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trendy branding materials to make your mark sws

Trendy 2021 Branding Materials to Make Your Mark

You’re here for the swag, aren’t you? Promotional products are making a comeback as businesses begin operating in person again and trade shows reopen their doors. And, we’re here for it. Literally. We are available for all your promotional product printing needs. But, perhaps you’re not sure how to make a grand entrance alongside these grand reopenings. Have no fear! We have all the top branding materials that are trending in this browseable blog, showcasing what’s hot and how to get it.

Think Function-Forward for Promo Products

You’re not limited to what’s listed here. Consider these examples as avenues for brainstorming beyond what you see and remember, you won’t find better help brainstorming and finding the perfect product for your business than calling us at Southwest Solutions.

Out with the old and in with the new. This is 2021’s focus as we put 2020 well behind us. The future of branding materials is all about function and forward-thinking, while maintaining a status of style.

These Trendy Tech-Products Build ROI & Your Brand

As more people head back to the office, you can bet the talk around the water cooler will be plenty. Maslow hit the nail on the head. Second to shelter and food (which we all got plenty of during quarantine), we then crave a sense of belonging. As staff returns to their story-telling, they also will bring back gadget-wielding and advice-giving. That said, you can capitalize on branding materials that will make the transition to the cubicle cool again.

  1. Crumb Catchers. - Personalize this handy tool that captures crumbs and attention!
  2. Lost-n-found Tracker. - Customize a gadget that is sure to “find” its way into conversations.
  3. Wireless Charging Stations. - Take charge of your brand’s marketing efforts when you conveniently cut the cables at the cubicle.
SWS Best Branding Materials Trends in 2021

PPE is here to Stay - and Slay.

branding materials examples from sws

While the novel coronavirus is becoming a thing of the past, safety and hygiene habits have only increased in importance. These PPE products are here to stay - and slay both germs and generic chotskies. Consider the below branding materials that are sure to garner favor and frequency of use (making your brand the only thing others are exposed to).

  1. Sanitizing Wireless Charger - Clean, cordless and recharged is just what your audience ordered.
  2. Mask Keeper Lanyard - Even after the mask mandates lift, the lanyard has a way of hanging around. Consider a branded lanyard for masks, keys, and IDs.
  3. Sanitizing Water Bottle - Hydration and hygiene go hand-in-hand. Now, just add your logo and take advantage of the onlookers that are thirsty for your products and services.

Travel-Friendly Branding Materials are Going Places

Ready to hit the road? The world is, and with your branded bag in tow, you’ll get upwards of 6,100 impressions just from a single outerwear promo product alone. Here are some fantastic ideas of outerwear that are getting your brand some serious miles.

  1. Hammocks - Who knew relaxing could bring in so much ROI?
  2. Dry Bags - Your marketing efforts won’t dry up anytime soon with these so-hot-right-now dry bags featuring your logo.
  3. Fanny Packs - The fanny pack has officially come up for the rear and is back in front of the competition. Have a logo branded, they will travel.
eco friendly sws 2021 promo material trending products

Combine Stylish, Useful, & Forward-Thinking for a Sought-After Promotional Item

Express Yourself. Hey, hey, hey, hey!

The art of expressing ourselves continues to grow. What once was just a face-to-face or snail mail has turned into gifs, podcasts, and 30-second dance moves that put your childhood ideas of choreography to shame (TikTok, anyone?) It’s all good though, because even if your moves are rusty, your branding materials can do all the talking. Here are some of the best promo products to expand your reach and allow your customers to express their support for your brand.

  1. Journals - get all the “write” attention when your logo accompanies your customers’ journal and journeys.
  2. Acrylic Picture Frames - picture this. Your brand making an impression with every onlooker that crosses its picture-perfect path.
  3. Selfie Ring Light - take your brand off the shelf and take advantage of the self-ie. Each time your customer snaps that selfie or records their livelihood, they aren’t the only one gaining impressions! You’re benefiting from the continued brand recognition each time they catch a glimpse of your logo.

