How Promotional Items Can Build Your Brand and Your Business

promotional marketing productsIn this age of social media marketing, it’s easy to forget that one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways   to get your small business in front of people is to give them a gift. According to an Advertising Specialties Impressions study, 84% of promotional products recipients remember the advertiser on the custom promotional items they receive. And, given that you can get items for a lot less than you can get online ad space, promotional items are a great way to market your products or business in these tough economic times.

Here are some tips on how to use promotional items to make an impact for your small business:

Think Form and Function: One of the biggest challenges in using promotional items is in choosing a gift that will end up on someone’s desktop and not in the trash can underneath it. When choosing a gift for your clients and prospects, think about things that will stay with them.

While candy is always nice, what people are really going to remember you for is something useful. For example, although calendars may sound like old news in this digital age, people still really appreciate receiving a nice desk calendar. And a calendar is about the most powerful branding platform you can ever use – you can start it on whatever month you want, have separate brand messages on every single month.

Size Matters: One of the keys to promotional items’ success is being subtle about your brand. While no one wants to use a picnic blanket that has a loud logo on it, they will use a blanket with a subtle, embroidered logo. And they will tell their friends where they got it from when they ask.

Also, if you buy small gifts, you save money both on mailings and in storage. And if you do trade shows, you can easily transport your items-and your prospects can easily transport them home. A really unique and memorable gift that you can give your clients is branded seed packets. And to keep that relationship blooming over the years, you can keep sending them new flowers to help their gardens grow. Seed packets can be bought in bulk for prices as low as 17 cents a packet, so it’s a great investment.

Think Green: The hottest thing to hit the promotional marketplace is the reusable bag. Starting at as little as a dollar a unit, these bags are not only environmentally sound but they are multipurpose, taking your name everywhere from the grocery store to the beach and back again.

Think Branding: Don’t forget that your promotional items are playing an important role in enhancing your brand recognition; low quality items will impact your brand negatively, and vice versa. Your job as a business owner is to find the best balance between the quality of the promotional items and your available budget.

As you can see, there’s no shortage of useful items that you can use to make your brand pop. One final thought: when you make your order, don’t just buy for a specific event. You want your item to last forever, not just for a season or a passing fad. Think about practicality and longevity and you will find items that not only build your brand but also build your business.


4 Comments How Promotional Items Can Build Your Brand and Your Business

  1. Sue Atkins

    I think you advice about not just buying for a specific event is very helpful. I am exploring giving a gift to the members of my Positive Parents Club when it becomes a subscription site in the next few months – so it’s about giving something of value and not about me – all about my Club members – I was looking into a mug that could have their child’s photo on it. And as a small business not about costing the earth to send it to them !!!
    Thanks for the thought provoking blog
    Sue Atkins
    Author of “Raising Happy Children for Dummies”

  2. chris

    I REALLY hope the “reusable” bag trend is on the wane. It started as a very good idea- quality reusable bags to replace/paper plastic for sustainability-minded people and to align the companies distributing them with those values. Now, there seems to be a glut of poorly-made “reusable” bags, many so flimsy that they don’t even last as long as standard paper/plastic grocery bags. One I got at a recent trade show didn’t even make it to the end of the day. If you’re trying to align your brand with sustainability, do so with a promotional item that is genuine. It’s time to think outside the bag!

  3. Bryan

    I remember when we used to go out to construction sites with carpenter pencils. They were so cheap but it put our name all over the place. I still get calls to this day from them. I stopped doing it 2 years ago. Do your research and don’t kill your budget with this. Creativity helps out with the help of people like Jerry!

  4. Lester

    You’re correct. You have to give gifts to loyal customers during special occasions to give thanks to them for their continuous patronage and it is also a way to advertise your company. Thanks for the helpful tips. More power!


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