Nine Products to Make Your Clients’ Q4 Programs a Success
It’s hard to believe that we’re already planning for the fourth quarter. Now’s the time to start thinking of year-end gifts, employee recognition programs and more. When it comes to thoughtful products that end-users will love, there are a few options. Maybe it’s a calendar to help them track their 2023 goals. Maybe it’s an assortment of delicious snacks for the cozy holiday season. Maybe it’s an air freshener to help them with their New Year’s Resolution to keep their cars clean. Read on for an assortment of products to help you round out 2022.
1. Mega Smash Chocolate with Mini Milk Chocolate Pretzels
If chocolate is the way to your clients’ (or employees’) hearts, then they are in for a big treat. From Marketing Director Deborah Gaspar’s perspective, the Mega Smash Chocolate with Mini Milk Chocolate Pretzels has been NC Custom’s product of the year. It’s a 2-lb. chocolate molded champagne bottle with a full-color custom badge made of edible wafer paper. But that’s not all. The product comes with a keepsake mallet that can be customized on the handle or head. Why a mallet, you may ask? Because that’s the way to unlock all the milk chocolate pretzels housed inside the champagne bottle. Heart, circle and cake shapes are also available.
Sales Tip: Q4 can be a time to reflect on what missed the mark, but also a time to celebrate the year’s biggest wins. The Mega Smash Chocolate is a new way to tie in themes of smashing sales goals or simply smashing into the holiday season. Teams can “smash” together on-site, or employers can host an unboxing/group smash on Zoom for remote workers.
“Food gifts are always hot during the holiday season and of late,” Gaspar notes. “This one is amazing, interactive, creative and fun! Not to mention delicious. Who doesn’t love 2 lbs. of chocolate filled with more chocolate? [The] keepsake mallet is the perfect leave behind long after the sweetness is gone.”
NC Custom (Chocolate Inn/Lanco)
2. Air Freshener
All those summer trips to the beach sure were fun — the calming waves, cool ocean breeze and warm sun rays. But then there were the damp towels left behind in cars across America, as desperate parents corralled exhausted children into their homes. What happened to them? Nothing good.
Those same kids soon will be driven to various sports and extracurricular activities that could lead to sensory overload for our olfactory system. (We’re looking at you, hockey players!) Air Fresheners from Gemini Line can help. Made in the U.S., they come in custom shapes with no die charges. Ralph Horack, vice president of sales, says clients should think of air fresheners as mobile billboards: Once in place, they travel with the commuter, always in view with the scent of their choice.
Sales Tip: “Americans spend over 335 hours in cars per year, and getting your message to them is as easy as dangling an air freshener on the rearview mirror,” Horack points out. “Once hung, most air fresheners are there for at least 90 days, so for the entire fourth quarter your [client’s] message is front and center.”
3. Laminated Full-Color Wall Planner
2022 is so last year. It’s time to start thinking about the hopes, dreams and millions of meetings that will take over schedules in 2023. This Laminated Full-Color Wall Planner from House of Doolittle can keep those things in order. It allows end-users to see the full year in one view and can be printed in a variety of ways: horizontally, vertically or both, and in two, three or four colors. Made in the U.S., the wall planner is printed on 100% post-consumer FSC-certified recycled 80 lb. paper with soy ink.
Sales Tip: The wall planner can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth, and its write-on/wipe-off surface allows end-users to update schedule changes without fuss. According to Tammy Peters, senior customer service rep, this product has one of the best consumer retention rates with a very high reorder rate year after year. “The end-user will see the clients’ name all day every day in plain view all year,” she remarks.
House of Doolittle
4. Delta Platinum 100% Cotton Short Sleeve Crew Neck Tee
The pandemic revamped work culture as we know it, with many employers opting to make flexible schedules and relaxed dress codes a permanent part of company policy. Delta Apparel’s Platinum 100% Cotton Short Sleeve Crew Neck Tees have bridged the gap between traditional and modern looks with their vast assortment of core and fashion colors that can run across seasons, and smooth print surfaces that can withstand different printing techniques. They also feature a rib knit collar with spandex to eliminate loose neck wash after wash, along with tear-away labels for easy rebranding.
Sales Tip: Sell on comfort and versatility. Mary Bostwick, vice president of marketing, says the tees are lightweight at 4.3 oz, giving them a feathery feel. Sizes range from S-4XL.
“With its amazing quality, this tee competes with some of the best in the industry at a really competitive price point,” Bostwick says. “The product speaks for itself.”
5. Color Flip Compact Folding Inverted Umbrella
Practical is always welcome in the gift-giving world — and weather models agree there’s a 100% chance that end-users will need an umbrella next year. What makes StrombergBrand Umbrellas’ Color Flip Compact Folding Inverted Umbrellas stand out is they’re small enough to take anywhere compared to full-length options.
