5 Reasons Why Fortune 500 Companies Buy Eco-Friendly Promotional Products

Want to know why Fortune 500 companies purchase eco-friendly promotional products?

Here are 5 reasons why the titans of business rely on eco-friendly promotional items to further their brand.

The numbers don’t lie.

At the end of the day, nothing matters more than the bottom line. It’s how we measure productivity – and ultimately how we measure our worth. Without an active advertising campaign, how will people know who you are and what you are selling?

If you wanted to get the word out about your business, you might take out a newspaper ad or purchase a radio slot. But according to the cost-per-impression data (numbers that evaluate your ROI), that would be the wrong move.

Did you know out of all the advertising mediums available, promotional items win hands down time and time again? Why is that?

Simply put, promotional products have staying power. Eco-friendly promotional products such as tote bags and wearables can create untold amounts of repeated exposure for your brand. That radio ad comes and goes in 15 seconds, while your newspaper ad camps out in the recycling bin.

When it comes to choosing the right eco-friendly promotional items for your next campaign, truly consider the utility of the item you are purchasing. Will it be relevant a year or two down the road? Does it retain shelf life in the mind of the recipient? Ask yourself these – and other – important questions. The answers are very revealing.

Understand the cycle of human nature.

Nothing tells your customers you are environmentally responsible than associating your brand with eco-friendly promotional products. Numerous studies conducted by the PPAI (Promotional Products International Association) and other independent third-parties have revealed customers entertain a high rate of recall (roughly two-thirds of people surveyed) with specific advertisers who actively promote with eco-friendly gifts. Repeated brand exposure forges a lasting impression. Reinforcement is a time-honored learning tool for animals – and humans are no exception.

Reduce your carbon footprint now

Eco-friendly promotional items can greatly reduce the carbon footprint your business leaves behind every workday. Everything from organic and biodegradable fabrics to biodegradable corn plastic to buttons that prevent computers from wasting kilowatts all help reduce your carbon footprint. Encourage your employees to spread the word by having them pass out eco-friendly giveaways to their family and friends. Choose recycled stock or seeded paper next time you have a large direct mail piece going out. It begins with an initiative and grows from there.

Don’t ignore your competitor’s moves

If you think green promotional products are a passing fad think again. A number of Fortune 500 companies have relied on green promotional items to further their brand’s image, so surely if big corporations with staying power are utilizing them why aren’t you? Case study after case study is being published by businesses that have noticed sustained growth and increased revenues simply by branding with green promotional products. Implement a strategy and move forward. Goodwill is contagious.

Knowledge is power

Do your research. Look at the different promotional items Fortune 500 companies use to further their brand. Know what makes a fabric organic or what the FTC classifies as acceptable “Green” marketing claims before you jump in and put your logo on the first eco-friendly promotional product you see. Choose items that align with your product or service. Attach a small recycled tag to your promo item that highlights ways your customers can save money by becoming more environmentally conscious. This valuable information might just make it on your customer’s fridge for months on end.

10 Costly Mistakes When Buying Promotional Products

Nearly every business, whether large or small uses some type of promotional item to giveaway to their customers. The reason they do is because promotional products are one of the most effective forms of marketing. Buying promotional items should be an investment that brings a return on your money and NOT an expense. Here are the 10 most common pitfalls with businesses buying promotional products.

