At first glance, the creation and distribution of promoted merchandise seem like a no-brainer.
All you have to do is put your logo on a product, give them away and call it a day. Concerning producing branded merchandise, you’ll simply have to search for the most cost-effective item, run it through a printer and distribute them at a job fair or trade show. You can’t go wrong with that.
Is it really that easy?
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Of course, merchandising has a great deal of inherent appeal. A person is much more likely to dislike an ad than they are to dislike an item they got for free. However, promotional merchandise needs to fulfil several very important tasks. It needs to give you exposure, further your message, and, most importantly, attract new clients. Achieving all this requires effort and planning.
There are two ways your promotional merchandise can fall flat: one, you send the products to the wrong people, or two, you send the wrong message.
Targeting the Wrong People
The first rule of promotional merchandising is to get to know your audience.
Your product, no matter how exceptional, is doomed to fail when you target the wrong audience. Simply put: the people who receive them won’t convert because they weren’t interested in your product in the first place.
Take mousepads, for example. Mousepads are popular products because everybody uses desktops or laptops. But if you’re a wellness company that wants to attract fitness gurus and health buffs, offering them a mousepad displays a casual disregard for your audience’s needs and preferences. Your mouse pads might fall into the hands of people who work desk jobs and maintain a sedentary lifestyle — and they won’t be transacting with your brand any time soon.
As such, you need to reach people who are likely to become paying customers. You can give away branded water bottlers and sweatbands. The people who’ll take them and keep them are people who would be interested in your wellness company. These products would elicit a much better response.
Sending the Wrong Message
The second rule is to craft your message with more care. Even if you target the right people, an unconvincing message will fail to make an impact on them. Worse, they could even lose faith in your brand.
For example, you bill your brand as an eco-friendly company. You declare that part of your mission is to protect the environment. Your branded merchandise campaign, however, includes items that are made of non-recyclable plastic. Or you distribute your branded items in plastic bags bearing your name and logo.
That isn’t the message you want to send. Clearly, the right choice is to opt for an item produced using natural or recycled materials. It’s vital to have a clear message, or merchandising won’t produce the desired results.
Sending the Right Message to the Right People
When planned and executed correctly, a promotional merchandising initiative brings robust business your way. In fact, your promotional merchandise will:
- Serve Your Objectives Perfectly – Whatever your products or services are, you can find a promotional product that aligns with your objectives. If you’re a yoga studio, you can give out water bottles and shirts. If you’re a tech company, you can hand out USB flash drives. Your promotional item serves as a small introduction to your company and its values.
- Have More Staying Power than Business Cards – Business card recipients will ignore, forget and throw them away faster than you can blink. Shabby or fragile promo items are bound to suffer the same fate.A well-thought-of branded item, on the other hand, will be used and appreciated. Since it offers value to the user, it will be a mainstay on their desks or in their bags. It will be around to remind the receiver of your company.
- Increased Brand Awareness – Through excellent promo items, people will encounter your company every day. They work so much better than ads, too — people tune out or skip commercials and banner ads. People are less likely to pass over or ignore promo items, however, because they contribute to or can be part of the user’s daily activities.
- Establish Positive Brand Association – Whenever recipients see your logo, they remember that you’re a valuable part of their routine. And that your item came at zero cost! These are already grounds for points in your favour! Unlike ads, which can be disruptive, promotional items establish a positive brand association and build a better brand image. A great brand reputation comes hand in hand with more chances of conversions.
Branded merchandise is an effective method of establishing brand awareness, increasing revenue, and building a better brand image. Plus, it’s one of the easiest forms of marketing; it doesn’t require technical knowledge or a huge piece of machinery to get around. Just make sure that your craft the right message and send it to the right people! Downloading this report is how you can find out more about this.