These days marketing has become a great way to draw publicity to your business; after all, we are always going to be exposed to some sort of advertising regardless of where we look. Whether it be magazine ads, television ads, radio ads, bus stop ads, social media ads etc. there will always be some sort of medium where advertising exists.
Despite these more traditional forms of advertising, using promotional merchandise as a way to advertise your company has never been more prevalent. While you could be forgiven for thinking this form of marketing and advertising was dead and buried, it is in fact the opposite; promotional merchandise is still very much a powerful marketing tool.
Why promotional merchandise
This form of advertising allows your target market to be exposed to your brand, recognise it and associate with it in many creative ways. These are all vitally important as the more your target audience becomes aware of your brand, potentially the better results you will begin to see through your leads and sales conversions.
Items to be used
More often than not, the answer to this question will be dependent on what industry your business exists in and how big your budget is. Both criteria will have significant influence over the type of merchandise you choose to use. Most businesses will typically
Most of the time the answer to this question will depend on what your business actually is and what your budget is as well. Both of these criteria will likely influence the type of promotional products you decide to use. Generally, most companies opt for items such as:
- Clothing items such as socks, t-shirts, caps, gloves, headbands etc
- Accessories for your desk such as mugs, paper weights, calendars etc
- Stationary such as pencils, erasers, pens, rulers and notepads
- Purses, duffle bags, sports bags
- Business items such as address books, business card holder, laptop sleeves, compendiums
These items are generally the most common items that companies use, but given the level of flexibility that comes with promotional merchandise, there is a significant level of creativity that comes with using this form of advertising. The more inventive you can be, the more successful you will be in reaching your target audience.
Who is your target audience?
It’s fairly important that you keep in mind the target audience you’re looking to target. For example, caps, sweatbands and training singlets are all relevant if you want to target a gym or fitness organisation; whereas stationary and desk items are appropriate targeting businesses and corporate. Something to keep in mind is to not over brand the merchandise you are using. A subtle approach will be far more effective and will potentially get more use than a piece of merchandise that is obviously being use to promote your business.
Distribution: How and When
Again, this will be dependent on your clients and the type of business you have. If you are hoping to grab the attention of a potential customer or client, send them a free gift. Why? Because they will almost certainly pay more attention to your brand if you’ve gone to the effort of sending something – particularly if it’s free. And who doesn’t love getting something for free?
Furthermore, a trade show or a conference relevant to your industry is a great way to hand out your promotional merchandise and gain your business brand exposure. Similar to the previous point, you will be surprised at how much attention you will gain from handing out free stuff. It also provides an opportunity to have a face-to-face conversation with potential customers. If people are hovering around your distributors, their curiosity, and your brand’s reputation, will no doubt build.
Is it easy to setup?
In short – yes. There are plenty of companies who are able to stock and personalise cheap products that you can then hand out as promotional merchandise. For small businesses with small advertising budgets, this is very much a cost effective way of increasing brand awareness. Furthermore, these businesses can trial certain products to see which ones are most effective and get the best ROI.
If done correctly, a marketing strategy using promotional merchandise to increase brand awareness, reputation, sales and revenue, can be significantly successful and highly rewarding. Remember, don’t be too keen to rush into it and get everything out there immediately. Consider your options first and find what works best for you and your business.