How powerful is your brand? Do you feel like you hold a strong position in your marketplace, or do you frequently wonder if your competitors are going to steal customers from you? Do you love the look of your shop, or do you often worry you might be missing something from your displays?
If you’ve asked yourself these questions, there’s a good chance your brand isn’t as strong as you’d like it to be. There are many ways to fix that, including a beefed-up online presence and a professional marketing plan, but one of the best benefits to up your visibility and brand effectiveness is with promotional products.
As long as you have a business name and logo, you can order promotional products right away and put them to work building your business for you.
Here are five reasons you shouldn’t wait.
Promotional Products Make Your Store Attractive
Although branded merchandise such as corkscrews and wide-mouthed wine decanters operate on deep psychological levels to bring customers to you and keep them around year after year, they also serve another, simpler purpose: They’re pretty.
According to KissMetrics, shoppers place appearance overwhelmingly above the other attributes of a product. While 93 percent of a shopper’s consideration goes to visual appearance, only 6 percent goes to texture and 1 percent to sound. Moreover, color is a significant deciding factor as well, weighing in on 85 percent of the decision.
What does this mean for your shop? First of all, whether you buy branded merchandise or not, you need to have a unified color scheme and theme for your retail store. If you’re a liquor store, you might choose brighter colors that mimic sand and surf. Tasting rooms usually go for earthier tones that recall the soil and leaves of a vineyard, and artisanal shops often adopt the turquoises, cobalts and salmons of the Mediterranean. Whatever you choose, it must look seamless.
Beyond color, though, you can strike a lovely appearance in your store by printing all your products with the same logo and business name. When customers walk into a shop whose products all bear the same image, they get a pleasing sense of continuity that encourages them to stay and look around. Beauty is a very powerful tool
Branded Merchandise Provides Free Marketing
According to a recent study by PPAI.org, custom printed reusable grocery bags receive an average 5,938 brand impressions throughout their lifetime? That’s each bag being seen almost 6,000 times before it kicks the bucket. Talk about a whole lot of free marketing. Promotional product use is a proven benefit that gets your product used again and again – for example, glassware, growlers to go also deliver similar benefits.
In addition to providing free marketing for you out in the world, branded items also let people know what you’re about. “Your merchandise communicates a message about your business,” Andy Preston, director of sales consultancy Outstanding Results, told the Marketing Donut. “So if you’re in financial services you could portray your reliability with something practical, and if you’re in the leisure sector, you should create something fun. For example, a go-kart business could distribute wind-up mini racers.”
In the case of a winery or liquor store, potential customers don’t need to see anything more than a branded coaster or a logo-emblazoned wine tote to know that you’re in the business of supplying alcohol or spirits. Now they can go check you out online or add you to their mental list of possibilities next time they’re in the market for your goods.
Brand Recognition Increases Customer Loyalty
Brand awareness is the lowest rung on a ladder that slowly climbs to satisfied lifelong customers, explains PMR Research. The process looks a little something like this:
- A customer becomes aware of the fact that you sell a certain product. In other words, they become aware of your brand.
- They decide to try your products or services out for themselves.
- They associate your brand with the results of that test, either positively or negatively.
- If they like your product, they will buy or use it again, building customer loyalty.
- Once they form an association with your brand, that association will block off other brands from their awareness, leaving only yours to supply that need.
This is what you want: customers who think only of you when it comes to a certain product, be it wine, liquor, beautiful wine glasses or eco-friendly jute tote bags or insulated grocery style shopping bags ideal for 1,2,4 or 6 bottle carrying. Their awareness of your brand will effectively make them blind to your competitors as long as you keep delivering. But in order to do so, you must keep your brand on their radar. That’s why promotional products work so well to boost your business and cement lifelong relationships with happy customers.
Functional Items Add Value to Your Store
Think about it: When you’re busy, how many places do you want to stop? Just one, right? That’s why you want to be the one-stop shop, so customers come to associate you with efficiency and convenience as well as quality and class. Ordering a range of promotional items helps you do that.
If you’re a wine shop, for example, you should sell a few kinds of wine gift bags. You can order them in one-bottle, two-bottle, four-bottle and six-bottle sizes. Make sure you carry a wine opener set as well as a few promo items, like wine charms and large wine glasses. This is just an example, but it illustrates the range of items you should have on hand.
Promotional items also add value to your business as a whole. At trade shows or conventions or in meetings with potential investors, business partners or big clients, your branded merchandise can serve as a talking point or icebreaker. Whether you give your products as a sample, offer them as a value-added extra if they sign a deal or just give them as a gift, the people that matter to you now have an excellent example and reminder of what you do.
Because you’re offering a physical product, you can keep on breaking the ice and forging a relationship long after you’ve left the room, the building or even the state. As your potential client or business partner continues to interact with the item you’ve given them, noting its characteristics and running their eye over the logo, they will be deepening their relationship with your while you focus on other things. Frequently, this can result in you getting a sale or striking a major deal without you even having to do anything.
You Can Mark Them Up
Bulk ordering makes putting promotional products in your store super affordable. Well-made items such as the 4 Function Stainless Steel Wine Tool or the Small Wine Bottle Bamboo Cutting Board can be ordered in large numbers for a much lower cost than if you bought them singly. When you sell them singly, however, you can charge a considerably higher price. Not only are customers getting a needed item that will keep your brand on their mind over the long haul, you’re padding out your profits.
On a final note, promotional products have a reputation for being cheap swag that people are just going to through away. And this is often true of crummy pens or silly plastic key chains. When it comes to quality items made from durable materials such as glass, wood, metal, fleece and others, however, this isn’t the case. Such long-lasting and beautiful items not only won’t get thrown away, they’ll speak well for your taste and reliability long after customers or clients leave your store.
Don’t wait any longer to see how promotional products can up your small business today. Instead, start building your brand the smart and simple way, with beautiful goods that stand the test of time.