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What Are the Differences Between Merch vs. Swag?

What Are the Differences Between Merch vs. Swag?

Those of us in the promotional products world have heard all the terms before: advertising, offline marketing, promotional marketing, company promo, branded swag, tchotchkes, freebies, and giveaways. And now merch has debuted among our growing list of evolutionary terms. 

While most people would assume these terms have the same basic meanings, we have a different opinion — especially regarding today’s most common promotion terms: merch and swag.

Diving into Merch vs. Swag

Before we get down to the brass tacks of the conflict between merch vs. swag, let’s go through some simple definitions.

What is Swag?

Swag:

\ ‘swag \ 

(noun) Promotional items given away for free.

Swag is a slang term for many things, but for our purposes, swag is a term used to describe promotional items — typically giveaway items with a short shelf life. You know those branded pens passed out after getting your A/C serviced or the free sunglasses you pick up at a local music festival? Those items are typically thought of as swag. 

What is Merch?

Merch: 

\ ‘mərch \

Short for merchandise. 

(noun) the commodities or goods bought and sold in business 

 (verb)  to promote for or as if for sale

Merch is slang for “merchandise,” and while there are a few different definitions for the word, let’s focus on the verb — “to promote for.” Merch tends to be higher-end products with long periods of usage. These items, like company tumblers or promotional shirts, can still be given away, but top-rated brands have also started selling them to their customer base. 


Are you looking for quality merch that makes the right impression? From branded apparel and custom water bottles to ready-made kits and high-end products, we have everything you need to tell your brand story. Tell us how we can help your next promotional campaign — call us at 800.300.2007. 


The Evolution of Swag into Merch

So why compare merch vs. swag? Or even better yet, why is there a shift in the terminology? We all still love freebies, right? Well, yes and no. It all comes down to the audience. Entrepreneur.com has a fascinating take on this: Millennials don’t want ads. They want stories. This goes for Gen Z too — since they’re the ones taking on marketing coordinator and brand strategist roles. The younger generations want their brands to tell a story, especially if they can play their part on social media. 

Let’s say for example, Carli is out at her local state fair. She is browsing vendor booths covered with all kinds of interesting products, from fresh-cut flowers to kettle corn. There is a vendor there promoting dance lessons. This vendor is there talking with potential customers while giving away free, branded tote bags. 

Carli picks a tote bag and wanders to the next booth, a local vendor selling not only ethically-sourced honey but also eco-friendly t-shirts with a perfectly designed logo. Carli loves the shirt’s design, so she buys it along with some of the honey. 

Carli then arrives home, where she gushes over the local honey company and her new, unique (and sustainable) t-shirt — all the while, the tote is left in her car for future grocery trips. Carli will wear that t-shirt frequently, add pictures of her wearing it to Instagram and even go online to shop their beeswax products.

This highlights the fact that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the branded tote. It will still have a practical use, and people will still see it! But that t-shirt carries a story of helping a local business and the benefits of ethical beekeeping. It reinforces moral efforts of sustainability. And it builds a connection between the business and the customer. 

Should We Say Goodbye to Swag?

As telling a brand story becomes more and more important, so does the term merch. Customers, employees and partners want to “buy” into your brand story. They want to be a part of the experience of your products, both free and purchased. But where does that leave swag in all of this?

It’s hard to say for sure what will happen to swag. Many of us still think of promo items as swag — especially as we walk the aisles of our favorite trade shows or visit annual conferences. But we can say for sure that merch is in its hay day and doesn’t seem to be stepping down anytime soon. And that’s a good thing because your brand deserves to be admired, worn, used, and, most of all, remembered. 

Are you ready to move your brand story forward? At Pinnacle Promotions, we know a thing or two about building the brand journey through quality products, perfectly branded and delivered where you need them when you need them. Let us help you find the right products and elevate your merch to the next level.

Posted by Chrissy Petrone, 0 comments
Your Field Guide to Branded Water Bottles

Your Field Guide to Branded Water Bottles

Why you should invest in branded water bottles for your next marketing campaign.

The late summer is a perfect time for all kinds of outdoor activities — hiking, camping, baseball, tennis, kayaking and the list goes on. One of the critical things to remember about all these fun outdoor adventures is to always stay hydrated. That’s where the importance of branded water bottles comes in. 

