The Best Promotional Products For Your Company

Many business owners think about promotional products, but are not quite sure what is best for their specific type of business. While there are many great product ideas to choose from, not every product will be right for every business. Take the time to think about your business, your customers, and what would be most effective.

Here are some examples to help you decide what promotional products would work best:

A business that deals with insurance, financial products, or other office-related products and services would benefit from office supplies and calendars. Consider promotional gifts such as pens, magnets, planners and calendars, and even office accessories for employees or highly appreciated customers.

A local market might enjoy the promotion that they get from reusable promotional bags, which are all the rage right now. Of course, any business can give these away to customers to provide a great marketing tool to the now eco-conscious consumers of the world. Many stores sell these bags to consumers, but if you can afford to offer them as marketing gifts, you’ll generate a lot more interest because people love free stuff.

Promotional clothing is great for employee appreciation and promotion through customers, as well. Of course, this will be best reserved in a situation where you can afford to give away free clothing products, which will be more expensive. Consider using these products for prizes, expos, and other situations.

Promotional household items and personal accessories can be great for just about any business. For example, if you have a contracting business, giving your customers free promotional products like appliances and kitchen accessories can be a great way to say thanks for their business and give them something useful for their home.

These are just a few examples of how promotional products can be used. Ultimately, you will have to consider a few elements to figure out which items are right for your company. Think about your budget first, because this is most important. Then, think about the occasion or intended use. If you’re handing out promotional items to everyone who walks in the door, you won’t want to offer high-end or expensive products unless you are a high-end business that needs to set the tone. Consider clothing and more expensive promotional products for gifts with purchases or as a thank-you for doing business with a customer, while using less expensive items for general promotion and to attract new business.

From outdoor products to office supplies, cell phone accessories, awards and motivational promotional gifts, and everything in between, you can find something to suit your needs. Consider the usability of whatever you offer because your business will get the most visibility out of things that people use or see on a regular basis. Products that are used outside of the home, such as bags, clothing, or luggage, can be much more successful in drawing more traffic because more people will see them. If you take the time to browse the available products, you should have no trouble finding something that suits your specific needs for promotional products. Of course, if you’re having trouble, you can always ask a promotional products specialist for assistance.

How to Save 10-50% on Your Promotional Products While Achieving Superior Results

A carefully selected promotional product can become an ideal relationship building tool. One of the key benefits of promotional products is that they are the only advertising your client will thank you for – everyone loves getting a gift!

Among the major goals of any promotional campaign will be to achieve the maximum impact, at the most reasonable price possible, leading to a superior return on investment. What many companies fail to realise is that with a small amount of extra planning they can improve in both these areas, by providing products with superior impact, and often at a reduced cost.

In business, the value of time can never be overestimated, with promotional products even more so. Whilst many people are aware of the possibility of overseas production (commonly known as “indent”), they are often surprised at the savings that can be made, and the many other benefits that exist. Even if a product is to be produced locally, the benefit of time can produce great savings.

Consider this scenario; a customer contacts five promotional products suppliers, asking for their best price on Cooler Bags, and need them decorated and delivered in one or two weeks. Firstly many standard production jobs take this long to decorate with your logo, so each company quoting will have to rush out a basic quote for standard off the shelf Cooler Bags. The client then goes with the cheapest supplier, who may or may not do a good print job (sometimes cheap does equal nasty in terms of print quality), and with any luck the company will have a reasonable quality item in a stock standard colour, ready for their promotion.

Now consider an alternative scenario; A customer starts planning a promotional campaign four or five months in advance of release date. They have also developed a solid relationship with one (or maybe two) promotional products suppliers, who through working with the customer over a period of time, gain a good understanding of their customers, target market etc. They give a solid brief on the requirements of and ideas for the campaign to the promotional supplier.

If the promotional supplier is a quality supplier, given the good lead time they will then invest a few days coming up with creative ideas, developing design concepts and working on product sourcing – rather than the rush situation in the first scenario. Each party can then worth together to refine concepts, work out artwork and finalise an order.

Given the good lead time, in this second scenario the order could be produced offshore and sea freighted in. The product (lets say its still a Custom Cooler Bag) can have a huge variety of decoration options not available locally, including the fabric being dyed to a custom colour, advanced decoration options such as all over prints may be included, subtle branding such as custom zip pulls can be added, the list goes on.

