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  February 1, 2016

5 Mistakes Most Businesses Make When Selecting Promotional Products


If you choose the wrong product, your investment in promotional giveaways may tank. In exchange, if you opt for the right product, you are sure to gain all the benefits a well-chosen promotional item has to offer.

As a matter of fact, many businesses usually get caught up in all those potential benefits that promotional products could deliver. Most businesses can’t avoid falling into the trap of making wrong decisions when selecting an item for their marketing and advertising campaigns. This way, instead of reaping the sought-after rewards, the campaigns fall flat.

Promotional Giveaway Perks

Numerous researches clearly show that opting for the right product comes with several crucial benefits:

  • Drives branding
  • Improved brand recognition
  • Clients hang onto these promotional products for a long time
  • A low-cost strategy for reaching a wider audience
  • An original alternative to standard business cards
  • A strategy designed to engage the senses

Most frequent mistakes businesses make when choosing a promotional item

#1: Choosing the Wrong Product

If, for example, your primary audience consists of professional males, then opting for a kitchen product is highly unlikely to meet the needs of the group.  In this case, the lesson is very simple: make sure you really know your target audience, and then opt for the appropriate product for the group. Make sure the chosen product appeals to their work habits, hobbies, lifestyle, or interests.

Interestingly, PPAI’s (i.e. Promotional Product Association International) research demonstrates that businesses should make a priority out of selecting the appropriate item for their audience. And they should do so even if this implies exceeding the budget. It always pays off to actually get a return on the investment instead of getting no return for the item. Always keep present that audiences usually want to receive a valuable, useful item instead of a cheap, throwaway product. However, businesses should avoid going overboard with their investment and limiting their reach. There is a desired balance. If you make an investment in products that are too expensive, you will limit reach.

There is one more factor that needs to be considered. Ideally, the product a business opts for should fit into the larger marketing plan. Clever promotional items that do not integrate with the company’s values or brand will not get you the needed bang for your buck. On the other hand, successful marketing campaigns integrate the promotional item so that it blends continuously with and provides real support to the mission and overall objectives of the business. Such a strategy will always go above and beyond enhancing brand awareness.

#2: Going Generic

Opting for a memorable, standout promotional item always pays off, not only by making a long-lasting impression on its recipients, but also by ensuring a high brand recall that may last for many years to come. Custom branding is a wonderful way to make a good impression on your customers. So don’t be afraid to go beyond stamping your item with your company’s logo. Try to think outside of the box: create custom-shaped USB memory drives or any another type of custom product that is likely to surprise recipients. One-of-a-kind power banks, customized ear buds, personalized USB flash drives, or Direct Mail Solutions can help a business drive home the branding.

#3: Choosing a Fancy Promotional Item

Studies have demonstrated, again and again, that clients place a high value on those promotional items that they find useful. More than the intricacy or beauty of a product, people actually want an item they can use.  If they can’t use it, the object ends up in the recycle bin, along with your investment and branding. And, if you actually think about it, it makes perfect sense: if the product is handy, there is no doubt that people will use it. They will have a reason to keep your product in their already cluttered homes. It’s no surprise that promotional giveaways compete for space with many other home tools and gadgets. Undoubtedly, the more useful your product is, the longer it is kept around the office or at home. Consequently, the more your customers will think of your company or brand.

#4: Choosing a Cheap Promotional Item

When it comes to a business’ promotional product budget, there is always a slippery slope. It is perfectly true that your promotional product should reach a large number of people. However, if you opt for an excessively cheap and low-quality product, your consumers will have no reason to keep it around. Low-quality and cheap promotional items break down, wear out, and give out. And, if the recipients end up tossing it in the garbage, they will no longer have the product around to remind them of your brand or services. Without a physical reminder in front of them, your clients may lose track of your brand and be easily swayed to buy from a different vendor or business. It is advisable to avoid affecting your brand in a negative way by opting for a cheap promotional item. Instead, choose an item that is likely to make a long-lasting impression, an item that people find useful and that will last for a long time.

#5: Doing It Alone

Promotional item experts and companies can provide businesses with a wealth of advice. Those businesses that are just starting out, and even those who have already tried promotional items in the past and had little success, should avoid this common mistake. Doing it alone is far from being the best way to use promotional items. You need the experience and guidance of a professional who will help you understand your specific market, work within your available budget, and identify the items that are likely to meet the needs of your audience. In addition, an expert can help you create an exceptional custom promotional item. There are several affordable, custom USB items that are likely to make an impression on your recipients: USB business cards, environmentally friendly USB memory drives made from bamboo or wood, etc.

Tips on Making a Savvy Decision

With the latest technology advancements, your imagination has become the only limit when it comes to customizing a promotional product. Before opting for a promotional item, make sure to lay the groundwork first and get to know your target audience really well. What makes them tick? What is it that keeps them up at night? What type of product could help them on a daily basis? Once you have found the answer to all these questions, think of a custom promotional item that not only speaks to your audience, but which also ties into your branding. Work with professionals to design a high-quality item that is meant to last. You should avoid investing in hundreds of cheap USB memory drives that your recipients will likely end up tossing out. Also, keep in mind that quality trumps quantity. Make sure to work with your professional team towards a strategy that allows you to balance these guidelines.

There is no doubt that you will be happy to have taken the time to avoid all these common mistakes that most businesses make when selecting a promotional product. Working with a professional team will help you get the job done right from the very beginning.