Author Archives: nationalpen

Seven Awesome Things You can Do with Stress Balls

stress ballStress balls are designed to induce relaxation and create a sense of peace – here are seven awesome things that you can do with stress balls to minimize anxiety, relax the body, and simply feel better

Most of us are familiar with stress balls. Whether you have one sitting on your desk right now, or you have seen them used in a comical sense among stressed out office workers on TV, there is no doubt that stress balls have arrived in offices across the world – and for good reason! Research shows that using a stress ball can actually enhance emotional stability and deliver significant physical benefits. Knowing this, make sure that you not only have stress balls in your office or workspace, but that you provide them for your customers or prospects to help them improve their sense of positive energy. Here are seven awesome things that you can do with stress balls today to create a better sense of well-being:
1. Tone your muscles: even if you aren’t experiencing stress or anxiety, simply squeezing a stress ball firmly in the hands can help to strengthen the muscles of the forearm, wrists, and hands in no time at all. You can do this practically anywhere – in the office, at home while watching TV, or even in the car.
2. Relax during meetings: many of us feel that our work weeks are nothing more than a series of meetings. If you find yourself getting tired, irritated, bored, or simply disinterested during one of your business meetings, consider using a stress ball to keep your hands occupied and your mind at peace.
3. Play an office game: just because you are at work doesn’t mean you can’t have a little bit of fun. Create an office game that involves tossing your stress ball around the room, earning points along the way for various achievements. Or, try to see how many times you can toss a stress ball back and forth before someone drops it. Whether you decide to do this when the boss is around – that is up to you!
4. Create promotional giveaway packages: if you are planning to market your business or organization at an upcoming large-scale event, like a tradeshow or conference, create preassembled stress reduction packages for your clients or prospects. These gift packs can include a custom stress ball, a back massager, and some custom candies – or anything else that you feel will bring a smile to someone’s face.
5. Play games with your kids: use your stress ball to play catch with your kids at home, without fear of punching a hole in your window glass or putting a bruise on someone’s nose. You can bring several of these home to let your kids learn to juggle without fear, or conduct some informal batting practice in the basement.
6. Massage your feet: during work hours, slip off your shoes under your desk and roll your feet on a couple of stress balls on the ground. This can stimulate acupressure points that provide calming benefits, as well as a boost to your creative thinking abilities.
7. Enhance communication at home: ask your kids or spouse how their day was, and then sit back and listen quietly until it is your time to hold the stress ball. This helps to encourage communication, while minimizing disruptions.

The venerable stress ball makes an ideal promotional marketing gift for trade shows, and other big industry events, but it is also ideally suited for a variety of other purposes. The seven ideas above are just the tip of the iceberg – come up with some of your own and witness firsthand the flexibility and usefulness of these incredible little gifts.

Small Business Saturday 2015

small biz satSmall Business Saturday celebrates all that is unique and important about our domestic small businesses – and it has helped to shine a light on this key component of our economy since 2010. Promote your small business this November!

On November 27, 2010, American Express decided to launch a unique and focused campaign that encouraged individuals across the nation to support small, local businesses. The day became official in 2011, with a huge outpouring of support from government officials, business leaders, and more – all with the mission to help encourage greater patronage of small businesses in America. Between November 24 and November 25, 2012, research shows that just under 74 million people went out to shop at a small business. In 2013, 1,450 local organizations formed to lend support to Small Business Saturday – creating rallying groups called Neighborhood Champions. And in 2014, an estimated $14.3 billion was spent at small independent businesses on that year’s Small Business Saturday. The impact of this program has been far-reaching and has helped small businesses to increase their viability within their market – as well as their overall visibility.

If you own a small business and want to make this year’s Small Business Saturday as lucrative as possible, make sure that you champion this day by promoting your business as effectively as possible. Create a social media campaign that encourages potential shoppers to snap a selfie in front of your business for the chance to win something of value. Or, host day kickoff breakfast to get everyone in the shopping mood the morning of the event. You can order a wide variety of promotional marketing gifts to help support this important day, or send marketing materials or gifts to as many key players within your target market as possible, several days or weeks before the event begins. The idea is to encourage as many people to visit localized, small businesses as possible.

If you are considering ordering promotional marketing gifts to help boost your visibility on this important day, first start by creating a plan. Who’s your target market? What do they value and what will help to drive them to your front door? Are they reachable via social media or will your typical customers prefer to receive a physical reminder of the event? Once you have created a plan, make sure that you create excitement before the big day by sending out promotional gifts, targeted promotional emails, or create social media posts that will drive consumers towards your business. Lastly, make your business hard to resist. Implement an in-store event or big sale, and reward new customers with promotional gifts just for stepping foot within your front door. Make sure that you don’t neglect repeat customers, so think about creating a referral prize or offer that rewards existing clients for their continued business and support.

