Can Promotional Clothing become High Fashion?

Can Promotional Clothing become High Fashion?

DHL Promotional T-ShirtHave you ever wondered what place promotional clothing has in high fashion? Well if your conclusion is absolutely none, as a matter of fact, you would be mistaken! What if I told you in 2016 French high fashion designer Vetements, debuted their latest clothing creation, a simple yellow t-shirt, donning the logo of a worldwide popular logistics company. In fact it actually opened their Spring/Summer 2016 fashion show in Paris. Vetements a brand that is worn by A-list celebrities and featured in Vogue Magazine not only opened their fashion show with this t-shirt, but went then went on to sell these t-shirts for 185 dollars each.

Worldnet Promotional HoodieAccording to Vogue magazine there is a new branded garment from another worldwide delivery company that's also getting attention in 2017. Worldnet International is a premiums logistics company that specialises in the world of fashion, retail and technology.

Due to its already well known image in the fashion industry, its blue hoodie started making its way around the industry. The blue hoodie with the Worldnet logo was the brainchild of Brand Manager Gary Craughwell. The hoodie started out as a comfortable uniform for the drivers, and as the hoodie gained exposure, it also gained popularity amongst the company's clientel. Soon everyone wanted a Worldnet hoodie from Calvin Klein to Alexander Wang, but the strange part is, the hoodie is not actually for sale and were available by request only. They became so popular that they created a request section on the website, and within very little time were left with no stock.

What I love about the Worldnet hoodie story, is they completely embraced the popularity of their branded clothing, their accidental popularity led to a great social media trend. They even started up their own hashtag #OnWednesdaysWeWearWorldnet, sharing all posts of people wearing their now fashionable promotional hoodie.

What better advocate for promotional clothing than this news story? I for one did not know who Worldnet were until I saw the hoodie which has now appeared in vogue magazine, on several popular blogs and all over social media in front of a worldwide audience. This is an amazing example of promotional merchandise advertising being immensely amplified through social media trends. 


Psychology of Gift Giving, Father’s Day Edition: Are Dads Worth Less?

Psychology of Gift Giving, Father’s Day Edition: Are Dads Worth Less?

With this Sunday being Father’s day, people around the world in 70 different countries will celebrate the wonder of fatherhood by giving a card and/or gift of some sort to their fathers/father figures. Interestingly these gifts honouring that paternal bond are statistically a third less valuable than the gifts given to mothers on mother day, the National Retail Federation in the US states that approximately £146 is spent on average on gifts for Mother’s Day, but only £106 on average is spent on Father’s Day gifts.

Fathers DaySo why is this, is it because we love our mothers more than our fathers? Well Dr Lars Perner, consumer psychologist thinks it is because we think our mothers deserve more being spent on them, being the larger contributor to home life, whilst at the same time fathers are less gift orientated, less likely to want to receive memorable expensive trinkets or a bouquet of flowers.

Gift Giving

Professor Kyle Murray has identified that although the gap between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gifts is quite large, it is continuously diminishing with more and more emphasis being put into Father’s Day gifts. This could be because the as traditional gender roles are changing, Fathers are contributing more and more to home life, thus subconsciously gift givers feel more inclined to spend lavishly to show their appreciation on Father’s Day. Companies are not completely oblivious to this fact either, retailers have noticed the trend and the results are evident with marketing and promotions ramping up for Father’s Day as it becomes ‘a more active spending occasion.’ In the UK, £658 million was spent on Father’s Day in 2014, this increased to £684 million in 2015, an increase of £26 million in just one year.

Being in the promotional product industry the science and psychology behind gift giving is not only incredibly interesting but extremely important. When it comes to promotional gifts we find that products with a high perceived value seem to excel when giving gifts at an executive and senior level. Whilst at the same time the more affordable giveaways thrive at events and exhibitions. I think the point this article addresses is that whether it is subconscious or not gift giving is and should be recipient centric, with gifts being based on the individual and what you think would be appropriate for them (budget dependant!) and it just so happens that gifts fathers like, happen to be more budget friendly!

