It’s impossible to deny how effective and affordable promotional products are for all kinds of businesses. No matter the size or the industry. these items are a tangible way to create visibility, maintain contact with prospects and thank customers and employees for their loyalty. They just need you to do a bit of planning… a bit of thinking before you buy.
And while it might seem strange for a company like ours not to be pushing you to call and order right now — we’re not going to do that, that’s not the way to get the most from our full line of products. Instead, we want you to do some hard thinking before you pick up the phone – about the audience you’re trying to reach, your budget and just what you want to get out of your investment.
UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE
To choose a promotional product that’s a winner, you need to know something about the people who will be getting it. Take the time to think about who are your ideal prospects and define the audience you’re working to reach. Draw as clear a picture as possible of this person and hold it in your mind. Are they male or female? Young or older? How educated? How much money do they make? Married or single? How often do they buy?
If you’re struggling, start with your past customers. If you’re new to your business area, look at who your direct competitors reach out to and start there. Try to identify common patterns and behaviors… characteristics that stand out. Once you have a picture of who you want to reach, you’ll be better able to choose a promotional product that will really stand out, get noticed.
HAVE A PLAN, A BUDGET, MEASURABLE GOALS
Start with a 12 month calendar and build your plan plan around that. Mark off holidays, anniversaries, your plans for new product/service introductions, a move to a new location, a seasonal sale, community or charity events… anything that involves your business. These are your opportunities — now you need to choose the best among them to use promotional products in order to build awareness of your company, your brand.
Next, think about how you’ll get the promotional products in the right hands. You might…
- give them as a souvenir at an event or trade show
- enclose them with invoices or orders
- deliver them by hand to well qualified prospects as part of your overall sales effort
- use them as part of a customer/employee rewards program
The answer depends on your type of business and the audience you’re trying to reach. Budget naturally plays a part, but you shouldn’t decide that promotional products are unaffordable. You might be surprised. Come up with a number and see what such an investment might do for your business.
Goals must also be identified… an elemental step that often gets forgotten in the rush of everyday business. What do you want to accomplish? Is it an increase in sales… so many good quality leads… more press (or visibility) for your company? The answers will be different for everyone, but need to be something that can be measured. The good news is that whatever you’re trying to do, promotional products are a simple, yet effective, way to get it done.
LAST, BUT NOT LEAST, FIND THE RIGHT PRODUCT
It goes without saying that the promotional product you choose is important. It says so much, without words, about your business so don’t be afraid to be unique, to be clever, to be different. Choose an item that relates in some way to your type of business — you might go beyond comfortable staples like pens and mugs to more unique items… something with a natural relationship to your business. calendars, flash drives, hats or tees can all work well, depending on your needs. You don’t have to choose the trendy item of the moment… though in some instances this works just fine.
When all is said and done, ask yourself, would YOU want the item?
Once you’ve thought about an item that best represents your business, be sure that it can be made to look as much like your other business materials as possible. Make sure there’s room for your company logo and business name or tagline. The look has to be the same, or as close as possible, to the one you use on everything else. Matching color and typestyle is a subtle, though powerful way to reinforce your brand. Think IBM blue, Apple’s rainbow… that’s the kind of immediate, universal recognition you want for your business.
Finding the right product amid all the clamor out there isn’t so easy. Working with a promotional products consultant is a huge advantage as these pros know the products, and what other businesses have done. They can help you narrow down your search for the right item — then guide you through color choices and type that support your image… and even give you some extra hints on how to get this awesome promotional product into the right hands.
And then you’ll see, first hand, the kind of amazing results your business will get.