While most folks consider promotional materials a luxury more than a necessity, there is good reason to believe that promotional materials do a lot more to build brand awareness than is typically believed.
Fortune 500 companies and startup companies alike spend millions of dollars each year on promotional items. T-shirts, key chains, letter openers, and other objects are the usual suspects. Why do they bother?
Interestingly, there is research into how and why these items are most effective. As it turns out, they’re most likely to be the most successful in increasing brand awareness when people use them in places where they do most of their business decision-making.
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Why Are Promotional Materials so Effective?
As a technique of marketing, promotional products work on the concept of gift giving and reciprocity. Company-branded promotional items remind your customers of your brand. Importantly, they also cause your customers to feel just a tiny bit obligated to you. Because you gave them a gift, they feel compelled to reciprocate in some way. They may not even consciously realize this. But as a result, they might purchase your company’s products or services. Or maybe they will just say nice things about your company on social media.
That’s why each year, businesses spend millions of dollars devising creative ways to market materials. Promotional items can be obvious objects of interest like t-shirts, coffee mugs, and key chains. Or they can be not so obvious ones like stress balls, toys, and cookies. The market for promotional items is growing, largely because of how effective they still are for building confidence in your brand and increasing awareness and recognition.
In addition, promotional items like stress balls introduce a tactile component to the process of association. This can further help customers to remember you when they need a product or service your company sells.
Unique Promotional Items Help Your Company Stand Out
T-shirts, business cards, baseball caps, and key chains will always be popular promotional items. However, the industry is homing in on other items that are surprisingly effective for marketing brands. Companies like Next Trend Designs have found a niche by marketing their products to a wide variety firms in various industries.
For instance, they suggest sending contractors out with a company-branded tape measure and screwdriver. This is a great way for companies that specialize in installations to market their company. It builds customer confidence in their brand.
On the other hand, company pens and pencils make great items for employees to use during their day-to-day business. Desk accessories like mugs, glasses, and calendars show prospective clients that your company has invested in its image and is proud of what they do.
Even better, sometimes employees are willing to wear company-branded apparel. This can be more effective in marketing terms than two-minute radio slots or newspaper advertising.
Promotional Items Are for Small Businesses, Too
For years, larger businesses have invested in promotional branding, but now more than ever it’s important for smaller businesses to do the same. For sports fans, there are good number of items that can be used for promotional materials. One of the most popular is company-branded golf balls. Nothing says your company values the business of a golf enthusiast like a set of company-branded golf balls.
One study conducted on the efficacy of promotional products determined that 66% of the individuals who had been given promotional products were able to remember the name of the company better. Promotional items also delivered a better return on investment than radio or billboard advertising and ranked alongside television and print, in terms of the quality of return. Indeed, promotional items are a classic method for increasing brand awareness, and in a world that continues to evolve from the corporeal into the digital, they remain an effective method of advertising.