Employee Recognition Matters

More and more companies are turning back towards recognition and employ engagement programs as a way to connect their employees more closely to the corporate goals and objectives.

There are two main reasons for this:
1.  The economy – when the economy is doing well the power shifts to the employee (as opposed to 8 years ago) as such, employers need to re think and re engage with their employees, so that they are better connected to the brand and its value, as well as, having that feeling of engaged participation. If they are not engaged, the possibility of them leaving for “greener pastures” increases exponentially.
2.  Millennials – If you have any of your own you already know that they need to be on boarded properly and recognized continually.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself to see if you would benefit from our recognition program services.  If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then we should talk.
1. Are you having retention issues with your employees?
2. Are your employees properly engaged with the brand, its mission and its values?
3. Do you reward employees for loyalty and productivity?
4. Are your insurance rates to high?
5. Are you having trouble identifying new recruits and properly on boarding them?

Check out the video below for some helpful tips and insights into effective recognition programs.


Are you ready to explore the options for a recognition or awards program for your company? Whether it be annual year end appreciation or holiday gifts, years of service awards, safety programs or another recognition event, rewards programs can help engage and motivate employees, increase productivity and morale and help with employee retention.   Call or email today and we can discuss options that fit your needs and your budget.

866-247-4320    sales@barefootswag.com


How Pink Phoenix Identifies With Swag

Today we are sharing our blog with one of our non-profit clients who does great things in the Portland/Vancouver area- not only for breast cancer survivors, but to help remind everyone to get mammograms and do monthly self exams.  Read on to learn more about Pink PhoenixTM from our guest blogger Ilene McMurray.


Pink Phoenix™ is the United States’ first dragon boat team consisting entirely of breast cancer survivors. A competitive team, it was organized in 1996 with the mission to enhance breast cancer awareness and to provide hope for survivors that there is quality of life after breast cancer. Our purpose is to demonstrate that special quality of life; to promote wellness, fitness, fun and camaraderie through dragon boating. We also provide social, emotional and spiritual support for breast cancer survivors. Through outreach activities, media recognition and public visibility, Pink Phoenix™ strives to provide hope to those newly diagnosed and to enhance breast cancer awareness serving as a reminder to women to have mammograms regularly and to do self-exams.  Teammates find strength and quality of life by paddling together while having the common thread of a breast cancer diagnosis. We treat each with respect, dignity, compassion and foster personal growth, teaching and learning.  Pink Phoenix welcomes all breast cancer survivors from the surrounding Portland/Vancouver areas, newly diagnosed to long-time survivor, all ages, and all abilities.

Pink Phoenix team.

      We participate joyfully and celebrate life


This year we have purchased 2 banners and a flag from Barefoot Swag.  They were selected so our location at whatever venue we are at can be easily located.  Our Pink PhoenixTM logo has been prominently printed on all of them in so our team is easily identifiable at all our race venues.  We selected a mesh banner that is more easily transported to away venues as it is lighter and dries more quickly in case of inclement weather.  We also use our banners at outreach events such as Race for the Cure, Row for the Cure, The Komen Breast Cancer Issues Conference, The Advancements in Breast Cancer Conference, The Healthcare Provider and Sponsor Paddle, and the Portland Pickles Breast Cancer Awareness Game.

pink phoenix banner

We have also used fun items like the pop open fans to cool us off at hot venues, fun sunglasses that turn pink in the sunlight and fandanas. These items are both functional to the team members at events and increase our visibility and help spread awareness.

For more information, including membership or to sponsor or donate, visit the Pink PhoenixTM website at www.pinkphoenix.org.  You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


If you would like ideas to raise awareness for your non-profit at events contact us today!

http://www.barefootswag.com          sales@barefootswag.com


Swag That is Trending With Millennials

Who are millennial customers? And what do they really want? Businesses everywhere have posed this question and brainstormed about it ad nauseam, as the millennial customer continues to dictate trends and spending habits. According to Accenture, the roughly 80 million millennials in the U.S. spend approximately $600 billion on shopping. Doesn’t that seem like a number your business wants to be a part of?  But, predicting what millennials want can be a challenge for businesses. Millennials gravitate toward individuality, all-around wellness, adventure and, most of all, inspiration.  Millennials are always looking for ways to spark inspiration and drive personal growth.  If your clients want to engage millennials, suggest these promo ideas, and their  business will reap the benefits of the generation’s million-dollar spending habits.

