Using customised and promotional merchandise to build brand and attract customers is nothing new. We have all seen them, received them and used them. The branded t-shirts in your wardrobe, drawstring bags or keychains adorning company logos handed out at tradeshows, jacket or cap with employer’s logo, notepads and pens handed out during conferences, mugs received as corporate giveaways and zillions of other products. These customized corporate gift or promotional items play an integral part in the marketing strategies to engage customers positively and reinforce the brand message. But, just in case you’re pondering how popular are these branded merchandise and how effective, here’s some food for thought.

Selection of Branded Merchandise        
According to latest studies, the most popular items or favourite promotional products were Pen Drives, Power Banks, Pens and Mugs. Here, it is important to note that all the products listed are popular lifestyle products with a functional value.  So, how to choose the right personalized promotional item for your target audience to increase brand recognition? Here are some key points to keep in mind:

static1.squarespace-2Usefulness: When choosing the promotional product for your brand, make sure it goes well beyond the conference rooms and tradeshow booths. An effective personalized promotional item should be both useful to its recipient and ensure better brand recollection in the future. Have you ever received a swag and pondered what you were supposed to do with it? Make sure this doesn’t happen with your products. The personalized corporate gifts you choose to represent your brand shouldn’t be something you’d like. Instead, get a little creative and choose something new and different but also something that your target audience will use as often as possible and as long as possible. At the same time, ensure it fits your marketing objective as well.

Relevance: Give – And – Get. Studies prove that, especially if you are aiming at positive brand impressions, right giveaways or incentives increase brand recognition as well as boost sales. Explore the latest branded merchandise gift trends and cost-effective methods for personalization of items for mass production here.

Quality: Everybody loves “free” stuffs but not “cheap” stuffs. Quality of the promotional merchandise matters to leave a lasting brand impression on your target audience. Ensure to provide quality products especially if you are trying to attract new customers which will be immediately reflective of your brand message. A simple suggestion from our experience in the field will be to do things right as opposed to grandiose. Focus on your objectives, understand your target audience and choose the right supplier who can provide you with the quality service you require. We have a full time quality support team to provide you with personalized merchandise guidance and ensure total satisfaction.

 Define the Strategy

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What do you hope to achieve by giving away unique corporate gifts? Who does the personalized promotional items target? What’s your budget? How will you distribute the product to your audience? How does the activity fit into your marketing strategy? How will you measure its success? Understand your target audience to define, refine and implement an effective marketing strategy. Without a clear objective, marketing strategy, adequate distribution network and right merchandise for your audience, you are at a risk of wasting a large chunk of your marketing budget.

Branding
Have you ever received something from an event, supermarket or wherever, and days after you can’t recollect where you got it from? This is a branding failure. When you rush to get your promotional products done for your brand, weigh heavily on these simple but crucial decisions. Double check your design and ensure whether you have included your company’s contact information such as logo, tagline, website, phone number, QR code or whatever that is necessary to achieve to promotional objective. A suggestion here will be to try include a call-to-action to achieve maximum measurable results.

So, where do you go from here? The biggest hurdle faced by companies in India is the lack of specialist branded merchandise service providers who understand your brand, marketing needs and objective. We at Inkmonk strive to streamline the merchandise printing process for corporates – big or small – bringing forth easy-to-use and best-in-class e-store to get your ‘Printing Done Right’.

 

Image Source: thedieline