Marketing Ideas

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

check it out on PinnaclePromotions.com >

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

check it out at PinnaclePromotions.com >

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

check it out at PinnaclePromotions.com >

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

check it out at PinnaclePromotions.com >

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
5 super-important visual merchandising tips to design a product showroom

5 super-important visual merchandising tips to design a product showroom

When you walk into many businesses, you see photos or displays that tell a story about the company. As a promotional products company, our story is products: we sell thousands of different products across a broad spectrum of product categories. Rather than jamming as many products as possible onto shelves to show that broad spectrum, though, we strive to present a retail experience.

Our showroom at Pinnacle Promotions displays a tidy collection of product groups that highlight items we can customize. These products aren’t arranged that way by accident – they are visually merchandised with intention to help the products sell themselves.

While our business is primarily online, our office does get foot traffic – many of our larger clients visit for regular check-ins, and we bring prospects through to see the breadth of our promotional agency. It's important that our showroom effectively presents the products we sell to help our customers (and our employees) understand their uses and intentions, just like a retail showroom would.

Good merchandising drives traffic to your business (think window shopping) and influences customers to purchase once they're inside. Merchandising can have a positive impact on sales by providing a memorable experience. Customers are more likely to return in the future if they find a business that is well organized and attractive. According to the article, Why Visual Merchandising Matters More Than Ever, 65% of individuals say they are visual learners and visuals increase message retention by 42%. Therefore, visual merchandising combines both a creative and scientific aspect to help get the message across faster with more impact.

Not really sure how to get started with visual merchandising for your business? The following five actions will help you create an effective visual merchandise display to catch your customer’s attention and get them to spend money with you!

1. Define your target customer

We all respond differently to different messages, and those differences are generally affected by our age, income, and education level. Diving deeper, you can look at buying behaviors and psychographics – values, opinions, attitudes, and interests. Knowing more about your target customers' lifestyles will help determine your displays' product selections, layouts, and messages.

This may seem obvious – if your customers are predominantly women, you'll want to display items that will appeal more to women – but it goes beyond the surface demographics. If your research determines that your target customers tend to be interested in music, you would be wise to pepper your displays with music-themed products, even if you're not selling music products. The more you can hit your customers' hot buttons, the more effective your displays will be.

2. Group like items together

promotional product themes | Pinnacle Promotions

Product bundling will offer an easy shopping experience for your customers. Grouping products together will entice the customer to purchase more – we're all about convenience. Product grouping can be based on any attribute: start with theme, color, type, or size, and let your mind go from there. Just think of the layout at your local grocery store: the bread is right next to the peanut butter and jelly and the lunch meat is right next to the cheese.

At Pinnacle Promotions, we base our displays around themes. Using themes gives our customers a better understanding of how to use the products while making the experience more interesting. Our showroom currently displays the following themes:

Spring Fever
These products incorporate the pastel colors of spring to highlight seasonal trends.

Rugged Outdoors
These products are inspired by the great outdoors which will motivate you to get outside with products designed to perform.

On-the-go Tech
These products have an elegant design to help you stay organized, light on your feet, moving at the speed of sound, and help navigate your busy lifestyle.

Retro Style
These nostalgia and vintage-inspired items are making a comeback as they trigger a happy feeling of the past. In an era of #ThrowbackThursday and #FlashbackFriday, retro products are becoming a trend again!

Natural Serenity
These products have a timeless quality that allow you to escape reality with materials and styles taken from nature.

Global Community
These products feature unique patterns borrowed from around the world. They merge the best of our ancestry with today’s modern aesthetic for one of kind pop of pattern that is designed to bring you to a whole new world of style.

Corporate Premiums
These unique and high-end products can make a great impact on customers or employees as a way to leave a lasting impression.

3. Follow the Rule of Three

Rule of three | Pinnacle Promotions

A principle that most visual merchandisers abide by is the Rule of Three. When creating a display, try to work in sets of three instead of having items side by side. Displaying products in groups of three provides visual interest – the eyes always have something to focus on and continue to jump from product to product. This concept derives from the Pyramid Principle, which suggests that displays should have a triangular (pyramid) shape. The largest item is placed at the top center and the smaller items are on the outside, creating a step down from the focal point. The principle allows for variety in the surface so displays do not feel flat. The article by Barbara Wright, Principle #3: Pyramid Power, gives some great examples of how to use the principle with glasses displays.  

This method is also employed in writing, economics, film, photography, and many other disciplines. Here are some tips when using the Rule of Three for merchandising:

  • Choose closely related products
  • Experiment! Try moving around the products to show different angles
  • Make these products the focal point of your display

4. Refresh your displays

Customers like to see new and unique products when they return to a store, and it falls on the visual merchandiser to create innovative ways to display the products. Maintaining the same displays over time will produce a stagnant environment and discourage repeat customers, while constantly refreshing displays will create interest and enable merchandisers to show more of the breadth of available products.

Additionally, refreshing a display can help the visual merchandiser experiment and help with identifying what really makes the brand stand out. Try it, measure it, adjust it, repeat... Learn from what worked previously and grow from that knowledge!

