Top Brands Transform Promotions

north faceWhile retail is going through difficult times – store closures, declining mall traffic, e-commerce competition – the promotional products industry is enjoying tremendous growth in the offerings of brand-name items for corporate branding.  Those retail brands are looking for different ways to market themselves, and co-branding through the promo channel is another way for them to advertise.

As for the corporate buyers, they have always wanted access to the quality and name recognition of the retail brands.  Even as recently as ten years ago, there were few options for companies that wanted to add their logo to a brand-name item.  But today there are retail brands offered in nearly every promotional product category.  Apparel brands like The North Face and Under Armour; drinkware brands like CamelBak, Contigo and YETI; and even tech brands like Bose and Beats have jumped on the promo bandwagon.

However, not every customer has the marketing budget for a brand-name giveaway. In that case, retail-inspired products are available at a lower price point and with the same quality.  The look and function are similar, and the stock is often more reliable.     After all, not every marketing initiative calls for upscale retail products – but if a customer can relate to the style of the product because it looks like something they have seen on social media or in the stores, then it’s unlikely it will end up in the back of their closet.

The interaction between the retail industry and the promotional products industry has changed.  The gap between them is closing, and the corporate customers are benefitting from the new opportunities created for creative, impactful promotions.

Time Is On Your Side

watch1.2 billion watches are sold annually worldwide.  Watches are a fashion statement for some and a practical timekeeper for others.  They range from the high end classics used for gifts for top employees and important clients, to the nearly disposable styles that are popular with the younger crowd.

Invented at the end of the 19th century, naysayers had predicted the demise of the watch with the explosive growth of clock-equipped cell phones.  However,  in recent years watches have had a resurgence in popularity.  Flashy, bulky watches show up on runways; retro watches are all the rage after the success of shows like Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire; and watch companies like Movado are all coming out with styles that offer bright colors and high tech capabilities.  For many people, a new watch is a fashion necessity.

Considering these trends, corporate marketing departments should consider that a fun, creative watch could be the outside-the-box item that creates a solid brand bond with their customers.  The logo can be big and bold on the face of the watch, or in a more subtle location like the band or the back.  Materials range from stainless steel to plastic, and the color palettes are broad enough to suit any company’s brand color.

The days of waiting to give a watch until your employees retire are long gone.  Today’s watches are a good choice for fundraising events, university promotions, reward programs and recruiting efforts.  Prices range from $5.00 up to several hundred dollars, and are creatively styled to appeal to any demographic.  For your next promotion, what would be better than giving the gift of time!


Scratch And Win Customers

scratch off Marketing your brand should be fun for you, and more importantly, for your customer.  Grabbing the attention of increasingly savvy customers who can easily choose to tune out advertising messages is difficult without an integrated approach that pulls clients in, rather than just pushing the message out.

One way to pull those clients in is with a scratch-off game campaign.  This inexpensive, versatile marketing tool owes its popularity to the lottery games that made it famous.  But today it can be customized for any industry and aimed at audiences of every age, gender or ethnic background.  The element of chance and surprise draw the customers in, and once there, the sales team can inform, consult and sell those products and services that make up your brand.  The cards can be distributed in various ways, such as direct-mail campaigns or gift-with-purchase promotions.  The point is, everyone loves a chance to win!

Some of the more popular scratch-off promotions are described below.

  • Bank Promotions:   increase customer accounts & deposits;  new branch opening awareness;  employee incentives;  increase loan application
  • Prize Ideas:    rate reduction;  loan application fee rebate;  new account deposit bonus;  branded gift items
  •  Trade Show Marketing:  motivate attendees to stop by booth;  capture new contact information;  gain early information on upcoming new projects
  • Prize Ideas:   branded gift items;  meal coupon at local restaurant;  spa service at hotel
  • Employee Wellness Programs:  boost participation in community wellness programs;  reward hitting fitness target;  motivate participation in wellness seminars
  • Prize Ideas:  workout clothes;  water bottles;  gym bags;  healthy recipe books 

Today’s always-connected consumer is besieged with advertising messages through every conceivable media vehicle.   The company that finds creative ways to market their brand with different types of media will win customers, increase sales and improve profits.