Category Archives: Brand Identity and Corporate Logos

ING Marathon and Swag Redemption

NYCING Internet-banking giant ING and their sponsorship of perhaps one of the largest sporting events took a big blow in 2012.

“Superstorm Sandy” landed on the upper east coast starting on October 22 through October 31st, 2012. Hurricane Sandy would become the second-costliest hurricane in U.S. history. The ING New York City Marathon, which was scheduled to take place on November 4, went through a painful decision-making process that resulted in the full cancellation of the marathon only two days before the event.

With the cancellation, ING and the New York Road Runners club faced a hailstorm of criticism. Runners were upset the marathon was cancelled. Runners were upset the marathon was not cancelled sooner. Participants took to blogs and social sites to express their feelings. Race organizers faced a daunting PR challenge, but one not completely unique to events of this nature. What to do with all the race swag?

From t-shirts and clappers to the actual finishers medal, race organizers faced a difficult problem. In an effort to create goodwill among racers who couldn’t race and wanting to encourage people to sign-up for next year’s race they made an unprecedented decision. They would take every opportunity to get the gear to the 2012 registrants. When race entrants showed up to the 2013 expo to get their race bibs and promotional items, the 2012 registrants were directed to a location within the Javitz Center to receive the 2012 race shirt and their 2012 finisher’s medal.

Image byRobert Reese

Image by Robert Reese

The icing on the PR cake for ING and the NYRR came in the form of a poncho. In light of the events in Boston last year, race entrants were strongly discouraged from checking a bag at the race start for security reasons. Following the completion of the race, if a runner had not checked a bag they were directed to a special area of the race route. Upon exiting the official race area, runners were given a customized fleece-lined poncho.

The ING Marathon is not the first event to face a swag problem. Each year teams produce promotional items to acknowledge a sporting event that hasn’t happened yet. In the event that your team is playing in the big game, chances are the celebratory shirts and hats have already been printed. When the team loses, what to do with the promotional or marketing materials? Because of licensing agreements, most items are donated overseas.

The ING NYC Marathon organizers were able to heal some old wounds by giving 2012 runners their gear and medals. And, they were able to build good will with the 2013 by rewarding them for choosing the less convenient bag option. In this case, the ponchos went a long way towards swag redemption.

Pinnacle Promotions

Pinnacle Promotions Goes Mobile

Buyers Can Now Shop For Branded Merchandise On-The-Go

Pinnacle Promotions, a top 50 ASI distributor of branded merchandise, logo apparel and giveaways, announced the launch of its much-anticipated mobile website today. The launch complements an award-winning website used by some of the most recognizable brands and organizations in the world by enabling its clients to search for products even when not in the office.

Screen shot 2013-10-23 at 1.23.24 PM“The way our clients are shopping for promotional products is changing at an exciting and unprecedented rate,” says Mitch Weintraub, founder and CEO of Pinnacle Promotions. “We wanted to be one of the first to support that trend.”

Being at the head of the pack has been a hallmark of Pinnacle Promotions throughout its 20-year history and what has propelled it to the top. Its ecommerce website was the first of its kind. It also pioneered the 24-hour turnaround through its RocketShip 24-Hour Express Service™ and originated the idea-generating service through its IdeaKit™, both of which have been emulated throughout the industry.

More than 30% of promotional product web searches take place on mobile devices. In an industry where customizing apparel, drinkware, gifts and other promotional items is more than a one-step transaction, designing an experience around a small screen was no easy task.

“Our clients come to us because they know we’ll get it right,” says Rob Nelms, Vice President of Marketing. “That kind of thinking permeated every decision we made with regards to how to design our mobile site. With an approval rating that is through the roof, we had a high bar to reach.”

The same, convenient features that set the Pinnacle Promotions website apart from the rest are integrated into its mobile site. Customers can easily find a product they are interested in, request a quote, request a sample or share an item via email or various social media channels.

About Pinnacle Promotions, Inc. (www.pinnaclepromotions.com)
Since 1994, the world’s leading companies and organizations have trusted Pinnacle Promotions to provide them with customized solutions for their marketing and branding needs. The company’s agency approach to promotional marketing makes consumers’ jobs easier and provides them with an unprecedented array of exclusive services. With dedicated Account Teams and innovative technology, Pinnacle Promotions delivers new and unique promotional products quickly, and with the quality expected from an industry leader. Make the Right Impression ™ with Pinnacle Promotions. Please call 800.351.4226 or follow us at facebook.com/pinnaclepromotions for additional information.

