As you will see from the infographic below your marketing should be covering a wide range of activities, with Promotional Merchandising being the most cost-effective, versatile, far-reaching and long-lasting marketing activity out of the lot of them. It also links all your marketing activities especially online and traditional marketing to give them ALL a great reach.
DeVine have over 15 years experience in the promotional merchandising industry and over 250,000 promo items to select from. We will help you choose the right items to fit in with your other marketing activities, and don't forget our advice is free. Call us now on 029 20 811 200 to see how we can help.
#marketing #promo #merchandising
To get the most out of your promotional merchandising it might be worth looking at what the next generation wants from their swag and what they value because I can tell you this it isn’t the same as 20, 10 or even 5 years ago.
Although much of the promotional merchandising out there is still relevant the millennial and Gen X, and let’s face it they will be in charge very soon or be in those all too important buying positions of your best customers and prospects, and they don’t want cheap low-quality giveaways that don't last long or have no use.
A great way to combat this is to pay attention to the trends that come directly from the mouths and buying patterns of our clients. Therefore, it’s so important for marketing professionals to know the promotional product trends of the upcoming year – so they can resonate with their prospects and clients.
An example of promo trends to pay attention to is the demand for retail brand products being used as promotional merchandise, a category of promotions that deeply resonate with younger generations, however; most marketing professionals have yet to shift towards promoting their brand alongside a well-known retail brand.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the bottom line: our clients are seeking basic help when it comes to ordering promotional products. So please feel free to use these promotional product trends to complement your marketing strategy and resonate with the values of your customers.
Trend #1: Technology continues to be ever-growing and ever-evolving
I made this the #1 promo trend because technology related items are the fastest-growing category of promotional products. It’s not hard to know why this is happening – as mentioned above, people are demanding technology-related items because they are so useful. In fact, the usefulness of a promotional product is the recipient’s number one reason for keeping it, according to ASI. Giving away a useful technology product not only ensures that the recipient will be pleased with your brand – it also indicates that the product has a high potential for generating brand exposure.
Another more exacting reason for the resurgence of this trend is the evolving functionality of the cellphone. There are certain tech products that have the option to be branded that will make your clients’ life and job easier and staying connected effortless.
An example of a tech item that is the result of an ever-growing industry are Kronies, or wireless earbuds. These wireless earbuds offer multiple solutions for recipients such as listening to music and making calls with the built-in microphone that makes for a crisp, clear sound. They are also relevant to big happenings in the tech industry, like the release of the iPhone X without the auxiliary port for traditional headphones.
Trend #2: Cheap is out - higher value is in
If your company uses cheap promotional products, here’s something you might not want to hear – now more than ever, recipients are judging the promo items they receive, thus making a direct correlation to the company handing them out. Unsurprisingly, giving out cheap items says that your company didn’t put much time and effort into gifts for their clients or prospects. Higher value and custom items have proven to be more effective for retaining quality leads.
In my experience, companies spending more for a lesser amount of high-quality promotional items, like 12 pack coolers, has proven more effective when attracting quality leads or delighting clients. Recipients want a quality item that they’ll actually use, so cheap items just don’t cut it. Join the hundreds of brands generating leads by utilizing higher value promotional products.
Trend #3: Clients need help with ROI at trade shows
I may heavily focus on the importance of promotional products for trade shows; however, I know that marketing professionals – not just promos. This includes booth preparation, tablecloths, staff apparel, and printed marketing collateral. Once all of these trade show basics are figured out, it’s time to focus on your promotional product marketing strategy.
I used to say that the price point for trade show giveaways was definitely £1 - £3, but as mentioned above, customers expect higher quality giveaways.
Don’t get me wrong, handing out inexpensive useful items is important for generating brand recognition, but attracting qualified leads with higher priced gifts is even more important.
A great way to attract quality leads to your trade show booth is by utilizing your higher-quality items as part of your booth display, but first giving them a more inexpensive item, like a Smart Wallet, to start a conversation. You can then explain that in order to receive the higher quality item, like a power bank, the prospect must provide credible information to make for a quality lead, like name, company, and contact information.
