If you haven’t noticed, branded promotional products haven’t gone anywhere. We may be living in a digital age, with all the potential, excitement, and pitfalls that come with advertising on digital platforms, but the physical world still reigns supreme, and just like with real-world signs and real-world sales reps, physical products can’t be shut off, muted, ad-blocked, and tuned out like digital ads and TV commercials can.
Using branded promo products in event giveaways, customer loyalty programs, and as part of brand awareness campaigns will spread the seeds of your brand far and wide, and, depending on the product, can serve as encouragements for return business, viral marketing on account of potential new clients noticing your brand for the first time, or both. Don’t assume branded products don’t work like they used to. It may be an old fashioned marketing practice, but there’s a reason it’s still in use: it works.
Of course, just like with any investment, it’s important to invest intelligently and intentionally when purchasing bulk promo products for distribution. If you want to maximize the impact of an investment in physical product stock, you have to understand a few things first, but if you’ve given any thought to marketing before, they shouldn’t come as much of a shock.
In any marketing and advertising effort, you must understand your target. You need to have a good idea of who you’re trying to reach: their average age, their background, their typical economic situation and needs, their occupation — and there are even more variables, depending on how precisely you want to narrow your scope. Depending on the type of business you run, it may be more beneficial to think broadly, but don’t go into this with a one-size-fits-all attitude.
Are you marketing to the office crowd, or to the home makers? Do you see market potential in students, established professionals, or retirees with expendable income? Promotional product suppliers like GoPromotional offer product solutions for just about any demographic target and lifestyle focus. In fact, it can be a little overwhelming to browse the sheer diversity of product options. That’s why you need to know who you’re trying to reach first, rather than picking a product you like and trying to make it work. A branded beach ball is probably not a good pick if your market is in a landlocked region and your demographic leans older, and a golf bag won’t do much for the typical university student.
Once you’ve got a more or less firm idea of who your audience is and have established options for which products may appeal to them, start thinking about the product in relation to your brand. Just like certain products will be more appropriate for certain target demographics, there will be some products that seem more congruent with your brand’s identity and values than others. This isn’t really about maintaining integrity for your own sake; it’s about the customer. People will pick up on the fact that your brand’s choice of promo product isn’t really appropriate. Does a “Save the Oceans” nonprofit really benefit from being printed on limited use plastic merch like pens and budget umbrellas?
On the other hand, when your audience sees that you or your marketing team have made a careful, thoughtful selection that matches the ideals exuded by your brand, they’ll instantly feel more confident in it. This can be a conscious or subconscious feeling, but no matter which it is, the results will be positive. Don’t make the mistake of assuming your targets aren’t aware of advertising or the methods behind it. We all notice it and habitually tune it out, but because of that, it’s all the more impactful when something comes along demanding not just our attention, but our respect. Consumers respect a good, thoughtful effort.
Your company’s budget will be what ultimately determines your decision, not only regarding which product or products you decide on, but the quantity of them. A pair of bluetooth headphones and a keychain bottle opener do not stand on equal footing. Of course, they serve entirely different purposes. The headphones would do well as a singular prize in a promotional drawing or sweepstakes conducted via your company’s email newsletter, or as an item given to high priority clients. The bottle opener, on the other hand, is something to be given away freely at public events where your company may be running a booth, or included along with select purchases to signal loyalty and appreciation to the average customer. So which would you choose?
When deciding on which product and how many, consider not only your budget, but the marketing priority of your business in its current state. A fledgling organization with a startup budget needs all the help it can get to be noticed, so small, useful items with low bulk cost are usually the best option. An established, well funded business can afford to splurge on fancier merch which will only add to its momentum. If you can, try to acquire some samples first, to make sure your money is being well spent. At GoPromotional, the size of your order is entirely customizable, with smaller batches available for those who wish to test out the effectiveness of a product before committing to a larger, more expensive order.
No matter what you decide on, never rule out branded promotional products. Just like business cards, promo products signal a sense of brand legitimacy to the potential customer. To see a brand represented on a physical, tangible object makes the brand that much more real in the eyes of the consumer. If you can stand apart from the noise of digital marketing, consider your investment a success.
Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.