Here's a taste of what we saw
January is typically a heavy tradeshow month and 2016 was no exception. Benefit Marketing Brand Advisors found ourselves in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Sacramento visiting wine, gift, and promotional product industry shows. We walked the aisles - got lost more than once - searching for the latest trends in our industry to bring them to our clients. While feeding our fitbits we sourced some amazing new ideas. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for a catalog of the trends we spotted!
Here's a taste of what we saw
ROSE QUARTZ AND SERENITY! For the first time in Pantone history the color of the year is plural. Two colors were chosen to represent and reflect 2016.
The colors evoke a mindset of tranquility and inner peace as the need for reassurance and security is becoming more prominent in our culture, according to the organization. Weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, Serenity has a calming effect, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times. Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure.
Each color can make a striking statement on its own, but works equally well as an accent when joined with other shades or through patterning, plaids, floral prints, striping and color blocking. Variations of this hue will be seen in a variety of textures that make it appropriate year round.
The prevalent combination of Serenity and Rose Quartz also challenges some more traditional perceptions around color association.
“In many parts of the world, we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to culture, which has in turn impacted color trends throughout all other areas of design,” said Eiseman. “This more unilateral approach to color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity; the consumers’ increased comfort with using color as a form of expression, which includes a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged; and an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to color usage.”
Each year’s selection process involves Pantone’s color experts sorting through new color influences, such as the entertainment industry, art collections, fashion and other areas of design.
This past week our team attended the Quickbooks Connect Conference in San Jose, California. We were wowed and inspired by engaging speakers -Jessica Alba, Brian Graser, Robert Hercovich and even OPRAH herself. In the breakout sessions we learned about solutions to issues many small businesses face including managing cash flow, payroll, social media marketing, transacting overseas wire transfers and a variety of other topics. And, we had many other opportunities to network in the delicious breakfast and lunch buffets lines as well as the candy shop, beer garden or at the evening concert featuring The Goo Goo Dolls! It was a fantastic day complete with a small tradeshow. Check out the swag!
This season, plaid is making a big comeback in the fashion world. Whether it's coats, flannels, blankets, hats, or even socks, there is wide variety of plaid options. While plaid is a generally recognized pattern in the U.S., known for it's criss-cross bands in different colors, the pattern actually originates from Scotland, where it is known as tartan.
Orginally made from wool, plaid (tartan) now comes in a variety of materials. This pattern started off as being used for Scottish kilts, and was adopted as the symbolic national dress of Scotland. Today, plaid has now made its way into fashion, and can be seen in clothing items, blankets, hats, and more. Many desginers such as Burberry, Tory Burch, and Coach all incorporate plaid into their handbags, scarves, and shoes, and use a variety of band sizes and colors when designing plaid items. Plaid is a timeless pattern that will not only keep you warm, but also keep you stylish this fall.
Adding your logo onto a timeless pattern such as plaid will keep your brand fresh.
The newest trend in fashion comes in a multitude of colors. In fact, adding your logo to patterns in rainbow is a great way to have your design stand out compared to traditional, neutral colors. Because there are so many different variations of rainbow patterning, such as color choice, layout variation, and gradient, it allows companies to have their own spin on the style of rainbow patterning they want.
Rainbow patterns have become a high trend in wearing promotional items, such as t-shirts and sweatshirts. By placing a solid colored logo on a tie-dyed or rainbow garment, the logo will be clearly readable, yet the bright rainbow colors will still be incorporated into the design. By using rainbow patterning in designs and logos, it is more likely that customers will remember your product better.
Help your logo to stand out in a sea of neutrals by putting it on top of a rainbow. Great idea for client events, tradeshows and employee gifts.
Touch and feel books were fun when we were kids - it added an extra experience to the story and made reading even more exciting. But that principle doesn't only apply to children! Adults still learn better and remember more when we have tactile experience with the material we hold and read.
This is good news for promotional marketing; the more tactile experience you add to your materials, the more your customers are likely to keep your brand in mind.
There are three different ways you can get creative with your print materials to help them stand out.
1. Texture: Aside from showing quality and creativity, utilizing different textures on promotional materials can make them more interesting and memorable. Try printing your materials on linen or glossy stock, using a soft touch coating for a plush suede feel. We can also apply a tonal aqueous coating to create subtle patterns or gloss and matte finishes.
2. Depth: Ever seen thermographic printing? Similar to engraving and embossing, it's an elegant technique for creating raised text or images that will help give your print products a beautiful, tactual effect.
3. Cuts: Just like touch and feel books, pop-up books enhance children's reading experiences. Adding some laser cut-outs or creative folding to your brochures and other print materials can make them more appealing for adults, too! Stand out in the crowd with a uniquely shaped business card.
And, that's just the beginning. Contact Benefit Marketing today to learn even more about how to add tactile appeal to your promotional products and leave a unique impression on your customers.
Stock up on your summer must haves with Benefit Marketing. Color is in for Summer 2015 and it can be the perfect branding tool.
