Tag Archives: Promotional Products

Promotional Products Gold Coast

Promotional Products Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is one of Australia’s fastest growing cities. AAC ID Solutions has been operating here since 1997, and is proudly Gold Coast born and bred. Promotional Products Gold Coast is one of our most successful product ranges, as we get the opportunity to often meet with you face to face!

Promotional Products Gold Coast

Some of our Gold Coast clients include local icons such as Dreamworld, Jupiters Hotel & Casino, The Gold Coast Suns, the Gold Coast Titans, Skypoint, the Gold Coast Turf Club, Gold Coast Airport Marathon, the Pan Pacific Masters Games and soon, the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games! We truly are a Gold Coast company and we take great care to look after promotional products in this area.

Branded Apparel – Wholesale Promotional Products Gold Coast

AAC has incredible access to a network of factories, providing us with the ability to offer incredible wholesale rates on branded apparel such as t-shirts, polo shirts, hoodies and uniforms. With high quality products and impeccable printing and embroidery, AAC is the undisputed heavyweight champion when it comes to promotional products gold coast.

Executive Gifts and Marketing Products

No matter what you are looking for in the world of executive gifts and marketing products, AAC can supply it. We specialise in traditional promotional items such as branded water bottles, pens, tote bags and the like, but our passion is in sourcing those unusual products that no one else can find. Branded piggy bands? Done. Promotional belt buckles? Sorted. Custom printed cowbells? Delivered in 5 days!

Put us to the test and see whether we meet your standards. We love a challenge, and we love saving you money.

Branded Merchandise for Gold Coast Resorts

One thing we have plenty of here on the Gold Coast is hotels and resorts. AAC has been working with dozens of these properties for years, supplying a wide range of merchandise. The resort stocks the promotional merchandise in their gift shops and then sells it to guests, generating fantastic additional revenue. The most popular items include beach towels, caps, colouring in sets, drink bottles and playing cards. Talk to AAC to learn more!

Promotional Products in time for Christmas

There is still time. We just 2 months to go from today, you can still order branded promotional products, items and merchandise in time for Christmas. So whether you are sourcing items for your staff, suppliers, members, customers or patrons, now is the time to finalise that order.

For everything related to promotional products Gold Coast, talk to AAC ID Solutions. We have been here 20 years, and we’re not going anywhere else! Give us a call at 1300 797 478 or email us here.

Top 10 Promotional Products 2015

Top 10 Promotional Products 2015

“The times they are a-changin” sang Bob Dylan in 1964. Gone are the pens and stress balls of 2006 and here come the power banks and bluetooth speakers of 2015. Without further preamble, we present our latest iteration of our top 10 promotional products and trends list for 2015.

And, just for fun, we’ll use some famous quotes to guide you through our top 10 list. Why? Because life is too short to take these things too seriously.

The Top 10 Promotional Products for 2015

“Anywhere is walking distance, if you’ve got the time” – Stephen Wright

Fitness bands - great promotional products

Fitness bands

You can’t swing a cat without hitting someone wearing a fitness band these days. Never did we believe that it would become part of polite conversion to ask someone “how many steps did you take today” without it being part of a 10 step program. Fitness bands come in all types of styles and with varying functionality.

The most common functions are to record heart rate, number of steps per day,sleep monitoring and calorie intake, but there are more advanced models available too. Fitness bands can be branded to your business for use as promotional products.

Expect to pay: $17 to $35 per unit

“If time travel is possible, where are the tourists from the future?” – Stephen Hawking

Retro products are taking off in a big way. Recently company’s have even started launching new mobile phones minus apps and functionality! My goodness, it would be like living a decade ago… no Angry Birds! It really has become a ‘thing’ though, with consumers looking at the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s with rose tinted glasses and thinking how much simpler life was then. It seems the past is cool and the future will be awesome… poor us to being alive right now!

As promotional products, this trend is appearing in the form of yo-yo’s, rubik’s cubes, slinky’s, retro sunglasses, and a variety of modern products with retro designs; for example, ipad covers with cassette designs on the front.

“You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother” – Albert Einstein

Bluetooth speakers - great promotional products

Bluetooth speakers

Bluetooth speakers have become very affordable in recent years thanks to advancements in the technology and manufacturing process. Just don’t ask us to explain exactly how it works!

As promotional products, they make a great gift because they are so useful. Bluetooth speakers allow you to play music from your phone, for instance, but with a much clearer, stronger sound than your standard phone speakers provide. This normally works to a distance of 8-10m or so, so ideal for the beach, the pool, park, or instead of having a more expensive stereo system in your home.

Bluetooth speakers can be branded and will be a popular gift for any recipient.

Expect to pay: $19 to $30 per unit

“A day without sunshine is, you know, night” – Steve Martin

Sun protection is a major trend in promotional products, with branded sunscreen and SPF lip balm the products of choice. It’s a win-win product, and ideal for a company with an outdoor and active focus in their marketing message. Recipients will keep and use the products; in the case of sunscreen, with family and friends, further adding to the exposure it provides.

There are lots of options available for those wishing to look at sun protection promotional products, with varying sizes, styles, shapes and scents. For a cost effective option, consider sunscreen sachets. There are also bottles, tubes, pots and more to think about.

Expect to pay: $1.50 to $4.50 per unit

“Max Power, he’s the man whose name you’d love to touch, but you mustn’t touch!” – Homer Simpson

Powerbanks - great promotional products


Everyone is on the go 24/7, and with more apps demanding more from our phones, portable chargers (or, power banks) are fast becoming the must-have item of 2015. A power bank holds a specific amount of ‘charge’ that can be used to recharge your phone or tablet whilst on the go, just in case your battery runs out. This is ideal for long journeys, or for those who simply use their phone a lot.

They have become fairly cost effective also, meaning that the marketing budget won’t be completely dry if you go this way for your promotional products. As with all techno products, the price is influenced considerably by the specification, so go for a lower spec model to save money. Consider this – how often will a power bank get used by it’s recipient over the course of a year?

Expect to pay: $9 to $25 per unit

“Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy” – Benjamin Franklin

Wine is experiencing a renaissance at the moment, with vineyards and wineries busier than ever before. People are also becoming more knowledgeable about wine, thanks to so many varieties being available. I defy anyone to get in and out of Dan Murphys in less than 30 minutes; it’s just too relaxing wandering the aisles, browsing through the labels and then, eventually, settling for whatever is on special at the time!

Because of the above, wine products are growing in popularity, with the range of items available increasing. As promotional products, they are fantastic. From neoprene wine carriers to cooler bags, from wine/picnic hampers to wine accessories, the industry is booming.

“Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about” – Oscar Wilde

Fun products are always a hit. Sometimes we need to loosen up and have a little bit of fun with our promotional products. Fortunately there are a wide range of silly products and novelties that can be branded with your logo or message and used in such a way.

Rubby ducky - great promotional products

Rubby ducky

Products that put a smile on the face of the recipient are always a winner, so why not think about branded silly putty, rubber ducks, tattoos, bubbles in a bottle, hacky sacks, confectionery or games?

Sure, their might not be an obvious synergy with your current marketing message, but sometimes that’s OK too!

With everyone being so time poor these days (or feeling like they are anyway!) taking a few moments to have a laugh can do wonders.

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society” – Mark Twain

Traditionally clothing and apparel has been viewed more as an item of promotional merchandise, something that is sold within a retail environment, rather than something used as giveaway promotional products.

But with material costs reducing and printing capabilities increasing, more and more clothing is being used as promotional products. The success of apparel really comes down to whether you can come up with a witty way to promote your brand, because you want the recipient to wear the item of apparel often relatively often. If it is printed with “BRAND X IS GOOD” you might not quite achieve your goal.

Ask around the office or the marketing department, and come up with a self-deprecating way to promote your own brand and message. On a t-shirt or hat, that can be gold.

“Milk was a bad choice” – Ron Burgundy

Collapsible drink bottle - great promotional products

Collapsible drink bottle

Collapsible drink bottles are a great twist on the standard drink bottles used as promotional products. Combined with a carabiner clip, they are a portable, handy and useful product that is ideal for use at events, or just out and about.

Promotional products that allow recipients to be active and mobile are always a winner at the moment. Though you may not want to use them for milk, Ron.

“Why should I care about future generations? What have they ever done for me?” – Groucho Marx

Environmentally responsible promotional products have remained popular and will continue to do so – for good reason too. With growing emphasis on the environment worldwide, and an accelerating acceptance of global warming being a massive problem, it makes sense for environmentally friendly products to be considered. These can range from bags made from recyclable material to bamboo lanyards.

And that’s it – the Top 10 Promotional Products for 2015! Let us know your thoughts on the list; your suggestions might just make the 2016 list! Review our 2014 Top Ten!

Unique Promotional Products

Promotional Products: Now For Something Different!

The next time someone at your marketing meeting suggests that you buy some promotional pens, we suggest you advise them of a suitable place to insert those pens! We’re in the back half of 2015 and it’s time for some innovative thinking when it comes to promotional products and items.

It is now harder than ever to impress someone or maintain a lasting impression through the use of promotional products. With so many suppliers peddling the same products, it’s time to start looking at more unique products to get the attention and exposure you’re seeking.

This is especially relevant as we move swiftly towards the end of 2015 and to the gift giving season. November to December is when the promotional product season kicks in to high gear, with company’s vying for exposure.

Promotional Products with a Difference

Hacky sacks

Remember these? They’re making a comeback! Hacky sacks are a fun product that will be well remembered by those who receive them. Especially those of us who recall being talented with them but then realise perhaps our hindsight glasses may be rose tinted!

Bounce balls 

A great alternative to the usual stress ball; bounce balls are exactly what they sound like, and will provide a memorable experience for the recipient.

Wet wipe cans

Great for waiting rooms, car dealerships, reception areas, events; canned wet wipes can be branded in full colour all around the product, providing excellent exposure. And who doesn’t want their brand associated with being clean and hygienic!?


Branded lollies, jelly beans, rainbow chews and mints are growing in popularity because they offer something a little be different. Being perishable and therefore with a limited lifespan, you might think to avoid looking at promotional confectionery, but that would be a mistake. Our customers report receiving great responses from prospects, customers and suppliers they have distributed these to.

Completely custom shapes

Rather than branding an existing product, why not generate a completely unique design for your stress shapes or USB sticks? In the building industry… why not a stress shape in the shape of a house? In the IT industry… why not a USB in the shape of a computer mouse?

More Promotional Products than you can shake a branded stick at!

There are literally thousands of options when it comes to promotional products and merchandise. The two best ways to come up with something new is to look around (almost anything you see can be sourced and branded) or to work closely with a professional and creative company like AAC ID Solutions.

For more information, call us today at 1300 797 478 or Contact us.

Promotional products and items

Emotional Marketing and Promotional Products

A key challenge for all marketers is to determine the motivation that steers buyers in a certain direction. There are countless books and articles that cover this. How does this effect the use of promotional products?

When I was at University (yes I can still remember that far back), my marketing lecturer referred to this as the “buyers black box”. The set of principles and influences that we have each garnered over the years that now play a role in the decisions we make.

This extends to the purchases we make. How do we choose who to buy from? What kind of packaging appeals to us? What brand do we want to associate ourselves with? Many of the internal influences we have are completely subconscious also, making it even harder for marketers to determine how best to sell their products and services.

“Our brains process 11,000,000 bits of sensory information every second. But our conscious minds can only handle about 40 bits per second. That’s a selection ratio of 0.000004%. What happens to those other 10,999,960 bits of information? We process them subconsciously”. Source -http://www.iconinternational.com.au/

As buyers we respond to both emotional and physical stimuli. We want products, services and brands to appeal to us on multiple levels before we make decisions.

A modern marketer needs to understand this to best approach their marketing mix. In previous articles we have discussed the role promotional products play in the marketing mix. It is crucial to a) get the attention of the buyer, b) ensure that you have created a positive/relevant experience and then c) make sure that the experience lasts, or is remembered for when it is time to make a purchase.

An oldie but a goodie

It is an oldie but a goodie – “don’t sell the features, sell the benefits”. An addition to that should be, “don’t just sell the physical benefits, sell the emotional benefits”. How does a product or brand make someone feel? Yes a branded water bottle may be made of strong BPA-free plastic (feature) and it may keep you hydrated (benefit) but the real reason it might appeal to someone is that it makes them feel active and healthy (emotional benefit). And THAT is where your brand will be associated if you use custom printed water bottles as promotional products.

Promotional Products

So what does this mean for the marketeer looking to use promotional products to increase awareness and improve brand recognition?

The key take from all this is to really analyse what you are trying to achieve with your use of promotional products. Who are you trying to reach and how is your chosen product, or selection of promotional products, going to achieve that? Are you appealing to a functional or emotional black box, and which will achieve the greatest impact?

The best strategy here is to consult with your marketing team, but also to liaise with a solution-driven promotional products company like AAC ID Solutions. By focusing on the end-result, and not just the product, you will achieve a greater ROI no matter what your goals are.

Contact AAC ID Solutions today to discuss your requirements – 1300 797 478 or contact us.

Promotional Products Sale

AAC’s Promotional Products Sale

Promotional Products on Sale

Promotional products and merchandise are important features of many marketing strategies. They develop brand awareness, improve relationships and even generate revenue in many situations. AAC ID Solutions prides itself on providing solutions to your needs – our goal has always been to listed to your requirements and then propose a unique promotional products to achieve your objectives. Below, we present some special sale items that are available for a limited time.

Promotional Products on Sale

Promotional Products on Sale

Click here to see all the promotional products in our range, including hats, silicone wristbands, promotional pens, stress balls, glassware and much more. AAC is constantly adding to its selection, and has access to an incredible number of products; just ask if you’re looking for something you cannot see.

Key uses of promotional products

AAC takes a very different approach to its range of promotional products, and are bucking the industry trend in a big way. Rather than presenting 10,000 products, our approach is to listen to what you want to achieve. We then propose a range of products that will work for you. Yes, we still promote the same wide range of water bottles, custom bags, USB sticks and more, but we’d rather talk to you about your requirements, and then work together to produce something special.

Our unmatched manufacturing and production capabilities ensure that no matter what your requirements and expectations are, AAC can exceed them time and time again.

Promotional Products are idea for running promotions, adding value to an existing product or service, or as merchandise designed to provide a return on investment. Many products purchased wholesale through AAC can be sold at 200-300% mark ups.

Terms and conditions of the sale

These prices are valid until the end of April 2015 for all orders approved and paid for by then. Basic or economy product in each range only. Single colour print for rugs, shirts and bags, full colour for lip balm. Ask us about bigger quantities.

Promotional products

AAC Expands Promotional Products Range

AAC has launched a range of new promotional products on its website.

Following growing demand from its existing customers, and an increasing number of enquiries to the company directly, AAC began taking steps in late 2014 to expand upon its range. This was undertaken via a thorough review of demand, and then meetings with factories, warehouses and other partners to ensure that all maintained the same levels of quality and consistency as demanded by AAC for its customers.

Paul Jenkins, Sales Manager, said “It’s a burgeoning market for AAC, and if we can offer a wider range of solutions to our customers, we’ll be able to further enhance our standing within the promotional products industry”.

“We have never wanted to be ‘just another supplier’ within this market” said Stuart Blott, General Manager, “the key to our success has always been offering a solution rather than just a product”.

The new range of products includes:

  • Branded apparel, including t-shirts, polo shirts and hoodies – strong partnerships have been forged with Gildan, Anvil and other brands to ensure that only the highest quality shirts and printing is provided. This new range has already been welcomed by the market, with customers ranging from festivals and events to resorts and local councils ordering t-shirts and hoodies from AAC.
  • Branded outdoor event products, including cooler bags and picnic rugs – outdoor events are booming in Australia, from music festivals and events at wineries, to movies in the park and other entertainment. Outdoor event products like these provide a relevant, targeted and (crucially) functional branding concept that can really reach a specific target market. When looking at promotional products, this is the kind of synergy that is needed between an event and a product.
  • Branded Skin Care Products including lip balms in tubes, pots and even sports ball shapes – we are a nation that spends a lot of time outdoors, in the sun and the wind. Lip balm is a popular product for men and women. Branding them in full colour to your company or event is another great way to get your message in front of a target market. Available in tubes, economy tubes, pots and sports ball shapes (tennis balls, basketballs etc), custom lip balm is growing in popularity.
  • Branded Swim Caps, including silicone and latex swim caps – it made sense that AAC, with hundreds of aquatic centres buying our Tyvek Wristbands, that we would ask our customers what other products we could assist with. All at once, they shouted “swim caps!”. And so we obliged; swim caps can be ordered in silicone or latex depending on your requirements, in a range of colours. They are easily branded with your logo, website or swim centre and therefore perfect for swim teams, or as an item of merchandise in your shop or reception area.
  • Branded socks, including trampoline socks – it’s a booming market, and trampoline centres are popping up all over Australia. As the leading supplier of wristbands and merchandise to these centres, AAC also launched trampoline socks in to the market in late 2014. The feedback has been exceptional. Trampoline socks include a non-slip rubber grip at the base and in many centres are compulsory.

As well as the inclusion of these new products, AAC has also expanded upon it’s range within existing products, now offering an even greater selection of hats and bags, with faster turnaround times than ever before. In some cases, bags are being printed and delivered within 3 days of an order taking place, though this is subject to the bag style, quantity and artwork.

For more information about any of the products above, or anything else you might require, contact AAC ID Solutions today at 1300 797 478 or sales@aacidsolutions.com

Corporate Gifts

Corporate Gifts for Christmas

Christmas is that time of year when we spread good will and cheer to friends and family. The same should be true of your business with clients and customers, not to mention suppliers, partners, members and those elusive prospects!

Corporate gifts have been around for a while and is an excellent form of cost effective marketing. Recent studies have indicated that brand awareness is increased by the use of branded promotional products. Having your logo on any gifts will increase your brand recognition. The gifts will be hopefully used repeatedly, so clients and potential customers will be looking at your logo over and over again. In addition, many other studies have linked strong brand awareness to increases in business enquiries as well as sales revenue. It is clear, therefore, that branded corporate gifts are something to consider.

There is an enormous range of items that can be used as promotional products and corporate gifts. You may choose a product that represents your business. For instance, if you’re in a professional industry you may opt for USB sticks. If your business relates to sport, then you may choose a t-shirt or water bottle. The opportunities are endless.

As we have written about here, taking time to ensure your spending on promotional products is well thought-out will result in much greater ROI. For more information on the top 5 mistakes businesses make with promotional products, click here.

There are many influences on what type of corporate gifts you might decide to utilise, with the primary factor often being budget. If your budget is at the lower end of the scale, then you have to be creative with the type of corporate gift you choose. A gift such as a pen is a little standard and often not really regarded as a gift. However for the same or a little more, you can choose a stand out item like a frisbee. Fun for all the family and likely to stick around longer than yet another pen!

At the other end of the budget scale, you can choose high end products which people enjoy using and will be thankful for. These can include anything from a branded desk clock through to beach towels and more.

Getting in the Holiday Spirit

Often, incorporating a holiday related theme to the corporate gift can work very well, particularly at Christmas. One consideration to take into account though is that a branded coffee mug with a Christmas design will not be nearly as interesting come February! As such it is important to consider the longevity of the product and how long it will be used by the recipient. Branded Christmas bottles of wine, chocolates, mints etc are a nice touch, and don’t stay around too long! However if the corporate gift you choose is a little more ‘permanent’ then choose wisely.

Corporate Gifts for your Customers

It really is the perfect time to thank clients for their business with a gift. It also provides a good reason to book a meeting with them and a follow up after the holidays. With most market places becoming increasingly competitive, finding ways to differentiate yourself and stay present in the minds of customers is crucial. As many companies have discovered, sometimes it doesn’t take much for a competitor to steal a customer away!

Using corporate gifts at Christmas is a great way to improve and maintain relationships with your clients while still promoting your business and brand. Having your logo on any gifts will increase your brand recognition. The gifts will be hopefully used repeatedly (as long as you’re branding the right kind of product for the right customer), so clients and potential customers will be looking at your logo over and over again.

Corporate Gifts for Suppliers

It’s important to build and maintain strong relationships with suppliers. Many businesses forget about their suppliers when it comes to gifts; however this group of people are the ones most likely to refer clients to you. These relationships should be nurtured and monitored constantly.

