Understanding the situation is changing rapidly, we have taken many measures already to ensure our employees’ safety, such as extra sanitization and cleaning in our office, providing additional handwashing stations for employees and visiting couriers, etc., giving our employees work from home options if possible, cancelling all in-person meetings, and spacing out work stations if a WFH option is not available.
We also want to take this time to ensure you that our services remain completely operational and we are ready to serve. Our team is monitoring emails and providing quotes, as well as processing and shipping orders. If needed, we can provide ideas to inspire and unite employees during this difficult time and solutions to delivering merchandise and collateral for virtual conferences.
Boss Promotions continues to be thankful for your business and I wish you and your families the best in safety and in health.
When the World Health Organization (WHO) officially made the Coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern, everyone around the world nodded in unison and said, “No kidding!”
Thankfully, the virus has not proven as deadly as previous viruses at this point, but it’s certainly causing serious havoc around the globe. China remains the epicenter of the outbreak. All but 1% of cases are in China, and 34% are in Wuhan, which is on a citywide lockdown.
There’s a lot of confusion, questions, and concern about how the Coronavirus will interrupt business and continue to spread. Peter Hirsch, CEO of Hirsch Gift, offered a supplier’s perspective on the two biggest questions seen across social media from the Promotional Products industry. The following is an unedited interview:
“Peter, what are the two biggest questions you’re seeing regarding the Coronavirus?”
Here is what I think are the important factors to consider from a business perspective in dealing with fallout from the CoronaVirus:
1) Will there be a supply chain disruption?
Factories in many regions in China are going to open late, we don’t know exactly when but somewhere between mid to end February, this is up to a month later than the normal start up after CNY. There will likely be issues of staffing as workers from Wuhan and other areas will not be able to travel back to factories until travel restrictions are lifted.
The result of all this will be that instead of the normal planned one month delay in products from China, the first shipments will probably only arrive in the USA in May compared to April assuming a 60 day production/shipping cycle. Some products with longer cycles much later.
Suppliers with deeper inventories, domestic manufacturers and manufactured products from other countries will be in a better position to handle this issue.
Good advice for distributors would be to advise customers to place orders as early as possible if delivery is required in the next 6 months, that way avoiding disappointment or last-minute scrambling to find alternative choices.
2) Is there a risk of getting the CoronaVirus from product/boxes shipped out of China?
According to World Health Organization (WTO) the virus does not last more than a few hours on objects and taking into account aired and sea freight products to the USA all take from days to a month to ship, there is no risk. We will continue to monitor health updates and take any necessary precautions in this area.
The average tenure for employees has been declining annually, currently at 4.1 years compared to 4.6 years in 2014. Unlike previous generations, Millennials are most likely to switch jobs for better pay and upward career mobility, and the average tenure for workers ages 25 to 34 is 2.8 years. Compare that with 9.9 years for employees ages 55 to 64! Employee retention has never been more important, considering how expensive turnover is. Making sure employees are appreciated and recognized is a proven retention strategy, and 66% of employees say they would quit their job if they felt unappreciated. Whether an employee celebrates their first or tenth work anniversary at your organization, celebrating these milestones and years of service is now more important than ever. Celebrating and gifting is a great way to show recognition and appreciation for all they do! Whether your employee is celebrating their 5, 10, 20, 30, or even 40 year work anniversary, we’ve got gift ideas they’ll really want! 1. Photo collage Photo source: Pexels Give a trip down memory lane with a collage full of photos from their early days and memorable work moments. From photos of orientation to team/corporate events, this will remind them about fun work moments, and how far they’ve come in the organization! Great for: All work anniversaries 2. Commemorative video If you have more time, creating a video is a great way to celebrate an employee. Video ideas could include video messages from the team (and clients) about their experience working with them, clips from company events they’ve been part of, photo slideshows, etc. Great for: All work anniversaries 3. Team party Order in their favorite food (and maybe a cake) and