Tag Archives: promotional apparel

Photo from Tajima

3 Surprising Things You Don’t Know About…Embroidery

Embroidery, as a process, goes back thousands of years. The earliest recorded embroidered garment dates back to 700 CE. Today, the embroidery process is completely digitized, though some of the foundations of embroidery are still key to the process as a whole.

Old Tools

-Hoop
The use of the embroider hoop dates back to the beginning of the process. They were originally made of wood, bone or ivory. Today, they are made of wood or plastic. Even machines with multiple stations still require one hoop per station. Hoops are necessary to keep the fabric taut while working.

Photo by Teunie

Photo by Teunie

-Fabric
Thread or yarn is used in the embroidery process. Modern commercial embroidery thread is most often made of cotton or rayon, and available in unlimited color combinations.
Photo by PKM

New Tools

-Computer design
“In 1980, Wilcom introduced the first computer graphics embroidery design system to run on a minicomputer. “
The ability to design a multi-colored image has come a long way, but it still the hardest art to set-up because it requires the highest minimum font sizes. Detail is limited because in embroidery you are using thread instead of ink, and are confined by the size of the thread.

-Computer machinery
Current embroidery machinery can run more than 55 heads at once with more than 25 colors at one time. Tajima and Barudan are two top embroidery machine manufacturers.

Photo from Tajima

Photo from Tajima

Method

-Process
The age-old process of pulling the fabric tight, setting it into a hoop and stitching into it, remains the same. However, the types of fabric and the speed of which determines the length of the process. The average logo contains approx. 8,000 stitches or less.

-Material
Embroidery is a sturdier, more substantial imprint process than screen-printing. You can embroider on most fabrics, from cotton to blends to full polyester or rayon. The favorite location for apparel, and the spot that receives the most impressions, is the front, left chest.

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Embroidery remains the second most popular imprint method for promotional apparel. The ability to customize embroider on a bucket hat or a polo shirt, a soft-side cooler or picnic blanket, allows the customer to be flexible in the promotional product choice, even when limited by design. Click for more information on other imprint methods. Contact us for more information about your logo and how we can embroider it on just about anything! 

Pinnacle Promotions

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Can’t Miss Tradeshow Tech Trends

Whether you are attending the tradeshow, hosting the booth, or the guest speaker, tradeshow technology is on the rise, and fast! Technology is making an impact across all aspects of the tradeshow world. Here are some key areas technology is changing the way we conduct and attend tradeshows.

Giveaways

Giveaways have become more prevalent than ever at tradeshows, and the use of tech tradeshow giveaways has increased year over year. Giveaways have transformed beyond uni-function pens, keychains, and bags.

-The promotional pen is no longer just a pen; it is a pen stylus and LED light combination.
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-The branded keychain is no longer just a keychain; it is a LED flashlight and bottle opener.
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-The imprinted bag is no longer just a bag; it is a full-color, screen-printed, reusable tote bag complete with embedded QR codes that links to the full event schedule online.
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Security

Security has become an exceedingly important part of the tradeshow experience. It is more important than ever to protect your identity when traveling for business. It’d not just your personal information that is at risk, but a compromised corporate credit card can be a nightmare for both employee and company.

– RFID-protection (RFID, Radio-frequency Identification, is the wireless use of radio frequency to access information and transfer data) technology can be found in everything from logo’d travel wallets to laptop bags and briefcases. 0011-28_500

-We recently wrote about the rise of RFID protection in promotional products.

Apps

Last but not least, get a good app! Whether at a small venue near your office, or McCormick Place in Chicago there are several apps that can help the tradeshow traveler on the go!

-Google Maps can help you avoid traffic and arrive on time at the right destination.

-Whether parking at the airport or convention center, you’ll probably leave the facility with your arms full and tired feet. Don’t wander! Use the Find My Car app to help you locate your vehicle right away.

-This great blog post highlights a few other apps that can help make your tradeshow experience better.

Whether the attendee or host, your tradeshow experience will be touched, and more than likely improved by the increased use of technology. Be on the cutting edge of what you see on the tradeshow floor, and stand out among the competitors by upping your technology game with unique giveaways. Be safe with RFID technology promotional products. And, don’t forget to use Find My Car so you aren’t left wandering the convention center parking garage after a long day on the show floor.

