If you’re somehow involved in sales promotion and marketing, chances are you already know about the benefits of branded merchandise. But just in case you’re unsure whether branded merchandise actually adds value to your efforts or increases brand awareness, here’s some food for thought.
First, what is branded merchandise? An easy enough question with a simple answer: branded merchandise is that T-shirt with the name and logo of your favorite make of car. It’s that jacket or cap with your employer’s logo embroidered on it. It’s also the pen you’re holding with your insurance agent’s name on it or the coffee mug displaying the call letters of your local radio station. It’s even the thermos jug bearing your hometown football team’s colors. In short, branded merchandise is anything that can carry a brand, and that includes apparel, desk accessories, camping gear, sports equipment, and tchotchkes of all kinds.
You then might ask, do people like branded merchandise? Well, look around. Let your own experience answer that for you. Go to any event these days and you’ll see people of all ages and genders wearing clothes that tout their favorite brand of shoes, electronics, cars, beverages, and zillions of other products and services. Like it or not, we are in the Product Age—logos are everywhere—and smart marketers are using every strategic space they can to put their brand on display.
Notice, however, I said “strategic.” Because placing a brand name and logo on just anything isn’t always the wisest use of your promotional dollars. More on that later. For now, consider these critical points:
People like being associated with a popular brand—it shows loyalty.
People frequently recognize and remember brand names on objects and clothing.
The right branded items tie in to a brand’s image and reinforce it.
The right items also make good first—and lasting—impressions of a brand.
Branded items are valued—especially if they’re purchased rather than given away (when they’re purchased it means people really want them).
Branded items are a walking advertisement with visibility wherever they go.
Branded items are cost-effective because the relatively long life of the merchandise means lower cost per impression.
Branded merchandise programs allow a reduction in other types of marketing expenses.
We’re got a lot more to talk about regarding branded merchandise and the many choices and benefits it provides. Come back often and check our blog posts.