Category Archives: Top Trending Topics

Trends for 2014: More, more, more

We have had numerous vendors stop by our offices in Atlanta. We’ve seen a few things stand out as trends for 2014.

Overall, the trend we have seen in every category is the ability for a product to be more than one thing! The keys for products to be more than one thing can be boiled down to three main themes: Security, Versatility and Stress-down.

clearbagSecurity: From bags to tech gear, the thing we hear over and over is “security.” The NFL Bag policy has not gone unnoticed by manufacturers. They are creating more and more clear bags. The requests for customized clear bags have come in every shape and size, and at various price points.

Security is not limited to bags. The iWallet is a perfect example of a branded product designed with “identity theft prevention” in mind. Not only are the cards protected from deactivation from the phone, but also the grip prevents card slippage or loss. iwallet

Versatility: The key to versatility is for a product to be more than one thing. The Gwee button iPhone screen cleaner is a phone stand and a cleaner. This mouse pad is also a screen cleaner. The In-Pillow travel pillow converts from a small pillow, (with a pocket!) to a basic tablet holder to a stand-alone screen mount! pillow

Stress-down: The stress ball has been a hallmark of the promotional products industry as long as we can remember. However, the sheer volume of options in “anti-stress” promotional products has increased. You can now put your logo on everything from the traditional stress ball to Office Spa kits complete with lavender “stress relief” hand lotion.

Screen shot 2014-04-02 at 3.55.30 PMPinnacle Promotions takes the stress out of ordering your promotional products with our Rocketship 24-hour Rush Service. There are thousands of products that can be ordered with rush service and no rush charge. If there is anything that will take the stress out of your life, it is getting the right product at the right time the right way to help you Make the right impression.™

Pinnacle Promotions

It’s Not Just Orchid, it’s Radiant Orchid: Pantone 2014 Color of the Year

If you work as a graphic designer or with graphic designers in any capacity, no doubt you are familiar with the Pantone Matching System, which is the standard color matching system across pretty much all industries.

Each year, Pantone chooses a “Color of the Year.” The color is decided upon at a secret Pantone meeting held in a European capital each year. The color is reportedly chosen in conjunction with many of the cultural influences that Pantone believes are relevant in our present lives. The color is meant to capture the spirit of the year.

Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2014 is Radiant Orchid.
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Last year’s color was green. Lots of things are green. Not all that many things are “radiant orchid.” Our team worked very hard to find promotional or customized marketing products around the office that are orchid. We found these two things that are close.

orchid1orchid2

To help our designers, idea-makers and customers get into the color of the year we created a Pinterest board.

What promotional items do you think will look best in radiant orchid?

Pinnacle Promotions

Tradeshow season is coming!

Tradeshow season is coming!

When the holidays come to a close, most businesses can count on one thing: the start of tradeshow season. January brings with it some of the largest and innovative tradeshows of the year. Starting with CES and PPAI in Las Vegas and rolling into car shows, boat shows, and wedding shows that will eventually dominate the spring. There are almost 1,000 tradeshows in January alone across the United States.

Ido Leffler recently wrote a stellar blog post on tradeshows, “How to Dominate Any Tradeshow, and Why Even Solo Entrepreneurs Should Try.” Leffler focuses on two main points:
…People want two things:
• They want to be entertained.
• They want free stuff.

Leffler explains that you can entertain people in a number of ways. First, by exhibiting a creative booth space. Something more than just a folding table. And then, it is imperative that you give people your time. Screen shot 2013-12-18 at 9.52.29 AM

As for the free stuff, Leffler states that this is “Manifesto Rule Numero Uno.”

“Turn the convention hall into a walking billboard about you and your brand. Conventioneers love tote bags. Why? Because there are tons and tons of free stuff to be had, and after about two hours they are going to need something to carry the swag in. We always order thousands of great tote bags. No cheap paper or thin cotton for us. Our bags are big, bright, and unique, and by day two we try to make sure that every single person in the hall is carrying one. Be shameless and be fun. Slap your logo on the bag, add some bright colors, and make sure that people instinctively smile when they see it. Have tons of product to give away at the booth, and give it away freely. Don’t be one of those guys withholding the good stuff for the “big guys.” Instead, be the guy with the product that everyone is using and talking about. Freely distributing swag (even if it costs you) is in your best interests; you want those walking adverts wandering the convention.”

Last year, promotional reusable bags and customized cinch bags were top-sellers for Pinnacle Promotions. They are great surfaces for your corporate logo, and you can guarantee that all the other items that people collect at the tradeshow will then be stuffed inside YOUR bag. As Leffler states, they are going to need a place to keep all the other swag!Screen shot 2013-12-18 at 9.34.45 AM

Humor is another way to get people to remember your name. The Learning Revolution, by Gordon Dryden and Dr. Jeannette Vos explains that one of the keys to memory is emotion. Make them laugh, make them smile, and they will remember you. The blah blah blah is always popular for every type of tradeshow because it makes people smile, and could possibly help to spark a conversation.
PL4140hiresThis is a stress ball AND a device holder!

Are you headed to a tradeshow this January? What’s the best promo item you ever received at a tradeshow?

Pinnacle Promotions

“That’s a Tier 2 problem.” Ummmm…what?

“That’s a Tier 2 problem.” Ummmm…what?

My laptop was not working. I had no idea what was wrong with it. So, I took my computer to a store that sells that computer, and that computer only. Upon further inspection, the technician kindly let me know that I have a “Tier 2” problem. I asked, “What is a Tier 2 problem?” He answered, “About $250.” Ummmm…what?

