What’s the first few things you start thinking about when you are considering using promotional products in your business? Whether you are looking for items to promote your brand, highlight a new product launch, or make a special event more special – what questions pop up first? Whether you are your own lady-boss or you work with a corporate team sitting around a conference table, I think the first questions that come to mind often sound something like this:
- What style should I choose?
- What’s the price?
- What’s my budget?
- How many should I order?
- Do they have my color?
- How fast can I receive these?
These are all typical “first questions” you might ask, or that might be asked of you by the company supplying your custom promotional products. On the surface, this approach seems logical – even obvious. “Where else would I start??” you might ask. Shouldn’t I always start at the beginning?
Well, yes. But what if I asked you to instead, start deeper? What if I asked you to always start with the end in mind?
I know it can be exciting to pick colors for your new custom printed t-shirts and it’s fun to brainstorm about the latest eye-catching tech tools with your full color logo on the side. I get it – it’s fun for me too! But trust me when I tell you, that’s the middle of the process. So here’s what I mean when I say start with the end in mind: map out what you want to achieve with this particular promotional tool. Define your marketing goals, state your expectations of customer response, and clearly list the results you wish to achieve with this customized product. Maybe it’s time for some prompts and examples so you can better understand what I mean?
What are your goals with this marketing project?
Some typical goals for any given promotional campaign might include one or more of the following:
- Increase brand recognition
- Encourage client referrals
- Close new leads
- Gain new client leads/email sign ups
- Community involvement/ supporting a cause
- Promote a new product launch
- Promote a specific sale
- Cultivate customer loyalty and repeat business
Once you understand what the goals are for your promotion, you need to answer some questions about your audience.
Who specifically are you trying to reach? Why?
What do you want them to think about you, your team, your company, or your product offering? What do they think about it right now?
Who is your target audience, and what are their unique habits, needs, and pain points? How does your company or product offer solutions to these problems?
Next, outline some information about your brand – what’s your style?
What is the “voice” of your brand?
What are your brand colors and features?
How does your business present itself to the world?
How do you want your brand to be perceived?
Ok that’s a lot of questions, but this doesn’t have to take three meetings, six memos and four staff people! Let’s break it down. For example, say you run a high-end coaching business for women entrepreneurs. Perhaps you are planning to utilize a custom branded client thank you gift. Here’s how this exercise might go:
Increase customer loyalty and repeat business, encourage customer referrals, reinforce our name/brand recognition.
Clients are creative women aged 24-60 who are self-starters and business minded. They may have a corporate background but now they are their own boss. They come to you for high-touch business coaching, so that they can scale their business and increase revenues. They see you as an expert, thought leader, and mentor. Smart, hardworking, and always on the go – they have little free time and lots of irons in the fire. You help them find focus and clarity in their product offerings as well as tools to take them to the next level.
As a business consultant, you present yourself as a professional in the world of entrepreneurship, with a look that incorporates a creative flair. Your brand colors are white, coral, and slate. You want potential customers to think of you as a solutions provider, a business expert, a thought leader who offers unique insights.
Not so tough, right? Five minutes tops, and you’ve got a great starting place. Now we can tailor-fit a promotional product to perfectly support your marketing goals while keeping your brand on-message at the same time. This serves to create a custom product that resonates in a much more impactful way, bringing you better bang for your hard-earned buck. We use the answers to all the above questions to guide our choice of product, color, style, purpose, and price. Looking over our list of example answers, as your promotional products consultant I might suggest something like this:
Job: Client thank-you gift
Goal: Recognition, referrals, and repeat business
Clients: Creative professional women looking to improve their business
Brand notes: Thought leader, business solutions provider, has a unique program for growth
Product: Custom imprinted journal with high-end finish in brand color of white with unique and clean debossed logo. Interior organizer pocket, lined journal pages, and a custom front cover insert outlining key take-aways from the coaching program for client to recall and use while journaling ideas for growth. Accompanying pen in brand color of coral with screen printed or engraved logo. Options include presentation box, custom thank-you card with referral link, and drop-shipping.
So that is just one example of how you can apply the cornerstones of your brand message thoughtfully to any promotional product offering in order to achieve the very best results. Like any business purchase, if you are going to invest in promotional products, you should know exactly why you are buying them and how they will help your business. Answering these three key questions and understanding what the desired end results are will definitely improve the performance of any promotion!
As always, if there is a special custom product you have been thinking about for your business, we’d love to chat with you about it and see how we can make it happen! Drop us a line any time. We are here to help your business Stand Out!