The Sunny Side of Sickness
It's February, A.K.A., "the tail-end of flu season," or "when the office is finally done being the world's most efficient and horrifyingly merciless germ incubator." While we should all take a moment to celebrate the yearly end of Germtown, USA, for the purposes of this article it's probably more helpful to focus on the bigger, more practical issue: Just because annual sniffle-and-slime season is done, it doesn't mean health and wellness products are unsalable until next October.
Along with warmer days, spring and summer bring with them a bounty of fair-weather threats. Sunburn and summer sports, outdoor road running and daring recommitments to weight-loss goals, there's plenty of potential health trauma for the plucky marketer to hang his or her health care hat. Plus, let's not act like germs take a permanent nap in the summer. From tradeshows to summer camps, there are plenty of times where even the slobbiest schmo would likely say, "Boy, I sure wish I had a smidge more hand sanitizer, since I just spent 7 hours shaking hands in what is essentially a cave packed with human sweat, spit, and what smells like overcooked-in-a-microwave gyro meat."
The idea of over-nuked wrap meat not enough to get your promotional gears turning? No worries! (It terrifies us into a stupor too.) Check out this collection of some suppliers' favorite health and wellness products for ideas on combating the months of summer sickness ahead.
1. The Diet Aid
Answers by Krista Ward, director of marketing for Hit Promotional Products, Largo, Fla.
"We're finding our food containers are hot for health and wellness right now. Our new Salad Bowl Set, #2158, has gotten great response so far and the salad shaker and lunch container we introduced last year have been included in many health and wellness programs."
Some creative ideas: "This product is a great incentive to get employees or clientele eating healthier. Give these out when launching wellness programs, or as an incentive for doing well on a current program. Fill it with recipe cards for different salads to keep eating right interesting. When presenting this idea to a client, bring them lunch in the sample to really sell the presentation."
2. Hygiene on the Go
Answers by Sarah Sumner, sales & marketing coordinator for Bay State Specialty Co., Middleboro, Mass.
"Our tooth care line is popular. We have different size/style brushes and tube squeezers. Our G125 Fold-Away Toothbrush catches attention because you can't exactly tell what it is until you open it. A toothbrush is something that everyone uses (we hope!). People like things they can use, so this makes for a perfect promo product."
Some creative ideas: "Our G126 On-The-Go Mini Toothbrush is great for cleaning jewelry. The brushes are great for using as a scrub brush for children's hands/fingernails. Cleaning hard-to-reach spots are easier to clean with a toothbrush. The toothpaste squeezers are great for using with tubes of frosting, lotion, finger paints, ointment or tubes of glue."
"These brushes are popular marketing tools for the travel industry. Agencies have promoted the business by including these toothbrushes in the bags/packets of trip information. Hotels and resorts put these toothbrushes in the rooms of guests and have them available to buy at the hotel/resort stores."
A case study: "A YMCA was promoting a teen night/sleepover. This event was created to help kids meet friends, join the Y and stay off the streets. The front desk handed out these brushes with the YMCA logo."
3. Can't-lose Sanitizer
Answers by Mel Ellis, president of HumphreyLine Inc., Milwaukie, Ore.
"Our patented Purell on a Clip is a great item. First off, it is Purell, which is the gold standard in hand sanitizer, and when it comes to health and hygiene, people want the best. And the neoprene sleeve with our molded plastic clip easily fits on your car keys, a backpack, or a handbag."
Some creative ideas: "The neoprene sleeve carries the advertisement, since we cannot monkey with the Purell logo, so the best part of this product is that the plastic clip means it is always "out there" spreading the message. Most sanitizer products get dropped in a handbag or a brief case, but this approach makes it highly visible."
"Hospitals love this item because it enables the medical staff to clean up between patient rooms. Having the convenience of the clip and sleeve enables the user to clip it onto a lanyard, a belt loop or even a clipboard."
4. Promotional Triage
Answers by Kippie Helzel, MAS, Vice President, Sales for CPS/Keystone, Erie, Pa.
"A simple bandage dispenser like our item 0730, which has five bandages, is just a winning item all-around. How cool to have something that practical and oriented to all ages that just keeps on selling ..."
A case study: "We had a large order for an insurance company where, in addition to their logo, they added the simple message "We help you prepare for the unexpected." It was a nice initial order and led to multiple large quantity reorders. Basic promotional advertising at its finest!"
5. Sanitizer, Stealth Style
Answers by Megan Ludlow, marketing manager for SnugZ USA, Salt Lake City
"I think the 20 ml credit card style hand sanitizer is great. You can use the imprint as a business card for a great self promotion!"
A case study: "We had a mortgage broker's office order these for their sales staff as leave-behinds with their clients at the beginning of fall last year. The clients appreciated the sanitizer during cold and flu season!"
6. Customized Coolness
Answers by Francesco Indrio, president of ALPI International, Oakland, Calif.
"Our chill patches have some shapes directly related to the [health care] industry, such as the blood transfusion bag. The whole concept of a cool gel bag in fun shapes to keep you cool through your more stressful moments is a great concept."
Some creative ideas: "Because these items can be imprinted in full color and customized for any need, they are very versatile. The shape can be changed endlessly, the gel color and consistency, the imprint, and so on. One of the oldest uses for these is for wrist stress relief."
A case study: "A customer had us make a custom fish printed to look just like a fish, and it looked so good that we initiated a whole series of tropical fish in this year's catalog."
7.The Catchall Kit
Answers by Manny Fornelos, general manager for Waldor Products Inc., Jersey City, N.J.
"Our [favorite] health-and wellness product is style #816 The Rainbow First Aid Kit. Each kit contains: three bandages, three sterile alcohol pads, one antiseptic towelette, one sting relief pad. It is available in four bright, vivid colors which targets the teenager industry"
Some creative ideas: "This item is perfect for the Girls and Boys Scouts, summer camps, school locker or sports events. Of course, it is also ideal to promote any health care facility."