How to turn heads with highly effective promotional products.

Branding Marketing Merchandise

We uncover how wearing your brand on your sleeve and spreading the word through promotional products creates massive brand awareness.

How did it all begin? Communication routes made way for commerce. Manufacturers then began giving samples to traders as a way of raising more awareness for their offers. This was the beginning of what we now know as promotional products.

1. What is a promotional product?

But what is the definition after all? A promotional product is..

“an item such as a bag, calendar, cap, clock, diary, pen, etc., given away to the current or prospective customers. These items usually carry the name and address of the firm, as well as information on the products and services, and serve as reminders. Also called advertising novelty or advertising specialty.”

What use is your logo if you can’t put it on everything?

As you’re reading this and thinking of your marketing and brand strategy, you can probably understand where we’re heading with this. The use of branded products will enhance your business’s visibility. Also, they’re a great addition to your online and offline advertising efforts.
By adding your logo on promotional products like coffee cops or hats, you’re literally putting your brand in people’s hands, and integrating it in their daily lives. Wouldn’t that be better than only having your logo in the front window of your local shop? Let’s do this step-by-step:
  • What are the most popular promotional products, and why?
  • How do I make my promotional products visible?
  • How do I make the most out of promotional products at events?
  • Where can I get branded merchandise?
Let’s dig deeper and find out what are the most popular items you can choose from. And how to get the best return of investment!

2. What are the most popular promotional products, and why?

When you’re thinking of promotional merchandise, what are the first things that come to mind? T-shirts? Cups and mugs? Keychains? Plus, what colors? What fabrics? What supplier will deliver the best quality? And on and on… Your precious time gets lost in analysis-paralysis! If you’re feeling overwhelmed already… We don’t blame you. But guess what? We’re going to walk you through them one-by-one, making the decision a piece of cake! We hand-picked the most popular branded merch items that will make your brand more visible. You absolutely need to be aware of these before your next campaign or launch. Plus! We let you know where to find the best deal for your money! No more wasted research time! We’re going into detail ont:
  1. Clothes – your logo in wearable form! People are mobile, and so will your brand
  2. Drinkware – your logo, coffee breaks and discussions over the mugs’ origin
  3. Office supplies – your logo on a pen! Classic! Will get “borrowed” a lot, remember?!
  4. Promotionals – your logo on bags, planners or agendas! Reach people everywhere!
  5. Tech items – your logo on movable gadgets! On a phone, or a laptop. Visible!
  6. Accessories – your logo on a tote, a clock, or a basic refrigerator magnet!

Here is a showcase of popular products waiting for your awesome logo.

See further down the article how a logo totally transforms these products turning them into brand advocates. 

Most of you need a trusted supplier that custom-makes all your branded merchandise. For this reason, we recommend Zazzle, to bring you a true customizable branded product marketplace. This is where you can effortlessly pick and choose the type of merch, add the logo you bought from one of NewGlue top-designers and… With only a few clicks, have it delivered to your doorstep. Or storefront, for that matter! We believe in having access to high-quality options at affordable prices. At NewGlue, there are some hand-picked incredibly powerful merch items. Here’s what you can create…

Clothes

From hoodies, classic t-shirts and polo shirts, make your choice with your brand in mind! What is your vibe? What would your ideal customer be dressed in? Or better: your team! Why? Imagine the smile on their faces when dressed with a comfy piece branded with their favorite company! Just imagine the conversations about how much you’ve helped them with their problem. We can already count the increase in sales! Or employer branding! (See that customer service improve because of the “I belong here & proud of my company!” feeling.) Customize each piece! What will your blank canvas look like?

your logo on t-shirts, sweaters and more!

Drinkware

Why choose to customize a mug? Picture the logo you looked so far and wide to get customized to perfection… stylishly beaming from a crisp white cup, filled with tasty coffee ready for the lunch break! During afternoon conversations, your company’s logo could be seen by who knows how many pairs of eyes, starting discussions, raising questions, and possibly bringing in business. All this with a branded drinkware like the ones you can choose from below!

your logo on cool mugs and bottles!

