Promotional merchandise is often disregarded when it comes to building a strong brand. Businesses commonly forget that brand recognition through branded products is a very powerful and inexpensive tool. Not only are the items practical and useful for your clients but they can be used to create a sense of loyalty towards your brand and can invoke a conversation about your brand, product or services.
A common misconception is that promotional merchandise is limited to mugs or pens, however it can actually include are whole variety of goods from branded USBs, power sticks to deck chairs and even yoga mats. The right type of promotional merchandise for your business largely depends on your industry and your customers, understanding the correct products to use is vital if you want to successfully implement them into your marketing strategy. You must take time to understand your clients needs and produce merchandise which benefits them.
Before purchasing any merchandise, it is critical to understand what you want to achieve from using promotional items and what you realistically stand to gain. Although the products must benefit your clients, it must also benefit you. Something which every company needs to see on any new marketing venture is return on investment. Most will ask the question ‘how can promotional merchandise lead to conversions or generate more sales?’. Well, simply put it leaves a long-lasting impression on the client and is a constant subliminal reminder of your brand. To some giving away free merchandise may seem frivolous, however the branded item is the start of a long-lasting relationship between you and the client, it is not designed for a quick win. It may not instantly result in a sale, but long term it creates a recognisable and memorable brand identity. This alone is more than enough reason to invest in good quality branded merchandise, as it is representative of your company.
Although it can be argued that promotional merchandise is not essential to generating awareness of your brand, it can alternatively be argued that it is a key element to building a sustainable brand with longevity. All in all, the cost per impression of a promotional product can be much lower than other forms of advertising and therefore the power of it must not be underestimated.