5. Keep brand consistency

The consistency of visual branding and messaging throughout a store strengthens your brand identity and creates a positive sentiment for your company. When a brand shows consistent messaging, customers will feel that your brand is more dependable. Imagine going to a retail store where everything is well organized and the customer service is remarkable but when you return two weeks later, the sales reps are flinging clothes around and not being attentive. You would get mixed messages and wonder who and what the store is really about. It works the same way when merchandising a showroom; if you maintain consistency through your brand, customers will have the feeling that they can trust you.

At Pinnacle Promotions, our reputation is built on ensuring brand consistency for our clients...and for ourselves. From the people that work here to the products we sell we all have understanding of how to Make the right impression.™

So, in conclusion...

Creating the perfect product display requires a number of factors to take into account. First, know who your customers are...and what they want. Group your products together by whatever method makes sense for your business. Try the Rule of Three. Keep your displays fresh and new. And be consistent with your messaging.

Experiment with these techniques and keep your eyes open to new trends so you can continue to add to your merchandising knowledge. It is important to track what works and constantly adapt based on the needs of your target customer. Now, armed with these visual merchandising tips, go forth and see how much you can increase sales with effective product displays!

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
Planning the perfect golf tournament

Planning the perfect golf tournament

If you’re looking for a fun (and productive) way to raise money for a charity or organization, but are tired of hosting the same old events, a golf tournament can provide the perfect fundraising platform. With close to 26 million golfers in the US alone, a golf outing is sure to attract lots of participants.

Planning and executing a golf tournament can seem like a daunting task, but we’re sharing some tips of the trade to make the planning process a breeze.

Define your budget

It's important to determine your budget early in the planning process to guide the rest of your decisions. Make sure to take into account marketing & advertising, course rental, municipal fees (if any), outside tournament planners, food & beverage, and participant gifts. If you've never organized a golf event before, it may be wise to hire an outside planning firm to help get you going.

Pick the appropriate golf course

Once you have determined the parameters of your budget, you’ll need to decide what course is appropriate for your golf event. Think about what types of players will be participating in the tournament – are these causal or novice golfers, or are they basically PGA pros? The main objective of the outing is to make sure your golfers are having a good time while helping you to raise money for your cause, so you want them to feel comfortable and equipped to take on whatever course you choose.

Anticipate attendance

Don’t be afraid to put a cap on the number of groups that you allow to enter the event. No one wants to spend 8 hours golfing 18 holes, so taking some time to get to know the course and the ideal number of golfers it allows for is crucial. When in doubt, reach out to employees at the course hosting your golf outing so that they can lend their professional opinion.

Sign up sponsors

We can’t say this enough – sponsors are essential to executing a successful golf outing! Define levels of sponsorship so that local businesses have options when it comes to how much they are willing to donate to the cause. A headlining sponsorship could include having the businesses name and logo on all golf outing digital and printed advertising, whereas a "hole sponsorship" may just include signage at a particular hole on the course and a table where employees from that business can sit and network with golfers as they complete the course. Sponsorship could also take the form of food and drink donations — don’t confine your sponsors to monetary donations. Bottled water, chips and snacks, pop and adult beverages are all necessary so ask businesses if they would be willing to donate any of those.

Advertise, advertise, advertise

Now that you’ve got your budget, course and sponsors worked out, you need to spread the word about the outing with an invitation. This invitation can be printed or digital, but you’ll want it to include all of the important details (where, what time, sponsors names, entry fee, etc.).

When it comes to sending out the invitation think about your organization's established channels of communication and use them to your advantage. Do you have a massive social media following? Post that invitation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Or maybe you have a solid list of email contacts – send out the invitation that way. Use whatever channels of communication you know work best for your organization. It could even be dropping in to local businesses in person and asking them to hang the invitation on a bulletin board.

Gather your army of volunteers

To pull off a smooth and successful golf tournament, you’ll need to have lots of helping hands. Enlist volunteers that are familiar with your cause or organization, knowledgeable about the game of golf, or in a perfect world, both! Try to have at least a few volunteers that know enough about golf that they can answer questions that some of your less knowledgeable volunteers may have about the game. Break your volunteers into groups so that it’s easily to delegate tasks – registration, food and beverage, course supervision, etc. are good places to start. The more clear your volunteers are about their jobs on tournament day, the more efficiently they will be able to pull of their roles.

Keep the food and beverages flowing

Your golfers have paid their entry fees to support your cause, so make sure they are well taken care of on the day of the tournament. Have a group of volunteers ride around in golf carts throughout the day to make sure that golfers on all parts of the course have whatever they need. Don’t forget to coordinate with the golf course to make sure they have on-site food for after the event, or can contract with a caterer. It’s common to throw an after-outing bash in the clubhouse or at a nearby bar or restaurant so that participants can enjoy dinner and some prizes (we’ll get to that part shortly!).

Make it memorable

A common way to make playing the 18 holes even more fun is to host contests at specific holes along the course. Awarding prizes for the longest putt, longest drive, and closest to the pin are ways to keep competition high throughout the day. Photo booths, live music, and selling mulligans prior to tee-off are also unique ways to ensure golfers will remember your golf outing for years to come.

People love prizes….and raffles

Back to that after-outing bash we talked about before! Having raffles or silent auctions during this party can be a great way to raise extra funds. Talk to your participating sponsors or local businesses and professional sports teams to see if they are willing to donate prizes for the raffles. Sports memorabilia, tickets to a local sporting event, golf clubs, gift cards and gift baskets are all great prizes that golfers are sure to bet big on. In addition to raffles or silent auctions, think about awarding trophies or other promotional gifts (glassware, business bags, high tech gifts) to the winning team.

