We’re leaving on a jet plane the week of January 2nd to go find the hottest trends and coolest products out there. We know what you’re saying, “bring me back a winner!” We will! Just fill out the form by clicking here and we’ll send you our EXCLUSIVE Vegas e-catalog and booty bag* when we get back.
This blog is written by a member of our expert blogging community and expresses that expert's views alone.
Look around your office. Chances are, you’ve got a logo item somewhere. A pen, a bottle opener, a coffee mug, a tote bag or umbrella--something imprinted with the name of a business, nonprofit organization, or school.
You’re not alone. In a 2009 survey by PPAI Research, 3 out of 4 consumers reported having at least one promotional product in their workspace. In fact, nearly 6 in 10 claimed they had between two and eleven products, or more.
This year, the U.S. promotional products industry is estimated to be a $17.4 billion market. To put that figure in perspective, American wineries have annual revenues of $14 billion, breakfast cereal manufacturers have revenues of $12 billion, and movie ticket sales are about $10 billion. Americans will spend more on swag this year than they do on amusement parks and arcades, more than on dry cleaning, more than on coffee shops including Starbucks and Peet’s.
Swag sells. But, why? And more importantly, can it really do much to promote your brand?
For starters, the range of promotional products is far broader than their “tchotchke” reputation. Sure, you can put your logo on a stress ball or plastic clappers, but you could also give out silver-tipped wine stoppers, a leather portfolio, or a name-brand golf shirt, to give just a few options. Just as with TV and radio ads, some promo articles are more tasteful than others. You might be surprised to learn that, in 2010, 31% of promotional sales were of wearable items like shirts, jackets, and hats; 7% were of drinkware; and less than 2% were of toys and games.
Second, and significantly in tough economic times, promotional products are accessible. Not every enterprise can afford a radio spot or a television ad, but a budget of several hundred dollars will get you into the promotional products game--and promo items are persistent marketing, designed to last and deliver your message repeatedly, over time.
Plus, people like presents: PPAI found that when it comes to collecting promotional items at tradeshows and other events, a quarter of respondents would pick up the item, regardless of what it was. Freebies also trigger what researchers call the reciprocity effect--the conditioned cultural response to return the kindness of a gift--which can manifest itself in better response rates, repeat business, and referrals.
Finally, promotional items are almost always delivered personally. In an environment that puts a premium on one-to-one marketing and interaction and engagement with customers, promotional products are a way to connect directly with your target audience.
So, while swag may not seem to command cachet, it punches above its weight.
Here are four tips for making sure you score with your promotional products:
Focus on utility first. Your logo is going to be the same, no matter which product you choose. But your item’s success as a marketing tool depends on whether its recipient will actually use it. A polo shirt that languishes in your customer’s drawer is not serving your brand. Neither is that stuffed animal you thought was so cute--and your client gave to Goodwill. Remember who your giveaway is destined for, and choose something that will work well for them. Ask yourself, would my target recipient ever buy this item for him or herself? The crowd at a beer-tasting event is more likely to happily stick a bottle-opener keychain in their pocket than get excited about a mouse pad.
Invest in staying power. Don’t be a Scrooge when it comes to investing in your item’s durability. One of the best things about promotional products is their potential for persistent communication. Suppose you’ve selected a 29-cent pen. Its ink cartridge will run out in three months. Why not choose an 80-cent pen designed to last a year? Chances are, the marginal cost difference is trifling compared to your overall marketing spend--and you would quadruple the amount of time that pen will be working for you.
Don’t overspend. You don’t need to pick an expensive item. Aim for quality instead. Your gift itself--not the giveaway’s retail value—is what triggers the reciprocity effect. If you want to get your brand before large numbers of people, a small, high-quality item, purchased in bulk, can be a marketing bargain. And, as with many other sectors, it pays to comparison shop. The undecorated products available on the market are often identical from one distributor to the next; many times, they come from the exact same manufacturers. But their prices can vary tremendously.
Make your message meaningful. A coffee mug is just a coffee mug, until it has your logo on it. Make sure whatever you put on your item conveys the most important information. If your business relies on direct contact with customers, include your phone number or email. If your nonprofit relies on donors’ identification with your mission, choose a slogan that reminds them every day. And while it’s great if your item aligns with your work, remember, utility comes first. Give a gift your customer will genuinely appreciate, and the message will speak for itself.
You know we love braggin' only because we can back it up and we have a few more items to add to our braggin' list. Karen Kravitz, Head of Conceptology/President, was recently quoted in Counselor, our industry leading magazine, for three different articles!
