In today’s competitive marketplace, how your brand is perceived is crucial. Maintaining your brand integrity is a must, with promotional products and every other part of your marketing strategy.
Fortunately, with awareness and forethought, it’s not difficult to keep your brand’s reputation intact and even make it stronger. Keep in mind that every interaction a customer or potential customer has with your brand affects their overall perception of the brand. Custom promotional products can contribute to that perception.
What Is Brand Integrity?
Simply put, brand integrity means you give customers a consistent, coherent picture of your company, products and services in accord with your organization’s values. It builds trust with consumers, and that trust is critical to achieving lasting success.
Brand integrity applies to every aspect of your company, not just promotional products. It’s all about walking the walk, not just talking the talk. Consistent, defined actions add to customers’ trust and belief in your product or service.
Factors that Affect Brand Integrity
There are multiple ways to focus on your brand in a way that customers will relate to.
Establish Clear, Consistent Guidelines
Don’t make potential buyers guess what you’re about. Establish standards for color, logos, fonts taglines and other factors that will represent your brand in all forms and formats.
Be Sure Employees Understand Their Roles
Each staff member needs to know how their role fits into the brand identity, and how they are to represent the brand to customers. For example, sales approaches should be consistent in terms of pricing, handling customer questions or complaints and other aspects of dealing with buyers.
Keep Your Identity The Same In-Person and Online
The customer should see a seamless blend of online and in-store. For example, if a customer orders something online, returning it to a brick and mortar location shouldn’t require complicated extra steps.
The Role of Custom Products
Custom promotional products are an excellent way to promote brand awareness and generate interest. Done right, they’re a solid contributor to brand integrity with your customers. But if done wrong, they also can do damage to your brand.
Fortunately, it’s not difficult to use promotional marketing products in a way that maintains and promotes brand integrity. With a few simple rules, you can ensure a successful marketing effort with custom branded products.
Once Again, Consistency is King
Yes, we said it above, but it can’t be stressed enough: Consistency is everything when it comes to branding. Keep every promotional product the same in terms of logo, color choices, typography and style. Whether on a t-shirt or a mug or a wristband, a consistent approach reinforces brand recognition and image.
Don’t Go Cheap
Consider the custom promotional products you order an investment in your company’s success. Cheap, low-quality items are likely to be thrown away quickly, and can put a serious dent in your organization’s image. Rightly or wrongly, potential customers will associate the quality of your promo items with the quality of your products or services. Is it worth risking your brand reputation to save a few cents on a pen, a mug or a t-shirt?
With the right supplier, you’re also likely to find that quality items don’t cost much, if any, more than lesser-grade products.
Choose Products that Align with Your Brand
Your promotional items should reflect your brand identity. For example, a kitchenware supplier might have custom branded bottle openers, knife safes, and whisks. A tech manufacturer would do better with USB drives, earbuds or power banks.
Target Your Audience
Knowing who you want to sell to is a must. College students are a different market than healthcare executives, for example. Adjust your custom product mix accordingly to avoid wasting time and money sending the wrong products to people who aren’t likely to buy from you.
Monitor Distribution of Your Promotional Products
When it comes to handing out your promotional items, it pays to be selective. Focus on ways to reach your target customers rather than just distributing products far and wide.
Don’t forget your existing customers, either. Use custom products to make them feel valued, and they’re more likely to keep ordering, and even referring your company to others.
Include Your Contact Information
Make it easy for people to find you. Physical addresses, email, phone numbers, social media addresses, even QR codes all can give potential customers an easy way to get in touch with you. After all, they won’t buy from you if they can’t find you.
Deal With Reputable Suppliers
Buy from promotional product suppliers who stand behind their work. Any good provider will guarantee high-quality products and first-rate service. You should expect accurate reproduction of your images and text, on-time delivery and prompt, professional resolution of any issues that might arise. Take the time to research prospective suppliers and get a sense of their own brand integrity.
Don’t be afraid to ask your customers for feedback about your promotional products. You can get a sense of what customers think through informal conversations, social media engagements and even surveys. This gives you the chance to make any needed changes, and shows your target audience that their opinion matters to you.
Walk The Walk
Today’s consumers have been bombarded with advertisements in all forms of media from the day they were born. They’re skeptical, savvy and are quick to question the credibility of any organization.
Lots of organizations talk the talk, and modern consumers see through it. They want authenticity, a product, service and company they can believe in. It’s not easy to walk the walk, but it’s a necessary key to success in the modern marketplace. By keeping your actions and your promotional products consistent and transparent, you’ll build the trust that leads to loyal customers.
At TJM, we practice what we preach. We offer first-rate products at outstanding prices, with customer service second to none. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help your organization’s brand integrity with appropriate custom promotional products, call or email us today.