Simply put, when someone they know recommends a product or a company, people tend to pay attention. A hidden benefit of branded merchandise is the fact that it, in a way, generates referrals for you. Here’s what happens.
When you hand out promotional products, your goal is to acquire more clients down the line. You’ve probably done your research and identified your ideal customer. Now, you are giving those items to people who match that description. But despite your best efforts, this won’t always work – you can’t convert everyone into a customer.
This is unfortunate but also unavoidable. The important part is what happens after the recipient has decided they no longer want to use the promotional item.
15% of the time, they’ll simply discard it. This is the worst-case scenario as it means your efforts were in vain. However, this is something you can just accept and move on – no form of marketing works without fail, not even close.
Next up, 18% of people will store the branded item somewhere and won’t likely use it again. Once more, this isn’t what you want. But it’s better than nothing. The odds aren’t great but they may use it again. If nothing else, they might see it by chance and be reminded of your brand.
However, a remarkable 67% of people will pass the branded item on once they’re done with it. These are the referrals mentioned at the start.
Of course, this may not be a referral in the strictest sense of the term, but you are getting added exposure. In addition, people enjoy giving and receiving gifts. As such, your product (and with it, your brand) will appear in a very positive context.
When a person passes a branded product to a friend, it serves as a vote of confidence for your brand. The giver thinks the item is valuable enough to be passed on to the next recipient. And because there’s a tangible object involved, it’s just as strong a social proof as word-of-mouth referrals are.
Once the branded item falls into the hands of the second owner, promo merchandising has a fresh opportunity to:
Introduce Your Brand to Potential Customers
The promoted item will build brand awareness, just as it has done with the first recipient. Take promotional clothing, for instance. A teenager outgrows the shirt your tech company has given him, so he passes the shirt to a friend (let’s assume you gave away high-quality shirts that can last for years). The friend, who was previously unaware of your brand, is now introduced to your company.
He asks his friend about you and looks you up online. He also wears the shirt and consequently, exposes it to a whole new circle of acquaintances, expanding the shirt’s reach.
Drown Out Your Competitors
Your brand exercises extensive creative control over your branded merchandise, so you can create eye-catching designs that set you apart from your competitors. Attention-grabbing colours and winning catchphrases will serve you well, especially when your branded item is passed on.
People are more likely to accept a statement shirt than an ordinary polo carrying a logo. Moreover, an interesting piece of clothing raises questions — “Where did you get that shirt?” “What’s that company?” “Where can I get one?”
Generate Leads and Increase Sales
You’ll be generating more leads by the time the second recipient gets a hold of the promo item. Then, the lead generation continues every time the new owner wears the item.
As mentioned earlier, transferring ownership exposes the item to new potential customers and creates more opportunities to convert.
Build Loyalty and Trust
Constant exposure to the product can establish brand recall — people are likely to remember your brand when they see related colours, shapes and catchphrases. It makes you the first option they think of when they need a product you offer.
This means your promotional merchandise has a second chance to win a client over. What is even better, this requires no additional investment or effort on your part.
If you’d like to learn more about promotional merchandising reach out to the team today.