The 10 essential criteria to consider before you order your business promotional merchandise.
The simplest way to filter your product search is of course the cost you pay for it. There is a product to suit any budget, so business promotional items can be used by companies of any size, quite literally with any budget.
Cost of product vs Cost as value over life of product.
Tread carefully - any judgement of the true cost should always go hand in hand with consideration of “Durability” of the product and how long its' lifecycle is. A product that is durable and likely to last for 12 months like a drink bottle or quality notebook that may cost $15, compares favourably to a $3 item that has a lifecycle of 2 - 4 weeks.
It’s the name of the game - by definition anything you add your logo to becomes part of your brand building story. The feelings associated with the promotional items you select will reflect directly on your brand in both positive and negative ways. Select a product that has synergy with your brand or campaign goals.
Example 1: Eco Friendly products align your brand with being earth friendly and a social citizen that supports sustainability.
Example 2: Selecting products that support an active lifestyle, reflects your brand image as aligned with promotion of healthy and active lifestyles.
In reverse, selecting products that are low quality, non sustainable, tacky or considered more a "fad" can damage your brand, or make it end up in the garbage bin.
How long is the lifecycle of your product and does it align and contribute with the goals of your long term marketing plans?
How does the product age over time?
A short lifecycle product is attractive to even the largest and biggest brands and companies, if it suits the goals of the marketing campaign. For example many companies wanting awareness for a new product or campaign will use a disposable “giveaway” product to reach large audiences like at a sporting event.
For many small business, with limited budgets, who may produce maybe less than a few promotional campaigns a year to promote their business to their clients, the issue of product lifecycle and durability is a major consideration.
“More Bang for you Buck”
The Longer lifecycle products in general are highly desirable, as they reduce the “overall” cost over time, in theory making a better ROI ( Return on Investment) more likely, essentially giving your brand more time in the eye of your target market.
Service based Companies
Longer lifecycle products that score high on durability are attractive to service based business where clients contact your company a few times a year to make purchases as it enhances your chances of being front of mind when the need for your services arise, think plumbers, electricians and pest controllers, but also B2B services companies in many industries that sell niche or specialised services.
Long Lifecycle products include Stainless Steel Drink Bottles, Quality Pens, Notebooks, Umbrellas, Chairs, Backpacks.
When we pick gifts for our loved ones or co-workers, generally we will pick gifts we think they will like and will actually use. Of course you say! Well that is no different to promotional products , which are exactly the same thing - a Gift to your clients, prospect or employees.
Note - 77% of Consumers selected “Usefulness” as the number 1 reason to keep a promotional item.
Health & Safety, Computer & Tech Products like Custom USB Drives, Writing Instruments and Notebooks are ranked as the “most useful”
( Source https://www.ppai.org/ )
5. Perceived Value
So we discussed “Cost” above and its very simple to judge a product by what it costs you, but here we will discuss what we all associate the “price” of a particular product based on our past experience and society norms. This is called perceived value, as it has no direct relevance to what the product actually costs you, but the “value” certain products, or attributes of a product (like the material its made from) have in the marketplace or in peoples value system.
Should my products perceived value always be High?
Not at all, as long as there is not a “mismatch” between the goals of the campaign, your own brands positioning and the perceived value of the product you pick, so for this reason you should always be aware how the product you select rates on this matrix. Products with short lifecycles that are giveaways or disposable products that are “used once” don’t require a high perceived value.
Common indicators of High Perceived Value products:
The easiest way to create a high perceived value is to use products that carry well known brands, this is called “Co-Branding”, where you fuse a well known brand in that product area and add your brand to the product.
An example would be adding you logo to a "CAMELBAK" branded drink bottle or a if you are targeting the Golf Enthusiast, you could use a "Titelist" golf ball or golf cap - a brand that is known as a top golf brand.
Co-Branding is available in many product categories.
How does your product rate in being unique?
The higher unique factor a product has, the more chance of it having Wow Factor.
If you want your brand to be known as innovative, unconventional, maybe a little funky - then select products that score well on this factor.
Most products can have a Unique Edge
One way to increase the uniqueness rating of your preferred product is the use of existing products with a “unique” twist. An easy way to do this is to explore the many Eco Friendly alternatives for existing products, which offer the chance to present traditional products on unique materials like Eco Plastic, Wood, Bamboo, cork and bags in materials like Jute and Juco.
