Buyers Beware!

Outsourcing is a double-edged sword, offering many pros and cons. One of the most controversial issues is the supposed “cost savings” of using an external supplier. Some of these suppliers are able to produce your products at a lower cost by cutting corners. This practice can often create many risks for your brand and its reputation. The question to ask yourself is whether outsourcing is worth the risk?

Here are some common issues to consider about your supplier’s best practices:

Working Conditions: Because of cultural and legal differences in various countries, factories might not follow the same policies considered standard in the US and Canada. These include the International Labor Organization’s conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Environment Concerns: Immense industrial growth offshore over the past 35 years has made for both the creation of manufacturing and pollution-producing giants. Because of the focus on rapid economic expansion, many companies overlook environmental concerns. Scrutinizing environmental compliance in other countries can be tricky, but very important in our day and age.

Material and Safety Compromises: Cases of negligence where dangerous materials are being substituted in products coming from China are not as rare as you would think. Just a couple of weeks ago Ivanka Trump’s line of scarves were recalled for violating federal flammability standards. The 100% rayon products, which posed a severe burn risk, were “made in China”.

A key area of corporate social responsibility is the extent to which companies manage their supply chains responsibly. Companies have started to realize this by controlling the risk areas with audits and policies that their suppliers must adhere to, thus breaking through the cultural and legal boundaries previously set.

With this change, companies are able to do the following:

  • Reduce operational risks
  • Protect  brand reputation
  • Create a competitive advantage

Promotion Resource Group is committed to conducting its business affairs in a socially responsible and ethical manner.  We maintain just and decent working conditions throughout our business, striving to adhere to a strict Code of Business Conduct, and we require our suppliers to do so as well.

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Why 2016 Will Be #OurMoment

Revisiting the 2015 Season:

Playing in the East Division of the American League, the Toronto Blue Jays had a stellar 2015 season, winning the American League Division Series (ALDS) against the Texas Rangers. From Jose Bautista’s infamous bat flip to Roberto Osuna’s stellar 9th inning save, the fifth game of the series was a dramatic one, ending in a 3-6 win for the Blue Jays and clinching the American League East Division. Moving on to the American League Championship Series, the Jays faced the Kansas City Royals, giving the Jays a chance to advance to the World Series for the first time since 1993. Even though the Royals bested them in six games, it was a memorable season for the Jays, giving Toronto a reason to #ComeTogether.

“That’s a home run we’ll be talking about for a long time.”                                                     – Jays’ outfielder Kevin Pillar on Bautista’s winning run in Game 5 of the ALDS

In Case You Haven’t Been Following Lately…

Bright season predictions are underway for the Blue Jays, being the leading team in the American League East for the highest number of winning games during spring training. Pitcher Marcus Stroman was named as the season starting pitcher to open in Toronto on April 8th, having thrown multiple scoreless innings during spring training. Losing David Price to the Boston Red Sox was concerning for Jays fans, but re-signing and keeping some good pitchers has strengthened their bullpen for the upcoming season. As for the offence, a strong line-up begins the season, including power hitters such as Josh Donaldson, Kevin Pillar and Edwin Encarnacion. Their dangerous lineup and strong defence gave the Jays a remarkable start to the season this April.


#OurMoment:

Your own custom swag is a great way to show your support for the Jays or your favourite team. At PRG we have a stacked line up, just like the Blue Jays, filled with promotional items to help you show your support. Perfect for you or as a give away.

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10 Tips for Trade Show Success

The kind of image you present to the world is determined by your actions, comments, attitude, behavior and even appearance. These are noticed within the first few seconds of meeting someone at a trade show. So how do you let people know who your company really is? These 10 simple tips will make a big difference at your next tradeshow.

1.Strategize Your Location: If you have a choice before the show, it is very important to strategize where you are going to set up shop. To help you find a spot ask the organizer to see a detailed floor plan. You want to pick a high traffic area, maybe a major route or near the main entrance. Also try to avoid large or loud companies; you will not be able to actually talk without having to yell.

2.Come Prepared: Anything can happen. It is good practice to be over prepared. Bring a tool box with you (duct tape, scissors, twist ties etc) as things will break. Try to over stock on literature and swag. You don’t want to run out before the show is done. Also remember to properly schedule your employees to prevent situations where you are understaffed. For an easy-to-use staffing schedule sheet try this Schedule.

3.Target: Set realistic target profiles by title and function, that you will likely attract and meet. It is about quality not quantity; focus on how many qualified leads you generate, not the total number of people who come to your booth.

4.Displays and Signage: An appealing exhibit will draw attention and create interest into your product or service. It is best to use or consult with professional sign makers when purchasing your resources. You need to find the right balance to deliver your message effectively. If you need help with displays, banners, signage, table cloths, etc, check out the options here at: Showdown Displays.

5.Literature: Great literature informs potential customers about your company and its products/services, but if you don’t stand out your brochure will get recycled. Be creative with your method of delivery. A simple change of shape/colour, maybe even offering it in a digital format (usb or via email) can make all the difference without breaking the bank.