have a team lunch! Create a playlist with music released the year they joined the organization, add some trivia, or other fun games to make the party a fun-filled memorable one. Remote work version: team lunch over video call, create a collaborative playlist to be played anytime, virtual trivia Virtual and free game ideas: Skribbl.io (drawing and guessing game) Lexulous (similar to Scrabble) Great for: All work anniversaries 4. Take them to lunch Alternatively, taking the employee out to their favourite lunch spot is a great way to celebrate and unwind with a great meal. Great for: All work anniversaries 5. Offer lunch with senior leadership Having opportunities to sit down one-on-one with senior leadership is a great opportunity to connect on a professional and personal level, and in most organizations, this doesn’t happen often! This is a great chance for employees to share their ideas about the company, learn, and feel more inspired afterwards. Great for: All work anniversaries 6. Stock options Stock options allow employees to own part of the company, thus encouraging them to help grow and to feel more “connected” to the organization. Great for: Employees with a longer tenure at the organization 7. Increase their number of sick/vacation days For all their hard work, extra leave days are always appreciated. Great for: All work anniversaries 8. Monetary bonus Who doesn’t love some extra money? A one-time monetary bonus will help employees pay for that trip they’ve been saving up for, or that sweater they’ve been eying, or that bike that’ll help them cut down their commute time. Bonuses can be assigned based...
Did you buy any interesting merch for this month? Merch has evolved beyond logos on shirts. Now a wide range of collectible apparel and lifestyle items, merch has also become a tool for building communities and engaging offline experiences. During the pandemic, there was a surge in buying merch as a way to support artists, creators, musicians, restaurants, etc that had sales disrupted by COVID, and as big branded merch fans, we have to say—the more merch, the better! In this post, we’ve rounded up products that have either landed on our radar, were released in September 20221, or are planned for upcoming release. 1. Disney’s Halloween 2021 Merch For the Disney fans missing out on the park experience, Disney recently launched a wide selection of Halloween merch to spookify the wardrobe and home! Focusing on Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Haunted Mansion, and more, the collection is a frightfully good time. Source: Hocus Pocus Reversible Long Sleeve / Disney Villains Pullover 2. Tim Hortons’ “Double Double Collection” Canadian coffee chain Tom Hortons launched a coffee-inspired apparel line on September 29th for National Coffee day, featuring hoodies, sweatpants, T-shirts, and travel mugs that match the colour of their signature two-milk, two-sugar coffee drink. In bilingual Canadian fashion, there will be English (“Double Double”) and French versions (“Deux Deux”) available. Source: Tim Hortons 3. Lamanna’s Bakery Apparel Toronto based Italian bakery/cafe doesn’t hold back when it comes to creating food with fun experiences! Known for their “big slice” pizzas that are 28 inches long, they’ve been featured by media outlets such as The Toronto Star, BlogTo, Delish, Narcity, and more. Launching a merch line that features apparel such as t-shirts, hats, and baby onesies was inevitable given the growing success of the brand, and was a great way to support the bakery during its pandemic-related shutdown. Source: Lamanna’s Bakery 4. Drake x Nike “Certified Lover Boy” Merch Kanye West and Drake both recently released their highly anticipated new albums, along with some new merch. Kanye opted for a merch collaboration with Balenciaga for the “Donda” album, while Drake’s “Certified Lover Boy” merch collaborated with Nike. Source: Drake Related The CLB merch collection has its standard items such as socks and tees, but the real standout is the $3000 pink puffer jacket with heart quilting and a poem printed on the inner chest pocket. To no one’s surprise, this jacket is already sold out! Fun fact: Drake wore this bomber in his “Laugh Now, Cry Later” music video. 5. Lorde’s “Solar Power” Sustainable Merch For an album named “Solar Power”, it makes sense that Lorde decided to launch merch that was made as sustainably and responsibly as possible. Featuring 100% recycled US-grown cotton, the garments are 99.5% biodegradable (everything but the label) and manufactured from start to finish in Los Angeles. Its sustainable and responsible construction does mean that the prices are higher than most musician merch. T-shirts start at $62 USD, but given that Millennials and Gen Z are the most environmentally conscious consumers, this merch line not only works for the environment, but also the ethos of these generations. Source: Green Matters 6. KFC Canada Apparel Launched in August 2021, KFC Canada’s merchandise features sweatshirts, slides, fanny packs, baby’s onesies and more! Some of these pieces are...
