Although, I’ve never turned down a free branded shirt, and you probably haven’t either. As the marketplace grows and competition intensifies, businesses must evolve and find creative ways to connect with customers and increase brand awareness. This blog presents five strategies that leverage promotional products, along with real-life examples and powerful statistics, which can be shared with clients.
1. Host Memorable Events:
Allow your clients to see, feel, and experience your brand. Hosting memorable events that pull customers into an immersive experience, with custom promotional merchandise is a powerful way to connect with your audience.
When customers feel engaged, they’re more likely to remember the brand for all the special things they did. These events can range from product launches to customer appreciation parties or industry conferences. The associated brand merchandise becomes more than just a shirt or a water bottle; it now becomes a high-quality marketing tool that offers an unforgettable memory of a brand that went above and beyond.
Dove’s Love Your Hair Event: Dove celebrated the launch of its new collection of hair care products by hosting an immersive event. Attendees received personalized advice from stylists and swag bags filled with branded merchandise. Dove’s event was highly successful in building brand loyalty by creating a lasting impression.
- According to the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), 85% of consumers remember the advertiser who gave them a promotional product.
- Event attendees who receive promotional products are 52% more likely to have a favorable impression of the brand (PPAI).
Make it Work for you:
Host an immersive product launch party. As your clients step into the event venue, they are immediately enveloped in an atmosphere that embodies your brand’s identity and values. It’s not just a product launch; it’s an experience.
But the real surprise comes when your clients receive their event swag bags. Inside, they find a treasure trove of custom promotional merchandise that not only showcases your brand but also adds to the overall experience. There are branded T-shirts that perfectly match the event’s theme, high-quality water bottles with a personalized touch, and even custom-designed event badges that make attendees feel like VIPs.
Throughout the event, your clients not only see and hear about your brand, but they also get to feel and experience it firsthand. They engage with your products, mingle with your team, and immerse themselves in an unforgettable brand journey.
2. Enhance Customer Loyalty Programs:
If you’re already offering a branded loyalty program, why not reward your most dedicated customers with a little extra appreciation? Rewarding loyal customers with branded promotional products can strengthen the bond between your brand and its customers. Moreover, using these products to remember special events or moments in their lives lets them know that you are a brand that genuinely cares for them. A small promotional item commemorating a birthday, or a milestone can help skyrocket brand loyalty. These rewards can be tied to loyalty programs, special milestones, or personalized gestures.
PetSmart’s loyalty rewards program: PetSmart’s Treat Member, surprises members with gifts on their pets’ birthdays. This extra touch shows appreciation and strengthens customer loyalty. By nurturing repeat customers, they are likely to retain them long term.
- The Loyalty Report 2019 states that 77% of consumers stay loyal to brands with loyalty programs.
- 63% of consumers believe loyalty programs are the best way for brands to show their loyalty (Bond Brand Loyalty).
Make it Work for you:
A customer has been faithfully choosing your products or services, and their birthday is approaching. Instead of just sending a generic birthday email, you surprise them with a small package. Inside, they find a beautifully branded item—a custom coffee mug with their name, a cozy branded blanket, or a sleek keychain with a heartfelt message. It’s not just a promotional product; it’s a tangible symbol of your brand’s genuine care and appreciation for their loyalty.
3. Create Limited-Edition Collections:
Boost excitement around your brand with limited-edition brand merchandising. Limited-edition promotional product collections can create excitement and a sense of urgency among your audience. These collections often feature unique or seasonal items that are only available for a limited time.
Starbucks Holiday Tumblers: Starbucks’ annual holiday tumbler collection is a classic example. Each November, when customers order a holiday beverage, they receive a free reusable cup, but only while supplies last. The brand’s consistent release of a new design year after year has created anticipation among customers who want to add the latest tumbler to their collection.
- Limited time offers can increase conversion rates by 226% (Instapage).
- Creating a sense of urgency can boost sales by 332% (Oberlo).
Make it work for you:
A carefully curated collection of promotional products, each exquisitely designed and exclusively available for a short window of time. It’s like a pop-up boutique experience that your audience won’t want to miss.