6. Swag: Swag and giveaways are a staple of trade shows. Have a look at our blog post on “Top Trade Show Giveaways”, to get you in the right mindset. Here are a few ideas.

7.Select the Right People: Choosing the right staff for your booth can greatly influence people’s perception of your company. Pick people who show true passion and who will work hard. Also, you want people with extroverted personalities; they need to be comfortable at presenting and putting themselves out as well as interacting with potential clients.

8.Engage the Aisle: Push your tables to the back and put your phones away. Get your staff out in the aisle handing out your swag and literature, interacting with people as they walk by. Divert the traffic towards your booth. Go to them, do not sit back and wait for them to come to you (this is why you need extroverted staff). This is one of the most important tips we can give. It will make all the difference at your next trade show.

9.Follow Up: Following up on the leads you generate is how you are going to get the ROI you desire out of your trade show. It is crucial that you do this as soon as possible, so people do not forget about you. Remember to be persistent. Do not give up after only one call.

10.Work Ethic: “Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen” (Conan O’Brian).  Do not sit down or hide behind a table. Get up, observe and listen to people and take the conversation in the direction they want to go.

Top Trade Show Giveaways.

A goal for businesses, big and small, is often to create a successful trade show presence. How can you attract more potential clients to your booth, but also remain in the minds of these future customers? A popular solution is a giveaway, but not all promotional items are worth the investment.

To create an effective promotional product that will help achieve your goals it needs to be well thought out. There is no universal answer and no one giveaway that is right for everyone. To help you create a product which is more than just merchandise, here are some things to consider:

Usefulness:

Pick something that will be useful to the recipient. This creates many benefits; it will be more likely that the person will keep your promotional item. It could also increase the frequency of your product, For example if you give away a stick of lip balm they are going to see your information every time they use it.

Tailor to your Market:

You want your promotional product to be tailored to fit the demographics of your target market for the trade show. If you want to connect with senior members of a company your logo pen might not be an effective solution, because they have collected hundreds over their years of experience.

Connect to your Brand:

A giveaway is a way of sending a message, if it connects to your brand and what you stand for- it will be more significant. It is like sending an email to your potential clients, instead of mailing them a letter.
If you are just looking for some ideas, here are a few good examples of products.

If you want some help or advice give us a call. Our staff members are trained to act as consultants with our clients. We dig deeper in order to identify your needs and determine how to proactively provide options and solutions.

Organizing a Golf Tournament

Running a golf tournament can be a daunting task. Anyone can organize a golf tournament, but It requires a lot of organization and planning to host a successful one. Whether it is your first time hosting or you are experienced at planning events it never hurts to get a little help.

The first step in organizing any event is setting a goal. Goals help us to determine what is important and what is not. By determining what the point of your tournament is — building client relationships, fundraising, public relations, competition or networking— you can focus your efforts on what you want to achieve with the tournament.

Assembling a committee is another important step to creating a successful tournament. Your team should be a diverse group with various skills and talents; try to include some avid golfers as well.

With a strong team under your belt you can start planning the core of your tournament. Key areas to keep in mind are:

  • Tournament Format: The format can make or break your event. The caliber of your players should determine the right format. Beginner golfers enjoy a scramble, good golfers enjoy a best ball format and a mixed group of golfers enjoy a modified scramble.
  • Golf Course: One of the most important decisions you will make is selecting the right golf course. Keep in mind, the golf course wants your business. They will treat you and your golfers with the best customer service, making you all feel welcomed.
  • Prizes: A great swag bag will make a big difference at your golf tournament. Whether you’re looking for prizes or giveaways, unique swag is sure to leave an impression at your tournament. Check out the “Best Items for a Golf Tournament” for some great ideas.

At this point, you are probably wondering how you are going to manage all of these moving parts. Our staff at PRG can offer support with the management and gifting ideas for your tournament. Using rsvpBOOK, we can easily take one thing off of your list of to-do’s.

Take a look at some of the registrations we created last year with the help of rsvpBOOK example.

Best Items for a Golf Tournament.

Spring is in the air, which means the golf season is around the corner. Along with the warm weather comes corporate golf tournaments. There are many reason to host a golf tournament, but what it usually boils down to is fostering positive relationships with your clients.

With so many golf tournaments, how do you ensure you stand out in the crowd and make your event memorable?

The key to success for this year’s tournament, and getting the return you want out of your investment lies within the goodie bag. These gifts need to be thought not as expenses but investments. Giving is as old as culture; it is a significant way you can create or strengthen a bond.

It is very important to analyze your goodie bag this year and consider how you want people to react when they receive it. Here are a few things to remember:

  • Choose golf related gifts or items they will use while playing (It’s why they are here after all)
  • Clever and thoughtful gifts will be talked about and maybe even kept.
  • Cheap, low quality items ruin your brand image, and they often find their way to the trash.

Our team at PRG can help you create the perfect goodie bag for your tournament or event. These gifts will help make memorable connections between the items inside, your brand and the great time they had at the tournament.

