Promotional Products: When to Invest in Them and When to Avoid It
So, your business is doing well, and you are thinking that you would like to expand your customer base. Good for you. It is always a good thing when your business grows in popularity. You think maybe you can draw clientele in by giving them some sort of incentive. Maybe a free sample, or better yet, an item that they can keep with your logo on it, so they will have a harder time forgetting about your business.
While that might be a good idea in theory, there are only some circumstances in which a business should move forward with the production and the distribution of promotional products. I mentioned in a previous article about promotional products , that people needed an emotional connection to feel the drive to wear or use something with a logo on it. But how is that done? And, when would be the right timing to introduce a promotional product on the behalf of your or someone else’s business? There are couple of prerequisites that will need to be addressed before you invest or launch a promotional product. If you can tick these off, you the chances of your promotional materials kicking off will increase drastically.
You are Confident in your Product, Service, or Brand
If your product or service is guaranteed to be in demand , then adding promotional products in the mix can increase your chances of both building your clientele and increasing loyalty for your existing clientele.
People pay their money for goods and services that know will work and help them achieve the goals they accomplish. So, it would stand to reason that if they know a product is good, they will continue to seek out your business for when the need for it arises.
If you know that they will like it or already like it, then you can strengthen the bond of the relationship between you and your customer base by offering them promotional products with the related brand on it.
You can even offer it as incentive to get people to spread the word about your business, depending on how likely they are to share their friends and family.
Note: This is only effective on new customers when your promotional product is a direct sample of the product or service you are trying to promote.
Your Promotional Product is Relevant to your Business
Do you know the kind of promotional products that boggled my mind as both a kid, and later an adult? Those free frisbees that were given away by local news booths around springtime. While I didn’t mind the idea of a free frisbee as a kid, it had always bothered me that the two weren’t related.
What message they were trying to send exactly, by attaching their logo on a frisbee? That the news station was fun? Anyone who has ever watched the news could tell you that it is the most depressing thing to see on the planet. Did they have 1000 red frisbees lying around and thought they would work as a giveaway by slapping a logo on them?
It is the same with the pay loan company logos on plastic cups. What would be the use of that? Why would I want to go to a company that holds your car title to pick up a plastic cup? Is it to encourage their customers to beg on the street for change in hopes of getting enough for groceries?
A promotional product without any cohesive thought or effort into it is confusing and can lead the imagination to pretty grim places.
But do you what does pique a person’s interest? A local brewing company selling beer glasses with their logo on it to reuse at a discount if they bring it back for a refill. That is brilliant.
It is because the promotional item is directly related to their product. You cannot lose any visual translation when a brewery sells a beer glass with their logo on it. It means “We sell beer, please drink it.”
You Know a Niche Group of People who Like your Brand/Service
If you already have a product like a piece of media, or an event that has regular attendees involved, then you know that you have enough of an established customer base that you can sell merchandise to. Fans will appreciate it and your business can profit from willing buyers.
This is exemplified best by the entertainment industry, where fans of bands will buy t-shirts and albums. It is also exemplified by geek culture. People at conventions will buy both official and unofficial merchandise, art, and other depictions of their favorite series and characters, because they already strongly identify with it.
Where promotional products will fall flat is when the item comes from a place or a situation where you would rather not be involved with in the first place.
For example, while the pens and notepads they give away at a doctor’s office is technically useful, it isn’t something people are going to be breaking the door down over. Especially if the type of specialist that is giving away those pens and notepads are the kind that would be considered socially awkward and embarrassing. What woman would want to run around and brag about a pen they got from their OBGYN?
And on that note, who would want to be a proud owner of a promotional product from their health insurance company or their car insurance people? No one. Because we hate dealing with these “necessary” evils.
So, when is it good to sell or give away promotional materials? It would be good to set money aside for that if :
- You are confident in your product or services
- Your promotional materials are relevant to your product or service
- Your product or service is something that people enjoy dealing with