Promotional merchandise has long been overlooked as the tremendous marketing opportunity that it is. Studies have shown us that adding promotional products to a brand’s marketing mix can increase the effectiveness of marketing through other means by as much as 44%, and branded products have the potential to draw as many as 500% more referrals than basic marketing tactics alone. But that’s not all- there are numerous other reasons why you should have promotional merchandise for your business.
A little research quickly makes it clear that branded, promotional merch is an excellent way to get consumers excited about your company. Whether you’re selling cotton candy machines and confetti or you’re a law firm looking for new clientele, it’s possible to leverage branded swag as a powerful tool to increase customer loyalty and attention and expand your reach.
Below, we’ve rounded up a list of the most compelling reasons to start leveraging branded merchandise as a tool for marketing and brand exposure. Not only are there a variety of options to suit virtually any budget (some companies do pens, some create high-end clothing, and some fall in-between), but it’s a great way to set your brand apart from the crowd and push for brand recognition.
The Benefits of Creating Promotional Merchandise For Your Business
Improved brand recognition
Brand recognition is an essential part of turning your audience into paying customers. Consumers who hear about your business or read your content won’t be earning you a profit if they can’t manage to remember who you are or how to find you.
Fortunately, branded merchandise helps improve brand recognition significantly. It plays into a business’ efforts to build a strong reputation. Nearly 90% of people are able to recall the names of companies who gave them promotional merchandise within the twenty-four months prior; and 85% of consumers who receive promotional products from a company go on to conduct business with that company.
Retention, retention, retention
Running a successful business is as much about customer retention as it is about customer acquisition. If you’re failing to hold onto prior customers or clients, you’re failing to leverage a market that’s already been primed to purchase from you.
Part of the battle of retention is keeping consumers interested in and engaged with your business. It’s easy to forget about a brand once you’re done doing business with them; why should consumers care about your products or services once they’ve gotten what they need from you at any given time? We can’t answer that question for you, but we can answer the question of how to boost retention: branded merchandise.
Because branded merch helps with recall, it also makes retaining your existing consumer base that much easier. Customers are far more likely to return to you for services or products if they’re constantly being reminded that your brand exists. Exposure equals recall equals retention.
Most consumers only hold onto promotional products for about six or seven months; while this may not be the best news for those hoping their branded products become a mainstay in customers’ households, there’s a silver lining to be found: 63% of those consumers pass on promotional items once they’re done with them.
So what does that mean for your business?
It means free advertising, more exposure, and the opportunity to have your brand introduced to an entirely new audience. If over half of your customers who receive branded merchandise pass that merch on to other people in their lives, that’s a sizable number of new audience members you’ll have gained. It’s like word of mouth minus the mouth– consumers trust people they’re close to, so let your customers do the work of spreading the word.
A way to stand out from the competition
Many businesses overlook the immense marketing opportunities that promotional merch and swag present. Some are hesitant to drop the cash on branded items for (seemingly) no payoff; others may feel that the tactic is stale or outdated. However, keep in mind that you can leverage promotional merchandise for your business as a means to advertise.
That’s great news for you.
Not only will your brand be gaining traction from the powerful marketing tool that promotional merch is all on its own, but you’ll clearly stand out from your competitors. Your brand will look more engaging, more interesting, and more dedicated to its customers when it’s stacked up next to companies who are stingy with their cash. Promotional swag helps keep your brand looking fresh to outsiders.
Finding a Service That Meets Your Needs
One reason you may hesitate to take the plunge into creating promotional merchandise for your business is simply fear. It can be tough to find a trustworthy supplier who you know will be able to meet your timeline and quality needs without nickel and diming you. We’ve outlined a handful of things to keep in mind while you hunt for the perfect merch service:
- Do look for low order minimums
- It’s easy to be tempted to overdo orders, especially if there’s pressure from your merch partner
- If things go wrong, you’re on the hook for less
- Do prioritize excellent communication
- By nature, custom work involves muddy timelines
- Opt for businesses who are transparent and openly communicative to make the process easier
- Don’t shoot for a fast turnaround if it means a sacrifice in quality
- Consumers feel shorted when they’re handed products that are obviously cheap or low quality
- If you have to choose between quick turnaround or high quality, opt for the latter
- Don’t make your decision based on lip service
- Any company looking to turn a profit will tell you what you want to hear to make a sale
- Rather than relying solely on the company, look for trusted feedback and seek out reviews
Looking to snag some promotional swag for your brand’s next event? Want to give your customers something to remember you by in their next order? Get in touch with Catdi today! Our team is committed to helping build one of the strongest marketing networks in the digital sphere today. Whether you’re on the hunt for branded merchandise or advice for your next marketing endeavor, we’re well-poised to act as your partner and guide you towards success.