This November 28th will likely prove to be an incredible day for small businesses across the nation. But to make sure that your business stands out from the rest, create a plan, build excitement, and make your business irresistible when compared to your competitors. Promotional marketing gifts, social media campaigns, and more, will help you to do just that.

What is Your Office Personality?

Offices are often full of big personalities and quirky characters – take a customized personality quiz today and find out how you stack up against your peers!IMIQuiz_Slot

You know the type — they are consistently five minutes early to the morning conference call. They always have their reporting in on time, and they seem to work through their vacation days as if wearing a badge of honor. On the other end of the spectrum is that one office compatriot who takes great pleasure in being the office comedian. From planning birthday pranks to showing the latest goofy online video clip to dozens of your peers, there is always going to be “that guy.” These players are easy to spot, but one of the hardest assessments to make is one that requires a bit of self-reflection – specifically, where do you fit in? Until now, determining your role in the office has been a less-than-exact science. But now you can narrow it down and make a much clearer determination as to your office personality by taking a quick quiz that was created by the workplace experts at Once complete, you’ll know whether you’re a historian, politician, workaholic, or other unique character within the workplace.

Suppose you take the quiz and determine that you are a politician. This is a good thing – usually! Being a politician means that you approach conversations with a commanding ease, and you’re likely focused on polishing your skills to be able to climb the corporate ladder. Maybe you find out that you’re a historian. Like the Smithsonian, you are a body of knowledge on a variety of topics, and have positioned yourself as the center of the office. Always ready to collect insider information and to help co-workers to work through difficult or embarrassing situations, you’ve got the office wired… not literally, but we wouldn’t put it past you! Or maybe you’re the office comedian. Making people laugh is your primary job, and that 9-5, 5-days per week schedule provides plenty of opportunity to deliver scorching one liners and elaborate practical jokes. You’re the life of the party and can always be counted on to plan after-hours events.

If you find that you’re a workaholic, you arrive early, leave late, and have little patience for those who don’t do the same. You tear through the red-tape of upper management’s policies and processes, and can always be counted on to speak your mind. After all, you’re pretty much always right! If your results point toward the “work-life balancer,” you tend to play it cool. 9-5 is merely a suggestion, and work is merely something to do between vacations. You still get the job done, though – with a cool, collected approach. Lastly, you might discover that your office personality is that of a stress ball. There is no way to get everything done, time is ticking away, and you simply cannot delegate anything to anyone. It’s your mission to get everything done, and the hours are wasting away. Time to work.

Take the Office Personality Quiz today and see how you fit in. Are you a stress-ball or a work-life balancer? Maybe you’re a bit of both! Once you more fully understand the role you play at work, the better you can interact with your fellow employees. Take the quiz today and then find the perfect products for the comedians, stress cases, and politicians in your field!

Brighten Up Your Summer Marketing with Promotional Sunglasses

If you are looking for the ideal promotional giveaway item, regardless of the industry in which you operate, you’ll want to consider adding a batch of promotional sunglasses to your marketing toolkit. Sunglasses are ideal because they combine all of the key attributes for any effective promotional gift – they are seriously useful, ideal for men and women and those of all ages, and they can sourced at factory-direct prices today. Plus, you can use personalized sunglasses to market your business or organization regardless of the time of year or the promotion you’re supporting.
Your customers will absolutely love your thoughtful gift, and we’re confident that they’ll adore wearing one of our unique and stylish choices. Best of all, you’ll have the ability to designate your choice of customized imprint. Include a personalized marketing message, a seasonal advertisement, your business contact information, address, or website, or simply your logo for an attractive, understated look. The majority of our sunglasses are sized to accommodate several lines of text – most permitting up to 25 characters per line so you can fit your entire message with ease.

Beyond looking amazing, our customizable sunglasses also deliver incredible protection for you and your clients! They are built using high quality UV400 lenses that block 100% of UVA and UVB light. These are the harmful wavelengths that can cause eye strain and are potentially damaging to your vision. Top quality lenses and robust yet lightweight frames combine to create sunglasses that outperform other models on the market today – and they are available at an incredibly low unit cost.

In fact, as you increase your order size you’ll notice a significant reduction in the unit cost of these promotional sunglasses. Prices can drop by as much as 25% as the order gets bigger, and the setup charge remains the same, meaning that you’ll really notice the savings as you increase your order volume. To place your order, simply decide on the sunglasses that you feel will make the biggest impact with your customer base or high-value prospects. Then, create the customized text or graphics to help spotlight your brand. Lastly, select an order quantity that makes sense for your business – and you’ll be done! We will process your order quickly and deliver your batch of personalized sunglasses in no time.