Comfortable & Cozy Branding Materials

home goods branding material opportunities socks candles blankets

This past year brought a lot of change about. One thing for certain was the flexibility to work and play in environments that are both comfortable and cozy. Now, with people traveling and working remotely, be it their couch or their coffee shop, there is a greater desire for comfort. These branding materials are making some serious headway in the promo product world, and surprisingly, are bringing in more brand exposure than one would have originally thought.

  1. Blankets - Heat up your marketing efforts with a branded blanket sure to bring in warm leads.
  2. Socks - Put your brand’s best foot forward with socks featuring your logos. Garner brand impressions even when your customers put their feet up.
  3. Candles - Is that *sniff, sniff* ROI, I smell? Branding candles with your logo makes so much “scents” given 37% of women use branded candles in their bathrooms and 52% have branded candles in their kitchens.

We hope this trend list sparked some creative ideas. We’d love to talk more about how to elevate your business and your branding! Call us at SWS today!

85% of the recipients do business with the advertiser on the product. 83% of people like receiving them.

Because Promotional Products Work.

Got Questions?

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Until next time,

Vera Minot

Vera is a creative-minded, heart-first promotional products (and print/apparel/direct mail/signage/etc.) professional who approaches all aspects of life with intention and enthusiasm. Vera is passionate about vocabulary, self-care, and authenticity (even in business!), and in her free time you’ll probably find her rock climbing or mountain biking, growing things, cooking, reading, and generally finding ways to get up to no good with her wife, Christa.

creating unique promotional marketing products in tucson

Creating Unique Promotional Marketing Products in Tucson

One of our FAVORITE parts of our job is seeing that every business and industry is different. It’s our job to learn those details and honor them in marketing! Creating a unique promotional marketing product specific to your business takes you steps closer to building your brand, creating new customers and treating existing clients & employees like royalty! After all, it is not just about building rapport with new people but also retaining them and staff! Here, we share some of the key factors to keep your brand top-of-mind as well as ideas for the best marketing products Tucson has to offer. By being smart and deliberate about promotional marketing products, you can maximize ROI and create a lasting impression! Read on to discover just how easy it is with Southwest Solutions.

What are the key factors to consider when creating marketing products?

1. High-Staying Power!

creating unique promotional products tucson“Stayin’ alive” isn’t just a recognizable song, and arguably one of the most well-known dance tracks ever created, but it’s also a motto for your marketing goals. When it comes to marketing, we trust you want your business to not only survive but thrive. Our goal is to do more than set your brand apart, but also set you up for longevity! One of the secrets to “staying power” in a competitive business world is creating well-loved and noticeable marketing products that people want to keep. We can help stay alive and stay top-of-mind with our wide assortment of designs that help to create a consistent look for your products. Here are some examples:

custom branded t shirt marketing products in tucsonPromotional outerwear: Apparel, hats and screen-printed tees go a long way with marketing. Literally. The miles your customers log from everyday errand-running to evening outings can showcase your brand in front of eyes who didn’t otherwise know you existed. Their commitment to wear your marketed products serves as credibility as well. Certainly, if we are what we eat, then we also endorse what we wear. Definitely consider what your ideal or niche customer base would use most often. They are likely surrounded by like-minded friends so investing in what they like will most certainly come up in convos with others they are around. This turns into referrals and that is how a company gains and maintains high staying power. A gift that keeps on giving! View our promo outwear marketing products here!

