Marketing and advertising are widely regarded as essentials for business growth and success. In fact, experts recommended that businesses both large and small spend at least 5-10% of revenue on marketing and advertising. It is essential that you do not overlook this importance when launching your new business.
Of course, marketing and advertising are broad terms that involve various strategies and mediums, such as commercial advertisements, social media posts, and more, but another popular and effective way to start building your brand is through use of promotional products.
Wikipedia defines promotional products (or merchandise) as “products branded with a logo or slogan and distributed at little or no cost to promote a brand, corporate identity, or event.” Promotional products can be anything from baseball caps to usb drives– the options are endless. But like all marketing and advertising endeavors, promotional products are a reflection of your brand, so it is important that the products you choose align with the values and goals of your business. Further, the item should be useful to your target customer or consumer. For example, a bottle opener makes more sense as a promotional item for a wine, beer or liquor company than it does for a company selling yoga mats.
Having these concerns in mind are important, but there are some promotional products that are must-haves for all kinds of businesses. Here are five tried-and-true items you should always have on hand and ready to go after launching your new business:
1. Drawstring Bags and Backpacks
Gareth Parkin of GoPromotional has commented that branded drawstring bags and backpacks are one of the items they recommend quite often to customers because they are used in all kinds of situations. Their use spreads across ages, cultures, and interests: used for school or work or travel, or going to the beach or gym, not to mention used directly at trade shows to haul around the swag. They are also increasingly popular as consumers place greater value on sustainability, and what better way to make a good impression than by distributing sustainable products with your brand attached? Further, because bags are most useful for activities outside of the home, your branded drawstring bag or backpack is sure to be noticed anywhere it goes.
2. Writing Tools
If one thing is absolutely certain it is that people cannot get enough of writing utensils like pens, pencils, highlighters, and permanent markers. We all know how possessive people are over their writing tools, so why not brand some with your company logo? Writing utensils are lightweight and easily portable, and statistics show that the global pen market, for example, is projected to grow in value by 4 billion dollars by 2025.
3. Notepads and Notebooks
A branded notepad or notebook would be the perfect companion to your branded writing utencils. Not only will your brand be noticed while writing, but constantly re-noticed every time someone refers back to notes they made in your branded notepad or book. Sticky notes and other easily tearable pads are another great choice, especially as they are more likely to be passed around to others. Not only does the person in possession of the pad see your brand, but also anyone they are sharing a note with. Further, while advancements in technology seem to constantly bring us closer to the digital world, pens and paper have not gone out of style. In fact, a 2015 survey concluded that approximately 75% of professionals still prefer taking notes with pen and paper to electronic note-taking.
4. Branded Drinkware
Branded drinkware such as coffee mugs, water bottles, and tumblers have become increasingly popular as promotional items, especially as the world has moved toward finding more sustainable consumption options. Plastic is out, but people will always need to hydrate and are unlikely to quit their sacred morning coffee rituals. Reusable drinkware is not only a great way to show that your company values sustainability, but it is also a product type that people will always need– so why not add your brand to some stainless steel water bottles or ceramic mugs? Your brand is sure to be noticed with every sip!
While apparel is a broad category that includes anything worn from the toes to the head, there are a few apparel items that are more effective when it comes to promoting your brand. Hats and shirts are among the two most effective, as they sit on the upper half of the body and are more easily viewable than, for example, branded socks or undergarments. When it comes to apparel, though, it is important to choose fabrics that are comfortable, such as cotton for everyday wear, or moisture-wicking fabrics if you are branding apparel intended for activity. You may also choose cut and fit types that are sure to appeal to men and women alike.
Again, promotional items can be almost anything– but the above essentials are universally appealing and are sure to be effective in promoting your new brand.