Looking for a low-cost, attention-getting way to promote your business? A proven method of advertising your business effectively is through the use of promotional items. What are these? Promotional items are used for giveaways to prospects and clients. These items help spread your business brand and stay top of mind.
These promotional products have the imprinted logo of your business and sometimes even your business address and phone number. These items come in all shapes and sizes. Smart business owners often give away promotional items that grab attention and are used frequently by others like shirts, hats, bags, and such. Other effective mediums for promotional items are calendars. Just think about it, everyday people look at the calendar to know the date and plan schedules they have in the days to come. They will practically see the name of your business, your logo, and other endorsements and information every time they look at that calendar.
Some promotional products are even not your typical everyday items. Perhaps the goal of these is to be unique in a way that it amuses people. You’ll be surprised at the sheer variety of these promotional items, ranging from catchy stickers to stress balls. The options are unlimited.
It is also necessary to consider that your promotional item should be relevant to your business. For example, if you’re running a tire business, you can have mini tire replicas as paperweights to be given to your clients. That way, when they glance at these paperweights they place on their desk, they will always be reminded about your business. Think of similar possible items that people will admire and want to keep looking at or keep using.
I can help any business that has a logo and/or catch phrase, so any type of business really big or small. The key point is I educate them about the process and the products so that they can make those informed buying decisions. It’s not about me just trying to sell them a product or they know they want a shirt and just trying to sell them a shirt. It’s about educating them regarding the buying decision and the product itself because every now and then, they’ll change their mind and go, oh, you know what? It’s not really what I wanted; I do want this instead now. I educate them on the products they are interested in. And then we talk about consistent branding and color matching.
Consistent Branding and Color Matching Are Critical
You need to be consistent with your branding and color matching because that’s how people are going to remember you.
It’s very important that you not only have a quality product, but that you’re consistent with your branding. Whatever your color or branding or image is, whether it’s a picture, or an animal or a saying, whatever it is, it needs to be consistent across all platforms. It doesn’t matter if it is apparel, a giveaway item, an item on their desk, or their countertop or something they may want to sell. It needs to be consistent and color matching.
Promotional Products Persistent Myths
Some of the biggest myths out there is that is that you can get top-notch quality products with the best, most exceptional customer service at the lowest price possible. And most of the time, that’s just not possible. Because let’s face it. If you’re getting the lowest possible price, usually they’re not investing in the top-notch quality or the customer service behind it. They’re just not doing it. But if they’re investing in those two, then the price is going to be higher so which 2 do you want and sometimes it is only one of the three you end up getting. I believe you have to determine what is important to you of those 3. Another one is that items cost too much. And I say, if you’re asking the right questions and you have the right person representing you, they can get the answers you are looking for to fit within your budget.
Another one in printing is saying that inks are not environmentally friendly, again, wrong. Being educated on this subject would tell you that there are inks out there that are VOC Free, which means Volatile Organic Compounds, and those volatile organic compounds actually release pollutions into the air. So if you’re using VOC free inks, which is all we use, you’re actually not polluting the environment and air.
Some people may say we’re killing the environment, and that is not true. One thing people don’t realize is, there’s reservations of trees that have been around for hundreds of years strictly for that purpose. There are also harvested areas for paper companies, also known as “managed forests”. These are essentially detailed models built that allow trees to be harvested sustainably. Each tree that is cut down, several more are planted or naturally regrown in its place keeping the environment stable.
Another one is print marketing and mailings are ineffective. It doesn’t work anymore. Nobody opens mail. That’s completely wrong. You got to know what you’re putting in the mail. Regular postcards may not work for you as even I toss them. But when I get something with weight to it, something attached to it, something laminated on it, oh, I’m tearing it off. I’m seeing, I’m looking. That’s attention getting. And so, there are ways to do that as well. Those are some of the myths that I can squash and have the research to prove them wrong.
Maybe they’re buying t-shirts or sweatshirts and they want to sell them and think, what if I can’t sell them for enough markup to make a profit? What will others think about me and my company’s image if I do this? Is it going to be a quality product that’s going to hold its value over time? And what if it doesn’t do what it says it’s going to do?
Debunking Myths and Misconceptions
One way I try to debunk those myths is by getting them samples of products before they purchase. I believe if you already have a sample of the product, you will see the quality of it yourself. So, you’ll know if it’s going to hold up or be the right fit before you’re actually buying whatever quantity it is of them.
I also ask questions. And the biggest thing is I let them talk. When I’m with a client, I ask a question, shut up and I let them talk. And then I take what they’re saying and use it for their benefit. I may ask them “What is your biggest pain point or issue when ordering your products with your logo on it” and wait to hear what they say. Or I may ask, “do you ever get samples of the items you are buying before you purchase them” and wait to see what they say. Being proactive on the front end and asking questions helps me find out what it is they want and what they are using it for, which in turn allows me to educate them to make an informed buying decision.
Branding Consistency is Important
Because it’s how you’re remembered. And when you’re consistent, you stand out and people remember you much more often. One of the main reasons you should build a brand is so that consumers can recognize your business. Consistency with your brand will also allow customers and prospects to trust your brand which in turn, leads to more positive feelings about your brand. We see all the big brands and their consistency with their colors and logo whether that be Pepsi, Spirit Airlines, Home Depot, Starbucks and I could go on, but you get the drift. Therefore, it is even more important for us small business owners to stay consistent with our colors and our branding
Stand Out Amongst the Crowd
Standing out is critical because if you don’t, you’ll be lumped in with everybody else. You have to do something different to stand out amongst the crowd. So, people will want to use you, and utilize your services and, or your products. You have to be different or do something different and stand out. You can’t be ordinary and be average like everybody else.
Tips to Maximize Your Promotional Product Strategy
- Always go quality over quantity. Even if you must buy less of an item to get good quality instead of getting more of something of lesser quality, don’t do it, never sacrifice quality for quantity
- Consistency is key. I firmly believe in this business. Consistency and quality are key. Because without quality items, people aren’t keeping them or thinking of you. I mean, again, it’s your image, right? I don’t know what you think, but I know what I think when someone walks up to me and they’re telling me about how great their services are, and they can do this and that. And then they hand me a brochure that they printed out on their printer and folded themselves. And it’s all off-centered. It’s on a piece of paper and it’s like the first thing I think to myself; is that how you’re going to treat me as a client and shortcut corners and take the easy way in all your work?
- Educate Yourself About the Products. Find someone that is more interested, more invested in educating you than in selling to you, one who asks you about your problems or your challenges.
I make sure my clients are educated by sharing my 35 plus years of experience with them so that they can make educated, informed buying decisions while getting quality products.
Keep These in Mind When Purchasing Promotional Items
- Know what your Pantone Matching System (PMS) colors are
- Ask for samples from the promotional products company
- Allow plenty of time for your order to arrive
- Do your due diligence
- Consider small business promotional products companies
Tommy Sommers, is the CEO & Owner of Logo Zone Promotions, a family owned and operated company based in Maryland serving clients locally and internationally. Because of his background in the industry, he is able to service any type of business whether it’s a college, office, small or large organizations, and associations. Logo Zone Promotions provides quality promotional, and ad specialty items along with print and mail Services.
LogoZone Promotions prides itself on providing great customer service, and a quality product at a competitive cost within budgetary constraints. They are dedicated to serving any type of industry for any type of business while always focusing on the customers wants and needs.