Imagine this. You’ve given a trusted partner a high-quality, YETI water bottle customized with your company logo on it. One of their team members, Susan, carries this with her daily — to the office, out to the baseball field to watch her kids’ games or on fun family camping trips. Everywhere Susan goes, that custom water bottle goes with her. 

Susan gets stopped by strangers asking where she got her water bottle. She then goes on to share her experience with partnering with your organization. She explains how this thoughtful gift reaffirms that your company cares about her business. 

Not only does this story show that your company logo will be seen and appreciated, but it also highlights that the custom water bottle you choose makes a difference! 

What Are Branded Water Bottles?

Branded water bottle on counter with healthy lunch

Branded water bottles are simply that — water bottles you can customize with your business’ unique logo. How to choose custom water bottles is a different story, however. With so many choices, you may feel a bit overwhelmed. That’s why we are here to guide you toward making the right choice for your customers and employees. 

Let’s break down what choices you have for customizable water bottles.  

Plastic Water Bottles

First up is plastic water bottles. Reusable plastic water bottles have been a staple for brand possibilities since they became widely available in the 50s. What makes plastic water bottles appealing is that they are lightweight and durable. There are a variety of plastics that these bottles can be made with, including BPA-free plastic, recycled PET, polyethylene and polystyrene. 

Stainless Steel Water Bottles

Stainless steel water bottles make great plastic alternatives as they do not leach chemicals but are still durable and relatively lightweight. These water bottles are hot-liquid-friendly, and most are insulated — which means drinks will maintain temperature for several hours.

Aluminum Water Bottles 

Next up are aluminum water bottles. These bottles are lightweight and less expensive than their stainless steel counterparts. However, because aluminum can leach into liquids, these tend to have a thin BPA plastic liner. They are also not as durable as plastic or stainless steel and can be easily dented. 

Glass Water Bottles

Ah, glass — one of the oldest forms of water bottles! A true classic, glass water bottles are an excellent choice for those concerned about chemical leaching. However, the glass water bottle is heavy and highly breakable. The good news, though, is that most are dishwasher safe, and many are sold with protective covers — which makes an excellent place for brand imprinting.

Ceramic Water Bottles 

Ceramic water bottles are eco-friendly, recyclable and dishwasher safe. These bottles are a bit harder to source but are becoming more popular for those seeking a sustainable option. 

Eco-Friendly Water Bottles 

Finally, eco-friendly water bottles. These water bottles utilize each of the above materials, usually recycled into a functioning water bottle that is better for the environment. The durability and weight will depend on what materials are used. 

Common Water Bottle Features

Hand holding plastic custom water bottle

While the materials of a water bottle are essential for obvious reasons, the features could really make or break a lasting impression on your customer or employee. Here are some of the most common features we see with branded water bottles.

Single Wall 

Single wall water bottles are lightweight and only have one layer, meaning drinks typically lose temperature throughout the day and are prone to condensation. 

Double Wall 

Double wall bottles have an insulating second layer, usually filled with foam or air,  that helps keep drinks cold or hot and prevents sweating.

Vacuum-Sealed

Vacuum-sealed water bottles have double walls with vacuum-sealed air to help reduce the transfer of cold or hot temperatures.

Screw-Top 

Screw-top water bottles are some of the most common types of water bottle lids, especially on stainless steel water bottles. These have to be opened by unscrewing the top — which can be a hindrance if you are in a hurry! Screw-top lids also offer a wider drinking area and are easier to clean. 

Flip-Top

Flip-top water bottles have a straw feature that can pop-up for quick access. These are great for sports or exercising as the flip-top makes it less likely to leak. But flip-tops may not be the best choice if you are a gulper. 

Sport Cap

Sports cap water bottles have an easy, one-way valve that opens automatically when the bottle is squeezed. These are a common choice for plastic water bottles made with soft, flexible materials. These water bottles are great for athletes who need a quick sip before heading back onto the field or court. 


At Pinnacle Promotions, we understand that big promotional projects need an extra hand. Reach out to us at 877.300.2007 and let us help you with your corporate gifts, kits or events with the best branded water bottles to make the right impression™.


Why Invest in Custom Water Bottles?

Metal branded water bottle on desk with laptop

So we know a little more about the types of branded water bottles. Now let’s explore why you should invest in them as a promotional marketing strategy.

