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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – For the latest in trinkets, gadgets, gizmos or even fashion attire look no further than your local credit union. According to Promotional Product Business Magazine Editor Lisa Horn, the increased popularity comes from promotional products being upgraded to mirror the quality available in the retail marketplace. This is particularly true in clothing apparel. Some of the advances in clothing according to CU Superstore Vice President Mike Freeland, include an increased popularity of microfiber material, and more credit unions purchasing tone-on-tone logo apparel, which has a “classy” appearance making it more of a fashion piece. Experts agree that as long as the product effectively communicates the message any item can produce positive results. With the choices limited only by the imagination and credit union budget, San Luis Obispo, California-based SESLOC Federal Credit Union looks for items that will appeal to its predominant college student members – so post-it notes; mouse pads that can hold personal photos; pens and bookmarks are particularly popular. “We mostly have these items when going on campus, visiting SEGs or sponsoring group events,” said SESLOC FCU Marketing Director Carla Swift. “We’re known for our good service and positive attitude so every item is designed to help members remember us.” Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union Vice President of Marketing Jennie Sims also tempers how giveaways are used and likes to select useful, attractive desk items such as the latest favorite-a pad folio made out of a royal blue scuba fabric with matching business card holder. “Our biggest use for promotional items is for business development efforts and even then it isn’t all the time,” said Sims. “Only in those cases where it will help cultivate a relationship.” Another purpose the items serve is for employee recognition. CFEFCU has created an employee store in the marketing department called Logos 2 Go!, where employees can buy logo items such as denim shirts, polo shirts and even teddy bears at no mark-up. In addition, managers have “store bucks” in different denominations which they can use to instantly reward employees. Employees then choose what they want from the in-house catalog and generally receive the items within 48 hours. [email protected]

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