Promotional business merchandise can be a fantastic way to spread awareness of your brand, make customers feel valued and increase the likelihood that they will remember you next time they make a purchase decision.
For business merchandise to be effective, though, you need to make sure you are doing it right. There are all sorts of things you need to consider, from what you are hoping to achieve, to how much you are willing to spend, to what particular types of merchandise will be most effective for your business.
In this article, we aim to answer all of those questions and more, giving you the ultimate guide to how to get your business merchandise just right.
What are you trying to achieve with your business merchandise?
The first thing you need to establish is exactly what you are hoping to achieve with your business merchandise. This will influence both the type of promotional products you choose and how you go about branding them.
The following are three of the most common aims people have for their promotional merchandise:
Creating a brand identity
Whether you are a new business looking to establish yourself, or an existing company wanting to update your image, good business merchandise can help you create a strong brand identity.
One of the most common places to start is with branded clothing – an option chosen by 91% of people who invest in branded merchandise. Branded uniforms for office workers, branded company hoodies and promotional polo shirts are all popular choices, both for your workers and to give out as swag to customers and potential customers.
By choosing strong colours associated with your brand and incorporating your company logo, you can start to build a clear brand image that people will quickly come to associate with your business. By carrying this theme through the rest of your company branding and other business merchandise, you can steadily strengthen your brand and its reach.
Increasing brand awareness
One of the top places for giving out business merchandise is at conferences, trade shows and other industry events. Good branded promotional merchandise can help get your name out there and act as a lasting reminder of who you are and what you do, to new potential customers.
Promotional pens, branded tote bags and branded conference folders are all popular choices as they are immediately useful but are also generally seen as worth keeping and using after an event, helping to ensure your brand is not quickly forgotten.
Increasing customer loyalty
Good business merchandise can show customers that you value them, increasing the strength of your relationship so they are more likely to stay a customer in future. It can also simply act as a reminder for the next time they need a product or service you provide.
Branded merchandise such as promotional clocks, branded mugs and iPad and tablet cases can all be good choices here. This is because they will last a long time and be used on a regular basis, so will act as frequent reminders of your business for a long time to come.
What is your budget?
If you are a new business, you don’t necessarily want to spend a lot of money on business merchandise straight away. You may also simply want to spread your net wide, passing out a lot of relatively low value branded products to get the maximum possible reach at an affordable price.
What sort of business merchandise works?
Research by the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) says the key to effective business merchandise is that it needs to be unique, personalised, usable and good quality. This will help to ensure the merchandise makes a strong impact for your brand and is something the recipient will keep for a long time, so the effect is long lasting.
Choosing unique branded merchandise
Although traditional promotional products such as branded pens and notebooks have their place and can be very effective, it is also a good idea to choose at least one piece of merchandise that is a little bit different, to help you stand out and give people a reason to come to you specifically at trade shows and conferences.
Successful products include things like branded Maglites, promotional binoculars and branded kitchenware. These can all attract the right kind of attention, especially if they match the type of business you are.
Finding branded merchandise that matches your business
If you are promoting a golf course, a promotional stress toy may not be the right choice, however branded golf balls or a promotional pedometer could be the perfect fit. Likewise, if you are a aiming for a fun brand image, promotional puzzles, games and toys are worth considering, while for an environmentally-conscious business, eco-friendly promotional merchandise can be a good choice.
Choosing genuinely useful promotional merchandise
While it is important that your business merchandise is a good fit for your own business, it’s also best to select products that will be genuinely useful for your customers. Not only will this make them happier to take or be given one of your promotional products, it also means more chance of them being used regularly and not just being consigned to a dusty drawer or even worse, the bin.
Promotional iPad and tablet accessories, branded promotional headphones and promotional conference folders are all popular choices. The advantage of something like a conference folder is that it is immediately useful if given out at a conference or trade show, but is also something the recipient will hopefully keep after the conference and use again.
What should you print on your business merchandise?
There are four main things most people will want on their promotional material, although not all will be necessary for every item. In general, which you use will depend on your goal for the merchandise and how big it is, which obviously restricts how much information you can fit onto the product.
The four key things to consider are:
- Your name – this is essential on pretty much all promotional merchandise, otherwise people will soon forget who gave it to them.
- Your logo – if you have a strong logo and it can fit on the item, this is a good choice to include to reinforce your branding.
- You contact details – including your phone number, email address and postal address, depending on how you want people to get in touch.
- Additional information about your business – this could include your strapline, core values, key products or anything else you want customers to have a permanent reminder of.
Whatever you choose to include on your business merchandise, make sure it supports your overall marketing objectives, represents your brand positively and is clearly legible so your message is communicated effectively.
Find the right business merchandise for your company
Looking for the perfect business merchandise to make your brand stand out from the crowd and keep your customers coming back for more? We can help!
We have a truly astounding range of promotional business merchandise on offer, meaning no matter what type of company you are or what your brand identity is, we can find something to match.
Our customers include top brands such as Amazon, Cadbury, Disney and Google, and we also work with loads of small and medium sized businesses. We are experts at helping you select the perfect products for your brand and customers, so no matter who you are, we are confident we can find the right business merchandise for you.