Sunglasses from National Pen are available in a variety of colors and are highly customizable to meet the needs of your specific business. From our inventive Bottle Opener Malibu sunglasses to our timeless and sleek Aviator frames, you’re bound to find the ideal assortment of promotional sunglasses for your marketing needs. Shop with confidence with a full one year, money back guarantee, and quick and efficient shipping options.

National Pen featured in Retail Touch Points

National Pen CEO and President, Dave Thompson, was interviewed by Retail Touch Points on the company’s decision to implement a new e-Commerce platform and the effect it has had on business.

“What has surprised us most is that we thought our new e-Commerce customers would be more transactional than loyal. But we’ve found that retention is higher than normal; average annual spend is outside normal; and we’re attracting a new, different type of customer.”

Read here.

The Power of Summer-Themed Promotional Gifts

30ReasonstoLoveSummer_2014_SlotWith so many promotional gifts available today that are geared towards fun in the summer sun, you’ll add serious marketing power to your promotional arsenal when you focus on summer-themed gifts!

When it comes to finding the absolute best promotional gifts on the market today, ensure that you source items that combine real-world utility, a reasonable price point, and long-term durability. To add even greater potency to your suite of offerings, consider adding several variants that tag on to a seasonal theme. We’re right in the swing of summer right now, so take the time to add summer-themed gifts to your marketing toolkit and you’ll fare better when it comes to targeting the key players within your industry.
Give your customers and prospective clients even more reason to love this season with incredibly enticing promotional gifts that can make summer even better. From gifts that enhance backyard BBQs to those that make days at the beach even more pleasant, you’ll delight the lucky recipients in your industry, while reinforcing the importance of your mutually beneficial relationship.

When you send summer-themed promotional gifts to clients and prospects you show that you care about them, and you make their life better – one beer can Koozie at a time. Best of all, investing in summer-themed promotional gifts serves to highlight your business or organization, and does so in a way that correlates good times over the summer with your business name. This positive brand recognition will help you to enhance market penetration and win new business.
A variety of gifts are available today that can help you to drive your business forward – and any promo items that tie-in a summer theme can truly make a lasting impact. Deliver a batch of customized zip-up bottle Koozies to your prospective clients and they’ll keep their favorite beverage cool while fondly gazing at your customized marketing message, or reward loyalty among your top clients by providing them with a customized rolling cooler case. Personalized silicone speakers with integrated phone stands can elevate the mood at any summer gathering, while a rechargeable power bank can keep the tunes coming for hours on end.
Fun, summer-themed games are also bound to be a hit with clients and prospects, so choose promo items like mini flyers, flexible flyers, and more to provide hours of entertainment. Keep your valued business contacts protected from the ravages of the sun by delivering a batch of customized lip balms in a variety of flavors, or send a personalized, screen printed baseball cap to provide shade from UV rays.

Marketing your business with summer-themed gifts is an incredible tactic that can keep your business name at the forefront of your industry. For special summer-themed gifts that are available today at factory direct prices, visit

National Pen featured in Entrepreneur Magazine

National Pen President and CEO, Dave Thompson, contributed a piece to Entrepreneur Magazine regarding how to expand your custom’s lifetime value.

Thompson states that the lifetime value of a client can be determined by something as simple as what month they actually become a patron. When they become a patron determines whether or not the company has the opportunity to capture sales in the off-season, when these patrons would not normally make purchases. Even though this concept sounds simple, most companies do not follow it as frequently because they get caught up in the factor of the cost-per-customer acquisition that may be higher during the off-season. The main point of Thompson’s article is that going the extra mile and spending a little bit more in the short-term to acquire customer purchases in the off-season is what yields a greater lifetime customer value.

Read here.

Are You Prepared to Capitalize on National Small Business Week 2015?

Small Business WeekNational Small Business week is the ideal time to drive additional activities that can highlight your company or organization. What do you have planned?

Each year, for the past 52 years, the President of the United States has delivered an official proclamation around National Small Business week . specifically focusing on the contributions that are made each day by our nation.s small business owners. Our national entrepreneurial spirit is a large part of what makes America great, and it is important to take time each year to spotlight the innovators, growth agents, and leaders of our critically important small businesses in order to ensure that these businesses are supported and given every opportunity for growth. This year, take the time to revisit why our small businesses are so vital to our nation . and re-analyze how you can capitalize on this exciting time of year when all eyes are on the men and women who truly make our nation great.

