Bankers Advertising Articles

Retail Brands + the Power of Promo: A Perfect Pair!

October 12, 2018

A recent webinar with Melissa Ralston, Chief Marketing Officer of BIC® Graphic, illuminated the inimitable value of the perfect pairing of retail brands and promo. Her tips and ideas were so compelling, we just had to share them with you! The bottom line? Promoting your business with retail brands just makes good sense.

At the outset, Ralston laid out the number one reason that you should add your logo to a retail product: 60 percent of end users—your customers!—prefer a recognized brand. Yes, 60 percent! Need more reasons? Well, here are seven very important ones:

  • Peace of Mind When you work with retail brands, you can be confident that certain things are taken care of. If the products are for sale on shelves across the country, you know they’ve been thoroughly vetted and meet all relevant safety standards.
  • Saving Time Decision-making is easier you are dealing with a known quantity rather than taking a risk on something sight-unseen.
  • Creating a Difference Retail brands will make your brand stand out from the crowd. You will easily be differentiated as a knowledgeable seeker of value.
  • Comfort and Safety Ralston also called this “predictability”—it’s the benefit you get from knowing what to expect and trusting that it will be the same each time you get it. There’s no surprises here; the quality is consistent.
  • Added Value Your brand has value in-and-of itself. Why not add to it by pairing it with something recognized and trusted? It has all the benefits of co-branding! The retail brand logo next to your branding elevates its perceived status.
  • Self-expression Many consumers think of retail brands as extensions of themselves—as Ralston pointed out, if you’re unsure of this, just ask a Mac user when they’re likely to buy their next PC! Brands aren’t just what we wear or buy, they’re who we are. Tying your brand to that emotional attachment builds loyalty.
  • Shared Experiences Retail brands aren’t just about individual expression, they’re about group identity as well. Brand advocates gather as a community and share positive experiences. By adding a retail brand to your advertising mix, you are entering a constructive conversation already in progress.

It’s no secret that retail brands come at a higher price point than other options. But through minimizing risk, creating favorable recognition, and standing out from the competition, you are bound to make back your investment. After all, sometimes choices made to save money can end up costing money.

One of the greatest benefits of retail brand use is creating a desired perception. By aligning with brands that share the values you want to convey, your customers will have double the reinforcement of your message. Think of the added value if a retail brand known for “peace of mind” were used in conjunction with a promotional campaign for an insurance agent!

Ultimately, retail brands are a win-win for both your customers and your brand. Talk to your sales representative about incorporating retail brands into your promotional campaigns. With gift season looming on the horizon, the timing couldn’t be better to experience the value of retail brands!


Uncategorized — Genevieve Trainor @ 9:29 pm

Why do business still advertise with calendars?

September 25, 2018

Research proves that advertising calendars are useful and valuable. The Advertising Specialty Institute says that 74% of people can recall the advertiser on their promotional calendar. They’re powerful little marketing tools, and if you’re not using them in to enhance your brand visibility… your competitors are.

Yes, we live in the digital age. A New York Times article recently stated, “It may seem counter-intuitive that a print product can thrive in the digital age. But the continued success of some paper calendars mirrors that of printed books, an industry that several years ago was confronting what seemed like the very real possibility that e-books would outsell the printed variety. Instead, a Pew survey this fall found that most readers still preferred their reading material printed on paper.”

Additional research has proven they’re effectiveness…

Calendars expose your brand multiple times a day, every day of the year:

  • 61% of people look at a calendar 2-10 times a day

They work hard for you:

  • 85% of people do business with the company that supplied their promotional calendar

They make people happy:

  • 82% of recipients enjoy getting a calendar as a complimentary gift

If this isn’t enough to convince you, here are 4 more reasons should consider advertising calendars:


There is no gift or product that is timelier at the year-end than the promotional calendars. Your customer’s 2018 calendars are about to expire. Plans for next year are already in the works! A new calendar is sought-after, appreciated and put to good use immediately at home or work (or both)! People know EXACTLY who gave them their calendar last year… did it come from you? It should!


Calendar advertising is the definition of personal advertising. Whether distributed in person or by mail, the advertising calendar is referred to daily, multiple times becoming an integral part of the recipient’s life. We offer many quality logo products to select from, but promotional calendars are the ONLY ones that are in your customer’s lives 365-24-7.


People always respond favorably when they’re presented with a product they deem valuable. They’re engaged from the START. You’re the advertiser, and you’re getting the opportunity to “engage” with your recipient every time the calendar is used.


Advertising calendars are seen and tell YOUR story to numerous people every day – family, friends, guests, colleagues, and more. The calendar constantly tells people about who YOU are, where YOU can be found and the products or services YOU offer.

