July 25, 2017

It's Never too Early to Plan for Fall and Winter

Submitted by Kelly Glass

One great way to tap into the enthusiasm for the upcoming fall and winter is to highlight football promotions. As we have mentioned before, football is currently America's favorite sport -- both the professional and college varieties. The sport provides many opportunities for distributors of promotional products. Items such as spirit wear, sport bottles, and other related gear help brands stand out with sporting events and even small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) really connect with their audiences.

But fall opportunities aren’t limited to football. There are plenty of ways to appeal to businesses that use promo products for branding. As strange as it sounds, this is one area in which the weather is considerably reliable.

Hats on, People!

It's pretty certain that knit beanies, once just utilitarian hats designed to keep heads warm during winter months, are not just for hipsters, fashionistas, or your teens to wear while skateboarding in July. Beanies are now almost as important as t-shirts.

Both in the U.S. and abroad, fundraising efforts like "Beanies for brain cancer" have become a thing, while knit hats in 2017 have also been used to highlight women's rights, domestic violence awareness and support of science and environmental issues.

That said, businesses need not get political to leverage these promotions. Nor must they wait for cold weather. Just ask the San Francisco Giants, whose warm season promos include knit hats, among other baseball-branded favorites.

It's clear that the use and appeal of this once-generic item is broader, and not limited to sports or politics. Esquire last December put together a list of 15 kinds of cold-weather hats that every winter wanderer should consider. Meanwhile their sartorial rivals over at GQ dictated their own "do's and don'ts" on how exactly to wear and accessorize winter hats.

One other apparel news source called points out that knit beanies come in different styles, with varying looks appealing to a range of age groups. Among them are:

  • The cuffed beanie. A traditional-looking style that comes with extra material folded over or knitted to the bottom.
  • The slouch beanie. Longer and a favorite with younger (and perhaps hipper) crowds, called so because the top of the hat "slouches" of the back of the head.
  • The bobble. Better known to some people as a pom-pom hat, which has a "ball" on top. This one can project a note of fun, and works well with multiple colors.
  • The high-top beanie. This has a little bit of formal flair, while being versatile for any look or age group.

In addition to the variety and relatively low price of this promo product, knit hats look great embroidered with logos. And if it is a priority for your customers, several hats are made in the USA.

Bundle Up

Promo marketing magazine last fall highlighted some other clothing accessories for fall and winter, including everything from gloves and earmuffs to scarves and warm, cozy socks. Like beanies and knit caps, these items can be embroidered with logos and come in many colors.

While keeping your ears and fingers warm is pretty important, in some parts of the country, layering up is important too. Last week, the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) published an article on "super soft sweatshirts" with examples of fleece tops, zip jackets and hoodies that keep people warm, while doubling as a great way to make brands more visible.

Keeping with the theme of planning ahead and, in some cases, way ahead, People Magazine advised its millions of readers last March to stock up on winter outerwear as spring started to break. According to ASI, outwear remains a popular category, especially in households with annual incomes above $100,000. Take the Silicon Valley favorite fleece vest as one example.

When talking to your SMB customers about planning ahead for the next two seasons, make sure to demonstrate your expertise in promotional products. As your graphics partner, Idea Custom Solutions can provide top-notch service in embroidery digitizing for fall and winter products to ensure customer logos sew properly every time.


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