1. Create lasting awareness
Research from the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) in the USA shows that 62% of people remember the name and details of a company that gave them a promotional product. A good promotional item should become an ongoing reminder of your brand, every day that it is used. Customer loyalty and even improved customer relations can result from the clever use of a promotional gift, creating an immediate appreciation and gratitude that forges a positive link. By including your contact details on a product, new customers are also more likely to call you as you are at such easy reach. It’s a great long-term business card!
2. Access to valuable advertising space
The majority of people are at work for 8 hours a day, and many sit in the one place, at their desk during that time period. If your current or prospective client is using your branded materials or promo gift in the office, you have secured the most valuable advertising space in the world – right on their office desk! A well-selected promotional product can become a permanent billboard of your brand and your message within a workplace.
3. Add personal value to your general marketing message
If you know your customer-base, and you understand what makes them tick, you can add a personal dimension to your general marketing message. A good promo product can help you localise and customise your brand message. By making clever-use of an interesting promo gift and adding an appealing logo or design you can increase the perceived value and desirability of the item to a particular audience. For instance, if your promotional item is perceived as “cool’, not only will people be more likely to keep it and use it, they may even collect it (if there is more than one variety). Big brands such as Coca Cola and Mc Donalds are experts in creating ‘cool-collectibles’. Receiving an interesting, branded item can be a great way to create brand awareness, and add personal appeal for your market segment.
For instance, if you work in the world of health and fitness, you may find that a person who receives a pedometer with your logo on it, soon uses it as their new favourite new gadget. They use it every day and take it everywhere. They develop a strong liking for it and therefore a strong association and familiarity with your brand. This can lead to brand recognition not only for the user, but also for those around them, especially if the person enjoys talking about their new gift.
4. Leverage the perceived cost value of a gift
The average person has no idea of the cost of producing promotional items. They are more likely to over-estimate the cost as their assumptions are based on the perceived purchase cost of just one item, not many. As a marketer, you can take advantage of this perception by bulk-purchasing your promotional products for far less cost than their individual retail value, but the perceived value to the recipient will be far higher. This is particularly useful when providing premium promotional products, as the person who receives your promotional gift will assume that they have been given quite a good present and will want to hold onto it and use it. For example, a product that costs you $5 can represent a value of $15 to the recipient. When a product is bundled with a complimentary piece of merchandise, the total apparent value of the overall package is increased substantially beyond that of the cost of the original item.
5. Get involved with your local community and charity groups
Sponsoring events and becoming involved with your local community and is a fantastic way to increase your brand recognition and a proven way to enhance positive consumer perceptions and market share. Hosting a charity BBQ, or providing the shirts for the local kids soccer team is a great way for a business to be seen as really caring about and supporting their community. The relatively simple gesture of sponsoring a local group, and adding your logo to signage or donating branded goods, can not only help you brand awareness, you help a good cause while you are at it. It’s a win-win!
6. Employee Incentive
Promotional products can be given not only to customers but also to employees to thank them for good performance, or to motivate them to perform with the reward being a gift of some sort. Consider creating an awards program that best-suits your work-culture, employees and your corporate goals. There are many different types of products that have high -perceived value to your staff but are relatively low cost for you. This can help increase positivity and energy within the workplace, particularly in a sales environment where incentives are great motivators.
7. A different way to discount and promote your retail products
Instead of discounting your product, consider adding a free gift item. The branded-gift item should be worth less to you than a proposed monetary discount, but should be perceived to be worth more to the customer. For instance, instead of discounting a carton of beer by $5 cash, you could consider giving away a customised key-ring bottle-opener with a perceived value of $5, but with just a cost of $1 for you to produce. This would enable you to maintain higher gross sales margins while also enhancing your brand value within the consumer’s mind. The thrill of a free gift lets customers feel special through their purchase, and they believe they got a good deal. This feeds back into the overall positive feeling your customers get when they think of your brand again in the future.
8. Your customers are your ambassadors
Whenever you see someone wearing an item of clothing such as a t-shirt or baseball cap with a logo on it, that person has become a personal mobile billboard for a brand. Some brands do this exceptionally well through use of interesting and cool designs that are enticing for people to wear, or by simply providing the customer with practicality, such as a free backpack to carry sports clothes when they join a new gym. If your customers wear or use your promotional products as part of their everyday life, you have succeeded in making that person become an public ambassador for your brand and a mobile advertising board wherever they go.
9. Correctly targeted promotional merchandise is cost effective
Research shows that 62% of people recall the details of the company who provided them with a promotional item. The key to making the most of this statistic starts with knowing your target market. Niche-market messages coupled with good promotional products can effectively spearhead the correct market segment for your brand. To make this a cost-effective and ideally profitable marketing campaign in the long-term, you need to make sure that the cost of producing the right promotional product will achieve levels of recall that are far greater than general media advertising. This type of marketing can also assist you with budget control and accurate break-even calculations.
10. Three-dimensional advertising.
In today’s digital world, so many giveaways come in the form of an impersonal discount code or an email link. However, despite the technology, humans are still very much the same, and people still love something that they can touch and feel. Receiving a free tangible object is exciting for most people, and usually far more interesting than any digital promotion. Creating an item that is tactile, personalised and meaningful enhances brand awareness. The resurgence of vinyl records in the digital music age is an example of the need for people to have and hold something physical. People like things that they feel are ‘for them’ or ‘about them’. The next time you are thinking of a promotional item, consider that a tangible product can have far more meaning to someone than anything in the digital world.
Free gifts that are thoughtful, creative, and useful make people happy and leave them with a good impression of the product and the brand advertised on it. With so many possible items to imprint with your logo, Fresh Promotions can assist you to find new and innovative ways to remind your customers about the value you provide and encourage repeat business and referrals.
Every marketing plan should look to include promotional products. When tied in with an effective marketing strategy, it can add value to any campaign and create a memorable experience. Online marketing is certainly the way of the future, however unconventional marketing strategies shouldn’t be overlooked. Using promotional merchandise is one such strategy.
Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.
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