Tangible X’s & O’s are Better

Tangible X’s & O’s are Better

Why Tangible X’s & O’s are Better

As Valentine’s Day approaches for 2018, love is in the air, and on the mind.

Most people would agree that an actual hug and kiss are much better to have than a series of XOXO’s on a page, or in a card. Both convey the same sentiment but the first one is more tangible and personal.

If I can have the first I won’t settle for the second from any loved one. We humans like to have our senses stimulated by touch, sound, and smell, not just sight. It’s why we shake hands, pat a buddy on the back, caress a cheek and speak to each other. (notwithstanding some young peoples’ propensity to text you while you are both in the same room).

This also holds true for how we relate to companies and brands. We are daily bombarded by messages, many of them digital. We can see them, we can hear them, but we can’t touch them. There is this tactile component that is missing from the experience. Have you ever watched television and wished it could be smell-o-vision? We see a lovely steak on the grill and want to experience more of it. Our minds come alive when we can perceive with more senses.

Think about making popcorn.

You hear it popping in the maker, you see the kernels flying into the air, you smell the toasted corn, you touch the warm morsels and taste the finished product that is lavishly sprinkled with melted butter and salt. It’s a complete experience that involves all the senses. Your brain gets hooked and the next time someone is making popcorn in the next room your brain starts wanting it before the smell even begins to waft into the room.

If your brand were popcorn, people would be lining up to consume. We are like Pavlovian dogs over it. When movie theaters can sell a bucket of inferior quality for north of $10, you know that we are conditioned to be hooked on the stuff.

If you just saw a picture of popcorn on a magazine page would you be as prone to want some? Doubtful. You are only experiencing it with one sense, and as great as sight is it doesn’t communicate the full embodiment of all that fresh popcorn is.

So, if your brand is mostly digital, or print, or broadcast, what is missing from the user experience?

I call it tangibility.

That is a sweet word that communicates all the interconnected ways that our senses build a complete picture of a message. When our brains have more to latch onto we get a richer, fuller experience.

You ask, how can brands be more tangible? Good question, wise one. You blend print messages with tangible products and in the process, you create mental staying power, and lasting impressions. Look at your desktop or briefcase right now. I bet you have a pen with a hotel name on it (those are free, right?); or a notepad from the last conference you attended; maybe you are wearing a garment with a logo on it.

You are already experiencing those messages in more tangible ways. Your Starbucks mug, your Audi keychain, your Eagles cap (sorry, Pats fans) are all ways that we build relationships with brands. We like the brand, we like the gear. The one feeds the other in a reciprocating relationship.

As a business owner or marketer, you are looking for ways to raise brand awareness, create lasting connections between your message and your audience, and grow revenue. In our digitally saturated world, going old school can help. Start sending hand-written notes again. Build excitement and anticipation by mailing dimensional products to your prospects. Everyone likes to open a box. It reminds them of getting presents as a child.

Use custom branded apparel and company logo gear to reward key team members in public. It will be remembered long after the gear is gone. You are creating experiences for people to engage your brand, your message, and your culture.

And while you are working on creating stronger tangible connections, don’t forget to hug and kiss those you love the most this Valentine’s Day, and every day.

If you want to see how being more tangible can help your brand, talk to us today. We like to help brands create stronger connections and make lasting impressions.

XOXO,
Aly Salz, CEO

The difference between price and cost

The difference between price and cost

We all want to get the best products for the lowest price.

It’s human nature. The problem with our logic is that at times we engage in activities that actually cost us more, even though we think we are saving money.

This is called confusing price and cost. The price is what you pay in dollars and cents at the point of sale. It can include the product, shipping costs, and taxes. The cost is what the transaction actually exacts from us over the long-run. A lower price product or service can actually end up costing much more.

 

Let’s look at custom promo swag. You find a great price online so you place the order. What could go wrong?

Well, actually quite a few things. First, the product might not be exactly suitable for your needs and there may be several other better ideas for your purposes, but a computer interface doesn’t know that. Only a thoughtful conversation with a trained product specialist can help uncover the products and services that will make your gear purchase perform optimally and meet your outcomes. Missed delivery dates, wrong imprint colors, poor communication and incorrect shipping addresses all are common complaints of those using online only providers. Your cost includes your time. Not to mention the price of stress when you can’t reach a real person to deal with an issue.

 

“What’s the alternative?” you ask.

Good question. Browse online, if you like, to get an idea of the types of products that are available. Then speak with a real human, the same human who will walk you through art requirements, help you consider packaging options and point you only toward products that come from respected industry providers. Yes, there are thousands of promo items available on the open market, but only a portion of them come from socially compliant, environmentally aware, high customer service companies.

