If you look around your workspace or your home, it’s very likely that you will find a product given by a business when you went there or while going shopping or having a meeting. So, most people would remember when they got that product.
Promotional products as a marketing strategy are thought to be present, in some way, since the human being began to trade, but the end of the 18th century saw a defining moment when commemorative buttons were given for George Washington’s campaign supporters .
From then, during the 19th century, an important period for massive industrialization in the West, promotional products were everywhere, from aprons to calendars and even horse hats! . This dynamic became a very popular and useful promotional strategy, leading to custom promotional products.
In 2018, the promotional products industry was worth over USD 20 billion , this figure shows the strength of the industry.
Giving something can create a very positive effect. A study in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology revealed that even the gift of a single mint at the end of dinner led to a 3% increase in tips . So, imagine the effect caused when customizing a product.
As effective as custom promotional products are, here you’ll find some advice on getting the best out of them, within a marketing strategy and consumer loyalty efforts, as well as learn about what to expect for 2021, after the COVID-19 pandemic.
What are custom promotional products and items?
If you’re looking for a definition of promotional products, this is one pretty simple: any item or product that you give away to promote your business .
But what does custom promotional products mean? The meaning is transparent: these are customized items that usually have some company mark, like the logo, tagline, name, or even a phone number or website.
Custom promotional products are used for marketing and incentive programs, as well as any type of company event, this includes a wide range of products, from pen and mugs to stress relievers and USB flash drives .
Usually, custom promotional products are given to promote a certain business activity or aspect, like new products, services, or significant discounts .
The difference between custom promotional products and promotional products lies in the purpose. While the latter comprises a set of generic objects that many companies can give to their clients or potential customers, the former offers a unique experience, namely, specifically designed items.
There isn’t any kind of company or organization that resists the use of promotional products. Custom promotional products can enhance the benefits those bring. These items are mostly to be used in daily life, a part of them can even be addressed to kids, that’s why toy manufacturers offer this service too.
But, which custom promotional products suit the best for your company? How can you assess an effective promotional strategy to develop a successful way of promoting your brand? Keep reading to get an answer to these questions.
In Martin’s, we work hard to offer you the best custom promotional products in the market, send an email or call us and get the work done.
Do you want to learn a bit more about promotional merchandise?
Click here and read our post about these items, their cost, and even the ROI.
Promotion is the attempt by companies to inform, persuade, or remind consumers, and in that way, influence their opinion or produce a response. This job is normally carried out by marketers.
A majority of companies use some form of promotion. So,
according to their goal, they will choose a promotional strategy.
A company’s goal is to stimulate action from people who are part of the target market. In case it’s a profit-oriented company, the attempted action will be that the consumer buys the promoted item .
So, to get consumers to know about the existence of a product or a service, marketers develop different promotional strategies according to the needs of the business offering it.
What are promotional strategies?
Promotional strategies can be defined as the plans implemented, along with its tactics, to increase the demand for a product or service . Different components must be considered for a promotional strategy.
Promotional strategies play an important role in the mix of marketing, i.e. product, price, placement, and promotion. Nowadays, we can talk about two big categories of promotional strategies: traditional and digital.
A 2013 Adobe survey showed that 76% of the people thought that marketing had changed more in the last two years than in half a century .
Traditional promotional strategies involve any type of plan that doesn’t usually include Internet content, like print, broadcast, mail, phone, and outside advertising.
Digital promotional strategies comprehend any marketing conducted online: social media ads, email marketing, PPC advertising, content marketing, and the use of SEO, for example .
Traditional and digital have pros and cons and they serve for different purposes, for example, if you want to reach a local market or a global one. A promotional strategy may include lots of actions and tactics, for instance, retail marketing.
Of all the kinds and types of promotional strategies, a traditional, yet very effective, one includes custom promotional products. But before we explore that, let’s review briefly three basics of a promotional strategy.
Promotional strategies target audience
The target audience refers to knowing the people and their interests to define who you are selling to . This includes initial positions and questions like: is my product for men or women or both? Of what age? Then the right amount of research will help to establish and define the target audience. By doing this, it will be easier to develop a promotional strategy.
Promotional strategies budget
Once you know to whom your strategy is directed, the most important thing to define is how much you’re willing to invest . It is important to know how much money is available to organize your strategy, this may vary according to the company characteristics.
For instance, if your business is small or new you might have to invest more in marketing to position yourself better, while consolidated companies need to invest to maintain their position in the market and broaden their reach. If you’re looking for expertise in today’s marketing, get in touch with a digital marketing agency.
The U.S. Small Business Administration once recommended spending 7 to 8% of your gross revenue for marketing, if you’re doing less than USD 5 million .
Plan of action for promotional strategies
This step includes, with the target audience and budget already determined, making the choice about which strategy is being adopted to reach the goal and make a profit . Is it going to be traditional, digital, a mix of both?
