Tuesday, July 16, 2013

10 Mistakes With Promotional Imprinted Products

How many times have you bought something & then later, when you got it home, you realized it wasn't what you wanted after all? You can usually go back to the store & return it if you have the receipt--it's no big deal. But that isn't the case if you ordered customized promotional items & when they arrive you know it's not good for your company or your customers. Too late......they've already been imprinted & you most likely approved the proof. Before you order, you need to think it out--don't be too rash--it could cost you in time, money & clients.

Promotional imprinted products are an excellent way to promote your brand, but don't rely on good luck & hope for the best results. Don't open the box of note pads to find spacing in the wording is actually sending a message far from the one you want to get across to your customers. Or you found travel mugs at "a price too good to be true" & now you discover the caps don't fit properly......oooops, no one will use them if they leak.

Avoid these common errors when ordering promotional custom products:

1.  The promotional product you want to give away does not match you image of the brand it represents. Perhaps the item is too cheap. You don't want to promote a Mercedes with a plastic key chain. Or if you're a nutritionist, you want to avoid snack bags of dried fruit that have your logo on it & also perservatives listed in the ingredients.
2.  The demographics of your market were not considered when choosing a promotional item. The most effective promotions take into account the needs & desires of the recipients. For instance, while teens & young adults would welcome imprinted phone & tablet stands, a senior audience would be more motivated by a product that will fit their lifestyle such as golf accessories or a deck of cards.
 3. You turned down the option of a proof or worse, didn't proof-read your proof. Don't let your next promotion embarrass you. One business owner caught a spelling mistake after his pens arrived & were being passed out.

4.  Proportion of the logo to the product really isn't flattering. I know you're proud of your logo; however; as an example a big logo across the chest of a man's is fine but can overwhelm a woman's t-shirt. Also most women prefer a smaller, more subtle imprint. Another example, if you're using two logos on any customized imprinted item, make sure one doesn't overpower the other.  For instance if you're sponsoring a team & using their mascot/logo, yours & theirs should be the same size.

5.  A logo can be too "in your face" & cheapen a nice promotional product.  Sometimes these items benefit from discreetly placed logos rather than plastering it across the entire surface. Especially if it's given as a gift of appreciation or during the holidays. Engraving or embossing your logo in a lower corner can say much more than loudly imprinting it boldly in a bright color.

6.  You tried to save a few cents & underspent. Your promotional item may be the only contact the recipient has with you & they will judge your company & your product or service by what the pen, note pad or letter opener you gave them. If you found what you thought was a bargain, it may end up costing you much more than the few extra cents you should have spent on the item you handed out. What is the public's impression of you if the pen doesn't write smoothly, the note pad doesn't keep the sheets together or the blade falls out of the letter opener?

7.  The promotional gift isn't useful to the recipients--it's value is worthless. The item's usefulness is the primary reason to keep it & thus keep your company's name in front of your market. Pens, note pads, electronic accessories, bags, t-shirts, baseball caps & drinkware are the most frequently kept imprinted items because they are useful. Above all, the product has to be relevant to your company & at the same time be useful to your target audience.

8.  Sizing is too generic. Unisex promotional apparel is no longer effective if the recipient doesn't wear your message. Be sure you know the age & the basics about your audience. If you are providing a give-away at a women's event, don't give men's unisex shirts..........or any unisex shirt for that matter.  Women will only wear what fits & what they feel looks good on them.  One size does not fit all, especially with women or children.

9. Your promotional product was too political or too religious.  Unless you are targeting a certain group that is connected with political, religious or special causes don't use your marketing item to express or push your personal views. This is the best way to push your customers over to your competitors. Stop & think what you are selling......make sure it's your company & no other agenda.

10.  A joke gone wrong. Only use clean humor in a promotion when it's clearly targeted to the appropriate audience & you know others will not be offended. actually it's better not to use jokes at all--nothing can be worse than a joke that's gone flat. Show your professional side to your customers--that is what they want from you.

Keep these 10 tips in mind next time you order your customized promotional items & you should have a successful advertising campaign using your imprinted products.  Good luck!

Ronni Sherman

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