It’s a cube world, and most of us live in it. In fact, more than 50 percent of Americans work at desk jobs. That’s one great reason to position your client’s brand right there in the thick of it all.
But what to choose? “The only trick is knowing what sort of features or items a client might utilize,” offers Kurt Rothacker, marketing project manager for Prime Resources in Bridgeport, Conn. Following this approach, Rothacker suggests an item that fits the client. For example, a company with global reach would get great use out of a clock that displays multiple time zones while high-tech clients will appreciate a desktop product that relates to or organizes a techie’s many gadgets. “Don’t forget the fun factor. There is plenty of room on the desk for items that simply make them smile while still getting a message out,” he adds.
“The trends in office and desktop supplies seem to be leaning more towards electronic devices,” relays Pam Myers, director of marketing for Digispec in Las Vegas. “However, the usefulness and dependability of tried and true products will always serve a purpose on a desktop.”
Ultimately, the goal with a desktop or office item is to find something that will get noticed, but there are two different schools of thought on how to accomplish this, reveals Lindsay Hoylman, a marketing specialist with New Kensington, Pa.-based Leed’s. “The conventional approach is to choose a product that fills a specific, useful desk need, such as pen cups or mouse pads,” she says. In this approach, you’re trying to find something that people already like and have been conditioned to use over and over, adds Tim Mogck, a senior marketing professional with 3M Promotional Markets in St. Paul, Minn. “Make sure that what you sell has everyday functionality and real value to both the advertiser and the end user of the product,” he advises.
But there is another method for those wishing to try something different. “A new wave of thinking is that fun, off-the-wall products grab attention, add personality and create conversation,” Hoylman suggests.
A lot of product choices may lie in your client’s comfort factor and image. The conservative may feel more comfortable with mouse pads, letter openers, paper clips, note pads or other conventional and must-have desk items. “Companies are more concerned about maximizing the value of what they spend,” Mogck says. “Therefore, there is more emphasis on getting real value when purchasing custom-printed office supply products. They need to feel that what they are purchasing has a direct and daily impression on a user, rather than just a periodic one.”
Others may branch out slightly with picture frames, clocks, stress balls and the like. But for those looking to really step outside the norm, newer tech items and novelties may fit the bill. “Tech items for the desk have evolved and taken on a new role,” Hoylman reports. “Previously, desk technology items brought to mind logoed mice and debossed mouse pads, but this year you will find items powered by the computer, not just computer accessories. These items are totally off-the-wall and useful.” Look for items like a desktop USB paper shredder, a USB mug warmer or a desktop aquarium fully loaded with a plastic fish. That’s sure to take your mind off the stress of a looming deadline!
As office-dwellers become increasingly busy balancing the rigors of their careers with the demands of personal and family life, a little organization goes a long way, too. Desk accessories that assist this goal remain popular and have kept their newness over time, Hoylman reports. Desk organizers come in all shapes and sizes. And included in this category are items that organize a growing number of personal electronics. “As new electronics are developed and introduced in retail, desk accessories must be compatible,” she says. “2008 brings the expansion of charging stations to hold electronics in an organized way on an individual’s desk as the gadgets are being charged.”
To clear the clutter, multi-function items also come in handy. “Any product that serves two or more duties using an innovative, clever and economic design is sure to catch the eye and enchant the mind,” Rothacker says. Brian Padian, vice president of inside sales at Tustin, Calif-based Logomark Inc., has another tip in this arena. “Choose items that are traditionally more plain, and add color for excitement,” he says. “Items with additional functionality and multi-purpose tools always get attention.”
Consider maximizing your sales here by encouraging your client to create a tiered promotion or begin an annual gift. Then, a desktop collection with matching accessories assures future orders. And don’t forget to remind clients of the permanence of their logo in a desk item, Padian advises. “A high-quality desk set sits in a fixed position where recipients can see it eight hours a day, making it a constant reminder of who presented it to them.”
This article was written by Debrah Rosen for Corporate Logo Magazine. Reprinted with permission.