Why use promotional products, what’s the point? I get asked this question all the time by new clients and my first question to them is, “why?” Why do you think promotional products are a good idea and why are you getting them? This will then be followed by an array of other questions, such as; who is your client, how are you going to send the product out and what message to you want to portray to you clients by giving them this product. If l get a response which includes blank looks and l don’t knows, l will usually tell them that maybe they shouldn’t worry about it at the moment or l will have a meeting with them where we unpack their brands.
In these meetings the aim is to find out, who they are, what they stand for, who their competition is and what value they have on marketing. Doing this allows me to work out what strategy to put together and what branded merchandise to use.
If a client believes promotional products will increase sales direly, in my eyes that is questionable. However, if they desire to use promotional products as part of a campaign, a tool to help the sales rep get a foot in the door, build the relationships or to help get that deal over the line then that is perfect because that is what branded merchandise is exactly for.
If you’re looking at using merchandise as a way to get in front of the clients that is perfect. You can also have loads of fun with it and the range of different products you have available. As we focus on the IT sector, for example when trying to start a conversation with clients we look at things that are fun, novel or Techie but interesting techie, not just USBs! And if that means we go with a lower quantity that is fine. If you are working with the IT channel and have a new company that has just been on boarded by a distributor, we then work on products that help create a bit of noise so people know that brand is now part of the distributor.
When looking at creating corporate packs for new clients, it is a great way to showcase the difference between clients. For each of our clients we will break down the brand at the on boarding stage so we can select a range of products that align with their brand and their brands message. The products must be very different to what their competitors are giving out.
Trade shows are one of our favourite ways to use merchandise! You can have so much fun with merchandise here, but if you just buy merchandise and think that will do it, wrong! There must be a reason why they come to the stand but doesn’t include the brand name. I have spent hours and hours watching people engage with a stand and l still find it fascinating to see what makes someone engaged in something. Now remember we want new clients on the stand who don’t know about the brand but we have a truckload of ideas which work and are fun!