Promotional products have existed for decades now, yet some still think of them as pointless or too costly. In reality, when you choose well, a branded product can bring about a range of benefits that, no matter how hard you try, you likely wouldn’t get with other forms of advertising.
The secret to the success of promotional products often boils down to the fact that people like receiving freebies. That is true, no doubt, but there is an element of promotional products every company should be aware of — their power to inspire gratitude.
Savvy advertisers know that branded merchandise offers companies a chance to relate to their target audience. The idea behind these products is to form a closer bond with the audience by resolving a problem linked to their wants and needs.
Some companies have a rather casual understanding of this, so promotional products may not work for them. Often, one of their major mistakes is that they focus on any random products they can brand and ignore what the audience needs.
Colorful company logo pens, mugs, keychains, and similar — are the classics we’ve all come to love over the years. But as years have gone by, they’ve become the safest option and thus rather mundane to some consumers. For a company to use branded products to its full advantage, it needs to go a step further.
A solid start is to recognize that your audience isn’t looking for you to treat them as consumers. If you want to form a close relationship without ever meeting them, you must treat them better than that!
Your target audience isn’t looking for random products that you’ve slapped your logo on and decided that should be enough to impress them. Some of them may not even care about mugs, pens, and similar items that don’t bring as much value as they used to, given that they’re readily available as is!
What they do care about, though, is the thought and effort you dedicate to their satisfaction. Your audience wants to see you’ve tried your best to understand their needs and wants.
More than anything, they’re the prime targets for favors — which is what your branded freebies should be. By giving them a useful, high-quality, and above all, well-timed product, you can inspire appreciation and gratitude in consumers.
In practice, this mainly comes down to actually knowing your audience and figuring out the right time and place for your giveaways. As nice as receiving a branded notebook would be, it’s hardly impressive at music festivals where free water bottles get the most appeal. Likewise, food vouchers offered around lunchtime and umbrellas presented just as it’s about to rain speak volumes about a company’s commitment to practical promotion.
In the end, modern promotion should never feel unwanted, unpleasant, or annoying, as you want the audience to feel so grateful that they itch to reciprocate (by buying your products or hiring your services). With well-researched branded freebies, this is all but guaranteed!
One of the best parts about using branded products for promotion is that you can fine-tune your target audience. Get to know as much as you can about their lives, and you’ll gain more insight into what kinds of products they’d be most pleased with.
Branded products already have a longer lifespan than ads or similar forms of advertising. However, if you go for the cheapest ones and disregard the importance of quality, you cannot hope for great results. Try to strike the right balance between cost and quality whenever you want to include branded merchandise in your campaign. Otherwise, ensure decent quality all year, and then surprise your audience with premium gifts for special occasions!
Although giveaways are a fantastic way to distribute your products, they shouldn’t only happen online. Focus on multiple distribution channels (direct mail, contests, seasonal store incentives, etc.) to ensure you’re influencing a large audience at all times.
You want your audience to notice your honesty and feel closer to you whenever they use your products. However, that won’t be possible if you disregard the main ideas hidden in your brand messages. E.g., if you own an eco-friendly business, don’t give away products that would lead to even more plastic pollution. Otherwise, you could alienate your most loyal clients!
Similarly, keep the products closely tied to your industry. If you have a bakery, it wouldn’t be prudent to give away mouse pads. Likewise, an IT company won’t invest in spatulas or plates — and it shouldn’t as it could confuse its audience!
Finally, remember to keep looking for new and exciting branded products to offer to your audience. Don’t rely on just one or two that seem to be working out well for you. If you don’t diversify your offer, your audience may get bored (not to mention they’d have lots of duplicates!). Your lack of creativity could rob you of exposure, brand awareness, and likely profit — so don’t let it get the best of you!