Retailers have been given an ideal opportunity to promote their brand at point of sale and draw customers to their physical and online stores. Branded face masks are fast becoming the win-win eco-friendly product of choice by consumers, reports Promotional Products Apparel Corporation company director, Peter Broggian.
Face masks are now a legal requirement for all parts of Victoria and are strongly recommended in Sydney and other parts of Australia. Millions of Australians are now required to wear masks and increasingly Australians are using them to protect themselves in conjunction with the mandatory social distancing requirements across all states. They have already become an integral part of everyday lives.
While there was an initial surge in disposable face masks, this enthusiasm is being overtaken by the impetus to use environmentally sustainable products. Disposable masks, the flimsy paper kind thrown away after a single use, are already leaving a huge environmental footprint.
“Organisations buying disposable face masks are ultimately polluting our environment. The disposable face masks not only end up in landfill and waterways, creating choking hazards to wildlife and contaminating rivers and oceans,” Broggian adds.
An effective promotional tool
According to Australian-owned promotional product company, Apparel Corporation, this year reusable branded face masks have superseded demand above all other enquiries and orders they would usually receive.
“We’ve increased our resources and hours and are currently working fifteen-hour days in order to keep up with the enquiries and orders and uphold our highest level of customer service,” states Apparel Corporation director, Peter Broggian.
Historically, Apparel Corporation has helped organisations spread brand awareness through their customisable beanies, high visibility workwear, caps, jackets, shirts, bags and journal books. But as a result of the pandemic, they’re receiving a new wave of branded face mask requests.
Worn by staff and customers in their everyday outings as well as in the workplace, branded face masks are a low-cost, high-impact marketing tool.
The cost of one reusable branded face mask by Apparel Corporation is less than a week’s supply of disposable face masks. They also underline a retailer’s commitment to its environmental responsibilities.
Not all reusable masks are created equal. There are seven key features that identify a branded mask which support a retailer’s reputation for quality products and provide optimal protection for staff and customers.
- Three layers. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommends that reusable face masks should be made with three layers of fabric, ideally a polyester or polypropylene outer layer, a middle layer made from a breathable fabric blend and a cotton inner.
- Antibacterial treatment. Quality reusable masks are made with fabric treated with antibacterial technology that defends against 99% of pathogens.
- Water repellent. The best fabric masks use a water-resistant fabric like polyester or polypropylene for the outer layer
- Adjustable ear toggles. Comfort matters. Masks may be worn for many long hours.
- Contoured shape. The crucial importance of a snug fit is being promoted in most mask-related Covid safety communications.
- Flexible nose strip. These small strips sit over the bridge of the nose, can be adjusted to fit firmly and help the mask to stay in place, no matter the face shape.
- Individual packaging. Critically important. Quality masks must be packaged individually to prevent contamination on the journey from manufacturer to consumer
A long-term investment
Now is the perfect time to embrace the potential of branded masks to increase brand awareness and protect the safety of your own employees as well as increasing foot traffic and online searches.
As COVID-19 rules continue to be rolled out across the country, Australians are likely to be wearing masks for extended periods across the months or even years ahead.
“In a year that has brought many challenges for retailers, branded face masks are a silver lining. Retailers can also make these complimentary for customers entering their store to maintain COVID safety, making them cost-effective promotional gifts,” Broggian concludes.