In 1987, Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey mamboed straight into the hearts of audiences everywhere in Dirty Dancing. In addition to eye candy and killer choreography, the movie contributed one of pop culture's most beloved gems: "Nobody puts Baby in the corner."
The promotional world has its own version of "Baby"—mugs and tumblers. Only here, the goal is to avoid the corner of a crowded cabinet. But as more people fill, sip and go to their destination, how do you get your products to collect impressions instead of dust? Start by studying the trends.
Here are seven quick tips to ensure your mug and tumbler promotions aren't running (or dancing) on empty.
1. Get The Look
Functional handles and additives such as filters and mixers can add a new spin to a classic design. "There is room in the marketplace for multifunction, high-tech designs for tumblers and mugs. What was new and eye-catching just a few years ago, like a double-wall stainless tumbler is now becoming passé," noted T. Regan Holm, CAS, COO of ROI Line by Source Abroad, Los Angeles. "[Include] a carabiner and a colored rubber grip, or a compartment to add flavor to your beverage of choice, and suddenly it's relevant in today's marketplace."
2. Embrace Color
According to Holm, pastels and bright colors continue to remain popular. Anna Ramos, V.P. sales of Berney-Karp Inc., Vernon, Calif., has also seen a preference for two-tone mugs. "Two-tone mugs with rubber coasters to match the inside or imprint are hot," she said.
3. Take Advantage of All Imprint Options
Mugs and tumblers generally feature large imprint areas and can accommodate designs ranging from photos to variable printing. Paula Piano, director of sales and marketing for Las Vegas-based Visstun, is seeing an upward trend in full-color, high-definition printing. "Customers are no longer restricted to one-color imprints, but are now able to have photographs printed on cups with the additional options of QR codes and variable printing," she said.
Certain designs even allow companies to imprint text and logos in unusual areas such as along the handle. Mark Godsey, president of Gold Bond Inc., Hixson, Tenn., has observed a preference for tall, slim designs. "This creates an elegant presentation and allows the option to print vertical and wrap imprints," he said.
Elise Hacking Carr is editor-in-chief/content director for Print+Promo magazine.