Is Promotional Merchandise Worth the Investment in the Digital Age?

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Brands are obsessed with promotional merchandise. You see their logos on their t-shirts, mugs, pens and notepads, tote bags, stickers, and all kinds of stuff. Entrepreneurs still believe that these items will boost their sales and propel them into becoming a homegrown brand.

It seems like an expensive and effortful endeavor. The business has to source the material then have their name and logo printed on a huge scale. If they wish to do promotional merchandise in-house, they would need to acquire insta graphic systems.

With the internet and social media becoming the primary way to market products and services, is it still worth investing resources in promotional merchandise? Find out here.

Why Make Promotional Merchandise?

When you see a can of Coca-Cola on a supermarket shelf, you do not need to read the “name Coca-Cola” or the term “soft drink” to know what it is. The packaging’s red and white color is enough for any American to know what the product is and who made it.

That is what all businesses want. Brand recognition means that the venture is way past the startup stage and has etched itself into its target customers’ consciousness.

Entrepreneurs spend a ton of money on strategies that they hope will make their brands memorable to consumers. They do this by creating eye-catching logos, short but impactful taglines, catchy jingles, and, of course, give away promotional merchandise.

The reason brand recognition is important is that consumers are not very adventurous with their purchases. Most people tend to go for brands that they know rather than take a risk on a newcomer whose name they are encountering for the first time.

In one survey, 71% of respondents said it is very or somewhat important that their prior awareness of the brand influences their decision to purchase. Only 29% would buy a product from a brand that they are not familiar with.

Investors, too, look at brand recognition as a basis for granting funding. According to the same survey, 81% of them decide based on whether the name of the brand has made a mark on the public or not.

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Promotional Merchandise Creates a Positive First Impression

Promotional merchandise is just one way to establish brand recognition, and it works!

One paper published in 2016 found that most people tend to keep the promotional merchandise they receive from brands for an average of eight months. The impact of producing promotional merchandise lasts far longer than your internet pop up or billboard. Entrepreneurs will only have to pay for it once, and it will be sitting on the customers’ desks, wardrobes, etc., for several months.

Moreover, promotional merchandise is a constant advertisement seen by multiple people. Consumers are likely to pass along these products to family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. In the United States, up to 63% of people eventually give away the products they receive to someone else.

What Industry People Think

It is harder to measure the impact of promotional merchandise on profit, but many people believe it is worth the expenses.

A survey from 2017 found that 96% of marketers believe that producing promotional merchandise is an effective form of advertising. Meanwhile, 87% of companies credit promotional merchandise for helping them reach their marketing goals. Another 54% said that the free stuff enabled them to interact with their target customers regularly.

Customers Feel Appreciated

Promotional merchandise works because of one fundamental reason: people like free stuff. Consumers feel rewarded when they receive promotional merchandise from brands. Their impression of the brand immediately improves when they receive a gift.

Another research surveyed attendees of a trade show and reported the majority of those who receive promotional products had a more positive attitude toward the company.

An Ad You Can Touch

It is also a form of advertisement that is tangible in a world that is increasingly becoming digital. While advertising on the internet is considered necessary for most businesses, those that market in the real world through traditional strategies make a big impact.

Most people learned to ignore the majority of ads that they see online and offline. Those who notice ads tend to be annoyed by it because it is too intrusive or too many of them presented at once.

On the internet, around 50% said that they ignore banner ads. Meanwhile, 58% and 53% of respondents gloss over social media ads and search engine ads, respectively.

Promotional merchandise is an ad that they cannot ignore and something that they like.

Although digital marketing is more affordable and can reach more people, there is still value in traditional marketing for businesses. Promotional merchandising is just one strategy. There are more out there. The key to a successful campaign is to find a strategy that works for your business.

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