More likely than not, you’ve seen a company’s logo or slogan on a t-shirt in public. You’ve also probably picked up a free pair of sunglasses or pen with a business name on it at some point in your life. That’s because branded merchandise remains a big part of many businesses’ marketing strategies.
However, if you’re wondering if branded merchandise is still an effective way to market your company, the answer is yes. Even the smallest branded item can have a significant impact on your customers, prospects, and employees, making branded merchandise an excellent opportunity to empower your brand, in more ways than one. Here are five crucial ways branded merchandise can benefit your company.
1. Builds Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is how conscious customers and potential customers are of your brand and its association with your products, services, and company values. With branded merchandise, you can start building this awareness among your audiences quickly. For example, in many cases, a promotional item may be the first introduction of your brand to someone. For others, seeing your logo on an item their friends and family members are using serves as an endorsement. But, if you aren’t convinced that T-shirt with your logo will help build brand awareness, consider these stats:
- In a survey done by Promotional Products Association International, 76.1% of participants said they could recall the name of the company on a promotional product they received in the last 12 months.
- That same survey reports only 53.5% of participants can remember the name of a business they see in a magazine or newspaper within a week.
- On average, people keep promotional items around six months.
2. Provides Cost-Effective Marketing
Branded merchandise allows you to control distribution, which makes promotional items cost less per impression than more traditional forms of advertisement. In fact, the average cost per impression for a promotional item is $.06 while a magazine or TV spots are $1.8. And if you consider that most companies that provide branded merchandise offer bulk pricing structure, while traditional and digital advertising does not, you’re undoubtedly getting a good deal.
Additionally, once someone begins using your branded item, like a hat or tote bag, they serve as a walking billboard, which helps continue to expose your brand to people.
3. Creates Customer Loyalty
One of the most important aspects of a successful business is to engage with its customers, prospective or not. Branded merchandise can help you do just that while adding a personal touch. For instance, people are more likely to listen to a pitch, return a sales call, or remember their experience if a promotional product is involved. And if it’s an item they can use in their everyday life, like a water bottle or phone charger, they’ll be even further invested.
Also, giving someone a gift installs a sense of reciprocity, meaning your customer receiving your gift has a feeling they should return the favor. That can mean buying a product or service or telling a colleague about your company. Either way, loyalty to your brand increases.
4. Enhances Employee Loyalty
Branded items are not only great for increasing loyalty, but they’re great for employee morale as well. There are many ways you can use promotional items to bolster employee loyalty, such as:
Giving employees merchandise during onboarding helps tell your brand story, build community, and company morale
Reinforcing brand unity across multiple teams and departments
Motivating your team to work hard by giving branded gifts to outstanding employees
Shows commitment to your team and company mission
5. Better Targets Your Audiences
Other forms of advertisement don’t allow you to target your audience as well as branded merchandise. Because you control the distribution, styling, and number of your promotional items, you can better focus on people who are more interested in your company. For instance, you can bring specific branded items in mind for people attending a particular trade show or conference. Similarly, you could send branded items to people who are close to becoming clients to encourage them to work with you. No matter how you choose to target your audience with promotional items, the ability to target them in this way yields a higher return on investment.
From awareness to loyalty, there’s no question branded merchandise is an effective strategy for empowering your brand. If you approach your branded merchandise strategically, the benefits will quickly outweigh the costs. To ensure you plan your strategy correctly, let us help you get started by answering your branded merchandise questions. Contact us today.