Promotional Products Tips
Promotional products can be used for many purposes and are handed out in many ways. Choosing a product that matches your purpose and distribution method is critically important. For example: A simple promo product, such as a pen or magnet, that’s given away at a trade show for branding purposes is not always the best fit to give to an employee or a customer as a gift showing appreciation. It just doesn’t convey enough value to the employee or customer and will come across as insincere. Some common purposes for promotional products are shown below with some examples that really show the full potential of what promotional products can do for your business or organization.
Simple Giveaway - Giving away simple inexpensive products with your logo is a great tool for building name recognition and reputation, and requires very little effort on your part. A common use for giveaway items is at trade shows or in office lobbies. These items are picked up in lobbies, or handed out at trade shows, in larger quantities and can stick with people for a long while, especially if a useful product is used. A good example of this is to have logoed pens on hand. Pens can be passed out at trade shows easily. They can also be at a front desk in a lobby. If anyone comes in to the building and needs to write while there, they will likely leave with the pen in hand. Your logo goes with them!
True Promotion - A promotion, unlike a giveaway, allows for you to calculate your return on investment. The purpose of the product chosen is to encourage the recipient to take an action that can be tracked and attributed directly to the tool. You could direct potential customers to a page online that is only made known through the tool itself, or you can encourage people to bring the tool in to your store for a special offer. In either case, you can track how many recipients of your promotional tool actually reach out to your company, and how many of them actually make purchases. This can be a very valuable asset to any organization and demonstrates a much broader potential for how a promotion can help your organization. A common distribution method for items used in a true promotion is trade shows or other large events with lots of people in attendance.
To demonstrate this further an example is needed:
Hypothetically, let’s say a car dealership is at a trade show giving away logoed key chains with a key attached. They tell the recipients that 1 of the 500 keys they are giving away will open a trunk of a specific car in their showroom, and in that trunk is $250 in cash. This motivates people to come into their dealership at a later date to see if their key is the one that will win the $250 cash prize. To take this example a step further, let’s now say that of the 500 keys given away, 50 people actually show up at the dealership to try their key in the trunk. This dealership now has 50 additional potential customers to show cars to! Let’s now assume that 1 of the 50 people that showed up to try their luck with the trunk actually purchase a car. If the profit for the car is $5000 we can now calculate a return on investment.
500 key chains with keys at $1 each is $500 total.
The cash prize (assuming one of the 50 actually wins) costs $250
Total cost is: $500 + $250 = $750
1 Car sold at a profit of $5000.
Return on Investment (ROI):
RIO = (Gains-Cost) / Cost
In this example:
($5000-$750)/$750 = $5.67
This means that for every $1 spent on this promotion the car dealership made $5.67 back in return.
If no one actually won the cash prize of $250 the ROI would be even higher:
($5000-$500)/$500 = $9.00
This means that for every $1 spent on this promotion the car dealership made $9.00 back in return.
This example shows how a true promotion can be used to increase incentive of the recipient to reach out to the business or organization that did the promotion and how that business or organization can see real results from smart creative promotional product campaigns. It also shows how a return on investment can be calculated proving success. Left Coast T-shirt Company can help you create this type of promotion.
Thank You Gifts - Nothing says thank you from a business or organization better than a logoed thank you gift. Promotional products in this category can be given to special customers, delivery drivers, helpful neighbors, sponsors, donors, friends, or really anyone that you want to say thank you to. Promotional gifts are very popular during the holidays but are also effective though out the entire year.
Employee Appreciation – As a leader of an organization it is often nice to show appreciation to the people that work below you. Promotional products in this category can be a powerful tool to inspire employee confidence and loyalty. An imprinted item can be given out at company picnics, holiday parties, or used in incentive/bonus programs. To take this category a step further, include an employee’s spouse and kids, and extended family in your appreciation. You’ll see this extra step go a long way.
Event Merchandise – If you host an event and are not selling event merchandise you could be missing a huge opportunity. People like to purchase souvenir mementos of their favorite events. This is an often overlooked profit center that event organizers just don’t participate in. Many are intimidated because they don’t want to take the risk and have the items go unsold. Let us help you with this! It is true that promotional items in this category do need to follow trends to be successful. We know what’s trendy and what isn’t. We’ll help you chose items that will sell. We are also very adept at using “best practice” strategies for event merchandise, helping to minimize your risk.
Trade Show & Event Branding – Not to be confused with simple giveaways that are also often used at trade shows and events, we are discussing the look and feel that your organization conveys through its branded presence. Common items included in this category are banners, flags, imprinted table cloths, table runners, trade show display racks, etc. If your event is outdoors, perhaps an imprinted Easy-up, would add that extra level of professionalism to close that large account. It is important to have a well thought out plan for this. It can be beneficial to have products that can be used in multiple settings; indoors, outdoors, large events, small events, etc. Having multiple sets of event displays can be pricey, so let us help you figure out a plan that will work for you now and into the future.
Left Coast T-Shirt Company happily offers all different types of promotional products for any purpose or distribution method. Our experienced staff can help you craft not only unique custom items and giveaways, but full promotion plans that make the most of your specific business model. Let us help you today!
Leslie A. McKinley
Director of Resource Development San Luis Obispo Symphony, San Luis Obispo CA