retail inspired drinkware products

Consumers are demanding more and more out of their drinkware – more capacity! more quality! more features! Brands such as YETI, S’well, Thermos, Tervis, and Nalgene are prominent in the drinkware industry because they have mastered the needs of their consumers. Putting your logo on these retail brands is an investment – with all of the "more"s comes a higher price point – and for many, a worthwhile one. A branded YETI tumbler carries a high perceived value that is as much gift as it is marketing piece.

But not every company wants to spend brand-name money for brand-name products. For those companies on a budget, some of the manufacturers we work with have created more affordable versions with many of the features that consumers love about the retail brands. These are not cheap knock-offs, either – they're quality drinkware products made from quality materials that carry a cachet of their own. Here are five examples of promotional drinkware pieces that are comparable — if not better — than the name brands.

Himalayan vs. YETI Tumbler

The YETI brand has exploded into the market as a forever fan favorite for superior drinkware. The brand has not only become the leader in drinkware for the rugged/outdoor market — hunters and fisherman — but lately they've become known as a high-end luxury brand, while retaining their outdoorsy roots. A great alternative to the YETI is a customized Himalayan tumbler, which provides the copper vacuum insulation and stainless steel strength of a YETI, and is the perfect choice for both hot and cold beverages. The snap-on, spill-resistant thumb-slide lid is a great feature for people on-the-go. The fun colors that are offered in the powder coat finish are also reflective of YETI’s famous appearance. The Himalayan is the perfect quality piece of drinkware that will never disappoint.

In addition to branding on one side or a full wrap, the Two-Tone Himalayan Tumbler can also be customized with a full color packaged box, which means more branding real estate! This is a great tool to use if you are looking to go one step further with the way you present a quality drinkware piece to your customers.

Check out the Himalayan tumbler here >

h2go force vs. S’well

Unless you live under a rock, you have most likely seen a S’well bottle. Maybe you have one...or five. Why are people still hyped about this bottle? Maybe it's the easy-to-hold shape. Maybe it's the solid stainless steel insulating qualities. Maybe it's the wide variety of colors and patterns that are perfectly on-trend. Whatever the reason, people, and companies, think they're, um, S'well.

Our selected alternative, the h2go force, comes in iridescent colors that mimic the numerous colors and patterns of the S’well bottle. The h2go force is offered in a number of sizes – choose from 17 oz., 26 oz., or 34 oz. to fit your needs. Perhaps your customers want the smaller 17 oz. bottle so it fits into their purse or backpack but they want the 34 oz. bottle for camping trips to hold more beverage, whether that be water or wine (we won't judge).

ARRIS Group Inc. provided these bottles as a gift to the interns at the end of the ARRIS Internship Program. They wanted a drinkware piece that was affordable, low minimum order quantity and a quick turn time. They were so pleased with the quality that of the item that a second order was placed only two months later.

Check out the h2go force tumbler here >

Punch vs. Contigo

A huge player in the travel mug industry is of course, Contigo – simple, sleek, and spillproof. The Punch tumbler mimics the Contigo style and is perfect for the on-the-go fashion-forward consumer. The Punch tumbler is easy to hold and drink while also fitting perfectly into a cup holder. Whether you are an iced coffee person or if you prefer the traditional hot coffee in the mornings, the tumbler will keep your drink hot or cold with the double wall construction for insulation. Thanks to the snap-on sip through lid, no more worrying about spills on your lap! If you want to travel smart and in-style, the Punch tumbler is your cup of tea...or coffee!

Our tennis division, Netknacks, offered these travel tumblers on their website and they became a huge hit (get it??)! The customers loved being able to use them for a variety of reasons, whether it was the early morning match over the weekend or morning-commute coffee during the week.

Check out the Punch tumbler here >

Tritan vs. Tervis

Let’s face it – it isn’t easy to find a drinkware piece that's attractive to all ages, but the Tervis Tumbler is definitely an exception. Its impact- and shatter-resistance and double wall construction to hold and cold liquids makes it indestructible whether you are a child, teenager or adult! The customized Tritan tumbler is a perfect lower-priced alternative with its optional snap on lid and 9” straw, making it the perfect sippable giveaway. The Tritan tumbler is also known for the unique customization capabilities where the decoration is inserted in between the clear double walls of the tumbler and sealed to provide insulation. You can put your logo on an embroidered round patch, screenprint on a white or silver full wrap insert, or customize on an oval dome. This USA made product is a true American classic.

