Should we use branded merchandise to promote our business? What would be a suitable gift for our clients? Will they just throw them away? Is it all just a waste of money…? No matter how big or small a business is, these questions are regularly asked. Do we, as a business, actually gain from spending 100s of pounds on promotional gifts
According to one of the UK’s leading industry bodies, the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) – yes we do! With over £840 million spent on promotional products every year, BPMA claims that promotional products create brand awareness and are one of the most effective marketing strategies you can use. But are they right?
With branded merchandise becoming more and more popular, it’s hard to justify forking out money from the marketing budget for promotional gifts for your clients. However I feel it brings something different to the table, it offers a personal approach to marketing. It invokes loyalty, makes a client feel appreciated and provokes an immediate response. If you have a quick glance around the office, how many branded items have you spotted? Perhaps a pen or notepad? 74% of us have at least one promotional product in their workspace. We all love receiving ‘free stuff’ and with only 1 in 5 people likely to throw a gift away, it’s a great way to keep your brand in a client’s mind… and on their desk!
Generally when you think about promotional merchandise, the first things that will probably spring to mind will be pens and mugs. But the merchandise market is quickly expanding, and now offers a wide range of items at affordable prices. (Branded selfie stick anyone?)
Choosing a promotional gift that is suitable for your clientele can be tricky. It’s important to think about how the product will look. A few things to consider would be how it represents your brand and is it relevant to your client? For instance, if your company is a high end law firm, you’re not going to send out pink fluffy teddy bears with your logo on. It needs to be relevant to your clientele. Is it useful? A whopping 89% of people said they would keep a promotional product if it was practical. And lastly, does it look good? People are twice as likely to keep or remember an item if it looks good.
One of the biggest sellers of 2015 was the power bank. It’s simple, relevant, looks good and is useful. MPC took on this idea for their Christmas gifts last year, these were greatly received and used by our clients. Not only did the power banks look great and show off the business branding, but they were actually useful.
So, should we use branded merchandise to promote our business? We may feel like the media has taken over this industry but promotional merchandise offers an alternative, more personal angle. If you are clever with your chosen product, if it’s branded well, looks the part and has a use, it will be kept by your client and create a positive image of your business. It may be one of the oldest forms of marketing, but it is still one of the most effective.