When I first started this company almost ten years ago, I was referred to a conservative CPA firm. The managing partner was “doing me a favor” by talking with me. During the course of our conversation, I asked questions about how they had used branded products in the past and how they use products now. He told me they had coffee mugs they used when clients came into the office. He soon became frustrated with the discussion, saying, “This is a waste of money!” I asked what made him think that? He leaned up in his chair and told me that he had a closet full of mugs that he has had for years.
This valuable insight into perceptions of branded promotional items has stuck with me. Using branded promotional products and embroidered uniform apparel is an extension of your company image. Your company is perceived as it is consistently seen through your marketing efforts. The quality, type, and usability of these products are extremely important.
A successful marketing program using branded promotional items has these components.
- Products are matched to the event and people who will be attending.
- One size does not fit all! Would you give a referral source that sends you thousands of dollars of business a year, the same $.33 pen that you pass out in mass giveaways?
- Products need to be thought through with retention in mind. If they are valued and usable, they will be kept longer and will generate conversation.
- Track your marketing to see what is working.
Probably the most important key to a successful marketing plan using branded products is to work with an expert in the industry who will take the time to learn about your company, its needs and challenges, and work alongside you to match the right product to your marketing plan. Branded promotional products and apparel are a large part of many marketing plans. Invest in them wisely.