Check out the Tritan Tumbler here >

h2go wide vs. Nalgene

Whether consumers are planning a picnic, mountain climbing, cycling, or just need a new water bottle for their kid to use in grade school, Nalgene is the go-to pick because it is easy to handle. The promotional h2go wide tumbler offers the same lid retaining loop of a Nalgene for anyone who is on-the-go. For all the parents out there, this water bottle design is perfect for cleaning due to the wide neck so say goodbye to those terrible odors. And for all the non-adults out there, the h2go wide becomes a canvas to put your own personality on. This large and in-charge (34 ounces to be exact) drinkware piece is a great choice due to its convenience and durability. In fact, all 52 regions of Teach for America use the h2go wide for recruitment through the year. They are clearly experts in understanding their target market!

Check out the h2go wide tumbler here >

If you are looking to leave a lasting impression without breaking the bank, these promotional drinkware pieces are perfect giveaways and corporate gifts. These quality promotional items take all of the best features of popular name brand drinkware and deliver them in a more affordable way...everybody wins!

Check out all of our drinkware – name-brand and comparable alternatives – at pinnaclepromotions.com

 

 

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
Top 5 t-shirt styles for Casual Fridays

Top 5 t-shirt styles for Casual Fridays

by Sarah Gricius, Merchandising Manager

It’s casual Friday at the office and you rummage through the closest trying to figure out which company branded t-shirt to wear until you realize your favorite one is in the dirty clothes….UGH! Guess you will have to wear that stiff and scratchy one that is bundled up in a ball at the bottom of the dresser. Don’t be that company that gives your employees “those” t-shirts they never want to wear. Give them the option to wear your logo proudly on a comfortable, great-looking t-shirt they will wear over and over again.

On PinnaclePromotions.com, we offer hundreds of different t-shirt styles, so how do you know which is the right one? Well, I've done all the hard work for you...you're welcome. Below I've detailed my Top Five Casual Friday T-Shirt Styles – each one is not only a personal fave of mine, but each style receives outstanding reviews from our customers. Make sure to ask for a sample from our team here at Pinnacle so you can experience them for yourselves.

1. Alternative Unisex Keeper Vintage Jersey

check it out on PinnaclePromotions.com >

This shirt is hands-down my all time favorite and I would buy it in every color! To begin, Alternative is a retail brand known best for comfort, simplicity and its commitment to sustainability. The items produced by Alternative are specially washed which provides a soft texture that pre-shrinks them as well.

The Keeper Vintage Jersey is a 50% Cotton / 50% Polyester blend which offers stretch in the material. Blends are known for versatility and durability, they can maintain shape and the color of the shirt will not fade through several wash cycles. The 4.4 ounce weight of the shirt allows for a lighter and more breathable fit. I like to consider the Vintage Jersey as an "athleisure" piece in my wardrobe. When screenprinting on the shirt, I would suggest using a soft hand ink without a white underlay to match the soft texture of the shirt. This will prevent the logo from being stiff which is never a comfortable feeling.

Colors available: Black, Blue Sky, Maize, Navy, Red, Silver, Smoke Grey, Southern Orange, Vintage Coal, Vintage Iris, Vintage Navy, Vintage Pine, Vintage Royal, Vintage Stone, White

Sizes available: XS - 3XL, Unisex fit

2. Next Level CVC Crew

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I own several of these tees and love to wear them as my Sunday lounge attire. What I refer to as the Champion of Casual but better known as the Next Level CVC, Chief Value Cotton, Crew is a Pinnacle pick throughout the office. The "CVC" in the name refers to a cotton and polyester blend with a heavier percentage of cotton. This tee has a make up of 60% cotton and 40% polyester, making for a great quality and budget-friendly t-shirt – a win all around. Polyester threads are strong and tend to have more stretch and memory compared to a Rayon thread. Rayon threads are relatively weak and often need to be dry cleaned therefore they have the tendency to shrink if not cared for properly.

Almost all colors in the this t-shirt feature a heathered look but it's most prominent in the gray color family. Another great feature is the tear-away customizable label so you can really brand every inch of the shirt. Print on the shirt AND the label for ultimate customization. The shirt is only 4.3 oz., so it may feel like a thin material, but from personal experience the quality and print holds up through several wash cycles.

