With the sheer glut of promotional products on the marketplace, entrants to the world of promotional marketing can often be overwhelmed and bemused by the offerings available. Endless questions begin to surface. What should I be giving away at my event booth? If I choose promotional T-Shirts, what printing technique should I use to fit my budget? Is it a faux pas to offer personalised sunglasses in the winter? If a tree falls in the forest with no one around, does it make a sound?
The kinds of merchandise that you should be using depends on a number of different factors such as industry sector, type of event and the type of customers you are hoping to court or retain. We know it’s a minefield out there, so we’ve crafted this nifty blog post to hopefully offer some guidelines to the perfect time and setting for each promotional product. Without further ado, let’s begin…
Personalised Travel Cases:
This is a fantastic product if you consider your customers or potential clients to be adventurous jetsetters. Additionally, travel cases or bags have major longevity. Give it a thought. Unless you’re a maverick, the average person often keeps the same travel cases for years at a time. This affords your brand an excellent opportunity to become a semi-permanent fixture in the customer’s life. The travel case has another advantage, name that there is a large surface area on which you can personalise your taste and brand specifications. Generally, we would recommend this product for companies such as travel agencies, airlines and tour companies, to rattle off just a few. Different travellers have different travel needs, yet fortunately, travel cases are one of the more versatile products. You can get them in varying sizes, with a different number of zippers and compartments or with and without wheels. Definitely one to consider if travel is in your companies jurisdiction.
Printed lanyards are a permanent presence at most events, mostly because they are one of the handiest products for displaying ID and that yes, you are an official guest and not some straggler who has wandered into the venue off the street. This is one item that we would suggest event organisers order in copious amounts, to cover all guests and any potential last minute arrivals. There is also greater scope for customisation than you might expect; you are able to get a hold of lanyards made out of polyester, nylon, woven and ones that are dye sublimated, for starters. Lanyards also aren’t limited to just identification purposes. You can use them to store small change, keys, to distinguish store clerks from customers and to highlight yourself as a figure of authority. For instance, if you are the organiser of a charity fundraiser and you want to be easily identifiable so the attendees can direct any questions towards you. Printed lanyards are a highly flexible product that doesn’t tie you down to any particular uses, but they are highly recommended for shops, events and functions.
Wristbands are highly valuable for both aesthetic reasons and functional reasons. Think about the number of people who accrue music festival wristbands on their arm as a mark of pride and to display themselves as veterans of the music festival scene. Concerts and festivals are the most obvious situations in which a low-key wristband can be exploited; they are a much more effective alternative to a ticket as they’re virtually impossible to lose and simplify the process or leaving and reentering the event. That’s not to mention that you can easily select wristbands that are resilient to the elements. Beyond this, they can be used at races such as 10k, triathlons and marathons. Upon arriving at the race, you can drop your belongings off, be issued with a wristband and a unique number or code and then easily collect your belongings at the end of the race. This completely eliminates the need for an easily misplaced ticket or shred of paper and therefore facilitates the whole process. Wristbands can also be used in more novel ways. On school trips with younger children, each child could have a wristband forced onto their wrist with their name and a contact number in the worst case scenario that they wander off. In general, wristbands should be used when you want to carefully monitor attendance and the number of people at an event. In this respect, it’s an indispensable product.
Badges are often overlooked when it comes to printed merchandise, but they can be a highly effective addition. Realistically, it’s unlikely that recipients will start wearing your badges regularly but they add a bit of gamification to proceedings and appeal to the collectors in people. The obvious use for badges is as an advertising tool but this is selling them short. They can also be used to reward achievement and merit. For example, groups like Cubs and Scouts frequently use fabric badges that are embroidered onto uniforms to signify rank. This is an expansion of the gamification theme. However, badges are also used as a fashion accessory in some quarters so this is an option that should not be ruled out. Overall, badges are a niche item but can definitely be employed to good effect if you hand them out at fairs or use them to reward members of a club.
Still the definitive item to keep you dry on days when the heavens have decided to let loose, umbrellas are a timeless classic. Their main advantage is that they convert from being a low-key, compact item to being opened and becoming a bona fide branding machine. The large surface area of an open umbrella lends itself heavily to business branding and will ensure that everyone catches a glimpse of your company. Most suitable for the unpredictable English climate. Least suitable for the Atacama Desert in Chile. But in all seriousness, personalised umbrellas are a product that is rarely neglected up when offered at a trade fair and they may very well be snapped up by passersby. They are especially recommended for businesses that cater for itinerant customers and golfers, but more generally everyone who enjoys not getting drenched to the core when they step outside in inclement weather.
Personalised caps are a highly desirable fashion accompaniment and so are one of the less risky products to incorporate in your branding strategy. Think about how iconic the Trump cap was in 2016 and its importance in spreading the ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan. There is a lot of real estate on which you can plaster your brand name, slogan or logo on and it’s highly receptive to multiple printing techniques such as embroidery or cad cut vinyl. Caps also tend to be one-size-fits-all, so this eases the ordering process greatly. For the most part, we would recommend personalising caps to any budding business that is looking to launch their marketing strategy. They can be displayed and sold at fairs and events, or even hind the counter at brick-and-mortar locations. Or why not offer them to customers as a sign-up bonus or something similar? Personalised caps would fall under the category of essential merchandise for pretty much every business.
In terms of style, personalised sunglasses are right up there in the upper pantheon of products. The one issue with this product is that they aren’t necessarily the most visible way of displaying your brand iconography. Unless you’re happy not seeing and having your brand logo covering the sunglasses’ lenses. What sunglasses are excellent for though, is company giveaways. You can customise your sunglasses in different colours and styles and hand them out to loyal customers and competition winners. In this way, personalised sunglasses are excellent for inspiring customer loyalty and jazzing up your brand image if its reputation is usually quite staid and unadventurous.
This accessory is a perfect match with personalised straw hats. It can considerably increase your brand visibility and highlight the quirky personality of your company.
Printed mugs are by far one of the most useful products on this list, especially considering that people are always looking to expand their selection of mugs. Many people are voracious tea or coffee drinkers and by providing them with an attractive and durable mug, you can have your brand image touch their lips on an almost daily basis. Sublimation will allow you to print full colour onto the entire mug, enabling you to achieve some very creative results. Take a brief look in someone’s kitchen cabinets and you’re likely to see a slew of business related mugs, proving that they have real staying power. You never know how many guests you’re going to have round for tea or if Kevin from accounting will spitefully break your only work mug after being snubbed for a promotion in your favour.
If you still need further advice on how to take advantage of each piece of promotional merchandise, get in touch with us today and one of our team of experts will be happy to lead you through the options step by step.
Keep reaching for specialised guidance on the different types of promotional bags and their uses.