Talk To Me
It's time for some real talk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2,437,163 Americans died in 2009. While the CDC only has released preliminary data for 2010, the leading causes of death remain the same. Heart disease, cancer and chronic lower respiratory diseases comprise the top-three list, with strokes, Alzheimer's disease and diabetes rapidly gaining ground.
Until we live in a Utopian society where we remain untouched by life-threatening conditions, there will always be a need to find a cure, to spread awareness, to connect. In turn, Americans have built a diverse, multibillion dollar industry by volunteering their time and money to drive attention to important causes. We are all familiar with their efforts (e.g., runs, walks, corporate events). The media floods our television sets and Web browsers with breaking news. Friends saturate our inboxes with emails directing us to their personal fundraising page. Whether it's something close to our hearts, a sense of obligation or just plain guilt—we donate. After all, every dollar counts.
This presents a huge opportunity for the promotional products industry. For every event that takes place, there is a need for keepsakes and thank-you gifts for all parties involved. When it comes to giveaways, it is important for distributors to know their options. So, where is the best place to start?
Andrea Reid, sales manager for Ad Bands, Hot Springs, Ark., said awareness bracelets have carved a permanent niche in this market. Bracelets remain the top-selling item for the company, but workout bands are becoming popular as well.
"We have seen tremendous growth in our workout bands over the past few years," Reid observed. "These products are used to create awareness for healthy living and being active no matter where you are."
Reid mentioned another trend that is currently evolving: interactive products. Ad Bands recently perfected its ability to add QR codes and other data options to promote an enhanced experience for the wearer with the launch of QRC Bands. The QRC Bands can link to various applications including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other websites.