Sweet Swag, Bro: How Promotional Items Enhance your Business
Sweet Swag, Bro: How Promotional Items Enhance your Business.
If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’ve been to a trade show, expo or big gathering of a bunch of businesses, and the first thing you get upon entering is a branded bag to carry stuff in. As you gaze out over the sea of vendors, you are excited to seize the opportunity to restock your old click pens, replenish your sticky notes and note pads and maybe even pick up a cool stress ball or (my all-time personal favorite) basketball backboard and net trashcan clip-on (caution: this could affect overall productivity levels if placed in the wrong hands). Truth is, you also know each table will greet you with a smile and offer their giveaways with the hopes you will use them and remember their company. S.W.A.G., short for “Stuff We All Get” is a serious way to invest in your business and make your message resonate well beyond your initial interactions. Therefore, let’s take a look at how important your company promotional items are to your end consumer.
First of all, understand the psychology behind what makes this work and then find a niche.
One of the most effective marketing tools a small business can invest in is finding a cool item or two to hand out while out promoting their business. Picking a small item that you can use as a leave behind promo often allows you connect with a potential customer. It also allows you to resonate your marketing message by passing along a promotional item that coincides with your business. By finding an item that’s related to your campaign, business, or mascot, you can leave a lasting impression on everyone you give your promotional items to.
Be sure to incorporate not only your branding but also your message on the promotional items.
A few blogs back, I wrote about the importance of branding your small business in a way that will let it resonate with prospective customers when they’re ready to make a purchasing decision. Being able to incorporate that branding message into your promotional item is how best to market your giveaways to a target audience that will leave an impact. Fast food restaurant chains are masters of this strategy via the toys placed within happy meals. Everyone who orders a meal gets one, and, chances are, the one I get might be different than the one you get, but it’s all tied together somehow – maybe a movie promotional, maybe an in-house marketing campaign or even a cross-over branding ploy. Regardless, it’s an effective tool to use and a great way to promote your business.
Try to make your promotional item easy to connect with your business. The K.I.S.S. method applies.
Ever visit the dentist and at the end of your visit, you get to pick out a really nice toothbrush with the dentist’s name on it to take home. Brilliant, right? What about the fine Italian restaurant that passes out the good creamy after-dinner mints with their branded logo on the cover, and you get so many that a couple linger in your car for a day or two longer? Well played, fine Italian restaurant. They both know that their promotional item is something that automatically makes their customers remember them every time they see it. It just “fits” when it comes to finding the right promotional item to connect with business. Do your homework to research what is available, what others are doing and unique ways to separate your promotional angle from the rest – so that your business can really stand out in the crowd.
Remember that this stuff isn’t free to you, so disperse them wisely!
I will never forget working for a start-up craft beer brewery, and, upon opening the doors, offered cool brewery stickers for free to anyone who would like to take one. Ten thousand stickers were printed and bundled in big stacks to manage, and within a week there wasn’t a sticker to be found. It was mind-blowing to think that ten thousand bumpers would be bill boarding the brewery, but that wasn’t the case. Lesson learned: Be sure to limit who gets your promotional items and pass them out to patrons who are genuinely interested in your product and business. Constantly replacing your promo items because they’re being loosely dispersed is a quick way to blow your marketing budget. As for the brewery, they kept the next batch of stickers behind the counter and only passed them out to customers who really appreciated them.
Finally, have fun with the whole “promotional items” angle of marketing.
On your next trip to the annual business expo, where hundreds of vendors will be lined up side by side, pay a little attention to the tables and what they’re passing out. Perhaps it’s just my observations over the… ahem… few… trade shows and expos I have attended over the years, but the company passing out the whacky face stress balls with the crazy afro hair has a way different “vibe” than the table beside them passing out click pens or branded cups. Chances are, you, much like me, will make sure one of those funny stress balls will be perched on my desktop at work and the pen, not so much. Being able to find a unique promotional item that will bring a smile or relieve a stressful moment is proven more effective than a click pen that will sit in the cup with a hundred other click pens. By the way, it’s also proven that if you add a manic laughter button inside the stress ball with the whacky face and crazy hair, you will love love love it that much more… I did.
Now is your chance to make your mark, so what are you going to do?
As a small business, it’s tough to make your little light shine in skyline of established businesses and big corporations. Therefore, any little tactic you can implement to better your chance of being remembered is important to capitalize on. Picking the right promotional item that hits your target market with a branded message that can resonate long after you interact is the moral of the story here. There are a variety of different options, tactics, angles, directions and themes you can run with, but establishing one upfront that will stand the test of time is the challenge. Explore what works best for you and stick with a game plan on how best to get your promotional items into the right hands and, you will have some swagger! – See what I did there?
Waterproofmenu.com offers an extensive selection of promotion items through our parent print shop, Access Design, and willing to offer top-notch printing and delivery services to any business interested in using Access for their next promotional item run. Feel free to reach out and contact them directly via our website and learn what they can do for you! As a proven printer with years of experience in printing promotional items, they can help you find the best item for your marketing campaign and offer quick turnaround, post order!