When you want a quality product, a great experience, and a better overall value, work with an established company, one that has been providing excellence in product support and knowledge for almost thirty years. Yep, since 1989 we’ve been helping companies brand their success with custom identity gear, promo swag, and uniforms. To start the conversation today, just click here.

How to Choose a New Uniform Provider

How to Choose a New Uniform Provider

(Disclaimer: yes, we are a uniform provider, but stick with us. This is helpful info no matter who you work with.)

Uniforms have been around since the dawn of civilization and for good reason. They help people quickly discern which team you are on and what your role is. In our modern era, uniforms still have a significant role in shaping the way your customers view your organization. The apparel you provide shapes your brand’s perception and tells your employees that they are important to you.

Uniforms are not just for uniformity. They add a professional air, communicate key messages, and make getting dressed for work a no-brainer. Employees like receiving them and consider branded apparel a nice perk. Not only is it a benefit but it can help in your employee retention efforts, too. When used well, your uniforms can aid the bottom line while helping tell your brand story within your four walls and in the community.

Since branding is so important, you need a partner that can help optimize your apparel and take advantage of the opportunities that uniforms provide in telling your best customers who you are as an organization.

In the past, you needed two firms to help you do it right: a brand marketing firm to help shape your brand voice and create your graphics, and a uniform company to produce the apparel and fulfill orders. Now you can have both in one provider. Righteous brings both sides together to seamlessly create branded apparel programs that clearly reflect your brand vibe and values, and deliver products to you when you need them.

 

When choosing a uniform provider, ask if these 5 critical benefits are present:

 

  1. Design and Creative In-House – create your brand aesthetic and translate that into products that create brand champions for you
  2. Production in the latest decorating techniques – beyond screen printing and embroidery, there is LASER, DTG, sewn-on labels, heat seal applications and more
  3. Online Stores – either B2B or B2C portals with best in class functionality to make ordering and checking out a breeze; we help you grow your brand.
  4. Fulfillment Services that are close to you –  From our US locations we reach over 90% of the population in 2 days or less with ground freight. This saves you money and gets your product to you quickly.
  5. Custom manufacturing coupled with Ready-to-wear means you can have a unique look that differentiates you from your competition. We build from the ground up.

 

If you are ready to find a new uniform provider, and think Righteous may be a good fit, contact us today.

Alternative shades to Black

Alternative shades to Black

Black is a tried and true apparel option. Most everyone looks good in black, almost all imprint colors look great on it, and it appeals to a wide audience of users. On the other hand, it is also a color that can sometimes come across as too harsh, or boring.

An up-and-coming trend is replacing black with alternative dark shades. One such option is black heather. This colorway (shown above, middle) lightens up the black color, and provides additional contrast. This is a really popular option with colleges, restaurant retail, and athletic programs.

Another great substitute is classic navy blue. A rich apparel color can bring out the colors in your design, and can even feel refreshing.

Some additional colors that are currently popular are: charcoal, athletic heather and heather brown.

Optimizing Light Ink on Dark Tees

Optimizing Light Ink on Dark Tees

It is common knowledge in this industry that white ink requires two layers in order to be bright and vibrant, but why?

Light colored plastisol inks are in-between transparent and opaque when applied correctly to dark garments. In order for the ink to cure at the proper temperature, a base layer must be applied, flashed by a heating unit, and then printed one more time with the same layer.

Imagine you are painting a wall which is black. Any white paint is going to require you to put a base layer down, then wait for it to dry, and then apply your second coat. With the print flash print method for T-shirts, we are able to add that second coat in a quick and effective manner, to ensure our prints come out clean, crisp, and bright for the world to see.

Sizing Smarts

Sizing Smarts

You are reading a description of a shirt you like and you run across the phrase “junior sizing” or “European cut” and you wonder what does that mean. Well, it’s an excellent question if you want your garment to fit properly. Junior sizing is a term used for young women’s apparel that designates items as suitable for a smaller frame. In some cases a much smaller frame. For comparison sake, a junior size Large might be equivalent to a women’s standard size Small. This is why sizing charts are critical when gathering sizing for your team. Fortunately, many items that are sized for juniors also have counterparts or similar items available for average sized adults as well.

European Cut is another way to say “Slim Cut” and just means that the garment is intentionally cut to be worn closer to the body. This tends to be a nice selling feature for young men, but can provide a challenge for more seasoned gentlemen. When you are fit and trim you might want to show off your physique, hence the retail trend for trimmer cut shirts in the young men’s department.  When in doubt, order a sample for sizing your team. We send them right to your office and when you are done you just pop them back in the mail to us.