According to an article in the New York Times, businesses spend $20 billion a year giving away stuff with their logos, which makes for pretty good evidence that promotional products work. Humans are hard wired to respond when we are given something, and every culture has rules of reciprocity. So when you give, people feel obligated to give back.
Is it really that easy? Research shows that people are psychologically influenced by the rule of reciprocity. Think of the March of Dimes or other mail campaigns that send you address labels in the mail. Do you just take them and use them without a thought or do you send back a donation? I know I’ve been a sucker for that one. Or what about Tupperware parties where you play games and everyone wins a prize? Everyone is watching when it comes time to fill out those order forms, and there is a strong obligation to give something back.
How do companies find the promotional item that will work for them? Here are some suggestions:
- Give promotional items that members of your target audience will use in the setting where they make decisions about using your product or service. If you target executives in corporations, give them something they will use in their offices or around their desktop so your company will come to when they make decisions.
- Select a promotional product that will differentiate your company from the crowd and underscore your marketing message. Be creative! There are hundreds of thousands of promotional items out there. So select one that fits your company and communicates your objectives.
- Personalize them. Put your logo and your client’s name on it. People like seeing their own name, and will be less likely to throw it away if it has their name on it.
- Consider promotional products an investment. Unlike a printed advertisement that your prospective customer may look at once before throwing it away, people will keep useful promotional products, giving them (and others who use it) exposure to your brand name over and over. Think of pens, for example, which the majority of people will keep and have the potential of being passed on from person to person during their shelf life. Some of the most popular promotional items these days are custom USB drives, aluminum sports bottles, reusable grocery bags, and anything green or American made.
Once you have decided to invest in promotional items, how do you get them to your target audience? Here are a few ways to distribute your items:
- Trade shows, conventions and expos are ideal places to give promotional products out. At the end of the day when they sort through their bags, there is a high probability that your prospective clients will keep the USB drive or pen or other promotional item that is useful to them. Select an item that will set you apart from your competition.
- Promotional gifts are a great way to say thank you to your clients at open houses, grand openings, holiday parties, and special events. People get excited about social gatherings, and handing them a gift makes it easy to strike up a conversation with potentially interested clients.
- Direct mail is still one of the most effective marketing mediums because it puts your message straight into the hands of prospective customers. Personalizing your promotional product with your client’s name will achieve the most results.
- Conferences and meetings are excellent places to market to others within your industry and give you the chance to meet face-to-face with customers. Boost your brand recognition by give participants a personalized gift for attending.
How can promotional items work for your company?
- They generate brand awareness. People love free gifts and samples, and clients are likely to tell their friends about the personalized merchandise you distributed with your catchy slogan or their name on it! Promotional items quickly spread the word about your business.
- To say "thank you". Following up with emails and phone calls to clients is always smart, but giving a quality promotional item is even better. When you send a gift like a desk clock after a big sale, you can bet that you'll see some repeat business.
- To commend a job well done. Employees deserve rewards for their hard work and dedication. A high-value promotional product can improve morale and reinforce loyalty.
- As door prizes at holiday parties or other functions. By using your own custom merchandise as prizes, you'll give winners a valuable reward while exposing your brand at the same time!
- To provide exclusive gifts to members. Giving an exclusive promotional product as a member gift may encourage people to join your club or organization.
- To raise money for charity. Non-profit organizations and charities often hold fundraisers, raffles, and auctions. By donating a high-end promotional item or a gift basket; the cause will benefit, you'll gain exposure, and the customer will receive a memorable gift.
There's no limit to what you can do if you get creative with your promotional items! Call us today at 281-486-8882 for more information or visit our webpage for more ideas of promotional products!