Lanyards & T-Shirts & Pens, Oh My! Promo Products That Work

Lanyards & T-Shirts & Pens, Oh My! Promo Products That Work

Want to know a secret? Custom promotional products really work!

Rick Cundiff

Let’s face it, it’s a tough world out there today for businesses, schools, even nonprofit organizations. If you want to grow your customer base, student enrollment or membership, successful marketing is critical.

And to maximize your organization’s ROI from your marketing efforts, custom printed promotional products are a must. No matter what other media you’re engaging with, or where you’re publishing ads, promo products are one of the most cost-effective ways to boost brand awareness.

What makes custom products so effective? Let’s take a look.

A Pen in the Hand is Worth a Look

People like free stuff. They especially like free stuff they can use. That’s where custom promo products enter the picture. Give away small items such as pens, lanyards or even notepads at a conference or trade show. You’ve given people something they can use – and it has your name or logo on it. 

That’s the first step in brand awareness – getting your brand seen. When you give someone a useful product, they see it repeatedly. And that will help create a positive image in their minds of your brand.

Think that doesn’t matter? Think again. A study by the Advertising Specialty Institute showed 89% of consumers remembered the name of a company that gave them a product they use. 

An ASI study from 2016 found that people tend to keep promotional products for about eight months. The more useful a promo product is, the more it sticks around. Your potential customers could be seeing your logo for months or longer, just from a simple custom pen. And custom t-shirts? They could be promoting your brand to a wide audience for a year or more.

Compare that with other media. A magazine or newspaper (remember those?) ad lasts as long as it takes to turn the page. A TV ad can be rendered silent with a mute button, or even skipped all together. A web ad vanishes with the click of a mouse button.

Low Cost, Low Key, High Results

Simply put, custom products are among the lowest cost promotional methods of any kind. With volume discounts and economical products at every level, you can get your brand out to the public without the high cost of other media. 

Another advantage: Promotional products make a statement, but they don’t shout. Pens don’t yell “Call me now for your free reading!”  Mugs don’t repeatedly cry “Apply directly to the forehead.” And custom apparel doesn’t yammer “You may be entitled to compensation.”

What they do instead is quietly keep your brand message in your target audience’s sight, and mind.

Reciprocity: The Gift that Gives Back

Another reason custom promotional products work so well is the principle of reciprocity. Simply put, a friendly action, such as giving someone something makes the recipient inclined to respond in a similar way. 

In other words, if you give a potential customer a custom product, they’re more likely to want to do something for you. For example, if you give away small items such as custom mugs at a trade show, the recipient is more likely to volunteer information such as their email address. That gives you a lead magnet you can pursue further after the event. 

Charities have benefitted from this strategy for many years. How many free, personalized mailing labels have you received from various groups? Studies have shown those labels prompt more responses than just a fundraising request alone.

Many Loyal Returns

Custom promotional products also help build a sense of loyalty to your brand or business. A customer who is familiar with your organization through branded products already has the beginning of a relationship with that brand. And a custom product shows you value the customer. Following through with a purchase feels comfortable and familiar.

Custom items also help promote a sense of accomplishment, a feeling that the recipient has done something worthy of being recognized. This can work for both customers and employees. Remember, internal marketing is important too. Giving employees quality custom products at office events can foster team spirit and a sense of belonging. That leads to improved employee morale and reduced turnover.

Integrating Promo Products Into Social Media

Custom promotional items such as Bluetooth speakers, flash drives and other items are easy to add to your social media presence. Contests, online giveaways and special offers can boost your social presence, while the products can be used as prizes. That gets your brand or logo into the public eye even more.

The RIGHT Product is the Key

To be effective, the products you give away should be useful and attractive to the recipient, and appropriate for the event or circumstances. For example, you probably wouldn’t hand out coffee mugs at a 10K race. But tumblers, water bottles and t-shirts printed with your logo are likely to garner lots of exposure.

The secret is to know your audience. You wouldn’t give a disposable custom pen to a CEO. Nor would you give a custom fountain pen to 5,000 convention attendees. It’s all about knowing what’s right for your target customers. Choose products that will make the recipients feel valued, and that you appreciate them as a customer.

Promo Products Are Economical

One great advantage of custom promotional products is that there’s no need to spend a fortune. Affordable custom products are available in every price range, and to suit just about any need from the ballpark to the executive suite. 

Remember, that average time of eight months that people keep promotional products for? A critical part of that is the quality of the products you offer. 

Keep in mind that your custom promotional products might be a customer’s first impression of your brand. A cheap, flimsy product is likely to leave a sour taste. A higher-quality product that might cost you just a few cents more will give your customer more confidence in your business.

A good promo product supplier will be glad to help you select the ideal tools to most effectively market your brand. If you’d like to find out more about how custom products can help your organization grow, call or email us today.