If they are supplying goods and services to your business, that usually means they will be supplying to your competitors and other local businesses. It’s important to keep your suppliers happy and stay on their good side. When you have those last minute jobs you need help with; they are usually the ones who stay to do it!

Corporate Gifts for Staff

Personalised corporate Christmas gifts are an ideal Christmas present for your staff. It’s important not to provide anything that is already available to customers and to think outside the box.

Depending on the particular industry or recipients, you may be able to incorporate some humour or inside jokes into the branding. This is vastly dependent on your team and industry though. In the overly politically correct world in which we live, it’s essential to be discreet when humour is used, particularly when it comes to employees.

The corporate gift for staff should say “thanks for the year” not “you are now a walking advertisement for our company”! Give them something they will appreciate and enjoy.

Corporate Gifts that double as Merchandise

The corporate gift you choose may be something you can also sell as part of your merchandise range. A great example here is of a gym. You may offer all ‘Exclusive’ members a gift such as swimming caps, towels, or bags. You can then use this merchandise as a new year incentive to attract new members, so it works as an added extra. It will have your logo on it, is relevant to the client’s needs and is seen as generous by the receiver.

If you work with pets, have a pets Christmas stocking which could include dog leads, Frisbees or water bottles. Create a bundle that provides exceptional value.

The final word

There is a large amount of corporate products available. If you are struggling to find the right one, or are simply overwhelmed by the total volume and sheer number of options available, then talk to someone at AAC ID Solutions.  Our team will work with you to find what you are looking for and help you achieve your goals. Using an extensive supply network, AAC will help you find the perfect item for your business.

Wristbands for the summer

Aquatic centres use of promotional products and wristbands

No matter what business you are in, there is always the potential to use promotional products to help expand your business. This is especially true in aquatic centres where there are a number of uses for wristbands, lanyards and personalised merchandise.

Aquatic Centres tend to cater to a large target market. The target market includes families, tourists, professionals, seniors to name a few. It can often be challenging to produce marketing collateral that appeals to this wide audience. However one thing they all have in common is they enjoy being active and take pleasure from attending the aquatic centre.

Based on this reasoning, it would be safe to say that the marketing approach an Aquatic Centre takes should be broad and varied. Any promotional products and merchandise produced should reflect this wide audience and more importantly, appeal to them.

In this article, we’ll explain how wristbands and merchandise can be profitable for a business such as Aquatic Centre. In addition we’ll explain how the products can help take your business into the 21st century by improving technology and overall efficiency.

First, let’s look at wristbands.

Wristbands at Aquatic Centres

The number of businesses using wristbands has increased quickly over the last few years.  Their main function in the context of an aquatic centre is for quick and easy identification for the large variety of customers they attract.

Having a clearly visible wristband helps staff to identify which visitors are allowed access to the different areas.  It could be that members can’t access certain areas such as the gym, sauna or steam rooms without a wristband that identifies you as a fully paying member.

Similarly, different coloured wristbands could identify non-paying members.  The patron can be ID quickly, with minimal fuss and from a distance.  Children and teenagers could have patterned wristbands.  This is especially useful to stop under-aged customers using equipment and facilities that they are not legally allowed to use, like a sauna or gym.

Wristbands are a very cost effective solution to help your staff, but they can also be used in conjunction with technology such as RFID. RFID is growing in popularity at aquatic centres all over Australia. With the appropriate systems and technology, a patron can scan their wristband to gain entrance to the centre. They can also be used for something as simple as scanning the wristband to use a locker. AAC ID Solution’s RFID wristbands are silicone with an RFID chip embedded within.

These wristbands add ease to accessing facilities because the visitor would not need a member of staff to grant them admittance.  They will not need to fumble around looking for a coin to use a locker.  Through this, you will free up staff to help other customers.  In addition, having the latest technology in wristbands will position your centre at the forefront of new technologies.

Another benefit is staffing levels, with potentially fewer staff required at reception and gate to control entrance, check ID, receive admission money etc.

Lanyards and ID cards at Aquatic Centres

Lanyards are a convenient and popular method of carrying an ID card.  They come in a multitude of colours, materials and styles to suit tastes and company branding.  Lanyards can even come with custom printed texts and images, which is very handy for promoting your business.  There are various material options including eco-friendly options.

Operating along the same principles as a wristband, ID cards will grant access where ever it is needed. There are many ID-related options available including overprinting individual names and details, including photos, magnetic strips, unique barcodes or even RFID chips. They would probably most benefit staff, as they can be used to gain entrance to restricted areas. Staff can also use them for till transactions, or for clocking in and out to record their working hours.  Holding the ID card on a lanyard stops people misplacing the card; it can sit around your neck all day (or be tied to a bag) and you don’t have to worry about losing it!

Merchandise at Aquatic Centres

Using merchandise is a great way to create  additional revenue.  Items such as water bottles, towels, T-shirts, swimming caps, draw-string bags, are all available to buy and customise.  Additionally, they promote your business, and people will soon start to recognise your brand and premises.  You could even give away an item to someone when they first sign up, or to win in a monthly competition.  If they are desirable enough, people will want them and buy them.

At AAC ID solutions, the full-colour beach towels have been creating 300% mark up for our clients. A great boost to income, especially during a low or off season.  Other items, like water bottles or custom bags, are popular as they can be used time and time again and are suitable in the context of an aquatic centre.

It’s important to make the items relevant when purchasing merchandise to sell. So, in your aquatic centre, consider if customers are more likely to purchase a swimming cap or a USB data pen? Also they need to be designed and branded in a way that is appealing to the prospective buyers.

Recent international studies have found that through clever use of merchandise, and promotional products, they can raise the recognition of your brand by up to 80%.  What this means for your business is that  you firstly receive the profit from selling the shirt/ water bottle/ beach towel (etc) and also gain recognition throughout the buyer’s friends and family networks.

Getting your brand recognised is one of the steps to a successful business.  Even a successful aquatic centre must have a noted and positive brand image.  Through using high-tech wristbands and quality merchandise, you provide your clients with a unique experience. This makes them more likely to come back for repeat business as well as recommending you to other potential clients.  Though wristbands and merchandise may seem like just another product, it is the little things that help a business thrive.

For access to more great articles, check back regularly!

Promo products

Promotional Products and their use in SMEs

With small businesses being the backbone of the Australian economy and accounting for around 95% of Australian business, it’s important SME’s manage their finances and marketing correctly to ensure longevity.

Australian SME Statistics:

  • 2,079,666 actively trading businesses in Australia at June 2013. 1
  • 2,050,642 businesses operating in June 2009, of which 62.9% still operating in June 2013. 1
  • 342,753 new business registrations during 2009-10, 47.5% were still operating in June 2013.1


Running a small-medium sized enterprise as a whole, can be challenging. One of the areas that many SME’s struggle with is trying to compete with the large businesses and global giants, with huge advertising budgets, who offer the same or similar products and services.  Keeping a steady stream of business just to keep afloat (disregarding the dream of a profit!), can seem like a never ending challenge.