We have a variety of options for creating a one-of-kind custom calendar. Whether it’s customizing a stock calendar or creating your custom calendar, our experts will help you. Give us a call and we’ll get started.

Browse calendars online.

Uncategorized — Marie Young @ 3:19 pm

What’s trending now…

September 21, 2018

We spend a lot of time learning and educating ourselves on all that’s on-trend in our industry. Why? So we can help our clients stay on the cutting edge with their branding year after year. We’ve created a fabulous resource for the upcoming gift season so that you’re not left behind.

We’re excited to share this Fall’s top branding trends!


There’s a hot new trend that’s delivering a jolt of excitement to traditional promotional products like bags and drinkware. Tech features, like charging ports and Bluetooth speakers, are being added to products to increase the fun and deliver more function and convenience. Backpacks and bags now include built-in wireless chargers. Taking your tunes on the go wth integrated Bluetooth speakers is another key trend.


Wireless isn’t just a convenience, it’s a way of life. Staying connected on-the-go is essential in our modern world. Wireless technology has been steadily increasing in popularity for several years, but with advancing Bluetooth capabilities on many devices, wireless chargers, speakers, and headphones are quickly becoming some of the most sought-after tech accessories! There is no denying the appeal of promotional products with wireless technology for promoting a message and making a lasting impression.


This trend is still HOT! In retail, high-performance, insulated drinkware hotter than ever. From campus to factories to the boardroom–it’s everywhere. The most popular drinkware pieces, those with copper – vacuum insulation, are home run gifts for any brand. What makes them so universally loved? Well, they perform, keeping beverages hot for up to 6-12 hours and cold up to 18-48 hours. Also, they’re practical. They’re meant to be used every day.


Natural materials like marble and cork are making a big comeback, and not just on countertops and cork boards! These timeless, minimalist patterns turn ordinary items into statement pieces. These products create rock-solid brand building, whether they’re used at home or at the office. The marble features rich patterns of veins and swirls, imposing a subtle visual interest that creates a unique background for your logo. The distinctive look of cork provides a stylish effect for your brand.and cork boards!


From home décor to luxury products, metallic is a growing trend. Fashionable silvers, bronzes, golds, and rose golds are showing up everywhere from the runway to retail stores. Shiny, warm metals are on the rise as important ways to lend elegance to a space. Help your brand shine and put this stylish theme in the hands of your customers.


The two-tone color effect of gradients (or ombré) is making a big comeback in the design world. New styles transition bright pops of color to neutrals and metallic for a big impact or show subtle change in color value for eye-catching results. Gradients are interesting and memorable; the unusual blends showcase color in a new way. The effect is a game changer for brands looking to create their unique identity.


Is it a gift or giveaway? Someone wise once said that presentation is everything. Packaging options and gift sets offer more than a way to recognize a special occasion or important relationship – they’re also an opportunity to showcase your brand in a whole new way. The first impression can set the tone of receiving the gift and build an emotional

connection. Much of the attention in choosing holiday gifts is given to the gift itself, but the presentation is a value added opportunity that can’t be ignored. Packaging and presentation add to any promotion, presentation, contribution, or offering. Gift bags, custom ribbon, and gift boxes will enhance the selected item and maximize the impression it leaves.


With a per-gift budget in mind, it’s common to begin looking for the one item that fits in the budget. But with multiple items, your client receives greater exposure and value. By creating a kit or package of products, the recipients are left with many brand impressions. Bundling several items together also increases the perceived value.

Browse these ideas and more in our full Gift Guide.

Uncategorized — Marie Young @ 5:43 pm

Powerful Promos Vol. 11

September 14, 2018


Client Need:

A major university was looking to reduce the number of non-emergency calls going to 911 and promote their on-campus safety program.


The Campus’ Public Safety team does visits, displays, and interface with students on campus quite often. They gave out key chains with the University’s mascot on the front and the Public Safety non-emergency number on the back. As a result, non-emergency phone calls to the 911 number were markedly reduced. Those calls showed up on the regular number provided on the key chain, where they should be.

Uncategorized — Marie Young @ 3:50 pm

Powerful Promos Vol. 10

September 5, 2018

Client Need:

A benefits advising company was hosting a benefits conference and needed a useful, yet high-perceived value gift for clients in attendance.


The company’s Promotional Consultant suggested a wine glass. This 19 oz. tall wine glass features a rounded design and a chip-resistant rolled rim, and it has a long, sturdy stem and a wide base. The hotel was happy to use them at the event, then the guests were able to take them home as a memento of the event.