The Brand Benefits of Custom Water Bottles

Promotional marketing should be integral to your overall sales and marketing strategy. Yes, even in this digital age. In fact, according to the PPAI Research 2019 Consumer Study, eight out of ten people like getting promotional products. And seven out of ten wish they received promotional products more often

And while that study may just look at promotional products overall, a 2022 ASI Ad Impressions Study found that drinkware was the number-one most influential promotional category in the Southeast, Midwest and Pacific regions of the United States. 

That same study also found that, on average, consumers keep their drinkware items for a year — indicating that people like functional, high-quality promotional drinkware. It also found that 84% of baby boomers own promotional drinkware and 71% of Gen X’ers are more likely to do business with an advisor with promotional drinkware.

How Much Should You Spend on Customized Water Bottles

With those statistics in your back pocket, you may wonder how much you should spend on custom water bottles. This, of course, comes down to your marketing and advertising budget. But a good rule of thumb is to look into last year’s sales, compare them to projected sales for this year and decide on the percentage that makes the most sense for your organization. 

Coming back to the 2022 ASI Ad Impressions Study, 70% of consumers keep promotional drinkware that is high-quality and useful — so you may want to keep that in mind when you begin brainstorming your next branded water bottle purchase.

How to Customize Branded Water Bottles

Glass customized water bottle with yoga mat and tennis shoes

Once you have landed on your next promotional water bottle of choice, we can begin the production phase. You have a few options for imprint methods and customization areas.  

Imprint Methods

There are three primary methods for imprinting your logo on a water bottle — screen printing, full-color prints and laser engraving

Screen Printing 

With screen printing, ink is painted directly onto the bottle using a silk screen. Because the ink is mixed manually, screen printing yields a higher-quality imprint that will match your brand logo colors exactly. It is also a more budget-friendly option. Remember, however, that screen prints will wear down over time after several washes.

Full-Color Printing 

Full-color printing is a digital process using cyan, magenta, yellow and black. This method is much quicker to produce than screen printing, but since the colors are limited, brand logo colors may not exactly match. This print is also more likely to wear down over time after several washes.

Laser Engraving 

Finally, laser engraving uses lasers to cut your design into the bottle — providing a high-end finish that does not fade over time. This is a popular choice for stainless steel water bottles! 

Customization Areas

You want to choose the best possible location on your custom water bottles to ensure brand exposure. Thankfully, water bottles offer a decent amount of logo “real estate.” Your logo can be printed as a standard front imprint, on both the front and back, as a full wrap or on the water bottle’s lid. 

Pinnacle Promotions Can Help With Your Next Big Project

And there you have it! You can now confidently go forward and find the branded water bottle that best fits your company’s needs. No matter what water bottle you choose, you can feel confident that you are making an excellent choice for your promotional marketing efforts. 

At Pinnacle Promotions, we know a thing or two about promotional marketing. No matter what your campaign needs are, we have the solution. Call us at 877.300.2007 and give us the scoop on that next big project — we can assist with IdeaKits™, corporate gifts or even your very own Company Store!  

Written by Chrissy Petrone

Content Marketing Specialist

Posted by Chrissy Petrone, 0 comments
What Is BPA and Are BPA Products Safe?

What Is BPA and Are BPA Products Safe?

Exploring the ins and outs of BPA and BPA products.

Let’s set the scene: You’re at this year’s biggest trade show in your industry. You are working at your company’s booth and feeling great about sharing the latest products and advancements in your field. Potential customers come up to ask questions and grab a free branded water bottle.

One particular customer picks up that branded water bottle and asks “Do you know if this is BPA-free?” Your mind races – is it BPA-free? Should it be? What even is BPA? When you finally answer, “I’m not sure…” the potential customer puts the bottle back, gives a quick thanks and moves on to the next booth.

This scenario may not happen often but it is a concern on the mind of many consumers these days. BPA has made the headlines in the last decade because plastic drinkware and food containers can cause health problems. 

Consumers worry whether their everyday plastics carry the chemical without much knowledge on what BPA is and if BPA products are safe. Today, we will discuss “what is BPA?” and how you can effectively choose the right promotional products to suit your company’s needs while considering the health and safety of your consumers.

A woman outside with a plastic water bottle

What is BPA?

