Sara Coslett, vice president of Novelty Crystal Corp., Groveland, Fla., offered another creative use of kitchen products. "We've had a distributor sell our top hat ice bucket to a tuxedo manufacturer," she said. "We printed the company's logo on it, filled it with bags of popcorn and drop shipped it to the manufacturer's top 1,000 tuxedo rental companies."
Colamarino provided two more interesting ideas for household items. "We have seen a number of wine openers provided for 'Grand Openings' or even a tongue-in-cheek apology for a coupon glitch with a 'We Screwed Up' theme," she said.
If the above ideas don't suit your clients, try plays on words. "Use 'a cut above' with cutlery, 'slice of the pie' with pie servers and 'here's the scoop' on ice cream scoops," suggested Dan Kielman, vice president of sales for Waverly, Iowa-based American Made Cutlery.
Depending on the product, some kitchen and household items can become holders or packaging for other related products. "When Starline introduced a silicone oven mitt, we had people using them as gift stockings for the holidays," Norris said. "Based on their gift theme, they stuffed the mitts with other items such as flashlights, food items, pepper mills and ceramic kitchen knives."
Similarly, packaging an item to resemble a city, state or event can be beneficial. "A regional cookbook, a cookbook from a restaurant you enjoyed or a food lover's guide to that city creates a gift that extends the memories of the event," Wright explained.
There is great opportunity for creating continuity programs using kitchen and household items. "By providing complementary items—such as a carving set with a steak knife set or BBQ set, or pepper mills with over mitts—allow for repeat orders because clients want to collect the full set of products," Norris said.
Since 1998, Lisa Horn, CAS, (a.k.a. The Publicity Gal) has been reporting on the issues that matter most to the promotional products industry. Currently, she writes about brand safety and responsible sourcing on behalf of Quality Certification Alliance (QCA). Reach her at email@example.com.