At Boss Promotions, we’re seeing a huge influx of employers looking for products and packages to welcome employees back to the office. We love seeing the care and appreciation these businesses have and know these efforts go a long way in supporting their employees. However, we also know that creating a welcoming environment for employees who are adjusting back to life pre-pandemic can be a challenge! Many employers are now utilizing kits to welcome employees back and help rebuild corporate culture. That’s why we’ve got a few pre-made kits available on our kits page for use, and we also have a guide on how to build unforgettable employee onboarding kits. However, if you’re looking for some of our top package and product picks, you’ve come to the right place! Return-to-the-Office Trends Based on client inquiries and requests, some of the patterns we’re seeing with product preferences include: Adding staple items such as a branded journal and drinkware piece More retail/well known brands used Emphasis on sustainability and brands that give back (e.g. Miir, Corkcicle, tentree, Slowtide, etc.) Versatile Employee Kits for Any Industry Whether you’re in advertising, tech, or education, these kits work for every employee! They contain staples such as a notebook and pen, and some have welcome snacks. Warm Welcome Set with Snack – Moleskine journal, tumbler, pen, and a chocolate seed bar Welcoming Wonder Tumbler Gift Box – 16-ounce Corkcicle tumbler and assorted snacks Work & Go Kit – notebook, tech case, 3 pens, and a canvas laptop sleeve Mindfulness and Wellness Kits for Employees Work before the pandemic was stressful enough, let alone during a pandemic! Mental well-being has become increasingly important in professional spaces. Providing employees with an outlet to unplug is not only beneficial for employee well-being, but for office culture. Outside of these kits and products, other activities to look into include: introducing flexible work hours for better work/life balance, promoting mental health awareness, offering mental health resources, etc. Survival Kit – phone/tablet stand, desktop cable organizer, coloring book & 6 color pencils Desk Duty Essentials Kit – terracotta planter, Moleskine journal, and ceramic mug Workout from Home – sport watch/pedometer, and cooling towel Cosy Care Packages Is the air conditioning always too high at work? Do you have employees that mention being cold no matter the season? Want to get a head start on gifting cosy items for fall and winter? Here are some items that are bound to raise the cosiness factor at work and at home, so the cold will be one less thing to worry about! Coffee Break – coffee mug, maple syrup, various Canadian-made snacks, and coffee sachets Mug Gift Set with Gourmet Tea – 11 oz ceramic mug with a choice of tea Micro Coral Plush Blanket Employee Kits for the Techies and Commuters Commuting back to the office unfortunately means unproductive time spent in the car or on public transit. In 2016, the average commute in Canada was 24 minutes for those driving, but for those taking public transit, the average time was closer to 52.5 minutes (Source: Statistics Canada). Multiply that by 2 to calculate a round trip, and the result is a lot of unproductive time. Many commuters have found ways to make the most of this—listening to a podcast or audiobook, reading...
