Promo Marketing Trends
Aspiring for a new identity is much easier than actually creating one. That is especially true for smaller businesses, I think. But when an unknown business name is seen alongside a well-established logo, the tides change. That is the miracle of branding.
This is we carry (and expand our line of) ‘branded’ promotional products, especially in apparel. Most of our clients know the advantages of simply being associated with a famous brand. They know the difference between putting your logo on this…
…and on just an ordinary shirt.
Aside from the ‘prestige’ of the brand, our clients also pay for the quality. After all, a shirt made of 60% cotton with hemmed bottoms and cuffs is more likely to last longer than the average shirt. Recipients are also likely to hold on to them longer. And in promo items, ‘shelf life’ is the key – the longer the item is used, the more the client’s name is advertised, and the higher the return of their investment.
Yesterday before going home from work, I decided to stop by Starbucks for some alone time with a cappuccino. So I sit there, open my laptop, log on to the Internet using their WiFi, and I see interesting news: Starbucks is ‘wearing’ promotional items for the movie ‘Akeelah and the Bee’ by Lions Gate Films.
How does it work? Starbucks baristas will get a sneak peek of the film before its release. Then they will wear conspicuous lanyards imprinted with “Akeelah” buzzwords in hopes of getting Starbucks patrons to talk about the movie, and, with any luck, watch it.
This is a low-key marketing strategy – and I think it just might work. Promotional lanyards have been used by many businesses to promote either new products or establish brand names. So many things can be printed on it – a logo, a tagline, a website address, a hotline number, etc. In Rushimprint, lanyards are triple-purpose. They promote the company or product, hold IDs and keys and USBs, and even help reduce stress.
I hear that some avid Starbucks customers who are after the ‘calm’ atmosphere are getting ticked at the coffee shop’s ‘commercial’ endeavors. Starbucks, after all, already distributes ancillary products such as CDs and DVDs. Ironically, some 30 million customers still flock to Starbucks outlets weekly, and the numbers are rising.
Hey, maybe discreet promotional tactics are not so bad. A lanyard never hurt anyone.
Sometimes, it’s hard talking to new entrepreneurs. They are so eager to apply all the theories they learned in business school, and tend to be quite ‘hard line’ when promoting their business. This aggressiveness often does more harm than good. They tend to rush into promotional decisions without understanding their target market and what promo products they’ll appreciate getting.
I am working with new client – a young business owner who wants to increase brand recall for his mountaineering equipment store. Luckily he was more open to ideas than other entrepreneurs his age. He listened intently and respected most of our ideas, mostly because they really did make sense.
You see, strategizing for promotional brand success requires more than just gut feel – it requires research and experience. And because we’ve been working with promotional products for years now, we have these two requirements – we already know what works and what doesn’t, and it’s our job to advice our clients accordingly.
So I recommended to the new client several items which we feel his outdoorsy clients will love, such as sun kits, waterproof first aid supplies, and good old water bottles, to name a few. Everything was less than $4 each – exponentially less than the cost of a regular print ad that goes for at least $900 or so.
That is intelligent promoting at work. Here in Rushimprint, we don’t just manufacture promotional products – we help build brand names. We know the promo industry. We know that at the end of the day, it is NEVER as simple as putting your logo on a mug.