Promotional products

Promotional products

The average small-medium business obviously does not have the same marketing and advertising budget as a large business. SME’s need to be creative with how they market and promote themselves to ensure they continue to reach their target market? A great option to consider is using Promotional Products to connect with prospects and leads.

How do Promotional Products improve business and brand recognition?

With a small advertising budget, it is hard to find an original and effective way of being remembered. Promotional products are a great way of leaving your mark with customers and clients.

In the past, promotional products were limited to mundane and unoriginal items like personalised pens or key rings.  Now, the range of promotional items has grown so vastly that you would be hard pressed not to find something that relates to your business.  You can find all kinds of promotional products that suit your business. From t-shirts to hats, dog leads to water bottles – the variety of branded products available in the market, has never been so diverse.

Promotional items can boost brand recognition more so than television or radio advertising. Therefore, customers are more likely to remember your business if you have left them with a promotional product.

Combining the low upfront costs of promotional products, with the wide reach of customers, the right promotional item for the right customer can be a valuable avenue for small-medium businesses.

Promotional Products are inexpensive

Rather than investing budget in marketing and advertising that doesn’t perform, promotional products are becoming cheaper for small-medium businesses to stock.  With a vast range of products available, this is the perfect time to capitalise on promotional products to advertise your business. Even if your budget is modest, there is bound to be something to suit your requirements.

Promotional Products can generate revenue

A small-medium business can use these products to generate income.  Strategies such as having free promotional products in gift bags, and selling associated promotional products can instantly help your bottom line, without too much effort. For example, if you own a gym or fitness centre, you could give away key rings or t-shirts, but sell promotional towels and water bottles.  There are so many different promotional products; it is easier to choose ones that relate to your business, and target markets, that will support the recognition of your brand.

Promotional Products can be used in a variety of ways

Promotional products can be used a variety of ways and are adaptable based on individual requirements and circumstances. With clever ‘out-side the box’ thinking, a small- medium business can make the most of their usefulness.

Custom Bags

Custom Bags

These products shouldn’t just be handed out to anyone. As an SME, you can use these promotional products to reach a new audience.  Supporting local community events is a great way of distributing the promotional products to a wide range of people. It also demonstrates that your business is linked with the local community. You then become a community member, rather than simply a business owner. People remember that kind of support.

There are hundreds of ways you can use promotional products for your business.  They are having an increasingly important role in marketing small-medium businesses.  Let’s look at the top 5 uses for promotional products.

1.    Launching new products or services.

A successful product launch needs to educate and alert prospective customers to the new product.  In addition to this, it needs to be memorable.  As discussed above, promotional products increase recognition. Using promotional products to launch your new product or service adds a ‘wow’ factor to your target market.

2.    For opening new accounts.

Reward new customers with free promotional products for joining up. It makes a good impression, adds value and creates a positive feeling towards your business.

3.    For re-activating inactive accounts. 

Similarly, you can encourage and reward ‘lost’ customers who come back to your business.

4.    Use in trade shows.

Using promotional products in trade shows increase traffic to your business.  Using innovative items is a great way to make a big impact.

5.    Use for name or business changes. 

While your company is going through major changes, it can be a worry that customers will forget, or not recognise the new brand.  Using promotional products can restore their awareness of your business and also go to reassure them that you are still open for business.

The final word

Overall, promotional products improve your relationship with your customer. They can help build customer loyalty and satisfaction by having something around to remember you with. It keeps your business firmly in the customer’s mind so the next time they need a product or service that you provide; they will contact you, rather than your competitors.

By having your logo printed on thousands of products, which allows many new and innovative ways to remind customers to do business with you. Of course, along with your brand or logo, you will want to incorporate a call to action wherever possible, which may be your phone number, website, or a social media profile of some kind. Promotional products help SME’s, quite literally, stay in front of customers, clients, suppliers and prospects. With some thought and consideration, they are certainly something that should be on every marketing agenda in 2015.

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Promotional products - mistakes

Promotional Products, the Top 5 Mistakes

We’re approached on a daily basis with companies asking us what they should use as a promotional product. That’s a good start. Too many companies plough ahead with promotional products that are not going to achieve the goals they set out to achieve. This is a real shame, because their failure could easily have been avoided. Not to mention all that money that could have been saved also.

Promotional Products Mistake #1: Not setting a goal

With any spending activity by your business, the first thing that needs to be ascertained is “what exactly are we trying to achieve here?”. Too many businesses come up with the idea for certain products (people write things down, let’s do pens!) without really considering what they are trying to achieve.

When setting goals or objectives it really comes down to whether the campaign you are planning can achieve something that is measurable or not.

Measurable objectives

Often promotional products are used as an incentive for greater purchases. They can also be used as an added value bonus when selling something. For these types of activities, it is easy to measure the success of the spend. Simply look at a comparable sales period before the use of promotional products and compare that to the period where promotional products were used. Did sales increase? Did they increase enough to justify the use of promotional products?


In most cases what you want to achieve won’t be a specific objective. It is very hard to collect tangible results with the dissemination of promotional products, but most campaigns will have a goal. This will normally boil down to trying to enhance brand awareness, or trying to associate the brand with a particular feeling, or closely with a particular market.

Promotional products - goals

Promotional products – goals

Whatever you are trying to achieve, write it down, discuss it and THINK about it. This will assist your decision making in terms of the next few decisions you need to make. But always come back to this goal or objective.

Promotional Products Mistake #2: Not understanding your target market

The next big mistake is forgetting about your target market. This might seem odd, but it happens. Businesses can get so caught up in trying to be cool and sexy that they forget most of their prospective customers are actually 58 year old middle managers / couch potatoes (depending on the industry of course!).

Thinking about how and why your branded promotional products might be used by customers is crucial. Producing something that is immediately thrown away or stored away for the foreseeable future is pointless, especially if the goal is to increase brand awareness.

Choosing popular, frequently used products is important. But they must also be popular and frequently used by your target market. Custom water bottles are increasingly popular, but may not be relevant to all target markets.

As with any marketing activity, put yourself in the position of the customer, or prospective customer. Ask yourself; will receiving this branded product be appreciated and will it enhance their opinion of your brand? If the answer is yes, then you’re on to a winner. Ignoring these questions will not end well.

Promotional Products Mistake #3: Going cheap and (not so) cheerful

It is important to maximise your budget and to make your investment in promotional products go as far as you possibly can. But cutting costs is often not compatible with maintaining good quality. As the famous diagram shows below, and that is often repeated on signs in various formats, customers should always be wary of something that seems good, cheap and fast!

Promotional products - good fast cheap?

Promotional products – good fast cheap?

