Promotional product marketing… A lot of business owners hear that and think of cheap swag that they can pass out to unaware passersby at conferences or business meetings. They get mental images of oversized garishly-colored dollar-store sunglasses with a corporate logo seared into the side or beer koozies that’ll sit in their junk drawers for years. But promotional product marketing can be whatever you need it to be, and it certainly doesn’t have to be cheap or tacky.
In fact, the ideal promotional product marketing campaign seeks to produce quality branded items for a low cost-per-unit, items with utility that will serve a purpose for the consumer. Branded products can range from bottle openers to custom calendars, and there’s such a massive industry for these kinds of products that promotional products can be made to serve the purpose of any brand or industry. If this is your first time hearing about promotional product marketing, or worse, your first time attempting to run a successful campaign, this article will provide you with the tools necessary to hit the ground running and maximize the value of your distributed products.
For your consideration, here are three things you need to know about launching a promotional product marketing campaign.
1. Perception is Everything
You want to put some thought into which kinds of products you choose to distribute, as the quality and the usefulness of the product will have a rhetorical effect on the recipient’s perception of your brand. Choosing to distribute cheap-looking products that won’t serve any function in consumers’ lives will leave would-be customers with a poor taste in their mouths; it communicates that your brand is cheap, and doesn’t value its customers. Instead of distributing cheap swag, hand out products that reflect your brand’s purpose. For example, if you’re a fitness company, try giving away branded pedometers, or if you’re a tech company, give away free USB cords and ports.
2. Give Gifts, Earn Lifelong Customers
The advantage of giving away useful promotional products is that recipients who use your products semi-frequently will become familiar with your brand and likely have a solid idea of what services you perform. Receiving promotional products from a brand has been proven to increase the recipient’s positive outlook on that brand, and it’s likely that as they continue to make use of your product, they will associate that usefulness with your company. As a result, there are instances where lifelong customers have been acquired through promotional product marketing, as people who receive promotional products are highly likely to patronize those businesses later in life, and significantly more likely to recognize and choose the services of the distributing company over their competitors.
3. Human Billboards and Consistent Advertising
Then, of course, there’s this: customers who wear or use products with your logo are inadvertently (and if they’re a fan of your company, purposefully) spreading awareness of your brand amongst the circles they frequent. Very few people wear or use company products that advertise for companies they can’t stand, and so what may be seen by the recipient as a matter of convenience will be seen by bystanders as a tacit sponsorship of your brand.
Anything helps, and whether someone is just sloughing a company shirt on because it’s the last clean article of clothing they had or using a tool with your brand name on it gratefully, the probability of getting massive returns on a relatively small investment is high.
Doing Something Tangible for New Customers
This upcoming generation of consumers is more cynical than ever, being raised on a diet of constant advertising and unmet promises from corporations who didn’t have their best interests at heart. With a promotional product marketing campaign, you’re introducing yourself to new clients by offering them something in exchange for even hearing about your brand. It’s a significant first gesture with which to establish a business relationship, and the importance of that to discerning shoppers cannot be understated. A promotional product marketing campaign may just be the way to differentiate yourself from the pack, grow your brand recognition, and established customers that come back for more.
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