Gone are the days when you can build your business successfully just on the quality of your product.
You are proud of your delicious chocolates. You have worked real hard on product development to perfect the texture, the appearance and the taste that you’re customers will love. Now, it’s time to let more people know about this wonderful achievement – your new product. You are looking at creating an image and increasing sales. You have the advertising taken care of and you wait to take off.
You keep waiting ….
Only to realize that your competition is luring your customers away by offering freebies along with their box of chocolates!
While creating a product that customers want and like is one half of the story, the rest depends on marketing. Managers know that in today’s increasingly competitive environment, it is important to be creative and break through the clutter of messages in the mass media. Walt Disney once said, “You can’t top pigs with pigs.” You have to understand that many traditional forms of promotion are losing ground to newer trends, and present opportunities for the promotional products medium. New research empirically proves that business promotional products have a big impact in responding to a competitor’s attack.
Business Promotional Products
Customers have a more positive image of a company offering promotional products than the one that doesn’t.
The Advantages of Promotional Products
It all boils down to “Human Nature.” Who doesn’t love getting gifts? Similar to how parents get children to focus on their studies with promises of gifts, giving away free promotional gifts to your target market has been found to be a great way to attract attention.
Studies show that receiving a promotional product as an advertisement is more effective in creating a positive attitude toward the brand, than most other media. Business promotional products provide companies with advantages that may not be accessible in other media.
The advantages include:
- May be effectively used as a stand-alone advertising medium
- Can be added to the media mix, creating a huge impact
- Create a more positive overall image of the company, leading to a higher likelihood of buying the company’s product again
- Allow repeated exposure to the company’s message, based on the length of time the products are used
- Offer better perception of the business
- Give better ability to recall the company name
- Provide higher likelihood of recommending it to others and increasing customer base
Studies also show that promotional products when used in synergy with other mediums created an even better outlook toward the brand.
Most Promotional Products Are Thrown Away…
It’s a fact that many business promotional products people get are given or thrown away or used just once. Imprinted promotional products that last at least a year can provide the opportunity to drive a message far beyond traditional media.
How To Select Appropriate Promotional Products For Your Marketing Campaigns
Here are some tips for selecting the most effective promotional products that customers would want to use or keep, instead of giving/throwing away.
Usability – Will your target market use the promotional products? If the answer to this question is “No,” then they are not right for your company.
Promotional products should be items that members of your market use frequently. This is the only way your brand name remains in front of them. For example, if you’re target market is IT professionals then they would enjoy using your promotional “custom flash drives” or “laptop bags.”
Relevancy – Promotional products are used to improve the image of your company, so relevancy plays a big factor. If you own a technology firm, it makes no sense giving away kitchen appliances. Giving them laptops or flash drives with your company logo-imprinted will work wonders, because they are relevant to your business.
Quality – The quality of your promotional product makes or breaks your marketing campaigns. Cheap products that are unusable won’t help people remember your business, as they are most likely to be thrown away. In fact, a wrong product of low-quality will mar the image creating the opposite effect.
Visibility – The goal of a successful marketing campaign is to increase visibility of your brand. Promotional products that provide long-term visibility do this. Edible or seasonal products are a big “No!” Go for products that will be used throughout the year and are not put in drawers is what you should be looking for. Somehow, pens always seem to go into the drawers, unless they are the expensive and branded stuff.
Any Promotional Product Ideas?
Oh yes, Plenty! Let’s begin with what makes most sense today. You may not imagine mega-corporations gaining environmental consciousness, but that’s exactly what many Fortune 500 companies are doing. They are not only purchasing green energy for their use, but also turning to eco-friendly promotional products.
Rather than wasting money on products that will eventually be in a landfill, many large companies are giving away sustainable promotional products.
Here are some earth-friendly promotional products given away by the large corporations:
- Totes and t-shirts made from organic fabrics
- Biodegradable plastics from corn
- Seeded or recycled paper for mailers
Such products not only last long and do less harm when they are finally recycled or thrown away, but also garner goodwill from the customers.
Companies give away fabric bags and totes; USB drives; reusable grocery bags; decorative ceramic plates; wearables and many more.
Of course what your company gives entirely depends on your target market and demographics. You can even get creative and come up with something new that has never been done before, like DC Comics did.
Real Life Example of Innovative Promotional Marketing
DC Comics came up with an outstanding promotional program, and offered free “comic book rings” for customers who buy 25 comics in a single order. This promotion was a huge success and comic book lovers who were never a part of the epic battle between DC Comics and Marvel Comics, now very clearly toed the line of DC Comics – all because of this one hugely successful marketing campaign. Marvel experienced huge fallout due to this.
That’s the kind of power good business promotional products can have on your business.
The Disadvantages of Promotional Products
But we have to admit that using promotional products for marketing is not without flaws. However, the flaw lies with choosing the wrong type of product that does nothing to change customer perception of your business, and you would have wasted money on an unsuccessful marketing campaign.
Organizations don’t have to clutter the media with huge promotional campaigns. One of the best ways to bolster consumer confidence is to give promotional corporate gifts on a yearly basis. Brand visibility is greatly increased through these gifts and the company portrays a consistent, high quality image.
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