“Why use branded merchandise to promote brand awareness?” you ask? With all the valuable, unique benefits it offers, a better question is, “Why wouldn’t you?”
If you’re seeking to learn more about these benefits for yourself, look no further. This short-but-comprehensive guide gives you a full understanding of the indispensable advantages of marketing promotional items.
Read on to see how promotional products will skyrocket consumer awareness (and approval) of your brand.
Better Than a Business Card
This point alone should be all that’s needed to convince you of the importance of branded merchandise. After all, you already print out business cards for your company, don’t you?
Branded merchandise is an invaluable upgrade to the simple business card that’s too important to pass up. Why? Because people might actually want it.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. If a company you’re totally not interested in asks you, “Want a free business card?” what would you say? You’d say, “No,” of course.
Now, what if that same company asked you, “Want a free flash drive/T-shirt/high-speed phone charging cord?” You’d be far more likely to say “Yes,” wouldn’t you?
When you do, you’ll find printed upon these items the same company info you’d see on a business card. And you’re much less likely to trash a flash drive than you are a paper card.
Plus, there are many options of branded merchandise that look like business cards but have valuable hidden features. For example, you could hand out business cards that shield the RFID chips of credit cards from being scanned by digital pickpockets. A card like that is too useful to throw out.
Brand Repetition Ingrained into Daily Routine
Again, what do people do with business cards? They throw them out as soon as they get home or store them in a drawer and never look at them again.
But they’ll use a charging cord every day. A flash drive or T-shirt they’ll use several times a week. And every time they use your branded merchandise, they see your brand.
Plus, it’s more than the typical brand repetition customers have learned to tune out. We’re so used to ads in our apps and on billboards on our daily commute that we intentionally ignore them.
Unlike these other advertising efforts, your branded merchandise is a useful part of their daily routine. They can’t help but see your brand, and how much it helps them, every day.
Positive Brand Association
Then, whenever they do see your brand elsewhere, they’ll associate it with the helpful, free merchandise they use every day. They may not make this association consciously, but that’s even better. They’ll see your brand and feel positive about it.
By establishing your brand repetition as a useful part of their daily routine, you secure a positive association in their hearts. They’ll also remember with fondness that you gave them the useful item as a free gift. Everyone loves a company that gives.
You can’t buy public approval or affection. But earning it with gifts of branded merchandise comes pretty close.
This favorable opinion you earn with promo products evolves into brand loyalty. A survey by the British Promotional Merchandise Association records that 73% of customers who receive your branded merchandise will purchase from you in the future. According to another study, 90% of customers who receive a free gift from retailers say they’re more likely to purchase from them in the future.
These promotional gifts also earn you new, loyal customers. A study by the Advertising Specialty Institute found that about one-third of customers will start doing business with a company they’ve never purchased from if the company gives them a free gift.
Tangibility: Advertising to All 5 Senses
Tangibility in advertising isn’t exclusive to branded merchandise. But it is one of its most powerful advertising advantages.
With promo items, customers don’t just see your ad, they experience it with all 5 senses. This realness makes them more memorable than the hundreds of digital ads we see each day.
As popular as digital advertising has become, tangibility remains one advantage traditional advertising still holds over it. Traditional advertising is free to target as many as five senses. Digital advertising can reach a maximum of only two.
While digital advertising is invaluable for getting your brand seen, it isn’t good for much else after that. Once the app is closed, the digital ad disappears.
Branded merchandise is real and forces real interaction. That is, it doesn’t cease to exist when you stop looking at it. Once you get your promo product in their hands, they’re forced to do something real about it.
As already stated, free gifts are unlikely to be thrown away. If it becomes unwanted, it will most likely pass on two a new owner through regifting or donation.
Going back to business cards, how much money are you already spending on those, just to have them thrown away? And what about the digital ads and billboards people have trained themselves to ignore? How much are you spending on those campaigns?
Don’t get us wrong, those efforts do have value for their own unique, and important, purposes. It’s just that promo products have more.
The amount of money you invest in throwaway business cards could instead be spent on branded flash drive business cards that will never be thrown out. And why invest in a roadside billboard ad no one looks at when you could place the ad directly in someone’s home, on their nightstand, charging their phone?
Easy to Incorporate into Your Business Model
Best of all, branded merchandise can be incorporated into your business as items you already give away. Brand water bottles, pens, note paper, any freebies you may hand out to customers. Brand stickers, balloons and coloring books for clients’ children.
If you’re a one-bag-per-customer type of business, don’t bag customer items in disposable bags. Give them branded, reusable bags.
If your typical customer requires multiple bags, offer the reusable bags as a bonus gift at certain transaction amounts. Or sell them for a few cents each.
Think of it this way. It costs you less than a dollar to buy these bags from promo product companies like Bagmasters. The benefits of brand awareness and customer loyalty they earn you far outweigh the cost of handing them out.
Brand your own office supplies, too, anything your employees use. Brand pens, staplers, stationary, etc. Even get branded tape for your tape dispenser.
Build Your Brand with Branded Merchandise
Benefits like these are too valuable to miss out on. And yet, they’re so cheap!
If advertising is at all important to you, marketing promotional items are not optional. Branded merchandise: if you aren’t using it already, start using it.
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