Pinnacle Promotions

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Marsala is a “wine” choice for the Pantone Color of the Year 2015

The Pantone color matching system is the standard from which designers and graphic designers work for developing logos and brand guidelines. The color system is universal and allows for all areas to communicate in a color language that is fixed, and not left to interpretation.

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 2015 is Marsala. It is a mix between red, rust, and burgundy.
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Beyonce’ has already sported the breakout color this year. And if Bey has done it, we can expect more stars to follow.

Last year’s color was radiant orchid. Not all that many things are radiant orchid. But, we saw it make big strides in items such as apparel and drinkware. {link to blog}

The challenge we see for Marsala will be finding the right mix between red, dark red and burgundy. And, which products will highlight this subtle hue the best. Will a pen simply appear to be dark red rather than Marsala? Will a matte-finish mug showcase the color better than a promotional glossy-finish mug because of the light glare from gloss? Perhaps branded apparel and imprinted bags will win the day for the unique qualities of Marsala.

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 Marsala?

Pinnacle Promotions

Courtesy of Gregory Warner/NPR

The 20 Year Old T-Shirt

What an amazing year we have had at Pinnacle! We had so many great moments. One of our highlights was the fact that Pinnacle Promotions celebrated our 20th birthday this year! We threw a party, we had personalized balloons, we had custom sunglasses, we gave the Pinnacle entire team promotional t-shirts. We held a contest and gave away an iPad in a branded tablet cover as a Grand Prize, and logo’d Bluetooth speakers as a First Place Prize. All of this to say, will any of these promotional products be around 20 years from now?

Turns out the answer might just be YES!

We love this article about a t-shirt that resurfaced after 20 years and the search to restore it to its original owner. The focus of the original story was donated clothes winding up for sale in third-world countries. We have written similar posts. As one commenter states below, “(I) can tell you that there’s no lost value on “bad” clothing donations.”

A journalist noticed one shirt in particular that had personal details on the front and a name on the tag in the back. The man who saw the shirt decided to track down its original owner. With a little social media and a lot of luck…here’s what happened:

“We Found This 20-Year-Old T-Shirt In Kenya. The Internet Found The Original Owner”

Courtesy of Gregory Werner/NPR

Courtesy of Gregory Werner/NPR

Courtesy Jennifer Rasansky

Courtesy Jennifer Rasansky

The value of a promotional product never goes out of style. The average promotional item is kept for 6.6 months, according to the Advertising Specialty Institute’s Impression Study (link). And in this case, some are kept for more than 20 years! Look around; do you own a promotional product that you have had longer than 6 months, a year, 5 years, even 20 years? If so, snap a picture and post it to our Facebook wall at facebook.com/pinnaclepromotions.

Pinnacle Promotions

What’s your perfect gift? Enter Pinnacle Promotions The Perfect Gift Holiday Contest #PPPerfectGift

A new car with a big red bow? A baby? A service member returned home from duty? A t-shirt representing your favorite band? We want to know what is your idea of the perfect gift!

Last year, we wrote about the best gift you ever received. The post, and the accompanying contest, was a smashing success. So much so, that we wanted to do it again. This time, we want to know your idea of the perfect gift! Take a picture of your perfect gift. Upload your pic to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #PPPerfect gift to be entered for a chance to win our awesome prize pack.

Click to enter for your chance to win a Pinnacle Promotions The Perfect Gift Prize Pack!

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Pinnacle Promotions

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Case Study: Gift with Purchase

Challenge

Hush Puppies was looking to increase sales of Hush Puppies shoes in the Fall for their WeatherSmart campaign and in the Spring for their Commuter campaign using a gift with purchase. The Pinnacle programs team worked closely with the fabulous group at Hush Puppies to develop just the right products to help Hush Puppies make the right impression with their value-added items.

