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


Why Gifting Is More Important Than Ever

…..and how to overcome some of the most relevant gifting challenges

This year has been unlike anything we’ve ever seen!  COVID has taken over our lives, schools, businesses, everything!  And all the while, employees and customers have stuck by and weathered the storm with us.  So this year, more than any other, it’s so important to show gratitude for their dedication, loyalty and hard work. 

THANK YOU:  Two small words, one big impact.  And gift-giving often plays a crucial role in showing your gratitude.  Employees have been working hard during the pandemic, and often under very stressful circumstances like pay cuts, juggling the work/life balance more than ever, or potentially even being frontline and all the fear that can entail.  Customers have also done some heavy lifting.  They’ve shopped small, ordered direct, and sometimes even spent when they themselves were strapped, in order to keep their favorite businesses going.  Recognizing all this sacrifice and showing gratitude for it is incredibly important this year, and will help retain such valuable pieces of your organization next year. 

You don’t have to spend a fortune to show your appreciation!  We know budgets are tighter than ever right now.  Luckily, the trend for gifts this year will be smaller and less expensive, but more useful. 

As folks are spending much more time at home, think about household items that are used regularly.  With so many more folks cooking and eating at home, the Bamboo Cutting Board With Custom Box (RANNC-LUUJC) is a great option.  Other ideas would include kitchen kits (think mixing spoons, oven mits, measuring equipment, etc.), tools (full-on tool sets, multi-tools or specialty tools like a magnetized bowl to hold screws), timepieces (clocks, clock/thermometer combos) and electronics (charging cables, power banks, charging stations), just to name a few! 

With fall and winter just around the corner, a cozy blanket is always a good choice.  Need a budget option?  Go for the Cozy Fleece Blanket (UTTHE-HGWTU)While still very nice and functional, the price is just right!  If you want more “warmth on the go”, we have great options for hats, scarves and gloves, some that even come in sets with all 3 pieces!

How about a “hug-in-a mug”?  The 15 Oz. Full Color Mug with Four Assorted Tea Bags (SYTFE-NDQRU) is a great way to spread warmth all through the season!  There is an option to upgrade to hot cocoa, and there are a variety of stock art designs that we can drop your name or logo into that takes all the guess work out for you!

A favorite around the Barefoots Swag office- shortbread type cookie with delicious chocolate.

And let’s be real, who doesn’t love a yummy treat?  Our Rectangle Custom Molded Chocolate Cookie (MYPNH-MEAHT) comes in both rectangular and round, milk and dark chocolate, and is one of our most popular (and cost-effective!) holiday treats.  Our customers’ employees and clients love them so much, they ask for them year after year!

KUDOS:  During hard times, nothing keeps employees, volunteers and patrons encouraged quite like hearing “job well done!”  This can build so much good will that translates into major retention.  The last thing any company or organization wants is to lose the people power that makes them special.   So recognizing excellence in your people, especially during a time of overwhelming challenges, will go a LONG way!

You don’t have to do the typical “awards”!  Glass, acrylic, paper weights, etc. are fantastic, but are a bit irrelevant right now as many folks aren’t in their offices (or traditional professional settings) to show them off.  So why not give them a “functional award”?  With a number of options that require no minimum quantity or setup charge, you can personalize each item to reflect sales goals met, years of service, special positions held, or any other achievement. 

Two GREAT options for functional gifts are the Sonosphear™ wireless Speaker (OTRGB-LTNAN) and the Signature Collection Mini Sono (VWOHJ-NNKJJ)Priced at $80 and $110, respectively, for just a single piece, (that’s right, we give you some special pricing on this one!), these unique pieces rival pricing of any traditional awards, but with an extra “wow” factor that the recipient is sure to appreciate!

Nothing says “functional” quite like a quality piece of drinkware!  And with no minimum and no setup, you can once again use this as an opportunity to personalize your message to each person.  The 20 Oz. Polar Camel Ringneck Tumbler (ZTRGJ-NANAN) is a wonderful option, offering a variety of colors.  Other similar styles include the 30 oz Polar, the 12oz Wine Polar, and the 20oz Pilsner Polar. 

HOW DO I GET IT THERE?  That’s a question we’ve been hearing A LOT!!  With people working from home (including our customers and clients!), the distribution challenges are REAL!  But don’t worry…. We’ve got you covered!  We can drop-ship our items to any address necessary, even international! (some restrictions do apply)  And some of our suppliers are even being extra generous in trying to help with shipping challenges by offering lower or waived drop-ship fees and special flat rate shipping.  So we’re sure to be able to get what you need, where you need it!

THERE IS NO “ONE SIZE FITS ALL”:  We understand that each organization, project, campaign, and budget are different.  Please reach out to us directly to discuss your needs and we can help you work to meet them!  We pride ourselves on helping you find the solution that FITS FOR YOU!  We’ll never try to sell you something that doesn’t work for what you need (though we may suggest some solutions that maybe you didn’t know were available, just for your consideration). 

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