  1. Buying from Order Takers – The top mistake that most buyers make is going with an inexperienced company or with a company that takes no interest in helping your campaign succeed. To elaborate further, many promotional product distributors are interested only in the sale and not the well-being of your marketing campaign success. These distributors will gladly take your money but their customer service is lousy. Experienced distributors know that any future repeat business from their clients hinges directly on the successes of their campaigns, so any smart distributor is going to try to help their clients in every way possible to offer any suggestions to better their marketing efforts. Therefore, using a knowledgeable distributor will benefit you greatly with any campaign. It doesn’t make any sense to go with a company that is just simply offering a lower price on an item if they give no service, especially if you’re just talking pennies per item.
  2. Not Developing an Objective for Your Campaign – So what are you trying to achieve with your purchase of promotional items? Are you just going for brand awareness? Are you actually wanting to increase sales? Are you trying to get customer contact info for a mailing or telemarketer list? Are you using your giveaways as thank you gifts? Are you using the items are employee incentives? All of these are crucial questions that need answers because you must define the target audience and define what you action you desire. If you want to increase sales, you might want to use the item as a FREE gift with purchase. Or if you are wanting to thank your employees for a job well done, you will want to give them a premium item that they will keep and use often. If you are promoting brand awareness, you will want to get an item that is related to your product, brand, or service. A promotional products consultant can help you with creative ideas and it doesn’t cost you any extra for this service.
  3. Buying Trash – You don’t go through your neighbor’s garbage can and offer to buy his garbage and then give it away to your customers, so why buy useless junk that will end up in the trash can that same day. Don’t buy a 20 cent pen and expect people to jump up and down in excitement. A cheap item like that is likely to skip when writing, smear, and possibly not even write at all. Then all you have done is wasted your money and given your customers and potential customers a bad taste about your company. They get a cheap feel about your business and associate your service and products as cheap and useless.
  4. Being Stingy – I always love this one! I see people buying promotional products all the time, but they hoard the items in a closet and don’t give them away. They save them for “special people” or “special occasions” that never really come. The items stay boxed up in a closet and offer no marketing value. You’ve spent the money on the items, so now get some use out of them. An average promotional item is viewed by many more people than just the recipient. Therefore, one item has a lot of marketing power to affect multiple locations.
  5. No Contact Info – Having just your logo printed on items without contact information such as your website, address, or phone number is not usually recommended unless you are simply promoting brand awareness. Even if you are just promoting brand awareness and not trying to get orders from this marketing item, you should still at least have your website printed on the items, unless you have National or Worldwide recognition such as Microsoft.
  6. Wrong Item for Your Target Audience– So often I get calls from people wanting specific items, but when I question them about their intentions with the items, I find out the items are completely inappropriate for the recipients. You don’t want to have custom imprinted pocket knives and pass them out to kindergartners or give logo molded chocolate out at a diabetes seminar. Although, these examples are extreme, this drives the point home. Make sure you know who the recipients will be. If most will be elderly, give out something that age group can use. If they are a younger audience, make sure and give out something that will appeal to that generation. This simple concept is often overlooked and should be thought about carefully. In many instances, you may need to think about getting 2 or 3 types of items if you have a diverse crowd.
  7. Information Overload – Printing too much information on a promotional item is a no no. Often people want to print their business name, logo, address, website, phone number, fax number, and a tag line on a pen with a 1/2 in.x 1 in. imprint area. This of course makes no sense because with most promotional items, the imprint area is limited and the more you print, the smaller the imprint will be. What good does the imprint do if you need a magnifying glass to see it. Think about the pertinent info you need. Your logo, business name, phone number, and website is usually sufficient. Do you really need a fax number on a promotional item? Simpler is often better. Information overload will cause people to not read the info.
  8. No Tracking Method – Having a way to track the Return on Investment (ROI) is always a great idea with promotional products. You can use them like a coupon and include an exclusive discount or coupon code so that you will know exactly how many people placed an order or made a purchase that was directly related to this item. For example, bring this tote bag to the store to bag your items at checkout and receive a 5% discount. Or have a coupon code that says 10% off your purchase on our website by using promo code TAKE10. By doing this, you can measure results and know if this type of marketing is working for you. In order to be successful with your campaign, there is still a lot of other planning to do such as targeting the right audience with the right product.
  9. Giving Away High Dollar Items in Bulk – I have seen several companies (the ones with plenty of money to spend) giving away premium items to anyone they see. While premium items are very effective to giveaway to your top customers, I never recommend giving them away to just anyone. That is the quickest way to break the bank. Bulk items should be the lower cost items under $3.00 each.
  10. No Advance Planning – Make sure you order early enough in advance to avoid rush charges and expedited shipping charges. Most promotional products can take up to 2 weeks for production; however, you can get many products these days with free rush service, but you still may have to use 2-day or overnight shipping to get your items on time. This can be avoided with a little advance planning and ordering early enough. Why waste money on rush or expedited shipping fees?

Promotional Products for Smaller Business

In the current economic climate it is important for businesses to find new and exciting ways to save money. Marketing firms no longer have the spending power to launch high profile television or radio campaigns and so they must think of different methods through which they can market their company, products and services.

