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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Dos and Don’ts of Choosing the Right Promotional Product


Promotional products are one of the most cost-effective ways to get the word out about your company. They last much longer than other forms of advertisement, and can spread the word about your company to anyone who sees your customer using the product. Pens are one of the most effective promotional products because just about every customer can use them; they're almost always kept, or passed on to a friend or acquaintance. No matter what kind of products or services you offer, however, it's always important to choose the right promotional product to showcase them.

Do Consider Your Audience

No matter what promotional product you choose, keep in mind that it's for the benefit of your potential customers, not your own. Know your audience, what they want and what's most important to them, and choose a promotional product that aligns with those values. For example, a recent Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) study showed that people ages 55 and up are most appreciative of promotional pens and calendars. Women are more likely to hang onto promotional pens, while men prefer electronics (like USB thumb drives) T-shirts and caps. Younger people most enjoy food items.


Whatever your product, take your typical customer's age, preferences and gender into account when choosing it. Promotional pens are great because they're useful to people of all ages, genders and walks of life. You can hand out a promotional pen to a 15-year-old kid, a 45-year-old-housewife, a 30-year-old businessman or a 75-year-old retiree, and all four will hang on to it and use it as long as it lasts. Everyone who sees your customer use the pen will learn about your products and services.

Don't Skimp on the Cost

The longer a customer holds onto and uses your promotional product, the more of an advertising punch it packs. If you buy a cheap product, your potential customers will take one look at it and throw it away. Not only that, but handing out cheap promotional products reflects poorly on you as a business owner; it could actually lower the consumers' opinion of you and have the opposite of the intended effect.

Consumers will hang on to a nice, high-quality promotional pen and keep using it over and over. If your product is nice enough, consumers might even return to your business events in the future hoping for more of the same.

Do Choose a Nice-Looking Product

When it comes to promotional products, looks are important. Choose a sleek, stylish item in eye-catching colors that won't clash with the colors of your brand logo. A nice-looking promotional pen sends a positive message about your company, product or service.

Don't Forget Your Website

Having your promotional product printed with your company's name, logo and phone number is common sense. But you'd be surprised how many entrepreneurs forget to print their Web address on promotional products along with other contact information.

Your company's name, logo and slogan tell the consumer what you're about, what services you're offering and who you can contact to make a purchase. What they don't necessarily do, however, is tell your customer where to go for more information. A potential new customer will want to browse your website for detailed information about your services. He or she will want to see examples of past projects and read reviews from other satisfied customers. Printing your Web address on your promotional product lets your customers know where to go to find this information.

Do Stay on Budget

Promotional products work because they're relatively inexpensive and fun. Customers like getting swag, and a high-quality promotional product can be really impressive. But you shouldn't sacrifice your budget to make that happen.

Instead, just as with any other advertising decision, let your budget be your guide. Promotional pens are a great choice for any budget because they're versatile and popular, but much cheaper than some promotional products.

Don't Choose a Weird Product

The promotional product you choose should make sense in the context of your business. If you're in the business of selling hunting and fishing equipment, you probably don't want to give out embossed makeup cases or fuzzy pink slippers with your logo on the toe. If you're in the cosmetics business, you might not want to give out promotional duck calls or beer cozies.

No matter what service or product your company sells, promotional pens are a practical, sensible choice. It doesn't matter whether your customer is shopping for a new car, a manicure, a hunting rifle or a puppy — he or she will always need a pen handy, and will appreciate the gesture that the free gift represents.

Choosing the right promotional product for your company can be overwhelming. Don't over-think it. Choose a long-lasting, high-quality product that your customers will find useful for months or years to come.

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