Who doesn’t love getting some free goodies from their favorite brand or business? Promotional products are worth their weight in gold, thanks to their ability to foster brand loyalty in existing customers and bring in new ones. Most people — about 87 percent — hang onto promotional products they receive for at least a year, and almost two-thirds of people give away their promotional items when they’re finished with them.
At trade shows and events, as well as in your storefront and elsewhere, promotional products offer a great opportunity to nurture positive feelings in your target customers and raise brand awareness in your community. The right promotional products will get used over and over again in customers’ daily lives, getting your brand messaging in front of countless eyes as customers go through their days carrying your branded shopping bag or wearing your branded cap. Here’s how to use promotional products to draw in more business and foster more loyalty among your existing customers.
Know Your Target Market
Your promotional products will have the greatest impact if they’re products that your customers will actually want to use. Study your target market and determine what kinds of products will be most appealing to them.
Is your audience younger? Sustainably made and ethically sourced products might appeal to Millennials and Gen Zs more than to Boomers. Is your target market exclusively male or female? Young or old? Interested in a specific sport or hobby? Tailoring your promotional items to appeal to your target market will make it more likely that customers will keep and use your items, and maybe even share them with others, and that will mean more brand awareness among your customers’ families and friends as well as warmer, fuzzier feelings of brand loyalty growing in your customers’ hearts.
Make Your Swag a Little Exclusive
If not everyone can get their hands on your promotional products, they gain a little caché. Customers will be willing to do more — join a loyalty program, sign up for text message marketing, make a minimum purchase — in order to get a coveted, branded item. This will make your marketing more effective, and it’ll also save some money — you’ll be able to save some of your promotional items for the targeted customers who are most likely to increase their brand loyalty as a result.
Of course, if you’re going to play up the exclusivity of your promotional products, it pays to make the hard-to-get products look a little nicer. You can choose different lettering, design, and decoration options to change the look and feel of your products. A laser-engraved logo looks really classy and expensive, while a single-color print is more appropriate for low-cost, less exclusive giveaway items.
Don’t Cheap Out
Customers don’t want promotional items that are cheap or poorly made. A terrible pen that breaks and leaves ink splotches all over the inside of a customer’s purse or pocket won’t make them think favorably of your brand. Besides, high-quality items last longer, and that means they’re used longer, keeping your brand messaging in the forefront of the recipient’s awareness for longer. Higher quality items might even be more likely to be passed along to friends or family, or even donated to charity, where they can still get your brand messaging out to other members of the community.
Feedback from customers who’ve received promotional products can provide valuable insight into what is and isn’t working about your branded merchandise campaign. Do customers like the products? Is that apparent in increased engagement with your brand at events where promotional products are available? How are your products influencing customers’ purchasing decisions?
Set goals for how much return you want to see on your investment in promotional products, and use measurable metrics to see how close you are to achieving them. You’ll need to understand how your promotional products influence brand loyalty, conversion rates, lead generation, social media engagement, and more. Once you know how your promotional product campaign is measuring up, you can tweak, refresh, and revamp as needed to get the results you want.
Promotional products can really appeal to customers and go a long way towards growing the kind of brand loyalty that keeps customers consistently choosing your brand for years to come. When you tailor your promotional items to bring your customers joy, they’ll share that joy and business will boom.
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