2. Usefulness!

Creating-Unique-Promotional-Marketing-Products-in-Tucson-(3)When choosing marketing materials, you want to heighten the likelihood of use, which in turn, enhances exposure. This way, people using or wearing your marketing merch become walking and talking billboards for your brand (a term we lovingly refer to as Brand Advocates). Coupled with the questions and the word-of-mouth marketing they’ll offer, you can’t beat products that will prove useful. Think about the last tradeshow or conference you attended. That baggy filled with swag? What did you actually keep? I think the last thing I kept was a chip clip (I always seem to be running out of them when I need them most). Check out these suggested options for products that are useful and used often at that!

home office promotional products for tucsonWorkplace and home office products: Don’t just limit your brand’s marketing efforts to people’s “off-hours”. Get the gears turning all day as they utilize your marketing products at their desk and remotely on-the-go. From executive gifts like desk organizers and wireless charging mouse pads to classic go-tos like scratch pads and pens. The consistent exposure of your logo or motto is making its way through the noise of everyday life and serving as a reminder of your products and services with every eyed encounter, however brief. In fact, the frequent visibility of your logo can be analyzed and understood by the human brain in less than half a second, according to researchers. Consider tech products as well like USB drives, engraved flashlights and bluetooth speakers. Browse our appliances & electronics here!

3. Number of Impressions!

creating-great-promotional-products-tucsonFirst impressions are lasting, yes. But when it comes to marketing, you have to cut through an awful lot of other noise to even make an impression. According to ADvocate, 58% of respondents keep a promotional product anywhere from one year to more than four years. Even if the recipient uses the item only once per week, that’s a minimum of 52 impressions made over the course of a year with the possibility of more than 208 during a five-year window. That said, one of the ways you can enhance the likelihood of making your brand visible is to add volume to how many people see it! That is, the number of impressions made. But, wait! Before you go thinking this means buying more stuff, think of it instead as buying the right stuff. Here’s what we recommend to get way more (if not all) eyes on you:

environmentally friendly promotional productsEnvironmentally-friendly products: Like logoed tote bags, reusable water bottles, or recycled logo products. Have bags/bottles, they will travel. Literally. Folks take bags and bottles on the go, especially in Tucson where it’s a legitimate health risk to not have a refillable water bottle with you at all times! So, you can bet you are increasing your visibility when you opt for these marketing product options. Reusable bags aren’t just for our luscious farmers markets anymore- not only are they more and more popular for all grocery store shoppers, but they’re mandated in some states (lookin’ at you, California!) for environmental reasons. Also, consider adding printed die-cut stickers to your marketing materials since they tend to be plastered all over water bottles and hydro flasks! Trust us, people will eat - errr drink - it up! Check out all our eco-friendly marketing products!

How can I optimize the ROI on my marketing products?

Naturally, you want to make a solid first and lasting impression. You also want to return that investment in hopes to build rapport - AKA trust in your brand - and ultimately revenue with the consistent viewing of your brand and use of your branded products. An oft-overlooked part of the promotional giveaway process is thinking about how/when you're getting your goodies into your audience's hands. Are you mailing them? Are you giving them out at events? Are they leave-behinds for office visits? Talking through these "how" questions with us at SWS can help tailor the product choice decisions to more naturally fit your processes, therefore ensuring - for example - you don't wind up with a box full of pens you don't know when you're going to give out.

What’s worth mentioning also is the options for gifts and giveaways (there is a difference!) Our best promotional marketing products also have an ideal time/place as a gift or giveaway. Be sure to read all about our recommended strategy for gifts v. giveaways.

Southwest Solutions is always ready to help you bring your marketing product ideas to life! With 1000s of selections, Southwest Solutions offers branded merchandise to fulfill all of your needs. Put our knowledge about promotional products to work for you. With high quality promotional products, fast delivery times, and prices to fit all budgets, we will provide customized, relevant recommendations for you. Simply take a look around, get inspired and then get in touch!

85% of the recipients do business with the advertiser on the product. 83% of people like receiving them.

Because Promotional Products Work.

Got Questions?