The above is very consistent with the promotional products industry. As long as the above is understood, you can’t go wrong with your spending as you’ll know what to expect and in most cases, you’ll get what you expected!

Saving money is great, but remember; your brand is represented by the product you have purchased. If it is of inferior quality, poorly made or poorly printed, this is terrible for your brand.

Promotional Products Mistake #4: Not making the most of your artwork capabilities

Depending on the product you have chosen, find out from your supplier what the limitations and capabilities are with the customisation process. How much space can you take up, how many colours can you utilise, how complex can the artwork be?

These will all be determined by the product chosen and the method of customisation – screen printing, offset printing, digital printing, heat transfer, embroidery etc – they all have their own unique limitations and capabilities.

Once you have a firm grasp of what is possible, take advantage of it! As a manufacturer and printer of products, our biggest regret is seeing companies putting forward dull, one colour artwork. When really they could be really pushing themselves and creating full colour, vibrant artwork that will promote their brand to much greater effect.

If you lack the design skills, ask your supplier to help, or even pay someone to do it for you. It is well worth investing in a proper design.

Promotional Products Mistake #5: Getting your colours wrong

There is a good chance that the colours of your logo or imagery are quite important to you. As such, you probably want the colour of your promotional products to match this very carefully, whether in production or print.

It is a common mistake to be very nonchalant with colours and simply ask for “red”, when actually what you want for your lanyards is Red PMS 032C. There can be a considerable difference in shades of a colour, and this can also vary depending on the type of product involved and the method of printing.

Take some time to discuss colours with your supplier and to make sure that you are getting what you expect, and that it matches your existing branding as closely as possible.

Final word

Spending your hard earned revenue on promotional products is something that should be taken very seriously. Avoiding the mistakes above will ensure that your money is well spent, and that you’ll enjoy a suitable ROI.

For the latest industry news and insights, check back. For information on promotional products, talk to AAC at sales@aacidsolutions.com or 1300 797 478.

Power of Promotional Products

The Power of Promotional Products

The Power of Promotional Products

Promotional products are one of the key tools at your disposal when it comes to generating brand awareness. Some products are more effective than others, and here are a few statistics that might be of interest.

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Power of Promotional Products

Power of Promotional Products

Custom Hats and Promotional Products

Custom Hats and the Art of Wearing a Brand

It’s a funny concept. Asking a prospect, customer, member or supplier to wear your brand sounds ridiculous, unless you’re a Nike or Manchester United. So why then do thousands of companies spend money on branded promotional products every year with the specific intention of encouraging people to wear their brand. This may entail wearing t-shirts, custom hats, pair of socks, sweatbands, a headband or lanyards. Anything from a construction company, to an accountant or a pet shop, will take a chance that you might be willing to become a walking billboard.

The branding and awareness benefits to a company are obvious – having someone walking around wearing your brand, in whatever product you see fit, is a tremendously powerful marketing statement. It’s a living, breathing, in your face, advocate for your company, your brand and your services. By choosing to wear your brand a customer, member, supplier etc is announcing to the world “this company is awesome, buy things from this company, I do and I’m awesome too!”.

But why would someone choose to wear branded promotional products like this? The first answer is simple and not the most flattering… we’re all suckers for free stuff! It’s true. Here at AAC we have a small glass bowl full of AAC branded lanyards and silicone wristbands and we find ourselves re-stocking it every Monday. And to be honest, we really don’t have a huge amount of walk in traffic, we look after the majority of our customers online and by phone and email. But the products are right there, screaming at the visitor ‘take me, I’m free, you never know when you might need me!”. And they do.

The same is true of other traditional merchandise items like hats, shirts etc. If they’re free, we take them. At a golf day last year sponsored by the Gold Coast Titans, one of the holes was sponsored by a stretch Hummer company and instead of staffing the display they simply left a range of free t-shirts out for the golfers to take. We may have been the 5th group through and the carnage that greeted us when we arrived was of epic proportions; people had ransacked the display for the right size, colours etc and no doubt had taken extras for their wives, kids etc. A free t-shirt display, evidently, does not bring out the best in humanity!

But did I grab t-shirts for myself and my wife? Yes, yes I did. It was free after all!

Custom Hats

Custom hats are one of the most popular promotional giveaways in the world, especially in climates with sunny weather. They combine two important factors that attract people:

1. They are functional

2. They are fashionable

Sport teams will often include hats in their membership packs because the members receiving them have a very high likelihood of wearing the hat often. It provides exceptional exposure for the brand, especially in towns where multiple teams and sports may be fighting for market share. The added benefit for a sport team, for instance, is that often the colour is a major brand association device – we associate gold and purple with the LA Lakers, Red with Manchester United etc. What a sports club wants is to see a wave of colour when the team appears on TV, and these kinds of giveaways allow this to happen.

At an Australian Wallabies game last year, Rugby Australia decided to hand out yellow body suits to everyone who wanted them. I already had my Wallabies jersey on so managed to refrain from wearing mine, but my wife immediately put hers on, becoming entirely yellow in the process. It was more like a radioactive lab suit than anything else, but with 50% of the crowd participating and wearing the suits, the spectators on TV saw a wall of yellow, which makes for great TV and encourages people at home to perhaps attend the game in person next time.

Hats are ideal as a promotional product because they are immediately visible to anyone else near the wearer. With the right customisation, a brand can be printed on the front, sides and back, creating a 360 degree billboard.

The keys to making sure your brand is worn

Of course, whilst we are all pretty keen to get our hands on free merchandise, we do have standards. For a company looking to turn their brand in to a wearable brand, it’s important that a few key rules are followed:

Rule 1: Use a product that is popular within your target market. Giving out free bandanas to advertise your nursing home might not quite hit the right buttons.

Rule 2: Use a quality product. Going for something cheap and cheerful might sound like a good idea at the time but remember, your brand is represented on the product and therefore so is your reputation. The last thing you want associated with your brand is a t-shirt with a lopsided logo and faded colour, or custom hats that are too small and have stitching coming off at all angles.

Rule 3: Don’t go on the offensive. You don’t want to offend people with a misunderstood joke or something else that could associate your brand with the wrong feelings. For maximum benefit, go simple with popular colours like white and black, and with your logo or message displayed tastefully.

Rule 4: Whilst keeping the above rules in mind, try to be creative in some way. A clever word play or memorable message goes a long way to ensuring your branded gear is worn.

Rule 5: Don’t forget to mention who you are! It’s a common mistake that a lot of companies make; whilst your name and brand might make a lot of sense to you, for someone who has never heard of you, you will need to explain who and what you are. I once saw custom hats branded to “Silverstar Service – your expert in service” alongside a big silver star. To this day, I have no idea what they did. Include a mention of your core product or service alongside a phone number and website URL. You may as well give people a chance to find you!

Branded promotional products can become wearable advertising – just do it right. Talk to AAC ID Solutions for more ideas on how to achieve this.