Titan Deep Freeze 2 Day Lunch Cooler

Titleist® Pro V1 Golf Ball

Titleist® Players 4 Stand Bag

Don’t let your golfers leave without a swag bag

Everyone loves a good swag bag – so make sure you plan out some appropriate golf promotional products products to give to your golfers either upon arrival or when they depart the outing. A good mix of golf specific products and more general products is critical to pleasing the crowd. Tumblers, Bluetooth speakers and golf towels and tools are sure to be a hit with golfers. Here are some of our favorite pieces for golf outing giveaways:

The Tugo Copper Vacuum Tumbler and Can Insulator is a perfect giveaway for the day of the outing. Hand this tumbler out to your golfers upon their arrival so that they can use it on the course to hold their cans and beverages.

Umbrellas top the list of the most useful promotional giveaways, and the 62” Tour Golf Umbrella is no exception. Featuring a large decoration area for your organization’s logo, this piece will remind golfers of your outing and your cause long after the day is over.

This high end Cutter & Buck divot tool is a 3-in-1 wonder. Featuring a bottle opener, magnetic ball marker and a belt clip – this tool will become a staple every golfers bag.

Ask for feedback

Last but certainly not least, send a thank you note or email to all of the golfers who participated in your outing – after all, without them the event would not have been possible. Take a photo of the entire group after play is finished on the day of your outing and include this photo in the follow up, it’s a great reminder of the fun they had on the day. Also include a survey to ask golfers what they liked about the outing and what you could improve upon for the next year.

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
Why do recipients keep promotional products? (Top 5 Reasons)

Why do recipients keep promotional products? (Top 5 Reasons)

Have you ever considered the reasons why people actually own promotional products? Of course, many organizations hand out promotional products during events, and there's the occasional instance of accidental pen thievery, but what are the motivations for hanging on to these giveaways? Gaining insight to why people opt to keep your custom pens, branded polo shirts, and logoed tumblers can help you choose the most effective promotional items for your company to invest in, increasing the likelihood of impressions, brand interest, and cause awareness.

In a 2017 consumer study conducted by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), over 1,000 individuals were surveyed on the reasons they chose to keep a promotional item. Of the top 10 reasons listed in the study, here are the top 5 that we feel are most important to our customers:

#5: Symbolism

17% of people surveyed keep promotional products because the item represents a cause they align with. While many organizations build brand and cause awareness through fundraising with inexpensive, high-quality promotional products, these items also make great giveaways at local events, as well as symbolic keepsakes for community volunteers and donor appreciation!

Non-Profit Organizations and other Associations participate largely in symbolism because of the affordability aspects, as well as the reach of cause awareness through passionate supporters and advocates.

USA Made Canvas Tote Bag

Wooden Cube Blossom Kit

The Cinema Light Box Key-Light

#4: Loyalty

22% of people keep promotional products because they support the brandWhen consumers like the company's products or services offered, or when they’ve had an exceptional experience with a company, they talk about it. Receiving a promotional product from a brand they’re loyal to generates more positive referrals from devoted customers.

Here at the office, we wear and carry a LOT of Pinnacle Promotions branded promotional items! Shameless plug, yes, but aside from what WE like, it’s common to see promotional items being carried by local gym members, college alumni, hipster Apple fanatics and so many other loyal consumers! Brand loyalty sometimes extends to the brand of the product itself. If your brand is less well known, consider investing in name brand promotional products like Nike or YETI, customized with your logo, as an opportunity to increase brand awareness. Your customers' loyalty to the manufacturer can be shared with your company, giving your brand an added boost.

OGIO Shuttle Pack

Corkcicle® 9 oz. Canteen

Toddy Gear Micro-USB Cable w/Apple Lightning Adapter

#3: Experience

28% of people keep promotional products because they have memorable value! Consumers are everywhere participating in everything from local community events to national conventions and festivals. In recent years, it has become an expectation of consumers to be reached at a personal level and there is no better way to create a resounding connection at these events than with a promotional item!

This is evident if you’ve ever seen an authentic Woodstock t-shirt, or a bag from SXSW, or a button pin from HOW Design Live, or a Koozie from the local arts festival down the street. People keep things that remind them of an awesome learning experience or an amazing time they had and if your company is participating in any type of similar event, you’ll want to show up with custom promotional items in hand!

Burlap Little Buddy with Neoprene Pocket

Sport-Tek Heather-On-Heather Contender Tee

Full Color and Pantone Matched Drawstring Bag

#2: Design

43% of people keep promotional products because they fit their style or personality. Show of hands, who hasn’t seen a neon chartreuse or chevron printed, anything?! To help customize niche marketing campaigns, it’s imperative to keep up with industry and retail trends. Trendy promotional items attract people to your brand through colors, textures, patterns and construction! If there is something out there that speaks to your clientele specifically, it can, in most cases, be made into a promotional item.

Poppi Glass Tumbler - 20 oz.

Marble Hard Bound JournalBook™ Bundle Set

Allen Wood Tone Sunglasses

#1: Functionality

The number one reason that people hang on to promotional items is for functional purposes. In fact, 85% of people own promotional products because they’re functional! We can venture to say that a majority of people enjoy products that serve multiple purposes or make their lives a little easier. No matter what your business is, no matter how big, or how small, a promotional product that is also functional will always be a successful option for gaining impressions, brand interest or cause awareness.