Colors available: Apple Green, Banana Cream, Black, Bondi Blue, Cardinal, Charcoal, Cream, Dark Heather Grey, Espresso, Ice Blue, Indigo, Kelly Green, Light Olive, Midnight Navy, Military Green, Mint, Neon Heather, Neon Yellow, Orange, Purple Rush, Red, Royal, Sand, Silk, Stone Gray, Storm, Tahiti Blue, Turquoise, Warm Gray, White

Sizes available: XS-2XL, also available in Men's style

3. ComfortWash by Hanes 5.5 oz. 100% Ringspun Cotton Garment Dyed T-shirt

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My Hanes were all over this shirt when I received my first sample in the Deep Forte (medium purplish-blue) color. I was in complete shock when I first saw the brand of the t-shirt – I usually think of Hanes as the cost-effective brand that is great to buy for value, but the ComfortWash tee from Hanes has the softness of a blanket. It's made with American grown cotton and enzyme washed which gives it the ultra soft feel. With the Hanes ComfortWash, I don’t have to sacrifice softness to get the look I love. This tee definitely keeps my skin smiling!

Colors available: Anchor Slate, Black, Concrete, Coral Craze, Crimson Fall, Cypress Green, Deep Forte, Mint, Navy, New Railroad, Purple Pim Raisin, Soothing Blue, Summer Sky, Summer Squash, White

Sizes available: S-3XL

4. Threadfast Apparel Unisex Triblend Short-Sleeve T-shirt

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Heathered, or what I like to call weathered, shirts are a trendy take on casual wear that I hope never goes out of style. The marbled appearance of the fabric provides a visual interest on an otherwise simple piece of apparel. The Threadfast Jersey Short Sleeve T-shirt is retail inspired and the smooth surface of the tee is ideal for screenprinting. I would suggest a simple one color imprint on this tee since there is already a natural marbled background. This tee consists of 95% polyester and 5% cotton so it can easily be considered a top pick for the sportswear industry as well. I like to wear my Threadfast tee when I take my dog out for walks or if I plan on spending a day outside at the park.

Colors available: Black Triblend, Cardinal Black Triblend, Cream Triblend, Green Triblend, Grey Triblend, Mint Triblend, Navy Triblend, Orange Triblend, Red Triblend, Royal Black Triblend, Royal Triblend

Sizes available: S-2XL, Unisex fit

5. District Made Scorecard Tee / Game Day Tee

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The District Made Scorecard Tee (mens version is called the Gameday Tee) adds just the right flair to the basic tee. This tee screams retro game-day with the distressed printed stripes on the sleeves! It is one of my favorites because it brings me back to the University days where I loved sporting my school spirit! As a company, you can bring that spirit to life with your company logo printed on this tee, and the Game Tee gives you a chance to have fun with your logo and retro-fy it. Remember, what was old will become new again.

The 4.5 oz. weight of the shirt is right in the sweet spot: not too heavy and not too light which makes it the perfect tee to wear outside! The build up is another 60% cotton and 40% polyester blend and features a tear-away label. With the vintage look and great quality material, this tee will score year 'round.

Colors available: Heathered Charcoal and White, Heathered Nickel and White, Heathered True Navy and White, Heather True Royal and White

Sizes available: XS-4XL, also available in Men's style (Gameday Tee)

Conclusion

There are hundreds of different t-shirt styles to put your logo on, and although this post only highlighted my 5 top styles, it is a great starting point for your next project. At Pinnacle, we pride ourselves on being experts in the products we offer – you can trust that any one of these styles will be a great quality t-shirt to Make the Right Impression on your employees and customers.

 

 

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
NetKnacks Booth Sales Diary: USTA Southern Sectional Championships, Mobile, AL

NetKnacks Booth Sales Diary: USTA Southern Sectional Championships, Mobile, AL

March 9-11, 2018

by Darlene Jefferson, Program Director, NetKnacks Tennis Awards

NetKnacks is all about spreading the love of tennis, and one of the most rewarding things I get to do for NetKnacks is spread that tennis love at USTA Sectional Championship Events. Players have worked really hard to earn their spots at these events and get one step closer to a National Championship.