Office

Ahh! Office supplies! How many times have you lost your pen this year? Writing utensils are ALWAYS a necessity, and with your logo on them… who knows where they’ll end up! Office environments are also the best place to place branded merchandise. From badges, notebooks, agendas and to ring binders… your logo can shine on a multitude of products. With discussions, in come the questions. And if the answer is your brand and offering… imagine how much revenue, or even just awareness, you could gain! Just have a look! Then choose your item!

your logo on your office items!

Promotionals

So you thought of a campaign for the upcoming launch! Or for something as classic as the next family holidays. Maybe even a fair you are going to be present at? Depending on your business, you’ll choose different promotional products to add your logo to. You could choose a planner, or a keychain, or the classical gift bag… Branding your business is like bragging about your kid to all the other parents. You enjoy when others compliment them out loud. Whatever decision you make, be sure to have fun! Create reasons to brag about!

fun promo products with your logo!

Tech

We carry our devices everywhere with us. They come along to work, when we travel, when we spend time with friends or want to make a value statement. People tend to take great pride in their gadgets, and if presented with quality design and a brand they love, they will most likely wear your merch on their devices, or use the ones you provide them with. It’s all in the alignment of brand values. Of visions and identities. And what screams business identity louder than a custom-made, high-quality logo? We are still to find out!

your logo on cool tech products!

Accessories

Last but not least… let’s accessorize!

Logo design is just a side of the larger design spectrum. That’s why decor items blend almost seamlessly with business visual identities.

Depending on your company’s profile, below are some of the options you can choose from.

You need to have a balance between cost and effectiveness, and you can certainly come up with a merchandise solution that benefits you!

Some of our clients even gave us feedback.

Let’s look at some stories!

Cool products with your logo!

Gonzalo, the co-founder of Culturfil, tried out some hats from the BrandHub at checkout when he bought his logo a few months ago. He gave some out at promotional events and they really caught on. Now he says he sells them out of his store.

Great job, Gonzalo!

Sofia initially ordered a stack of business cards, and then spiced things up with some Apple Watch bands. In her own words: “I wanted a unique merchandise product to set my company apart in people’s minds.”.

And so she did!

You see.. In Gonzalo’s case, he bought hats because other people wanted them. For Sofia, the watch bands are merchandise that can be customized and adds a fun value. Many entrepreneurs and companies out there may see merchandise as somewhat pointless.

“Why put out a bunch of smaller value items than your main product or service?”

The thing is your company needs to create an aura of visuals and branding surrounding it. At least in the customer’s mind. If you don’t make use of this, you might be losing important exposure.

“But why have physical merchandise when you can reach people worldwide with online visuals and advertising, right?”

Everybody looks at websites, but that’s the thing! They’re everywhere! They’ve become commonplace. Nowadays people are directed to websites all the time. Searching your URL, social media profiles…

… too much of a process for many!

Too much information, too little time. Nothing seems to stand out anymore. Not to mention we have the attention span of a goldfish!

A physical item, however, can be placed in someone’s hands right now, as we speak. It helps engage the other senses as well: the feel of t-shirt fabric, the smell of your fresh coffee sipped out of a branded cup at lunch break, etc… Most merchandise is created to integrate your customer’s life… in many ways than one. So, let’s consider the things you can work with!

3. How do I make my promotional products visible?

Where should it be positioned so that people actually buy it? Merchandise can be all-around your store, obviously. But it’s not as simple as that. There are a lot of things to consider when wanting to display your merch!

Arranging Merchandise So It’s Visible

What if you started with the display area closest to the entrance? The main thing you have to do is get people’s attention. Choose the items that your customer will WANT, not need. Something that will make them come and look closer.

Usually, the newest and most expensive items should get the spotlight. People are interested in novelty, and will be curious enough to check it out.

Make sure your store shelves are filled with enough products so that the customer can pick up and touch without having to totally mess-up your display.

If they can’t see it, their attention won’t be drawn to it. Pretty simple, right? Enhance their visibility by displaying them in groups. A single product doesn’t take as much space, but more of them will create a store destination of interest.

