“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” —Dr. Seuss
Identity. It’s a sense of self. How you define your personality. The foundation of character that makes you uniquely you. Because as Dr. Seuss says, there’s no one who is you-er than you!
The same is true for brands. Your brand’s identity let’s potential buyers know if your product or service is right for them. As marketers, we’re responsible for creating our brand’s personality through logo, color, messaging, content and context. “Being an on-trend, relevant, inspiring, purposeful, innovative and community-centric brand—these are the things that will make people pause, listen and pay attention,” says Glenn Llopis is the Forbes article “6 Brand Strategies Most CMOs Fail To Execute.”
But Llopis notes that creating and sustaining customer trust and loyalty is more difficult than ever before. The challenge to building relationships with your audience is a result of the increased competition for their attention. So what’s a brand to do?
To have any hope for a lasting and meaningful relationship with your customers, you must create a brand identity that is authentic and relatable. “Customers want to identify with a brand they can grow with, that earns their trust and makes them feel valued,” Llopis says.
Branded merchandise is a visual representation of everything your brand stands for. And since people keep and use these promotional products (often for years!) and integrate them into their daily lives, it’s imperative that you properly establish you brand’s identity since the items will reinforce this image over and over again.
When adding logoed merchandise into your overall branding strategy, select items that:
- Appeal To Your Audience
Before you select any product or create any brand message, you must first target your audience. If the merchandise doesn’t attract attention of your customers and prospects and make a good impression, then what’s the point?
- Align With Brand’s Values
As you construct a brand identity that is relatable, think about the kind of values your brand represents—and select products that align with these values. There are no bad promotional products. But there are bad uses of them. Leather coasters work for steakhouse but not for a vegan restaurant.
- Make Sense With Messaging
Promotional products are meant to be fun, so incorporating taglines can be a way to boost your brand’s ability to relate with your audience. But it must make sense. You wouldn’t put a recycling message on a product made from 100% virgin materials, for example. A “come grow with us” message falls flat on a pen but excels on a packet of wildflower seeds or a tape measure. Whatever product messaging you choose, make sure it consistently supports your brand story.
- Deliver A Memorable Experience
Experiences are how we make memories. For brands, delivering a memorable experience facilitates that relatable identity customers crave. Choose products that give recipients no other choice but to remember your brand.
Keep in mind that a brand identity, just like your personal identity, grows and changes over time based upon experiences, world events and societal norms. “A brand identity is most powerful when it evolves and its value proposition strengthens in alignment with the changing lifestyle demands of its audience,” Llopis says.
But in an attempt to continue to be relevant over time, Llopis cautions that all too often brands complicate their unique value proposition (UVP) to get attention. “In their efforts to reinvent and renew, they complicate things that frustrate their consumers and shareholders,” he says. “Make things simple. People don’t have the time to figure out what your brand is trying to solve. Consumers want brands to be deliberate with their identity—straightforward while at the same time forward-thinking. People want to evolve with a brand whose products and services help give their business or life meaning and significance. End to end, a brand must become a consumer’s best friend.”
Looking for ways to incorporate promotional products into your brand’s identity so you can be more relatable? We can help. Book an appointment by clicking here or call us at 248-538-4700 today to learn more about all the options. Who knows…you just might end up with some new BFFs!