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University and College Promotional Products Buying Guide

Posted August 2, 2010

College Students Buying Guide
Contents

Why Buy Promotional Products for College Organizations?

Welcome to college. For the first time in your life, you can make the rules. You don’t have to answer to your parents, the teachers you had in high school, or even your older brothers and sisters. You can be you and no one can say anything about it. We here at InkHead U want to help you express yourself, so we have hand-picked our top 6 items that will set your college organization apart from the rest. Before we do that, let’s discuss why you should think about getting promotional products for your fraternity, sorority, club, or organization.

Why Buy Promotional Products for College Organizations?

Just like the business world, promotional products do one thing better than any other—they build loyalty to a brand. Your club, activity, fraternity, or sorority is the brand. By procuring items that include your organization’s logo or message, you will increase the attention that your club receives. For example, let’s suppose the drama department is putting on a play. While they could spend their marketing budget on posters that could be hung around the school, they could also buy t-shirts to promote the show, in effect turning the wearer of the shirt into a walking billboard for the event. A testimony or entreaty to see the show given by someone is sure to go further than a simple poster or playbill would.
So whether the goal is to increase turnout at the next athletic competition, increase participation in the next fundraiser, or increase the pride each student takes in his or her performance—promotional products do it best.

The Top 6 Promotional Products for Student Organizations

There are literally thousands of promotional products that can be personalized for school operations, but the ones that hit a home run year after year are the products that students, faculty members and fans will actually use. Again, the concept behind the promotion is to put personalized promotional gear in the hands of those groups that will use them the most. And with such a wide selection to choose from, a quick brainstorming session will result in perfect matches for all involved.

Custom Laptop Bags

These days, buying a laptop for college is nearly a rite of passage. Because of the growing ubiquity of laptop computers, backpacks with a dedicated sleeve for the machines are in high demand. InkHead has several custom laptop bags available, but our most popular item is the Vortex Compu-Sling Bag, which combines form and function, featuring one large cross strap, a permanent computer sleeve that holds most 15″ laptops, and a front zippered pocket with a key fob for interior organization.

Such an item would be great for long-term members of student media clubs like the college newspaper, literary arts magazines, or college radio station. Not only can they use the item, but they will also help build awareness (and hopefully ignite interest) of the student media groups on campus.

Promotional Flying Discs

What college green is complete without the occasional Frisbee-style flying disc floating in the air? Be sure to check the InkHead catalog to see our full collection of custom flying discs, but the Nylon Florida Flyer is one of our most popular ones. Made of 210D nylon and collapsible, this little guy can easily be tucked away in a pocket or backpack whenever not in use.

Because of its relatively low cost and high portability, the Florida Flyer is a versatile choice when it comes to promoting your student organization. If you are active in a student government group, a fraternity, or an outdoor club, think about getting some custom flying discs.

Custom T-Shirts

One of the stalwarts of promotional products, a custom t-shirt will do more for your organization than a sign posted on a bulletin board ever could. Whether you’re announcing an event or want to commemorate one, customized t-shirts are sure to resonate with the other members of club, organization, or team. InkHead has hundreds of custom t-shirts from which to choose, but 100% preshrunk cotton and a number of available colors make the Gildan Heavyweight Cotton Tee hands-down the most popular item ordered by college students.

Since t-shirts are versatile and widely loved, they are ideal for almost any student group, ranging from the student theater to student activist groups to Greek organizations.

Eyewear Retainers

Chances are that you know these items as Croakies®, one of the biggest name brand manufacturer of sun glass straps and neoprene eyewear retainers. InkHead has a number of sun glass straps available, but the Peeper Keeper Neoprene Eyewear Retainers are the most popular among college students.

These items are extremely popular among fraternities and outdoor college organizations, such as intramural sports teams and student chapters of Habitat for Humanity.

Stadium Cups

Like t-shirts, custom plastic cups (also known as stadium cups) are tried-and-true promotional products. There are hundreds of stadium cups available, but the 17 oz Smooth Stadium Cup is the hottest seller among university students and organizations.
Cups are so useful that just about any organization could use them in their promotional campaign.

Custom Sunglasses

Want to make a statement for your college organization? Perhaps a pair of custom sunglasses is just the thing you need. Although InkHead has many styles of sunglasses available for customization, our Neon Recycled Rubber Sunglasses are the most popular. These wayfarer-style shades are available in many different colors and will make a bold fashion statement whenever worn.

How to Launch a Promotional Products Campaign on Campus

In most cases, it’s the subgroups of the school, college or university that use promotional items the most–to mark the football team’s annual spring game, to clothe the members of the academic bowl team, or generate after-performance wear for the drama club. Each campaign has its own special needs, such as a witty saying or unique symbol.

Best practices in the promotional products strategy dictate finding a capable distributor and sticking with them. This will encourage a strong relationship from both sides–the distributor understands the school mission and the school is comfortable working with the distributor. Expectations on both ends are solid. Jumping from one distributor to another encourages order mistakes and miscommunication.

Here are a few helpful tips as you plan your next school spirit campaign with promotional products:

  1. Create a Strategy. This means knowing some information you can supply right from the start, even if you don’t know what products you’d like to go with–order size, primary colors, potential slogans and symbols.
  2. Work with the Experts. Promotional products distributors help schools create high-impact campaigns on a daily basis. You should rely on their experience and advice when putting together your promotion.
  3. Get Feedback by Committee. Allowing one person to choose the product invites disaster. It’s always best to get several opinions from group members before final decisions are made and the personalizing work begins.
  4. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate. If there are last-minute changes, make sure your distributor knows about them. Examine proofs carefully for correctness. And do all of these things in a timely fashion to ensure that the order is right.

The Bottom Line

Express yourself. Spread the word.

Now that you know a thing or two about promotional products, think about ordering some from InkHead Promotional Products. After all, you’re in college now. Isn’t it time you expressed yourself the way you want?

Remember that the items featured here are subject to availability and may not be available in all colors at the time of your order. Please call us at 877.554.0127 to confirm sufficient stock is available.

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