Blue light blocking glasses are more popular than ever, especially as more and more employees are working from home and taking fewer breaks between their work and personal screens. But how do they work, and why are they a perfect choice for your staff and customers? Read on to learn more!
Bankers Advertising Articles
Our suppliers continue to consistently highlight a trend that’s been hanging around for a few years now: marble!
It’s not just for countertops and classical statues — and it’s not just for hard goods, either.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Wait, what? Are there holidays happening, too? No, I mean the Pantone Color of the Year announcement! Every year, the color mavens at the New Jersey-based Pantone Color Institute analyze trends and dive deep into art, culture, and lifestyle around the world to arrive at their pronouncement for Color of the Year, a hue that then goes on to spark its own trends and influence a multitude of different industries, including fashion, industrial design, and of course: promo!
Pantone made their 2020 announcement this year early evening of Dec. 4, right around the time when the normally softer sky deepens and darkens to just this shade: PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue. The elegant and emotive color of twilight will be everywhere we turn next year, and I for one couldn’t be happier! It’s just a titch lighter than our beloved Bankers blue, but we can forgive that.
In their announcement, Pantone calls the color “timeless and enduring.” Blue certainly has had a host of connotations over the years, from honesty and trust to calm and concentration. A 2012 University of Maryland study showed that 42 percent of men and 29 percent of women chose blue as their favorite color (the highest percentage of any color for both). Studies going as far back as 1941 have shown the same, a 2017 Artsy article claimed, going so far as to call it “the world’s favorite color.”
For Pantone’s part, they see it as both “reassuring” and “thought-provoking,” banking on their Classic Blue to “bring a sense of peace and tranquility to the human spirit.” They believe that it will resonate with “our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.”
Pantone Color Institute Executive Director Leatrice Eiseman doubles down on these ideas with her ode to Classic Blue: “We are living in a time that requires trust and faith,” the announcement quotes her. “It is this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed by PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, a solid and dependable blue hue we can always rely on. Imbued with a deep resonance, Classic Blue provides an anchoring foundation. A boundless blue evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky, Classic Blue encourages us to look beyond the obvious to expand our thinking; challenging us to think more deeply, increase our perspective and open the flow of communication.”
That’s a tall call for a color, but Classic Blue seems more than up to the task. And it’s certainly comforting to have both a clear vision and clear skies to look ahead to in 2020. Such a classic color also will be straightforward to find in products, making it easy to integrate into promo marketing programs right away.
And it’s perfect for the season. You can even get a head start on next year and have a “Blue Christmas” in a few weeks!
As we roll into fall, there’s a better than average chance that you’re starting to make a list of your top clients or donors and checking your budgets twice! That’s right, it’s time for everyone to start thinking about gift giving, large and small.
We want you to be fully prepped and ready for the season of giving! One great place to start is our Gift Guide, which is filled to the brim with products and ideas for all your giving needs. From travel and party supplies to the best in wearables and electronics, the guide has a myriad of options.
However, we also like to pass along some insight into some of the industry’s hottest trends for the cold weather holidays. We’ve pulled together ideas from our top suppliers, who know which way the (chilly) wind is blowing! These ideas and products will be well-received by everyone from clients to donors to staff.
Expect the unexpected this fall! There’s a particularly strong leaning toward pastels, but the key takeaway is that your customers should NOT be afraid to experiment. And they’ll have plenty of support from suppliers and even name brand collaborators for whatever they’re seeking.
What we’re reading: “There are plenty of opportunities to experiment with new colors this season—whether it’s a pastel tote or an umbrella in a soft heathered gray. Even legendary workwear brand Carhartt has broken away from traditional brown with new colors and styles that people are going crazy for.”
The current state of the earth’s environment — from fires in the Amazon to an ever-increasing number of jurisdictions banning single-use plastic to weather patterns hammering already hard-hit areas — is a huge concern for a lot of people. Even if you aren’t an adamant environmentalist yourself, many of your clients may be; it’s a win-win scenario to seek out promo that protects the planet, like this bamboo cutlery. Clients can certainly feel good about a renewable resource that can be harvested repeatedly, especially when it looks this good! Many suppliers have whole lines dedicated to this trend.
One of the most popular ways that designers are pulling in those pastel colors we mentioned earlier is through iridescent and holographic products. A recent industry article on this trend noted its ubiquity in the retail sphere, the creative freedom it offers the end user, and the influence of the rising younger generations. It also pointed out that the icy look of it is perfect for winter holidays. Gift season is the perfect time to have some fun with a little shimmer and shine!
