Increase Brand Awareness By Lending A Hand

20371212As a corporate neighbor, it’s good business to roll up the sleeves and contribute to the health and vitality of your surroundings.  Programs like Keep America Beautiful help to empower the community by “…driving positive social, environmental and economic change.”  Within your own company, the effort can be a large community-wide undertaking, or it can be as simple as setting aside an afternoon to weed the community garden.

While every company deals with budget restrictions, employee concerns and the ever-present necessity of accomplishing more with fewer resources, lending a hand to help your neighbors is more than just the right thing to do.  It should be considered a strategic piece of the overall corporate profit agenda and factored in as one of the tools in play to increase brand awareness.

After all, consumers are becoming more and more aware of the environmental and social implications of their purchases, and therefore remember those brands that support their concerns when making purchases of goods and services.  Those are the customers that will be more loyal to the brand and give positive word-of-mouth advertising to their friends.

Give a branded tee shirt, hat or pair of gloves for the volunteers.  You want to be sure everyone knows who’s sponsoring the event!  Bring a few extras for anyone that might want to join the group at the last minute.  Have plenty of water available, and don’t forget to plan for a lunch break with a healthy menu that can be carried in a reusable bag.

Doing the right thing can be fun, rewarding and, eventually, profitable.  Plan your community cleanup event now – spring is right around the corner!


How Brands Make A Good Impression

blk bag

Ultimately, the goal of all marketers and advertisers is to improve brand visibility.  The newest Advertising Specialties Industry Impressions Study provides statistical evidence of the power of promotional products in improving the number of impressions a brand captures.

The number of impressions a product makes is derived from multiplying how long a recipient has the product to how many people they come in contact with each month while using it.  In the U.S., bags generate the most impressions (5,772) of any item measured in the study.  This makes sense, since bags are most often used in public places.  But what about all those caps, pens and t-shirts that your company gives as a way to increase brand exposure?  See below for some insight.

  • Caps:  3,136 impressions
  • Writing Instruments:  2,805 impressions
  • Outerwear:  2,650 impressions
  • Shirts:  2,450 impressions

Of course, number of  impressions is important, but every corporate marketer wants to know which items are most likely to drive new business.  According to the Survey, nearly 4 in 10 consumers who received a product from an advertiser they had not done business with said they were more likely to do business with them in the future.  The rundown on which products had the most positive effect on new business is listed below.

  • Outerwear:  53%
  • Health/Safety:  51%
  • Desk/Office Accessories:  44%
  • Bags:  40%
  • Calendars:  39%
  • Shirts:  37%
  • Drinkware:  36%
  • USB Drives:  33%
  • Caps/Headwear:  32%
  • Writing Instruments:  29%

Increasing the number of brand impressions and selecting a promotional product that helps to drive new business are only two of the many things to consider when purchasing the next branded giveaway.  In my next post I’ll shed some light on which items sway opinions, which are likely to be passed along and how long those products are kept by the recipient.  After all the evidence is presented, it will be hard to deny the power of promotional products!

Designed To Stand Out

BackStrap-Black-PhoneEvery brand should have a twist in order to be heard over all the other brand noise in the marketplace.  Whether it’s with a catchy advertising jingle that you can’t get out of your head; a fun-loving quirky spokesperson, like Progressive’s hugely popular “Flo”; or high-design merchandise like the Apple products, companies looking to appeal to their audience on an emotional level should always be looking for that edge.

Fortunately, when it comes to distributing branded giveaways, stand-out designs don’t always mean expensive price tags.  Furthermore, product designs that get noticed for one company aren’t necessarily the same types of products that a different audience would appreciate.  As always, when choosing a great item for your next promotional gift, consider the audience and the brand message you want to convey, with a design that is fresh and a cost that makes sense for your budget.

I’ve provided a few examples of practical products that also offer creative design elements.   And, of course, all items have room for a logo imprint.

  • Phone or tablet backstrap:  Provides protection from surface scratches while giving you a place to hold cards or documents.
  • Silicone speaker amplifier:  Boosts sound on a smart phone up to 200% without external power source while holding the phone for easy media viewing.
  • Wireless activity tracker:  Count steps, calories, nutrition and sleep with a wrist device or less-expensive clip-on unit.
  • Custom notebooks:  Build a notebook with a custom cutout shape, insert pages, clip-in bookmark, usb pocket or dozens of other custom options.
  • Performance fabric t-shirt:  Moisture wicking, anti-odor technology changes the game for the next tee giveaway.

Great product design comes in all shapes, colors and sizes.  Those products stand out because the designs are fresh while their intended use still makes sense for the recipient.  It takes a little more time to be creative, but it’s worth the effort when your customers takes notice!


Brands Connect With Experiential Marketing

hugExperiential marketing is a form of advertising that focuses primarily on helping consumers experience a brand.   Staging events with interactive experiences enable your customers and prospects to relate to your brand in a way that creates a memorable, long-lasting impression.  As a result, this type of emotional connection sets your brand apart from competitors, increases brand loyalty and drives sales.

Determining how to bring the event to the people and create a buzz-worthy interactive experience with your audience may seem like the biggest challenge of the planning phase, but in reality it is only the beginning of the discusson.

  • How will you advertise the event?
  • How will the event integrate with the larger marketing initiatives?
  • What social media channels can be used to reach the highest numbers of target consumers?
  • Which branded products should be used before, during and after the event to support the brand message?
  • Which emotion are you trying to associate with?
  • How do you keep the buzz going after the event is over?

The answers to those questions are different for every company, but the discovery phase is not.  Involving your expert corporate partners in the planning sessions is imperative to a creative and memorable event.  Your marketing team may know the demographics for your target audience, but may be less informed in the best content marketing strategy for your social media campaign or have little understanding of the best products available in the promotional merchandise industry to carry your brand message.

Once your planning team has been assembled, the driving mentality behind every suggestion should be how to connect your brand to the senses of the customers.  The booth should stand out; the experience should be creative, but natural (no cream pies in the face, please); and brand ambassadors should exhibit energy and enthusiasm in a professional manner.

Experiential marketing is the fastest growing category of the events sector for a reason.  Do it well and you’ll create brand advocates who will further spread your brand messages through word of mouth advertising, and become a loyal customer for life.