From time to time, new products come along that fit the bill especially when it comes to awesome marketing gifts that all businesses can use to promote their products, services, and brand. There is no doubt that power banks are part of this category, and more and more businesses decide to use them to boost their advertising and marketing campaigns, thus increasing their brand awareness. Promotional power banks not only make great gifts for loyal customers, employees, and business partners, but they can also be used as giveaways at conferences, seminars, and trade shows. It has become common knowledge that power banks are charged and then comfortably carried around and used to boost the charge on mobile phones or tablets. But how do power banks work exactly? And how can you make sure that you have chosen the right one for your marketing campaign?
Power banks are essentially Lithium-polymer or Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries in plastic cases and feature a built-in charging circuit. These devices store electrical energy and are usually charged from by using a USB cable. The USB cables are normally plugged into USB-plugs or USB ports on desktop PCs or laptops. Due to all the Apps they use, as well as the extensive daily usage we make of them, tablets and smart phones have become more and more powerful and power hungry. As a direct consequence, the battery drain has also considerably increased. Many a time, a day’s battery charge on a tablet or mobile phone is not enough, especially if you are out attending meetings, visiting clients, or simply away for the weekend or out of town.
However, power banks are not only extremely useful for charging tablets and mobile phones. Power banks can also be easily used to charge numerous other gadgets that make use of lithium-ion batteries. These gadgets include GoPros, MP3 players, boom boxes and mobile phone speakers, cameras, or GPS systems. As long as you are carrying around a charged power bank, it can be easily used to charge any device that comes with a USB port.
As we have already mentioned in previous articles, power banks come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Generally, they are small enough to easily fit into a bag or pocket. While some have a credit card shape and are ideal for wallets, other power banks are larger. Usually, the larger the power bank, the more energy it stores. The amount of charge that is available from stored batteries is measured in mAh (i.e. Mill-Ampere-hours).This charge should be enough to completely recharge an Android device or a typical IOS, including iPads and iPhones.
A power bank’s recharge time is also conditioned by its mAh rating and by how discharged the power bank is. Most power banks need approx. 1-2 hours (sometimes even more) to recharge. Usually, a LED indicator shows the charge capacity (the LED will blink or change colour). Power banks have been designed to never overcharge, even if they are left charging for a long time. Usually, power banks come with a safety cut-off circuit that is able to prevent overheating or possible damage to the Lithium-ion battery. Ideally, power banks should be kept fully charged, thus ensuring they are ready for action whenever needed and able to supply a complete charge. As soon as the power bank is charged, make sure to remove it from its charging connection.
As with any other type of batteries, power banks also have a working life. Since temperature can seriously affect the battery’s performance, it is advisable to keep the gadget at room temperature and avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures (either cold or hot). The primary determinant of a power bank’s working life is the amount of charge/discharge cycles the gadget has been designed for. Most power banks have been designed for 500 cycles (sometimes even greater), thus generally providing the user with 1-2 years of use.
Power banks do not reach 100% when it comes to energy efficiency. In simple terms, power banks are not capable of giving out more than 80 maybe 90% of their power even if fully charged. And this is due to the laws of electronics, physics, and design. If someone quotes over 90%, you should be suspicious. First of all because the power may not be that high. Secondly, because such a level of performance is going to be short-term and will affect the long working life of the device. When charged, power banks start to lose charge. This happens because of the internal resistance. A device should be able to retain great part of its charge for approx. 4-5 weeks.
A reminder of aspects to keep in mind when choosing your promotional power bank
As with any other similar gadget, the per-unit price is generally a good indicator of quality. When selecting your promotional power bank, make sure to choose a high mAh rating (that will determine its capacity). Similarly, you can also ask for an efficiency figure. The vast majority of power banks are around 80-90% efficient when it comes to the power they are able to deliver. Make sure to select a power bank that has the shape and style that best suits your marketing or advertising campaign.
Cables and Accessories
Make sure to check what cables your promotional power bank comes with. Also, check if there is an extra case or packaging that will help protect the power bank when in use.
Define the Budget
Just like with any other promotional gadget, power banks are price-volume sensitive. Usually, the higher the quantity one orders, the lower the price per unit. This is why it is extremely important to know exactly which your available budget is.
This is definitely something you need to check. A 12 months warranty is normal. However, longer periods might also be available. Make sure to ask for information regarding the returns policy for those gadgets that fail to retain their charge long-term.
When dealing with promotional power banks, one needs to make sure that the gadget has good build and quality. It is in your best interest to make sure that you are purchasing a product that will last a long time despite being used repeatedly. So it is important to make sure that your promotional item is durable.
In addition, it is extremely important to make sure that your promotional power banks are safe to use. Ask the manufacturer/provider about their build or browse the Internet for client reviews.
The Imprint Space
Generally, power banks provide large print areas. However, you should keep in mind that sometimes less is more. It is not always necessary to fill the entire available space. You can keep it simple and only have your logo and telephone number printed.
Most providers hold stocks of power banks and are able to provide a reasonably fast turnaround (usually 5-10 working days). However, larger print runs may require longer lead times (even 2-4 weeks). So make sure to build the appropriate lead time into your planning.
Most power banks come with one single output port, allowing you to charge 1 gadget at a time. Other power banks come with 2 (or more) output ports, thus allowing you to charge multiple devices simultaneously.
It is important to keep in mind your clients’ real needs. If you know that they use multiple devices simultaneously (getting them drained more or less at the same time), it might be advisable to buy a promotional power bank that comes with with at least 2 output ports. In addition, you should also make sure that your promotional power bank comes with a high capacity battery, capable of fully charging various devices.
The Capacity of Your Promotional Power Bank
Power banks do vary by capacity, ranging from 2,000 up to 20,000mAh. It is important to buy promotional power banks with the highest capacity you can afford.
If you do so, your clients will not hesitate to use your promotional item on a daily basis and will feel confident that they are carrying a power bank that has sufficient capacity to meet their real needs.
All in all, when buying a promotional power bank, you definitely want to make sure that you are buying an item that is not only worth your hard earned money, but which will also help you achieve your marketing and advertising goals. You want to make sure that you are offering an item that will help your clients with their daily lives, and not an item that might add to their frustrations.
If you follow these basic key points when purchasing your promotional power banks, you will not only prevent wasting precious time, money, and effort, but you will also provide your clients and business partners with an item that they will use regularly and for a long period of time, thus promoting your brand, products, and services.