What’s your fall wardrobe looking like? Are you armed with piles of sherpa sweaters and teddy hoodies? Or are you ready to party like it’s Y2K with your metallic puffer vest and silk slip dresses? Fall’s top fabric fashion trends have been a strange combination of party fashion and leisurewear, largely in part due to the pandemic. Lockdowns and economies reopening have made for some interesting fashion choices—some are ready to celebrate the resuming normalcy of life and are dressed ready to party, while others are more content with staying at home under 3 layers of knits. Regardless of your client’s or employees’ style, we’re showcasing some of our favourite trends and pieces with you for inspiration! Corduroy Corduroy is back and reimagined for cold weather! No longer just pants, this fabric’s soft ridged texture, warmth and durability is also perfect for jackets, blazers, skirts, and overalls. We’re also seeing an increased range of colours and prints, making it a versatile fabric for every style. How to style: wear corduroy with casual pieces, or balance bold print corduroys with neutrals Corduroy Grocery Tote Corduroy Cap Corduroy Sherpa Blanket Sherpa Image Source: Haoyang Textile Co Sherpa has been popular in the past few years, but even more so due to the pandemic and people wanting soft and cozy fabrics while they stay cozy at home. Sherpa is designed to recreate the look of sheep wool, and usually made from cotton (aka eco-friendly), provides excellent insulation, and is quick-drying. Admit it, have you bought any sherpa pieces in the past 2 years? How to style: you can find sherpa in a wide range of designs and uses: mixed with rugged materials like corduroy and suede, used alone for hoodies and sweaters, or even in accessories such as scarves or mittens Columbia Sherpa Full-Zip Fleece Jacket Recycled PET Sherpa Blanket Sherpa-Lined Denim Jacket Reliable and Sustainable Knitwear Knitwear has been improved over the past decade through sustainable and responsible manufacturing. The slow fashion movement has been gaining in popularity over the past few years, only heightened by the stresses of the pandemic. Slow fashion, the opposite to fast fashion, focuses on fashion that is more thoughtful and intentional. This means manufacturing with sustainability in mind, and thinking about the process with people, the environment and animals in mind. As people shop for comfortable knitwear to lounge in at home, there is a stronger emphasis on not just comfort, but durability and reliability as well! Looking for more information on sustainable fabrics? Learn more in our guide to sustainable fabrics and materials! How to style: knitwear (e.g. jersey knit, sweater knits, crochet Knit, fleece knits, etc) comes in a wide range of designs, patterns, and colours, which means you can wear it any way you want! Triblend Fleece Jogger Pant made from recycled polyester Women’s Knit Jacket Unisex pom pom toque Puffy and Quilted Move over trench coats, the puffer is back! Puffer jackets and vests have returned to mass popularity due to their utilitarian benefits, but now extend past the standard black to include bold colours and designs. Offering insulation and waterproof/resistant properties, these pieces are also great for transitional weather. How to style: the puffer’s oversized silhouette can be overwhelming, but they tend to pair well with sleek basics (e.g. turtlenecks)...
With endless ways to market your business, advertising spend can get expensive! However, there are still many free and low-cost impactful marketing ideas that will boost your business and won’t break the bank. We’ve come up with 20 impactful ideas, and divided the list into categories: online and offline marketing ideas. Jump to offline marketing ideas Free and Low-Cost Online Marketing Ideas 1. Create a website Image source: FreePik Creating a great website has many advantages: ability to showcase your products/services, allows you to be searchable on Google, displays your business’ reviews and testimonials, makes the business look professional and legitimate, and many more! In today’s world where 3.5 billion searches per day happen on Google, it is more important than ever to not only have a site, but a great site built with search optimization (SEO) practices and user experience in mind. Some common site builders (both free and paid) include: WordPress, Squarespace, Shopify Cost: Depends on website provider 2. Content marketing Blog posts, photos, whitepapers, infographics, videos, webinars, e-books, podcasts, case studies—you’d be surprised at how much content we consume daily! Whether this content sits on your site, or on an industry publication, or other platforms, it’s important to create content that’s relevant and accessible for your audience so they can find and read it. As well, consider repurposing content—that blog post with stats you just published might be able to be turned into an infographic or video! A general rule is to spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% promoting the content. Cost: Free 3. Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Youtube, etc.) Short-form video content is experiencing a huge surge in interest and engagement in 2021. 68% of marketers in 2020 have reported that video has a better return on investment than Google Ads. With huge opportunities for brands to build engagement and a following through both paid and organic posts, there are also other unique opportunities via social media, such as: influencer marketing (e.g. sending influencers product in exchange for a mention or review) building direct relationships with customers building an online community keeping tabs on competitors generating leads and boosting conversions running an online contest or giveaway, or giving coupons branded hashtags Typically, high quality useful or entertaining content does best. Cost: Free 4. Email marketing Did you know that email marketing can generate $42 for every $1 spent? Sending emails is a great way to send communications (e.g. newsletters) to your subscribed audience about new products, sales, and other events. Email signatures are another great place to mention ongoing promotions. When emailing customers or external companies, this is an opportunity to subtly encourage them to visit the site or anything else that’s linked in the signature. Cost: Free (depending on number of subscribed users) 5. Online networking and contributing to online communities Joining a referral or professional networking group, either online or offline, can help establish a business in the community. As well, contributing to industry-relevant forums and groups can help businesses get a pulse on consumer trends and promote their business, when relevant. Some great places to jump into community discussions and mention your brand include Reddit, Facebook groups, Quora, etc. Cost: Free to low-cost (depending on professional group) 6. Online listings There are numerous opportunities to list your...