Trend #4: Apparel is shifting
Everyone is familiar with traditional corporate apparel such as polos and dress shirts. Employee uniforms are key to maintaining brand consistency, but most employees are not going to wear company branded dress shirts anywhere but in the workplace.
This is why giving employees and clients fun apparel that they’ll want to wear outside of the office is a promotional marketing trend of 2018. The goal is to have recipients of your logoed apparel want to wear your branded clothing based on their lifestyle – not work wear only. This can be done by incorporating a cool graphic onto an apparel item like t-shirts or pullovers instead of just your company’s logo. Here are some other trends influencing the world of logo apparel and what recipients are looking for:
Trend #5: Retail inspired designs/brands
Companies looking for promos are increasingly requesting name brand products to advertise their business. One example is Ted Baker Lacool Backpacks – an apparel brand that is widely admired. Millennials and Gen Xers are especially attracted to these types of promotional items because they are recognisable brands that have immense value.
Another category of promos that are moving into the retail-inspired realm is drinkware. SIGG, CamelBak, Contigo, Nalgene, Tervis, Avex, and Yeti are just a few retail drinkware brands that are creating a buzz in the promo industry.
These promotional product trends may seem like a bit of an information overload, but don't worry; just because new trends are emerging doesn't mean you have to do a complete overhaul of all of your company's promotional products.
Start by looking for opportunities to incorporate these types of promos into your marketing calendar. Have a trade show coming up? Instead of going with your old promos, try using higher value items to attract visitors to your booth.
There will be plenty of opportunities throughout your year to incorporate these hot promo trends - it all comes down to planning in advance to craft the perfect product.
For further information contact DeVine firstname.lastname@example.org or 029 20 811 200.
Having an advertising campaign is essential to a company that wants to keep growing and showcasing its talents. Using promotional merchandise is a great way to move your advertising campaign into the offices and homes of potential and existing customers.
Promotional products are affordable items that can make your prospective customers and clients interested in your brand. Branded merchandise such as mugs and pens have uses in offices whilst benefiting many other areas of businesses to give long lasting and effective brand impression. The goal of promotional giveaways are to attract and appeal to customers and people are grateful for a free product and consumers really appreciate useful products that add value to their lives.
One of the most important aspects of a successful business is to ensure proper engagement with new customers. What better way to engage with a potential customer than with a free gift? It has been shown in studies that giving a gift to your customer increases chances of your customer choosing you over your competitors by invoking a sense of brand loyalty.
A clear benefit of a promotional gift is that it builds a sense of loyalty long after the conversation is over. A study shows that at an exhibition, people are much more likely to visit a stand and listen to a pitch if a promotional item is involved. Giving a gift to your potential customer is a great way to start a conversation that could lead to communication and ultimately a sale.
Building strong meaningful connections with your customers is a quality that will ensure your company will benefit in the long-run. Customers recognise that if companies try and build meaningful relationships with their customers they are more likely to recommend their friends and family to that specific brand, this can be very advantageous for your company in the future.
Building strong relationships can be done by having frequent giveaway competitions on social media such as branded gifts or tickets to events. This is great for customers who win the competitions but also it starts to build engagement with the customer base whilst increasing the engagement of your network. Your network can be many different people from suppliers and partners, business colleagues and professionals, potential and existing customers right the way to family and friends.
A great benefit for using branded merchandise is that customers can develop a passion for your brand, values and products through being engaged emotionally. Consider Coca-Colas 2 year marketing campaign of “share a coke” which consisted of personalised names on Coke bottles in the UK. This campaign created a personal relationship with consumers who could contact coke directly and request their names on a coke bottle. The Coca-cola website stated that during the campaign “Over 730,000 glass bottles personalised via the e-commerce store” This was a great gauge of the customer’s willingness to share information and interest for the brand and increasing interactions with the brand itself.
Handing out branded gifts can set the steps in place to build relations with an existing client. Gifting a promotional product shows that you are a distinctive and attractive brand which benefits your brand identity. Consumers get passionate about a brand when their emotions are triggered. This is emotional response can be used in a variety of different advertising mediums such as branded merchandise which is a great way to reward a customer.Whether a brand is adventurous or creative, giveaways will create a fan base with strong levels of commitment. Think of Red-Bull’s association with extreme sports. Just seeing the logo on a can of Red Bull can fill customers with a sense of excitement and passion.