As often as we have heard of BPA, few of us know what it actually is. Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to manufacture polycarbonate plastics used for items such as sports bottles, food-storage containers and metal food can liners, along with thousands of other products.

How Can This Impact Us?

BPA leaches into the foods we eat and the beverages we drink pretty easily over time — that’s how it ends up in the body. BPA exposure tends to happen more when plastic items are old, damaged or have an increased temperature, either through microwaving or being left in a hot vehicle. 

The unique thing about BPA is that it acts like a synthetic estrogen, disrupting hormones in the body. This can negatively impact our natural endocrine rhythms, creating health problems such as early puberty or cancer. 

One of the significant concerns with BPA is how it affects infants and children — studies suggest that it can impair certain developmental milestones and contribute to disorders such as ADHD. Babies and young children are more at risk because they metabolize the chemical slower compared to adults. 

Are BPA Products Safe?

It can be challenging to determine if BPA products are safe to use — and while we have access to many BPA-free products, the chemical can still be found in thousands of products today. 

A 2003-2004 CDC study of 2,517 participants, six years and older, found that nearly all tested had BPA in their system. This shows that a high number of the population has been exposed to BPA, but not all of these individuals have health concerns. Still, the impacts of low exposure to BPA are inconclusive, unfortunately. 

The main take away when it comes to using BPA products safely is to never microwave or leave plastic containers in hot places. It’s also best to wash these items by hand rather than the dishwasher. Finally, if a plastic product is scratched or damaged, that means it’s time to dispose of it. It’s also important to remember that these items impact children the most – so looking for BPA-free products will be the best choice for your little ones. 

BPA-Free Promotional Product Options

After learning more about BPA and the potential effects of the chemical, it makes sense why companies should be wary when purchasing their promotional products. Thankfully, there are many BPA-Free options for drinkware and food storage.  

BPA-Free Plastic Promotional Products

It’s comforting to know that there are many BPA-free plastic promotional products available. In fact, any plastic labeled as a 1, 2 or 5, is considered BPA-free. These plastics are not manufactured with the Bisphenol A chemical and could be a safer alternative. When shopping for your next promotional drinkware, check the specifications to see if the bottle is BPA-free

Glass Promotional Products

Glass is a great option for going BPA-Free. It is inert to liquids and gasses, meaning it won’t leach chemicals into food or water. The only issue with glass drinkware is it can be less durable than plastic and stainless steel.   

Stainless Steel Promotional Products

Stainless steel is the way to go if you are looking for durable drinkware that is BPA-free. Stainless steel bottles and food containers will not leach chemicals, even when scratched or heated. It has been advised that when shopping for stainless steel items, to find containers that do not have plastic lids – these lids are more than likely made with BPA

Eco-Friendly Promotional Products 

One great advantage to the materials listed above is that there are sustainable drinkware and food storage options. You will find that many eco-friendly promotional products are made from recycled plastic, glass or stainless steel. 

Getting to Know Your Products

Now you know more about BPA products and what materials serve as BPA-free alternatives. You can feel confident at the next trade show that you have thoughtfully chosen promotional products safe for your consumer. Trust us when we say your customer will remember that awesome stainless steel or glass bottle they receive!

At Pinnacle Promotions, we value the product journey – from the vendor to print, to you and, finally, to your customer. We want to provide the best experience possible. That’s why we have a variety of branded drinkware and BPA-free promotional products to ensure that you and your consumers have a safe brand experience. 

It’s like what Holly Ringle, the Director of Business Development with Pinnacle Promotions, says, “It’s exciting to see organizations take consumer safety into account when choosing their promotional products. Being mindful of product selection is a thoughtful reflection of the brand, which translates into trust between the consumer and the company. It’s a win-win, overall.”
Are you looking to get advice or ideas on BPA-free promotional products? We can build you custom Ideakits™ with detailed product suggestions to ensure you choose the best BPA-free products for your customers or employees. Contact us at 877.300.2007 for more information!

Posted by Chrissy Petrone, 0 comments
Put Your Logo on BrüMate

Put Your Logo on BrüMate

This article is part of a series highlighting retail brands that can be imprinted with your company logo.

BrüMte Logo

When it comes to drinkware brands, there’s no lack of options. From YETI to Tervis to RTIC and many more, high-quality tumblers and water bottles are always popular choices when selecting custom drinkware.

