Some people like to hate on promotional products and tell others that it’s pointless to use them in advertising efforts. Can you believe that?
Are you on the lookout for trendy swag to hand out at trade shows this year? Have you decided it’s finally time to put your brand’s logo on merchandise people will actually want? Congrats, because hunting for your personal Holy Grail of Promo Items can be a lot of fun. And do you know what else? Those giveaways can make a drastic difference when it comes to brand recognition. Don’t listen to people who tell you otherwise.
Here are a few retorts you can use the next time one of those haters gets on your case! I’ve spent the past few years in the industry, so I’ve encountered “˜em all.
Hater Argument: People don’t care about cheap junk they don’t need.
Retort: I beg to differ. Junk is in the eye of the beholder, and people hold onto items they find valuable. This is a fact (side note: I still use a mini notebook I received at a bridal show from three years ago, and the company’s logo is practically embedded in my memory banks). If you give your potential adoring fans something they can use, they’ll remember it forever.
Alternate Retort: Everyone loves a freebie, even if they don’t particularly want it or need it. Anyone who claims they’d refuse a free product or sample is full of lies. Not to mention, people are more likely to sign up for a newsletter or a program if they get a gift for doing so. It doesn’t matter if you had an immediate need for a stress ball or not – getting a tangible reward would sway your decision.
Hater Argument: Very few brands see success with promotional products.
Retort: Really? Is that why advertising specialties rake in billions of dollars every year? Nice try. Multi-billion-dollar industries remain that way because there’s a major demand for the product being sold, and the promotional products industry has
Hater Argument: Don’t waste your money on trinkets when you can spend it on other advertising instead.
Retort: Merchandise costs oodles less than traditional advertising. In fact, targeted giveaways deliver a better cost per impression than prime time TV, magazines, radio spots, and newspapers! That doesn’t mean it’s wise to hang all of your hopes and dreams on freebies, but they’re an inexpensive advertising addition with a high rate of return.
Hater Argument: This is the 21st century. Who uses promo items anymore?
Retort: Who uses them? Well, pretty much every company you’ve ever known and loved. You can’t escape promotional products. You know how they say human beings are never more than a few feet from a spider? Well, we’re also never far from a promo item of some kind. Take a look at the logo pens in your desk cup, the mugs in your kitchen cabinets, the t-shirts in your closet, and the license plate frame on your car if you don’t believe it. Heck, your favorite TV shows and movies probably show promo items on the air, too! They’re everywhere.
Chances are, the haters out there are the ones who tried promotional advertising once, did it wrong, and never went back again. I firmly believe you’d be satisfied with the results if you gave branded merchandise a chance.
Now, with all of that said, please use common sense when choosing giveaways for your brand. You won’t see many new customers if you blow your entire advertising budget on a handful of expensive items or hand out things that have little to do with your audience’s interests. You have to use your noggin! And if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask an expert.
Have you ever used branded merchandise? Do you know any haters who have told you not to use them? Leave a comment if you’d like.