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.

Promote Your Business Using Promotional Products

Question: How can you use your current customer base to increase sales and build your future customer base? Answer: By using the most cost-effective form of advertising, Promotional Products!

By giving Promotional items to current customers you will create long-term relationships with them. You will create new customers by word of mouth advertising from your current customers by handing these out. You will increase sales by using them as a free give away when someone buys a certain product or service and you will also increase return visits from your current customers.

Here is a scenario of how giving a current customer a ” freebie” can do just that. You own an Auto Parts Store, it’s the beginning of the year, and you want to start the new year off with a bang. You tell every customer that comes in to your store that you have a January special ( or any type of special you want to present) on product “X” ( this is a targeted product you offer, it could be a product that is popular, not expensive, or something that could be bought a couple of times throughout the year like a bundle of rags, pack of batteries, auto air fresheners, or even when they spend a certain amount of money on their transaction, you choose). Let your customers know that you are offering a free gift with every transaction made. Now when that customer buys that product, or spends a certain amount, they will receive a free Collapsible Can Coolie that has your business name and logo along with the current NASCAR schedule printed on it. So, what just happened?

First, you got your customer to most likely buy a product or service, or spend a little more money that was not on their original list when they walked in your store. This has created an “up sell” and you accomplished it without pressuring your client.

Second, you just gave away a Promotional Product that is reusable for your customer for the rest of the race season, and in many cases even longer since it is a something they can use besides just during the race season. This means your customer and possibly other potential customers will be seeing your business name and logo every time they use that Can Coolie. This is more “free advertising”.

Third, you have a customer now that is anticipating the idea they might receive another new cool gift on their next visit to your store, and they may even bring in a friend or family member just to get an extra gift for themselves or to give to someone else. This would be a Promotional Product you give away for the “February Special”, Valentines Special, or what ever the occasion you want to present. Customers love to get something for free, especially when they were planning on buying something from your store in the first place. This helps create “repeat business” from your current customers.

Here’s your part two of the above scenario. It’s Sunday morning and your customer is preparing for the big NASCAR race. He or she has the barbecue going, a cold refreshment in their coolie, thanks to you, and their friends have just arrived. One of the guest notices your client is sporting a cool collapsible Can Coolie. That’s when they ask, “Hey, where did you get that, and how can I get one?” Your customer then responds with “I got this at (your business name) for free when I bought (product X or service X)”. What just happened?

Your current customer just gave you free “word of mouth advertising” for your business to a potential new client, who will hopefully stop by your business so they too can get a free collapsible Can Coolie for the next race party. Now you have “up sold” two customers, possibly created more free “word of mouth advertising”, and picked up a new customer who will likely help you gain more new customers down the road. And the process continues on and on. This is only one of many scenarios that could take place with just one Promotional Product you hand out.

This kind of interaction could take place in a park setting, at a ball game, on a fishing expedition, taking a road trip, just working on a car in the garage, or so many other simple scenarios that take place in your customers everyday life. Imagine if you used six to twelve different Promotional items or apparel through out the year for a monthly special. A special gift to celebrate your sixth month, first year, or annual business anniversary date,. A Seasonal “free give away” for the beginning of Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.

You could support your local Little League Baseball Team with hats, High school Football Team with shirts, the towns Women’s College Volleyball Team with season magnetic schedules, or your big time Professional NFL, NBA, or NHL Team with key chains or cups showing their schedules.

You could give a Promotional Product for each holiday through the year, to celebrate New Years Eve handing out a mini pom pom. On Valentines Day try handing out a heart shaped box of candy. St Patrick’s Day is always a perfect time to try beer mug or shot glass.For Easter mini baskets with goodies are always a big hit with the kids. Mother’s Day could be a coffee mug saying Your a #1 mom with us at… Then your logo. Father’s Day can be a big one by handing out a nice tape measure or really cool tool pen. If you really want create a buzz in the community, hand out a BBQ utensil set for Fourth of July. When Halloween rolls around Trick or Treat tote bags are always cooler than mom’s pillow case. Thanksgiving is a perfect time to start handing out next years wall calendars. Then you got your final Holiday ” Freebie” of the year, where you can print “Seasons Greeting or Happy Holidays on so many different cool things to hand out.

Every time you hand out a Promotional Product, you just gave a current or new customer a valid reason to continue to choose your business over your competitor’s business. You have given your business an opportunity to create new customers through “word of mouth advertising” from your current customers. You have created more sales by offering a special that most likely was not on your customers list to buy. What’s really exciting is you will begin to build and maintain a custom base that will look forward to doing business with you for years to come, and maybe even build a friendship or two that will last for years.

Don’t forget that while accomplishing all this, that Promotional Product that you handed out is a very cost-effective form of advertising, a tax write off for your business, and a “thank you” to your customer for their business.

When you sit down to plan your advertising budget for your business this year, think about what a simple promotional give away can do for your business. Be creative and use Promotional items and apparel that do the following;

Will appeal to your customer base? Is it a product that your customer can use more than just once, and is visible to other potential new customers?

