A give-away is a one way street because you are basically spending your money to fill up someone's junk drawer. A business giving away some cheap "doodad" & thinking it will create goodwill & identity for them while effectively promoting their company is making one of the biggest marketing errors possible. It's a big mistake to give out any kind of advertising specialty with your name on it that is irrelevant to your business or the needs & desires of the recipient. That person will take it home & give to the kids or keep it at the office tucked away in a drawer. Worse yet, they could throw it out & the only person who will see your message is whomever empties the trash.
With a give-away you gain practically nothing. And as far as building up your business or pleasing a loyal customer, no one will say, "Wow! Thanks for give me a cheap piece of junk with your name on it. I can't wait to do business with you."
A promotional item is a two-way street because your advertising message will impact the recipient's life in a meaningful & relevant way. You have to first decide who you want to target--a special group or the public in general. Are you going after your customers, prospects or both? Where will your promotional item be distributed--among the general public, a special event, fund-raiser or trade show? And last......how does the promotional product depict your business? Should it represent the function where you're handing them out instead?
Using a financial planner as an example, here's how various promotional wholesale products can work for you after taking all the above points into consideration.
1. Placing your promotional item in a strategic area for the public to see & help themselves. The financial planner in a bank might do very well leaving engraved pens on a table for the bank's customers to take as they enter the building. It would also be beneficial to have a booklet titled, "Managing Your Finances", along side the pens. The booklet should have the bank's name & all the contact information imprinted on the cover. These items serve as a welcome mat for the bank & leaves the door open for future transactions.
2. Handing out your imprinted promotion during a personal meeting with an individual. Our financial planner will need an imprinted folder to hand out when someone asks for information at his desk or he has an appointment in their home. This folder should have all the brochures & information for the prospective client's needs along with an imprinted pen & extras like a notepad or letter opener. If this individual has children, the financial advisor will rack up extra points if he includes a coloring/activity book about saving money--also showing the bank's logo. Should their budget allow, a brightly colored piggy bank displaying the bank's name would be a sure hit. The planner needs to do his homework & find out as much as possible about the person he is meeting with so his promotional items will be appreciated & used.
3. Handing out imprinted promotional items at seminars & meetings. If our financial planner is hosting or speaking at a seminar, a debossed leatherette portfolio with a legal pad & a pen/highlighter combination would be ideal. Also bottled water with a custom imprinted label or a roll of Lifesavers with an imprinted wrapper would be appreciated & help win over customers. The audience should leave with a lasting impression of the seminar......both from the agenda & from what they are taking with them.
4. Handing out an advertising specialty at a trade show or special event. In this case, the financial advisor needs to not only think of the recipients, but also try to figure out what his competition might be handing out & try to outdo him by making a bigger impact. It's a sure bet that someone will be handing out pens, but the list is endless when it come to promotional items that will attract attention. One idea would be a stress reliever in the shape of a dollar sign with the financial institution's name & a tagline reading: "take the stress out of your finances." A paper cube with advisor's name & logo printed on each sheet & a different tip on investing printed on each side of the cube would be valuable to the prospective client. This is the time to put your imagination to work so you can stand out from the others--show that you're different from your competition.
Whatever you choose, your promotional imprinted product should be relevant to your audience's needs while representing your company. In order to do this, think of your promotion as an investment, not as a cheap give-away you have to give out because your competitor is.
I hope this helps you the next time you need a promotional product.
IT'S YOUR COMPANY.......SHOW IT OFF!!!Ronni Sherman