Whilst the rest of the country votes, today we bring you the scoop on the political parties’ merchandise choices!

Whilst the rest of the country votes, today we bring you the scoop on the political parties’ merchandise choices!

Union Jack MugToday in the UK millions of people will be visiting polling stations across the country exercising their democratic right to vote for their chosen political party. Each party has their own manifesto, idea on how to run the country, and criticisms of the other parties. One thing they do have in common however is that they all have campaign merchandise! Here at BTC Group we’re always interested in the use of promotional merchandise for all kinds of reasons, with political use being one of them.

Earlier last year we came across an interesting article showing the differences of use of merchandise between the political parties in USA, with Donald Trump spending over 1 million dollars on his campaign merchandise with 268,000 dollars spent on caps alone! As if this wasn’t enough Trump last month announced he was launching a Swag Subscription Box, entitled the “big league box” containing a ‘handpicked bundle of trump merchandise’ for the price of 69 dollars a month. Now we don’t expect the UK campaigners’ promotional products to be as extravagant, but it is very interesting to see how each party uses merchandise, and where they place their emphasis on product choice. In order to do this I will be checking out each constituency’s merchandise shop.

Labour BalloonStarting with the Labour webshop, the first thing you notice when you visit their products page is information, information, information. Almost all of the products on the first page of their shop are leaflets and posters containing information on their manifesto, education reforms and some leaflets containing information on why not to vote for the other parties. The promo product that did make it to page one are balloons, which is not surprising as promotional balloons provide an inexpensive way to visibly have your brand seen. In the world of politics even without seeing the printed logo, just the colour of the balloon can identify which party is being promoted. The labour party shop has 4 more pages with merchandise e.g. pens, stickers, mugs, t-shirts etc. totalling a healthy selection of over 80 products to choose from.

Conservative Coasters

At first glance of the Conservative webshop it appears to be a bright, attractive page to buy merchandise from. When you delve deeper into the Conservative webshop you realise is it is actually a print on demand offering, which unless you were in the promotional product industry wouldn’t be easily identifiable. Print on demand websites definitely have their benefits as you can have a product with hundreds of different designs and choose the design you want. For the constituency it means minimal risk as they do not have to stock printed product and therefore do not need storage, or have to pay an initial outlay for the products. The challenges that a print on demand website has is there is a lack in diversity of product, under no fault other than the technology doesn’t exists just yet to personalise the 150,000+ products that are on the promotional market on demand. The other challenge is when you are buying products to stock you are getting a consolidated reduced price, therefore can sell products at a cheaper rate, with printed products on demand, you are not benefitting from economies of scale therefore the price of products is proportionately higher, unless there is a minimum order quantity to achieve a price point.

Liberal Democrat BadgeWhen you find yourself on the Liberal Democrat’s webshop you will notice their product offering is considerably less than the other parties, with 23 products in total. Giving a smaller range generally isn’t a bad thing. A Study by TED speaker Sheena Lyengar in 1995 shows that shoppers are more likely to purchase jam from a small selection of flavours rather than a large selection. We know that all studies are situational and may not work in every instance, but it might work here for the Liberal Democrat merchandise. The second thing I notice is their product range is very similar to the product ranges we put together for charities, containing products like badges, fundraising boxes, keyrings, pens, clipboards, balloons, flags and bags, all products we have actually stocked for a charity client of ours. These products are considered the essentials for campaigning; the one thing that I see lacking from these essentials is t-shirts. Campaigning t-shirts are at the forefront of the other stores but for one reason or another is not included in the Liberal Democrat offering.

It is very interesting to see how different each parties’ choices are when it comes to their campaigning merchandise, and how each party has placed emphasis on different products and how to sell them. No matter whom you’re voting for today, we implore you to exercise your democratic right, visit your local polling station and place your vote!

Can Wearing A Pink Hoodie Relax You?