When talking about how educated clients are about products these days Karen stated "I really feel that an educated client is our best client. If I can teach the client something, they can understand they're getting value." She was also quoted while talking about social media in the industry stating "You can't just ignore it completely. In terms of building a relationship and loyalty and getting your name out there, you have to have some type of social media presence."
We were also highlighted in a section called "Unique Choices" where Karen talks about our division Get Healthy Promos
Almost a month ago, our Power Partners Experience was hosted by Commotion Promotions in Scottsdale where our fabulous Brand Development Director's got to meet with our awesome top suppliers. During those meetings we got the insight on the newest and greatest products to hit the market.
Desk Mate-Filled with everything you would need while working away at your desk. Comes with three different colored paper flags, 10 different colored paper clips, sticky notepad, and a ruler on the side of the case. Price includes one color, one location imprint
Cut in Color-Our full color glass cutting board will brighten any kitchen! Durable product that will get a lot of use by your client’s. Price includes a four color process.
Logo Your Mints-A refreshing way to impress your client’s. Don’t just put your logo on the container-Imprint on the mints or sours too! Another added bonus-the tin is recyclable! Pricing includes a one color imprint on tin, plus CMYK imprint on each mint.
Headphone's-Be the music in your client’s ears with our headphone’s. Product comes in white with a colored cap on the ear pieces.
Custom Sunglasses-The future is always bright when you’re wearing these cool shades! Completely customize the entire frame with your four color process design and art! Now we’re talking YOUR BRAND. Made from recycled material
Rubik Cube Flashlight-Shed the light on your logo with this really cool flashlight design. Printed on white cube areas.
Solo USB Speaker w/ Rhythmic LED Light-Make a little music and light up the room with this USB Speaker. Shiny acrylic square top quality acoustic speaker with decorative metal design detail accent, Excellent sound with rhythmic LED flashing light, Impedance: 4 ohm, Output: 3W, Supports WIN and PC, (external power supply required), Elegant velvet pouch and white USB cable included, Just plug in and make your music seen and heard!
Telescope Pen-You’re brand will really REACH your audience when you hand these clever writing pens out. See great ideas do come in small packages!
On the Go Pet Bag-Perfect for walks in the backyard, park or beach! Take your ‘best friend with you wherever you go. Includes 2 collapsible bowls for food and water. Front pocket with Velcro closure and side mesh pocket. Detachable zippered case for storing treats or waste bags. Imprinted on the front in one color.
The Holiday season is here and we have a CRAZY deal. Our Power Buy this month is sure to bring some holiday/winter cheer to your clients. Tumblers are one of the hottest selling promotional products out there right now.
Last week, we flew in all of our FABULOUS Brand Development Directors and our 20 top suppliers, so they could join us at our Power Partner's Experience meeting. Each Brand Development Director got to meet with each supplier for 20 minutes, reviewing new products and industry trends. The day after the meeting, everyone gathered for a day of team building activities which concluded with building 10 bikes for the Phoenix Youth at Risk program. Check out the pictures below andread the full press release. We will be posting all the great new items we found during the Power Partners Experience soon-We're just in the process of uploading them to our site!
Two thumbs up for helping giving back to the community.
The whole gang with our Power Partners Experience Mascot.
The gang with the 10 bikes we built in 40 minutes.
Atlantis Bottle-BPA free and made out of FDA approved Tritan material. Comes with a neoprene insulation sleeve which is available in 16 different colors. Fill with candy and it's a great holiday gift!
Logo Motion Winders-Make your logo shake with these fun winders! Great trade show gift that will keep your logo moving in front of your clients.
Paper Web KEY-This is a great new technology to promote anything! Comes with a custom 2-page brochure where clients can pop out the web key and plug into their USB port where it will take them to wherever you have programmed on it. Hosting a race? Link it to the map of the race so participants can print it off.
Identity Sport Duffel-Great gift for an avid gym go-er or runner. You can fit EVERYTHING in this bag. It even has a ventilated pocket to put your stinky gym shoes in!
Venus Ballpoint/Rollerball Pen Set-Doesn't the saying go "You know you've made it big when you're signing documents with a pen that has your name on it"? Maybe not, but it sure will make you feel like you've made it big with it's elegant and comfortable design.
Shine On Crank Flashlight-Don't let you or your clients get stuck in the dark-just crank the flashlight and you'll be shining brightly!
After keeping it a secret for over 2 weeks (it was NOT easy at all) so that we could tell our entire staff in person, we're ready to announce that: COMMOTION PROMOTIONS IS ON THE INC. 500/5000 FASTEST GROWING COMPANIES LIST!!! We want to give a HUGE thanks to our amazing clients that we are privileged to be able to work with on a daily basis and to our unstoppable staff who goes to extraordinary lengths to exceed expectations. Click here to read the full press release.