“Hush Puppies helped the world relax… but it took a bit of work to get there. The history of Hush Puppies is rooted in comfort innovation – from the first casual shoe with Worry-Free Suede® to the many patented technologies that make shoes more comfortable and lightweight. From the beginning, the revolutionary use of Scotchgard® leather protector, added during the tanning process, made Hush Puppies leather scuff, stain and water resistant and changed suede footwear forever. Water beaded up and rolled away, leaving feet dry and the suede soft, supple and looking like new. Hush Puppies made “worryfree” a benchmark of its shoes and its brand attitude. In the 1980’s, Hush Puppies combined “computer modeling, biomechanical design and state of the art shoe crafting” to introduce the Hush Puppies “Body Shoe®” and ushered in the walking shoe era.”

The long, storied history of innovation at Hush Puppies set the bar high for quality and unique product offerings!

Solution

Pinnacle provided our client with IdeaKits featuring product ideas that would speak to the campaign messages.
• For WeatherSmart Campaign, we designed a fashion-forward folding umbrella that would appeal to the retail distribution channel.HPW-U-041810 042
• For Commuter Campaign, we designed a fashion-forward keychain and introduced a clever, new & unique product called the PopSockets(R) for a mobile technology accessory.HPS119HPS118

Pinnacle managed the production and distribution of these 2 campaigns to Hush Puppies’s nationwide retail channels. We also held available leftover inventory on these items that we then re-purposed for Dealer Incentives (WeatherSmart) and to tie into a Social Media Campaign Giveaways (Commuter).

Result

Pinnacle not only was able to manage and execute the projects successfully for the US, but also for the UK and Canada markets. In addition the retail partners responsible were very impressed with the drive in sales and appreciated we were able to integrate into their distribution network without any hassles.

Pinnacle Promotions

Case Study: Building a Strong Brand

Challenge

FLEETCOR is a leading independent global provider of specialized payment products and services. It serves 500,000 commercial with millions of cardholders across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Africa and Asia.

FLEETCOR was given the last minute authorization to order products for their upcoming Sales Incentive Trip, only four weeks away and in the Dominican Republic. They were looking for high quality products that met their branding guidelines but were on a tight deadline.

Solution

Since time was of the essence, Pinnacle created an IdeaKit in less than two hours, recommending products that historically have been successful and would deliver internationally in a timely manner. FLEETCOR selected six items for their event: The Starphire Glass Award, 5”x 7” Embossed Tropical Frames, Superior Weight Colored Beach Towels, Suncare Kits with added lip balm, the Alta Triton Water Bottle and the Riviera Striped Tote.

Since this order was shipping internationally, Pinnacle worked directly with a major global logistics provider and the client’s hotel to ensure delivery would go smoothly. We learned, however, after the items had landed in the Dominican Republic, that the logistics company was unable to make the delivery. Despite the significant setback, we worked with concierge at the hotel and hired a taxi to pick up the packages from the airport and drive three hours to make the delivery. The items arrived at the recipients’ hotel rooms that evening.

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Result

FLEETCOR was extremely pleased with the outcome of their order, despite one item not clearing customs. FLEETCOR declared this to be the nicest collection of products that they had ever given away at a sales incentive trip. And, the Pinnacle and FLEETCOR teams were able to work together to select the perfect promotional items to help the client Make the right impression™.

Pinnacle Promotions

gift

Are you doing it right? 5 Keys to Gifting

This is the time of year that our thoughts turn to gifting. Gifting can mean many things for businesses: either holiday gifts to customers that have done business within the past year, or gifting to recognize employee year-end achievements. Companies are starting to look at purposeful, appropriate gifts for the audience and for the season.

Recognition vs. Year End

Gifting at this time of year falls into two main categories: Recognition and Year-End. Recognition gifting is usually based on merit awards or department/company profitability. Year-end gifting is that gift which is given to employees or customers to thank them for service or loyalty throughout the year. You need to start at the beginning and decide exactly what type of gifting you will be doing this season. And if you are like most people, our guess is that you will be doing both!

Seasonality

The change of seasons affects the type of gifts you might be giving this time of year. It is time to update company uniforms, anyway. You may have already begun the switch from short-sleeved, pastel polo shirts to heather-colored henleys. You may have begun the switch from windbreaker to fleece-lined zippered jacket.

When gift giving, you can use this change in apparel to express your appreciation. This Melange Fleece Jacket is a great seasonal piece that won’t break the bank and makes a functional, attractive vehicle for your logo.