What the client ends up with is a promotional item that it part of their brand – rather than just a standard item with a logo slapped on the front. It increases the perceived value to the end user who receives, and generally just looks a lot more cool.

Sounds great, but the upside continues! In addition to being able to produce unique promotional items, the price will in many cases be lower than a standard off the shelf product! The reason for this is that while the product itself is worth about the same, the decoration (printing, embroidery) can be completed offshore at the point of manufacture at much lower rates than local production. While lower labour costs play a part, it is also quicker and easier to decorate sheets of fabric which are then sewn to become a the final product, rather than printing it after it’s fully made which is what must be completed locally. The savings made from purchasing factory direct (if your promotional products supplier offers this service) and through not having to warehouse the stock locally will also be passed onto the client in most cases.

Ordering promotional products via offshore production does require a bit of extra time, thought, planning and some reasonable quantities, however the benefits are significant and well worth considering when planning your next promotion.

Promotional Products for Smaller Business

In the current economic climate it is important for businesses to find new and exciting ways to save money. Marketing firms no longer have the spending power to launch high profile television or radio campaigns and so they must think of different methods through which they can market their company, products and services.

There are lots of tools a marketer has at their disposal, but one fantastic way to market a business is to use promotional products and gifts. Investing in worthwhile products and gifts is a great way to raise the profile of a product or service without spending huge amounts of an already limited budget. They can be given away at almost any corporate event from exhibitions to presentations and are always welcome. Their inexpensiveness is obviously an important aspect of their popularity, but they also have the ability to make a big impact on the intended audience.

Promotional Specialists

Promotional products do not need to be designed in-house. They can be designed, created, and produced by a promotional specialist that has experience in making quality promotional products. This not only saves time, but it saves man power, which saves on costs too. Specialists in this area can be contacted and given some basic information about the event that you wish to promote at and the product or service you want to promote. Your specialist will then take this information away and create a marketing strategy for you, complete with customized promotional merchandise. The inventive ideas that a promotional specialist can develop is invaluable to a small company with restricted finances.

Promotional merchandise

Promotional merchandise can incorporate any item that has been given away with the purpose of promoting a brand or image or new product or service. The item will probably carry a logo or image that is associated with the company, together with contact details. The information will not be too detailed or complex but will convey a message that the person who receives the gift will take away and remember. The item will probably be loosely associated with what is being promoted too.

Promotional merchandise for larger companies

Merchandise such as this is not exclusive to small companies. Large companies around the world give away promotional products to their target audiences because they are proven to work and to raise awareness. Using products as promotional tools is not a recent idea either. It is true to say that promotional products have been used by marketers for over 50 years and with great successes.

It is a common misconception though, that promotional merchandise must be cheap. There are companies at the higher end of the spectrum that will give away anything up to a car to promote their products just as fashion designers will give away their clothes.

The purpose and intention of creating promotional merchandise is simple; it is to raise awareness and generate business. If your product is seen to do this then your marketing strategy has worked. Quality products that clearly display your brand or logo will work best so thinking through what product you will give away will pay dividends.

10 Costly Mistakes When Buying Promotional Products

Nearly every business, whether large or small uses some type of promotional item to giveaway to their customers. The reason they do is because promotional products are one of the most effective forms of marketing. Buying promotional items should be an investment that brings a return on your money and NOT an expense. Here are the 10 most common pitfalls with businesses buying promotional products.