Tip: Disrupting an existing market ? Select products that rate through the roof in uniqueness!
7. Lifestyle Integrator
By seamlessly integrating into peoples lifestyles, your branded merchandise products can add an extra dimension as a marketing tool, by essentially creating pseudo "brand ambassadors" for your business.
Often these products are used every day of the week, be it at work, after work activities like exercise, gym, kids sports.
These products can become effectively “Mobile Branding Tools”, as the user interacts with people or in outdoor settings, this increases your brand exposure to not just the user, but to potentially a much larger audience.
Products that score well in Lifestyle Integration include Drink Bottles, Sports Shakers, Re usable coffee cups. Umbrellas, deck chairs, all apparel like T-Shirts, Hoodies and in particular Bags and Headwear like caps and bucket hats
One for the stats nerd , the Kitchen is the number 1 place people use and keep their promotional products, and people spend an average 3-5 hrs a day in their Kitchen.
( Source: promotionalproductswork.com.au )
Additionally, Kitchen used branded “Merch” are attractive products for the working from home workforce, which is predicted to become the new norm, note its estimated by people like Bill Gates that up to 30% of all workers in many countries will permanently work from home in the years to come.
Covid has created a “New Norm” for the way we all behave and interact and in particular the impact on things like peoples leisure activities, lifestyle and most significantly how we spend our significant time a week working.
Any item you align your brand with you should consider if its use is impacted either positively or negatively by this new norm.
10. Target Market Match
Marketing basics is to know your customer segments and match your products to their needs, promote yourself to this market or markets, price your products accordingly and make it easy for them to buy and/or find you and your products.
The free marketing lesson over, this one is quite straight forward, apply the same principles to your choice of “branded Merch” you do to your own products, make sure the products match your target market segments, not what products you like to use and would be cool to use and hand to clients to make you feel great.
By applying a rating criteria to judge every possible promotional item, as apposed to randomly selecting "cool" products, you are considering to use for a branded merchandise project, you will increase the chances dramatically that you will select products that are most suited to your own business and therefore increase the probability that each project is a success.
Aligning your brand with drinkware is very effective on its own, selecting an Eco friendly option provides additional advantages for your brand. Associating your brand with re -usable coffee cups for example, tells the world your brand is conscious of its social responsibility by contributing to the reduction in use of disposable coffee cups, of which over 1 billion a year end up in landfill within Australia and New Zealand alone.
Here are my picks of the best 10 eco custom drinkware options you should consider to align your brand with, along with helpful price guides which show “Eco” doesn’t mean more expensive.
300ML Double wall reusable coffee cup. Choice Cup is made from a 50/50 blend of natural rice husk fibre and polypropylene which is shatterproof, odour-resistant and BPA-free. With a trendy look available in a natural, light blue and a bright green colour.
Branding: Print logos in 1 to 4 colours, while a cost saving tip would be to print your logo as a 1 colour.
Price Guide: You will pay between $5 - $9
Metro Cup Bamboo
A blend of bamboo and BPA-Free melamine (50/50). The smooth finish closely resembles the traditional plastic appearance. Comes in a large range of trendy silicone band colours with matching silicone lid and band.
Branding: You logo can be either pad printed or unique de-boss branding on the silicon banding Price Guide: Under $15
Natura Cup Range
Rice Husk fibre and BPA-Free polypropylene. Options available include 340ML double wall & single wall 350/480ML. Uniquely natural look compared with regular plastic. Match your corporate colours with a decorative silicone band and a secure screw on lid with a splash proof flip closure!
Branding: Print or De-boss on the silicon banding again, mix and match the banding and lid colours for added flexibility.
Price Guide: Under $15
Natura Wheat Straw Coffee Mug
A unique and cost effective 350ml round coffee mug - made from 50/50 blend of natural wheat straw fibre and BPA Free polypropylene. Microwave safe for up to 2 minutes, this is a very earthy looking coffee mug.
Branding: Print in your logo in 1 to 4 colours.