Uncategorized — Marie Young @ 4:31 pm

Our favorite way to stay dry

August 29, 2018

Take the frustration out of getting caught in the rain with the 48 inch Arc Two-Tone Inversion Umbrella! Made for durability using Pongee Material and crafted with a sturdy metal shaft, this umbrella will be sure to impress. The feature you’ll love the most is it’s inverted design that keeps you dry when closing. No more getting soaked while climbing in the car or when closing the umbrella once you’re indoors! Simply release the umbrella with it’s one-finger push button and manually open to a broad 48 inch diameter canvas that will keep you and anything you are carrying covered and dry. When closed, this sleek umbrella is just 2 inch long making the 48 inch Arc Two-Tone Inversion Umbrella easy to take along with you anywhere you go!

Find it here.

Uncategorized — Marie Young @ 4:11 pm

Powerful Promos Vol. 9

August 20, 2018

Client need

A not-for-profit organization called Clutch 4 Charity is a startup apparel company that was founded on the words WHAT IF: What If… we didn’t spend billions of dollars endorsing athletes? And, What If… we endorsed charities and invested in them instead. Clutch 4 Charity wanted to partner with multiple charities and customize part of their apparel line to match the branding of those charities.


Our Bankers Promotional Consultant has partnered with this charity to provide branded apparel guidance and consulting. The National and Global organizations that are teamed up with CLUTCH each have their own Cause Line Shirt. For every purchase, approximately 50 percent of Clutch’s profits goes directly to the charity/organization selected. 

For example, the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s logo is orange, so their orange Clutch performance tee benefits that charity.

Additional Clutch 4 Charity apparel items:

PosiCharge Competitor Tee, ladies leggings, ladies tanks, collared shirts, and a specialty product in a unique color called Coyote Brown for a military group.

Our Promotional Consultant went above and beyond and helped the  client design two new designs that expand beyond their logo… a “TRAINING” tee and one that uses the words “WHAT IF” (part of their mission statement):

In addition to t-shirts, we are also working on additional products to add to the lineup including headbands and sport sandals.

Check out their newly launched website!

Uncategorized — Marie Young @ 8:59 pm

Powerful Promos Vol. 8

August 7, 2018

Client need:

A technology company was looking for a unique gift item at a Star Wars themed conference. They needed to use their logo in conjunction with the conference logo.


The client’s promotional consultant suggested the Sabre Umbrella. This umbrella features blue, red, or white lights that travel up the shaft for colorful night-time enjoyment. This large umbrella also comes with a flashlight at the bottom of the handle… like a light saber! The umbrella was a huge hit (or shall we say… force?) with conference goers.

Uncategorized — Marie Young @ 8:42 pm

Powerful Promos Vol. 7

August 3, 2018

Client Need:

Carroll Creek Farms is a startup farm run by two young professionals that grew up in the city but always dreamt of living on a farm. The farm raises ethically-raised livestock and sells meat at local restaurants and farmer’s markets. Carroll Creek Farms was looking for a gift-with-purchase idea to be used as a product-buying incentive.


Our Bankers Advertising Promotional Consultant suggested a branded tote bag. Bags generate nearly 6,000 impressions with just 1/10th of a cent per impression. Recipients were sure to keep the bag and use it!

Carroll Creek Farms was asked by the Ohio Pork Council to provide something for their wall display at the Ohio State Fair this year. Their branded totes were the perfect thing to showcase their logo in a large manner.

Uncategorized — Marie Young @ 3:32 pm

Our oldest fan

July 31, 2018

If you ever doubted the lasting power of promotional products, take a look at this beautiful fan that we received in the mail recently at our headquarters in Iowa City! The following letter was sent with it, detailing the trip it took to get to us. Between the letter and the text on the fan, we were able to determine that it’s over 100 years old! Statistics are only so convincing—share the story of this beautiful keepsake the next time your customers are wondering what kind of staying power their investment in promotional products is likely to have. The research from Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) tells us that 18 percent of consumers keep their promotional products for more than 11 years. This evidence shows that, with the right product and the right customer, they just might last a lifetime.


Dear Bankers Advertising Co. 

This lovely fan was given to me many years ago by an aunt who bought it in an antiques shop on the Hudson River, just north of [New York] City. Just today, I noticed that it was printed in Iowa City, where I lived for a few years when I taught at [the University of Iowa]! I have such fond feelings for Iowa, and it occurred to me that it might be time for the fan to return home. Imagine my delight to find that Bankers Advertising is still in business and family owned. I hope that you will enjoy this bit of your history as much (or more!) than I have. I live in Washington State now, so imagine how far it has traveled.

All the best, Rebecca Platzner


Uncategorized — Marie Young @ 5:10 pm

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