Trends in Promotional Products and Marketing

There are plenty of reasons you might want to do business with Hasseman Marketing.  We have that bubbly personality, our engaging smile, the ability to tell dad jokes, and more.  But our goal is certainly to provide more reasons than just being fun at a party!  We want to make sure we stay up on all of the latest trends that will affect our business…and yours.  That is why we come to you today to discuss some of the trends we see in promotional products and marketing now.

The Costs Will Be Rising

We hate to be the bearer of bad news…but here we are!  Challenges with shipping items into the country are no secret.  For the past few months, getting large ships into port has been a challenge.  We can blame any number of factors…but more and more shipments have been affected.  Combine that with the ship that was stuck in the Suez canal that backed up shipping for days and cost billions, and you have a recipe for increased costs.  It’s not just in the promotional industry to be sure.  But it will be coming, as soon as later this year.  This is not a doomsday prediction.  Everything will be fine.  But just be prepared.  As a matter of fact, if you are planning for events later in the year, you might get ahead of the game by getting orders moving sooner rather than later.

Work From Home Is Still A Thing

While some companies are calling people back to the office, a large number of organizations may have changed the way they work forever.  While I personally wonder what this means for company culture moving forward, many point to increased flexibility and productivity.  And let’s face it, for many organizations it means a decrease in rent!  What does that mean for you?  It means you still need to consider delivery in your promotional products campaigns.  Some suppliers have really become amazing at creating drop-ship programs that can reach your team or customers right where they are.  Make sure you factor that in your cost and your timeline when you create your next campaign.

Doing Brand Good Is Important

We have talked about this for over a year now.  Brands want to not only tell their story.  They want to leave some bread crumbs of “brand good” behind.  This means creating promotions with a purpose.  You can do that in a ton of ways.  One of them is to support suppliers or products that have a giveback component to each item.  There are more than you might think.  One example is the Basecamp line of products from Sweda.  Every purchase from this amazing brand donates money to the Wounded Warrior product.  They donated $100,000 in 2021!  You can learn more here.  There has never been a better time to use your brand to do good.

Online Learning Is Here To Stay

While no one is more excited to get back to in-person events than me, online learning is here to stay.  The technology has been here for years, but now we have come to accept that we can level up our game from home…then use it right away.  This has created the chance to learn at a much more affordable cost.  That’s great news.  That is why we have helped to create Better Business University.  Our goal is to create a low-cost learning option for those that want to level up…and help their team do the same.  You can learn more about this project here...and help us shape it as well.

These are just a few trends that we see in promotional products and marketing.  As I said, we love that you do business with us because of our sparkling personality, but I hope this adds some value to the relationship as well!  If you want to chat more about any of these, please reach out to your rep or click here to schedule a time to chat!

What’s The Worst Thing That Can Happen with a Branded Beach Towel?

When I first got into the promotional industry, I had a sales trainer (who also happened to be my dad) ask me a simple question.  “What is the worst thing that can happen to a promotional product?”  Being the young smartass I was (as opposed to the older one I am now), I grabbed the calendar he was holding out, looked at it, and then threw it in the trash can in the corner.

Smiling.  He looked up at me and said “Exactly!”

He went onto explain that I noticed the promotional item.  I looked at it.  Then I discarded it.  “That is the worst thing that can happen to a calendar (or any piece of branded merchandise).  But that is the best thing that can happen with most other advertising!”  This might sound like a simple story, but it has powerful implications for your marketing.  When you are deciding how to market, you should consider the results you get with promo and other advertising.

I tell you that story to tell you this one.  Sometimes there are problems when ordering branded merchandise.  I have actually talked about that before here.  So let me tell you about the time a Beach Towel order went sideways…and what happened.

It started like any other order.

I met with one of my favorite clients.  Lisa Reed, Executive Director at RHDD, and I have a great relationship.  I work hard to understand her business.  She talks about that here.  In addition, she asks me to push her on deadlines.  She has so many details in her brain running RHDD (an amazing organization that serves people with Developmental Disabilities) that sometimes she needs me to help keep her on task on promotional projects.