But if you’re looking for a custom drinkware piece that’s a little different, try BrüMate. Created by Dylan Jacob at just 21 years old, all BrüMate products are made from triple-insulated stainless steel. That means they really do keep your hot drinks hot and your cold drinks cold. 

What also sets BrüMate apart are their lids. A lot of drinkware pieces claim to have leakproof lids, but what they really mean is that their lids are leak resistant. Your drink isn’t going to splash out of the bottle if you hit a pothole in the road, or if you’re going for a brisk walk. However, turn your water bottle completely upside down and it’s a different story. However, many of Brümate’s lids are different. All the products in their MÜV Collection have BevLock™, a 100% leak proof locking lid with a magnetic closure.

In addition to high-quality products, BrüMate also puts a large emphasis on sustainability. Over the next 12 months, BrüMate has committed to making all of their lids out of Tritan Renew, a plastic that’s made with 50% recycled material. By doing so, they estimate a large impact on diverting waste (over 15,000,000+ single use plastic bottles) to landfills.

Pinnacle Promotions carries all types of custom BrüMate drinkware including tumblers, can coolers, coffee mugs, canteens, and more. Here are some of our favorites:

The BrüMate Hopsulator Trio 3-in-1 Can Cooler is perhaps our favorite. BrüMate calls it the most versatile can cooler in the world and for good reason! It fits all 16 oz. craft cans, comes with a freezable adapter for 12 oz. cans, and can be easily switched into a pint glass. The push-lock gasket keeps the can secure and easy to remove when you’re done. The non-slip base ensures your drinks stay put.

BrüMate Hopsulator Trio 3-in-1 Can Cooler

The BrüMate Toddy Coffee Mug is part of the MÜV Collection, which means the lid is 100% leakproof. This 16 oz. mug is super versatile and can be used for both hot and cold beverages. And did we mention that it’s 100% leakproof?!

BrüMate Toddy Coffee Mug

If you’re looking for something different, the BrüMate Fifth Liquor Canteen is a good choice. The triple-insulated drinkware piece is made out of stainless steel and will keep your drinks chilled for over 24 hours. At 25 oz., it holds a full fifth of liquor and the cap also doubles as a 1.5 oz shot glass. Don’t drink alcohol? That’s okay, this product works well with any cold beverage.

BrüMate Fifth Liquor Canteen

While BrüMate might not be on your radar quite yet, it’s definitely a brand worth paying attention to. Give us a call at 800-351-4226 if you’d like to learn more about BrüMate or any other of our 10,000+ promotional products.

Posted by Lee, 0 comments
Put Your Logo on Vineyard Vines

Put Your Logo on Vineyard Vines

This article is part of a series highlighting retail brands that can be imprinted with your company logo.

Vineyard Vines was created by two brothers, Ian and Shep Murray,  in the late 1990s. Stuck in their corporate jobs, they wanted something different – they wanted to bring the casual feel of summer into the office. 

The brand began with ties (the “vines” in the name refers to the way a tie can feel around your neck). The brothers decided to make high-quality ties that were still fun and fashionable, using preppy colors and whimsical styles. 

The iconic pink whale logo was introduced in 2003. Inspired by trips to Martha’s Vineyard (the “vineyard” in the name), the smiling whale was meant to inspire customers to live the good life.

In 2004, the brand expanded beyond ties and introduced items like apparel, bags, and hats. They opened their first store (in Martha’s Vineyard, obviously) in 2005 and, as of 2021, there are 120 standalone stores, as well as merchandise in Nordstrom, and other smaller stores such as Mast General Store and Palmetto Moon.

In late 2021, Vineyard Vines was introduced into the promotional products space. Pinnacle Promotions was chosen as part of a select group of distributors authorized to sell branded Vineyard Vines merchandise. Options include promotional polo shirts, branded tote bags, embroidered baseball caps, and more. This is a great opportunity to purchase high-quality merchandise imprinted with your logo…and a pink smiling whale, of course.

Woman and man wearing Vineyard Vines polo shirts.

