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

Four Way To Keep Your Business Alive- Part 1

I subscribe to several emails, newsletters, podcasts and other “information sharing” groups that are specific to our industry.  Side note- If you have these available for your industry, look into them.  While I don’t have time to go through every one of them every time they come out, I often skim and pull out the information that is most helpful or relevant.

Promotional Consultant Today published this article, which I think it not only relevant to new businesses, but those that are established and experiencing growing pains, or those that are struggling to grow.  Sometimes we forget that there are some “core” things we need to keep in mind and focus on- even when the business seems to be demanding that we focus elsewhere.  Below is part 1 of the article- we will have part 2 next week (stay tuned).

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Winston Churchill

Four Ways To Keep Your Business Alive, Part 1Statistics seem to be against the likelihood of even half of new businesses staying open to celebrate their fifth anniversary. According to Small Business Trends, just over 50 percent of small businesses fail in the first four years.

This could be troublesome news to anyone with a dream of owning their own business, however, you merely need to read further into the statistics to realize that half of the businesses survived and continued to thrive. It is possible and it absolutely can be profitable to own your own business.

Today and tomorrow, Promotional Consultant Today shares four areas of focus that are critical to the success of your new business. Some require more immediate attention, and others must remain top-of-mind all of the time. Here are the first two:

1. Systems, Protocols, Processes. These are words that are thrown around often when referring to the function or operation of a business. You often hear “The business isn’t successful because there are no systems in place,” or “Not everyone is following the proper protocols.” Many times employees say they are unaware of protocols or they weren’t trained on the rules.

Your systems determine how you want your business to run. The process is the step to get it done. It’s important to have process in order to optimize time and resources.

Creating a system of accountability means that each team member understands what the job is and who is responsible for making it happen.

It is recommended that every process be documented, and that employees be trained on the processes that pertain to their success. Processes should also be reviewed on a regular business and updated as the business evolves and matures.

2. Know Your Numbers, Know Your Business. What does it cost to open your doors? Is your payroll within normal limits for your industry? Many of the businesses that tend to fail do so because someone else had a better handle on their numbers than the owner.

What numbers are important? The obvious answer is income and expenses. Looking a bit deeper, make sure you understand what is coming in and what is going out at all times. If something appears suspicious, ask and make sure that you are comfortable with the answer. You need to be intimately involved in your numbers to both manage any excess and to keep growth targeted.

Owning a business is the dream of many people, but it takes organization and detail to ensure the longevity and success of your business. Read PCT again tomorrow for more critical steps to ensure your business doesn’t become a statistic.

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

How TIP of Portland/Vancouver Increases Awareness of Their Services

Sandra Lutz-Rodrigues, who runs our Portland, OR office has been volunteering with TIP since 2001 and when she began to tell me of all the organization and the volunteers do to help those facing unimaginable tragedies I was amazed and completely impressed with her selflessness and generosity in the volunteer hours she gives and all that the TIP Organization does.

We love learning more about our clients and how they use promotional products and we are really excited to have guest blogger June Vining, Executive Director of TIP Portland/Vancouver, Inc. sharing the amazing work that TIP does, the ways they serve the community and  how they have incorporated promo items into their organization.

Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.”  TIP Volunteers know that to be true.

Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) is a group of specially trained citizen volunteers who respond 24/7, 365 days a year to support citizens in crisis.  Volunteers are requested by emergency personnel to show up on-scene to provide immediate practical and emotional support to families, friends, by-standers – anyone who is effected by tragedy.

TIP of Portland/Vancouver has 160+ Volunteers, who responded to over 2,838 calls in 2016 – meaning that 15,554 people were not left alone on the worst day of their lives, the saddest day of their lives.

TIP is prideful about the emotional support that volunteers provide to clients, but TIP Staff is also prideful of their volunteers!  Some special ways that TIP Staff can say “thank you” to the volunteers who selflessly give over 40 hours a month is by giving small gifts and “swag” to those who serve the community.

Some of our favorites that we’ve given to volunteers, and handed out as giveaways at community events are the red and black sunglasses (we also partnered with a sponsor to promote their business and support of TIP – F.I.R.E. Restoration), the TIP canvas-type notebooks that we gave to all TIP Volunteers as a holiday gift – and most recently, the “TIP Fans.”

This summer, we placed an order for red collapsible fans that were quickly shipped to us.  They are pocket size and perfect for carrying around for hot weather – and they perfectly display our TIP logo.  We’ve been having fun with taking pictures of TIP supporters (aka TIP “FANS”) with the red TIP fans… and posting those pictures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. #tipFANSareeverywhere.

Tip picture

Trauma Intervention Program is excited to celebrate our 25th Anniversary next month – 25 years of “Citizens Helping Citizens in Crisis” in the Greater Portland Metro area… encompassing all of Multnomah, Clackamas and Clark Counties.  We are excited to partner with Barefoot Swag who help us brainstorm ideas to “promote” our mission, say thank you to the volunteers and creative “giveaways” at our Community Events.




Building A Consistent Look

Building a brand and creating a program or promotion with a consistent look is often difficult.  Finding a variety of products in different price points to coordinate with logo colors, events and even your print marketing is downright impossible sometimes.  And if those items need to have options for both men and ladies the choices dwindle down even further.

Duet Collection

That is why we love the Duet Collection of products. These items are stunning and absolutely impressive (don’t let the PVC material deter you).   With a variety of colors and styles to choose from, we add your debossed logo for a subtle message and elegant look.  Either the  rectangular tote or the more casual tote make beautiful, upscale swag bags, meeting gifts or speaker gifts.  The business card holders and stash tray are reasonably priced gift items that work for both men and women, yet still have a high perceived value.  My personal favorite is the large carryall tote which has so many uses- from carry on bag to business bag to giant purse, this bag is awesome.

The wine tote makes an elegant table favor, room drop gift or closing gift for Real Estate Agents- fill it with a favorite bottle of wine or other beverage of choice.  An excellent choice for gift with purchase, room drop gift or swag bag option is the cosmetic bag.  The luggage tag is small enough to use in a direct mail piece to convention attendees, travel agents or as a swag item at trade shows.

While any of these items can stand alone, the coordinating colors and styles make it possible to combine multiple items for a truly impactful promotion, giveaway or gift.  Or for a long term promotion, select a few items in the same colors to use over a period of time, building on the theme and colors to create a matching set.  And if you need gift boxes or other packaging we can add that as well to really add the wow factor to your swag.

If you want to create an item (or set) to match your corporate colors, let us know- we can discuss what will be necessary to turn your exact colors into stunning promotional swag.

sales@barefootswag.com       866-247-4320