Does it fit with what your business has to offer? If you have an auto repair business try a License Plate Frame, Pocket Screw Driver, LED flashlight key chain, or Ice scraper. If you own a Hair Salon, maybe a hair brush, compact mirror, sample sanitizer, or day planner for your client to keep future hair appointments in.

Will your “Freebie” create a buzz with others, like “Hey where did you get that 12 inch Giant Rubber Grip Pen, How can I get one of those Tee shirts or Caps, etc.

Does your “free give away” have all the right information printed on them? Your business name & logo, a phone number or address to find you, your website, and a personalized message to your customer like “A special thanks from… ” “We appreciate your business at… , your #1 with us at… , or ” Happy holidays from… “. A little message can go a long way and be remembered by your customers.

Think about how many Promotional Products you will need to order. How many people visit your store on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. figure out how many are usually return customers and how many are potential new customers. This way when you order for a certain special giveaway like a “January Special” or Holiday, you have enough to hand out through out the entire month. You don’t want to order too many products, but you want to make sure to can cover the entire month or close to. You can always find a way to hand the extras left over from a certain “special” you ran. You can give them to your local schools, boy & girls club, YMCA, shelters, charities, or save them for the next special you run.

Make a plan on how you are going to distribute your Promotional items. Hand them out with every transaction made. Give them away when the customer spends a certain amount of money or buys a certain product. Send one out with every mail order. Donate to local schools, charities, fun raisers, and events, this is a great way to delivery a mass number of “Freebies” very quickly. An example would be rulers or #2 pencils for elementary schools, schools can always use extra school supplies to hand out to their students and parents appreciate your kindness and community involvement.

Always ask your Promotional Merchandise Sales Person to give you ideas and figure out these questions if you need help. If you have an experienced sales Person who knows what they are doing and wants to keep you as a long-term client who continues to re order, then they will be happy to help you.

Just in case you don’t see the big picture about how Promotional Products can help you do more than just advertise your business, here is a little reminder of a GREAT Promo item success story in 1979 the McDonald’s restaurant began using a toy presented as “The Treat of the Week”, offering a different toy each week in a Card Board Lunch Box to help create sales for the kids Happy Meal. McDonald’s has been one of the most successful businesses in the history of promotional merchandise selling over 3.5 Billion Happy Meals to date.

Since 1979 every young child in the WORLD that passes by a McDonald’s with their parents or loved ones demand to stop and get a Happy Meal, usually because they want that toy. Just imagine the word of mouth, up sells, and new customers McDonald has picked up over the years from a simple Promotional Product idea.

Australian Promotional Products That Have Left Their Mark

Australian promotions are often underrated in Australia for their quality and content. Australia actually produces a lot of major brands known around the world, and the promotional process is the main reason they’re so well known. As a matter of fact, the “Australianization” of promotions has created a lot of major brand identities. Promotional products have been many and varied. From shrimps on barbies to Ugg boots, Fosters, Vegemite and Lexus cars, there is s a history of Australian products which have become household identities through promotion.

All things Australian- Promotional products that keep on selling

Australian promotions are very much lifestyle-based. The big names in Australian products are all linked to living-well in the true Australian sense. The famous brand name Eskies, for example, is a major promotional product. Any such product, to do with sport, all accessories, and any promotional image related to the iconic Australian sports, sells out.

The Australian image- A natural association in promotions

The appeal is in the association with lifestyle values. Australian products like Australian beers and foods all use promotional products in some form to advertise. This is a strong marketing relationship in which the Australian element is heavily featured. This is a sort of “two way branding”, in which the promotional product reflects the recipient’s values. The Fosters T shirt is considered Australian, as much as any sort of product promotion.

The commercial promotion approach

Promotional products are big business in Australia. A promotion company can order a whole suite of customized items online from major Australian suppliers, and set up a complete targeted promotional campaign easily. This flexibility in supply of promotional materials gives a lot of space for very effective creative marketing.

The unforgettable promotional products

Promotional advertising, marketing merchandising and promotional giveaways often combine to form unforgettable product identities:

Come on Aussie- This hook line created a huge range of promotional materials, everything from T shirts to songs, which then operated as strong selling material for promotion of both the campaign and the products.

The Boxing Kangaroo- The only kangaroo image which has persisted in Australian marketing other than QANTAS, the Boxing Kangaroo is a staple of the sports industry promotional materials.

Kids images- The Wiggles and Bananas in Pajamas are immovable and enduring fixtures on international kids promotions.

Australian Made- The distinctive logo has now been in service for decades, and is still actively

These iconic products are a good example of how promotional ideas translate into extremely strong promotional merchandise.

The most effective marketing combinations of Australian products all involve:

  • Strong brand presence creation
  • Good advertising materials tailored to the market
  • Good hook lines
  • A wide range of promotional product options based on the advertising

The range of promotional options is defined across market segments by the brand’s market identity. This branding approach is particularly useful for business promotional concepts where a specific market segment is being targeted. Creative marketing concepts really are the key to successful creative promotional methods.