Here at Steel City we like to invest our time with our clients and really get to know their brand and what it is they are trying to achieve. We can then suggest and recommend promotional products that fit with a brand and will make an impact on the marketing campaign rather than just putting forward another branded plastic pen!
With this in mind, we have come up with our top ten tips for choosing and sourcing effective branded merchandise:
- Start by thinking about what your clients do during their working day. Are they at their office desk, on the go or do they work from home? Choose a product that fits their situation.
- Make it useful. BPMA research says 89% of people keep a branded item they find useful. Choose a product that fulfils a need – a sports bottle or bag would be handy for new clients who go to a gym, for example – and you will ensure your brand stays in front of your customer for a long time.
- Find the perfect time to send. Time your free gifts for the period in the year when clients typically purchase or use your services. That’s when they will be at their most receptive to being reminded why they should use you, not a competitor.
- Think creatively. Send your client something interesting that addresses a need or problem, but which also makes your client smile – that will make it more memorable.
- Ensure your branded merchandise reflects your company image. It could be the product itself – e.g. a car dealership wanting to portray luxury might choose an executive pen or an umbrella. Or it could be something you have made up in your company colour.
- Quality counts. It may seem like a large investment, but the better the quality of a branded item, the more durable it will be. The product bearing your company name will be kept in their sights for a longer period of time.
- Don’t be tempted to over-brand. A product with a subtle logo is more likely to be used and therefore be more effective at raising your profile.
- Get personal. We make deeper, emotional associations with a brand if a gift of merchandising is personalised – and sent or given directly to us.
- Make sure your items deliver a clear call to action. Do you want your customers to visit your website, call you up, email you or interact on social media?
- Think about how you will be delivering the gifts. By direct mail, at trade shows or an event? This will impact on your product choice. E.g. if you are mailing an item, you have to consider the size of product as it will impact on postage costs.