Sources:

Cain, A. (2016, September 28). Brothers share what it was like quitting their corporate jobs to sell ties on the beach and cofound Vineyard Vines, a company worth nearly $1 billion. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/brothers-who-founded-vineyard-vines-reveal-why-they-quit-their-jobs-2016-9

Wordsmith, L. (2021). The History of and Story Behind the Vineyard Vines Logo. Retrieved from https://moneyinc.com/vineyard-vines-logo/

Bertoni, S. (2018, April 29). How Vineyard Vines Built A Giant Brand Without Raising A Penny Of Equity. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenbertoni/2018/04/10/how-vineyard-vines-built-a-giant-brand-without-raising-a-penny-of-equity


Posted by Lee, 0 comments
5 Reasons You Need an Online Company Store

5 Reasons You Need an Online Company Store

Promotional products are an excellent way to advertise your brand while showing appreciation for your clients, customers, and employees. According to an ASI Study, 85% of people who receive promotional products remember the brand who gave them their swag. The same ASI study also found that people keep these products for an average of a year, which means your logo will be seen time and time again.

There’s no doubt that using branded merchandise is a cost-effective way to promote your business. By working with Pinnacle Promotions to create and maintain a company swag store, you’ll be able to take all the stress out of your promotional product management.

Here are the Top 5 benefits of having a company store:

Benefit #1: Ability to consolidate and control your spend

If you are part of an organization that purchases a large amount of branded merchandise, you’ve probably dealt with a variety of issues including rogue employee spend, products from different vendors that don’t quite match, or spotting your logo on a product you know would NEVER be approved. 

With our company store solution, you’ll be able to set budget and spend allowances, have control over purchases, and even set up automated manager approvals.

Benefit #2: Reporting capabilties

No one wants to spend their time digging around in their marketing closet, only to find that they never reordered those company logo pens, or the only t-shirts left are size XXS. Maintaining sufficient reporting is necessary so that you’ll always be aware of your exact inventory at any given time. 

With our company store solution, you’ll have access to a reporting dashboard that is accurate, accessible, and intuitive. You will also receive a comprehensive purchasing summary for both online and offline spend. Pinnacle Promotions also conducts quarterly business reviews to discuss store and product performance.

Benefit #3: Efficient time management

While sourcing the best promotional products can be fun, it’s also extremely time consuming and not all vendors provide the same quality of product. 

With our company store solution, you can be assured that your orders will be accurate and the products will be high quality. 98% of orders ship in 24 hours.

Benefit #4: No more dealing with logistics and warehousing

In addition to sourcing products, packing and shipping them can also be extremely time consuming and sometimes confusing.

With our company store solution, you’ll be able to leave that all behind. We will pack and ship your merchandise, send automated order confirmations, and take care of supply chain management.

Benefit #5: Improved employee engagement

As evidenced by The Great Resignation, maintaining good employee morale is extremely important for retention. A gift of appreciation can go a long way. 

With our company store solution, we can offer awards that recognize distinguished performance, provide brand name apparel and merchandise options, or even create a completely custom reward portal.


Take control of your brand and your spending, access creative solutions, and get the right product on time, every time with an online custom store. Let us help you customize your solution. Contact us at 877.796.3397 for more information.

Posted by Lee
Promotional Product Trends throughout the Years

Promotional Product Trends throughout the Years

Year after year, our top selling promotional products include pens, tote bags, apparel, and water bottles. But alongside the timeless classics, there are some products that become extremely popular for a short amount of time and then they are forgotten.

Top promotional product categories

Now that’s not to say that your promotional mix should only include products that stand the test of time. Not at all. According to the Advertising Speciality Institute, the average lifespan of a promotional product is about a year, which is plenty of time to capitalize on the current trends.

Our best-selling product in 2021 was a promotional mask. With the uncertainty that goes along with a global pandemic, we don’t really know if masks will join our list of classic products, or in a couple of years, we will have forgotten how popular they were.

Top 5 Best-Selling Promotional Products of 2021

That’s the thing about a trend, some, like power banks or wireless speakers, enter into the market and stay there, while others go the way of the Ben & Jerry’s flavor graveyard.

As we end the year, we thought we’d pay tribute to some of the promotional products that were once extremely beloved, but whose popularity has waned throughout the years. Maybe they’ll come back as retro one day, you never know.

