Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Variable Data Printing and How It Can Work For Your Business

Variable data printing (VDP) has been gaining in popularity in recent years.  Advances in technology have helped drive the price down, making this an effective and affordable way to really personalize your marketing efforts.   With variable-data (aka variable information) printing, elements such as text, graphics or images may be changed from one printed piece to the next using information from a database or external file.
For example, if you are going to a trade show where your clients pre-register, you can import the attendee names (or their business name) into a spreadsheet and we can then take those name and incorporate them into a promotional giveaway for your trade show booth.  Maybe a luggage tag with your company name and information on the front along with their name and address already printed on the back.
variable data luggage tag full color
Name badges are perfect for variable data printing.  Not only can you change the name on each badge, you can add a department, title or even a picture of the employee.  These also work perfectly for convention or conference attendees.
name badge variable data full color
Making direct mail more personal by incorporating the recepient name, community calendar of events, appointment reminder or even a map from their business or home to your location!  The sky really is the limit with variable data printing and what can be done.
storypac direct mail variable data printing
By creating a really personal piece, whether it's a post card or a swag item, it increases the likelihood that the recipient will continue to use the product for many months or even years to come.  Variable data come in many forms and is a unique way to make your advertising stand out.  Variable data is much more than names and numbers.  Here are some additional ways we can make your marketing really stand out:
  • Consecutive numbering or bar codes can be added to Loyalty Cards and Key Tags to create a customized loyalty/reward program.
  • Consecituve numbers can be used for an internal incentive program or for entry into an online contest
  • Names and addresses can be added to full color bag tags to add a personal touch to your trade show invitation or your next corporate travel event
  • personalized story packs for dimensional direct mail provides a number of targeting possibilities that can dramatically increase your response rate
  • Variable data can also be used to incorporate a different graphic or logo on each piece to make the item even more appealing to the recipient
  • Personalize an event badge with text or numbering and provide group segmentation (staff, security, exhibitor, attendee or VIP) using varied graphics and/or color schemes
        variable date chaning logo on printed swag
Adding numbers, QR codes, bar codes and individual logos to items are all possible with variable-data printing.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you make your marking unique and customized so you really stand out with your clients and prospects.
866-247-4320   sales@barefootswag.com

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Garment Finish Terms and What They Mean To You

In our last couple of blogs we have been working to help you understand the (sometimes) overwhelming terms you encounter when buying garments, whether for a company store, uniforms or for name recognition and promoting your business.  Check out our blog here discussing the different types of threads or the one here that breaks down the different types of fabrics. Today's blog (the last in this series) will explain what all those various finish terms mean. 
Anti-Microbial- this treatment prevents fabric from supporting or retaining odor causing bacteria.  This has become very popular in performance material shirts and is also a great finish for company uniform programs as it cuts down on odor.
Double Mercerization- The treatment of cotton yarn with sodium hydroxide to shrink the fiber and incease its luster and afinity for dye; the process is requested a second time to remove all traces of "fuzz" for an extra smooth finish.
Enzyme Wash- Special softening process results in a soft hand and a distinctive worn look.
Sanded Finish- A soft hand is obtained by brushing the fabric lightly.
Stain Resistant- Fabric resists stain penetration for easier removal of dirt, oil, etc.  This is a prefect finish for uniform programs, especially in the service industry.
UV Protection- Special finish that helps protect skin from ultraviolet light penetration.  This is a good option for golf shirts and well as T-shirts that will be worn for outdoor activities.
Water-Resistant- Light polyurethane or acrylic coating helps resist water penetration in light rain. Seen most often in outer wear such as windshirts, jackets and coats.
Wrinkle-Resistant- Heat applied finish prevents wrinkles from developing.  Most common in long sleeve woven (dress) shirts, but can also be found in polo shirts.
    anit microbial badger performance shirt                enzyme washed comfort colors t ringer t shirt                  UPF sun protection shirt                    wrinkle resistant long sleeve dress shirt Van Heusen
            Anti Microbial T        Enzyme washed ringer T     UV Protection Polo      Wrinkle Resistant Long Sleeve
At Barefoot Promotions Your Swag Connection we are always available to answer your questions and make suggestions about which fabric or garments will fit your needs and your budget.  We can help you with your company store, uniforms, event shirts, promotional T shirts and more.  Call or email us today and we can put together some custom options that will fit your needs.
www.barefootswag.com          866-247-4320