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PMS Colour Chart

PMS Colours for Wristbands & Promotional Products

PMS colours are the heart and soul of any branded product design process. If you have ever worked on a logo or design and been tasked with asking a promotional products company to get that design on a product, you will be well aware of this! But what is a PMS colour?

Looking for a PMS Colour Chart

PMS stands for Pantone Matching System and was devised by a company called Pantone. Basically,  it is a standardized colour reproduction system that has been universally accepted within the graphics and printing industries. By standardising the colours, everyone has access to the same reference points when talking about colours and shades, ensuring consistency in the printing and design process. In the same way that we expect a Big Mac in Miami to taste the same as a Big Mac in Paris, consistency is paramount!

Viewing PMS Colours

PMS Colour Chart

PMS Colour Chart

The best way to determine a desired PMS colour is to use a PMS guide. Produced annually by Pantone, the PMS guide, consists of many 15cm x 5cm strips of cardboard bound into a small ‘fan deck’. On each of the strips are several colours, varying in shades, and with a PMS reference underneath it. Pantone recommends that new books are purchased annually (of course they would, so would we!), due to the tendency of the colours to veer towards a yellow hue over time. The PMS guide is a great reference to have nearby when you are working on branded products.

PMS colour inconsistencies

Many people view PMS charts on their computer, via a range of sources as they are published in quite a few places. The problem with viewing PMS colour charts on a computer monitor is that everyone has different settings on their screens. Whilst a PMS colour might look red to you, on another monitor it could appear maroon, or certainly a different shade of red. And when it comes to PMS colours, especially with regards branding, choosing colours that are 4-5 shades off is the difference between a good job and a bad job!

When you need to match a PMS colour to something in your hands, it is always advisable to track down a proper PMS Guide Book.

PMS colours for wristbands

When it comes to wristbands, the key consideration is the printing method, because not all wristband suppliers can generate wristbands in the PMS colour of your choosing. Most will supply a range of stock colours that are then overprinted with your desired artwork, logo, message etc.

Wristband base colours (certainly for Tyvek wristbands) should be manufactured and printed on a flexographic printer, as this also allows for the production of fluro or neon colours, which are crucial within the wristband industry when it comes to identifying youths, or people at night time events. So any wristband supplier who actually manufactures their own wristbands, like AAC ID Solutions, will have the capability to produce wristbands using a specific PMS colour, but this is limited to high quantities.

For small quantities of wristbands printed with a specific PMS colour, only a screen printed or digitally printed wristband will be able to get close. A digital wristband like a photo image adhesive wristband is printed on a commercial-level digital printing press and can produce any PMS colour almost perfectly, though it will not be able to produce true fluro colours. With screen printed wristbands, PMS-matched ink colours can be ordered, so this can incur an additional cost for the consumer. Alternatively, the supplier may be able to mix an appropriate match for the desired ink colours using the existing inks at their facility.

An added consideration when PMS matching ink colours on wristbands is the curing process. Lacquer based inks cure via evaporation and so are sent through a dryer/heater after printing. The curing process can darken the ink colour a little. UV inks (commonly used to print plastic or vinyl wristbands) are cured under UV lamps, and the effect on the print colour is less pronounced.

PMS colours for  promotional products

PMS matching on wristbands is pretty uncommon. But PMS matching on promotional products is central to almost every production run or every product you can imagine. For many promotional products, the customisation method uses screen or offset printing in which case reproducing the correct PMS colour is quite straightforward. The tricky part comes when the product available can be produced using a series of available colours, which a PMS colour then has to be matched to.

Take, for instance, sweatbands. Sweatbands are made from a polyester thread, of which there are a specific range of colours available. The threads are pre dyed and held in stock ready to be used on customised jobs. Whilst the range is very good, it does not match the 1,000+ colours in a PMS Colour Chart. In these cases, it is often necessary to compare the thread samples alongside a physical PMS Colour Guide in order to closely match the PMS colours.

And this is where problems can occur. it takes a good judge of colour to really match a thread to a PMS colour, as we all interpret and see colours slightly differently. This is also where using a computer monitor to view PMS colours becomes problematic. We have many customers who have seen a colour they like on a custom bag or woven wristband, for instance, and held this product up to a monitor to match a PMS colour. In almost all cases, it is not as close a match as they thought.

Fun fact

PMS Colour of the year

PMS Colour of the year

Did you know that every year a Colour of the year is selected. Rather then influence design and fashion, the colour though normally reflects existing tastes.

In case you were wondering, your current colour of the year is apparently Radiant Orchid!

So there you go.

Working with the right supplier

The key to all this is working with the right supplier. If you have been provided specific PMS colours from your branding and design teams, then fair enough, but if you have had to guess PMS colours based on old files or products, please tell your supplier so that they can work with you to ensure the PMS colours care correct. This way, your wristbands and promotional products will arrive at your office and look exactly like you expected them to!

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Promotional Products Gold Coast

Custom Water Bottles, Latest Global News

What is happening in the non-stop, ever changing (ish), world of custom water bottles? Actually quite a lot and as ever, here we are to present your global news round up of all things water bottles. In this post we find lessons on quality vs cost, robots removing the need for water bottles, water bottles saving the planet and also being used to promote youtube. What a diverse and exciting product! Let’s begin.

The Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games are in full swing. As a side note, congratulations to Team Australia for a stunning first week, especially in the pool. Of course, along with any big event, there comes a plethora of branded merchandise. Many events like this rely very heavily on the funds generated from their merchandise sales, so it becomes quite an undertaking to source the right kinds of products at the right price, and then to sell them at a reasonable margin. Of course, with such a large one-off event, organizers have the temptation to charge through the roof for their products since, what else are consumers going to buy instead?

Merchandise and promotional products are selling well at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, with much of the feedback being on the quality of the products. A key element of merchandise is always to strike the right balance between quality and price; trying to sell low quality products at high prices will soon leave a bad taste in the mouths on consumers, whereas selling quality goods at fair prices will encourage consumers to spend more, safe in the knowledge that the money they are spending is obtaining quality goods.

As the Herald Scotland reports, feedback has been good on most products, though custom water bottles did come in for some criticism as a product due to the cost. This was clearly one product where the cost/value ratio was overestimated and will probably hurt their sales accordingly. Watch this space; guaranteed it will be a product that starts getting discounted towards the end of the Games as the event tries to release the stock they have committed to in advance!

Robots stealing our jobs again!

Who doesn’t need a water bottle? Maybe soon ball boys and ball girls at tennis tournaments. If this newly released design concept comes to fruition, water bottles will become a thing of the past in the “ball collection industry” with robots poised to shunt unknowing ball boys and girls to the side. Blast you robots, when will you stop taking jobs away from hard working humans?! It is our belief though, following some pretty lengthy analysis, that the water bottle industry will survive this latest attempt by the machines to turn the tables on their rightful masters.

