Talk is Cheap: Promotional Products and Securing New Customers

In a culture that is consistently saturated with advertisements, companies vying for consumer attention with increasingly complex dog and pony shows, all most would-be customers want is to see what makes your company unique. Talk …


In a culture that is consistently saturated with advertisements, companies vying for consumer attention with increasingly complex dog and pony shows, all most would-be customers want is to see what makes your company unique. Talk has always been cheap, now more so than ever as audiences get more jaded and more market-savvy; Even having a fundamentally successful, consistently growing digital marketing strategy will likely not be enough on its own to sway modern consumers. Your audience will want something concrete, a physical, tangible item that illustrates what you can do for them, and starting your relationship with would-be customers by giving them a representation of your purpose and your mission is likely to make a strong positive first impression.

The concept of promotional product marketing is typically associated with grab bags full of cheap plastic goods or t-shirts that are shoved into the bottoms of dresser drawers. But promotional product marketing can actually be an effective marketing tool if practiced correctly, and definitely a way to get significant mileage from a relatively small investment. Distributing the right promotional products in the appropriate settings can be an effective way to improve your brand’s image, secure lifelong customers, and exponentially increase knowledge of your brand and the services you provide.

But how can you maximize your promotional product marketing potential? And with the ways in which the world has changed, even with things beginning to reopen, is promotional product marketing viable in a Post-COVID world?

It’s Garbage Day: Throwing out Swag Bags and Cheap Products

While even with quality products the goal is to be as cost-effective as possible, a good rule of thumb is that the benefits you’ll get out of your promotional product marketing campaign will vary depending on the money and thought you put into it. Several companies that believe they are practicing promotional product marketing make the mistake of assembling grab bags of cheaply made branded products, knick-knacks like plastic dollar-store sunglasses with their brand’s name etched into the side, or lanyards that will never see the light of day.

Unfortunately, while these grab bags tend to have novelty appeal when first distributed, they have limited mileage as they often go straight to the nearest dumpster or junk drawer. Moreover, distributing these kinds of cheaply made products tends to convey the wrong kind of message about your company: that your company is cheap, pinching pennies with its marketing strategy, that you don’t value your customers all that much, and that you truly are one of the dime-a-dozen companies providing your kinds of service.

In contrast, by distributing quality custom-made products that customers are likely to incorporate into their everyday lives, like USB devices, oven mitts, or even beach towels, you’re not only associating your brand with the utility of these gifts but exponentially increasing the public’s knowledge of your brand. Suppose people are seen using products with your brand’s name on them. In that case, it will be taken as a tacit endorsement of your brand, increasing the likelihood that the people who know the recipient will either develop a favorable opinion of your brand or seek you out in the future. It’s all about finding the right product to represent your brand, a product that marries the message and image you want to present of your brand with a measure of utility for the recipient.

Post-Pandemic Practices: Promotional Products Still Permissible?

It’s still wise to remain cautious, regardless of how many politicians or CEO’s are blowing their trumpets at the apparent downfall of COVID. The Delta variant is very real, and is still making its rounds through the country at an alarming rate, devastating those who haven’t gotten their vaccinations. Still, it’s more than possible to attend events with the proper precautions, and people are still just as likely to receive promotional products as they were pre-pandemic. While other forms of traditional marketing have gone out of vogue with the more digitally-centric post-pandemic world, promotional product marketing remains as viable as ever.

Stay Smart, Stay Safe

Promotional product marketing is one of the most effective ways to make a permanently positive first impression on would-be customers even post-pandemic, so long as you choose to distribute the correct products. Take the time to evaluate what kinds of products would prove most useful for your customer base, and then research cost-effective platforms for rapid, quality production of those items. With the options out there, there’s a promotional product for every industry: do your research, map out your strategy, and prepare to reap the rewards.

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