Do you want to put your logo on a fleece jacket made from recycled soda bottles? Do you want to brand yourself with pencils from recycled denim? Or have you considered making custom clothing from coconut fiber?
For nearly 25 years, Linda Gordon has been promoting her clients’ businesses by putting their logos on everything from pens to umbrellas to thumb drives.
We interviewed Gordon of Access 2 Promotions to hear about the latest and greatest promotional items she recommends.
ISBB: How did you get into the “swag and tchotchke” business?
Gordon: Access 2 was started as a print management company. When the very first job (presentation folders) was delivered for the very first client, he said to me, “I’m going to use these at a trade show and I want some pens or mugs or something to give away with them. Can you help me with that?” Like any other brand new (hungry) entrepreneur, I said “Sure! I can do that.” Then I had to learn how to do it.
What are your best types of customers?
Our best customers are mid-size companies with a marketing department. These companies do a lot of proactive marketing at trade shows. They host conferences, sponsor community events, do recruiting at job fairs, and perhaps show their appreciation of their employees’ hard work with a company picnic, all of which benefit from promotional items.
What are the most popular tech promotional products?
I think the most popular tech product right now is a custom-shaped USB drive, often with the USB drive reproducing the shape of a company’s logo. It is really remarkable what can be done. USB plug-in devices are also extremely popular, things like reading lights, stereo speakers, coffee warmers, fans, aromatherapy filters. The hot new material is neoprene for laptop cases and everything else.
How much of your business is now finding “green” products?
A quickly increasing percentage. Many of our clients are green-certified businesses and increasingly sophisticated about what is “green” and what is “green-washing.” Many of our suppliers describe their supply-chain certifications and talk about reformulated lead-free inks used in their imprinting processes. My clients ask me about these things so I have to do the research for them.
What’s your best promotional success story?
One of our clients is the nursing department of a large, multi-campus hospital. Every year, they order something for their nurses for Nurses’ Appreciation Week. One year, they were particularly late in getting the budget approved but they wanted to order fleece jackets. To meet their deadline, our supplier had to start cutting the fabric before they had the final size breakdown and they had to have their staff put in overtime. After the jackets were finished, they had to sort the sizes very carefully to get the correct number/sizes to each of the campuses. The jackets were delivered the day before the event. Normally, many nurses never bother to pick up their gifts but the jackets were so popular with the nurses that the hospital ran out of the jackets and had to order 1,000 more.
For more information about Linda Gordon’s services, or to speak with her, visit her website.