Can Wearing A Pink Hoodie Relax You?

Behavioural Photobiology can be defined as the study of the link between identifiable colours and behaviour in animals and humans. In 1969 Dr Alexander Schauss developed the theory that since changes in human emotions are related to the endocrine system (collection of glands in your body that produce hormones that regulate growth, metabolism, sleep, mood, reproduction etc.) that colours could therefore be used to cause hormonal changes in humans.

Baker Miller PinkHe then went on to test this study in 1978 alongside Dr. John Ott, together they experimented with a certain shade of pink, and had incredible results exhibiting that this shade of pink now known as Baker-Miller Pink did consistently show reductions in hyper excitability. The colour is called Baker-Miller pink because when doing the tests at the Washing State Department of Corrections, only Commander Miller and Warden Baker were willing to have their rooms fully painted in this colour to allow the tests to proceed.

Pink HoodieSo how does this translate to creating a hoodie that relaxes you? London based creators Steve and Nick Tidball created a super technical hoodie especially for athletes, so they could wear the item and relax before a big event. Steve and Nick are quoted as saying they would like to treat athletes the way NASA treats their astronauts. The hoodie is perfectly designed to calm you down, it possesses a hood that zips all the way over your face, apart from the fact that across the eyes it has a section of Baker-Miller coloured mesh which, doesn’t allow people to see in but provides you with the ability to look out but with a baker-miller pink filter providing 80% visibility. The mesh also slows heartrate by slowing your rate of breathing, delivering a two pronged calming feature through the colour and the fabric. The hoodie also has two very specifically placed pockets perfect to rest your arms over your diaphragm, that act not only as a protective sling, but allow you to be naturally in tune with taking deeper breaths. If all of this wasn’t enough the hoodie also comes with its own soundtrack that puts the wearer into a state of meditation whilst regulating brainwaves.

It goes without saying that the hoodie definitely the ‘go to’ comfort clothing item, the garment just seems to be synonymous with feelings of cosiness, snug and softness. It is amazing how scientists can take natural feels one step further engineering products to increase those natural benefits. I believe it’s only a matter of time till a product like this, which has been technologically engineered for comfort, finds its way onto the promotional market.  

Are Retro Gadgets Making a Comeback in 2017?

Are Retro Gadgets Making a Comeback in 2017?

Earlier this week across the UK the retro styled Nokia 3310 went on sale in mobile phone shops across the country with demand for the device being called astonishing. The original 3310 was released 17 years ago, selling over 100 million devices becoming a cult classic for the ages. The biggest gripe with smartphones today is battery life, something that the 3310 had no issues with previously holding up to two weeks battery life, this is something that has been reintroduced into the new style 3310 which gives you 22 hours of talk time. The new phone isn’t for everyone, and is lacking many smartphone functionalities, but for those only after a phone to make calls and send text messages, this would be the phone for you.

The world has changed a lot in the last 17 years, and with it so have mobile devices, so what is with the new influx of interest in retro gadgets, why the sudden affinity for nostalgic products? To put it simply retro is cool again, anything 70s, 80s, and 90s is making its resurgence, you only have to look at the cinema industry to see that old popular household names are making a comeback. This nostalgic comeback isn’t a simple coincidence, it is the product of clever decisive marketing, companies know that people whose childhood were in the 70’s 80’s and 90’s are likely to now be employed with some being in top paying jobs. These companies appeal to their demographic through nostalgia from their childhood, as a strategy to sell them their product, with this people possibly being in high paid jobs, they are able to charge slightly more, and still make healthy sales.

As with everything, when there is a trend on the consumer market, it generally makes its way across to the promotional market too. We are seeing more and more customers asking for retro styled items, from confectionary to fashion and yes technology also. A great example you can see here is a retro Bluetooth speaker, in the style of a nostalgic FM radio this speaker gives you’re your flashback nostalgia with Bluetooth connectivity. This is a concept we have already started seeing and will see more of, modern day technology in retro styling.  

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