Sustainable Event Merchandise Guest Blog with Carol Ingram of Firefly Merchandise
This month, we’re thrilled to introduce a new guest blogger – Carol Ingram of Firefly Merchandise, known within the industry as the queen of green & clean branded merchandise. Here she chats about how to elevate your event giveaways, corporate gifts and in-house promotions with innovative and eye-catching new products that are also kind to the planet. Over to Carol…
Sustainable Merchandise – My two favourite words!
Hello. I’m Carol, and I have worked in branded merchandise for over 20 years. Quite literally, I have been there and got the t-shirt! I started Firefly Merchandise in 2013 with a solid commitment to provide a bespoke personalised service and become a leader in organic, recycled and sustainable branded goods.
Our slogan is ‘high-quality branded products that don’t cost the earth’. I am incredibly passionate about caring for our fragile planet. Collectively, we must make the switch to eco-friendly branded merchandise. There’s nothing quite like giving a gift that gives back.
Over the years, I have produced merchandise for clients big and small. Manufacturers, large publishing houses, retail giants, pub chains, designer watch brands, charities, sports and leisure industry, hotels and many more.
So, let’s begin with what is promotional merchandise
Promotional merchandise is the perfect way to convey your brand or message in a long-lasting, memorable manner. As one of the oldest forms of advertising, promotional merchandise is integral to marketing communications – helping put your brand front and centre in your customer’s mind.
Glance around you now, and you’ll likely spot a few examples – a sports bottle, notebook, maybe a branded mug on your desk.
But is it worth spending your hard-earned money on? When every penny of your budget needs to be working hard for your organisation, leading us to ask…
Is event merchandise worth your investment?
Of course, given what we do at Firefly Merchandise, we’re going to say yes, aren’t we? But with increased brand recognition and customer loyalty, two of the many benefits generated by this relatively low-cost form of advertising, we genuinely believe it is!
The British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) 2021 Insights Study found that 75% of consumers receiving a branded item from a company they trust will prompt future purchases. And importantly, 80% are more likely to recommend your brand or services to others.
So before jumping in, here are a few considerations for you to ponder to ensure the most bang for your branded buck.
Is it useful?
Whether enticing new customers, rewarding existing ones for their loyalty or thanking your hard-working employees, give them something they’ll use!
The more your product is used, the more frequently your logo will be flashed in front of their eyes and the eyes of those around them. Think thermos coffee mug used daily on the morning commute or organic cotton shopper bag – bonus points for the vast branding potential on this one!
I firmly believe if you cannot use or indeed reuse a promotional item, it has no purpose. Plastic waste can last centuries in landfill, littering the natural environment and polluting soils, rivers and oceans. Switching to reusable natural fibres, such as jute, reduces the demand for plastic and cuts landfill volume. How about swapping to aluminium, bamboo or Tritan BPA-free drinks bottles and travel cups?
Get it seen!
Maximise the impact of your branded products by considering where they will be used and seen. We love Mr Bio here at Firefly. A multi-adapter charging cable, he’s fun, brandable, functional AND eco-friendly – plus, he’s made from recycled wheat plastic! Products like this get used in homes and offices, taken abroad, and passed around for others to use – the potential for your logo to be seen is enormous, but the cost is not!
Does this product align with my corporate values?
As you explore various promotional merchandise options, consider whether they promote or, at the very least, reflect the values of your business.
At Firefly, we prioritise quality, ethically made, planet-friendly and reduced-impact products.
Why sustainable event merchandise is the smart choice
We are all aware of the effects of climate change on our planet – heatwaves, floods, wildfires – sadly, the list goes on. These will only worsen unless we start making significant changes to our behaviour.
We all have a personal responsibility to limit our environmental impact, but as businesses, we need to be even more accountable. The BPMA also found in their 2021 study that 40% of consumers are actively looking for brands they engage with offering reusable and recyclable solutions.
With a silver CSR Accreditation to our name and an International CSR Excellence Award under our belts, we believe our actions speak louder than words regarding social responsibility. We regularly fundraise by running marathons, donating our time and promotional items to charity awareness campaigns and participating in local litter picks.
It is our duty to actively encourage our customers to choose quality and sustainability over cheap and disposable. Our ethos supports buying local and package-free where possible. The extensive range of fun and exciting products makes it an easy choice. Here are just a few suggestions…
- Branded drinks bottles made from sugarcane and cork
- Thermos cups produced from recycled plastic cups and made in Cornwall
- Bluetooth speakers made from recycled wheat plastic
- Stylish clothing, including hoodies, t-shirts, face masks, caps or bags made from the highest quality materials, including organic cotton, 100% recycled polyester and jute.
- Pens, pencils, notebooks and office stationery remain classic branded merchandise products. Consider plastic-free materials, including wheat straw, bamboo, recycled PET, cork and paper.
With sustainable, eco-friendly, recycled promotional merchandise, the possibilities are vast, and the potential to impress your customers and employees with your generosity and forward-thinking planet-friendly gifts is limitless!
Get in touch with Carol to discuss your next event and how beautifully designed organic, recycled, and sustainable promotional merchandise can elevate your brand. High-quality branded merchandise products that don’t cost the earth.
Carol Ingram, Firefly Merchandise
Sourcing and liaising with exceptional suppliers like Firefly is part of our personalised event management service. Eventify make planning your next event smooth and hassle-free. Our expert team look after every detail from free venue finding to liaison with entertainment, caterers, room dressing, and even your guest list and accommodation needs so you can concentrate on enjoying your event. We understand that no two events are the same, so we pride ourselves on getting to know you and your event so we can tailor our services to best suit your needs.
Thank you, Carol, and we hope you’ve enjoyed our latest guest blog. Keep following us for our latest articles, case studies and tips.
Diary of a Party Girl x
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