What Makes Promotional Merchandise an Effective Marketing Strategy?

For one, you are giving away something for free – everyone can appreciate that. Secondly, statistics show that merchandising is cost-efficient, impactful, etc.

However, there is another factor which makes this strategy extremely viable. This is particularly relevant when you consider the trends among younger generations.

The truth is, younger people have somewhat of an aversion toward traditional forms of marketing. Research shows they just don’t trust them. According to Forbes, millennials don’t like the pushy and disingenuous nature of commercials and will block any content that hints at advertising. But with promotional merchandise, you have a way around that.

This is because branded merchandise allows you to take an established marketing technique and put a different spin on it. It simply boils down to how creative you are in the choice and the design of the products you’ll be giving away.

For an excellent example of this, you can look at Alzheimer’s New Zealand. This charity ran a campaign with the goal of boosting awareness and used merchandise to an amazing effect.

The organization decided to give away USB sticks. But they weren’t regular thumb drives. Instead, they came in the shape of erasers. Each stick also had messages saying how Alzheimer’s erased memories.

This clever design allowed the campaign to instantly resonate with its audience. Anyone who’s ever used a USB stick can easily imagine how terrifying it would be if they were to lose that data. This is something that’s very easy to associate with Alzheimer’s – a disease that affects a person’s memory.

As a bonus, a USB drive is an item which is convenient to have around and will see plenty of use. This further helped the campaign spread its message. This idea did not go unnoticed, and the campaign even made its way to the Cannes International Advertising Festival, where it received an award.

Here are the other ways that promotional merchandise can boost your brand’s image and make an impression on potential, new and old customers.

Lasting exposure for your business

A billboard on the highway, commercial on the TV or a website pop-up is before people’s eyes for a few seconds. As such, people will likely forget about it and your brand in a few hours. The digital scene is no less tenuous. Some people even click away from digital banner ads and pop-ups or worse, block them entirely.

On the other hand, people can use promotional products for days, weeks and even months. For instance, if you give them a bag with a functional and stylish design and your brand’s logo, they may take it to work every day. The bag not only prompts them to remember your brand whenever they use it, but it also increases exposure for your business when their co-workers see the bag, daily.

To back this up with research, the PPAI (Promotional Products Association International) conducted a survey to compare the effectiveness of traditional advertising compared to the use of promotional merchandise. According to their industry data sheet, 76.1% of participants could recall the brand’s name on a promotional product they received in the past year while only 53.5% could recall the brand’s name on a newspaper/magazine print ad they saw in the previous week.

Promotes brand loyalty

Let’s be honest, people like receiving free stuff. Even just a small promotional gift like a cap will help win the hearts of potential customers and turn them into loyal patrons. Plus, when they see your brand’s logo on the product you gave them, they’ll associate the happy feeling of a receiving a free gift with your brand.

The result is even better if you give out high quality promotional merchandise. People will equate the premium quality of your gift items with the quality of your business. This will help turn first time buyers of your products or services into repeat customers.

The bottom line is, promotional merchandise offers nearly endless potential. And knowing how to make use of it can do wonders for a company’s marketing efforts. Download our report if you’d like to learn more.