Classic stripes are always a good ideas for your summer patriotic parties. Our striped stapes with your logo will catch anyone's eye. Or, throw your summer essentials into a roomy weekender bag with bold color. Whether you're traveling to Hawaii, Mexico or Aruba, be prepared to jet-set in style Go for the glow with your favorite neon color. Adding a subtle pop can be all you need to kick your summer marketing program into high gear!
Spice up your summer wardrobe with a bold print. Whether it's your favorite floral, a bright polka dot, or monochromatic camo, use prints to display your brand in summer style. Try paring a vivid print with a subtle stripe for a daring statement.
Take the color plunge with Benefit Marketing. We can help showcase your brand in a fresh and colorful way!
Suddenly acrylic wine tumblers are everywhere. They are a great gift for wine clubs, winery events, and corporate giveways. They target a younger demographic but appeal to all ages. The acrylic is double- wall so it insulates the wine and helps maintain the temperature that it was served. The outside of the glass won't sweat. The reusable material is eco-friendly - no more landfill with single use plastic cups. The snap on lid with slide closure keeps debris out and drinks in. The flirty floating stem is a conversation starter. We offer ten lid color options to fit your brand and matching PMS inks. This one holds a full 10 ounces. No more broken glass on the patio, boat or around the pool.
Benefit Marketing special pricing is $4.99/glass with a minimum of 144 glasses.
One of the most popular promotional products available is the T-shirt. Named after the T shape of the body and sleeves, it can come in many different styles, such as crew neck, V-neck, round neck, boat neck, U-neck, 3/4 sleeve and long sleeve. The fabric can vary from a classic beefy fabric work shirt to a modern ringspun cotton, or supersoft triblend cotton/poly/rayon to earth friendly organic cotton, bamboo or even modal. New fabric enhancements such as dri-fit and performance fabric have made the T-shirt even more popular for exercise enthusiasts including charity 5K runs and swim-a-thons!
The T-shirt started out as an unseen undergarment in the 1800's and has now become the ubiquitious uniform of anyone with a day of rest, headed to the class or gym or off to a festival or concert - usually sporting a corporate, collegiate or band logo.
Logo printed t-shirts got their first glimpse of fame in 1942 when an Air Force school was featured on the cover of Life magazine wearing the school logo and a trend was born.
Everyone loves a free t-shirt - even one of the wealthiest men in the world - Paul McCartney has been captured on film vying for a Brooklyn Nets logo T-shirt at a game a few years back. http://www.nba.com/video/games/nets/2013/12/16/0021300359-phi-bkn-mccartney-t-shirt.nba/
Let Benefit Marketing design and produce a T-shirt for your brand and you never know who you may see wearing it!
- History of the T-shirt
Need something to wear on a lazy Sunday? Or maybe while walking your dog on a chilly spring evening? Or perhaps to a press conference as the CEO of one of the most prominent social media companies in America? The all-purpose, comfortable hoody is the answer to every clothing crises. The beloved style - a sweatshirt with a hood - can be found on the streets of any city, the halls of high schools and even as a wardrobe staple for Mark Zuckerberg himself.
The hoody found its humble beginnings on the shoulders of laborers in the early 1900's, created out of necessity for protection from the elements. It quickly passed to athletes, then to the music community and became a far-reaching trend. The simplicity of a comfortable fleece with convenient, trademark hood and possibility for logos on almost any section is a great way to showcase a brand.
This apparel style has caught on to nearly every walk of like. Designers such as Tommy Hilfiger, Giorgio Armani, and Ralph Lauren have even made their mark on this cool design. Silicon Valley, the home of the pioneers in the technology age, have adopted this style of business casual on a day to day basis.
The hoody has gotten around a lot since it first saw the light of day, and it can still be seen almost anywhere you go. The hoody is destined to make its way around the fashion world and now stands as a great apparel choice for any occasion.
Rolling Stone - The History of the Hoodie
The polo shirt is one of the most popular promotional clothing items that exist today. It is a short-sleeved, collared shirt with a placket of 2-3 buttons, and is usually made of knits and piqué cotton. It also has a history of traversing a number of different sports to get to the universal usage it has today:
Polo. In the 19th century, the British military began with the earliest version of the polo shirt, which they created when they brought the sport to England from India. The original shirt had long sleeves and was made of thick cotton, and was improved upon by English polo players attaching their collars to their shirts with buttons to keep them down in the wind.
Tennis. The garment became more like the one we have today when French tennis player Jean Rene Lacoste designed a more comfortable, short-sleeved collared shirt made of piqué cotton, an innovative fabric that was more breathable than the previous cotton. The flat collar and button placket also made the shirts more comfortable to wear while playing tennis, and the crocodile-emblazoned brand is still a favorite today. Polo players adopted this new version of the “polo shirt” in the 1930s.
Golf. The polo shirt started becoming popular on golf courses in the late 1900s as attire for the sport became more casual, and some adjustments were made to the button placket and fabric to fit the sport better. Today, a polo shirt is required in the dress codes of many golf courses across the country.
