Your current and potential customers love receiving free items. But did you know that these free promotional products can also help your business distinguish itself from your competition and drive profits?
Printing in St. Louis does not have to revolve around functional materials. Promotional products are quickly gaining importance in the marketing world, thanks in large part to statistics that show consumers to be more likely to recall brands and become customers if they have received a promotional product in the recent past. Can your company benefit from promotional products, and what are your options? Keep reading to find out.
The Need For Promotional Products
The world of brands is a crowded space. Every day, consumers encounter up to 20,000 advertising-related messages. That’s not a typo! From opening your web browser or checking your email to reading the paper or driving past a billboard on your way to work, advertising has become a ubiquitous part of our everyday lives.
Cutting through that clutter and encouraging brand recall is crucial, especially for small businesses. Think of it this way: if someone sees Nike advertising, it’s easy to recognize the Swoosh and categorize the ad in his mind. But if he sees an ad for a local retailer he did not know before, how is he supposed to do the same thing?
Promotional products can help this potential customer achieve that recall. Not only do promotional products instantly make your advertisement unique among its competitors for your audience’s attention, those products also give the customer something lasting to hold on to and remember you by.
And that value reflected in a variety of statistics. Eight-nine percent of consumers recall the name of a company from whom they received a promotional product in the last 24 months. Eighty-three percent of them like receiving a promotional product with an ad, and no less than 85 percent end up doing business with a company from whom they received a promotional product.
Why do consumers like promotional products so much? It’s the reciprocity principle, a popular psychology concept that finds many uses in marketing. It states that receiving something for free subconsciously compels us to return the favor, and give back something in return.
The reciprocity principle is exactly why you will see many grocery stores hand out free samples: without even noticing, you feel bad for taking something for free, and become more likely to buy. The same is true for promotional products, and incorporating them into your marketing strategy can be an important part of gaining brand recognition.
Outside-Of-The-Box Promotional Items
The possibilities of promotional products available for your brand are nearly endless. Here are just a few for your consideration:
- T-Shirts: The grandfather of promotional products, it’s relatively easy to get a t-shirt with your brand name and logo printed and hand it out to your audience. The advantage: by wearing it, consumers are helping you spread the message about your brand. But T-Shirts have become so popular that they may not make a big difference in your strategy.
- Puzzles: These are a much more unique way to spread the word about your business. You can use puzzles as extra items in direct mail campaigns, favors at events you host, or even direct ways of spreading the message, such as including a promotional discount on the finished puzzle. We all love puzzles as a way to clear our brains, and using them as promotional products can significantly help you increase your recall.
- Plastic Mailers: Who said a direct mail campaign had to be a cover stock postcard? We all receive plenty of regular direct mail advertisements every day. Plastic mailers can help you stand out in your audience’s mail and gather instant attention. As a local business, for example, consider including a plastic card that includes helpful neighborhood information for your audience such as a community schedule, map of downtown, etc.
- Magnets: Raise your hand if your refrigerator is free of magnets. Anyone? We love putting information on our fridge to commemorate our family, help us remember upcoming events, etc. Magnets are a great way to continuously get your audience’s attention. This works especially well for the service industry: consider a local electrician, who hands out magnetic business cards to put on your power box. Each time a breaker goes out, you have a handy reminder on who to call.
- Loyalty Cards: This one works especially well for current customers. Few things are better motivation to buy that sixth coffee from your local coffee shop than realizing that after doing so, you will get one free. Loyalty cards work well across a variety of industries, from grocery stores and banks to pharmacies and insurance companies.
How To Prepare And Print Your Promotional Items
All of the above promotional products can only be effective if they project a positive image of your brand. Professional printing, preferably by a printer who can help you determine the exact material, amount, and even design needed to get the maximum possible return on your investment will maximize the impact of your promotional pieces.
The bottom line is that promotional products can aid your marketing efforts. Promotional products increase your brand recall, along with the likelihood of your audience to buy from you in the future. But that can only be the case if they are designed and printed professionally, which you can do by consulting and working with your local St. Louis printer. Doing so enables you to use quality products that you will be proud to hand out, and that will bring customers to your business.