Think of your promo merchandise as glorified brand ambassadors. Each piece of merchandise will instantly give prospective customers a first impression of your company; it will create an image of who you are as individuals and as a company – so you’ve got to make sure it’s a memorable product. In order to gain the right kind of attention and public impressions, you have to speak to the merchandise Guru Gods and ask:
Do you really need it? Your product choice has to be appropriate to your company’s vision and mission identity; e.g. are you amongst others in the sports industry – selling a service or a product? A water bottle or an accessory such as a reflective band or sports towel could be a great approach to selling the life style. Orrrr, how about you’re involved in community development? Customised seed packets, or draw-string backpacks to avoid littering is another take on promoting your company beliefs.
Is it a product for life, not just for now? You want to be able to freely give this product and know people will be proud to keep and actually use. Distributing thoughtless and cheap junk will have a life span to the closest bin – do not depict your brand as substandard, it’s your livelihood!
The quality of your merchandise deeply reflects the value of your product or service; you want people to be proud of what they receive and show it off time and time again – at the gym or just scooting about day-to-day life. The customers wearing/ using the product are a walking billboard; you have to nail this decision! It’s a gateway to direct and free brand advertising.
It might also be wise to take note that if you are a brand that promotes environmental issues or quality of working establishments, etc. that you do choose a product that is environmentally friendly and/ or made in the UK.
Does it stand out? Does it make you look like a trendsetter or a follower? Neither is bad – as long as it stands out in the crowd. As well as making it practical and relevant, it has to have some creative spunk for people to remember your brand and associate great memories when they see, wear or use the item. For example, a pen need not be boring; your choice of colour and shape would set it apart from the rest, why not even make it a mini permanent marker? A key ring is as common as it gets, but a mini tape measure keychain from a real sports apparel company is both useful and unforgettable.
Your promotional merchandise walks and talks your brand. Choosing them is serious business, but by keeping these 3 questions in mind, making the decision will be a breeze. So now what does your merchandise say about your brand?