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2018 Promotional Product Trends

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#1: Brand recognition is more attractive than ever

Retail brands continue to capture attention in the promo product world, and it’s not hard to see why. People are naturally drawn to brands that are recognized for their outstanding quality. It makes sense that organizations would want to align themselves with these well-respected brands by using their products as promotions.

If you’re looking to purchase promotional products in 2018, pay attention to retail trends. Not only are retail brands influencing the types of products that people want today, but the features of those products as well. There may be no better example of this right now than insulated drinkware.

opular drinkware brands such as Camelbak, Yeti, and S’well have conditioned people to expect a certain level of quality from water bottles and travel mugs. Because consumers know that these high-quality products are out there, anything that doesn’t meet those standards is immediately thought of as lesser—and is much less likely to be appreciated by the recipient. Why use a travel mug that can only keep your drink hot for half an hour when you know other mugs will keep it hot for four hours!

If premium, retail-branded promotional products aren’t in your budget, never fear. There are plenty of “lookalike” products with nearly the exact same features and level of quality you’re looking for. And here’s a secret: many of the non-branded products are actually made by the same companies that make the name brand ones!

Remember, it’s the design, quality, and performance of these retail brands that attracts people. In 2018, select promotional items based on the quality of their features to stay on-trend.

#2: The buying power is shifting

Traditional promotional items and giveaways are taking a backseat to unique, innovative, and useful products. Why is this trend occurring? Part of it is because the key decision-makers at organizations are getting younger.

As organizations hire more millennials into their workforces, they’re providing buying power to a younger generation—one that is constantly surrounded by the influences I described above. This is leading to a shift in the types of promotional items organizations are purchasing.

This trend actually works both ways. For organizations that want to purchase promo items, millennial influencers have an increased impact on exactly what those items will be. For marketers who want to order effective promotional items in 2018 to reach key decision-makers, keep in mind that millennials have surpassed Gen Xers and Baby Boomers as the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. Select promotional items that will appeal to this generation that values creativity, uniqueness, and usefulness.

#3: Adding value is key to a promotional item’s success

With the rise of lifestyle trends like de-cluttering, downsizing, and minimalism, people are very reluctant to hold onto things that don’t add to their lives. More than ever, it’s important that the promotional items and gifts your organization gives out are useful, desirable, and high quality.

Here are a few ways you can give out promotional items with a higher perceived value in 2018:

  • Always start by thinking about who your recipients will be and what they might need or want.
  • Choose retail-inspired promotional items with impressive features.
  • Focus on packaging and presentation to make each item feel more like a gift.
  • Use multi-feature products or gift sets that serve more than one purpose.
  • Put strategy into your design or imprint to make it look as nice as possible
#4: Wellness products are an increasingly popular category  

Many organizations today promote a healthy lifestyle—something that both employees and customers love to see. Employees like knowing that their company cares about their health and wellbeing, and promotional items are a fantastic way to demonstrate that.

In the larger landscape, health, wellness, and personal care products have seen an exponential uptick in recent years. Leverage the popularity of this market by using these health and wellness product trends as giveaways, employee rewards, and corporate gifts. Choose products that help recipients on their wellness journey, such as fitness trackers, water bottles, and even salad bowl sets to inspire healthy eating habits.

 #5: Materials, textures, and colors are more exciting than ever

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Here are the top promo product design trends for the new year:

  • Cork: Cork has been increasingly popular in the interior design world, and now it’s making its way to the product side.This versatile material adds warmth and texture to any product. It’s also durable and eco-friendly, making it the perfect addition to promotional items.
  • Copper: Copper is a fresh upgrade from the usual stainless steel we’ve seen for years. The warm metallic look is timeless while still looking chic.
  • Wood Grain: This pattern lends an organic quality to any product, tapping into consumers’ love of all things natural and eco-friendly.
  • Matte Finishes: A matte finish can lend a sleek and elevated look to almost any product, giving it a more refined look that is completely on-trend.
  • Bright, Bold Colors: This year, Pantone named UltraViolet as its 2018 Color of the Year. Pantone is well-known for influencing color trends, and this year’s choice points to an increase in bright, bold colors that make a statement.

Step outside the promotional product’s box in 2018! Use these trend predictions as inspiration for your next branding campaign, or event giveaway. Experiment, mix-and-match these ideas to create the ultimate branding tool for your organization. The sky is the limit as promotional items continue evolving, so let your creativity flow.







 What makes the Embroidery Shoppe the one-stop shop for customized apparels?

