Let’s try something. Look around and track the time it will take you to spot a promotional item. Not much, right?
That probably doesn’t come off as a surprise. Promotional items are considered to be the most effective form of advertising across all generations, and there is a good reason for that.
How did it all start?
Perhaps you’ve wondered how it all began and why. The effectiveness of merchandising (even though that was not the official term for it back then) was first noticed in 1789 when commemorative buttons were created and distributed for George Washington’s election campaign. His results peaked, and since then, they did, too.
Source: Heritage Auctions
Slowly, more and more options became available, and today, the practice continues to be executed and greatly celebrated, both by businesses and customers.
If done correctly, just a single promotional item can average up to 344 impressions per month. But to reach such an amount and overpass it, there are a couple of questions you need to address beforehand.
What promotional products resonate with my target audience?
The most popular items for branding are T-shirts, tote bags, hats, pens, and drinkware. And you will not go wrong choosing either. But ask yourself first — would any of these truly resonate with the type of audience you would like to target. If the answer is positive, take action, if it isn’t, think further.
So to speak, athletes would be happier to receive a gym bag rather than a pencil as it will be far more useful to them. The key here is to acknowledge your customers’ needs and showcase that, as a brand, you know how to respond to them accordingly.
What promotional products resonate with my brand image?
Always match the promotional items with your brand image, goals, and mission. Consistency in marketing is crucial, and it does make an impression.
If you have positioned your company as one operating sustainably, it is important that you exemplify that in your merchandise, too.
It won’t make much sense if your all-natural skincare brand gives away plastic pens, will it? An organic cotton tote bag would suit much more instead.
Quantity over quality or vice versa?
A cheap gift very often leads to underestimation of your brand, as people associate it with poor attention to detail, lack of dedication, and an overall feeling of a rush-job.
A well-made one will make them think more of your brand and associate the good quality of the gift with the good quality of work you can do for them.
Nonetheless, quantity over quality or vice versa is a matter of choosing the right branding company to work with. The good news is, you can find printing partners that can offer you both excel execution and wholesale prices, combined with volume discounts.
The question of sustainability
More and more people are becoming cautious about mass production’s effect on the environment, and recent reports show that consumers do not believe companies address issues around climate change enough. One way to turn this attitude towards sustainability is to integrate it into your merch strategy. Opt for recycled materials and inks and dyes of organic and non-toxic nature. Your initiative will not go unnoticed by prospects, and it will sure make an impact on the environment.
Other aspects to consider
Distribution is just as essential as the steps listed above. Trade shows and local events are a great way to spread awareness about your business.
Another way to do it is to employ social media. Encourage users to engage with your content to receive a gift and witness how your orders rise.
Promotional products never fail. They are sure to leave a positive impression, foster loyalty, and attract new customers. And if you haven’t already, do give them a try.