In a world where most of us are unwitting slaves to that little device that slips into our pocket – yes, the smartphone – it is easy to see why marketers are so focused on their online success. To ignore this route would be foolish, archaic and a bankruptcy specialist. But despite the unprecedented rise of all things internet, there is still a huge influence to be had by other strands of marketing, not least of all branded merchandise – dun, dun, duuuun.
Now you’re probably rolling your eyes and muttering yourself that you already use this strategy as a marketing technique in some small way, which is fine. But you need to stop rolling your eyes and acting like you know everything because we’re telling you that branded merchandise needs to be an integral cog in your operation.
The reasons why are almost impossible to count, but they include things like brand recognition, personality, reinforcing your company message, getting in front of your target audience and, yes, resonance. That’s not just hearsay either, that is what the research by the ASI confirmed.
However, just having a load of branded merchandise is not enough. You need to have a well-planned execution strategy too. You need to make sure you are using an approach suited to your business and tailored to your audience. And, to help you with that, we have come up with some invaluable top tips.
The Key To Success Is Usability
Take a look around at your competitors during the next trade show or networking event and see what promotional products are being peddled. Chances are, they are lifestyle products that offer a serious level of functionality. We’re talking about businesses that have gone down the calendar printing route, had filtered water bottles branded, sportswear designed, charging banks and bags and health items and just about everything else you can think of. What do all of these things have in common? Simple. They will all be used long after your booth is collapsed and taken away on a low-loader. Obviously, the more value your product-slash-merchandise offers the better, but anything that threatens to be used away from these shows and in front of other members of the public is a good thing. Fact.
Always Use Products That Resonate
The more you know who your target audience is the better chance you have of connecting with them if you are smart. The aim of the game, in short, is to adopt a creative mindset with lifestyle branding, the kind that will have your audience thinking, “yeah, that company gets me!” A great way to do this is to keep an eye on social trends that are creeping through your target audience and capitalizing on them; whether it is the hipster thing, equality, social awareness or environmental issues. This will see your brand resonate more with people and that will make your branded merchandise become part of a movement. If you really want to pack a punch, then try partnering up with another brand or another well-known product and use this affiliation on your products to boost both recognition and value. Double whammy.
Merchandise That Boosts Investment
The more you know what you want to achieve with your branded merchandise the better it will work at converting; the better it will be at returning on your investment. You will know what messaging to use and how your logo can create a more complete piece of awareness. The more your products relate to your target audience, the more chance they have of being a success, and that means they will offer a much better return on your investment.
Automate This Strategy More
In a day and age where automation is so accessible, it makes sense to automate the way you order your branded products. On the one hand, this will help you meet your revenue goals and, on the other hand, it will help your employees boost presentation skills and maximise their efficiencies in meeting demand. It is also a fantastic way to give marketing and sales teams a certain peace of mind when it comes to maximising their budget allocation – think bulk buying – and reducing the amount of red tape to overcome – think pre-approved assortments. Time is one of the most important commodities in business – if not the most – and by having the right automation strategies in place you can truly improve the value you get out of your investment.
Yes, Facebook is a great advertising option, but the lifespan of a Facebook ad is barely more than thirty minutes. Branded merchandise, however, is a long-term strategy that gains continual exposure, making the effectiveness far more valuable. That is why you need to make your branded products work with your online approaches. That way you will truly find success. Just remember, it isn’t just about the products, but your marketing strategy too.