For a Rainy Day
THE PROFIT CENTER
Umbrellas have a lot of potential when it comes to the complexity and scope of designs they can present. Stromberg mentioned two museum clients of Stromberg Brand that capitalized on the large imprint area of an umbrella, creating items to be resold in their gift shops.
The museums took images of paintings from their collection, paired them with classically-styled fashion umbrella bodies and printed the designs either on the inside or outside of umbrellas. "That's where they bring in a lot of money," noted Stromberg. "You can have a four-color process umbrella sold at $40 at retail."
THE CONCIERGE SERVICE
"We do a ton of umbrellas with hotel logos," said Edge. "I think a lot of that has to do with when people travel … the last thing they think to pack is their umbrella. So when you get somewhere, it's a nice service to be able to go to the front desk and get an umbrella from the hotel." Hotels can use umbrellas in a variety of ways. Some loan the umbrellas out, expecting them to be returned, while others give them away as free advertising. Similar to museums, Edge said hotels will sometimes use them as a profit center. "They'll put an umbrella in every room as part of the wet bar," he said. "They may even design a little hangtag and hang it on the handle, saying if you use this umbrella, you'll be charged $30."
THE RUSH ORDER
Sometimes, umbrellas excel not as the centerpiece of a promotion, but as a way to save an event from a wet and disastrous end. Edge described several instances of rush orders his company had filled to spare outdoor events from cancellation, including a network TV Christmas tree lighting in the span of about a day. He cautioned distributors planning outdoor events to keep an eye on the weather report. "If a company schedules a golf outing, they own that course rain or shine, so a golf umbrella can be a real savior for the day," said Edge. "I've been at golf tournaments where it's rained and they gave out leather scorecard books, but meanwhile, half the golfers there didn't have umbrellas, so everyone was scrambling," he continued. "If everyone had umbrellas, it would have been a nice way to salvage the day."