Posted by Janice Ruano on 29th Mar 2023
6 Mistakes to Avoid When Using Promotional Product
Have you thought about using promotional products to increase brand awareness? If so, you are on the right path to success. By giving them away, not only will you be building recognition, but you'll also be providing potential customers with something useful. The best thing about them is that they are affordable but, at the same time, can be adapted to any brand out there in terms of style, design, color, etc. But while promotional items can prove powerful marketing tools if utilized correctly, the possibility of them doing more damage than good still exists. To ensure they don't harm your business, we've compiled a list of common mistakes to avoid when using promotional products. So, let's begin!
Mistakes to Avoid When Using Promotional Products
Are you getting into promotional products only now? If so, there will be a lot for you to consider and learn, just as you would need to if you were amid a business relocation. Speaking of such a relocation, you realize that the overall cost, for instance, greatly influences and is what a business should consider when relocating. To guarantee success, you need to think about this before the move carefully, as you don't want to end up organizing something you cannot pay for. Then again, you also need to factor in the cost when ordering promotional products. But more than that, you must ensure you order the right ones. Otherwise, you'll end up with a bunch of stuff that no one wants, meaning your hard-earned money will be poured down the drain.
Nevertheless, it is possible to master the art of using promotional products. To do so, we strongly suggest you avoid the following mistakes like the plague!
#1 The Lack of Strategy
The concept of having promotional items to hand out is appealing to many businesses. However, few actually put any thought into where and when they might be distributed. To prevent yourself from making a mistake, you must first determine what you hope to accomplish by purchasing the goods in question. You may simply want more people to visit your website or a physical store. Then again, you might only want to raise brand awareness. When it comes to the goals of your business, the options are practically limitless. The end goal does not have to be difficult to achieve, either. But primarily, you need to define it, and only then can you select the correct product and design to get you there.
#2 The Lack of a Distribution Plan
How will you distribute marketing materials to potential buyers? While thinking this through, remember that shipping things on your own might rack up some serious shipping costs. Time is also an issue. And while many companies make an effort in this direction, few succeed.
It's not uncommon for managers to decide to have the goods shipped to their homes before forwarding them elsewhere. You can get away with this if you plan on using the products solely for internal purposes, such as handing out t-shirts or other awards to employees or promoting local events and conferences. However, sending them to customers, clients, and leads might get pricey since you'll essentially be paying for shipping twice. Once when they're delivered to you and again when they're delivered to the customer.
#3 Buying Products Your Audience Doesn't Find Appealing
It's far too easy to get carried away when looking at all the available options for promo merch. And while it feels incredibly cool to see your company's logo plastered over items like mugs and tees, ordering them won't do you any good if they don't serve your needs. Or rather, the needs of your audience. With that in mind, considering what your clients and customers value is essential. If they don't want the products, they won't care if they're given to them for free. In fact, with the absence of emotional investment, they may be less likely to keep and regularly use them.
At the same time, when customers and products are well-matched, they can deliver excellent outcomes. And if you are looking for ideas, know it's difficult to go wrong with items like notepads and ballpoint pens. After all, we all use them. Magnets and even water bottles fall into this category as well.
#4 Poor Quality Goods
One of the major mistakes to avoid when using promotional products is purchasing low-quality ones. It's common practice for companies to look for cost-cutting opportunities. Furthermore, when resources are tight, marketing takes the hit, making businesses settle for the most economically viable solution — promo products-wise. This decision could appear prudent since it could help you save money on advertising. But it might just as easily turn against you. How do you think your customers will respond if given the cheapest things possiblewith your logo and contact information on them?
Customers will remember your company's shoddy standards if the pens they receive dry up after a few days or the shirts they get quickly wear out. They equate you, the brand, and the items you give away. If promo merch does not last, they will likely doubt your reliability moving forward.
#5 Ordering a Large Batch Before Testing Samples
It's common for companies to order large batches of marketing material. This is fine if you've ordered from the merchandiser before. However, if this is your first time partnering up with them, starting small before going all out is better. Otherwise, you risk ending up with items of poor quality that cannot possibly aid your advertising game. When you order samples first, you can check for potential typos and analyze whether everything else is up to your standards. If not, the damage will be minimal since the funds spent will also be minimal.
#6 Placing the Order Late
And that brings us to one of the grave mistakes to avoid when using promotional products: ordering them too late. For instance, let's say you were holding an event during which such goods will be distributed. To ensure they are there in time to hand out, you must place an order as much in advance as possible. The shipping company should be able to estimate how long it takes for the products to reach you. However, we suggest you err on the side of caution and order them several weeks beforehand. After all, chances are an unforeseen circumstance will delay your shipment. Should that happen, it's better to be ready than let your marketing efforts pay the ultimate price.