At these events, NetKnacks sells USTA Sectional Championship attire and other imprinted items so each player can commemorate this special event. We just attended the USTA Southern Sectional Championships in Mobile, AL, where there were over 1200 players from across the southern region – Adult, 18 & Over, & 40 & Over, Men’s & Women’s – and I can’t say enough about how excited they were to see us in attendance.

Southern is one of the best-attended events for our booth sales program, and preparation was an adventure. The day before the event, we drove from Atlanta to Mobile in the largest cargo van I have ever driven in my life, completely filled to the brim with our booth and all of the tennis promotional products we could stuff into it. Luckily, we made it in one piece. As we do before every booth sale, we went to the site to stake out the best spot. We always try to choose a location where everyone has to pass our booth – of course they'll love what they see, so they'll stop by!! The Mobile Tennis Center folks were the perfect hosts and let us set up in the front of the parking lot, at the entrance to the tennis center and right by the food trucks where everyone would be getting their lunch throughout the day (mmmm...food trucks…).

We arrived very early – in the dark (5:30 AM to be exact) – the Friday of the event, since players begin to show up at 7:30 AM and we knew we needed to be ready. We start out every booth set-up by putting out our product options on our three tables and our amazing hanging rack so everyone can see all the apparel options, just like at a rock concert merch stand. And we sure did feel like rockstars. Within 15 minutes of being open, the players took over the booth and we were non-stop ringing up sales with long lines of people waiting to purchase. We kept busy until we closed the booth that day at 5:00 PM. We reorganized, packed up and went directly to bed exhausted from a very successful booth day. And then we did it again. And again. We repeated this process for two more days until the event ended and we were almost completely sold out!

I drove the very large – and empty – van back to Atlanta on Sunday afternoon thrilled with the results of the weekend. Everyone wanted their own special item to bring home to show that they made it to this championship event. Some players even came back several times over the weekend – some could not decide on just one item, and some decided to purchase some of our items as gifts to use throughout the year.

We are constantly bringing new products to the booths and only bring the best quality so that our players will love them and use them over and over again. For USTA Southern, the merchandise we selected included practical drinkware and apparel options as well as fun items like our wine sippy cup, our LOVE Koozie, and our LOVE Net Check. Practical items include Nike Hats and Visors, Tennis Attire, Pullovers, Jackets, Tennis Towels, Coolers, Grips & Drinkware. In Mobile, we sold out of our wine sippy cups within the first hour of being open, a record for us!! I guess Alabamians are thirsty.

NetKnacks primarily sells our items via our online store (netknacks.com), so it is a real treat to see personal reactions of how actual players receive our products. We also learn from them when they give us new product ideas to add to our offering. We meet with our suppliers on a monthly basis throughout the year to see what is new and exciting in the market and what item is the current craze (i.e. fidget spinners) so you never know what you will see at our next booth!

This is just the beginning of a great 2018 tennis season and we look forward to attending sectionals all over the United States in the upcoming months!! Next stop, USTA Southwest in Tucson, Arizona – here we come! I don't think I'll be driving the van for this one.

Posted by Benjy Rose in Case Studies, Marketing Ideas, Promotional Products Around Town, 0 comments
The paradox of overchoice: how many options are too many?

The paradox of overchoice: how many options are too many?

by Dave Weintraub, CEO

Luckily, I do not go to the grocery store very often.

When I do go, I usually spend three times what I was planning on spending and often I forget what I was originally supposed to buy and have to go back. Recently, I came home from work one night, and my wife asked me to go to our local Publix to get pasta sauce. “No problem” I replied, grabbed my keys and headed down the street thinking it would be a quick in and out.

Wow, was I wrong. How hard can it be to buy a jar of sauce at a grocery store? How about 45 minutes hard.

 

Jars and jars and jars....

I walked into the store and immediately headed for the pasta aisle. Prego. That was the name stuck in my head. My thought was to walk right over, grab the first jar I see and then head straight to the express checkout. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

First, Prego has about 35 different kinds of sauce. You have to make a choice. Do you want a Favorite, a Classic Italian, or a Premium? What about a Prego Farmer’s Market version with organic ingredients? There was traditional, tomato basil with garlic, fresh mushroom, homestyle, meat-flavored. Seriously!? I was absolutely overwhelmed...and that was just one brand. There’s also Newman’s Own, Bertoli, Ragu, Barilla, and the private-label Publix versions of all of these. With all of the combinations, there had to be at least a hundred different options staring back at me.

