Promotional items can be a great way to boost brand awareness and express appreciation for clients and vendors. However, there are several essential things you should consider as you decide what type of product to brand.
First things first… before you settle on the perfect, unique, and amazing promotional item for your business, it’s a good idea to have a budget range and quantity in mind for your project. Otherwise, you may get caught up in looking at items that are obviously out of your ideal budget.
How do you determine how many items you need? To figure this out, you’ll need to decide who gets your promotion. Are you focusing on current, active clients? Vendors? Just a handful of really loyal customers? Different groups may lead you toward different types of promotional products.
Knowing quantity helps create a budget and will eliminate products that have minimum order numbers or other factors that may not fit in your plan. It can also help when you are looking at quantity price breaks – for many items, the more pieces you order, the less the cost is for each individual piece. If it’s possible to use price breaks in an advantageous way, you can get more value for your money.
Calculating the total cost of your promotional item
A common mistake in determining the cost of a promotional piece is to calculate the cost of the item only. Don’t forget all the “extras!”
Depending on your item, there may be add-on fees for production. This is anything that affects the actual creation of your item. Depending on how custom it is, production fees could include color matching, special print processes, receiving proofs, setup fees, etc.
Don’t forget to factor in any accompanying items that will be included with your promotional piece. Are you enclosing a note? Business card? A rack card highlighting new services? It’s important to consider the entire package to have an accurate idea of cost.
Shipping is an important consideration. First, there is the shipping of your promo piece from the vendor to you (or to a fulfillment/distribution center if that is the route you choose). Keep in mind that heavier or more bulky items can raise shopping costs.
Second, if you are handling the shipping of your finished product to your clients, you’ll need to consider packaging (size, padding, etc.), postage, and the time it takes to get everything ready for mailing.
Choosing a promo item
There are unending options for promotional items out there. The best strategy is to find the right balance between quality, uniqueness, and cost.
Consider your business and your audience. Do you focus on high-end products or services? If so, you might want to look for a higher quality item. Always consider the message you are sending to the recipient.
Uniqueness & practicality
The more likely your client/recipient is to keep or use your promotional item, the better. Don’t worry, you don’t have to find the perfect unicorn product that is both unique and highly useable. Depending on your business, an incredibly unusual item might intrigue your client so much that they hang on to it. OR on the flip-side, if your item is something your client would use regularly, they are more likely to keep it around and be reminded of your brand! If you are creating an item for an event, consider something that relates to your event theme.
Depending on what promotional item you choose, production can vary. Some materials may require special techniques that could require a more lengthy production time and/or be more costly. Color options are important and should be matched to your branding whenever possible.
Production timelines can vary widely as well. If you need your item for a specific event or date, allow yourself plenty of time (including shipping if necessary) to have everything completed.
When should you give out promotional items?
Promo products can be useful in so many ways – get creative! Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Send them out of the blue as a gift to your audience
- Give out items as prizes in contests on social media, during virtual or in-person conferences, etc.
- Open an online gift shop with branded merchandise
- Hand them out at a trade show
- Offer them as giveaways at functions you sponsor
What is the most popular promotional product?
Even if we could tell you that, it wouldn’t matter – the best promotional items are thoughtfully done with your audience in mind.
With that said, practical items like pens, pencils, notebooks, tote bags, etc. are still popular. There is an increasing number of eco-friendly products available and these are often in alignment with company sustainability goals. Tech accessories like chargers and speakers are also popular. There are countless options out there!
In the end, the purpose of your promo is to give your audience something that they want to either keep and use or pass on. Either way, you’ll be able to build your brand awareness and associate your company with a fun, positive experience.
Need some help brainstorming your next promotional product? Contact us today to get the process started. Annatto is your creative partner.