Showing commitment to existing customers can have profound business results. A recent study claimed that “it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one”. this shows that brand commitment is definitely worth investing in. Providing existing customers with personalised, tangible products is a very effective way to keep them interested in your brand. The main benefit to these results is that you can focus on existing customers which can dramatically increase your return on investment.
Promotional merchandise is cost-effective when considered in terms of impressions (an impression is a single view of a particular ad) compared to other forms of advertising media. Branded Merchandise has a lower cost per impression compared to conventional forms of advertising such as newspaper, TV and magazine advertisements. And whilst the conventional advertising is often passive and indirect to specific users, the advantage of specialised merchandise is that the branded products can often have a much more active interaction with consumers.
Consider the number of times a consumer will be exposed to a conventional TV or magazine ad compared to a promotional gift such as a pen or mug. A recent American study stated that: “TV and magazine ads both cost 1.8 cents per impression, ad specialities (promotional products) cost an average of 0.6 cents per impression.” This study shows that promotional products have a clear benefit over conventional advertisements, as they are 66% more cost effective per impression than conventional forms of advertising.
Due to their useful nature, promotional merchandise is typically passed along from person to person. A study from the ASI organisation said that “more than half of the consumers report that they will give away a [promotional] product that they are finished with rather than throwing it away.” When a consumer does this your brand image benefits from increased impressions.
The same study done by the ASI found that in London “15% of consumers throw a product away, 18% file the item away and 67% Give the item to someone else.”
Promotional products have been shown to make a lasting impression on existing and potential customers helping to generate new leads and sales. Our infographic displayed shows that as an advertisement medium “promotional products” have a 50.7% success rate of a call to action. This means that when a promotional product has a call to action such as go on a website or call up a number for some information it has a higher success rate than conventional forms of advertising such as TV and radio.
In a world of digital marketing and social media campaigns, other long-standing forms of marketing are sometimes forgotten about. Whilst trends in the marketing world come and go, some are here to stay. Promotional marketing is one of them. What is clear is that today’s customers are looking to create a relationship with a brand. This can be done in a multitude of ways, but one way is through promotional merchandise. What’s more, these relationships are long-term, with Jansen Manfredini from Sage World writing that “consumers hang on to promotional products for an average of 6.6 months” and “89% of consumers can recall the advertiser of a promotional product they’d received in the last two years”. The incredible thing about promotional marketing is that you can create an uninterrupted link between your promotional merchandise and your brand.
According to a survey by Brandwatch, the most popular promotional products are USB drives, pens, electrical items, and mugs; all relatively low-cost and easy to add to your marketing plan. There are many ways you can hand out promotional merchandise to your customers. Firstly, you can give them away at trade shows, festivals, and events to individuals who walk by or come to your stall. You could also offer your merchandise as a free gift with a purchase from your company, either in-store or online. You could send promotional merchandise as a welcome gift for signing up to an e-newsletter. Furthermore, you can use promotional merchandise as a prize for social media competitions. For instance, we have given out Total Merchandise themed goody bags in the past from our Facebook competitions including merchandise such as beach balls, pens and advent calendars! A final way that you can use promotional merchandise is to sell it- if your brand is on trend, people will happily pay for some merchandise, in particular, t-shirts. For example, Leeds University Union has a popular hummus and pitta stall, and they sold t-shirts with a witty slogan and their brand name which have been spotted around campus and on the gym.
Promotional merchandise can be one of the best ways to increase brand recognition. As we mentioned earlier, people will often link your brand with the product you gave them. By gifting merchandise that is branded with your logo and is useful for everyday use, you will provide the opportunity for your customers to see your brand every day. For instance, mugs have been reported to be kept longer than other promotional merchandise, so these could be something you invest in for your next marketing campaign.
