How to use promotional merchandise to improve brand awareness at events:

Attending events is one of the best ways for a company to raise the profile of their brand and attract more interest in the products and services that they offer. It’s also an excellent way of getting more attention from influencers and leaders within your industry. Events are the perfect stage to get your company noticed by those who matter and that’s why it’s incredibly important for you to take advantage of the options that are available to you and one of those options is promotional merchandise.

Whether you’re thinking about offering free mouse pads or printed T-Shirts, merchandise can be an incredibly valuable asset to your overall marketing campaign. Though email and online marketing are incredibly effective, using physical merchandise is a great way of providing potential customers with value and, in turn, it helps to promote your brand by encouraging your customers to become brand ambassadors for you.

With all aspects of promotional merchandise there are considerations that you must take into account to ensure that you’re getting an excellent return on your investment. With this, there are five main aspects to keep in mind. While it is true that you can print your logo onto anything, optimising your promotional merchandise to get the most brand impressions will provide you and your company with a far greater ROI.

Get creative with your niche:

You know your demographic but when it comes to handing them promotional merchandise they will just accept anything that’s given to them, right? Wrong!

Knowing your target audience is a crucial aspect when it comes to using promotional merchandise and getting the most value from each product that’s given away. If you give out merchandise that doesn’t appeal and provide value to the person receiving it, it’s more likely that they won’t appreciate it and it’ll end up simply wasting your money. It’s important to consider two simple ideas:

  1. Think outside of the box: For example, if your target audience is pregnant women, instead of handing out maternity clothing (which your competition will also do), you could try handing out baby clothing as this will be greatly received and may come in useful in the future.
  2. Try different styles: If the audience you are targeting comes from a specific location then handing out merchandise which relates to that area is a great idea. If you’re attending an event in Glasgow, Scotland, then you might want to hand out hoodies or jumpers. However, if you’re going to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, then giving out sunglasses or flip flops will be a better option.

Choosing the right material:

If you’re using printed T-Shirts as part of you promotional marketing then you need to make sure that the clothing is comfortable. Using cheaper materials may save you money but it results in poor quality clothing such as clothing that is scratchy, starchy or just plain uncomfortably. The clothing is also more likely to become damaged quicker which means that you’re decreasing the impressions that the garment could get — and this will give a negative impression of your business! Choosing the right material may cost you more but it could make a huge difference in the number of impressions that you receive and you are more likely to receive positive feedback.

  1. Don’t forget your options: It’s easy to opt for the standard product, such as a simple cotton T-Shirt. However, remember that there is a plethora of options that are available to you and these could provide more comfort and usability to the receiver.
  2. Get environmentally friendly: If you’re customers are part of the green movement, make sure that you’re offering them eco-friendly products as this will show that you’re also doing your bit when it comes to protecting the environment.

Remember size ranges:

One of the biggest mistakes that I’ve seen with promotional merchandise is that companies don’t prepare for their customers being different sizes. I’ve attended events myself where I’ve seen companies handing out T-Shirts that only come in extra large. This results in one of two things happening:

  1. As the event finishes, you’re left with the vast majority of T-Shirts because no one wants a T-Shirt that is far too big for them.
  2. Your customer takes the T-Shirt and throws it in the bin because they can’t wear it.

Either way, you’re losing money.

Simply put, your audience isn’t the same size and as a result you take ever precaution to make sure that the T-Shirts that you’re offering are available to everyone.

This also applies to promotional products as well — OK not the size, but the usability. An incredibly popular giveaway product is a phone charger. They’re incredibly useful to the customer, they’re used almost every day and they’re also one of the most forgotten items when you’re travelling. However, handing out iPhone chargers to Android users simply won’t provide them with the functionality that they need.

Use tactful designs:

The most important aspect of using promotional merchandise is making it useful for the receiver. If it’s printed clothing then it has to be comfortable, if it’s a product then it has to be useful and provide value to them. This means that plastering your logo over every inch of the product isn’t worthwhile. By placing your logo in a tactful, noticeable place you’re stilling going to make the most out of the product. Bear this in mind:

Less is more: A customer is more likely to use the product of wear the garment if it isn’t plastered in your name (unless you’re a clothing company of course). Functionality is the most important part of using promotional products and a shirt with a smaller logo can be worn with a variety of different outfits.

Go for good quality:

When you’re buying the promotional products, it’s incredibly easy to allow your budget to determine the products that you’re going to giveaway, after all, you will be giving the items away for free and therefore you’re not getting any monetary value in return. However, it’s incredibly important to remember that you are actually going to getting a lot from these products. Happy customers will use your items, happy customers will wear your clothing and happy customers are more likely to become brand advocates for you. This means that they can help you bring in more customers and keep your existing customers coming back to you. Remember:

Durability: If you’ve ticked all the boxes when it comes to design, material and functionality, you don’t want to be let down by a product that doesn’t stand the test of time. Customers want to receive products that they can rely on. Offering a good, durable product means that your customers will use it over and over again.

If you want to give away promotional merchandise to improve brand awareness, you have to make sure that the products that you give away are effective. The better the product, the more brand awareness you’re going to get and this is where you will begin to see that all important return on investment.