I tell you this because of what happened next.

Lisa and I had discussed getting beach towels to recognize her team.  She wanted to do something other than just her logo.  She wanted a message recognizing how much she appreciated her team.  We had bounced around a few ideas and landed on a message that said “My boss kinda thinks I am a big deal!”  We had our theme and worked on a design to make it fun on the towel.  In addition, we had discussed our deadline.  Lisa had an event where she wanted to hand the towels out…and it was coming up quickly.

I sent over the proof for approval and did not hear back.  As I mentioned, Lisa is super busy, so I sent another reminder.  Still nothing in response.  After I sent the proof over a third time with no response, I was starting to get nervous.  The deadline was coming up fast.  I got a message from the supplier that if we did not the proof approved today, they would not have their towels on time.

So I made the decision to approve the towels.

The supplier worked their miracles and the towels arrived on time for the event.  There was one really significant problem.  Lisa and her team had decided they were not going to do the beach towels.  They had not approved the proof because they did not want to move forward.  It’s not that they did not want to recognize their employees, they were not just not sure about the design.  Lisa called me to tell me the “good news/bad news” situation.  The good news is that the towels arrived on time.  The bad news is, they had decided they did not want them.

Lisa was gracious and kind.  It was my mistake.  While I was trying to do the right thing to take care of my client (and keep them on deadline) I had most certainly over-stepped.  But after seeing the towels, she decided to give them to her team anyway.  At the designated event, Lisa and her leadership team gave the towels to her employees.  The response at the event was great…but then something cool and unexpected started to happen.

One by one, when her employees went on vacation, they started to post pictures of themselves on the beach with their new towels!  Without being asked, the team tagged RHDD on Facebook to show how much their boss “thinks they are a big deal!”  For an organization that is proud of their employees, this was magic.

branded beach towel

As a matter of fact, I would say “it’s kind of a big deal!”

While the situation was not ideal (I will never do that again), the outcome was really great.  It does go to show you that, when you recognize your employees using beach towels (or other branded merchandise), good things happen.  Even when the delivery does not go as planned, the outcome really can be powerful.

Special thanks to Lisa Reed for her leadership and understanding on this project!  If you are looking for a great place to work that really does value their team, you can learn more about RHDD here.  

And if you want to discuss an appreciation project for your team, let’s talk!  

3 Sanitizing Products That Everyone Will Still Appreciate After the Pandemic

Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have tried to help you stay on top of what you (and your business) would need to do business safely.  We all want to get back to some semblance of normal (whatever that means now), but we want to keep our employees, our customers, and our loved ones safe.  We talked about what organizations needed to do to safely open back up here.  And now, as the vaccines are starting to roll out and the government begins to cautiously talk about restoring normalcy, the light at the end of the tunnel is getting a bit brighter.

And seeing that light get brighter is very exciting!

While we are starting to see signs of the pandemic easing up, there are certainly lessons we won’t soon unlearn!  There are likely precautions we won’t stop taking even as the restrictions ease up.  And that is not a bad thing!  Not only does this hopefully mean we will be smarter about spreading germs but also presents an opportunity for branding to the savvy marketer!

3 Sanitizing Products That Everyone Will Still Appreciate After the Pandemic

That’s right.  Even though things are changing for the better, there are still some great marketing products that smart marketers will use well into the future.  These are things that will be sought after at trade shows (yes they will come back) and appreciated as marketing gifts.

Paper Soap

Hopefully, the number one lesson we have all learned is that we need to do a better job washing our hands!  I know…it still seems weird that we needed to be taught that.  That being said, some locations are just not as easy to wash our hands as others.  If a restroom is out of soap, you are just out of luck.  But Paper Soap helps you solve this problem with soap on the go.  Each packet is filled with 30 thin (citrus scented) pieces of soap.  It’s useful, appropriate, and a conversation starter.  We love this one!  Learn more here and order here.