Groups can be made out of similar products, different colors of the same item, products that you can use together (bonus for lifestyle displays – instant aspirational message).

By constantly implementing merchandise strategies, you will get used to what works and what doesn’t and what excites your customers enough for them to buy!

How to position branded products so that they generate sales and how to customize your experience to enchant your customers?

This is the point where it pays-up to think like your ideal-customer… Literally pays!

Questions like:

“Who are they?”

“What are their needs?”

“What are they looking for?”

… help you understand and come up with a viable merchandising strategy that will provide a fantastic return of investment!

Why? Because this way you can customize the right positioning plan for your products, and fit your customer’s needs perfectly. The more they see, the more they are tempted to buy!

The classic merchandising techniques use the so-called rule of three: positioning products in groups of three pieces, creating some type of asymmetry or differentiation: height, width, color. This way, the customer’s attention is drawn to that spot…

And is more likely they’ll buy! Maybe bundle up a tea box, a quirky designed cup and a thermoresistant bottle to carry around. Get creative depending on your offering!

Another thing you can do is actually position products under a pricing sign, let’s say for a sale or a “best value” deal. For value-oriented customers, well… This can be an offer that they can’t refuse!

And a third sales-enhancing technique could be having customers using all their senses! You can make use of not just of sight, but also include smell, sound, taste or touch.

Create an almost synesthetic experience for your clientele. Delight them! They’ll enjoy the experience and want to bring some of it home!

A very important part of the customer experience is the type of interaction they have with your employees. The rules of marketing teach us that in order to achieve client satisfaction through our team, they need to act and feel synonymous to the brand.

The simplest way to create team cohesion and identity is by putting your company’s logo all over what AND WHO actually makes your business come true: your employees and your space. And even yourself! The owner.

It’s all about welcoming customers into an immersive brand space, where every detail speaks of your company’s story, ethos and values. Imagine THAT for perfect branding methods!

Putting your brand under the spotlight... We mean for real.

The lighting should be right no matter what. If branded merchandise is hidden in the corner of a dimly lit area, no one is going to care about it. Make sure you light up only the merchandise and avoid spilling light outside of it as much as possible.

The most basic solution is a track system.

These have multiple hanging, turnable lights. This way you can adjust the size of the bulb and turn it so it lights up the exact piece of merchandise you’d like to! Spot fitting lights are small and will focus on the exact area you want.

Floodlights will light up a whole area, like a shelf, or even the entire store.

Spot fitting lights on a track conveniently light up any item you want. Let’s provide you with some inspiration. We’d like to put a spotlight on how creatively salons use lighting. Salons are a service industry, as you may know, but they also sell products on the side, namely shampoos, conditioners, waxes, etc. Often branded with the store’s name as well!

Look at how often light up the glass internally to give the bottles a glossy clean brilliance, similar to what you’d expect in your hair after visiting a salon! Not only that, but these lit up items are positioned right in front of where the customer sits for 30-45 minutes.

Goldfish attention span? Obliterated! This is genius merchandising that sells. We know promotional events are one of the first things you think of when you think “merchandise”, so let’s address it

4. How do I make the most out of promotional products at events?

Many companies seize the opportunity with promotional events, and it pays the investment. They can be attended by your average consumer or your industry peers. Attendees go booth to booth and walk away with some items branded with your company’s name on it.

Many businesses opt for handing out low-value items, like bottles, little toys, and drink cozies that attendees immediately throw in the trash. Understandably, you don’t want to spend as much on your promotional merchandise as your actual products.

However…

Cutting on costs by using cheap plastic or styrofoam is really not the way to your ideal customer’s heart. Some companies’ solution is having passersby enter a drawing for a giveaway item, which can be pretty exciting.

At first glance.

You get to give a high-quality item and get many people’s engagement, which is the whole point. Companies just starting who barely have a product on the market will often give away an iPhone, or even a car. This can be good to drum up a general hype for your company. Nevertheless…

Will the winner really remember you, or the fact that they won?

The best balance is having a giveaway for a real product of yours that is immediately usable by the winner after they walk through their front door.

The promotional event only happens in one place and doesn’t exactly spread your name out to the world.