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Relevance

This one might seem obvious, but it is easy to miss the mark on providing relevant gifts for your employees and customers. Your high-travel sales team might not appreciate a tower of chocolate goodies as much as a quality garment bag or travel document holder/wallet. The chocolate tower might be perfect for the supporting office personnel.


Price

The season of awards and gifting can be an expensive one. Not because of the item itself necessarily, but because this is the time of year you are giving in volume. But, don’t let price influence you to not make the best decision possible. You can provide larger quantities of gifts without having to over-extend yourself. Gift for the home or desk accessories are always a nice treat. Our Corporate Gifts category offers a variety of options across several price points. And don’t forget, gifts given in trade or businesses are tax deductible in part or whole.

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Make the right impression™

Lastly, this is the gifting opportunity to help you make the right impression. You might be sending a gift to a customer who only orders from you once a year, and you want to use this gift to encourage repeat and increased business. You might be rewarding that employee who hit their sales goals for the first time ever, and this gift will help you reinforce a spirit of success. Either way, you can make the right impression with your gift initially and then get residual value from that gift all year long based on its usability and visibility in the life of the recipient.

However you plan to gift this year now is the time to start thinking about it. Your budget should include the actual gift, packaging and presentation, and fulfillment (packaging labor, shipping costs, etc.). Take a look at some good-better-best options. And, if you weren’t already thinking about gifting for recognition or year-end…maybe you should.

Tell us: What is one of the favorite year-end gifts you have ever received? What is one of the worst?

Pinnacle Promotions

Tail-Gate

8 Must-dos for the Corporate Tailgating Event

Auburn or Alabama?
Bears or Packers?
College football of NFL?
Gas grill or charcoal grill?
Hot dogs or Brats?
Group section seating or corporate suite?

Corporate picnics were good in the summer, but this is football season! And, it is football-tailgating season. So no matter what team your organization roots for, tailgating and attending a fall football game is always a fun corporate event and great for team building…as long as your team wins!

We polled our account teams and some of our customers and here are our picks for the top must-dos for the corporate tailgating event:

1. Keep the drinks cold!
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2. Clean up after yourself!
Napkin

3. Support your team!
Foam Finger

4. Keep the fans warm!
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6. Stay connected!
Gloves

7. Stay safe!
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8. Be loud!
Cow Bell

Check out our Pinterest boards for tailgating: Top Picks for the Total Tailgating Party and Megan’s Tailgating Must Haves for 2014.

We want to see your pictures! If your organization does some tailgating this season, share your pics with us of your team supporting your team! Post them to our Facebook wall.

Pinnacle Promotions

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Atlanta Idea Expo ‘14

“This was great! Got some ideas for future promotional items that I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.”

This is just one of the quotes from people who attended Pinnacle Promotions Atlanta Idea Expo ’14. The event happened on September 17th, and was the first of its kind for Pinnacle. We invited area clients, and some clients from farther away, to spend the day at our new offices.

We invited 12 vendors to bring their best presentations, samples and ideas to share with our customers. Guests moved through the offices with a passport, showing destinations and directions for experiencing what each vendor had to offer. At the end of the day, we invited our guests to sign the back of their passport and drop it in a drawing for an iPad. Just for attending, guests were entered to win any number of prizes throughout the day including compu-backpacks, men’s and women’s all-weather apparel and even a golf bag.

Throughout the day, guests were welcome to stop at any one of the five educational sessions. Session topics included Holiday Gifts, Apparel, Case Studies, Company Stores and Social Media. The Apparel and Social Media sessions proved to be the most popular among the attendees. Ideas were flowing fast and fierce!

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Guests left Pinnacle with goody bags full of samples and new information about smart products that they can use to promote their brand. They were able to complete sample request cards to get specific samples sent to them at their office for a closer look. They were able to leave with the experience of having spent the day with their co-workers or Pinnacle account teams. And, they were able to leave Pinnacle Promotions with sneak peeks into what promotional items are new and unique for 2015 as well as great ideas for ways to use popular branded items to gear up their team, reward employees or expand their audience.

Click to see more pictures from our event.
If you attended the event at our offices, please stop by our Google+ local page and leave a review about your experience!
And, stay tuned for news and information about our next great event!

Pinnacle Promotions

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