Hand Sanitizer

When this pandemic started, the whole world seemed to run out of hand sanitizer (and toilet paper).  It makes sense, as everyone was scrambling to keep their hands clean.  But supplies are back and now is still a great time to show your customers you care by giving them hand sanitizer to go.  Think about every time you pump your gas, or grab a door, or (gasp) shake someone’s hand!  It is nice to have a travel size of hand sanitizer handy.  There are several options here.

Wireless Charger and Sanitizer Box

As I have long said, one of the most valuable marketing spaces in the world is around your customer’s phone.  We have it with us all of the time.  But your phone also tends to be way more “germy” than we would like to think!  That is why this item is an amazing gift for any employee or top customer.  It’s not cheap…but there is a reason.  This is an item that will be used each day…and remembered for years.

These are just a few of the Sanitizing Products That Everyone Will Still Appreciate After the Pandemic.  Learn more and order here.  And if you have questions, please let us know.

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Best Branded Tech Products for February

We all want to get “back to normal.”  You can tell that we are excited too.  We have recently talked about when events would be coming back, and we have given you a preview of some great products for reaching your customers in the great outdoors.  These give you an important preview of things to come.

And while it seems the news is improving (with vaccine roll-out and lower numbers), we are not there quite yet.  So we wanted to give you a few hot branded products that will help you show appreciation to your team right now, and reach your customers right where they are.

So here our list of the Best Branded Tech Products for February.

LED Desk Lamp with Wireless Charger

Many organizations are making the decision to work from home permanently.  And while we certainly got a real taste of it, many people are still trying to get all the tools to make it productive.  This LED lamp and charger is the perfect addition to your home work space.  It has an adjustable light with 3 levels and a wireless charger to make sure you can keep productive, even when on the move.

10W Wireless Charger Pad and Phone Stand

There is nothing worse than getting up from a work day and realizing your phone is dead.  It’s time to workout, or do something fun, and you feel trapped.  This wireless charger pad and phone stand help keep that from happening…and help you keep an eye on your messages all day.

Swivel TWS Wireless Earbuds and Charger Case

Functional and cool.  This is a great item to give your team (and your best clients) as it will be appreciated nearly every day. Wireless earbuds housed in a 400 mAh recharger case, these can be use to better concentrate at work, listen to music on the work out or to communicate on calls.  When it comes to your brand, functional and cool seems like a message worth sending.

15W Wireless Charger & Sanitizer Box

Living in the world we live in today, this might be the most functional of all.  The idea is simple.  Put your phone into the box and have it cleaned with a blue light to make sure you are not putting unwanted germs on your hands and face!  When you are done, place the phone on top and use it as a wireless charger.  Oh…and you can use it for more than phones!  You can use it to sterilize glasses, watches, jewelry, smartwatches, fitness trackers, ear buds, credit cards, keys, small personal grooming tools, and other small objects.

There you have it!  It’s our Best Branded Tech Products for February!  If you want more information on any of these items, or you want other ideas to help build your brand now, click here and we can schedule a time to talk about your marketing.

When we Deliver Marketing Joy…your business thrives.

When Will In Person Events Come Back?

The past year has taught us a lot.  We have learned to sell from home, groom ourselves, and Zoom.  And while there are some things that have been surprisingly positive, most people I know miss being able to attend events in person.  There is just something about the energy and the ability to interact face to face that is hard to replace.  I know I can’t wait to get back to this level of “normal.”

But when will in-person events come back?

One thing I learned quickly in 2020 was, “don’t make predictions!”  It seemed like, starting in March of last year, situations were changing so fast that there was no way to predict the future.  We just needed to deal with what was in front of us.  But as we look forward, I am getting a little more comfortable breaking this rule.

So here is my prediction…look for small and medium shows to come back in the 3rd quarter.

With the vaccine rollout going forward, more and more people are getting inoculated every day.  The more people that have the vaccine, the more people will be comfortable heading to in-person events.  The fact is, some smaller events have already started.  I talk about a recent show I attended here.  Look for more of that to continue.  My sincere hope is that it will be closer to summer.  But giving event organizers time to get ready, 3rd quarter seems more likely and more realistic.