Branding is no doubt one of the most important ingredients for the success of your business/organization. In addition, your branding efforts will also go a long way in boosting your marketing efforts. And one of the best branding mechanisms definitely has to be the use of customized apparels. Customized apparels help enhance the visibility of your brand and also create a connection with your existing or potential clients. Among the most used customized apparels include: shirts, hats and jackets. In addition, customized apparels also can be used as promotional products like pens and calendars.

There are numerous companies offering customization services but they all offer different customer experiences. The Embroidery Shoppe is certainly the ideal company that will satisfy all your needs at great deals. You must be wondering what makes us the perfect choice. Right? Here’s why.

  • Quality

We strongly believe in giving customers value for their money as it translates to a great customer experience. And in a bid to achieve this, you are always assured of quality services upon choosing to work with us. Customization of your apparels will be done in the best way possible and on super quality materials. More to that, the designs are expertly crafted and you can also customize your design and get help from our team of experts to make it a reality.

  • Competitive pricing

Branding is an important strategy for your business and thus it should be made quite affordable to ensure numerous organizations benefit from these services regardless of the size. For that reason, you are assured of enjoying our great services at reasonable rates. Moreover, there are also amazing discounts for our clients.

  • Competence and experience

Having been in the branding business for a long time, we have gathered an incredible wealth of experience that makes us a leading branding company. On the other hand, our staff are highly skilled and undergo regular training that enables them to catch up with emerging trends or even innovate new branding practices.

  • Reliability

Owing to the important role played by branding, our services are readily available all year round. This move is bent at ensuring your branding needs are taken care of within the stipulated time for using the customized apparels. Therefore, be sure to enlist our services even for orders requiring short deadlines.

Rarely will you find excellent branding services being offered at great deals. And this is only available at The Embroidery Shoppe. Therefore, whether you are an organization, company or individual, you can now effectively boost your brand’s image by using the ideal branding services. And now you certainly know where to find these services. Don’t you?

Spring Uniforms

History tells us most companies like to refresh their uniform apparel with each season change.
So at The Embroidery Shoppe we target our Uniform promotions with season changes>
This Month and to the end on May  we are offering a Gildan G880 50/50 Polo shirt with Direct Embroidered logo at the low  price of  $10.00ea.
This may be a good time to review  and update your Uniforms.

Dave Napolitano
The Embroidery Shoppe


4 Ways to Take Your Website from Blah to Fa-La-La

The holidays are coming, and you’re busier than ever. While you may be ready for the extra business, is your website ready?

With all the extra online traffic coming your way, now is a great time to update your website. A timely new look lets your clients know that you are active, on trend, and responsive to their needs.

Use these tips to update your website and stand out from the crowd this holiday season!

1.  Add holiday-themed products to your homepage.

If Pinterest proves anything, it’s that people like to browse pictures. You can attract attention by adding images of seasonal products to your homepage, whether that’s holiday merchandise or items for end-of-year events like employee recognition gifts.

Even web visitors who are not planning to buy items may change their mind when they see themed products that create interest and excitement about the possibilities. At the very least, they will think of you first if they have a last-minute need.

2.  Add a seasonal product showroom.

Once you’ve captured your clients’ attention on your homepage, keep their interest and make purchasing easy by providing a product showroom.

A product showroom is a web page dedicated to a specific category of products. Simply add this category to your homepage menu so visitors can click on it.

Add a Thanksgiving showroom, a December Office Party showroom, and more to make it easy for your clients to find the seasonal theme they’re looking for.

3Create new pages.

Maybe you want to run a holiday giveaway. Or you have an end-of-year appreciation letter to post to your clients. Perhaps you’re holding a special seasonal event for prospects.

You don’t want your new content to clutter existing web pages, confuse visitors, or worse, get buried at the bottom of a page where no one will find it.

Adding a new page to your website sparks curiosity and engagement from your clients. It lets you draw attention to your event or announcement while still keeping your site organized and easy to browse.

4Update your website copy.

Fresh text gives you an active, personal voice and lets your clients know you are ready and waiting to help them.

Recognize the concerns of your clients. Tell them how you can take one more thing off their plate by expertly handling their promo product programs. Inform them of ordering deadlines and holiday specials. If you don’t already keep your news page updated, now is a great time make it a habit!

Above all, reassure your clients that you have the end-of-year energy to put together a great plan for their needs – even if they don’t!

Need Help?

If you have a SAGE Website, there are several ways we can help you spice it up for the holidays.

The banner image at the top of your web page is a great place to feature seasonal items. In, you can choose pre-made holiday banners. If you prefer a custom banner, try SAGE ArtworkZone for quick and easy art services.

You can also update both your “popular products” carousel – the rotating products just below your banner image – and your “featured item.” On, choose exactly which products to show or just select the category “timely” instead. This will automatically add seasonal items to your homepage.