Whether you prefer to call it a polo, tennis, or golf shirt, this item is loved by both men and women today, and can be worn in a variety of occasions with all different types of pants and shorts. Get in touch with Benefit Marketing to get your logo on one of these universal garments today!
Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season is a time of showing gratitude for everyone in your life. Your customers and employees are no exception – after all, they are the ones who are supporting you in making your business flourish.
So why not show your customers and employees how much you appreciate all of their dedication and hard work by gifting them fun items branded with your logo?
For starters, everyone loves food. Gourmet food gifts could range anywhere from an upscale, executive style faux leather box of truffles to a splendid gift basket filled with fruits, snacks and chocolates that the whole office can share. Certified organic gifts are also available and are an excellent way to bolster your company green and health initiatives.
There are also endless drink options – Benefit Marketing can put your logo on water bottles, portable coffee cups, and even trendy Moscow Mule copper mugs, all of which make for fun drink experiences. Add a date and a funny catchphrase related to the past year and the cup becomes a collectible!
Another great gift idea to show your gratitude this time of year is through apparel gifts. A lot of businesses order warm vests and jackets for their employees, or go the accessory route with knit beanies custom made in the U.S. Apparel branded with a company logo create a sense of camaraderie and are great for building team spirit. Plus, they keep everyone cozy during the cold winter months!
Show your appreciation during this season of giving thanks through corporate and employee gifting. Add some fun and spread the gratitude to the people who keep your business successful – and at the same time reinforce your brand!
Who doesn’t have that one t-shirt from a fun athletic event or concert of their favorite musician and wish they could wear 24/7? This experience isn’t just limited to bands or 5K fun runs, though – placing your brand’s logo or design on a t-shirt can be one of the most cost-effective and popular promotion methods. And who doesn’t love a good t-shirt that feels soft and has a great design?
In the music industry, band t-shirts are known to help build a following and increase music and ticket sales. These days, music groups depend on the sale of merchandise at concerts as a major source of revenue. A number of years back Jesse Ventura financed nearly his entire campaign for governor of Minnesota by selling $22 t-shirts. Why not translate this into other industries?
Selling your branded shirts at events or in a retail setting room can be lucrative beyond the financial revenue stream it creates. Imagine that every time someone sees a t-shirt with your logo on it, they will be reminded of your brand. And, the wearer is reminded of the fun experience they had when they got the shirt.
Benefit Marketing design services aren’t just limited to a simple logo. We can help you create a design, or work with artwork you already have, that will give your t-shirts more interest. We use different types of soft feel or water based ink and even metallic foils or glitter, depending on your brand identity, demographic, budget, and overall aesthetic that you want to convey. We offer different styles of shirts and can offer soft, comfortable fabrics in modern styling or conventional cuts that will make your customers want to buy a shirt and wear it every day.
Want to produce a branded t-shirt that will become someone’s new favorite item of clothing? Benefit Marketing can lead the way to a producing a product that will fit your brand to a T.
Off-site tasting events and trade shows can be a great way to showcase your company and engage new customers—but you have to be able to attract people to your booth in the first place.
Promotional products may seem like kind of a modern concept, but they’ve actually been around for centuries—George Washington may not have had cork pens or stainless steel water bottles, but he did have commemorative buttons to give out when he was elected the first president of the United States back in 1789.
The Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries, following Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press in 1438, led to a surge in the creation of promotional products. New manufacturing techniques allowed businesses to get more creative with items they used to advertise themselves; one newspaper printer once used his printing press during off-times to print a shoe store logo onto bags to be given to customers. Bookmarks and even branded corkscrews and pocketknives also came into play in the early days of promotional products.
These types of products can also be a reflection of culture changes. For example, ashtrays and matches used to be highly popular promotional products; but now that smoking is less prevalent in our culture and flameless candles have made a rise, you don’t see them as much anymore.
Promotional products can be cultural icons and markers of a certain time period. Make your mark on today by seeing what Benefit has to offer? Come partner with Benefit together we can come up with something that will make its mark on history.
Co-branding: an interesting marketing tactic done by aligning your brand with another brand that has a great reputation. At Benefit, we can put your logo on generic brands, but we also have a number of name brands available for co-branding opportunities.
Want to use apparel to promote your business? Your logo can appear on tons of clothing items from name brands like Lacoste, Nike, Calvin Klein, Kuhl, The North Face, Marmot, Spyder and more. Looking for promotional items other than clothing? Try Apple, Beats by Dre, Swiss Army, Tumi, Callaway, Cuisinart, Swarovski, Igloo, Thermos, Jawbone, and Mont Blanc, among many others.
If generic brands fit better in your marketing program and budget, you can stick with them—they’re great too! But placing your logo on a name brand that has a good reputation and high popularity can make your customers perceive your brand as one aligned with the name brand’s image and product quality.
Benefit Marketing brand advisors share insights and observations on the world of brand marketing.