When thinking about branded merchandise and promo products, you’re likely thinking about company logos printed on standard items such as water bottles, t-shirts, and stationery. However, some brands are releasing anything-but-boring items. These companies have nailed their branding, understand their audience, mixed in some fun, and are now serving up merchandise that generates buzz! Take notes, because we’ve rounded up some of the best uses of promotional products we’ve seen! 1. Panera Bread’s ‘Swim Soups’ Collection Source: Panera Bread Swim Soups Inspired by a survey Panera released, which found that 70% of people stated that the hot weather did not stop them from eating soup, the restaurant chain released four soup-inspired swimwear styles and a “Bread Bowl” pool float. These items are fun and practical for poolside soup-sippin’, and given their sold-out status, we’d say these were a hit! As well, we love the word play between “swimsuit” and “swim soup”. 2. Teletubbies Pride Month Merchandise Source: Teletubbies Love Pride Colourful Teletubbies. A catchphrase of “Big Hug”. Psychedelic backgrounds. Creating a Teletubbies Pride collection was inevitable. With 90’s inspired items such as bucket hats and fanny packs emblazoned with the Teletubbies colours, the collection embodies the Teletubbies’ “love who you are” and “big hugs, big love” spirit. Proceeds from the sales will go towards GLAAD, the LGBTQ+ media organization! 3. Portillo’s Pool Float Source: Portillo’s Portillo’s, an American fast casual restaurant chain known for their Chicago-style food, definitely had fun releasing this pool float inspired by their Italian Beef sandwich. The chain also has other fun merchandise such as cheese fries-adorned socks, hot dog cufflinks, giardiniera print swimwear, with all sale proceeds going to their nonprofit organization supporting employees facing financial hardships. Selling branded products is a great way to raise funding for a non-profit or cause, as it gives consumers a tangible product to remember you by. 4. BarkBox NBA Boxes for Dogs Source: BarkBox For the furry basketball fans and their parents who want to represent their favourite team, BarkBox (a monthly subscription service providing dog products) developed six themed boxes in partnership with the NBA. Each box was based on a team, and contained a logo chew, a Buddy toy, and a bandana. The teams are: The LA Lakers The Philadelphia 76ers The Milwaukee Bucks The Brooklyn Nets The Dallas Mavericks The Houston Rockets Pet promotional products are an often overlooked category of products, but they can be so impactful in creating a relationship between a brand and consumer! Here’s our guide to choosing the best pet promotional products. 5. IKEA Bucket Hats Source: IKEA IKEA, known for their iconic blue shopping bag, has other branded merchandise such as this blue bucket hat made from the same blue polypropylene material. Bucket hats have made a comeback in 2020-2021, making them a great branding opportunity! 6. Taco Bell Puzzle Source: Instagram Jigsaw puzzle sales saw a huge uptick in sales in 2020 as people found ways to entertain themselves during stay-at-home order. Taco Bell released various puzzles last year, with some selling out, and many commenting on the solid quality of the puzzle pieces. Now that’s something to taco ‘bout! 7. ContentKing SEO Socks Source: ContentKing ContentKing, a marketing software company, gave away a free pair of socks to all participants of their SEO (search engine optimization)...
