Branded merchandise seems to fall into two very broad categories. At rushIMPRINT, I see customers who select promotional products out of necessity and those who roll their branded marketing into their overall marketing approach and consider it an important part of their strategic relationships.
Both approaches have value, and in the long run, they both successfully get your company logo out there for people to view. The company sponsoring a Little League team certainly needs to have logo t-shirts for everyone and there doesn’t need to be a lot of marketing effort behind this purchase. They fall into the first category.
It’s the company who is looking to emotionally connect with their market, reinforce their message, and cement consumer engagement through promotional marketing that puts significant effort into discovering branding opportunities. If your company falls into this category, or you’re looking to do more of this highly-effective marketing, I’ve got some useful tips for selecting branded merchandise for you. Banking on my decades of experience in promotional products at rushIMPRINT, these tips will help you successfully select branded items and roll them into your marketing efforts.
1. Reflect Your Business
This should be your priority when first perusing all of the wonderful promotional items we offer at rushIMPRINT, but it’s easy to get lost in the variety of products and to start thinking about what gifts you’d personally like best. Instead, go at it from your brand perspective and select items that makes sense for what you do. A gym owner might like the idea of Bluetooth speakers, but that doesn’t speak to the business whereas earbuds might be a more appropriate choice. Even better? Gym towels and water bottles.
2. Perceived Value
Does your audience consider your promotional gift valuable? Interestingly, the same item may be highly sought after by one audience and considered worthless by another. Knowing your audience and understanding what they value is a key component to selecting promotional gifts. Eco-friendly gifts are currently a trend that has high value for many customers, metal water bottles are a big hit for most as are reusable totes.
3. Make the Most of Co-Branding
At rushIMPRINT we offer a significant number of top-rated labels and brands for your merchandise. For instance, The North Face is a very well-known and respected brand, as is Eddie Bauer. Both companies have a reputation for quality merchandise, but they have a slightly different audience. You can co-brand your promotional clothing with The North Face to attract a younger crowd that wants quality trends while putting your logo on Eddie Bauer will appeal to an older demographic that is looking for long-lasting, high-end clothing and gear.
4. Create Tiers of Marketing
If you’re headed out to a tradeshow where you’re expecting thousands of people to walk by your booth, you certainly don’t want to hand out expensive promotional items when a simple (and truly irresistible) stress ball will be just as sought after among the masses. Likewise, you don’t want to rely on that same stress ball when you’re looking to woo a top customer and establish a long-lasting and highly lucrative relationship. In these situations, creating a one-off suite of customized products or a gift basket is a much better approach. Consider using promotional items for different aspects of marketing by fine tuning your approach.
5. Be Consistent Yet Versatile
This can be a tricky tip to grasp but it’s worth considering. Keeping your logo and your branding consistent is a critical part of a marketing plan. You also want to always have your eye on your audience. If your audience shifts in their interests, following them will keep you top-of-mind and will solidify your reputation with them. On the flip side, adding versatility to your line-up of promotional gifts means that they aren’t getting the same item every year, they’re getting a variety of promotional items from you that are equally appealing.
If you’re thinking about rolling more promotional products into your marketing efforts, we’d love to help you hit your goals. Shop on our website, chat live with our customer service team, or give us a call at 866-277-RUSH (7874) and we’ll help you select branded merchandise that ties in with your marketing agenda.
In addition to his work as CEO of rushIMPRINT, Dan contributes content to our blog. He’s been with us for more than two decades and has a real passion for helping customers grow their business by enhancing their branding and marketing. The power of branded merchandise is his area of expertise and he’s happy to bring you industry news so you can discover the best way to make an impression.