Price Guide: A price buster at between $3 to $5
Double Wall Glass Set
Exquisite set of two 410ml double wall glasses which are presented in a black gift box. Made from borosilicate glass which is incredibly light and very strong. The double wall construction keeps drinks hot for longer while the outside of the glass remains comfortable to hold and it keeps drinks cold without messy condensation. They are ideal for use as
on-trend coffee cups or for serving icy cold beverages.
Branding: Laser Engrave glass and also print on the gift box available.
Price Guide: $30 - $45, includes printed gift box.
Eden Glass Drinking Bottle
Sophisticated 600Ml lightweight and shatterproof glass, along with a trendy Bamboo lid. Glass produces a natural choice for a clean & pure taste, ideal for a water bottle. Optional soft touch silicon cover which comes in a variety of colours to match your company brand.
Branding: You logo will shine either as a laser engraved or printed directly on the glass.
Price Guide: Expect to pay around $10
Mirage Drink Bottle Range
Trendy double wall, vacuum insulated stainless steel drink bottle range, all with a timeless design. Key feature being it will keep drinks cold for 24 hours or hot for up to 12 hours. Comes with a standard lid or a secure, spring activated push button lid with a carry handle and an ergonomically designed spout for pouring drinks.
Branding: Laser engrave to a shiny steel finish except for the silver bottle, which engraves to a natural etch. Alternatively you can print your logo.
Price Guide: $12 to $25 depending on branding option chosen.
Make a statement with this 500ml, nature-inspired double wall flask which has a genuine bamboo outer wall. It has a stainless steel inner wall and its own screw on cup with a smart stainless steel finish. The flask will keep drinks hot or cold for longer and has convenient push button operation.
Branding: Printing on attractive and naturally unique bamboo wood surface.
Price Guide: Under $20
Stealth Matt Black Mug / Drink Bottle
Impressive premium 500ml double wall, vacuum insulated stainless steel mug or 700 ml drink bottle, both BPA Free.
Strikingly smart powder black coated matt finish to suit companies who have a "Black" element to their branding.
Stealth is ideal for coffee as well as taking soup and food to work.
Branding: Laser engraves to a stainless steel finish.
Price Guide: Under $25.
What are you waiting for, can you picture your logo on one of my top 10 drinkware ideas ?
Getting started on your custom branded drink bottle project is easy, simply get in touch with us for a chat.
You can also view the full range of custom drink bottles.
Download a copy of this article below.
Plastic is the antithesis of everything “Eco Friendly”, however in recent times we have seen the advent of natural based plastic options that now allow companies to use plastic in their product marketing campaigns and still tick the “Eco Friendly” box.
Why is the development of Eco Friendly plastic alternatives important ? Every year, humanity generates almost its own collective body weight in plastic waste. Up to 13 million tonnes of this pollution enters the oceans, finding its way into our food chain and tap water. 
Let’s explore what eco friendly plastic options exist and the 8 Eco Friendly plastic products you should consider using now.
Wheat Straw Plastic
Wheat straw is what is leftover once wheat is harvested and using it in plastic production is an ideal zero-waste option. Traditionally this waste by-product is burnt and causes air pollution. The plastic is created by breaking down the cellulose contained in the wheat straw, which ultimately produces a natural polymer, unlike traditional plastic which is made from artificial polymers.
Wheat straw is 100% Bio-degradable, it will take 3-6 months to compost in a home combust and it is renewable and sustainable. It can also be recycled and remade into other products again and again. Wheat straw requires significantly less energy to produce and hence produces less Co2 gas emission. 
Key features which make it suitable to kitchen based products are being heat resistant to 100 degrees celsius, microwave safe up to 2 minutes, food safe and aesthetically it presents a natural unique appearance.
Similarly rice husk is a waste product of silica, rice husk ash is considered to be one of the most promising and environmentally friendly sources for the production of silicon-based materials.
100% Biodegradable material, heat resistant to 120 degrees celsius. BPA Free, food safe, microwave safe up to 2 minutes, like wheat straw it produces a trendy and natural looking product. 
Eco Plastic as a Promotional Marketing Product:
Eco friendly plastic is now offered as an alternative option to many existing plastic promotional products that are traditionally used by companies as branded merchandise.
I explore the 8 best Eco Friendly plastic promotional products you should be using to promote your brand here.
We explore the range of materials available to you that come under the umbrella of “Eco Friendly”, and the most popular eco promotional products made from each.
