Hands up if you’re in business! Big, small, or just self employed, what’s your biggest hurdle? Other than taxes, that is.
Anyone else say marketing?
Promotional items to give away are usually a fairly low cost way to keep your brand in front of people, and who doesn’t love free stuff? But what items really give the most bang for your buck?
A quick search online pulls up hundreds of (you guessed it) lists by manufacturers who want to sell you their products. I’m not much different than they are, but after reading article after article that was basically a company promoting their newer or more expensive items along with dubious poll data to support it, I decided to get my own dubious poll data.
I asked a question on Facebook: “what is the best promotional item you’ve received from a company?” (My predictive text now suggests this question one word at a time. I’ve typed it that much)
I asked the question 12 times in different places on Facebook (my news feed, my story, lots of different Facebook groups. I even sent emails out to people to see what answers I got.
Well, after sifting through LOT of answers, some big and some small, as well as lots of comments from friends on other friends answers confirming or exclaiming on other peoples items, heres what I’ve learned.
#1 The Pen is King.
But not just any pen. Yeah, people like pens and will keep them, but if you want people to actually look at your brand and remember it, get the nice ergonomic pen with the gel ink and the comfortable grip. If you’re a technology company, a stylus tip for tablets and phones is a great addition. Around 6% of responders had to tell me the nifty features of their favorite promotional pen, so make it comfortable and interesting.
#2 Reusable bags
This, like the pens, seems to have some qualifiers. The biggest one being that the bag needs to really be reusable. A thin plasticotton bag that rips after 3 uses isn’t any better than a plastic bag (*gasp* but the environment!!), but a good , big cotton or canvas bag with a large, nice logo was well favored by moms and entrepreneurs alike. And no one else turned their noses up at the suggestion.
#3 A Double Walled Cup/Water Bottle
Yep. Not just a cup or a water bottle, but a double walled one. This was specified over and over again. Metal or transparent were also specified. More specifics make for better results, though, right?
#4 Keychain Practical Items
I had to make this one a category. People liked getting lip balm and doggie pickup bags, hand sanitizer and hand wipes, but when I asked if they remembered who gave it to them, most people couldn’t. Except the ones that came with a clasp or a keychain. Little useful and disposable things became REALLY memorable with one little addition: a keychain clasp.
Again, more of a category, but just like everyone loves to write with a good pen, everyone also seemed to love getting a good pad of paper to write one. This one isn’t up next to the pens, however, because it doesn’t seem to put the name of the giver into the receivers mind as readily as a pen.
Unique Honorable Mentions
#1 One person received a towel. A full sized bath towel. He loves it and says the mutual funds company that gave it to him is always first on his mind (he works in finance)
#2 Magnetic Chip Clips. Easy to use, easy to store. Enough said
#3 Coin Purse. I didn’t even realize this was still a thing. It was mentioned more than once, but not enough to make the top 5. I wonder if adding a keychain clip would make it cooler?
#4 Weebles. Ok, these are little toys that I adored well into my teens and I currently love for my kids, so when someone mentioned that McDonald’s used to give these out, I got nostalgic.
#5 Travel Power Strip. Wow. Never thought of branding a power strip, but this is BRILLIANT.
So, after reviewing the two lists, I think coming up with the perfect promotional item is pretty simple.
1) know your target market. Know that, then you can do the rest easily.
2) Make it useful: the more they use it, the more they see your brand.
3) Make it durable: everyone despaired of promotional items that broke, and praised ones that lasted
4) Make your brand EASY to notice.
For those who have an embroidery machine and want to make promotional items of their own, here are some of my files that I am not ashamed to promote for your promotional needs.
Key Chain Coin pouches (coming soon)
Keychain Lip Balm Holders (1 at a time or 4 at a time)
Coasters (coming soon)
Key Chain Puppy Poop Bag Holder (coming soon)
Happy Stitching, everyone!