Great merchandise ideas to help you market your business

by Lisa Cugnetto November 1, 2016

When done well, promotional items can be a great marketing tool for your business.

In fact, a 2016 study by the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) – a US-based promotional product industry member organisation – found that, on average, Australians have eight promotional items in their home and office.

Some 80% of Australian respondents said they keep promotional products if they are ‘useful’; 26% if they are ‘attractive’; 22% if it was ‘enjoyable to keep’; and five per cent as a ‘point of reference’. With this in mind, here are some ideas and tips for creating branded merchandise for your business that won’t just end up as landfill.

Making the right impression

There is an endless array of products that can be turned into promotional merchandise. However, it’s important that the products you choose align well with the size, style and nature of your business. Your merchandise should complement your branding, and appeal to the type of clients and industries you service.

When done poorly, promotional items run the risk of looking tacky and cheapening your brand and business. Not exactly the impression you’re looking to make on a customer taking out a mortgage on what may be the biggest purchase of their life.

Details matter

Opt for merchandise that is high quality, functional, durable and well designed. Where possible, look at ways of giving your promotional product a clever point of difference.

In creating your merchandise, consider the use of colour and the size and placement of your logo and/or your business name and details. For example, the use of a classic colour and subtle branding – instead of garish colours and an oversized logo – may be the difference between a customer keeping or binning your merchandise.

The most beneficial types of promotional items are those with staying power, as they are kept for a longer period of time and are used frequently. This will help keep your business top of mind with your customer, while encouraging referrals and lead nurturing through your merchandise, and name, being exposed to others.

Promotional product ideas

Whether you choose to create one or a range of promotional items, here are a few product ideas to consider:

  • Items used during the mortgage process are a good option. High-quality branded or engraved pens can be given to customers to sign their mortgage, and durable presentation folders for storing mortgage-related documents.
  • Desk and office-related items and accessories, such as branded portable USB drives, leather-bound notebooks, calendars and calculators, can make a great impression. They’re also frequently used, so your brand remains visible.
  • Handy, well-made items such as umbrellas, re-usable coffee cups, drink bottles or thermal flasks with well-designed branding are a way to expose your business to your clients’ outside world.
  • Congratulatory gifts such as a pot plant or a bottle of wine with a customised label that includes a small note and your contact details will make a lasting impression, and might lead to referrals and repeat business.

All your promotional items should be true to your business and how you operate and market it. Consider whether you find the merchandise worthwhile and if you’d be happy to gift it to your customers (or receive it yourself). It should also ideally be – as highlighted by the ASI study – in some way useful, attractive or enjoyable to keep.

For more information about marketing your business, please contact a PLAN Australia BDM.

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