How can small businesses achieve effective branding without relying on outdated, impersonal and expensive advertising? Essentially, they need to embrace targeted marketing efforts which meet the modern consumer’s expectation of value and personalization. Luckily, the perfect solution exists in the area of custom promotional products. Unique promotional products which are customized with your branding can offer a useful, free gift that the recipient can really use and appreciate for many years to come. They are a perfect vehicle for making your business name, logo, contact information, or marketing message continually visible for as long as the item is used. What’s more, it’s all for a very reasonable one-time fee.
Here are 7 ways your business can use promotional products to your advantage.
- Appreciate your customers
Keeping customers is not about short-term goals. You need to think outside the box when it comes to customer appreciation ideas which will show how much you value them and strengthen your business-customer bond. Doing the same thing that everyone else does won’t necessarily keep your customers at your side for the long term, so it’s best to do things that truly show your customers just how important they are with useful and personalized gifts.
Loyal customers are crucial to the ongoing success of your business so why not make sure they know how much you appreciate them by giving them useful gifts. They’ll feel appreciated, encouraged to continue purchasing or hiring your services and more likely to become a brand advocate as you won’t be sending them yet another flyer or special offer.
A ‘swag bag’ is a term used to describe the things you give away to customers at business events whether it’s a meeting, trade show, conference or product launch. Making creative swag bags full of custom promotional products can be the difference between a customer feeling truly appreciated for showing their support at your event and being less-than-impressed with another baseball cap with a company logo on them. Think about the products your customers would love and (using your niche as a guide) and get creative.
Trade shows are the ideal place to create a lasting bond between your brand and its customers by giving away free gifts. It’s important to ensure that the freebies are personalized and useful, and also not to give them away too freely. You want your customers to feel appreciated, not just another one in the crowd. Creativity will set you aside from you competitors, but try to keep the items related to your brand. For example, if you sell pet supplies, give them pet food bowls with your logo.
If you have a store and you feel like a customer has had a great experience, continue to momentum by giving them a free gift or two, as a simple way to show that you appreciated their business. For example, if the customer came in with kids you could give them an edible treat in branded packaging.
- Give your employees a sense of identity
Before you can spread the news about your brand in the wider community (or world) you’ll need to start within your own house. Personalized gifts for employees help to give them a place within your organization they can feel proud of. When they feel appreciated and proud to be part of your organization, they become the best brand advocates, especially if you give them promotional products they can use daily. It’s worth noting that at least 70% of consumers are likely to purchase a product recommended by someone they know.
As your company grows, you’ll see the incredible impact people within your organization can have on the product or service you provide. In many ways, our coworkers and employees become our extended family and individuals become representatives of the family name or tradition. A fantastic way to acknowledge this is to provide your employees with branded apparel items t-shirts, polo shirts and sweatshirts which will make them feel part of the team and help strengthen your image and community presence. Other popular employee appreciation ideas include printed pens, mugs, water bottles and totes.
Building genuine connections with clients is a challenging task in the digital age, so sometimes you need to go the extra mile to start a meaningful conversation. Sending client gifts which is of genuine use to the client can be a much better way to open a dialogue and introduce your brand to them. Starting a relationship with a direct sales pitch may be viewed as too aggressive and it’s often better to establish a connection and deeper understanding beforehand. You might ask about the client’s expectations, what they want from the partnership and if they have any worries or concerns. Take the time to get to know the client and you’ll find you have a much more mutually beneficial relationship.
- Build awareness of your brand
While promotional products can certainly get you through the door they can also help you build brand awareness and attract new customers or clients. Customized giveaways can be an affordable tactic to get repeated exposure for your marketing message and to gain favor with people. If you ensure that the products you give away are useful, they’ll continue to use them long after your meeting or the event has come to an end. Choose for practical promotional products with preferably large imprint areas to get double the attention when your guests put them to use. Some of the most effective are t-shirts, tote bags, umbrellas, frisbees, blankets and folding chairs, but fridge magnets are a particular favorite.
Why? Because custom fridge magnets are always visible. The fridge is one of the appliances in the home which everyone visits at regular intervals through the day. What better place to advertise than somewhere you know people are going to see multiple times every day? Maybe they don’t need your product or services right now, but at some point in the future this may change or they may think of you when a friend is in need. Make sure to include your logo, short marketing message and contact details.
Rather than handing out business cards which will be filed away out of sight or thrown in a drawer, choose a business card magnet. An eye-catching and recognizable business card design can make the perfect surface for a magnet that works equally well on the home refrigerator, on a metal desk or file cabinet or on the side of an appliance your company can service.
