The word emotion speaks to that sacred place where few brands and marketers truly live, but all want to reside. It’s about forming a relationship, not just making an impression and that truly is one of the hardest things to accomplish in marketing and advertising.
Just like in your personal relationships, touching on human emotions is the key to any happy, and healthy long-term relationship. Relationship marketing or relationship selling is always an important part of every business’ marketing strategy; but how do you teach your sales and marketing team to do it? And how can your brand form a relationship with your customers?
It’s all about creativity and standing out from your competitors. Saul Colt, a brilliant marketer has a theory he calls “Laugh, Think, Cry.” In short, he said there are no original ideas, but you can take existing ideas and enhance them with your own creativity. Colt says your messaging should make people laugh, then make them think, then make them cry. And if you can accomplish this, they will never forget you. And while bringing your customers to tears every time is a stretch, this method is a great one to keep in mind when planning out your marketing efforts.
So how do branded products fit into all of this?
In the branded products space, even though you can measure impressions, and promotional products are proven to be more cost-effective than other forms of advertising, we often have a hard time accurately quantifying their true ROI. And part of that is because you can’t quantify emotion. A promotional product can become a useful part of your customer’s everyday lives, can be kept for months or even years, and often times are passed on to others rather than being thrown away. Because of this, a single promotional product like a tote or t-shirt can create thousands of impressions! Branded merchandise as an advertising medium are incredibly interactive and have staying power. They create a multi-sensory experience, making them a unique tool in forming an emotional connection with your company’s brand.
In conclusion, the value of branded merchandise is more important now than it ever has been before. Look at how social media has allowed branded merchandise to give you a world of mouth opportunity to impact your brand, while at the same time, granting you the opportunity to differentiate your brand. A regular post on social media won’t do anything for you, but a post that evokes emotion will get shares, will get follows and will drive clicks. When you put branded merchandise with it, that is how you create a robust and influential marketing campaign. To paraphrase Henrik Johannson, CEO of Boundless Network, digital marketing changes fast, but everyone will always wear t-shirts. It’s time to get creative and get emotional with your customers.