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Are Branded Products Effective?

  1. What Is In A Brand???
  2. Resources: Useful Information from the Industry Organization PPAI
  3. How to Build A Promotional Campaign Using Promotional Products

A) What Is In A Brand???

Creating a corporate brand has become a holistic effort. Once an organization puts time, thought and energy into creating a logo, defining their image and describing their products and services; it's not time to quit. The next steps should expand the corporate image throughout their marketing, human resources and operational efforts to be in line with those principles.

By remaining true to guidelines, whether visual or textual, corporations can ensure that their image is consistently reinforced through branding. The original concept can be fed through all employees, the sales and marketing teams and the executive staff such that every time an "outsider" comes in contact with a representative of the company, they should each walk away with a similar impression as to what the company does, who they are and the message they want you to receive.

By carefully planning employee recognition and sales incentive programs; by developing marketing outreach and customer appreciation events that all have the same thought process behind them, the public will begin to perceive the corporate image consistently. Then, as additional outreach efforts are put in place, they begin to have a compound effect rather than a one-off, random experience.

Who doesn't recognize the "golden arches" or the "swoosh" on a shoe? Is not the second image of the arches a smile? How about the swish? Do you see the sweat, the determination, the competition? That is brand management and exploitation through all medium.

Most corporations don't have to be a huge organization that needs the entire world to know their products and services. Its critical only that their target market recognizes the brand when they see it, knows what it stands for, reminds them to take action, or excites them about a new offering.

In the brand development as a dissemination of those original guiding principles will help focus and drive all corporate efforts to compound and communicate your message to your customer.

B) Resources: Useful Information from the Industry Organization PPAI

Promotions is a proud member of our industry association PPAI. We have been affiliated with the organization for most of our professional life and we stand behind their endorsement of the professional use of merchandise to extend the value and perception of a brand.

Here are a few excerpts of articles you may find useful for determining how to use your promotional products. If you have questions, please email us at

What Are Promotional Products?
Promotional products – usually imprinted with a company's name, logo or message – include useful or decorative articles of merchandise that are utilized in marketing and communication programs. Imprinted products that are distributed free are called advertising specialties. Imprinted items given as an incentive for a specific action are known as premiums. Business gifts, awards and commemoratives are also considered promotional products.

How is promotional products marketing used?
Since promotional products can be used alone, or integrated with other media, there are virtually limitless ways to use them. Popular programs cited most often by industry counselors (called distributors) are business gifts; employee relations; orientation programs; corporate communications; and, at trade shows to generate booth traffic.

They're also effective for dealer/distribution programs; co-op programs; company stores; generating new customers or new accounts; nonprofit fundraising; public awareness campaings; and for promotion of brand awareness and brand loyalty. Other uses include employee incentive programs; new product or service introduction; and marketing research for survey and focus group participants.

What kinds of promotional products are available?
There are literally tens of thousands of different types and styles of promotional products. In many cases, it's even possible to obtain custom items that aren't found in any catalog. Examples of common items include: pens, calendars, T-shirts, caps, coffee mugs, calculators, keychains, desk accessories and bumper stickers.

What are some of the pros and cons of using imprinted promotional products?
Pros: Promotional products marketing fits into any advertising budget, complements other media, can be directed to selected audiences and remains to repeat the advertising message each time the product is used, without extra cost per exposure. People like to receive them. And since the items are useful and appealing they are effective as incentives and motivators. Because there are so many products available, there is a lot of flexibility in planning a successful promotion.

Cons: On many products the imprint area is limited. Production time could range from days to as much as eight weeks depending on the product and the complexity of the imprint. And, unlike broadcast or other media where there is automatic distribution, with promotional products advertising, you must plan a distribution method.

Research Shows...
Recipients of promotional products remember the advertiser's name. A study by Schreiber & Associates (Peoria, IL) showed that 39 percent of the people receving a promotional product could recall the name of the advertiser as long as six months after they received it.

Promotional products are ideal for creating awareness among a selective audience. Southern Methodist University conducted a study to measure attendee awareness of product demonstrations in three university communities. They found that selective distribution of promotional products outpulled school newspaper advertising by two-to-one.

Promotional products, used as dimensionals in direct mail solicitations, can boost response rates by up to 75 percent, according to a study by Baylor University.

Customers reorder faster and more often when promotional products are used instead of coupons. In a study by Southern Methodist University, customers receiving promotional products reordered up to 18 percent sooner than those who received coupons and up to 13 percent sooner than those who received no promotion. Promotional products effectively reinforce employee sales contests, too. A Baylor University study of month-long sales contests in retail establishments indicates that contests reinforced by periodic distribution of promotional products were cost-effective and outperformed non-stimulated contests by up to 50 percent.

C) How to Build A Promotional Campaign Using Promotional Products

  1. Identify an objective of the campaign: increase sales, increase brand awareness, introduce a new product or service, drive traffic to an event, recognize employees, incentive or appreciation of a customer activity...
  2. Define the target market, timeline and measurable results.
  3. Select a Theme for the program, event or campaign
  4. Find a promotional products distributor. Sometimes these agencies can help you create the program as well as source creative products for use in the program. If you bring them on early in the planning, they may be able to advise you on what types of product will fit your budget and timeline before the creative plan is complete. That way, you'll be able to build a program around a concept or theme that will meet your goals and objectives rather than building a program around the product you've committed to purchase.

    A good partner in this process will be able to identify quickly and easily a variety of products which will meet your needs. Once that

  5. Develop materials, identify products to be used in promotion.

    Don't pick the latest and greatest item. Look for a product that will be interesting, useful and create the desired action by the person who is the target of your campaign.