1. Plastic Wristbands

The plastic wristband dates back to the early 2000s when Nike came up with the ubiquitous yellow wristband as a fundraising item for Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation. It was based on the color of Armstrong’s yellow jersey. While the actual Livestrong Bracelet benefited cancer survivors, other charities and organizations took notice of the trend and made their own wristbands.

The fad lost momentum quickly in 2012/2013 when the news of Lance Armstrong’s doping scandal broke. Nike quickly removed their logo from the product, and plastic wristbands became a thing of the past.

2. Clip-on Pedometers

A healthy employee is a productive employee and increasing the number of steps you take is an easy way to increase your general health. Pedometers can provide a clear way of seeing exactly how many steps you’ve taken in a given day. The traditional pedometer was worn on the waistband of your pants and manually counted the number of times your hips moved up and down. Wellness-focused companies and employers often had contests to see who took the most steps. It was a fun way to focus on health.

While counting your daily steps is still something a lot of people do, the device they use is different now. When the iPhone was launched in 2010, along came digital apps that could track a person’s steps directly on their phone. Additionally pedometers like the FitBit, which is worn like a watch, were a more attractive option, and one that could also provide more data and connect digitally to your phone.

3. Selfie Sticks

Due to the increasing popularity of social media photo sites like Instagram and Snapchat, taking a picture of yourself was no longer considered narcissistic and instead almost became an art form. In 2013, the word “selfie” was named Word of the Year by the Oxford Dictionary and added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2014. 

However actually taking a picture of yourself required rather long arms. The Selfie Stick solved that problem by essentially becoming a tripod where the photographer attached their phone to one end of the stick, while holding onto the other. The camera’s shutter could be pressed by either a button on the handle of the stick or a separate remote.

According to the Global Selfie Stick Consumption Report, in the fall of 2014, Amazon sales of the selfie stick rose more than 300 percent. However, as they grew in popularity, they also grew in infamy. With people carrying around what amassed to large metal sticks, safety became a concern, especially in crowds. Museums, festivals, and places like Disneyland began to ban selfie sticks and their popularity began to decline. 

4. Fidget Spinners

Who can forget the fidget spinner craze? In 2017, it seemed like everyone wanted to get their hands on a fidget spinner (literally), but they were the most popular with school-aged kids. Fidget spinners were lauded as a way to help control boredom and provide stress relief. Some claimed that they could help ADHD, though that was never scientifically proven.  

Since they were primarily marketed towards children, safety became a concern with many cheap knockoff products on the market that presented a choking hazard. Additionally, instead of helping with concentration, fidget spinners became a major distraction.

Want to see what’s currently on trend? Check out our New & Trending page for all the latest fads. 

Posted by Lee, 0 comments
Holiday Corporate Gift Giving Made Easy

Holiday Corporate Gift Giving Made Easy

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And it’s also one of the most stressful! While holiday shopping for your family might take precedence, don’t forget about corporate gifting. While you may know that purchasing custom corporate gifts is a good idea in theory, the process can be daunting and time-consuming. Have no fear, Pinnacle Promotions is here to help with our Holiday Portal.

So what’s a holiday portal? Glad you asked. Pinnacle’s Holiday Portal is an easy way to send logo gifts to your clients, customers, or employees. Here’s how it works in four easy steps:

  1. Pick out your merchandise. You’ll be able to work with a merchandise specialist who can provide you with business gift ideas that align with your brand and with your budget.
  1. After you’ve chosen your products, Pinnacle will create a custom landing page where gift recipients will be able to select their gift, input their shipping address for delivery, and enter any other information you’d like. The landing page can be custom-designed to match your brand, or you can choose from our stock designs.
  1. Send us a list of your intended recipients, and we will have our in-house graphic design team send a branded email invitation, which will take them to the landing page so they can enter their information.
  2. Pinnacle will handle all fulfillment, kitting, and shipping. Your corporate holiday gifts will be sent directly to your recipients.

Sound good? Download our PDF for more information. Or give us a call at 800-351-4226 and let us take the stress out of your holiday shopping this year.

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Why Send Corporate Gifts? Our Top 5 Reasons.

Why Send Corporate Gifts? Our Top 5 Reasons.

While you may be trying to find the perfect gift for Great Aunt Betty (harder to find than a PlayStation 5 these days), don’t forget about the corporate side of gift giving. Here are our top five reasons why you should send corporate gifts.