But it does solidify your brand in the industry as one to be recognized. This is pretty much networking’s ground zero.

And please… NEVER give out drink cozies. On your road to greatness, create GREAT associations. Your brand stands for more than that!

It really is important to showcase your branded merchandise strategically

As mentioned before, making your branded products more visible, enhances their attraction towards customers. In the case of events… you can get even more creative!

In a fair or your own brand/company event, you can dress-up the available space and place products in key areas. Spaces like the welcoming area, the drinks and snacks side of the room… even on a simple table at an industry fair… design will help you stand out.

That’s why we recommend branded products in the first place! The main rule is… Where the customer’s eye goes, there should be product and brand messaging.

Usually, event spaces are like blank canvases, giving you the opportunity to work your creativity strategically, creating focus points, guiding customer’s eyes within the room, almost seamlessly!

Bonus points if the event is hosted in your own store, shop or restaurant! Engage ALL the senses! Remember? We know you do!

Organize a Contest & Giveaway Some as Prizes!

What does usually attract people’s attention? The “What’s in it for me?” part! Transform this into a real gain for them, and organize a contest where you can “award” their involvement with branded products.

Double win! Have their self esteem skyrocket (and associate that good feeling with your brand)…

Aaand!

Have that experience stick, by gifting them a physical object they can take home, remember you by… and tell stories to their friends and family. Talk about brand exposure at its finest!

Allow People to Try Them Out

Oftentimes, people get curious about products, but can’t try them out either because the brand doesn’t have samples, or a changing room… or some other reason.

When you actually make part of the event about interacting with your product, they will be more than happy to participate! Ask for their feedback, opinions, tastes and overall feel they get when using your brand. After all, a brand is an experience, so let your products create one for your customers!

Offer them for Free… An Email Doesn’t Cost That Much!

This is a double win strategy! You get to offer people a sample of your product, and approval to use their email address for further messaging, offers and branding delight!

All that customers have to do is to subscribe to your email list and then receive a branded product. Or more! But we let that decision to you!

5. Where can I get branded merchandise?

Powerful and complete!

If you’re in need of personalized business cards, keychains, bottle openers, and the general variety of promotional merchandise we all know…

… it’s easy to get all that. And more!

There are a multitude of websites that provide exactly what you need:

Redbubble – What’s cool about these guys is all of their items are designed by independent artists, so you know you have a unique piece of merchandise that really can’t be found anywhere else.

However… there is no customization with their products!

PROMOrx – These guys are definitely oriented to the office workers who would be at a promotional event. They’re specializing in quality tech items for long term use, and bags, writing materials, and mugs, all with your logo on them.

They even have an “Eco” section for recyclable and sustainable items that will surely be popular with your gift recipients nowadays.

Clove & Twine – Pretty much as premiere as it gets on the high-quality spectrum. They are hooked up with pretty high-end brands like Patagonia to give you custom designs on their clothes.

They’re also known for their headphones, kits, and very useful innovations for around the home. The customization rates will vary, which you’ll then sort out with the “Contact Us For Customization” button on the product screen.

Alibaba – Probably your cheapest bet. This classic company sells just about anything, and if you’re in n1eed of a bulk order of merchandise and corporate gifts by tomorrow, they will get the job done.

There are no options for customization, however. What you see is what you get! And what your clients will later use…

Zazzle – The big website with the best quality for the price. Items from well-regarded brands you know can be found with everything from their business cards to their baked goods (reportedly) of high quality and in great variation!

People especially love this site for its customizer, where you can add text, color, filters, and more to your logo or image exactly as you please!

After all, the reason why you’d go for branded merch in the first place is to bring customer’s attention to the logo and your business… Right?

Key Takeaways

  1. What’s the point of having a logo if it can’t be replicated and sent out into the world?
  2. What is branded merchandise and how can it help your business stand out?
  3. How can you create high-quality merch and get it delivered to your doorstep?
  4. What types of products can you choose to customize, and where to go for that?
  5. Why investing in products that make your logo mobile is the best choice to make?

Jonas

by Jonas

Favorite Branding: Preem

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