Beyond The Imprint - Monarch and Company

Refocusing To Broaden Impact

Anna Nguyen

In the midst of what is going on in the world right now, many are finding it both calming and empowering to focus on helping others. Monarch, like many of you, has been thinking a lot about what we can do to move the dial these past few weeks. 

Each quarter, we head offsite for a Quarterly Day of Intention to connect, reflect, and enjoy our Monarch family. This quarter, we came together and brainstormed how we could reallocate these resources to help the community who gives so much to us. We pooled these funds and donated them to the local businesses who make a profound impact on our daily lives. We donated to dog shelters, purchased gift cards to local vintage shops and restaurants, and have been teaming up with local bakeries and businesses for projects and initiatives.

We’ve found that focusing our efforts on what we can do for the community has helped us find a clearer purpose during this time of uncertainty. And this made us wonder — how else can we help through our medium? Below we’ve shared five ways we’ve seen promo help broaden impact.

1. The Power Of A T-Shirt

We’ve loved seeing companies inside and outside of our industry find creative ways to use t-shirt sales to help those most in need right now.

Shop Local Kentucky, an organization very near and dear to our Kentucky-native, Rachel’s, heart, has seen the power of a t-shirt raise over $650,000.00 for various causes over the last three years. When COVID-19 closures hit, they sprung to action creating a portal to give small businesses who have been hit especially hard access to designing and creating t-shirts at minimal costs to sell for a profit to help raise money during this time.

Similarly, our industry printer, Riot Printing Co., developed a simply designed t-shirt to support the Knoxville Service Industry Relief Fund and has already gathered over $5,000.00 with all proceeds donated directly to Knoxville Service Industry Relief Fund.

Whether it be sharing social media posts, purchasing merchandise and apparel, or offering the design/production services to businesses and industries hit hardest– proceeds from relevant and impactful t-shirt designs can be a simple and direct way to give back during this time.

2. Repurposed Gifts

Previously produced merchandise and apparel with a cancelled event logo and/or date was one of the first big issues we saw as the virus gained traction. It challenged us all to get creative to avoid losing targeted spend, to do our part to keep promo out of landfills, and to help connect consumers and employees to a brand or event that may have been canceled or postponed.

From replacing stickers to reuse for a future event, to sending out the merchandise and apparel with a “rain check” tag or note, to creating digital in-home experiences to watch the event live stream, these small gestures have helped boost brand exposure while giving consumers, employees, and attendees something to look forward to in the coming months.

3. Employee Connectedness

It goes without saying that the need for social connection while practicing social distancing is top of mind for most everyone right now. As teams are adjusting to working from home, we’ve seen employers equip their team members with work from home kits, virtual meeting tools, and care packages to help ease the abrupt transition.

These small acts of kindness can help bring security and comfort through the uncertainty, boost productivity through connectedness, and sends the message that the employer cares deeply and is staying focused downstream.

4. Buying Local

Buying local is an area that’s always been close to our hearts. Monarch has a fiery entrepreneurial spirit and thrives on giving back to our local partners.

We’ve seen a huge surge in the request to buy local to support our communities and have been thrilled to partner with local creative minds and combine our expertise to come together to create unique care packages and gifts. 

5. Pivoting

Our favorite restaurants and bars, once gathering places for meetings, happy hours, and family dinners, have needed to shift their models almost overnight to adapt to this ever-changing environment.

One of our favorite ways we’ve seen creative genius and merchandise collide is restaurants offering branded coloring books, puzzles, and board games as a package deal with take-out and delivery meals. This adaptation has created an in-home experience that connects consumers with their favorite restaurants and has given families an opportunity to do more for their favorite local restaurant.

In closing, this crisis will create permanent lifestyle and business changes and how we adapt in these moments will directly impact what our tomorrow looks like. Let’s all continue to brainstorm and work together to create moments of connectedness and impact, while supporting and building up the communities around us.     

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