Attack of the Cumulonimbi
AT THE TIME of this writing, a storm front reaching from Canada to Mexico was crossing the United States, pelting the Southern states with liquid precipitation and flurrying Northern states with flakes. Simultaneously, the beaches of southern Florida were enjoying the caress of bright, unadulterated sunshine. When gravity displays its dominance over tropospheric water, distributors and suppliers are reminded of the beauty and utility of promotional umbrellas. On the beaches, too, joy is felt upon seeing larger-than-life logos protecting users from harsh UV rays.
Jason Nanus, vice president of business development at AAA Umbrella, Paramus, N.J., admits he feels a certain sense of accomplishment when walking down the street on a rainy day. He said there is a “specific pride” in knowing that some of the biggest companies with the biggest budgets choose his company’s umbrellas. According to Nanus, an umbrella is a great promotional item because “it’s applicable across the board.” He feels umbrellas can help companies break out of the mold of vertical marketing.
Gene Moscowitz, owner of Peerless Umbrella, Newark, N.J., had similar thoughts. He echoed the idea that the promotional value of an umbrella comes from its ability to be used by both men and women as well as by many different businesses. And, there’s more to umbrellas than just protection from the rain. Moscowitz said about 25 percent of his company’s business comes from patio and beach umbrellas. Resorts, restaurants, coffee shops and bars are always in need of shade in the summer months, and this presents opportunities to distributors.
On a personal level, umbrellas are also in high demand. “When somebody hands you a quality umbrella as a gift, you know that [it’s] something that sells in the stores for 40 or 50 dollars,” said Nanus. Promotions with such a perceived value will ensure clients remember when and where they received the gift and, most importantly, who gave it to them. But, brand loyalty won’t increase if the umbrella malfunctions or can’t stand up to the elements.