When It Rains, Promotions Pour In
In addition to the large variety of sizes and designs, umbrellas can also feature helpful and innovative add-ons. Jeffrey Nanus, president of AAA Innovations, Norwood, N.J., described a new technology aiming to improve umbrella sales. "We've developed a mobile app called RainAlertz. This is a mobile app that will be available on any umbrella that we offer in our line," he said.
The app works like this: a RainAlertz tag hangs on an umbrella, and a special code is included to download the app. Each code is coordinated with the end-user. The app alerts users if there is more than a 60 percent chance of rain in their area, using theNational Weather Service and their phones GPS. "So if it's Travelers Insurance, we have a code that every Travelers Insurance umbrella will have," he added. "You'll get an alert on the phone with the Travelers Insurance logo and it will say something like, 'Your friends at Travelers Insurance have you covered. Looks like it may rain today. Don't forget your Travelers umbrella.' It's a great message and, as a promotional item, it's a great advertising tool."