What Big Brands Know About Promo Products That You Don’t

Because your promos don’t always have to be freebies

What Big Brands Know About Promo Products

Everyone loves a good promo product, right? Right! Er…well, sometimes. What most people don’t understand is that not all promo products are the same. The truth is that everyone loves promo products if they’ve got a little SWAG. You’re probably thinking ‘sure, give me a million dollars and I’ll knock your socks off with a promo product that oozes cool,’ but we’re here to tell you that creating a great promotional product is more about imagination than anything else—even budget.

Putting thought into your promo can be a lot more useful than throwing money at them. Even big brands who have money to throw around are changing their approach. Sure, it’s useful to get out a lot of product sporting your logo, but in some cases less product put in the hands of the right people can be a lot more effective. Moral of the story? Think big brain, not big money.

So what else do big brands do that can help make your promo items more successful?

  1. They’re useful

Don’t give things away just because you feel like you have to give something away. Let’s say I just handed you a branded foam stick. Are you excited? Probably not. What the heck will you do with it in the office? Now imagine I handed you the same foam stick as you entered a sporting event where almost everyone else in the audience had one to wave around for their team. Usefulness is all about context.

That’s why pens have become such a popular choice. People will always be in need of a pen. But pens are also easily lost and replaced. When you combine useful with memorable, you’ll be giving people something they never want to lose. That’s why one good promo item is worth 1,000 bad ones. So put thought into what you’re trying to achieve and who you’re giving items to.

  1. They’re not always freebies

Not all promo products have to be free. If you have a really cool product that current and potential customers have use for, then it’s okay to make them pay up! Start selling branded merchandise in-store or online. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be hipsters’ next favorite thing. Or make people work for it. Turn your product into the prize of a social media contest and let them earn it.

  1. They represent the company AND attract the customer

So many companies just focus on one or the other, but why can’t your promo product be appealing to the customer while also showing them what you’re all about? Give the customer something useful, but make sure it is connected to your product or service in some way.

If you’re selling coffee, give them a coffee mug. If you provide electrical services, offer up a flashlight keychain or a cool light switch cover. If you’re in the engineering industry, give away a ruler. You get the picture. Get dorky, get quirky, get fun. With a little imagination and some help from an innovative promo product company, you can stay at the top of people’s mind while still giving them something they want.

  1. They don’t move themselves

Once you have your promo products made, it’s not enough to just sit back and give them to clients when they come to your office. You spent time and money on finding a promo product that will help you tell your story, so make sure you spend time getting that story and product out there. Get funky with it. No one likes a boring story, just like no one likes a boring promo product. We know because unfortunately we’ve seen both.

  1. They’re part of a much bigger story

Your promo products aren’t going to help promote your brand if only a handful of people know they exist. They’re a marketing tool, so use them like one. Make them part of the larger narrative you’re telling about your brand.

You don’t have to spend like the big brands to think like them

Put a lot of thought into what you’re giving away and you won’t spend time wondering why it’s not working (because you’ll see that is) or whether you wasted your money (because you’ll know that you didn’t).

Still not sold? Give the SWAG masters at SOBO a shout. We’ve worked with organizations of all sizes and have what it takes to create something that will make people say, “WOW!” Just take a look at how we helped DHL get noticed with awesome SWAG at Copa America.

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