1. Tech Accessories
It’s no secret that millennials value their smartphones and laptops above every other possession. They increasingly rely on them for business and social obligations, so if your client provides products that maximize their devices’ potential, you’ll be a hero. Tech ideas include Bluetooth® headphones and earbuds, USB hubs and power banks.

PL4825 bluetooth headphonesPL1330 light usb hub

2. Drinkware
Millennials are always on the go. Most of their days are spent dashing back and forth from the office, to the coffee house, to the gym and, finally, to their group hangouts centered around Netflix binge-watching. They love products that move with them, and reusable drinkware is a generational favorite. Suggest your clients use branded drinkware promotions, and millennials will give their message exposure wherever they go.

PL4183xl tritan bottle
3. Health and Wellness Items
Millennials are lacing up their running shoes, toting around yoga mats and visiting the smoothie bar. They love health-related items, like workout gear, fitness trackers and hand sanitizers, because they enable them to reach their health goals. Take advantage of this trend, and millennials will appreciate that their well-being is important and become a loyal customer.


4. Apparel
The logoed T-shirt is enjoying a resurgence among millennials. From concert tees to charity 5K shirts, millennials love wearing unique apparel that showcases their interests.  Apparel is a tried-and-true product idea among millennials, and a great opportunity to take advantage of a walking promotion for your business.


Give us a call or email us for marketing swag ideas geared specifically to your needs and budget that will win over your millennial customers!

http://www.barefootswag.com       866-247-4320


The Right Gifts for Employees

At Barefoot Swag we understand that corporate holiday or year end gifts for employees are not always easy to decide on.  What might be appreciated by one, it not fitting for everyone.  Your employees are a diverse group and when you are taking into consideration large work forces in manufacturing or production facilities or large corporations with multiple branches, the interests, hobbies and lifestyles vary greatly.  Wouldn’t it make your life easier (and your employees happier) if they could select the gift they want?  Of course it would!

Our gift selection program makes is easy for you to manage, simple for your workforce to select from and it is quickly delivered to each person.  We feature a wide variety of products to choose from in categories such as jewelry, sports & outdoors, electronics, pets, health, tools and more.

The process is simple:

  1. You tell us the budget and levels you want to offer (example $40-$50; $80-$100)

  2. Barefoot Swag sets up the website (see Demo site below for example).  Have employees that aren’t tech savy?  We can also set up a paper marketing piece to promote the program (see below).

  3. We will provide the codes to match each level.  You can then email the codes or create a holiday gift card with the code to send to each employee.

  4. Your employees go to the site, enter their code and choose the perfect gift for them. They will then receive their gift in 2-3 days.  We can even customize the box with your corporate logo and add a Holiday card signed by the company CEO or President to make it even more personal.

Take a look around our demo site here.  Username: 1991level1 Password: test

Or, if you perfer we can offer a form with the selections you can print out for employees as well such as this one:

Barefoot Swag Holiday Gift flyer example

For more information on our corporate gift program, give us a call or email us today.  We can help you customize a program for all levels of gifting.

http://www.barefootswag.com     866-247-4320


Shining a “Bright Light” On the World

A couple of weeks ago we spotlighted one of our client’s, TIP of Portland/Vancouver in our blog.   This week we are featuring another non-profit client, Bright Light Volunteers, and the work they do around the world.

In 2012, after volunteering abroad with her children, Catherine Greenberg had a vision to provide safe, affordable, sustainable service project to communities in need all around the world, performed by groups of students and others who shared her passion, thus Bright Light Volunteers was born.   Bright Light Volunteers brings people together for the better, to teach and learn from one another, embrace new and different cultures and share stories and experiences that shape their lives.  Their volunteer abroad opportunities create global leaders who serve the mission of making the world a brighter place.

Being a non-profit enables the volunteers to truly give their time, services and support to those in need.  At the same time, they are able to have a life-shaping experience that is unique and fulfilling to all.  It is important to Bright Light Volunteers that they not only make a positive difference, but ensure it is for the long term.  They want communities to become strong and independent of their support so they can move on and work with other people and communities in need of help.

