Activating a brand is all about forming an emotional connection with your customer. Promotional merchandise provides you the perfect opportunity to do just that in a cost-effective and meaningful way.
Let’s explore 5 ways you can use promotional merchandise to make some welcome noise.
1. Give it away:
Trade shows, conventions and expos offer the perfect setting for a well considered promotional giveaway. Depending on your budget, you can choose either a low cost item that is something the attendee will find useful on the day (pen, notepad, tote bag etc) or a higher priced promo product that is given away on a more selective basis (caps, keepcups, beach towels etc). The rise of virtual events in this space has not reduced the impact of a giveaway. Quite the opposite – in a digital landscape, physical merchandise (something you can touch and feel) is a great way to build excitement, engage and reward your customers.
Don’t forget! The real difference between cheap and cost-effective? Creativity and relevance.
2. Let them win it:
Competitions are a great way to build brand awareness and actively encourage your (potential) customers to interact with it. In most cases, the higher the barrier to entry, the more valuable the prize should be. Depending on your objective (target new customers, increase brand loyalty) you might choose to run a competition via social media that invites follows and likes or one that rewards entrants for answering a short survey/questionnaire (a great way to gather extra data). Better still? Encourage entrants to submit their own content (photos/artwork/videos) interacting with your products. You can then use this user-generated content in future marketing campaigns. See our Vestive Vest Campaign for an example of this working well.
Don’t forget! Asking for too much information in order to qualify can be a big turn off (providing personal information -such as what school you attended – can also represent a security threat. )
3. Play hard to get:
Promotional items that are offered on a limited edition basis are a good way to create timely buzz around your brand. Studies have proven that when something is in limited supply, it can actually increase demand and desirability. So, whether you are looking to launch a new product or initiative or just looking for much needed cut-through during the busy festive season, putting a limit on the numbers of products available can be a great way to grab attention.
Don’t forget! Novelty/Seasonal items will have a shorter lifespan, so try and select a product that they will find useful year around.
4. Increase the value:
Gifts with Purchase (GWP) are a great way to enhance your brand’s value. Whilst discounts can often impede the perceived worth of your brand, GWPs do just the opposite. From a marketing perspective, GWPs can be used to encourage your customers to try something new and gather useful feedback/data, whilst at the same time making them feel they are getting more value out of their purchase. Most GWPs are only offered for a limited time which in turn creates a sense of urgency and excitement around the purchase/promotion. Case in point – Our Twinings In’fuse bottle resulted in sales 3x of what was forecast.
Don’t forget! Even though you are offering them something ‘free of charge’ you still want to choose a gift that your customers will perceive as valuable.
5. Say Thank You:
Expressing gratitude as a business strategy is highly effective. A survey conducted by BPMA (British Promotional Merchandise Association) revealed that almost 80% of people who received a branded gift feel ‘appreciated’, confirming merchandise is one of the most powerful advertising mediums for saying ‘thank you’. You might choose to reward your new customers (thank you for trying us out), existing loyal customers (thank you for your continued support) or those that refer others to you (thank you for sharing the love). Best of all? Branded merchandise is the gift that keeps on giving, every time they use it.
Don’t Forget! One type of gift may not suit all types of recipient – consider having a selection of products and maybe allow your customers to choose the one they like best?
Creating quality branded merchandise is only half the story. Taking a strategic approach to your merchandise is what promises to get your brand noticed and deliver the best ROI.
Looking for help with your next brief? Get in touch with our experienced team today!
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