Multi USB Cable Key Chain

Onyt App-Enabled Smart Button

Stockton Junior Tech & Conference Journal

Your company can use these promotional product buying reasons to create connections that resonate with your existing clients, potential clients, and employees. Promotional products help your brand stand out from the competition and establish a solution for your brand’s offline marketing challenges. With the benefits of promotional products, you can achieve all of these goals through an increased positive perception and overall brand image, as well as a higher likelihood of recommending or becoming a patron of your business. Considering the average duration that a recipient keeps a promotional product is one to four years, the quality of the promotional products you select is essential to the long term impact you see on these goals.

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
Employee Holiday Gifts: The Top 8 Promotional Product Categories for 2017

Employee Holiday Gifts: The Top 8 Promotional Product Categories for 2017

by Liz Peacock, Product Data Manager

Can you believe we are already in the midst of the holiday season? Decorative Gourd Season is here, Thanksgiving is coming, and before we know it we will be ringing in the New Year. While you probably know that promotional products are great for marketing initiatives, trade shows, and client gifts, you may not think about promotional products as employee holiday gifts. The holiday season is all about gratitude –  your employees have worked so hard this year, and a great way to express your gratitude is to thank them with a custom branded gift.

Since it is unlikely that all of your employees have the same hobbies and are into the same types of things, it might be hard to narrow down the perfect personalized gift for everyone. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here are the top 8 promotional product categories we are excited about for the 2017 holiday season:

Entertaining

Fall is absolutely my favorite time of year. Fall in Georgia is short and sweet, and one of my favorite things about Fall, and the holiday season, is spending quality time with family and friends. Whether I am hosting a Friendsgiving or sitting by the fire and playing cards with my husband, aesthetics are important to me. I don’t know if I’ve caught the "Fixer Upper" bug, or if it’s simply my personal preference, but when I’m entertaining I like for my home to feel and look polished, warm and inviting.

Copper is in this season, and one of my favorite custom entertaining pieces we offer for entertaining is our Bullware Mixology Set. This five-piece branded mixology set has all of the essentials you need to make an excellent cocktail – just bring the booze. Not only is this custom gift modern and high quality, it’s also very thoughtful. Most likely, your employees will be using this while mixing a drink and relaxing at home. Even though they are away from the office, this gift will enhance their downtime and remind them that they have a great job to be thankful for.

Another favorite holiday gift of mine is the Field & Co. Plaid Sherpa Blanket. I love this customizable blanket because it is soft, trendy and versatile. If you work in an office, then you know that sometimes it is boiling hot, and other times it’s freezing cold. This gift is great because your employees can keep it at their desk, or use it to cozy up around a bonfire. Either way, you’re keeping them warm and showing how much you appreciate them.

Plaid Sherpa Blanket
Bullware Mixology Set

Drinkware

Drinkware is one of the most popular promotional product categories, and we have some fantastic options for this holiday season. I suffer from a *minor* caffeine addiction, so I love a custom tumbler that I can use for hot coffee in the morning and that I can wash out and use for iced coffee throughout the day.

It’s pretty incredible that the branded Himalayan tumbler can keep beverages hot or cold for up to 6 hours. Some days I am so busy that I find myself sitting at my desk from the moment I get here till I get up to take my lunch break. When you are in the middle of a project, the last thing you want is to go for a sip of your delicious hot java only to find that it’s turned lukewarm. The Himalayan tumbler is such a life-saver for busy workdays, and the Everest Edition Himalayan Tumbler is my new favorite design. This custom branded tumbler is excellent for cold mornings on the soccer field, or for hot summer days at the park. It will help keep your employees fueled up and also hydrated for any kind of day their week might throw at them.

I also have to mention the Hot & Cold Celebration Tumbler. This promotional tumbler was a big hit at an event we held here at Pinnacle a few months back, and ever since, it has become a coveted item around the office. Everyone loves this thing, and it’s no surprise as to why: it holds up to 24 oz of liquid, can be used year round in all season and for various occasions, and is just plain cool looking. It also has a double-wall acrylic construction, press-on lid with a twist opening, and is BPA free. Plus, it's sparkly. Real sparkly. As in, shake-it-up-and-flash-back-to-glitter-pens sparkly. If you are looking to "wow" your employees with a unique (and sparkly) gift this year, then this is your show-stopper. It’s large enough to fill with smaller gifts, or is cool enough to gift on its own. Either way, your employees will be impressed!

Everest Edition Himalayan Tumbler 20 oz.
Hot & Cold Celebration Tumbler 24 oz.

Apparel

I love sporting my company's custom swag, especially on casual Fridays. I love where I work, and I feel proud to wear my company's branded attire to work and also out and about. Wearables are such an excellent and practical holiday gift for your employees. It’s pretty impressive when you realize how many different types of apparel and wearables you can brand with your company's logo.

One gift idea that has particularly caught my attention this year is the Polar Wireless Earmuffs. Everyone makes resolutions for the New Year to become a fitter and happier version of themselves. The wireless earmuffs will encourage your employees to get outside and start moving, while keeping their ears warm. They are packaged in black drawstring pouch, and they have high speed Bluetooth 3.0+ EDR capabilities, which means that they have a faster response time and Wi-Fi speeds, and more efficient power usage.

