Use Promotional Products to Greater Effect With These Simple Tips

Posted by Jeff Stein on April 27, 2022
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Many companies have started to use promotional products because they know just how effective they can be. They can help increase customer loyalty, they expand awareness of your brand, and they are fun.

However, when using these items for the first time, a lot of companies make some costly errors, which can reduce the effectiveness of the promotional items. It’s important to have a plan in place before you get started, so you don’t waste any time or money.

Keep the following in mind when you are putting together the promotional product portion of your marketing campaigns. The information can help to keep you on the right track, so you will have a successful experience using these items.

Always Use Proper Branding

Remember that promotional products are about promotion, not just giving away items to make people happy. This simply means that all of the items you are offering need to have proper branding on them. This will include your name or your logo, and it should be in the same colors that you use for the rest of your branding. This keeps everything tied together and makes it easier for people to start recognizing your brand.

Even if it’s a small item, such as a keyring, you should still be able to get your logo on there. It is also important to ensure that the logo, name, etc. is always clear and easy to read. Sometimes, low-quality companies offering these products cut corners, which is the last thing you want when you are trying to get more customers.

Depending on the type of products you choose, you will have a different amount of room for your branded content. At a minimum, you should always have your logo on the item. If you have the room, you might also want to put a company slogan, your website, phone number, or other important information.

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Always Use High-Quality Apparel and Promotional Products

When people receive a promotional item with your brand emblazoned on it, they associate that product with your brand. That’s what you want them to do, naturally. So, what happens when that product you gave them is defective? What if the pen leaks, the shirt falls apart after one wash, or the keyring doesn’t properly hold keys?

The people who received that item will generally equate the poor quality of the promotional product with the level of quality your business can offer. While you aren’t a penmaker or a t-shirt maker, it doesn’t matter. The damage will already have been done. It’s going to be difficult to change peoples’ minds if they already think you have low-quality products and services based on their experience with the free products.

Therefore, when you are choosing apparel and promotional products, you need to be sure of their quality before you start handing them out to people. Order small quantities of the products that interest you and test them out. Use them to determine whether they will be worth your money and whether they will make your customers happy or not. Look for the durability of the products, how the logo looks, whether it does what it should do, etc. For example, you don’t want to give away a water bottle if the top leaks.

Even if you find a great, cheap deal on promo products, if the quality isn’t there, it’s not worth the savings. You will be better off spending a bit more and working with a company that can produce quality products. Take a little time to know what you are working with before you place a large order. It’s the sensible thing to do.

Think About the Types of Apparel and Promotional Items You are Using

What will you be giving away? Different companies might have success with different types of products, but there are certain items that tend to work well for everyone. This includes things like keyrings, pens, stationery, and water bottles. However, the sky is the limit when it comes to the options that are available for apparel and promotional products.

One of the risks that some companies face is getting too excited about seeing their logo on everything. You don’t need to go overboard and have every single promotional item in existence. Instead, it makes more sense to think about what will work best for your audience and business and focus on those. Of course, you can still choose a few other interesting types of branded products you feel your audience might like.

You should choose items that people are going to want to use over and over. This way, you will keep your brand fresh in their mind whenever they use the product. That’s one of the great things about these promotional items. They keep on advertising for your company day in and day out. They last a lot longer than an email. Promo items have a lot to offer, so be sure you are doing them right.

Provide Customers with a Gift

You want your customers to feel as though they are appreciated. This is especially true when you have loyal customers that have used your services or bought your products for years. You can and should show your appreciation whenever possible. A nice promotional item is a good way to do this. However, you’ll likely want to go beyond the usual pens and notepads. The item that you choose should be a bit bigger and more special.

Sending a promotional item to someone through the mail, or by giving it to them personally when they come into your office, helps to make it more personal. This can help to build customer loyalty. In some cases, you might even be able to personalize certain items with their name. This helps to increase the chance of them keeping the item for a longer time. They will look at it more as a gift than a promotional item.

