Jersey – Dec 05, 2010 – Branding with Promotional Gifts
Marketing your business and reinforcing your Brand using Promotional Gift Items is a proven extremely cost effective means of advertising, marketing and promotion. Taking time to select the perfect Promotional Product and distributing it in a timely manner accompanied by effective communication is imperative if you want an exceptional return on your investment.
The Mintel report (1997) suggests that a company’s logo forms the key part of its corporate identity and that corporate gifts can help synchronisation between a company’s image and identity and the report states this; “A gift with the company’s logo ensures that the brand name or corporate image is kept at the forefront of the recipient’s mind.” That definition is erroneous, is does not work like that anymore and in my humble opinion it should read more like this:
“A Promotional Gift that is unexpected, welcomed, and useful, delivered with expert timing and well constructed communication is more far likely to capture mindshare than a Promotional Gift that is simply imprinted with a company logo. To cut through the bombardment of advertising messages companies need to be far more creative and attractive to their targeted audience with their promotional marketing efforts.”
A battle for attention is taking place and you need to arm yourself with the best weapons.
Branding in its purest form is similar to what happens on the ranch where cattle are stamped to differentiate them from other herds. Branding should be concerned with differentiating your product or service from all the other competing products and services in the market place. What you need to achieve with your Promotional Gifts, Business Gifts, or Corporate Gifts is to create in the mind of your prospect that there is no other product or service quite like yours. Businesses these days are showered with all types of Promotional Items and Corporate Gifts that act as Advertising and Marketing tools for the Brands and Companies they represent. If you want to ensure the Promotional Gifts you are sending out will enforce your Branding then before you start you should always think about what you prospects are going to think about your Branding when they receive a Corporate Gift or Promotional Items from your company. Promotional Gifting could be described as ‘Friendship Branding’ a term coined by Thomas Gad in his book 4-D Branding (ISBN 0-273-65368-7). Your Brand should strive to be perceived as a friend to your targeted customers and the gifting of promotional products can help you achieve this.
Ask yourself the following questions;
• How often do you receive a promotional gift that has the WOW! Factor and make you automatically want you to find out more about the company that sent them and ultimately do business with them?
• Will my promotional gift surprise and delight the recipient and importantly drive them to action?
• Will a cheap mug or a pen capture the mind share of my targeted customers? Writing instruments are very popular promotional products everyone seems to have a promotional pen, they are useful to people that is why people keep them. I’m not against them at all but if you are choosing pens as your preferred communication vehicle then try and get a pen produced or packaging designed that will differentiate your Branding. I personally like the Pens from Logo-Lites which light up in funky colours. Very likely to capture attention and no one would throw one of these away.
Now Please Read on
Any type of promotional product can work if the promotional gifts and the communication you send with them have the WOW! Factor. You should always strive to send something that will become part of their memory so when they require a Widget or an Acme Financial Service they will automatically think about your Brand. Seems simple enough doesn’t it? It’s all too easy in this situation to fall back on lazy thinking, go online type in promotional gifts in the search box. Look at what’s on offer (most sites will offer very similar products at very similar price points) order 5,000 pens with your log and hey presto job done! This is the worst thing you can do and could be a complete waste of money. This is not going to enhance your Brand and is more likely to have a negative effect on how people perceive your Brand. Using this strategy you could dilute your Brand Value. You are not sending them anything of intrinsic value so why should they support you? They are hardly likely to view your company as a forward thinking innovative organisation if that’s all you can come up with. A Brand cannot get into the mind unless it stands for something. So ask yourself this question; what does your Brand stand for and how can you use Promotional Products and associated packaging to reinforce this?
Before selecting Promotional Gifts and Corporate Gifts you should ask yourself the following questions and consider these points in your marketing strategy:
• Provide Help: Could I send out corporate gifts that would help my targeted market in the day to day running of their business? We are not talking diaries here, we are talking about something that they are very unlikely to receive from other businesses in your industry something that will make their life easier.
• Grab Attention: Could I send out Promotional Items that have the WOW! Factor and will absolutely grab the attention of the recipient and capture their mindshare?
• Create a Buzz: Have you ever seen a colleague receive a promotional gift and thought to yourself, I really want one of those? Create a demand for YOUR promotional gifts. If the promotional gifts your send out have the WOW! Factor people are likely to talk about them and show them to others creating a Buzz about your Brand. Utilise the power of memes and get your targeted market to do business with YOU.
• Attractive: When the Promotional Products Association International carried out a survey they found that only 20% of recipients found the Promotional Products sent to them were attractive and only a mind blowing 1% referred to the promotional product for information. So utilise the power of attraction and ensure you promotional item carries some useful information.
• Satisfaction: Don’t deal with Promotional Gift companies that offer 10,000 products and deal in satisfaction. You should be looking for a company you can work closely with to produce an outstanding promotional gift item that has the WOW! Factor and give you an excellent ROI.
• Put an Element of Fun into it: Make it memorable and quirky, avoid the bog standard logo printing it will do nothing whatsoever to enhance your Brand. Add a slogan or strap line that engages your audience.
• Craft your Communication: It is important to construct relevant, informative and engaging communication. The success of your campaign depends on it. If you can’t do it yourself find someone who can. We see instances of business spending thousands of pounds on Promotional Gifts and just posting them out with little regard to tailoring their content. Never ever underestimate the power of the written word; your promotional products should be accompanied with a call to action or a motivational message. Highlight the uniqueness of your offering. What do you provide that other companies don’t?
• Package the Promotion: You can use packaging to transform a mundane promotional gift into an exciting one. Think outside the box and work closely with your promotional gifts supplier. Brainstorm your ideas with work colleagues, friends and family members.
• Emotions: What emotions are YOU trying to evoke with your promotional marketing
The Author Paul Lakeman has been involved in the Promotional Gift Business for over 30 years and produces Promotional Gifts and Personalised Gifts in the form of customised Teddy Bears for thousands of UK and European Clients. A regular visitor to China, Football Fanatic, Paul lives in Jersey with his Wife Gill and Chocolate Labrador Ella.
firstname.lastname@example.org 01534 856931
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