Another favorite of mine is the Port Authority Ladies Interlock Cardigan. This is another coveted item around the office, and is flattering on all body shapes and sizes. This cardigan is lightweight, has an open front, and the back seaming details at the waist give it a sophisticated and timeless look. What I really love about it is that it can be dressed up or down. I can wear this with workout clothes, to run errands, around the office and dressed up for meetings with my clients. This custom piece pairs well with so many different styles and and occasions, and is a classy way to promote your brand. The Port Authority Interlock ¼-Zip is our men’s compatible piece.

Branded apparel is one of our top selling product categories, and we are adding more unique styles all of the time. From short and long-sleeved polos, jackets, cardigans, dress shirts, workout attire, winter attire, or even wireless Bluetooth earmuffs, you will be able to find the perfect gift for your employees this holiday season.

Polar Wireless Earmuffs
Port Authority Ladies Interlock Open Cardigan

Food Gifts

Charcuterie boards are all the rage this year. Whether you are hosting a holiday event or bringing food to potluck, the Wisconsin Variety Package with Bamboo Cutting Board is the perfect item for the holidays, and year round. This comes with large, half-pound blocks of naturally-aged private stock medium and mild Wisconsin cheddar, paired with a five-ounce stick of tangy beef summer sausage and a box of water crackers. All are packaged with a handy knife on a bamboo cutting board. Delicious food, and high quality cutting board and knife make for an excellent and thoughtful custom holiday gift for your employees.

Mason jars are also very popular this year, and we have the perfect gift to fit this trend. Our Taste of Elegance Set is such a cool and "out of the box" (pun intended) way to show employee recognition this year. It comes with a heat sealed bag with your choice of fill, and two sweetZ filled mason jars in a wooden custom gift box with a laser etched lid and brown crinkle paper. Your employees can use the wooden box as a decoration or even for storage, and they can also use the mason jars for all sorts of things. Maybe they will keep them at their desk and fill them with promotional pens, or to save their coins for the vending machine. However they choose to use the box and mason jars, one thing is for certain, they will love emptying the delicious food that once filled them!

It is difficult to choose just a few food gifts for this season, but we have so many different offerings to meet your needs this season, that you will have no issue picking something that is tasty, classic, and memorable.

Wisconsin Variety Package with Bamboo Cutting Board
A Taste Of Elegance Set

Outdoors & Safety

We are so busy these days, and the holiday season is definitely the busiest time of year. Between working 40+ hours a week, trying to prep healthy meals, exercise, and sleep 8 hours a night the last thing most working professionals think about is their car battery. Most people commute to work everyday, and put a lot of wear and tear on their vehicles. Being prepared for the worst is important, and safety gifts are a great way to make sure your employees are safe on the road and able to get to work on time and arrive less stressed. The 8000mAh Car Jump Starter is the perfect gift for your commuter employees.

The Jump Starter kit has an 8000mAh UL certified Lithium Polymer battery that ensures 1000 charging cycles and power for up to 20 jump starts on one charge. It also includes a 20-inch Micro to regular USB cable, AC wall charger and 12V adapter. It comes with a spark proof smart car jump cable with short circuit reverse polarity and over/under voltage protection, and is packed in sturdy nylon case with zipper closure and operation manual. This is the perfect holiday gift for employees that have to commute to work. Living in Atlanta, commuting takes up a good portion of my day. On a good day I can make it to work in 45 minutes, and I would love having a kit like this in my car…just in case.

It’s almost impossible to keep weight off during the holidays. From work parties to family gatherings, food tends to be the centerpiece for all occasions. I am trying to exercise more and am really watching my diet. I want to be healthy, and there is a strong chance that your employees will make some sort of health-conscious resolution for the new year as well. The Solo Velocity Backpack is an excellent investment for your health. It’s perfect for hiking, but can also be used to pack gym clothes, healthy snacks, and whatever else your employees will need to tack their 2017 health goals. Corporate health and wellness initiatives are important for companies to focus on, and this is a great way to encourage your employees towards a healthier lifestyle.

8000mAh Car Jump Starter
Velocity Backpack

Technology

Technology is such a exciting and universal promotional product category. Every one of your employees uses some sort of technology every single day. From Bluetooth wireless speakers, power bank and jolt chargers, USB drives, headphones, wireless Bluetooth earbuds, and activity monitors, there are so many unique and modern gift options in this product category.

I am definitely a technology junkie, so this is the hardest category for me to narrow down, but I have to mention the TrueWireless Bluetooth Earbuds. The TruWireless Bluetooth Earbuds are the future of Bluetooth earbuds. The carrying case also doubles as a charging station. Once the case is charged it can be used as a portable charger for your earbuds. The Bluetooth working range is 10 meters (33 feet) and they also have 4 hours of talk time. These are excellent for commuting, traveling, exercising, and whatever else your employees are up to. Many of the newer mobile devices don't have a headphone jack, so wireless headphones are the way to go, making these headphones convenient and forward thinking.