Pinnacle Promotions

Show Your True Colors: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

There may be no more recognizable promotional theme than the Awareness Ribbon. And, there may be no more recognizable monthly awareness campaign than October’s Breast Cancer Awareness month.

The contemporary version of the Awareness Ribbon was first displayed by Penney Laingen in 1979. Penney’s husband was one of the 52 Americans held during the Iran Hostage crisis. Penney used yellow ribbons to decorate trees, and mailboxes, jacket lapels and shirts to encourage support and bring awareness to the American hostages.

Today, there are more than 50 recognized awareness ribbons. One of the most identifiable is the pink Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon. Since the Pink Ribbon Campaign began in 1992, the ribbon has appeared on countless merchandise items and promotional products. Through market saturation and awareness, hundreds of millions of dollars have been raised for breast cancer research.

Companies and organizations have joined the fight against breast cancer by adding the pink ribbon to their marketing items, corporate logo items and promotional products.

 

Delta Airlines Pink Plane to support Breast Cancer Awareness. Photo courtesy of Delta Airlines.

Photo courtesy of Delta Airlines.

Delta Airlines flies to the top of the category of companies supporting breast cancer awareness from the inside out. From the Delta Airlines “pink plane” to special awareness uniform pieces to special in-flight promotional food and amenities, Delta invites both employees and customers to experience and participate in the corporate campaign. http://onforb.es/17GcZXZ

 

No matter the size, here are just a few ways your company can make an impact for awareness:

• As a company, participate in a community event such as Relay for Life or Race for the Cure.
• Host a service day for an employee or family member dealing with breast cancer to do yard work, make meals, or complete tasks around their home.
• Hang a wreath in the office and allow team members to wrap a ribbon or hang a tag on it to represent a loved one or friend who has been affected by breast cancer.
• Have a T-Shirt day in the office. Provide company-logoed shirts or simply ask team members to wear pink shirts.
All of these simple activities can be the perfect opportunity to share important health tips, recommend other opportunities to help, or to raise money for a person or organization affected by this terrible disease.


 

Pinnacle Promotions

Guide to Promotional Apparel Embroidery

So after perusing our Apparel categories or working with our sales team, you’ve found that perfect piece of apparel. Maybe you’ve chosen the softest hoodie on the market, or gone with a rugged, durable jacket. Either way you’ve committed and now you want to make it official by tying the knot, the embroidery knot that is. There will be no screen-printing  bedazzling, or debossing here. Your logo will be proudly stitched on your chosen location. But wait, what’s with all the crazy jargon? Digitizing? Tape Charge?

Relax, I know the embroidery process can sound tricky so I’ve put together this guide to make it simple. Let’s start with the first step after you’ve chosen you apparel. You’ll send us your logo and we’ll work with our art department to get it digitized. Digitization is a process that translates digital art files into stitches (magic I tell you!) and will help us determine a stitch count. Digitization’s cost is usually covered by your tape charge. Still curious about digitization? Check out this article by PowerStitch Design Studio “Embroidery Digitizing Explained for the Newbie

Once we have that stitch count, we can start getting a clearer picture of what the final product will look like. Simple, cleaner logos will have lower stitch counts while more complex logos will have higher stitch counts. Those with higher stitch counts may have some extra charges. From there we will have our art department put together a virtual sample  for you to get an idea of what the finished product will look like.

Next, our finishers (a Matrix-like term if there ever was one) will do a sew-out, a logo embroidered onto a scrap of fabric to test the quality of the logo, spacing, and any other concerns you may have. We can forward this onto you for final approval. After that your order will be run and arrive to it’s final destination where we know you’ll feel like each and every step was worth it, to get this perfectly embroidery piece of apparel into you and your customers waiting arms.

With those easy steps, you’re done! Celebrate to your hearts content! And if you have any other embroidery-related questions, get in touch with our sales team. If you’d like to learn more about promotional embroidery and the best practices used in ensuring your garmet’s embroidery is top of the line, I’d suggest reading PrintWear’s article “Prevent Pucker, Stitching tactics for even-handed embroidery“. The small attentions to detail that they mention are all vital to ensure that you receive the best embroidery possible.

So did I miss any other apparel meme jokes? I debated using “One Does Not Simply Embroider Promotional Apparel”, but, in fact, it is that simple. Let me know if you have a favorite embroidered promotional apparel piece in the comments below!