What Does This Mean For You?

While I don’t see the mega shows coming back right away, this means that many businesses will be able to go to market at these small and medium-sized shows.  If you are planning events, you can start to get these events back on the calendar.  We have actually made that decision.  Our annual Customer Appreciation Show (canceled last year) is back on the calendar for October 14th (more on that soon).

If you are an attendee at this style of event, it’s time to get ready!  Most of us have not taken our signage and display information out of the boxes in a year!  It’s time to take a look at that material.  Is it still accurate?  I mean, a lot has changed since last year this time!  I often joke that last March seems like 5 years ago!  Do you have new messaging?  Is it time for an update?  Have mice decided to move into the boxes and eat your display?  These are questions you want to ask now…not a week before your show!

An Amazing Virtual Showroom

So let’s assume for just a moment that your signage needs help.  Where do you go from here.  As always, we would be happy to help.  Click here and we can schedule a time to talk.  But in the meantime, I want to share this super cool new tool for you to check out for yourself.  Our partners at Showdown Displays have created this amazing virtual showroom.  You have to see it to believe it.  It’s their 7000-foot showroom at their facility with nearly all of the products they sell.  You can “walk” through the showroom using your arrow keys.  Then when you come to a product you are interested in, just hover on the purple dot for information on the product.  You can click on it to get more information and pricing.  I think this is so cool!

So there you have it.  I think there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Events will be coming back soon.  Will you be ready?  We would be happy to help!

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5 Products To Reach Your Customers in the Great Outdoors

During the past year, American’s spent more time outside.  To be fair, this is probably true around the world, but after being cooped up in quarantine, we were all thirsty for the outdoors.  Sales on RV’s, kayaks, and boats were all off the charts.  We wanted to take advantage of any chance to enjoy some time in the outdoors.  Prognosticators will tell you this trend is going to continue into 2021.

So how do you take advantage of this trend?  Create marketing and branded merchandise that reach your customers, employees and prospects when they are happy…and out enjoying nature.

Here are 5 products to reach your customers in the great outdoors.

Urban Peak® Blue Ridge Trail 20 oz Water Bottle:  We all know it.  When you are out in the great outdoors it’s important to stay hydrated.  Whether out on the boat, hiking the trail or at the beach, we need to have our favorite beverage with us.  This awesome water bottle will keep your cold drinks cold and your hot drinks hot for hours.  And with a great imprint area, you have a chance to really leave a mark.  Get more information here.

Urban Peak® Slate 36 Can Waterproof Cooler:  When you are out enjoying the fresh air with some friends, it’s great to bring a cooler.  This 36 can size is not too bulky and can be great for a small gathering.  No matter if you want to cola, water or your favorite adult beverages, this cooler bag with a leak proof liner has you covered.

BIG UN’ Camp Chair:  When it’s time to take a load off, we have a great item for you.  Travel chairs are always a great gift…but they are not all built the same.  The Big Un Camp Chair was designed with comfort in mind. This chair features an extra-wide design, cushioned headrest, full length back pocket, mesh armrest pocket, and a cup holder to provide for the day’s necessities. The 400 lb. tag rating will give full confidence to the burliest user.  Learn more here.

Coleman® 36-Hour 42-Can Marine Soft-Sided Cooler:  I personally fell in love with this cooler at a golf outing.  It has a great look and a perfect branding location.  In addition, the quality of the cooler is top notch.  And the top lid makes it easy to grab a beverage and go without opening the whole bag.  You can find more info here.

FUSION BACKPACK CHAIR WITH COOLER:  This is the chair you and your customers need if you are “going to be there for a while!”  As the vendor says, this chair has so many features, you may want to make it your new office.  Including a backpack, cooler, a shelf and so much more, the Fusion Chair is for the most discerning of outdoor experts!

There you have it!  Here are 5 amazing products to help you reach your customers while they enjoy the great outdoors!  Want more ideas?  Please reach out to your HMC rep or click here to set up a time to chat!