Promotional products are a $20 billion a year industry, according to this NY Times blog. That much money makes a statement about how effective promotional products are, but the question lots of people are asking is why? Why are promotional products so good at improving sales and increasing brand recall?
The answer might be simple. Humans are culturally hard-wired to give something back when they receive a gift and that is a very, very difficult impulse to fight against. Whether it's a t-shirt, a pen, a letter opener, or something as simple as a thumb drive, gifts lodge themselves in the recipient's brain. This is particularly true of gifts that are useful, so they're constantly in front of the user's eyes, reminding him or her of the company that gave them that useful trinket. Gifts that are unique and creative will leave an impression that can't easily be forgotten.
This psychological trick is referred to as the rule of reciprocity, and it's something that companies are not shy about using in the least. A good example of how this works is Tupperware parties (or really any party where a host gets a bunch of potential clients together). The party begins with games and fun activities where prizes are given out, and those rewards tend to make guests feel socially obliged to pay back the host by buying something. This is true even if what someone is buying is much more expensive than the prize he or she won.
This works for just about any type of product, which is why these parties are used for everything from makeup to cleaning products. The item that's being sold is almost irrelevant; people who are given something more often than not want to give back.
Finding The Right Promotional Product
Different promotional products will work with different audiences. Products can be useful and practical or they can be ultra clever and unforgettable.
Here are a few strategies you could take depending on your customer:
1. Put the customer's name on it - not yours.
People love using products that have their names on them. If there's room to get your logo on there too, go for it. But consider making their name or logo more prominent and they'll love it all the more.
2. Invest in something really good.
Rather than buying 100,000 widgets at a nickel each, consider buying fewer items and making them truly unique. We've found that in today's world of mass production and impersonalization an investment in a higher quality product or something genuinely unique is much more appreciated - and remembered.
3. Creatively tie it to your company.
At Alternative Advertising, we've had tremendous results opening doors and scheduling appointments with a three phased campaign. First we send a promotional product to help our customers "stand out" (part of our tagline) - a bright green luggage strap. When we get a meeting, we bring a box of donuts in our branded box. Then once we quench their thirst with marketing ideas, a website, sales incentives or promotional products, we send a high quality bright green tumbler.
Every company and promotional strategy is different, but no matter what direction you take the idea is that well planned promotional products will help you stand out and earn a customer's loyalty!
Here Are More Amazing Stats from PPAI:
- 89% of consumers can recall the name of the advertiser on a promotional product they received in the past 24 months.
- 90.4% of people report currently owning or possessing a promotional product received in the last 24 months.
- 83% of consumers like receiving a promotional product with an advertising message.
- Promotional products draw as many as 500% more referrals from satisfied customers than an appeal letter alone.
For more information on promotional products and how you can find the right one for your business goals, simply contact us today!