Be sure you as your representative about these ideas this fall. They’ll be happy to show you samples and more generally keep you informed on all of the hottest trends of the season and all year long!
Every October since 1993, the U.S. has celebrated National Arts & Humanities Month, a perfect chance to think more deeply about the effects that participation in the arts and humanities have on us each as individuals. Part and parcel of that, of course, is the effect they have on professional lives! The arts, of course, are vital to personal development, but we’re here to talk about promo — and like so many other industries, the arts run on promo.
Here at Bankers, we have seen some fantastic orders for arts organizations. T-shirts for community theaters, for example. We’ve done holiday ornaments for dance companies. I’ve seen colored pencils branded for a university art museum that was breaking ground on a new location.
We’d like to send a big THANK YOU to our current customers in these fields, as well as an invitation to arts professionals to take a look at what we can offer. Our sales partners are creative professionals, too, dedicated not just to selling product on demand but to developing innovative solutions to your marketing needs and finding ways to bring your own wild ideas to fruition.
We love working with arts and humanities organizations — private or public, for profit or non-profit — because the nature of that work often leads to a deep understanding of the value of physical advertising! And we’ve found that arts orgs are willing to take interesting, creative risks. A publisher might want a unique product giveaway for readings, to tie in with an unusual book they’re promoting. A gallery may want unconventional rewards for donors to a capital campaign. A record label or band could be interested in something that dovetails with packaging or theme on an album.
We have a wide variety of items to make us your source for ALL things branded.
The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies lists the goals of National Arts and Humanities Month as:
- create a national, state and local focus on the arts and humanities through the media;
- encourage the active participation of individuals, as well as arts, humanities and other interested organizations nationwide;
- provide an opportunity for federal, state and local business, government and civic leaders to declare their support for the arts and humanities; and
- establish a highly visible vehicle for raising public awareness about the arts and humanities.
If you’re not part of an arts or humanities organization, we encourage you to take time this month to patronize your local theaters, galleries, or music venues (and remember that formalizing your support of the arts is both great publicity and an excellent co-branding opportunity!). If you are in the arts, Bankers is here to help you with all of your promotional needs this National Arts and Humanities Month!
Sommarøy is attempting to abolish time.
No, that’s not the name of the newest Marvel supervillain. Nor is it the newest trend in anti-aging skin care regimens. Sommarøy is an island off the northern edge of Norway, in the Norwegian Sea, and earlier this month, the town council of the tiny island’s lone village petitioned the country’s government to allow them to be time-free, claiming that, with 69 days of continuous sunshine each year, the island’s 300-some residents got used to going about their lives however they saw fit, and they felt that the structure of time simply got in their way.
Or so it was reported.
In reality, time-free Sommarøy was a tidbit of genuine fake news, cooked up by Innovation Norway, an organization owned by Norway that serves to promote business development for the country. Makes sense when you think about it, doesn’t it? Because while the idea of living without time was a brilliant bit of marketing, it’s a lot less tenable as a way of life.
Time can feel like it’s a weight, a pressure, a bother. But when we get into the weeds of just what life would be like without it — a thought experiment many indulged in when “news” of Sommarøy broke — it turns out to be a lot messier. Time is how we track things. Everything. And, it turns out, tracking things is one of the key elements to success.
A recent Inc. article with the deceptively mundane title “How to Lose Twice As Much Weight, Backed By Science” spun off of a collection of research about logging food. One study, author Jeff Haden claimed, showed that people who tracked what they ate three or more times per day, consistently, were most successful in losing weight. Another, Haden said, measured that success concretely as a loss of almost twice as much for those who kept a food diary over those who did not. And it didn’t matter what they logged or where or how precisely. It only mattered that they did it.
This is due, Haden argued, to the Hawthorne effect. Based on a 1924-32 study at the Western Electric Company’s Hawthorne Works factory complex in Cicero, Illinois, the Hawthorne effect is the impact that the simple fact of being observed can have on a subject. While the original study was carried out to determine whether different lighting or different rest periods could have an effect on worker productivity, what it found was that worker productivity increased, it seemed, simply because they knew they were part of a study.
Physicists know this as the observer effect, and it was being discussed right around the same time as the study at Hawthorne Works, as quantum theory was in its nascent stages. On the smallest scale, just being observed can change the behavior even of the smallest subdivisions of matter.
When we are observed, our behavior changes — even, as the weight loss studies show, when we ourselves are doing the observing. And accurate observation requires consistency and time.