Brand is everything and brand is everywhere, but the word 'brand' doesn't necessarily just mean 'logo'. A logo, of course, is a major part of a brand, but branding goes much further still. Right down to how employees answer the phone for example. If you go into a national coffee chain, and order a latte, the way and manner in which you are served that coffee should be the same in that store, as it is in every other of that coffee chains stores across the country, if not the world. That is branding.
However, for the layman, the entry point for branding ones coming is a lot simpler. Assuming, for the sake of argument that your company already has a 'visual identity' by way of logo, and probably colour palette, the next stage is where a company like DeVine comes in... partly.
We would suggest that every blank space is an opportunity to brand, or to stamp your brand, for the world to see. Run a building company? Have your employees wear branded, embroided Polo shirts to work. Have their vans sign written with your company details, not forgetting social media icons (not everybody will access you digitally via a website any more).
A tip here though. If you have invested in a logo, signage, stationery etc, don't spoil it by using a 'free' email address in your contact details or a mobile phone number as a sole means of having clients call you. Even if you are only contactable via a mobile number, consider investing in a VOIP landline number than can be redirected to your mobile phone. It helps make the brand look...more professional, and serious.
Assuming you've met the basics of a professional logo, branded clothing and vehicles...the next stage is your Promotional Merchandise. A quick visit to our website will show you that you have a LOT of choice, but our suggestion is always to create a 'campaign' when distributing 'freebies'. Professional marketeers would look to measure what is known as a Return on Investment, or ROI on every campaign.
This means for every pound that is spent, a return should be expected that would ideally cover that cost. Obviously, and ideally, whilst buying Promotional Merchandise to hand out free of charge to your clients, and prospected clients, should generate a return greater than the initial outlay, one also has to consider what is termed as an intangible ROI...that is where you can't quite quantify the real value in terms of pounds, shillings and pence, but that there is a return of some form or other.
This could be 'brand awareness', whereby lots more eyeballs see your colourful logo, or it could be an action that is yet to happen as a result of your investment today. For example, if an estate agent were to undertake a brand awareness of promotional marketing exercise, clients would need to be ready to buy or sell today so show a instant ROI. Chances are, most recipients of a Promotional item won't be in that position. But people have long memories, and if you could leave them with something that they will keep, fridge magnets or a calendar are 2 obvious examples, they'll remember you, and possibly your generosity in months to come, when they may, by then, be in a different mindset.
Earlier this week, we published an article which basically explained that 'Brand' was more than just a logo. Everything from the way the telephone is answered, right through to how one is perceived in the public eye is all 'brand'.
In this latest article, we are going to look at how Brand can be embellished on potential client’s minds.
In this modern age, brand, and imagery is everywhere. Our minds are bombarded with brand snapshots everywhere we go. Buses carry brands inside and outside their vehicles. Brands appear, seemingly nonstop on our social media time lines, and brand appears even in the uniforms of those who serve us our daily coffee, bread, newspaper or shopping etc.
So, having a brand that stands out is the challenge. And this is where the initial choice of 'brand', and what it stands for, is so important. When creating a new brand from scratch, it'll be ideal to have a brand that is catchy, memorable, and with Intellectual Property (IP's) available to register without treading on anybody else's toes (particularly website domain names).
Assuming that you now have a brand that is represent of you, your business, and your business values, the next stage is to reach eyeballs with this. And this, is where your friends at DeVine can help.
With the daily bombardment of brand imagery and every brand desperate for you to buy and remember them, you need to think clever and outside of the box. The Promotional Merchandise industry really exists just because of this. You are far more likely to remember and re-engage with a brand whose brand you come into daily contact with, than one from 'cold'. For example, the coffee cup on your desk, your mouse-mat, your pen in your pocket or the air freshener in your car, are all opportunities to place your brand before a potential client without offending them. After-all, who doesn't like free stuff?
Perhaps the greatest trick of Promotional Merchandise is timing. Of course, we all love receiving a gift from a supplier or client. But, if the receipt of receiving could be timed to coincide with 'something' it would also be all the more memorable, and special. The 'something' could be any event, season or even climactic occasion. Is the U.K having a harsh winter? How about Ice Scrapers branded with your Logo? Kids about to go back to school? How about branded pencil cases? Or bags? Sporting event...you get the idea...
