We may be a bit biased, but hear us out. Branded merch shouldn’t be seen as an outdated approach to marketing, and we have 6 reasons as to why…
Yes, business cards are a helpful tool, especially at meetings. But say you’re at a tradeshow and a brand you had no interest in offers you a card; you may politely decline the offering or ignore it altogether.
Now imagine that seemingly irrelevant brand handing you something useful, like a bag, travel mug or the ever-favourite notebook. Suddenly, you find yourself inspecting the new piece of kit and maybe even looking up the brand. That there is marketing working its magic.
This subtle technique can work whether you’re meeting face to face or virtually with potential clients. Casually sipping your drink from a branded water flask or jotting down notes on your portable flip-chart are great ways to remind the client of your brand and leave a lasting impression.
Speaking of leaving a lasting impression, there’s nothing wrong with leaving a few branded pens behind just in case, is there?! No harm in being a little obvious sometimes…and who doesn’t need a pen?
Instead of just sending your clients their appreciation gifts, why not invite them to an interactive experience? Think a cook-along with a local chef and some of your top clients; all kitted out in your branded apron. It’s a great social media opportunity and an even better local press one, too; hello, multi-platform marketing!
Picking two or three great quality pieces of branded merch and doing them well will do much better for you than branding anything and everything people may need.
In the early 2000s, a UK-based women’s fashion retailer Jane Norman did this with their carrier bags; the bags were so popular that they also sold a range of multi-purpose canvas bags; secondary school playgrounds were awash with them for many years.
(They are still so popular that, despite the fact the store has now closed, we spotted one of the carrier bags on eBay!)
This follows on nicely from #3. Have a look at the branded merch your competitors are putting out there. Can you beat them on quality? Maybe you can use a more sustainable or eco-friendly alternative to them or even double down on the target consumer’s needs and offer something a little more niche.
Like with any circumstance, if a person feels looked after, valued, seen and heard, their loyalty to you will be abundant. We don’t mean that you should use your branded merch for your own gain or shower clients with gifts every month (in fact, please don’t do that), but maybe sending newly onboarded clients a token of gratitude or a ‘well done on reaching a milestone’ gift can really show you care more about them than just the value they bring to your business.
It really should all be about the people at the end of the day.
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