Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, have been around for about a century. Originally developed for the military, development of UAV technology has allowed commercial drones to become cheaper, lighter, and more sophisticated. And with those advances, drones are now delivering your packages, taking photos, and helping brand marketers get their audience excited.
Drones combine fun, practicality and brand awareness in one product. It’s not a big leap to envision the positive brand impact it would have on trade show attendees watching a flying mini drone demonstration at your booth while waiting to take a turn with their own mini UAV, and then providing their contact information for a chance to win a full-size recreational drone after the show. Outdoor community events and employee team-building meetings would benefit from the same brand engagement exercises. Think of it as taking experiential marketing to new heights!
According to one industry report, consumer drone sales are set to surge in the next five years, with global annual unit sales increasing more than tenfold from 2015 to 2021. Companies looking to rise above the ordinary by capitalizing on the popularity of this growing consumer trend should consider including branded drones in their 2018 marketing tool box.
It happens to everyone and the millennials are no exception – they are getting older. But what’s more important to marketers, these older millennials have become a strong economic force with 95% employment and an average income of nearly $50,000. They are the most up-to-date generation with the tech gadgets, but when buying cars, they choose used and practical over new and flashy. They elect to buy a home rather than rent (over half of US home buyers are under the age of 40), and they are committed to practicality and convenience.
So, when purchasing or receiving promotional merchandise, this pragmatic generation is looking for more practical items that work well with their lifestyles. The branded light-up bouncing balls and refrigerator magnet photo frames of yesteryear have been displaced by glassware, kitchen cutlery and CO2 alarms. Flashlights have always been popular, but now they are part of a safety kit or given in tandem with a auxiliary light that comes on when the power fails. Folding camp chairs that can double as sideline soccer game chairs are popular, as is anything that relates to the millennials’ passion for their pets. Folding bowls that attach to water bottles for a portable hydration station and containers that include plastic bags for clean-up are practical gifts that will be used and appreciated.
Now that millennials outnumber baby boomers, it makes economic sense to track their distinctive likes and dislikes. And when marketing to this demographic, if you remember to ditch the bobblehead for a more useful gift like a BBQ set or tech organizer case, you’ll make a brand impression that will translate to more loyal customers.
At its most basic level, disruptive branding can be understood from the dictionary definition of disrupt: To cause (something) to be unable to continue in the normal way; To interrupt the normal progress or activity of (something). The (something) corporate marketers want to interrupt is the business-as-usual mindset that gets in the way of innovative thinking about how to deliver the brand message to customers. And delivering that message often includes distributing products with the corporate logo at trade shows, community events, golf outings and new product launches.
Giving away the ever-popular t-shirts, bags and pens will always remain the staples of most corporate product giveaways, but slipping in a few out-of-the-box, crazy product ideas will stir up a little brand excitement and definitely disrupt the branding status-quo. Consider a few of the many options that will appeal to disruptive personalities:
- Crazy Print Sunglasses: Everyone will be wild about jungle theme UV protection sunglasses.
- Crazy Wild Animal Lanyard: Animal prints on basic lanyards bring fun to the everyday badge holder.
- Crazy Animal Rubber Bands: Silly wrist rubber bands in different colors and animal shapes are fun for kids & adults.
- Crazy Balls Umbrella: 48″ umbrella with all-over disco ball design stands out in the rain.
- Crazy Fan Wig: Eye-catching wig with bright colored, stand-up hair that is perfect for the next sporting event.
- Crazy Putty Eggs: Just like what we remember as kids, colored eggs with matching putty.
- Crazy Straw Tumbler: Clear tumbler with corkscrew colored straw makes hydrating a lot more fun.
- Crazy 8 Ball: Give your customers the answers to mind-reading questions from the top window of this styrene ball.
- Crazy Bird Pen: Ballpoint pen in crazy bird flamingo shape will grab attention at home or office.
Take a look at some creative product ideas for your next promotion. When you find everyone around you playing with the samples, you’ll know it’s time to go a little crazy!