In celebration of Promotional Products Work! Week, I’d like to share some insights about what truly makes a promotional product impactful. People are constantly being inundated by advertising in all forms, and promotional products can provide a powerful way to stand out. But not all promotional products are created equally.

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There are endless kinds of promotional products that businesses can use to promote their brands. Statistics show that promotional products are one of the most effective forms of advertising in regards to cost-effectiveness and number of impressions. First off, promotional products are usually handed out to targeted markets where most other forms of traditional advertising hit the general population. Recipients also tend to hold on to their products for over five months, leading to consistent impressions that help grow brand awareness and recognition while significantly reducing the cost per impression. Studies show that as many as 85% of recipients can identify the brand from where they received the product. Not only that, the overall impression of the brand tend to be more positive and one third are even more likely to do business with the company afterwards. (Source: ASI)

But it’s not all about slapping your logo onto a stress ball and calling it a day. The key to making meaningful connections with people is to deliver the right product, to the right person, at the right time. This correlates with a topic that we discussed in our 2-part series on consumer behavior: personalization is king. The best kinds of products will bring relevance and value to a specific recipient.

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An assessment process is important to understand which product will work with the right audience and bring meaning to the recipient, while accurately reflecting a company’s brand. By gaining an understanding of the audience’s needs, a brand experience can be created. The goal of this brand experience is to develop a relationship between the recipient and the brand. The most effective promotional products create the right experience and should embody at least one of the below characteristics:

  1. Useful – People most often keep promotional items that provide immediate value, such as practical items like writing instruments, technology products, or kitchen accessories. A product that is useful to the recipients tends to have more staying power, increasing brand exposure.
  2. Well designed – Attractiveness is important to ensure someone keeps the product and is proud to use it, especially when it comes to apparel. Apparel items, such as shirts, outerwear, and hats, are noted as some of the most popular promotional products out there.
  3. High quality – Cheap-looking products will reflect poorly on a brand and do the company more harm than good. Not to mention, a low-quality item will find its way to the trash very quickly.
  4. Informative – Giving an item that educates someone about what the company does or provides useful information of interest to a specific audience can be extremely valuable. This implies that the company is thoughtful and in touch with their audience, and have their best interests in mind. Examples include branding an app for your phone that provides information on a particular subject matter, or including a branded insert page in a book about a relevant topic.
  5. Desirable – Understanding the target audience and their wants and needs is important when determining the right product. Always consider the type of event, location, or venue where the promotion will happen at as it will help identify the mindset of the target audience and their specific needs at that time.
  6. Sentimental – Promotional products can be powerful when they speak to a certain passion or memory. Meaningful connections can then be created between the brand and the recipient as a result of having shared an experience that was meaningful and the recipient will always have something to remember it by, for example a charity event that holds personal meaning or company recognition event.

(Source: PromotionalProductsWork.org/PPAI)

Heeding the above six characteristics is an important step, but it doesn’t end there. It’s imperative to find the perfect promotional product to match with the audience, sparking a moment that makes a real connection between the recipient and the brand. Done right, promotional products can be powerful marketing tools.

Don’t just wing it, ask an expert that can help further your cause, whatever it might be. We can hook you up with an expert in your area. Contact us.