If you have SAGE WebExpress Pro, you can also add unlimited product showrooms so that your clients can browse holiday products.

And if you don’t have time to update your SAGE Website yourself, a SAGE Maintenance Package lets you hand the work to us. All you have to do is call or email to let us know what changes you want to make, and we will quickly make the updates. It couldn’t be easier!

An updated website is like an “Open” sign to your clients, so keep your lights on this holiday season with a fresh online look!


Top 10 Promotional Products for Employee Recognition

As the year comes to a close, employee recognition programs are kicking into high gear! Organizations big and small want to show appreciation and foster loyalty by recognizing their employees’ valuable contributions.

Employee recognition programs provide a great opportunity for you to increase your revenue in the fourth quarter. You likely already have clients who run these programs. A survey by World At Work found that a full 86 percent of organizations have recognition programs and 70 percent manage between three and six programs.

Your clients are looking for new ideas and quality products to make their recognition programs shine as brightly as their employees. Finding products that are high quality, unique, and from a supplier with great service can be a tall order, but our top 10 products for employee recognition, all from “A” and “A+” rated suppliers in the SAGE database, will give you a great head start on impressing your clients!


Column Desk Clock, Ace Products – SAGE #65302

Briggs & Riley Kinzie Street Micro Messenger Grey, Incentive Concepts – SAGE #67145

11 1/2 Oz. Quadro Crystal Tumbler, Visions/Awardcraft – SAGE #50020

3 Tiered Bamboo Salt Box, Awards Etc – SAGE #54688

iSound Wireless Headphones, National Vendor Promotions Inc – SAGE #68720

Blue Reflective Acrylic Award – 6″ Diameter, All-Secure Graphics LLC – SAGE #67637

Rustic Laser Engraved Wood Box with Custom Etched Vinegar & Olive Oil Set, A+ Wine Designs – SAGE #62420

Elegant Grid Cap Off Fountain Pen w/ Rubber Grip, Aeropen International Inc – SAGE #67764

4 Piece Flat Glass Coaster Set, Alfa Instruments – SAGE #51022

Crystal Cave Travel Kit Bag, Beacon Promotions Inc – SAGE #67279

 It’s easy to find more products like these from “A” and “A+” rated suppliers in the SAGE database! Simply click on the “Ratings” option on the search screen and choose your rating filter. Watch how in our video “SAGE Online 12: Product Searching” (at 2 minutes 40 seconds).


3 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Email Marketing

“I wanted to figure out why I was so busy, but I couldn’t find the time to do it.”- Todd Stocker

Does this sound like anyone you know? Most of us have had periods in our life when we were so busy we felt like we didn’t have time for even the most sensible things.

But one of the problems with being overly busy is that the best methods, the best knowledge and the best skills can all mean nothing for your business if you don’t have time to use them properly.

Email marketing may fall into this bucket for you. Maybe you think it’s too time consuming. Maybe you don’t have the resources in place to code emails and create fresh content. Maybe you think the effect wouldn’t be worth the effort anyway. And if you have business coming in without it, what’s the incentive anyway?

If you’re hesitant to jump into email marketing, here are three reasons why you ought to reconsider.

1. Astronomical ROI

In 2015, email marketing yielded an average 3800% return on investment for businesses in the United States. And one in five companies actually reported a higher ROI of over 70:1.

Email ROI

Surveys continually show that email marketing is the most effective digital channel for customer retention in the United States, and in a B2B marketer survey, 59% of B2B marketers said email is the most effective channel for generating revenue.

Email marketing is so effective that its customer acquisition rates quadrupled between 2009 and 2013.

Email Customer Acquisition
The data doesn’t lie – when it comes to marketing effectiveness, few tactics approach the value of email marketing. The potential return makes it nearly guaranteed to be well worth your time.

2. Massive Audience Size

The available audience for email marketing is about as high as you can find. 91% of consumers use email daily and 58% of adults check their email first thing in the morning.

Consumer Email Usage
And since email marketing is largely an opt-in activity, it enjoys a relatively positive reputation, which helps preserve the large audience size.

In fact, a recent survey found that 72% of consumers prefer companies to communicate with them via email.

If you are seeking a marketing method with large potential reach, email is a prime vehicle.

3. Easy Access to Analytics

Email marketing also has an advantage over many other forms of marketing in its easy access to data and reporting, assuming you use a software package or service.

Email is the most-used source of data for analytics, with 41% of businesses mining their data from the performance of their email marketing campaigns. Perhaps unsurprisingly, high performing organizations are 5.4 times more likely than underperformers to use reporting tools to gain insights from their data.

The Bottom Line

What all this data should tell you, unequivocally, is that if you’re passing on email marketing, you’re also passing on business. And if you’re not using it, you can be certain that the majority of your competition is. The truth is that email marketing should be a crucial element of your strategy no matter the size of your business.

You may be sold on the importance of email marketing, but if your calendar is still overflowing, it can be just as out of reach as ever. Coding emails and creating fresh content can turn into time consuming projects if you let them.

SAGE Email Campaigns Do the Work for You

If you’re a SAGE Total Access subscriber, fortunately, there’s a better way. SAGE Email Campaigns make email marketing easy for everyone. You can create powerful email marketing campaigns directly in SAGE Online with customizable email designs created specifically for the promotional products industry.

  • Pre-designed emails are provided monthly with fresh content.
    Every month, SAGE creates a new marketing email for you, complete with graphics, text and products that link directly to your website. It’s filled with fresh, themed products, and you can send it immediately or save it for later.

Campaign Template 8

Choose your email design from a drop down list.

Campaign Template 7

The email design you choose is filled with themed products.

  • If you choose to build an email, pick from one of our templates or start with a blank slate.
    Simply tweak one of SAGE’s templates, or you may enter all of your own HTML code for a completely custom email.

Campaign Template 5Choose from nearly 30 pre-designed templates for your email campaign.

  • SAGE Email Campaigns are easy to send.
    SAGE Email Campaigns integrate with your SAGE CRM entries so you can easily select recipients for your emails.  You can send your email immediately or schedule it for future dates and times, and you can also set your account to automatically send campaigns to new contacts on a regular basis.
  • Customize your emails without any coding.
    Drag and drop products directly from SAGE Online or upload your own. Add social sharing buttons and first name greetings from your SAGE CRM.
  • View statistics at your fingertips.
    Measure and track your success by opens, clicks, bounces, and unsubscribes right in SAGE Online.
  • Let SAGE automate your unsubscribes.
    SAGE will mark and handle your unsubscribes automatically for you in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act.

The potential of email marketing continues to grow with no end in sight. And with email campaigns, you don’t need a marketing degree to reap the benefits!

Contact your SAGE Account Executive to start using your 25 free monthly emails. You can also view a how-to video on by logging in and clicking on “Support.”

Happy marketing!




Secret Tools of the Successful Entrepreneur – And How to Get Them

Some people are natural entrepreneurs. You’ve met them. They seem to have boundless energy and ideas, while the rest of us mere mortals have to work day and night to keep up with half their speed and productivity. The good news is that you aren’t limited to sliding them cold and jealous stares. They are simply using a mental toolkit to maximum effect, and you can learn to use it too! Practice with this beginner’s kit, and pave the way for success to come to you.

1. Stretch: Reach for a Ridiculous Vision

Add “stretch” to your vision. Reach until it feels downright ridiculous! If you limit your dreams, you limit your potential. Open your plans to the biggest possibilities, and then even failure may pull you up!

Reaching beyond the places you can see is the quickest way to surprise yourself with accomplishments you never imagined.

2. Inspiration: Find a Success Story

When the going gets tough, when it’s hard to believe in your own dreams, a success story is a lifeline. It helps you remember that your dream is possible and that it has happened for people just like you.

Remind yourself that you aren’t alone. Find the story that inspires you with energy and motivation to pursue your vision with confidence.

3. Resiliency: Learn How to Suffer

There are two ways to suffer: you can run away or you can allow it to happen. Resiliency means you accept the experience of discomfort while keeping sight of your end goal.

The farther your sight, the deeper your reservoir of strength and the more resilient you will be.

Make time to remember your goal, and each time you get back up will be a little bit easier.

4. Openness: Seek Feedback

We all have blind spots – and whether we like it or not, they affect our results. Failing to seek feedback can be a fatal mistake for an entrepreneur.

Be intentional about gathering different perspectives. Constructive feedback will expand your resources, increase your agility and teach you how to see a bigger picture.

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions,” says Ken Blanchard, so load up a plate!

5. Foresight: Achieve a Competitive Edge

Marketplaces change quickly today. Values shift. Needs change. Expectations rise. Are you evolving? Your clients want to know that you can take them to new places.

Foresight allows you to see new needs, resources and processes before your competitors.

To strengthen your foresight, increase your base of knowledge and practice listening to your intuition. The synergy of expertise and instinct will create the forward vision you need.

Ultimately, your mental tools are just as important any other tool of your trade. Don’t let them gather dust – adopt a mindset that will support all your other efforts. As the illustrious Mary Kay Ash put it, “You can go as far as your mind lets you.”

Subscribe now for the final five tools of success in next week’s blog!