A natural and renewable resource, the distinctively “unique” nature of wood grain pattern & colour provides a unique branding opportunity, with traditional printing and also unique laser engraving of logos onto wooden surfaces making wood an ideal premium custom branded corporate gift selection.
Popular wooden corporate gifts include: Wooden pens, key rings, wooden USB drives and USB boxes, traditional game sets like dominos & pickup sticks, cheese boards for premium corporate gifts.
Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on the planet, making it one of the worlds most renewable resources. It requires very little water to grow and can be re-harvested many times without harmful effects of the environment. Bamboo presents natural variations in wood grain and colour which presents ideal and unique branding surface to present your brand with.
Popular bamboo promotional items include: Pens, printed drink coasters, bamboo USB drives, bamboo printed notebooks, tote bags and drink bottles.
Cork is eco friendly as its is renewable and sustainable resource. The unique textured surface provides a unique branding opportunity. Popular corporate merchandise made with Cork include: notebooks, drink coasters, coffee
Cotton plants produce fluffy white fibre which are harvested, spun into thread, then woven into fabric which is soft, durable, washable and uses a renewable resource.
Popular uses for cotton include: Tote bags, shopping bags, drawstring bags, custom printed caps, adding your logo to large range of clothing like polo shirts, t-shirts or range of work uniforms.
Jute is a plant fibre that is spun into a coarse thread & woven to make a robust, heavy duty fabric. Jute has a natural look which makes it aesthetically appealing to brand artwork with. Due to its strength Jute has become an ideal and affordable fabric to brand your logo onto for shopping bags, tote bags, coolers bags, gift bags and make up bags.
Blending Jute with cotton will produce Juco, another popular material due to its strength and smoother branding surface. Promotional Tote Bags with large gussets which can hold heavy weights are a popular use of Juco.
Paper derived from sustainably grown wood pulp is a natural product that can be recycled repeatedly. Common uses include: notebooks, pens and highlighters, Eco USB flash drives made from Kraft paper, paper printed carry bags and shopping bags.
Glass is an aesthetically pleasing and extremely sustainable material which is manufactured from sand. It is easily recycled and has become an environmentally-friendly natural alternative to single-use plastic bottles and cups. Common uses: Glass coffee cups, drinking glasses, and re usable water bottles.
Stainless steel can be recycled multiple times, with an extremely long life span, keeping your brand in the eye of the user for a longer period than most products. An ideal material for all types of custom printed drinkware due to the long life cycle and the ability to keep drinks cold and hot longer. In addition, there is no requirement for a plastic lining, which also ensures a chemical and odour free beverage.
Rice Husk & Wheat Straw Natural Plastic
Both materials are agricultural by-products which produce 100% biodegradable plastic with an attractive trendy finish. Heat resistant to 100-120 degrees, food safe and microwave safe for 2 minutes, makes drink mugs and cups are a popular option to use wheat straw for branded merchandise.
More information on Eco Friendly plastic can be found in depth here.
Getting started on your Eco Friendly Promotional promotional product campaign is easy, simply get in touch with us to discuss your project.
You can also view the full range of products made from eco friendly materials online.
A copy of this article can be downloaded below:
We explore some great ideas how you can use Eco Friendly plastic branded merchandise and make a lasting impression on your
brand - not the planet.
#1 Natura Express Coffee Cup 115581
Design inspired reusable coffee cup that is manufactured from a 50/50 blend of natural rice husk fibre and BPA-free polypropylene. Comes with a heat-resistant silicone band and a secure screw on lid with a splash proof flip closure. The flip closure and band come in a variety of colours to match your branding and can be mixed and matched, decorating on the band can be printed or de-bossed.
Price Guide: Under $15
# 2 Choice Cup
300ML double wall reusable coffee cup. Choice cup is manufactured from a 50/50 blend of natural rice husk fibre and BPA-Free polypropylene which is shatterproof and odour-resistant. A trendy natural look comes in natural colour, light blue and a bright green. Printing is available in 1 to 4 Colours.
Price Guide: $5 to $9
# 3 Eco USB Drives
Replace standard plastic with its natural wheat straw alternative for your next custom branded USB flash drive. Options include the popular “Credit Card” shape, a slimline card version and circle disc shape. A unique smooth recycled brown finish can be printed with full colour images or match corporate Pantone colours with screen print. Available in data capacity from 2Gb to 64Gb.