Here is when the company decides if custom promotional products will be in need, which involves more processes like plastic product design. Next, let’s find out how custom promotional products can be super effective.
Marketing promotional strategies with practical custom promotional products
Custom promotional products are big and powerful marketing tools because they permit a brand to connect with consumers by enthralling their senses. When used as part of a promotional strategy, it allows people to interact physically. That’s why promotional products often create a more memorable brand experience .
A Promotional Products Association International study found out that 85% of promotional product recipients did business with the advertiser and 83% of people loved receiving them .
Custom promotional products also need a target audience, a budget, and a plan. Practical items, namely, products that are used every day, are preferred. From more than half a million objects used as promotional products, the ones people use regularly are the most effective .
In 2019, the top 5 U.S. promotional items were: 1) drinkware, 2) T-Shirts, 3) custom tote bags, 4) power banks, and 5) USB drives. Other items included were custom desk accessories and apparel . As you can see, many of these are made of plastic totally or partially.
Around 78% of consumers own promotional drinkware in the United States, this covers water bottles, mugs, glassware, and more .
From free products to sample giveaways and branded promotional gifts, many of these items will result from different processes of manufacturing, like plastic injection molding, before they reach the consumers.
One of the big advantages of custom promotional products is that they allow the company to develop a positive brand image that will, in turn, affect business. That’s why it’s important to choose wisely. In Martin’s, we’ll be glad to carry out your custom promotional products.
Building consumer loyalty through custom promotional products
Custom promotional products will help to build consumer loyalty as long as they turn out to be effective. The first must is quality.
If you provide a potential customer or a client with something functional that they would pay for, it’s easier for them to keep and use the item while appreciating the brand .
Then, the more you specify your target audience, the better results you’ll have . It’s not enough to just classify children, teenagers, adults, and the elderly, or housewives and employed women. It’s advised to dig more to find preferences, interests, and trends.
Obviously, by identifying the set of operations, a company will narrow down its choice for its custom promotional products, for example, a real estate business may give a branded house-shaped keychain or a sports company may include in its appreciation gifts, a sports bottle.
To enhance the experience, customizing is essential. For example, it’s not about having any plastic container with the company logo on it, it’s having a unique type of branded plastic container, available only through the company. This way you’re ensuring people are getting a fun or appealing and useful product.
Customer loyalty is reached in many ways, for example, by offering collectibles.
Click here and read all you need to know about collectible toy manufacturers.
Custom promotional products offer an amazing opportunity for small businesses to position their services and products, as well as for big companies to maintain their status. In 2020, some of the promotional products trendings included the following three types:
- Generational marketing items
Many custom promotional products are made focusing on the new generations making up the workforce, like Millennials and Gen Z, which value social issues, innovation, and aesthetics . So, a modern beautifully designed lunchbox, a recycled notepad, or even a potted plant make good custom promotional products.
- Power and wireless products
Personal and professional lives are packed up with mobile devices. So, it's no surprise that consumers search for full charge devices and avoid tangled cables . Accordingly, power banks and wireless speakers have been trending.
- Retail-inspired products
These might seem simple, but the truth is most consumers like products they easily identify and recognize, from stores, social media, or advertising . That’s why even a specific design of houseware can become extremely popular. The best of these items can be easily customized.
In Martin’s, we have a variety of solutions for your custom promotional products, if you want to check out our previous work with different types of companies, feel free to click here and review our catalog.
2021 forecast for custom promotional products
No doubt that 2020 has already made history due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. But even in dark times, opportunities may arise. For example, branded hand sanitizers became a very popular custom promotional product .
During the pandemic, the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) found out that 38% of surveyed customers had received a promotional product like face coverings, hand sanitizers, or water bottles .
Are you interested in knowing more about the challenges that plastic manufacturers faced during the 2020 coronavirus crisis? Read our post concerning this issue.
Delta Marketing predicts that unique promotional products will be pursued in 2021, like pencil sets, desktop games, or sanitizing products. These are useful items that align with product trends .
As for the sales for promotional products, the outline is still uncertain. Marc Simon, CEO of HALO Branded Solutions, the 3rd largest company in the North American promo industry, expected in April to begin recovering in the last months of 2020, but “it may be late 2021 before the promotional products industry returns to pre-crisis levels” .
Nevertheless in a more positive tone, Simon believes that although the industry has been hit hard, it doesn’t mean it will not recover: “Companies will turn to promotional products to reach their customers and employees to jump-start their recovery” .
No doubt, custom promotional products will remain a greatly effective and tempting strategy, adapting to the circumstances and the trends within the market. Are you looking for a plastic manufacturer able to bring your project to life? Feel free to contact us by clicking here, in Martin’s, we’re ready to help you to strengthen your brand and boost your sales!
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 Promotional Products Work. Why Promotional Products? Promotional Products Association International, n. d. Accessed 20 Sep 2020.
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