  1. To show your appreciation
  2. To surprise and delight your clients or customers
  3. To make your employees feel valued
  4. To stand out from the competition
  5. To get your name out there

Show Your Appreciation

Customer retention is one of the most important aspects of any business. One of the easiest ways to keep your clients happy and retain their business is by showing your appreciation. This can be done in many ways: a simple thank you email, special exclusive offers, sharing photos of your customers on your social media accounts, and of course, a branded gift

Surprise and delight your clients or customers

Surprise and delight is a marketing strategy where customers are unexpectedly given something special just to make them smile (and remember your brand). The holiday season is a great time to try this strategy out. Though more than half of American companies do send holiday gifts, not all do, so a surprise gift in the mail can really improve relationships between companies and their clients. Improved relationships = more leads = more sales. Most companies spend around $75 on holiday gifting. Some of the more popular gifts include corporate apparel, food, and drinkware. If none of these are within your budget, try a $5 gift card to Starbucks, or a simply hand-written note.

Make your employees feel valued

While most of your corporate gifting budget may go to your clients or customers, don’t forget about your employees. The holidays are a great time to say thank you for all the hard work your staff has put in the past year. Not only will it help office morale, but studies show that business productivity increases by 31% when employees are happy. Additionally, according to a Forbes Magazine survey, 41% of people surveyed said that gifts have improved their employee retention.

Stand out from the competition and strengthen your relationship

You may think that your clients are completely loyal to your brand and your brand only, but chances are that they are constantly being bombarded by your competitors trying to gain their business. By sending corporate holiday gifts to current customers, you are essentially strengthening your relationship and helping them to feel a sense of gratification that they chose you in the first place. According to Indeed, businesses who develop long-standing relationships with clients are more likely to get repeat business and referrals.

Get your name out there

The great thing about promotional products is that they are beneficial for both the recipient and the brand giving them away. Two of the top reasons that people keep promotional products are when they find them useful and when they find them attractive. Choose a holiday gift that’s both! Try an embroidered blanket, a gift for the home, or a brand-name drinkware piece like RTIC or S’well. 9 in 10 people remember the brand on a promotional product that they’ve received. If people remember your brand, they are more likely to purchase again, so give them something special.

While it can be tempting to cut your holiday gift budget to save money, don’t do it! Holiday gifting can be a very important part of your sales and marketing strategy. Give us a call at 800-351-4226 and let us know how we can help you with your holiday gift giving. From product selection, to custom packaging, to drop shipping, Pinnacle Promotions is here to help this holiday season.

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Wired vs. Wireless Chargers: How to Choose

Wired vs. Wireless Chargers: How to Choose

While wireless charging first came onto the scene around 2012, it really wasn’t until 2018 or so, when the iPhone 8 was released, that qi-enabled charging really became mainstream.

Sometimes new technology replaces old (ie: Bluetooth speakers, wireless earbuds, etc), but in other cases there’s a time and place for both new and old technology to shine.

Promotional charging devices are incredibly popular. As of February 2021, 85% percent of adults in the US own a smartphone. So it’s a no brainer to give them out as a promotional product. But do you choose wireless or wired? We can help you decide – just answer the following questions:

Do you want to charge more than one device at a time?

Go with wireless. A larger wireless charging pad can charge multiple devices at once.

Do you want faster charging?

Wired is the way to go. Wired chargers are 30-80% faster than their wireless counterparts.

Do you need to use your device while it’s charging?

We’ve all been there – phone is at 5% battery and you need to make a call. Only wired will work here. Using a cable to charge your phone while on it will slow down the charging, but is perfectly safe to do.

Do you want less wear and tear on your charging device?

Wireless for the win. No repeated plugging and unplugging will mean less damage to your charger.

Do you want a sleeker, more modern look?

Got to go with wireless in this case. There are no messy cables – simply put your device on the charging pad.

Are you looking for a budget-friendly option?

While all chargers come in a variety of price points, wired chargers are traditionally a less expensive choice.

Do you want to charge your device without removing its case or phone grip?

While there are some cases that will work with a wireless charger, many do not, so if you want to play it safe, choose wired.

Still not sure? An Account Manager can help you decide what’s right for you and your specific event. Just give us a call at 800-351-4226 or use our Live Chat or Contact Us form on our site!

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