The dos and don’ts for using promotional items in your small business

Thumb drives are always welcome and won’t break the bank when you’re buying promotional items.

By Veselina Dzhingarova

Promotional items can be a great way to market your business and create brand awareness. The trick is in how you use these products. Simply spending money on a ton of knick-knacks with your brand on them won’t be enough; you need to have a solid plan in place and refrain from making mistakes that could defeat your purpose. Here are some of the dos and don’ts when using promotional items.

Do purchase quality items

The last thing you want is your company to be associated with poor quality products. People won’t care if they got them for free; poor quality products could leave a sour taste in their mouth and they will associate the product with your service. Make sure you give people good quality and useable items. Give out the best quality you can afford.

That said, you don’t have to spend a fortune on promotional items. You can use items that don’t cost much such as pens, USB drives, umbrellas or T-shirts for instance. Buying items wholesale can also help you cut on costs. For instance, if you own a coffee shop, you could always buy wholesale mugs from Grey Fox Pottery and use the extra mugs as part of the decor as well.

Don’t come off as strange

You should not use products that leave people with questions about your business or your intentions. For instance, if you are an NGO, making promotional items that feature political affiliations may conflict with your audience.

Even the choice of products can be an issue. For instance, promoting your brand through hygiene products or intimate pieces of clothing is likely to send the wrong message about your brand, unless you are a clothing brand that actually sells such items.

Do choose the right product

It is not enough to simply give out promotional products, they should be relevant to your business. In the end, the goal of issuing promotional products is to ensure that people remember your company and what it does.

So, if you are an accountant, a calendar could be a great gift. If you are a toothpaste brand, a toothbrush is an excellent promotional item. The same goes for an electronics brand that gives free thumb drives. The point is you have to give items that will remind people of your business in some way.

Don’t forget to add contact information

A good promotional campaign should make people interested in getting in touch with you and doing business. But this is only possible if they find a way to get to you. So, don’t forget to put your contact information on the promotional items when you have them prepared. It could be as simple as a hashtag, a website or a phone number.

Do grab your audience’s attention

It pays to be creative when using promotional products. Don’t do what everyone else is doing, make sure you use the items in a way that gets the attention of your audience. This includes using catchy phrases, and ensuring that you have a team of agents handing out your free items on the streets. You can also use the promotional items as incentives to get your customers to do certain things, such as taking part in a survey or even following your brand’s social media page.

Promotional items are great for marketing your brand, but only if you do it right. When you decide to use this marketing channel, make sure you use quality and appropriate products, and find a way to get the attention of your target audience. On the other hand, you should avoid using strange items or messages during the promotion, or making mistakes such as forgetting to add your contact info on the promotional items. With this in mind, you should have no problem pushing your brand popularity to the next level using promotional items.


Veselina Dzhingarova is cofounder of MonetaryLibrary and writer at Blogforweb.

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