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Make a longer lasting first impression

Why Promotional Products are an effective yet under-utilised tactic that guarantees your business will be remembered longer.

Timing is crucial. It’s said that only 5% of the prospects we contact will be at the point of making a buying decision when we contact them. So our contact needs to be as much about being remembered as getting noticed. I believe branded merchandise, or promotional products, achieve both of these and can help make longer lasting first impressions.

Just consider your own experience for a moment. Have you received promotional products? And if you have, did you keep and continue to use those items? If you answered yes to the last question, there may be the first piece of evidence that promotional products work.

The UK’s spending on all marketing activity totals £33b (and increasing, as consumer confidence returns) yet the promotional products industry gets only a 2.3% share of that figure, worth £760m. So, not an over-utilised marketing tactic, leaving room for others to adopt merchandise and get noticed.

But do promo products work?

Take a look at the infographic above. A consumer survey shows that promo products leave recipients feeling more appreciated, with a greater sense of loyalty and more likely to take action compared to other media.

In a separate B2B survey, 94% of business recipients remember the advertiser even after 6 months, 2/3 keep a product for over 6 months whilst 44% keep a product over 12 months, and 39% were more likely to buy from a supplier who had given them a promotional product.

So, there’s statistical evidence that promotional products work. But why are promotional products so effective? I believe it’s because they impact their recipients are different levels.

At a logical or practical level, promo products are tangible items with a durable quality. They have a perceived value that makes people want to keep and use them. Branded with a logo or message, they form an enduring reminder of the giver, helping to build familiarity with the brand, leading to a sense of knowing.

At an emotional level, everyone likes to receive a gift. It gives us a warm, fuzzy feeling of appreciation, makes us feel happy and like the giver.

At a psychological level, the sense of appreciation is built on and helps develop loyalty. Receiving a gift develops a social obligation. Linked to the Law of Reciprocation, they encourage us to want to give back. And giving promo products helps build affective trust, the aspect of trust that grows out of feeling safe, valued and cared for.

So, promotional products build on the know, like and trust that is so important in business relationships. But their use is only effective as part of a strategic plan. Incredibly, a vast proportion of businesses don’t have a marketing plan. Without one, any marketing effort will be a shot in the dark and probably result in wasted money.

There are only 4 keys to building a business:
Get more customers
Get them to buy more often
Get them to spend more per transaction
Stop them from leaving

Doing this is all about developing leads, increasing conversion and building loyalty. Promotional products can be used effectively at different phases of lifecycle marketing to achieve these objectives.

So, promotional products are like a salesforce that will go on silently selling your products/services long after your initial contact, guaranteeing a longer lasting first impression!

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