How to Elevate Your Promotional Merchandise - 5 Rules to Live By

In order to set your business apart from other companies, you have to work on your brand. There’s no way around it, and there’s almost no other way of achieving success. After all, a powerful brand will help you remain relevant, intensify customer loyalty and give you the profit you deserve.

And, out of all the elements that form a brand, promotional products are some of the most important ones. Corporate gifts, as well as branded clothing and other promo items,  are vital for your business – they are, in fact, your representatives in the real world. Something people can touch and use – something physical that will remind them of your business.

If you’ve stumbled upon this text, then you are probably aware of the importance that promotional products carry. And, let’s face it – you know that they are much more than just cheap giveaways with your logo on them. No matter if you’re hosting an event, creating client “thank you” gifts or providing incentives to your employees – promotional merchandise is a branding tool you don’t want to ignore. It will convey the information you want the world to know in an effective, and most importantly, successful manner.

So, if you want to boost your business, increase its value, delight your potential customers and experience a huge ROI, then you’d better listen up.

 

1. Try to understand the recipients

Before you stock up on promotional products, it’s vital to think about the recipients. What are they like? What do they love? What do they need? Are there any products that they would particularly enjoy?

This part of research is crucial if you want to avoid the dreaded “down the bin” situation. No matter who the recipients are (employees, event attendees, current and potential customers), you have to understand them deeply. Furthermore, you should take into account the specific demographics, their particular interests, behaviour patterns and any challenges.

After you realise what they need and want, you have to adjust that to the event you’re planning. Are you hosting a booth at a trade show, an event or just stocking up on promo items?

The point of promotional products is to give them to people who will either like or LOVE them. Otherwise, there’s little ROI you can count on, as they will most likely end up in the bin.

It’s crucial to give away things that will become a part of their daily routine. Therefore, make sure to really understand what they like and dislike – and apply this basic rule to every part of your organisation.

 

2. Create brand identity and style

Are your promotional products a part of a cohesive group, or are they entirely random?

When it comes to your brand, it’s vital to repeat a few elements in the promotional design. Those elements can be your logo, brand colours, or perhaps even textures and a mix of all of them. Either way, the point is to work these elements seamlessly into your campaign and implement them across mediums.

Furthermore, the products will also tell a lot about your brand. They will show the people how you want to be perceived, which is why you should really think about what you’ll pick. Is your business traditional or edgy? Do you aim to give off a professional vibe or is fun the only thing you’re looking for? How about creativeness –  is it important to you?

Whatever your goal may be, promotional products will represent your brand. Thus, you need to create a good strategy in order to reflect the tone and the style of your business.


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3. Don’t overdo it

You need to understand one thing: if your design has too much going on, it will not be appealing to potential customers. If the artwork is too complicated and has too many elements, there’s a high chance it will look horrible once printed. Thus, it’s vital to consider what you want, what’s achievable and what will actually look good. Use other famous brands as an inspiration – the one thing they all have in common is the design simplicity. No famous brand would ever consider complex designs simply because they’re just not appealing.

Clean branding can look fantastic no matter what the purpose of the product is. Furthermore, the recipients are more likely to consider using it if it’s just a tiny bit understated.

That doesn’t mean that fun colours and fonts are forbidden. Of course they’re not! But, more often than not, the fewer elements there are, the more successful the promotion will be.

Bonus tip: Think about the imprint area and see if you can include all of the elements. Usually, small promotional items will not allow for a lot of artwork – it just won’t look good! Furthermore, the design will look complicated and cluttered, which means that it won’t look nearly as fantastic when printed. Most business owners even end up removing some of the elements to avoid wasting money on products that look bad. Therefore, think about the design and remember – less is more!

 

4. Practice consistency

Nobody will be able to recognise your brand if you keep changing the design and the products you’re using. Hence, try to be consistent and stick to the type of promotional products that give the right results.

That doesn’t mean that you have to keep using the same design and the same promotional items. It just means that they should match and create a coherent collection. We all know that pens, sticky pads and stress balls have fallen out of favour in the minds of potential customers. So, to avoid this lacklustre attention, try to switch up the products from time to time and keep up with the trends.

 

5. Follow what you preach

Your business has a goal in mind, and you have a message to convey. Thus, it’s vital to act on that message and not let it get blurred along the way. You want to let everyone know what you believe in and what you’re doing about it. And, the best part about using promo items is that they often speak louder than words! These products are the perfect message conveyors that will transmit your belief accurately and successfully.

Again, we’re not just talking about the actual words you believe in and want everyone to know. The products you choose can also carry your message. For example, if you want to help the environment, maybe you can use eco-friendly promo items. Or, if you’re more into innovation and creativity, focus on technology products that mean something to you.

 

Final thoughts

Live by these rules and you’ll soon discover how creating powerful branding can positively influence your business. What’s more, use them and interpret them according to your culture and style to really boost your success rate.


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