“Those are some fun anecdotes you’ve strung together,” you may be thinking. “But what’s it got to do with me? I’m not moving to Norway or trying to lose weight.”
Well, tracking and consistency are fundamentally important to success, no matter what endeavor you’re pursuing.
In that Inc. article, Haden told a story he recalled about Jerry Seinfeld. The comedian shared, in an old Lifehacker article, that when he was first starting out, he determined that the way to improve was to write a new joke each day. So he got a large wall calendar (we can help you with those!) and put a red X over each day after he’d written his joke.
“Success,” Haden wrote, “is based on staying the course and doing the right things, the right way, over and over.”
This advice is applicable to business as well as personal endeavors. What goals do you have for your business at the moment? Are you pursuing something countable, like outreach to customers? Determine a target number for each day, then log it and track it. Trying to establish a new tradition, like employee recognition? Log and track each time you accomplish the short-term goal. (And if you’re looking for a prospective client gift or recognition award: Yeah, we’ve got that!)
Haden’s conclusion: “Don’t assume knowing automatically leads to doing. Logging leads to doing. And leads to a much greater chance of success — which naturally leads to kick-starting your own ripple effect of improvement.”
Observe yourself. Observe your business. You’ll be amazed by what changes.
Happy Promotional Products Work! Week, everyone! This week, the Promotional Products Industry is celebrating our advertising medium. Our goal is to inform the decisions of buyers to integrate with confidence promotional products into advertising, marketing & branding strategies.
Promotional products advertising is the one go to branding tool that delivers exposure, engagement and touches consumers like no other. There’s nothing more powerful and effective than having your brand in the literal hands of clients and consumers.
Check out this sweet infographic. Can you believe these stats? Promotional products… the only medium invited into spaces & places other media can’t touch!
There are two observances in April that dovetail with one of my personal passions and a subject we’re dedicated to here at Bankers: copyright and intellectual property!
April 23 is the day designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as World Book and Copyright Day. It was chosen because the date is near the birth or death of a multitude of significant authors, including the deaths of both William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes in 1616 and the birth of Vladimir Nabokov in 1899. World Book and Copyright Day was established in 1995 to champion not just books but the copyright protections that guard writers and assure their fair compensation.
April 26 is World Intellectual Property Day, established in 2000 by the World Intellectual Property Organization to raise awareness of all manner of intellectual property (IP)—patents, copyright, trademarks, and designs—and to celebrate creativity and innovation. In 2019, World IP Day is focused on sports! Their Reach for Gold campaign explores everything from the way merchandising and licensing help offset the cost of massive world-wide sporting undertakings, such as the Olympics and the World Cup, to broadcasting rights and the ways in which fans engage.
Here at Bankers, we take intellectual property, including copyright, very seriously. Director of Business Development Joe Sheeley has an extensive background in licensing, and works closely with college and university clients, as well as working to develop new collegiate contacts, to make certain customers know how much we value their trademarks and how hard we will work to protect their IP.
Our order entry team is vigilant about questioning orders that may inadvertently violate copyright, including logos and taglines from smaller businesses that might veer a little too near established brands. And our larger corporate partners, from RE/MAX to Collins Aerospace, trust our attention to detail in ensuring that their brand standards are met.
Last, but not least… Our company program (online stores) team makes it their their job to ensure fool proof brand compliance through custom programmed Online StoreFronts that host company approved marketing tools for their brand ambassadors to easily order.
Copyright and IP are an integral part of the promotional products business. The ways that a company expresses itself, from slogans to fonts to Pantone colors, are key to its marketing strategy, and it’s our privilege to stand on the front lines of guarding that expression against theft and error. Bankers is proud to be a trusted partner to so many organizations that foreground their trademarks and brand standards. But we also pride ourselves on our dedication to protecting smaller businesses that are still ironing out the kinks or don’t know their options. It’s crucial for every business to be committed to protecting their own IP and respecting the IP of others—Bankers is glad to help!
Every marketer knows that consistent brand compliance is key to leveraging the equity of the brand. But when your company’s structure includes multiple layers such as departments, sister companies, franchisees, distributors, or dealers… all using, and possibly producing… marketing materials… things can get messy! How do you ensure your brand stewards are following your guidelines? Better yet… how do you achieve headache free brand compliance?
Here are some tips:
- Activate brand guidelines and circulate it company-wide. Provide your company representatives with marketing templates that address appropriate brand usage and common mistakes.* An FAQ is a great way to answer questions for the masses, and prevent an influx of calls or emails.