There is a huge variety of magnet shapes and sizes with equal options for customizing to fit your industry or niche. Real estate agents might want to use calendar house magnets which not only provide them with a practical tool they can use all year but will also have easy access to your contact information should the need to sell or buy property arise within their circle. There are also custom printed to-do list magnets which mean the family will routinely use these tear-off notebooks that stick conveniently on the front of the fridge, growing more and more familiar with your brand each time they jot down or cross off a task.
Whatever product you choose to give away, why not organize a community event to showcase your branded merchandise? You could even reach out to with local sports teams and combine your efforts with other small businesses to sponsor the events. Not only will this show your generous side to potential clients, but it will maximize visibility of your brand amongst the public.
- Stand out at trade shows & events
It’s not easy for any business to stand out in a crowd, but this is especially true of B2B businesses where there are thousands of companies competing for the same customers. At tradeshows and other corporate events like conferences, this becomes even more of an issue. The key to being remembered is to ensure that no attendee who visits your stand leaves with only a business card. To stand out year on year and ensure you stay in their minds after they’ve left the event, you need high quality and unique promotional products.
You shouldn’t give the higher value products away to everyone who stops by as you may want to reserve those for the prospects you build a real connection with. It’s also best not to display them on your table as they shouldn’t be the main attraction. Creative corporate thank you gifts are a way to show visitors that you appreciate their time and if you give them away to everyone, this defeats the purpose.
A really handy and low-cost product to give away is the Stylus Grip Ballpoint iPen as business professionals will regularly use both pens and touchscreens. There are dozens of styles, colors and finishes of stylus pen to choose from so you can select the best option for your branding needs. You can also have it custom printed with your business name, logo, contact information or a recognizable marketing message that will be seen every time that individual picks it up.
If your company is involved in a charity run or your business is connected to the fitness industry, customized water bottles are also a popular promotional product. From company events, to summer camp, charity fun runs, back to school and sports functions, races and much more, your audience is sure to appreciate personalized souvenirs they can use to show off their loyalty. Water bottles are available in many materials and designs including:
- Easy Squeeze Water Bottles
- Aluminum Water Bottles
- Glass Water Bottles
- Infuser Water Bottles
- Shaker & Water Bottle Hybrid
- Cola Shaped Water Bottles
- Collapsible Water Bottles
- Mood Water Bottles
- Water Bottles with Cork Cap
- Freezer Gel Bottles
Before the age of internet marketing, high volume direct mail was a common marketing tactic. However, while it’s rarely used in any significant way today, there are opportunities for some businesses to use direct mail to stand out amongst their competitors. People receive significantly less mail than they used to so when a mailed package arrives it really stands out. Sending promotional gifts which are easy to deliver via mail like custom printed microfiber screen cleaning cloths can be a great idea. They are light and have universal appeal for nearly every professional you could be mailing and are easily custom printed with any combination of words and artwork to keep your business top of mind throughout the day.
If you have a list of particularly hot prospects or loyal clients, you may want to spend a little more and send gifts like custom laptop bags with your company’s logo emblazoned on the front. You might also consider sending custom branded travel phone stands which have a convenient sticky surface to hold cell phones or even MP3 players and sit compactly on any desk. Any customer or client thank you gifts you send should feature your branding message, be low-cost and be something they will keep and use for a long time.
- Thank employees with personalized gifts
Regardless of what type of business you run or your sector, your employees are your most valuable asset. Every employee is crucial to the success of your business, so letting them know that you appreciate them, even in small ways, can help keep motivation and productivity high. Personalized gifts for employees which feature the company logo are a great way to show how much you appreciate your team. Here are some employee appreciation gift ideas you might want to consider.
The vast majority of us use mobile devices in both our personal and professional lives, but unfortunately the battery life can be an issue. Custom printed power banks can provide any mobile device that connects via USB with a jolt of extra charge whenever—and wherever—it’s needed.
Custom arm bands with a fully adjustable Velcro strap are a great accessory for people who want to be able to exercise with their smartphone or MP3 players secure and protected while keeping them totally accessible and functional while on the move. Custom printing options can add your business name or logo to boost brand recognition at the gym.
Bluetooth ear buds are far better for use in the office than wired headphones as they enable your employees to move around more freely. Bluetooth earbuds typically work well at ranges of up to 33 feet, employees can stay active and use their hands to type or make notes while listening to a conference call or talking to with customers if they have a microphone.Custom printed silicone smart wallets will store cards or cash and will securely adhere to the back of a cell phone, so you always have the essentials on you without needing a wallet. When the sleeve is printed with your logo, it will always be on display when your employee uses their phone wherever they are.
Wireless Bluetooth speakers are a great gift for anyone whether they use them at home or the office or whether they listen to music or take conference calls.