“Inverted umbrellas are the style everyone is looking for, but this one folds to just 13" long, so it takes up far less storage space than full-length (stick) inverted styles, which are over 30" long,” says Helen Stromberg, general manager. “Plus, it makes it easier to give out in person and much easier and less expensive to ship.”
Inverted umbrellas close in reverse fashion, keeping the wet side of the umbrella contained and away from end-users, ensuring they are protected from the elements.
Sales Tip: Stromberg explained that Color Flip compact umbrellas check off many advertiser boxes. In addition to their competitive pricing, they feature a bold color under-canopy, as their name suggests, to contrast with the classic black canopy, which works great for many promotional programs. “The matching case can also be imprinted, offering an imprint area that will be seen when stored for maximum branding,” she adds.
6. UDesign Phone Holder
If there’s one point Eldy Miller, national sales manager at StoneyCreek, wants to drive home about holiday gifting, it’s that recipients should feel special. A customized gift, like the company’s UDesign Phone Holder, is a great way to show end-users they’re worth the extra time and thought. The product allows you to design your own 2-D shape within a 4x3" size — and with so many options available, you can get as creative as you want. Choose from 95 stock stone colors and two imprint methods (etch with fill or full-color digital print).
Sales Tip: Because this product is manufactured in the U.S., there are no concerns about inventory levels, Miller says. So, look for opportunities to bundle. A particular case study comes to Miller’s mind. “A power tool company was looking for unique gift ideas that would stay on their customers’ desks,” he recalls. “Playing off their recognizable red color and iconic sawblade shape, a custom phone holder was designed. Field reps used these custom phone holders as gifts for current and potential customers. The idea was so well received, a complementary coaster set was designed to be gifted following the phone holder.”
7. Chapin Rectangle
Trendy, budget-friendly and versatile make the perfect trifecta of promotional marketing perfection. Perhaps that’s why Crystal D’s Chapin Rectangle is one of its best-selling designs. “Chances are, your current customers are looking for ideas for their next event or occasion,” notes Michelle Buck, marketing coordinator. “The Chapin Rectangle is a versatile award or gift that customers use in kitting, marketing campaigns, onboarding new hires or as recognition awards.”
The Chapin Rectangle uses a one-dimensional image that can be imprinted in 2-D or 3-D, and it works with multiple imprints and artwork. Combined imprints such as this can be applied to 350-plus designs.
Sales Tip: It’s a job seeker’s market right now, and to Buck’s earlier point, Chapin Rectangles can be effective in onboarding kits. “Combining imprints, such as 3-D and Illumachrome, a QR code and image can be created in the crystal,” she says. “Direct a new hire to a company’s onboarding software, an online form or onboarding videos. With more people working from home, this onboarding idea is a perfect way to stay connected to remote workers.”
8. Iron Flask Classic Tumbler 24 oz.
The busy holiday season requires a superhuman strength to get through all the demands put on us to make it a magical experience. That means staying hydrated — and caffeinated — has never been more important. The Iron Flask Classic Tumbler 24 oz. from ADG Promo Products is up for the challenge. It features 18/8 stainless steel and is vacuum insulated to keep tumblers condensation free. Icy beverages stay cold up to 16 hours and hot beverages preserve their temperature for up to four hours. Each BPA-free, cup-holder-friendly tumbler includes two lids: a splash-proof straw lid with two stainless steel straws, two plastic straws and two straw cleaning brushes, and a 100% leak-proof flip lid.
“Companies are placing greater focus on employee recruitment, retention and recognition,” observes Darryn Cross, director of sales. “The Iron Flask brand offers the look and quality that employees are proud to use, and employers are proud to hand it out knowing the product is made with sustainability in mind.”
Sales Tip: Because demand is high for branded drinkware products during the holiday season, inventory is limited. Cross says distributors should order now. “With the uncertainty of supply lines and rising cost, you must take advantage of inventory while supplies last,” he stresses.
ADG Promo Products
9. 6.4" Classic Mini Foam Finger
Foam fingers have the power to spark conversations, enhance connections and make events memorable. For schools, they’re great for promoting spirit on the field, but what about in the classroom? Truth be told, traditional sizes don’t fit easily in those compact spaces or on smaller hands. Pepco Promotional’s new 6.4" Classic Mini Foam Finger is lightweight, easy to transport and sits comfortably on fingertips or pencil toppers.
Sales Tip: After a few heavy years, we all could use a boost in spirit. “No matter the event or the fan, the foam finger is an economical, lightweight, easy-to-take-on-the-go product that’s sure to add spirit and fun,” enthuses Julie Aaronson, marketing director.
Elise Hacking Carr is editor-in-chief/content director for Print+Promo magazine.