We also offer an Active Gift Set which includes Force Bluetooth Earbuds, and an active health tracker with a heart rate monitor. Again, many of your employees will make resolutions for a healthier lifestyle in the new year. This is a great gift to give your employees, because it encourages them to pursue a healthy life and makes it easier for them to do so. This is a gift that can be used inside or outside of the office. We don’t realize how sedentary we are, and monitoring our activity is definitely a wakeup call. Many people in my office will walk on their lunch breaks and this increases productivity and helps with fatigue. This custom branded gift  will get your employees moving more, and ensures that your workplace will be a happier and more productive environment.

TruWireless Bluetooth Earbuds
Active Gift Set

Office

Personalized office products are practical and thoughtful. I know for me personally, I love my company branded notebook. My team has weekly meetings, and our sales department tends to have many meetings at various times during the week. The Cutter & Buck Bainbridge Writing Pad is is great choice if you are considering a nice notebook for your employee gift. It is made with genuine leather, which gives it a sleek and professional appearance. It also features an interior organizer with business card pockets and a document folder. This notebook can be used around the office or on-the-go for client meetings.

I love my notebook for organization, but there are so many other unique office categories for employee gifts. The ETL Listed Turf Charging Station is by far my favorite office holiday gift for the season.

This custom charging station is the answer to all of your charging needs. With four outputs you can charge four devices with a maximum output of 5V/6.8A. The top silicone portion holds up to three devices in place while charging. It also includes a AC cord and has passed ETL standards, which means it is safe and high quality gift. I think this item is so cool and so different. Your employees with absolutely love it.

Cutter & Buck® Bainbridge Leather Writing Pad
ETL Listed Turf Charging Station

Travel

Travel is another unique promotional product category that you may have not considered for holiday gifts. Whether your employees are traveling for business or pleasure, the Samsonite Andante 22” Wheeled Duffel bag is a fantastic holiday gift.

First, this duffel is durable and casual which makes it easy to use while traveling. The large U-shaped opening makes for easy access to pack and retrieve travel essentials. Its lightweight design and smooth rolling wheels offer effortless mobility. It also has multiple organization pockets, and comfortable top carry handles. These retractable handle locks in place in both the fully extended and stored positions for secure traveling. This duffel is a very high quality and thoughtful gift for you to give your employees this holiday season.

After a busy work year, relaxation is on everyone’s mind at the end of Q4. Our Aromatherapy Candle Collection is a fantastic employee gift for this purpose. Four small window tin essential oil infused candles are neatly packaged in a cardboard gift box, with brown crinkle paper and a clear plastic lid. The scent options to choose from are: Focus, Exhale, Immunity, Invigorate, Tranquility, Cloud 9 and Karma. The candles are branded with your company logo, and you can even add a thoughtful message to the label if you so choose. Your team has worked so hard this year, and they deserve to relax and feel appreciated for all of their efforts.

Samsonite Andante 22" Wheeled Duffel
Aromatherapy Candle Collection

Show your employees how much you care about them this holiday season by giving them the a unique and memorable holiday gift. Entertaining, Drinkware, Apparel, Food Gifts, Outdoor/Safety, Technology, Office and Travel are our top promotional product categories for 2017 holiday gifts. Whether you are wanting your employees to relax, pursue a healthy lifestyle, or simply enjoy a delicious treat, we can help you show your gratitude and create a lasting impression to show your appreciation. If you'd like great gift ideas broken down by price, check out our Our Holiday Lifestyle Catalog is a great source for expanded ideas in these product areas.

I hope this have given you some great ideas for your 2017 employee gifts.

From all of us at Pinnacle Promotions, we wish you a safe and happy holiday!

Posted by Admin in Marketing Ideas, Seasonal Marketing Ideas, Top Trending Topics, 0 comments
3 Steps to a Successful Corporate Apparel Program

3 Steps to a Successful Corporate Apparel Program

Corporate Apparel Programs help coordinate your team and reinforce your brand.

It’s just a fact. Most jobs require clothing.

Chances are, your employees aren't running around naked...right?
So if they are wearing clothes, they might as well be wearing custom shirts, promotional jackets, and branded hats with your company's logo on them.

And if you're going to get custom corporate apparel for your employees, it's a good idea to keep it all on-brand. This is more than just getting the same custom polo for everybody. If you're looking to outfit teams, especially larger teams, and definitely distributed teams, a corporate apparel program is a great way to coordinate your team and reinforce your brand.

What's a corporate apparel program?

Also called a uniform program or professional dress program, a corporate apparel program is an initiative to coordinate the selection, production, and administration of branded apparel for an organization, designed to keep you in control.

Some examples:

Let's say you run a quick-serve restaurant, and need to get shirts and visors and aprons for all of your people at each of your 14 locations. You need to get them all shipped in the same one-week window and want to make sure that embroidery is consistent across the board. This is a complicated process with lots of spinning plates; you would benefit from an apparel program.

Or, let's say you're an HR professional at a 200-person tech company, and you're responsible for outfitting new hires with polos and dress shirts branded with your logo. You potentially could handle this yourself, but it would take you away from doing the parts of your job you enjoy more (we get it...buying promotional apparel can be less than fun); you would definitely benefit from an apparel program.

So how do corporate apparel programs work?

Corporate apparel programs consist of three parts: Selection, Production, & Administration. Basically, Pick it, Make it, and Control it.

Let's start with Selection:

Selection

There are hundreds of different available apparel pieces across dozens of categories from dozens of different manufacturers...so how do you know what to choose? That all depends on your budget, your brand, and, often, your industry.