Many industries have their own terms that are proprietary to the market or industry. The promotional products industry is no different. We have assembled a few of our favorite terms here that some customers may know, but these terms might not necessarily be household names. Not only will we define them for you, but we’ll do it in less than #sixwords!

Four-color process
: Your full-color-logo on something
Stock the closet: Your corporate stash of promo items
Setup charge: Charge to setup the imprinting machine
Imprint: Your logo or design for production
Vector: Points and lines that make shapes
Raster: Squares of pixels that make shapes
Pad print: Stamp your imprint on your item
Deboss: Elegant concave imprint on squishable item
Digitizing: Embroidered image becomes digital sewing file
PMS Color: Color number matching your brand guidelines (PMS LINK)
Run Charge: Charge per color for color printing
Flash Charge: White base for dark printing wearables

Any other terms you want us to explain in #sixwords? We’re here for you! Check out our FAQs for more information.

Pinnacle Promotions

You Only Get Once Chance to Make a Good Imprint

We all know the feeling… a typo escapes all of the checks and balances and ends up in 500 printed pieces that have to be reprinted. But, what happens when you’re Nike and you print an “undisclosed” number of t-shirts that proudly display the Carolina Panthers logo embedded in a beautiful cutout of South Carolina? (The big deal is that the Carolina Panthers play in Charlotte, North Carolina.)

Nike is a company that usually brings to mind cutting edge technology and extreme precision. So, how could this have been prevented? We’re confident that if Nike had used Pinnacle Promotions, this wouldn’t have happened. That’s because we have live, breathing human beings (we call them Account Managers & Coordinators) working on your projects, guiding you through the process, and checking the integrity of your brand at every step of the way.

Reasons why having a human element makes a difference when purchasing promotional products:

  1. You have extra sets of eyes scouring your order to make sure each and every little detail is right.
  2. They can let you know when if your logo will be lost against the contrast of a t-shirt.
  3. The will suggest tweaks that will make your chosen promotional product stand out.
  4. We make sure there’s ample time and opportunity to spot any dreaded typos or mistakes, even if your order is a rush one.

It’s why we at Pinnacle are left scratching our heads in confusion when we hear about massive imprint orders  that go so terribly wrong that they end up as viral news stories.

Here’s another story…
Nike’s mistake seems near trivial when compared to Missouri State University’s gaffe earlier this year. The University misspelled its own name on around 17,800 bags. These bags were given to students when they were purchasing new books for the semester. I wonder how many students rethought their enrollment after this mistake.

Considering the size and enormity of the order, we would have expected their vendor to have raked over the logo with the same attention that a watchmaker devotes to his prize clock. At Pinnacle Promotions, all orders get this level of detail regardless of order size, but one would think that at $70,844 order that someone would have caught the error.

We know you have seen misprints out there. What is your favorite brand oopsie that made it’s way to production and distribution?

Social Media Marketing: What’s the Benefit for Us?

My co-worker, Lee recently shared an article with me from Forbes.com, The Hidden Benefits of Social Media Marketing: Why Your Strategy May be Working Better Than You Think.   It actually put a positive spin on all the social media marketing efforts that most companies are investing in.  It kind of hit home with the two of us. Sometimes it can be challenging to measure your return on investment with social media, especially for small businesses.  This article discusses 10 ways in which social media may be working for you that you don’t realize. Give it a read if you have a chance.

The big benefit of social media for Pinnacle is that it is a place where we can build our community and create a forum for our clients and partners.  We share information, articles, and new & unique products that we think our clients would be interested in and monitor their engagement. From time to time we will ask our community questions about what they are looking for or what they would like us to offer more of.  The feedback we receive is taken to heart. We discuss our clients needs as we continuously plan our future efforts online and off.

We also utilize our social networks as a place to reward our loyal followers or fans.  We do free promotional giveaways and offer exclusive discounts and sales.  This offers our customers an additional incentive to follow us and engage.  Everyone likes to receive something for free, especially if it is a unique product they couldn’t get anywhere else.  We recently gave away Gadget Grip Dot’s on Facebook, little tactile buttons you can place on your smartphone or tablets that offer a very unique branding opportunity.

Our clients that won seemed genuinely excited when we contacted them to let them know.  It makes us happy to make our customers happy :)

So far we have seen that Facebook has been the social network that we receive the most engagement on.  It has been really fun to grow our community there however Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube have also been networks that we’ve seen growth and opportunity.  What social networks are you participating in?  What have you found has been your biggest benefit?

 

Heather

-Merchandising Manager

Products for Hot Weather Races

If you live anywhere on the East Coast, especially the Southeast as we do, there’s no doubt that you’ve seen an influx of pictures of car thermometers on your friends Facebook pages showing the temperatures soaring above 100 degrees. We’ve even put one on our Facebook page here at Pinnacle, though it seems that 102 was not much to brag about compared to other cities.

However, 102 degrees is no joke when you’re outside competing in a 6.2 mile road race and that’s what 60,000 people intend to do this Independence Day as they participate in the Peachtree Road Race, one of the world’s largest 10Ks.

Peachtree Road Race

Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: chippenziedeutch
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National Grilled Cheese Day

Do you know what today is? Aside from it being five days until your taxes are due, it’s also National Grilled Cheese Day. Step away from the W-2s and into the kitchen because this is one holiday that’s worth celebrating.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: fritish

Read More about National Grilled Cheese Day!

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