Promotional products are one of the cornerstones of marketing, but that very ubiquity can make it difficult to find ways to really make your strategy stand out. Choosing a promotional product partner with real expertise and innovative ideas can make all the difference, and it all starts with you. Here’s what you need to know.
What Are Promotional Products?
You know them, you love them, but how well do you understand promotional products? In a nutshell, promotional products are any sort of branded items used to make a good impression and get the word out about your company. These products aren’t the same as the products or services the brand actually makes. They’re usually simple, practical, everyday items that bear the company’s branding; common examples include hats, pens, coffee mugs, and similar items.
If they’re not promoting the brand’s actual products or services, then what are promotional products for? At its core, the use of promotional products is about building a positive association with your brand in the minds of consumers. You want them to remember you, and you want them to have a positive feeling about that memory.
That’s what promotional products do at their best: give people (whether employees or customers) a good reason to remember and think well of your brand. Ideally, the specific products you choose will be memorable both for being fun and for being useful – otherwise, you run the risk of being remembered as that company that just gave out a bunch of clutter. Done right, however, promotional products can function almost as mnemonic devices, giving recipients a multisensory, multi-layered “memory” impression that will, hopefully, be easier and more positive to recall.
How to Use Promotional Products
The number of uses for promotional products is only limited by your creativity! In general, there are two broad categories: gifts for employees, and gifts for customers.
When targeting promotional products at customers and potential customers, they’re usually used as part of a bigger event or campaign – anywhere, in short, where your brand has a chance to come in contact with potential clients and even the broader community. Tradeshows and conferences are a couple of the more obvious options, but branded promotional products also can shine at community events, fairs, and other less formal events. For these events, many brands focus on items that get their name out into the community in simple but memorable ways, hoping that the promotional items will continue to remind prospective clients of them and, perhaps, turn leads into clients down the line.
Branded promotional products are also popular for use as employee onboarding gifts. After bringing on new team members, what better way to say “welcome to the team!” than with a swag box of branded items? In particular, focus on items that will be especially useful for these new hires. These swag boxes shouldn’t feel like just a rote part of the onboarding process, but something that conveys to new hires that this is a company that actually pays attention to what its employees need, then actively addresses those needs. A little can go a long way!
Onboarding gift boxes are just one part of the increasing corporate gifting trend, which has grown enormously in the last few years. Think about holidays and major milestones like work anniversaries, which have typically been occasions for gifting to employees! On the other hand, employee appreciation can happen any time, and promotional products are ideal for these occasions. It’s a simple way of reminding employees that they’re valued, which in turn tends to increase productivity, loyalty, and the brand’s overall reputation.
Corporate gifting also works in the client-company relationship. Gifting to clients or leads is all about building relationships and giving them a “preview” of the kind of attention and value that they’ll receive from a partnership with your brand. Quality is key: a flimsy, low-effort product with a logo doesn’t make the best impression. Instead, look for products that are useful and durable. By showing clients that you care enough to gift them something that meets a need (and won’t fall apart right away), you’re demonstrating forethought and an emphasis on high quality, both of which are valuable traits in any business relationship.
When selecting promotional products for any situation, it’s worth keeping in mind what, exactly, you want the recipients of these products to take away from the whole experience. Sure, it’s simple and straightforward to give out pens with the company name on it, but you should also be considering what the products say about your company and its attributes. A branded umbrella, for instance, might invoke a feeling of “coverage,” trust, and security to a new customer, and so on.
Even if you don’t go that far into the land of metaphor and symbols, it’s important to select branded promotional products that fit with the overall goal of the campaign and setting. There’s a reason, for instance, that many brands hand out branded pens and notebooks at conferences: the idea is to associate their brand with the creativity and inspiration that you, hopefully, will find there.
Choosing a Promotional Products Company
What makes a great partner when it comes to promotional products? It’s all about quality, creativity, and reliability. Branded promotional products can be a major part of your marketing, but they’re only effective when they’re well-planned and strategically used; without care, they might not have the effect you’re hoping for.
A great partner is a company that is truly a partner, offering insights and expertise to elevate your ideas to build the best campaign possible and leave recipients with a fantastic impression of your brand. Not only will they help make your plans a reality, but they will bring ideas to you on how best to harness the latest trends in promotional products to make a big impact.
When choosing a promotional products company, it’s important to keep your goals in mind and look for a partner that seems to understand those goals and has the expertise to execute them. Your promotional partner shouldn’t just check off items on a to-do list! They should ask about how the product will be used in order and really understand the purpose of the campaign. One of the key things to look for is options: a strong partner for branded promotional products should be able to tailor options to your budget and other needs and even offer other options like storefront and warehouse setups that make the ordering process easier for your team.
Lithographics Is Here to Help!
Choosing a promotional products company is a big decision, and Lithographics has everything you’re looking for and more. Our dedicated and experienced team keeps up with the trends, understands the markets and best suppliers, and can help you create a promotional product campaign that perfectly fits your needs and budget. We offer solutions for every step of the process, from strategizing and selecting products to warehousing and getting them into recipients’ hands.
What are you waiting for? Contact Lithographics today to find out more about how promotional products can help your brand make a big impression.