Eye-catching promotional accessories bring businesses and brands to life

Just as a sprig of mint and a slice of cucumber turn an average glass of water into something spa-worthy, the items we choose to embellish an outfit can turn heads. It’s often the little things such as a colorful tote or an interesting piece of jewelry or a fun tie that catch people’s attention. That extra garnish of the right accessory is the ‘wow’ factor that adds serious promotional power. And the more an accessory can do for the wearer, the better.

“The biggest story around [Fossil] is connected accessories,” says Jenny Durham, business development manager for corporate markets at Fossil. “We’ve released a line of hybrid and display watches across Fossil, Misfit, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Skagen and Emporio Armani brands. These watches allow you to track your activity and sleep, receive vibration notifications and control other smart devices so you always stay a step ahead—without ever compromising style.”

Combining fashion, function and fitness is a trend that seems to be sticking around.

Gwen Brey, marketing coordinator at Beacon Promotions, says, “We believe 2017 will still be very popular for fitness trackers, as health and fitness is top of mind and so important. More companies are offering incentives to their employees to get fit, as it’s a win-win for the company (lower insurance premiums, fewer claims) and the employee gets into better shape.”

With so many products and brands to choose from, it’s critical to find out as much as you can about your client’s end users for the best product/promotion match. “When we suggest a product from our portfolio we look at the demographic of the audience and the budget at hand. If we have the information available, we'll go as far as to look at the gender breakdown and whether the recipients are more trendy or traditional,” says Durham.

Read on for a look at some unique, beautiful and functional items to add a ‘wow’ to your client’s next event or promotional campaign.

Accessory Accents

united way bangle web

Hand-cast custom jewelry is a beautiful way to make a lasting impression. Jewelry can be designed at every price point and each piece is designed exclusively for individual clients. Choose from both logoed and non-logoed jewelry.

Diane Katzman Design PPAI 396045 www.dianekatzman.com

i777 web

This medium profile six-panel structured cap is 100-percent polyester fabric with UV protection and moisture-wicking fabric. It features a woven loop label and stretchable Velcro® hook-and-loop fastener closure. Available colors include: royal/gray, gray/black, white/gray, black/gray, navy/gray and red/black.

Cap America, Inc. PPAI 111597 www.capamerica.com

Day Tote web

Made of 100-percent 18-ounce cotton canvas, this retail-inspired tote is the very definition of fresh and fun. The zippered main compartment has an interior zippered pocket for extra storage and there’s a back zippered pocket, too. The 28-inch contrasting self-fabric handles have a 10.5-inch drop for easy carrying. At 20 x 13 x 6 inches, the bag is available in eight patterns and is treated to be water-repellent.

Kati Sportcap PPAI 113758 www.katisportcap.com

wolfmark tie 2

Custom logo woven silk ties are perfect for uniforms, trade shows, clubs or special events. Coordinating ladies scarves are available for a complete look.

Wolfmark  PPAI 114140  www.wolfmarkties.com

Sweatshirt Blanket web

The 7.8-ounce, 50/50 cotton/polyester sweatshirt blanket is made of air-jet yarn for a soft, pill-resistant finish. This blend makes it easy to decorate with any type of heat transfer. At 50 by 60 inches, it is fully hemmed and features mitered V corners. Take it to your next outdoor sporting event to ward off the chill.

Transfer Express PPAI 690341 www.transferexpress.com

belt-buckle web

Military personnel, police and fire departments, and park rangers are just some of the markets for these custom belt buckles cast from lead-free zinc alloy material. Average sizes range from 3.5 by 2.5 inches up to 4.5 by 3.5 inches, but the buckles can be made in any custom size or shape.

Emblematics PPAI 112270 www.emblematics.com

Branded_Socks web

Fully manufactured and decorated in the U.S., Top-Flite branded athletic socks for men and women are a great accessory for sporting or outdoor events. Made from 40-percent acrylic, 40-percent UltraSpun® polyester, 17-percent nylon and three-percent spandex, the socks include cushion comfort, moisture wicking, arch support, a Y heel for superior fit, and a non-binding top. Decoration includes either fusion embroidery applique/patch or fusion sublimation DigiPrint applique/patch.

