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Promotional Branding: Simple Rules to Follow to Have Lasting Impact

When it comes to marketing strategy, promo might not be at the top of a company's to-do list. But having something literally in the hands of consumers that can create brand recognition is nothing to scoff at; while some may consider promo to simply be cheap giveaways, in reality promo is a physical, tangible thing that represents your brand in the real world!

We believe that promotional marketing is not just about slapping your logo on something small to give to people on a whim. It can be a powerful branding tool that communicates information about your brand to the outside world, whether given out at events, to clients as a thank you, or for employee recognition.

If you're looking to boost your returns on investment when it comes to promotional marketing, we've compiled a short list of 5 things to consider when looking to your next promo items, that will help you make a big splash:

1) Know Your Audience

This is a rule that comes up with almost every facet of marketing, and promotional branding is no different; knowing your audience helps you to understand what they want, need, and find important and useful, which can also help when trying to make an impact with your promo. Finding promotional items that have a solid purpose, relate to things that your clients care about and can actually use creates far greater ROI than something that will be easily forgotten.

2) Make It Easy to Understand

There is a reason that certain promotional items (drink ware, apparel, bags, lanyards, USB drives, etc) continue to have such a great success rate and be favored by consumers. This is because they understand the purpose, and find high functionality in these items. It is always fun to find fresh new ideas and try new things, but making sure your promo product is something that people want, use, and understand creates a far better chance that they will reuse it, generating more impressions per item, as well as stronger recall. Not only that, but in having an easy to understand design that doesn't incorporate too many elements, your promo is more likely to stay in people's minds and not get confused or mixed up with something else.

3) Create a Strong Visual Identity

Promotional branding has the same concept as merchandising: does your merchandise have a cohesive look or is the design all over the place. Having repeating symbols, elements, colors, and styles can help with creating a strong pathway of recognition for your brand. And just like in the previous tip of making things easy to understand, having a cohesive and strong visual representation makes a brand easier to both understand and recognize across various marketing platforms and promotional elements. Not only that, but the items presented-- and designs on them-- communicate a lot about your brand and how it will be perceived: are you fun and innovative? Classic? Professional? Creative? Traditional? This can all be gleamed in the visual design elements your company puts forth.

4) Consistency Creates Strong Recognition

Branding is about recognition, and being consistent creates that recognition for your brand. If you are constantly changing things, it will be harder to pin your brand down. This is not to say that shaking things up and trying new things is always bad for your brand! But you can incorporate new ideas into your strong, lasting ones, to create a consistency with your brand. When it comes to promo, this may mean using similar visuals (as mentioned previously when creating a strong visual identity), or having tried and true promo products always available along with some of the newer products you release.

5) Be Aware of the Message Your Promo Sends, and How it Connects to Your Brand's Values

Company's have values and missions, and the brand is the face of that. Being aware of your brand's values and the message that your promotional products are sending is important as a way of reinforcing what you are all about, as well as preventing yourself from appearing contradictory between your brand's actions and the words you are saying. For example, if a brand were to say they pride themselves on environmental awareness, giving out a product with a lot of single-use plastic that is likely to just go in a landfill might come across as not practicing what they preach. Or conversely, a company that is all about creating comfort and feelings of care for people might find a good approach in utilizing candles, blankets, or other relaxing goods like spa materials in their promo, which elicit the exact feeling that their brand is trying to express.

No matter what your company is and what your brand wants to get across, there are promotional options for you. Keeping the above tips in mind will help when deciding how to go forward in your promotional marketing, in a way that leaves a big impact for your brand.

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