The great demands on drinkware may be a result of the ubiquity of the items in the promotional market. Halpern said one of the latest scrutinies revolves around an item’s lid: “In the last six months, [end-users] are very insistent that the lid, the closure on the lid, is very secure.” As a result of the critical attention, many suppliers are upgrading closure mechanisms across the board.
The closure mechanism is key in drinkware lines because it enhances the mobility of the product, which is where the utility is most capitalized. Closure mechanisms are only part of the problem when choosing the right drinkware container. Promoting mobility concerns all aspects of the item’s design. For this reason, regardless of shape, style or the addition of a handle, a successful travel mug must fit into standard car cup holders.
Coming up with the perfect design is the challenge for suppliers. Finding the right item and getting it into an end-user’s hand is the challenge for the distributor. Once the item is found, everyone wins. According to Karen Sherrill, director of marketing at Gold Bond, Hixon, Tenn., “Our number one seller is a travel mug.” Sherrill attributes the item’s success to it’s design. “It’s just got a great shape [and] very clean lines to it.”
Sherrill feels drinkware items are good for promotions because “drinkware fits so beautifully into our lives.” Halpern agreed, pointing out drinkware’s mobility allows it to be a successful promotion regardless of market.
Of course, coffee isn’t the only beverage that people want to keep on the road. For every personality and activity there is a container to support it. The country’s obsession with sports led to the popularity of polycarbonate bottles. Originally used primarily by hiking enthusiasts, these bottles quickly fell into the retail and promotional markets due to their durability and impermeability. When Halpern first saw a polycarbonate bottle, she decided to put it to the test. She told one of her employees who had a four-wheel drive vehicle to run over the bottle and then back up and run over it again. Halpern said the bottle had “not a scratch. A real polycarb has to stand up to the test.”