Suntex Industries PPAI 113094 www.suntexindustries.com

koolgator web

Outdoor summer fairs, concerts and events are great places to wear cooling neck wraps and beat the heat. These customizable branding tools stay cool all day long. Dye sublimation allows for unlimited colors, logos, photographs, QR codes, and more.

Koolgator PPAI 387542 www.koolgator.com

Clip-All web

This powerful magnet clip attaches to shirts, jackets, purses and more to prevent items such as glasses from falling off. Seal chip bags to keep snacks fresh. Secure keys to bags or metal objects like your refrigerator. It’s also great for keeping cords organized. Choose from the following colors: white, black, royal blue, pink, green and red.

Nationwide Promotions PPAI 261136 www.nwpromos.com

PFB403_BK Black 3 web

Track activity and sleep and get notifications with the ultra-slim waterproof Fitbit Flex 2 Fitness Wristband. The removable tracker also fits in band, bangle and pendant accessories. It syncs wirelessly via Bluetooth to any iOS Android or Windows devices. The wristband includes two bands and a charging cable.

Beacon Promotions PPAI 113702 www.beaconpromotions.com

q smartwatch

The Q Wander Touchscreen Smartwatch looks like a fashion watch but performs like a tiny computer. The Bluetooth® Smart-enabled watch has a built-in fitness tracker and delivers social media notifications, texts and calendar alerts. Use Google voice activation, personalize the dial and change the watchband to any one of the six available colors. It’s compatible with both Android and iPhone devices.

Fossil PPAI 196495 www.fossil.com

AltriaSCOTTS CREW zipper Pull web

Zipper pulls are a simple way to customize apparel, backpacks and bags. Easy to attach, zipper pulls can be created in custom shapes, custom colors, and can include other features such as bottle openers. TSA-compliant designs are available. Choose pulls made from metal, PVC or leather.

Gempire PPAI 113471 www.gempire.com

Case Studies

Flip Flops

Fun In The Sun

A large East Coast brewery wanted to do an inexpensive promotion with its top beer distribution partners. The client’s goal was to create a buzz and encourage people to purchase their brand of beer. “We went with a custom pair of sandals with a special die-cut footprint decoration. The sandals were first given to the beer distributors, who then passed them on to bars that decided to try the brewery’s beer,” says Ellen Bresinger, owner of Promo Key LLC (PPAI 616752). The promotion’s theme was “Fun in the Sun” and the bottom of the sandals were die cut with the client’s logo, which featured a sun. The promotional campaign created interest about the beer, and the client reached its sales goals for the season.

Boeing Bracelet web

Flash Mob

A large aerospace company wanted a big turnout for a fund-raising walk and it wanted to make its team stand out at the walk, so the company chose a branded motion-activated light-up bracelet. Employees who signed up for the walk were given the bracelet and told to wear it to the event. So many people signed up that they ran out of bracelets and had to reorder. The company’s team made a huge splash at the walk with the matching, flashing LED bracelets.

Source: Clegg Promo

Four Retail Trends To Steal

  1. Threadly CombinationsWWD reports that hot brands such as Tory Burch and Marc Jacobs are featuring colorful embroidery designs on shoes, purses and other accessories.
  2. Flower Power – Patternbank’s highlights of New York Fashion Week for Spring 2017 showcased colorful florals in bold graphic patterns; and flora and fauna-inspired jewelry is popular.
  3. Beyond Borders – Currently popular are tourist-inspired bags, tropical footwear, exotic prints with Latin energy, African inspirations, and items with retro appeal.
  4. Hello Yellow – Vibrant, fruity colors are providing a fashion-forward feel for accessories. Think hues such as citron frizz, tasty tangerine and raspberry concentrate.

Sources: WWD, weconnectfashion.com, fashioniers.com

Julie Richie is associate editor for PPB.