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Check Out These Threads

Earlier we posted a blog that helped break down the various types of fabrics and explained the terms to help make it easier when shopping for apparel online (read the blog here).  Today we are going to go a little more in depth to help you understand the various types of fibers and yarns that makes up the various fabrics. 
  • Cotton/Nylon: Known for its high strength, elasticity and abrasion resistance.  It has a sofe hand and is low in absorbency.
  • Microfiber: Super fine polyester yarn is durable with a smooth, soft hand. It is often treated to add water resistant properties.  Frequently a heavier fabric when used for clothing,  such as windshirts or for garments that are perfect for uniform programs in the service industry
  • Nylon: High in strength, elasticity and abrasion resistance, low in absorbency.  Coats and jackets, tote bags and backpacks are frequently nylon or have a nylon shell.
  • Pima Cotton: Longer length cotton fiber makes it smoother and stronger than other cottons.  Pima cotton has a soft hand. 
  • Rayon/Polynosic: Synthetic silk-like fabric blended with polyester for maximum shape retentiona nd wrinkle resistance. 
  • Ringspun Cotton: Spun for a smoother, softer feel as compared with open end cotton.  You will notice this term often with T shirts, but also sweatshirts and polos.
  • Silk/Cotton: Lightweight, soft feel of silk with the durability and care properties of cotton.
  • Spandex/Lycra: Elastic yarn added to cotton or other yarns to add stretch properties.
  • Tanguis Cotton: Long staple cotton is soft and smooth
microfiber v neck wind shirt   nylon shell windbreaker jacket    mossy oak camo t shirt ringspun cotton   spandex shirt
   Microfiber windshirt                     Nylon shell jacket                   Ringspun T Shirt              Performance shirt w/ Spandex
Still not sure exactly what you need/want?  Well, that's what we are here for.  At Barefoot Promotions Your Swag Connection we can make suggestions based on your need and budget.  Let us help you select the rigtht garments for your corporate branding- whether you just want some shirts for a trade show or if need a uniform program for you whole staff.
www.barefootswag.com       sales@barefootswag.com

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

WTF - What the Fabric?

When I walk into a store shopping for clothes, I might be attracted enough to something based on its color or pattern to take a closer look.  But the next thing I'm going to do is touch it...And that can make or break the deal for me.
It is very difficult to understand the various terms of fabric- even more difficult to make a decision when shopping online AND shopping for the apparel your employees or staff are going to be wearing to represent your brand.  We have a three part series of blogs to help you understand various terms and make it easier to decide what garments will work best for you.  This blog will focus on the different types of fabrics that you might see referenced for shirts, jackets, hats and other garments.  Check back for upcoming blogs on Fibers and Yarns and  Finishes.
  • Interlock: A firm, double-knit fabric. Both sides of the fabric look the same.  You will find this term used often with polos and athletic apparel.
  • Jersey: Single knit construction with rows of vertical loops on the face and rows of horizontal half-loops on the back that results in a durable, soft hand and beautiful drape.  This feels very much like t-shirt material
  • Pique: Knit fabric with tuck stitches resulting in a textured surface.  Used frequently in polo shirts.
  • Oxford: Tightly woven construction of fine yarns resulting in a clean, crisp appearance.  Button up dress shirts are often made of oxford material.
  • H2O Moisture Wicking: 60% combed cotton/40% polyester plaited fabric moves moisture quickly through the inner polyester layer to the surface where it can evaporate away.  This fabric has been all the rage for the last few years and has made its way from mainly T's to polo shirts, 1/4 zips and beyond.
  • Twill: Diabonal weave generally runs upward from left to right for a strong, durable and firm fabric.  Most commonly seen in hats and aprons, however lighterweight versions of twill are used for button up shirts that are perfect for employees uniform programs.
  • Stretch Poplin: Tight, natural weave combined with spandex for stretch and a better fit. A perfect fabric for uniforms that look nice but still allow for easy movement such as food service or hospitality.
  • French Terry: A looped back knitted fabric that can be sheared to make into fleece.  This is a "step up" from traditional sweatshirt material and works well for resort wear and resale.
  • Performance Mesh: a regular interval weave that promotes maximum stretch and air ventilation.  Promotes moisture wicking and helps the wearer feel cooler.  These are most likely a polyester material.
  • Jacquard: A jersey fabric with a more complex needle selection that results in an eye-catching patterned surface effect.  Most common on polo shirts with a more upscale appearance.
Now that you are well versed in what all these terms mean, check out some of the options on our website, or simply call or email so we can put together options that will work best for your branding and staff recognition needs.
interlock knit polo shirt      oxford dress shirt    french terry 1/4 zip pullover    performance mesh t shirt
  Interlock Knit Polo                            Oxford Button Up              French Terry 1/4 zip               Performance Mesh T Shirt
Call or email us to put together the right fabric and styles to outfit you, your staff, members or volunteers
www.barefootswag.com      Sales@barefootswag.com

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Why Made in the USA Makes Marketing Sense

It is difficult (almost impossible actually) to walk into a retail store and find a selection of Made in the USA products.  Many people think that is the case with their promotional and marketing items as well, but that is not true.  At Barefoot Promotions Your Swag Connection we have a vast selection of US Made swag items.  Using USA Made items in your marketing campaigns, promotions or giveaways is not only viewed favorably by consumers (your customers), but it has a positive impact on our economy as well as making a vast impact on the environment and social responsibility.
Let's look at some of the ways USA Made give-aways (swag) impacts us:
  • 7 in 10 Millennials view themselves as social activists
  • 4 in 5 Millennials are more likely to buy from a company that supports a cause they also support
  • US Made products are more likely to meet product safety regulations for hazardous materials in general use and children's products (ask us about CPSIA compliant products as well)
  • More than 80% of consumers prefer products that are Made in America
  • Poor working conditions in overseas garment factories has led to several catastrophes and hundreds of preventable deaths.
  • The typical t-shirt travels to 4 countries, crossing the Atlantic (or Pacific) twice as it goes from raw cotton to yarn to cloth to blank shirt to printed shirt.
  • Vietnam, China and Bangladesh (major importers of electronics and textile products) all have significant air quality issues, due in part to poor regulations controlling factory pollution.
  • US Manufacturing represents 1 in 6 private sector jobs
  • Every dollar spent on US Mfg adds $1.36 to the economy
  • US Manufacturers are anchors in their community, adding to the local economy (taxes, jobs, consumption of goods and services, etc)

