Promotional items are a method of marketing that many companies have taken advantage of to increase brand awareness, build trust, reward employees, and grow the customer base. While some may ignore this strategy in favor of more modern means like social media marketing, email campaigns, and pay-per-click advertising, there is still an important role for branded merchandise to play in the world of marketing.
Promotional products are everyday items that people would use, but with some customization on the part of the business that is giving them away. Usually, these products contain brand information like the logo or company name. Perhaps there is a slogan associated with the business that they print on the product or a unique design. Either way, the purpose of the item is to expose the brand to more people. Every time the owner uses or wears it, new pairs of eyes could notice the brand, increasing awareness and recognition.
But what makes a promotional product campaign effective? What are the advantages that it offers? Let’s break down why so many companies use this strategy to help promote growth.
Businesses small and large can take advantage of promotional item marketing because it is affordable. These items can often be purchased in bulk, lowering their price. But they can also be just as effective, if not more so, than other marketing channels in generating more impressions. For example, a t-shirt that has your logo on it can be worn over and over, and each time it becomes visible to the public. One shirt could lead to five or ten conversations about your brand, which makes it worth the investment since word-of-mouth marketing can be very effective. Plus, all it takes is a one-time expense to order the items. Once they are given away, exposure in the local area could skyrocket, if the item is useful and of a certain level of quality.
Can Build Trust
Online brands in particular face unique challenges with their marketing efforts. The internet has a high potential for scams, broken links, and sketchy websites. This makes it harder for consumers to trust online interactions and transactions. They may even be hesitant to purchase from your company in favor of a brick-and-mortar store that offers a lesser product, but one that they know is legit and won’t leave them exposed to security issues.
Promotional product advertising can have a small but important impact on the psyche of a consumer. Something about seeing a physical item with company logos and names can make your brand seem a little more real to them, potentially convincing them to trust you. Branded merchandise is also effective for local businesses that want to build trust within the community.
Diverse Options for Products
Some marketing channels may only target specific audiences. With the right promotional items, you could reach a very broad range of potential customers. Workers can always use things like custom pens or other office supplies. Athletic individuals can find a use for water bottles, drawstring bags, and wearable device accessories. Environmentally-conscious consumers will be open to free swag made from recycled materials like notepads. No matter who makes up your target audience, you can probably come up with a useful item to give them that promotes your brand to more people.
Can Be Paired with Other Marketing Initiatives
The best marketing campaigns in history utilize a cross-media approach to their messaging. They don’t just rely on one medium to be successful. When your messaging is unified across multiple channels, you can reach more people with a consistent message that demonstrates how well you understand your customer base.
Promotional products can be advertised through other channels to increase their reach and, therefore, create broader exposure for the brand. Share giveaways on social media. Bring promo items to your booth at a trade show or community event to enhance your face-to-face marketing. There are endless opportunities for integrating your promotional product campaign with other marketing initiatives, so use these other tools to further increase brand awareness.
Does Promotional Product Marketing Still Work?
Yes! It works because you see it all the time and may not even realize it. How many branded shirts do you see in a day, or coffee mugs or tote bags? Each time you see one, your brain may take a mental note of the associated company. The more you notice it, the more likely you are to remember it.
Though promotional items are not a guarantee of a successful marketing campaign, the right strategy can position you well to see greater exposure and increased sales from this unique advertising channel.