For every three new jobs that are created in the United States each year, two of them are the result of a small business owner hiring a job-seeker. Of all of the eligible workers in the U.S., greater than 50% either work for or own a small business . and that number is growing each year. But how can you set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd during this pro-business time of the year? The answer is, focus on what has made you so great, and ensure that as many people as possible know about you. Continue to perform with integrity, partner with and hire from your community to ensure that the economic impact of your business will be felt close to home, and do all that you can to help the nation recover economically. The byproduct of these activities is greater sales, enhanced revenues, and the ability to create even more jobs.

This National Small Business week, do more than just continue to perform at a high level . you.ll want to ensure that you market your business as effectively as possible to grow your company in an aggressive but sustained manner. Whether this means investing in social media marketing, revamping upcoming sales or marketing campaigns, or reaching out to prospective clients or existing customers by using promotional marketing gifts . do something to be different this week! For those who want to invest in promotional marketing gifts, turn to the leaders in the industry . National Pen.

To honor our small business owners and to help create additional buzz around any business or organization, we are featuring a Small Business Week coupon (coupon code: PROMO20) that allows for 20% off of National Pen brand products from May 4, 2015 to May 12, 2015. This will help business owners like you to increase the volume and frequency of promotional gift giving, while driving brand awareness and opening new opportunities for sales. This National Small Business Week, make sure that you are prepared to perform during the one week of the year that is dedicated to our nation.s entrepreneurs.

Office Jargon Infographic: Low-Hanging Fruit Meaning & More

“Drill down to the root of any issue with a high-level and outside-the-box look at the proliferation of office jargon in today’s modern workplace.” This sentence contains no fewer than four separate examples of how office jargon has become so pervasive in workplaces across the nation. It is simply too easy to adopt so many of today’s catchy sayings and clever phrases . from low-hanging fruit to top of the funnel. Those who do so are occasionally able to create new, trendy marketing jargon that speaks to the nation. The infographic below provides a high-level look at some of the most common office jargon meanings and insights that have really “moved the needle” in recent times. Oh wow, there we go again!

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When it comes to office jargon, there are those who know how to handle themselves, and there are those who simply cannot hold back on the opportunity to “synergistically drill down” to the “root of the problem.” While marketing jargon and clever workplace sayings are often quite conveniently and accurately used to describe a situation or concern, there is a certain level of moderation that must be used. Otherwise, interactions become a back and forth battle of who can come up with the catchier sayings first. So take some time and really dive into some of the more common office phrases heard today . you may avoid the embarrassment of running an oft-overused saying up the flagpole at your next business meeting.

Keep in mind that there are some benefits to using new phrases to describe activities that are essentially routine tasks around the office. For example, providing your direct reports with a “to-do” list is great, but doesn’t it sound much more powerful to provide an action-item report? Imagine asking your direct reports if they have “completed the to-do list,” versus inquiring whether they’ve “completed the action item report.” The latter simply sounds more powerful and worthy of their attention. In the past you may have answered a request from a supervisor with “I’m not sure, let me find out,” but think of how much more tuned-in you’ll sound when you reply with “I’m not sure, but let me drill down and uncover the answer.”

Office jargon, while often comical in its overuse, can help to create improved communication within the workplace because many of the sayings invoke greater emotion than simply describing a task alone. The next time you decide to ascertain a co-worker’s bandwidth prior to assigning a low-hanging fruit task, you may want to first consider whether they have all of their ducks in a row. Ultimately, office jargon is here to stay . so uncover jargon meaning of both new examples and classic standbys with the Office Jargon Infographic from National Pen.

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Honor Earth Day this Month with Eco-Friendly Promotional Products

Eco - Friendly Realizing that natural resources are a limited supply comes with two responses: ignore or adapt. Some people feel as though resource bottlenecks won.t happen in their lifetime, so they continue with their daily lives as if resources are endless. Others take a more considerate, realistic approach and start to implement ways to help slow down the consumption. Once we realized that natural resources are a limited luxury, some businesses and individuals decided to switch to a more sustainable life.

Sustainability comes in different degrees. Some make significant lifestyle changes by buying electric vehicles or installing solar panels for their homes. Others make smaller day-to-day decisions such as switching from disposable items or recycling cans and paper. Some companies only source to or order from ecologically conscious businesses. Doing so both reduces their own carbon footprint as well as builds rapport with customers who find those choices to be important.

National Pen highly supports sustaining our resources, and we would love for you to jump on board as well. That.s why we are offering 10% off our eco-friendly promotional products just in time for Earth Day. Made from recycled or reusable materials, these products are socially responsible and are popular among your customers . including those who make big or small eco-friendly choices.

From our useful Eco-Friendly Desk Needs Set to The Wide Mouth 16 oz stainless steel bottle, we have a variety of popular products that are great for your clients and the environment. View our eco-friendly promotional items here: