Every so often a product comes along that fits the bill when it comes to great marketing gifts you can use to promote your company. Power Banks are one such product and one I have used at Redbows several times. They make great gifts for clients and even giveaways at trade shows and conferences. We all know that you charge them and carry one around so that you can boost the charge on your mobile phone or tablet but how do they work and how do you choose the right one for your promotion?
A Power Bank is essentially a Lithium-ion (Li-ion) or Lithium-polymer battery in a plastic case with a built-in charging circuit. The device stores electrical energy and is normally charged from via USB cable. This can be plugged into a USB-plug or a USB port on your laptop or desktop PC. As smart phones and tablets have become more powerful and power hungry, thanks to the Apps they run and our use of them, so has battery drain increased. Often a day’s battery charge on your mobile phone or tablet is simply not enough if you are out visiting clients, attending meetings or simply out on the town or away for a weekend.
As well as being useful for charging mobiles and tablets, power banks can also be used to charge many other devices that use lithium-ion batteries. These can include GoPros, and the other types of promotional gadgets available from Redbows such as MP3 players, mobile phone speakers and boom boxes, GPS systems and cameras. As long as you have a charged power bank you can charge the device if it has a USB port.
Power Banks come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are generally small enough to fit easily into a pocket or bag. Some are credit card shaped and ideal for a wallet and others larger. Generally the larger the device the more energy it can store. The amount of charge available from a stored battery is measured in Mill-Ampere-hours (mAh) and is generally enough to fully recharge a typical IOS or Android device including iPhones and iPads.
The recharge time for a Power Bank is also dictated by how discharged it is and the mAh rating. Most will take 1-2 hours or more to recharge. An LED indicator that will turn colour or blink generally shows the charge capacity. Power Banks are designed not to over charge even when left charging for long periods as they have typically have a safety-cutoff circuit. This prevents overheating and potential damage to the Lithium-ion battery. It’s always best to keep a Power Bank fully charged to ensure it is ready for action and capable of supplying a complete charge. Once a Power Bank is charged remove it from the charging connection.
As with any battery, Power Banks do have a working life. Temperature can affect battery performance so try to keep the device at room temperature and not to expose it to extremes. The primary determinant of working life is the number of charge/discharge cycles the device is designed for. Most will be 500 cycles or greater giving a user one-to-two years of use in general.
Power Banks are not 100% energy efficient. What this means is that a Power Bank will not able to give out more than 80-90% of its power when fully charged. This is just the laws of physics, electronics and design. If anyone quotes more than 90% be suspicious because (a) it might not be that high and (b) this level of performance will be short-term and to the detriment of a long working life. When charged, a Power Bank will start to lose charge due to internal resistance and a device should retain most of its charge for about 4-5 weeks.
So how do you choose the right Power Banks for your promotion?
- Selecting A Power Bank: as with any gadget like this, unit price is generally an indication of quality. Look for a high mAh rating to determine capacity and ask for an efficiency figure. Most Power Banks are about 80-90% efficient in terms of the power they can deliver. Choose a product shape and style that suits your campaign.
- Cables and Accessories: check what cables the Power Bank comes with and if there is an additional case or packaging to help protect it when in use.
- Fix A Budget: as with any gadget promotional power banks are price:volume sensitive. The more you order the lower the unit price. It’s important to have a budget in mind to allow us to get the right quantity for you.
- Warranty Period: check the warranty period. Twelve months is normal but longer periods may be available and ask what the returns policy is for any devices that fail to hold their charge long-term.
- Imprint Space: power banks are great because they provide a large print area. Sometimes less is more so don’t always fill the space but keep it simple with a logo and telephone number.
- Lead Times: we hold stock of power banks and can provide a reasonably fat turnaround within 5-10 working days. For large print runs we have to bring in stock and this can lead to longer lead times up to 2-4 weeks. Build the right lead time into your planning.
Redbows is a BPMA Chartered Distributor. For more information view the promotional power banks collection on our website or call us on 0800 158 3080.