Business Branding With Swag: A Guide To Promotional Products

promotional products

Promotional products are a multi-billion dollar business. If someone tells you that business branding to attract potential customers doesn’t work, they’re wrong. American businesses spend, on average, $20 billion each year on corporate swag. 

In today’s digital world, it’s easy to forget how effective word-of-mouth advertising is. But the truth is, it’s still the most effective way to get your message out there. People still trust recommendations from their friends and family more than any other type of advertising.

You need to use promotional products to get more customers and grow your business. These are tangible items imprinted with your company’s logo that can be used to promote your brand. Promotional products are a great way to get your brand name out in the community without breaking the bank.

Here are some ideas on using promotional products to get more customer referrals and spread the word about your business.

What are the Best Promotional Products?

Selecting the right custom products to advertise your brand can be daunting once you realize the sheer volume of promotional products available. It’s best to consider your company’s personality when choosing promotional products to avoid wasting resources. 

What exactly is a promotional product? You may be asking.

A promotional product is a free item that displays a company name, logo, slogan, or message. Most people think of promotional products when they think of t-shirts with a range of bold typography to playful illustrations, magnet calendars, and branded pens. But there are plenty of other options, such as a USB drive, tote bag, or high-end water bottle.

Almost anything you can imagine could be a promotional product. The only limitation is your imagination. When used properly, promotional products can work well alongside new waves of marketing strategies.

Who Receives Promotional Items?

Branded merchandise should motivate consumers to act by choosing one brand over all the others. Or, at the very least, the products should help people recall the brand so that they choose to do business with it at some point down the line.

Promotional items are overwhelmingly designed for potential customers. You should have a profile of your target audience and where you can connect with them.

Resources are valuable, so your marketing team should seek opportunities to reach people. There are several ways to connect with people.

Grand Opening

When you start a new business, the first goal is to attract customers. Before you open your doors, think about how you’ll reach your audience. 

One way is to do radio, television, and social media marketing. Offer people a gift for visiting your store during the grand opening. Of course, you want to have plenty of corporate swag on hand to give away.

Support the Community

Brick-and-mortar businesses have a unique quality. They can get out into the community and participate in community events to build their client base. Or they can sponsor local sports teams or initiatives.

You can offer free branded t-shirts, caps, towels, and water bottles. People love these items, they last a long time, and they are helpful. Ten years from now, a t-shirt will be a walking billboard that keeps giving.

When you sponsor a little league team, your promotional ads go into their programs. Chances are you can hang a vinyl banner near the field or in the gym. Look at college sports teams and how brands like Nike have their logo on everything from practice t-shirts to game-day rally towels.

At community events, you’re not only supporting a worthy cause, but you’re also meeting potential customers. Spoil them with great promotional products they can use at the event and take home as souvenirs.

Employee Advocacy 

If you own a company where employees are happy to get a paycheck, you may want to invest in an employee advocacy plan. The truth is, your employees want to work for a company where they feel appreciated. 

Employee advocacy programs help boost productivity, company culture, team morale, brand messaging, employee empowerment, HR recruitment and retention, and revenue.

Employers reward their employees by providing gifts for reaching milestones, going above and beyond, or celebrating their work anniversary. These are just a few ideas.

The promotional products are typically on the higher end. Instead of a T-shirt, you would give the employee a polo shirt with business branding. Or you would bypass a plastic cup and give out a custom thermal drink container.

There are many ways to show appreciation to people who impact your business in different ways.

Creating Marketing Campaigns

Do businesses still give out business cards? We’re sure they do, but are they still as effective today?

Let’s be honest. A business card is tucked away in the event the person needs your product or service. However, it’s more likely to have been tossed within days of you handing it out.

With promotional items, you can get your message out to more people. You never know who will see your slogan, web address, or other contact information on branded promotional items.

Someone could give a stranger a pen from a law firm, not knowing a week from now, that person will need an attorney. What are the chances you would have had a reason to hand them a business card? They will likely remember that the pen they are still carrying was advertising a law firm.

Decide On a Marketing Plan

If you want to get new customers, you must make sure they know who you are and what you have to offer. The promotional items you give away will help people remember you and your business in the future. If you pick the right product, it’ll stick with people for a long time and remind them of your company.

For example, you own a business that sells cookware. Most people buying cookware from a specialty shop either love to cook or are buying a gift for someone. Your corporate swag could be the choice between an apron, dish towel, or coasters with your company brand.

You can run the gift offer during a grand opening or for your store anniversary. Another idea would be if you hosted a guest chef for a cooking demonstration.

Determine Your Budget

Next, you want to determine your budget for the advertising campaign. It’s important to do this because you don’t want to overspend on corporate swag.

Before you do anything else, you’ll need to know how much of your marketing budget can be used for promo items. 

A successful strategy will garner revenue. Even on a tight budget, you can give away high-quality branded products.

Market the Giveaway

Share your promotional products with your target audience once you know what promotional products you’re handing out. You can promote your corporate swag giveaway using any media, from print to social sites. All you need to do is include a blurb that announces visitors will receive a gift.

Create Graphic Art

When you host a planned promotional event, you may want to offer different artwork than your standard promo products. Use the assistance of a graphic designer who can create something unique for screen printing that is a jazzed-up version of your logo.

For a store grand opening, you might use “Est. 2023” for a grand opening. Or give the date and year for a business anniversary.

Choose Promotional Items

The example above mentions a marketing campaign at a cookware shop. Regardless of your brand or industry, you must choose promotional items that fit your marketing campaign.

If your company celebrates its clients, you want items that might have style and elegance—something in glass or metal. 

For customers receiving items commemorating a special occasion, you’ll choose items in the mid-level price range. In contrast, mass giveaways will utilize cost-effect items that are less expensive when ordering in bulk.

Choosing a Vendor

The last step in preparing your marketing campaign is to select a vendor. 

There’s no shortage of promotional product distributors. Still, you’ll want to find the right one to build a long-term relationship with.

Do your research to find the vendor that best suits your objectives and requirements. Start with a simple online search or ask your industry contacts for recommendations. Having a local vendor is a huge plus.

It’s important to make sure the supplier’s products match your budget and quality preferences. Check out the prices and quality of different vendors and pick the one that works best for you. Ask if the vendor has pricing options based on how many products you order.

Don’t Hold Back

Remember, people love receiving promotional items as much as companies love giving them away. Corporate swag should be budgeted every year as an ongoing expense.

Remember always to have a purpose for branded gear giveaways. Study your target audience to determine which items are the best for your clientele. 

Big T Printing is located in St. Petersburg, FL, and is all about giving our customers the best experience possible. Go with a company you can trust.

Contact us today to discuss your ideas for upcoming promotional products.