"This is what you want."

I was just standing there staring at the shelves for 10 minutes when the stockperson came up to me and asked me if I needed help. “I don’t know” was all I could say. The reality of the situation was that I was actually scared to choose something because I knew that if I came home with the wrong jar my wife would just send me back out again.

The stockperson and I went back and forth for another 10 minutes. Did I want garlic? Vegetarian or meat? Peppers and onions? My head was spinning until suddenly I heard a familiar voice, “What are you doing?” Thankfully, it was my wife’s best friend. She lives down the street and happened to be shopping. After begging her not to tell, I explained my predicament. She laughed, reached over my shoulder, grabbed a jar, and said “This is what you want”. I took it, said thanks, and ran.

Overchoice defined

In the car on the way home I started to wonder what just happened. I don’t usually have a tough time making decisions, but this was different. It wasn’t that there was a right or wrong decision to make – I would imagine that all of the sauces pretty much taste the same. The question is, what do you do when you have to make a decision between items that all seem the same?

That is the paradox of choice…or what psychologists call the phenomenon of “Overchoice”. The simple definition is that people have a difficult time making a decision when faced with too many equivalent choices. The process was first named and written about in 1970, but there have been numerous studies since then that document the struggles of choice.

We’re all faced with this every day from college options, to career options, to romantic relationships. Modern technology makes our increased options even greater, with easy access to information. We’ve all been there. When was the last time you went to Amazon with the intent to buy something you were certain about and ended up leaving the site with nothing? It happens to the best of us. We read the reviews, look at “similar” products and then just get frustrated and overwhelmed and can’t bring ourselves to press 1-click to order.

How many choices are too many?

A few years ago researchers put together a study to gauge just how many choices are too many. They went to a grocery store and put out six jars of jelly. Forty percent of the shoppers stopped to take a look at the selection and a whopping 30% actually purchased something. The next week the researchers put out 24 varieties of Jelly. Just as you would expect, it attracted more people! Sixty percent of the people stopped to take a look at the layout – a huge number. But, surprisingly, only three percent of the shoppers actually bought something.

The researchers concluded that having such a large number of equally good options is too mentally draining because each option has to be weighed against the others. Initially, more choices leads to more satisfaction, but as the number increases, it peaks and then people tend to feel more confusion, pressure, and potential dissatisfaction. A smaller number of choices leads to increased satisfaction and less regret. The pressure of choice is even more extreme when you add in limited-time constraints.

The solution: how to overcome overchoice

My sauce-choosing experience was just a small example of what a typical consumer is faced with during the day, but I also see it a lot at work. At Pinnacle Promotions, we sell imprinted promotional products and corporate apparel. As a distributor, the choice options are almost endless. We literally have access to about 700,000 different products on which a company can print its logo.

We have a phenomenal website with hundreds of categories, tens of thousands of products and a multitude of imprint methods. But what do you do as a client when your boss tells you to find products that you can give away at a trade show? It can be simply overwhelming. You can go to 10 different websites and everything looks the same – Overchoice in all of its glory.

Here’s the thing, though. My wife’s friend knew what I wanted because she knows me and my family. She spends enough time with us to know what would satisfy our needs, fit in our budget, and make me look good. This is how you overcome the Overchoice dilemma – with individuals who understand what you are looking for, know the questions to ask, and people that you can trust to help narrow down your choices to a manageable level.

And that's exactly what we do at Pinnacle – we train our staff to be product experts so that they can help you find exactly what you need at the right price.

The stockperson at Publix was there to help, but he didn’t really know what I wanted, so his suggestions only made me more confused. It took someone who had a relationship with me and my family to get me where I needed to go. Easy access to products and information can give you more choice, but is it the right choice?

My suggestion: make choices easier in your business life and surround yourself with partners, vendors, and suppliers that take the time to learn what your business is all about and learn about you as a human being, not just a potential sale.

 

Dave Weintraub started Pinnacle Promotions with his brother Mitch in 1994. In the ensuing years, he's seen the options for branded merchandise – and the access to those options – expand dramatically. His goal with Pinnacle is, and has always been, to take all of these options and narrow them down to just the right ones.

 

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments