Premium Incentive Products Magazine - Products and Ideas That Inspire Performance


Premium Incentive Products Magazine - Products and Ideas That Inspire Performance

Bon Voyage!

Get Them Moving With Luggage Incentives

A strong economy in 2018 led to growth in the U.S. travel goods market last year, with American consumers buying more and paying more. This is according to a report from the Travel Goods Association (TGA), which also found that the threat and imposition of punitive tariffs on U.S. travel goods imports hampered that growth.

And it's no wonder American consumers bought more travel goods, as travel to and within the United States grew 3.2% year-over-year from July 2018 to July 2019, though international inbound travel to the country has fallen, according to the U.S. Travel Association's Travel Trends Index.

"The solid performance of the domestic leisure and business segments—which together account for 86% of the travel economy in the U.S.—have kept the travel expansion on track through the first seven months of 2019 and have acted as a bulwark against the stagnant state of international inbound travel," said U.S. Travel Senior Vice President of Research David Huether.

So, what does all this mean for you as you plan incentives, rewards and recognition? It means that your audience is likely to be traveling at some point in the next year, and if you and your brand and company are associated with making that travel smoother, you will reap the benefits.

Why should you consider luggage?

"I think the appeal of the category stems from its relationship with travel," said Mike Landry, vice president, Special Markets, Tumi. "And especially for the white-collar road warrior, a prestige bag tends to really lend itself to incentive and reward programs. When you're driving down the highway, you look at makes of cars. When you're traveling, the brand you're carrying on your shoulder is equivalent to the brand of car you drive. It's about prestige—an external sign that you've made it."

According to George Cassius, president of Earth Gear Corp., luggage makes an ideal item in any kind of program due to its high perceived value and universal appeal. He adds that luggage is often associated with fun and leisure, and adds that it is an excellent choice for continuity programs.

Easy Travel

Carry-on bags are still dominating the market, Landry said. "Nobody wants to check a bag because it makes you less flexible and can cost money. There's a theory among frequent flyers that the airline can't lose what they don't have. So, the action in the channel is in the carry-on size, and that really lends itself to the white-collar road-warrior type that we service."

In addition, weight is a big deal, Landry said, with manufacturers "carving out every ounce that they possibly can." This trend lends itself to hardsided luggage, which can be made lighter than soft-sided. "They tend to be a little less functional on the inside—there might not be as many pockets or as much functionality, but the consumer has spoken, and they want a lighter weight," he added.

In the world of carry-on baggage, look for features that maximize packing space while minimizing the hassle of navigating the airport, with added conveniences like the ability to charge smart phones on the go.

For travelers looking for a soft, supple and incredibly lightweight carry-on that doesn't compromise on packing space and performance, Briggs & Riley's Rhapsody Tall Carry-On Spinner is the end of the search. Coordinate with any soft piece from the Rhapsody collection for the ultimate travel solution. Briggs & Riley Travelware backs its high-quality luggage with a comprehensive warranty that even covers damage caused by an airline.

For tech-enabled traveling, the 19-inch Expandable Spinner from Samsonite's Mobile Solution Collection, available in navy blue or black, features superior functionality in timeless, lightweight styles. Features include nylon twill fabric with vinyl trim and water-resistant coating; a front zippered pocket perfect for storing smaller items with an integrated USB port that provides easy connection to USB accessories; a patent-pending wireless charging pocket in the middle exterior pocket designed to fit your wireless battery and phone for effortless charging on the go; expansion of 1.2 inches designated by a unique zipper pull for extra packing capacity; and a fully featured interior with two side storage pockets, Smart Fix Buckles™ and removable 3-1-1-friendly pouch. Dual spinner wheels make it easier to get from here to there, and a retractable ID tag discreetly located on the back of the bag provides private information needed for bag identification or retrieval.

Skyway's new Eastlake Collection, available through Incentive Concepts, offers modern convenience. With Skyway-heritage details and modern appeal, the handsome Eastlake collection is ideal for business or family travels. This lightweight, smooth-rolling carry-on offers comfortable handling, multiple pockets on the inside and out, as well as compression straps to keep packed items in place.

For those who are more style-minded, the incredible Logan Leather Overnight Bag by Frye, available through Rymax, is a fashionable traveler's dream. Top carry handles or a removable, adjustable strap make this functional piece extra comfortable. Featuring protective metal feet and antique brass hardware, the Logan Overnight Bag is durable and classic. It meets most airline carry-on size requirements so you can travel stress-free.

When You Need More Room

For longer trips, travelers will look for luggage that is lightweight and durable—able to keep their necessities well protected for the duration of the trip.

For adventurers, the newly launched V4 Polycarbonate Collection from Tumi was designed to be lightweight and durable for whatever lies ahead. V4 highlights the clean precise lines with added raised channels that provide great structural integrity and durability to keep items inside protected from impact. Softened/fuller corners allow for the perfect pattern and expanded capacity. Enhanced by lightweight multi-layer polycarbonate construction, these new pieces are sleek and stylish, and allow for you to select the perfect piece for your next journey. New solid colors and prints create a well-balanced color program to support the introduction of the redesigned collection. Tumi's V4 collection uses a proprietary formula of polycarbonate made with multiple layers to increase durability. V4 also features the proprietary X-Brace 45 Handle System™, which provides best-in-class strength and structural integrity. Whether you are short or tall, traveling with V4 feels effortless and comfortable.

Ricardo Beverly Hills' new Seahaven collection, available through Incentive Concepts, offers remarkably spacious organization. Lightweight and spacious, the Seahaven collection features multiple ways to keep you organized and rolling smoothly for easy travels. The Medium Check-In, pictured here, was designed for reliable functionality on trips lasting three to five days and offers multiple pockets inside and out, a secondary compartment to separate packed items and comfortable handling.

For those looking for tough luggage that will last a lifetime, Aluminum Luggage from Aleon, available through Earth Gear (not pictured), features unmatched quality, built to last for decades of frequent use. Aluminum will scratch, dent and ding, but it will never crack, tear or otherwise compromise its contents. Aluminum is the only luggage material that is biodegradable, unlike plastics, polyester or nylon. Aleon Aluminum is about 40 percent lower in cost than other aluminum brands and offers innovation in an assortment of luggage and cases. Finally, aluminum is by nature RFID-blocking, which means IDs and credits cards inside the case cannot be compromised.

For longer trips, travelers will look for luggage that is lightweight and durable—able to keep their necessities well protected for the duration of the trip.

For those who want more than one piece, the U.S. Traveler Hardside with USB Smart Carry-on, available through Earth Gear (not pictured), provides a range of options when it's time to pack. The set features a 30-inch Check-In Upright Spinner, 26-inch Check-In Upright Spinner, and a 22-inch Carry-On Upright Spinner, all featuring hardshell material for superior protection. All three pieces can be nested inside each other to save space. The carry-on features a built-in USB port and interior power bank compartment to provide quick connection to a portable electronic device for charging. The sturdy retractable handle system features a push-button mechanism, with a self-locking handle mechanism to provide different handle height adjustments. The spinner wheels rotate 360 degrees for effortless maneuverability, and two full packing compartments make packing a breeze.

Backpacks & Beyond

Backpacks continue to grow in popularity, with sales up 3.7% in 2018. Landry said that while he keeps expecting the category to plateau, it never does. "It's all about backpacks," he said. "It doesn't matter if you're old or young, white collar or blue collar, male or female. It just keeps climbing and climbing."

Some of the reasons for that, he explained, include the fact that it spreads the weight of what you're carrying to your whole back instead of just one shoulder as with a normal brief or tote. What's more, it keeps your hands free, so you can sip your coffee, keep an eye on your messages and more.

Stylish, functional options abound in this category.

Style and sophistication reach new heights with the @work Leather Medium Backpack from Briggs & Riley. When the occasion calls for a sleek, polished solution with a modern edge, this backpack keeps you ultra-mobile and ready for anything. Comfortable design, multiple pockets to keep you organized and ready for anything and a supple feel will ensure you're at your professional best.

The Deluxe Backpack from Samsonite's Mobile Solution Collection features nylon fabric with vinyl trim and water-resistant coating. The interior padded tech panel fits most laptops up to 15.6 inches (vertically) and tablets up to 9.7 inches. For organization, an exterior front pocket is designed with two slip pockets and a pen sleeve to organize essentials needed quickly, while two interior zippered pockets provide secure accessory organization. The exterior side pockets are perfect for smaller personal items or a water bottle, and the right pocket includes a Key Leash to secure and locate keys stress-free. It also features a SmartSleeve™, which fits over most upright luggage handles for easy mobility.

Available through Links Unlimited, the Knomo London Beauchamp 2.0 Women's 15-inch Laptop Backpack is loved and worn by women the world over. Based on the bestseller, this backpack now comes in 15 inches and with extra features. A trolley sleeve pocket on the back, hidden outer phone pocket and RFID zipped inner pocket makes traveling easier and more secure.

And for men, the Knomo London Southampton Slimline 15.6-inch Laptop Backpack, available through Links Unlimited, is ultra-slimline but deceptively spacious and padded for comfort, making it the perfect take-it-anywhere backpack. With two separate sections—one protected specifically for your laptop—and a clever trolley slip pocket, it's the slick professional companion you've been searching for. Fits laptops up to 15.6 inches in a separate, dedicated padded section.

For those who want a stylish way to carry gear but aren't ready to get on board with a backpack, the Margaux Large Satchel from kate spade New York, available through Incentive Concepts, features refined grain leather and is defined by its curved, feminine silhouette, molded handles and functional interior. Crafted from refined grain leather, it features two slip pockets and a domed zipper compartment, inspired by the line of a scallop, with even more storage space inside. An adjustable crossbody strap gives you the option to go hands-free when you need it. The perfect detail added luggage tag is finished with an enamel spade signature mark.

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