So You Want to Design Your Own Logo

Here at Pinnacle, we have a full-service art department. They are a talented bunch (seriously – look at some of their videos) and if you need logo design, they’re at your disposal. But if you want to try out your hand at designing a logo yourself, you need to know where to find more fonts that the typical Arial, Georgia and Tahoma that come standard on a PC.  (We won’t even mention Comic Sans!)  So, I’m going to tell about a favorite website of mine,  dafont.com.

At time of publication, this site has 20,099 fonts for download! Some are free, some are donationware and some are shareware. The best way to go about finding a font that you like is to click on the type of font you’re looking for, let’s say your’e looking under “fancy” for an “old school” font. Click “old school” and the more options button. From there, I like to choose the “free” or “public-domain” button. This means that you can use this font for commercial purposes. If you’re selling something, a t-shirt, a mug, etc, it’s considered commercial use. If you’re unsure, choose that option to be safe. There are still tons of choices available.

Text from Dafont
(I chose the font Team Spirit for this example.)

So, check it out and see what you can find. And remember, please send us Illustrator .ai or .eps files if possible! If not, don’t dispair, we can work with what you’ve got. Like I said, we have a super talented art team here.  (Check out our FAQ page for information about artwork submission.)

Lee
Marketing Coordinator

May the 4th Be with You (in Promotional Products)

Tomorrow is May 4th. May the 4th be with you!  Get it?  According to Wikipedia, May 4th is considered a holiday by Star Wars fans and a day where they can celebrate Star Wars culture and honor the films.  And what better way to show off their affinity for Star Wars than with promotional products.

Unsurprisingly, all the most popular product categories are represented when it comes to Star Wars merchandise.

You’ve got tote bags….

Star Wars tote bag

[source: Neatoshop]
 

Tumblers

[source: Tervis]

T-shirts

[source: T-shirts.com]

Cell phone cases

Star wars cell phone case

[source: CaseAlice on etsy.com]

And even this Chewbacca golf head cover!

Chewbacca Golf Head Cover

[source: amazon.com]

In this case, the Star Wars brand is what people are specifically looking for. People enjoy the brand, so they seek out the product. But even if your brand doesn’t have the same sort of recognition, fortunately, the opposite works too: people enjoy the product and seek out the brand.

And to let you in on a secret, I don’t even think I’ve ever seen Star Wars. I know, I know.

Lee
Marketing Coordinator

Personalized Holiday Food Gifts

If you work in an office, every holiday season usually brings holiday food gift baskets.  You have your standard popcorn tins, seasonal fruit boxes, chocolates, and large sampler gift towers.  Doesn’t matter what it is really, people turn into carnivores when someone sends free food.  No one will turn away a food gift, but to really make an impact when you send your gifts make sure your holiday food gifts are personalized with your company or organization’s logo or name. It makes you stand out from the other food gifts that arrive and helps solidify your brand.

At Pinnacle we offer many different Personalized Holiday Food Gift options and there is something for every budget.  Some items can be imprinted on the tin, box, or ribbon and some can even be imprinted on the actual dessert.  I personally love the logo Oreo cookies, rice krispies and fortune cookies.  They make such a beautiful presentation with your full color logo and matching sprinkles, plus they taste amazing.  Here is a little inspiration board to get your creative juices flowing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I don’t know about you, but I’m craving some sweets!  (I am currently searching my desk for old Halloween candy.) I will now let you loose to shop even more personalized holiday food gift options to impress your customers or clients this Holiday season.  Enjoy!

 

Heather

Merchandising Manager

Promotional Products at Google

Last week, our VP of Marketing had the opportunity to attend Google’s ThinkB2B conference, which was a summit for senior-level B2B marketers.

In addition to hearing presentations from such speakers as the Oakland Athletic’s Billy Beane (My first question was not about the presentation itself, but whether or not he looked like Brad Pitt.  Priorities.), she also got to see first-hand what sort of promotional products a company like Google uses at their conferences.

Google Promotional Products
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Mercedes-Benz Does More Than Just Lend a Hand with Promotional Automotive Items


Promotional products are available in a limitless array of shapes, colors, sizes, and varieties, but Mercedes-Benz is going out on a “limb” with their latest promotional automotive item- literally! Fourteen year old British Formula One fan Matthew James was born without a left hand and reached out to the automaker’s racing division in hopes of securing funds to receive a high-tech prosthetic arm. Mercedes agreed to shell out about $57,000 for the prosthesis, provided that their logo be prominently featured on the device.

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