There are 128.3 million commuters and 100 million daily coffee drinkers in the U.S. alone, according to statisticbrain.com. How much those numbers overlap is difficult to say, but it's hardly a stretch to imagine there's significant crossover—if you're a commuter, you know that hot coffee is the only thing keeping America's roadways from devolving into Mad Max-style carnage each morning.
Does that make the travel mug or tumbler the most important invention of the last century? Possibly. Does it mean you should be pitching them every chance you get? Definitely. Mugs and tumblers are must-haves for businesses looking to reach those millions of caffeine-hungry commuters (and millions more at-home coffee-drinkers), and if you're not selling them, you're missing out on an enormous market. So, give your sales a boost (and do your part to stave off the rush-hour apocalypse) with these five tips for mug and tumbler success.
1. Go Beyond the Basics
There's nothing wrong with a ceramic C-handle mug. Lots of businesses use them—restaurants, corporate offices, banks, etc.—and no kitchen is complete without a handful of them jockeying for space in the cabinet. But that can have drawbacks. If everyone already has a cabinet stuffed with mugs, it lessens the chance a given mug will stand out (if the recipient keeps it at all). And if all you're offering are basic mugs, that could make prospective clients more hesitant to buy.
So why not change things up? "Show a variety of decoration techniques—one color, one position is boring," said Jim Kelley, director of sales and marketing for Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based Xpres LLC. He mentioned everything from four-color sublimated graphics and glaze finishes to imprints on the mug or tumbler's handle and underside.
The same approach also applies to travel mugs and tumblers. "The recent trend has been moving away from the basic stainless travel coffee mug to tumblers with unique added features," explained Scott Pearson, vice president of merchandising, and Natalie Chou, product development manager, for Sweda Company LLC, City of Industry, Calif. "These additions range from custom grips and print patterns to added features such as fruit infusers or unique lid functions."