When choosing branded merchandise, how do you determine what product(s) to include in your external marketing campaigns, internal employee initiatives and company stores?
Perhaps you're trying to tie into a current advertising theme. Maybe you continue to order a group of select items because that's what has always been done. Or possibly budget is a driver and you want a high-distribution, low-cost item to get the greatest potential reach. All of these can be valid strategies.
But have you ever considered how you'd like the ultimate recipient, the end user, to incorporate the merch you give them into their daily lives?
Let that sink in for a minute.
We often talk about the power of promo. How research studies have found that 81% of recipients keep the branded merchandise more than a year, and 83% are more likely to do business with the brand after receiving promotional products. With those kinds of numbers, it's no wonder that branded merch tops all other forms of advertising.
Clearly, in order for these items to be effective, they must be kept and used; that's the only way the advertising message is continually delivered. To increase the likelihood that recipients will keep and use the promotional merchandise received, it's imperative to consider how your target audience will incorporate the items into their daily routines.
Every year, we attend The PPAI Expo—a five-day conference and tradeshow that features more than 1,200 exhibiting companies who showcase tens of thousands of promotional products in nearly a million square feet of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas—to find the latest on-trend items that will help you achieve your marketing goals while delighting recipients.
This year, one company's products really stood out, in part because of how they were displayed.
The company literally built a house on the tradeshow floor to show all the different ways its products can be used. It was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.Here's a look at the exterior:
While this company's primary product line is bags (and thus bags are showcased throughout), the way they showcased their merchandise is a great lesson on how the different kinds of promotional products can be used throughout all the spaces in a home.
This got us thinking: Rather than looking at branded merchandise purely as a marketing tool to communicate an advertiser's message, what if we changed the perception of how promo is viewed?
When buying promotional products, most marketers and procurement professionals simply think about choosing an item that fits a campaign theme, is at a certain price point and can be delivered by a set due date. All important considerations, but the framework is centered on what the advertiser wants to say.
What if we flipped that around and put what the advertiser's target audience wants to receive, then commence with product selection? It's a subtle difference, but a very important one.
Look at it from your target audience's point of view. What kind of item would they love so much that they would actually bring that product into their home and make it part of their lifestyle? Finding that sweet spot where your brand's values intersect with consumers' lifestyles is where the magic happens.
There's no right or wrong answer, as any promotional product has the power to achieve this magic when the proper message is delivered to the proper audience.
Sounds awesome, but where do you start? Check out this list of product ideas that can be used throughout the home:
The office is prime real estate, as most U.S workers log an average of eight hours per day on the job. With 43% of Americans occasionally working remotely and 5.2% (about eight million people) working from home full-time, there's a ton of opportunity for advertisers to get noticed in the home office.
Think writing instruments, desk accessories (Post-it Notes, staplers, pencil holders), padfolios, journals, notebooks, clocks and tech items (mouse pads, computer camera covers, USB drives, power banks).
While not everyone sits down for family dinner every night, data shows that those who do reap many benefits. Tools that make food prep easy and get others to join in the joy of cooking are welcome gifts.
Consider utensils such as spatulas, knives and pizza cutters as well as mixing bowls, cutting boards and cookware. Drinkware items (mugs, tumblers, water bottles, wine glasses, shot glasses, etc.) are also useful whether you're drinking morning coffee, sipping afternoon tea or enjoying an evening libation.
For those needing to take meals on the go, reusable lunch totes, bento boxes and straws are great ways to keep excess plastic and packaging out of landfills.
Because it may not seem obvious how promotional products are used in living rooms and bedrooms, these areas are often missed opportunities for branded merchandise.
Coasters, candles and frames may be the most common items for this space, but cozy blankets pillows that are perfect for snuggling up will become quick favorites.
Probably the most well-known promotional products for use in the bathroom is the logoed toothbrush, which is given by nearly all dentists to their patients during the semi-annual check-up. But there's so much more.
Spa sets of personal care products such as soap, lotion and bath bombs make luxurious gifts, while hand sanitizer, travel mirrors and grooming sets are ideal for practical promotions. Aromatherapy essential oil room sprays are also awesome at always keeping this room fresh.
Many overlook the laundry and/or mud room area as a promotional opportunity, so here's a place where there will be little competition for advertising messages. Laundry bags, stain remover pens and lint rollers are excellent choices, but don't forget about hangers, storage bins and floor mats.
When it comes to choosing branded merchandise for use in children's rooms, you pretty much can't go wrong with plush toys. With every kind of animal imaginable, from bears and bunnies to turtles and T-Rex's, there's something to bring a sparkle to any kid's eyes.
You can also support artistic endeavors with coloring books, crayons and colored pencils, then help corral all the kid stuffs for transport with backpacks, diaper bags and totes.
You may be surprised at all the promotional opportunities that abound for items that make their home in the garage. From tools to car kits to gardening supplies, there are lots of options to build a promotion that will spark name recognition and blossom lots of goodwill.
Regular exercise boosts mood and increases productivity while reducing sick days, trips to the doctor and spending on Rx. While gyms are still popular, there is a growing movement in fitness and training to workout at home. Thus, creating branded merchandise for use in the home gym is the perfect way to associate your brand name with a healthy lifestyle.
Plus, there are so many product options: Yoga mats and blocks, water bottles, portable speakers, phone holders, fanny packs, gym bags, chilly towels, foam rollers and therapy balls, to name a few!
Products to be used on the patio and poolside are all about fun. Beach towels and sunscreen are a must. Can koozies, ice buckets and coolers keep beverages cold, while inflatables (balls, rafts, floaties) help keep people cool while taking a dip.
Once you go through all the potential spaces in a home and see how promotional products can be used in each one, it changes your perspective. Being able to visualize how recipients will use your branded merchandise is a powerful tool, one that can help you make more strategic choices in your product selection.
This can be even more beneficial for continuity programs or company stores, where you want all the products to coordinate and be in harmony with one another.
Did one of the products above provide the spark needed to jumpstart your next campaign? Let's chat. We'd love to talk about your marketing objectives and how promotional products can be included to help reach your goals.
We can also source product categories that you like and provide options in certain colors, sizes, price range and/or those that meet your product safety, sustainability or corporate responsibility requirements. This is all a part of our concierge service. Experience it for yourself.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or book an appointment at https://meetings.hubspot.com/corpspec/chat-about-swag today. Choose from quick 10-minute chats, 20-minute new product calls and 30-minute brainstorming sessions to get started.