Don’t Rain on My Parade
On the other hand, Stromberg said her company’s mid-size golf umbrella is her top pick for 2008. She noted the item is vented, extra-sturdy, made with extra-thick shafts and ribs, and has automatic opening. “We’ve taken the best of both worlds and put it into one piece, that’s why it has become so popular,” she said.
Furthermore, Stromberg said this year, Hudson Valley Umbrella is introducing its Thematic Series. Umbrellas in the collection display striking designs in a range of themes, including casino, sky and global signatures. Although the designs are not exclusively made and owned by StrombergBrand, the company completes set-ups, design and production overseas, and stocks the products in the United States. “The advantage of this,” Stromberg explained, “is the distributor doesn’t have to pay for the expensive set-ups, wait for a long length of time [for the order] and can buy in small quantities.”
A SHELTERED LIFE
There’s plenty of space in the promotional products industry for umbrella sales. Unlike other products that have heavily saturated the market, umbrellas still provide distributors breathing room. Said Trowbridge, “There is a lot less competition and a lot less suppliers with umbrellas, so the perceived value of umbrellas is still up there.” He pointed out this makes the price of an imprinted umbrella a “great deal,” even without a discount.
Along those lines, because umbrellas provide such a distinct canvas for promotions, their appeal can be far-reaching. Both Trowbridge and Stromberg said the items are
popular among hotels, nonprofit organizations, golf clubs, car dealerships, casinos, restaurants, realtors, retailers, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. “The nice thing about umbrellas is there really is no market that a distributor couldn’t sell [them to], nor is there really a geographical area that won’t work,” noted Trowbridge.
In keeping with current standards related to environmental safety, Stromberg stressed her company’s use of environmentally safe inks for printing as well as fiberglass (instead of wood) for the umbrella’s construction. “Umbrella frames either [can] be metal or fiberglass, and you can dispose of them the way you would a pen or aluminum,” she explained. “They can be recycled.”