  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Until next time,

Vera Minot

Vera is a creative-minded, heart-first promotional products (and print/apparel/direct mail/signage/etc.) professional who approaches all aspects of life with intention and enthusiasm. Vera is passionate about vocabulary, self-care, and authenticity (even in business!), and in her free time you’ll probably find her rock climbing or mountain biking, growing things, cooking, reading, and generally finding ways to get up to no good with her wife, Christa.

how you should follow up on direct mail advertising

How You Should Follow Up On Direct Mail Advertising

It has been said that with great reward comes great responsibility. The same can be said about marketing efforts. With great revenue and referrals, comes the responsibility of follow-up. Many entrepreneurs and small businesses have trusted us with their direct mailing campaigns. Beautifully designed and intentionally written, the content can do a great deal for any business’ bottom line. However, while great design accounts for a lot of the success in direct mail marketing, the real hidden gem is succeeding with following up on direct mail advertising. We're here to help teach you how should you follow up on direct mail advertising! As lovely as it would be to be able to easily send out hundreds or thousands of postcards/packages (we do make it easy!), unfortunately, we like to remind our clients that a direct mail campaign does not end once your packages get delivered. Rather, the intrigue and relationship has just begun and your mailer opens the door for prime conversation and conversion. Read on to learn the best practices for maximizing your ROI with direct mail marketing!

History repeats itself and this time around, direct mail advertising efforts prove to have higher response rates.

Firstly, it is important to note that direct mailing was once seen as an outdated way of outreach. Similar to that of a newspaper (does anybody even get those anymore?). But, times have changed and direct mail’s response rate is 4.4% — compared to 0.12% for email. Sure, digital marketing has a space as well, but right now hard copy mailers are getting all the attention. What’s more, you can gain an even higher response rate with how you design your mailer. That is, with clever content and copy. Think of the fun and trending QR codes that lead to a landing page or shopping area in your website (QR codes can then be measured for how often they are used!). Choose colors that evoke emotional responses, as well as, verbiage that prompts a sense of urgency.


direct mail advertising follow up techniquesIf you’re using envelopes, you’re adding an additional step for customers to take to “get to the good stuff” so you’ll want to ensure a visual, tactical appeal that acts as an incentive to drive open rates. For example, many banks use their envelope to promote ongoing, limited-time, exclusive offers (“0% Intro April Until July ’21” and “Unlimited 1.5% Cashback on Every Purchase”). This clever tactic is well-received amongst recipients because it essentially tells people that discounts and opportunities are available only if they open the mail right away and take action (“Act Now, Act Now!!”). Other companies take the human appeal approach - rather than a financial offer, their envelope is designed as a statement about the kind of person you must be if you want to open the envelope. Real example: I, Vera, received an envelope the other day that advertised “beautifully curated offers inside for the discerning buyer” - accompanied by full-color photos of beautiful design-forward items, I literally thought to myself “ooh, curated - I’m discerning!” and opened the envelope. Less than 20 minutes later I sent 150 of my dollars off to someone I wouldn’t have heard of had it not been for that direct mail.

1. Create a timeline for follow-up tasks once your direct mail advertising is sent.

You certainly do not want your efforts and marketing budget to be spent in vain. By crafting a timeline for following up on your direct mail advertising, you are optimizing the time and money you spent, enhancing the likelihood of a greater return on your investment. You will not have regrets or the backlash of cold-calling if you let your initial direct mail advertising warm up your leads. Give it a reasonable day or three from the time your mailers are delivered before you follow up with a call or email.

Then, when you do reach out, make it personable and personalized. Go the extra marketing mile and refer back to any specifics you have with the lead, be it an order they purchased or a brief phone call where they shared information respective to their lifestyle and desires. Look at their website and do a little research! It is important to keep in mind that a few minutes spent customizing content (whether via email or a chat on the phone) now could very well pay dividends as high-quality customer retention and referrals for your business’ future!