Custom water bottles – heroes, saviours – thank you.

Water bottles are saving the planet. Just call them the Avengers of the promotional product world, minus capes, spandex suits and questionable acting.

Thousands of events like this are turning to custom water bottles to cut down on the rubbish and pollution caused by needlessly using standard disposable plastic water bottles, many of which do not end up being recycled. This is especially true at races, fun runs, charity walks, marathons etc, where promotional water bottles can be handed out to competitors and fans. Even better, they can be sold as an item of merchandise.

The key with any item of merchandise is to ensure that the product is relevant to the target market. What could be more relevant to a race than a custom water bottle? There is a captive market, an obvious need and the promotional item in question solves that need in a very clear and targeted manner.

Promoting online services

Water bottles are such a popular product they are even recommended as a promotional tool to promote your youtube channel! It’s a real endorsement for the effectiveness of the product as a means of generating or maintaining brand awareness that even an online focused marketing initiative can effectively promote itself by handing out branded drinking devices! Stand down SEO, social media and Facebook advertising, you cannot match water bottles for their sheer usefulness as a promotional vehicle!

Custom water bottles for kids

Water bottles are becoming more prevalent amongst school children, driven by one main factor; health. Water is the best possible fluid for students to consume during the school day; especially in comparison to sugar-heavy soft drinks and artificial fruit drinks. Most schools now expect students to bring their own water bottles to school; especially amongst the younger years, this emphasises the importance of hydrating, but also encourages students to take responsibility for their own hydration. In hot countries like Australia, this is crucial.

The sooner children are educated about the importance of drinking water, and the effects of not, it will become ingrained in their daily activities. At my daughters school, where she started first grade this year, it is actually compulsory for each student to bring a water bottle, along with a hat and suncream. It also provides the teachers a great opportunity to discuss germs, and how they can be spread by sharing drinks.

Of course, the benefit of custom water bottles within the world of kids is that they can be custom printed and branded with characters, colours and messages that appeal to that target market. This also offers a great chance for organisations and brands related to movies, TV shows, toys etc to really expand their brand. Many resorts now have kids clubs, and (along with custom beach towels), custom water bottles are the most popular item marketed to the kids.

Water bottles, as long as you’re buying BPA free, are a healthy option for students due to the low risk of algae build up, allowing mum and dad to wash the bottle when needed in order to extend it’s lifespan. The money saved vs buying disposable water bottles really adds up over time, as does the environmental impact and carbon footprint.

For more information about water bottles, and how they might be the right promotional product or merchandise for your business, talk to AAC.

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Promotional products

Adding Value to a Membership with Promotional Items

In a previous life, before entering the world of wristbands, lanyards and promotional items here at AAC ID Solutions, I launched and managed a hospitality and leisure focused membership program that provided benefits to a membership of 5,000+ people. The key to it’s success (the membership was eventually sold to a multinational timeshare company) was the concept of value.

As a rule, we bulldozed through the pre-existing model for the industry, which at the time focused on quantity of benefits over the quality of them; if you were happy with a 7% discount off an Italian restaurant on the outskirts of town valid between 2pm and 3.30pm on Tuesdays only, then you were in luck, unless it was a public holiday in which case the discount became just 5%. Our plan was to focus on value and simplicity. We signed a limited number of partners (restaurants, hotels, spas and golf courses) and would only welcome them to the program if they committed to offer a “buy one, get one” benefit to all members, all the time. The value of the membership became a tremendous selling point.

It’s funny how relevant this same concept is even now as we support hundreds of membership based companies here in Australia with their membership products, because the key to a successful membership remains rooted to the ability to add value.

The crucial benefit that comes with a well run membership, where the members feel like they receive exceptional value for their membership fee, is RETENTION. Retention is the holy grail of membership management. It has been proven time and again that trying to secure a new member is approximately 10 times more expensive that retaining an existing member. Memberships with high retention rates also benefit from being able to plan for effectively, secure in the knowledge that their revenue will remain stable.

The two most obvious ways to add value to a membership relate to the quality of service provided, but then also the tangible ‘goodies’ that a member receives as part of their membership.

Adding Value Through Quality Service

It may seem incredibly obvious, but the easiest way to add value to a membership is to offer good service. A fitness centre that employs well trained, friendly and knowledge team members, who maintains a spotlessly clean environment and who maintains equipment to a very high level will retain members. Many fitness centres also offer special “member events” now, where the goal is, again, to add value to the membership in order to reduce the chances of members looking elsewhere.

Memberships that offer little in the way of service and support to their members qill quickly find themselves in trouble with high rates of member abandonment.

Adding Value with Promotional Products and Items

Members love goodies! We all love goodies. But did you know that, especially in the service industry, promotional products and merchandise actually offer a membership the greatest opportunity to provide their members with something TANGIBLE.

The key to determining what kind of value a promotional product might have to a member is perception and relevance. Some products have a low monetary value but a high perceived value. A good example of this is custom towels, and as a promotional item, custom towels are very effective. In this respect, we refer more to beach towels rather than the small gym towels. A large, full colour beach towel is something that provides high perceived value but does not need to cost a fortune. Relevance of a promotional item is the second factor in determining the value of it. The more relevant a product is to the recipient, and the more functional/useful, then a higher value will be attributed to it by the member. A great example of this is custom water bottles for the fitness industry or sweatbands for a running club.

How Should Promotional Products be Used?

Whilst it is clear that providing goodies to members is a great way to add value to a membership, it needs to be done with a clear strategy in mind. Of course, the most common timing for the distribution of promotional products is when a member is first joining a membership, or when they have renewed their membership. Positioned as incentives, these kind of products can make the difference between a success and a fail when it comes to signing and retaining members.

A welcome pack is a common marketing tool used by memberships, often containing their member cards, plus a series of relevant branded products aiming to 1) provide brand awareness and exposure for the membership and 2) add value to the membership in order to offset the signing up cost.

A key mistake that we recommend is avoided is using the same promotional items year after year. There is no reason for a membership to give out exactly the same custom bag to a member repeatedly; once is enough. The following year, some variety should be incorporated as this not only maintains the value of the gift (imagine what little value a member puts on receiving the same product they received the year before?), but demonstrates that some thought and effort has gone in to the retention of the member.

For high value memberships, such as VIP road assistance offered by car companies, we have even seen 100% personally promotional products like key rings, business folders etc, complete with the name of the member emblazoned across the product. These kinds of touches are greatly appreciated by members and firmly position the brand and relationship with the member.

Another pitfall, as discussed in the introduction, if going for quantity over quality. Too many businesses are just looking for something “cheap” to provide their members, as though the very action of giving them a 50c pen is going to impress them. Not only does that product offer very little in terms of value to the member, it can actually harm the relationship.

A happy member equals a good membership. Using promotional products in the right way allows a membership to add value to their initial offering, increasing the chances of member retention. For more information, talk to AAC ID Solutions.

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