A lot of promotional merchandise is rubbish.
There I said it.
That’s why a lot of people don’t think of branded merchandise or promotional products beyond the ye olde classic business card.
Yeah having a great looking business card is still a promotional product.
But even then most of them are pants and boring.
But it doesn’t have to be this way, here’s how.
A Quick Story
“Did you hear?” Michelle said over the office phone to Danny. “Grant was at an exhibition and one of the exhibitors told him that promotional products are a waste of money!”
Danny laughed. Everyone in the promotional merchandise industry had heard that line at some point through the years. He remembered the old marketing saying – “marketing is a waste of money until you want to sell something.”
“What did he say?” Danny asked, even though he was pretty sure he already knew.
“The usual,” Michelle smirked, “Take my card – it’s a printed RFID card protector. If you put it in your wallet, it will stop thieves from cloning your details without your knowledge.”
“Yeah, that sounds about right,” Danny laughed. “Did the exhibitor take it?”
“Great! So, when is Grant meeting them?”
“Next week, the client wants to send a gift to each of their 150 members of staff to say thanks for their hard work over the last 6 weeks.”
“That’s a nice gesture,” Danny commented. “Any idea about their budget?”
“Around £1,000 overall, I believe.”
“Great – I’ll pull together some ideas,” Danny smiled.
How Do You Solve A Problem Like Merchandise?
Why do you still use a business card? What’s the point?
Is it to show off your business? Share your contact details? Or can it be summed up by “I want you to remember me and contact me and buy from me”?
That’s what we all want, right?
Good quality promotional merchandise and branded products do just that.
NNow that doesn’t mean “Put our logo on everything we hand out”. There must be depth and strategy to it.
What Is Promotional Merchandise
If you, as a business or business person give a client, customer, person of the public anything, if you hand anything over, that’s a promotional product.
- Business Card? Promotional Merchandise
- Branded Pen? Promotional Merchandise
- RFID Card? Promotional Merchandise
You get the picture.
So, think about what you give out, how you present yourself, what each of those things means to you.
If you give out something cheap and tacky, then how does that reflect on your business?
Why Use Promotional Merchandise
There’s an old saying in marketing that seven is the number of times your business needs to be seen by or interact with a customer to get them to make a purchase.
The problem is seven is just an arbitrary number, no real “fact” about it.
It can be three times, it can be thirty times, there’s no real number.
There is so much noise and competition out there that to make an impact you need to make to stand out is immense. So, the closer you can get to just 1 touchpoint will always be better, but never achievable.
When you think of Apple what do you see? You see the logo, the shape of the iPhones and iPads, the whitest white of the official accessories. You see all of them because their products match their branding but also because that consistency is powerful.
What about Coca-Cola? What do you see? The red of their cans? That ribbon-style writing of their name? The Christmas advert? All of the above.
All the promotion you do is to further and enhance your brand. Branding is extremely important but it’s not the be-all and end-all.
The Importance Of Branding & How To Use It
Branding and promotion are extremely powerful in your business. It goes beyond marketing to provide an image of your business that people remember.
Your brand is everything people think about your business. Part of it is in your control, most of it isn’t.
You can make a good first impression with a nice website, clear tone of voice, great logo, and of course, fabulous merch!
This impacts your brand. What are people thinking about you, your business, your products, your service?
Your brand should reflect a consistent image. I’m always using the example of a pen. If you have a nice clean posh, professional brand why are you ruining it with cheap tacky pens that breaks on their first use?
Think about your branding and what it means for your customer.
That’s part of the reason we called ourselves Wow Merchandise. Because if it doesn’t make you or your clients say wow then you’ve lost your money and your client.
That’s even the point of our little story earlier, if you have something that people want, can use, makes them think “Wow” then you have branded merchandise that works.
We got a significant sale from that interaction and continue to this day.
Yes, we sell merchandise, but we understand the power of promotion and branding.
What are we getting at?
Your brand is part of that.
The Benefits of Promotional Merchandise
80% remember a brand after they’ve gifted them a promotional product.
Gift-giving makes you memorable. We all remember that one amazing gift we got for our birthday/Christmas/Hannukah. So, imagine having that incredible feeling as a professional. From one business person to another. Knowing they have given you a great product that you genuinely love.
Now imagine being in that business and having your name remembered. That’s the power of a great piece of merch (just look at what happened with our RFID business card).
81% of consumers keep promotional products for more than one year.
We probably all have promotional products stashed around the house that we use regularly. Thing’s we’ve picked up from conferences, exhibitions, business visits and more. I can imagine there are pens, pencils, coasters, tote bags all taking up space in our houses.
So when you use these pieces not only are you reminding yourself of that person and that brand, but you’re also advertising for them.
Think of all the people that could be actively using and advertising your brand daily, but they are also remembering your brand and what it stands for.
Giving a great quality product stays in the mind and the office/home for longer than you may think. Also, 80% of people pass along a promotional product if they don’t keep it for themselves, so word will spread. It’s a win-win.
8/10 people report a positive change in their impression of the brand after receiving a promotional product.
Digital marketing experts estimate that we’re exposed to around 4,000 to 10,000 ads each day.
All of those ads are trying to get you to buy, use a service, or bring your attention to something. They can be annoying. Very annoying.
Promotional products don’t have that effect because they’re useful. They can be the “best” form of advertising. Receiving them feels like receiving a gift.
Who doesn’t love getting a present?! Especially a thoughtful and useful one.
That’s right. Branded Merchandise > Normal Ads. Enough said really.
Promotional products increase brand awareness for 84% of people.
Even if you’re not going for a sale, maybe you’re just trying to get your name out there, promotional products work great. Because it’s advertising and branding that people can feel, touch, use, and keep with them!
With Great Merch Comes Great Responsibility
Yes, promotional merchandise, branded products, and giveaways do work. They work extraordinarily well. They are fantastic tools in your arsenal.
The reason that it’s never worked properly for you in the past is, we would place our money on, is that you didn’t do it right.
Don’t worry, not a lot of people get it right.
Take your time, think about what products truly:
- Reflect your brand
- Is valuable and useful to your customer/client
That way you will have promotional merchandise that works.