For a corporate environment, embroidered dress shirts are always a great choice, logoed jackets and custom sweaters make a statement, and casual Fridays – but not too casual – are made for branded polos.

If you're looking to step up your Casual Friday game (by dressing down), custom t-shirts and corporate branded hats are super-popular.

Medical companies can offer custom scrubs or anti-microbial dress shirts & embroidered polos.

Even industrial and manufacturing companies can use logoed shirts, branded coveralls, safety gear, and imprinted hard hats to encourage pride and boost brand visibility.

For all of these apparel types, you can find budget-friendly choices as well as well-known name-brand pieces from Ogio, Nike, Eddie Bauer, Under Armour, Roots, and plenty more.

But still...how do you know what to choose? Merchandise Experts can help you narrow it down to just the pieces that work for your budget & your brand. You can customize the choices by role, by department, by location, by second letter of middle name...whatever works...

Working with an expert can take a lot of the guesswork and headache out of the process...it's like having a personal shopper for your brand. (Actually, it’s not “like” - it IS a personal shopper for your brand!)

Production

Once you've picked the appropriate apparel pieces, it's time to get them produced. Embroidery, screenprinting, heat transfer, laser etching...there are many ways to get your logo on the apparel items you've selected, and having a partner with expertise in all of those methods will help keep the apparel items all coordinated and adhering to your brand standards.

Do you want to keep inventory?
Do you want your production partner to keep the inventory?
Do you not want any inventory at all and just drop-ship everything?
It's completely up to you!

Proper management of production and warehousing is extremely important to creating an effective apparel program. In fact, it's one of the main headaches you'd have to deal with, so it's one of the main reasons you partner with someone to run your program.

From short-run department initiatives to bulk production for thousands of employees, having a partner with the ability and agility to handle it all will allow you to be much more efficient.

Administration

Here's where it gets really good. You've Selected the apparel items for your program, and determined the Production logistics; now, it's time to see what a fully-realized apparel program can do for your organization.

Organize group buys within departments, locations, or company-wide to consolidate spend and improve efficiency.

Set up levels of manager approval to control your spend and to keep Bob in Accounting from blowing your department budget on his fourth embroidered dress shirt. (It happens...)

Generate reports based on inventory levels, department or location spend, or shipping costs, just to name a few.

And to make it even easier, have a custom-branded online portal developed to let everyone purchase on their own. Implement those manager approval rules, set up those group buys, show what you want to whom you want – if you don't want Bob in Accounting to see those dress shirts, Bob in Accounting won't see those dress shirts.

Add your choice of customization options: order histories, shipping locations, flexible payment options, punch-out from ERP installs...the menu is extensive.

Administration is the keystone of your apparel program. The easier it is to administer, the more effective your program will be, and the more pats on the back you'll get from the boss.

Implementing your program

There are thousands of t-shirt shops, embroiderers, screenprinters, airbrush stands, and average promotional products companies who can get your logo on some shirts and call it a day. But your organization's not average, is it?

Of course not.
You're professionals. And so are we.

Step 1 to implementing your organization's apparel program: Call Pinnacle.
Step 2: Relax and get back to what you do best: your job.
Step 3: Repeat step 2.

We've created apparel programs for banks, tech companies, and healthcare providers. We've worked with some of the best known brands in the world. We have the experience, know-how, and moxie to put together the right program to suit your specific needs.

We have the tech expertise to build custom portals, the merchandise expertise to find the best custom apparel pieces that match your brand, and the e-commerce expertise to create the best shopping experience for your employees.

So if you're looking to coordinate your team and reinforce your brand, you can't go wrong with a corporate apparel program. And if you're looking for a corporate apparel program, you can't go wrong with Pinnacle.

Give us a call, and talk to one of our Merchandise Experts, and we'll help you figure out the perfect way to Make the right impression.

 

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
Employee Welcome Kits: 5 Proven Ideas

Employee Welcome Kits: 5 Proven Ideas

STOP THE PRESSES!

We've gotten so much positive feedback from this post that we decided to make a video about it! It goes through the 5 Proven Ideas for making your employees feel welcome, and comes with a catchy music bed background for no additional charge. Check it out below, and then read the rest of the post after that!

Congratulations!

After spending considerable time and effort searching for, finding, and recruiting the perfect employees, you've finally got 'em!
They're here.
Today is their first day.

So how are YOU going to make your new employees feel welcome?

In this post, we'll show you 5 proven ideas for making your new employees feel welcome with branded new-hire kits, including a way to take work off of your plate AND make you look like a hero at the same time.


If you're a human resources professional, one of your biggest challenges is employee engagement and retention. We get it. The longer your people are with your company, the more comfortable they are, the better they do their jobs, and the more valuable they become to your organization. We know that losing employees is expensive; some studies suggest that replacing employees can cost up to two times their salary.

So how do we keep our best people?

Top experts in human resource management have identified the most important factors influencing employee retention. These include:

  • Job fit
  • Development opportunities
  • Pay fairness
  • Relationship with manager
  • Trust in the company

There are many online resources that explain the ins and outs of each of these factors – there are entire websites dedicated to determining pay fairness – so we're going to focus on the last one: Trust in the company.