Price Guide: Under $10, from 50 unit.
#4 Choice Pen - 11629
Retractable ball pen, made from 50/50 blend of natural rice husk fibre and polypropylene. It comes with a black large volume refill with 1800 mtres of German manufactured Dokumental ink and a tungsten carbide ball for improved writing quality. Choice Pen is available in 3 Colours, natural, green and blue and you can print directly onto the surface. A very economical choice, costing between $0.70 to $1.00
#5 Choice Cutlery Set 117603
Unique cutlery set which is manufactured from a 50/50 blend of natural wheat straw fibre and BPA-free polypropylene. The set is presented in a rectangular case and includes a knife, fork and spoon. Digital Print on the outer case. Price Guide is between $2 - $3
#6 Natura Coffee Mug 117268
Unique 350ml round coffee mug which is manufactured from a 50/50 blend of natural wheat straw fibre and BPA-free polypropylene. Microwave safe for up to 2 minutes, this is a very different looking coffee mug. A cost effective product, will cost between $3 to $5 a mug with printing in 1 to 4 colours.
#7 Natura Stationery Set - 117269
Unique trendy looking rectangular pencil case, 50/50 blend of natural wheat straw fibre and BPA-free polypropylene. Included inside the pencil case is a 15cm wooden ruler with measurements in inches and centimetres, two wooden HB pencils, a wooden pencil sharpener and a retractable ballpoint pen with a cardboard barrel. Price Guide of $3 to $4
#8 Choice Sandwich Box - 11681
Eco inspired lunch box which is manufactured from a unique 50/50 blend of bamboo and BPA-free polypropylene. Choice Lunch Box is shaped to fit a sandwich and has a secure push on lid with an easy open tab. Well priced at between $3 to $4 depended of quantity and logo design.
Try using Eco Plastic for your next custom branded merchandise campaign is easy, get in touch now for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02 96297832.
You can also download a copy of this article below:
Producing you own custom designed promotional usb drive isn't anywhere near as complicated a process as you may think, in fact a custom shaped usb can be as easy to produce as a normal off the shelf usb, we explain the typical process below in producing a completely customised branded USB Drive.
Step 1: Project Brief
Initial client brief can be anything from an in depth detailed instructional document to simply taking a photo of the product you want duplicated as a USB. Most often this will be graphics file images or photos or images from various angles. Customisation is 100%, and includes Pantone Colour matching sections and logos, fine elements and detail.
This process will take between 1 to 2 days.
Practise: When creating the "Pace maker" USB, the client supplied a product sample of the pacemaker. The "Smeg" Toaster USB, began with a series of photos taken of a actual Smeg Toaster from all angles.
Step 2: Proof Drawing Stage
Once the brief is received, we start the process with an initial 3D drawing. Revisions and edit process begins and the proof evolves till its approved, which normally takes between 2 - 4 days to complete to the point we have a final approved drawing.The final proof will include all elements like Pantone colours, logos, final shape dimensions and design areas for your custom usb.
Step 3: Production Sample - Mass Production
The final step before mass production begins, essentially a one off sample of the product is created within 2-3 days from the final drawing approval At this stage some minor changes can still be made at no extra cost, as long as the mold design is not effected. The client has the option to “touch and feel” the product at this stage, to see if it is the right size, colour and overall matches the wow factor expectation of the product. We always recommend a client views a final sample in their hands, especially if the design has fine details, however the only drawback being it extends the production lead time by 1 week at least, so in practise you will often have clients approve the sample from photos taken of this production sample.
So you have signed off on the production sample and now we begin the mass production of your custom USB Drive, which will typically take around 13 to 18 working days to complete and for you to have delivery of your custom usb in your hands.
In summary, the overall process is typically completed in 1 month, but can extend to 6 weeks if a physical sample is needed, which is ideal. This lead time is generally the only negative to creating a custom usb drive as opposed to any off the shelf USB model which you print your logo onto, with the benefit of creating a truly unique product, which is totally customised and one with wow factor that truly will make you stand out from the crowd.
If you are interested in creating your own design a usb, then start the process by getting in touch with us now.