- Prevent the use of non-standard typefaces and colors by providing a brand-define pallet of colors and brand-approved (and properly licensed) set of brand fonts.*
- Require the use of brand-approved legal disclaimers and disclosure.
- Require the use of pre-approved (grammatically correct) content.
In short, a well-thought brand management program can help you to make true brand compliance the fastest, easiest way for your company representatives and brand stewards to get their promotions out the door. It makes marketing safe, reliable, and even fun—and could save you hundreds, even thousands, of hours per year.
We have been helping build brands through the use of promotional products for over 125 years. Our experts can strengthen, yet simplify your licensing and compliance programs in the following ways:
Our in-house brand manager is an expert in brand guidelines and trademark policies.
Your brand reflects your values, mission, products, services, team members and culture. Our goal is to work alongside you to become brand stewards so that the products we supply accurately represent your company. We strive to get to know you, your brand, and what you stand for.
We understand the time and effort it takes to fully evolve your brand. We provide promotional consulting, products and value-added services. When you make promotional products an integral part of your marketing, you can watch people grab onto your message.
We take your brand seriously and look forward to collaborating with you!
*source: Brand Compliance for Local Marketers | Pageflex | 4.5.19
Courtesy Promotional Consultant Today (pctodaymail.com) & Genevieve Trainor
When Promotional Consultant Today released their list of the biggest marketing trends to watch in 2019, the first thing that we noticed was that a good chunk of them weren’t even applicable to us here at Bankers! Tech buy-ins and advances like chatbots, voice and visual searches, and AI monitoring may be taking the marketing world by storm, but what the drive toward greater automation reminds us of is that, once again, our personalized, person-to-person service will soon be a rare treat in the marketplace.
As for the rest of the trends—read on! Here, we highlight their top five, and share how, working Bankers and with your sales partner, you can leverage them to help propel your business into 2019 and beyond.
A shifting marketing funnel. Instead of creating a marketing funnel that accepts anyone, move toward niche audiences. Contacting people and businesses who are interested in your products and services saves you money and time.
Bankers has a wide array of support available to help you make decisions about how (and what!) to sell to your target audience. Your sales partner can help you dig into the best promo for various demographics.
Content rises in importance. People crave phenomenal content. In the year ahead, think about how you can create articles or videos that inspire your audience, provoke their thoughts, appeal to their emotions, or excite them. Don’t just write a post to write it; craft a piece with a goal of getting readers to share and engage with it. When you do, you open the door for two-way communication, which ultimately helps you build trust.
Bankers can’t create content for you. But we can help you with creative content delivery! With great promotional items, the medium IS the message—but more than that, your sales partner can connect you with flash drives that we can have pre-loaded with information for you, notebooks and planners that you can add your own content to, VR devices that can send your customers on a virtual tour, and more.
Consumers pay more attention to security. People want to know how businesses handle their information, so ensure that your company’s security is thorough. In an era of hacks, leaks and theft, make sure to discuss your security with customers. What are you doing to ensure the safest business experience?
Well isn’t that a coincidence? Customers are concerned with security, and you can offer them promotional products to ease their fears. From webcam covers to RFID-blocking wallets and passport holders, promo is a wonderful fit with this trend, offering a great way for you to support your security initiatives.
A greater focus on Gen Z. Members of the second-youngest generation crave authenticity and prefer socially responsible businesses. As they get older, their buying power increases. Make sure your marketing reflects what matters to this group to best connect with them in 2019.
Not to worry: The kids are alright. Rising purchasers Gen Z (the oldest have been in the job market a few years or are just getting out of grad school) are socially aware, politically active, and ready to do business with someone they trust—and that someone could be you! At Bankers, we can find the best promotional products to support you in outreach efforts with items that are all recycled, all Made in the USA, or otherwise fit your corporate values that you’d like to express to your Gen Z customers.
Influencers become more personal. While celebrities used to dominate influencer marketing, consumers now lean toward their peers to decide what to buy. Instead of celebrity marketing, many brands are turning to real people (micro-influencers) because people trust individuals like them. To win at marketing in the year ahead, don’t keep doing what you have always done. Keep an eye on emerging technologies, methods and patterns to maximize your marketing efforts.
This is the best news yet! What marketing calls “micro-influencers” we call your current customers. All it takes is more active use of what’s always been your best marketing tool: word of mouth. Promotional products are a perfect way to support that—your branded products are the perfect opening for the customers who love you to sing your praises to friends and colleagues.
Source: Deep Patel (A Paperboy’s Fable: The 11 Principles of Success); Compiled by Audrey Sellers