Trust is an interesting, nebulous, emotional concept that's very hard to quantify. How do you measure trust? With what units and with what instrument do you measure it? While the Trust-O-Meter 3000 may not be a thing, there actually are ways to gauge the effect of trust in an organization. The Harvard Business Review describes the relationship between trust and two vital outcomes: speed and cost. In a low-trust environment, speed goes down and cost goes up (bad for business); inversely, in a high-trust environment, speed goes up while cost goes down (great for business!). Like those Harvard smarty-pants say, developing trust is "truly a hard, economic driver for every organization."

So how do you generate trust in your company?

It's a legitimate question. The answer, at its most basic is: Say What You're Going To Do And Do What You Said You Would Do. Great idea, but that’s oversimplifying things a bit. Trust is a natural by-product of affinity, that sense of kinship and connection you can create among your employees and with your customers. A highly-effective way to create that affinity right from Day One is with a New-Hire Welcome Kit. By presenting your employees with company-branded merchandise on their first day, you're immediately creating a connection between your employees and the company. You're building trust right from the start.

(Cue the collective "Oh, so that's why a promotional products company is talking about retention and trust...got it...")

Small businesses and large organizations alike can see immediate benefit from making a welcome kit part of the employee onboarding process. Don't worry, it doesn't take a big budget to make someone feel lucky to have joined your team. Everybody loves gifts, so even the simplest of nicely-packaged coordinated items can make a huge impression.

Put a branded coffee mug, a custom mouse pad, and two different promotional pens in a nice box or a bag, drop a handwritten Welcome note in there, have it waiting on their desks and Boom!...quick and easy onboarding kit with an impact that far exceeds its low cost.

Pro tip: Use some ribbon or cellophane or raffia to put it all together. Presentation counts.

So that's a great start. Now, let's dig deeper.

5 proven ideas for making your new employees feel welcome.

Proven idea #1: Make it fun!

Practical is one thing, but building affinity – and ultimately, trust – with your employees involves emotion. Make 'em smile. Put some fun in their welcome kits. Glitter-infused promotional tumblers, boombox-style custom bluetooth speakers, customized half-footballs that bounce back to you...all really cool items to bring some fun to a new-hire kit.

Is anyone a music fan? How about giving them a custom branded guitar? Really. You can do that. No, it's not a budget item, but for the right person...talk about WOW Factor!

Great ideas for Fun Employee Welcome Kits:

Proven idea #2: Don't forget utility

Swag is nice, but if you can include items that actually help them do their jobs...even better. If you're in an office environment, filling the onboarding kit with a branded desk organizer, custom sticky note cube, and a customized journal notebook helps get your new people up and running quickly.

For retail, a customized name badge with custom-printed lanyard and a branded jotter will do the trick. For industrial or warehouse businesses, custom hard hats, branded clipboards, and even safety vests with your logo will keep everyone looking professional.

Great ideas for Functional New-Hire Kits:

Proven idea #3: Add apparel to the mix

If you can get your employees to wear your logo out and about, you're all winning. From a simple embroidered polo in company colors to crisp custom dress shirts to upscale branded sweaters and customized jackets, there's no better way to give your new employees a sense of belonging than by letting them literally wear your brand.

Extra bonus: Giving good quality apparel makes your employees actually want to wear your logo around, providing even more brand impressions.

Great ideas for a Fashionable Employee Welcome Kit:

Proven idea #4: Focus on your industry

The three proven ideas above apply to almost any business, any organization. But you can create an even greater connection if you customize your new-hire kit items to your industry:

  • Tech company? Add some custom earbuds or power banks to your kit.
  • Healthcare? Scrubs, clipboards, or goofy doctor pens: check!

Focus on your industry and give your employees something they're proud to share with family and friends.

Great ideas for putting an industry focus on New-Hire Kits:

Proven idea #5: Take work off of your plate AND look like a hero at the same time.

This all seems great...but it also seems like a lot of work. We get it. Figuring out the budget, deciding what products fit that budget, ordering, unpacking, kitting, organizing who gets what when...it's a lot. So here's the proven-est idea of all: call Pinnacle.

Really.

We've got merchandise experts to help you find the perfect products for the kit, ordering experts to help organize the purchasing, and account managers to help you keep it all straight. We can even create custom boxes to put it all together for you. Fewer worries, more pats on the back. It's a win-win….win.

To take it a step further, talk to us about automating your custom onboarding kits; give us a list of people, your budget, and your logo, and we'll handle the rest – even kitting, packing, and shipping! It’s much easier and more efficient for you and ensures consistency across the organization.

So, let's sum up.

Whether you call them new-hire kits, onboarding kits, or welcome kits, they're an effective first step toward building affinity and trust with your new employees, which, assuming you have all the other factors in place, will help keep your people around a long while.

And here are our favorite proven ideas for making your welcome kits a success:
#1: Make it fun
#2: Make it useful
#3: Upgrade and add apparel
#4: Focus on your industry
#5: After you've thought about the other things...call Pinnacle.

We can help you create the perfect onboarding kit that's fun, functional, and fashionable.

So how can YOU make your employees feel welcome?

Visit our Employee Onboarding page for some great product ideas to put together your own new-hire kit, and call one of our Merchandise Experts at 800.351.4226 to get the ball rolling. No time to wait; you've got new hires coming on board.

In the meantime, share some ideas below in the comments...we'd love to read them.

Posted by Benjy Rose in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments