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November 28, 2014

Promoting Your Business during the Quieter Winter Months

Promoting Your Business during the Quieter Winter Months

It’s relatively easy to market a business during the holiday season. Everyone is looking for a great deal on the perfect gift. But once December is gone and January rolls around, things tend to get really, really quiet. With a little bit of creativity, you can still promote your business. You just need to find a unique angle.

Tis the Season to Keep Warm

For most of the country, January is one of the coldest and harshest winter months. Promotions that focus on warmth and the weather will keep your business in the minds of your loyal customers. Fleece jackets, long-sleeve shirts, and even ice and snow scrapers can be fantastic promotional items. A fleece jacket with your business logo might make a great raffle prize at a trade show while an ice scraper or mug would be a handy give-away item for visitors, prospects, and newer customers.

Tweak Your Product Line

Let’s say, for example, you run a restaurant. You enjoy using fresh, local foods. Tweak your menu to incorporate winter selections. Focus not only on in-season vegetables and selections but items that invoke feelings of warmth – warm sandwiches, hearty stews and soups, and fulfilling dinner entrees. You might even consider revamping your printed menu to give it a more “wintery” feel. Embrace the season.

Adjust Your Marketing Materials

Color makes a huge difference in all aspects of branding and marketing. While you won’t want to change your logo, you may want to create a holiday version or change the colors and fonts on you regular marketing materials. Warmer, soothing colors will be more appealing. Put your spring, summer, and fall leftovers away for next year. Take it one season at a time. Even changing the background colors on your website can make a difference.

Don’t Forget the Holidays

Yes, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year are huge, but what comes next? The Super Bowl happens in January. You also have Presidents’ Day (huge for sales), Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, and even St. Patrick’s Day to consider. Each of these days presents your business with an opportunity to reach out to the community.

Look Towards Spring

Even if you can’t find a way to leverage the coldest parts of the winter, you should be using your time wisely. People will very soon be looking for Spring clothing lines, vacation packages, and deals on all sorts of items. Map out your new spring marketing and promotional materials far in advance so that you can hit the ground running as soon as people start to complain about Spring taking too long to get here.

Running a business is tough and we understand that a lot of your time and effort goes into marketing. Take advantage of each season as you would any other holiday and you’re bound to keep customers walking through your doors throughout the year.




November 21, 2014

How to Design a Fundraiser for Your Organization

How to Design a Fundraiser for Your Organization

Often times we look at promotional materials like calendars or bags and we think of giveaways. But what about using something tailored towards your organization as a fundraising opportunity? Great Atlantic Outfitters has worked with a wide variety of schools, civic groups, charities, and churches to brand a number of different products with unique logos for fundraising. You might be surprised at how cost-effective a personalized fundraiser can really be.

Decide on a Goal

Before you plan a fundraiser, make sure you have a clear and concise goal. What are you fundraising for (a trip, general funds, etc), how exactly will the raised money be used, and what is the minimum amount you hope to raise? You’ll want to have clear answers to share with those you are soliciting later in your fundraising efforts.

Choose a Logo or Design

Branding a product with a logo for sale in a fundraiser doesn’t have to result in a boring item. You might want to use your organization’s main corporate logo, but you might also find that having a special logo designed for your event is more effective. For example, if you are fundraising for a group of children to go on a special trip, you might design something that represents the group or the destination, including the date of your special event. People are often proud to show that they’ve supported a specific, worthy cause.

Choose a Product

T-shirts are incredibly common fundraising tools and you can often get them printed with very little overhead, but you will also have to consider sizing. You can either have shirts printed and hope they sell (no guarantees there) or take the chance of running a sale with pre-orders and delivery after they are printed.

It might be simpler to choose a one-size-fits-all product to brand for your fundraiser. Backpacks, tote bags, sports bottles, and calendars are all things that can be easily customized, printed for a small price, and marked up for a profit for sale at local events. You can be incredibly creative in this regard, too. Outdoor blankets would make a great fundraising item for cheerleading and sports teams, where parents spend a lot of time outside in the cold. First aid kits might be great for youth organizations who promote preparedness. Think outside the box.

Set parameters for your fundraiser and map out your goals. You should have deadlines for design, contracting with a printer, taking orders, collecting money, and final distribution of your fundraising product.

Not sure where to start? Contact us to learn about our tried and true fundraising systems. We’ll do our best to help you create the most cost-effective and successful campaign possible.




November 15, 2014

Designing a Cost Effective Promotional T-Shirt

 

Designing a Cost Effective Promotional T-Shirt

Don’t you just love going to a special event and walking away with a free t-shirt? We don’t know many people who would complain about it. The problem is that having full-color shirts printed can be rather expensive, making companies rather hesitant to just give them away. So why not have an alternate shirt printed for use at tradeshows and special events?

Create a Simple Design

When creating swag for giveaways, keep the design simple. The more colors you use in the printing process, the more expensive your design becomes. Create a black and white version of your logo or design and have it printed on a colored shirt. People will wear the shirts you give them, further promoting your business. You can reserve your full-color prints for employees, loyal customers, for sale in your store, or for special occasions.

Run a Design Contest

A great way to come up with a design for your promotional items is to ask your customers or visitors for help. Run a contest with a prize for the best design. Choose the top 5 designs that you as a business owner like and then consider allowing your social media fans or customers vote for their favorite. You’ll need some legal advice on taking over the rights to use the image in promoting your business, but the shirts can serve multiple purposes. The winner and those who voted are more likely to buy and wear them and you will again have a great giveaway item for special events.

Keep the Design Simple

This is a good rule of thumb for any promotional material you create, not just giveaway swag. A simple, classic design with a clear message is paramount. White on black; black on a color – it’s up to you as long as the design is clear and concise. You can do a full-front design or a simple pocket logo. Just make sure your design is visible and readable.

Great Artwork – Your Printer Will Love You

While some printers have artists on hand to help you visualize and create shirt designs, many will ask you to send your finished artwork. For best results, find an artist who can create the final product in Pantone Colours. You’ll also want to ask the printer what file type he needs and ask your artists to create the final product to specification. This will save the printer time and effort when creating the screens or files needed for the actual printing process – and this will save you quite a bit of money the added work might otherwise tack onto your bill.

We are, of course, here to help you with your promotional t-shirt designs. Send us your artwork and ideas and we’ll work with you through every step of the process. Before you know it you’ll be seeing your business name walking around on shirts throughout your locality!




November 7, 2014

Key Factors to Consider When Designing a Business Uniform

 

Key Factors to Consider When Designing a Business Uniform

What’s the first thing a customer sees when he walks into your place of business? Hopefully a member of your staff is offering a smile and a warm welcome. But how is that personal identified as a member of your staff? By the uniform he’s wearing.

Some companies have very strict uniform codes while others are a little looser. At the end of the day, though, having a uniform code can be incredibly beneficial to your business and the way it is viewed by the public.

Branding and Image

Let’s say you walk into a retail store and you need to find a staff member. You scan the store and you see a whole bunch of people in jeans, colored t-shirts, hoodies, and various outfits. One is crouched near a shelf, unloading a box, but he really doesn’t look any different than the other customers you see. Is he a staff member? Are you willing to walk up to him and ask?

Not having a uniform has an impact on your image by making your atmosphere look disorganized and sloppy. Even a simple polo shirt with your company logo would be better than nothing, as it makes it easier for customers to find help. Your image, of course, has a direct impact on your brand. When people see your logo you don’t want them to say, “I can never find anyone to help me when I walk into that store.” You staff will look professional, feel professional, and act professional.

Staff Considerations

The clothes we wear are often an indicator of our social status or affiliations and this mindset translates into the workplace. Matched uniforms for the business or for different departments will help your employees feel as though they are united and part of a team. Maybe your managers all wear suits and ties while your retail staff wears matching button-down shirts, polos, or t-shirts with the company logo.

