The best printed promotional items should have a boomerang effect. Once they leave your hands, or your splashy tradeshow or event booth, you want to know that a decent percentage of those will inspire further contact or engagement from prospects and contacts.
Knowing which promotional items have the highest ROI, and then using smart design, is key to ensuring your “cheap schwag” increases your bottom line. Recent research from the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) found, “…consumers are nearly 2.5 times more likely to have a positive opinion of promotional products compared to online advertising. Furthermore, consumers under 55 prefer promo products over all other mediums for advertising, including newspapers, radio, magazines, television, internet and mobile.”
It All Starts With a Brilliant Design Concept
So, the good news is that consumers want your schwag. However, it has to be visually appealing for them to keep, wear, use, and display it. Focusing your efforts on the design process is essential to ensure the products you put out there are positively received – and stand the test of time – by your target audience members.
Get creative with color
Your brand’s colors may be stunning, but they might not be the best colors in terms of apparel attraction. If you’re planning to create wearable schwag (a smart choice, as you’ll see below), you may want to re-think which colors you use, where. If colors are too bold for the typical prospect, or they aren’t typically worn on clothing or ball caps, use a neutral base color and only use colors for the logo and script.
Logo or no?
Play around with a variety of design options, including logo and non-logoed looks. In some cases, a pen, coffee mug, or USP charging dock or drive might look better with a motto or script rather than your logo. Or, you may find logo-only designs, sans words or phrases, keep things simple and less busy.
Switch fonts if it looks better
It might turn out that the font(s) you’ve selected for your business logo and paper-based promotional materials doesn’t work as well on your giveaway items of choice. If that’s the case, work with your graphic design and printing team to find easily legible fonts that are easier on the eyes and look great on your chosen product.
Have you tied it to a call-to-action?
Giveaways are great, but they’re even better for you if they provide some type of value to your company. Contact information is a good start, but why not tie your giveaway into a CTA that provides invaluable information via a survey or a new subscription to your email newsletter list? Most people are happy to trade a little information or time to receive great schwag, and that’s brand reciprocity at its finest.
Know Which Promotional Items Are Most Appreciated & Loved
There is certainly a place for coffee mugs and koozies – but there’s something to be said for more original promotional items that honor your target market’s needs, wants, and desires. Speaking to that aspect via giveaways is a great way to build consumer confidence and loyalty.
With that in mind, here are findings from the (ASI) research of some of the best appreciated and loved promotional items that may actually be used. When your giveaways are used regularly, it keeps your brand front-and-center in the visual lives of your prospects and clients.
1. Writing instruments
Believe it or not, writing instruments continue to trend as the highest-rated promotional items. People love pens, probably because they’re something we all use every day, even in this digital era.
Go the extra mile with your pens, pencils, or highlighters by finding out-of-the-ordinary versions and tying them into your brand identity. There are a variety of funny and unusual pens out there – from keychain and flashlight pens to pens with smiley faces at the top, or those that come attached to a customizable notebook.
2. T-Shirts & Headwear
While slightly more expensive, we’re big fans of attractive t-shirts and headwear. Not only are they worn and used by 70% to 80% of those who receive them, but wearable promotional items are human versions of the vehicle wrap concept. They put your brand to work in public as original prospects wear them out and about.
3. Desk & Digital Accessories
Desk and digital accessories also rank higher on the desired giveaway list. Mobile USB power banks are pretty darn useful when you’re away from home or when airport power outlets don’t work (do they ever?!?). Promotional sticky note boxes are always useful, mini-desk sets (with micro-stapler, tape, etc.) are suitable for travel bags, dashboard smartphone mounters are essential in California and other states, and media charging stations are guaranteed to be useful for tradeshow and event recipients on the go.
Those are just the beginning when it comes to useful and valued printed promotional items that keep your company and brand close to the eyes (and minds) of prospects and customers.
Looking for new design ideas to optimize the ROI of your printed promotional products? Contact the graphic design and printing experts at SpeedPro East Bay.