Planning new employee welcome kits can be a fun but stressful challenge. You’ve browsed through dozens of sample kits and read our guide on how to create the perfect employee welcome package, but sometimes you need more concrete examples of what other companies have done. We’ve scoured the Internet, and here are some of the best employee welcome kits that we’ve found! 1. Coursera Source: LinkedIn Coursera, a massive open e-learning provider, has included several drinkware bottles in their kit, as well as a mask, baseball cap, snacks, a notebook, webcam cover, and an unexpectedly fun LED message board! 2. PricewaterhouseCoopers Source: LinkedIn PricewaterhouseCoopers, a global management consulting firm, has a few key items in their welcome kit, such as a branded notebook, drinkware, and other remote working essentials such as a portable laptop stand and wireless earbuds. The tea and diffuser add an extra personal touch to the kit! 3. Dropbox Source: Behance File hosting service provider Dropbox provides a journal, pen, fun laptop decals, camp mug, a bag of coffee, and a welcome note to new employees. 4. Vimeo Source: Typelane Vimeo, a video platform, has a fun-filled employee welcome kit that includes a branded hat, bright notebook, drinkware, and a pillow! 5. Percolate Source: LinkedIn Percolate, a marketing software platform, includes a set of kraft notebooks, drinkware, a mousepad, pens, stickers, employee business cards, and jars of granola in its onboarding kit. Other variants of the kit include a T-shirt, coffee mug, tote bag and Kindle. Why a Kindle? Noah Brier, the co-founder of Percolate, explains: “That’s linked to a core idea that we are a learning organization. It’s our responsibility to help encourage people to continue to read and make themselves better.” 6. AECOM Source: LinkedIn Fortune 500 engineering firm AECOM keeps it sleek and professional with their new employee kit. With items such as drinkware, a journal and pen, phone stand, and other apparel tucked inside a branded box, some of the items are also personalized with the employee’s name, making it extra special! 7. Salesforce Source: Medium Salesforce, the largest SaaS company in the world, keeps their employee onboarding kit fun and professional with books, stickers, a gift certificate, stationery, and a Nerf gun! 8. Shipsy Source: LinkedIn Shipsy, a logistics management platform, has the basics of any employee kit—a branded water bottle, journal, apparel, etc. However, what is most impressive are the well-designed motivational postcards! Featuring logistics motivational themed quotes such as, “Always think outside the box” and “The best view comes after the hardest climb”, these are bound to be framed! 9. Ogilvy Source: Dieline Ogilvy’s bold and well-designed “induction box” was designed with David Ogilvy’s “8 creative habits” in mind, and contains a book authored by David Ogilvy, a beautiful A5 red notebook, pencil, USB, and an unconventional addition of a metal slinky. Not bad for one of the world’s leading creative agencies! 10. Huge Inc Source: Moo HUGE Inc’s playful onboarding kit includes tote bag, branded pencils, a gift card to a local coffee shop, and candy. The tote bags are designed by the agency’s employees, and some of the designs can be found here! 11. M&C Saatchi Performance Source: Digiday M&C Saatchi Performance is a global digital media agency, and their employee welcome kit is designed with the...
