Before you begin looking through websites and catalogs for the newest ideas in promotional products it is important to take a step back. Your promotional products should fit into your overall marketing plan.
Give thought to the goals you’re striving towards with this new campaign. Are you looking to increase brand recognition in the area? Are you trying to get old customers to repurchase? Are you introducing a brand-new company to potential buyers? Each of these may require a different plan of attack. In addition, what is your matrix for determining success or failure? How will you track sales that result from these efforts?
If you don’t know where you’re headed and have no way of knowing if you got there, then you’re likely to waste a significant amount of time and money. Once you have got that nailed down, you’re ready to start thinking about product selection. You need to invest in promotional items that will do more than just end up in a desk drawer forever to be forgotten about. Try to look for items that can be used daily by your customers. In general if it’s something YOU would use, it’s something your customers will use.
Tradeshows can be a bit of a different animal. There is so much competition and so many visitors that most companies don’t have the budget to hand out anything too fancy. This doesn’t mean that you’re limited to just pens or stickers. You need something you can hand out in bulk, but it doesn’t have to be something that ends up in the trash can on their way out. Consider handing something out that’s particularly practical like – sunscreen, lip balm, or bottled water. For a targeted marketing campaign, it’s far better to spend a little money and make a higher quality investment, but for a tradeshow that may not be realistic.
When you begin designing your products take a minute to look at your existing logo. Generally, it’s a better choice to use your current color patterns and images rather than to create something unique. This is the most impactful way of cementing your brand in people’s minds – keep things consistent. There are so many things fighting for space in your marketing budget but promotional products are an important piece of the puzzle. Make sure they are not just an afterthought in your marketing plan. Investing in high quality promotional products such as clothing or hats, can also give you something to hand out to deserving employees, which can boost morale and increase company loyalty as well.