When it comes to branding and lead generation, while new strategies and tactics emerge on what seems like a weekly (if not daily) basis, there’s one “old favorite” that continues to withstand the test of time, and re-establish itself as both a cost effective and results-based way to create valuable mind share and visibility – which, ultimately, boosts sales and profits. Of course, I’m referring to promotional products.
From upscale laptop and tablet bags to functional flash drives and everything in between, promotional products are trusted by business of all sizes – particularly solo, small and mid-size operations — to get and stay ahead of the competition. Indeed, a giveaway that’s of some value to a potential customer creates an opportunity for engagement – which is the gateway for the lead generation process. This is especially true when the service or product is more complicated to explain, or has a higher perceived value.
Of course, not all promotional products are created equal, and it’s important to choose the right item(s) that will make the strongest and longest impression. Here are five key things to keep in mind to help achieve this important goal:
- Use Your Promotional Product to Create Differentiation
If you want to stand out from the crowd as a leader, then you need a promotional product that your audience will like, talk about, and appreciate. Even if they choose not to keep the giveaway, chances are they will pass it on to someone who they care about – provided, of course, that they find it valuable.
- Choose a Promotional Product that’s Functional
Align your promotional product to the season and/or event where they’ll be used more than once. For example, my company has given away extremely well-received insulated cooler bags during the summer months, and branded wine openers at Wine Expos. When audiences perceive that a product is functional, they’re less likely to discard it (think of how many lanyards end up in the garbage can at the end of an event).
- Don’t Over-Spend on Promotional Products – but Don’t Cut Corners, Either
Many companies are now giving less expensive promotional products to their audiences in a high traffic location in order to make an impact, while keeping costs under control. When done properly, this can be a successful strategy. Just ensure that you don’t give out ‘junk’ – it’s better not to give out anything at all, than to be associated with something that will diminish or damage your brand.
- Match your Promotional Product to your Audience
Audiences with large buying power and who represent high potential value (as customers) will be expecting a promotional product that aligns with their position. Also keep in mind that big ticket audiences expect more — even if it’s free — especially if they’ve been loyal to the brand.
- Remember to Fully Brand your Promotional Products
Promotional products can have a lifespan that lasts for years – often decades. We’ve all seen everything from memory sticks to stress balls pads that feature a company that we may never heard about or, at least, are not currently doing business with. As such, it’s essential that everything is fully branded with your name, logo, tagline and contact information. You never know who will see it, and how it may influence them to choose you vs. the competition.
Ultimately, and above all else, keep in mind that today’s customers have more marketing savvy than ever before – regardless of whether they’re buying farm tractors or the latest ultra thin smart phones – and, like all customers, they want to be appreciated. If you choose the right promotional products and distribute them in the right way, you’ll fulfill that expectation, and set your business apart.