Sponsor an Event

A good way to market your business is by sponsoring an event or even a team, such as a Little League team or a bowling team. You could help to sponsor an event that takes place in your community, as well, and set up a booth where you give away some promotional items, talk about your services, etc. It might be a local street fair, an art show, a gathering of businesses from the chamber of commerce, etc. There are plenty of possibilities that could work.

Sponsoring events and teams doesn’t have to be overly expensive, but it can be a great way to get your brand out into the community. For the promotional items, you have quite a few choices, as well. You might want to put your name on hats or uniforms for a team, or you can provide pens, water bottles, and other branded merchandise at the events, as well.

Think about the possibilities in your area and that you feel would suit your company well. There are always options, as long as you take the time to look for them.

Use Branded Products in Your Office

Here’s something that a lot of companies never consider, but it’s always a good idea. Use some of the branded items that you have around the office. Make sure that everyone has branded pens, stationery, etc. available to use. This in-house branding is good for the team, and those clients that visit the office will see the branding, as well. It’s naturally a good idea to have some extra items on hand to give away to those who visit.

Gifts for Vendors and Employees

Not only will your customers and clients appreciate having high-quality branded gifts, but so will your vendors and even your employees. As long as you are providing high-quality promotional items, they will be happy and proud to use them. They could be given out to show your thanks and appreciation, for acknowledgment when someone went above and beyond, or just because.

You might want to provide everyone at the office with a t-shirt or polo shirt with your name and logo on it. This could be worn to company outings, at the office, etc. There are plenty of possibilities.

Have Giveaways at a Tradeshow or Convention

Whenever you head to a convention or a tradeshow, regardless of the size, bring along some promotional merchandise that you can give away. The people who attend, whether they are peers, potential vendors, or potential customers will appreciate getting some free promotional products. These types of treats have come to be expected at these sorts of events, and you don’t want to disappoint.

In-Person Raffles

Here’s another idea. In addition to having some smaller branded items that you can give away to everyone who comes to the booth or show, you might want to hold a raffle. This is relatively simple to do. Just pass out tickets to people at the event and then draw a ticket at a certain time. Make sure the winner has time to collect the prize before giving up on them and drawing a different winner.

People like raffles because they are exciting and there is a chance that they could win a great prize. It will get people to pay attention to your booth and your brand even if they aren’t the one who ultimately wins the prize.

If you are going to hold a raffle, make sure that it’s legal in the location where you’re going to hold it. Always check the laws and regulations with any sort of giveaway, including when you choose to use the next tip on the list.

Have an Online Giveaway

While giveaways in-person are always fun, you might also want to consider holding an occasional online giveaway. It is a good way to get some attention for your company, but you need to make sure that you are following the online contest and giveaway rules in your state. Create the giveaway rules and contest rules, making sure they follow the state and federal regulations, as well as the rules on the social media platform you are using.

In addition to following the regulations, you need to be sure that the rules for entry are clear. State who is eligible to win, how to enter, how many entries they can have, how the winner will be selected, notified, and how they will receive the prize. Be sure to describe the prize completely, so people know what they could win.

Think Outside of the Box

Above, we discussed some of the best ways to use promotional products and to make them truly effective. Of course, this is just the beginning. The more you use these products the more ideas you will come up with that will work perfectly for your business. Think outside of the box and put them to use in your company.

No matter the business you are in or the size of your business, some apparel, and promotional products can work well for you. Here is a free site that will allow you to search and filter through thousands of promotional products based on your criteria.  

Choose a Company that Has What You Need

You aren’t going to be producing all of these products on your own. You need to have a company that can provide the products and that can print your logo and other text on them. Although a lot of companies today are offering promotional products, it doesn’t mean that they have what you need.

You have to think about the types of products that will be right for your audience, the quality, the price, etc. when you are making your choice. As mentioned, order some samples to get an idea of what the end products are like.

You should also check to see what type of other services and features the company can offer. They may have commercial print services, or even warehousing and logistics, so they can be the ones that mail out promotional items to your clients and customers. Check to see everything that’s available through the company and how it will benefit your business before making a final choice.

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Topics: Brand, Marketing Operations, Promotional Items