The Promo Column

Merchandise for unlockdown A

After the lockdown comes the unlockdown – a least that’s what we’re all hoping. This month promotional products commentator, Stuart Derrick, takes a look at what comes next.

t the moment, it looks as if unlockdown will include more of us working from home, social distancing remaining a thing for the time being, and limited interactions between each other. Change will come in baby steps we are told.

In terms of merchandise, that means that some products will become more in demand, particularly those that serve to help keep us safe, help realise business opportunities, and send a motivating message to others.

Safety remains a key concern as the jury is still out on how long we will have to deal with coronavirus. People talk about ‘the new normal’, and for most of us, that will mean having to remain alert to the possibility that we could become infected and in turn go on to infect others.

Therefore, limiting exposure with others, maintaining social distancing, and adopting behaviours that protect us all, are important, and merchandise can help.

Handy products

CHX Products has adapted its product offering to support brands with appropriate and useful promotional products, such as the Keepsafe Coin Tray. The tray makes for a novel yet valuable accessory to

exchange cash, cards,

receipts or any small item without direct contact. It is the perfect size to be kept in the car or a shopping bag for the general public to use in retail environments and any situation where social distancing makes it difficult to conclude transactions.

CHX Products’ Keepsafe Coin Tray

It has a branding area of 70x43mm, and like all CHX Products, it is designed and made in the UK from 100% recycled plastic. The tray is available in eight standard colours with Pantone matching also available.

Another product that could help minimise touching high contact areas such as door handles, payment keypads, and lift buttons, is the Hygiene Hook Keyring. It is made from recycled plastic and includes a stylus pointer, finger hole, and door pull, so it can be used by the public as well as delivery people who have to ring a lot of doorbells, and open gates. Logos can be printed on one or both sides of the keyring to offer a lightweight and cost-effective giveaway for businesses.

Branded face masks

Another product that looks like it will see widespread uptake is the face mask. As advice has changed in recent weeks about whether we should wear them, and when, more people have decided that they will adopt them, particularly when they are in areas that will bring them into contact with others.

In the US, sport teams have enthusiastically embraced branded face masks as a way that fans can show their allegiances, even though sport itself is on the backburner. That could change

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Sports teams in the US have embraced branded face masks

though, and US leagues for baseball, football, basketball, hockey and soccer have all licensed masks for fans. Proceeds from sales are going to Feeding America, Food Banks Canada, and the All-In Challenge Foundation. One of the problems with advocating face masks has been the fear that it could remove valuable PPE from the key workers who need it most. However, AMT Trade has come up with a stylish alternative in the shape of the snood. Those of us of a certain vintage still can’t think of them without conjuring the image of Eighties New Romantic popstars, but times move on, and they’re back as fashion with a purpose.

Custom branded snoods can be utilised as a face covering and is also a fantastic accessory for all of that outdoor exercise that we’re being encouraged to gorge ourselves with. Not only could it help protect you from the virus, but it’s a physical reminder to discourage you from touching your face and can stop you swallowing so many bugs when out on your bike. Hospitality has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, but there was a slither of hope in recent government announcements – the possibility of some opening up of business in July 1. Obviously, this is all contingent on the progress of

Custom branded snoods from AMT Trade

controlling the virus, and will have to take place with regard to social distancing in the immediate future. However, it’s a glimmer of hope that businesses can prepare for.

Using outdoor space

One possibility is that there could be a greater reliance on using outdoor space by cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants. Brollies & Parasols is promoting its waterproof and UV protective coverings as an option for hospitality provides looking to maximise the use of outdoor space. Manufactured in the EU, the company claims that it can have branded parasols with a business by July, and has a lead time of just three weeks. There are around 50 different options to choose from, a low minimum order, and a free design service to ensure that coverings look great. Finally, this month, it’s worth remembering those who could remain working from home for some time yet. Xindao has come up with a way to ensure that employees or customers don’t feel left out. Its gift in a box concept does exactly what it says on the… box.

Xindao has defined three themes in the shape of working at home, stay healthy and home entertainment. Each box contains a

selection of items and carries the message that they may be out of sight, but aren’t out of mind, which is a message we all need to hear at the moment. Stay safe.

Xindao’s gift in a box

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