These limited-edition collections are not your run-of-the-mill promotional items. They’re a testament to your brand’s creativity and commitment to delivering unique, high-quality products that stand out. Whether it’s a set of elegant custom-made pens, stylish tote bags, or seasonal apparel, these items hold a special allure because they won’t be around forever.
The scarcity factor adds a layer of excitement and urgency. Your audience knows that once these items are gone, they’re gone for good. This drives them to take action, whether it’s making a purchase, signing up for your newsletter, or engaging with your brand on social media.
And the best part? Limited-edition merchandising not only boosts excitement but also cultivates a sense of exclusivity. Your customers become part of an elite group who have the privilege of owning these unique pieces. This exclusivity enhances their connection to your brand, creating a lasting impression and fostering brand loyalty. So, go ahead—unleash the power of limited-edition merchandising and watch the excitement soar.
4. Promotional Items in Direct Mail Campaigns:
If your mailing results are looking a bit fatigued, try mixing things up a bit. Postcards, coupons, and special offers can get an unexpected twist when you include a special surprise.
MailChimp’s Branded Socks: Email marketing corporation MailChimp, for example, sends new clients a pair of branded themed socks. Each morning, among a sea of white, these vibrant purple socks stand out in your sock drawer, reminding you of the fun and silly gift and the brand responsible for it.
- Adding a promotional product to your direct mail campaign can increase response rates by up to 50% (DMA Response Rate Report).
- 80% of consumers open direct mail if it includes a promotional product (ASI).
Make it work for you:
Your customers open their mailboxes to find a beautifully designed envelope that piques their curiosity. Inside, alongside the usual promotional materials, they discover a delightful surprise—a small, carefully chosen promotional product that complements your message.
For instance, let’s say you run an eco-friendly online store. Alongside your promotional materials, you include a reusable branded tote bag or a set of eco-friendly bamboo utensils. Not only does this surprise add an element of excitement to your direct mail piece, but it also showcases your brand’s commitment to sustainability.
The impact of this surprise is twofold. Firstly, it immediately captures your recipients’ attention, making them more likely to engage with your content. Secondly, it creates a tangible connection between your brand and the recipient. They don’t just read your message; they interact with it, making your brand more memorable.
This innovative approach not only breathes new life into your direct mail campaigns but also increases their effectiveness. Customers are more likely to open, read, and act on a piece of mail that offers an unexpected and valuable bonus. So, go ahead and surprise your audience—your direct mail campaigns will never be the same again.
5. Support Charitable Causes:
Show your commitment to social responsibility by creating promotional products tied to a charitable cause. This not only benefits the cause but also enhances your brand’s reputation. As consumers begin to demand that brands act with social responsibility, it behooves company owners to align themselves with a social cause. This demonstrates you are a socially responsible company that can be trusted.
NFL’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Each year the NFL spends several million dollars to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Pink jerseys, cleats, mouthguards, and even pink whistles for the referees – all in an effort to spread awareness of the disease affecting one in eight women.
- 87% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product that supports a cause they care about (Cone Communications).
- 88% of millennials are more loyal to companies that support social or environmental causes (Forbes).
Make it work for you:
Partner with a notable charitable cause, such as a local children’s hospital or an environmental conservation organization. Together, you design a range of promotional products that bear both your brand’s identity and the emblem of the chosen cause. For every item sold or distributed, a significant portion of the proceeds is earmarked for the cause.
These promotional products become more than mere marketing tools; they become a symbol of your brand’s dedication to making a difference. Customers who purchase or receive these items know that they are contributing to a cause they care about. It’s a win-win situation: your brand benefits from increased goodwill, and the charitable cause receives much-needed support.
Combining these creative marketing strategies with your promotional products can drive brand visibility, help engage with your audience, and leave a lasting impact. The key, though, is to align your brand merch with your company’s identity and values. By incorporating these five creative marketing ideas, you can take your promotional products up a notch and create a following who can’t wait to see what you do next.
Now that you are prepared to utilize promotional items effectively for your business, have a discussion with your Kaeser & Blair representative to determine the most suitable products for your objectives and financial plan.