  1. Buying from Order Takers – The top mistake that most buyers make is going with an inexperienced company or with a company that takes no interest in helping your campaign succeed. To elaborate further, many promotional product distributors are interested only in the sale and not the well-being of your marketing campaign success. These distributors will gladly take your money but their customer service is lousy. Experienced distributors know that any future repeat business from their clients hinges directly on the successes of their campaigns, so any smart distributor is going to try to help their clients in every way possible to offer any suggestions to better their marketing efforts. Therefore, using a knowledgeable distributor will benefit you greatly with any campaign. It doesn’t make any sense to go with a company that is just simply offering a lower price on an item if they give no service, especially if you’re just talking pennies per item.
  2. Not Developing an Objective for Your Campaign – So what are you trying to achieve with your purchase of promotional items? Are you just going for brand awareness? Are you actually wanting to increase sales? Are you trying to get customer contact info for a mailing or telemarketer list? Are you using your giveaways as thank you gifts? Are you using the items are employee incentives? All of these are crucial questions that need answers because you must define the target audience and define what you action you desire. If you want to increase sales, you might want to use the item as a FREE gift with purchase. Or if you are wanting to thank your employees for a job well done, you will want to give them a premium item that they will keep and use often. If you are promoting brand awareness, you will want to get an item that is related to your product, brand, or service. A promotional products consultant can help you with creative ideas and it doesn’t cost you any extra for this service.
  3. Buying Trash – You don’t go through your neighbor’s garbage can and offer to buy his garbage and then give it away to your customers, so why buy useless junk that will end up in the trash can that same day. Don’t buy a 20 cent pen and expect people to jump up and down in excitement. A cheap item like that is likely to skip when writing, smear, and possibly not even write at all. Then all you have done is wasted your money and given your customers and potential customers a bad taste about your company. They get a cheap feel about your business and associate your service and products as cheap and useless.
  4. Being Stingy – I always love this one! I see people buying promotional products all the time, but they hoard the items in a closet and don’t give them away. They save them for “special people” or “special occasions” that never really come. The items stay boxed up in a closet and offer no marketing value. You’ve spent the money on the items, so now get some use out of them. An average promotional item is viewed by many more people than just the recipient. Therefore, one item has a lot of marketing power to affect multiple locations.
  5. No Contact Info – Having just your logo printed on items without contact information such as your website, address, or phone number is not usually recommended unless you are simply promoting brand awareness. Even if you are just promoting brand awareness and not trying to get orders from this marketing item, you should still at least have your website printed on the items, unless you have National or Worldwide recognition such as Microsoft.
  6. Wrong Item for Your Target Audience– So often I get calls from people wanting specific items, but when I question them about their intentions with the items, I find out the items are completely inappropriate for the recipients. You don’t want to have custom imprinted pocket knives and pass them out to kindergartners or give logo molded chocolate out at a diabetes seminar. Although, these examples are extreme, this drives the point home. Make sure you know who the recipients will be. If most will be elderly, give out something that age group can use. If they are a younger audience, make sure and give out something that will appeal to that generation. This simple concept is often overlooked and should be thought about carefully. In many instances, you may need to think about getting 2 or 3 types of items if you have a diverse crowd.
  7. Information Overload – Printing too much information on a promotional item is a no no. Often people want to print their business name, logo, address, website, phone number, fax number, and a tag line on a pen with a 1/2 in.x 1 in. imprint area. This of course makes no sense because with most promotional items, the imprint area is limited and the more you print, the smaller the imprint will be. What good does the imprint do if you need a magnifying glass to see it. Think about the pertinent info you need. Your logo, business name, phone number, and website is usually sufficient. Do you really need a fax number on a promotional item? Simpler is often better. Information overload will cause people to not read the info.
  8. No Tracking Method – Having a way to track the Return on Investment (ROI) is always a great idea with promotional products. You can use them like a coupon and include an exclusive discount or coupon code so that you will know exactly how many people placed an order or made a purchase that was directly related to this item. For example, bring this tote bag to the store to bag your items at checkout and receive a 5% discount. Or have a coupon code that says 10% off your purchase on our website by using promo code TAKE10. By doing this, you can measure results and know if this type of marketing is working for you. In order to be successful with your campaign, there is still a lot of other planning to do such as targeting the right audience with the right product.
  9. Giving Away High Dollar Items in Bulk – I have seen several companies (the ones with plenty of money to spend) giving away premium items to anyone they see. While premium items are very effective to giveaway to your top customers, I never recommend giving them away to just anyone. That is the quickest way to break the bank. Bulk items should be the lower cost items under $3.00 each.
  10. No Advance Planning – Make sure you order early enough in advance to avoid rush charges and expedited shipping charges. Most promotional products can take up to 2 weeks for production; however, you can get many products these days with free rush service, but you still may have to use 2-day or overnight shipping to get your items on time. This can be avoided with a little advance planning and ordering early enough. Why waste money on rush or expedited shipping fees?