Check out some ideas in our “Golf Deck”.

The Best Under Armour to engage with your Brand

As a leading brand of performance apparel and a go-to for many of the world’s top athletes, personalities and all of us with inner athletes, Under Armour is breaking through to the promotional world.

Offering everything from hoodies and polo’s to duffels and caps, Under Armour is redefining what it means to own apparel. Hoodies aren’t just about comfort. Polo’s aren’t just about looking good; they can do everything from increasing performance, to simply increasing your brand’s visibility.

So what does this mean for you, your brand and activations?

At PRG we focus on creating an emotional connection between your recipients, your brand and the gift. For athletes and all of our inner athletes, nothing offers a bigger connection to your performance apparel than Under Armour.

Under Armour’s quality and performance will keep that connection fresh and active while maintaining that part of the experience for a long time. After all, gifting as a way of building relationships is as old as culture…but it’s all about the right gift.

With your personalized Under Armour gear, you know your brand is aligned with the most perceived value and is building strong relationships and memories. We can help you make the big connection and score the winning goal.

Take a look at the Under Armour arrivals and prices attached and give us a shout when you’re ready to “Protect This House”!

Custom Kicks at FIFA 2014

 

The 2014 World Cup is on, and that means cheering for your favourite teams in style! What better way to show your support than to sport the colours of your favourite team from head to toe?

Dutch fans turned the stadium a vibrant shade of orange last week, going beyond traditional jerseys by donning orange scarves, cowboy hats and even lion tails! Now that’s showing spirit.

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Brands across the globe have been busy at work designing and creating custom products to include 2014 FIFA World Cup branding along with the colours of your favourite teams. From FIFA inspired Adidas shoes to classy World Cup cufflinks, custom promotional items are popping up everywhere and are catching the eyes of diehard fans.

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Custom items are the perfect way to stand out in a crowd! Looking to support your favourite team in a bold way? Go with an item like a fully custom backpack and include your choice of graphics and colours to make it a one of a kind piece! Maybe supporting your team on a more subtle level is your style. Go with a custom patch on a hat for a well branded yet not so flashy option.

After the games are over, custom items become keepsakes that say “I was apart of the action”.  They create memories and positive long term brand recognition with the brand.

Show your pride and get your FIFA soccer gear today!

 

Explosive Growth of Technology Swag and Use

 

Technology items are the highest growth area in branded swag merchandise. Canadians use various forms of technology including smartphones everyday; this in turn presents a great opportunity for repeat of impression.

The below infographic provides insightful statistics on technology use and how it’s effecting our memory – The Zero Moment of Memory.

There are many take-aways but it is certainly noted that engagement is critical and increases the chance for results. When one can create the distribution of swag with an activity or action it’s a very powerful combination.

Items such as cell phone holders, portable speakers and earbuds are a great way to promote a brand while engaging consumers and maintaining a lasting impression. Swag with utility is always sought after and in today’s age of technology these giveaways are welcomed.

Zero Memory Movement

Zero Memory Movement

 

Tech Deck

Tech Deck

Please let us know if we can assist with any of your upcoming campaigns or projects!

 

Putting your brand on the Night

 

The Tonight Show recently welcomed Jimmy Fallon to the stage as the new 2014 host.

Every host brings their own flavor to the stage. With Jimmy Fallon stepping in as the new face of the Tonight Show, a rebrand was the perfect way to showcase a new look and give the show another fresh start.

The Tonight Show has a renowned 60-year heritage on late night television.  For this reason, it was important that the 2014 rebrand aimed to include elements of past Tonight Show designs while also introducing a fresh look with bold qualities to appeal to new and old viewers. Keeping with the recurring theme, the moon plays a major role in the new logo design – this time around, a full moon is featured rather than a crescent moon as seen in past logos (shown below). The enlarged moon was chosen to emphasize the bold new direction the show was taking among the stars on late night television with Jimmy Fallon.

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As with any rebrand, much thought went into designing the show’s new logo. It needed to blend in with the show’s historic theme while portraying a fresh look. Above all it needed to be adaptable, designers knew the logo had to look just as good on TV as it did on promotional merchandise such as posters, mugs, t-shirts and other official merchandise.

A good universal logo can be recognized with a full colour logo application as well as a one colour option.  Traditional to trendy, today’s promotional industry has grown to feature almost any product you can think of. From custom umbrellas to glow in the dark t-shirt printing there are unlimited innovative promotional ideas and items to work with.

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Offering a twist on the classic promotional tee, a glow in the dark version has been included in the swag collection for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.  Along with other classics such as transition coffee  mugs (a talk show staple) and umbrellas, this campaign has been successful in promoting the show’s new host in a creative yet functional way. Choosing the right swag for a brand’s personality is imperative in reaching and capturing the attention and the emotion of the desired audience. Of course, a recognizable brand is also key.

Our creativity will bring light where there is the night!

 Mark Jackson     mjackson@prgstore.com       905-842-3355 x222