While we all understand and realize how much buying local impacts our country, our community and our families, many times it comes down to price and convenience as well.  With our selection of US Made swag we can find the right product to fit your need and your budget.  Below are a few ideas, but please contact us and we can put together some ideas specific to your needs, event or promotion.
made in usa mint tin giveaway      us made mug cup glass     chip clip magnet clip usa made
Made in the U.S.A Food gifts, Drinkware (mugs, stadium cups, tumblers, etc), magnets & clips
usa made measuring cup kitchen giveaways     bayside union made made in usa t shirt     recycled usa made first aid kit
Additional US Made categories include housewares, shirts & hats and Health & Wellness
To view more items click here or you can email or call us and we will put together ideas for you.
www.barefootswag.com      866-247-4320

Thursday, June 04, 2015

The Best Patriotic Theme Swag Ideas

Taking pride in our country, showing support for the troops, celebrating holidays such as Veterans Day, Memorial Day or July 4th and promoting political campaigns all tie in perfectly with products centered around the stars and stripes, American Flags and the Red, White and Blue.  Check out these fun and patriotic swag ideas.
flag sunglasses 4th of july sun glasses         mint tin with stars candy political 4th of july         flag pen patriotic swag
patriotic beach ball           american pride pinwhweel red white and blue      flashing american flag pin  

Check out more patriotic themed giveaways here
And t-shirts, hats, tanks and other apparel in with a red,white & blue theme?  Of course we have that too. Call or email and we will find the perfect items for you.  For some ideas check out the Best American Flag Swag at the Made In America Festival here
Call or email us and we will put together ideas perfect for your event or promotion that also work with your budget!

866-247-4320   sales@barefootswag.com

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Plant a Tree Cards for Marketing Campaigns

At Barefoot Promotions Your Swag Connection we understand that there are times when a physical product is not the best option for your marketing campaign.  Luckily we have many items that can still get your message across that you can still brand, such as music or movie downloads, photo print cards, ebooks and more.  One of our favorites is the Treecycler rewards card.
These rewards show your commitment to sustainability and are a simple way to help customers go green.  Consumers will feel good about helping the earth by having a tree planted in their name in the reforestation project they choose.  With an interactive redemption experience, recipients are engaged and feel empowered  by discovering a project and helping those in need.  Since users can choose their location to plant a tree, they have a deeper, emotional connection to the action.
Here is the way one company used the plant a tree reward to promote awareness of their brand and mission:
Waste Management® initiated a new campaign entitled "Think Green" which focused on the company's dedication to promote sustainability as well as being good neighbors to the environment. Eco-friendly topics have dominated our society as consumers young and old are more interested in environmentalism than ever before.
plant a tree rewards card eco swag
"Think Green" played on the desire to give something back to our environment by distributing Plant-A-Tree Cards to customers. Once online, Waste Management customers could choose to have a tree planted in one of many global reforestation projects, including within the United States. The promotion successfully contributed to further aligning the Waste Management brand with the desire to create a more eco-friendly community.

With the Plant-A-Tree rewards card program, native trees are planted through partnerships with multiple non-profit reforestation organizations.  For even more impact, you can print branded cards on recycled cardstock or even seed embedded paper that grows wild flowers when planted.
These trees may be planted domestically or internationally in the recipients choice of over 40 reforestation projects.  The program includes a branded digital "Thank You" message sent to your customer.  These are available for worldwide promotions.
Here is another example of how these cards were used:
Embassy Suites® takes their commitment to "Going Green" seriously, even having some of its hotels officially certified as Green Lodging. In looking for a creative way to introduce their new initiatives to local communities, they decided to help sponsor a community event and distributed custom branded eco-friendly, Plant-A-Tree Cards to attendees.
eco swag eco-swag plant-a-tree gift card
Each card, printed on recycled paper, directed consumers to go online and show their support by planting a tree in a global reforestation project. While redeeming the card at an Embassy Suites® branded site, attendees also had the opportunity to learn more about the hotels and even book a future stay. Then after redeeming the offer, they had the option to print out a certificate in honor of their planting. Plant-A-Tree Cards were a great way to enhance their brand's public image as an eco-friendly company and increase their brand loyalty.
We can help you design an eco-friendly, green rewards program based on the number of trees you would like to offer.  You can even tier your rewards and offer (as an example) 1 tree, 3 trees and 5 trees to different levels of clients.
Contact us today for more information:
866-247-4320     sales@swagconnection.com