There are lots of tools a marketer has at their disposal, but one fantastic way to market a business is to use promotional products and gifts. Investing in worthwhile products and gifts is a great way to raise the profile of a product or service without spending huge amounts of an already limited budget. They can be given away at almost any corporate event from exhibitions to presentations and are always welcome. Their inexpensiveness is obviously an important aspect of their popularity, but they also have the ability to make a big impact on the intended audience.

Promotional Specialists

Promotional products do not need to be designed in-house. They can be designed, created, and produced by a promotional specialist that has experience in making quality promotional products. This not only saves time, but it saves man power, which saves on costs too. Specialists in this area can be contacted and given some basic information about the event that you wish to promote at and the product or service you want to promote. Your specialist will then take this information away and create a marketing strategy for you, complete with customized promotional merchandise. The inventive ideas that a promotional specialist can develop is invaluable to a small company with restricted finances.

Promotional merchandise

Promotional merchandise can incorporate any item that has been given away with the purpose of promoting a brand or image or new product or service. The item will probably carry a logo or image that is associated with the company, together with contact details. The information will not be too detailed or complex but will convey a message that the person who receives the gift will take away and remember. The item will probably be loosely associated with what is being promoted too.

Promotional merchandise for larger companies

Merchandise such as this is not exclusive to small companies. Large companies around the world give away promotional products to their target audiences because they are proven to work and to raise awareness. Using products as promotional tools is not a recent idea either. It is true to say that promotional products have been used by marketers for over 50 years and with great successes.

It is a common misconception though, that promotional merchandise must be cheap. There are companies at the higher end of the spectrum that will give away anything up to a car to promote their products just as fashion designers will give away their clothes.

The purpose and intention of creating promotional merchandise is simple; it is to raise awareness and generate business. If your product is seen to do this then your marketing strategy has worked. Quality products that clearly display your brand or logo will work best so thinking through what product you will give away will pay dividends.

4 Green Promotional Products That Say “We Care”

Green promotional products are a statement, and they’re also becoming very much part of the promotional merchandising landscape in terms of market share. Very strong demand is coming from business for real green promotional materials of all types. Many businesses are themselves strongly committed to green products, and insist on eco-friendly promotional materials.

The green profile issue is definitely affecting promotional products. Some businesses and their clients just won’t look at any promotional items which aren’t certified fully green. They also view very negatively any products which are obviously not environmentally friendly. This is a consistent market trend, and has expanded dramatically in recent years.

Custom green promotional products

A custom green promotional product needs to be well placed in terms of the audience. The green products are effective promotion of corporate or personal values, but they also work best on recipients who are inclined to be responsive to them.

One advantage of the this marketing approach is that it sends a very strong message. Customized products require more planning than the more conventional variety, but they can also be easily managed in terms of branding.

Corporate green promotional products

This is an area in which sensitivity in terms of promotional products is a primary consideration. Corporate green promotional initiatives can be very effective, and are also well positioned for establishing or reinforcing a market profile in terms of corporate image. They’re particularly useful in making a green policy statement.

In practice, green products are very popular in Australia. They represent cultural values, particularly when associated with local green industry products. The green products are also a strong positive in terms of supporting local manufacturers of these products, another good effect.

Solar products

Solar promotion products are the epitome of a truly green promotional idea. There are some excellent solar products on the market and they definitely qualify as high impact promotional methods. As promotional merchandise, solar products also equate to high value as useful long term promotional methods.

Low carbon footprint products

The sheer variety of low carbon footprint products is a particularly important consideration when selecting a promotional package or range.

These are a few examples of the very large range of green promotional options:

  • Recycled goods: A huge range of recycled consumer goods, particularly paper and plastics.
  • Sustainable goods: Bamboo memory sticks, jute bags, magnetic energy torches, water powered clocks,
  • Gadgets: Shower timers, computer power savers, solar powered universal chargers.
  • Packaging: Fabric satchels, carry bags, pet carrier bags, briefcase bags and shopping bags.

As you can see, the range is extensive, and there’s also a lot of new technology and new takes on old technology. Green promotional products are a combination of direct material and personal values and functionality. This is the archetypal profile of the best promotional items.