Winter jackets of all types can produce a big impact with your corporate branding. They’re a favorite promo item among recipients and are versatile for decorating with your brand elements.
ASI research found that: "Outerwear/fleece generates 7,856 impressions over its lifetime.” That’s more than double the impressions of the next highest items—headwear and drinkware. And it’s more than triple the impressions of the next three items—polo shirts, performance wear and writing instruments. The CPI (cost per impression) is just .7 cents.
“61% of consumers would keep and wear promo outwear for two years or longer,” ASI discovered. For both men and women, outerwear came out on top of the five most influential promo products. When broken down into regions of the US, outerwear continued to place first in every region—even in the Southeast and Southwest.
How to Choose the Right Winter Jacket
Not all outerwear is created equally. Keeping these ASI stats in mind, it’s worth considering a few things that make a winter jacket the right one for your promotions: material and durability, style and design, and your target audience.
Material and Durability
An important factor for a winter jacket’s longevity is how it performs in the elements like snow, rain, sleet and wind. If a jacket doesn’t perform well for the wearers by keeping them warm and dry, it’ll be left in the closet, or worse—in a landfill.
The materials used in a jacket greatly impact its performance and durability. Are the fabrics high quality and tough enough to face the forces of nature? Is the workmanship of the jacket high quality so wearers won’t experience unraveling seams and wetness seeping in?
Another consideration is: Will the material accept the kind of decoration you want to use? (For example, a quilted product wouldn’t work as well as one with smooth fabric for your company logo to be silk-screened across the back of the jacket.)
Style and Design
Another major factor in whether recipients keep wearing a branded winter jacket is how it fits. People want to feel good and look good in their outerwear. So it’s important to choose a style that fits a variety of body shapes.
If a jacket is comfortable and allows freedom of movement in the shoulders and hips—whether for winter hiking or driving to work—it’ll get worn more often. If it’s stylish, it’ll get worn to more places.
Will its wearers be male and female? Then you’ll want a winter jacket that everyone will enjoy wearing. A design that comes in both men's and women’s versions is often a better choice than a uni-sex model.
Color is also a consideration. Neutrals like black, grays and deeper blues are always in style and are a natural choice for most people. Plus, they make your end user’s logo pop! Mix and match a variety of colored decoration when the outerwear is neutral.
Appropriateness for Your Target Audience
The type of winter jacket a company chooses for its corporate branding depends partly on the climate of its audience. Alabamans don’t need a heavy-duty winter jacket for below-freezing temps like Minnesotans do. On the other hand, a lightweight jacket or fleece can be appropriate for any US climate sometime during the year.
Other questions you may consider are:
- When will this jacket be worn—on the job, commuting, recreationally?
- How old is your target audience and which styles are appropriate for that age group?
Finally, here’s one more stat from ASI’s 2023 research: “46% of consumers would feel more favorable about the advertiser who gave them a promo product if it was environmentally friendly.”
That’s almost half your audience. And that percentage is on track to increase as our culture becomes more aware of the need for sustainable manufacturing practices and products. A winter jacket is a fairly high-ticket item, so a branded jacket that’s eco-friendly makes an impression.
(You can see ASI’s Ad Impressions Study here.)
Techniques to Customize Winter Jackets
There are various techniques companies can use to customize winter jackets used as branded promo. The ones that work best for winter jackets are embroidery, screen printing, heat transfer and patchwork.
Any of these will do a good job, especially since winter jackets typically aren’t machine-washed and dried often. (Manufacturers recommend washing seldom, in fact, to help preserve weatherproofing in the outer fabric.) Each of these techniques can be used with multiple colors:
Embroidery is very versatile and can be used with different types of fabrics and color palettes. The design is stitched directly onto the fabric. With stretchy materials (like sweater fleece) a stabilizer is used to keep the fabric intact during the process. Embroidery decoration gives a classy, upscale look to any product.
Screen printing is the process of applying ink directly to the fabric. As each color requires a separate screen, the setup costs are a bit higher than the similar heat transfer (discussed next). So screen printing is most cost-effective in large quantities.
Heat transfer has a similar look to screen printing but uses a different process. The design is printed on special paper, then transferred to the jacket using heat. Setup costs are lower so this process works well for small quantities. Be sure you ask for high-quality transfers to ensure durability.
Screen printing and heat transfer are best for smooth fabrics like polyester.
Patchwork is similar to embroidery except the stitching is done on a separate patch. That patch is then applied to the jacket with either stitching or an adhesive. The same patch can be used on winter jackets, caps, winter hats and other promo products a company may develop to help spread the setup costs to more items.
Tips on Using Your Brand Elements
Incorporating your brand elements when you decorate winter jackets for promo is key to making that big impact.
Select the Right Colors and Fonts
You’ll want to use the same colors and fonts in your decoration as you have on your website, advertising and other promotions. This ties these branding components together to make them easily recognizable to your audience. Your company logo and tagline are simple and effective options as a basis for decoration design.
You’ll want to choose a color for your winter jacket that allows your decoration to stand out clearly. Black, gray and navy are neutral jacket colors that work well with just about any decoration color palette.
Where to Place the Decoration for Maximum Visibility
When it comes to deciding where to place your decoration, you can go one of two ways:
- Decide where your decoration will be placed and how large it will be, and choose a winter jacket that will work well with that placement.
- Choose the winter jacket style then decide the best size and placement for your decoration.
Most winter jackets have full zippers along the middle front, so you wouldn’t go with a full-front design. An upper-left small decoration on the front works best in this case. Other options to increase brand visibility are:
- A smaller version of your logo or tagline on one sleeve is a subtle but visible option.
- With some jacket styles, it’s common to see a large decoration on the back’s upper middle. With other styles, it’s not as favorable. So if large back placement is important to you, think through your best jacket styles to accommodate it.
- The back of the collar is another subtle spot to place a design. Keep in mind, though, it may be covered up by long hair or a scarf.
- Along the bottom hem can work as well, depending on the material used in the hem.
Storm Creek Decorator Network
Storm Creek doesn’t handle decoration, but we have a network of decorators that we confidently recommend to businesses to decorate their branded apparel. These include companies located in California, New Jersey, Illinois, North Carolina and our home state of Minnesota. We’re also integrated with several online company stores that work with e-commerce.
We’re happy to ship your decoration winter jacket order directly to one of these partners in our network for FREE.
You’ll find all the details along with addresses and phone numbers on our Decorator Network PDF.
We hope this has helped give you ideas and guidance in using decorated winter jackets in your branded promo strategy. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to your Storm Creek sales rep.