Hiring and onboarding new employees can be an exciting but stressful task—will the new employees like the coffee machine? Will they enjoy the company culture? How many onboarding meetings is too many meetings? Employee welcome packages can reduce some of this stress and help successfully onboard new employees. The packages typically include necessities to help them succeed in their first weeks, as well as other fun items to help them feel more connected to the organization. Aside from the usual items, such as an employee handbook and branded stationery, fun items to consider adding include snacks, apparel, and even tech items! Not only do they offer utilitarian benefits, employee welcome packages can hugely affect the new hires’ perception of the company. Which items are chosen and how they are presented can speak volumes about what the corporate culture is like and how employees are valued. Here are some stats that’ll make you rethink the onboarding process: A strong onboarding process can improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by 70% A negative onboarding experience leads to employees being 2x as likely to look for other career opportunities Up to 20% of employee turnover happens in the first 45 days Manager satisfaction increases by 20% when their employees have formal onboarding training Regardless of your company brand and corporate culture, we’ve got ideas and products that will excite, inspire, and help retain new employees! But First—a Company Analysis Welcome packages should reflect aspects of the company, such as: mission values industry corporate culture If you had to distill these elements into products, what would that look like? How do you want your employees to feel when they interact with the package? For example, advertising giant Ogilvy & Mather is known for their iconic marketing campaigns rooted in creating engaging experiences. Their “Induction Box” is thoughtfully designed, embracing David Ogilvy’s concept of “8 Habits of Highly Creative Communities” to engage a different audience—employees. The employee welcome kit is a visual representation of the 8 creative habits in action. The habits are: courage, idealism, curiosity, playfulness, candour, intuition, free-spiritedness, and persistence. Equipped with a copy of Ogilvy’s book, “The Eternal Pursuit of Unhappiness”, the box also comes with a branded notebook, metal slinky, pencil, USB, and other guides that encourages new employees to foster these 8 habits. (Source: Dieline) If you’re interested in learning more on how to build a brand experience, read our blog post outlining the 3 keys to creating an impactful brand experience! The New Employee Onboarding Checklist Regardless of your company or industry, most onboarding processes/welcome kits have the same core administrative items: Employee handbook HR forms (e.g. financial/tax information, benefits forms, policies, confidentiality agreements) Guides (e.g. organizational chart, office map, parking map, health and safety) Employee related logins/passes (e.g. wifi passwords, parking card, keys/locks) Personalized note Products for the Ultimate New Employee Welcome Package The perfect employee welcome box should be a blend of practical and “fun” products. Practical items will likely be used frequently and maybe even out-of-office, so choose high quality branded items that can sustain the wear and tear! Fun items add a more “human” touch to the stressful onboarding process, and can bring small moments of joy to employees. Practical Items Office supplies (notebook, pens, highlighters, post it notes, folders, etc.) Water...
When we take a closer look at some of the biggest brands in the world, how do they stand out against their competitors? What differs Coca-Cola from Pepsi when they are both sugary soft drinks? Well, much of it has to do with marketing and brand experience! Taking a closer look at Coke, much of their marketing is focused on experiences. This focus is reflected in slogans such as “Open Happiness” and “Together Tastes Better”, which emphasize not the product itself, but the positive emotions associated with the context in which the product is consumed, e.g. social settings, fun everyday moments. As well, Coke’s campaigns ‘Share a Coke’ and “Coca-Cola’s New ‘Hug Machine’ were notable because they focused on users at different touchpoints, and unconventional but memorable events. Positive user experiences help build positive brand experiences, and is a reason for Coke’s dominance in the market. So how can any company build and leverage brand experience to generate brand awareness, revenue, and more? Let’s run through the basics. What is a brand experience? Marty Neumeier, author of “The Dictionary of Brand”, defines brand experience as: “all the interactions people have with a product, service, or organization”. These interactions lead to the building of certain thoughts, feelings, reactions, and responses to a brand. Here’s the challenge: these interactions can happen anywhere. Online on the brand’s website, social media platforms, through customer service representatives, and offline through in-store interactions with staff, the products/services, events, etc. Managing how customers perceive a brand is so important when we look at how vast and infinite the market is, and how different competitors approach customers. Why is brand experience important? Brand experience is important because it builds brand awareness, brand loyalty, and brand endurance. Positive experiences inspire and engage audiences to take action, and ultimately improves a brand’s competitiveness and longevity in the market. Think about the negative brand experiences you have. Whether it was a poor customer experience, misaligned brand messaging or response, or a non-so-great product experience, you’ve likely stopped shopping with them since. Now imagine that on a larger scale—how many customers need to be lost before a company becomes unprofitable? For companies who want to survive in the market long-term, creating positive and memorable experiences in the mind of the consumer is key to being chosen over competitors when completing the sale. How to create a strong and memorable brand experience Building a strong brand experience relies on a few foundational steps: consistent messaging, tailored touchpoints, and exceptional experiences. 1. Consistent Messaging and Storytelling A common misconception about marketing is that it pushes products onto consumers. Well, the reality is that marketing finds consumer challenges and provides solutions! Marketing is very customer-oriented—understanding what information matters to customers, what their challenges are, what their interests are, and any other relevant information to help customers achieve a goal. Brand storytelling must then not only reflect the company’s mission, but also the customer’s story. To build trust, customers should be able to resonate with the company’s messaging, and this messaging must be consistent throughout the company’s mission statement, business decisions, marketing, storytelling, and other touchpoints. A consistent message is a strong message, and builds trust and credibility with consumers. Case Study: How LinkedIn Boosted their Platform through Consistency LinkedIn’s mission statement is “to connect...
One of the services that we offer for our clients is building and supplying e-commerce stores with branded merchandise, and managing product fulfillment. It’s a great solution for businesses such as bands, schools, sports teams, franchises who might not have the capacity, or businesses who want to allow employees to shop for company merch on a reputable platform. We’ve worked with numerous companies across multiple industries to manage their e-commerce process! When working with clients, we want to ensure the site follows brand guidelines, and the products stocked are relevant with their audiences. Here are some of the questions we explore with clients during the process. Product Selection Process for an E-Commerce Store Ultimately, marketing is about finding solutions for customers! Major considerations are made regarding the business’ target audience—key demographics, preferences, lifestyle, where they are located, what their major challenges/wants/needs are, etc. As well, what is the level of quality and diversity in products that consumers expect from your brand? Is your brand known for its affordable apparel or premium goods? What profit margins are you aiming for? Looking at competitors—what products are they stocking and what are their best sellers? What gaps can you identify in the market that you can fulfil and add value to your brand with? Leveraging Favourite and Popular Items Every business will have best sellers. If you’re a new business that is unsure, now’s the time to engage with your audience to find out what branded items they’d love to see! (Some options would be outreach via social media, email, survey, face-to-face conversations, etc.) Versatile products that consumers generally love include: apparel such as t-shirts and sweatshirts, accessories such as baseball caps and backpacks, drinkware such as water bottles and mugs, and miscellaneous products such as notebooks and pens As previously mentioned, it’s important to think about consumer genders, demographics, geographic location, budget, and what type of experience you want to create for them. For example, a younger consumer might respond more positively to an iridescent water bottle compared to an older individual! Products pictured: Organic Cotton Tee | Stainless steel tumbler | Ballcap For established businesses, some questions to ask would be: Which products have the highest sales volume? Can variations of the product be produced (e.g. new colour, size)? Which products are the most profitable? What products have customers responded positively to in the past and would like to see brought back? These questions will also be key to think about when planning future products. Introducing On Brand Products Promotional Merchandise has Classics. The Usuals. The Standards. Items that everyone will use and want in their daily life. The question is – how to you choose the right ones that represent your brand? What items aren’t currently being offered, but could be because they align with a company’s image or identity? For example, while Apple was known for their computers, branching out into tablets was acceptable because it aligned with Apple’s image as unparalleled in well-designed computers and electronics. Eyebrows would definitely be raised if they decided to launch shoes! Thinking about your audience and buyer personas (aka profiles of your ideal customers) and your branding, here are some questions to consider: What does your brand stand for? What items can fall into your audience’s lifestyle? If your business is...