What is the formula for success for any business? Unfortunately, there isn’t one. Companies succeed and fail all the time, each using a unique strategy based on their product, target audience, and available resources. You never know what brand will become the next Apple or Amazon, which both started with extremely limited resources.
One factor that can drive success is effective marketing. A business with no marketing strategy is almost guaranteed to fail, because if the brand is not connecting with audiences and establishing trust in the product, then why would anyone want to buy it? Marketing is the lifeblood of your customer base, and your messaging needs to consistently increase brand awareness to generate sales. There are multiple areas of a business in which you can invest for a great payoff, but marketing is certainly one of the most important.
When you think about marketing campaigns, what channels come to mind? Probably a mixture of online advertising, social media initiatives, TV or radio commercials, and print advertising, right? Though the world is moving toward a more digital existence every day, there will always be a role for traditional means of advertising. One of these methods is branded merchandise.
When you see a person carrying a water bottle with a company logo on it, that is branded merchandise. When you notice people wearing the same shirt in your local community with the logo of a local brand, those are examples of branded merchandise. Everyday items that promote a business to the public are an effective way for businesses to increase visibility and build a presence with their target audiences.
Promotional giveaways can be used to great effect with the right strategy. Targeting your ideal customer with the product, being strategic about where you give away the item, having an eye-catching design, and focusing on your service area can all have a positive effect on your branded merchandise campaign.
Investing in branded merchandise may seem like a questionable form of marketing. After all, how can you be sure that the items you have purchased will lead to more impressions for the brand? Here are a few of the benefits of running this type of campaign.
Compared to other forms of advertising, branded merchandise giveaways can be relatively cheap depending on the items you buy. All it takes is a one-time purchase of bulk items. Once given away, these products can lead to repeat impressions every time they are used. For example, a person who owns a branded shirt with your company logo may wear it multiple times in a month, especially if they like the design or color scheme. Each time they wear it, everyone that they encounter has a chance to be exposed to your brand. Maybe a conversation will start or a memory will stick in the mind of that person that causes them to check out your business. This could happen over and over again with just one shirt. Imagine what twenty of them could do for your business’s growth.
First of all, everyone loves free stuff, so if you are giving away swag for free, that is a head start on building brand loyalty on its own. Secondly, there are so many options for promotional giveaways. For sports fans, you could order koozies, foam fingers, or stadium cushions. For wellness fans, there are water bottles, stress balls, hand sanitizer, and wearable device accessories. Does your audience contain a lot of business professionals? Purchase mouse pads, flash drives, or useful office supplies with your branding. No matter how broad your customer base is, you can probably find items that would appeal to everyone.
Many businesses are extremely dependent on the local community for their customer bases. What better way to improve your local presence than with tangible branded items circulating around town? You could partner with other businesses or local charity events to give away these items in high numbers, increasing your exposure and, therefore, your brand’s reach. The more community members who own your promotional products, the more potential customers will start to recognize your branding and consider you during the buyer’s journey.
The best way to implement a branded merchandise campaign is to integrate it with your other marketing channels. Share available items via social media. Advertise contests with free prizes during your email campaigns. Throw up a big sign outside your storefront that tells people to visit your booth at the upcoming festival event for some free swag.
A cross-media approach that integrates with giving away branded merchandise can excite your loyal customers and create new ones, growing your visibility with the target audience.