Now, if only there were any major sporting events, summer holidays or kids going back to school for a new term in the next couple of months...
Speciality chocolates are commonly associated with the likes of Easter or Birthdays. However, corporate logo chocolates are one of the best gifts that you can give to employees and clients because not only are they different….they can be consumed and that is always a good thing!
So why should you use corporate logo chocolates as a thank you or an appreciative gift?
Any kind of product that is branded is a great gift but when it can be eaten it adds an extra level of personalisation. When you consider how chocolate is given as a gift, it is commonly used for special occasions. Therefore, your employees with really appreciate good quality chocolate from you as they will feel that you value their hard work. This is an ideal way of creating a brand image that will appeal to prospective clients.
Chocolates that contain your company logo come with the feeling that they have been created with love and care in a way that shows that your appreciation. This is a marketing strategy that should be adopted by every business.
A direct mail campaign is a great way to reach your customer or prospect. In a world of digital, the novelty aspect of something tangible arriving in each target’s hands can have a positive impact on your business.
Direct mail is always cost-effective, easy to produce and when done well, is likely to be shown and shared with others. Let’s look at some of the other business benefits direct mail offers your brand.
1. Gets You Up Close and Personal
Adding a personal touch to your direct mail piece – such as a name and/or other relevant information such as a birthday or anniversary – helps nurture your relationships, make customers feel valued and more likely to buy from you.
2. Keeps Your Business on Target
An added bonus of direct mail is that it can be tailored to the specific targets your business needs to reach. Customers and prospects are far more likely to respond to information and campaigns that relate to their specific needs and direct mail lets you customise your promotions accordingly.
3. Familiarity Helps Breed Loyalty
Direct mail has huge appeal to your targets, particularly when their inboxes are flooded. In fact, plenty of email users admit to not opening and reading messages. Direct mail on the other hand is a familiar format that is both comforting and appealing – helping your business stand out from the crowd.
4. Enhances Your Marketing Efforts
Direct mail is perfect for building a promotional campaign that combines traditional print with online. Direct mail lets you target customers and prospects to take action such as redeem an offer, visit your shop, make a phone call or head to your website to learn more about your business, sign-up for a discount or to your blog or newsletter.
5. Measurement Made Easy
When you’re busy with the day-to-day running of your business, it’s comforting to know that the success of your direct mail campaign is easy to measure. Rather than reviewing complex analytics, you simply need to track the number of offers redeemed or enquiries made to know if your direct mail piece has been a hit!
Direct Mail Tip:
Don’t forget to update your customer records to ensure your direct mail campaign success. It’s important to have a quality database that includes current contact details of the people you most want to target in order to maximise your direct mail reach.
For help creating an effective direct mail campaign that appeals to your customers and supports your marketing efficiency.
It would appear that as our lives become more and more consumed by digital media, we start to give less time and attention to the messages we receive.
The average lifespan of an email is now just 2 seconds and brand recall directly after seeing a digital ad is just 44%, compared to direct mail which has a brand recall of 75%.
So why are people still saying direct mail is dead? Whilst print costs have fallen over the past few years, postage costs have risen. This means despite the higher response rate of direct mail, email with its low start-up costs still receives a larger return on investment. A study from Citi Post Mail states direct mail has an average ROI of seven pounds to each one pound spent, whilst email has an average return of £38.
With triple the return of email marketing, direct mail marketing may seem like a no brainer, but both have their strengths and weaknesses. Direct mail is perceived as a more trusted, personal form of marketing, whilst email is seen to be quick and informal. The different values associated with each mail mean customers are very sure about when they want to receive one over another.
Initially it would seem that email is better for generating profit fast, whereas direct mail is better for generating customers. Our overriding conclusion is that direct mail and email work better in support of each other. When creating a direct marketing campaign define your aims and choose the best marketing combination to support them.
Let’s Set the Scene…
Imagine…you see somebody making tea from across the room. You catch a glimpse of your mug, why? You didn’t ask for a drink! Your instincts kick in….you move in to grab it…
The biggest frustration when it comes to purchasing branded promotional goods for your company is that the items are “cheap tat” which can break easily. Top-quality branded mugs should be tested to certain standards, for example, a mug that has been independently tested to BS EN 12875-4 to over 2000 washes and confirmed 100% dishwasher proof would be a good choice. There are several branding options available with such standards including photo mugs, and with the right supplier, you can achieve a unique design that really sets you apart from your competitors.
