Why your business needs to add the magic of merchandise into its marketing mix
In today’s fast-paced digital world, businesses are often spoilt for choice when developing their marketing strategy. Opting for cost-effective online and social media campaigns, or splurging on radio, print or TV advertisements, businesses often overlook the power of promotional merchandise.
Getting creative with your marketing can help your brand stand out from competition, whilst remaining in the minds of current and potential customers. When used successfully, merchandising can establish strong, personal and long-lasting relationships between brands and consumers.
Here’s some reasons why you should throw promotional merchandise into your marketing mix:
Promotional products are a simple tool to get your brand logo seen, heard and talked about. Unlike digital media, the beauty of merchandise is that it takes your brand into the real world.
Merchandise can be distributed at conferences, presentations, exhibitions and even award ceremonies. Branded items are likely to be used and seen by multiple consumers, and therefore promotion in this way is successful and invaluable to any business, but particularly for those with a smaller budget.
The key to successfully building an image of your company through promotional ‘giveaways’ is understanding your objective. Do you want to increase shop visits, raise awareness about a new product, or encourage traffic to your website? Once your end goal is clear, and a call to action is identified, you can then exploit the ability of merchandise to convey messages in many different formats.
What better way to engage with potential and current customers than a free gift?
Market research conducted by the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) in 2015 shows that 7 out of 10 marketers use promotional merchandise, and unique items stand the test of time, leaving the customer feeling valued, rewarded, excited and special.
Giving a gift to a potential customer at an exhibition is a great conversation starter, which could ultimately lead to sale. Utilising promotional materials can also strengthen customer retention through demonstrating commitment to existing loyal customers: providing current customers with personalised products is an effective way to keep them interested in your brand.
Ultimately, consumers will not only associate the positive experience directly with your brand, but as merchandise is typically desk based and useful, your brand is kept closer to the consumer. This means that your messages will remain in front of your audience as a constant reminder of the products and services that your business offers.
It’s important to think out of the box when choosing promotional merchandise. In order to capture customers’ attention, something unusual but useful is key.
Stand out from the crowd with tech products such as power banks, quirky sweet tins, handy USBs or themed bottle openers. You may also want to consider Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and provide green options like bags made from recycled materials.
This innovative marketing method will surpass competitors and promote brand differentiation.
A common misconception is that money is wasted on promotional products, and that they are often expensive to source. In fact, choosing promotional merchandise as a part of your marketing strategy is a great way to make your money to go further.
The cost is considerably less than other forms of mass advertising enabling the business to direct, and they have a stronger longevity in comparison to short-lived TV ads and online campaigns. Whilst conventional advertising is often passive and indirect to specific users, the advantage of tailored merchandise is that the products can often have a more active interaction with consumers.
The convenience of merchandise is another bonus. It can be ordered and delivered quickly and on demand, so you are able to capitalise marketing your business, even when you’re working with short notice.