A brand, whether already established or in its infancy, has one main objective: to be readily recognisable and distinguishable from others. In the instance where brands are not easily distinguished, there is often the need for some sort of promotional effort to lift that brand above the rest of the lot. When this need arises, some will answer the call by mounting an advertising campaign. Whether through print or television, these types of advertising can be costly, and sometimes have the possibility of missing the targeted audience. A sure-fire way to get the attention of those who will benefit most from advertising a brand is through the use of promotional merchandise.
Promotional merchandise is simply any item, bearing a brand or logo, which is given out free of charge. This is a great, and inexpensive way to get a brand name out to those who will be most interested in that brand. While those in the business world enjoy receiving free gifts of any nature, there are a few things to take into consideration before offering up any promotional merchandise.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when considering handing out promotional merchandise is the fact that it may end up being a consumer's first impression of the brand. With that being said, all promotional items given out should be of great quality. Passing out items that appear to be cheaply made or put together may send the message that the brand cares little about quality, and not just when it comes to promotional items. In the end, it is well worth spending that little extra to receive merchandise a brand can be proud to distribute to consumers and business associates.
Along with quality, one should keep in mind that an item handed out should have some sort of value. Now the promotional item does not need to be something of monetary value, but rather something that is useful. Distributing merchandise that vendors and consumers can find a regular use for will greatly increase the exposure of that brand, while trinkets and things of that nature are usually shelved and forgotten. An example of a useful promotional item would be a t-shirt. Vendors and consumers alike can find a use for a t-shirt, especially if, again, it is a quality product.
While bearing in mind that an item should be useful, it is also worth remembering that promotional merchandise should also be appropriate for the targeted audience of the brand. What this means is it would make little sense for a construction material brand to hand out computer mouse pads when carpenters pencils and t-shirts would be more useful and appropriate to their consumers. But that same mouse pad would be appropriate for a brand that is more office-centric.
The use of promotional merchandise can be an invaluable branding tool, when used correctly. By distributing items that are not only quality-made, but also useful and appropriate, a brand can ensure that its name will effectively be exposed to the targeted audience.