Websites that don’t show prices & vague quotes that don’t include all costs!
Promotional products are offered completely bespoke to your company’s branding. One organisation may require 200 of the lowest priced mugs in a 1 colour print - each supplied in a digitally printed box and suitable for builders, another may ask for 1,000 photo mugs of the highest-quality for a medical conference. It’s best to speak directly with your supplier, allowing them to gain all of the information necessary to provide you with an accurate quote on a product that is suitable for your audience, with no hidden costs. Your recipients will be impressed and you will have no last-minute surprises.
Some promotional merchandise can have lengthy lead times but it doesn’t have to be this way. Express ranges offer a fast turnaround (items are stocked ready to be branded on-demand) and products manufactured in the UK generally despatch quicker as there is no shipping involved. A reputable company will always endeavour to cater to any specific need or requirement if you only ask.
It should be noted that artwork confirmations can significantly increase lead times. As long as you quickly approve your artwork, orders can move forward swiftly.
“The company forgot to contact me!”
Sad, but true! It’s best to do some research when choosing a supplier. A reputable company will have quality standards in place and usually a BPMA affiliation of some kind, bounding them to certain processes and codes of conduct that ensure customers are well looked after.
“Bombarded with emails!”
Companies that look after their customers will always keep them updated on their order, sending status updates on its progress and delivery. Any communications in the form of email marketing that come after this should be easy to opt-out of. If this is not the case, it may be best to speak directly with the company’s marketing department about how you wish to be contacted.
No one likes to be forced into anything. A good promotional merchandise supplier will advise you on the most suitable product for your particular campaign and will part with some best practice tips along the way. They will provide you with all of the information you require, giving you the time and space needed to make an informed decision. Anything less than this can be avoided - we live in an age where the customer holds all of the power. Use it! Do your research and find yourself a reputable supplier with quality products and a service to match and stick by them!
Magnesium or Brass is used to make the embossing dies. Magnesium dies are cheaper but do not convey such fine detail.Brass dies are precision engineered to create the design within the metal. The price of the origination is related to the size of the die. The maximum size of the artwork per diewill be determined by the size of the head of the embossing machine (contact your supplier for details).
To confuse everyone, some people refer to this branding as debossing, and the argument ranges between the correct terminology.
The quality of the artwork will impact on the quality of the die and that of the final emboss. High-resolution artwork is required as a vectored eps file. The artwork must be supplied in black & with no gradients. Anything that is black on the artwork is pushed down by the metal die, anything that is white stays raised.
Most large brands will have a black and white version of their logo within their brand guidelines
Embossing is restricted by the detail and size of the artwork. There needs to be enough space between the lines on the artwork to enable the metal to be etched. As a rule, the text needs to be at least font size 12 aerial, closed fonts may need to be bigger, to prevent filling in.Tiny details such as TM (Trade Mark) symbols often appear as a dot.
Very fine detail such as the complex crests are difficult to accurately etch into the brass die, they need to be simplified to enable the detail to be represented. If you print the logo, at the size required, on a normal office printer, if you can’t see a clear demarcation between black and white then the artwork is unlikely to emboss accurately.
Embossed logos can be infill with coloured matt or metallic foil. This works well on flat items or on the leather prior to assembly. On made up items which have foam or are not flat, the foil can creep up the edges of the shapes or text reducing the precision of the branding.
Foil blocking uses the same metal die as embossing, but a foil is placed between the material and the die and the neat and pressure adheres the foil to the product without indenting the surface of the material.The foil can be metallic and shiny or matt. Different grades of foil are used on different materials.
The main issues with foil blocking are where you have large areas of foil on grained materials. Here getting 100% foil transfer is not always possible, and small dots or flex of the underlying grain can appear, piece by piece. Foil blocking is, therefore, better suited to logos with less solid fill, and is perfect for text as shown above.