A promotional product like a pen with your logo can be a hugely powerful marketing tool, but its vitally important to remember that they dont exist in isolation.
No promotional product is given or received without an important context. Is it a throwaway gift, or does it feel like a special prize? A pen or a mug or a bag needs to be valued and used to be most effective and your sales team will know much more about that than you.
Why? Because they have the most exposure to promotional products out in the field, and they see how other people react to them.
From the pens they use to the mug they drink from, and the stalls that draw them in at conventions, your sales team see and use promotional goods all the time. They can tell you which brands are displayed and which ones are memorable, which ones work well and which ones they use most and last the longest and why.
Why promotional products work
A key quality of promotional items is their longevity. In a survey by the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA), 87 percent of people said they kept a promotional product for more than a year and 30 percent still had it four years later.
Brands gave away 150 million pens in the UK in 2014
, making them the most popular promotional item by far. Around 89 percent of people have a promotional pen of some sort on their desk, and in another BPMA survey, pens came top of the list of promotional items people would most like to have on their desk.
Consumer promotional products
Your sales team can help you make the decision to pick the promo products that they give out. They can tell you the first-hand feedback and responses, particularly if you work in a B2B structure with long-term clients and an extended sales pipeline.
If youve invested in promotional products before, your sales rep will have heard customer pain points, objections and the reaction on faces to promotional goods. And they can tell you what has been trending at conventions: banners, pens, mugs or USB sticks whats In this year?
Branding on promotional products
Ask your sales team to tell you about branding horror stories. Longer logos struggle on curved surfaces, like mugs, and some companies try to squeeze far too much into tiny spaces.
Think about whether or not its appropriate. Imagine a Greenpeace plastic bag, or a chocolate bar from Nike. Then consider where and when it will be used. Promotional pens and mugs are strong choices but also think about something different like a branded Oyster card holder that will be seen and used by London Underground commuters at least four times a day. Imagine how effective that could be for a coffee chain, or a newspaper brand.
Just ask them
Now youre considering promotional products, its time to ask your sales team. Remember to think critically about their answers your sales rep may tell you what they like rather than what the customer likes, a phenomenon known as the false-consensus bias or false-consensus effect.
You can avoid this by structuring your questions to ask about what customers think, for facts rather than opinions:
- Whats the best giveaway youve had?
- At industry events and exhibitions, what do people talk about the most?
- Is it worth doing promotional product branding?
- Do people ask you for promotional products with our logo on?
- Which promotional items do you run out of first?