Colors and Logos

You will, of course, need to reconsider your logo and color choices. You do not have to simply put your corporate logo on your uniform pieces. Design something that matches your brand while remaining unique so that your employees stand out and add additional impact to your brand. Make sure your uniform logo and color choices stand out so that your employees don’t blend in with your customer base.

Embroidered Names

We caution you to carefully consider whether or not you want employee names embroidered or printed on your uniforms. If you have a close-knit team that’s been loyal to you for a long time, it may be a nice add-on. If you have a high employee turn-over rate, you’re going to find personalized shirts can become very expensive.

Carefully consider both your brand and the needs of your employees as you plan your business uniform. And please feel free to give us a call if you aren’t sure what direction to head in. We’ve been outfitting businesses with uniforms, hats, t-shirts and promotional materials for years and we’d be glad to help you plan your next change in attire.




October 20, 2014

The Basics of Great T-Shirt Design

T-shirts are an excellent way to market your brand while reaching a large audience. T-shirts are practical and useful, and when one of your customers decides to wear one for the day, it means that everyone they come into contact with will see your brand. Since you want to make a positive impression on those who see your brand’s t-shirt, it’s only natural that you spend time deciding on the right colors, logo and design to print on the shirt. But, what are the fundamental basics of great t-shirt design in the first place? Let’s take a look at some.

Hit Your Target Audience

A good t-shirt design catches the interest of your intended audience. So, start with the basics and identify who your audience is. Are they mostly male? Female? What are their ages? This will help you design a t-shirt that your audience will not only be attracted to but also will want to wear. For instance, if you own a computer repair company, you can run a campaign and target college students who prefer comfort and simplicity in their clothing.

Color is Key

Color is important in any design scheme, and t-shirts are no exception. The good thing about color in this sense is that you have a lot of room to work with so you can choose multiple colors without the shirt looking overpowering. Your audience may prefer bright colors, or they may want something more subtle. The trends are always changing, and today’s trends include neutral colors that are balanced and minimal.

Wearability Factor

When you sit back and take a look at your design, ask yourself this question, “Would I want to wear this shirt?” Get feedback from others, as sometimes brands are too close to the product to offer objective feedback. If your t-shirt isn’t good enough to wear in public, then your customers won’t do so and you miss out on an efficient marketing tool that you thought you had. Not only does the design matter, but also think about the fit of the shirt, how comfortable it is and how well it will wash.

Details Matter

You may be tempted to go with the cheapest t-shirts possible, but remember that your promotional products speak volume to your customers. If you choose a cheap material that pills after the first wash, the t-shirt will get thrown into the bottom of the closet and never looked at again. It also tells the customer that you’re not interested in spending money on these items. While you don’t have to go overboard, do select a modest t-shirt quality that shows your customers you value their business.




October 6, 2014

Fall Promotion Ideas

Fall is an amazing time of year. The leaves are colorful. The temperatures are perfect. Football is on most days of the week. What more could you ask for? Since fall is a time of year where people actually feel different, it’s a great time to create a fall-related marketing campaign that will resonate with your audience.

Here are some ideas for making the most of your fall promotion.

Connect Fall to Your Brand


How does your brand fit in with the season? Maybe you have a landscape company that cleans leaves, or perhaps you own a restaurant that serves up seasonal dishes. So much changes over the fall, it’s easy to find ways that your brand can relate to the season, or solve a common problem for this time of the year. Ideas include:

  • Back to school
  • Fall into savings
  • Items to make you look cooler, feel cooler
  • Fall festivities

Care About the Color

For new marketing materials, be sure to use colors that represent the fall. In other words, don’t use your spring and summer marketing materials for now, even if you have some left over. Instead, create new materials in colors such as the following:

  • Burnt orange
  • Warm orange and yellow
  • Dark and light brown
  • Red accents
  • Colors from the local football team

Leverage the Holidays

If you feel that there’s a fall holiday that your brand could relate to, then don’t hesitate to make the connection. In October there’s Columbus Day, Boss’s Day and plenty of wine and community Oktoberfests. And of course, you can’t forget about Halloween. Even Friday night football games count! Take every opportunity to make your brand stand out through all the fall holidays and events.

