With summer right around the corner, it’s a great time to use promos to engage consumers and employees in a fun and exciting way. But what are the summer contests and the hottest giveaways? Read on for ideas to get you started.


Should I have a Summer Contest or Incentive? 


A contest is always an excellent option for generating brand awareness, engagement, emotional connection, audience loyalty, and leads. But summer is the absolute perfect time for a promotion. According to research, June is one of the preferred months to launch a contest (the other top performing month is November). And, if you’re wondering how long your promotion should be — top-performing incentives are usually 25 to 60 days long. 


What Type of Summer Incentive Should I Have? 


Choosing between a contest, sweepstakes, and giveaway can be tricky. The optimal choice will likely depend on your goals and objectives. In designing your summer contest, start by thinking about your audience, where you interact with them, and what appeals to them. 


Generating Consumer Interest and Leads


If you’re a consumer brand looking to increase your fan base, you can’t go wrong with a promotion or contest. If you’re not sure you have the time, consider using a customer loyalty platform that makes it easy to set up and run a contest or sweepstakes for mobile devices.

Social media contests are an excellent way to engage current and future customers with low-cost promotional items such as printed koozies or custom coolers. Sometimes the only prize you need to offer is increased visibility of the winners’ feeds and bragging rights — something your company can provide by tagging top entries on your social media feeds. 

Setting up a contest on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram can be as easy as asking your followers to create a post featuring your products in a way that honors the season. Even if you sell gear primarily used in the winter, it can still be a sound strategy. Wouldn’t it be super fun to see people swimming in hats, scarves and mittens? 


Engaging and Recognizing Employees


It’s been called the great resignation and the great reshuffle — but no matter what you call it, the truth is that people are leaving their jobs in higher numbers than ever before. So, keeping employees engaged and happy has never been more critical.

Celebrating the summer season can be a way to shift employee focus. So, instead of thinking about their next career move, your employees will be thinking about fun in the sun. A few ideas are: 


Show Your Summer Spirit Contest

Encourage employees to bring a touch of summer to their office or remote workplace during your next virtual meeting. Imagine all those inflatables on the wall, magic sand castles on desks, and goggles on employees’ heads. To make things extra easy (and fun), you could send your employees a “beach in a box” to open at a virtual beach party.


Summer Snaps Contest

Who doesn’t love a photography contest? And summer themes are virtually endless — ice cream, sunsets, picnics, parades, celebrations, and the list goes on and on. You could have one contest for the season or one per week.


Cheers to Summer Recipes Contest

There’s nothing better than a cool drink on a hot day. So why not see who can whip up the best non-alcoholic drink? Will it be a cold brew mocha? A kiwi kale smoothie? A cola float made with strawberry ice cream? You can always award bonus points for the most unique name if there’s a tie. But, just so you know, the descriptor “Lemonade Listerine” is already taken.


Sizzling Summer Promotional Items


A gotta-have giveaway is essential to give your contest or incentive the desired lift for your brand. Popular prize categories include travel, entertainment, music, technology, and fashion. But even if you don’t have a big budget for high-dollar prizes, there are plenty of hot promotional items to pique customer interest. For an even more premium experience, let the winners choose the style they like from a custom online store.


Beach Promotional Items


When people think about fun in the sun, they tend to think about time at the beach or the pool. So it’s no surprise that beach promotional items are hot at this time of the year. Here’s a starter list of the best promotional items to help you make a splash with customers and employees: 


Promotional Pool Floaties and Beach Balls

If you spend any time at the beach, you’re likely astonished at the variety of shapes and sizes of floaties for adults and children — donuts, sharks, swans, tic-tac-toe, moose, pizza, and more. Many of these beach toys are so impressive that they literally make people stop and stare — something that can be great if your goal is to increase brand visibility.  


Promotional products create brand awareness, especially when they’re on-brand, like this popsicle-shaped floaty and hangtag for Jonny Pops, a company that sells frozen fruit and cream bars.


Custom Beach Chairs 

A comfy beach chair makes it easy for people to soak up the sun — not just at the beach but also at picnics and Fourth of July celebrations. If they’re lightweight and easy to carry, all the better! Some foldable chairs are little more than a backrest to support your back while sitting on the ground — making them very lightweight and easy to carry around. An easy inflate air couch is another popular item since it doesn’t require an internal pump and is less bulky than many chair options.


Custom Beach Towels or Blankets

Custom beach blankets and towels are like billboards for your business — when you spread one on the ground, your logo and company name are there for everyone to see. You can buy custom towels in bulk or order embroidered beach towels with the winner’s name or the name of the contest.  


Outdoor Picnic Items


Barbecues, picnics, tailgating, and more — during the summer, there are so many ways that people gather together for food and company. Your promotional item can be part of the action.


Custom Yard Games

Custom yard games are at the center of the fun — which means your brand will be too. Options include cornhole sets, giant dice, and stacking games with wooden blocks. Because these items are oversized, there is tons of space for unique design and branding. For example, if you sell rubber ducks, you could screen print ducks on a bean bag toss game. For more durability and a premium look, you could opt for wooden engraving instead. 


BBQ Grills and Gifts

One coveted summer promotional prize is the Big Green Egg, an all-in-one grill that allows you to grill, smoke, roast, bake, and much more. While these grills run several hundred dollars, offering one as a prize can quickly increase the number of people participating in your contest. For a less expensive but wow-worthy grill giveaway, consider a high-quality grilling tool set with a branded case. 


Promotional Coolers

A YETI custom cooler — or anything with the YETI brand — is always a draw. Prices for YETI gear can be high since it’s a luxury brand. But, the upside is that people will likely hang onto a branded YETI item, providing brand visibility for years and years. If you don’t have the budget to splurge, custom lunch coolers and cooler bags are other great choices for summer promotional items. 


Printed Koozies

Custom koozies have long been a staple of summer promotional giveaways. Cheap foam and neoprene koozies are great when you need to buy koozies in bulk. But koozies can also be an upscale giveaway if you opt for engraved metal koozies. 


Summer apparel and accessories


Summer is an excellent time for promotional caps, shirts, sunglasses and other wearable gear. Why? Because your customers and employees are more likely to be spending time outside, enjoying the weather. Plus, they aren’t bundled up in bulky coats that hide your cool branded t-shirts.


Screen-Printed Flip-flops

During the summer, many people live in flip-flops. So, it’s no wonder that people are always eager for another pair — even if they’re promotional flip-flops of the thin, foam variety. Of course, more durable options fare even better since customers can enjoy them even longer. 


Branded Sunglasses 

There are about a billion custom sunglasses options ranging in price from less than a buck to over a few hundred. Any can be great for brand visibility and eye protection. But if you’re trying for chic or classy, consider browline sunglasses, mirrored aviators, or rainbow lenses.


Drawstring Bag with Logo

A lightweight drawstring bag is an excellent catch-all for flip-flops, sunglasses and logoed gear when people aren’t not using them. Plus, they provide highly visible branding at a low cost. 


We’re Your Partner in Summer Fun and Promotions


If you’re looking to engage customers or employees with contests or incentives, we can help. At Point B Solutions, we coordinate promotional programs from start to finish — we can help define your contest, assemble kits to send to employees, organize contest entries, and much more. We’re ready to help keep your brand hot this summer. 

Are you ready to get started?