To join Bright Light Volunteers on a service adventure, your group (of ten or more) will appoint a leader who will communicate on behalf of the group their goals and budget. Together with a Bright Light Volunteers coordinator and an in-country coordinator of your destination, you will work together to create a meaningful service project, as well as determine what cultural activities to include for your group.

Bright light picture

Catherine says “Thanks to the swag we’ve created and had manufactured for us, every volunteer will become a Bright Light Volunteer! We outfit each volunteer with a tee shirt, a hat, water bottle, bag, and other cool items. These items are designed to be used both during the service program and after, at home. After completing a service program with our organization, volunteers are proud to show off their swag and tell everyone about their time with Bright Light Volunteers. Word of mouth is a time-tested way to spread information, and by having the visual of a tee shirt or a water bottle, our volunteers can feel more confident about relaying our mission and their experience with us.”

To learn more about Bright Light Volunteers visit their website www.brightlightvolunteers.org

Follow Bright Light Volunteers on Facebook here

If you would like help creating swag items for your non-profit, contact us today.

http://www.barefootswag.com           sales@barefootswag.com



Four Ways To Keep Your Business Alive, Part 2

On Thursday we posted part 1 of this article borrowed from Promotional Consultant Today, which you can read here.    These are some core factors that are important to keep in mind when you start a business, but also to revisit often as your business grows. Because we all know how easy it is to lose site of these elements as we get busy!

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.”

Colin R. Davis

Four Ways To Keep Your Business Alive, Part 2Starting a business is tough enough, but keeping it going is even tougher. The first few years after launch are typically years of investment and growth, with little to no profit. The key is to have a strong plan, streamline resources and get beyond the tough times to a point where you can build momentum and scale your ability to deliver to your customers.

In yesterday’s issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we shared two critical success factors for a new business, as identified by Janice Janssen, a business consultant and co-founder of Global Team Solutions. These factors included a) having processes in place and b) knowing your numbers. Today, we’re passing along two more key success factors to ensure your business survives beyond the first five years.

1. The Art of Marketing. The purpose of marketing is to let people know the value of your product or service. You have something that they need, that could make life easier, faster, better. It’s not enough to just open your doors and expect the masses to come flooding inside. You must create and communicate the need. Business that fail do not understand the role of marketing—both internal and external—in supporting the growth and success of the business.

Internal Marketing. It is often said that a client or customer loves the storeowner but can’t stand dealing with staff, or vice versa. The look of the office from the moment a customer gets out of their car, is marketing. Perception is everything. Take time to look through the eyes of the customer and what they experience when they first walk into your facility. How are they greeted? What do they see? What first impression are you making? Do you need to make adjustments here?

External Marketing. Next, take time to understand how you project your business through external, market-facing channels. Advertising, websites, billboards, Facebook and other social media channels and even community events are all forms of external marketing. Customer attraction and retention must be a constant focus for the health of a business. You need to be aware of how you are getting your new customers based upon what you are doing and determine the return on investment for everything you do. At the same time, have a method for customers to let you know if their experience in your office did not meet their expectations. A feedback loop is important for longevity.

2. Communication. We all know how to talk, but do we all know how to communicate? Effective communication is much more than merely transferring information, and whether in written, verbal or visual form, it’s critical to the success of your business.

Written communication includes not only formal contracts or return policies, but also, offer letters for hiring, performance reviews and counseling memos. Additionally, the written processes mentioned above have a strong value in their ability to thwart any barriers from providing excellent customer service. Anything that is discussed outside of the normal business processes should be documented to protect the business owner and the employee or customer.

Verbal communication helps the team understand the vision of the business and what the owner expects of their participation as an employee. Team meetings are the time to review processes to ensure that everyone is completing tasks the same way. This keeps everyone on the same page.

Communications with customers are just as important to document to avoid a “he said/ she said” type of situation. If a promise is made, it should be written down. The No. 1 one frustration in most businesses is the lack of communication. This frustration can lead to good employees leaving or poor performance due to not understanding the role.

Source: Janice Janssen, RDH, CFE, is the co-founder of Global Team Solutions (GTS), business consultant and a highly-regarded professional speaker. Her expertise in office management solutions makes her an asset to her clients across the country. Janssen is the current treasurer of the Academy of Dental Management Consultants (ADMC), and is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson