What is it about a freebie that enthralls? A promotional product might just be a cheap free gift but it immediately catches the eye of a shopper. This is especially so in the case of an item that is an ongoing giveaway. So if your product, say a soft drink concentrate has a glass free with every purchase, you will find that people who buy keep buying in order to collect a set of glasses; they are usually not satisfied with just one! This is just great for your brand because it’s right there in your target customer’s house, reminding him every day! What’s more, it makes his home an advertisement for your brand too as everyone who drops in is going to see it too. And that could add up to even more buyers looking for your product as well as the free giveaway.
How do promotional products work? They can work in many ways and with different budgets. The trick is to be flexible about it. The promotions can be a part of other programs too and can be targeted at consumers – both yours and prospective ones, vendors, dealers and employees. They can be used as part of a branding exercise or as incentives and they can very easily tie into so many marketing efforts and strategies. The great thing is the actual promotional product can be anything you want! This is because the history of marketing has proved without a doubt that promotional products are a sure-shot way to increase responses, to make buyers think kindly of your company and to increase brand recognition.
With all those glowing attributes, are there any drawbacks? Like everything else, you bet there are a few. Many a promotion goes awry because of lack of planning. One cannot just club the product and put in on the shop shelves and leave the rest to fate. It probably won’t work unless you have been injected with a large dose of luck at that particular point of time. You need to make sure your product is well-distributed and well-publicized. You also need to track it – now this could be hard if you have a widespread market – but it is essential to measure your success or failure as the case may be so you can take a call of how long you want the promotion to run or whether you want to pull it off the shelves. Start with a small-scale campaign an keep it focused till you get a handle on things and can go bigger.
It’s take time to get the product you want so plan well in advance. Try and get products that don’t involve complicated printing or unusual colors. In case you want to launch at a particular event, make sure of delivery dates and keep a buffer in case of any last-minute hassles. You have to take special note of the holiday season at the end of the year when your suppliers will probably have an overload of orders so like we said, there’s no better way than to plan early.
What are the kinds of gifts you can offer with your product? Clothing is the most popular of all gifts. T-shirts of course top the list. Followed by scarves, fleece vests, hats, rain jackets and blankets. These are great as far a branding is concerned but the hassles of different sizes and seasonality can be a pain. Food can also be good promotional items. This could include candy, coffee, fruits, etc. While these are appreciated by most people, they have a limited shelf life and could be allergy-causing and therefore avoidable. Then come the useful items like mugs, glasses, pens, bags, which everyone loves and is great for branding. Then of course come the office items. Photo holders, sticky notes, stress balls, thumb drives, whatever. These are usually reasonable and generate a lot of goodwill. However the expensive stuff is what makes the brand stand out so that involves higher spending.