Go With the Flow

How to still get great swag during ongoing Covid complications

Covid has certainly disrupted many aspect of life… work, school, travel, dining, entertainment, even healthcare.  Sadly, swag is no different!  Between stock issues, production disruptions, shipping delays, and higher prices, it’s tempting to just assume it’s too much to tackle right now.  But here are some pro tips on how to make swag still feasible (and even easy!) during such a difficult time.

1. PLAN AHEAD- in the past, we have worked some serious miracles when it came to in-hands dates.  There was even one order that we produced AND delivered in the same day for a customer that was in an emergency!  Sadly, those days are LONG gone.  We now have very limited options even for 24-48 hour rush, and those options have more restrictions and higher fees.  Additionally, standard production times are longer, as suppliers battle staffing shortages.  Your best option is to PLAN AHEAD.  Most suppliers are currently at a 7-10 day production after art and order approval, plus shipping.  So we encourage everyone to give themselves a good 3 business weeks to have access to the largest variety of options.

2. BE FLEXIBLE WITH YOUR CHOICES- stock issues have meant that everyone has to be a little flexible with the products they choose.  We highly recommend that you have a few backup choices so that if an item is out of stock, you have a second, third, and sometimes even a fourth choice to fall back on.  It’s better to identify these “alternates” when you’re making your initial product selection so that no time is wasted making new selections if an item is out of stock.  We are also really happy to help you find items!  If you’re able to provide us with a budget, quantity, and deadline, we can pull together a selection of items that we know are in stock to meet your needs.

3. BUDGETS MAY NEED TO CHANGE- as we’re sure you’re feeling at the grocery store, hardware store, car dealership, etc., prices are going up.  Worldwide supply chain issues means demand is outpacing supply, and labor shortages means that the cost to produce any goods is higher.  So naturally, the price to the end user is higher as well.  This is important to keep in mind, as your dollar may not go as far as it did on the same products even just a few months ago.  That doesn’t mean you can’t get a good value though!  We can help you find items that haven’t seen such a large price increase, and we can certainly help you find items that are produced closer to you to cut down on shipping costs. 

4. WHEN IN DOUBT, REACH OUT- if time has gotten away from you, or you need something very specific, it doesn’t mean we absolutely CAN’T come through with what you need!  It’s always best to ask, but know that we are doing everything we can to meet needs, without setting unrealistic expectations or making promises we can’t keep.  If we feel confident we can meet a deadline or get a product, we’ll do it!  But if we don’t feel totally sure, we’ll definitely tell you… and then suggest some other options that might still work.

Now is a GREAT time to start planning for spring and summer events, when hopefully germs, quarantines and cancelled activities won’t be such issues.  Give us a call or email us today to let us get started on helping you plan!

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

866-247-4320

A Decade of Swag

It is natural to reflect at the end/beginning of a year on what has transpired over the past year and how many changes have taken place. But when we are starting a whole new decade it is interesting to look back and see just how much has changed in 10 years. It’s a little overwhelming when you start listing them all-at least it was for me. Then I started thinking about all the changes to the business in the last 10 years- Wow. There have been so many that brought us to where we are today. But then (because I’m a total swag nerd), I started thinking about all the fun new swag that we have now that we didn’t have (or that wasn’t in our market yet) at the beginning of this decade.

There were a few fun things that were had a short lived 15 minutes of fame lifespan- such as selfie sticks and fidget spinners. Some things are better off left behind.

Webcam covers are a popular trade show and convention giveaway because of their usefulness, size and price point.

Mobile tech items have become hugely popular this decade. The first ipad came out in 2010 (seriously!). With the quickly increasing popularity of the ipad, phones developed into mini tablets with touch screens as well- which brought us such swag as stylus pens, microfiber cleaning cloths, and tablet cases. Tech giveaways became a top category and continues to develop at an astonishing rate. Pop Sockets, webcam covers, bluetooth speakers and power banks are all useful giveaway and promotional items because of their wide appeal to all demographics- did you have a need for any of these items 10 years ago? Not unless you were living with the Jetsons! A couple other tech related swag that the 2010s brought us were virtual reality glasses and RFID blocking items.

Mason jar replica cups, copper lined tumblers and bottles (inspired by Yeti) and BPA free plastic bottles were some of our most searched drinkware swag. This is one of those categories that definitely follows retail trends so we see a lot of changes and “new” products that fill specific needs, such as shaker bottles.

With concert arenas, college and NFL football stadiums as well as many large companies increasing security and limiting the size of bags allowed through security, clear bags have become a necessity. Many bags have been developed that meet NFL bag regulations and are available to brand with your logo.

Other fun and unique swag items we love that the decade brought us are pop-up lanterns (a must have for any home- a great item for any company with a message of safety or security), smash lights– convenient, small & easy to carry, hat & beanies with built in lights (why did it take so long to bring these to us?) , lots of fun animal themed paws n claws items that can work individually or grouped together for an ongoing promotion, reusable straws– paper, metal and silicone have popped up in the last few years , socks have become hugely popular with fun and funky designs, AND the ultimate why-didn’t-we -have-this-sooner item, inverted umbrellas.

While some items had been around and available for promo, advances in technology, printing or manufacturing made them more affordable and readily available. The cost of variable data printing decreased and the availability of options increased, making it a creative and personal way to market by adding each recipients name to print material or even swag items such as bottles or mugs. The same happened with full color and digital printing. This gives us so many more options to print images of products or equipment as well as logos with multiple colors at a much more affordable price.

Do you have a favorite swag item from the 2010s that we forgot to mention? Or maybe it is one you are glad to see being left in the last decade?

Let us know how we can help you get your marketing and promotions “with the times” and help you find the best, latest and greatest swag for THIS decade.

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

sales@barefootswag.com