The uncertainty brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy and our industry have undoubtedly presented wide-sweeping challenges for promotional products suppliers and distributors to continue serving clients’ needs. Event cancelations, a six-foot social distancing policy and business closures spanning all industries are obliging promotional products companies to tap into hyper-creativity to continue business as usual—or as close to that as possible. But challenging times call for exceptional solutions such as these options to show their top clients they are still keeping them top of mind, along with inventive solutions to allow clients to continue reaching end users, albeit in a virtual space.

Distributors may consider putting together a self-promo care package for their top clients, consisting of anti-bacterial and wellness goodies customized with their branding. This serves as a win-win, as clients will see that their distributor partner is concerned for their well-being during this worrisome time, while also providing a piece of marketing that recipients can share on social media, allowing their followers to see that the distributor partner is genuinely interested in their clients’ health and safety.

Distributors can also help their clients to circumvent the problem of event cancellations and facility closures by encouraging conferences, sessions, meetings and other similar events to be moved into a digital space. The intended conversation and services can continue without disruption, but can be tailored to meet clients and end users exactly where they are—which, as of late, is likely in the safety of their own homes.

Here are some ideas that distributors may consider suggesting for clients to provide to end users to ease their uncertainty and remind client that they are thinking of them, while still promoting their brand.

Handy Wipes by supplier Unicorn Line (PPAI 111031, S1) can be included in a package, together with related products, or delivered individually. The various types of wipes for cleaning hands and devices and treating bug bites and other first-aid uses are made in the USA. They feature full-color, custom packaging, and are individually packed in an eye-catching branded sleeve.

Send end users a custom tote with branding to carry their essentials in—something they’ll surely need when making a quick run to the grocery store or pharmacy. This US Horizontal Tote from Indiscusbag (PPAI 227093, S4) is USA-made and sewn at a nonprofit that employs people with special needs. The eco-friendly, biodegradable, 12-ounce cotton canvas bag is made with post-industrial recycled content, and is 18 inches wide by 14 inches high and six inches deep, with 24-inch shoulder-length handles. The bag can also be decorated with an end-to-end custom message or image.

Working with a client in the food and beverage or hospitality industries? Suggest to them a logoed bottle opener. With the nation moving into suggested self-quarantine, it’s likely that end users may reach for a cold brew, here and there, to sip while they’re listening to the latest news updates. This BCL – Brass Etched Bottle Opener from supplier Addyline (PPAI 113516, S3) is made in the USA with a 10- to 14-day standard production time. The brass-finished bottle opener is four inches long by 1.58 inches wide, is individually polybagged and can be customized with a branded message with an etch and color fill. It also comes with the option to add a beaded chain or a keyring.

While end users are home, make sure they’re comfy, cozy and warm with a Natural Cotton Jacquard Throw from Cross Canvas Co., Inc. (PPAI 111759, S5). Made in the USA, these throws are made with the upmost care, using the same processes created by J. M. Jacquard, inventor of the 19th-century French loom. Available in five woven patterns in natural colors of 100-percent cotton yarn—hearts, rings, diamonds, herringbone and cable—the throws are 50 inches wide by 70 inches long. A custom logo or message can be embroidered onto the throw, and each throw is individually poly-bagged and are packaged with nine throws per box.

While being indoors, there’s one thing, for sure, that many end users will turn to—coffee, tea and hot chocolate, and lots of it. Offer end users a mug that’ll become their new go-to with the Anchor Mug 11-Oz Orange from the Allen Company (PPAI 113879, S5). This made-in-the-USA, 11-ounce, C-handle ceramic mug is available in 17 colors, shown here in orange. Choose from other bright colors that’ll brighten end users’ day, like lime, yellow and pink.

When making the shift from working in an office to working at home, one of the utmost concerns is organization. Help your top clients and clients’ end users stay on track of their orders, phone appointments, updates and notes with the Record Journal from Record Remix (PPAI 706772, S1). A sure conversation-starter wherever they go, each journal is made with an original full-cover custom vinyl record on the cover and includes 80 sheets of lined paper, with a two- to three-week turnaround time. Additional options include custom-printed belly bands, insider cover branding and shrink wrap packaging.

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