Using promotional swag to leave an impact
From tradeshows to client events and memorable drip-marketing mailers, branded promotional giveaway items can be a powerful addition to your marketing mix for top-of-mind awareness. Doing a quick Google search will likely leave you feeling overwhelmed with the possibilities from coffee mugs to phone chargers.
So, what’s the difference between a lasting branded keepsake and next week’s latest landfill?
1. Imprint size & visibility
Location, size and color of your logo imprint is a key factor. If your branded logo is unseen or illegible, the intention of the giveaway is quickly lost. You should also include a phone number or website URL to provide a clear call-to-action as a part of your imprint whenever possible. In addition to the user viewing your promotional item at a personal distance, keep in mind the venue the item will be used for public visibility. A branded item that can be seen across the room can create a broader recognition and even stir buzz or demand for your giveaway.
Example: At tradeshows, reusable grocery bags can be a great item to gain exposure around the event as attendees use them to collect other handouts and materials. Double the impact for your financial brand by putting your logo on both sides of the bag.
2. Message reinforcement
Consider an item that reinforces a core strength or service of your company. Make sure your promotional items do more than display your logo. Both the quality and application of the gift will be a reflection of you—so be intentional!
Example: For retirement advisors, a personal travel kit with a note “Looking forward to being a part of your journey into retirement” can leave a lasting and meaningful impression.
Keep in mind who your audience is and where they will be coming from. Apparel can be difficult to accommodate various sizes, and oversized, liquid or breakable items may impact the portability of your gift. Similarly, while technology-related gifts may feel trendy and cool, if the user doesn’t easily know what it is or how to use it, the point is lost.
Example: While a Swiss Army Knife may be symbolic of the versatility of your services, it will not be a practical choice at a tradeshow with attendees who will need to board a plane ride home. Pick a promotional item that can easily fit in a suitcase to prevent it from being left in a hotel room.
Shelf-life is another key factor for your promotional item investment. While a bottle of water with your logo may be appropriate for your event, it will not get the same return on investment as a similarly priced item that will be used repeatedly.
Example: If you are looking at golf-related giveaways, consider a divot repair tool or towel with your logo, versus golf balls or tees that will likely be one-and-done (also reiterating tip #1 – these often remove the logo as soon as they are out of the package.
The one exception to the reusable rule is if your gift is impactful enough to leave an impression your client will talk about for years to come. These gifts usually connect at a personal level, either by appealing to a unique hobby or interest or emotional memory.
Example: As an advisor, the death of a client or their close loved ones can be a painful and difficult reality to handle tactfully. One of the most simple and thoughtful gifts I have received from a business was at the loss of my grandmother, I received a small set of wind chimes with a note: Every time the wind chimes, smile and remember all the good times. Two years later, I still smile every time I hear them and am also reminded of the person who gave them to me.
Don’t waste your marketing budget on items that will end up abandoned and forgotten. The next time you are looking for items to promote your financial brand, keep in mind these key topics: