Promotional products play an important role in the marketing strategies of many companies. These items are a cost-effective way of grabbing consumers’ attention and driving them to your business.
Many organisations are adopting the practice of distributing promotional products to consumers. However, the effectiveness of these items depends on many factors. Let’s take a closer look at promotional products and how to use them effectively.
What is a Promotional Product?
Any item that is distributed to promote your business can be considered a promotional product. These items feature details about the organisation they are promoting. This includes the brand name, logo, tagline, contact number, and/or the website.
In many cases, custom promotional products are given out when an organisation is carrying out promotional activities. These usually consist of items that people can use in their everyday lives. The end goal of distributing promotional products is to repeatedly remind consumers about the brand.
The idea of using items or products to promote your business has been practiced for centuries. Traders and vendors would give away samples of their products to consumers to draw their interest and spread the word about their business. Today’s promotional products have expanded to include a wide variety of items that sport the organisation’s details.
Many of these promotional products may seem like mundane items that don’t offer any special use; however, they are one of the most cost-effective advertising strategies you can use.
What Are the Most Popular Promotional Products?
As mentioned earlier, the end goal of distributing custom promotional products is to repeatedly remind consumers about the brand. A good way to achieve this is by selecting an everyday item that people use frequently.
Some of the most popular promotional products include:
You can also get creative with your promotional products in order to generate interest from consumers. Let's look at some examples of brilliant promotional product campaigns.
IAMS Frisbee Giveaway
IAMS Australia ran a great promotional campaign in 2009 that is still remembered by many. In their campaign, the organisation distributed promotional frisbees to dogs and dog owners at a popular park.
These frisbees were designed to look like barbell weights and featured the phrase “Strong Dogs - IAMS Dog Foods”. If you haven’t caught on, IAMS is the brand name for a dog food producer.
Their promotional campaign utilised an item that could be used frequently by dog owners. However, the most interesting aspect of this campaign is the manner in which they designed their promotional item.
Choosing a frisbee shaped like a barbell weight was an effective way to get their name out there, but to also convey that their products are geared towards keeping dogs fit and healthy.
Pizza Hut’s Social Media Giveaway
Pizza Hut ran an effective marketing campaign back in 2017 that utilised promotional merchandise and social media. In this promotion, the company gave away free Pizza Hut branded merchandise such as pizza slice-shaped Christmas ornaments and Christmas themed sweaters to Twitter users.
Individuals that tweeted about their love for pizza using a specific hashtag were selected at random and received the giveaway items. This campaign was effective because it generated a rapid amount of interest in a short amount of time.
Users were drawn in by the prospect of receiving free items, and promoted the company’s twitter page in the process. The campaign successfully leveraged the power of promotional products on a social media platform. This demonstrates the importance of choosing not just the right promotional product, but also utilising it in a manner that boosts the brand’s appeal.
How Do I Choose Promotional Products?
Choosing the right promotional product for your organisation is a multi-step process. When planning for a promotional product campaign, you can use the following method.
1 . Keep a clear goal in mind
Before committing to a promotional product campaign, it’s important to chart out what your goal is with the campaign. This is to prevent your organisation from wasting money on promotional products that do not accomplish their intended purpose.
Is your organisation attempting to increase their brand recognition locally? Or are you trying to draw in a specific subset of potential customers in a limited amount of time? Brand promoters should think over such questions before attempting a promotional campaign.
You can determine the budget for your promotional product after selecting your goal. If you plan to distribute your item to a select number of consumers, you may be able to create and distribute high-end custom promotional products that are seen as valuable and desirable.
If your campaign is geared towards a more general audience, you should opt for more affordable promotional items. This approach can be effective if the items in your campaigns are normal everyday objects people that can use, such as pens and calendars.
2 . Narrow down your list of items
After setting the budget for your promotional product investment, you can start narrowing down your choices. Any item can be branded to include your organisation's name and/or logo. However, some items will be more effective than others in achieving their intended goal.
A good rule of thumb is to offer items that provide consumers with functional value. This improves the likelihood that the item will be used frequently, which in-turn boosts promotion for your brand.
Some good promotional products for corporate events include umbrellas or golf tees. Both these items can be used by consumers who play golf. These items are also likely to be used in public, which increases the odds of other people seeing your organisation’s name and/or logo.
3 . Choose products that last long
Whatever the goal for your campaign may be, you should opt for a promotional item that lasts a long time. A product that offers longevity can become a regular part of your consumer’s everyday life.
The amount of publicity your brand receives could depend on how frequently they use the item. For this reason, you may want to choose a wearable item that shows off your brand name or logo in a bold and striking manner.
Similarly, you can choose items that aid consumers in their day to day lives. Flash drives and portable power banks are commonly used as promotional products for corporate events for this reason. However, these objects should feature a sizable memory capacity or a battery capacity respectively so that they are seen as valuable items worth keeping.
These considerations may factor into their price, so you will need to find the right balance between the item’s cost and value it offers to your promotional campaign.
How Do I Get My Logo on Promotional Products?
If you’re interested in getting your logo onto promotional products you should seek out a printing service that offers promotional items. Many of these companies advertise online, so finding one of these services shouldn’t be a problem.
They typically offer to print your company name and/or logo onto t-shirts, keychains, tote bags, and lanyards.
If you are interested in using a different item for your campaign, you can purchase them from a separate supplier and have your branding added on by a printing service. This approach can be a bit trickier, especially if your item’s shape and dimensions can’t accommodate your logo comfortably.
It may be useful to seek help from a graphics designer who can resize or customise your logo and brand name so that it appears bold and visible on the item. During this stage, you should also decide which printing or engraving method to use.
The most common ways to add your logo to a promo item are shown below.
1 . Screen printing
Screen printing is performed by pushing ink through a screen of fine material that acts similar to a stencil. This method is useful for printing your logo on fabric items such as t-shirts, tote bags, and lanyards.
2 . Pad printing
Pad printing is a simple process that is similar to stamping. In this method, the printing service creates a custom rubber stamp (known as a pad) that features your organisation’s name and/or logo. This stamp is then dipped in ink and pressed onto the surface of your promotional product.
These pads often vary in density to accommodate printing on the desired surface, whether the item is flat or curved.
3 . Digital printing
Digital printing is done using large colour printers. This printing process is similar to the one used for paper, except that it involves loading your promotional item onto the printer instead of paper.
There are plenty of other ways to put your logo onto items, such as embroidery, heat press, and laser engraving.
How Do Promotional Products Help Your Business?
Promotional products offer many advantages for businesses. These include:
1 . Affordable yet effective marketing
Promotional products are a low-cost solution for promoting your brand. They enable small organisations who can’t afford large advertising campaigns to get their name out there. Even if the price of your promotional items is low, their impact could still be significant.
2 . Reminding customers about your business
Promotional products that become part of consumers’ everyday lives can help boost brand recognition. These items will remind users about your organisation each time they use them. This can be a more effective promotional strategy than using TV advertisements, which hold viewers’ attention for only a few seconds.
3 . Functioning as a business card
Another way promotional products help your business is by acting as a business card. After all, these items often include an organisation’s contact details and slogan, similar to a business card.
However, unlike a business card, these items do perform functions outside of simply conveying your contact details. This makes them multi-functional objects that can be more valuable and creative than ordinary business cards.
How Do You Use Promotional Products Effectively?
Using promotional products effectively requires a combination of selecting the right item and distributing it in a manner that increases consumer interest. Let’s look at some distribution strategies that could help your promotional product campaign.
1 . Social media contests
One way to increase interest in your promotional products is to give them away in social media contests. These contests should be run for a limited time to convey a sense of urgency.
They should also feature custom promotional products that are seen as valuable, as this will draw in more participants.
2 . Trade show giveaways
Some organisations give away promotional products at trade shows. These could be small items, such as keychains or USB drives that can be given to visitors that stop by their booth. Some trade show booths also feature contests to attract more attention from attendees.
3 . Pop up shops
Pop up shops are another great way to generate interest in your brand. These are temporary retail establishments that are set up in spaces such as shopping malls and public events. These stalls typically offer branded merchandise (i.e.: promotional items) such as clothing, mugs, and bags.
What Is a Corporate Gift?
A corporate gift could be any item or voucher that is given by an organisation to their employees, customers, potential customers, and suppliers.
These items may appear similar to promotional products, but they are usually more personalised, and are given as a way of saying thank you. It can be said that promotional products are sales tools, while corporate gifts are communication tools.
In a Nutshell
Promotional products offer a cost-effective way to grab consumers’ attention and drive them towards your business. Effective promotional product campaigns feature items that people can use in their everyday lives.
Choosing the right custom promotional products can be crucial in your marketing efforts. However, the distribution method you use will also play an equally important role in generating interest for your brand.