It should go without saying, but brand awareness is at the forefront to the success of any business. A brilliant product that has the potential to change people lives can easily fall short if it doesn receive the required exposure through effective and coordinated marketing strategies. There are countless examples going back through history of arguably weaker products prevailing against superior competitors with the help or marketing and generating more brand awareness. An example of this is what transpired between Betamax and VHS. Betamax had, arguably, a far superior product which boasted a more stable image, greater sound quality and reduced video noise, yet, somehow, VHS ousted it from the market. Primarily, this was due to VHS creating a reputation for itself as being the cheaper product and having a far greater choice of movies. These associations caught on in public consciousness and, by 1988, Betamax fire was extinguished from the marketplace. This proves that, even if your company isn launching a trailblazing product, there are still methods and techniques that you could use to build up brand awareness and edge out your rivals. Promotional merchandise is one such way, and in this article I will provide you with a whistle stop guide of exactly how to do just that.
Whether you have a deep-rooted hatred and fear of the hobnobbing and shenanigans that goes on at business events, there is still no denying that these are one of the best platforms to leverage promotional merchandise into growing the awareness of your business and what you have to offer. At your stand, there is a plethora of potential promotional products that you could offer: USB sticks, mouse pads, T-Shirts, pens, notebooks and tote bags are just few. If you were looking to get an instant return on your investment, you could attempt to sell these products, but bear in mind that most people aren actively seeking to buy such products at these types of events, so I would suggest that offering them for free is a far greater technique. Consider it as a gesture of goodwill to potential customers and clients.
Your main target should be for your brand offering to take a permanent place in the minds of your prospective customers, like a catchy advertising jingle. This is achieved best by offering high quality products which you know your marketing would take advantage of on a routine basis. For example, if your target audience is the tech industry, then consider offering USB sticks and mouse pads, but don skimp on the quality. These companies are far more likely to hold you in high regard if youe product has a meaningful and permanent role in their lives. Not to mention, well designed promotional merchandise will feature your brand logo and iconography, so the recipient will be reminded of your company each and every time that theye doing riveting and life-affirming tasks such as transferring files onto the USB drive.
Also, think about giving a head nod to the environment as well. Recent studies have proven, especially among the younger cohort, that consumers are far more likely to engage with your brand if your practices are seen as environmentally sustainable and socially responsible. If you decide that printed T-Shirts are the route that you want to take, then opt for materials such as Bamboo and Tencel and play up these features to your recipient. Don forget to prepare a range of different sizes which cater for the unique composition of each human and make your merchandise visible and attractively displayed.
FIRST CONTACT WITH CLIENTS:
It a common adage that first impressions count. This rings as true in a business context as it does in a social setting. That might sound intimidating but you can play this to your advantage with a little bit of strategic thinking. Appearance is absolutely crucial and customers will make sweeping judgements based on the way that your employees present themselves. With this in mind, your employees should put on the best front possible and the best way to do this? Printed clothing!
If you deck out your employees with vibrant clothing such as printed T-Shirts, hoodies, hats and trousers, they immediately come across as a unit rather than a ragtag band of misfits. The consequence is an increased likelihood that observers will engage with them and they will discuss your companies services with them. This is a variation of what is known as the Halo effect, a form of cognitive bias whereby we will generalise one salient and likeable characteristic of someone (such as their appearance for example) to other positive characteristic traits. In a business context, a polished appearance could increase the perception that your business is competent and dependable.
To really pull this off, your printing clothing should be done to the highest possible standards and have an attractive (bordering alluring) design.
Another major benefit of this type of approach is that your employees are easily spotted in a crowd. Ipretty sure that Inot the only one who has been in a store and, when requiring assistance, all of the workers of the store have blended into the crowd like a guerilla soldier. Alternatively, you get approached by someone asking you about an obscure product and you have to kindly inform them that you don work there. All of these difficulties are easily disentangled by banding your employees together under the same apparel.
Gift-giving taps into another major characteristic of us humans, namely reciprocity. When we receive a gift from someone we all feel a subconscious need to return the favour. In a business transaction, this could manifest itself through customer loyalty. You customer would feel the urge to return to the store and repeat their custom. With this in mind, you should provide promotional merchandise which your customers are grateful to receive. You should aim to see their eyes light up when you hand them the product. Think of it as you practically having the power to improve their day and spread some happiness.
In practical terms, you can go wrong by offering them a choice of promotional items when your customers make a purchase. You could include these items by the till and it could be the difference between retaining your customers or letting them slip through your fingers.
If sales and interest in your business is stagnating, then using promotional merchandise could be the perfect trick to turn this around. To prove my point, here a few stats for you:
58% of people keep a promotional item that they receive for anywhere between one and four years. Over the course of this lifespan, think about the number of impressions this could receive and how many times it will place your business on the owner radar. According to a PPAI study, 84% of respondents saw advertising through promotional merchandise medium as more positive than traditional merchandise and this ramped up the positive perceptions to the business that handed out the merchandise. Finally, promotional merch results in the recipient being both being more likely to recommend the business and to patronise it. It abundantly clear that promotional merchandise can have a fantastic influence on your business by skyrocketing your sales and increasing the loyalty of your customers.
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