2. Send direct mailers on specific dates, like holidays, special events, birthdays, etc.

how should you follow up direct mail marketingDirect mail - even the most aesthetically appealing - can find itself lumped in with and lost to “junk mail” when it isn’t something the recipient is necessarily on the lookout for. Take advantage of timeframes where your recipient is hyper-aware of inbound correspondence. This is typically birthday months, holidays and special events that prompt, shopping and celebration. Do use these days to your advantage when creating your direct mail advertising content and timeline for publishing and sending. Did you know you can purchase address lists for demographic groups such as Recently Retired, Newly Married (even Newly Divorced!), New Homeowners, etc.? It’s not hard to find something to celebrate!

Send direct mail when you have something to say!

Even if it isn’t a well-known holiday or a potential lead’s birth month, there is also room for sharing your own celebrations - especially when they benefit your recipient. Think 15th anniversary of a company offering 15 percent off! How should you follow up on direct mail advertising like this? Use your direct mail advertising to not only share in your own success but also gratitude for the very people who allow you to reach such a milestone. Giving back credit where it’s due can prompt even more customer loyalty, as well as, rope in new leads that are curious how they can be a part of the action. Stephanie Rising, the owner of The Rising Effect here in Tucson, is particularly good at sending little notes via direct mail, just for good measure (appealing to the emotions in everybody in her network). Just the other day I received one that says “Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul” - and it’s hanging on my wall now, serving as a constant reminder of how much I respect Stephanie and would refer her wholeheartedly.


3. Send a follow up direct mail speaking to the first, or to add to the offer.

A tried and true secret to direct mail advertising is the rule of repetition. What many companies have found to work very well is to resend a second (often 3rd, 4th, & 5th) round of direct mail advertising that elaborates on the first correspondence you sent or, better yet, adds even more value. Oftentimes this can look like another similarly designed mailer that now extends an even deeper discount, offers more information about who you are and what you’re about, or appeals to a different set of emotions. Some companies will do this by way of magnetic business cards or yearly calendars attached to the direct mail- the more handy, funny, or pretty-looking the magnet the better: think funny sayings, inspiring quotes, or helpful facts and tools. Others send out other small gifts attached to their postcards, like cork coasters, small nail files, luggage tags, phone wallets, etc. Now, you’ve cleverly made your contact info and compelling message double as a promo product gift!


4. Double down on your remarketing by using your social channels after your direct mail advertising is received.

best ways you should follow up on direct mail advertisingMarketing is best done across multiple platforms. That said, you can utilize your online social channels to enhance the efforts of your direct mail advertising. Once you’ve sent off your hard copy correspondence, consider following up with a digital approach like a personalized email or another digital ad reiterating what they already saw (or potentially missed) via their mailer. Digital coupons on your online platforms can also help nudge your leads a little closer to that checkout page or booking that free consultation.

Think of this strategy as a gentle reminder for those who you wish to serve but also acknowledge they are living in a busy world and things fall through the cracks. Extending another reminder helps keep you and your services top-of-mind, while also showcasing that you have deals no matter their preferred means of marketing. Maximize your mediums by referencing your direct mail coupon options (“subscribe to our mailing list”) on your social channels, and conversely, by sharing your social networks on your direct mailing advertisements.

The key is to start with a solid direct mail advertising campaign out the gate.

Everything above has proven to work well for our many, many customers over the years, but, in the spirit of transparency and respect for our fellow business owners, all this is for naught if you don't start with a great direct mail advertising campaign design and targeted mailing efforts. So, how should you follow up on direct mail advertising? Trust Southwest Solutions to set you on the right track. Call or get in touch to start your campaign!

85% of the recipients do business with the advertiser on the product. 83% of people like receiving them.

Because Promotional Products Work.

Got Questions?

  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Until next time,

Vera Minot

Vera is a creative-minded, heart-first promotional products (and print/apparel/direct mail/signage/etc.) professional who approaches all aspects of life with intention and enthusiasm. Vera is passionate about vocabulary, self-care, and authenticity (even in business!), and in her free time you’ll probably find her rock climbing or mountain biking, growing things, cooking, reading, and generally finding ways to get up to no good with her wife, Christa.