Be Part of the Action

Perhaps you feel that your product or service has nothing to do with the season. If that’s the case, don’t assume that you shouldn’t take part in a fall marketing campaign. Make your brand fit in! For example, say you own a hair salon and you’ve used the back-to-school haircuts to your full advantage. Hang a turkey on the wall and use envelopes or small pieces of paper for the feathers and ask for a small donation from customers. When they donate, they can pick a feather which will contain some type of prize: free haircut, discounted salon product and so forth.

Fall is in the air! Where’s your brand at?




September 8, 2014

5 Fun Ideas for Your Grand Opening

If you’re launching a new business, you’re probably eager to get the doors open and start doing what you love. A successful grand opening is a great way to raise awareness and get your brand off to a great start. You get one grand opening, so make the most of it! Here are five ideas for a fun and memorable grand opening.

1. Family-Friendly Entertainment. Families are always interested in free events that will entertain their kids for an afternoon. Taking a family-friendly approach makes it possible for everyone to attend. Moon bounces, face painting, a petting zoo or storytellers are all great ideas that kids (and some adults!) love.

2. Guided Tours. What better way for future customers to get acclimated with your business than with guided tours of your establishment? Guided tours help customers warm up to your business, become familiar with the layout of the store and provide feedback with what you can do to make it better.

3. Discounts. If you want to drive people into your store AND boost sales, offering a grand opening discount will be effective. Go big by offering a large discount of 30%, or let customers pick from a basket where they will be rewarded with 10, 20 or 30% off. Bottom line: You want to drive traffic, so make the promotion enticing.

4. Promotional Items. Everyone enjoys getting free items, so why not reward your supporters and help market your brand in one step? Hand out promotional items at your grand opening, such as magnets, keychains, pens and t-shirts. Think about the time of the year and use this to drive your promotional products as well. For instance, in the summer you could hand out glow sticks or water bottles, whereas in the winter you could do mittens or a holiday ornament.

5. DIY Classes. Another way to get people involved is by offering DIY or how-to classes. Not only will this bring increased awareness and visibility to your brand, but also it will establish your brand as an industry leader. And, you can use some of your very own products during the classes to help sell them. If a DIY class won’t complement your business, consider hiring a guest speaker or hosting a workshop.




September 1, 2014

Custom Tumblers: The Perfect Promotional Gift

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It can be challenging to find that perfect promotional item that will positively reinforce your brand and be of value to your customers. At Great Atlantic Outfitters, we love all promotional products, and we enjoy helping out clients find the perfect items for their campaigns. One item that has been gaining traction is tumblers. We’ll explain why tumblers are great products to consider for your marketing campaign, and why they offer long-term value.

What makes tumblers so much fun?

  • They’re portable
  • They’re durable
  • They’re practical and useful
  • They’re environmentally friendly
  • They’re available in all different shapes, sizes and materials
  • They can be used at the office, gym, school, home, etc.
  • Your brand goes where your customers go!

There are many types of tumblers available, so you can find the perfect fit for your audience. For instance, plastic, colorful tumblers are perfect for keeping hydrated and avoiding the 3 o’clock slump in the workplace. If your audience is found more at the gym, a tumbler with grippers may be the better option. Or, consider an insulated travel mug if your audience is more on the go. Examples of tumblers available are:

  • Stainless steel tumblers
  • Ceramic tumblers
  • Insulated tumblers
  • Heat tumblers
  • Beer tumblers
  • Leather-wrapped tumblers
  • Hot/cold tumblers
  • Straw tumblers
  • Tumblers with sleeves

If you want to get more bang for your buck, consider tumblers for your next marketing campaign. You can promote the fact that your business supports sustainable living, as tumblers can be used over and over again and take the place of water bottles. Plus, your brand and logo will be featured big and bright on the front of the cup and go with your clients to the gym, the workplace, a business meeting or school function.

Browse our selection of tumblers, and let us know if you have any questions. We’re here to help! We monitor every step of the production process so that your promotional items exude confidence and professionalism just like your brand.




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